Posts Tagged social
The party was in full swing. Matinee had a huge turnout, and some of my suspicions were already confirmed. I was in for a long night.
As the evening progressed, CK ran into a handful of people he knew. I was very leery of many of these people because I assumed the majority were previous hookups and fellow circuit party enthusiasts. My guard was up. No one was going to make a move on my man without me having more than a few words to say. One previous hookup in particular was starting to weird me out. I would catch him staring at CK across the crowd, which turned me into a guard dog. I wasn’t going to let CK out of my sight.
I still had a lot of anxiety after he told me he didn’t go to the last circuit party because he wasn’t sure what might happen. It was honest, but it didn’t exactly instill confidence in me. I wasn’t holding it against him, because after all, he was forthcoming. But, that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to be hypersensitive.
Speaking of infidelity, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of one of the newlyweds I’d met earlier in the night with his tongue down another man’s throat. I scanned the crowd for his husband, and he too was sucking face. My heart sank a little. I was so thrilled to have met a gay married couple because it is something I long for. But, judgment aside, after witnessing their definition of marriage, it brought the idea I would never find a man who shared my own definition of marriage back to the surface.
Since Hip was still recovering from hip replacement surgery, he needed periodic breaks from all the dancing. I can’t tell you how happy I was to have him there. Every time he took a break from the dance floor, I joined him. I needed a break as much as he did. While we stood on the sidelines, I complained, “When is this lozenge going to kick in!?” We chuckled a bit while watching CK search the crowd to try to find us until I finally got his attention.
Hip wasn’t the only other guy I knew there. I’d been texting with my ex, Broadway, who I am still friendly with. We rarely see each other anymore, but when we do, it’s completely platonic. I learned he’d be attending, so I suggested we at least take a minute to say hi. I also wanted to introduce him to CK so they could both put a face to the name. We managed to find each other in the crowd over the phone and exchanged a hug. He introduced me to the guy he was there with, and I introduced him to CK. It felt a little forced for some reason, so I didn’t dwell on the conversation, and we said goodbye.
As the night continued, I began to feel the effects of my lozenge. I was very happy because I mellowed me out. I was in a good state from there on out. That is until others in the group pulled out some of the stronger vices. It was my first time witnessing this. I don’t feel I’ve lead a sheltered life, but my friends and I just never put ourselves in those situations. I felt quite uncomfortable. A big part of that is the unknown — I knew very little about it. Another part of it stems from resentment. I feel a sense of, “Am I not enough that you feel the need to heighten the experience?”
I tried to turn a blind eye to it and get on with my night. CK really wanted to be there, and he really wanted me to have a good time. I wanted to give him that. I wanted him to see me enjoying myself, so that’s what I did. I worried about the things I could control and tried to forget the rest.
We danced and danced and danced. We had a really great time dancing. Natasha Bedingfield performed, and I even saw my favorite Twitter couple, @AustinWilde and @AnthyRomero. I pointed them out to CK, and he suggested I go say hi. I put myself in their shoes and refrained. They were there to have a good time, just as I was, and I didn’t want to bother them.
Another round of substances made a pass through the group, and once again, I was feeling on edge. This time I wasn’t as good at hiding my lack of comfort. CK was really good about checking in with me to make sure I was alright and having a good time. When I told him how my lozenge made me feel great, he chuckled and gave me a kiss.
The night was coming to a close. Sure, it was stressful as all hell, and when it was over, I felt incredibly relieved. Relieved and exhausted. It takes so much out of you to be so anxious for so long. But, looking back, I did have fun. After experiencing that and XL the night before, the next go around would be far less stressful. I would a least know what to expect. People began making their way back to the ferry to hit up more club parties in Manhattan. Before we left, CK and I snapped a few romantic pictures with the city skyline in the background. This part was easy. I could stop worrying and finally let myself be engulfed by the love I shared with CK. In the end, that was what mattered. When he was happy, I was happy. This was something he’d been looking forward to for months, and I hoped I delivered.
While we were away from the crowd, CK pulled me in to discuss our plans for the remainder of the night. Originally, we discussed going to Work (Peter Rauhofer was spinning) at Roseland, but to my surprise, he suggested another plan. “Baby, tonight’s been amazing! And I know Work’s gonna be off the hook, but if you’re game, I think we should go to a really exclusive after-party. Getting on the guest list is nearly impossible, but we’re on it.” Without another beat, he said, “Let’s go back to my place and make love till the sun rises. Words cannot express how welcome those words were.
