Posts Tagged table

The Best Worst Date Ever

After a mediocre day at the beach, CK and I made our way back to Hoboken for dinner. I had a Groupon to use up, so we decided to head to 1Republik. Earlier in the week, we were turned away from the place because we were wearing shorts and flip-flops. This time, we knew better.

When we got in the door, I searched for the hostess. I couldn’t find her. There were plenty of staffers milling about, but no one was offering to help us. Finally, I went over to one girl, who was heavily distracted and flirting with one of the big bouncer dudes, and I asked her if she wouldn’t mind assisting us in finding a table. She looked around for the hostess with an annoyed expression on her face before taking down CK’s number so she could text us when a table was ready.

In the meantime, we grabbed a stool by the bar and ordered beers. We were nearly finished our beers when his phone started vibrating. We weren’t ten yards from the front of the bar where the girl took our number, so we quickly walked back over there. She was nowhere to be found. After another five minutes passed, she walked past me. I asked her about our table, and she looked at me with the most confused look on her face. She told me someone else was responsible for tables. When I explained to her that she took down CK’s number and we just received a text, she finally agreed to get us a table. I couldn’t believe the incompetence already.

We got a table right by the front door, but at this point we didn’t care. We were hungry, and we wanted to eat. Naturally, it took a solid ten minutes before someone came to wait on us. When I explained to her I had a Groupon, she pointed out to me it had expired. When I told her that Groupons don’t expire, she took my phone to her manager to show her my digital certificate. Five minutes later, she came back with my phone and told me the manager agreed to honor the Groupon. Because two beers were included she took our beer order and was off. After some time, she came back with our beers, and before I could tell her our order, she was off again. This was the last we would see of her for quite some time. When another ten minutes passed by, I grabbed another waitress and asked her if we could order with her. I explained everything, and it turns out she was the manager as well. She was responsible for the laxed staff aimlessly wandering the restaurant. She agreed to take my order, and from then on, we were on our own.

I knew this was a bar/club at night as well as a restaurant, so I wasn’t expecting fine dining. However, we weren’t expecting the music to be so loud we would have to shout across the table. After some time, we realized it would be easier to text each other. I was laughing hysterically at how bad this date was turning out already. While we waited for our food, a bus boy came by and took my beer away. Granted there wasn’t much left, but I still wasn’t done with it. I just laughed more and more. I felt like we were living a sitcom.

Just when it couldn’t have gotten worse, some of our food arrived. You would think the first thing to arrive would be our salad. It was, but it was also accompanied by our dessert, apple pie a-la-mode. CK and I looked at each other and burst into laughter. I started in on dessert because the ice cream was going to melt. He was much more traditional and wanted to start with the salad. We weren’t two spoon/forkfuls in when our steaks arrived. At this point, we didn’t even have room on the table for all our food. We had to start piling food on the table next to us. Just then, as a girl was leaving the bar, she placed her empty bottle on our table. Again, we both looked at each other and began cracking up. How could this possibly get any worse.

Just then, our original waitress returned, but not to wait on us. She got a new table with fat men stuffed into the corner next to us. One had he chair pushed basically up against our table. I texted CK, “Don’t be rude! Offer Cletus some food!” The waitress passed by our table without saying a word. We were getting quite full, and couldn’t eat anymore. I was tempted to ask for a container to take some of the leftovers home, but I didn’t want to spend any more time at the place. CK texted asking what we do about tip, and I told him we leave nothing. We had no waitress and no one waited on us and our meal all came at the same time. If anything, they should have been offering us another free meal, let alone expecting any sort of tip.

When we were finished, we picked up and left without a word. I had never been served so poorly in any restaurant. It was ridiculous. The only redeeming quality was that we got an awesome story to retell. This was textbook poor hospitality.

Some friends were drinking at my local watering hole, so I proposed to CK grabbing a drink on the walk home. He wasn’t feeling it, so we walked straight home and hopped in bed for the night.

Had I been at that restaurant with anyone else, I would have gone insane. The fact that he was so cool about everything really made me fall in love with him even more. We took lemons and made lemonade. There is no one with whom I’d rather be sippin’ on lemonade than CK.

