We all know that red roses are the queen of Valentine’s Day, and chocolate is king. If you read my blog, you know just how much I like chocolate. Although I never heard of them before this weekend, I am thrilled to introduce Sugar and Plumm, the Purveyors of Yumm!
Chef Pichet Ong spoke to our intimate group about the delicious creations they are whipping up. Perhaps best known as a judge on Top Chef: Just Desserts, award-winning corporate pastry Chef Ong is the whimsical creator behind the sweet and savory confections of Sugar and Plumm. He combines the fond flavors of his childhood with modern cooking techniques to create culinary offerings that are seasonal, pure, light, and delightfully experimental, yet nostalgic.
After introducing us to the brand, he was kind enough to treat us to their For The Love of Chocolate gorgeously packaged box of some of their finest chocolate creations. It is an amazing assortment of hand-crafted artisan chocolates with origins from around the world. This box included two white chocolate blueberry and six pure dark Mexican chocolate ganache. However, the pleasant surprises didn’t end there. Hidden below were chocolates with flavors and aromas consisting of raspberry, vanilla, coconut, hazelnut praline, jasmine tea infused ganache, ginger, milk chocolate and pure dark Peruvian. On top of allowing us to sample some of their finest chocolate creations, we were also give a pair of their brightly colored, delicate French macaroons. It was all I could do to keep myself from digging in immediately.
When I untied the ribbon and opened my brightly colored box, I was blown away by the impeccably pristine chocolates before me. They were almost too pretty to eat. Luckily, that would not stop me. What did stop me was the thought of my boyfriend waiting for me at home. There’s something incredibly romantic about fine artisan chocolates that makes it sinful not to share with a loved one.
On our anniversary, the day before Valentine’s day, I told my boyfriend I had a surprise for him. I told him to close his eyes and open his mouth. After a bit of trepidation, he complied, and boy was he glad he did. His face lit up from ear to ear as he savored his first bite of the dark chocolate ganache-filled heart. I sampled the white chocolate blueberry-filled heart. I’d never tasted anything so complex and exquisite. It was heaven. I was reminded of the first time blueberry wine touched my lips, and I had to have more. The combination of blueberry and white chocolate was pure genius. I forced myself to put the box away so I could savor these the little bits of chocolate heaven for a few days; I simply did not want the experience to end!
There was no way I could possibly ignore the fresh macaroons waiting the ultimate demise. Although there were two, I wanted the best of both worlds. As it’s rather impossible to split a macaroon, I simply bit half for myself and passed the other half to my boyfriend. We made long extended moans as we enjoyed these incredible indulgences, and that was just the vanilla macaroon. I repeated our ritual with the strawberry poppy-seed, and the moans of happiness only grew louder. The flavors transported me back to the beach with my parents snacking on strawberry Twizzlers.
It was amazing how incredibly nostalgic Sugar and Plumm’s confectionaries were. How could so much be contained in such a small morsel?
I was shocked to learn that Sugar and Plumm serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, and every craving in between. I was expecting a purveyor of sweets, but they create works of art from homemade ice cream and macaroons, to house-smoked salmon and Berkshire pulled pork, our team of master chefs, bakers, and chocolatiers are purveyors of all things delicious and delightful. The bake shop even makes everything handmade, from scratch. The only problem you’ll find is deciding what to order (and possibly that top button on your pants).
Although it’s too late to place an order for Valentine’s Day delivery, if you’re looking for that perfect way to show the special person in your life just how much they mean to you, this is a perfect for Valentine’s Day — Or any of the other 364 days of the year. The have gift boxes for every budget and an in-store experience you won’t soon forget! This Upper West Side spot with Parisian charm and a downtown vibe is sure to knock the socks off anyone who enters and will certainly not disappoint!
In the summer, my company offers half day Fridays. It’s an amazing perk, and I take full advantage.
I live for my weekends, so if there was anything I could do to make them better, I did. I utilized my free Friday afternoons to run my errands so Saturday and Sunday would be all mine. I tried to clean and do laundry, run to the grocery store, etc.
This Friday, I was very successful getting through my list. I stopped by my allergist for my weekly shot. Since I left work at 1:00, I decided to eat lunch at McDonalds (never a good decision). While sitting there, I noticed two men walking holding hands across the street. I was a bit surprised. I immediately thought, “We do that in Hoboken?!” In the six years I’d lived in Hoboken, only once before had I seen two men holding hands. I was thrilled to see the courage and the progress.
When I finished eating, I swung by the salon for a haircut and hit up the gym to lift and swim. After my swim, I called CK from the roof deck of the gym. Although we made tentative plans for Saturday night, we hadn’t discussed plans for that night. It was our anniversary. He automatically assumed I was spending the night in the city since he came to Hoboken the previous night. I was not under the same impression, so I explained I did not want to spend both Friday and Saturday night away from place. I told him to pick one. This of course turned into an argument. He complained about the trek to Hoboken, and I resented this. I’d made the trip back into the city to be with him many times after a long day at work, and I did it without complaint. He always made it seem like torture when he had to traverse the Hudson River. The argument grew more and more heated until he threatened not to come at all. I wasn’t having any more of this, so I hung up on him.
I was tired of this game we were playing. I didn’t want to argue anymore. In addition, my testosterone was already flowing after a solid workout, and my blood was beginning to boil with every complaint.
