Since my last date with Southern Drawl, he had been bothering me for another date. I was trying to take things slow with him. I wasn’t gaga for him by any means. He was growing on me a little, but he still left a lot to be desired.
We made plans to make plans after work Tuesday evening. I left work when he was about finished after trying to bang out a blog entry and made my way downtown to his office. I waited for him on the street corner to finish work for about ten minutes when it began to drizzle. I had not expected rain at all and had no umbrella. I was growing impatient. I called him, but he didn’t answer. Finally, I noticed him walking up to me at a very slow pace with his headphones attached to his phone.
Normally, I would greet someone I’d gone on this many dates with a kiss, but not him. He was too self-conscious. He was not out and was not comfortable with public displays of affection. This bothered me. I needed someone who could love himself enough to not care about everyone else.
We decided to walk downtown on the High Line. I climbed the stairs, and he walked behind me. We took a nice stroll south to find a place to grab dinner. We didn’t have a place in mind, but we had a neighborhood — the West Village. We talked about our days while we walked. Once again, he made a crack, and I didn’t respond well. It was always hard to gauge his sense of humor. We never seemed to be on the same page. If I joked back, he would tell me I was getting defensive and loud. It was insulting. He obviously didn’t get my sarcastic sense of humor.
When we reached the end of the High Line, we descended the stairwell and walked to find food. We passed more than a few places that looked good, but they didn’t have any available tables. They were either too crowded or they appeared non-desirable. We finally came to Frankies 570. I had been there, and the food is amazing. I hesitated going there for a solid second because I already had memories with Smiles there. We shared a really nice meal there one night after work. Then I thought about it, and it made more sense for me to expunge those memories. I could overwrite them with new ones. I didn’t exactly have positive associations with him. I felt used by him as a meal companion.
I suggested it to S.D., and we perused menu before going in. He agreed on the spot and was seated by the front widow at a nice table for two. We ordered drinks and chatted casually. It was nice to sit and relax and just talk about things and my day. We discussed his coming trip home. He was very excited. This would be the last time I saw him before he left. He told me he’d be sending me a lot of pictures from home and would call periodically.
Throughout dinner, he was much more demur than usual. There were no overtly sexual comments and no innuendoes. It was kinda nice. He asked a lot of questions as well. Usually, he was just talking away. It was nice to talk about our upbringings and his home, however, his sense of entitlement was still shining through. He spoke about politics and slavery. He told me stories of his family and how they basically still had slaves. He certainly wasn’t winning me over. I was never all that thrilled with the South’s way of doing things, and he was certainly perpetuating the stereotype in my mind. I also learned how important money is to him, and it was a real turnoff.
Slowly but surely, I was realizing this guy really wasn’t right for me. We had so little in common. I was simply enamored by someone paying attention to me and being interested in me. We were in a downward spiral.
On the positive side, my meal was spectacular. I ordered the rabbit ragu and enjoyed every bite. My drinks was pretty amazing as well.
When we finished eating, we sat there talking a bit more before heading out. When we finished our drinks, he accidentally spilled his water all over me. It was a bit humorous because we were just joking about it, and it embarrassed him immensely. The table next to us took notice of the large commotion this caused, as did the wait staff. We paid our tab and made our way out into the street.
He walked me to the corner to say goodbye. I could tell he was very uncomfortable. I was a block from the PATH and ready to head home. I was not going to a second location, and I was not going home with him. I think he was itching to hang out more, but I wasn’t interested. Just as I was about to go in for a kiss, he turned his head. I was partially p*ssed and partially happy. This was creating an out for me. I scoffed at him and began to walk across the street to go home. He chased me and stopped me on the other side of the street. I told him what he did was not cool at all. As he went in for a kiss, I played along, and at the last second, I too turned my head. Just then, a man was crossing the street and witnessed this. He began to chuckle to himself, and I pointed this out to S.D. He was embarrassed. It served him right. If he thought he had a chance with me, he’d have to sack up. I wasn’t about to date a closet case. I’d moved past that.
We said our goodbyes, and we finally did share a kiss. There was nothing magical. He was still self-conscious. He may have made a good friend, but I couldn’t see myself with him in a relationship. I finally came to see the light. I said goodnight and hailed him a cab. I put him in the cab and said goodbye. I wouldn’t see him for over a week. This would give time for things to settle and fizzle out. I wasn’t going to end things over the phone across state lines, but I wasn’t going to make myself available while he was gone.