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Gym Hottie

Since my breakup with Smiles, I’ve been making greater efforts to spend more time with friends. I didn’t neglect them while I was dating him, but I certainly didn’t shower them with attention either. They’re very important to me, and I wanted to make sure they knew they were appreciated. Of course, I also just loved hanging out with them, otherwise they wouldn’t be my friends.

One of my old roommates asked me if I wanted to go out to the bar. It’d been a long time since he’d done this. It came quite out of the blue, but I was very happy for the invitation. Since we don’t live together, we get along much better. It wasn’t that we fought all the time while we lived together or anything. It’s just much simpler now. I look forward to bar nights with him.

At the same time, one of the girls who I know from my annual Martha’s Vineyard trips was planning a birthday gathering the same night a block from my office. I asked my old roommate if he minded going there for happy hour. I thought it would make things convenient so I could spend time with both. It’d been a long time since I caught up with both friends.

My old roommate and I arrived at the bar early. We made our way through the crowd at Gingerman to the bar to order some beers. I offered to pick up the first round, as I generally do. I handed him his beer and we cheersed. It was at that moment I learned it was his birthday. I had no idea until he said something. I felt like such a sh*t. He was a close friend, and I was usually up on that sort of thing. I have everyone’s birthday in my phone, so I checked to see how I missed the date. It turned out I didn’t have his birthday in there, but with more investigation, I had scheduled it a month later on the same date. I told him how bad I felt, but also added, “At least I offered to buy the round! Haha.” He laughed and quickly forgave my mistake. I thought about it for a second, and realized I was the only one meeting him for drinks. I was the one he wanted to spend his birthday with. I was touched and happy.

We stood by the door because it was the only place we could stand, drink and have a discussion. He told me his plans to go to Atlantic City that weekend for his birthday with a busload of people. I wished him luck since it sounded like such a complicated situation.

After some time, the birthday girl arrived. She came in and gave me a big hug. I introduced her to my old roommate, and we quickly caught up. She decided to make her way to the back of the bar to see if she could grab a table when the bouncer chased us away from the front door. My old roommate and I had already been back there and knew there were no tables, so I let her find out for herself after telling her that. He and I made our way to the front corner of the bar. Just as we did, a couch opened up. I texted the birthday girl to come join us. About ten minutes later, she finally did and brought the rest of her group over.

I talked with my old roommate as more and more people filtered in. It was becoming an intimate little circle. I introduced him to everyone that joined that I knew. When the evening was dragging on, I decided I was read to head home. I had to take equipment home from work, so I was going to book a car service from my office. I invited my old roommate to join me since he still lives in Hoboken as well, and he accepted. I pointed out how I bought all his drinks and provided him a ride home, proving I wasn’t a bad friend who forgot his birthday after all.

We said goodbye to the birthday girl and the rest of the group. She pulled me aside and told me how cute he was. I explained to her he wasn’t a love interest. I pointed out how she’d met him at my Christmas parties, as well as his girlfriend. She was so confused, but I realized what happened. He was guilty by association. Because he was sitting on the couch with me, and because of my status as a gay man, everyone who knew this bit of information also assumed he was gay as well.

As we walked to the car, I pointed out to him what happened. Even though there was nothing I could have done to prevent it, I apologized to him for it. He was oblivious to it, and he laughed it off.

That night, I also had to say goodbye to another ex-roommate. He was still a good friend and tennis partner. He was moving to San Francisco for work, which meant I would probably see him once a year like my other San Francisco friends. I was very sad to see another friend go. Slowly but surely, all my friends were moving away or pairing up and falling off the face of the earth. I know this is part of getting older, but that doesn’t make it any less painful.

My sister and I went to the bar where he and his friends were gathering. It was nice to get to see him since it had been so long. He’d been quite busy with his new job, but now I’d see even less of him. After I got to chat with him for a bit, I texted my other friends, D and his girlfriend and asked what they were up to. They wanted to meet up for drinks, so we decided to go to Cooper’s Union, where I know the owner and bartender.