When pointed out how I felt bad abandoning Hip, I suggested we get back to him. Of course, I was thrilled to learn he met an aussieMan on the dance floor who took quite a shining to him. They were having a great time together, and I couldn’t have been happier. While I loved having Hip there, I worried he felt like a third wheel with CK and I. That doesn’t go to say he should have. I loved having him there. To be honest, I don’t think I would have made it through the night without him. He is an amazing guy, and he really deserves an amazing man to make him happy. It also just so happened the aussieMan had an extra ticket to Work, so Hip became his plus one.
We all rode the ferry and the subway together until we reached Hell’s Kitchen. After an exchange of hugs, we parted ways. CK and I walked home blissfully hand-in-hand. CK may get a little bent out of shape when I say this, but that was my favorite part of the night. I was always happiest when it was just the two of us. True, we are both social beings and love being surrounded by people, but there’s nothing quite like some quality time with my man! I really did love him!
When we got home, we were both quite exhausted, however, we weren’t too exhausted to take advantage of each other before dozing off. But, that’s another story for another day…
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After our week in the “country” house, as CK liked to call it, it was time to utilize our city abode. It was in no shape, however, to be lived in. Sure, the new bed was delivered, the delivery of which was a bit of contention between us, but the bed was surrounded by towers of boxes.
The day the bed was delivered followed a week straight with CK. There were errands I needed to take care of I never got to do when we were together. Because of this, I dropped CK off for the bus and told him I would meet him in the city later. I was trying to be productive with my time, rather than waiting for the bed to be delivered with him. Looking back, we probably should have just done them together, but at the time, I didn’t want to subject him to my boring burdens.
We were both eating dinner when I cooked at my place, so there’s no reason I should feel guilty dragging him to the grocery store. Going forward, I learned to shed that guilt quite easily. But on the flip side, this meant I would be going to the grocery store with him on the other side of the river. That seemed like a much better arrangement. I was beginning to resent that I had to do the responsible duties while he had all the fun, but that wasn’t fair to him. He never turned me down when I asked him to help me, but in reality, I never asked him in the first place. I couldn’t resent him if I didn’t give him the chance to delight me. There were lots of not exciting things we would both need to do, like cleaning our apartments, that while not fun at all, they could be completed much faster with both our efforts in tandem. Our lives were blending together, and I loved it. It wasn’t smooth, but I loved it.
On the flip side, since we were spending so much time together, I was finding it hard to make the time to work out. My body was paying the price, and as a result, my self-esteem plummeted even lower. I needed to start running again. I needed to get back in the gym and start lifting again.
This posed the challenge of a delicate situation. CK proposed that we work out together. I knew I was a far better runner than CK was. That’s not a dig against him at all, but put simply, I ran cross-country in high school and swam in college. In order for me to get results from my workouts, I needed to push myself, and I needed to push myself hard! I wouldn’t be able to do that if I was holding back to run at CK’s pace. I didn’t want to insult him or his abilities, but I wasn’t sure this was something we’d be able to integrate.
Regardless of this, I decided to make an effort to give it a shot. When I told CK I wanted to go for a run one night, he wanted to join me. We both got ready and walked over to the west bank of the Hudson to run along the trail. As I predicted, we clocked a pace much less effective than I was hoping. I decided I needed to speak up. I was met with the response I had dreaded. He took insult to my comments that I needed to run faster. I didn’t know any way to navigate this without creating a conflict. He took it personally that I was insinuating he was holding me back.
As a result, he played the role of the martyr and told me to take off. The result of running at our own pace was what I was hoping for, but the hurt feelings and passive-aggressive response was exactly what I was hoping to avoid. I tried to talk to him about it to make it a discussion so there would be no hurt feelings, but he wanted none of it. He’d rather I just go, so that’s what I did.
While I ran, I thought about how to deal with the fallout of this. It made sense to me that we work out together, but we needed to do it in a way that benefited us both. I was going to resent it if I wasn’t getting the full potential out of the workout, and that benefits no one. That’s when I came up with a solution:
When we ran together, we would start out together at a warm-up pace. When I was sufficiently warmed up, I would pick up the pace and run ahead of him. When I felt I was half way through the workout, I would turn around and pick him up on the way back. When I overtook him, I would slow down to a cool down pace. I thought it the perfect solution.
