Posts Tagged Valentine’s Day

Visit From the Sugar Plumm Fairies

We all know that red roses are the queen of Valentine’s Day, and chocolate is king. If you read my blog, you know just how much I like chocolate. Although I never heard of them before this weekend, I am thrilled to introduce Sugar and Plumm, the Purveyors of Yumm!

Chef Pichet Ong spoke to our intimate group about the delicious creations they are whipping up. Perhaps best known as a judge on Top Chef: Just Desserts, award-winning corporate pastry Chef Ong is the whimsical creator behind the sweet and savory confections of Sugar and Plumm. He combines the fond flavors of his childhood with modern cooking techniques to create culinary offerings that are seasonal, pure, light, and delightfully experimental, yet nostalgic.

After introducing us to the brand, he was kind enough to treat us to their For The Love of Chocolate gorgeously packaged box of some of their finest chocolate creations. It is an amazing assortment of hand-crafted artisan chocolates with origins from around the world. This box included two white chocolate blueberry and six pure dark Mexican chocolate ganache. However, the pleasant surprises didn’t end there. Hidden below were chocolates with flavors and aromas consisting of raspberry, vanilla, coconut, hazelnut praline, jasmine tea infused ganache, ginger, milk chocolate and pure dark Peruvian. On top of allowing us to sample some of their finest chocolate creations, we were also give a pair of their brightly colored, delicate French macaroons. It was all I could do to keep myself from digging in immediately.

When I untied the ribbon and opened my brightly colored box, I was blown away by the impeccably pristine chocolates before me. They were almost too pretty to eat. Luckily, that would not stop me. What did stop me was the thought of my boyfriend waiting for me at home. There’s something incredibly romantic about fine artisan chocolates that makes it sinful not to share with a loved one.

On our anniversary, the day before Valentine’s day, I told my boyfriend I had a surprise for him. I told him to close his eyes and open his mouth. After a bit of trepidation, he complied, and boy was he glad he did. His face lit up from ear to ear as he savored his first bite of the dark chocolate ganache-filled heart. I sampled the white chocolate blueberry-filled heart. I’d never tasted anything so complex and exquisite. It was heaven. I was reminded of the first time blueberry wine touched my lips, and I had to have more. The combination of blueberry and white chocolate was pure genius. I forced myself to put the box away so I could savor these the little bits of chocolate heaven for a few days; I simply did not want the experience to end!

There was no way I could possibly ignore the fresh macaroons waiting the ultimate demise. Although there were two, I wanted the best of both worlds. As it’s rather impossible to split a macaroon, I simply bit half for myself and passed the other half to my boyfriend. We made long extended moans as we enjoyed these incredible indulgences, and that was just the vanilla macaroon. I repeated our ritual with the strawberry poppy-seed, and the moans of happiness only grew louder. The flavors transported me back to the beach with my parents snacking on strawberry Twizzlers.

It was amazing how incredibly nostalgic Sugar and Plumm’s confectionaries were. How could so much be contained in such a small morsel?

I was shocked to learn that Sugar and Plumm serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, and every craving in between. I was expecting a purveyor of sweets, but they create works of art from homemade ice cream and macaroons, to house-smoked salmon and Berkshire pulled pork, our team of master chefs, bakers, and chocolatiers are purveyors of all things delicious and delightful. The bake shop even makes everything handmade, from scratch. The only problem you’ll find is deciding what to order (and possibly that top button on your pants).

Although it’s too late to place an order for Valentine’s Day delivery, if you’re looking for that perfect way to show the special person in your life just how much they mean to you, this is a perfect for Valentine’s Day — Or any of the other 364 days of the year. The have gift boxes for every budget and an in-store experience you won’t soon forget! This Upper West Side spot with Parisian charm and a downtown vibe is sure to knock the socks off anyone who enters and will certainly not disappoint!

For more information, visit the on Facebook.

