Posts Tagged appetizer

Another Boring Date

Tuesday night, I was happy to be home. My date with S.D. wasn’t bad, but it helped me realize he wasn’t the guy for me. We had too many differences of opinion.

I noticed on my calendar Broadway‘s birthday had arrived. I made sure to call him to wish him a happy birthday, but he didn’t answer. If I recalled correctly, he was in California for a vacation. I left him a message and told him to call me when he had a free second. I didn’t hear back from him for over a week. I was a little disappointed, however, we still maintain a friendship. His friendship is important to me.

On my walk to work Wednesday morning, I checked my Grindr messages. I began to chat with one guy, but that’s another story for another day…

I had a date planned that Wednesday with a guy I chatted with on OKCupid, but he ended up bailing on me at the last-minute. This time, I had no one waiting in the wings. I debated just lying low and going home after work, but another part of me didn’t want to waste a free night. I thought I’d reach out to my current roster to see if any of the guys were free to meet. I figured I might as well get a first date out of the way while I had the time. I was really looking at dating like a job. This was bad policy, but with someone like me who has a busy schedule, you gotta do what you gotta do. I sent out feelers to the guys to see who was available to grab a drink after work.

Ironically, two of the guys responded. One was in Hell’s Kitchen and the other lived in Jersey City. I wondered if I could schedule them both in the same night. Hell’s Kitchen would work out because I could just take the bus home, and Jersey City could work if he came to Hoboken to grab a coffee or a drink when I got home later. I wasn’t all that psyched about the guy from Hell’s Kitchen, so I assumed it would be a short date and work out.

The first guy picked a nice restaurant, Pier 9, at the north end of Hell’s Kitchen to grab a drink and maybe an appetizer. It just so happened to be right across the street from his apartment. We met just inside the restaurant. I wasn’t excited by what I saw. He wasn’t unattractive, but he wasn’t attractive either. That being said, I wasn’t writing him off based on looks.

He was a regular here. He knew a lot of the wait staff, and they took good care of him. We grabbed a seat and began to chat.

The conversation was pretty relaxed. We both decided to order wine, and since it was happy hour, we split a bottle at half price. We also noticed a great edamame appetizer on the table next to us and ordered that to split while we got to know each other. It was a very nice place, and the wait staff was super sweet to us. They could tell we were on a date and treated us as such.

We talked about our jobs, our families, life in the city, etc. It was nice conversation. Nothing was forced or awkward, but there was no spark either. He seemed like a really nice guy, and we agreed on a lot of things. I could see us getting along really well, but more in a friendship capacity than a dating one. I could see him being a good date for Sunday morning brunch to talk about the weekend and talk about guys.

We were there for a decent chunk of time. The date lasted about an hour all said and done. We finished the bottle and the appetizer and decided it was time to head out. I could tell he didn’t find a strong connection there either. I had to initiate the goodbye hug, and there certainly was no feeling behind it. This would make things easier. We left with the same expectations of not hearing from the other much after we parted ways.

As I walked to the bus, I started texting the guy from Jersey City. We’d talked more than a few times before. We’d become Facebook friends, and I was supposed to see him on Hoboken St. Patty’s when he was attending the gay party across the street from my apartment, but he never made it. I asked him to an unconventional date. I lined it up for him to come to my place and just relax with a glass of wine. He agreed that sounded like a great idea, so he came over shortly after I came home. We were finally making time to meet up in person…

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My California King

Things were going well for PR and I. He was turning out to be a great guy.

He’d been out with my friends and fit in. We’d had fun in the bedroom, and living room for that matter. I still had yet to meet any of his friends, but so far I was liking where things were going.

One evening after work, we made plans to finally go see The Woman in Black in the city. We both shared an interest in horror/scary movies, so I agreed. It sounded like a nice date too. I was sure it would involve some intimate hand holding in the theater and a nice night on the town for us.

I stayed at work killing time by writing a few blog posts until the time came to go to the movies. We agreed to meet in midtown by the PATH station and walk to the theater together. I didn’t hear from him for quite some time. It was getting very close to showtime, and I was getting annoyed. Why wasn’t he answering me? We were going to miss the movie.

