Posts Tagged teammate

Suspicions Raised

Let me first start off today’s post by apologizing for my extended absence. I’ve been quite busy as of late and have a lot going on in my life right now. I promise you I will make a more concerted effort to dedicate time to the blog. I am truly touched by those who reached out to me expressing both concern and unhappiness regarding the lack of posts. I will do my bet not to let you down. That being said, on with the show…

I’d been dating CK for 2.5 months. To some, that may seem like a long time. To others, it’s the lifespan of a fruit fly. For me, I didn’t see it as a definitive amount of time. I saw it as a period during which my relationship was growing and evolving. Over the course of that time, I was learning. I was learning a lot about CK and about myself. I was learning what it takes to be in a real relationship of substance. I was trying to do things the right way this time, however, there is no right way. You just make it work. I was struggling with trusting CK.

I was constantly aware of the medium in which we were introduced to each other, and I was relatively aware of CK’s past. They didn’t instill the greatest of confidence in me. On top of that, I was still carrying issues with me from the other men who hurt me. I’m sure, by now, you’re tired of hearing about that, but I can guarantee you weren’t as tired of carrying that around as I was.

I had a few suspicions. I chalked them up to my over-active imagination, and I managed to put them aside.

One thing CK and I differed on was gay friends. I didn’t really have too many of them in my posse. Sure, Boston always gave me sage advice, and one of my volleyball teammates I’d known since high school was gay, but it’s not even enough to field a full team. Since I didn’t have too many gay friends, I never did get some of the idiosyncrasies that came with them, such as calling my gay male friends gerrlll. It just wasn’t part of my vernacular. But, one slow day at work, I pulled out my headphones and watched The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert on HBOGo, and finally I got it. It made sense to me. I didn’t see myself throwing it around all the time, but I finally got the bond it signified.

Speaking of gay friends, one of the few I had was visiting New York that weekend. It’d been a long time since I last saw Boston. I was very excited anticipating his arrival. I hoped we could hang out while he was in town. We’d both gotten rather busy, and we found it hard to make sure we kept in touch. However, he wasn’t arriving until the weekend.

Friday morning, I woke up to the sound of CK’s alarm blasting while he laid sound asleep. I roused him to turn it off, and I was wide awake. I motivated us to get out of bed and toss around the medicine ball while watching TV and eating breakfast. When we finished, my blood was flowing, and I was feeling rather frisky. I attempted to seduce CK, and it worked. We had less than little time since we’d already leisurely worked out and ate, but I could tell he was also feeling frisky. I didn’t have to go to work because I had a random day off, but CK did. He conceded to having sex, but insisted I give him a ride to the PATH on my motorcycle before we continued. It was a deal.

With that, I pounced. There was little I enjoyed more than morning sex. I was almost always horny and raring to go first thing, but after working out, I certainly needed a release. We had GREAT sex that morning. It was passionate and rough and gentle in all the right ways. I couldn’t get enough, and I couldn’t keep my hands off him. As amazing as it was, the clock was ticking, and CK had a meeting to get to at work. We needed to stop. That certainly wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I knew it was the right thing to do. We hopped in the shower, and he finished getting ready for work.

When he was ready, I drove him to the PATH and kissed him goodbye. I sped home and finished myself off. It was all I could do to last that long. He really got me going, and like I said, I needed a release. After all the foreplay and sex with CK, the explosion was quite forceful and bountiful. It was a shame he wasn’t there to witness it.

CK texted me from work asking me if I wanted to see Magic Mike that night. I figured it’d be a really fun experience for us to go, so I was definitely in. What I wasn’t aware of was that he was planning to invite his old fling, Old News. I wasn’t thrilled with this idea, but I went with it because he was a friend. What I was thrilled with was Hip and Old News setting up a date, but when I learned that never really took off, I was disappointed. I didn’t really have anything against him. He was a nice guy, but he was a nice guy who happened to like my man. This was going to be part of growing for me. I needed to learn to trust him. But, it wasn’t really CK who I didn’t trust — It was Old News. In the few interactions I had with him, it was clear to me he wasn’t over CK yet. He wanted more, and I was clearly in the way of that. When CK opened up movie night to other friends, I did the same. I reached out to P to see if she wanted to join us, and I was thrilled to hear she would be joining us.

Before we went into the city to meet up with the other two, I prepped P. I asked her to do me a favor. I asked her to watch the interaction between CK and Old News. I wanted someone else’s perspective on the situation. I needed to know if it was just my imagination or something I needed to keep an eye on. She agreed to observe and report back.