After I got home and a few minutes passed, he called back (He always was good at playing the role of peacemaker). He told me he’d come to Hoboken, but it wouldn’t be until later. We discussed the argument calmly, and both apologized for getting out of hand. He explained he had assumption I was coming there all day. The idea of him trekking out to Hoboken on a bus wasn’t all that thrilling to him after having those expectations all day. I explained how one of us would always have to make the trek to the other. There was nothing we could do about that, at least for now, so the more fair and balanced we could make it (and the less complaining), the less burdensome it would feel. He agreed.
Since I had a fair amount of time before his arrival, I continued with my to-do list and swung by Shop Rite and Target. When I finished and returned home, I was still a bit depressed from the bad news I’d received at work that week, so I plopped down on the couch and watched TV until CK arrived.
Hours passed, and I heard nothing from him. I felt he was dragging his feet and as every minute passed, I grew more and more annoyed. He told me he had to shower before coming over. He obviously wasn’t still showering. I was sure he was just lounging about, which is fine. But I wanted him to be lounging about with me.
This wasn’t just any night after all. We were supposed to be “celebrating” our three-month anniversary. I finally got so annoyed I sent him a text: “Maybe tonight would be better spent apart. I’m in a really cranky mood now.” It was already past 10:00. At this point he was coming over to sleep and not much else. He called and told me he was already in a cab on the way to the PATH. I encouraged him not to doddle before saying goodbye. I needed to cool off before he arrived, or it was a guaranteed fight the moment he arrived. It seemed all the smallest things so easily got under my skin. I was all wound up. Work was stressing me out. Life was stressing me out…
Finally, at 11:00, he arrived, flowers in hand to make up for the botched night. Honestly, I would have preferred he came three hours prior, but the gesture was utterly sweet. And, I forgave/thanked him immediately. I tried to be cool with everything and have a nice time with him since it was a special night. There was no use being miserable.
It wasn’t really his fault either. Work made me a miserable son-of-a-b*tch. He asked me how my day was. I further explained my new predicament and fretted over the possibility of being unemployed in the near future. I was very pessimistic about the whole situation.
I certainly will hand it to him. He remained positive and tried to assure me everything would be fine. This is why I loved him so much. NO matter how much of a Debbie Downer I can be, he always picks me up and dusts me off. In spite of my pessimism, he was always optimistic.
We also learned to collaborate professionally. We were helping each other bolster up our positions in the social media realm of our jobs. He taught me things I didn’t know about, and through my recent vigorous research, I taught him a thing or two as well.
When I’d had enough talk of my job situation, we agreed to order Chinese food for dinner. I was too tired to cook. While we waited for the food to arrive, we smoked to relax.
He told me about his day at work and the stellar presentation he delivered to the powers that be. He was proposing a new initiative that was well received by the decision-makers. I was happy for him, but also jealous. Sure, I realize how horrible that is to say, but I’m nothing if I’m not honest.
The rest of the night was much better than the evening had begun. Eventually, I forgot all about our fight and my emotions were back in check. We ate our food while watching TV in each other’s arms on the couch.
I finished eating, but CK was still chowing down as he poured some of the General Tso’s sauce onto on his plate. After a few minutes, he started fretting. Apparently, he’d eaten something quite hot. After investigating, I realized he ate a whole chili pepper. Tears were streaming down his face as he rinsed his mouth over and over again in the sink. Next he tried a glass of milk and a few pieces of bread. That didn’t seem to be helping. He even took to wiping his tongue with a napkin. Nothing helped. It was all I could do to maintain my composure, but after a while I couldn’t hold back. His face wasn’t the only one wet from tears. I was hysterically laughing so hard I was crying.
After a good laugh, interspersed with failing advice, I consulted Google for a better solution. We’d tried everything in the book. When I told him someone suggested eating another one, he looked like he was going to throw me out the third-story window. I was still getting a chuckle out of all this but certainly at his expense. It was torture for him, but he had no idea the gift he was giving me. He delivered exactly what I needed that night — A good laugh.
Eventually the pain subsided, and he forgot all about the incident. As our eyelids grew heavier and heavier, we moved to my bedroom for the night. As tired as we were, our appetites weren’t quite satiated.
We were pinning each other down for the count before we counting sheep. As hot as things were for him during dinner, things in the bedroom were even hotter. We tired ourselves out between the sheets before he finally drifted off to slumber wrapped in my arms. That night taught me something very important. No matter how much we fought, this was the man I loved, and there was no changing that.
After a tumultuous weekend, it was back to work on Monday. Both CK and I had very busy days, and we didn’t find much time to chat. But, before we went to work that day, we decided to spend the night in Hoboken.
I finished work at a reasonable hour, so I decided to hit up the gym for some lifting and a quick swim. When I finished my swim, I called CK to find out what time he was expecting to leave work. I was about to head home and make us dinner for the night. Something seemed different. He hadn’t reached out to me all day, and it was now 8:00pm. When I finally got him on the phone, he seemed distant at best.
It was then I learned he had other ideas in mind. It almost seemed like he was looking for a night apart. I was wondering if he was beginning to have doubts about us. I couldn’t figure out his motives, but it felt like something was up. When I told him I wanted to see him, he asked if I would be willing to come into the city to spend the night at his place. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea. I had it in my head we would be spending the night in Hoboken all day. I hadn’t packed an overnight bag and had already traversed the Hudson twice. I had the ingredients for dinner sitting on my kitchen counter.
He pointed out how much of a pain it was for him to come to Hoboken, and I pointed out how it was just as difficult for me to make my way back into the city for the same reasons. We began arguing about the long-standing issue. Whenever it was my turn to come into the city, I did it without complaint. When it was his turn to travel, he often managed to slip in subtle complaints or excuses for why he couldn’t make it. I didn’t feel like he was meeting me half way, and I let him know it.
