Posts Tagged move

Highlights From My Trip

CK and I were about to hit our two-month mark. It was two of the best months of my life, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I learned I could truly find love in a man, and slowly but surely, I started to give more and more of myself to him. The wall I built up around my heart was not only cracking but also crumbling. There were a handful of guys in my past I had come to enjoy the extended company of beyond a hookup, but CK was the first man I ever really came to love.

My life was no longer my life. There was no longer a me. It became our life and us. I stopped making plans for one. CK was front and center in my thoughts at all times. We were living together in two homes. We were dining together, drinking together, taking trips together, etc.

CK’s move to an apartment with roommates allowed him a new cashflow he hadn’t had before, however, I was trying to prevent us from blowing that on going out to dinner in the New York City. It’s not cheap, and if we were going to build a life together, he needed to start saving. I wasn’t thrilled with spending all that money going out to eat either. It wasn’t that we couldn’t afford it, but we felt it was a bit of a waste. When I was living on my own, I made dinner for myself almost every night. Going out to dinner felt like a luxury and a treat. I wanted to get back to that. We both agreed to live more economically wherever possible. Since CK isn’t the biggest cook, I even started making food and taking it to his apartment so we could have convenient meals prepared. For instance, one night after work, we grabbed some groceries and thawed the frozen spaghetti sauce I made for dinner. We cooked together in the kitchen and ate in front of his TV. It was nice, it was cheap and it was delicious. That meal cost us pennies compared to what we’d spend going out to an Italian restaurant. We were also taking advantage of Groupons and Living Socials whenever possible so on the nights we didn’t feel like cooking, we could grab a nice dinner out and not pay full price.

As a gay man, I’m not quite as mirror conscious as some, but I am a bit vain in some aspects. I love how I look with a great tan, and I love it even more when my hair has a bit of depth and volume. Sadly, a few years ago, my hairline started receding. There was little I could do to prevent it, so I did what I could to mask it. That meant getting my haircut in a certain style, but it also meant highlighting it so it wasn’t one solid color against my scalp. This is one of my few gay vices.

Since I was in junior high, I stopped going to my father’s barber and started going to my mother’s hair stylist. Granted, since moving away from home, I didn’t go home every time I needed a haircut, but I did make it a point to go home and get it highlighted periodically throughout the year.

My hair got naturally lighter in the summer, so before the sun worked its magic, I would always try to trek home for some carmel colored highlights. My hair stylist was a magician. He never measured, but he always got my color just right. The one time I was left under the heat too long, everything slid to the back of the cap, bleaching the back of my head. He managed to dye my hair back to it’s natural color. You couldn’t tell anything went wrong.

My hair stylist also charges me a measly $30 for the highlights and the cut. Granted it’s in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania, but it would cost more over $100 to have this done in New York City. Whenever I get my hair cut by someone in the metro area, they ask about the highlights. They compliment them, and I get a big kick out of telling them how much I paid for them — Their jaws hit the floor.

It was particularly difficult to get home before the summer sun this year. My sister wasn’t being cooperative about trips home, so I had to plan something on my own. That meant hopping on the motorcycle and making the two-hour trek home (costing me $10 in gas). I didn’t want to give up my weekend because that was when I went to the beach with my boyfriend, but it was nearly impossible to get away during the week. On top of this, it had to be planned around nice weather. I couldn’t make the trip home if rain was in the forecast.

Summer was passing by, so I decided to take off a half day from work to get it done. After work Wednesday evening, I sped home trying to avoid traffic and made it to my parents’ house just before the sun went down. I found it very sweet that CK was worried about me. He was very concerned with my safety, even after riding with me on the bike many times. I was truly touched. I told him when I was heading home, and I texted him as soon as I got to my parents’ place. I told him it would take roughly two hours, and he was texting me worried after about an hour and a half. It showed me how much he truly cared about me and how much he loved me. “I don’t know what I would do if I lost you babe!” he said.

CK was against the trip from the onset. He didn’t like the idea of me getting highlights, but I told him to have faith. He’d seen pictures of me in the summer and commented how good I looked. I promised him I wouldn’t come back looking like an a$$hole. I think he thought I was getting my tips frosted.

