Posts Tagged sacrifice
Even though we had no plans, and it was a lazy Saturday, CK and I finally got motivated to make moves. Hip was on his way back to Brooklyn, and I needed to make my way back to my place at some point. I didn’t have anything with me for a Saturday afternoon or Saturday night. I hadn’t been home in a while, and I needed to get my bearings.
We got our act together and finally made our way to Hoboken. We lounged around my apartment for a little while before we were invited to a barbecue at D and K’s. I asked CK if he wanted to hit it up for dinner. Either way, we needed to eat. This would be a cost/time effective way to grab a bite. Of course we took our sweet old time and found time to cuddle and fool around a little. In the end, we wouldn’t have to cook, and I would gather some food from my fridge to take over. I had a few fillet mignons in the freezer, so I grabbed them and we made our way the few blocks.
There was a small crew already gathering. As we entered, we said hello to everyone. I was noticing how welcoming my friends were to CK as well as how integrated CK was in the group. This brought a smile across my face. He wasn’t shy and quiet and huddled in the corner. I didn’t need to hold his hand through every outing. He would strike up his own conversations. He was part of the crew.
We made our way out to the backyard, and everyone helped out in typical fashion. Some people manned the grill, others poured water, others began bringing supplies downstairs, and others over-manned the grill. D always flipped out on the people who insisted on opening the grill lid and flipping things too many times. I learned long ago, when you are at another man’s abode, he is the king of the grill. You do not touch that thing unless you are requested to. I was thrilled to not be manning the grill considering in previous years, all the barbecues were at my apartment since I was the only one with outdoor space.
When the food was ready, we all gathered around the table to eat. We poured cocktails and enjoyed the food. I looked around at all of my closest friends and my man sitting next to me, and all I could do was smile. CK turned to me and said, “What?” I told him, “I’m just so happy!” He smiled back and stroked my knee as we both leaned in for a kiss.
While we ate, everyone began chatting about their plans for the evening. CK and I had a discussion not long ago about having better lines of communication. We weren’t going to put each other on the spot to make public decisions. I was very conscious of this as they all chatted. I told them we hadn’t decided what we were going to do yet so we could talk. “We haven’t even thought about what we want to do tonight yet. We got up late this morning. We may head back into the city, but we don’t know…” I added. I wanted CK to feel this was a pressure-free decision. We would talk about it when we got back to my place. If he wanted to stay in Hoboken, we would stay. If he wanted to do something else, I was game. Obviously, I was leaning toward sticking around Hoboken for a pub night with my friends, but I’m not so sure CK was thrilled with the idea.
In the end, we to stayed in Hoboken. It made sense too, because K invited us to her parent’s lake-house the following morning. Everyone was headed to one of my favorite bars, Cooper’s Union. I was happy to go there since the bartender takes good care of me and my friends. CK had to borrow a teeshirt since he didn’t pack anything to go out for the night, but he looked great and totally fit the part. When we got there, no one was playing shuffleboard, so I suggested we hit that up. CK seemed to be moping a bit. While I’m sure hanging out in a pub with my friends wasn’t his ideal situation, he didn’t offer up an alternative.
As the night went on, CK began to liven up. We made our way to McSwiggans for a few drinks and to dance in “our spot.” Every time a big group of my friends and I head there, we take over the only spacious part of the bar and form our own dance circle. Nobody is bustin’ a move, but we all move around, make fun of each other and have fun while we drink. I never truly felt comfortable there being publicly affectionate with CK. I wasn’t hiding my affections for him, but I certainly wasn’t making them obvious. We were never making out on the dance-floor, but we did dance together and have our arms around each other periodically. I could feel the eyes on me from time to time, but I learned to look past them. CK taught me that. I no longer cared what others thought. I was with the man that made me happiest, and that was nothing to be ashamed of.
When a few of the girls were tired of dancing there, they suggested we head next door to the Shannon. I was adamantly opposed to this. I hadn’t been there in over two years, and for good reason. That place was never anything I enjoyed. We entered, and it was like a porthole to the Jersey Shore. Shockingly, CK was having a blast. I told him of the similarity to the bar and the Jersey Shore, and he added, “If this is what it’s like, let’s go!” You could have knocked me over with a feather. I’d had a blast at The Shore, but I never expected him to want to go. I was blown away, however I was also thrilled to see him having such a good time.
I know we weren’t out with his friends and it took a little more effort on his part to hang out at the bars I liked going to, but none of that went unnoticed. I witnessed the sacrifice and the effort, and it made me love him even more. When we were finally exhausted, we made our way home to my apartment. We were already invited to hit up the lake the following day, so we needed to get to bed at somewhat of a decent hour so we could wake up in time to go.