P wasn’t the only one to whom I’d brought attention to my issue with Old News. CK knew I thought he still had a crush on him, but he was in denial. He didn’t agree with me. He pointed out the frank conversation they’d had in which CK explained to him extensively their friendship and nothing more. I wasn’t convinced, and that night, someone else would determine for me once and for all how to proceed with Old News.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

My birthday finally arrived. Normally, I don’t celebrate my birthday much. But, this year, I had more to celebrate. I had a loving boyfriend who treated me very well. I’d already received a birthday present more than I ever could have expected. Clark Kent was everything I wanted in a man, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to spend the day with him.

I left him that morning as he went to pick up his mother from the airport. I spent the night before in his bed and got quite a birthday surprise — Trapeze School tickets. He needed to fully utilize the time his mother was visiting to find a new apartment. He’d been dragging his feet, and the time came for some serious looking. I fully understood.

I made my way home early that morning. My old roommate started off the social media messages with a text to wish me a happy birthday. He was shocked I was up so early. I made my way home and began to get ready for my plans. I was heading to the pier for the day for a picnic of sorts. I grabbed my beach chair and packed a blanket, bocce ball, speakers, wine and food into my beach bag and asked my sister if she’d give me a ride so I wouldn’t have to lug everything to the pier in Hoboken.

As the day went on, friends came and went. They’d spend some time with me relaxing in the sun and chowing down on snacks.

At one point, we all got into a political discussion about gay marriage. It was interesting. I’d never really thought about marriage before because it wasn’t a priority. I didn’t even have a boyfriend. Marriage was something far, far away. I assumed by the time I was ready, the rest of the country would accept that choice and allow me to do so. Now that I had a boyfriend, things were different. I was a lot more passionate about the topic.

I had a blast. Many friends showed up and clinked Solo cups with me to celebrate another year on Earth. I was very happy so many showed up for my low-key celebration. There was no big destination. There was no cover. There was no commitment. It was simply a relaxing day doing what I wanted. If others felt inclined to join, they knew where to find me.

When we got bored, we broke out the bocce balls and played a few rounds. As the sun was setting, we decided to pack up. My sister contacted K to see if she would be willing to host a BBQ in her back yard. She was thrilled with the idea and began preparing immediately. I brought over some food to cook and everyone else pitched in. Even my old roommate, who I hadn’t seen in about a year, showed up.

We ate our fill of picnic food and played beer pong. I played with one of my old college teammates. Whenever we played together, we usually cleaned up. We started a little rusty, but we were doing pretty well against my sister and one other girl as well. It was great to finally play again. I have such a competitive streak in me, and it’d been some time since we played.

When it was nearly time to go, we gathered everyone around the table for a few rounds of flip cup. It was getting late, and we decided it was time to hit the bar. The whole group packed up and headed out the door.

I was missing my man. We checked in with each other over text throughout the day, but the search wasn’t going well for him. I was having a great time, but I felt bad for him. I wanted him by my side, but priorities were in order.

Some people split off from the group to head home for the night. On the walk to the bar, I heard a crash right in front of me at one of the cars. All I could think about was, “What drunk a$$hole just slammed into a parked… W!?” “Hey guys,” he said as he popped up from between two cars with his bike. I was laughing hysterically. He was just in a BUI incident. He’s lucky he didn’t cause serious damage to the car or himself, but it was still very humorous.

We continued to McSwiggans, my favorite Hoboken bar, and met up with more of my friends who were already there. We had a blast drinking and dancing all night. I was hanging out with my old roommate reminiscing about the good ol’ times. I stepped outside at one point to call CK to say hi and see how things were going. He was happy to hear I was in good sorts, but sad he couldn’t be there with me. I too was sad he wasn’t there, but I understood. We didn’t talk long cause I was neglecting my friends, and he was neglecting his mother.

I went back inside and joined the fun once again. I was getting drunk quickly. People were constantly buying me drinks, and I can’t drink like I used to. I’m getting old. At 28, you’re no spring chicken anymore.

The time came for me to go home. I said goodbye to the remaining people at the bar and walked home. I didn’t want to be hungover the next day, so I kept things in check. It was going to be a big day for me. I texted my boyfriend while I walked home. I wished he was waiting for me in my bed, but I knew it was quite a different scene. He was in his apartment sharing his with his mother.

Overall, I had a great birthday! They aren’t usually this cheerful — Usually, I’m quite glum on my birthday. I think I purposely downplay my birthday so I’ll never be disappointed. This one was pretty great, starting with waking up next to my Superman. I would end the day a happy man, and looked forward to tomorrow, the next time I’d get to see CK, as well as meet his mother…

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Saturday, I felt like there wasn’t a moment to relax. Whenever my parents come into town, it’s stressful. I am navigator, concierge, tour guide, etc. I love them, but I never really get to enjoy it. I’m always “on.”

My sister drove into the city, and we grabbed lunch across the street from Lincoln Center. This was followed by War Horse. It was pretty amazing seeing men puppeteer horses on the stage.

