Goodbye 2011 and all the hardship that came with it. 2011 was a tough year, and I was ready to kiss it bon voyage.
New Year’s Eve had arrived, and so did Boston. He came to New York City to celebrate with some friends. They were staying at a hotel in Hell’s Kitchen and going to a bar to ring in the new year. We’d been in close contact about meeting up while he was visiting for some time.
We made plans to meet that night before I met Smiles for dinner, however these plans would be broken. As the night’s close grew nearer, Boston realized he wouldn’t have time, so we agreed to try to meet on New Year’s Day.
Instead, I killed time spying on my neighbors across the street with my roommate before venturing into the city for the night. It appeared we’d discovered two ‘mos living over there after some close examination. However, their blinds have been drawn now for quite some time, hindering further “study.”
Smiles and I had been texting about our plan for the evening. We were going to grab dinner somewhere along the way to the party on the Lower East Side, but when he tried to make a reservation for the restaurant downstairs, he realized the difficulty that may pose. Instead he proposed to make beef stroganoff for the two of us at his apartment. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea because I was looking forward to a romantic dinner for two, but it would have to suffice. (Now you can begin to see why I hate New Years).
After we finished eating, we took a cab to the apartment. Smiles spent a good portion of it on the phone with his mother. I’d already made all my new year’s calls on the walk to Smiles’ apartment from the PATH. I didn’t want to be on my phone the rest of the night trying to call people so I got it out of the way before starting our night together. I thought what he was doing was rude. When he hung up, you could cut the tension in the cab with a knife. Neither of us had anything to talk about. The night was not off to a good start.
We arrived at the party and were greeted by a very nice gentleman who was not the host. He was one of the guys Smiles had gone to Six Flags months earlier (whom he didn’t remember without a reminder). A trip I wasn’t invited on and still bitter about. When the host emerged from the shower, Smiles volunteered to run to the corner store to get necessary supplies. Apparently he wasn’t the best of hosts (or so said Smiles). He asked if I wanted to join him or stay and made sure I was okay with staying.
I took the opportunity to get to know the guy who greeted us while I waited for Smiles to return and more guests to arrive. More people joined us in waves, and it was a pleasure to meet them all. I sat on the couch talking to one in particular for some time. He seemed like a really great guy. Later in the night, I would learn from Smiles that this guy told him how great I was after learning we were together. “He had nothing but glowing praises for you,” Smiles divulged.
A majority of the night, Smiles wasn’t paying attention to me. He was far more concerned with standing in as host. He made sure everyone had a full drink at all times, including me. I had to tell him to cool it because I was getting too drunk too fast. I don’t think he realized I was also filling my own drinks besides what he brought me. I was making plenty of conversation with a lot of the other guys at the party in the meantime. Ironically enough, we were talking about dating. I was giving some of the younger guys my “fatherly advice” from my experiences, which is absurd considering I’m out less than two years. I did all this without mentioning my blog once, no matter how much I wanted to direct them to it. Smiles was still unaware I was writing OneGayAtATime.
When the ball was about to drop, the whole crowd gathered around the TV in the host’s bedroom. Smiles asked if I wanted to pile in, but I told him my lack of interest in watching the ball drop. We huddled by the door as Smiles snapped pictures of the group from the doorway. When 2012 arrived, he turned to me and laid a nice kiss on me. When he pulled back, he went in a second time. It was one of his better kisses and it was sweet, but I’m not sure it could make up for the lack of attention I received all night. It was like we were at the same party, but we certainly weren’t together.
As I talked to the other guys, I felt like I was revealing a big secret that Smiles and I were dating. No one knew, and it was as if I was letting the cat out of the bag. I felt uncomfortable about that.
The music came up and the furniture was pushed aside. The living room was now a dance floor. Smiles and I have never gone out dancing together, so I was relishing the opportunity to have a little fun with him. I started dancing with him, and he started laughing at me. It wasn’t completely insulting, but it was also a slightly belittling. I think I was making him uncomfortable (and I am not a bad dancer by any means!).
When I went to refill my drink, Smiles was in the middle of the group dancing up a storm just as I’d seen him bust a move in Central Park. I was hurt. He didn’t want to dance with me, but he did want to dance with everyone else. When I looked down, my cup had only ice in it. So I made the conscious decision to drink away my sorrows. Johnny Walker Black and I huddled in the kitchen and had a good time together.
When someone asked if I wanted to go smoke on the balcony, I jumped at the opportunity. When I got out there, there was a small group including the guy who told Smiles how great I was.
This is where the night gets foggy. There was a guy who was late to the party who was fawning all over me from that point on. He told me I was gorgeous and paid me more compliments than I can remember. I vaguely remember pointing out to him that I was dating Smiles, but that didn’t stop him. He kept laying it on thick.
From that night, the next thing I remember was walking home behind him p*ssed because I was chasing after him. We weren’t walking together. I was walking about ten paces behind him.