Although I wasn’t happy, and I didn’t quite agree with the situation, I decided to relent and come to him. I wanted to see him, and that was more important to me than the inconvenience of a short bus trip. This would allow him to continue to work while I made my way in. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to see him that night.
I went home, showered and packed the ingredients for dinner to take into the city. Hauling raw chicken into the city didn’t make the most sense, but it was economical and faster than many other options. I was also taking raw pork ribs with me, as I was planning to make myself lunch for the following day.
I slung a heavy bag over my shoulder and hopped on the bus headed for Hell’s Kitchen. When I arrived, I received a warm welcome from CK at his door. He flung his arms around me and gave me a giant hug. I was truly happy to see him. We had a rough patch only a few days earlier, but I put all that behind me. I wanted to get back to us — Back to happiness.
He took my bags from me and brought them into the kitchen. I began prepping dinner and my lunch for the following day while he sat at the counter digging into work.
When one of his two roommates came home, we all began chatting about the third roommate in his absence. There was always a plethora of things to chat about when it came to him. He was like a walking carnival. Every day was a new adventure with that one. He didn’t lead a double life. It was more like a quintuple life. He was one shady mo-fo, and every day was a new shocking story of what new ruse he was trying to pull.
When dinner was ready, we sat and ate together in front of the TV. CK was very appreciative that I made dinner so he could continue to finish his work. I was happy to be sharing a meal and a nice night with him. I liked taking care of my man every once in a while, especially when it was so apparently appreciated.
When we finished eating, CK finished his work. We had about an hour before bedtime, so CK suggested we play some video games. This isn’t something I’d done in six years at best. I wasn’t very good at video games because I never played them, so it was always a frustrating situation. I don’t like things I’m not good at. I warned CK of this before we got started because I didn’t want the night to result in an argument.
We began playing, but CK wasn’t giving me any directions on what I needed to be doing. As long as someone gives me the tools necessary to do something, I can usually manage, but if I’m going in blind, it won’t end well.
It didn’t take long before I got frustrated, so I sat there with the controller in my lap while CK continued to play. When he realized I wasn’t playing, he paused the game to question me. I explained how I didn’t know what I was doing, and I think he finally understood. He took me through a short tutorial, and I was back to being happy again. Now that I knew what I was doing, I was even able to beat him at his own game.
When 11:30 rolled around, I made my way to the bedroom. I asked CK to join me, but he wanted to continue playing. So, I left him to his own devices while I brushed me teeth and got ready to go to bed.
When I was ready to climb between the sheets, CK was still in the living room playing video games. I came into the room and was very blunt. “Can you please come to bed? I didn’t trek into the city so you could play video games all night. If I knew that was what was going to happen, I would have stayed in Hoboken,” I declared. I know it was a bit heavy-handed and melodramatic, but I was very put off by his actions. He got the picture and joined me in bed.
I was happy he came to join me and thrilled to be falling asleep in the arms of the man I loved.
CK and I were having a very long holiday weekend, and we were only half way through it. As CK wanted to go to the Scissor Sisters concert on Friday, which ended up happening on Saturday, I wanted to spend the weekend with my friends as well. We made plans before the weekend kicked off, and we were going to try to stick to it.
Early Sunday morning, CK and I woke up and quickly got ready for the day. We hopped on my motorcycle and made our way to Hoboken. We were catching a ride with K to her parents’ house on Mohawk Lake. Since it was an hour drive, K wanted to leave early. Of course, we made it back to Hoboken and finished getting ready just in the nick of time to stay on her schedule. K’s roommates, D and G, and D’s girlfriend were also joining us. The five of us were spending the day on the water, tubing, swimming and lounging in the sun.
When we arrived at the lake, we visited with K’s mother before prepping the boat. We all piled in, along with all the proper refreshments, and shoved off the dock. I was excited for a nice relaxing day on the lake. The weekend was off to a bit of a chaotic start, and I needed a day to hit the reset button. Everyone else was drinking, but that was the last thing I needed. For me, the sun was all I needed to be happy. I just wanted to lay out on the back of the boat and work on my tan.
Before breaking out the tube, we drove to the far side of the lake to drop anchor and hang out in the cove. The water was smooth, and there weren’t many people out on the lake. In usual fashion, wherever CK went, so did his music. We weren’t even out of the dock before he was plugging in his music. I wasn’t opposed to music in general, but he was playing all the songs we’d heard the night before. I could also tell, Scissor Sisters weren’t exactly my friends’ cup of tea. However, this was not something I was about to engage in. I found my happy place, laid out a towel, and tried to drift off in the warmth of the sun.
When I got hot, I decided to hop in. Everyone else had already taken a dip. It was the perfect Sunday. Everyone was relaxing and just enjoying themselves. We all talked about our weekends and caught up with each other. I’ve always liked this group of friends. They all felt like my “Seinfeld” crew. On top of that, I had my man with me. That always makes me happy.
When we were all hungry, we drove to the other end of the lake to grab a few slices of pizza for lunch. When we all finished eating, we snapped a few fun and patriotic pictures on the boardwalk of the lake.
Once we all managed to digest our food, it was time to break out the tube. K was an experienced whip cracker. Everyone took turns riding the tube with a partner. It was a blast. In her usual fashion, K was relentless when I was on the tube. I think I frustrate her sometimes, and she uses that time to take all those frustrations out on me. However, I usually manage to hold on for longer than expected. That being said, she always finds a way to get me off that giant rubber floating donut.