It was also nice to catch up with my parents and have a relaxing night in front of the TV with a home-cooked meal. The next morning, I woke at the crack of dawn to hit up the salon. In an hours time, I looked like a new man, and I was back on the road. I had to get back to work by mid-afternoon.

That night, CK saw me for the first time in person, after asking me to send pictures to his phone. He commented on how good I looked. “Babe, I was really worried. I thought you were going to look ridiculous,” he added. I gave him a big kiss and reminded him how I knew what I was doing, cheekily.

Even if I came back looking ridiculous, I’m sure he would have played along and told me I looked fine. We were in love, and my hair wasn’t going to change that. On the flip-side, I think the highlights worked a little magic and made me more attractive to him because, after being away from each other for a night, we had some great passionate sex before dozing off.

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Test Run

It was a bit of a stressful weekend with CK, but we managed to survive. In the meantime, more people were coming into our lives.

CK’s apartment was already occupied by two men. One was a bit crazy and not the easiest person to gauge. He kept his cards close and was a bit of an enigma. The other roommate was an Italian workout fiend. Whenever I saw him, he was coming or going in running gear. I didn’t take too much time to get to know him either because he was only around for another month before moving to a new place. They already had a new roommate lined up to fill the room. I’d get to know him soon enough. I was trying to tread lightly with them. I know it’s a rocky start with new roommates, and I didn’t want them to have the perception I’d be the fourth roommate right off the bat.

However, we didn’t really have to worry about that much because CK still didn’t have a bed. In the meantime, his roommate moved a futon into his room they were getting rid of. While this was sweet of him, it actually became a hindrance in the room. It was just one more thing to navigate while trying to unpack his boxes. It was not in good shape and obviously not something we could sleep on. After much discussion, CK and I took a trip to Macy’s to purchase a bed that weekend. When he tried to schedule delivery, the earliest they could deliver it was the following Sunday.

As a result, CK moved in for a week. Obviously, this could be very detrimental to a fragile not even two-month relationship, but CK and I had faith in each other. We would be spending every waking moment together with the exception of our workdays. That’s a whole of lot me! He packed up a serious overnight bag, and we made our way to Hoboken.

I’m not gonna lie. There were plenty of challenges here. For instance, it took a lot of diligence to make sure our living space didn’t look like a bomb exploded. We made space in one of my drawers for his clothes, tossed his shoes in my closet with my shoes, etc. With spending so much time together, we were both walking on eggshells to not set the other off.

As much as there were downfalls, I walked away from our week together pleasantly surprised how smoothly it went. We had discussions, but we didn’t fight the whole week together. I actually came to enjoy the time we spent together. I felt comfortable and looked forward to coming home to him. It also gave me great faith we could someday live together in bliss. I got so used to sleeping with him every night in my bed that eventually, when he wasn’t there, I had a hard time sleeping. My body knew it was missing something.

As far as test runs go, this went swimmingly well! Not only was I looking forward to the day I no longer needed to share my space with inconsiderate roommates, but also, I was looking forward to sharing a living space with the man I love, CK. Perhaps that living space might also be shared with a new puppy. Regardless, he was home for me. For me, it didn’t matter where we were — When I was with him, I was home.

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Closing the Gap

Thursday morning I said goodbye to CK in a rush to get him to work on time. I wasn’t going to get to see him that night, but that didn’t stop us from texting each other. Thursday night, between two of my volleyball games, I text him, “Missing you hard babe.” He was on my mind, even though I was concentrating on the game at hand. He responded, and when the game was over, I told him I was off to the bar that sponsors us to celebrate.

While at the bar, around 10:00, I text him: “Do I get to see you tomorrow?” I stepped outside to call him, but I got no answer. I left him a sweet message, but got no response. When I got home at midnight, I called again, but he didn’t pick up. I did a little stalking to see if he checked in anywhere on Foursquare or if Twitter would give me any leads, but no dice. I went to be disappointed and a bit worrisome. Apparently, much to my chagrin, I’m carrying trust baggage from previous relationships.

I woke in the morning to find a text message: “Hey my baby! Sorry. Bloody phone died last night =/. Of course you get to see me. I kinda need to see you. And hold you. And kiss you. And bite you. Sleep over =].” It helped brighten my day. I responded back asking if he’d rather come to my place, and I could give him a ride back into the city in the morning. I wanted to surprise him by baking cookies since his mother was coming. I thought we could bake them together, especially since there were no sharp objects involved. He texted back explaining he really needed to stay at his place so he could get ready for his mother’s arrival. I said, “Okay.” He responded asking if I wasn’t thrilled with the idea.

