Posts Tagged Thanksgiving

The Next Chapter

Two years ago, I started this blog. I began writing because I felt alone. I knew there had to be other gay men out there who were looking for the same thing I was, and I wanted a way to connect with them.

grindrAt the time, I just ended my first gay relationship, and I found myself in very unchartered waters. I was already out to close friends, but not publicly. Because I had so few gay friends and a strong aversion to gay bars, I had to find a mate digitally. I began serial dating, at one point going on four dates in four days — And thus, One Gay At A Time was born.

Since the beginning, I have gone on MANY dates and put myself in many situations well outside my comfort zone. I have not only grown more comfortable in my own skin, but I’ve also grown up as a gay man. I got all the hookups out of my system and began searching for a meaningful, long-term relationship.

This blog began as an open forum diary of the daily occurrences I encountered navigating the gay world. I told my side of the story honestly in hopes that others out there would be able to relate, comment and most importantly, realize they are not alone.

The time has come for the next chapter of my life and for this blog. For quite some time I’ve been blogging about CK (aka Clark Kent or Superman). You’ve gotten to know him through my eyes in the early stages of our relationship. It’s been some time since I’ve blogged, and I apologize for leaving you, my readers in the lurch. I do not mean to abandon the small community I’ve worked so hard to foster, but I’ve been struggling with the next chapter of the blog.

When I first told CK about the blog, he was very open to and even grew excited about the idea of my writing our relationship. Over time, as you could probably understand, his excitement waned, and we began to argue about the content of the blog.

I had to make a choice between the blog and my man. It’s quite obvious which I chose. As a result, I will no longer be blogging about the specifics of my relationship with CK. However, in lieu of continuing to finish our story in a daily dairy format, let me catch you up on what has happened since July. Here are some of the highlights…

In July, CK joined my family for our annual beach vacation. While I went for the entire week, he only joined us for a few days. It was the first time we’d spent an extended period of time apart, and with my trust/cheating baggage, it was a true test of my sanity. I was thrilled and relieved when he finally arrived. It was also nice that he would finally get to spend some real-time getting to know my parents.

In early August, I traveled to Miami, CK’s birthplace to surprise his family with a visit to celebrate the birthdays of his two beautiful nephews (turning 1 and 2 only a week apart). I felt incredibly special taking this trip with CK. I was meeting his ENTIRE extended family. Before this point, I’d only met his mother. I was welcomed into the family with open arms and came to grow strong bonds with them over just a handful of days. This was unchartered territory for both of us, as I’d never been brought home to meet the family by anyone other than my high school girlfriend, and he’d never brought a man home to meet everyone before. It could not have worked out better!

Around Labor Day, CK and I went on week-long vacation to the Hamptons with 15 of my friends and family. While there, our relationship grew very strained. I felt he was trying too hard to impress my friends. I wanted him to be himself so all of them would come to love the man I knew, not the man I felt he was trying to be for them. By the end of the week, I reached my breaking point. I was so stressed out from organizing the vacation and ensuring everyone was happy that I made myself miserable, and I took it out on the person closest to me. In the penultimate moment of the trip, one night we not only exchanged words but also fists and shoves, as my closest friends and sister witnessed the lowest moment of our relationship.

It took a lot of time for CK and I to figure things out. This wasn’t the first time our relationship reached physicality, but I hoped it was the last. It also took a long time for things to return to normal between CK, me and my circle of friends. My sister wasn’t speaking to me for over a month and my friends had semi-ostracized me from typical gatherings. I burned a lot of bridges on that trip, and I am still working to rebuild them today. You can expect to read about my experiences and feelings dealing with issues such as physical violence in a relationship as one of the topics I will cover in coming posts.

In September, CK and I found an apartment in Hoboken to call our own. We moved in together in the midst of Hurricane Sandy’s wake on November 2. Although the experience of moving immediately following a hurricane is incredibly overwhelming, we are both stronger as a result of the experience. In my experience, moving in with a lover is unlike sharing a space with any other. You’ll certainly be reading about my experiences and the things I’ve learned from this experience as well.