I especially had a lot of fun riding the tube with CK. We made a great team, and my friends snapped quite a few great shots of us both. I was happy to have such a nice day after how bad our Friday night was. We really needed a nice day together.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing however. Over the course of the day, I noticed K getting frustrated with CK. She was not only the owner of the boat, but also the captain. He wasn’t listening to instructions very well. When she was ready to hit the throttle, CK was standing on the back of the boat. When she’d need to maneuver to circle back to pick someone up who fell off the tube, he was standing to change the music. I was worried we wouldn’t be invited back again. Or worse. I would be, but I wouldn’t be able to bring him back again. I asked him to be more conscientious about her directions. “Whatever she said, goes,” I added.
When we were all sufficiently exhausted, we made our way back to K’s parents’ dock. We had a bit of a drive ahead of us.
D had his new car with him since he drove separately. I had yet to be in it, so I suggested CK and I ride with him, leaving the other two to drive together. On the ride home, we all planned to hit up D, K and G’s apartment for a bar-be-cue. It would be our last hurrah of the holiday weekend before heading back to work. D dropped us off at my place, and we got ready to head over to grill up some burgers. I quickly made a pasta salad as well because I didn’t want to show up empty handed.
I wasn’t originally aware, but we were also going to meet K’s new man. He is much younger than the rest of our group, and as a result, he spent the better portion of the evening trying to impress us. That’s a surefire way for me not to be impressed. I like genuine people, not people who put on airs and say what they think I want to hear.
Dinner was nice and very relaxing. It was the perfect end of the holiday weekend. My weekend started off very crazed and chaotic, and it ended very relaxing and serene. When it was getting late, CK and I said our goodbyes and made our way back to my apartment. I agreed to spend the night in the city at his apartment, so I quickly packed a bag before we hopped on the bus.
When we got to his place, neither of us had much energy. We quickly settled into bed and mentally prepared for the workweek coming up after having quite a few days off. CK tuned into The Rachel Maddow show while I shut my eyes and tried to fall asleep in the arms of the man I loved.
On the night of July 3rd, CK and I slept at his apartment. I had a beach bag packed to head to Fire Island the following day. I insisted if we were going to trek all the way out there, we needed to leave early in the morning to get a full day of it. We also decided to make an effort to come back to the city in time to view the fireworks from his rooftop. We made plans with one of my old roommates and his girlfriend. They were going to join us on his roof since he had such spectacular views of the Hudson River.
When we woke, the weather didn’t look like it was going to be the most cooperative. We checked the report, and there was a threat of thunderstorms all day long. We both agreed to nix the idea of going to the beach and decided to stay local instead. We lounged around his apartment all morning, watching TV and eating a light breakfast, all the while waiting for the rain. When lunch time rolled around, I was anxious to get out of the apartment. It still hadn’t rained, and it was shaping up to be a pretty beautiful day. While we both agreed we could have gone to the beach, we also agreed not going was nice too.
Recently, I broached the subject with him of spending habits. I realized I was spending a lot more money, especially going out to dinner. I proposed a plan to try to cook more and go out less. I didn’t want to keep spending money frivolously, and thought he was probably in the same boat. The topic was well received, and we agreed to make and effort to spend less money.
As we walked to lunch, we made a plan to grab something small and cheap. We ran a few of CK’s errands before finding a spot to grab lunch — Uncle Nick’s, a Greek restaurant in HK. This was not part of the plan. Everything was a bit more expensive than a $5 sandwich. CK reminded me of our frugal conversation, and pointed out this place was not part of the plan. However, since all the portions were larger, I pointed out that this could serve as our dinner as well. We could take the leftovers home and eat them before the fireworks. It would work out nicely since we ate such a late lunch.
This worked out perfectly. We did swing by the grocery store to grab a few snacks for his rooftop to supplement our lunch/dinner. We grabbed chips, humus, cookies and supplies to make sangria. Before digging into making sangria, we decided to check out the scene on the roof. We wanted to know what we were getting ourselves into. CK lived in a large apartment building, and the roof certainly wasn’t going to hold all the residents, especially if they were bringing guests like me. Much to our surprise, it was still fairly sparse, but we knew that wouldn’t last long.
We quickly went downstairs to gather our things so we could lay claim to a prime fireworks viewing spot. As we made sangria, I reached out to two friends who were to be joining us, but they weren’t going to be able to make it. Looked like it was just going to be the two of us. That, and his roommate and the harem of friends he gathered for the night.
We made it back upstairs in time to lay out a blanket and enjoy a drink as the sun set. I was enjoying some quality time with my man before the crowd showed up. After some time, he had to run back downstairs. Of course, he disappeared for quite some time. I was sitting there alone trying to fend for our spot as more and more people arrived. Slowly but surely, his roommate and his friends started showing up. Of course, they assumed we were holding a spot for them, so I was surrounded by them on the blanket — Still no CK. This was not how I wanted to spend the night.
Finally, he came back. By then, the roof was fairly full. Shortly after, the fireworks began. Well, at least I think the fireworks began. CK’s roommate assured us the building had a prime view of the fireworks. He informed us he’d watched them from the roof the year before. LIES! All lies! We couldn’t see the fireworks at all. Immediately, there was both a mass movement forward toward the river to get a better view and a mass exodus out of the building to head to the river. CK and I tried to maneuver the roof to gain a better vantage point. When I turned around, he wasn’t following me.