When the show ended, my parents and I made our way home to Hoboken on the bus after stopping at Crabtree and Evelyn so my mother could buy some product.

CK and I texted periodically throughout the day. He went back out to Brooklyn to his friend’s apartment for dinner. They were joined by the couple we’d gone on the Avengers double date with. He seemed to be enjoying a nice relaxing day with the boys.

Finally, they were gone. I could relax and go nuts. The last thing I wanted to worry about was what to make for dinner. My sister texted asking what I was doing, and I had the idea to order sushi. She was game, so she called in the order and came to my apartment to eat and pregame.

I began to text friends to round up a crew to hit up the bar. I realized it’d been some time since I had a wild night out. I wanted to get drunk! Sadly, the crew would be very small. People were either out of town or had other plans. I was only able to get my sister and P to go out.

CK was texting me. He told me about his day. He told me he mentioned our new status as an official couple to the guys. I learned one of his friends said we looked very happy together, and the other pointed out I was about to have my hands full. “That boy has no idea what he’s in for,” he said. He came back from Brooklyn, and I could tell he wanted to hang out. He kept hinting, but I wanted a night with friends. I needed a drunk night, and I didn’t think he’d be up for that. I also didn’t want him to get tired of me. We already had plans for the following day. I pretended not to notice his hints and explained my plans for the evening. I told him I’d hit him up when I came home if he was still up and said goodnight. I also reiterated to him how happy he made me.

After we finished our sushi, P joined us. We did some shots and drank some more before heading to my local haunt, McSwiggans. The manager was standing outside, so we said hi, and he escorted us past the line right in the door.

It was exceptionally crowded, being Cinqo de Mayo. I barely made it to the bar to say hi to one of my favorite bartenders. She asked where’d I’d been, and I told her she needs to start working Thursday nights if she wanted to see me more often.

We tried to stake claim to a spot on the “dance floor” but were constantly shuffled and pushed aside as others maneuvered the bar. It wasn’t long before a teammate of mine from college recognized me. When I saw him, I cut through the crowd to say hi and exchange a manly bear hug. It’d been a long time since I’d seen him. He was in Hoboken visiting friends. He pointed out the few others around the bar I knew from college, and I said hi to all.

Overall, the night was alright. I didn’t stay out too late. I was home by 1:30am. It’d been weeks since I went wild on the weekend. I needed that. I only hoped it would have been a bit bigger and involved more friends. I realized CK and I needed to find some time to get drunk and go dancing together. We were long overdue.

The next day, he’d be coming over for our local festival and staying for dinner. I was most excited he’d be spending the night as well.

When I got home, I texted him to see if he was still awake. I got no response. I decided to call anyway, but I got no answer. I was missing him and wanted to talk to him. That, however, was not possible. With that, I climbed into bed disappointed and realized how empty my bed felt without him…

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Cleaning Up

My night had gone pretty smoothly. I had a great time, there was minimal drama and I ended the night with a great guy, Smiles.

I did my best to put all the food away before heading to bed the night before. It was a fairly easy cleanup. However, that left all the dishes to be done and a lot of cleaning around the apartment.

I woke at a decent hour and didn’t even have a hint of hangover, which is surprising considering I drank sangria most of the night. My teammate from Maryland woke shortly after me. She needed to go into the city to catch a bus home, but was going to stick around for breakfast before she left. She asked if she could have some of the leftovers, and I prepared a few things for her.

In the meantime, Smiles emerged from my bed, and we made coffee for ourselves with my Keurig Elite Brewer coffee machine. It’s perfect because we can each pick our flavor of tasty Green Mountain Coffee, and we don’t have to wait for a whole pot to brew. It’s absolutely great! (Yes, I’m plugging them because I absolutely love that thing, and I’m hoping they read this and feel gracious enough to reach out to me… Wishful thinking…)

After she ate, my teammate asked for directions to the bus back into the city to Port Authority and was on her way. Smiles had made his way back to my bedroom and got dressed to head home. I was hoping he’d stick around for a little bit (I wasn’t expecting him to help clean), but I was mistaken. I would have liked to spend a lil more time with him, but he had plans.

I said goodbye to him with a kiss and a hug as I thanked him for everything from the night before.

My other roommate who was stuck in Canada arrived home in the meantime. He asked about the party. He was very disappointed he missed it. He’d been to three of the previous four even though we’d only been roommates six months.

Then, I was left with my mess. I did all the dishes and ran the dishwasher. I put all the wine in the wine fridge. I poured all the leftover sangria down the drain trying not to gag. I put all the liquor no one drank away. And then I swept the floors. They hadn’t been swept since we moved in.

