Posts Tagged parents

The Next Chapter

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.

grindrAt 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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Independence Gay!

Happy Fourth of July everyone! Hope you have the day off and find something amazing to do with your day! Find someone special to do some serious day seizing!

Hopefully there will be fireworks both in the sky and between the sheets!

Furthermore, today is my parents’ anniversary.
Join me in congratulating them on 31 years of marriage!

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

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…

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Boyfriend Material

From early on, I learned of CK’s affinity for comic books. When I started seeing more and more trailers for the new Avengers movie, I knew it would be a big event for him. I was curious to see if he’d want to go with a group of his friends or would this be something special he’d want to share with me.

I’m pleased to say it was the latter. He asked me if I was interested in seeing it, so we made plans for Friday’s premier. I was also pleased to learn I would be meeting two of his close friends who would be joining us. We bought our tickets early in the morning, as they were already beginning to sell out.

After work, I went home and packed an overnight bag to take with me back into the city. I met CK at his apartment an hour before the movie. We cuddled and chatted a bit before making our way to the theater. As we got into the elevator, I noticed a sprig of hair dangling in front of his face. He really looked like Superman, and I loved it. This is where the Superman nickname came from. Just as I was noticing this, he ran his hands through his hair, messing up the sprig. That’s when he called me out for not commenting on his haircut. He had it cut after work that evening and was legitimately mad I didn’t comment on it, and he let me know it. I told him how I noticed the sprig of hair, but apparently that wasn’t enough. I needed to verbalize. I apologized profusely. I felt really bad. He eventually forgave me, but he was still a little putout.

I thought we had plenty of time, but he seemed worried about timing. He was trying to flag down a cab to cut across town, but none were available. When he spotted a pedi-cab, we hopped in and shot across town. He was like a little kid in a candy store. He was shouting at passersby and snapping pictures left and right. He took a lot of pictures of us kissing each other, in which I always look AWFUL!

We met his friends in line for the movie. CK introduced me, and I tried to make small talk. They weren’t the friendliest of characters, but they were far from cold. CK was still hyper.

CK and I split off to grab drinks for all of us at Dunkin Donuts. We grabbed donuts as well. While putting a straw in one of the large iced teas, I spilled it everywhere on the counter. The whole store came to a halt for about 5 minutes while the cleaned it up.

When we got back to the line, his mother called. While talking to her, he mentioned how the day of her arrival is my birthday. He also mentioned wanting for the three of us to try to do dinner.

Finally, we got into the theater. We got great seats, and I peeled off to get popcorn, candy and soda. But first I needed to relieve myself. I didn’t want to have to go in the middle of the show. One of CK’s friends came out to concessions with me. After using the restrooms, we stood next to each other not speaking more than ten words. It was a bit awkward.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It was awesome, and I really enjoyed seeing CK so excited. The cuddling the accompanied the movie was also a nice addition.

As we were leaving the theater, CK ran toward the mini arcade. He wanted to play the two-person Terminator game. We put in our money and began shooting. It wasn’t long before one of his friends mentioned their desire to go. CK shouted at them encouraging them to play a game. He wasn’t having any of it. “I think we’re just gonna go,” he responded. CK convinced them to wait until the game was over. We left with them and said goodbye at the curb. They were tired and ready to go home. CK and I hadn’t eaten yet, so we were trying to figure out dinner.

As we walked to grab food, CK pulled my arm around him over his shoulder. People were commenting left and right. I was surprised. This wasn’t my first sign of gay PDA in NYC. I never experienced this before. Some of the comments were negative or simply mocking. Others were actually positive. Hell. We’re two good-looking guys. Why not?

We stopped at Charley’s Grilled Subs for cheesesteaks before heading back to his place to eat them in front of his iPad (aka, TV). When we got back to his place, we smoked a little, stuffed our faces, and watched the first episode of Smash. I’d seen it already, but I wanted to share it with him since I knew he’d like it. I fell asleep about three quarters through the show. Eventually, he too fell asleep. When he woke, he turned off the lights, and we pulled up the covers and dozed off.

Sadly, I couldn’t sleep in. My parents were coming into town to see War Horse and grab lunch. I needed to leave his apartment at 10:00am. I still needed to get them a parking pass in Hoboken. We woke to my alarm. I set it early to allow for ample cuddling.

While we were lying there, he said to me, “I know this is completely unnecessary and not something I need, but I’m going to ask you anyway. I want to know if I could be your boyfriend?”