Both of us were hoping my roommates were away so we could have our own raucous party — In my bed. Sure, we had a hot night in his bed the night before, but we were on a roll. Great sex was inevitable, and that night, it certainly didn’t disappoint!
After realizing PR wasn’t the one for me, I was ready to move on. I liked him a lot, but I felt we’d be sacrificing ourselves to stay together, and that’s not fair to either of us.
Wednesday night after work, we made plans to meet down near his neighborhood for some cocktails. I let him pick the place, and he told me where to meet him. When I arrived to the corner where he was, he immediately came off as shy. We shook hands and introduced ourselves, which always feels forced and awkward for me. I sometimes wonder if a hug may be more appropriate considering we’re about to embark on a date, but I never have the guts to go in for it from the start.
We walked towards the bar he had in mind while we struggled to make small talk. I asked him about his day and how work was. In turn he asked the same questions, and I detailed my boring day at the office.
Finally, we arrived at the establishment, The Dove Parlour and took our seats on two bar stools on the corner of the bar. We ordered our drinks and returned to our awkwardly forced conversation. Again, we returned to the topic of work. Every question I asked him was returned with a quick short response. It was like pulling teeth to keep the conversation going. There were long periods of silence I wasn’t sure how to deal with.
When we finished our second drink, the bartender approached and asked if we’d like another. This is where I failed miserably. This is why I’m too nice. I defaulted to him, expecting him to have felt as awkward as I did, but instead, he asked for another round. I was shocked. Did he think this date was going well? How could he?
I sat there and struggled to find a subject to continue to talk about over the next round of drinks. I was ready to leave, but I felt I’d be rude. I was in for another night of wasting my own time due to my lack of confidence to say, “I’m sorry, but I think I’m going to go.”
I ended up staying for two more rounds — Four in total. Things were slowly improving. As the drinks passed his lips more words finally came out the opposite direction. He was finally starting to hold a real conversation. The topics were nothing exciting, but at least it was bearable.
By the end of our fourth round, he wanted a kiss. He moved in to make a move, and I allowed it. It’d been a while since a man kissed me, but I wasn’t entirely weak in the knees from it. He really did have soft lips and was a good kisser, but that didn’t negate the fact that our date was not going well.
He beckoned me to change stools so we weren’t straddling the corner. He wanted me to be closer. At this point, he wanted a makeout session. I wasn’t having any of that. I don’t make out in bars (not unless I’m hammered and don’t know any better, and the last time I did that was with a woman).
I told him I thought it was bad manners to make out at the bar. I pointed out how it always turns into a spectacle, especially when it’s two men kissing each other. He pointed out the lack of people in the bar and asked if I wasn’t comfortable with my sexuality in public. I pointed out if he was a woman, I’d feel the same way. There’s never a need to make out at the bar. Take it outside. This was going to be a point we differed on, because he did not stop attempting to convince me to lock lips. This is when I basically told him to back off. It wasn’t going to happen.
When we were ready to leave, he decided to walk me to the PATH — The complete opposite direction of his apartment. He was going to take a cab home and mentioned something about his supervisor paying for it.
When we got to the PATH station, he took the opportunity to pin me against the fence so he could have his makeout session. Again, I’m too nice and too accommodating, but at least he was a good kisser. It was an amazing change of pace from the night before, in which my “date” tried to eat my face.
Finally, I pulled back and said goodbye. He mentioned his desire to meet again in the near future, and I left that door open for possibility (seeing the too nice trend beginning here). When I got to the other side of the Hudson, I had a text waiting for me: “In spite of being terrified, I had a really good time! Hope to see you soon!” I simply responded, “Terrified?” “Oh, I have panic attacks before dates,” he added.
I didn’t respond, but in the morning, I had another text waiting for me: “Those French Lavenders (the drinks he was having) pack a punch. Sorry :/” I simply put his mind at ease and said, “No worries.” That would be the last I would hear from him. I was happy to skip all the awkward texts and requests. He simply took the hint I wasn’t interested and moved on…Follow @onegayatatime
It was obvious things were strained between Smiles and I. For quite some time, our relationship was on the decline. He was distant, closed off, and not very engaged, and I wasn’t happy.
I tried to stick it out with him. I tried being patient and understanding. He was a good guy, and I could see there was a great guy under all this. But, I had reached my limit. I knew I deserved better. It was time to move on.
