Posts Tagged father

The Next Chapter

Two years ago, I started this blog. I began writing because I felt alone. I knew there had to be other gay men out there who were looking for the same thing I was, and I wanted a way to connect with them.

grindrAt the time, I just ended my first gay relationship, and I found myself in very unchartered waters. I was already out to close friends, but not publicly. Because I had so few gay friends and a strong aversion to gay bars, I had to find a mate digitally. I began serial dating, at one point going on four dates in four days — And thus, One Gay At A Time was born.

Since the beginning, I have gone on MANY dates and put myself in many situations well outside my comfort zone. I have not only grown more comfortable in my own skin, but I’ve also grown up as a gay man. I got all the hookups out of my system and began searching for a meaningful, long-term relationship.

This blog began as an open forum diary of the daily occurrences I encountered navigating the gay world. I told my side of the story honestly in hopes that others out there would be able to relate, comment and most importantly, realize they are not alone.

The time has come for the next chapter of my life and for this blog. For quite some time I’ve been blogging about CK (aka Clark Kent or Superman). You’ve gotten to know him through my eyes in the early stages of our relationship. It’s been some time since I’ve blogged, and I apologize for leaving you, my readers in the lurch. I do not mean to abandon the small community I’ve worked so hard to foster, but I’ve been struggling with the next chapter of the blog.

When I first told CK about the blog, he was very open to and even grew excited about the idea of my writing our relationship. Over time, as you could probably understand, his excitement waned, and we began to argue about the content of the blog.

I had to make a choice between the blog and my man. It’s quite obvious which I chose. As a result, I will no longer be blogging about the specifics of my relationship with CK. However, in lieu of continuing to finish our story in a daily dairy format, let me catch you up on what has happened since July. Here are some of the highlights…

In July, CK joined my family for our annual beach vacation. While I went for the entire week, he only joined us for a few days. It was the first time we’d spent an extended period of time apart, and with my trust/cheating baggage, it was a true test of my sanity. I was thrilled and relieved when he finally arrived. It was also nice that he would finally get to spend some real-time getting to know my parents.

In early August, I traveled to Miami, CK’s birthplace to surprise his family with a visit to celebrate the birthdays of his two beautiful nephews (turning 1 and 2 only a week apart). I felt incredibly special taking this trip with CK. I was meeting his ENTIRE extended family. Before this point, I’d only met his mother. I was welcomed into the family with open arms and came to grow strong bonds with them over just a handful of days. This was unchartered territory for both of us, as I’d never been brought home to meet the family by anyone other than my high school girlfriend, and he’d never brought a man home to meet everyone before. It could not have worked out better!

Around Labor Day, CK and I went on week-long vacation to the Hamptons with 15 of my friends and family. While there, our relationship grew very strained. I felt he was trying too hard to impress my friends. I wanted him to be himself so all of them would come to love the man I knew, not the man I felt he was trying to be for them. By the end of the week, I reached my breaking point. I was so stressed out from organizing the vacation and ensuring everyone was happy that I made myself miserable, and I took it out on the person closest to me. In the penultimate moment of the trip, one night we not only exchanged words but also fists and shoves, as my closest friends and sister witnessed the lowest moment of our relationship.

It took a lot of time for CK and I to figure things out. This wasn’t the first time our relationship reached physicality, but I hoped it was the last. It also took a long time for things to return to normal between CK, me and my circle of friends. My sister wasn’t speaking to me for over a month and my friends had semi-ostracized me from typical gatherings. I burned a lot of bridges on that trip, and I am still working to rebuild them today. You can expect to read about my experiences and feelings dealing with issues such as physical violence in a relationship as one of the topics I will cover in coming posts.

In September, CK and I found an apartment in Hoboken to call our own. We moved in together in the midst of Hurricane Sandy’s wake on November 2. Although the experience of moving immediately following a hurricane is incredibly overwhelming, we are both stronger as a result of the experience. In my experience, moving in with a lover is unlike sharing a space with any other. You’ll certainly be reading about my experiences and the things I’ve learned from this experience as well.

After Sandy exhausted my last modicum of energy, I decided I was too tired to shave my upper lip. CK and I both decided to raise awareness and funds to fight prostate cancer by growing mustaches for Movember. I proudly raised over $500 for charity as a result of my stache, and I was thrilled when we both shaved them off — We both looked like pedophiles.

For the first time in my life, I had someone to take home to meet my family for Thanksgiving. Before venturing home, I sent my extended maternal family an email to get the awkwardness out of the way. You’ll be pleased to know my family welcomed him with open arms. I imagine coming out to extended family creates a lot of anxiety for man, as it did for me, so I hope sharing my experiences will encourage more to share the truth with the ones they love.

