Posts Tagged waiter

Membership Has Its Privileges: Cuddle Up to Free HowAboutWe Dates for Couples

This time of year, every night out on the town feels a little extra special. It’s Christmas time in NYC, and what better time to take advantage of all the city has to offer for date night.

 

OlivesRestaurantInsideRecently, I was approached by HowAboutWe, a subscription service designed specifically for couples, to try out their services. I’d heard the name before, but I had no idea what it was I was being offered. I went online to investigate further, and I was blown away by the opportunity before me. HowAboutWe had the direct line to some of the best dates out there. As I dove deeper into the site, I discovered that each month, CK and I would receive a new “DateBook” — filled with pre-planned, one-of-a-kind experiences here in NYC. These weren’t just ordinary dates — Broadway shows, dinner for two, cooking classes, driving experiences… The list went on and on. And, that’s just December.

ToddEnglishOlivesFor our first HowAboutWe date, CK and I chose “In Due Course,” including a four-course dinner for two at celebrity chef Todd English’s restaurant Olives at the W in Union Square. The date was purely magical. CK and I sat down at a very cozy table for two in the corner. Our every need was attended to by the amazing wait staff who brought us a delectable meal consisting of 2 glasses of Prosecco, a crab toast appetizer, Rabbit Tagliatelle, 2 glasses of wine, Branzino A La Plancha, and the coup de grâce — Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake. Everything we ate and drank was spectacular. And, HowAboutWe took care of everything from the reservation all the way down to the tax and tip on our bill. It was utterly seamless.

ChocolateDessertAt $22/month, HowAboutWe for Couples membership gets you so much: FREE HowAboutWe Dates — every month, sold-out tickets and members-only events, early booking on HowAboutWe Dates, up to 75% off other HowAboutWe Dates, and rewards (like buy one get one free tickets on Fandango). I challenge you to find a deal better than that! I for one will continue to go back to HowAboutWe time and time again for amazing dates and opportunities.

It’s tough balancing the working and dating worlds. Anytime someone can take a little bit of the work out of either, I’m all in! They get how busy I am. That’s why most dates are flexible and can be scheduled whenever I decide, except however, some are one-time-only scheduled events, like performances or special excursions. But, who wouldn’t rearrange their schedule for those experiences!?

HowAboutWe_LogoOn top of that, this isn’t marriage— No big scary commitment. You can pause or cancel at any time. And, dates on HowAboutWe for Couples can also be purchased as a non-Member, without the Member discount and other benefits of course.

I highly encourage you to at the very least check it out by clicking the logo here. TRUST ME! You won’t regret it!

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From Metropolis to Hoboken

On April 20th, my blog turned one year old. I didn’t even realize the milestone was coming up until I looked back at the calendar on a whim one day. I felt the need to celebrate, but I hadn’t told Clark Kent about my blog yet. How could I tell him I wanted to celebrate something I didn’t feel comfortable sharing with him yet?

Instead, I celebrated privately with messages from friends and readers on the blog and over social media. I also had a date night planned with CK.

I invited him to come out to Hoboken for an evening ride on the bike since we weren’t able to do so the previous Sunday. This would be the first time he came out to Hoboken and would see my place. I was quite excited. I came home for work early after a pitch and made sure my place was acceptable.

He had to work slightly later and had to swing by home before he came over. It was a Friday night, and he would be spending it in my bed. As time passed, I sat on the couch patiently awaiting his arrival as the clock ticked on. I had no word from him. I tried calling, but no answer. Where was he? What was he doing? What was taking so long?

Since I was a little broken from previous relationships, my mind began to get creative with where he may have been or what/who he may have been doing. Finally, I convinced myself to put those thoughts out of my head. They weren’t born of any behavior he exhibited. They were simply a spawn of his presence on Grindr. I needed to learn to trust again. The thoughts were gone, and all I could think about was seeing him.

