Posts Tagged Employees Only

The One I’ve Been Waiting For

Today is another Fast Forward Friday!!!  

Hope you are enjoying these. It will help bring the blog a little closer to real-time. If you’re keeping up with the stories chronologically, please skip down to this morning’s post first, then read this one. I think it’s a good one! Enjoy!

Never before have I prefaced an entry by giving away some of the details of what’s to follow, however, I’ve received numerous comments from readers tired of reading my “sex journal.”

“Your blog used to be interesting when it was about your relationship with your ex bfs, but it turned me off when it became a sex journal,” wrote one reader.

We’re both on the same page here. I dislike writing about these trysts as much as you dislike reading about them. It’s bad enough I’ve lived them once, let alone having to live them all over again when I write them.

So, without further ado, I am pleased to present you a love story…

On a Wednesday morning in April, while on my way to work, I happened to poke around on Grindr a bit. There was a message from an interesting guy on there. We began to chat a bit while I walked. He seemed pretty cool. I was about to head underground, so I quickly asked him for his phone number so we could continue the conversation on the other side.

We chatted a bit over text, and I came to learn a few things about him. I explained to him I wasn’t looking for sex, so if this was his motive, he should move on now. I was there purely for dates and friends. He seemed okay with that sentiment, and the conversation continued for a bit. I tried to check his spontaneity and asked if he would be interested in drinks that evening. He couldn’t because he had to work late. That’s when I learned he worked in advertising. I explained to him, if anyone understood working late for a pitch, it was I. I explained I too worked in advertising. When he told me he worked downtown, I started guessing what agency. Ironically enough, he worked for my previous agency. He worked closely with one of my favorite ex-coworkers. We were really hitting it off and I was excited to meet him. We agreed to make plans in the near future.

Wednesday evening, I was on my way home from a mediocre date. I fired up Grindr on the bus ride home and noticed he was on. I messaged him to say hi. He and asked what I was up to. When I told him I was on my way home from work, he responded, “You’re kidding me! Let’s f*ck.” My heart sank immediately. I had such high hopes for him. I was crushed. “You don’t know who you’re talking to do you? This is [O.G.A.A.T.],” I shot back. He admitted to confusing me with someone else and began damage control. I think he immediately realized he lost any shot of anything with me, however, he still took the time to apologize profusely.

If you know me at all, you know I give second chances out fairly often. I decided to lay on the guilt a little bit, but also give him the opportunity to redeem himself. As I got off the bus, I picked up the phone and called him. His timing caught me at a vulnerable moment. I was turning my dating life around. I told him what he did wasn’t cool. Again he apologized. I told him I would turn a blind eye this once for one reason; a few days prior, I probably would have said the same thing on Grindr. I couldn’t hold it against him when I too had treated Grindr in this way. He fully comprehended what I was saying and promised not to let me down.

The following day, I asked him if he would be interested in drinks Friday for happy hour. He immediately agreed that would be a great idea. When Friday arrived, we made more definitive plans. Since I was done work before he was, I offered to come down to his neighborhood. I just told him to text me when I should start walking down there, and he did. I texted him when I got the bar, but he was still working. I told him I’d hang out by the bar for a bit. I walked a block to Starbucks, got a coffee and wrote a blog post. I needed a kick in the a$$, considering it was a Friday night after a long week. When nearly an hour passed, my patience was at its end. This guy was not winning me over by any means. I was a block away from the PATH and very tempted to just leave. Just as I was closing my laptop, I got a text from him. He was on his way.

We met on the street in front of Employees Only. He’d never been before, so I led us inside to order a round of drinks and find a wall to lean against. He apologized for taking so long and explained what was going through his head. He was working on something late and told the editor they’d need to pick it up again on Monday. He’d already used up one of his chances with me. If he messed this one up, there’d be no redemption. I thought it was cute, and I loved his honesty. We talked about our jobs and our shared favorite coworker. I told him about my coworkers and how we’d be excellent fodder for a reality show. (I really work with a circus of a crew, but I love them!)

We were really hitting it off. Everything just felt so easy. He was also incredibly easy on the eyes. I felt I was a bit out of my league here. He was five years my senior, gorgeous, smart, witty, well spoken, had a solid job, etc. Basically, he was the full package. I already knew he had a healthy libido as well, so we’d probably be fine there.

After two rounds of drinks, he took the opportunity to kiss me. I can’t tell you how much I loved that kiss. He was a real man, and he kissed me. I was crazy swooning. We decided to make moves. In our conversation, I was talking about what I do in my free time and mentioned the pier I lounge on directly across from the Christopher Street pier. He suggested we take a walk out there before grabbing a bite to eat somewhere.