In the chaos, I wasn’t able to find him again. I looked all over, standing on planters to see over the crowd. I tried calling him, but he wasn’t answering. I assumed he went downstairs, and to be honest, I was pissed. I assumed he abandoned me in an attempt to better view the fireworks. The elevators were overrun with people. I descended the twenty-five floors until I reached the ground floor. Because I didn’t have a building access card, I was a bit trapped. My only option was to walk back up to the top floor. I tried calling and calling, but still, CK was not picking up. When I got back to the roof, I managed to find CK. I explained what happened, and he explained how he was unable to find me. I was disappointed because the romantic night I was hoping for had gone to sh*t. This would be yet another fourth of disappointment. We had a fun day together, and I really enjoyed it. But, I wanted romantic fireworks with my man for our first Fourth of July together.
When the crowd thinned out, we managed to find a decent vantage point. Of course, we got b*tched out by a girl, who after investigation we learned was not a resident of the building. Although our night wasn’t quite as romantic as it could have been, another couple was having an incredibly romantic night. A man was proposing to his girlfriend via a presentation on his iPad. It was very touching and made me realize the night was a success just being with CK. I needed to stop thinking about the perfect picture I had in my head and just go with it.
When the fireworks ended, we made our way down to his apartment. The alcohol was flowing, among other things, and all his “roommates” were already home causing a raucous. When we moved into CK’s bedroom to escape the party a bit, it slowly but surely moved into the room as well. I wasn’t thrilled. Slowly but surely, they piled in, one by one. I inched my way further and further up the bed until I was sufficiently pressed against the wall to make room for more “roommates.”
That’s when it happened. I was so incredibly disappointed. CK and I discussed in detail how uncomfortable certain situations made me, and he breached that comfort level quite drastically. I wanted to be anywhere but there. I wanted to go home. I completely shut down. He made me so incredibly minuscule by ignoring the entire lengthy conversation we’d shared about this very subject. I wasn’t exactly being forthcoming about what made me so upset. The fact that he was so clueless about why I was so upset only made it worse. He actually thought I had cheated on him and didn’t know how to tell him. He couldn’t have been further off base.
I just wanted to leave, but I knew there was no way I would be able to make it home before the sun rose in the sky with all the crowds. Luckily, everyone began to file out of the room naturally. I laid there with my back to CK crying myself to sleep. He tried to comfort me and made excuses, but it was no use. The damage was done. He knew how I felt about this, and he selfishly did what he wanted anyway. This was not how someone treats you when they love you.
My head was spinning. Because I was worried I would have to let him go, the tears streamed more and more. I’d reached the last straw. I wasn’t ready to talk about it that night because I wanted a clear head when we talked about it for the last time. That night, we’d have to go to bed with tension in the air.
In this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to surprise someone. Everyone is far too connected through so much social media. It’s even more difficult to surprise someone you love because you spend so much time with them.
For the longest time, I’ve had two things on my life’s to-do list regarding surprises — To throw a surprise party and to have one thrown for me. Since I’ve shared this list with CK, he’s well aware of these two items. So, when he birthday arrived, he would have a heightened sensitivity regarding a surprise party. Over the years, I’ve learned to not celebrate my birthday because in the end, if you don’t celebrate it, you can’t be disappointed by the turnout. CK is a bit different. He loves a big party and certainly loves to be the center of attention ;). Nothing was going to stop him.
I knew from the start if I was going to pull off a surprise for CK’s birthday, I wasn’t able to do it alone. I needed to recruit help. Since one of his friends wasn’t particularly thrilled with me after The Prometheus Debacle of twenty ought twelve, I decided to hit up his other close friend for help. It was the day before his birthday which fell on a Friday. I quickly shot him a message on Facebook and told him my plan to surprise CK the following day. I had one big problem. I was swamped at work. We were in the middle of a pitch, and I knew his friend has much more time on his hands as he was recovering from surgery. I asked him to pick a place, set a time, and invite the friends who were still bitter about the movie tickets, as well as any others I didn’t know about. He was onboard.
When he suggested we go to this cute little Thai restaurant in CK’s neighborhood because they also served alcohol, I immediately knew what he was talking about. “That’s perfect!” I responded. I used to order from Q2 when I worked in that neighborhood, and CK and I ate there the day he moved into his new place. I was thrilled, and it would work out well because it was close. It was never easy getting CK moving and out the door. Proximity was prime.
We also decided to create a diversion. I told him to have everyone involved feed a story to CK. The friend I was planning with was going to tell him he would meet him up for a drink later in the night, but he had dinner plans already (which partially was true). The other friends were going to be going out of town to Connecticut until Sunday, but would make it up to him and take him out to dinner Sunday night.
I told him I would take care of CK. That night, I made plans with CK for the following day. I was going to be working down in our Chelsea office, which is relatively closer to his office. I asked him if we could grab lunch together since I was in the middle of a pitch, and I wasn’t sure what time I would be done work that evening. He was thrilled, particularly after no one hit him up to make plans for his birthday.
In the middle of the afternoon, I called CK to make sure we were still on for lunch. We agreed to meet in Chelsea Market (probably a huge mistake). I figured we could get food there and take it up on the Highline to eat it.
I went in one side of Chelsea Market, and he went in the other. Of course, we didn’t find each other in the middle. When I reached the far door without seeing him, I called him. And I called him. And I called him. The phone rang in my hand about one hundred times before he finally picked up the phone. I was getting extremely frustrated since I had limited time to eat with him, and that time was shrinking. But, I took a deep breath and remembered it was his birthday. I needed to keep cool.
