Posts Tagged New York City
Two years ago, I started this blog. I began writing because I felt alone. I knew there had to be other gay men out there who were looking for the same thing I was, and I wanted a way to connect with them.
At the time, I just ended my first gay relationship, and I found myself in very unchartered waters. I was already out to close friends, but not publicly. Because I had so few gay friends and a strong aversion to gay bars, I had to find a mate digitally. I began serial dating, at one point going on four dates in four days — And thus, One Gay At A Time was born.
Since the beginning, I have gone on MANY dates and put myself in many situations well outside my comfort zone. I have not only grown more comfortable in my own skin, but I’ve also grown up as a gay man. I got all the hookups out of my system and began searching for a meaningful, long-term relationship.
This blog began as an open forum diary of the daily occurrences I encountered navigating the gay world. I told my side of the story honestly in hopes that others out there would be able to relate, comment and most importantly, realize they are not alone.
The time has come for the next chapter of my life and for this blog. For quite some time I’ve been blogging about CK (aka Clark Kent or Superman). You’ve gotten to know him through my eyes in the early stages of our relationship. It’s been some time since I’ve blogged, and I apologize for leaving you, my readers in the lurch. I do not mean to abandon the small community I’ve worked so hard to foster, but I’ve been struggling with the next chapter of the blog.
When I first told CK about the blog, he was very open to and even grew excited about the idea of my writing our relationship. Over time, as you could probably understand, his excitement waned, and we began to argue about the content of the blog.
I had to make a choice between the blog and my man. It’s quite obvious which I chose. As a result, I will no longer be blogging about the specifics of my relationship with CK. However, in lieu of continuing to finish our story in a daily dairy format, let me catch you up on what has happened since July. Here are some of the highlights…
In July, CK joined my family for our annual beach vacation. While I went for the entire week, he only joined us for a few days. It was the first time we’d spent an extended period of time apart, and with my trust/cheating baggage, it was a true test of my sanity. I was thrilled and relieved when he finally arrived. It was also nice that he would finally get to spend some real-time getting to know my parents.
In early August, I traveled to Miami, CK’s birthplace to surprise his family with a visit to celebrate the birthdays of his two beautiful nephews (turning 1 and 2 only a week apart). I felt incredibly special taking this trip with CK. I was meeting his ENTIRE extended family. Before this point, I’d only met his mother. I was welcomed into the family with open arms and came to grow strong bonds with them over just a handful of days. This was unchartered territory for both of us, as I’d never been brought home to meet the family by anyone other than my high school girlfriend, and he’d never brought a man home to meet everyone before. It could not have worked out better!
Around Labor Day, CK and I went on week-long vacation to the Hamptons with 15 of my friends and family. While there, our relationship grew very strained. I felt he was trying too hard to impress my friends. I wanted him to be himself so all of them would come to love the man I knew, not the man I felt he was trying to be for them. By the end of the week, I reached my breaking point. I was so stressed out from organizing the vacation and ensuring everyone was happy that I made myself miserable, and I took it out on the person closest to me. In the penultimate moment of the trip, one night we not only exchanged words but also fists and shoves, as my closest friends and sister witnessed the lowest moment of our relationship.
It took a lot of time for CK and I to figure things out. This wasn’t the first time our relationship reached physicality, but I hoped it was the last. It also took a long time for things to return to normal between CK, me and my circle of friends. My sister wasn’t speaking to me for over a month and my friends had semi-ostracized me from typical gatherings. I burned a lot of bridges on that trip, and I am still working to rebuild them today. You can expect to read about my experiences and feelings dealing with issues such as physical violence in a relationship as one of the topics I will cover in coming posts.
In September, CK and I found an apartment in Hoboken to call our own. We moved in together in the midst of Hurricane Sandy’s wake on November 2. Although the experience of moving immediately following a hurricane is incredibly overwhelming, we are both stronger as a result of the experience. In my experience, moving in with a lover is unlike sharing a space with any other. You’ll certainly be reading about my experiences and the things I’ve learned from this experience as well.
After Sandy exhausted my last modicum of energy, I decided I was too tired to shave my upper lip. CK and I both decided to raise awareness and funds to fight prostate cancer by growing mustaches for Movember. I proudly raised over $500 for charity as a result of my stache, and I was thrilled when we both shaved them off — We both looked like pedophiles.