I called him to explain and ruined my surprise. He told me how sweet I am. We made plans for me to head home after my coworker’s sendoff, bake and come back into the city. He also told me the bad news he received that he didn’t get the apartment in Brooklyn. He was so disappointed. I have to secretly admit I wasn’t all that disappointed. I felt bad for him because he was so excited about the place, but it would have been tough for us. The island of Manhattan would have separated us, not brought us together. Selfishly, I did a little research on one-bedroom apartments in Hoboken and sent him a few links.

I didn’t have the best day at work. For starters, I had to say goodbye to one of my favorite coworkers. Luckily, she wasn’t going far and would be working with CK. On top of that, my coworkers neglected to celebrate my birthday. I myself don’t really celebrate my birthday, but as a department, we always do something nice for birthdays. This was the second year in-a-row skipping mine. And lastly, when everyone went for send-off drinks, I had to stay behind and finish work.

When I finished working, I met everyone at the bar a few drinks in. I met my freshly ex-coworker’s gay roommate and told him my Grindr story. He was all too familiar with Grind and said, “Awww. Now I want a boyfriend!” It was cute and nice to have a gay man to chat about my man with.

When I had my fill, I left to head to CK’s. When I got to his place, I asked if I could vent for a few minutes. I told him about my bad day and my coworkers’ neglect on the part of my birthday. He comforted me and managed to greatly cheer me up. He gave me my birthday card. I read it, and I was nearly brought to tears. It was incredibly sweet and thoughtful. We only knew each other a short period of time, but he completely knew me at my core. For my birthday, he bought us a session to learn trapeze. I jumped up and gave him the biggest hug. I pulled him in and deeply kissed him. I was so happy to be with him. He was an amazing man, and I was incredibly lucky.

The other part of my birthday present was him. He offered up his body for me to use any way I wanted. I was so turned on by his thoughtfulness and his passion. We climbed into bed and began groping and making out and our bodies intertwined as we stripped our clothes off.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. He laid on his back, and I pulled out the lube. When we were both prepped, I climbed on top of him, and the passionate lovemaking began. He felt amazing. This was a special birthday present — One I wouldn’t soon forget. I was incredibly happy just to spend my birthday with him, but to also get birthday sex was truly the icing on the birthday cake.

When we both finished, we laid in each other’s arms cuddling. As it often times was the case with him, the cuddling was almost as good as the actual sex. I always felt safe and comfortable with him. I was crazy for this guy, and I wanted him to be mine and mine alone.

We laid in bed that night watching TV until we fell asleep together with my arms wrapped around him. He was my perfect little spoon. I always slept soundly with him. This was turning out to be quite a special relationship.

I woke in the morning to quite an alarm. Without warning, he removed my boxers and began blowing me. It felt INCREDIBLE! I was already naturally excited, with my morning wood at full staff, but his mouth felt amazing that morning. This was one of the best I’d ever received.

After some time, I took control and began to stimulate my manhood with my hand. The saliva left on it provided amazing lubricant for me to get myself to the edge. While I was doing this, he was busy manually stimulating my prostate with his finger inserted inside me. It didn’t take him long, but he found my spot. It’d been almost a year since someone found that spot and treated it just right. It was a matter of seconds before I exploded all over while my body writhed in spasm. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t even think. I was incapacitated. This was the best orgasm I’d had in a loonnnnggg time.

When I tried to upright myself after laying paralyzed in the bed for some time, I could barely walk. My legs had gone limp and weren’t able to support my weight. I would have nearly collapsed if it wasn’t for the doorframe for me to grip for support.

My old roommate texted me to wish me a happy birthday that morning. He couldn’t believe I was awake that early. The plan for that day was to head to the pier, and he wanted me to head there early. It was 8:00am. I wasn’t heading there that early.

That morning he had to early because his mother was arriving at LaGuardia Airport. He had mentioned his desire for us to meet while she was in town, and I was quite excited by the prospect. This was a big deal, but it wasn’t. I was pretty relaxed in these types of situations, so it wasn’t stressful, but meeting his mother was no small deal. It showed he really cared about me enough to introduce us. I didn’t take it lightly and hoped it would come to fruition.