We both grabbed some crab/lobster sandwiches and made our way outside to the Highline to find seats for our “picnic.” As we walked, he told me about his friends and how they had plans. He was asking them all to come out for the night, but found only disappointment. I apologized and told him I was still unaware what time I would be released from work (and sadly, that was the truth). In reality, we had plans/reservations for 9:00, and I was desperately hoping we would make that time. I could tell he was a little upset no one would be around for his birthday.
He was very skeptical and asked if I was up to something and planning something, but I denied it over and over. I told him how one friend would meet us for drinks around 10:00, and how he told me the other friends had to head out of town for the night. One last time, he questioned me, and I replied, “Babe, I tried to do something, but it’s not working out. I’m not even sure I can spend your birthday with you. What makes you think I can plan something with others? I’m really sorry! Can I take you out for dinner tonight? A quiet night with just the two of us?” He agreed, but I could tell he was a little upset. I told him I had the perfect restaurant, but I wanted to surprise him with that since I wasn’t able to surprise him with anything else. He looked like someone shot his puppy, but his demeanor also changed. It was almost as if, “Well, if they don’t want to spend my birthday with me, then f*ck them.”
He no longer suspected a thing. We finished our meal, and he walked me back to my office. I gave him a big kiss goodbye and told him I would keep him posted on what time I could get out of work. My diversion worked. I completely threw him off the scent, and we both went back to work.
As soon as I got back to my office, I called his friend. “He was suspicious, but I think I broke his spirits a bit, and now he doesn’t suspect a thing. He thinks it will be a quiet night out to dinner for just the two of us. He has no idea what’s coming…”
Saturday, I felt like there wasn’t a moment to relax. Whenever my parents come into town, it’s stressful. I am navigator, concierge, tour guide, etc. I love them, but I never really get to enjoy it. I’m always “on.”
My sister drove into the city, and we grabbed lunch across the street from Lincoln Center. This was followed by War Horse. It was pretty amazing seeing men puppeteer horses on the stage.
When the show ended, my parents and I made our way home to Hoboken on the bus after stopping at Crabtree and Evelyn so my mother could buy some product.
CK and I texted periodically throughout the day. He went back out to Brooklyn to his friend’s apartment for dinner. They were joined by the couple we’d gone on the Avengers double date with. He seemed to be enjoying a nice relaxing day with the boys.
Finally, they were gone. I could relax and go nuts. The last thing I wanted to worry about was what to make for dinner. My sister texted asking what I was doing, and I had the idea to order sushi. She was game, so she called in the order and came to my apartment to eat and pregame.
I began to text friends to round up a crew to hit up the bar. I realized it’d been some time since I had a wild night out. I wanted to get drunk! Sadly, the crew would be very small. People were either out of town or had other plans. I was only able to get my sister and P to go out.
CK was texting me. He told me about his day. He told me he mentioned our new status as an official couple to the guys. I learned one of his friends said we looked very happy together, and the other pointed out I was about to have my hands full. “That boy has no idea what he’s in for,” he said. He came back from Brooklyn, and I could tell he wanted to hang out. He kept hinting, but I wanted a night with friends. I needed a drunk night, and I didn’t think he’d be up for that. I also didn’t want him to get tired of me. We already had plans for the following day. I pretended not to notice his hints and explained my plans for the evening. I told him I’d hit him up when I came home if he was still up and said goodnight. I also reiterated to him how happy he made me.
After we finished our sushi, P joined us. We did some shots and drank some more before heading to my local haunt, McSwiggans. The manager was standing outside, so we said hi, and he escorted us past the line right in the door.
It was exceptionally crowded, being Cinqo de Mayo. I barely made it to the bar to say hi to one of my favorite bartenders. She asked where’d I’d been, and I told her she needs to start working Thursday nights if she wanted to see me more often.
We tried to stake claim to a spot on the “dance floor” but were constantly shuffled and pushed aside as others maneuvered the bar. It wasn’t long before a teammate of mine from college recognized me. When I saw him, I cut through the crowd to say hi and exchange a manly bear hug. It’d been a long time since I’d seen him. He was in Hoboken visiting friends. He pointed out the few others around the bar I knew from college, and I said hi to all.
Overall, the night was alright. I didn’t stay out too late. I was home by 1:30am. It’d been weeks since I went wild on the weekend. I needed that. I only hoped it would have been a bit bigger and involved more friends. I realized CK and I needed to find some time to get drunk and go dancing together. We were long overdue.
The next day, he’d be coming over for our local festival and staying for dinner. I was most excited he’d be spending the night as well.
When I got home, I texted him to see if he was still awake. I got no response. I decided to call anyway, but I got no answer. I was missing him and wanted to talk to him. That, however, was not possible. With that, I climbed into bed disappointed and realized how empty my bed felt without him…
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…
I still had to bring myself back down out of the clouds to keep myself in check. This wasn’t going to last forever. I didn’t care. Right now, there was a man in my bed, and he needed to be cuddled.
I rolled over and pulled him close to me. He was still slipping in and out of sleep. As he woke up, we picked up just where we left off the night before. Everything we did was fun. We were constantly ribbing each other and joking around. When we ended laying face to face, I said to him, “I just want to climb up to the roof and shout, I love my best friend, [The Navigator]. Boop!” as I reached my finger out and tapped him on the nose (an homage to Super Bad).
