Posts Tagged church

Juggling Act

Over the course of time, I began talking to a guy who’d been in and out of my life for almost a year. I think I started talking to him on Grindr first. We then found each other on adam4adam.com. Finally, we became Facebook friends.

You would think with all this contact, we’d be best friends or lovers by now, but that wasn’t the case. Whenever I was between guys I was dating, I would once again hit him up. He was very attractive and seemed to have a very level head on his shoulders. I really wanted to get to know him better, but I got the feeling I was going to have to pursue this one. I wasn’t going to win him over overnight.

For some reason, this time around was a little different. He was much more receptive to my advances. When the conversation would die down, I would prod him about losing interest. He would deny it and pay a lot of attention to me. He was constantly asking for me to send him pictures of myself and sending me compliments. It was nice to have a man tell me I was attractive.

We spent many evenings chatting on a4a and Facebook. I got to know a lot about his sexual side through those conversations. They would start innocently enough about our typical lives and somehow they’d always segue into our sex lives/desires. I was okay with this because I wanted a good man with a healthy sexual appetite. This was something I’d come to learn as of late. I needed to stop sacrificing good sex for a decent guy. I needed both.

I was also trying to juggle him in with the other guys on my roster. It is always such a challenge to get gay men to commit to anything. They never seem to want to be locked down to anything. I would schedule a date, and sure enough they’d always cancel or postpone. I was really getting tired of flakes running my social life. When my Friday night date cancelled, I tried to see if he was free for a drink.

I wasn’t able to meet him when he was free. He already had plans to go to Sugarland, a gay club in Brooklyn with a friend. He reported to me about his night with texts and pictures. Apparently he wasn’t having the best time and told me it was “Indian night.” Not his cup of tea. Since we couldn’t meet on Friday, we agreed to try for Saturday night.

It was going to be tough however. I was supposed to be attending my sister’s birthday gathering at a local bar. He had plans to go into the city. We agreed to try to meet up later, but who knew if that would come to fruition. He said, “I may head into the city, but we’ll both probably be out late… Let’s keep in touch and see where we are at later.” Of course, we’d never find each other that night. He still insists he sent me text messages to meet up, but I never received them.

Instead, when I got home, I texted my new “friend with benefits” to come by. I even volunteered to let him spend the night so he wouldn’t have to walk in the cold. He agreed and came by.

We had a great night together. He was really a passionate lover. It’s too bad he was so old. Instead, we’d simply just take care of each other’s physical needs.

At 6am, we woke and fooled around some more. Again, we never had sex because we are both tops, but he did mention the possibly of bottoming for me in the future.

At 8:30, he left to go home to get ready for church. I stayed in my bed and went back to sleep.

When I woke up later, I told him and my new southern friend about my upcoming work trip and how I really wanted to meet them before I went away. The southerner had to pass because he was helping move a good friend into her apartment. We agreed to grab dinner Monday, Martin Luther King Day in the evening. Hopefully this date would finally come to fruition…

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Let’s Talk About… God?

Christmas Eve, my family and I always go to mass. We wake Christmas morning and open presents, so we go the night before.

Every year when we get home, it’s a tradition for my family to take a picture in front of the tree. I am always the obligatory photographer, which for some reason I strongly resent. Everyone in my family has a point and shoot and knows how to set up a tripod and click a button. I’m not exactly sure why it is my duty just because I’ve taken photography classes. I digress…

We take the family portrait and make our ways to our separate rooms to take off the Christmas outfits and get comfortable for the rest of the night.

My father and my sister wanted to watch a football game, and my mother and I had no interest. I can’t for the life of me remember what we decided to watch, but we were in the family room while the other two were in the living room watching the game.