Wednesday passed without communication from Smiles, so I sent him a text in the middle of the afternoon. “It’s apparent you’re trying to put distance between us. Can you possibly find time to discuss things with me in person? Thanks,” I typed.
He responded ten minutes later with: “I can this weekend. I’m up at 5:30 and in bed at 12:30 and not a lot of time in between. This weekend will be a littler better but not much. I will make something work though.”
Wow! It was all I could do to restrain myself from responding, “Thanks for squeezing me in!” How could he!? After three months of dating, he couldn’t sacrifice a gym session to take the time to talk to me like a man. What a coward! It was completely disrespectful and painted a clear picture of Smiles’ true feeling for me. I doubt he ever truly cared for me. He simply enjoyed not being lonely.
I’m no one’s lap dog. I was back in the game. In my mind, we were all but broken up. It was inevitable. There was no coming back from this, especially since the relationship wasn’t the strongest to begin with. I’d been through yet another failed relationship with a man who simply wasn’t that into me. My confidence was pretty much shot. What was it about me they couldn’t seem to embrace? I’m not pathetic enough to say what was I doing wrong, but I also knew I may be something to turn these men off.
Regardless, I was back in the game. I needed to put myself back out there. Some people would argue I needed some time to be single and to figure myself out, but I know myself well enough. I didn’t need time to heal from this one. I did need to have some fun. It’d been a long time since I had passionate active sex, and I was hungry for it.
After my last breakup, I went wild over the summer. I hooked up with a lot of guys and expanded my sexual horizons. It was both a good thing and a bad thing. I didn’t want to go back to my old ways. I already learned how unfulfilling it was. There was no need to repeat old mistakes. But I wasn’t going to completely limit myself. I was “single” for all intents and purposes.
I had been talking to a Latino on Grindr for a bit of time. He seemed like a really nice guy, and we had a lot in common. Latinos aren’t really my type, but I’m an equal opportunity dater. N was of Latino background, and we got along well enough in the beginning.
We set a date for Thursday night to grab a drink at a local Hoboken bar, Trinity. He lived in neighboring Jersey City, and I convinced him to drive over since I didn’t have a car — It was a bit cold for the motorcycle.
He arrived before me, and found a spot in the corner of the bar. It was a good spot since we could talk without a large crowd of spectators. I shook his hand and introduced myself. He did the same, and I immediately recognized an accent of some sort. I asked him where he is from.
He told me of his roots in Venezuela and asked about my upbringing. I told him about my time growing up on the farm and how I came to live in the shadow of New York City.
We’d learned about our shared interest in volleyball and talked about that for some time. He was much more of an amateur than myself, but it was nice to find someone who had an interest in it.
We somehow got on the subject of coming out and families. He told me he’d been out of the closet since he was eighteen. He asked when I came out, and I proudly told him I was fresh and new. I told him I’d only come out about a year and a half ago. The expression of shock and disappointment on his face said it all. I knew the date was a failure. We chatted a bit about it, and I could tell he was not thrilled with the idea of my being a “new gay.” I tried to explain to him I wasn’t new. On the timeline, it may seem short, but I did a lot in that short period of time. I grew in leaps and bounds and had relationships of all sorts with varied men. For the first time in my life, I was trying to vaguely paint myself as a recovering whore.
When I think back about this, it was a dumb idea. If it was something that bothered him, I should have accepted that and moved on. I didn’t need to end the date then and there, but I shouldn’t have tried so hard so early to be what he wanted. I should have just been myself. This may be why I get involved with men that aren’t truly interested in me.
Somehow our discussion morphed into the topic of sex with women. He’d never been with a woman, but I have. I was just adding water to the fire with every sentence. We talked about the local gay dating ring, Grindr and the like. It was an interesting conversation, as we the entire date, but I doubted there would be a second.
When we finished that drink, I paid the bill and offered to walk him to his car. When we got there, I went in for a kiss. It was pretty bad. We pretty much crashed into each other with a forceful peck. I’m not sure why I kissed him if I wasn’t all that interested in him. I think it’s because I’ve been out of the game for some time, and I just felt like it was what I was supposed to do.
As I walked home, I checked my phone to find out one of the guys I’d met from Grindr months ago was moving to Hoboken. We’d been in touch sporadically since we originally met. He was just coming off a really rough breakup, and I was just starting things off with Smiles. I met him in hopes of making a new gay friend. I needed those as much as I needed lovers. He’d invited me to go out a few times, but I was never able to due to other plans. Now we’d be neighbors, and hanging out would be much easier. I was just what I needed to come back into my life at that moment.Follow @onegayatatime
When Smiles and I spoke on the phone Sunday night on his way home from a party in Connecticut, I asked him to come to my apartment for a special dinner Monday night. He told me he had to work, but he was going to leave early and we’d just eat a little later. I told him this was perfect since it would take some time to cook the roast after work.