Finally, I got a call from him. I met him on the street after learning he’d already started walking towards the theater. When I met him, I informed him we missed the movie. We needed to go to a different theater or find somewhere to grab a bite before the next showtime. He was very apologetic, but I was okay with everything. I didn’t have a schedule for the evening. I was just happy to be spending it with him.

We altered our plans and started walking to the theater on 42nd street. This would work out well because we could just hop on the bus at Port Authority to head back to Hoboken after the movie.

PR tried to pay for my ticket, which I thought was very sweet of him, especially since he was just working part-time until he found a full-time position. I thanked him for offering as I put my own credit card into the ticket vending machine to buy my own ticket. He tried to fight me, but it was no use.

We grabbed a big bag of popcorn and sodas and found our seats. I enjoyed holding his hand or rubbing his arm while we watched the movie. He was an affectionate guy like me. I liked that we were a match in that department. I was falling for him pretty fast, and we were spending a lot of time together over a short period of time.

The movie was decent. I don’t know that I would have picked it, but I was entertained and was happy to be out with PR.

We decided to grab dinner back in Hoboken. PR had only lived there a short period of time. He was anxious to get a lay of the land, so I suggested a few places we could hit up along the way. We settled on It’s Greek to Me and rode the bus through the Lincoln Tunnel. We hopped off the bus at our stop and went into a convenient store to grab a bottle of wine to take to the restaurant.

We sat at a table and decided on our meals. I insisted he try my favorite appetizer there, saganaki cheese. It was perfect with the wine we bought. I was really enjoying a casual night with him. The conversation was so relaxed and easy. We’d already gotten well past the awkward date stage. I was happy to just sit there with him at times, not even talking.

After we split the bill, we made our way home. We chatted more while we walked, and when we got to the intersection between our apartments, he was ready to say goodbye. I questioned him, and asked, “Aren’t you going to spend the night?” He replied immediately, “Do you want me to?” To which I confirmed and pulled him towards my apartment immediately. He asked if my roommates were home, but I told him that wouldn’t matter. They were cool and had people over all the time. He had no worries.

He’d forgotten to call his sisters to wish them a happy birthday, so he made a few phone calls to them while I answered a few emails and checked up on the blog. We relaxed on the couch for a little bit before making moves to the bedroom to go to bed. We watched Archer and Chelsea Lately in bed together, and laughed at all the same parts. It was nice to just sit and watch TV with a man.

When a commercial break came, I asked him what his “roommate” thought about him not being home all the time lately. “I told him I’m sleeping in a cute guy’s California King bed,” he quipped. I laughed and joked with him: “Is that all I am to you — A comfy bed?” He laughed and kissed me to show the contrary. Shortly thereafter, we dozed off and went to bed.

When my alarm went off in the morning to get ready for work, I looked back to the bed and smiled. I was happy to be waking up next to him. Of course I hopped back into bed and started to get a little frisky, but that wouldn’t make me late for work. I planned ahead and set the alarm a few minutes early.

I always leave room for play time…

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Dinner Conflict

Smiles and I spent the better portion of our Tuesday evening trekking out to Brooklyn so he could basically say hello to his photographer friend who was showing his photographs at a local bar. I spent a majority of the night as a decorative ornament while Smiles went about his evening.

We were attempting to return to our original plans to see the newest Twilight film, but were unsure of the feasibility of that depending on showtimes.

When we came above ground near Union Square, I pulled out my phone to check showtimes. We planned the evening very poorly because the movie wasn’t being shown in Union Square. Smiles suggested we check out some of the other theaters in the city, but I could tell he wasn’t all that into it. I didn’t even like the movie all that much. He’d mentioned the desire to see it the last time we were in Brooklyn. I took the time to get caught up so we could go see it together.

When it was looking nearly impossible to see the film, he suggested we just grab dinner instead of running all over the city. I was a little p*ssed. There was little reason we couldn’t go back to Hoboken and catch the late screening and not even have to pay for it, but I felt that suggestion would fall on deaf ears. He didn’t want to run all over the city after he drug me out to Brooklyn and back — How considerate of him.

