Posts Tagged arrangement

Equilibrium

After our week in the “country” house, as CK liked to call it, it was time to utilize our city abode. It was in no shape, however, to be lived in. Sure, the new bed was delivered, the delivery of which was a bit of contention between us, but the bed was surrounded by towers of boxes.

The day the bed was delivered followed a week straight with CK. There were errands I needed to take care of I never got to do when we were together. Because of this, I dropped CK off for the bus and told him I would meet him in the city later. I was trying to be productive with my time, rather than waiting for the bed to be delivered with him. Looking back, we probably should have just done them together, but at the time, I didn’t want to subject him to my boring burdens.

We were both eating dinner when I cooked at my place, so there’s no reason I should feel guilty dragging him to the grocery store. Going forward, I learned to shed that guilt quite easily. But on the flip side, this meant I would be going to the grocery store with him on the other side of the river. That seemed like a much better arrangement. I was beginning to resent that I had to do the responsible duties while he had all the fun, but that wasn’t fair to him. He never turned me down when I asked him to help me, but in reality, I never asked him in the first place. I couldn’t resent him if I didn’t give him the chance to delight me. There were lots of not exciting things we would both need to do, like cleaning our apartments, that while not fun at all, they could be completed much faster with both our efforts in tandem. Our lives were blending together, and I loved it. It wasn’t smooth, but I loved it.

On the flip side, since we were spending so much time together, I was finding it hard to make the time to work out. My body was paying the price, and as a result, my self-esteem plummeted even lower. I needed to start running again. I needed to get back in the gym and start lifting again.

This posed the challenge of a delicate situation. CK proposed that we work out together. I knew I was a far better runner than CK was. That’s not a dig against him at all, but put simply, I ran cross-country in high school and swam in college. In order for me to get results from my workouts, I needed to push myself, and I needed to push myself hard! I wouldn’t be able to do that if I was holding back to run at CK’s pace. I didn’t want to insult him or his abilities, but I wasn’t sure this was something we’d be able to integrate.

Regardless of this, I decided to make an effort to give it a shot. When I told CK I wanted to go for a run one night, he wanted to join me. We both got ready and walked over to the west bank of the Hudson to run along the trail. As I predicted, we clocked a pace much less effective than I was hoping. I decided I needed to speak up. I was met with the response I had dreaded. He took insult to my comments that I needed to run faster. I didn’t know any way to navigate this without creating a conflict. He took it personally that I was insinuating he was holding me back.

As a result, he played the role of the martyr and told me to take off. The result of running at our own pace was what I was hoping for, but the hurt feelings and passive-aggressive response was exactly what I was hoping to avoid. I tried to talk to him about it to make it a discussion so there would be no hurt feelings, but he wanted none of it. He’d rather I just go, so that’s what I did.

While I ran, I thought about how to deal with the fallout of this. It made sense to me that we work out together, but we needed to do it in a way that benefited us both. I was going to resent it if I wasn’t getting the full potential out of the workout, and that benefits no one. That’s when I came up with a solution:

When we ran together, we would start out together at a warm-up pace. When I was sufficiently warmed up, I would pick up the pace and run ahead of him. When I felt I was half way through the workout, I would turn around and pick him up on the way back. When I overtook him, I would slow down to a cool down pace. I thought it the perfect solution.

It’s also basically what we were doing. When I turned around, I quickly came to find myself right behind him. As we ran, I proposed this new idea, but he still wasn’t having any part of it. I realized I was in a losing battle, and this would have to be addressed later when his ego healed.

Working out in the gym was also a whole other battle. When I go to the gym I like to be by myself. I do not treat it as a social excursion. I am there to work out and go home. I don’t even like spotting someone when they ask me for help. I resent it because I am there for my workout, not theirs. I don’t ask anyone else to spot me. I am not a trainer or an employee. Why should I be “working” at the gym? I know this sounds very antisocial, and that’s exactly what it is. I’m not the biggest fan of lifting. I see it as a necessary evil. I want to get in and out of there as quickly as possible.

When CK asked me to lift with him all the time, I was very hesitant. I loved him, but I was so used to lifting by myself. I knew if we did this together, I would get cranky, and it would start a fight. I was trying to save us from that. I also liked to go to the gym during my lunch break at work, so when he would ask me to hit the gym with him in the morning or the evening, I wouldn’t want to. I would want to use that time for far more fun things.

It was going to be a delicate balance, trying to integrate our lives, but eventually we would find equilibrium. Both sides would have to make sacrifices and concessions, but both sides would benefit from each other as well. Needless to say, CK was the first guy I’d gone to these steps with. It was new territory for me, but it was certainly exciting as well!