He finally arrived in Hoboken around 8:00. I wanted to watch the sunset with him. The way it reflects off the city skyline is breathtaking, however, the sun had completely set. We’d be taking a ride in the dark.

I picked him up on the bike at the PATH, and we set off along the waterfront to the palisades of Weehawken. I wanted to show him a spectacular view while taking the bike out for a spin. He’d been so excited about it ever since he first learned of its existence.

I really relished having him ride behind me. He pulled himself in tight against me. It was incredibly romantic, and I loved how he wrapped his arms around me. I felt like a great protector.

When we got to the palisades, we parked the bike and took a short stroll along the cliff. We talked while hugging and kissing each other with the spectacular NYC skyline in our periphery. We happened upon a family taking pictures of each other with the city in the background. He offered to take the picture so everyone could get in the shot. I thought it was incredibly sweet of him, and I fell for him a little more at that moment. Every moment with him made me want him all the more. Again, I wouldn’t let myself get too wrapped up in him. It was still early. I didn’t even know if he was interested in a relationship, let alone one with me.

After taking the picture, I told him about my desire to prank tourists in NYC. I would offer to take a picture of them. Just as I was about to snap the picture, I would turn as if to run. When they began to chase after me, I would turn around and snap a picture. It would give them a great experience and a fun story to tell for the rest of their lives, and they’d have a picture to accompany it. He thought this was brilliant and commented on his desire to do this himself.

That’s also when I told him about my life’s to-do list. I told him I wanted to share it with him later because it spoke volumes about me.

We made our way back to the bike and decided to grab dinner back in Hoboken. I knew of a great spot everyone had been telling me to check out but had not been to yet, Bin 14. We rode down the hill from the palisade and made our way back to Hoboken along the river.

I found a spot to park, and we walked to the restaurant holding hands. I wasn’t yet comfortable doing this in Hoboken, but it was something I needed to get over. I would be gay for the rest of my life. If I wasn’t okay showing affection in public, I was in for a lot of headaches going forward. Since we didn’t have a reservation, they asked if we minded sitting outside. I preferred it actually. However, this posed a new situation for me again. We would be street side, and if I wanted to show affection, all of Hoboken could see — Or at least that’s how it felt.

Slowly but surely, I got over this. I was rubbing his knee under the table and exchanging kisses over our meal. I didn’t care who was looking. I still felt a little self-conscious, but I was proud of myself for getting over this.

After discussing wine at length, we agreed upon a nice bottle of Malbec. It took us some time to figure out how to order from the tapas like menu. We still hadn’t figured out our sharing dinner groove, but it was fun to learn this together. I came to find we shared a lot of the same tastes and likes. It also helped we were both share quite an adventurous palette. We ordered a few plates and told the waiter we would continue to order until we had our fill.

The food was great, and the conversation was even better. I was still getting to know him, and I was mesmerized by his smile the entire meal. I was gaga for this guy. If it turned out he wasn’t interested in pursuing a relationship with me, I was going to be heartbroken. I was past the point of protecting myself. I’d already cracked the candy shell. Now, I was in his hands.

We declined dessert, and I made sure to give the waiter my credit card to pay the bill before CK even had a chance to think about it. This date was going to be my treat. I liked this new system. With all the other guys I dated, we both threw down our credit cards and split everything. This felt more like dating and more like a relationship. Each date felt special because one of us was treating the other to it.

We hopped back on the bike and rode back to my apartment. When we got there, it was already fairly late, so we headed straight to my bedroom. I was just finishing removing my shoes when he shoved me backward onto my bed. Since it was up on risers, the bed shifted to the side and collapsed. He was so scared he’d broken my bed, but I assured him it was already an issue. This had already happened with N once before. I’d already been searching for a new sturdy bed not on risers, and this would be the impetus that forced me to address the issue with much more vigor.