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Celebrating the Gift of Love

What would Valentine’s Day be without chocolate? Whether you embrace the holiday like the warmth of a fireplace or avoid it like the plague, you have to admit, you will always enjoy those little cocoa bits of heaven. From garish heart-shaped boxes to small delicate boxes to simple pink foil-wrapped factory-processed milk chocolates — We all love chocolate (unless of course you have some rare and exotic chocolate allergy). Chocolate makes everything better, especially when coupled with the right companion.

Move over peanut butter! I’ve found chocolate’s new best friend — Casa Noble’s “El Beso de Luz” Margarita. I can see you now. Your furrowed brow and head tilted to the side. Yes. Chocolate and margaritas. But, not just any chocolate or premixed margaritas. I myself would have never thought to put the two together before Single Edition’s Sweets in New York event, but now I will never think of a margarita again without thinking of chocolate.

No matter how you take ’em, nothing quite warms a winter night and brightens up the gloom and gray like a margarita. And, we’ve already established chocolate makes everything better. These two powers combined will warm you from the soul on outward, making any day special and unforgettable.

Casa Noble is an ultra premium tequila meticulously crafted from choice blue agave plants. Employing only traditional methods, slow-cooking the rich agave piñas for 38 hours, they use only the agave hearts to extract their sweet nectar. Their fermentation process is 100% natural and is followed by triple distillation, resulting in a tequila so pure and full of agave flavor it has globally elevated the concept of tequila to new heights.

When the “El Beso de Luz” Margarita first passed Carlos Santana’s lips, he likened it to the first time he fell in love, giving the cocktail its name in tribute to his wife, Cindy. Mixing Casa Noble’s tequila with lime, orange, and Licor 43’s hints of citrus, fruit juices, vanilla and aromatic herbs and spices (43 ingredients in all), this mystical concoction is an experience for the senses worthy of Aphrodite herself.

Pairing that with artisanal chocolates from Essence By Chocolate creates a very unique and sublime tasting experience. As if by Cupid’s own hand, pairing these powerhouses of taste in tandem will leave you taking delight in luscious aromas and flavors.

After carefully preparing our cocktail, my boyfriend and I cozied up in front of the fireplace. Starting with a few sips of my margarita, I was blown away by the freshness and lightness. Before the flavors dissipated, I took a generous bite of the first chocolate. I had the pleasure of sampling the Mango, Chile Pepper & Crystal Tequila Infused in Milk and White Chocolate, the Resposado Tequila and Caramel Infused in Dark & Milk Chocolate and the Black Cherry & Anejo Tequila Infused in Dark Chocolate Dome. Alternating sips with bites until we finished, we were making sounds normally reserved for one’s bedroom. We enjoyed the symphony of flavors stimulating every inch of my tongue (And then we mixed a second drink).

This Valentine’s Day, what could be a more appropriate tribute to love than cuddling up with two glasses of this romantic drink and a box of distinctly paired chocolates?

And, should you find yourself not particularly enjoying this lover’s holiday? I think the citrus and vanilla notes, complimented by the knowledge that you’re indulging in one of Mexico’s finest exports will remedy even the sourest of moods. Top that off with some of the finest chocolates I’ve ever tasted, and you’ll be transported to your own personal heaven.

The recipe for the aforementioned cocktail:

“El Beso de Luz” Margarita

2 oz. Casa Noble Crystal

1/2 oz. Licor 43

1 oz. lime juice

1/4 orange squeeze & drop

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Match.com: Singles in America

Continuing with this week’s Valentine’s theme, I want to highlight a study I had the privilege of learning about this weekend while attending Sweets in the City, an event hosted by Single Edition.

107 million Americans are single, and match.com is trying to understand them. Under the guidance of Dr. Helen Fisher for the third year in-a-row, match.com has commissioned a national relationship study, Singles in America. After asking 200 questions to a perfect cross-section of the U.S., they learned fascinating new things you may or may not have heard in the news as of late.