We walked holding hands to the end of the pier. He took my bag, set it on the ground with his own, and we walked to the railing. He stood facing the water and pulled me in, wrapping my arms around him. It was incredibly romantic. While we talked, I nuzzled his neck. Things were so easy with him. There was no drama. There were no games. There was just us. I couldn’t believe an hour earlier I was ready to abandon our date and go home.

He turned around and hiked himself up so he was sitting on the railing dangling over the river. I was between his legs with my arms wrapped around him while we chatted. I decided to tell him how new to the game I was and tell him my coming out story. I figured I might as well get that out of the way, because if it was going to scare him off, I figured it was better sooner rather than later since I’d already grown so attached to him. He was totally cool about it. This is also when I learned our age difference of five years. Obviously I was fine with that considering Smiles was nine years my senior. He was cool with that as well.

As we walked to find dinner, he told me about his coming out story. It was interesting and not all that different from mine. I learned he was bisexual through college, which actually was reassuring to me. I liked men that had experience with women as well. It wasn’t a necessary skill I needed to see them utilize. I just liked knowing they’d experienced women as well and realized they were more attracted to men. It also generally proved to produce more masculine men, which I’m far more attracted to. I also learned in that conversation he was a cancer survivor. I didn’t know how this guy could get any better. He was like Superman.

The date was off to an amazing start. We were walking hand-in-hand to find dinner somewhere, and I didn’t want the date to end. I was on cloud nine. I think I floated the whole way. We finally arrived at a spot I was quite familiar with, Frankies 570. So familiar, in fact, I’d been there a few days prior. The date was just beginning. I couldn’t wait for the next course…

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Closure

Saturday finally arrived. Smiles so graciously found time in his busy schedule to meet with me to discuss “us.” I wasn’t in a combative mood, but I was resolved in the notion that I wouldn’t be a doormat for him anymore. I had a lot of things I wanted to say to him, but I didn’t rehearse them in my head. I wanted my emotions to speak for me.

I knew how I felt, and I knew how he let me down. I was so disappointed in him for simply trying to back away from our three-month relationship instead of just speaking to me like a man. I was embarrassed for him.

We decided to meet at Doma Coffee Shop. Ironically, it’s pretty much where our relationship started (after a failed date at Employees Only). I had a few places to go in the city that day, so I took the motorcycle in. It was a nice enough day I could get away with it with a few layers.

After I parked my bike and walked toward the shop, I noticed Smiles was just arriving. We shared an awkward hello. I think he may have been going in for a kiss, but I gently turned and just gave him a hug. I had no interest in giving him any more of my affections. I’d already given him enough.

We went inside, and he ordered his coffee and began to pay. I wasn’t expecting him to buy my coffee, but it was interesting he didn’t even offer. He found a table for us to sit at while I ordered my coffee.

I joined him at the table, and we awkwardly chatted about work for a bit. Surprise, surprise — Our conversation revolved around his job once again. I was trying not to enter this meeting bitter or with a superior attitude. After all, it was a week earlier I was kissing another man in front of him. I wasn’t above him in any respect.

He talked about his business partner who was in the news at the time. Because I stay well-informed, I knew a lot of the story about the man’s current situation that Smiles did not. So when he was complaining about the man not getting back to him, I informed him of the news of the day and his new partner’s involvement in it. He was shocked to learn some of the details I knew. We were about to break up, and I was still keeping Smiles up-to-date on the goings on in the world at the time.

When that conversation got stale, Smiles kicked off the “us” conversation. He led with his thinking on the “situation.” He told me he recognized he wasn’t putting as much of himself into the relationship as he could have and how that wasn’t fair to me. He pointed out his priority of focusing on his career currently, and his schedule didn’t allow for a relationship. He acknowledged the possibility of his being partly responsible for my actions on New Year’s Eve. Over more conversation, I realized he thought I might have been acting out or doing it on a subconscious level.

I reiterated for him how little of the end of the night I remembered. I was on the verge of tears as I explained this to him. I told him I never would have done it had I been sober. I told him I didn’t initiate the kissing, but I also didn’t stop it immediately. I told him that I would like to think I stopped it relatively quickly, but I have no idea because I don’t remember a single moment of it. I think Smiles wanted to know the motivation for the make-out session. He half asked a question and then stopped when he again realized I didn’t recall any of the end of that night. I apologized emphatically and acknowledged how horrible what I did was. I choked up as I told him it was one of the worst things I’d ever done in my life. I could see that it did in fact bother him. The morning after, he told me he was okay with it, but now, I knew he wasn’t.