For the first time in my life, I had someone to take home to meet my family for Thanksgiving. Before venturing home, I sent my extended maternal family an email to get the awkwardness out of the way. You’ll be pleased to know my family welcomed him with open arms. I imagine coming out to extended family creates a lot of anxiety for man, as it did for me, so I hope sharing my experiences will encourage more to share the truth with the ones they love.
When I returned to Hoboken after Thanksgiving, preparations began immediately for what would have been my Sixth Annual Holiday Bash. This year, it became Our First Annual Holiday Bash. I finally had someone to share the hosting duties with, making it extra special.
Although CK and I spent Christmas apart, after all the festivities with my family, I hopped on a flight down to Miami to spend the rest of the holiday season and New Years Eve with my man and his family. CK’s sister and brother-in-law planned a trip with their two boys to Disney World for two days. After a little persuading, I convinced CK we should join them. I preferred Disney to a raucous gay party any day, and it was truly magical to see Disney World through the eyes of a two-year-old.
In February, CK and I took a romantic trip to Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. Although it seems we can’t go anywhere without having some kind of quarrel like an old married couple, the trip was amazing and couldn’t have come at a better time. We went ice skating, snow shoeing, swimming, hiking, and much more. It was a perfect escape for both of us to get out of the city and away from the bustle of it all after the holidays.
In between, there have been countless brunches, parties, trips, nights out, Broadway shows, fights… Oh yea, and plenty of sex — Can’t forget the sex! Overall, things have been going well for us. You have good days and bad days, but you have to realize the bad days are just there so you appreciate the good ones all the more. I am thrilled to announce, this past Saturday, CK and I celebrated our one-year anniversary at the restaurant we went to on our first date, Frankies Spuntino 570. Although we waited nearly an hour, the evening was perfect, and I look forward to many more years together.
Although I won’t be detailing the specifics of my relationship going forward, I hope to share with you what I have learned along the way. It’s not easy being in a relationship, but then again, the things that are worth it never really are.
To my most dedicated readers who haven’t let me lack of posting stop them from commenting words of support on my blog, thank you. You are what has motivated me to get back into this once again. I feel like many of you have integrated my writing into your daily routines, and I have left you with your morning coffee in hand and no reading material. You will not see the frequency of posts you may have grown accustomed in the past, but I still hope you find time in your lives for One Gay At A Time.
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Good Things Do Come in Small Packages!
Valentine’s Day will be upon us before we know it. I myself have never celebrated Valentine’s Day. I haven’t much had the chance to be honest. I’ve only ever been in a one relationship that spanned over the “greeting card holiday,” but when that day came, I was traveling domestically for work.
As we close in on V-Day, I thought it would be nice to shine a light on some of NYC’s finest establishments. This weekend I had the pleasure of attending Sweets in the City, an event hosted by Single Edition. Originally planned as a bus tour of some of Big Apple’s most romantic locations, the recent blizzard forced plans to be altered. Instead, Single Edition scrambled to gather all these great NYC treasures in one place.
Certainly when I say cupcakes and New York City in the same breath, most think Magnolia’s. I’m here to change that. The first confectionary I’d like to share with you is Sprinkles Cupcakes. Located near Bloomingdale’s between 60th & 61st streets, this purveyor of pure, delicious, uncomplicated, scratch-based cupcakes has blown me away.
The days of sharing a late-night romantic slice of pie at a diner have gone by the wayside. And, since the cupcake craze hit the scene, I personally (and unsuccessfully) have been trying to supplant it with a pie craze. After my first bite into a Sprinkles cupcake, my struggle ended and I was officially onboard.
Sprinkles has struck the perfect balance of cake and icing ratio. Most cupcake peddlers botch this entirely, forcing me to scrape half-a-pound of icing off my dessert before biting into it. Sprinkles has mastered this art, and made me reevaluate my love-hate relationship with cake’s red-headed stepchild. But enough about my cupcake hang-ups!
I got to sample Sprinkles’ decadent red velvet. Much to my delight, I didn’t have to sink my teeth in to find out what flavor awaited me. They’ve devised a brilliant color-coded system of dots adorning the cupcakes, revealing the flavors hidden within. Although not all flavors are available every day, they’ve developed a calendar telling you when your favorite flavors will be available.