Somehow my mother and I got back on the topic of church and the changes to the mass. For those non-Catholics out there, the Vatican altered the verbiage used in the mass this year. Apparently when they originally translated the mass, they messed up. All of a sudden they felt the need to “fix” it to be truer to the original text. I was arguing the changes weren’t necessary. The changed things like the following: The priest says, “Peace be with you.” In the past the congregation responded, “And also with you.” Now, the response is, “And with your spirit.” To me, those changes are semantics.

My mother heavily disagreed. She felt the changes were necessary and good. She felt it helped her pay closer attention to the mass. To me, it was a distraction. I was now paying more attention to a piece of paper I had to read than I was to the mass. My mother asked me if my priest had been explaining the changes, and somewhere I slipped up. It became apparent I hadn’t been going to church every week.

My mother got heated about that issue. “You haven’t been going to church every week, have you? But you had no problem receiving communion tonight!”

My sister and I had discussed religion and my status as a gay man on numerous occasions. I told her there was going to come a point where I told my parents I don’t want to go to church anymore more. She asked that I hold off on that for a while. I told her I wasn’t going to bring it up anytime soon. I wasn’t going to bring this topic up, but when my mother brought up this topic, I was gonna go with it.

“Really, Mom? Really? That’s going to be the reason I don’t go up to receive communion?” I quipped. “What do you mean? she said. “I mean, not going to church is going to be the reason I don’t get communion, not me being gay?” I responded.

My mother voiced her opinion that being gay is not a sin. Not attending church is a sin. I pointed out to her that both are sins in the eyes of The Church. She tried to convince me The Church’s stance on homosexuality is based on decisions made by men, and not attending church goes against a God-given law in the commandments. I pointed out to her the commandment to honor thy wife. (I know my argument is flawed here because the commandment refers to adultery). She sighed a bit because I did have a point in her mind.

“Well then everyone who’s ever had premarital sex shouldn’t be receiving communion either,” she added. “Exactly! That’s exactly what the Catholic Church believes,” I told her.

“Well then I shouldn’t be receiving communion because I’ve used birth control,” she noted. “Exactly. If you don’t believe birth control is a sin, then you’re not truly Catholic. You’re Catholic lite,” I exclaimed. “I have never been a true Catholic. I’ve always been a ‘cafeteria Catholic.’ I pick and choose what I want to believe. That is what religion is. It’s personal. I don’t always need to go to a specific building with a specific man to have a relationship with God.”

“You’re not going to church because you’re lazy, not because it’s against something you believe,” my mother accused. “I don’t want to be a part of an organization that doesn’t want me to be a part of it. It’s insulting. I am a man of convictions,” I defended.

“Then why go at all?” she asked. “I go because sometimes I want to go. Sometimes I want to be in church and among other people. And, sometimes I can’t get over it, and I decide not to go. But, that’s my choice. Religion is personal. So maybe I’m not a Catholic, but I am still a Christian. And, I still believe in God.” I declared.

My mother wasn’t happy with this. She was raised staunchly Catholic, and it’s been a part of her entire life. She didn’t see my side of the argument at all, but it was clear it was upsetting her. She had been crying during the conversation, and she’d had enough. She said, “I need to go to bed,” and turned to leave the room.

I walked into the other room with my father and sister. My dad asked, “Did you chase your mother to bed?” I told him, “She wanted to talk about God and gays. You can see how well that went. I wasn’t going to bring it up, but when she did, I wasn’t going to avoid it.” With that, the subject was closed.

I felt bad she got upset, but I was honest about my feelings. It’s how I felt. I really wish it wasn’t how we spent our Christmas Eve, but it had to happen sometime. It wasn’t a positive conversation, but at least the subject was broached, and at least we were having an open dialogue.

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Anddd a Milkshake

I want to share a video I came across from a fellow blogger. He’s pretty amazing, and I’m sure many of you have seen his videos before. He’s also exceptionally easy on the eyes. I would love to “hang out” with him and come up with something we can both blog about 😉

Anyway. I digress. Here is one of his video posts I found really funny and relatable.

