My birthday finally arrived. Normally, I don’t celebrate my birthday much. But, this year, I had more to celebrate. I had a loving boyfriend who treated me very well. I’d already received a birthday present more than I ever could have expected. Clark Kent was everything I wanted in a man, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to spend the day with him.
I left him that morning as he went to pick up his mother from the airport. I spent the night before in his bed and got quite a birthday surprise — Trapeze School tickets. He needed to fully utilize the time his mother was visiting to find a new apartment. He’d been dragging his feet, and the time came for some serious looking. I fully understood.
I made my way home early that morning. My old roommate started off the social media messages with a text to wish me a happy birthday. He was shocked I was up so early. I made my way home and began to get ready for my plans. I was heading to the pier for the day for a picnic of sorts. I grabbed my beach chair and packed a blanket, bocce ball, speakers, wine and food into my beach bag and asked my sister if she’d give me a ride so I wouldn’t have to lug everything to the pier in Hoboken.
As the day went on, friends came and went. They’d spend some time with me relaxing in the sun and chowing down on snacks.
At one point, we all got into a political discussion about gay marriage. It was interesting. I’d never really thought about marriage before because it wasn’t a priority. I didn’t even have a boyfriend. Marriage was something far, far away. I assumed by the time I was ready, the rest of the country would accept that choice and allow me to do so. Now that I had a boyfriend, things were different. I was a lot more passionate about the topic.
I had a blast. Many friends showed up and clinked Solo cups with me to celebrate another year on Earth. I was very happy so many showed up for my low-key celebration. There was no big destination. There was no cover. There was no commitment. It was simply a relaxing day doing what I wanted. If others felt inclined to join, they knew where to find me.
When we got bored, we broke out the bocce balls and played a few rounds. As the sun was setting, we decided to pack up. My sister contacted K to see if she would be willing to host a BBQ in her back yard. She was thrilled with the idea and began preparing immediately. I brought over some food to cook and everyone else pitched in. Even my old roommate, who I hadn’t seen in about a year, showed up.
We ate our fill of picnic food and played beer pong. I played with one of my old college teammates. Whenever we played together, we usually cleaned up. We started a little rusty, but we were doing pretty well against my sister and one other girl as well. It was great to finally play again. I have such a competitive streak in me, and it’d been some time since we played.
When it was nearly time to go, we gathered everyone around the table for a few rounds of flip cup. It was getting late, and we decided it was time to hit the bar. The whole group packed up and headed out the door.
I was missing my man. We checked in with each other over text throughout the day, but the search wasn’t going well for him. I was having a great time, but I felt bad for him. I wanted him by my side, but priorities were in order.
Some people split off from the group to head home for the night. On the walk to the bar, I heard a crash right in front of me at one of the cars. All I could think about was, “What drunk a$$hole just slammed into a parked… W!?” “Hey guys,” he said as he popped up from between two cars with his bike. I was laughing hysterically. He was just in a BUI incident. He’s lucky he didn’t cause serious damage to the car or himself, but it was still very humorous.
We continued to McSwiggans, my favorite Hoboken bar, and met up with more of my friends who were already there. We had a blast drinking and dancing all night. I was hanging out with my old roommate reminiscing about the good ol’ times. I stepped outside at one point to call CK to say hi and see how things were going. He was happy to hear I was in good sorts, but sad he couldn’t be there with me. I too was sad he wasn’t there, but I understood. We didn’t talk long cause I was neglecting my friends, and he was neglecting his mother.
I went back inside and joined the fun once again. I was getting drunk quickly. People were constantly buying me drinks, and I can’t drink like I used to. I’m getting old. At 28, you’re no spring chicken anymore.
The time came for me to go home. I said goodbye to the remaining people at the bar and walked home. I didn’t want to be hungover the next day, so I kept things in check. It was going to be a big day for me. I texted my boyfriend while I walked home. I wished he was waiting for me in my bed, but I knew it was quite a different scene. He was in his apartment sharing his with his mother.
Overall, I had a great birthday! They aren’t usually this cheerful — Usually, I’m quite glum on my birthday. I think I purposely downplay my birthday so I’ll never be disappointed. This one was pretty great, starting with waking up next to my Superman. I would end the day a happy man, and looked forward to tomorrow, the next time I’d get to see CK, as well as meet his mother…
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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!
Back to your special edition of One Gay At A Time…
After a special night in with CK, we woke in the morning to the sound of his alarm at 8:00am. It took him a long time to shut the alarm off, but I was too out of it to rouse him or reach over him to turn it off myself.
When we finally woke, we spent a good portion of the morning snuggling and kissing. He told me how happy he was and smiled. We tickled each other until the other protested enough to warrant stopping. We were constantly expressing our utter joy to each other. Everything he said felt extremely genuine. He always used the term “baby” to refer to me, and it made me melt every time. Either he heard me and was acting on it, or he was an extremely talented actor.
