I’d wanted to wait for that magical six-month mark and that’s another month and a half away. And it may be too soon then, we will have to wait and see.
Only I didn’t. The cat is, as they say, out of the bag.
It just slipped out, in a moment when I let my guard down. Late Sunday afternoon, we were driving to friends to play board games. The sun was out and it had gotten warm enough to where things had started to melt. We’d been enjoying yet another wonderful weekend and were both feeling content and relaxed, chatting idly. In a moment of quiet I reached over and put my right hand on his left thigh, as I frequently do while driving. I gave it a squeeze and said, “I love you.”
Silent alarms went off in my head. Protocol had been breached. A sharp intake of breath, as my eyes went wide with surprise at my own lack of discipline. I’d let down my guard.
I think his response was, “Whaaaa?”
I immediately moved in to fill the void. “Oops. I didn’t mean to say that. It just slipped out. Sorry. (I am forever apologizing for everything – a bad habit that comes when frequently making stupid mistakes.)
Then I pressed my open palm to his forehead, as if to erase his memory and added, “Just forget that I said that, okay? Pretend it never happened.”
He merely laughed.
“I don’t suppose I can call ‘backsies’ after the fact.”
Again he laughed. I think. I can’t remember if he said anything, so overwhelmed was I.
Changing the subject quickly, we don’t talk about it again and still haven’t.
The rest of the evening plays out. The game was fun. We all ate bagels and talked about dogs. Back at his place, we ate (a simple spinach salad with feta and shitake sesame dressing, with fresh-out of the oven cornbread muffins – yeah, I’m in a domestic phase), and watched a couple episodes of a BBC comedy/drama all cuddled on the couch. I did the dishes before packing up and heading for home. It’s getting harder and harder to leave.
And that’s a good thing.
Monday, another day of melting snow, we go for a long walk along the greenway, holding hands the entire way. Holding hands is one of my favorite things about our relationship; it demonstrates a sort of declaration and bravery that had been foreign to me before. It also represents the kind of casual intimacy that I have long craved.
It feels beautiful to me.
And he is… beautiful to me. He treats me well, we laugh, share adventures, and interests. Everything is going really well.
So, I am not going to beat myself up for my little slip up. I think he gets it. We don’t need to dissect it or discuss it further.
It simply ‘is’.
While I definitely find myself playing with various scenarios regarding how it all plays out and where we end up, nothing is written in stone or ink. I keep reminding myself to remain open to the experience and to enjoy it for what it is, in the moment, as it is happening. That’s healthy, for both of us, and a lot of fun. I remain grateful and happier than I have been in years.
So, for now… I am going to hang onto those ‘three little words’, until the time is right. Or maybe until he says them first.
In the meantime, I have adopted the word ‘adore’ as my go-to word.
Because I do…
…I absolutely 'adore' the man.
I am a lazy, lazy person. I admit it. I own it. If something does not need to be done, it is doubtful I am going to do it. That was not always the case – I used to be something of an over-achiever, but blessedly time and experience has taught me that the benefits received rarely justify all the energy, anxiety and time required to put forth that extra ten percent. Those of you who disagree? Good for you. Enjoy your life.
I am currently learning how to enjoy mine.
That’s not to say I don’t I have ambitions or meet my obligations. I have a lot on my plate and I think I have fine-tuned how to manage it quite well with a minimum of fuss. Balance in everything is key to me these days.
Most of the time, I just don’t see what all the fuss is about.
Limiting one’s effort is not a bad thing. It reserves all that time, energy and emotional juice for things that are much more worthwhile…
…like snuggling and naps.
Questions designed to reveal Too Much Information
TMI Questions: Ohhhh… It’s So Hard!
Which class was the hardest in high school?
In a way, they all were. I used to take things way too seriously. That is, until I stopped caring at all (last semester my Senior year). I always wanted to do well and be liked. The instructor’s opinion of me mattered greatly, because I had a tendency to relate to them more so than people my own age. I also have a weird need to be critiqued and graded (still do).
But I will pick algebra as the hardest, because the instructor was so angry and mean. He had no patience and would trigger all sorts of anxiety in me. I have issues with numbers anyway, so his behavior made it all the worse. Also, he failed to justify algebra, as in, what good is it? I managed a ‘B’ in both Algebra I and II, but they were hard won. It put me off math for years.