Back to our regularly scheduled program:

Sunday arrived. My parents and I woke and went to church. Unbeknownst to them, I hadn’t gone in a while. However, since I moved to a new part of town, we would be going to a new church.

At mass, I immediately noticed something about the priest at the Catholic church closest to my new apartment. He was young. And, he was hot! He certainly was going to have my attention throughout the mass.

I know it’s terrible to objectify a priest, but I couldn’t help myself. He was kinda dreamy and very down-to-earth.

As I was leaving the church, I shook his hand. He did a double-take as I walked away. I think he recognized a young person in his congregation who he’d never seen before.

Nothing would ever happen there, but it could still be motivation for me to attend mass in the future.

After church, the whole family went out for breakfast. We met my sister at the restaurant and had a very nice morning. While we waited for our table, I took the opportunity to talk to my mom more about Smiles. I even showed her a few pictures. We had a nice casual conversation.

Following breakfast, my dad helped me with a few last-minute needs before they got on the road home. I was very appreciative for everything they did for me all weekend, and I wished them safe travels.

After they left, I still had my work cut out for me. I went shopping to get a majority of the supplies I would need for my holiday party and went to bed.

While shopping, Smiles texted, “Hey. How’s your day been?” I decided to pick up the phone and call him. I really missed him. We talked a bit, but he was watching TV, and I was shopping. I continued to text and picture message him in all my travels around New Jersey for party supplies and groceries. He was “being a fat girl with a pint of ice cream and Vampire Diaries. I was originally going to bring him ice cream when I brought him the soup, but I never had time to get it for him. “Glad to hear you found it on your own,” I told him.

When Monday arrived, I was anxious to see Smiles. It’d been some time since I had any one-on-one time with him. That would have to wait. I had this obligation called a job to take care of first.

When I was finishing up at the office, I texted Smiles to make sure he was coming to my holiday party. He was the only one who hadn’t RSVPed yet. I also called to see if he was home. I wanted to come by and see him. He was home and told me to come over for dinner.

I arrived and gave him a gentle hug. I really missed him and was happy to see he was doing alright. He wanted sushi, and I was certainly fine with that, so we placed our order. He’d been getting into Vampire Diaries, so he informed me we’d be watching that. I was fine with that because I was just happy to get to be with him.

It turned out to be a very nice night together. We were enjoying the show together, and he was taking the time to catch me up when necessary. He’d been putting a serious dent in the soup I made for him as well.

When we finished eating, he had a hankering for dessert. Surprise, surprise. The man has quite the sweet tooth. He wanted a milkshake. I learned there was a place around the corner who had them, Kool Bloo, so we looked them up online. He decided what he wanted, and I ran out to get us milkshakes and dessert.

I’m not exactly sure why, but I also bought us a slice of cheesecake. That would end up in the fridge for him to eat at a later time. We both enjoyed our milkshakes, even though we couldn’t find a difference between the two considering we ordered different flavors.

It was getting late, and I didn’t plan on spending the night. One episode was ending, so I made that my cue to make my way home. This was the first time I set the timetable for my departure. Usually, he was the one who indicated when it was time for me to leave. It was a nice change.

“Addicted!!!!” he texted as I walked home. Apparently he got himself into a few more episodes of Vampire Diaries after I left. I simply responded, “LOL! 😉 .”

Delighted with the night and the fact I got to see him, I went to bed a happy man.

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The Wedding Roommate Date

After Smiles left for New York to return the rental car with the two other girls from the screening, I sat around waiting for my roommate to wake up. When I got bored with that, I hopped in the shower, repacked my bags and laid everything out to get ready for the wedding. The night before, I promised her I wouldn’t wake her before 10:30. Obviously, all that didn’t take and hour and a half.

Finally, the time came to wake her. I sat impatiently while she got ready. She suggested we go eat and come back to get ready for the wedding. I agreed. However, when we couldn’t find a place to get brunch for about 45 minutes, we gave up and decided to go back to the house to get ready. We would grab breakfast at the first decent place we passed on the way to the wedding.