I did all this while my roommates sat on the couch watching TV. My happy mood had soured. I didn’t expect them to help. I made it clear to them it was my party. Therefore it was my mess to clean up. However, after asking for permission, the roommate that was away had no problem scarfing down a plate of the food and leaving it in the sink for me to clean up. And, the other roommate, who attended the party and did nothing to help me prepare didn’t lift a finger. I didn’t resent that they weren’t helping me clean up. I more resented that I worked my ass off to get the apartment in shape, and they didn’t offer one iota of gratitude. Sure, it was out of selfish desires that I worked so hard and fast. But, they both greatly benefited from my efforts.

The cleaning was over surprisingly fast. When I finished, I planted myself on the couch for the remainder of the evening.

Later than evening, I witnessed my roommate come out of her room and heat up a plateful of the leftovers from the night before. I really resented this, purely because she didn’t take the two seconds to ask me if she could have it. I can be generous at times, but she didn’t pay one cent for it and did nothing to prepare it. The least she could do is ask.

So, I did what any mature roommate would do. When she went into her room, I left a passive aggressive post-it on the fridge saying, “If you didn’t lift a finger to purchase this food or make it, then don’t lift a finger to eat it.” I’m not sure why I was in such a p*ssy mood, but it really got under my skin. I think I was just feeling very under-appreciated overall, and I was taking it out on her.

Later she emerged once again from her room. As she passed the fridge, she read the note, made a noise of discontent and returned to her room.

I had the immediate satisfaction of getting under her skin as much as she did mine, but I would certainly have to deal with the ramifications of that later. I returned to watching TV and being in a cranky mood for the rest of the night. I wished I’d spent the day with Smiles. I was in such a good mood from spending time with him the night before. Hopefully tomorrow would bring happier times…

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5th Annual Holiday Bash

The day of the party finally arrived. Something I start planning a year in advance was coming to fruition.

I was a little bummed however. A few of my best friends weren’t going to be able to make the party. D and his girlfriend were attending a wedding. J and his girlfriend couldn’t make it since she had finals and needed to study. A and her boyfriend were traveling out-of-state. There were still about 35 other people coming, but it wasn’t going to be the same without them. I was even more disappointed because many of them hadn’t met Smiles. I wanted to introduce him to my closest friends. Apparently my holiday parties have also developed a reputation as being my new “boyfriend” unveiling.

I was crazy all day preparing. In an act of desperation, I asked P to come over early and help with the final touches. She hauled ass and rescued me. My college teammate was also visiting from Maryland, and she pitched in to help finish things up. It would have been a mess without them.

When 7:30 rolled around, guests were supposed to be arriving. Instead, I was just hopping in the shower. (Next year I really need to hire someone to help me work the event.)

After I showered and dressed, I came out to the kitchen to find no one had arrived yet. Everyone’s late arrival was working to my advantage. People began to trickle in. Smiles was one of the earlier guests to arrive. He showed up with a bottle of wine and a very neatly decorated present. We exchanged a very nice kiss, and one of my old roommates shouted from across the room, “Oh. So that’s the new boyfriend!”

I cringed. He used the “B-word.” I should have looked at Smiles’ face to see his reaction.

I took Smiles into my bedroom to put his coat down and thanked him for the present. I unwrapped it, and it was a very cute tree ornament — Such a sweet gesture, especially for him! I gave him another big kiss to thank him.

More guests arrived, and the night was progressing pretty smoothly. Someone was commenting on Smiles helping me with some of the party maintenance and how he was so much “better than the last one,” referring to N. Just then, the door opened, and N arrived. The room got pretty quiet and everyone turned to me to see my reaction.

I walked over and gave him a hug. It was slightly awkward. Luckily, I was in the middle of things, so I didn’t have to linger on the awkwardness. When I finished, I walked over to him and pointed out all the food. He was overwhelmed by it all, and told me he was going to sample one of everything and let me know what he liked best.

I felt torn all night, and this happens every year. I feel like I never get to spend that much time with everyone because there are so many people there to talk to. There wasn’t even much work to be done during the party. I do a good job of planning ahead of time so that doesn’t happen.

My sister continued to give me dirty looks since N gravitated to her, being one of the few guests he knew.

I was having fun, and I was maintaining a good level of inebriation. Things were going well.

After a while, N was leaving to meet up with some friends. I was talking to Smiles at the time, so I introduced them, and they began to chat a bit. After he left, I told Smiles he was the ex. “Oh. He’s really nice.” I told him how he hasn’t made the effort to be a friend since things ended, and Smiles scolded me for being bitchy. I was being ever so slightly bitchy, but I thought it was humorous this was the stance he was taking. In reality, I didn’t want to be bitchy. I wanted my friend back…

As the night progressed, I received numerous praises for the food and the apartment. They couldn’t believe I whipped it into shape in the amount of time I had. Comments were also made looking forward to next years party and the food I prepare. I warned them an invite is no guarantee for the following year. It’s my way of making sure I maintain friends ;). Two comments were repeated a lot throughout the night I really appreciated. First, everyone told me how skinny I looked. That’s never a bad thing to hear. Secondly, they all told me how great Smiles is.