I’d told Smiles about my standing rib roast before, and he didn’t quite get what it was. I explained to him the similarity of it what one might be served at a carving station at a wedding reception. He got a clearer picture, but it still wasn’t crystal clear.
I had a rib roast in my freezer with our name on it. I finally had a chance to cook it for us, and he was on-board. I was excited. It was a plan.
Monday morning, before work, I took the roast out of the freezer to thaw for that night. I planned out the accoutrements as well. I was very excited for our romantic night. It’d been a while since we spent time together. I wanted a night of beef, wine, couch, and bed. The thought sounded spectacular to me!
What excited me even more was the idea of my sanity back. I planned to ask Smiles that night where we stood. I didn’t need a title. I didn’t need to be his boyfriend. I just wanted to know where his head was at.
Much to my chagrin, at 1:00 that afternoon, Smiles sent me a text with some bad news. “Looks like I have people coming tonight so I’m not going to be able to sneak out. I don’t think dinner at 11:00 would be the bet. Do you want to have an early dinner here in the city before he show?” Very disappointed, I agreed with a “Sure.”
I was p*ssed. It wasn’t his fault, but I was a little crushed since I was taking so much care to plan out the evening, and it all went to sh*t. He suggested we do it another night, but came up with a consolation prize. He suggested I come over to his apartment for dinner instead before the screening. I begrudgingly agreed to the idea since it’d been so long since I’d seen him, and I sent my roommate a text asking him to put the roast back in the freezer.
When I finished work, I made my way downtown to his apartment. When I arrived, I was shocked to be received with a nice big kiss. Maybe he missed me. Maybe I wasn’t just a seat warmer in this relationship. There was actually emotion behind that kiss. I was happy.
I was a little anxious because I was still planning to ask him where we stood that evening.
He told me he had food in the fridge to make and suggested we cook that instead of going out for dinner. He preferred that since he wasn’t feeling well, and he was exhausted. It made no difference to me. Asking him my question in the privacy of his apartment sounded like such a better idea than in a restaurant anyway.
I ended up cooking the pork chops and asparagus for the two of us since Smiles wasn’t quite himself. We sat and ate — Him at his computer chair working while he ate and me on the couch. Not nearly the romantic meal I planned for the evening. When we finished, I helped him clean up and put the leftovers away. He started getting ready for the rest of his night, and we talked about my plans. He asked if I was planning to spend the night. “Well, I guess the first question I should ask is if you were planning to come to the screening tonight,” he added.
This was the first I was hearing this. I was quite open to the idea, but I told him, “I have nothing for work tomorrow. You were supposed to be coming out to Hoboken, remember.” “Right,” he responded. I reminded him I’d seen the movie twice now, but if he wanted company, I would come with him. I asked if he actually watches the movie, or if he does other things during the film. He told me he usually watches most of it. Things remained unsettled as he made his way over to the couch to take a quick nap on me.
That was my opportunity to ask him my burning question. Every moment I tried to open my mouth, I froze. Nothing would come out. I was suddenly transported back to when I sat on the couch trying to tell my parents I was gay. The anxiety was making my heart pound out of my chest. I tried over and over to ask him, but I couldn’t muster the courage. I’m not sure what I was afraid of, but it was driving me insane.
After a half hour of this, it was time for him to get up. I asked him if he wanted me to sleep over, or did he want to get some rest alone. We made a final decision. It was better he get some uninterrupted rest that night since he was so exhausted as much as I wanted to spend the night with him. He told me, “It’s very sweet of you to offer to see the film again to spend the night with me.” I liked hearing that. He recognized the sacrifice I was willing to make to spend time with him.
With that, I said goodbye, and he made his way to the screening while I made my way to the PATH — Without my answer.
I was so p*ssed at myself for getting so worked up about a stupid question. What was wrong with me?! Obviously, I needed someone to talk to. I tried Boston, my therapist. I needed him to talk me off the ledge and help me make sense of the situation. I couldn’t do it on my own. We talked it over for over a half hour and he convinced me I had no choice but to blatantly ask him where we stood. We even helped me nail down the phrasing.
When I got to the other side of the tunnel in Hoboken, I got a text from Smiles telling me he was on his way home. His friends never showed. My blood was boiling. We cancelled our dinner plans for NOTHING. I still had no closure on where I stood with Smiles. It certainly was going to be a toss-n-turn kinda night…