I was ready in about 10 minutes and had to wait another 40 minutes until she finished getting ready. WOMEN! This always makes me realize part of the reason why I’m gay! I’m sure my straight male readers can relate to me on this one!

We found a nice place to grab some great coffee and breakfast sandwiches. It was owned by a brother and sister pair far older than I. At one point, while talking to the gentleman in the booth behind us, they started to bicker. I put my head down and began to chuckle to myself. “Excuse me sir! I don’t think this is very funny,” the sister said towards me in a semi-joking tone. Now, I was laughing blatantly. “What’s so funny?” she asked. I explained my relationship with my older sister and how I could easily relate to the brother. I immediately was on her bad side, but I could tell deep down she really liked me — It was all an act. Everyone was eying us up ever since we walked in the door. I was wearing a dapper suit and my roommate had on a hot dress. There was no way to simply blend in now.

We finished our breakfast, we made our way for the door. The sister made a point of making eye contact with me and giving me a dirty look, but the brother also made a point to wish us a pleasant day.

Once we got back on the road, I was reminded once again how bad a driver my roommate is. She was all over the road and scaring the crap out of me. In fact, as we approached a cop on the side of the road, she veered off the road once again.

We got to the hotel and settled in. As we checked in, I noticed a guy in a tux (who I would later find to be the groom) who resembled me. I pointed him out to my roommate and she agreed. When the time came, we made our way to the church. We barely made it in time. We were actually running from the car.

After the wedding, my roommate and I walked downtown to take a few photos and buy some chocolates for my great-aunt. We had a lot of fun.

We made our way back to the hotel to hang out at the bar with my friends from college before we hopped on the bus to the reception. While closing my tab, the uncle of the bride asked me if I was a relative. I was a little perplexed since he was a relative. He should know if I was family. Then I realized there were two families coming together that day. I told him I swam with the bride in college. “Oh. You look a lot like the groom — Like you could be his brother or something,” said this man. I laughed and said I noticed the resemblance as well.

At the wedding reception, I really came to appreciate my roommate. As a gay man, I have limited resources for a wedding date since I wasn’t in a relationship. I planned to go with another female teammate who is still a great friend, but she went and got pregnant on me so she couldn’t travel. I floated the idea to my roommate to be my date months prior, and she jumped on the opportunity. She went to the same college as the bride and I, so I knew she’d fit right in.

I witnessed another friend from college sitting at our table arrive to the wedding and the reception stag. We had quasi dated in college for a very short period. The bride actually tried to set us up. She was the only single person at our table (I’m not exactly sure how you get a table with an uneven number). I felt really bad for her, but I was also very happy I didn’t show up stag myself.

I got myself nice and lubricated with about half a bottle of scotch and had a blast the rest of the night. The only time my roommate and I weren’t on the dance floor was to walk outside so we would stop sweating. Then, we’d make our way right back to the floor. The girl who came alone even came up to my roommate and made a comment about how lucky she was to have such a great wedding date (or so I was told later by my roommate). I had so much fun at this wedding – The most fun I’d had at any wedding I’d been to before. This is all for one reason. I had a great date! It makes all the difference. Who’d have thought taking your roommate to a wedding could be so much fun?

After the reception, we went back to the hotel bar to hang out some more. The problem was, all my friends left, and my roommate and I were exhausted. Half an hour passed, and the bride was nowhere in sight. While we waited, I took the opportunity to text Smiles: “Sooooo much fun! Missing you!” We were ready to give up and go to bed, but not before we raided the cereal bar for a late night snack in our room.