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My Week with PR

Things between PR and I seemed to be something of a fairy tale. We’d met months earlier on Grindr after he had a very rough breakup, and I was just getting my relationship off the ground with Smiles. He temporarily moved a few blocks from me, and after a night out as friends, we’ve been spending a lot of time together as love interests.

After our night out to the movies and dinner, PR spent the night once again. Why should he sleep on a pull-out when he could be sharing a California King with me. I got ready for work, and he made his way home to figure out his day. He was on-call that day, but ended up not having to go into work. Instead, he went shopping with his mother.

When he returned to Hoboken Wednesday night, he came over to hang out. We watched TV in each other’s arms on the couch and he spent the night once again. Things were getting hot and heavy with us, and fast. We still hadn’t had “sex’ in the traditional penetration sense of the word, but we were fully enjoying each other’s company.

Thursday night I have volleyball. This was good because it offered a natural break for us. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t tired of me yet. We’d been spending A LOT of time together, and I’m not always the easiest to be around. I was happy to have the time apart – Not because I didn’t want to see him, but more so because it made me look forward to seeing him again that much more.

When I got home from volleyball, he started texting me. We texted about the shows we were watching until he added, “So, I miss you.” I quickly replied, “Stop being so adorable. You know I can’t resist it!” And then he called it spot on. I love how real and upfront he is about things. “Is today resist each other day? If you need a break, I understand. I find you intoxicating in the best sense — Like happy,” he texted. I told him I did not need a break, and I in fact did miss him. But I also told him I wanted to make sure we didn’t tire of each other. He told me he was having a rough day. He heard back about a job he applied for and was told he didn’t get the position. I felt really bad that was the night we decided to spend apart. I’m sure he just needed a hug. He was depressed. I told him. “I can try to hug it away.” He asked if we could hang out the following night. I told him I had no plans and would love to.

When he stopped responding to my texts, I joked, “Replaced me with pizza?” He apologized since his pizza was delivered, and he added, “Food won’t comfort me as much as you.” And with a smile on my face, I dozed off for the night.

The next night, he came over. I made dinner for us both, and we watched movies. It was nice to have someone to spend my evenings with. This is what I really wanted in a relationship. This is what I was looking for. I was happy!

When we woke the next day, I made us breakfast. He spent the afternoon with me, and we finally motivated ourselves to hit the gym. He went home and changed while I showered. We met at the corner and walked to the gym together. He was very quiet and solemn that morning. We didn’t work out together, but that’s because I like to do my own thing at  the gym. We finished at the same time and walked home together.

That’s when he dropped a small bomb on me. He told me he was moving back home. I didn’t quite know how to take the news. I wasn’t thrilled with it. It meant he would be much further away, and we wouldn’t be spending evenings together so readily. I knew why he did it, and I realized he needed to get his life back on track. But, I selfishly didn’t like the idea.

That evening I had a bunch of friends come over to pregame before hitting up my friend’s birthday gathering at a bar a block away. He met many of my friends and seemed to fit in, but I still had the idea of him moving home in the back of my mind. When the time came, we all made our way to the bar. It was a fun night, but PR was being standoffish. He wasn’t mingling with my friends and was only talking to me a majority of the night. I was a little disappointed. On top of this, he was getting pretty inebriated and flirtatious. I’m comfortable with my sexuality, but I don’t like PDA in a “straight” bar. I feel all eyes on me, and it hinders me from enjoying myself. Nothing he was doing crossed the line, but it also was edging further and further.

By the time we moved to a friend’s bar (after hours) he was being overt. Granted it was a much more exclusive group and mainly my friends, but he was drunk and making me uncomfortable. I tried to just look past it.

Once again, we went to Cluck U to get a late-night snack. He was so drunk he couldn’t stay awake long enough to eat his. I carried him to my bed and tucked him in. He wasn’t happy because he wanted his chicken, but soon enough he dozed off. I put it in the fridge until the following day. I wasn’t resentful at all of this. I actually enjoyed taking care of him. I knew if our relationship continued, he’d be doing the same for me down the road. I sat in the living room and ate my chicken with the company of my thoughts. I had a lot on my mind since he told me he’d be moving back home. The news he didn’t get the position he applied for was a little unsettling as well. On top of this, there was the incompatibility we shared in the bedroom that hadn’t been resolved. This wasn’t the stability I was searching for, but I was still enjoying his company.

When I had my fill, I tucked myself in bed in quickly dozed off.

The next day, we woke, and he continued to give me $hit for not allowing him to eat his chicken the night before. He ate it for lunch instead.

We got dressed and ready for the day finally. I needed to go grocery shopping, so we walked to Garden of Eden together. His mother was coming in an hour to take him home. It was a bittersweet day. We’d spent more than a week straight together with the exception of one day. Things progressed quickly, but then again, they were about to change drastically.