After all, I was back out there searching for a real prospect. I needed a real man who could make me happy. I didn’t need to settle on a guy like this. I live in NYC. I fired up Grindr to check my messages on my walk home. There are great gay men everywhere. Now, they just needed to find me…
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Smiles and I spent the better portion of our Tuesday evening trekking out to Brooklyn so he could basically say hello to his photographer friend who was showing his photographs at a local bar. I spent a majority of the night as a decorative ornament while Smiles went about his evening.
We were attempting to return to our original plans to see the newest Twilight film, but were unsure of the feasibility of that depending on showtimes.
When we came above ground near Union Square, I pulled out my phone to check showtimes. We planned the evening very poorly because the movie wasn’t being shown in Union Square. Smiles suggested we check out some of the other theaters in the city, but I could tell he wasn’t all that into it. I didn’t even like the movie all that much. He’d mentioned the desire to see it the last time we were in Brooklyn. I took the time to get caught up so we could go see it together.
When it was looking nearly impossible to see the film, he suggested we just grab dinner instead of running all over the city. I was a little p*ssed. There was little reason we couldn’t go back to Hoboken and catch the late screening and not even have to pay for it, but I felt that suggestion would fall on deaf ears. He didn’t want to run all over the city after he drug me out to Brooklyn and back — How considerate of him.
Just then, we happened upon Babbo, Mario Batali’s restaurant in Greenwich Village. He asked if I was interested in trying there. I’d never been and heard people rave about it, so I agreed to make that our plans for the evening. At least all wasn’t lost.
There was a wait, so we grabbed a drink at the bar while we waited. We stood over the should of a couple while I joked about the absurdity of their cheese plate. It was enough to feed one mouse, let alone two people share it. I am not one to scoff at refined tastes and classy things. I appreciate them greaty. But, when it comes to things like that, I have to chuckle a little. Smiles wasn’t appreciating my sentiment.
We finally got a table and sat to decide what to order. I knew before we walked in this was going to be a very expensive dinner, but it was Babbo. It wasn’t an everyday restaurant. We decided to share two appetizers. One of them was beets — his suggestion. I’m am quite a foodie, but there are a lot of things I’ve never sampled. Beets was one of them. I told him this, and he was shocked. He asked if I was okay with it, and I told him I was feeling very adventurous. We ordered the beets and the octopus per the waiters suggestion.
When the waiter asked what we’d like for our main course, I decided to continue my adventurous streak. I ordered the rabbit. I’d never had it, and if there was a restaurant to try it, Babbo was it.
Our appetizer arrived, and I was quite pleased with both. The octopus was excellent, and the beet salad had great flavor. I wasn’t in a drinking mood that night, so I was fine nursing the wine I’d had at the bar, but Smiles ordered a second drink and insisted I do the same.
When our entrees arrived, I was quite happy with my order. It was the perfect portion size and quite tasty — not very different from chicken. My compliments to the chef. The side we ordered to share, which I still am not quite sure what it is, resembled broccoli rabe when it arrived. I knew I wasn’t going to like it when I saw it, but I tried it anyway.
Throughout dinner, Smiles detailed for me all his future aspirations. He had a lot going on and was continuously trying to expand his empire. I didn’t necessarily disagree with a single one of his plans. I did, however, disagree with the timing of them. It just seemed like an overly ambitious timeline.
I’m a very opinionated person. When someone presents me with an idea I don’t agree with, I generally speak my mind. In situations as these with Smiles, I censored myself only slightly. I wasn’t being my true self and giving my hard opinion regardless. I was simply playing devil’s advocate to help him come to the realization some of his ideas were unrealistic.
This was the first night we kinda went back-n-forth on the subject. I was giving my realist opinion. He seemed slightly agitated, and I began to wonder if he was just looking for me to blindly support him.
That’s not who I am, so I wasn’t about to start doing that, but I also thought I could tone it down a bit. I didn’t need to rain on his parade every time he got overly ambitious. I was going to make an effort to be much more choosey in my words going forward.
When dinner ended, we sat and finished our drinks. The waiter offered us dessert menus, but we were both stuffed, and the meal was already bound to hit the wallet hard.
We paid our bill and collected our coats from coat-check. Smiles was generous to tip for both of us. We walked into the street and began to head towards the PATH. I took the opportunity to hook my arm into his. I’m not sure he appreciated it, but after the night I had with him, I was taking it. Whether he liked it or not.
There were times periodically I felt he was against PDA. However, I began to feel it wasn’t PDA after a while. I started to wonder if it was PDA with me. I wondered if he didn’t want other people to see him tied down to me. They may get the idea we’re together, and who would want that? Tonight, I didn’t care. I was taking his arm.
When we got to our typical midpoint, our goodbye was exceptionally unceremonious. I barely got a kiss, and he was off in the cold of the night.
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