We fixed the bed as best we could and continued to make out. It’d been a week since we were last together, so of course we were both horny for each other. I hadn’t had sex since we last saw each other, but I wasn’t sure I could say the same for him. We hadn’t crossed the monogamous relationship bridge yet, and I had no right to ask that question yet. We’d only been dating a week. One step at a time I told myself.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. Regardless, we found ourselves naked, and I was grinding on his backside. Our passion was elevated to a new level, and we were all over each other. I couldn’t get enough of his body — It was purely amazing. I’d never been with someone so handsome, so sexy, so fit, so sexual. He was like nothing I’d ever experienced before.

Eventually, he reached behind himself, grabbed hold of my manhood and directed it in until I found myself deep inside him. Amazing sex ensued until we both had our fill.

I was incredibly happy once again. I had a man who could come to dinner and hold a great conversation, and a man who could satisfy all my sexual desires. He was the best of both worlds.

With that, we cleaned up and climbed back into bed. I was happy to finally be sharing my bed with him. This would be the first time in a long time my California king was being put to good use. We fell asleep in each other’s arms. He was my little spoon. Throughout the night, we changed positions many times, but never fully woke up. We slept great.

When we woke in the morning, CK had to head back into the city to begin apartment hunting. He’d been putting it off and needed to put his nose to the grindstone. We stopped for a delightful breakfast at Ganache while we got to know more about each other. When we finished, we rode through the Lincoln tunnel into the city. I couldn’t drop him in front of his building because there was a parade going up his street, so we said goodbye to each other in front of the Empire State Building. I couldn’t think of a more romantic way to begin my Saturday…

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FINALLY!

Today is another Fast Forward Friday!!!  

Hope you are enjoying these. It will help bring the blog a little closer to real-time. If you’re keeping up with the stories chronologically, please skip down to this morning’s post first, then read this one. I think it’s a good one! Enjoy!

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

Saturday had arrived, and it was St. Patty’s Day. I was out early in the morning to hit up the gym. I wasn’t going to find myself wasting another day lying around my apartment looking for sex. It was the true start to my staycation and to the new me. It was gorgeous outside, and I was motivated.

As I left the gym, I ran into K and one of my other friends. They were heading into the city to drink, but I wasn’t interested. I’d just come from the gym. I’m not a fan of day drinking to begin with. I said goodbye and continued on my way home. D’s girlfriend was up from Philly that weekend, so I texted them to see what they were up to. They were grabbing brunch and had no plans for the rest of the day. I told them I was bored and lonely, and if they thought of anything, I’d be game. I also called my old roommate to see what he was up to. He was studying for yet another test he had to take for work. I knew it was useless to try to convince him to do anything else.

Finally, D and his girlfriend decided to swing by. They came up, and we just lounged around chatting. She’d never been to my apartment before, so I showed her around. After some time, we decided to go for a drive and check some new cars for D to possibly lease. I was game, so we made our way uptown in the great weather to D’s car.

We decided to drive around Jersey City since there were a few nice neighborhoods I’d never explored. I was a bit curious, and the other two were as well. I also wanted to scope out a spot I had in mind for dinner that night with the guy I spoke to on the phone for two hours, Travel Agent. We drove by the cute cafe on the corner in an upscale neighborhood of Jersey City, The Hamilton Inn. I’d seen it a few times before and had been curious how it was. I pulled up the menu on my phone and suggested the idea to T.A.

He was still working, but he said it sounded like a good idea. We planned to work out the rest of the logistics later.

We drove around for quite a bit more before finally returning to Hoboken. They dropped me off at home. I hopped in the shower and began to get ready for the evening with T.A. I’d been texting him a bit and made a reservation at the restaurant for 7:00. When he told me it’d have to be later, I called and changed the reservation for 8:30. When the time came, he picked me up in his nice Audi. He was a good-looking guy. He wasn’t someone you’d stop on the street and say, “Damn!” but he was good-looking. We jumped right into conversation. It was fairly relaxed. I feel he may have been slightly uptight, but I tried to remain candid and relaxed.