When I got home from the event, I plopped down on the couch for a romantic evening and split the cupcake in half. The portion size was perfect for sharing, although truth be told, it was so sinfully good that my better half nearly missed out on his half. The cake was incredibly moist and scrumptious, the icing was perfection, and my teeth didn’t ache from sugar overload.
On top of their first-class cupcakes, Sprinkles offers great service as well. No matter the occasion, they can accommodate — weddings, parties, gifts for all occasions, last-minute orders, deliveries and more. They’ll even print your logo, monogram or any graphic on a sugar decoration. The pleasant surprises didn’t end there. When discarding evidence of my indulgence, I was also pleased to see my treat was packaged in a tiny, recyclable and aesthetically simple brown box. Who doesn’t love an eco-friendly, green company these days.
Disappointed you can’t experience this decadence because you don’t live in New York City? — Not to worry. They are baking cupcakes specially for you in Chicago, Washington DC, Dallas, Houston, La Jolla, Newport Beach, Palo Alto, Scottsdale and their flagship store in Beverly Hills. You too can find true love in the bottom of a small brown box.
So this Valentine’s Day, show that special someone just how much they mean to you with one of NYC’s true treasures — Sprinkles cupcakes.
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Tensions were high between CK and I. Nearly every night, we’d find something to argue about. Although it didn’t always result in an explosive fight, there always seemed to be some kind of noise in the background. The honeymoon was officially over.
When we woke in the morning, CK apologized for the night before, as did I. As we got ready for work, we both agreed underwear was not something we should be fighting about. After making us breakfast, we ate, showered together, got dressed and made our way to the PATH.
A day prior, CK got tickets to see Hot Chip in Brooklyn from a coworker . He asked if I was interested in going. We had already planned to head to Brooklyn to visit Hip since he was recovering from his second hip replacement surgery, so I said, “Sure. Why not?”
While we were at work, we nailed down plans via text and phone. Since I finished much earlier than he did, I hopped on the subway and made my way to his office. He wasn’t quite ready yet, so I asked for his coffee order and hit up Starbucks. I didn’t sleep very well the night before, so I needed something to keep me up and give me the energy to be a fun date.
While riding the subway out to Brooklyn, I asked CK if he requested the time off to join my family on vacation. He reacted to the question as if this was some big surprise. I’d only been asking him about it for a solid month. When he asked me to take time off and book a flight to Miami for his nephews birthdays, I did it without question. Now that I was asking him to take time off to be with me and my family, he didn’t think he could get the time off. I was p*ssed! I found it quite selfish. If he’d requested the time when I originally asked, we wouldn’t have gotten into the argument that ensued. As I said, we seemed to be fighting about everything.
The rest of the ride wasn’t pleasant. It grew to far higher proportions when we got off the subway. I wanted nothing more than to get right back on the subway and make my way home. I no longer had any interest in going to the concert, and I told him that. It takes two to fight, so I take half the responsibility, but he was being rude and treating me in a way I wasn’t willing to subject myself to. As a result, I skulked behind him as we walked through Prospect Park. As he yelled at me for not helping him navigate our way to the concert, I shouted back, “Fine. Just go without me! I don’t want to go anymore. I’m not going to have any fun.” I wanted nothing to do with him or Hot Chip.
I think he understood I was serious and responded by apologizing. “Can we just get past this tonight?” he asked. “Do we have to sacrifice our entire night over this fight?” I didn’t want to just put on a happy face and grin through it. I was angry, and to be honest, I wanted to go home out of spite. The concert was something he wanted to go to, and just as he didn’t put in the effort to come with me on vacation, I wasn’t going to come to the concert. I realized how unproductive this would be, so I agreed to go (not before numerous attempts to make my way back to Hoboken).
When we finally made it in to the concert, CK bought me a few beers, and we cut through the crowd to watch the concert already in progress. Surprisingly, I started to have a better time. Admittedly, I’d never heard of the band before we arrived, and I didn’t recognize any of their music. The fighting ended, and CK was being affectionate. We even made a few friends while moving from place to place among the crowd and managed to bum a smoke off some nice guys.