Sadly, it made me feel a little better knowing it upset him. It showed that maybe he, on some level, actually did care about me, even if just a little bit. At least I knew he felt something toward me.

I transitioned into more conversation of how we would move forward. I told him I was pretty much on the same page as him as far as ending our relationship. I told him I wasn’t getting enough of what I was looking for from him, and it was a direct result of his priorities.

I told him how hurt I was that he would just drop me after three months. I really stressed that point. I told him I felt so disrespected that he would just stop texting and calling like a switch, as if I wouldn’t notice or I would be okay with it. It really did hurt, because in my mind it nullified our relationship. It showed he didn’t respect it enough to give it the attention it needed, even if it was coming to a close. He told me it was because he needed time to think about what he really wanted and how he wanted to proceed. I told him he didn’t need to cut me off while he thought about it, and he acknowledged his fault.

In the end, we were fine. The whole conversation lasted roughly a half hour. He was on task and had things to do, so when the conversation was winding down, he stood and said, “Shall we go?”

We walked outside and began to part ways. I turned back and said goodbye. I also told him to call me to grab dinner sometime. Just because we weren’t dating didn’t mean we couldn’t be friends. He responded, “Sure thing sir.” I thought that was an odd response, but I’ll take it.

It was an amicable breakup. I’m not sure if I got the closure I needed. I still felt like he used me and doubted if he ever really cared for me. I never got an answer if my suspicions were true. I wondered if he’d been with other men while dating me. I wondered if he met someone else. All questions I would never get answers to. I think that is the hardest part about a breakup — The blow to the ego. We take fault and feel there is a flaw in ourselves, even if that’s not the case at all.

I would recover from this breakup relatively quickly, but I certainly would walk away with a few new scars and a few pieces of luggage to my baggage pile. I would try not to let it affect me too greatly, but then again, you can only control your emotions so much.

Hopefully, as one door was closing, another would soon be opening…

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Saturday Bar Crawl With a New Friend

After being rejected yet again by Smiles, I became quite depressed about my situation. The guy I was dating just didn’t seem all that interested in me. I was always chasing him, but it never seemed to go the other way. I needed to do something to distract myself.

After chatting with my roommate about it, I decided to turn on a movie. It wasn’t really working, so I texted many of my friends to see what they were up to.

One was headed to the car dealership to pick up some paperwork for his new car. He invited me to tag along, and I jumped at the opportunity. Anything to get me out of the apartment and distracted from my own misery was welcome.

We drove around for a while and the distraction was working for the most part, but my mind would periodically wander back to thoughts of Smiles. I knew he was at Six Flags, but had no idea who he was with. I was a little suspect, but I definitely needed to get out of that mentality. I WAS NOT going to have a repeat of the N situation!

While at the dealership, I got a text from one of my other friends who wanted to go to the mall. I told him I’d go as soon as I got back to Hoboken from the dealership. We drove back, and I switched cars.

The mall proved to be a decent distraction. I didn’t need to buy anything, but shopping and browsing gave me something to concentrate on. I tried to be a good friend and help my buddy pick out new clothes, but he’s not the easiest to shop with.

While walking around, my new friend in the city (we’ll call him LES for Lower East Side from here on out) texted back. He wasn’t doing anything and was looking to do a little day drinking. I told him I would join him, but I was at the mall. “People still do that?” he responded.

I had a little fun while shopping, texting LES about the random sh*t I encountered and sending him some picture messages. After my friend had his fill of the mall, we grabbed lunch and went home.

I showered and changed and made my way into the city. We met up at the 14th Street PATH station and walked down to the Village. I knew of a few fun bars near the NYU campus I thought we could hit up. I was forcing LES to get out of the Lower East Side and start venturing west. As we walked, we swapped a few fun stories. The first bar we went to was Off The Wagon, and staple in my old bar routine. We grabbed beers and chatted. After some time, LES proposed we do shots of Jäger. Jägermeister always gets me in trouble cause I get crazy, but I obliged.

The plan was to hit up a birthday gathering at the Standard Biergarten later that night, but we would drink our way through the city until then.

After Off the Wagon, LES wanted to go to a gay bar. The problem is, I don’t know where any of them are, and he was in a neighborhood he was not familiar with. I know there are a fair amount on Christopher Street, so we headed in that direction. We came upon a few gay bars, but they all seemed to be packed with daddies and bears. Neither of us were thrilled with the clientele so we continued on. The good news was we were heading towards the Standard the whole time.