We met them there, and the whole lot of us wasn’t charged for a single drink the entire night. He always took great care of me and my friends when he worked at my usual watering hole. Now that he branched off and opened his own bar, the attention only got better.

I had a great time with everyone that night. I got to see so many of my friends. Normally I’m too lazy to do any of these things. I always bail last minute out of selfishness, but I was trying to be better about it. It was already paying off. I had a really great time.

In the middle of all this, a gorgeous man walked into the bar. I’d seen him many times before. I’d actually seen quite a bit of him as well. He was a usual at my favorite bar, and he was a usual at my gym in the city. Apparently we both lived in Hoboken, and we both worked in the same neighborhood. I’d had a crush on him for a looonnnggg time, but had a very strong feeling he was straight. He was still gorgeous and fun to look at.

At the same time, I noticed he caught my sister’s eye as well. It’s ironic, but we have the same taste in men periodically. We both acknowledged shared interest in him, but I pointed out to her it wasn’t even worth a battle. She’d already won. There was almost no question in my mind he was straight “How do you know?” she asked. “I can just tell. But, I can also tell you he looks great with no clothes on — At least from the backside anyway,” I added. We both laughed and she continued to ogle him from afar. I did as well, but I was much more discreet about it.

When I was tired and it was time to go home, I gathered everyone to make our way home. Of course I wasn’t going to walk out without paying. I gathered cash from everyone and handed him a wad of cash before walking out the door.

I had a great night. I saw a lot of my friends in one night, I got to scope out a hottie I’ve had my eye on, and I had cheap drinks. Maybe single life was working out well for me. Maybe it was time I tried that for a while… Maybe not…

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It’s About Time

Today is a Fast Forward Monday!!!  

My apologies to those who have come to expect Fast Forward Fridays. I have been traveling for work/pleasure, and I got caught up in things. I haven’t had a chance to write the second post, so I’m making up for it today. Hope you are enjoying these. It will help bring the blog a little closer to real-time. If you’re keeping up with the stories chronologically, please skip down to this morning’s post first, then read this one. I think it’s a good one! Enjoy!

Back to your special edition of One Gay At A Time…

After missing the opportunity to finally meet my online friend after almost a years time chasing each other around, the day finally arrived when I was scheduled to finally meet him in the flesh. This was well overdue, and I was quite excited. I wasn’t about to get ahead of myself, but the suspense had been building up for quite some time.

We discussed where we would go for drinks or dinner and finally settled on Charritos, a Mexican restaurant I’ve been to on numerous occasions. In fact, this wasn’t the first date I took there. We planned to meet at 7:30. I knew the place didn’t take reservations, but it was a Monday night on a holiday weekend. I figured everyone was home getting ready for the coming workweek. It also wasn’t the nicest night, as snow was in the forecast, so I thought we’d be alright.

When I arrived, I was immediately proved wrong. I stood in front waiting for him to arrive noticing every table (all 8 of them) filled with diners. Finally, he arrived, and we attempted to go inside out of the cold. Even this proved difficult since there was nowhere to go once we were in there. While we waited for a table to clear, we awkwardly chatted.

This was surprisingly difficult. He seemed so incredibly flirty online and charismatic, and the man standing in front of me was a very shy reserved individual. I couldn’t get over it. Where was the guy I’d been chatting about my body and sexual interests in detail? Where was the flirt?

We talked about work and the weather. It was a struggle to find a topic to discuss. Everything felt forced. It wasn’t awful, but it certainly wasn’t what I expected.

Finally we got a table and sat. After we ordered, we started to chat a bit more. I asked most of the questions. He always responded in detail, but he never asked a question in turn. That may have helped the conversation flow much more freely, but it wasn’t there. I had to volunteer all my information. I feel awkward talking about myself when I wasn’t asked to. It was as if I was interviewing him for a job.

One topic we got on was siblings. I don’t know why, but that topic has been coming up more and more frequently on my dates. I’ve actually noticed it and tried curbing it. I learned about his siblings as well. It was nice to hear he came from such a similar family dynamic.