It’s also basically what we were doing. When I turned around, I quickly came to find myself right behind him. As we ran, I proposed this new idea, but he still wasn’t having any part of it. I realized I was in a losing battle, and this would have to be addressed later when his ego healed.
Working out in the gym was also a whole other battle. When I go to the gym I like to be by myself. I do not treat it as a social excursion. I am there to work out and go home. I don’t even like spotting someone when they ask me for help. I resent it because I am there for my workout, not theirs. I don’t ask anyone else to spot me. I am not a trainer or an employee. Why should I be “working” at the gym? I know this sounds very antisocial, and that’s exactly what it is. I’m not the biggest fan of lifting. I see it as a necessary evil. I want to get in and out of there as quickly as possible.
When CK asked me to lift with him all the time, I was very hesitant. I loved him, but I was so used to lifting by myself. I knew if we did this together, I would get cranky, and it would start a fight. I was trying to save us from that. I also liked to go to the gym during my lunch break at work, so when he would ask me to hit the gym with him in the morning or the evening, I wouldn’t want to. I would want to use that time for far more fun things.
It was going to be a delicate balance, trying to integrate our lives, but eventually we would find equilibrium. Both sides would have to make sacrifices and concessions, but both sides would benefit from each other as well. Needless to say, CK was the first guy I’d gone to these steps with. It was new territory for me, but it was certainly exciting as well!Follow @onegayatatime
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I’m not gonna lie. I was nervous. I don’t get nervous very often, but I wasn’t quite sure the situation I was walking into.
Smiles had his birthday at The Jimmy, a rooftop bar at the James Hotel in lower New York City. As nervous as I was, I set no expectations going in. I didn’t want to concoct all these crazy scenarios in my head, only to not see them play out.
The morning of his birthday party, I put A LOT of thought into what I was going to wear. I care about what I look like on a daily basis, but there was so much more going on here. I was nine years his junior, which meant many of his friends would also be a fair amount older than I am. I wanted to make sure I didn’t look like “who brought the child.” I tried on numerous permutations of clothing until I finally settled on one I felt comfortable with. I even consulted with my female roommate who works in the fashion industry. I wanted to look mature and smart, but I also didn’t want to look like I was trying too hard. (I’d like anyone to argue against me that I don’t over-think things too much).
I finished work that day at 5:00. Smiles and I had tentative plans to grab dinner before his party if I got out of work at a decent hour. When that time came, he was unable to keep those plans. He had a lot of things he still needed to do before the party, so he told me we would grab dinner with one or two others following the birthday gathering. I found something to snack on, and when the time came, I leisurely walked downtown to the hotel.
I had never been to there before. When I arrived I had no idea where I was going, which only heightened my anxiety. Finally I reached the rooftop bar and was able to find Smiles standing out on the deck by the pool. I walked up to him and was welcomed by an embrace, no kiss. Still early in our “relationship,” and not fully knowing the situation I was walking into, I didn’t initiate a kiss myself.
After a minute of small talk, I walked to the bar to grab an adult beverage for myself and a soda water for Smiles. I learned the night before he was not going to be able to participate in the libations due to the cleanse he was going through for his Ayawaska ceremony.
When I returned, he had a glass of champagne, which he felt obligated to sip since someone purchased it for him. I held on to his soda water for him until he needed it. He began introducing me to the friends he was speaking to at the time. He simply introduced me by my name, or a few times, “This is my friend,” and then my name. I had no expectations, but I was curious how I would be introduced. Certainly not boyfriend, but maybe as the guy he’s been seeing? No dice.
Early in the night, Smiles introduced me to one of his friends. This guy was younger than the majority of the crowd, and I made him buddy for the night. We hit it off and shared similar senses of humor. I knew Smiles would be preoccupied all night with his guests, so I prepared myself to be more social than I normally am. I didn’t want to be a wallflower or that creepy guy that lurks around and talks to no one. I was happy to have found someone to pal around with for the night.