When the concert was over, it was far too late to visit Hip. I felt really bad considering he was the original plan and reason for the trip to Brooklyn. I wasn’t thrilled we sacrificed his visit for a concert, but in the end, it was CK’s decision.
On the walk to the subway, we found ourselves in a situation once again that birthed yet another argument. When we were a safe distance away from the situation, I began to calmly explain how p*ssed I was at him. Once again, he didn’t think it was a big deal and almost brushed it off as if I was overreacting. I didn’t care. To me, it was so much more. I told him explicitly how much I didn’t like these types of situations, and he completely disregarded those feelings. I don’t think he consciously acted in spite of my request — Quite the opposite. I don’t think he was thinking at all.
After arguing about the matter the rest of the way to the subway, I decided I wasn’t going to engage him in conversation any longer. Clearly I wasn’t getting through to him. We rode the subway with a large group CK decided to befriend. I wanted nothing to do with them. When he asked me questions or tried to introduce me, I simply ignored him. If he wasn’t going to take my feelings into consideration any longer, I wasn’t going to regard his either. I began to wonder if this was something we’d ever get passed. Maybe we were just inherently different. Maybe he would never be able to see things through my eyes. I began to think about what it would mean to end things. Obviously that would be my last resort, but I began to prepare myself for that possibility.
I was also in a tough spot because I was spending the night at his place. By the time we resurfaced in midtown, CK finally realized I was ignoring him. He started to get irritated by this, and yet another fight broke out between us. This time, I didn’t care. I went nuts. I didn’t care who saw us fighting or what they heard as I laid into him. We argued back and forth about the severity of the incident at hand for some time. He didn’t realize it, but as each of these incidents came up, my tolerance for them dwindled more and more. Toward the end of the argument, I think CK finally got a clear idea of the zero tolerance I had left. I’m not the most bending person (and that’s an understatement), but this was one sticking point I wasn’t going to bend on. I didn’t care how small the infraction. He had a choice, and he needed to pick me.
He finally understood my stance and apologized for everything. He didn’t think this fell under my umbrella of discomfort. He finally understood that nothing in this realm would be acceptable to me. We were able to civilly walk the rest of the way back to his place, but the conversation was certainly nonexistent.
When we got back to his bedroom, I brushed my teeth, stripped down to my boxer briefs and climbed right into bed. CK finished what he needed to do before bed and climbed into the opposite side of the bed. That night, we didn’t go to bed fighting, but there wasn’t a lot of love in the bed either.
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It was the middle of July in NYC, and while many might find the thought of that heat taxing, I’ve always enjoyed the summertime. People are out during all hours of the day and night. The city comes alive because people are willing to spend more of their time outdoors.
Tuesdays are never particularly good days. You’re still three days away from the weekend, and you don’t have the benefit of being refreshed from the pervious weekend. After a long Tuesday at work, I made my way to CK‘s apartment. He was wrapping up at his office, so I expected we would be arriving around the same time. I was looking forward to seeing him and relaxing. What better way to end a Tuesday than relaxing and watching the sunset from the rooftop of his New York high-rise on the banks of the Hudson River?
We dropped our bags and immediately took the elevator to the penthouse floor. A few others share the same thinking we did, and they were enjoying the days final rays with a few cocktails and some light-hearted conversation. CK and I made our way to the far side of the roof and swapped stories about our days. Through the course of our conversation, I learned he had some work left to do for the evening. It just so happened to be my expertise, so I offered to help when we finally made our way back downstairs. I told him this would have to wait until after we ate dinner of course because I was starving. As the last few beams of light disappeared behind the buildings on banks of the Hudson River in New Jersey, we exchanged a romantic kiss and made our way back downstairs.
We agreed upon ordering in instead of cooking, especially since CK still had work to do. “Sushi it is!” he exclaimed. While we waited, he worked on his presentation while I worked on a blog post in front of the TV. We paused when the food came so we could eat, but once we were properly fed, it was right back to work. I put a little work into his presentation while he proofread my post, pausing to show him a few tips I’d learned along the way myself.