The Hamilton was exactly what I was hoping for. It had a decent crowd, the food looked and smelled amazing, and we got a nice table to sit and chat with each other. The obvious and easy thing to decide was to order a bottle of Malbec to share. I still couldn’t help feeling he was uneasy about things. He just didn’t seem to relax. I tried to lighten things up and asked if he wanted to split an appetizer. He agreed, but it wasn’t terribly easy to pick something. He defaulted to me, and after discussing it, I finally decided on the pierogies with goat cheese appetizer.

We began by talking about where we grew up in more detail than we discussed on the phone. The conversation shifted to our jobs. I got to learn in greater detail what he does. I told him about my job, and slowly I began to realize I was monopolizing the conversation. He’d ask me a question, and I’d answer in detail. When I’d ask him questions, his answers would be short. I wanted to get to know him. He seemed like a decent guy.

The waiter returned and we ordered. I was debating between he risotto and chicken. I decided on the chicken, and he decided on the risotto.

We talked some more until our food arrived. Or should I say, I talked some more. I would never say it was a bad date, but I would also not say it was a great one either. We shared some of our meals with the other. It was a nice time. I was enjoying his company, and the food was delicious. I was looking forward to a second date so we could think of something more relaxed to do. Hopefully that would break him out of his shell.

We declined dessert since he had to get home because he had a big work project the following day. He expressed to me how much he enjoyed the date. I was happy to hear it. We split the tab and made our way back to his car. On the way back to my apartment, we passed another restaurant I was interested in trying. I mentioned it to him, and he said, “Maybe next time we should try there.” That was a very hopeful statement. If he was already thinking about next time, maybe he really did enjoy it too.

We stopped in front of my apartment, and he put the car in park. He leaned over and gave me a kiss. I pulled back and went in for a second. It was nice, and I wanted him to know I was interested. I told him, “Call me when you’re back from Mexico. Or, you can text/call whenever you like,” with a smile as I exited the car. He told me we’d be in touch.

After that, I heard nothing from him. He clearly stated his enjoyment and mentioned a second date. How was I not supposed to think he was interested? I sent him a text to tell him of my good time with him, but I got no response. I checked Grindr, and sure enough, he was online. Clearly he was ignoring me. I messaged him on Grindr as well. When a day passed and I heard nothing back, I decided he would either deny this or the “relationship” would be dead before it began. “I hope you’re not ignoring me. I thought you were a classier guy than that.” He had given me two different phone numbers, so I asked if I was texting the wrong number. Finally, he responds explaining he was busy and apologized. He told me he was interested in seeing me again as well.

However, after that, I didn’t hear from him again. I know when I’m not particularly interested in a guy, I don’t outright tell him that. However, I don’t talk to him about future dates to lead him on. It was very disappointing, but I wasn’t going to let one guy get me down. My Grindr diet was slowly working. I was back to concentrating on dates and not sex. Hopefully, with enough time, I’d find a good guy to settle down with — Someone to be the reason I delete Grindr forever…

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Meeting Chelsea

It was another day at work and another day on Grindr. I was back to work after my relaxing and fun day off. It’s not easy jumping right back in the grind after a four-day weekend, but I still have to pay the bills.

I decided to pull up Grindr when I went to the gym on my lunch break. I started talking to a few guys, but I was more enamored with some of the hotties live in front of me picking up heavy things. They were very motivating in an “I could look like that” kind of way. Every once in a while I checked to see who messaged.

One of the guys who responded to my message was absolutely jacked. I knew messaging him was a shot in the dark. I never expected a response from him. We chatted a bit before he asked for my picture. I wasn’t able to send it through, so I asked for his cell phone number. I sent him the picture, and he blocked me on Grindr. I was very disappointed, because in the little time we chatted, he seemed like a really nice guy. I texted him and asked if he blocked me. He apologized and said I wasn’t his type. He explained he was really just looking for steroids. I told him I couldn’t help him there. “They are illegal in my country,” he added. I told him they are illegal here as well.  This was news to him. I told him if he was looking for them, his best bet was at the gyms.

