Posts Tagged cleaning

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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Cleaning Up

My night had gone pretty smoothly. I had a great time, there was minimal drama and I ended the night with a great guy, Smiles.

I did my best to put all the food away before heading to bed the night before. It was a fairly easy cleanup. However, that left all the dishes to be done and a lot of cleaning around the apartment.

I woke at a decent hour and didn’t even have a hint of hangover, which is surprising considering I drank sangria most of the night. My teammate from Maryland woke shortly after me. She needed to go into the city to catch a bus home, but was going to stick around for breakfast before she left. She asked if she could have some of the leftovers, and I prepared a few things for her.

In the meantime, Smiles emerged from my bed, and we made coffee for ourselves with my Keurig Elite Brewer coffee machine. It’s perfect because we can each pick our flavor of tasty Green Mountain Coffee, and we don’t have to wait for a whole pot to brew. It’s absolutely great! (Yes, I’m plugging them because I absolutely love that thing, and I’m hoping they read this and feel gracious enough to reach out to me… Wishful thinking…)

After she ate, my teammate asked for directions to the bus back into the city to Port Authority and was on her way. Smiles had made his way back to my bedroom and got dressed to head home. I was hoping he’d stick around for a little bit (I wasn’t expecting him to help clean), but I was mistaken. I would have liked to spend a lil more time with him, but he had plans.

I said goodbye to him with a kiss and a hug as I thanked him for everything from the night before.

My other roommate who was stuck in Canada arrived home in the meantime. He asked about the party. He was very disappointed he missed it. He’d been to three of the previous four even though we’d only been roommates six months.

Then, I was left with my mess. I did all the dishes and ran the dishwasher. I put all the wine in the wine fridge. I poured all the leftover sangria down the drain trying not to gag. I put all the liquor no one drank away. And then I swept the floors. They hadn’t been swept since we moved in.

I did all this while my roommates sat on the couch watching TV. My happy mood had soured. I didn’t expect them to help. I made it clear to them it was my party. Therefore it was my mess to clean up. However, after asking for permission, the roommate that was away had no problem scarfing down a plate of the food and leaving it in the sink for me to clean up. And, the other roommate, who attended the party and did nothing to help me prepare didn’t lift a finger. I didn’t resent that they weren’t helping me clean up. I more resented that I worked my ass off to get the apartment in shape, and they didn’t offer one iota of gratitude. Sure, it was out of selfish desires that I worked so hard and fast. But, they both greatly benefited from my efforts.

The cleaning was over surprisingly fast. When I finished, I planted myself on the couch for the remainder of the evening.

Later than evening, I witnessed my roommate come out of her room and heat up a plateful of the leftovers from the night before. I really resented this, purely because she didn’t take the two seconds to ask me if she could have it. I can be generous at times, but she didn’t pay one cent for it and did nothing to prepare it. The least she could do is ask.

So, I did what any mature roommate would do. When she went into her room, I left a passive aggressive post-it on the fridge saying, “If you didn’t lift a finger to purchase this food or make it, then don’t lift a finger to eat it.” I’m not sure why I was in such a p*ssy mood, but it really got under my skin. I think I was just feeling very under-appreciated overall, and I was taking it out on her.

Later she emerged once again from her room. As she passed the fridge, she read the note, made a noise of discontent and returned to her room.

I had the immediate satisfaction of getting under her skin as much as she did mine, but I would certainly have to deal with the ramifications of that later. I returned to watching TV and being in a cranky mood for the rest of the night. I wished I’d spent the day with Smiles. I was in such a good mood from spending time with him the night before. Hopefully tomorrow would bring happier times…

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Busy, Busy, Busy

I was having one hell of a busy week. I was running errands all over New Jersey. I was cooking. I was cleaning. I was unpacking boxes… The list goes on…

The party was one day away. I was making good progress. Now, I’m not trumping up how much I had to do with gay drama either. The list was really a mountain to conquer.

I’ve had my holiday party four years now, and the fifth was not about to fall short of the other four. I strive to make each year better than the last, and I think I’ve been quite successful.

I had my day quite planned out, but plans changed. Smiles volunteered to help me out with the party planning. He spent the night, but come late morning, he was ready to go home. I didn’t say anything to him about staying, but I was a little disappointed. It wasn’t that I needed the help. My friend P was arriving shortly. I wanted to spend the day with him. I had the day off from work and there was no reason in my mind we couldn’t be together.

I also told P he would be there, and I was excited for her to meet him. Not many of my friends had met him before, and I knew that would be a familiar face for him come the night of the party if he met her ahead of time — Not to be the case.