When things died down a bit, I took the opportunity to go out on the balcony with some friends and smoke a little. I think it put me over the edge a bit on top of all the alcohol I drank. I switched over to water to regain my composure.

We never did make it to the bar. Part of that was Smiles’ doing. I was game to move things to a local pub I frequent, especially after the continued insistence of my sister. However, Smiles was ready to call it a night. I’d already drank a lot, and it was getting late, so I gave into his desires. I said goodnight to the last guests as they left and got my teammate from Maryland settled for the night since she was staying over.

Smiles was a superstar for me that night. He took care of me and made sure I wasn’t getting too drunk. He helped clean up all night and remove trash. He schmoozed and chatted with my friends. I was very proud to be standing next to him at the end of the night. I was finally getting support from him the way I tried to support him. It felt really great.

That night, I fell asleep relatively quickly in his arms. It felt perfect. I was happy, and the only thing on my mind after that was sweet dreams…

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My Very Own Cheerleader

Tuesday came and went quite uneventful in my relationship world. Smiles called and we talked for five minutes about our days.

When Wednesday arrived, I was starting to seriously worry Smiles wasn’t going to be attending my holiday party. I’d already asked a few times, and I didn’t want to be pushy, but the time had come to get a straight answer.

I texted him in the middle of the afternoon: “You still haven’t confirmed your attendance Saturday… You are coming right?” I quickly received a very succinct response: “Yes.”

What a relief. I was worried he’d made other plans and didn’t know how to tell me. I’m not sure how I would have taken it had he said no. You may have been reading about a new slew of guys I was pursuing from a myriad of online dating venues. I wanted him by my side for the party, and I wanted him to meet my friends. Many had not met him yet, and if you read my blog, you know how important to me they are.

Apparently, I’d opened up the dialogue for the day. Smiles followed his last text with a picture message. “The final bowl.” I was laughing. “Haha. You made it! You didn’t have to eat it all if you were tired of it… Don’t forget about the sausages!” I know I made a lot, but he didn’t need to feel obligated to eat it all. “All good. It’s what I’m supposed to be on. I just laugh because it’s like a salad at the Cheesecake Factory — Much larger than it looks!”

I took the Thursday before my holiday party off. I need to do a lot to prepare and to finally settle into my new apartment. 40 people were expecting a party that lives up to my usual standards. I couldn’t disappoint.

I started in my room with probably the lowest priority, but the most fun project. I was detailing a tree on my bedroom wall. I was shocked it only took me two hours to make the tree decal out of black contact paper. “2 hours later, the tree is up…” I texted to Smiles. He immediately responded with support: “Cool. I forgot about that project!” He told me he’d slept-in quite late, but he was getting a lot of work done.  And, since he’d finished season two of Vampire Diaries, he had nothing to distract him. “Nice. I’m cooking up a storm. Still no cable guy,” I replied. He didn’t realize I took Thursday off from work as well as Friday.

His next response could have knocked me over with a feather. “Wow. Lot of prep for Saturday! Want me to come over tonight and help?” This was the first time Smiles took such an interest in my life. It kind of came out of left field, but there were no complaints here! I made my feelings quite clear in my response: “I would love if you came over tonight! I need a consultant :)” I needed some design advice. I still had to hang pictures and light fixtures and the like. I could handle most of the cooking myself, but his design skills and good taste were going to get put to good use. “Still can’t lift anything, but happy to help with other stuff,” he added.

I asked him if 10:00 would work. I had volleyball, so that was the time I would be home. I didn’t want to give up a night with him just because of my game. The following made me about as giddy as a schoolgirl! “Oh yeah. It’s Thursday 😦 Was thinking I was coming over at 6:00ish. Yeah. I can do that. 10:00. But, maybe I could come watch volleyball?”

WHAT!? He wanted to come watch me play volleyball?! I’d mentioned it to both N and Broadway when I was dating them, but they never showed much interest in it. For him to volunteer without me ever even mentioning coming was amazing! “Yea! Sure! Come at 6,” I exclaimed.

We ironed out the logistics, and he made his way to Hoboken around 7:00. Every week I get a ride from my teammate I’ve known since high school. He also happens to be gay, so he was excited to finally meet Smiles. This would also be the first time my sister met Smiles as she gets a ride as well.

The two of us hopped in the backseat, and I introduced Smiles to my high school friend. When we picked up my sister, I introduced him again.

