While talking about burritos with some gal friends a few nights ago, I started thinking about, what else, dating and burritos. Rarely have burrito dates gone well for me. Burritos in relationships – awesome. Burritos on a date seems to result in weird mojo.
I should note here that burritos are notoriously hard to eat daintily. Even if you take tiny bites in a clockwise pattern (which I do on dates, and I definitely do not do when I’m alone) you still can’t help but squish the insides out (which leads to me constantly licking around my burrito to try and ease the situation) or potentially plop burrito goo on the table (which just makes one look clumsy but less weird than the burrito licking). Which may be part of the problem.
There was the time I had planned a date with a guy I’d crushed on in college. After what essentially was coaxing on my end, he finally agreed to let me take him to a taqueria and a movie. Except, I got the worst stomach flu of my life two days before our date, and thus could barely stand up straight. Burritos for me were out – I nibbled on Saltines while he awkwardly indulged. (Side note: given the nature of the hang-out session, I wasn’t clear if this was a date or not. My friend Luis told me it was only a date if he kissed me at the end, which he did not. But he did wind up being my boyfriend for two years so…not the worst burrito story.)
Then there was Dr. Paul. After a few drinks on date two, we went to a little burrito shop for a late dinner. And despite hilarity and stimulating conversation, he never called me again. (Side note: he recently texted me to apologize for dropping off the map, and noted he had decided to pursue another girl but they just broke up and hey, he was moving to Denver in a month if I wanted to hang out. Sweet gesture.)
And finally, there was Nicholas. Back when I was in high school, I’d crushed hard on shoe-gazer Nicholas (never Nick. Never, never Nick). He rarely spoke to me, but occasionally we’d somehow or another end up in a conversation that never felt long enough. Years later, thanks to social media (was it MySpace? Facebook?) we reconnected and penned lengthy messages to each other. (It must have been Myspace, I rarely write long missives on Facebook.) I mentioned I was attending a midnight showing of The Wrath of Khan and he said he was interested in going. We went, and he slept on my couch for some reason…it was very chaste, and I woke up in the morning to my cat snuggling with him.
Nicholas and I hung out a little more, and almost did something that resembled dating. Sometimes he came over and we watched a movie, and once we were supposed to see Straylight Run perform but decided to hang out at his house and listen to records instead. We wound up staying up all night, and he admitted to having a huge crush on me in high school. My heart leapt into my throat as I laughed and told him I felt the same. We kissed all night long.
Our next and last date was at a small tacqueria he used to go to as a kid. I drove us into a peculiar part of town while he attempted to navigate by memory (post-maps but pre-smart phones). There was laughter and conversation and then there were giant, foil wrapped burritos, stuffed with black beans and rice and delicious, delicious sour cream. As we ate, we chatted, and I attempted to constantly be on the look out for cilantro winding up in my teeth. I have one noticably crooked tooth that is basically the dream catcher for small leafy greens. Our conversation dried up, and Nicholas kept looking at me as I told stories and asked questions, suddenly disengaging. Ignoring this development only felt right, because clearly I did not have salsa trapped in my teeth. Perhaps I was just totally mesmerizing?
Finally, Nicholas spoke. “You have rice on your chin,” he said plainly, but not without judgement. Apparently, rice is that mesmerizing. As if in a dream, I moved my napkin up to my face and wiped down, feeling the grain unstick from just off center. It fell onto the table, and we both stared. “Whoops,” I said, assuming we’d make light of the situation and roll on. Instead, no light was made. I didn’t finish my burrito, wondering how he saw me now. Did I look different to him? Slovenly?
The evening ended soon after, and I never heard from Nicholas again. I can’t help but now think of the scene in Sex in the City (yes, I’m referencing that movie) in which Steve tells Miranda she has latte foam on her nose, and Miranda gets mega embarrassed but Steve says something about how he just wanted her to know so she didn’t walk through life with something on her face, and then he dips is face in his latte in solidarity. Maybe Nicholas saw rice on my face and realized he didn’t much care if I walked through life with rice stuck to me or not.
Okay…anyone else have a positive dating and burrito story? Do tell…