I was shocked to learn both men and women judge each other first by their teeth, followed by grammar. It’s refreshing to know that in this day and age, communication is still important. Still, I’m surprised to see teeth topped the list (as well as proud of my pearly whites).

As a gay man who wants to one day get married, it was also refreshing to hear that commitment is back in style — 90% of those open to marriage believe they can stay married to the same person forever.

As Dr. Fisher reported the results, she was most-surprised by the increased emergence of friends with benefits. As a 28-year-old, I didn’t find this particularly surprising, having had my own FWB relationships.

In related results, virginity is no longer a core value in the dating world — If anything, it’s an obstacle. Gone are the days where the first instance of intercourse between couples occurs on the night marital consummation. I think it’s only natural that people want to test-drive the car before they buy it these days, even though women are less likely to admit it.

Sexting was a particularly interesting territory in the digital age. Although most singles believe sexting could jeopardize their careers or privacy, they still partook in this social taboo, proving love conquers all (including reason).

JustMarriedGayMenMy favorite statistic was that gay men fell in love more often than anyone else. We were more romantic, more experienced in “love at first sight” and more likely to be “deeply in love” with a long-term partner. Lastly, we had sex with the same frequency as other singles, finally proving the stereotypical perception of gay promiscuity is outdated.

I’m curious if this is due to wider acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage, or if this has evolved naturally. Dr. Fisher made a point about not making a point of discussing homosexual responses as a separate entity because there are very few differences from the heterosexual responses. We’re not all that different after all.

The most shocking results were that women desired independence and men sought commitment. Single men fall in love faster and want to “move in” together sooner, while women still want to hold onto their girls’ night out.

Hear Dr. Helen Fisher’s own interpretation of the facts from Saturday’s event below:

This post was sponsored by the fine folks at match.com. Be sure to check out all the fun, fresh video clips at Singles in America.

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Valentine’s Letdown

Valentine’s Day had arrived. I managed to find myself single once again. I have yet to celebrate a Valentine’s Day. The one year it came while I was dating Broadway, we couldn’t be together because I got shipped off for work to the Midwest.

I ended my intense weeklong relationship with PR just the night before. I knew it was bad form to stick to our plans to go out for a romantic evening if I was just going to be faking it.

Just because I wasn’t going out for a romantic dinner doesn’t mean I wasn’t looking forward to the company of a man. For some unknown reason, I was exceptionally horny that day. Granted this has become the norm, and I’m starting to wonder if I may have a problem. However, I wasn’t stopping myself from exploring possibilities that day. I was single and ready to mingle.

I was all over Grindr and even pulled up the OKCupid app to see who was around my area. When this produced little results, I began to filter through all my previous Grindr, Adam4dam.com, OKCupid, and Manhunt contacts to see if there maybe something I missed or someone I wanted to revisit.

I messaged a few guys and asked what they were up to. The ones who I hadn’t spoken to in quite a while I asked how they’d been since we last spoke.

One guy hit me up on Grindr. I was pretty horny, so I wasn’t being picky. He was just offering to come over and give me a blowj*b.  I at the very least had a fallback. I was really looking to get it in, but I would settle for him if no candidates produced themselves.

I wasn’t happy with who I was becoming. Once again, I was letting myself get out of control. I needed to reign in my sex life, but that day, I just wanted to get it in. Tomorrow is another day.

I started chatting with the guy I’d gone on an awkward date with. We’d already talked about trying to figure something out about getting together again. I could tell he was more interested in sex than a relationship, but there was also still a glimmer of hope there for something to bud. I don’t claim to be a pro in the bedroom, but I do think, based on previous feedback, I am pretty damn good between the sheets. Maybe I could win him over that way.

We went back and forth for some time about him coming over. He wanted to go to the gym and hadn’t left work yet. Apparently I didn’t give him enough notice, but I could tell he was very interested. We talked about the logistics, and I made some great progress imploring him to come over. He told me he’d try to get his errands done and then he’d be in touch.