When we arrived at the gym, Smiles made himself comfortable and pulled out his iPhone. I knew this wasn’t going to be the most thrilling night of Smiles’ life, but it meant the world to me he wanted to come watch. I would look past the fact that he spent a lot of the time playing with his phone. I knew he was actually watching because between every game, I went over to sit with him, and he made comments on some of the plays I was involved in. The ironic part is, many of my teammates didn’t know I was gay. That night, I didn’t give them a definitive answer, but I’m sure they could have deduced the situation.

After the game, we went home, and Smiles helped me with a few things I needed to ask him about before I showered and we had a late dinner. While we ate our dinner on the couch, we watched TV until we grew tired. We made our way to my bedroom and dozed off for the night.

The next morning, we woke without an alarm and had breakfast. I thought Smiles would stay for a bit of the afternoon. My friend, P, was coming over to help me make food for the party. I informed her she’d be meeting Smiles, and she was thrilled and very excited. Instead, Smiles had to make his way home because he had work to do. Around noon, I said goodbye with a kiss and went back to preparing for the party. P arrived disappointed to find Smiles had gone, but we didn’t let that get us down. We spent the afternoon cooking up a storm. She was invaluable. I don’t think I could have done it without her.

I was in good spirits. I had an answer about Smiles’ attendance. He came to support me in one of my recreations. He helped me make decisions on decorating. All was good in my world. Now I just needed to find the time to finish cleaning and cooking for 40…

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Being Supportive

After our night galavanting around the village taking in the Halloween sights, I felt like I made a half step closer to Smiles. We hadn’t completely closed the gap, but seeing him two days in a row was a good step. We finally added sex to the mix again, and I was watching him slowly open up to me. Maybe this relationship did have potential. Maybe I just needed to be more patient.

When it comes to relationships, my major downfall is over-thinking. Luckily, I have friends. And, I have you, my faithful readers. (Oops! Did I just address the audience?) Anyway, even though I don’t have a therapist, and at times I think I need one, I have my friends.

One of the guys I swam with in college, “J,” is a dedicated reader. So much so he harasses me when I don’t post on time. You can all thank him for keeping me on schedule. We’ve been through a lot together. He was almost one of the first people I told I was gay. On my ride back from telling my parents, I met him for lunch. I planned to tell him, but at the last minute I chickened out. I was waiting until I saw him again to tell him the news, but that didn’t happen until a few months later. I am constantly reaching out to him for advice and using him as my sound board. He’s more of a help to me than he realizes.

I have a wide array of friends and different reactions I can expect from them. Some I turn to for sex advice, like my friend who knew all about my philandering on Martha’s Vineyard, even when I was trying to cover it up. Some I turn to when I’m suspicious, like A, however some of those make me unnecessarily more suspicious. Some I turn to who I know will support whatever I’m saying, like D and K. J always gives me a fair and balanced viewpoint of the situation. Boston always gives me the harsh reality dose I need sometimes. Even Broadway weighs in sometimes for advice. And nothing makes me happier than when I get advice from my readers/newly found cheerleaders.

I take everything they all say, put it through my own filter to make decisions on how to proceed. They’re all great and I appreciate them all.

Many times Smiles would tell me about conversations he had with his ex to keep him centered and sane. He was finally reaching out to me to fulfill this role, and I was thrilled!

He sent me an email asking me to call because he didn’t have my phone number. I called, and he explained how he got a replacement phone from Verizon and it was defective. I joked it was the user and not the device that was a problem. He was using a very old clamshell phone he’d used years ago.

He also told me he was in the middle of a breakdown. He had a lot of frustrations, many of which stemmed from work. Luckily, this was something he was opening up about to me recently, so I was able to give him some educated advice. He has a problem seeing things in the small picture. Too many times he looks at the big picture too soon and gets overwhelmed. I did my best to calm him down, and I think I did a fair job. Apparently, others were giving him contradictory advice to my position, but I stood my ground once again. I asked him what he really wanted. If there were no restrictions, what would make him happy. I questioned why he was settling for things just because he thought it was what he was supposed to be doing. It seemed like he was taking my advice to heart.

He told me he was going out to get ice cream instead of going for the run he planned on to exert his frustrations. As he read aloud the flavors in the cooler, I encouraged him to pick something indulgent and go home and have at it. He was stressing a lot and needed to take the time to relax. Sometimes I wonder if he forgets to step back and have fun.

When he got back to his apartment, he was feeling better and was ready to dive into his pint of Ben and Jerry’s. He thanked me for the pep talk and said goodnight.

I went back to watching TV on the couch, but I had a smile on my face. He turned to me in a time of need. I finally felt needed and appreciated. I wanted to be more integrated into his life, and this was a step in that direction. I sat there thrilled a the new development.

Was this the foundation of a relationship?