Just then, we happened upon Babbo, Mario Batali’s restaurant in Greenwich Village. He asked if I was interested in trying there. I’d never been and heard people rave about it, so I agreed to make that our plans for the evening. At least all wasn’t lost.

There was a wait, so we grabbed a drink at the bar while we waited. We stood over the should of a couple while I joked about the absurdity of their cheese plate. It was enough to feed one mouse, let alone two people share it. I am not one to scoff at refined tastes and classy things. I appreciate them greaty. But, when it comes to things like that, I have to chuckle a little. Smiles wasn’t appreciating my sentiment.

We finally got a table and sat to decide what to order. I knew before we walked in this was going to be a very expensive dinner, but it was Babbo. It wasn’t an everyday restaurant. We decided to share two appetizers. One of them was beets — his suggestion. I’m am quite a foodie, but there are a lot of things I’ve never sampled. Beets was one of them. I told him this, and he was shocked. He asked if I was okay with it, and I told him I was feeling very adventurous. We ordered the beets and the octopus per the waiters suggestion.

When the waiter asked what we’d like for our main course, I decided to continue my adventurous streak. I ordered the rabbit. I’d never had it, and if there was a restaurant to try it, Babbo was it.

Our appetizer arrived, and I was quite pleased with both. The octopus was excellent, and the beet salad had great flavor. I wasn’t in a drinking mood that night, so I was fine nursing the wine I’d had at the bar, but Smiles ordered a second drink and insisted I do the same.

When our entrees arrived, I was quite happy with my order. It was the perfect portion size and quite tasty — not very different from chicken. My compliments to the chef. The side we ordered to share, which I still am not quite sure what it is, resembled broccoli rabe when it arrived. I knew I wasn’t going to like it when I saw it, but I tried it anyway.

Throughout dinner, Smiles detailed for me all his future aspirations. He had a lot going on and was continuously trying to expand his empire. I didn’t necessarily disagree with a single one of his plans. I did, however, disagree with the timing of them. It just seemed like an overly ambitious timeline.

I’m a very opinionated person. When someone presents me with an idea I don’t agree with, I generally speak my mind. In situations as these with Smiles, I censored myself only slightly. I wasn’t being my true self and giving my hard opinion regardless. I was simply playing devil’s advocate to help him come to the realization some of his ideas were unrealistic.

This was the first night we kinda went back-n-forth on the subject. I was giving my realist opinion. He seemed slightly agitated, and I began to wonder if he was just looking for me to blindly support him.

That’s not who I am, so I wasn’t about to start doing that, but I also thought I could tone it down a bit. I didn’t need to rain on his parade every time he got overly ambitious. I was going to make an effort to be much more choosey in my words going forward.

When dinner ended, we sat and finished our drinks. The waiter offered us dessert menus, but we were both stuffed, and the meal was already bound to hit the wallet hard.

We paid our bill and collected our coats from coat-check. Smiles was generous to tip for both of us. We walked into the street and began to head towards the PATH. I took the opportunity to hook my arm into his. I’m not sure he appreciated it, but after the night I had with him, I was taking it. Whether he liked it or not.

There were times periodically I felt he was against PDA. However, I began to feel it wasn’t PDA after a while. I started to wonder if it was PDA with me. I wondered if he didn’t want other people to see him tied down to me. They may get the idea we’re together, and who would want that? Tonight, I didn’t care. I was taking his arm.

When we got to our typical midpoint, our goodbye was exceptionally unceremonious. I barely got a kiss, and he was off in the cold of the night.

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Breaking Through

Saturday night, we had a special celebration planned. Every year, to commemorate another year of my father being on the planet, my parents come visit, and we go out to dinner in New York City. Afterwards, we take in all the Christmas sights around town.

Even though I recently moved and invited my parents into town to help me move in, this year would be no different.

With a closet built and an entire chest of drawers assembled, we prepared to go out for dinner. My parents wanted to have dinner in Hoboken, so I decided to take them to my favorite restaurant I go to every year for my birthday, Piri Piri. I coordinated with my sister to meet her there to celebrate my father’s birthday.