We passed Employees Only, the bar I met Smiles in, and decided to stop in. LES was intrigued by its mysterious look. From the outside, it looks like a psychic’s parlor, not a bar – This is done on purpose. Being there made me think of Smiles, but I was really enjoying my time with LES. There was no drama, and we were having a lot of fun.

After grabbing one drink there, we started to make our way into Chelsea. LES wanted to stop into Gym, a slightly clubbish gay bar. He hit up the bar to grab us drinks, and I made my way to the restrooms. When I returned, he had four gigantic shots of Jäger waiting for us. I asked he what he was trying to do, and he explained there was a credit card minimum. He tried to give two of the shots away, but no one was interested. We each threw back two, and I prepared for a crazy night. LES wasn’t thrilled with the scene, so he proposed we move on.

It was time to hit up the Standard Biergarten, so we walked the last few blocks and bought our beer tickets. We found LES’s roommates and friends and made our way to the ping-pong table with our large beers. I liked his friends, and it appeared they all really liked me. We played a bit and had a really good time. The Standard also reminded me of Smiles, but I was having too good of a time to get depressed about it. LES was doing a great job of keeping me in the present.

Shortly after arriving, a strange black man came up to us wearing a letterman’s jacket and started talking to LES. It appeared LES made a new friend. We chatted with him about his jacket and took pictures with him. Apparently it was this guy’s birthday, and he was there alone. LES felt bad for him and bought him a beer, but I knew this guy was a stage-five clinger. He wasn’t gay (wedding ring) and wasn’t hitting on LES, but I could tell he was lonely and needed friends. I didn’t want to get stuck with him for the night. Somehow, LES managed to ditch him.

At one point, we discovered a photo booth near the restrooms. I told LES we had to hop in and take pix. We took some of the pumpkins that were lying around in with us and had a blast.

After all that drinking and not eating, I was starving. I wasn’t the only one. We all came up with a plan to distract the baker and steal one of the large soft pretzels they sell there. Everyone had a role, and we executed the plan flawlessly. I was having a lot of fun. I felt like I was back in college again, mainly because I was hanging out with a lot of fresh college graduates.

We scarfed down that pretzel like a pack of hyenas over a fresh kill and washed it down with yet another beer. While we ate, LES turned to me and said, “So, what’s the deal with this other guy?” I explained how we’d been dating for some time, but was honest about the uncertainty. I told him about Six Flags, and LES immediately replied, “You need to drop him!” I have a feeling he had ulterior motives, but maybe he was just looking out for me. It was flattering for him to ask about the “other guy.” I took that to show he was interested in me.

I was drunk. All the Jäger and all the beer finally caught up with me. LES was ready to go and proposed we head back to his place and smoke.

We took a cab to his apartment and smoked while we watched an episode of Archer. All of a sudden, I felt incredibly nauseous. LES looked at me and suggested we go for a walk outside because I had “pukey face.” I knew I did, so I agreed. I know myself, and I knew I would never give up to the urge to puke in his apartment. But, I also hoped the fresh air would help make me feel better. It did. LES was happy, and we went back inside.

It was around 2:00am, so LES invited me to just spend the night, and I climbed into his bed. I wanted to make out with him. It was all I could do to fight the urge to make out. I was drunk and not of sane mind, but I managed to realize how messed up that would be. As mad as I was about the Smiles situation, I still really liked him. I couldn’t lead LES on like that. He was too nice of a guy, and I liked him too much to do that to him. As much as I wanted to get at it, I behaved. Not a thing transpired the entire night.

When I woke early in the morning, I needed to make a quick exit. I had to get into work that Sunday morning, but there was no way I could go into work in the condition I was. I said goodbye, walked all the way across town to the PATH and went home to shower and change.

It was going to be a loooonnnggg day at the office. I was incredibly hungover, but had no regrets about anything from the day before.

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A Smile That Makes Me Melt

After meeting Sexy Eyes for coffee, I continued on to my planned date that evening. I picked up a guy on Grindr one morning taking the car service to work. It was complete chance this happened. Normally, my driver takes the Lincoln Tunnel, but because of traffic, he took the Holland. I was particularly bored that morning, so I pulled up Grindr to see what would pop up. Once I was in New York City, I noticed a guy who had a great smile. I messaged him my standard, “Hey stud,” but I also added “Great smile!”

We began chatting a bit after that and he quickly found a spot amongst my favorites. Over the course of a week, we would chat in the evenings. Many times he’d be walking home from being out somewhere and pull up Grindr to pass the time.