When I returned to Hoboken after Thanksgiving, preparations began immediately for what would have been my Sixth Annual Holiday Bash. This year, it became Our First Annual Holiday Bash. I finally had someone to share the hosting duties with, making it extra special.

Although CK and I spent Christmas apart, after all the festivities with my family, I hopped on a flight down to Miami to spend the rest of the holiday season and New Years Eve with my man and his family. CK’s sister and brother-in-law planned a trip with their two boys to Disney World for two days. After a little persuading, I convinced CK we should join them. I preferred Disney to a raucous gay party any day, and it was truly magical to see Disney World through the eyes of a two-year-old.

In February, CK and I took a romantic trip to Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. Although it seems we can’t go anywhere without having some kind of quarrel like an old married couple, the trip was amazing and couldn’t have come at a better time. We went ice skating, snow shoeing, swimming, hiking, and much more. It was a perfect escape for both of us to get out of the city and away from the bustle of it all after the holidays.

In between, there have been countless brunches, parties, trips, nights out, Broadway shows, fights… Oh yea, and plenty of sex — Can’t forget the sex! Overall, things have been going well for us. You have good days and bad days, but you have to realize the bad days are just there so you appreciate the good ones all the more. I am thrilled to announce, this past Saturday, CK and I celebrated our one-year anniversary at the restaurant we went to on our first date, Frankies Spuntino 570. Although we waited nearly an hour, the evening was perfect, and I look forward to many more years together.

Although I won’t be detailing the specifics of my relationship going forward, I hope to share with you what I have learned along the way. It’s not easy being in a relationship, but then again, the things that are worth it never really are.

To my most dedicated readers who haven’t let me lack of posting stop them from commenting words of support on my blog, thank you. You are what has motivated me to get back into this once again. I feel like many of you have integrated my writing into your daily routines, and I have left you with your morning coffee in hand and no reading material. You will not see the frequency of posts you may have grown accustomed in the past, but I still hope you find time in your lives for One Gay At A Time.

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One Fine Day

After not sleeping for more than four hours, Friday night, I slept like a log. I was out very quickly and slept straight through to the morning. I was also starving. After not having a full meal the night before, I was feeling ravenous.

I went into the kitchen and began heating our Greek dinners from the night before in the oven. I returned to the bed to fool around with CK while they heated. He was waiting for me with open arms. I dove right into them. I loved waking up with him. It made my day begin so much better.

We continued to fool around and hug and kiss. Rolling around in the sheets with him was a perfect way to begin our day. When the food was heated through, I plated our meals and brought them to bed. We watched TV on his iPad while we ate our brunch. It was very tasty. I loved eating dinner food for breakfast.

Later that morning, I realized I forgot my toothbrush. I needed to go out and purchase one. I got dressed and made my way to a nearby bodega while CK got dressed for the day. I also popped into Starbucks for a Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. It was a gorgeous day, and I was happy to be outside. With delicious coffee in hand and a new toothbrush in my pocket, I made my way back to CK’s apartment.

I texted CK to get a move-on since it was so nice out. It was already after noon, and I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather. He finally had a weekend he wouldn’t have to stress about finding a new apartment, and I wanted to get some much-needed sun.

We made plans for him to show me his new apartment on the way to Central Park. CK finally got ready, and we decided to walk there. It was so nice out, I wasn’t about to get on the subway, nor did I want to pay for a cab.

We came upon a street festival on Ninth Avenue on the way. It seemed like fun, but it was a little overcrowded. I was anxious to see his new living quarters and hit up Central Park. With blanket in hand, we cut through the crowd to get to his street. Just before we got to his apartment building, we happened upon a cute garden society park. We decided to scope it out along the way. When we finally got to his building, it turns out we weren’t able to see his apartment. His new roommate never left a key with the front desk. The doorman wouldn’t let us up to see the roof-deck either. We didn’t fight it. We left and made our way to the park.

When we got there, Sheep’s Meadow was packed. There was little real estate left for us to put down a blanket. He laid down and took off our shirts so we could get a little color. We talked about a myriad of things while hugging and kissing each other. We made sure not to make a spectacle of ourselves, but we were enjoying each other’s company.

When a little boy walked by us and waved at us, he turned to me and said, “Awwwww. He’s so cute. Let’s get one!” I laughed, but deep inside, I melted a little. I could just picture how awesome a father he’d be. I looked forward to a long future with him, and the thought of us raising a child didn’t scare me in the least. I was excited! I agreed down the road it would be great to raise a kid, but I suggested we get a dog first. At that, he wanted to go shopping for a dog for me. I explained I am not able to take care of a dog. I lead too active a lifestyle, however, if the time came where we’d move in together, I would certainly love to get a dog together.