In the meantime, I had the blowjob on hold. I told him I had some work to do, and I would get back to him. He wasn’t thrilled, but he accepted my proposal of postponement. I told him I’d reach out to him as soon as I finished my work.

Finally, I got a text message. It appeared we were going to have our “second date” after all. He was wrapping up a few things and then he’d be over. He informed me he was bringing his c*ckring and poppers. I told him that was fine, but I wouldn’t be partaking in the poppers.

I immediately hopped in the shower to clean up, shave and prep for his arrival. I also opened a bottle of wine so we could relax before just jumping in the sack. I wanted to seduce him a little.

When he arrived, he was slightly awkward. I poured him a glass of wine and we sat on the couch chatting and drinking. When I felt the moment was right, I made a move. I was all but on his lap kissing him. And that’s when I learned why he was still single.

He was the worst kisser I’d ever been with. I thought he was going to eat my face. All that time I spent staring longingly at his lips, and that’s how he chose to use them. It was a very sad Valentine’s Day. I tried to soldier on past it. I tried to lead him and make-do the best I could.

Finally, I stood up to take a break, took him by the hand and led him to my bedroom. We slowly undressed each other. I was enjoying peeling his clothes off one by one. As I did, I was groping his entire body. He had a very sexy body and great skin. I couldn’t stop feeling him up.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. We laid head to toe and began orally pleasing each other. Eventually, he stopped to put on his c*ckring and grab his poppers from his jeans pocket.

When he came back to the bed, I began orally pleasing his bottom. He had a great a$s and manscaped very well. I was enjoying myself, but it didn’t seem I was doing the best job for him. That’s when I learned he doesn’t really get anything out of it, he told me apologetically. I didn’t understand because long ago he told me he was a bottom. I also recalled how much stimulation he got from his nipples, so I concentrated on them. He went wild.

A short time later, we laid next to each other stimulating ourselves. It didn’t take long before I finished all over his chest per his request. For once it didn’t take me forever to climax. As soon as I finished, he too exploded on his chest.

After giving him a towel and we both cleaned up, we laid next to each other in bed. I wanted to cuddle, but he didn’t seem the type to I just put my hand on his inner thigh. We chatted about the most random things. He was staring at my bookcase, and we talked about some of the books on the shelf. I pointed out my only gay book on the shelf, Beaches. It’s a picture book I like to page through periodically. He told me all the gay books on his bookshelf deal with barebacking. A huge red flag went off in my brain! Was he into barebacking? I didn’t ask him to elaborate, but I wish I did.

That’s when I hopped on his back and began to give him a massage. I have very large and very strong hands. I like to put them to good use. Apparently he was a little more delicate that I anticipated. He asked me to lighten up a bit, but he was enjoying what I was doing. I noticed how he analyzed everything. He really was a headshrinker.

When I stopped, he started inspecting my skin. I recalled on our date how he wished he was a dermatologist. He was very complimentary of my skin and complexion. I appreciated the compliment, but the delivery was incredibly awkward. He was not an easygoing guy, and I started to realize how little I was attracted to him. On top of that, I was starting to get an irritation on my neck from where he was trying to eat it. I knew then this would not be a repeat offender.

With that, he got dressed, collected his things, and we said goodbye at the door. He left very unceremoniously. I had no plans to reach out to him again after that. We’d had such a long history, making it weird, but we’d only really known each other a short while. He too had no plans to reach out to me.

Ironically enough, he messaged me on Grindr the other night, but of course this went nowhere.

Now, the only question is when and if I unfriend him on Facebook and what are the consequences?

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PR Independence

I had a lot to think about since PR left. Was he really what I was looking for after all? I learned things the hard way over the past few relationships. I’d stayed with too many men for too long after I saw the writing on the wall. I didn’t want to repeat past mistakes.

Was I jumping the gun? Should I give this a shot? There were so many questions and no answers.

I began to build a pros and cons list in my mind.

I didn’t want to lose a great guy, but I was so tired of wasting my time with guys who just weren’t a fit for me.