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The Wedding Roommate Date

After Smiles left for New York to return the rental car with the two other girls from the screening, I sat around waiting for my roommate to wake up. When I got bored with that, I hopped in the shower, repacked my bags and laid everything out to get ready for the wedding. The night before, I promised her I wouldn’t wake her before 10:30. Obviously, all that didn’t take and hour and a half.

Finally, the time came to wake her. I sat impatiently while she got ready. She suggested we go eat and come back to get ready for the wedding. I agreed. However, when we couldn’t find a place to get brunch for about 45 minutes, we gave up and decided to go back to the house to get ready. We would grab breakfast at the first decent place we passed on the way to the wedding.

I was ready in about 10 minutes and had to wait another 40 minutes until she finished getting ready. WOMEN! This always makes me realize part of the reason why I’m gay! I’m sure my straight male readers can relate to me on this one!

We found a nice place to grab some great coffee and breakfast sandwiches. It was owned by a brother and sister pair far older than I. At one point, while talking to the gentleman in the booth behind us, they started to bicker. I put my head down and began to chuckle to myself. “Excuse me sir! I don’t think this is very funny,” the sister said towards me in a semi-joking tone. Now, I was laughing blatantly. “What’s so funny?” she asked. I explained my relationship with my older sister and how I could easily relate to the brother. I immediately was on her bad side, but I could tell deep down she really liked me — It was all an act. Everyone was eying us up ever since we walked in the door. I was wearing a dapper suit and my roommate had on a hot dress. There was no way to simply blend in now.

We finished our breakfast, we made our way for the door. The sister made a point of making eye contact with me and giving me a dirty look, but the brother also made a point to wish us a pleasant day.

Once we got back on the road, I was reminded once again how bad a driver my roommate is. She was all over the road and scaring the crap out of me. In fact, as we approached a cop on the side of the road, she veered off the road once again.

We got to the hotel and settled in. As we checked in, I noticed a guy in a tux (who I would later find to be the groom) who resembled me. I pointed him out to my roommate and she agreed. When the time came, we made our way to the church. We barely made it in time. We were actually running from the car.

After the wedding, my roommate and I walked downtown to take a few photos and buy some chocolates for my great-aunt. We had a lot of fun.

We made our way back to the hotel to hang out at the bar with my friends from college before we hopped on the bus to the reception. While closing my tab, the uncle of the bride asked me if I was a relative. I was a little perplexed since he was a relative. He should know if I was family. Then I realized there were two families coming together that day. I told him I swam with the bride in college. “Oh. You look a lot like the groom — Like you could be his brother or something,” said this man. I laughed and said I noticed the resemblance as well.

At the wedding reception, I really came to appreciate my roommate. As a gay man, I have limited resources for a wedding date since I wasn’t in a relationship. I planned to go with another female teammate who is still a great friend, but she went and got pregnant on me so she couldn’t travel. I floated the idea to my roommate to be my date months prior, and she jumped on the opportunity. She went to the same college as the bride and I, so I knew she’d fit right in.

I witnessed another friend from college sitting at our table arrive to the wedding and the reception stag. We had quasi dated in college for a very short period. The bride actually tried to set us up. She was the only single person at our table (I’m not exactly sure how you get a table with an uneven number). I felt really bad for her, but I was also very happy I didn’t show up stag myself.

I got myself nice and lubricated with about half a bottle of scotch and had a blast the rest of the night. The only time my roommate and I weren’t on the dance floor was to walk outside so we would stop sweating. Then, we’d make our way right back to the floor. The girl who came alone even came up to my roommate and made a comment about how lucky she was to have such a great wedding date (or so I was told later by my roommate). I had so much fun at this wedding – The most fun I’d had at any wedding I’d been to before. This is all for one reason. I had a great date! It makes all the difference. Who’d have thought taking your roommate to a wedding could be so much fun?

After the reception, we went back to the hotel bar to hang out some more. The problem was, all my friends left, and my roommate and I were exhausted. Half an hour passed, and the bride was nowhere in sight. While we waited, I took the opportunity to text Smiles: “Sooooo much fun! Missing you!” We were ready to give up and go to bed, but not before we raided the cereal bar for a late night snack in our room.

In the morning, we went down for the complimentary breakfast in hopes of seeing the bride again. I learned she wasn’t coming down because they had to get on with their honeymoon plans. I also learned I missed her last night at the bar, had I only stayed a little longer. I also received a text while we ate from Smiles. “Morning! Glad you guys had fun. I wish I could have spent the afternoon out there with you!” It was a very nice sentiment, and it brightened my day a little.

With that, we took coffee to go and got back on the road home…

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Alumni Weekend

Following my debacle of a night with Sexy Eyes, I woke early in the morning to go back to my apartment and get ready for alumni weekend at my college.