We spent a good portion of the afternoon lying around chatting. When CK was finally bored with this, he suggested we rent bikes and take a ride around central park. I thought this was a great idea, so we packed up and found some bikes to rent.

This was an incredibly shady transaction. I felt like I was buying drugs. We talked to about five different guys before we were given a bike that may or may not have been stolen. He asked for one of our licenses. Neither of us felt comfortable doing this because we weren’t sure we’d ever see the same guy again, let alone our licenses. He agreed to let us have them without the collateral. A simple fist bump sealed the deal. I guess we look like trustworthy guys.

We took the bikes and sped off on our ride. We did a complete loop of the park. CK broke out his iPhone and started using Video Star again to film us while riding. It was a lot of fun, until he dropped his phone along the way (However, this added greatly to the actual video that resulted from the footage). The phone survived unscathed, and we continued on. We rode around for about an hour before taking the bikes back. Many times we joked about running off with our new bikes, but we didn’t want the bad karma.

I was feeling peckish, so we made our way to Whole Foods to pick up a snack to eat before heading back to Hoboken for dinner. I had another Living Social to use up. We made our way back to his place before heading to the PATH. I left my bag there, and we made our way to 1 Republik. I called P along the way an encouraged her to join us. When we got to the door, we were denied because I was wearing flip-flops and CK and I were both wearing shorts. I’m sure if we stood and argued about going in for dinner, they would have made an exception, but I was in a good mood from an awesome day. I didn’t want to argue.

We decided to hit up Four L’s instead. We grabbed a table, and the three of us had some spectacular drinks and a few plates of food. We had fun people watching and judging the others making scenes in the bar.

When we finished, CK and I were ready to go home. P was disappointed because I think she wanted to hit up the bar, but I wanted to go home and do sex with my boyfriend.

We walked holding hands and having fun the whole way until CK stopped abruptly. He pulled me in and told me he had something to tell me. Just then, I let out the biggest fart I possibly could. My comedic timing was finally on point. We both busted our sides laughing. When I encouraged him to tell me what he wanted, he wouldn’t budge. I regretted the fart slightly, because I think I ruined what I believed was meant to be a beautiful moment. I highly suspected, based on his actions, he was about to tell me he loved me. I ruined it with a fart. I would have to wait until the next time he got the urge to express this. I’d already told him I was close to saying it, but I hadn’t said it yet. I was anxious if to learn if I was right about what he wanted to tell me then.

When we got back to my apartment, CK and I made our way to my bedroom. Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. He wanted to penetrate me, and I obliged. I wasn’t the biggest fan of bottoming on my back, so I turned onto my stomach and raised my hips into the air while he prepped. He was inside me, and it felt great. I loved feeling his body against mine while he kissed the back of my neck. Just before he was about to finish, he pulled out and shot all over my back. He grabbed me a towel, and we laid next to each other enjoying the lasting effects of sex.

When he asked if I wanted to penetrate him, I jumped on the opportunity. I really wanted to fall asleep inside him. He agreed to this, so we got into the spooning position. I lined up and slowly slide inside him while hugging him from behind. This felt great.

Of course, there would be no sleeping. This simply escalated to sex, but it was the best sex we’d had to date. I was penetrating him in the spooning position at first, but before long, I rolled over on my back, and he was on top of me while I was still inside him. It was unbelievably passionate. We changed positions many more times after that, one of which was the reverse cowgirl. I loved every second of it. He was making me feel things I’d yet to feel with him. It was inconceivable!

That wasn’t meant to be what happened, but neither of us complained. We both went to bed that night happy men. Not only did I get great sex, I also suspected my boyfriend truly loved me. I’d have to wait for confirmation on the latter portion, but I was still on a high from great sex regardless. I would sleep rather soundly that night with the most amazing man I’d ever had in my bed.

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Back to Reality

Christmas day had passed. My time home was coming to an end. I was happy to be home, but I was also anxious to get back to normal life.

The morning after Christmas, my father and I decided to do a little shopping to see if we could land any special deals to kill time. I would also finally be in cell phone service, so I could text Smiles and wish him a safe flight. When I got into service, I got an influx of text and picture messages. He’d sent me quite a few, keeping me updated on what he was up to. I really was missing him and quite anxious to get back to see him. I proposed we do dinner at my apartment since he had to postpone it before the holidays. He texted back in agreement. I was finally going to get to make us the standing rib roast. I told him I missed him, and he responded, “I miss you too! 🙂 “ I could have melted into a puddle right there. This was so unlike him to express his emotions like this, but I was eating it up!