We sat down for dinner and placed our appetizer orders. Somewhere along the way, we started to talk about me and the guy I was dating. For the first time, they didn’t change the subject to who my sister was dating at the time. I was shocked when my mother brought it up. I think they got the hint this was more than just a fling when I went into the city to spend the night. They were finally taking an interest in my dating life, and I loved it. They asked questions about what he did for a living and where he grew up. It was great. I was happy to talk about him.

Both my father and my mother were showing a vested interest. I wonder if my sister spoke to them about my unhappiness. It seems like a night-and-day shift from past history. I don’t care how the change came about. I’m just happy it happened. My dating life is a LARGE part of who I am, and for them to not share that with me was painful (However, I don’t share everything. I don’t quite know how to tell them I write a blog).

Our food arrived, and we had a very pleasant meal. My sister wasn’t feeling well, so when we were ready to make our way into the city, she went home instead to rest.

I took my parents to a cute shop in Hoboken, Michaelangela’s. They had the store decked out wall-to-wall with Christmas decorations and ornaments. We continued to the PATH as I asked them what they’d like to see. We have all grown tired of the standard Macy’s windows and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. One of our favorite displays, the Sak’s snowflake window show, was discontinued. I proposed a new set of sights. We’d never done the Union Square shops, so I proposed we start there.

When we got off the PATH, we walked to Union Square. It wasn’t too cold out, so the walk wasn’t too bad. When we arrived, all the shops were closed for the night. I apologized, and we hopped into a cab to head uptown to Bloomingdale’s. This was another part of the city we never usually visited. The cab ride was cramped, and he was a very bad driver. I’ve never gotten so many red lights in the city in my life!

Bloomingdale’s was less than thrilling, so I suggested we head over towards Fifth Avenue. My mom kept commenting on how impressed she was. She couldn’t believe how quickly I could learn to navigate the city coming from a the farm life out in the country. I explained how easy it was. As I was showing them new landmarks they’d never visited before, my mother commented on how many she’d seen on her Sex in the City tour of New York City. (I found it ironic that subject came up. Even though I’ve only seen the show twice, I aspire to maintain my blog in the Sex in the City fashion).

She was finally piecing parts of the city she’d been to before together on a map in her mind. It was all starting to make sense to her. Who knew Sex in the City could teach you geography. We window shopped as we walked because many stores were closed. I took them to The Plaza Hotel. They were happy to see the inside since they’ve never been.

Afterwards, we walked past the Bergdorf Goodman window displays. These are some of my favorites since they are not childish and are often done tastefully. My parents took pictures in front of them and of each and every window. They really enjoyed them. I was happy to be sharing the joy with my parents after they spent the weekend substantially helping me settle in to my new apartment.

A small part of me wished Smiles joined us on our little adventure. It would have been nice for him to meet my parents and spend a little time with them, but we weren’t there yet. I also wanted him there because I love spending Christmas in the city with someone I care about. Last year, Broadway and I made a point to take in the Christmas sights. He even treated me The Plaza Hotel to my first drink ever bought for me by another man at. I wanted to share such happy times with someone else I cared about. However, this wasn’t possible or realistic. We weren’t at the meet the parents stage yet, and Smiles was home in bed recovering.

We continued to stroll down Fifth Avenue, but by this time, we were searching for some kind of dessert. We were striking out because it was around 11:00 at night. Most things had closed for the night. On top of that, I was walking around the city on a freshly sprained ankle — Probably not the best idea. My parents were starting to grow weary as well, so I suggested we head towards my office for a pit stop before hopping on the PATH home.

I realized we’d be passing McDonald’s, so I suggested we get hot fudge sundaes, cookies, and fries for dessert. My parents agreed. It would also eliminate the stop at my office because I could use the restrooms there.

I checked the PATH schedule. The next train was leaving in eight minutes, and the following one was another fifteen minutes after that. I urged them to hurry and bring our dessert with us. We hustled to the train, making it there with a little time to spare.