After Sandy exhausted my last modicum of energy, I decided I was too tired to shave my upper lip. CK and I both decided to raise awareness and funds to fight prostate cancer by growing mustaches for Movember. I proudly raised over $500 for charity as a result of my stache, and I was thrilled when we both shaved them off — We both looked like pedophiles.

For the first time in my life, I had someone to take home to meet my family for Thanksgiving. Before venturing home, I sent my extended maternal family an email to get the awkwardness out of the way. You’ll be pleased to know my family welcomed him with open arms. I imagine coming out to extended family creates a lot of anxiety for man, as it did for me, so I hope sharing my experiences will encourage more to share the truth with the ones they love.

When I returned to Hoboken after Thanksgiving, preparations began immediately for what would have been my Sixth Annual Holiday Bash. This year, it became Our First Annual Holiday Bash. I finally had someone to share the hosting duties with, making it extra special.

Although CK and I spent Christmas apart, after all the festivities with my family, I hopped on a flight down to Miami to spend the rest of the holiday season and New Years Eve with my man and his family. CK’s sister and brother-in-law planned a trip with their two boys to Disney World for two days. After a little persuading, I convinced CK we should join them. I preferred Disney to a raucous gay party any day, and it was truly magical to see Disney World through the eyes of a two-year-old.

In February, CK and I took a romantic trip to Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. Although it seems we can’t go anywhere without having some kind of quarrel like an old married couple, the trip was amazing and couldn’t have come at a better time. We went ice skating, snow shoeing, swimming, hiking, and much more. It was a perfect escape for both of us to get out of the city and away from the bustle of it all after the holidays.

In between, there have been countless brunches, parties, trips, nights out, Broadway shows, fights… Oh yea, and plenty of sex — Can’t forget the sex! Overall, things have been going well for us. You have good days and bad days, but you have to realize the bad days are just there so you appreciate the good ones all the more. I am thrilled to announce, this past Saturday, CK and I celebrated our one-year anniversary at the restaurant we went to on our first date, Frankies Spuntino 570. Although we waited nearly an hour, the evening was perfect, and I look forward to many more years together.

Although I won’t be detailing the specifics of my relationship going forward, I hope to share with you what I have learned along the way. It’s not easy being in a relationship, but then again, the things that are worth it never really are.

To my most dedicated readers who haven’t let me lack of posting stop them from commenting words of support on my blog, thank you. You are what has motivated me to get back into this once again. I feel like many of you have integrated my writing into your daily routines, and I have left you with your morning coffee in hand and no reading material. You will not see the frequency of posts you may have grown accustomed in the past, but I still hope you find time in your lives for One Gay At A Time.

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Thanksgiving

Today I am thankful for many things.

I am thankful I am a gay man who is comfortable in his own skin.

I am thankful to have a man in my life – The love of my life, even if it isn’t always smooth sailing.

I am thankful for all my readers, especially the dedicated ones who offer support and comments.
I truly love these! Keep em’ comin’!

I am thankful for all my friends and family and the support they give me on a daily basis.
I’d be nowhere without them.

I am thankful to be alive. Thankful every day when my eyes open and breath life in for one more day.

And lastly, I am thankful for Thanksgiving cards like these!!

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Holiday Split

Thanksgiving came and went, and I didn’t see Smiles. However, it was too early in the relationship to invite him home to meet my family.

Home was relaxing and I was happy to see my family. I needed the time away from the craziness. In just a few days following Thanksgiving, I was moving.

On Thanksgiving, he called and left a message saying, “Heyyyy! What up? HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Call me later.” I didn’t get it until much later in the day because when I travel home, I am in a black hole of cell phone service.

I tried calling, but the phone rang unanswered. I decided I would try again later that evening. I was a little disappointed I couldn’t get ahold of him. I missed him.

