Posts Tagged sanity
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…
I hadn’t seen Smiles in a week. The holiday break meant we’d be spending a fair amount of time apart. Time apart can be a good thing, but I missed him. I wanted to see him, and I was trying to do what I could to make that happen sooner than later.
In the middle of the afternoon, he called. He wasn’t going to be able to meet for lunch because he was still with his client, and even if he did finish in a timely manner, his brain was mush and he was a mess mentally. “It wouldn’t be fair to you because I would be a shell of a person, and I wouldn’t exactly be present,” he added. We agreed to shoot for lunch the following day, Tuesday, and he promised he would call me later when he had more time/sanity.
At ten after five, I received a text from Smiles: “Hey babe. How did your day finish up?” I told him, “Today, I didn’t do one shred of work other than sending someone a file. Getting ready to head home soon…” I wanted him to know I was heading home since he wasn’t able to meet up. I wasn’t going to hang around for the possibility of seeing him…Follow @onegayatatime
Over the next few days, I thought a lot about my relationship with Smiles. It was a constant roller-coaster. As far as relationships go, I am an infant. I’ve had all of five real relationships in my life, including this one. I was still learning how to be in one.
I needed to clear my head. For three days straight, I woke up early to run. It was the perfect way to start my day, I allowed me time to think without really being distracted, and I was able to work towards my spiteful goal of losing my pudge as Smiles so gently pointed out.
It was also beginning to be quite a busy week for me at work. Tuesday I worked until midnight. I talked to Smiles that night when I had a break to make dinner plans with him for the following night. Since I started dating him, I purchased a lot of Groupons for restaurants, so I thought it was time to start using them up. I was eating out at restaurants a lot more than I would have if I weren’t dating Smiles. This was the perfect way to lighten the blow to my wallet. As I left work, I texted, “Dinner tomorrow night maybe? Just leaving work (12:00) :(”
It wasn’t until the morning when I got a response: “Morning! Just getting this. I went to bed early last night. Dinner tonight works.” I explained the Groupon I purchased for Philip Marie in the West Village and asked him if he was okay with the choice. “Sounds good if you get off before 12!” he replied.
Later that Wednesday afternoon, Smiles called to make sure I was still getting out on time, otherwise he was going to grab dinner with some of his friends. I got where he was coming from, but it also felt a little like he was trying to get out of our date. I assured him I would not be working late. As the afternoon progressed, he asked about what time we’d meet, joking about “a blue plate special at 6:30” when I told him I’d be done around 6:30/7:00. We made plans to grab dinner at 7:30. I took the opportunity to slip a joke in there about his grandpa status and his ability to make it until 7:30, and he retorted by saying, “I’m stressed. It makes me sleepy. I’ll bring my cane.”
We sat in the front window of the restaurant, and after we ordered drinks, we dove into conversation. We talked about family and career goals among other things. He talked about his desire to be beyond financially stable so he could spend more time with his family. He is not originally from the Northeast, so spending time with his family isn’t the easiest or most convenient. He also talked about his desire to build an empire. He is very passionate about a lot of different business ventures, many of which are sound ideas. However, sometimes I worry he tries to take too much on his plate at once.
The conversation was great. It was a conversation two people in a relationship would have, not two people who were just dating. I joked with him, “You’re going to be the next Nate Berkus.”
Oooooo, did I get a look! Apparently, Smiles met him in the past, and isn’t the biggest fan of him as a person. “Okay. Note to self: Don’t equate you to Nate Berkus ever again,” I said with a smile.
When the waiter came to ask us about desert, Smiles started a conversation with him like he always does. He asked if we were his only table, and the waiter described his other table. It was a man and a woman who he suspected were on a first date. We joked about our date. While we weren’t on a first date, he was learning all kinds of new things about me, such as my penchant for Black Friday shopping. He took the opportunity to take a few playful jabs at my sanity while we all had a good laugh.
After we paid our bill, we started to walk the five blocks towards the PATH. Instead, we walked about eight blocks. That was about the time Smiles realized we’d gone too far. He questioned the situation, but I explained how I was enjoying the conversation and was willing to walk back up to the PATH if I needed to. We were standing in front of a liquor store while he finished the story he was telling. When he finished, I grabbed his jacket and pulled him in closer so I could kiss him. For the first time, I felt like we were really kissing. We exchanged many affectionate kisses before finally pulling away from each other.
At that point, he said, “Why don’t you live in the city?” I laughed and replied, “Was that a subtle hint? I’m not that far!” And with that, I walked away with a smile from ear to ear. I finally felt like we had moved beyond going on dates with each other. We were dating. We were in a relationship, and I was very happy!
When I got back to Hoboken, I sent a text, “You make me smile 🙂 .” Shortly following he responded, “That’s a good thing cause I ain’t so easy to like all the time!”
I was REALLY HAPPY with everything that night. I was getting the validation I needed. I was also looking forward to Friday. That was the first time I’d be able to see him next since I play volleyball every Thursday. That would also be when I would once again attempt to seduce him and attempt to roll around with him in bed…Follow @onegayatatime
One of them, a guy who happened to go to the same college as me, responded informing me Wednesdays were the only day during the week that really worked for him. He was taking graduate courses, so he was quite busy.
The other guy texted me back to explain he was most likely available to meet for a drink when he finished work, but was unsure when that would be. He is a financial planner, so his hours are somewhat sporadic. We planned to touch base again at 5:00 the next day.
