Why You Shouldn’t Date Someone For Free Food.

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So close, yet so far.

I’ve been in Brooklyn for 5 days now, and I have yet to eat a normal meal. Unless you count pizza, and my very English mother would disown me if I did. It’s not just that I’m broke, or culinarily challenged. There’s also a rabbit in my kitchen. Firstly, I’m not sure that’s hygienic, and secondly, every time I open the fridge he starts gnawing at the bars of his cage, and I can’t bear the noise or the guilt trip. So the fridge has stayed shut, and I’ve been living off hummus and baby carrots.

But, you know, Okcupid is free. And food on dates is normally free too. When your inbox is full of men offering you a hot meal… Can you blame me? Well, yes, I blame me. Silly idea, Daisy.

He was a South American artist, who claimed to be expert at rolling sushi.

“I’ll teach you how,” he wrote, “if you teach me your elbow licking skills.” (That’s one of the only true things in my “about me” section.)

Free sushi? For displaying my favourite party trick? To a beautiful specimen of a man? Yes, please.

So at 8:30 on a Tuesday evening, me and my rumbling tummy find ourselves walking the best lit, busiest streets from Bushwick to Williamsburg.

But his road is a line of disused factories, and his building is the only one that has been developed. There couldn’t be a better set for an abduction if Hitchcock had dreamt it up himself. As I ring the buzzer, all I can think is: “Daddy, I’m very sorry. I promise I’ll be more sensible in the future.”

Fortunately, it’s a human being who opens the door, albeit a dangerously attractive one. He’s all tall and chiseled and floppy-haired and his toes are speckled with paint.

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Why is this attractive? I have no idea. It just is, ok?

“Come on up,” he says, and I follow him into my dream apartment. All of a sudden, it’s not a horror movie, it’s a Woody Allen cliché, because there are paint pots and windows and giant canvases-in-progress all over the place.

“This is so cool!” I gush, like a silly 15-year-old.

“Want a beer?” he offers, and I accept, though decline his invitation to smoke.

We chat for a while about normal things. I try my best to sound artsy and alternative, because I’m so not, and I manage to dredge up a favorite author he hasn’t heard of. Then he asks to see me do the biologically impossible.

“What will you bet me I can’t do that?” he says, shrugging his eyebrows.

“Well, if you can’t… You have to read me some of your poetry.”

“Ok,” he nods, and I’m a little taken aback, because when did it become so acceptable for guys to be all touchy-feely and poetic and shit? Clearly I’m used to stilted British blokes. Anyway. “And if I can?” he asks, looking at me suggestively. “A kiss?”

I’m on safe ground, I think. He’s got really long arms, and anyway, the only reason I can do it is because my shoulders dislocate. (Gross, I know.)

“Fine, but you won’t be abl–”

He reaches over, grabs my arm, and licks my elbow.

Fuck. I just fell for the oldest trick in the book.

Things descend pretty rapidly from there. He does read me his poetry, and it’s actually alright, but the simple motive of the evening becomes apparent. So I leave.

I walk home disappointed. Not because I’ve just turned down one of the prettiest, most accomplished men I’ve met, and not because I’d been too naive to see through the “sushi-rolling” euphemism.

But because there goes $2 on another slice of pizza.

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Want to stalk me? Yeah, just hang out at Tony’s.

Photo credits: Hugh Sitton, via corbis images, and Let’s Colour Project

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About the author

Daisy Rawcliffe - Vafrous Vagabond

Daisy grew up in the English countryside, where money grew on apple trees and blackberry bushes. But for her 13th birthday, she got a backpack, which she instantly dragged across the Sinai Desert, and has been hauling around ever since. It has now explored four continents, and collected her the information she uses to convince people to go on holiday, which pays her the pittance she lives off. After too much time in a tent, she's currently trying to adjust to the norms of civilised society, which, fortunately, seem fairly lax in Brooklyn.

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