There was another factor that was probably at the root of my difficulty with the class. The instructor was also my track coach, so I had seen him naked. Dude had black, thinning hair, black fur, a great bod, and some seriously juicy man-meat swinging between his legs. I have a feeling I spent most of the class trying to hide my erection as
I daydreamed about him belittling me, yelling at me, and humiliating me in front of others as I jerked off for him. At the time, I really never thought of other men in terms of actual sex acts, just masturbation, and it was almost always me working my dick while others shamed or derided me. That would help explain where my current appreciation for a good Dom comes from. The shame had to do with the fact that I was convinced that masturbation was a sin. That it was bad and that I was the only person in the world obsessed with it.
Sigh. Such a little idiot.
In college (my second attempt at getting a degree), when taking algebra for the third time, something clicked. I had a lot of fear about algebra and was leery to take it on, but either the instructor was that much better or I had a better frame of reference to understand the topic (or I was more motivated to go to class and less distracted when there). I made myself sit in the middle of the front row and I approached it like a video game or a puzzle. Once I saw the fun in it, I aced it.
In college (my third, and most successful attempt), the hardest subject I took was a business based economics/math class. Everyone had warned me about the class, so I made sure that I only had one other course that semester. The instructor, a really sweet woman, informed us that she would be grading on a curve and that we would be lucky to understand 50% of the work and that most students never get to finish the entire final test. It turned out to be all about working this super complicated calculator. That, and you had to work practice problems like crazy.
While at home, studying, I threw that calculator across the room so many times I am amazed it lasted the whole semester. To this day, I have no recollection of what I actually gleaned from the class, my focus was on preserving my 4.0 GPA. I was one semester away from graduating and I wanted a shot at doing so with honors (happy ending -I did, Summa Cum Laude). Aced that class, too.
My head was spinning after taking the final and there was a part of me that wanted to go all ‘Office Space’ on that damn calculator. Instead I sold it to someone on Ebay. I think I advertised it as ‘gently-used’.
Yard work, I guess. It’s actually pretty easy once you get going, but it is painful, finding that motivation.
I don’t mind raking, but I do hate shoveling snow. I like planting, but weeding is not my thing. Mowing is nothing but a time commitment and, while I resent it on occasion, I typically look forward to it because I get to do it without a shirt, as I love the sun.
Which is the hardest household chore?
None of it is really all that hard.
The day-to-day cleaning is easy: vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, doing dishes, etc. It’s the stuff that over time, due to use, that becomes the challenge because it sort of sneaks up on you.
Things like the seal around the sink, that weird film that builds up on chrome sinks, food particles that fall in the cracks of your fridge, wispy, dusty cobwebs in the corners of certain rooms, the stuff congealed to the wall behind your kitchen garbage can, the gook that lives under your stove top… things like that; which build up over time and at such a slow rate that they escape your attention until it grabs your attention due to neglect.
I dislike my fridge the most. Appliances, in general, these days, have so many damn little edges and weird indentations; all a magnet for collecting food debris and weird, oily grime. That’s why I never throw away a toothbrush – they are perfect for working out all those areas. But my fridge? It just seems to be this endless maze of weird juts, sharp edges, and useless dips, all designed to snag filth.
Which is harder, eating right or exercising?
I don’t think either is hard.
Eating well is quite simple for me. Whole, natural foods are the way to go. Pre-packaged stuff is always fraught with issues; lack of nutritional value, chemicals, overly-processed food stuffs, etc. Deep fried anything is a big ‘no’. Sweets are a bad idea, too, but fortunately not my thing. Soda is another absolute ‘no’, diet or otherwise, as they throw your metabolism and your blood sugar way off course. Caffeine is fine, but only in moderation. Keep it simple, keep it real.
My body always has a way of letting me know when I have strayed too far for too long. My current weakness would be that Friday and Saturday night martini that has become my holy grail for the week. This is a recent development, as typically, I’d enjoy one cocktail a month at most. Maybe it’s due to all the stress related to my recent life changes. Or, more likely, it is simply a matter of – this is something I have always really enjoyed and now I am going to give myself permission to indulge – because there’s nobody standing there going ‘tsk-tsk’. In any event, I still believe in moderation. Usually, one alcoholic beverage per evening is plenty for me.
Exercising? It has been a part of my life since the late 80’s and a constant part during the last five years. I have calendars from the last five years detailing what type of exercises I did on a particular day. I hope it remains a focus for the rest of my life. I enjoy it, mostly, and get so much out of it. I find that getting there is 80% of the battle, then 10% is knowing what to do, and after that, my body goes on auto pilot and I simply work my way to the end of the 60 or 90 minutes I have to devote to it. The endorphins are the big pay-off. Also, I suffer from anxiety, and working out helps lessen it.