I finally managed to sneak away to hop in the shower. He was in the middle of doing laundry, so he had no clean towels, so he told me to use his on the door. I went into the bathroom. I was not feeling well the entire previous day. I was back to feeling uneasy, and I knew I needed to relieve myself. I did, and I immediately noticed how bad a smell I created. I quickly flushed and did my best to dissipate it. I turned the shower on before sitting down to mask any sounds I would create. Just as I hopped in the shower, CK came into the bathroom to offer me a fresh towel. I was mortified. I was sure he smelled the odor in the air. When he left the bathroom, he left the door open — I’m sure to vent the bathroom. There was nothing I could do about it, so I tried to forget it.
It was humorous because the night before, I was commenting on him burping and how I thought it was sexy. He was certainly masculine. I was tired of all these gay men acting like women. We’d also talked about farting in front of each other when he was at my place and how we were not at that comfort level yet. It came up again in jest while we were wrestling on the bed before my shower. He also playfully joked about picking my nose, but assure me he’d never do that, as well as going to the bathroom with the door opened — Another topic we covered when he was last at my place. It was fun that we could chat about such casual things. It showed me how real he was.
I finished my shower and came back to find him still in bed. I scooped him up and carried him to the shower. I didn’t want to be the reason he would be late. While he showered, he offered me a yogurt for breakfast. I made a few phone calls to shift a doctor’s appointment and ate while he got fresh. He returned to the bedroom and coaxed me to the bed to cuddle more before heading out to work. “Just two more minutes,” he pleaded. I was fine on time for work. It was him I was worried about. But, if he wasn’t worried, neither was I.
The subway he took was right outside my office, so we walked together. Half way there, we held hands and joked about a few things. “One thing I must say about you. You certainly make me laugh. That you certainly do,” he joked. I was smiling from ear-to-ear. I told him I would try to swing by to see him after I went out to dinner with my team to say goodbye to a coworker. Ironically enough, she was headed to his agency. He would be inheriting one of my favorite coworkers. With that, we kissed each other goodbye. “It’s all downhill from here,” he added.
During the day, I texted him to tell him a funny story about my coworker. I also added, “I had such a good morning. I’m in such a good mood! This morning was perfect.” He responded, “I walked into the office on an invisible carpet of sunshine and rainbows :). ‘You fit me better than my favorite sweater.’ ” I can only assume that was a song lyric.
Later in the day, I had a brilliant idea. “After my dinner tonight, I was planning to swing by and see you and then take a car service home. Do you have any interest in coming home with me tonight to watch Revenge instead? I don’t want you to get tired of me yet, but I thought it would be fun for us.” After a few minutes, my phone lit up with: “Best. Idea. Ever… You. Revenge. Car service. Falling asleep in your arms. And your bed. Waking up with you. And your shower. #heavenly… Enchanted carriage? Check. Castle? Check. Gorgeous, charming and no doubt horny prince? Check.” Once again, he had me smiling from ear-to-ear.
After my work dinner, I made my way to his apartment. I called him to let him know I was on my way. The dinner had lasted longer than expected. It was now close to 11:00. When I got close, he texted me to meet him on the roof. I went up there, but he was nowhere to be seen. As usual, he was running behind.
Finally he joined me on the roof. I gave him a BIG kiss. I told him a little about dinner. He had the idea, since it was supposed to be a full moon (even though we couldn’t see it through the clouds) we could meditate. He was very cute about it. He told me about it in a very roundabout way, almost as if he was embarrassed by it. I told him I would love to do that with him but some other time. I’d already called the car, and I was sure it was already waiting at my office. He was disappointed, but I assured him we would do it another time.
We walked to my office, and I took him up to show him around. I needed to grab my bag. He asked if we could get frisky, but I pointed out the cameras around the office. We made our way back downstairs and headed to Hoboken.
When we got back to my place, we immediately went into my room. We snuggled in bed for quite some time. We were also both quite excited to watch Revenge. We’d planned to watch it together, and I was quite excited.
It was really nice sharing the show with him. I knew how much he liked it, and I enjoyed it as well. I finally had someone to chat with about the show while watching. When it ended, we brushed our teeth, pulled up the covers and dozed off in each other’s arms. I was really starting to get quite used to this!
When we woke in the morning, there were copious amounts of fooling around, but no sex. It was incredible waking up next to him. From what he told me, he felt the same way waking up next to me. We enjoyed spooning and cuddling for a long time before we finally motivated ourselves to get out of bed. This was the first time CK spent the night on a work night. I made us breakfast while he showered.