Then the question I was dreading all night came up. My buddy asked me, “So how do you know [Smiles]?” I simply replied, “Recent friends.” We both smiled big, and he looked at me with a perplexed look. “That’s all I’m going to get?” he asked. I took a second, cocked my head to the side as I thought about it, and simply replied, “Yup.”
I then turned the question on him. Apparently they met on Fire Island and were just casual friends now. I wasn’t sure of the timing of this, but my instincts told me they hooked up at one point. To any normal guy, these things don’t pop in their head, but Smiles and I did meet on Grindr.
As more friends of the younger sect (all probably about five years older than me still) started showing up, my buddy and I began chatting with them. The question came up many more times asking how I knew Smiles. When others answered, there were a few “mutual friends,” but there was also a, “the old school way — Craigslist.” My brain was in motion. In my mind, my stock plummeted right then and there. Obviously he was still close with these guys if they were coming to his birthday party. Was he still seeing any of them. We were by no means exclusive. But, seeing these guys in person made me uncomfortable. However, I soldiered on.
It had been a while since I saw Smiles, so I circled back to him. He was starving. I offered to grab him something to eat just as he was simultaneously asking me to (keeping in mind his special dietary needs on top of the new ones for the cleanse). He pointed out “his” waitress for the night. He handed me his credit card, and I ordered him some tuna tartar tacos. When they arrived, he scarfed them down as to not miss a minute of his party. I was happy I was the one to which he turned to take care of him. He enjoyed them so much, he went back for seconds.
When I returned to my conversation circle, my buddy had departed. I was very disappointed because I wasn’t thrilled with anyone that was left. However, I continued to make small talk for the remainder of the night.
The time came to grab dinner. Smiles gathered a small group of about seven of us. We walked across the street to Cafe Noir and grabbed a table. Smiles sat at the head of the table, and I made sure I snagged the chair to his right.
The whole time at the restaurant, Smiles felt a little distant. I began to read far too much into that. I wondered if he was doing that because someone else would be offended if they saw him being affectionate towards me. Was there another “me” at the table? I was shocked I got an invite to his birthday gathering so early on. Who’s to say there wasn’t someone else in the exact same position?
I had my hand casually under the table and was rubbing his knee periodically. I wanted to see how he’d react. Nothing. I was a little hurt and confused.
I wanted to make a good impression on his friends in front of him. I was able to contribute greatly to the conversation over dinner. I attentively watch the news and stay up on current events, so I was actually the local authority on the topic of conversation. I wanted to prove to him I could hold my own.
When dinner ended, we walked outside in a large group. Many of his friends were going to smoke and invited him to join. He declined (the cleanse) and said he was going home. They also specifically asked me if I would come, but I too declined. I was hoping I was going home with Smiles. We split from the group and walked towards his place.
We weren’t a block away before he said, “Do you mind if I throw you in a cab instead of walking you up to the PATH since I don’t have a jacket and I’m freezing?” Apparently I would not be going home with him that night. I assumed he would invite me back to his place considering it was 1:30am. I even brought a spare shirt to work that morning for the following day should I be spending the night in the city. That wasn’t going to be the case.
At that point, I said goodbye to him on the street and began my trek up to the PATH. I was dreading my commute home since everything runs on a sparse schedule at that hour of the morning.
It also turned into a very long solemn walk because I was very disappointed with how the night played out. I felt so far away from him. A few nights prior, I thought I made so much excellent headway with him when I got an invite, but after the event, I had a very different picture in my head.
I tried not to let it get to me, but I can’t lie. It ate away at me for the rest of the night and into the next few days. I’m sure the fact that I had about six Johnnie Walkers didn’t help. At dinner the night before, he casually mentioned taking me to the opera that Saturday, so it was planned I’d see him again, and soon. But, it was mentioned so flippantly, I wasn’t sure I was officially invited. So many crazy ideas were floating through my head.
I was trying to follow friends’ advice to make myself a little less available to him. I was told I should make him seek me out, instead of the usual me seeking him out.
With that, I attempted to go about the rest of my week without driving myself insane, but that wasn’t going to be easy…Follow @onegayatatime
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At the ripe age of 26, I came to a life changing conclusion. I'm GAY!
It took me 26 years to realize this and come to terms with it, but coming out's been the best decision of my life.
This blog is about my dating life in NYC and what happens next...
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