I said goodbye while he hopped in a cab to the airport and made my way back to Hoboken to get ready to celebrate another year on Earth.

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Whoopsie!

I’ve been on Grindr for quite some time now. I’ve come to remember certain things about certain guys on there. I recognize when new guys come up, and I recognize when guys I’ve spoken to in the past pop up as well.

N and I have always had an awkward relationship when it came to Grindr. It was how we met, but it was also the catalyst for him cheating on me (and me cheating on him).

After I broke up with Smiles, he asked me to keep a lookout for a guy impersonating him on there. I was so thrilled he found an opportunity to capitalize on my failing relationship in some way. It was so typical of him. He’d also mentioned that a friend found me on there shortly after breaking up with Smiles. The story he gave me sounded like such b.s. I could see right through it. I could tell he had a secret profile himself because what he proposed happened would never have happened. He had a serious boyfriend, and I seriously suspected he was still using the app, just on the dl this time.

One day, I thought I discovered his secret profile. The language he used in the description was spot on for things he’s said on his profile in the past. There also was no picture attached, so his boyfriend wouldn’t be able to find him if he tried. I messaged the profile saying: “Is this [Neighbor’s] secret profile?”

It took a long time, maybe a day perhaps, but the profile responded to me. He asked if he knew me, but I played dumb. I proposed my idea of who he was, but he wasn’t answering me straight. Finally, he said he wasn’t who I thought he was.

We started to chat about different things. He asked where I lived. I told him where I live and where I’d recently moved from. He commented about how I’ve lived in the back end of Hoboken for the most part. I told him I care more about what was inside my apartment than where I lived location wise.

He asked what gym I go to, and I told him. I told him my reservations about NYSC based on the stories N told me, as well as many of even my straight friends. He told me how he felt the same way, and because of this, he goes to Club H.

When I was detailing the sketchiness I knew about NYSC, he became more curious. He asked what my ex told me went down there. I told him he told me guys rub and tug in the steam room. I told him my ex told me about participating once before he met me. An older gentleman walked over to him and lifted off his towel, exposing him. He then proceeded to blow him. I was shocked by this because anyone could walk in at any time. He told me he was never able to stretch in there because guys were constantly dropping their towels at him and propositioning him.

He then started asking a lot of questions about my ex. He asked why we broke up. I told him about catching him flirting with other guys on Grindr and sending naked pictures of himself to other guys “he was just messaging to be friends with.” He asked if I had a picture of him, so I looked through my phone and sent it. I felt a little guilty, but then again I didn’t. N certainly didn’t show me the respect I deserved, so why should I give him respect in return. Besides, I wasn’t really doing anything wrong. I was only telling the truth, and the picture I sent was fully clothed. At this point, I still wasn’t sure he wasn’t N pretending to be someone else to pump me for information, but like I said, I wasn’t saying anything untrue. I was being honest and civilized about it.

“No offense, but he’s not very good looking,” he added. I smiled from ear to ear. “Like my apartments, I choose my men based more on what’s on the inside,” I told him. I chuckled in my mind and out-loud because N always thought he was an adonis. He was decently attractive, but not enough to warrant his ego. He went on to insult his looks further. At this point, I had a feeling it wasn’t N or one of his friends.

Then he asked if he was good in bed. I told him I didn’t want to talk about my ex anymore and tried to change the subject. “That means no, haha,” he joked. I said, “Not necessarily. He was new when he met me. I broke him in and showed him the ropes. I put in all the legwork for his current boyfriend.” “How do you feel about that? Does that make you mad?” he asked. I told him I didn’t care anymore. It wasn’t my concern, and we weren’t exactly friends anymore. I told him how I’d put in the effort to continue to be his friend, but I couldn’t be bothered anymore. When he asked why we’re barely friends, I told him about how N never put in any effort toward friendship unless there was something in it for him. “He’s too conceited, that’s why,” I added.

At this point, I was a little suspect this guy was the one who was impersonating N on Grindr. It seemed he knew something or was pumping me for information, because every time I would try to change the subject, he would circle back. Once again, I just answered all the questions I was asked honestly. I asked him to send me pictures, which he did. I’d never seen him before. I started to ask him what brought him to Grindr, and I immediately was blocked by him. It was a very unusual turn of events. I was highly annoyed, but there was nothing I could do about it. I shrugged it off, and went on with my day.