I have no idea the look that must have been on my face. I was shocked. I did not see that coming, but I immediately said yes through an enormous grin. “Bet you didn’t see that coming!” he added. “No. No I did not,” I responded. I told him how utterly happy he makes me. I told him I thought it was a great idea!

I really don’t think he realizes how happy he makes me. I was beaming for the rest of the morning. He asked if he should order us breakfast, but I told him he didn’t need to do that. I told him I’d rather spend the time cuddling than eating since I didn’t have much time before I needed to leave. We began to fool around, which led to grinding. When he turned around and asked if I wanted to f*ck him, I told him I want nothing more, but I couldn’t. I needed to walk out the door in fifteen minutes. I could tell he was disappointed, but so was I. We cuddled some more before I had to say goodbye.

As I walked to the PATH, I had a smile from ear-to-ear. He made me so happy. I started texting friends to inform them of my new status.

I began to wonder a little if it bothered him my parents were coming into town and I wasn’t introducing them to him since he was so keen to introduce me to his mother. His mother lived much further away, so it somewhat made sense, even if it was early in the relationship. My parents would be back by at least June. I could introduce him then. I just hoped he wasn’t hurt I never mentioned it.

Either way, I wasn’t going to worry about that. I was too happy to car. For the first time in my life, I had a boyfriend!

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Meeting the Hatfields

Today is another Fast Forward Friday!!!  

Hope you are enjoying these. It will help bring the blog a little closer to real-time. If you’re keeping up with the stories chronologically, please skip down to this morning’s post first, then read this one. I think it’s a good one! Enjoy!

Back to your special edition of One Gay At A Time…

Southern Drawl was very anxious to see me. Before our last date ended, he asked me, “So, when do you get to see me again?” It was a bit egotistical, but it was also a little cute.

I had plans with other guys for the rest of the week with the exception of my volleyball game on Thursday. We agreed to do happy hour after work on Friday to get the weekend started off right. He was going to the Frying Pan, a permanently parked barge on the Hudson River that doubles as a restaurant/outdoor bar, with a group of his coworkers. Apparently, he was comfortable enough to introduce me to them.

He was already there when I made my way across town to meet him. He worked right across the street, so there was a solid crowd present from work. I found them in the crowd and pulled up a chair to the table. Everyone was very welcoming and nice. They immediately offered me a cup of sangria, and I settled in. I joined the big conversation, and Southern Drawl and I had a few side conversations not meant for the table.

I wasn’t sure to what extent he was out to his coworkers, so I played a vague roll. I didn’t show any signs of affection or do anything that would be a severe tell. I had a good time.

When everyone was ready to go, we started walking. We were heading to his apartment, but we walked with the others until they peeled off to head in separate directions. It was then I was informed that this was a big deal. None of the other guys he dated had met his coworkers. Only one or two of them knew he was gay, so this was somewhat of a public coming out. I’m sure his coworkers would put two and two together if he was inviting a man to join them for drinks. It was flattering he was willing to do that with me.

Since before I met S.D. in person, I’d learned of his incredibly flamboyant and promiscuous roommate. We talked about him to quite an extent on the walk.

I could not have been prepared for his apartment when I walked in there. It was an utter dump! His roommate was lounging on the couch when we arrived. S.D. needed to change before we went out for the rest of the evening. I chatted a bit with his roommate, and he certainly had a strong unwarranted air of superiority. We didn’t get along, but we didn’t clash either. He was a non-entity to me.

Meanwhile, I made a comment about S.D.’s shoes, and I was ripped a new one. He went off on me how expensive they were and how dare I downplay them. I was dying to get out of that apartment, and S.D. was dragging his feet.

He told me his friends from back home in the south were going to be out on the Lower East Side since one of them worked at Brother Jimmy’s. We decided to pick a place in the neighborhood to grab dinner before drinking our faces off. We found a nice Italian restaurant, Pete’s Tavern and shared a delicious pleasant meal. Things were starting to feel comfortable with him. All the awkwardness melted away. We had great conversation and kept each other on our toes. The conversation was great, but I began to wonder if I was sexually attracted to him. When he sent pictures to me, I found him to be quite attractive, but since being with him, I didn’t get excited or aroused by him. We hadn’t crossed that bridge yet, but I wondered if when I came to that bridge, would I even want to cross it. On top of that, we hadn’t discussed positions since we first spoke on the phone. He told me he didn’t have much experience in the bedroom originally. He said he never really bottomed, but he may be willing to experience it. Since then, I got a different picture learning about the long-term relationships he’d been in. I wondered if they were sexless, or was he lying. We were two tops, and that was going to pose a problem as some point.