We talked about his job as well. I was very intrigued by it. He told me all about his schooling, his specialty in the field relevant to the gay community, his boss, the clinical work he does… This was really shaping up to be quite the catch of a man. He was very sweet and thoughtful. However, our chemistry was not mixing AT ALL! It was so disappointing. On paper he looked so good. Online, he seemed a sexual match for my libido. In person, he was a mouse. Night and day from my expectations.

After quite a while, the waiter basically asked us to leave. There were people waiting for a table, so they kicked us out. I was more than a little p*ssed, because I thought it was very unprofessional and rude, however, it was time for the date to conclude.

We’d already talked about him coming over to my apartment before the date. I was still very sexually attracted to him. I wondered if he’d relax when he was out of the public eye. As we walked outside, I asked him where he parked and told him I’d walk him to his car. I was hoping for a signal along the way to show his interest. I thought he’d drive me to my apartment and come up.

When we got to the car, it was the complete opposite. I hope you can understand my explanation without a diagram:

I thought we’d at least say a proper goodbye. I was hoping for a kiss considering all I could think about during the meal was how good his lips would feel. When we got to the car, I stood on the sidewalk, and he walked to the front passengers panel in front of the rearview mirror. That would have been fine. I may have even used the car as a backboard for a strong kiss, BUT there was also a chopped off parking meter between him and myself. Yes. A metal pole about four feet tall was between the two of us. I don’t think he could have strategically showed his lack of interest any more other than to simply get in the car and drive away.

We said goodbye, and I told him it was nice meeting him. He said, “Likewise.” That’s when I grew some balls and took what I wanted. I moved forward, reached my long arm over the pole, hooked it under his arm around his back, and pulled him in for a kiss. It wasn’t a long kiss or a makeout session, but I certainly wasn’t going to be satisfied with a peck.

And with that, I turned and walked home in the flurries falling from the sky. I was still a little blown away by the lack of spark during the date. I wasn’t even ready to go home. I decided to stop by my friends’ place on the way home and say hi.

I came in and we caught up on what’s going on with each other before I told he and his wife about my awkward date. He was a little baffled by it as well. He couldn’t understand what was going on. He really loved the parking meter pole story as well. I was so nonplussed.

I sulked home after saying goodnight to my friends. When I got home, I was curious to see if he was back on a4a. Surprise! I was right. I wasn’t going to get past this immediately. I needed to ask him about what happened.

“Surprise, surprise. Look who’s on here,” I messaged him. We chatted a bit awkwardly about the date. He messaged me back: “I was waiting for you to ask me to come back.” He wanted to come back to my apartment. He even brought his c*ck ring and poppers with him. I was so confused, and I made that clear to him. He wasn’t aware of his mixed signals, nor was he aware of the pole. He just thought I wasn’t interested since I walked him to his car. It was all a big misunderstanding. “I had a good time. I thought the conversation was nice,” he added. That doesn’t make up for the awkward date however. That just cleared up the mixed signals at its close.

Just to satiate my curiosity, I told him we would have to try to fix what went wrong when I got back from my work trip to San Francisco. He agreed, so we kept in touch over the next week.

I decided to see what was going on with the southern guy. He texted me to see how my weekend was, so I picked up the phone and called him. Again, we talked for almost an hour while I packed. This completely made up for my awkward date. I was really looking forward to getting back so I could finally meet him. Hopefully this one wouldn’t be as big a disappointment.

In the morning, I had a message from my new southern gentleman caller. He was asking for a picture of my “morning excitement” we’d discussed previously. I denied his request and told him he’d have to wait to see the real thing. This was my way of getting him on the ball about meeting up with me.

I also got a text message from my friend and recent neighbor. It was very sweet of him to do so. I needed to make it a priority to hang out with him when I got back to New York.

All that would have to wait on the backburner… The following day, I was headed to San Francisco for the week for work. Waiting for me were two men. One I attempted a long distance relationship with whom I would meet for a cocktail. The other, a great confident and online friend whom I was extremely excited to meet in person, especially in the bedroom…

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