CONS

He enthusiastically showed me pictures from his ski trip with his buddies in which everyone dressed in drag. They went all out with wigs, heels and bras among other things. I had a strong feeling I was not going to fit in with his friends. He also was a big fan of gay bars. He went on and on about his desire to go to Griffin in NYC on Sunday nights. It is apparently a huge gay party everyone on the scene knows about — News to me. This is not my thing, but I’m not made of stone. I would be willing to be flexible, but if this is the norm for him, we were going to differ greatly. Sadly, he may be “too gay” for me.

We are both tops. I am willing to play ball with a guy I’m in a relationship with, but I get no pleasure from bottoming. That’s not to say he wouldn’t also be willing to trade positions. But, if we both prefer it, it’s probably going to become a problem down the road for us. This was a very frank conversation we needed to have to establish expectations.

I wasn’t thrilled that he didn’t have a full-time job. I wasn’t writing him off because he was unemployed. He was in a long-term relationship with a man, and when that situation changed, he needed to find something. He fully realized what he was facing, but I just don’t know if I’m cut out to date another guy trying to get back on his feet. I put in a lot of work emotionally supporting Smiles until things ended. I really don’t want to come off as elitist at all, but I also wasn’t thrilled with the jobs he was applying for. I never did ask if he went to college, but I got the feeling he didn’t. I wondered the financial stability we would attain if we forged a long-term relationship. He was applying to jobs that I could have done over summer break from college. They had odd hours, and there was a good chance we’d see even less of each other.

PR was a good-looking man, but he wasn’t something you would double-take. I was attracted to him, but some of his physical attributes left something to be desired. I know he was making an effort to get back into the gym, as evidenced when we went together, but was that just because of me or because he really wanted to be in shape. I worried he may be habitually lazy.

Lastly, he was moving back home. Home was at least a half hour drive away, and I don’t have a car. This was going to make seeing each other even harder. I wanted someone who was going to be around when I wanted/needed him.

PROS

PR is only a year older than me. Finally I found someone in my own dating pool. We could share many pop culture references and understand them fully.

He is one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever met. He always had my best interests at heart and took great care of me. He was chivalrous and loyal. He exhibited many of the qualities I really look for in a man. It seemed I’d finally met my match in the dedication department. I knew I could trust him to be faithful and love me for a long time.

He was passionate in the bedroom. Recently I’ve put more emphasis on my needs in the bedroom. I took a major back seat with Smiles in the sack. I needed someone who could truly exhibit the passion I required between the sheets. He certainly fit the bill.

He is easy-going and always up for a good time. I could spring a fun trip on him, even a day-trip, and I know he would be onboard. I lead a very active lifestyle and need someone who can keep up. I had a feeling he could.

Overall, I was leaning towards the cons pile. It seemed to be the stronger argument. They seemed to outweigh the pros this time, and for once I was going to trust my gut.

I had a hard time deciding what to do. I spoke with Boston on the phone, and he told me I would be ill-advised if I went out with him on Valentine’s Day misrepresenting my true feelings. I thought I would have been breaking his heart if I called the night off. I thought it better to go out with him and tell him some other time I didn’t think things were going to work out. He told me I had a tough decision to make, but I needed to deal with it delicately. My friend D told me I shouldn’t cancel on him the day before Valentine’s Day. He suggested going on the date and explaining things later. He was worried PR made plans already, and I would be ruining them completely.

In the end, I finally decide I just don’t want to go. I am so tired of pretending with guys. I need to be more honest. If I feel a date is going south, I need to speak up and stop being so damn polite. I decided to tell him my feelings, but I also did it as a coward. I sent him a text…

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My Week with PR

Things between PR and I seemed to be something of a fairy tale. We’d met months earlier on Grindr after he had a very rough breakup, and I was just getting my relationship off the ground with Smiles. He temporarily moved a few blocks from me, and after a night out as friends, we’ve been spending a lot of time together as love interests.