I had a lot of regret after setting up this date, but I tried to proceed with an open mind. All my friends encouraged me to date more people and not put all my eggs in one basket. I was finally following their advice. Smiles wasn’t exactly being the warmest towards me, so no harm, no foul.
When 5:00 arrived, the regret came flooding in. I didn’t want to meet up for drinks. I felt like I was cheating on Smiles. The planner sent me a text explaining he would be working late. He asked if I could meet for coffee at 9:30. I agreed, and sat with my guilt. It was already bothering me, and I didn’t even go out for the drinks yet. What if he tried to kiss me? What if he really liked me? What if I really liked him? This just goes to show you shouldn’t make quick irrational decisions.
As it got later, I got more nervous about the date. Not because of the date, but because of what it would mean for Smiles and I. I didn’t want to betray him. We hadn’t talked about exclusivity yet, but I was hoping we were moving in that direction.
I received a text that calmed my nerves completely. He had to cancel because he got called back into work. I was off the hook. I’m very grateful he cancelled on me, because the guilt would have really gotten to me. It’s just who I am.
I began to examine my relationship with Smiles. There were times he was completely affectionate and a total sweetheart. He really made me happy during those times. Probably far more than he realizes. I really enjoyed spending time with him, no matter what we were doing. On the other hand, when he would ignore me or not take me into consideration, I felt like such a small man. It really hurt to feel he wasn’t feeling about me the same way I was feeling about him. I wanted him to adore me the way I adored him at times. I felt like he always kept me at a safe distance. Not so far that I leave him, but not too close that I could ever hurt him. If we were going to proceed together, he was going to have to make himself more vulnerable and let me in.
I felt like I was part of his second life. He had his friends and acted one way with them, but when he was with me, he was different. He never integrated the two lives. Always separate. This is the reason I broke up with Broadway.
All this also helped me realize I needed Boston back in my life to talk me out of these crazy ideas. He is my sanity. I let my mind run wild after one bad date. He was always someone who could put me back on track and give me a strong dose of reality, not what my mind was conjuring up. However, he isn’t the easiest to get ahold of since he’s in he final year of school.
Smiles wasn’t talking to me much, so I would wait until he felt the need to talk to me. I didn’t go on the date, but I wasn’t exactly running back into Smiles’ arms. I was going to play hard to get a little bit…Follow @onegayatatime
As predicted, Monday was the day from hell. We had a huge pitch on Tuesday morning, so it was constant work until the end.
There was already no chance Smiles and I would see each other. However, we did get to chat on the phone briefly. He had to do work with his film, and I would be working until the wee hours of the morning to finalize the content for the pitch. I didn’t end up leaving my office until 1:30am.
I really wanted to see him Tuesday. I wasn’t going to be around the rest of the week, and whenever I have a long work pitch or long work trip, I look forward to decompressing with a sexy guy, even if it doesn’t involve sex. I asked him if we could do something, but he already made plans.
I was heading home Wednesday for my grandfather’s funeral. It was going to be a while before I got to see him again, and I was really disappointed. Things were really getting strained between us, at least on my end. We weren’t having sex as often as I’d like, and I was constantly on a roller-coaster of emotions. Smiles would pay a lot of attention to me and make me feel great, and then retract and shy away from me. I didn’t know how much more I could take it.
This was no easy task for me. I struggled with it. I carried my phone with me everywhere I went in case he tried to call or text, but it was silent. Part of me wondered if he thought it was a very personal family time, and he just didn’t want to bother me. But, the bigger part of me thought he had other things with which he was preoccupied.
Finally, Thursday he texted me to see how I was doing. It was progress. He was texting to check up on me, and I appreciated it. I texted him back after some time passed.
When Friday came about, he called and left a message. It was impeccable timing. I was just about to walk into the funeral parlor when my phone began ringing. After the viewing, I stepped out from the family gathering and called him back. We had a nice conversation.
The following day, I went to the funeral. Afterwards, I came home. I have awful cell service at my parents’ house. I finally managed to get signal by using the Wi-Fi. Ironically, right after I texted him, we lost power in the snow storm, so if he responded, I couldn’t read it if I tried.
I was home with no power, no internet, no phone and no TV. It had snowed about a foot outside, so we were trapped. On top of it, I was missing the Halloween festivities with my friends back in Hoboken. I wasn’t heartbroken about that, but I was disappointed. Instead, I spent the day shaking snow off trees so the branches wouldn’t break.
I was really feeling ignored overall by Smiles. The time away wasn’t a good thing for me. It was making me realize how little attention he was paying to me. I started to think about some of the other prospects I had spoken to. I could have pursued LES, but he was young and lived in an inconvenient part of town. There were a few guys who were still sending me messages on OKCupid. While I wasn’t seeking out anyone new, I maintained communication with them. I was now beginning to think about them as prospects. All I knew was I deserved better. Was I just jumping the gun? Was it still early with him? I personally thought we should have been over that hump, and if he was interested in me, he’d want to spend more time with me.
When Sunday arrived, my sister and I made our way back to Hoboken. It was a bit of an adventure with the snowfall and trees laying across the road. Once I got back to Hoboken, I hopped on Facebook. Smiles messaged me, and I learned he lost his phone. He told me about going out for Halloween and how he lost it. We made plans to grab brunch, and I made my way into the city. I didn’t forget about the lack of attention he paid me, but I tried to concentrate on the moment at hand. I was going to proceed with skeptical optimism. It was the only way I was going to keep my sanity.Follow @onegayatatime