The day after Christmas is always spent with my father’s side of the family. We all gather together for a nice potluck meal that rotates from house to house year to year.  This side of the family has also shrunk significantly. My grandparents have been gone since I was quite young. My father’s brother is in rough shape these days from his battles with diabetes. His sister died a few years ago and her husband is in a nursing home. I rarely see their daughter, my cousin since she moved away and got married. That left one sister whose husband also passed away a few years ago. But as that generation was shrinking, another was growing in leaps in bounds. The living sister has 5 children, all of which are married and have become baby making machines. They now outnumber the four of us five to one.

The gathering is always a lively one with many children running about. Christmas is one of the two times I spend with this side of the family each year (the other being an annual family reunion). We also have an annual tradition of a “Yankee gift swap” or “white elephant sale” depending where you come from. The tradition has lost a lot of its allure as my cousins have adopted a new tradition of buying crap at Wal-Mart and Big Lots the day after Christmas for half price.

My sister and I had to work the Tuesday after Christmas, so around 5:00 we hopped in the car and made our way back to Hoboken. When I got back to my apartment and unloaded all my presents from home, I picked up the phone and called Smiles. Sadly, it went straight to voicemail. I was hoping to relax after a long car ride with some time talking to him, but alas, that wouldn’t be the case.

My roommate arrived home, and we swapped all our holiday stories. We plopped down on the couch and started to catch up on the programs we saved on the DVR. After some time, Smiles called. I think if you were in New Jersey when the phone rang, you may have seen a beacon of light in the sky that was my smile.

He told me about his trip home and the ordeal he went through. When he got back to the city, he’d gone out with one of his female friends for dinner. He devised a new plan to work out of her apartment going forward so he would be more productive than he was working out of his apartment. He felt if he had a place to go to every day that wasn’t in line of sight of his bed, he would get more done. I told him I thought it was a great idea. Even though they wouldn’t be coworkers, they could keep each other on task. Either that, or it would be a complete disaster, and they would be a constant distraction for each other.

I told him about my time home, my family and how the gift swap has become a sham. He laughed and told me about the rest of his time home with the family.

It wasn’t a long phone conversation, as our phone calls never are, but it certainly satisfied my hunger for Smiles. It would satiate me until I got to see him the following night when he came over for dinner.

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Merry Christmas Darling

December 25th — Christmas day. An important date on anyone’s calendar, but a date that carries more weight when one is dating another.

I’m quite the hypocrite, you see. I complain about the treatment of Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve as a special holiday for couples, when I really just fancy another holiday more. I just hate the weight put those two days, but for me, Christmas carries much more weight.

I woke Christmas morning and hopped the shower. I’m so tired of seeing pictures of me Christmas morning with greasy hair and scruff. The timetables are quite turned on their head since I was a kid. My sister and I would sit at the top of the stairs waiting for my father to come home from the morning duties at the farm. On top of that, we’d have to wait til he showered so we could stand to be in the same room as him. Nowadays, my sister and I are the last to wake. I knew I could leisurely shower, as my sister would still be asleep until someone came to wake her.

My family and I opened our presents and shared in the joy of Christmas. My mother made us sticky buns for breakfast while I brewed a pot of coffee.

My mother’s side of the family came to our house in the afternoon to celebrate the holiday. We always spent Christmas afternoon with my mother’s side of the family, but this year was a little different. My uncle and his recent wife were not attending because she was due to have a baby in January. One of my aunts and her husband always came for New Years, not Christmas. This would also be the first Christmas without both my grandparents. It was a little more solemn for me. The only attendees were my aunt, uncle, and three cousins.

I waited until a convenient time to sneak away so I could call Smiles. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t interrupting his Christmas plans. I went upstairs to my parents’ room to call him around 5:30. I got no answer. I’m not out to my extended family, so I then began to worry he would call back, and his caller id name would splash across  the television screen, as does everyone’s name who calls. I worried my extended family would see a man was calling me on Christmas. I’m not sure why I worried. I’m not ready to tell them just yet, and I suppose I didn’t want them to jump to their own conclusions before I had a chance to properly tell them.

Smiles did call back, but not until 10:00 after everyone had left. I took the phone up to my room and talked to him for quite some time. Our phone conversations never lasted long, so it was nice that he didn’t cut it short. He told me about everything he’d been doing with his family. It was nice to hear he finally relaxed around them and realized they loved him no matter what state his career was in. It was a nice Christmas present to get to chat with him and feel closer to him even though we were miles apart.

