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Sunshine and Smiles

Before you jump into today’s post, I’d like to bring to your attention a story a reader shared with me last night. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I was so touched by their story. Check it out here.

Back to our regularly schedule program:

When CK and I got home after a long night out on the town, we argued about the timing of the following morning. I was insistent we would keep our plans, or I would leave him behind. I wasn’t going to flake on Boston because he wanted to stay out at the bar that night. I realized we weren’t making much progress, and we were only staying up longer by arguing, so I set my alarm and climbed into bed.

The next day, I woke up and started reaching out to Boston. Much to my chagrin, he wasn’t responding. I tried over and over and over again via text and phone, but still no response. I’d already managed to get CK up, and he was being incredibly cooperative considering how early it was and how little sleep we got. I wasn’t happy because I got in an argument with CK over this, and now Boston was flaking on me. I was trying so hard to salvage this so CK wouldn’t flip out on me when I told him Boston wasn’t responding. I hit up Hip to see if he’d be interested in the beach. It’d been some time since we hung out, and I thought it would make CK much happier to have one of his friends there. I asked D and his girlfriend if they wanted to join us at the beach, and surprisingly, they were in. They would just be joining us a little later. I also reached out to my sister, and I learned she was driving out to the beach. We were planning to take the train, but now that Boston was missing in action, I asked her if she would give us a ride. Now, I had to manage the logistics of getting someone from Brooklyn, CK and I in Hell’s Kitchen and my sister coming from Hoboken through midtown coordinated.

CK and I were making great time. We hopped in a cab, and it was looking like we would all get to our meeting point at the same time. I couldn’t have been happier and more stressed. My sister arrived a few minutes before us, and we all piled into her car and were off to the beach. This was the first time my sister met Hip. I had a feeling they would get along since Hip is such a mellow guy and easy to get along with, but in her usual fashion, she took a little warming up. Once she warmed up to him, they were really hitting it off.

As we drove, I texted Boston telling him we were on our way and invited him to join us out there when he and the girl he was staying with got moving for the day, but I had a strong feeling I wasn’t going to see him. About half way out there, he finally called and told me he was way too hungover to come out to the beach. He offered to meet up later that evening, so I told him I would hit him up on my way home.

We arrived at the beach and spread out, taking over a solid chunk of beach. D and his girlfriend were on their way and would be joining us shortly. This day was going so much more smoothly than I ever thought possible. The weather was gorgeous, and we were all having a blast. I was really enjoying being with such a great group. Everyone was relaxed and having fun. We took a picture together, and we all agreed it was the picture of the summer. Now that summer is over, I can testify it was, at least for me.

Later in the day, CK and I decided to go for a jog/walk. It was nice to separate from the group for a little and take a nice stroll. We talked about the night before, and he apologized. He also thanked me for such a great day. The biggest smile grew across my face. I know I was stressed that morning and annoyed how things were playing out, but it was all worth it to have such a fun and carefree day. I was so happy with him. I loved him, and I couldn’t see myself with any other man. He was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

We stopped to take pictures on the rocks of the jetty. This quickly turned into a typical CK photo shoot, which I’m not the most thrilled with. I’m not a fan of having my picture taken because 99% of the time, I hate the results. I don’t like being in the spotlight, but CK does. When I take the pictures of him, I know these pictures will be sorted through as fodder for his Instagram feed. This is yet another account of my attention not being enough. He still needed the attention of his adoring fans. I wasn’t crushed by this. I have thicker skin than that, but it didn’t exactly have a positive effect on my feelings. On top of that, I knew everyone was about ready to go home when we started our walk. I didn’t want to make them wait too long to leave. I tried to be a good sport and shot some pictures of him and even let him snap a few of me, but the time came for me to insist we return to the group.

As we walked back, we passed two hot and I can only assume straight men walking the opposite direction. As we passed, CK not only made a comment regarding their aesthetic, but took the conversation one step further and asked if I would ever entertain the idea of fooling around with another couple (acknowledging a previous unprovoked sentiment I stated expressing my lack of interest in ever bringing another person into our relationship). I immediately started getting very anxious, and my heart sank a little. I was immediately taken back to the previous night with him looking around the bar to see who was looking at him. I was right back to worrying I would not be enough for him. My heart beat started pacing. I immediately and definitively expressed to him my feelings on this, and I think he recognized how worked up this was making me. I told him this was my worry when I finally came out. I didn’t know if I could ever find a man who would settle down with me and give me a “traditional” relationship. I realized that’s not for everyone, but that’s what I wanted. It’s not something I wanted to compromise on, nor do I think it’s something I should budge on. Now, I was worrying if CK was the right man for me.

“This isn’t something I want. I just wanted to know if you would be open to this,” he said. I responded, “If it’s not something you want or you’re interested in, then why did you bring it up? If this is coming up now when everything is fresh and fun, how’s it going to be ten years from now? Will I ever be enough for you?” He started backtracking immediately. He put his hands on my shoulders and said, “Babe, you are who I want. No one else. I was just asking the question, not proposing we do it.” I explained to him how worried I was that it was even brought up.  He managed to calm me down and acknowledged that knowing that was off the table does not make him want to stop dating me. He added, “You have nothing to worry about. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” I was a bit more relaxed, but I was still questioning if I was enough for CK. It had been the theme of many of my past relationships, and I didn’t want to go through that again.

When we got back, we all packed up and headed home. On the ride home, I fell asleep in CK’s lap. Unbeknownst to me, Hip and my sister we’re now like two peas in a pod. They were having so much fun together blasting music and weaving through traffic. D and his girlfriend were following, so when traffic came to a halt, Hip climbed up through the sunroof and started making faces and flailing around at them.