After we finished dinner, we walked to Brother Jimmy’s to meet his friends. He was excited to introduce me to them. They’d already seen pictures of me and predicted I was a far better man for him to date than the one he just let go. They already loved me before even meeting them, so it was my game to lose.

S.D. introduced me to them, and we hit it off pretty swimmingly. His best friend, a female, pulled me aside to talk and gossip. We chatted, and she expressed how much she liked me. “You’re just the right amount of gay,” I was told. I’d always thought that about myself, but it was still interesting hearing someone say this to me. Even the friend, the girl who was working behind the bar planted a kiss on me, right on the lips. It was a pleasant surprise. I was a hit!

S.D. also told me his friend from work, “his little buddy,” was joining us. This kid was gay and even lived with S.D. on the couch for a period. They were very close and best friends of sorts. When this kid arrived, I was introduced to him. He seemed very nice, and we exchanged small talk. Almost immediately, S.D. and he separated from the group and began chatting the night away. It was obvious to me S.D. had a crush on him. I wondered if the little guy just wasn’t interested in S.D. and that was the hangup for why they weren’t together. I felt incredibly neglected. I was getting quite drunk, and that usually peaks my emotional state. I was very close to walking out the door and going home without a word but better judgment kicked in.

After we watched someone who looked like Snookie do an amazing rendition of Adele for karaoke, I was ready to go home. I was drunk, and I was trying to see past how he ignored me. Even after all I drank, the bartender charged me seven dollars.  I’m still not 100% sure why, but I asked S.D. if he wanted to come back to my place and spend the night. I think I wanted to test our sexual chemistry. I wasn’t looking for sex. Clearly that wasn’t possible in the state I was in. I just wanted to get somewhat physical with him.

We made out way back to my place and quietly made our way to my room. We climbed into bed to spoon, and I passed out quickly.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. When we woke up in the morning, we started spooning and fooling around. There was a lot of heavy petting and oral pleasuring. It wasn’t long before he was straddling my chest fondling himself. It also wasn’t long before he excited himself so much he finished right on my chest. He asked for my permission, but I wasn’t expecting it to happen almost immediately.

We lounged in bed for some time before I made us breakfast. There was a bit of a schedule for the morning, however. My parents were coming into town for Easter weekend. I needed to get him out of there before they arrived. Just as we finished eating, I got a call from my parents. They were downstairs. I told S.D. to quickly get dressed and make his way down the back stairwell. He was fine with this, and we agreed we’d chat later on the phone. I hustled him out the door and kissed him goodbye.

One minute later, I threw on flip-flops and went down to greet my parents. They didn’t make a single comment about the guy leaving my building. I had yet another celibate weekend in front of me, and this was a good thing.

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House Call with the Good Doctor

In a strike of luck, in terms of my desire to turn my dating/sex life around, the timing of a family trip could not have been better planned. My parents, my sister and I were heading to Virginia to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins. The purpose of the trip was to see the cherry blossoms in Washington DC.

It was a fun trip. I got to see my cousins’ girlfriends and their children, many of which for the first time. Even though the cherry blossoms had already fallen due to an early bloom, it was still nice to get away and relax.

While driving back to New Jersey with my sister, I began attempting to line up dates with all the guys I’d been talking to before I left. As far as going on dates, the trip came at a bad time because it put a roadblock in the momentum. I kept up with the texts from the southern boy I’d gone on one date with so far. We were trying to line up a second date, as well as a few first dates with some other men I’d chatted with.

I got back to town on a Monday afternoon and tried to dive right into the dating. One of the guys I’d been chatting with was a doctor I met on Grindr. We exchanged pictures. He was very good-looking, very well-spoken and very charming. His response to my picture was, “Matthew McConaughey party of one?!” I was incredibly flattered, and suggested he consult with an optometrist friend. Although he had some promise, I wasn’t all that excited to meet him. I was going in with an open mind, but the fact that he was a doctor was somewhat of a turnoff. He would have no time for me, and I have come to realize I need someone who will be around and spend time with me.

We texted back and forth to nail down plans. As the workday was ending, I asked him what he wanted to do. He responded, telling me, “I honestly feel like I need a quiet night in. A bit drained here but would definitely like to have you over for drinks and conversation if you are up for that?” It was a bit unconventional, but I told him I was game. He gave me his address, and we set a time at 9:00pm.

I made my way into the city, bottle of red wine in hand, and walked to his apartment. I called Boston, and he shocked me by picking up. I wanted to hear how his birthday went and catch up. He further shocked me with a story involving an on-duty officer and himself that made me so proud. It was nice to hear Boston letting loose.