We chatted a bit more, and I told him he seemed like a really nice guy. He returned the compliment. Since I wasn’t really able to help him with what he needed, and that was really all he was looking for, the conversation ended.

That night, I went home alone. I was okay with that. I’d been having more than my fair share of sex lately. In the meantime there was another man I met on Grindr. This one seemed like a really good guy. We hit it off almost immediately, and a strong connection grew between us. We were both there for the right reasons. Ideally, we each really wanted a boyfriend. We both had our transgressions in the past on Grindr. Part of me was leery about that. Another part of me was quite happy. It meant he wasn’t a wet noodle, like many of the guys from OKCupid.

We made plans to go out Wednesday night after work. When I had finished work I walked his apartment. We didn’t have real concrete plans, but we were going to go out for a drink. He apologized because he was still doing laundry, and he invited me inside until he finished. It would only be a few minutes. He greeted me at the lobby, and we went up to his apartment with a pit stop in the laundry room to pick up his clothes. I was pleasantly surprised how nice is one-bedroom apartment was. I knew he had a good job but I didn’t know it was that good.

Since we didn’t have a game plan, I defaulted to him. We were in his neighborhood after all. We agreed on Mexican and margaritas. Salsa Y Salsa was nearby, and he knew some of the wait staff, so we headed there.

We had a cute table in the middle of the restaurant. It was very crowded for a weeknight. We chatted a bit before deciding on the flavor of margaritas we wanted. It was nice conversation. We got along swimmingly. He was a little flamboyant, but no more than I imagine I really am. It was nice because there were no awkward pauses. We both very much enjoyed our drinks and our meals. We decided to order a few things to share as appetizers and then shared a few bites of our meal choices with each other. It was romantic and comfortable. The more he drank, the more flirty he became. I didn’t have a problem with this, but it was interesting to watch the slow transformation. We had ordered quite a few rounds of drinks before we were both stuffed and ready to head out.

Early in the night he told me he may be having a few people over to watch the premier of Happily Divorced. He wanted to make sure he got home before it aired. He also invited me to join.

When we got the bill, I was shocked to learn we were each only charged for one drink. Chelsea was friends with the Brazilian waiter who served us. Over dinner, I came to learn he had quite a few Brazilian friends. Of course, we left him a very generous tip.

When we got outside, there was an awkward moment of “now what?” I offered to walk him home since we weren’t far from the PATH. When we got to his apartment building, a girl was standing outside smoking. We chatted with her for a few minutes before she went back inside. He paused awkwardly for a minute before finally asking me up to his apartment. His plan of having friends over for the premier went by the wayside.

He was excited for Happily Divorced, so we sat on the couch watching the episode. I decided to hang out for one episode before making my way home. A short bit into the show, I put my arm around him, and he nuzzled in the crook of my arm. It was nice cuddling with him. When a commercial finally came, we kissed — Slow at first, but then passionately. He was a good kisser. I appreciated his skills. When the show ended, we began making out a bit. He pulled me to the bed, and we spooned a bit. He already laid down the ground-rules that there would be no sex until the appropriate time. I was happy with this. He invited me to stay the night, but I graciously declined. I needed to go home before work the next day, and I liked taking things a little slower than I had in the past.

With that, he kiddingly kicked me out so he could go to bed before a crazy workday the following day. I decided to head over to my office three blocks away and take a car home.

It was a good night, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was looking forward to seeing him again and the possibilities the future may hold.

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It’s About Time

Today is a Fast Forward Monday!!!  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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You Make Me Smile

Over the next few days, I thought a lot about my relationship with Smiles. It was a constant roller-coaster. As far as relationships go, I am an infant. I’ve had all of five real relationships in my life, including this one. I was still learning how to be in one.