I knew this wasn’t the end of it. I knew there would be some hell to pay, but I was ready for it. That, and I DIDN’T CARE! Screw him. He wasn’t adding any value to my life. He was one of the exs I no longer needed to concern myself with.

Of course, while traveling for business the next day, I received a text from N: “Hey bud… So this is going to be random. But you never spoke to anyone about me on Grindr recently have you?” Yup. I was right. It was someone pumping me for information so they could run back to him with it in some fashion.

I decided this wasn’t worth my time. I didn’t respond. I just laughed out loud to myself and put my phone away. It was my turn to talk to other guys on Grindr.

I told all my friends about what happened, and they loved it. They have not been a fan of his since they learned all the sh*t he was pulling behind my back. He was useless dead weight in my life, and it was time to cut him free. I no longer needed that baggage. He proved he didn’t care enough to keep me a part of his life. I was going to spend more time concentrating on my good friends and new lovers. I was done living in the past.

That night, I texted the southern guy to see when we were actually going to get together. We’d had two great hour long phone conversations. I was looking forward to meeting him in person. I asked what he was up to the following night, and he responded back, “Yeah… I have a date, LOL.” I was p*ssed. He had a lot of nerve. He knew I was interested. I made that clear. It was incredibly rude to respond in that way. What was laugh out loud worthy of that!? I didn’t want to give him the benefit of an angry response, so I just said, “Enjoy. I take it you’ve lost interest then?”

“No, I just met someone last week at work (since I barely have a life outside of it) and we’ve had a few dates. Seeing where it’s going. We haven’t even kissed yet,” he detailed. “Not gonna lie. I’m pretty disappointed. Been trying to meet up with you for weeks. Nothing I can do about it though,” I told him. I was hurt, but I wanted to be honest. He tried consoling me by saying: “I’m sorry. It just happened. It doesn’t mean we can’t grab a drink. I just want to be completely up front. The opposite of the guys up here who are dating and f*cking 7 people at a time.” I wasn’t going to play this game. “Well my friend, the ball is in your court. You know how to reach me if you’re ever up for that drink…” I was done chasing men who showed no interest in dating me. I had better things to do with my time.

I also made a new rule. I was no longer going to try to date flakes who worked at Ralph Lauren. This was the fourth guy who worked there who burned me. I know this sounds petty, but I wasn’t about to let it happen again…

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Rallying Friends

Every year, for the past four years, I’ve hosted an annual holiday party. Ironically, I started it with a First Annual Holiday Bash because I wanted it to become one of my holiday traditions. It would be the one time of year I gathered with my closest friends and spent time with them around the holidays to show just how much I truly appreciate their friendship.

From its first year, it’s been a big hit. An invitation one year is no guarantee of an invitation the following year. I always make sure I surround myself with the people in my life I care most about. If within the following year I fall out of touch with someone, I don’t extend an invitation.

Earlier this year, my friend reached out to me to plan weekends in December. She knows of my party and wanted to make sure I wasn’t hosting it the same night she was celebrating her birthday. We both picked dates and put it to bed.

Months later, I found out I was being evicted from my apartment since my landlord finally sold it. Our eviction date was November 30th; eleven days before the planned date of my holiday party.

This was one tradition I was not ready to relinquish, not matter what it took. Some of my friends look forward to the party a full year in advance. I make an incredible spread (not allowing anyone to bring any food of any sort), and everyone fasts for an entire day leading up to the party.

This posed a serious challenge. I would have to move into a new apartment, get it settled and cater for about forty people in ten days — A near impossible feat. However, my determination is not to be underestimated.

When I sent out my Evite, my sister immediately criticized the invitation of N. She was shocked to see I would invite him, but she also didn’t have the full story.

Apparently over the course of my short relationship with N, I mentioned my annual holiday party. As the holiday season was drawing nearer, he asked for the date of said party: “When is your holiday party so I can put it in my calendar? I’m trying to attend as many holiday parties as possible without missing one.”

Did he just invite himself to my holiday party?! I mean, he was on the maybe list, I’ll admit that. But I had no intention of inviting him in the first round of invitations.