As I walked up to his apartment, I hung up with Boston. He lived in a very nice building. He answered the door, and we exchanged hugs. He had a gorgeous place. I came in and made myself comfortable on the couch while he opened the bottle. I felt quite overdressed when I noticed him in sweatpants and a t-shirt. I was jealous. I removed my shoes and sat Indian-style on the couch.

He was far more attractive than his pictures. His tight t-shirt showed off his chiseled body, and his face and smile looked very similar to Taye Diggs. I was slightly mesmerized.

It wasn’t long after we began talking that he let his guard down. The flamboyance came bubbling up, and it was really turning me off. I immediately lost my attraction for him. I could see us being friends, but I could never date someone like that.

We sat on opposite ends the couch talking the whole time. I learned about his job and what he does in his free time (which wasn’t much since he didn’t have much of it). He told me his specialty, and that dominated a majority of the conversation from then on out. Ironically, his specialty was relevant to me, and we got on the topic of safe sex and HIV for over and hour. It was incredibly educational on two levels. I learned a few things about HIV transmission and the disease itself, and I learned how little I know about the stuff I was so cavalier about days prior. I thoroughly enjoyed our talk, but I wasn’t attracted to him as a potential man to date. I would, however, love to keep him around as a friend.

It was late, and I needed to go home. He needed to go to bed. He walked me to the door, and I said goodbye with a kiss. He pulled back and made a comment on how he wished he’d only done that sooner. He really liked it and came back in for more. He was a good kisser too. I walked to the PATH and then walked home, and it took me a while to get there.

The next morning I noticed a text from the doc. “Off to sleep here, but just wanted to say thanks for an awesome date! I really had a great time meeting you.” I apologized for my lack of response and told him I was at the allergist to getting poked with various things to find my allergies. We exchanged small talk on the subject, and the conversation fizzled out. That was the last I’ve heard from the good doctor…

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The idea that I was in LA for work completely faded from my mind, as did the trysts I’d met since my arrival. After meeting The Navigator, I was on cloud 9 since we hung out on the beach. He was an amazing guy, and I knew if we lived in the same city, we’d be dating.

Before going to bed, we exchanged a few messages around 2:00am. “Hiya handsome. Sorry for texting you so late. Just wanted to say hello,” he texted. I texted back, “Miss you lots. Can’t wait to see you again!” I didn’t care if I was being a bit aggressive; I was being honest. I had nothing to lose here, and I needed to get back to being more honest with myself and the guys I date.

The next morning, I woke up to my early alarm alone in my bed and immediately missed his presence. I quickly looked to my phone to see if I had a message. I did! “The pix of you on the hike turned out great! You look so handsome!” The previous night, we became Facebook friends. This wasn’t the text I was looking for, but it still made me happy.

I had a plan to go for a run that morning, and should I still have the energy, I would take a dip in the pool. I’d gone to the weight room and the pool the night before from 10:30-11:30. Even with all the guys I was spending time with, I was finding time for myself. I needed to get myself in line on this trip as well. I’d been floundering for far too long.

When I finished my run, I checked my phone, and I still didn’t have a message from The Navigator. I decided to take a dip in the hot tub to relax my muscles and take my mind off the excitement I anticipated all day. Finally, my phone lit up: “Morning! We have a call out for the next shift, so if there are no volunteers we draw straws. Keep your fingers crossed for me pal!”

My heart sank. There was no possibility he wouldn’t be joining me on the PCH until now. Now, I had to prepare myself for the idea this drive would be solo. If you recall, I HATE being alone. I don’t do well alone. I get depressed. This was one of the fears I had booking this trip, but I wanted to force myself to get used to it if I had to. I quickly responded, “Tell your boy to take one for the team. You have a hot date 🙂 Fingers crossed.”

I hopped out of the hot tub and made my way back to my room to shower and get ready for my road trip. I tried not to think about an empty passenger seat until I got another text: “:( Looks like there may be a surgery… If the owner approves the estimate, then it’s no longer a choice. I’m [Dr.’s] surgery tech. Still a slim chance :(“

I was now facing the fact I would be driving alone. It was supposed to be a nice day, so I convinced myself I would be fine. It was going to be an exciting drive up the coast. I was going to go all the way up to Santa Barbara and check things out along the way. I still wanted to see him, so I asked, “What time would you be done ish?”

He didn’t answer me immediately. After I packed my bags, I got another text: “I’m gonna stop dragging my heels. Everyone is looking to me. UGH!!! It’s another full shift, but then I have the next day and a half off. So, I’ll be off at 5:30.” I could accept that, but I asked, “Can I see you then?” He immediately responded, “I’ll hurry home as soon as I can… yes!”