He joined me in the kitchen to eat, and when I was finished, I hopped in the shower. We both got ready and walked out the door. As we descended the stairs, he pulled me aside to plant a big kiss on me. He commented on this being the first time we spent time together where sex wasn’t involved. “I actually enjoyed that it doesn’t have to always be a requirement. It’s a nice to have. Let’s just not make it a habit,” he said with a laugh.
With that comment, I started to really fall for him. We were on the same page completely. I loved sex with him, but I was actually reassured by the fact we spent the night together and didn’t have sex. It proved to me he wasn’t just into me for sex. Maybe there was something more…
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Since my last date with Southern Drawl, he had been bothering me for another date. I was trying to take things slow with him. I wasn’t gaga for him by any means. He was growing on me a little, but he still left a lot to be desired.
We made plans to make plans after work Tuesday evening. I left work when he was about finished after trying to bang out a blog entry and made my way downtown to his office. I waited for him on the street corner to finish work for about ten minutes when it began to drizzle. I had not expected rain at all and had no umbrella. I was growing impatient. I called him, but he didn’t answer. Finally, I noticed him walking up to me at a very slow pace with his headphones attached to his phone.
Normally, I would greet someone I’d gone on this many dates with a kiss, but not him. He was too self-conscious. He was not out and was not comfortable with public displays of affection. This bothered me. I needed someone who could love himself enough to not care about everyone else.
We decided to walk downtown on the High Line. I climbed the stairs, and he walked behind me. We took a nice stroll south to find a place to grab dinner. We didn’t have a place in mind, but we had a neighborhood — the West Village. We talked about our days while we walked. Once again, he made a crack, and I didn’t respond well. It was always hard to gauge his sense of humor. We never seemed to be on the same page. If I joked back, he would tell me I was getting defensive and loud. It was insulting. He obviously didn’t get my sarcastic sense of humor.
When we reached the end of the High Line, we descended the stairwell and walked to find food. We passed more than a few places that looked good, but they didn’t have any available tables. They were either too crowded or they appeared non-desirable. We finally came to Frankies 570. I had been there, and the food is amazing. I hesitated going there for a solid second because I already had memories with Smiles there. We shared a really nice meal there one night after work. Then I thought about it, and it made more sense for me to expunge those memories. I could overwrite them with new ones. I didn’t exactly have positive associations with him. I felt used by him as a meal companion.
I suggested it to S.D., and we perused menu before going in. He agreed on the spot and was seated by the front widow at a nice table for two. We ordered drinks and chatted casually. It was nice to sit and relax and just talk about things and my day. We discussed his coming trip home. He was very excited. This would be the last time I saw him before he left. He told me he’d be sending me a lot of pictures from home and would call periodically.
Throughout dinner, he was much more demur than usual. There were no overtly sexual comments and no innuendoes. It was kinda nice. He asked a lot of questions as well. Usually, he was just talking away. It was nice to talk about our upbringings and his home, however, his sense of entitlement was still shining through. He spoke about politics and slavery. He told me stories of his family and how they basically still had slaves. He certainly wasn’t winning me over. I was never all that thrilled with the South’s way of doing things, and he was certainly perpetuating the stereotype in my mind. I also learned how important money is to him, and it was a real turnoff.
Slowly but surely, I was realizing this guy really wasn’t right for me. We had so little in common. I was simply enamored by someone paying attention to me and being interested in me. We were in a downward spiral.
On the positive side, my meal was spectacular. I ordered the rabbit ragu and enjoyed every bite. My drinks was pretty amazing as well.
When we finished eating, we sat there talking a bit more before heading out. When we finished our drinks, he accidentally spilled his water all over me. It was a bit humorous because we were just joking about it, and it embarrassed him immensely. The table next to us took notice of the large commotion this caused, as did the wait staff. We paid our tab and made our way out into the street.
He walked me to the corner to say goodbye. I could tell he was very uncomfortable. I was a block from the PATH and ready to head home. I was not going to a second location, and I was not going home with him. I think he was itching to hang out more, but I wasn’t interested. Just as I was about to go in for a kiss, he turned his head. I was partially p*ssed and partially happy. This was creating an out for me. I scoffed at him and began to walk across the street to go home. He chased me and stopped me on the other side of the street. I told him what he did was not cool at all. As he went in for a kiss, I played along, and at the last second, I too turned my head. Just then, a man was crossing the street and witnessed this. He began to chuckle to himself, and I pointed this out to S.D. He was embarrassed. It served him right. If he thought he had a chance with me, he’d have to sack up. I wasn’t about to date a closet case. I’d moved past that.