I had an agenda as well. There was a question I needed to ask before it was too late. I was very nervous to ask this question. I’d failed to ask it once already on the way to the airport. I was afraid of the disappointing answer I expected. In the middle of our conversation, I asked him, “Can we spend New Year’s together?” In a shocking reply without thought, Smiles said, “Sure. I was going to [my friend’s] for a party. I’ll just tell him I’m bringing a plus one.

We chatted a bit more before ending the conversation. It was quite a nice Christmas gift to know I had New Year’s plans. I was beginning to worry I would spend New Years on my couch alone. All my friends had plans that didn’t involve me. I was already picturing myself in bed at 7:00pm. Knowing I had plans was great, but knowing I would spend the night with Smiles made my night. I walked around the rest of the night with a smile from ear to ear.

I’m not sure why, but the man-made me happy. I was happy to know it was his lips I’d be locking when the ball dropped on 2011.

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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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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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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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Awkward Silence

Yet another video I’d like to share. This one is a music video for one of my new favorite groups, Duck Sauce. Great song and love the sexual connotations, but may not be safe for work depending on what you do.  Enjoy!

On with the story…

Every Tuesday in Hoboken is free movie night if you have Cablevision’s triple play. I do not, but I have some very generous friends who do, and they lend me their card when they’re not using it.

I asked Smiles if he wanted to catch a movie and dinner. He told me he could possibly do dinner, but there was no way he could do the movie. He had to be up at 6:30 the following morning for a work meeting, so spending the night in my bed was off the table.

While I was finishing up work, he was moving his final boxes into his storage unit from Harlem. I agreed to help him when I arrived downtown, but when I got there, he was already finished.

I walked him back to his apartment. We talked about his day on the walk. I waited while he showered and changed after loading and unloading all those boxes to go to dinner.

While he was moving the boxes, both his parents called, separately. He was a little worried, so on the way to the restaurant, he dialed his mother. Smiles said he needed to walk a while, so we kinda just went for a stroll. We talked a little about work and how he got to where he is today. We stopped in a few stores on the way. We were walking for over a half hour before we settled on a spot to grab some grub.

We settled on Peels. When he returned to the table after washing his hands, the conversation was very dry. There were many long awkward pauses throughout the night. I struggled to think about anything we could to talk about. Nothing. I didn’t know what to do. We continued to eat in silence. It was incredibly awkward. I was so worried we’d hit that point already where we had nothing to talk about. I was petrified.

Was he distracted by the phone calls? Did something happen? Who knows?

When we finished eating, we paid the bill and began walking back toward his place and the PATH. We ran into a friend along the way, and Smiles chatted with him for a short while after barely introducing me. After we left the friend, he explained who he was and how close a friend he is. I was a little surprised. If he was such a good friend, then why was he so casual when introducing me. Maybe I didn’t mean as much to him as he did to me. Maybe I was putting too much of myself out there too soon. We’d been dating for a month and a half. I thought we’d be closer knit at this point, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe I had different expectations.

As we walked, he told me he was tired and a bit out of it. This wasn’t news to me after the awkward dinner we just had. He walked me to a crossroad and said goodbye. When I went in for a kiss, I barely received anything in return. It was almost like a child begrudgingly accepting a kiss from a grandparent. I felt like a piece of sh*t.

As I walked by myself to the PATH, I wondered if this thing had run its course. How much longer were we going to go before he fully opened up to me? — Before I didn’t have to wonder where I stood with him? I was tired of the uncertainty. It was dragging me down.

I needed to talk to someone, so I called Boston. No answer as usual. College always gets in the way of our friendship!

Next, I called LES to see what he was up to. No answer, so I left a message.

Then I texted the Principal just to say hi and see how he was doing. When I came above ground on the other side of the Hudson River, I received a response from him. We texted back-n-forth for the remainder of my walk home. When I got to my apartment, I immediately climbed into bed. I was depressed. This relationship was looking pretty bleak. Silence at dinner and an awkward kiss goodnight. Once again, maybe he just wasn’t into me.

The Principal and I continued to text over the next hour while I watched some TV. I explained to him I still had some feelings for him, however, the distance thing just wouldn’t work out for me. Apparently, I opened up a can of worms there. He really did miss me. I’m not sure why I felt the need to reach out to the Prinicpal that night. I thought I passed that chapter in the story. I think I did it for selfish reasons because I needed to feel wanted again. I knew the Principal would provide that for me. Looking back, I never should have done that.

In my mode of depression, I also responded to one of the guys who had hit me up on OKCupid. I asked him if he wanted to grab a drink sometime. I was taking my friends’ advice. I wasn’t going to put all my eggs in one basket. The guy responded, and we scheduled a date for the following night…

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