After our night out to the movies and dinner, PR spent the night once again. Why should he sleep on a pull-out when he could be sharing a California King with me. I got ready for work, and he made his way home to figure out his day. He was on-call that day, but ended up not having to go into work. Instead, he went shopping with his mother.

When he returned to Hoboken Wednesday night, he came over to hang out. We watched TV in each other’s arms on the couch and he spent the night once again. Things were getting hot and heavy with us, and fast. We still hadn’t had “sex’ in the traditional penetration sense of the word, but we were fully enjoying each other’s company.

Thursday night I have volleyball. This was good because it offered a natural break for us. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t tired of me yet. We’d been spending A LOT of time together, and I’m not always the easiest to be around. I was happy to have the time apart – Not because I didn’t want to see him, but more so because it made me look forward to seeing him again that much more.

When I got home from volleyball, he started texting me. We texted about the shows we were watching until he added, “So, I miss you.” I quickly replied, “Stop being so adorable. You know I can’t resist it!” And then he called it spot on. I love how real and upfront he is about things. “Is today resist each other day? If you need a break, I understand. I find you intoxicating in the best sense — Like happy,” he texted. I told him I did not need a break, and I in fact did miss him. But I also told him I wanted to make sure we didn’t tire of each other. He told me he was having a rough day. He heard back about a job he applied for and was told he didn’t get the position. I felt really bad that was the night we decided to spend apart. I’m sure he just needed a hug. He was depressed. I told him. “I can try to hug it away.” He asked if we could hang out the following night. I told him I had no plans and would love to.

When he stopped responding to my texts, I joked, “Replaced me with pizza?” He apologized since his pizza was delivered, and he added, “Food won’t comfort me as much as you.” And with a smile on my face, I dozed off for the night.

The next night, he came over. I made dinner for us both, and we watched movies. It was nice to have someone to spend my evenings with. This is what I really wanted in a relationship. This is what I was looking for. I was happy!

When we woke the next day, I made us breakfast. He spent the afternoon with me, and we finally motivated ourselves to hit the gym. He went home and changed while I showered. We met at the corner and walked to the gym together. He was very quiet and solemn that morning. We didn’t work out together, but that’s because I like to do my own thing at  the gym. We finished at the same time and walked home together.

That’s when he dropped a small bomb on me. He told me he was moving back home. I didn’t quite know how to take the news. I wasn’t thrilled with it. It meant he would be much further away, and we wouldn’t be spending evenings together so readily. I knew why he did it, and I realized he needed to get his life back on track. But, I selfishly didn’t like the idea.

That evening I had a bunch of friends come over to pregame before hitting up my friend’s birthday gathering at a bar a block away. He met many of my friends and seemed to fit in, but I still had the idea of him moving home in the back of my mind. When the time came, we all made our way to the bar. It was a fun night, but PR was being standoffish. He wasn’t mingling with my friends and was only talking to me a majority of the night. I was a little disappointed. On top of this, he was getting pretty inebriated and flirtatious. I’m comfortable with my sexuality, but I don’t like PDA in a “straight” bar. I feel all eyes on me, and it hinders me from enjoying myself. Nothing he was doing crossed the line, but it also was edging further and further.

By the time we moved to a friend’s bar (after hours) he was being overt. Granted it was a much more exclusive group and mainly my friends, but he was drunk and making me uncomfortable. I tried to just look past it.

Once again, we went to Cluck U to get a late-night snack. He was so drunk he couldn’t stay awake long enough to eat his. I carried him to my bed and tucked him in. He wasn’t happy because he wanted his chicken, but soon enough he dozed off. I put it in the fridge until the following day. I wasn’t resentful at all of this. I actually enjoyed taking care of him. I knew if our relationship continued, he’d be doing the same for me down the road. I sat in the living room and ate my chicken with the company of my thoughts. I had a lot on my mind since he told me he’d be moving back home. The news he didn’t get the position he applied for was a little unsettling as well. On top of this, there was the incompatibility we shared in the bedroom that hadn’t been resolved. This wasn’t the stability I was searching for, but I was still enjoying his company.