It was a really nice night. We’d fallen into this routine finally, and I was really enjoying it. We were a couple, and there was no fighting. When the good times came, I genuinely appreciated them. I was beginning to wonder if we were a Ronnie and Sammi kind of couple for a little while there (Couldn’t resist the Jersey Shore reference there). That was a scary thought. I didn’t want to be the couple who constantly fought. We loved each other far more than that.
When we’d done enough work for the night, CK asked if he could put on his beloved Rachel Maddow, and I begrudgingly agreed. I wasn’t thrilled with the thought, as I grew more and more tired of her nightly hour-long program. I follow politics pretty closely and follow the Nightly News religiously every night, but I didn’t think anyone needed that much politics in their life. That Tuesday night, it was irrelevant what I wanted because my body wanted to go to sleep. I quickly dozed off on the couch while CK drank in his liberal political commentary.
When I finally woke, it was much later, and I suggested we go to bed. I could see CK was tired, and it was obvious I’d had enough with the day. We made our way to his room and slid into bed. I didn’t even make the pit stop to brush my teeth. I’m not sure why I was so exhausted, but I’m pretty sure I was asleep before my head came to rest on the pillow.
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Saturday morning, I woke up to CK’s lips caressing mine with a gentle kiss. “Morning baby,” he whispered. As my eyes opened and slowly adjusted, his face came into focus and a smile grew on my face. What a great way to wake up!
After taking my sweet old time getting out of bed, I made my way to the kitchen to start making us coffee and breakfast. We planned to hit the beach for the day, but our coffee wasn’t the only thing with clouds in it. I realized trekking out to Long Beach wasn’t worth it if the weather wasn’t going to shape up. So, instead of having cereal, I cooked us eggs and pancakes.
CK asked if there was anything he could do to help as he wrapped his arms around me from behind. “No. I think I have it covered,” I responded.
While I didn’t need his help in creating the food we were going to eat, I was hoping he would keep me company while I did it. However, while I was cracking eggs, he was off in the corner tweeting, Instagramming, GetGluing, and emailing away. This was a point of contention between us. At times, I felt he put more importance on his virtual friends and followers than he did with the man who was physically present at the moment. When I asked him a question, and it fell on deaf ears. I started to feel unappreciated. I felt like making breakfast for us was my duty. It was simply expected of me.
I asked him, once again, to be more present and put the phone down. I pointed out how often he was glued to his phone. Even though I understood how important social media was to him, I felt overshadowed by it. Of course, he responded quite defensively, and an argument ensued.
This continued for some time before he used the same phrase I heard on Friday: “Do you really want me, or do you want some changed version of me?” I reiterated for him how much I loved him and how I was not trying to change him. There were so many inherent qualities he possessed I loved about him, but there were also a few behaviors by which I felt disrespected. This was something new for both of us, and we were both learning what it means to be in a substantial relationship.
Instead of diving into another world while I cooked his breakfast, perhaps he could have sat at the counter and engaged with me. I know I’m sound like an unappreciated housewife, but at the time, that’s exactly how I felt.
In an isolated incident, this would have been nothing. However, I’m a very analytical person, and I notice patterns, sometimes in their infancy stages. I didn’t want this to become a typical behavior. We’ve all seen it in movies — The dad who doesn’t engage with his family because he’s glued to his blackberry putting out fires for work. I wanted him to take the time to separate out the noise. I wasn’t asking him to give up his virtual world. I was just asking him to be conscientious of when and where he engaged. Obviously, I have my own social media accounts to manage, but I never put them before the people I am with in real-time, especially him.
I’d been on the other side of this paradigm. Before I met CK, when I went out to straight bars with my friends, I was often engaging with others on Grindr. My friends complained I wasn’t present, but I explained how that was the trade-off for spending time with them in places I was much less likely to meet a man. Looking back, I can see how insulting it can be to be physically with someone while mentally, they are in a virtual world.
The fight grew and grew much bigger than the initial sentiment merited. I tried to calm things and explain I wasn’t looking for a fight. I was simply trying to point out something I didn’t appreciate so he could do something about. I was trying to communicate. I didn’t want him to get defensive, and I wasn’t looking to take the offensive. In time, hopefully these situations wouldn’t escalate like this. I was trying to lengthen my fuse, while he was learning to deal with the enigma that is myself.