We both laughed for some time. We continued to cuddle all morning. I didn’t care if I stayed in bed all day. I was happy.
We were interrupted by a call from his roommate. I’d already learned he was a really good friend, and he liked to placate his friends. While he was on the phone, I took out my camera and snapped a few pictures of him lying naked in my bed. I don’t think he realized what I was doing because he had his back to me, but I wanted some souvenirs to take home with me.
Turns out, his roommate wanted to go to the grocery store that afternoon. They share groceries, so he regrettably turned to me and told me he had to go with him that afternoon before we went hiking. I was very disappointed, but I wasn’t going to make a stink about it. I quickly hopped in the shower and got ready for the day while he packed up his things and got dressed. As we walked out the door, I pointed out the Marilyn Monroe portrait saying, “My week with Marilyn.”
I drove him home and dropped him off. I was already sad to see him go even though I knew it was a matter of hours before I’d see him again. I grabbed some lunch and made my way back to the pool. I relaxed with some light reading. I needed to finish off the Tickle My Tush book so I could write my review.
When most of the afternoon passed by and some noisy kids arrived at the pool, I texted him to see how he was progressing. He was on his way home, so I decided to go get ready to go hiking and make my way over to his place.
I pick him up, and we take a short drive to the base of the mountain. I grab my camera and we make our way up the trail. When we get to a decent height, he suggests we climb back down part way and hit up another trail that had a much better view. We were having fun just being together. On our way back down, he pointed out a shack along the trail: “I wanted to surprise you, but this is going to be where we live when we get married. :)” While he said this, he took hold of my arm. I knew he was completely kidding, but it was also a sweet gesture.
When we got to the top of the other trail, we had quite a view. We could see LA and Burbank off in the distance. He took my camera from me and took some pictures of me. Again, I thought this was a sweet gesture, as were many things he did. He was just very conscientious. You didn’t have to ask him to do things; he just anticipated it. I was falling for him more and more every minute, but I still maintained my mental state.
I then turned the camera on him and snapped a few pictures. I wanted to remember the great guy I met in LA. I hoped we’d remain friends even after I returned to New York. It would certainly be nice to have a friend on the West Coast. Maybe I could even come back to visit some time.
We climbed back down the mountain and made our way to Burbank. We joked about PDA. We both agreed we weren’t really into it, but at one point he casually reached out his hand and grabbed my junk while looking the other way. I pointed out to him that just because he wasn’t looking at it doesn’t mean other people wouldn’t see it as well. We both laughed and continued to joke about other things. We walked around for a little bit and grabbed some ice cream. He was cold, and I was trying to do my best to keep him warm without making him feel uncomfortable. That’s when he broke the bad news to me.
He’d already prepared me for the possibility he’d have to go to work that night at 1:00am. He was on call, and they hadn’t gotten back to him yet. He needed to go home and nap before that shift started.
My heart sank a little. He wouldn’t be spending the night in my bed again. I needed to be a big boy about it though. I drove him back to his apartment and said goodbye. We talked about seeing each other the following day since it was my last day there; I had a flight out at 10:00pm.
I returned to my hotel room and watched TV in my bed. I knew he was napping, but it was make or break for me to ask him if he would come with me for my ride up the Pacific Coast Highway. After debating for some time, I decided to text him: “Lonely here without you already 😦 haha. What are the chances you’d wanna ride up the PCH with me after work tom?” I really didn’t want to take that ride alone. I loved his company, but I seriously feared a disappointing answer.
The Navigator wouldn’t let me down like that: “LOL. I know. I wish I were cuddling with you!!!!! That sounds like a swell idea.” I was thrilled. I was prepared for the worst, and I got the best. I was looking forward to tomorrow’s road trip so much more now that I had my Navigator! “Marylyn Misses you too,” I added.
Shortly after that text, he requested I send him some pictures of myself. “You’re most handsome ones,” he added. “Whom are you showing me to now?” I asked. Apparently, he wanted to show off his “super long first date” to his roommate and his other friend.
I was pretty crazy about him, but reality wasn’t absent from my brain. It did, however, bring a big smile to my face to know he was showing me off to his friends. It made me feel special and gave me hope I would have a longtime friend from what started as weak Grindr banter…
Apologies for all you who got my draft post sent out today. I didn’t realize I had it scheduled for release before finishing it. Please disregard! And apologies for the late post today.
Back to your regularly scheduled program.
So last we left off, my Grindr friend/neighbor, who I will now call PR (short for Puerto Rican), and I were making out on my chair in my living room after a night at the bars and some Cluck U chicken.
I’m sure you’ve been wondering what happened next. Well..
After some making out, I grabbed his hand and led him to my bedroom. We had our fun letting our hands explore the other’s body. Things escalated from there until we finally dozed off for the night. He wasn’t the sexiest guy to enter my room, but we certainly had a good time together. I really enjoyed cuddling and making out with him, as well as many other things we experienced that night.
When we woke in the morning, we didn’t get out of bed. We spent a majority of the afternoon laying there spooning and cuddling and just talking. I really liked how frank he was about things. He didn’t sugar coat or try to impress me. He was being real. This is a quality I seek out in men. It’s very important.
After some time, he asked the question I knew was coming, “Soooo, are you a top or bottom?” I told him I was a top. I quickly learned he too was a top. This, of course, was followed by a long awkward pause on both our parts. I wondered in the back of my head if he was convertible. He told me it was nine years since the last time he’d done it. That left a glimmer of hope that he had done it in the past, however, nine years is a long time! Maybe this was doomed before it even got off the ground. Maybe we were simply sexually incompatible. But, I liked him. I wasn’t ready to walk away from it just based on this.