P and I had a fun work-filled day. We watched TV while we prepared fried hot wing dip balls. When those were done, we moved onto rolling the bacon and onion cream cheese crescent rolls. Next, we were on to preparing the mini PBJs, cheesecake filled strawberries, crab rangoons, Swedish meatballs, pierogies, popcorn turkey bites, cheddar garlic biscuits… The list goes on (As you can see I don’t mess around).

The sun was setting, so we broke to grab dinner. I bought us take-out since we were both tired of cooking. After we ate, I decided we should call it a night on the cooking. I thanked P graciously for all her help. She really saved my ass, and she made the day go by much faster.

I tried to tackle some of the cleaning that night before crashing on the couch. I couldn’t do too much because I’d prob get it dirty again the next day. When I felt I’d made enough progress, I called it a night.

Smiles had been texting me throughout the evening to see how things were going. I decided to call him to see how his day was. We had a very nice chat on the phone, and he was very supportive of my party preparations. It was nice to see him in this role, as usually the roles were the reverse. I was usually there supporting him.

We finished our pleasant phone conversation, and I went to bed. I had a lot of work to do before the forty guests arrived the following evening.

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Next Day Fallout

Following the iPhone debacle of 2011, I couldn’t manage to contact N. I couldn’t exactly walk across the street and buzz at his door either, since his roommates had no idea who I was. But I was a little worried. He was drunk the night before and didn’t come over for his pizza – very unlike him to leave food, but very like him to just pass out somewhere.

I had an epiphany. I hit him up on Facebook. I figured he’d check it at some point since he didn’t have his phone. Midday, he messaged me back and gave me his roommates phone number. He also told me he wouldn’t be around for the day because he was going home for father’s day. I texted him on her phone, and he answered back. He said he was still in Hoboken because he was calling around to cab companies to try to find his phone. I told him I felt sorry for him, and I wish I could do something to help. Shortly after, we spoke on the phone, and I asked him if he wanted to hang out on the pier. He said he’d stop by shortly.

Around 2:00 in the afternoon, I asked him if he was still coming to the pier when I hadn’t heard from him for hours. At 3:30 I finally got a response. They had been cleaning the house after the party the night before. He also told me they were getting dressed and coming down. At 5:00 I told him I was heading over to D and K’s, my friends’ apartment for a bbq I invited him to earlier. He texted back, “Just got here.”

I was just hopping on my bike to head to the grocery store. I took my motorcycle helmet off and walked back to the pier. He and his roommate were sitting there sipping Dunkin Donuts. I sat down next to them to talk about the night before. His roommate was still giving him a hard time for ditching her on her birthday to go to a different bar. I felt bad because I had a feeling he did it to see me, but I certainly didn’t put a gun to his head. I didn’t even ask him to come. I just told him where I was. I asked if they were both going to come to the bbq. They both agreed to come. I told them I would grab some food for the three of us to contribute.

When the time came to go to the bbq, his roommate didn’t want to come. N and I walked over to my D and K’s. We had a great time relaxing. I was trying to distract N from the fact that he lost his phone. After we all ate, we decided it would be a good idea for all of us to smoke. So, the two of us walked back to N’s apartment to get supplies. He wanted me to come in with him, but, again, I knew better.

Some of his roommates would be home and it would create an awkward situation. I waited by the fence while he ran inside. He tried over and over to coax me in, but I stood my ground.

When he came back outside a minute later, he told me two of his roommates were home relaxing on the couch, and we walked back to the bbq. “See!” I said. Once back, I made a deal with everyone not to let me eat everything in sight. I told them to keep me away from more food at all costs. We all smoked. Some of us had unique reactions, and we all had a good laugh about it. I was yelling at my friend because he didn’t have the munchies yet, but I did. It wasn’t fair. But I still wasn’t going to eat.

We decided to clean up and move inside. We carried everything back to the kitchen, and N and I plopped down on the couch together. I snuggled up next to him, but he wasn’t the only thing I snuggled up next to. I sat there with a tub of artichoke dip from Costco and went to town. They all laughed at my failure to stay away from the food. They all failed me as well. No one did their job keeping food out of my reach. N was also being slightly distant. I wasn’t sure if he just wasn’t feeling me that night or what. Maybe he wasn’t thrilled with the PDA, but we had done it before in front of those same friends. I chalked it up to him still being angry or distracted about losing his phone.

That night was no different than any other night. I hadn’t slept with N in a few nights, so he spent the night. We fooled around and had fun. I really appreciated getting to spend some time with him after barely seeing him all weekend. Maybe I was smothering him, but it was too easy to call him to come over when he lived right across the street. And, I never heard him complain. But, as far as I could tell, we were both happy. I was very happy to have him in my life. And, with that, I went to bed…

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