Since the weather was far from motivating, we spent a majority of the day on the couch watching Game of Thrones and fooling around. Our ever-healthy libidos were calling out to be quenched as well. Fooling around soon turned into more vigorous exercises.
The front of my apartment is nearly all windows. This doesn’t exactly allow for privacy unless the shades are drawn. I didn’t want to interrupt the moment by closing the shades, and I knew it would only feed CK’s exhibitionist side to leave them open. Self-consciously, I glanced out the window and noticed a woman across the street. I had a feeling she’d seen us and tried to decipher whether or not she was continuing to watch us. I couldn’t decide either way, and I was far more distracted by the gorgeous man in front of me than the stranger across the street. If she wanted to watch, let her. All this commenced with a climax, and me taking an afternoon nap on top of him.
When we woke, I continued with my plans to bake a few pies. This time, when CK asked if he could help, I welcomed his assistance with open arms. Together, we made two pies, torturing ourselves with the delicious smells coming from the oven as they baked. We engaged in Instagram together, taking pictures of our masterpieces and uploading them together. At least our heated conversation earlier that morning was finally bearing fruit.
That night, to properly celebrate three months together and make up for the previous night, we decided to hit up a restaurant I’d been dying to go to for six years, Anthony Davids. It was always difficult to get into because there was usually a line of people waiting for a table. We didn’t have any other pressing plans, so we decided to give it a shot.
We were seated in the coziest table in the joint. The ambiance was already setting the perfect mood for the night. All the fighting and bickering from earlier in the week slowly disappeared from my consciousness. Our stellar waitress opened the Malbec we brought with us, and CK proposed a toast. “Here’s to the beginning of our 2nd quarter,” he boasted. It was a very cute sentiment, and it put a smile on my face.
Over the course of our amazing meal, I slowly began to realize the bigger picture. I realized it was all worth it. No matter how much fighting there was, the good times – times like these – were priceless!
Our night could not have gotten much better. The service was impeccable, the food was divine, the ambiance was indescribable… We finished our meal and walked back to my apartment hand-in-hand. We were exhausted from a long day of lounging about on the couch. When we got home, we brushed our teeth and climbed straight into bed. I could not have been happier. I was utterly in love, and my relationship with CK was really starting to take shape.
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When last I wrote about my budding relationship with Clark Kent and myself, we had gotten well past the honeymoon stage. We were trying to maintain a relationship across state lines, and it wasn’t easy. That being said, we were still seeing a lot of each other, and I started to wonder if maybe it was too much. I often wondered, maybe there is such a thing as too much of a good thing…
We needed to find balance, and that wasn’t going to be easy. We’d been dating four short months, but, in reality, it felt like we’d been dating for close to a year, even though we were still figuring things out.
That Thursday night, my old roommate was gathering with friends at the new waterfront biergarten in Hoboken for drinks to celebrate his birthday (which I was unaware of until deep into the night). I mentioned it to CK and asked him to join me when he finished work. He agreed, but he had to work later.
When I arrived, I didn’t know too many of my old roommate’s friends in attendance. I began texting and calling other friends to join us. P and S both responded, “On my way.”
As you can imagine, it takes a lot of time to write a blog, so I was utilizing my free time during the day at work to accomplish this. Apparently, my boss took notice to my poor use of free time since he wasn’t seeing any productivity coming from my time between projects. (Perhaps you can understand why I have been neglecting this blog for the past few months).
This is relevant because I was also coming off a really rough day at work. I received my review that morning, and it was not positive. My only saving grace was a preemptive strike made a few weeks earlier.
I noticed an opportunity to take over our social media duties (which were being completely neglected) and asked my boss if I could take them on. During my review, when he pointed out my poor utilization of free time, I countered with the argument, “That’s why I approached you about taking on the social media duties.” I thought maybe I’d saved my a$$. He countered with, “I only wish you’d come to me about it three years earlier.” I was defeated.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, I learned later that day we’d be merging with another company. So, on top of a bad review, I was petrified of being labeled a redundancy. Two weeks earlier, my career looked to be shaping up. I was taking on a new role, and finding early success. My experience with this blog and other social media was really paying off. Now, it looked as if my whole world could be crumbling around me.
A majority of it was out of my hands at that point. All I could do was put my nose to the grindstone for the coming weeks. But, on a Thursday night, I needed to forget. That meant I needed more than a few stiff drinks!