We said our goodbyes, and we finally did share a kiss. There was nothing magical. He was still self-conscious. He may have made a good friend, but I couldn’t see myself with him in a relationship. I finally came to see the light. I said goodnight and hailed him a cab. I put him in the cab and said goodbye. I wouldn’t see him for over a week. This would give time for things to settle and fizzle out. I wasn’t going to end things over the phone across state lines, but I wasn’t going to make myself available while he was gone.
After all, I was back out there searching for a real prospect. I needed a real man who could make me happy. I didn’t need to settle on a guy like this. I live in NYC. I fired up Grindr to check my messages on my walk home. There are great gay men everywhere. Now, they just needed to find me…
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The day of the party finally arrived. Something I start planning a year in advance was coming to fruition.
I was a little bummed however. A few of my best friends weren’t going to be able to make the party. D and his girlfriend were attending a wedding. J and his girlfriend couldn’t make it since she had finals and needed to study. A and her boyfriend were traveling out-of-state. There were still about 35 other people coming, but it wasn’t going to be the same without them. I was even more disappointed because many of them hadn’t met Smiles. I wanted to introduce him to my closest friends. Apparently my holiday parties have also developed a reputation as being my new “boyfriend” unveiling.
I was crazy all day preparing. In an act of desperation, I asked P to come over early and help with the final touches. She hauled ass and rescued me. My college teammate was also visiting from Maryland, and she pitched in to help finish things up. It would have been a mess without them.
When 7:30 rolled around, guests were supposed to be arriving. Instead, I was just hopping in the shower. (Next year I really need to hire someone to help me work the event.)
After I showered and dressed, I came out to the kitchen to find no one had arrived yet. Everyone’s late arrival was working to my advantage. People began to trickle in. Smiles was one of the earlier guests to arrive. He showed up with a bottle of wine and a very neatly decorated present. We exchanged a very nice kiss, and one of my old roommates shouted from across the room, “Oh. So that’s the new boyfriend!”
I cringed. He used the “B-word.” I should have looked at Smiles’ face to see his reaction.
I took Smiles into my bedroom to put his coat down and thanked him for the present. I unwrapped it, and it was a very cute tree ornament — Such a sweet gesture, especially for him! I gave him another big kiss to thank him.
More guests arrived, and the night was progressing pretty smoothly. Someone was commenting on Smiles helping me with some of the party maintenance and how he was so much “better than the last one,” referring to N. Just then, the door opened, and N arrived. The room got pretty quiet and everyone turned to me to see my reaction.
I walked over and gave him a hug. It was slightly awkward. Luckily, I was in the middle of things, so I didn’t have to linger on the awkwardness. When I finished, I walked over to him and pointed out all the food. He was overwhelmed by it all, and told me he was going to sample one of everything and let me know what he liked best.
I felt torn all night, and this happens every year. I feel like I never get to spend that much time with everyone because there are so many people there to talk to. There wasn’t even much work to be done during the party. I do a good job of planning ahead of time so that doesn’t happen.
My sister continued to give me dirty looks since N gravitated to her, being one of the few guests he knew.
I was having fun, and I was maintaining a good level of inebriation. Things were going well.
After a while, N was leaving to meet up with some friends. I was talking to Smiles at the time, so I introduced them, and they began to chat a bit. After he left, I told Smiles he was the ex. “Oh. He’s really nice.” I told him how he hasn’t made the effort to be a friend since things ended, and Smiles scolded me for being bitchy. I was being ever so slightly bitchy, but I thought it was humorous this was the stance he was taking. In reality, I didn’t want to be bitchy. I wanted my friend back…
As the night progressed, I received numerous praises for the food and the apartment. They couldn’t believe I whipped it into shape in the amount of time I had. Comments were also made looking forward to next years party and the food I prepare. I warned them an invite is no guarantee for the following year. It’s my way of making sure I maintain friends ;). Two comments were repeated a lot throughout the night I really appreciated. First, everyone told me how skinny I looked. That’s never a bad thing to hear. Secondly, they all told me how great Smiles is.
When things died down a bit, I took the opportunity to go out on the balcony with some friends and smoke a little. I think it put me over the edge a bit on top of all the alcohol I drank. I switched over to water to regain my composure.
We never did make it to the bar. Part of that was Smiles’ doing. I was game to move things to a local pub I frequent, especially after the continued insistence of my sister. However, Smiles was ready to call it a night. I’d already drank a lot, and it was getting late, so I gave into his desires. I said goodnight to the last guests as they left and got my teammate from Maryland settled for the night since she was staying over.
Smiles was a superstar for me that night. He took care of me and made sure I wasn’t getting too drunk. He helped clean up all night and remove trash. He schmoozed and chatted with my friends. I was very proud to be standing next to him at the end of the night. I was finally getting support from him the way I tried to support him. It felt really great.
That night, I fell asleep relatively quickly in his arms. It felt perfect. I was happy, and the only thing on my mind after that was sweet dreams…
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