In the morning, we went down for the complimentary breakfast in hopes of seeing the bride again. I learned she wasn’t coming down because they had to get on with their honeymoon plans. I also learned I missed her last night at the bar, had I only stayed a little longer. I also received a text while we ate from Smiles. “Morning! Glad you guys had fun. I wish I could have spent the afternoon out there with you!” It was a very nice sentiment, and it brightened my day a little.

With that, we took coffee to go and got back on the road home…

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Losing My Religion

Religion is a very important aspect of life for my family. I was raised Catholic and went to mass every Sunday. When I was in high school, I was recruited to be a Eucharistic minister (the person who hands out the communion and the wine at mass). Ironically, as a kid, my mother asked if I wanted to be an alter boy but was quite happy when I declined out of slight fear of a pedophilic priest. In CCD, I was such a religious scholar, other in the class called me “God boy.”

My religious beliefs were part of the reason I struggled with my homosexuality for so long. I had faith in God, and I thought he was testing me. I took it at face value that homosexuality was wrong. The Bible teaches against it, and I have always been taught it was a sin. It was a burden I would have to bear the rest of my life or somehow manage to overcome.

I moved into an apartment my sophomore year of college on a Sunday. I was particularly busy, and I rationalized an excuse for not attending mass. After that, I stopped going to mass every week and believed if I had faith in God and was a moral person, I no longer needed a weekly dose of church. I went when I felt I needed the extra help or when I simply missed the ritual. As I was becoming an adult, I began to own my religion. I’m certainly not as devout a Catholic as my grandmother was. I am a cafeteria Catholic. I pick and choose what aspects of the religion I want to follow.

One of my best friends from college is my freshmen year mentor. He is a Marist Brother, a Catholic congregation dedicated to the Christian education of young people. We have shared a strong bond since I met him and continue to do so. I haven’t yet figured out how to break my news to him or how he’ll take it. I’m not afraid he’ll judge me or anything of the sort. He cares a lot about me and always inquires about my mental, physical and spiritual health. I just need an opportunity to have a heart-to-heart with him. However, he’s like a grandfather to me, so it’s almost as stressful as it was telling my parents.

In my adult life post-graduation, I made every attempt to go to mass weekly. My friends and I went as a group and cooked dinner for each other following services. Ironically enough, dinner was when the gossip about our sex lives flowed freely (mine was nearly non-existent and still with women). When others started falling off from the group, so did I. Once again, I was responsible for my religion, not a priest.

I started having doubts in the Catholic religion when I began to come to the terms with my homosexuality. After I met Broadway, I had a conversation (one-sided of course) with God. Ironically enough, I never felt so close to God as I did in that moment. I simply laid on my bed, and thanked him aloud for allowing me to finally feel comfortable with my true self. I realized being gay was not a choice, not a sin and simply a part of who I am. God loves me regardless. I finally stopped resenting that part of me.

While I have come closer to God through that experience, I’ve become more disenfranchised with the Catholic Church. Who wants to be part of an organization that doesn’t accept him or her? Their congregation has evolved over the years, but the Church has not. Any organism that can’t evolve becomes extinct, and the Catholicism is slowly shrinking in numbers.

Some days I think about marriage. I think about the idea of marriage I once had in my head and how that idea has evolved. Sadly, I will never be married in the eyes of the Church, let alone the state. Honestly, that saddens me greatly. I believe strongly in the sanctity of marriage, even if that marriage is not in the traditional husband and wife. When I make that commitment to a man, it will be ironclad, but it will still be incomplete without the recognition of a congregation of believers.

My belief in God will never wane, but my faith in my fellow man is tested every day. One day, I hope all will be accepting of homosexuals as equals, but until then my relationship with God will have to be exclusive.

There’s nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are she said, ” ’cause he made you perfect, babe.” So hold you head, girl, and you’ll go far. Listen to me when I say, “I beautiful in my way, ’cause God makes no mistakes. I’m on the right track baby. I was born this way. Don’t hide yourself in regret. Just love yourself and you’re set. I’m on the right track baby. I was born this way.”

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