On my way home from my aunt’s house, my sister and I decided to hit up Wal-Mart to get in early on the Black Friday deals. What a mistake! The one item I wanted was sold out in the first five minutes, and my sister needed non-Black Friday items. I stood in the front of the store witnessing the madness while she paid. I called Smiles once again, and this time he picked up.

He told me about his day and asked if I saw the pictures of the dogs on the beach he posted to Facebook. He told me everyone was relaxing and watching a movie after their turkey comas. I told him about my day with my family and my encounter with tryptophan. We talked about the insanity I was witnessing and about my shopping adventure coming the following day. He told me about his plans for the rest of the time he was out on Long Island.

My sister wanted to be back in Hoboken Saturday morning, so after a visit to my childhood babysitter for dinner, we made our way back. It was a long boring ride which I slept through most of. When I woke, we were nearing Hoboken. I called Smiles to see how his day was going.

He was home alone in front of a fireplace. Apparently his friends were all going to his ex-boyfriend’s place of business, so he decided to have an easy night staying in. I felt bad for him he was all alone, but I also knew he’d enjoy the rest and the full night’s sleep.

Saturday, I was trying not to think about Smiles. It was no use. I texted him, “Thinkin’ boutchu… Miss ya ;)” He responded with a picture of a very nice living room including a fireplace. “Dinner shall be served shortly. It’s a rough life.” I, in turn, responded with a picture of all the boxes I was packing in my room and added, “Thanks for rubbing it in. I too have a similar view ;)” “I see the resemblance,” he retorted.

Later that evening, I went out to the bar with a full pack of friends. I was trying to distract myself from the fact that I missed Smiles. It was working because I hadn’t seen many of them in quite some time. That doesn’t mean I didn’t send him a picture of the bar with the caption, “My new view.”

He sent me a picture of a dwindling fireplace with the caption, “Night time fire. Falling asleep.” With that, my phone started ringing. I walked outside so I could hold a decent conversation with him. He was home alone again and simply wanted to say goodnight.

I asked him if I could see him the following evening, Sunday, but he told me he was already booked solid. I was very disappointed because I thought I’d be getting to see him when he returned to Manhattan. He did leave a glimmer of hope we could possibly find time to meet up, but when Sunday came, the glimmer would be snuffed.

I tried to find time on Monday to see him, but once again he was busy. “Sounds like you’re booked up tomorrow, but want you/to see you. Miss you 😦 When can I see you?” I asked. He told me, “Hi. Just back into city. I think Thursday is my first night free. Would that work? Sorry it’s so far out. :(” I reminded me about my Thursday night volleyball game and my parents’ arrival to help me move into my new apartment. He then proposed the possibility of Wednesday night, but he’d have to get a ticket for me from his friend. I too had a super busy week in front of me, especially with a move on Wednesday, so that wasn’t going to work. It was looking like I wasn’t going to get to see him for some time, but I did appreciate him making an effort to see me.

I suggested we do lunch on Tuesday instead, to which he responded, “Yes. Lunches are easy.”

I was content. I wanted to see him sooner, but I could survive until lunch on Monday or Tuesday. We both have lives to live, and his career was just getting off the ground, so I didn’t want to interfere with that.

I thought back to my thoughts about inviting him home for Thanksgiving, and I realized I made the right decision. While I would have liked spending the time with him, the timing and logistics would have been awful. Introducing him to my family would have been tough and emotional. My family was already on edge, as this would be the first time celebrating Thanksgiving since the passing of my grandfather.Furthermore, I’d have to introduce him to my uber-Christian babysitter from growing up, as I couldn’t just leave him home while we all went to dinner.

Lastly, I would have sent quite a message about my thoughts regarding our relationship if I put him in the position to decline my invitation. We weren’t at the meet the parents stage, let alone the come home for the holidays stage. I made the right decision overall and was proud of myself for showing restraint.

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Short Goodbyes

Still thrilled about a spectacular weekend with Smiles, I began a new week.