I told him I was packing up the car and about to hit the road. “I’ll aim to be back in the area around 5:30. Let me know closer to then what’s up… Maybe we’ll just meet somewhere since I don’t have to come back to the hotel. Sad I’m not spending the day with you, but I understand completely… Looking forward to this evening!” I added. With that, I hopped in the car and made my way to Porto’s Bakery for an amazing Cuban Medianoche sandwich that was incredibly difficult to eat in the car, a chocolate croissant and an iced mocha latte. If you even happen to be in Glendale, check this place out. It’s amazing!

I drove all the way up the coast taking in all the sights. At one point, Highway 1 cuts inland. I wasn’t paying attention, and I ended up in the middle of the orange groves and strawberry patches. I watched the motorcycle gangs as I passed them with envy. I would have killed to have my motorcycle out there. I get out of the care until I reached Santa Barbara. I pulled up to the beach and stood up for the first time in a few hours. I stretched out and broke out my camera to snap some pictures. It was a gorgeous area, and all I could think about was living there. I could move to LA, marry an amazing man, and we could retire to Santa Barbara. That’s when my thoughts jumped right back to The Navigator.

“Santa Barbara misses you,” I texted him. I was still disappointed he wasn’t with me, but I wasn’t going to let it ruin my drive. I had a sick convertible, no real timetable, and the freedom to do whatever I wanted. The ride up did allow me some clarity. I cleared my head of all the thoughts of the past. Everything was forward-looking.

After I had my fill of Santa Barbara, I made my way inland to Ojai. I’d always wanted to check it out since I seen Brothers and Sisters. The family business was there and it always looked gorgeous on-screen. I climbed up one side of winding mountains and down the other. I pulled off the side of the road a few times to take in the beauty of it all and snap some pictures for posterity.

When I arrived down into Ojai proper, I was shocked by how small town it was. I was out in rural farmland. It didn’t quite feel like home because the geography was very different from home, but it was very nice to see this side of the West Coast. I called my parents to tell them I was searching for Nora (a character on Brothers and Sisters), and they both laughed at me. They’d forgotten I was out there for work/vacation, and they expressed their jealousy. I thought about my new friend as well, texting, “Ojai misses you too.” Finally, he responded. I knew he was busy working, so I was surprised to get a response. “What’s Ojai? Pic?” he asked. When I told him, he added, “I miss you :)” I was swooning a little bit.

I told him I was on my way back to LA and asked where he worked. He told me the name of the street, and I added, “Maybe I should meet you there. Then I’m not venturing that far from the airport.” He’d forgotten I had to catch a flight. I told him it would just mean more time we would get to spend together.

As I passed through Santa Monica, I reached out to him once again: “What’s the plan Stan? At Venice Beach. Was gonna drive down to Marina Del Ray… Could come out there and let me take you out to dinner.” I waited a long time to hear from him again. I even stopped at a Starbucks so I could park the car and walk around a bit. I ordered a coffee and walked out onto the pier in Venice Beach to take some pictures of the ocean. I still had a lot of time to kill, so I sat in the Starbucks charging my laptop while I wrote a blog entry.

Then I got a text from him I wish I’d never read: “Hey pal. I think I’m gonna have to skip hanging out. I’m exhausted. I just want to sleep. I hate to do that to you. I know you’ve been waiting. I’m not even gonna drive home. Gonna sleep at a coworkers place a couple blocks away. Didn’t really get to sleep before the shifts started. I had an amazing time with you and would love it if we stayed in touch. Hope you have a safe flight home and maybe I can come visit you in Jersey (hint hint) Muah handsome… Thanks for everything :)” I was heartbroken. All I could think to respond was, “Wish I at least got to say goodbye.” He quickly shot back, “I know. Me too… I’m just very tired.”

This wasn’t good enough for me. “Let me know if I can at least come and say goodbye. If not, it’s cool…” I sent in an attempt to strike and emotional chord. When I got no response, I called him – No answer.

He texted back, “Still at work. Can text, but not talk. I’ll call you at 5:30 handsome.” I would have to be patient. I know my usual aggressive style, so I tried to curb that bad habit. When the clock reached 5:45, I called him again — No answer. I texted him again, “I have the time to kill. I could come and say bye and you go to sleep. I get it if you’re too tired to hang.” More time passed, and I still didn’t hear from him. I was emotionally beginning to panic. I knew the time to say goodbye was going to come, and I tried to prepare myself for it. But, to not have that at all rocked me a little.