This isn’t because I was holding a grudge over our failed relationship. It was mainly because I was disappointed in him. Considering we lived across the street from each other, I thought I’d at the very least be seeing him periodically. However, since our last discussion about our failed relationship, I hadn’t seen him once. I still had never been to his apartment considering I basically walked past it every day. He never put in an effort to be my friend following our breakup, so I no longer felt the need to attempt myself. I’d given up.

When he invited himself, I had to quickly think of the best and most dignified way to deal with the situation at hand. I started with honesty. “Oh.. Are you invited to my holiday party???” I quipped. “I’m …. just gonna go… f*ck myself…” he responded. I successfully made him feel uncomfortable, but then lightened the blow. I couldn’t do much. My hands were tied. I’m not rude enough to tell him he can’t come, but I wasn’t sure I really wanted him there either. “HAHAHA. Just giving you sh*t. Sending out the Evites today…”

When others friends learned of his attendance, they weren’t happy. I was confused by this. I didn’t think anyone would care. When we were dating, my friends loved him. Everyone approved and expressed this to me. He was a very charismatic guy to be around and played nice with all my friends. It was one of the biggest things that attracted me to him.

However, when he crushed me at the end of our relationship, everyone’s opinion of him quickly shifted.

I have to admit, I don’t know if my opinion wouldn’t have shifted so drastically. If he didn’t do anything to hurt me, I would see no need for malice toward him. I wouldn’t be his best friend, but I would certainly be civil.

This wasn’t the case with my friends. In an overwhelming show of support, they all rallied against him and attempted to convince me to retract my invitation.

I was blown away. I never experienced anything like that before from my friends. I was truly touched.

However, I would not be able to fulfill their requests. I was not capable of uninviting him. I also felt it gave him the satisfaction of thinking he still had an effect on my life. I’d completely moved on. It took a long time, and I went through a lot of turmoil to get to that point. But, I didn’t need him to know that. (Not quite sure if he’s still reading the blog…)

One friend, J, was particularly poignant in his disapproval. “I’ll crack his head open.” I told him I was going to be civil, but I wasn’t going to pay much attention to him when he arrived. “Honestly, I think its risky having him there. Especially since he is a drama oriented person.” He pointed out that N may bring up the blog in front of Smiles just to p*ss me off. “Good point… Going to have to tell him not to mention the blog,” I added. “He may leave early since no one really wants him there.”

K and some of my other friends expressed their lack of interest in interacting with him, and he didn’t really know many others. J responded, “If I have anything to do with it he will leave early.” I couldn’t believe how passionate J was getting about this. He’d never even met N. “Look I’ll be civil… but if he gets out of line you let me know.”

One of my other friends who witnessed my rebound in Martha’s Vineyard, Shorty, made the following suggestion: “You should warn him that your friends aren’t really fond of him so he doesn’t feel bombarded if people are mean to him.” “No one will be mean to him, but they’re not going to go out of their way to be nice,” I speculated. “Haha. I might be mean if I happen to end up talking to him :),” she finished.

I couldn’t believe how much my friends were rallying behind me. To be honest, I thought they all thought I blew things out of proportion when it ended. I thought they all looked at me like I was crazy for being so emotionally broken up after dating someone for a month and a half. He really did break me down a little bit, and I still feel some of the lasting effects of that relationship, as much as I would like to put it in the past and forget it. But, I thought they all thought I was being melodramatic. Apparently, they validated my sentiments.

On another level, N wanted to bring his new boyfriend. I’m sure he’s a sweet guy, but I’d never met him. I didn’t want him at my holiday party. It wasn’t the time or the place to meet him. Selfishly and childishly I also wanted the upper hand. I wanted N to see me happy with someone else, Smiles, while he didn’t have his security blanket to hold onto. I know that is very immature, but in the dating world, I am still a teenager. I’d like anyone to disagree with me they wouldn’t want to do the same thing.

So, I told him he couldn’t bring him. I explained he situation, and I think N accepted my reasoning. It was going to be an interesting night regardless. Many variables were bouncing around, and no one could predict the night, even if some of my friends wanted to start a pool of bets on how early in the night N departed…

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Holiday Split

Thanksgiving came and went, and I didn’t see Smiles. However, it was too early in the relationship to invite him home to meet my family.