When we got back to the city, my sister dropped the three of us off at CK’s. He needed to pack an overnight bag before we went back to Hoboken for the night. We hung out for a majority of the evening before finally taking the bus to the other side of the Hudson River. Not before getting ice cream, of course. In the end, I didn’t get to hang out with Boston before he left town. It just didn’t work out. Maybe I’d have to wait another year to finally see him.

All in all, it was a great day. I had so much fun hanging with my friend and CK’s friends. It was completely refreshing to see his friends getting along with my friends. It wasn’t all roses and sunshine, however. I was still worried I wasn’t the man CK was looking for. I worried I was looking for him to settle down with me, and he wasn’t quite ready for that. It’s not that I didn’t trust him to not cheat on me so much as worrying we didn’t have the same relationship goals and outlook. Only time would tell if our paths were heading in the same direction.

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Whoopsie!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Surprise Ending

When I got home from my dinner date with Smiles, I sent him a text asking if I could spend the following night with him at his place. I wasn’t sure if he’d already passed out, but I never got a response. I was hoping he’d answer me before I left for work in the morning so I knew if I should bring clothes for work the next day.

My office party was that Wednesday night at the Greenwich Village Country Club. We weren’t able to bring guests, but I was hoping I could see Smiles following the party. I wasn’t all that into it and was willing to leave early if need be.

Wednesday morning arrived, and I still had no answer. I decided to be on the safe side and bring clothes regardless. Maybe he’d answer me midday. When I didn’t get an answer, I asked the question again in a text.

He responded with an apology. He didn’t realize he didn’t respond the night before. “Yes. You can spend the night.” I explained the party, and he told me he had happy hour plans with his wealthy client friend and his partner.

For me, the office party was not all fun. Every year I get wrangled in to help with a few elements of the night. I performed my duties and then had fun drinking and dancing with my coworkers. It was a really good time — Better than I expected. However, I was more looking forward to seeing Smiles.

I texted him to see what he was up to. If he was still out, I was going to meet up with him. He told me he was wrapping up drinks and heading home shortly. I told him I would be leaving the party shortly as well and would come by.

I said my goodbyes and collected my coat. I wasn’t that far from his apartment, so I decided to walk. While I walked, I called his phone just to make sure he was home. I called about 10 times in a row with no answer. I sent text messages and heard nothing back as well. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I decided to continue on to his place. Finally, just as I was nearing his block, he picked up. His phone was on silent in the other room, but he was home.

He buzzed me in, and I came upstairs. I gave him a big kiss hello. I wasn’t drunk, but I was properly tipsy.

We talked about happy hour and the party while we hopped into bed. I undressed and hopped on “my side” of the bed, and he slid into his side.

Just recently, I made the switch back to briefs periodically. I decided I looked good in them since they showed off my legs — The same legs Smiles loved to compliment. So I knew what I was doing when I laid on my back in just briefs while talking to him. We chatted a bit before he made a big move. My seduction worked.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some… As I laid on my back in my briefs, he started groping my crotch as he rolled over partially on top of me to make out. This was a bit out of character for Smiles, but I like it. Apparently he liked what he saw and went for it. I could get used to that.

Things got more heated and passionate and the clothes came off. I thought this was going to be the extent of our romp in the sheets, but apparently he was ready to escalate things. He proposed sex. I was a little apprehensive because he was still recovering from surgery. I didn’t want to further injure him. He detailed his limitations; he couldn’t top and he couldn’t put his legs up. I was still worried I may hurt him, but if he was good for it, I was game.

With that, he put a condom on me, and he climbed on top. It didn’t take long before I lost it. I’d been drinking the better portion of the night, and that really wasn’t helping at the moment. “I always lose you in this position,” he said. I found that ironic, because that was the position Broadway and I so often found ourselves in.

“Have you ever done poppers? he asked. I told him I’d never done them myself, but I’d witnessed them used. He told me it increased blood-flow and would produce one of two effects. Either it would make the problem worse or it would solve it. I figured it was worth a shot, so I agreed to partake.

He opened his nightstand drawer and pulled out a small vial. He held it up to my nose as I inhaled. Sadly, it had a negative effect.

“Let’s try one more thing. Stand up. It may help the circulation,” he told me. So I did what I was told. Magically, it worked. He turned, and I pressed my chest against his back. He lubed me up and bent over the bed, and we went at it. Finally, we were having great sex, even if it did get off to a rocky start. Apparently, he also was enjoying it as he finished on the floor. Just as he did, he turned around and said, “I wish I could make you cum.”

And it was over… I was close to finishing, but him pointing that out to me made me lose it immediately. My mind switched over immediately.

He walked to the shower, and I laid in the bed. I wanted to hop in the shower, but that wasn’t physically possible based on his setup. I thought we could have more fun and maybe I would finish. When he came back, I took off his towel and pulled him into the bed. I told him not to say things like that because it was a sure fire way to make sure I didn’t finish with him.

We cuddled for a bit, just laying in each others’ arms. Just as he was about to get up to go brush his teeth, I asked him if I could ask another question. I wanted to ask him where we stood. I wanted to know what I was to him. However, as he walked away, he responded, “No.”

I was a little crushed. I went from being so happy to finally be having great sex to utter disappointment. How was I supposed to be in a relationship with him if I couldn’t express how I was feeling.

He came back, and I was already prepped for bed. I curled up facing the wall ready for sleep. I wanted him to read my body language and realize how much I closed off, but I don’t know if he got the hint.

That night I had a dream about Smiles. I specifically remember him in the dream saying to me, “You know I like you, right?” It was the reassurance I wanted in reality, but this was a figment of my imagination. It was just that – A dream.

For the rest of the night, I didn’t sleep well. I tossed and turned like the inner turmoil I so wanted to release.

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