Now, I was grasping at straws. I changed course and sped back to downtown LA. I called him over and over again while I weaved in and out of cars. Maybe if I wasn’t so locked in on one thing, I would have realized I could actually deal with LA traffic with the skills I was exercising.

In a last stitch effort, I texted, “In the middle of LA hoping I can come say goodbye before I go to the airport. Please call.” Silence. He’d gone dark on me. I was so disappointed in him. I thought we shared something special. I wanted him as a friend, and he was abandoning me. I was being very selfish, but so was he. I admitted defeat and gave up:

“Heading to airport. Sorry. I wasn’t trying to make a big deal about it. Just wanted to give a proper goodbye, even if just for two minutes.  Get some rest. Def stay in touch. Hope I made a good friend on this trip! You’re a great guy! You have a place to stay any time you want to visit New Jersey/New York! Would love it if you called tomorrow when you wake up! 🙂 Stay sexy!”

He never called. When I got home, he never Facebook messaged me either. I was very disappointed. I wasn’t giving in that easily though. I texted him days later to see if he’d truly cut me off completely: “Hey stud. How’s it going? Just wanted to say hi.” I was happy to see a response some time later: “Hey 🙂 Sorry I didn’t say goodbye. I’m not very good at that type of thing. I know it wasn’t very nice. I had a wonderful time with you though. How is everything?”

We continued to text each other periodically over time. He even called me one day, but I missed his call. I hope I have a true friend in him. He really is a great guy, and if I can’t have him as my own, I’ll take him as a friend. I look forward to the day I can see him again. Maybe work will send me out there again. Maybe he’ll come to New Jersey for a visit. Maybe I’ll make a true pleasure trip out there and see him on my own. Who knows???

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Late Night Rendezvous

I nailed down plans to meet Connecticut Cutie after work that Tuesday night. He told me he’d be in my neighborhood, so it would work out well.

He ended up running late from dinner with friends, so I stayed in the office and did a little blogging until he was ready. When I go the call that he was on the corner, I went down to meet him.

My favorite date spot in the city lately has been The Breslin, so I suggested we go there. It’s a short walk from my office, and we had great flirtatious conversation on the walk there. He joked about going to a psychologist for mother issues, and I made more than a few Oedipal comments in jest. I told him I don’t go to a therapist nor need one because I have free therapy sessions all the time. I use my friends for that service. I’m sure they all just love to hear all about my problems and issues, but hell. What are friends for?

We also talked about our days at work. I had a very easy day involving a lot of personal work with just a little professional work.

When we got to The Breslin, it was very crowded. I couldn’t believe how many people were there on a Tuesday night. We had a hard time finding a seat, so he ordered drinks at the bar while I tried to hold some ground in the corner. I was standing next to some of the most obnoxious men I’d ever met. You could tell they were a real “boys’ club” type, making lewd comments. I knew it was only a matter of time before I heard the f@ggot term thrown out. I decided to move away from the group before they p*ssed me off more.

I ordered my usual dark and stormy, and he followed my lead. He’d never had it before, and I told him it was a good winter drink. He tasted it, and was happy with his selection.

FInally a table opened up, so we jumped on it. Space was limited, so we sat with our legs intertwined. This was good body language once again and made it easy for a little leg touching. Our conversation was going very well. We were both telling stories and laughing a lot. I told him about how much I get into Halloween and started showing him pictures from Facebook. He was shocked because he never got into the holiday. It was always something haphazard and last-minute for him.

Throughout the course of the night, there was a lot of leg touching. It was nice because we could flirt in this way without making a spectacle of ourselves. The only people who had a view of this were the bartenders, and I didn’t care if they noticed. It was mutual. As much as I was rubbing his legs, he was rubbing mine.

When he needed to use the facilities, I told him how to get there. I joked about the long journey he’d have to make through the basement of the hotel. He looked at me like I was insane. I equated it to backlot Disney. When he returned, he detailed his journey through the underground labyrinth he encountered. He detailed the myriad of characters he passed on his journey and joked about how strenuous it was. I liked his sense of humor. It was all something I would say. We were meshing well.

However, I was still having a hard time getting past the flamboyance. I had a feeling he was holding back some as well. I liked the guy quite a bit, but I also wanted a real man, not a man who acted in a feminine manner. The distance thing was still in the back of my mind. The vetting process was far from over. I’d have to continue to see where things went and evaluate if it was worth the extra effort.

