Posts Tagged Joan Rivers

Smiles Returns pt. 2

My second date with Smiles was off to a great start! We already walked the entire High Line and grabbed sangria. Now we were on our way to an unplanned dinner.

As we walked, he reached down to grab my hand. I’m terrible at making those first moves, so when he did, I nearly melted into a puddle right there on the street. I loved every second of it. It also gave me the validation he was enjoying my company. We stopped to snap a few pictures of interesting things along the way. I was happy to see he was into photography since this was something I was truly interested in as well. We chatted more on the subject as we walked and stroked each other’s hands.

When we arrived at Extra Virgin, I learned why he warned me he was quite the regular. Immediately, the host made a killing fuss over him. He was a tall flamboyantly gay black man who had no qualms about jumping all over Smiles in front of me. I enjoyed the spectacle, especially since Smiles was getting quite embarrassed by the fiasco.

We took our seat at the bar and began to peruse the drink menu. Dark and Stormies have become one of my new favorite drinks, especially in a crisp fall day. The bartender asked Smiles what he wanted to drink, and much to my surprise, he replied, “I’ll have a Dark and Stormy.” Of course, when he turned to me, I replied, “I’ll have the same.” We commented to each other how much we like he drink and how perfect it is for this time of year. It was nice to see more and more commonality as the evening progressed.

As I was looking over the menu, I settled on the chicken with a mushroom sauce. He was looking over his menu and made the recommendation,  “The chicken is excellent.” I informed him I already decided on that and was looking forward to it. Once our orders were placed, we could return to our conversation. We found more and more commonality between us, and I was really enjoying the time I was spending with him. What was supposed to simply be coffee and a stroll on the High Line turned into an all day affair.

Shortly after we arrived, a coworker arrived and sat next to Smiles. We didn’t acknowledge each other, and I was okay with that. I wasn’t hiding anything, but I’m still not out at work. It made for some slight awkwardness, but it certainly didn’t taint my evening.

Our meals arrived, and we both enjoyed them thoroughly as the conversation continued. At one point, he stood to use the restroom. As he passed my chair, he put his arms around me from behind and gave me a hug. It was one of the sweetest things any man had done to me in a long time. When he returned, he sat with his hand on my thigh as we chatted. The bartender brought over the desert menu since the host offered it to us on the house. I then took my hand an placed it on his thigh, gently stroking his knee while we chatted. At one point, I removed my hand, and he reached up to the bar and placed my hand back on his leg. I liked his conviction and it sent a clear signal to me he was enjoying his night as much as I was.

Following our meal, we walked down the street. He again reached out and grabbed my hand. While walking down a darker street, he guided me across the sidewalk, pulled me in closer, and he planted a kiss on me. These are the little things that really win me over. I was really falling for this guy, which was very interesting since the first date didn’t go extremely well. We came upon a cellist on the street corner playing for all passersby. He took the hand he as holding and pulled it around his back. We stood and listened for a song while he played. It was very relaxing having him leaning against me with my arm around him. I was truly there in the moment and extremely happy. I’m sure I had a smile from ear to ear.

When we decided to continue on, we walked toward the PATH station. We made one quick pitstop in a sex shop on Christopher Street. We looked in the front window at some of the wares the store sold. I wondered if this was a test to see if I could roll with the punches and have fun. I think he wanted to see how I would react, and I performed superbly. We had so much fun talking about everything in the store. He even took pictures of a few things, and we had a good laugh.

We continued another block before we were at the PATH station. We stood facing each other talking about how much fun we had. We hugged, and I pulled him in for a few kisses. I wanted to ravage him, but it was neither the time or the place. We had a conversation earlier in the night about making people a priority and seeing the people you care about the most. I acknowledged that conversation by turning to him as he walked away and said, “Let’s do this again soon! Make me a priority.”