The previous night, while sitting on my couch, I received text messages from a teammate of mine from college. Unbeknownst to me, many of my teammates were attending the wedding of one of the guys I swam with in college. The texts started off saying hi and asking if I was still going up to school the following day, but then they took a turn I wasn’t expecting.

A little over a year ago, when I came out from behind the brick wall I built up, I started telling my friends as I felt comfortable with the news myself. I was hosting my annual holiday bash, and I invited many of my teammates from college who were in my graduating year. The guy I was dating at the time would be in attendance, so I felt the need to clue my friends in on this news as not to blindside them if they decided to attend.

I sent out emails, text messages and instant messages to many of them. They were all supportive. It was very refreshing to see their positive reactions. I did ask them to all please use discretion since it wasn’t yet public knowledge. I figured by telling them all around the same time, they could chat amongst each other, rather than with the people I hadn’t had a chance to tell yet.

Fast forward to today, and many of my younger teammates still didn’t know. That is, until the wedding. I’m not sure how it came up, but one of the guys I graduated with told one of the younger girls. I do have to say, I’m surprised and impressed he lasted that long before telling anyone. It was only a matter of a few hours before it spread like wildfire among the rest of the attendees. I’m certainly not mad about the situation. It’s a slightly uneasy feeling — I felt very vulnerable. I would have preferred telling them myself at a comfortable and convenient time, but what’s done is done. Now, they all know.

So the text messages began with: “So I heard you came out.” I acknowledged the statement and asked how he found out. He wouldn’t tell me. He wasn’t going to give up the source. I told him I wasn’t mad about it, but more just curious. I wanted to know who knew, so I wouldn’t say anything dumb or lie to someone who already knew the truth. He finally told me one of our female teammates told him. I asked her where the intel came from and she led me back to the source. The text conversation with my male teammate ended with him telling me he had something to tell me, but only in person the following day. A small red flag went off in my head, but only the following day would solve that question. What couldn’t he send me in a text that he had to say in person?

I assumed they all went up there early to go out to the bars Friday night. When I arrived on campus and found out they were all there for a the wedding, I could only assume my entire team knew at that point. Surprisingly, no one said anything about it to me, and no one treated me any differently. Not that I immediately noticed anyway.

We had an alumni swim meet Saturday morning when I arrived at the school. My main concern was not looking fat and swimming at least decently well. I wanted to be the guy who stayed in shape or even looked better than college instead of the pudgy men many of my teammates have become. It was just my inner gay coming out at that point. Much to my surprise, one of the fittest guys on the team asked if I’d been lifting and commented on how I looked more muscular. I was thrilled. Goal 1 — Accomplished. Then we swam a few races, and I actually had the top time of anyone in the pool. I felt great, especially since many of these guys were much more talented than myself when we were in school. Goal 2 — Accomplished.

Following the meet, many of the swim alumni hung out together. We drank in the parking lot, hit up the campus green, toured new buildings, etc. One of the younger alumni, whom I’ve never spoke to before, was chatting me up throughout portions of the day. I didn’t really notice this until that evening when I was leaving. One of the guys who lives near me in Jersey and I decided not to spend the night. We just made a day trip of it. When the younger alumni learned of our departure, he came up to me and inquired about us not going to the bar that night. I found it odd he would care I was leaving. Then I remembered the topic of conversation among the group the night before. It just seemed to come out of left field the way he asked the question and said, “Well, maybe some other time then.”

Between the drinking on the green and getting in the car to go, I decided to stop by an old friend‘s apartment on campus. He was my freshmen dorm’s mentor and a close friend over the years. It had been over a year since we last spoke, and I wanted to make a point to catch up with him. I took two of my teammates with me to visit him. We had a nice chat, and I chuckle when I think back to the point in the conversation where he asked me about dating and marriage. I smiled and told him I was a bachelor, at least for the time being. He is a religious figure, and I wasn’t 100% ready to tell him right then and there. I do want to take the time to tell him since he is such a good man and good friend, but I still need to find the right timing and setting.

On the ride home, I realized my teammate never told me what it was he had to tell me in person. When I texted him, he didn’t remember making that statement at all, and claimed he was very drunk the night he was sending them. He thought it was just who the source of intel was, but I doubted that. I’m not sure what he had to tell me, but I hope he would feel comfortable telling me whatever it was he needed to say. But maybe it was simply what occurred the night everyone found out. Who knows?

He also took the opportunity to reiterate his support of me and noted he has many gay friends he supports fully as well. It was nice to hear because he was a good friend in college when we swam together. I know he has a big heart, and it meant a lot to hear it all from him.

All in all, it was a successful weekend. It’s relieving to know the cat is out of the bag, and I received no negative reactions. I can never know what was actually said or joked about when they found out, but that’s simply human nature. I can only hope they come to accept me for who I am and be happy I’m finally happy…

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