Smiles woke me in the morning. I was naked, so I knew we had sex, and I had an uncomfortable moist feeling between my cheeks, so I knew I was the bottom. I thought back and could remember flashes of sex from the night before, but I couldn’t remember anything about leaving the party.
After I searched for my underwear and my dignity, neither of which I could find without assistance, I picked up my phone to check messages. Apparently in my drunken stupor, I wiped out my phone trying to get into it too many times with a failed password. It was back to factory settings.
I told Smiles, and he recounted the walk home. It involved me arguing profusely that we were headed in the wrong direction (Isn’t that ironic). It involved me tapping a French woman on the shoulder and welcoming her to the country. And it involved Smiles being annoyed by my antics.
“And I haven’t even gotten to the fun part yet!” he added.
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The day of the party finally arrived. Something I start planning a year in advance was coming to fruition.
I was a little bummed however. A few of my best friends weren’t going to be able to make the party. D and his girlfriend were attending a wedding. J and his girlfriend couldn’t make it since she had finals and needed to study. A and her boyfriend were traveling out-of-state. There were still about 35 other people coming, but it wasn’t going to be the same without them. I was even more disappointed because many of them hadn’t met Smiles. I wanted to introduce him to my closest friends. Apparently my holiday parties have also developed a reputation as being my new “boyfriend” unveiling.
I was crazy all day preparing. In an act of desperation, I asked P to come over early and help with the final touches. She hauled ass and rescued me. My college teammate was also visiting from Maryland, and she pitched in to help finish things up. It would have been a mess without them.
When 7:30 rolled around, guests were supposed to be arriving. Instead, I was just hopping in the shower. (Next year I really need to hire someone to help me work the event.)
After I showered and dressed, I came out to the kitchen to find no one had arrived yet. Everyone’s late arrival was working to my advantage. People began to trickle in. Smiles was one of the earlier guests to arrive. He showed up with a bottle of wine and a very neatly decorated present. We exchanged a very nice kiss, and one of my old roommates shouted from across the room, “Oh. So that’s the new boyfriend!”
I cringed. He used the “B-word.” I should have looked at Smiles’ face to see his reaction.
I took Smiles into my bedroom to put his coat down and thanked him for the present. I unwrapped it, and it was a very cute tree ornament — Such a sweet gesture, especially for him! I gave him another big kiss to thank him.
More guests arrived, and the night was progressing pretty smoothly. Someone was commenting on Smiles helping me with some of the party maintenance and how he was so much “better than the last one,” referring to N. Just then, the door opened, and N arrived. The room got pretty quiet and everyone turned to me to see my reaction.
I walked over and gave him a hug. It was slightly awkward. Luckily, I was in the middle of things, so I didn’t have to linger on the awkwardness. When I finished, I walked over to him and pointed out all the food. He was overwhelmed by it all, and told me he was going to sample one of everything and let me know what he liked best.
I felt torn all night, and this happens every year. I feel like I never get to spend that much time with everyone because there are so many people there to talk to. There wasn’t even much work to be done during the party. I do a good job of planning ahead of time so that doesn’t happen.
My sister continued to give me dirty looks since N gravitated to her, being one of the few guests he knew.
I was having fun, and I was maintaining a good level of inebriation. Things were going well.
After a while, N was leaving to meet up with some friends. I was talking to Smiles at the time, so I introduced them, and they began to chat a bit. After he left, I told Smiles he was the ex. “Oh. He’s really nice.” I told him how he hasn’t made the effort to be a friend since things ended, and Smiles scolded me for being bitchy. I was being ever so slightly bitchy, but I thought it was humorous this was the stance he was taking. In reality, I didn’t want to be bitchy. I wanted my friend back…
As the night progressed, I received numerous praises for the food and the apartment. They couldn’t believe I whipped it into shape in the amount of time I had. Comments were also made looking forward to next years party and the food I prepare. I warned them an invite is no guarantee for the following year. It’s my way of making sure I maintain friends ;). Two comments were repeated a lot throughout the night I really appreciated. First, everyone told me how skinny I looked. That’s never a bad thing to hear. Secondly, they all told me how great Smiles is.
When things died down a bit, I took the opportunity to go out on the balcony with some friends and smoke a little. I think it put me over the edge a bit on top of all the alcohol I drank. I switched over to water to regain my composure.
We never did make it to the bar. Part of that was Smiles’ doing. I was game to move things to a local pub I frequent, especially after the continued insistence of my sister. However, Smiles was ready to call it a night. I’d already drank a lot, and it was getting late, so I gave into his desires. I said goodnight to the last guests as they left and got my teammate from Maryland settled for the night since she was staying over.
Smiles was a superstar for me that night. He took care of me and made sure I wasn’t getting too drunk. He helped clean up all night and remove trash. He schmoozed and chatted with my friends. I was very proud to be standing next to him at the end of the night. I was finally getting support from him the way I tried to support him. It felt really great.
That night, I fell asleep relatively quickly in his arms. It felt perfect. I was happy, and the only thing on my mind after that was sweet dreams…
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