When I had my fill, I tucked myself in bed in quickly dozed off.

The next day, we woke, and he continued to give me $hit for not allowing him to eat his chicken the night before. He ate it for lunch instead.

We got dressed and ready for the day finally. I needed to go grocery shopping, so we walked to Garden of Eden together. His mother was coming in an hour to take him home. It was a bittersweet day. We’d spent more than a week straight together with the exception of one day. Things progressed quickly, but then again, they were about to change drastically.

I said goodbye to him as we made plans for the coming days. We were a few days away from Valentine’s Day, and he really wanted to celebrate it together. I obliged.

I thought about him the rest of the night and what this new arrangement would mean for us. I was quickly coming back down from the clouds…

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Merry Christmas Darling

December 25th — Christmas day. An important date on anyone’s calendar, but a date that carries more weight when one is dating another.

I’m quite the hypocrite, you see. I complain about the treatment of Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve as a special holiday for couples, when I really just fancy another holiday more. I just hate the weight put those two days, but for me, Christmas carries much more weight.

I woke Christmas morning and hopped the shower. I’m so tired of seeing pictures of me Christmas morning with greasy hair and scruff. The timetables are quite turned on their head since I was a kid. My sister and I would sit at the top of the stairs waiting for my father to come home from the morning duties at the farm. On top of that, we’d have to wait til he showered so we could stand to be in the same room as him. Nowadays, my sister and I are the last to wake. I knew I could leisurely shower, as my sister would still be asleep until someone came to wake her.

My family and I opened our presents and shared in the joy of Christmas. My mother made us sticky buns for breakfast while I brewed a pot of coffee.

My mother’s side of the family came to our house in the afternoon to celebrate the holiday. We always spent Christmas afternoon with my mother’s side of the family, but this year was a little different. My uncle and his recent wife were not attending because she was due to have a baby in January. One of my aunts and her husband always came for New Years, not Christmas. This would also be the first Christmas without both my grandparents. It was a little more solemn for me. The only attendees were my aunt, uncle, and three cousins.

I waited until a convenient time to sneak away so I could call Smiles. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t interrupting his Christmas plans. I went upstairs to my parents’ room to call him around 5:30. I got no answer. I’m not out to my extended family, so I then began to worry he would call back, and his caller id name would splash across  the television screen, as does everyone’s name who calls. I worried my extended family would see a man was calling me on Christmas. I’m not sure why I worried. I’m not ready to tell them just yet, and I suppose I didn’t want them to jump to their own conclusions before I had a chance to properly tell them.

Smiles did call back, but not until 10:00 after everyone had left. I took the phone up to my room and talked to him for quite some time. Our phone conversations never lasted long, so it was nice that he didn’t cut it short. He told me about everything he’d been doing with his family. It was nice to hear he finally relaxed around them and realized they loved him no matter what state his career was in. It was a nice Christmas present to get to chat with him and feel closer to him even though we were miles apart.

I had an agenda as well. There was a question I needed to ask before it was too late. I was very nervous to ask this question. I’d failed to ask it once already on the way to the airport. I was afraid of the disappointing answer I expected. In the middle of our conversation, I asked him, “Can we spend New Year’s together?” In a shocking reply without thought, Smiles said, “Sure. I was going to [my friend’s] for a party. I’ll just tell him I’m bringing a plus one.

We chatted a bit more before ending the conversation. It was quite a nice Christmas gift to know I had New Year’s plans. I was beginning to worry I would spend New Years on my couch alone. All my friends had plans that didn’t involve me. I was already picturing myself in bed at 7:00pm. Knowing I had plans was great, but knowing I would spend the night with Smiles made my night. I walked around the rest of the night with a smile from ear to ear.

I’m not sure why, but the man-made me happy. I was happy to know it was his lips I’d be locking when the ball dropped on 2011.

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