I said goodbye to him as we made plans for the coming days. We were a few days away from Valentine’s Day, and he really wanted to celebrate it together. I obliged.

I thought about him the rest of the night and what this new arrangement would mean for us. I was quickly coming back down from the clouds…

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Chicken Soup for the Surgical Soul

Since my parents were staying with me to help me settle in after a move, I was relegated to the couch. Luckily, my roommate was out of town for work at the same time. Before he left, I asked if he minded if I use his bed.

It was working out quite well for me. Smiles offered me his bed Thursday night, and my roommate was nice enough to allow me to use his the other two nights my parents were staying with me.

We woke early that Saturday morning. We had a lot to do, so we got started with breakfast and began our day.

My mother finished unpacking the kitchen and washing dishes while my father and I got a jump on my closet. Since I had it designed and all the boards were cut to size, it should be a relatively simple project.

We were making good progress when I realized I needed to take a break so I could deliver the chicken soup I made for Smiles the night before. I texted him, “Morning babe. How you feeling? Gonna be home in a little bit? Gonna swing by and drop something off for you. :).” He was awake and responded relatively quickly: “Going to crawl over to see the doctor, then straight home. Should be back about 12:00.”

I asked him how he was feeling since he was in surgery only a few hours earlier.  “OK. Sore, but can move,” he responded. “Will you bring over Tylenol? I can’t go out again to get some, and I need it for swelling,” he asked. I was more than happy to be able to help him. I felt guilty I wasn’t there when he woke up from surgery. I originally planned to, but with the move, it became difficult. Luckily, one of his other friends was able to be there.

I sent him a text letting him know I was on my way, and he responded, “OK. See you in a bit. [My friend] is stopping by to bring me soup :).”

SH*T! I didn’t want her to beat me there with soup. Chances are she made chicken soup too, because who makes anything else when someone is sick or recovering. The race was on. I needed to get there first. I didn’t want to be the superfluous soup. I wanted to be the primary.

I quickly packed up the soup and added some of the brownies my dad made. I ran down the stairs and hopped on the bike. I was off into the tunnel. It would take me only fifteen minutes to get to his apartment. Hopefully I would beat her there!

When I buzzed at his door, his friend answered. DAMNIT! She beat me. I was so disappointed. She came down to let me in since the buzzer wasn’t working. We chatted while we descended the stairs about how we hadn’t seen each other since the Hamptons for the film festival.

When I walked in the door, Smiles was sitting on the couch eating a bowl of soup. I noticed the take-out containers on the counter and realized she didn’t make soup. She’d only brought him soup for lunch.

I showed Smiles the large Rubbermaid of soup and placed it in his fridge. I also told him about the brownies, and he asked me to bring them to him now.

I came into the living room and gave Smiles a kiss. I sat while Smiles and his friend continued their conversation about work. I noticed a very large bouquet of flowers by his bedside and eucalyptus next to the couch in a vase. The arrangement was gorgeous, and I immediately felt guilty and outdone. I know it wasn’t a competition over who cared more about him, but in my warped mind, it was. (I later learned he bought the flowers himself before the surgery since he’d be so homebound).

While sitting and talking, another friend arrived. I was also taking every opportunity to wait on Smiles. I gave him the Tylenol, got him water and cleared his dishes. I learned he was the one who brought Smiles home from the hospital. We’d met before, so I said hi. The four of us sat and chatted a bit about a funny scenario involving Smiles, his straight friend and a girl from the night before.

After a bit, he had to be on his way. The conversation changed from Smiles’ movie project to a new work project he was getting into. I moved across the room to help massage a knot out of Smiles’ back. I was crouching next to the couch in an uncomfortable position, so when I couldn’t take it anymore, I made a move back across the room. Smiles then moved over on the couch and asked me to continue. I was happy to be doting on my man.

The time came where I ha to get back to my parents and moving in. I already stayed past the time I told my parents I’d be back. I’d been waiting for the opportune time to head out. I was under the impression his friend/coworker was going to leave shortly, and I wanted a little alone time with Smiles. When that didn’t happen, I had to bounce.

I kissed him goodbye and told him I’d talk to him later as I made my way out.

When I got home, later in the day, I received a text from him. “Thank you for coming over and making soup. Yay.” I told him I was glad to see he was okay and to think nothing of the soup. “Ya know, those brownies aren’t going to make it to tomorrow. Haha,” he added. We joked about what it might do to his system.

I was happy to see him in good sorts and glad he was surrounded by friends. I was also happy I got to show him how much I cared about him, even though I was insanely busy getting settled in my new apartment. He’s a good man, and he deserves special treatment every once in a while.

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