I drank beer after beer while mingling with old friends and some new ones. I was having quite a good time, but I was missing CK. I was texting with him back and forth discussing his arrival.
When he finally arrived, I was thrilled to see him. He could be comfort after a rough day, and I was finally properly lubricated enough to have a good time and forget about work, enjoying a night out with my man and friends.
CK grabbed a beer and immediately dove right into the conversation with all of us. I was chatting with S’s roommate, and the discussion quickly changed to his tattoos and body piercings. CK was a bit fascinated by tattoos at that time. He detailed for me the elaborate tattoos he was dreaming of getting.
S’s roommate was very much Mr. Machismo. I wasn’t sure how comfortable he was with the whole “gay thing.” There was just something about his attitude and the way he carried himself that I didn’t think he’d be too comfortable. I never formally came out to him, as I’d only met him a handful of times, but I assumed S clued him in. I was very pleasantly surprised just how cool he was with the whole “gay thing.” He turned out to be quite a laid back guy. It just goes to show you can’t judge a book by its cover.
The two quickly formed a bond. At some point in the conversation, the roommate started talking about his anxiety over having to fly the next. CK took it upon himself to aid in this situation.
Immediately, I was unhappy. My mood shifted abruptly. I shut down. I’ll never quite understand why I react in this way to these types of situations. I think it stems from striving to suppress my feelings at the moment so I don’t create a scene in public. The deeper question is why do I become so enraged in the first place?
This time, CK wasn’t exactly participating. He wasn’t doing anything wrong, however, aiding and abetting someone else’s wrongdoing was equally as bad in my mind. He was enabling behavior he knew I was opposed to. I wasn’t just feeling anger. I was scared. I was afraid I was going to lose him. We’d had this discussion time and time again. If we continued to have the conversation, eventually, he would be faced with an ultimate decision, and there was a chance I would be a casualty of that decision. All of my emotions tied back to this very thought. I was afraid in the end he wouldn’t choose me, and as a result, I would have to choose me. I’d have to say goodbye for my own sanity, facing my greatest fear in life, being alone, on top of losing a man I loved. Obviously, I never wanted it to come to that.
I managed to suppress this anger and feeling of betrayal. My mind was jumping back to all the other times we discussed this very topic. This was only exacerbated because I’d written the blog post about our night at Matinee that afternoon. One of those very conversations was fresh in my mind.
I managed to suppress all this until we walked in the door of my apartment, and then I unleashed. I told him how unacceptable his behavior was, and he was completely dumbfounded. He had no idea why I could be so enraged.
Of course this only fed my fury. Had he forgotten all these other times we’d discussed this? Was I living a broken record? We argued extensively about this, and CK threatened to leave multiple times, making it to the door a handful of times.
We finally had a breakthrough at some point when he either feigned to understand my stance, or what I was so vehemently explaining finally sunk in.
We argued a lot about a lot of small things —Things I felt were very important. He felt I was trying to change him. I wasn’t. Honestly! I loved him. I just felt he needed to grow up in some aspects of his life. A person needs to adapt and evolve when entering a relationship, and I still wasn’t sure he was putting in the effort. I wasn’t trying to mold him into my ideal mate. I didn’t have a preconceived notion of who he should be. But, I felt there were some sacrifices he’d need to make to make me happy.
Perhaps I was the one who needed to change. In reality, we both needed to. Only time would tell if we could come to consensus on these types of issues.
Regardless, after fighting, we kissed and made up. Well, we more than made up. This was all followed by a lively romp in the sack. It was so incredible, we both finished at the same time for the first time. As we showered, we discussed our epic make-up sex. “And don’t think you can start picking fights with me just so we can have make-up sex buster,” I punctuated. We both had a good laugh.
No matter how much we fought, at the end of the day, I loved him. He made me happy. I loved that no matter how many times we fought, we always found a way to make up. I wanted to grow old with him, but the key word in that phrase for us would be grow…
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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.
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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.
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At the ripe age of 26, I came to a life changing conclusion. I'm GAY!
It took me 26 years to realize this and come to terms with it, but coming out's been the best decision of my life.
This blog is about my dating life in NYC and what happens next...
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