After the date, I shot him an email the following day. “So I tried not to jump the gun so much this time… Waited ’til I had some downtime this afternoon to hit you up… Better?? Hope the cold calling isn’t too painful! (Acknowledging his workday) Had a great time yesterday! Hope you negotiated good rates with everyone (the cellist, bartender, host, Joan Rivers, …) to play their parts. Would love to see you again, so let me know when you’re free, and we can get together. P.S. Do you think I’m I phone number worthy yet?”

Shortly after, he replied, “LOL! yes, ###.###.####. Glad you appreciate my unplanned dating Karma ;-)” It was great to hear back from him so soon. It showed he was still interested in seeing me. I couldn’t have been happier. It was just a question of when I would get to see him again…

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Smiles Returns

While returning home from alumni weekend, I sent an email to Smiles to see if we could find time to get together Sunday afternoon: “Hey dude. Let me know if you’re still up for meeting up tomorrow…” I sent it around 11:00 at night, so I didn’t expect a reply until the following day. So, when I got back to Hoboken, I asked around to see who was going out to the bar. No one seemed to be up for anything, so I went home did laundry and watched TV.

I woke the next morning to a return email from him saying, “Hey bud, yeah we can work something out. What did you have in mind?” I replied back, “Your call… Grab bite, drink, coffee, walk High Line…” Apparently, he was already out and about that morning, and he responded, “Just finishing brunch. Let’s grab cords and walk up highland. What time works?”

I was a little confused, but I was used to deciphering autocorrect text messages. “I’m assuming that cords means coffee and highland means highline… haha  I can meet you in about an hour? That work?” I responded. He replied, “Ah yes autocorrect. Let’s meet at 4:30 at Doma in west village its 7th and Perry I think.”

I was very excited but still very relaxed. I was thrilled he was still willing to see me again after the less that stellar first date, but I’ve also done a very good job of not getting my hopes up about these dates anymore. I’ve had enough bad ones to know the drill now. Yes, I’ve become jaded.

I arrived at the coffee shop and waited for him outside. When he arrived, we exchanged hugs and went inside to grab coffees. He paid for mine, which I thought was very sweet of him. He suggested we take a walk through the West Village on our way to hop up on the High Line park. As we walked, he told me about the crazy time he had the previous night at the bars and how he was a little less than 100%. He put his arm around me and explained he was afraid to postpone on me since I was so broken-hearted when he didn’t respond within the first twelve hours after our first date (in a playful way). I was a little embarrassed by my lack of patience and told him he could have postponed on me, and I completely would have understood. We had a good laugh about it.

We walked and came upon a band playing in a courtyard. We stopped to listen before continuing on to the High Line. We climbed the stairs to the elevated park and began to stroll along like everyone else. This was the third date I took up there. I could tell Smiles was really enjoying it. He is very interested in architecture and design, as am I, so we had extensive conversations about all the surrounding buildings. I found it utterly romantic when he would turn my attention to a specific building by putting his hand on my shoulder to talk about a specific element. We talked the entire span from 14th street to 34th street. We even passed Joan Rivers and her small entourage while walking. When we reached the top, we walked back down to street level.

As we walked back downtown, we talked more. I learned he attended three different Burning Mans in the past. Just that Friday, I watched a movie shot by a bunch of guys who attended this years. It looked spectacular, and I was highly interested in attending. He gave me some of the insider tips, and the conversation shifted to the traveling we’ve done.

As we were walking through the West Village again, he noted he’d love to grab a beer and asked if I was interested. We stepped into a nice spot that had an outdoor space in the back, Entwine. We both ordered sangria. When I mentioned I wanted to order hummus and pitas, he noted he had to cut gluten out of his diet. I was rather famished, and I think he realized this.

He originally planned to meet his ex for dinner that night, but hadn’t heard from him in some time. Since this was the case, he asked if I would be interested in grabbing dinner with him. Of course I obliged. He mentioned two spots he could think of. I agreed Extra Virgin sounded great. He warned me he was quite the regular at that spot, but I wasn’t quite sure why that warranted a warning.

I paid the tab for the sangrias, and we started to walk to Extra Virgin. The night was shaping up to be quite a date, but it was only just beginning…

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