Home was relaxing and I was happy to see my family. I needed the time away from the craziness. In just a few days following Thanksgiving, I was moving.

On Thanksgiving, he called and left a message saying, “Heyyyy! What up? HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Call me later.” I didn’t get it until much later in the day because when I travel home, I am in a black hole of cell phone service.

I tried calling, but the phone rang unanswered. I decided I would try again later that evening. I was a little disappointed I couldn’t get ahold of him. I missed him.

On my way home from my aunt’s house, my sister and I decided to hit up Wal-Mart to get in early on the Black Friday deals. What a mistake! The one item I wanted was sold out in the first five minutes, and my sister needed non-Black Friday items. I stood in the front of the store witnessing the madness while she paid. I called Smiles once again, and this time he picked up.

He told me about his day and asked if I saw the pictures of the dogs on the beach he posted to Facebook. He told me everyone was relaxing and watching a movie after their turkey comas. I told him about my day with my family and my encounter with tryptophan. We talked about the insanity I was witnessing and about my shopping adventure coming the following day. He told me about his plans for the rest of the time he was out on Long Island.

My sister wanted to be back in Hoboken Saturday morning, so after a visit to my childhood babysitter for dinner, we made our way back. It was a long boring ride which I slept through most of. When I woke, we were nearing Hoboken. I called Smiles to see how his day was going.

He was home alone in front of a fireplace. Apparently his friends were all going to his ex-boyfriend’s place of business, so he decided to have an easy night staying in. I felt bad for him he was all alone, but I also knew he’d enjoy the rest and the full night’s sleep.

Saturday, I was trying not to think about Smiles. It was no use. I texted him, “Thinkin’ boutchu… Miss ya ;)” He responded with a picture of a very nice living room including a fireplace. “Dinner shall be served shortly. It’s a rough life.” I, in turn, responded with a picture of all the boxes I was packing in my room and added, “Thanks for rubbing it in. I too have a similar view ;)” “I see the resemblance,” he retorted.

Later that evening, I went out to the bar with a full pack of friends. I was trying to distract myself from the fact that I missed Smiles. It was working because I hadn’t seen many of them in quite some time. That doesn’t mean I didn’t send him a picture of the bar with the caption, “My new view.”

He sent me a picture of a dwindling fireplace with the caption, “Night time fire. Falling asleep.” With that, my phone started ringing. I walked outside so I could hold a decent conversation with him. He was home alone again and simply wanted to say goodnight.

I asked him if I could see him the following evening, Sunday, but he told me he was already booked solid. I was very disappointed because I thought I’d be getting to see him when he returned to Manhattan. He did leave a glimmer of hope we could possibly find time to meet up, but when Sunday came, the glimmer would be snuffed.

I tried to find time on Monday to see him, but once again he was busy. “Sounds like you’re booked up tomorrow, but want you/to see you. Miss you 😦 When can I see you?” I asked. He told me, “Hi. Just back into city. I think Thursday is my first night free. Would that work? Sorry it’s so far out. :(” I reminded me about my Thursday night volleyball game and my parents’ arrival to help me move into my new apartment. He then proposed the possibility of Wednesday night, but he’d have to get a ticket for me from his friend. I too had a super busy week in front of me, especially with a move on Wednesday, so that wasn’t going to work. It was looking like I wasn’t going to get to see him for some time, but I did appreciate him making an effort to see me.

I suggested we do lunch on Tuesday instead, to which he responded, “Yes. Lunches are easy.”

I was content. I wanted to see him sooner, but I could survive until lunch on Monday or Tuesday. We both have lives to live, and his career was just getting off the ground, so I didn’t want to interfere with that.

I thought back to my thoughts about inviting him home for Thanksgiving, and I realized I made the right decision. While I would have liked spending the time with him, the timing and logistics would have been awful. Introducing him to my family would have been tough and emotional. My family was already on edge, as this would be the first time celebrating Thanksgiving since the passing of my grandfather.Furthermore, I’d have to introduce him to my uber-Christian babysitter from growing up, as I couldn’t just leave him home while we all went to dinner.

Lastly, I would have sent quite a message about my thoughts regarding our relationship if I put him in the position to decline my invitation. We weren’t at the meet the parents stage, let alone the come home for the holidays stage. I made the right decision overall and was proud of myself for showing restraint.

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