He seemed like a very level-headed guy and I enjoyed our chats. We had a few things in common, but our conversations were never very in-depth. In my typical fashion, I asked him to go out for a drink sometime. He graciously obliged. When I asked him for his phone number, instead I got his email. He wasn’t comfortable giving me his number before we met. I assured him I wouldn’t stalk him, and he could trust me. But, I wasn’t going to pressure him into giving it to me.

On a Saturday evening, I sent him an email: “Not to be too forward, but would you have any interest in coffee or brunch tomorrow? Like meeting new people… Pretty chill… No expectations. You just seem, like a cool down to earth guy…” He replied back, “Normally I would say yes, but I actually have a full day tomorrow starting at 10 until late night. Sometime during the week would be better, this is an unusually packed Sunday. ” The response was promising, so I would just have to be patient.

We managed to figure out a time to meet the following Thursday. He picked a bar in the West Village and we agreed to meet at 8:00.

I was running a few minutes late for the date, so I sent him an email telling him I would arrive about five minutes late. I got to the bar at 8:05 and sent another email letting him know I was standing outside with an umbrella and a blue shirt. After twenty minutes and no word from him, my patience was waning. I began to wonder if I was stood up. I texted the guy who cancelled my OKCupid friend date earlier that evening to see if his interview was over and to see if he wanted to hang out since I was still in the city. I was about a minute from walking the block to the PATH to head home. I also had the prospect of meeting Sexy Eyes again that evening in the back of my head.

Just then, a man with an amazing smile emerged from the bar to greet me. I had no idea he was inside this whole time. He apologized for the confusion and told me he could explain. While he was standing at the bar, a man approached him and began chatting with him. All “Smiles” could think of was how much this guy didn’t look like his Grindr pictures (thinking he was talking to me). The guy happened to be there on a match.com date and confused Smiles for his date. After chatting for about ten – fifteen minutes, they realized they were talking to the wrong guy. Smiles hadn’t wanted to be rude while they were talking, so he wasn’t checking his phone. At this point he saw my emails, and he came outside to retrieve me.

I grabbed a drink, and we stood in the corner chatting a bit. The conversation started off VERY rocky. I didn’t know what to say, so I said, “So how was work today?” He replied, “That’s what’s going to break the conversation. Haha. Work was good,” jokingly. The conversation was much easier after that. I learned he was against Grindr in the beginning. His friend encouraged him to download it and use it. His response was, “If I want to take a guy home for a hookup, I can just go to the bar and get one. That way I can see him and feel him up (as he reached out his hand to feel up my chest) before I take him home. Why would I need a digital version of that? That’s not what I’m looking for.” I couldn’t agree more with his sentiments. He told me after begrudgingly downloading the app, he actually had gone on a few dates from Grindr. None were spectacular, but they were adequate enough to keep him on it.

While we were talking, he warned me he had to leave at 9:00 because he had dinner plans with a friend. I wasn’t sure if this was the real deal or if he was using it as an out because he thought the date was going so poorly. “I originally thought an hour would be enough time for us to meet for the first time,” he said. I barely had a chance to meet him, let alone get to know him in the half hour we spent together. I was very disappointed. He was very cute, smart, established, successful, funny, active… Everything I look for in a man. I wanted more.

After we awkwardly closed our tabs, we walked outside. The date ended with an awkward hug, and I said we should definitely try to meet up again sometime soon. He seemed a bit nonplused, but he certainly didn’t shoot me down. I left the date wondering if I made a bad first impression and if there was anything I could do to repair that.

Later that evening around 11:00, I sent him an email stating: “Let me start off by saying your smile pays off even more in person! But anyway… Great meeting you tonight. Hope we can meet up again some time soon…” And in a follow-up email, I sent, “And my number’s ###. Use it.” He seemed to be very good about checking his email, but I wanted his phone number. It offered the option to call. I would get it if he chose to text or call me.

The next afternoon, I heard nothing from Smiles. I wasn’t angry. I was disappointed. I thought I’d give it that one last stitch effort. I sent an email saying, “Or I take it you’re not interested…”

That’s when I finally got a response. “Easy big guy. Good morning. Haven’t had a chance to get into email yet today. Enjoyed meeting you last night, maybe Sunday we can catch up again for a little longer?”

I felt like a fool. I immediately replied, “Sh*t! I knew I jumped the gun! haha  Sorry bout that. I should be around Sunday. Hit me up and we’ll figure something out…”

I was elated. Apparently I didn’t make that bad of a first impression after all. He was interested, and now I had something to look forward to. Who knew what Sunday would bring?…

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