I hadn’t eaten any dinner, so I ordered some fries from the bar. We joked about working out and my being fat as of late. I know I’m far from fat, but there is a certain level that is fat for me. I don’t like it, and it makes me want to eat better and work out more.

After three dark and stormies, when I brought it to his attention, he realized he needed to make his way to the train. If he missed it, he’d have to wait another hour for the next. I told him I’d walk him half way — Basically back to my office. He needed to stop at the bank along the way, but we also really needed to hustle. When we got to my office, I told him I’d walk him one more avenue before heading home. When we got to Fifth Avenue, we embraced on the corner. We started kissing, and this quickly turned into a bit of a makeout session. He was a great kisser, so I didn’t mind one bit. I was starting to worry he’d miss his train. We’d already joked about how his parents extended his curfew for the evening. I knew they’d be royally p*ssed if he made them pick him up at midnight.

It was comical as we both acknowledged the other’s hardon as we pulled back. We were both really enjoying each other’s company. I said goodbye, and he sped off to Grand Central Station.

I made my way home, and made it a point to text him and tell him how much I enjoyed myself that evening. I learned he did in fact make the train and would get home at a decent hour. He responded, and I could tell he was really into me. I needed to make a decision fast, or I would risk really hurting him. But, I still wasn’t sure. I had a lot to think about. I would be traveling to Chicago for work, so this would allow me time apart and time to think about what I really want.

We talked about possibly getting together over the weekend, possibly in Hoboken. I knew once that happened, things were going to escalate fast. I already knew he had a great body from his revealing pictures on a4a. I knew he had a healthy sex drive, so that wouldn’t be an issue. I just needed to decide if the flamboyance thing was something I could get over — Something I could either look past or fully embrace. It wasn’t my style, but after all, I was constantly expanding my horizons…

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Let’s Do Lunch

A few days after my date with Connecticut Cutie, we made plans to grab lunch.

Apparently, he had a very laxed work schedule, and he was able to come down to my neighborhood to meet me for a bite. It was nice to have a lunch date. Most days, I eat my lunch at my desk so I can go to the gym in the afternoon. It’d been some time since my last lunch date was well.

I rearranged my day so I could make this happen. I did not want to cancel on him last minute. Of course right when I was getting ready to walk out the door, people started coming to me with work. I told them I had a meeting to run to, and I snuck out of the office.

He had chosen to meet me at Cafe Rustico. It’s a small pizza place around the corner. Since I was a little late, he went to scope the place out.

When I met him on the corner by my office, he told me he wasn’t thrilled with it and asked if I knew of any good places in the neighborhood we could go. I picked a spot, Lena, and ran it by him. He was fine with it, so we decided on that. We ordered our food, and I picked up the tab. We found a small table to eat and chat. He told me more about his getting locked in the bathroom on the train going home after leaving me from our last date. He was quite a goofball. I loved it.

This time, we spent a lot of time talking about my roommates and his. Mine being my current lot, and his being his parents. Both had their positives, but they also had some big negatives as well. We also talked about our coworkers and bosses and our different situations at work. It was nice learning about his job. Last we spoke, it was left a little vague. However, overall, I think I monopolized most of the conversation.

I was enjoying spending time with him. I wasn’t completely sold on him yet. Only time would tell. But, he was certainly a nice guy and was winning me over slowly. My main hesitation was that maybe he was a little “too gay” for me. I wondered if he’d get along with my friends. My other hesitation was that he was living in Connecticut. How often were we going to be able to see each other?

We talked about what each of us had planned for the weekend. I had nothing special going on, and he was helping his dad remodel their bathroom at home. He joked about his “manly DIY project.”

After we each finished, we made our way to the door. I had to get back to work, and he needed to visit one of his stores and check on the merchandising.

We stood outside the restaurant to say our goodbyes. We exchanged a very nice hug, and then he went in for the big kiss. We pulled back, and he went in again for another, like he just couldn’t get enough. He was a good kisser. I liked it. It was a good sign for him.

I was slightly uncomfortable knowing any one of my coworkers could walk by at any second, but another part of me just didn’t care. Let them see. I’m not hiding anymore. I’m not going to walk around the office broadcasting my sexuality, but I also am not going to hide it.

I walked in the other direction with a smile from ear to ear. It’d been a while since a man kissed me like that. Lately, I’d been the one to initiate. Smiles was never particularly affectionate either.

I was heading to Chicago again for work, and I wanted to see him again before I left. When I got back to my desk, I texted him to thank him for meeting me and told him we’d get together again soon…

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Connecticut Cutie

Since I’ve been slacking, I’m going to make it up to you this week. Hope you don’t have a busy week, because you’ve got a lot of content coming your way!