Luckily, we all got seats and relaxed on our ride home. I was really happy to do something nice for my parents in return for what they do for me. It was nice spending some quality time with them as well. I was also still on a high from their newfound interest in my love-life. It removed a big roadblock in our relationship. I could go to bed a happy man.

It was a long day, and we were all tuckered out. We would all surely sleep well the minute our heads touched the pillow.

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Only the Beginning

Friday afternoon, I had a pitch in the New Jersey suburbs. When the meeting finished, I hopped in my car service home. It would be nice to get home earlier than a normal workday after many late nights at work that week.

Smiles and I made plans to spent the night together. Since I finished early, I took the opportunity to call Smiles and ask him to come over. He wasn’t busy, so he began to get ready and make his way to Hoboken.

When I got back, I wanted to do a few things. I wanted to make a quick run to the grocery store to grab some food to make for dinner, but I also wanted to get a haircut. I was in desperate need of one. I didn’t have time to do both, so I decided to choose the haircut.

I hopped on the motorcycle and hit up my usual spot to get my ears lowered. Of course, I had less time than I originally expected. He began calling the second I sat in the chair. I texted him and asked him to hang out at Starbucks until I could make it down to meet him.

All the while he was waiting for me at Starbucks, I was getting the worst haircut of my life. She completely removed my sideburns. I was not a happy camper, but there was nothing I could do about it.

I quickly paid, hopped on the motorcycle, and made my way down to meet Smiles. He was sitting in a comfortable chair sipping his coffee when I arrived. I hung out for a few minutes while he finished because it doesn’t exactly work out well taking a coffee on the back of the motorcycle. While we waited, I pointed out my new botched haircut. He didn’t sugar-coat it for me, and he told me what he thought.

When he finished, we hopped on the bike and went to my apartment. We walked in to find my roommate finally cleaning up his mess in the kitchen. We left him to his work, and we sat and watched TV until we decided what to do with our Friday evening. I introduced Smiles to my new favorite show, An American Horror Story. I was curious how he’d feel about it because he used to be a television producer.

I posed him a decision about food for the evening. I told him I no longer had the energy to cook dinner, so we could grab takeout/delivery, or we could go out for dinner. He suggested we go out for a nice dinner since he’d never really gone out in Hoboken much. I made a few suggestions and showed him them online. We decided on Dino & Harry’s, a great steakhouse I’d actually gone to with N when we were dating. We took a casual stroll up there around 7:30. I knew there would be a long wait since it was such a popular weekend dinner spot. When we arrived, Smiles spoke to the hostess and got an estimated wait for a table. It was 45 min. to an hour. We decided to check out a few other options. We weren’t thrilled with the other options, so we decided to head back to grab a drink at the bar while we waited.

We ordered the calamari appetizer and adult beverages while we talked. Before long, and after a little sweet-talking on Smiles’ part, we were offered a table. I could see in Smiles’ eyes, he was already feeling his drink. It was cute to see his tolerance in juxtaposition to my own high tolerance. I wasn’t turned off at all by it. In fact, I was enjoying it because he was being more playful than usual.

Throughout dinner we had great conversation. I was very happy. It was a very nice night together, and it was nice to be on my home turf for the first time in a while. We shared dessert and had our fill. This was one of the nights on the high end of the spectrum that seemed to make up for the nights on the lower end.

We paid our tab and made our way back to my apartment. The temperature dropped pretty drastically, so we walked as briskly as one can after consuming big steaks and desert.

When we got home, we hopped into my bed and cuddled while we talked for a while. I can’t remember what we talked about, but the conversation was very relaxed and casual. I finally felt he was comfortable with me and was opening up. This led to me removing his shirt and rolling him onto his stomach. I loved pleasing him, so I massaged his shoulders and back.

I wasn’t really in the mood for sex that night. We both had a fair amount to drink and it was a long day for me. I wasn’t going to push the sex issue since I wasn’t into it myself. I would attempt to jump his bones in the morning, the time I am usually at my horniest.

Instead, we both got ready for bed and dozed off. Tomorrow was a new day. Who knew what it would bring?…

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