I needed to clear my head. For three days straight, I woke up early to run. It was the perfect way to start my day, I allowed me time to think without really being distracted, and I was able to work towards my spiteful goal of losing my pudge as Smiles so gently pointed out.

It was also beginning to be quite a busy week for me at work. Tuesday I worked until midnight. I talked to Smiles that night when I had a break to make dinner plans with him for the following night. Since I started dating him, I purchased a lot of Groupons for restaurants, so I thought it was time to start using them up. I was eating out at restaurants a lot more than I would have if I weren’t dating Smiles. This was the perfect way to lighten the blow to my wallet. As I left work, I texted, “Dinner tomorrow night maybe? Just leaving work (12:00) :(”

It wasn’t until the morning when I got a response: “Morning! Just getting this. I went to bed early last night. Dinner tonight works.” I explained the Groupon I purchased for Philip Marie in the West Village and asked him if he was okay with the choice. “Sounds good if you get off before 12!” he replied.

Later that Wednesday afternoon, Smiles called to make sure I was still getting out on time, otherwise he was going to grab dinner with some of his friends. I got where he was coming from, but it also felt a little like he was trying to get out of our date. I assured him I would not be working late. As the afternoon progressed, he asked about what time we’d meet, joking about “a blue plate special at 6:30” when I told him I’d be done around 6:30/7:00. We made plans to grab dinner at 7:30. I took the opportunity to slip a joke in there about his grandpa status and his ability to make it until 7:30, and he retorted by saying, “I’m stressed. It makes me sleepy. I’ll bring my cane.”

We sat in the front window of the restaurant, and after we ordered drinks, we dove into conversation. We talked about family and career goals among other things. He talked about his desire to be beyond financially stable so he could spend more time with his family. He is not originally from the Northeast, so spending time with his family isn’t the easiest or most convenient. He also talked about his desire to build an empire. He is very passionate about a lot of different business ventures, many of which are sound ideas. However, sometimes I worry he tries to take too much on his plate at once.

The conversation was great. It was a conversation two people in a relationship would have, not two people who were just dating. I joked with him, “You’re going to be the next Nate Berkus.”

Oooooo, did I get a look! Apparently, Smiles met him in the past, and isn’t the biggest fan of him as a person. “Okay. Note to self: Don’t equate you to Nate Berkus ever again,” I said with a smile.

When the waiter came to ask us about desert, Smiles started a conversation with him like he always does. He asked if we were his only table, and the waiter described his other table. It was a man and a woman who he suspected were on a first date. We joked about our date. While we weren’t on a first date, he was learning all kinds of new things about me, such as my penchant for Black Friday shopping. He took the opportunity to take a few playful jabs at my sanity while we all had a good laugh.

After we paid our bill, we started to walk the five blocks towards the PATH. Instead, we walked about eight blocks. That was about the time Smiles realized we’d gone too far. He questioned the situation, but I explained how I was enjoying the conversation and was willing to walk back up to the PATH if I needed to. We were standing in front of a liquor store while he finished the story he was telling. When he finished, I grabbed his jacket and pulled him in closer so I could kiss him. For the first time, I felt like we were really kissing. We exchanged many affectionate kisses before finally pulling away from each other.

At that point, he said, “Why don’t you live in the city?” I laughed and replied, “Was that a subtle hint? I’m not that far!” And with that, I walked away with a smile from ear to ear. I finally felt like we had moved beyond going on dates with each other. We were dating. We were in a relationship, and I was very happy!

When I got back to Hoboken, I sent a text, “You make me smile 🙂 .” Shortly following he responded, “That’s a good thing cause I ain’t so easy to like all the time!”

I was REALLY HAPPY with everything that night. I was getting the validation I needed. I was also looking forward to Friday. That was the first time I’d be able to see him next since I play volleyball every Thursday. That would also be when I would once again attempt to seduce him and attempt to roll around with him in bed…

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