Monday passed by without me seeing Smiles again. I did speak to him however. We spoke while I walked home from work. He still had a migraine, and I tried to console him. I wished there was something I could do for him, but I was powerless.

He had a work event that evening, so he soldiered on. His migraine was lessened, but he still wasn’t 100%. I knew it was going to be a long night for him.

He called when the event was over to say hi and check in on me. I always relish his phone calls just to say hi and ask me about my day.

I explained to him I was watching the first Twilight movie. It happened to be on TV that night, so I made it a point to watch in an attempt to catch up to the current day release of Twilight: Breaking Dawn pt. 1. I was also able to find the second and third installments in the series on the guide over the next few days. Smiles seemed excited to see the movie, so I was putting in the effort to get onboard. I have to say, they’re certainly not amazing cinema, they’re not unbearable either.

I asked him to wait to see the movie together in the theater. He agreed. After talking about the series, he realized he’d never see the third installment, Twilight: Eclipse. I told him I would keep it on my DVR, and we could watch it together before hitting up the newest in the theater.

We were also coming up on Thanksgiving. I struggled with the thought of inviting him to come home with me. He is from and his family is still in Florida. I knew he wasn’t planning to go home, but I wasn’t sure if he’d have other plans. The thought of inviting him came from numerous places. I felt we were comfortable with each other, and I knew he would stand well with my family. He was very good at getting along with strangers, and I knew he could win them over, especially since this would be the first time they’d learn about my homosexuality. I knew it would have been a little early in our relationship to ask him to come home with me, and this is the main reason why I didn’t. I didn’t want him to think I was a little psycho.

In the meantime, I learned he finally did make plans for Thanksgiving. He was going to a few friends’ homes out on Long Island in the Hamptons and on Fire Island. I was happy he found some special people to spend the holiday with, but was a little disappointed I wouldn’t be spending it with him.

Before I went home, and he split for Long Island, I wanted to see him again. I suggested we grab coffee or something quick because I knew he would be quite busy with work leading up to our departures on Wednesday. He told me we’d have to play it by ear, but he would make a concerted effort to work it out.

I was worried I wasn’t going to see him before the long holiday weekend. We’d spent other weekends apart, so this shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but to me it was. I wasn’t spending the holiday with him, so I wanted the next best thing.

Tuesday evening I had a dermatologist appointment to have an ingrown hair taken care of. We were going to attempt to meet after as long as time allowed for it in his schedule.

It turned out he was able to meet. In the rain, I made my way to Lyon to grab a drink with him before he was going out to dinner with business colleagues who were in town for the week.

This was the first time I’d see him following a workday in which he interacted with clients. He looked very smart and super cute. It was all I could do to keep my hands off him. He was happy to see me, but I could tell he was pretty exhausted from a long day. We ordered some small dishes because I was ready for dinner, and his dinner wasn’t until 10:00 or 11:00. The conversation was nice, and we discussed our plans for the weekend. He also expressed concern for the incision on my abdomen from the dermatologist. When we finished, we paid the bill and began to walk towards the PATH/his subway.

We popped into a fun travel amenities shop to check out some of the cool things we noticed in the front window.

We walked a little further and reached his subway. He began to descend the staircase, and I called after him to explain I wouldn’t be joining him since it didn’t take me near the PATH. He walked back up a few steps and gave me a quick kiss as he said goodbye.

It was very unceremonious and not very romantic, but I decided to concentrate on the fact that I got to spend time with him at all before he left.

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What I’m Thankful For

Today I am thankful for many things.

I am thankful I am a gay man who is comfortable in his own skin after 26 years in the closet.

I am thankful to have a man in my life, even if it isn’t always smooth sailing.

I am thankful for all my readers, especially the dedicated ones who offer support and comments. I truly love these! Keep em’ comin’!

I am thankful for all my friends and family and the support they give me on a daily basis. I’d be nowhere without them.

I am thankful to be alive. Thankful every day when my eyes open, and I breath life in for one more day.

And lastly, I am thankful for Thanksgiving cards like these!!

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