For as long as I can remember, I was trying to nail down a date with a specific guy I met on He had the cutest smile that could light up a room (in case you haven’t noticed — and I’m just coming to this realization — I’m a sucker for smiles). He messaged a few times on a4a, but nothing ever materialized.

Months passed, but I could never seem to get him to meet me. He’d show a lot of interest, and then he’d disappear for a bit. Like the ocean, it was a constant ebb and flow with him. Finally, I just flat out gave up on him, and I didn’t hear from him again. When I broke up with Smiles, I went back through my saved messages and decided to hit him up and see if this time would be different.

Ironically enough, I learned he moved out of the city. He was originally from Connecticut, and he moved back home with his parents to save a little money. It seemed now he was interested in finally meeting me, just when it would be most difficult. We discussed many evenings as possibilities to grab a drink before we finally found a good day to grab lunch. Even then, we were playing things by ear.

Of course, this didn’t happen. He had to cancel on me. However, he proposed raincheck options. He agreed to meet me for a drink one night after work on his way to Grand Central to hop on Metro North to CT. I did some research to find a bar that would be convenient for both of us. We set a time, and I told him to meet me at Annie Moran’s by Grand Central Station.

I was already having reservations about this guy. Was this how it was going to be all the time. Quick rendezvous before he went home? I finished work before him, so I decided to walk there instead of taking a subway or cab. It was raining lightly, so I broke out my umbrella, however I wasn’t walking alone. I had Grindr to keep me company while I walked. I’m such a whore. I was already looking for the next date before this one even got off the ground. But, it’s what you gotta do if you have an aversion to gay clubs. I stood outside the bar paging through profiles while I waited for him to arrive. He too was walking from work, and he worked about fifteen blocks away.

Just before he walked up, he gave me a call. I told him where I was, and when he saw me he hung up. As he walked towards me, he wasn’t quite what I was expecting. It wasn’t a bad thing; he was just smaller than I originally thought. We greeted each other with a handshake, and with that made our way into the bar. He offered to buy me a drink since I’d been waiting for him. I was in charge of watching our bags and trying to find a piece of real estate to stand/sit and chat.

He came back with the beers, and we dove into conversation. It was slow going at first, going through the standard order of questions. As he talked about his job in fashion, I noticed a bit of flamboyance coming through. I wasn’t thrilled, but it was far from a deal breaker. He was certainly cute (although he looked much cuter in his pictures before he cut his hair shorter).

We talked about family, work, his moving back home, where I live and grew up, commuting nightmares, etc. It was nice. I couldn’t quite tell if he was all that into me. I was starting to think he thought I was too “straight” for him. But, as the conversation progressed, his body language began to change. I realized he may have just been nervous. Once he relaxed, I could tell, he was flirting a little heavier. After the first beer, he asked if I wanted another. I gladly accepted. I figured he was going to dictate the end of the date since he was the one who had to catch a train. He told me all about his curfew and how he’d have to take a taxi if it got past a certain hour; his parents would no longer pick him up.

We talked about watching sports on TV and participating in them. Somehow skiing came up, and I told him my story about the first time I skied and how well I did. When the group next to us lef their table I snatched it, while he got us a third round of drinks. The date was going well, or at least I thought so.

While we sat, he took the opportunity to touch my leg periodically. I love that. It’s a surefire sign of interest. I returned the favor as well. I could tell there was a lot of sexual energy between us as well. We were both feeling it. We talked more about what we do for fun when we’er not working. He told me about his old apartment and how he still comes back into the city to do rotating dinner with friends at their respectful apartments. There were slight awkward pauses, but that can be warranted on a first date.

When he finished his third beer, he told me he had to be running for his train. I thanked him for picking up the tab, and I told him I would pay next time. “If there can be a next time,” I added. I walked him to the doors of Grand Central and said goodbye. He was lingering, and I could tell he wanted a kiss. I wasn’t sure his position on PDA, but I decided to go for it. I wanted a kiss, so I was going to get one. I leaned in with my arm behind his back and gave him a nice quick kiss goodbye. We agreed to find time to see each other again soon as we parted ways.

On my ride home, I took the opportunity to text him and let him know I thought he was cute. He told he had a great time, but also told me how he’d locked himself in the bathroom on the train. It was a really funny story, and I was happy to hear he had such a great sense of humor and easy-going personality. He told me he wanted to grab lunch later in the week, and I agreed. We would figure out a time that worked for us both. I was already looking forward to it…

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