After more chatting, we started to fool around some more. Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. We orally pleased each other for some time. He felt so good. Finally, we finished ourselves off laying next to each other. It took some time for both of us. When we did, he mentioned how it takes him a long time to finish. I kissed him strongly. I told him how good it was to hear him say that since we both shared that “malady.” I was happy he was understanding.
Around 1:00, we finally got out of bed. I offered to make him breakfast. I cooked up some of my homemade sausage, eggs, avocado, English muffins, coffee, etc. This was serving as our lunch and our breakfast. We watched some TV on the couch while we ate.
Finally, he decided to head home and get ready. We made plans to go out for dinner that night. I had a Living Social I was ready to burn up at Trinity, a nice restaurant on the Hoboken waterfront.
Around 6:00, I met him on the street corner between my apartment and his friend’s apartment where he was staying for the time being. We took a leisurely stroll towards the waterfront, talking the whole way. When we arrived at the restaurant, it was closed for a private event. We decided to go elsewhere rather than wait for dinner because we were both starving. He wanted to go to East L.A. for margaritas. It sounded like a good plan, so I agreed on that.
That night, he had plans to go see a movie with one of his friends. His friend wasn’t getting back to him, so he asked if I wanted to go instead. It wasn’t a movie I was looking forward to seeing, but I had no plans and was enjoying spending time with him. I agreed to go. We talked about many other things over dinner, including the other gay date we were sitting next to. The two guys were younger and we could tell it was a date by what we saw and heard. It was very cute to see — Not something you see every day in Hoboken.
When we finished dinner, we started walking down the street towards our apartments. He decided against the movie since he was tired, so we agreed to just stay in and watch TV instead. I’d never seen the Paranormal movies, and he liked them. We decided to make a Paranormal Activity marathon night of it. We snuggled on the couch the entire night. I was very happy being in his arms, and he in mine.
When the movies were over, it was late. We decided to just go to bed, and I asked him to stay the night…
Once again, today is another double post to make up for lost time. If you are just visiting for the first time today, scroll down to the previous story to keep up with the timeline. Enjoy!
Connecticut Cutie wasn’t the only guy I’d been after for quite some time. There was a man I met on ManHunt I’d been trying to lock down for a date for some time.
The night following my date with C.C., Wed, I got home from work and felt extra motivated by the mild weather. I went for a run, and I had an amazing workout. It’d been a while since I ran, and I ran hard and far. I was feeling good. Mood was good. Body was improving slowly but surely. Things were going well. Following my run, I was texting this guy. He’d sent me a text telling me to call him earlier that day, but I was working and never got a chance.
Interestingly enough, he was just getting home from work, so he started texting back. Then he picked up the phone and called. We chatted for quite a bit. I learned how close he lived to me. I was enjoying our conversation. I learned all about what he does for a living and he learned about my job.
When I told him about my upcoming work trip, he told me about his recent vacation to Paris. I was uber jealous because that is somewhere I’ve always wanted to travel. He went alone and stayed a week. he loved every minute of it. He also started telling me a tip to get better service on the plane. If you buy the flight attendants a box of chocolates, you have a good chance of being upgraded. This wasn’t the first time hearing this.
We were chatting about flight attendants when I mentioned knowing a few. My mind immediately went to the flight attendant who cooked me dinner and whom I shared a great night with. He lived a few blocks away from this guy as well. I mentioned him, but I was drawing a blank on the name. That’s when this guy blurted it out. “You know him?” I asked.
“Well, I know his husband,” he responded.
His what!!!?? He has a husband. “Well, not husband husband,” he added before I could say anything. “How do you know him?” he asked. I told him we were acquaintances. There was an awkward pause. I could tell he was a bit suspicious. I tried to change the subject immediately, but he continued on about him. “He just had lipo actually. He went to Brazil to his family friend to get it done,” he added. I knew he had the friend and was getting Botox from him, but had no idea he’d go as far as getting lipo. Someone had more money than they knew what to do with. He did come from a very wealthy upbringing after all.
I was still in shock. I just got my confirmation I was the “other man” that night. It all made complete sense with all the sneaking around, the guest room, etc. I wasn’t oblivious to what was going on, but it was still shocking nonetheless to get a confirmation.
Finally, we changed the subject. We started talking about his dog. He loves his dog very much and dotes on him a lot. It’s very cute. I like a man who can show a lot of love. It’s a very admirable quality I seek out.
I really liked this guy. He seemed very mature, level-headed, sweet, relaxed, etc. What’s not to like? We agreed to try to grab lunch that Saturday, and we hung up the phone.
I no sooner put the phone down before I was all over Facebook scouring the pilot’s page to see if he indeed was married. I immediately noticed a ring on his hand (however, I’m oblivious and had to google which hand a wedding ring goes on — It was on the wrong hand). I noticed it in more pix. I saw all his pictures on cruises with both sets of parents. Even if they weren’t married, things were serious. I felt so dirty. I liked him so much. I thought he was such a sweet guy. This completely changed my perception of him. Now, I just thought he was a creep. It would have been one thing if he just wanted me to come over for sex. It was a whole other thing that he romanced me so much beforehand. I realized I had sex with a married man, for all intents and purposes.
I felt guilty, but I couldn’t take the blame. I had no idea what was going on. I decided to put it from my mind and not think about it anymore. It was in the past, and there was nothing I could do to change it.