Which is harder, waking up early or staying up late?
Staying up late.
That has not always been the case, but I am now a morning person, up at 5:00 am (even on the weekends).
Back in the bad old days of theatre, 4:00 am was not uncommon, but on the other end of the day, as in staying up all hours and then sleeping until noon. It was all about dancing, and music, and drinking. Being seen on the scene. Back then staying up late meant not missing out anything.
Yes, my definition of night life has certainly changed over the years.
Looking back? I don’t think there was really all that much to miss.
These days? Staying up is a chore, or something to be planned for – as in, extra naptime. I adore my mid-morning / afternoon naps on the weekends. Treasure them.
I find if I stay up too late I get cold and cranky. I have become a creature of comfort, as in, I don’t want to be uncomfortable anymore. Among the things that make me uncomfortable? Being social. I avoid crowds and groups of people I don’t know. So bar-hopping happens infrequently these days. Nor do I see the point of parties anymore.
Thing is, I don’t enjoy socializing, so why must I? I’m passed the age of social interaction as necessary development. The friends I have put up with me once or twice a year (poor things). The ones I do see weekly are due to common interests and activities, and family takes up the rest of the time.
In the end… I need my alone time. And quality time with the boyfriend.
So, while I am polite around strangers – say at a dinner party – I really have no interest in widening my circle. I’m much better one-on-one.
So give me my big wooly socks, a blanket, some comfort food, a nice boodle’s gin martini, quality snuggle time with the boyfriend at a reasonable hour and I am satiated.
Do you have a hard time deciding what to wear?
Not anymore. I have it down to a uniform. It used to be all button-down, wear a tie, iron that shit. Now it’s black 501’s, a streamline dark long-sleeve top, and boots.
Fashion can suck it.
I’m done wearing costumes for the entertainment of others.
Which is harder, your ass or your abs? Which would you rather?
Eek. Gonna go with my abs. My abs are okay. My ass is getting better, though gravity continue to win the battle going on at the back of my parade. The boyfriend has been acting as my trainer on Saturdays and Sundays and has taken my ass (in more way than one) to whole new levels. I didn’t notice it until I was shaving my ass the other day. There was a new something… line / shape / curve… and it looked good. Still, I want it to be better.
I’m going to say my abs again, because I can absolutely do something about them. I’ve proven that to myself over the last five years. Crunches are boring, uncomfortable, take too much time, and seem like a waste of time, but… they do pay big dividends. So I know I can do something to keep my abs.
My ass, on the other hand… well, never say never. I’m not giving up that battle just yet.
It is harder to wade slowly into a body of water or to just jump in?
Wade slow. The icky anticipation, the horrible, gradual cold; it’s a total mind fuck. As long as I know I am going to be safe, I say dive in head first and get it over with. That initial painful rush as your entire bad recoils in horror quickly blends into something tolerable.
If I care, not hard at all. I am pretty opinionated. I know what I like. I think in terms of the big picture and the long run.
If it’s something minor, or social, like where to go to eat and I say ‘I don’t care’, that’s because I really don’t care. And if you don’t care either, then I will make a decision, and assume you are going to suck it up.
In my book, the most important thing about making decisions? Getting it over with. After that I can get to work, or figure out how to enjoy the situation.
That whole weighing your options thing? What a waste of time.
Get to work, bitch.
Aww. This is sad. And I don’t want to dwell on any of it.
Terminating my seventeen year relationship with my business partner / best friend.
It still makes me cringe. My stomach cramps. The guilt is overwhelming sometimes.
We are still business partners / best friends. But are no longer a couple. My family is having a hard time dealing with it. As is, he. And my dogs.
And me, too.
It has been a huge, unending adjustment. Lots of aftershocks. They just keep coming, in billowing waves.
But the two of us? We are a lot healthier for it. Well, I am, anyway. And I have to believe he will be, too… once he decides that’s what he wants for himself.
It’s new for him, so I have to give him time.
I’m still living two lives, but now I live them honestly and on my own terms.
The flip side of that is all the happy that has found its way into my life. For that I am grateful. I’m having a lot of healthy fun these days… as opposed to the not so healthy fun I used to mire my days and nights in.
The other thing that came to mind, of course, is deciding when to put down my three previous dogs. It was awful to go through. It is awful to contemplate. So much so, that each time I try to finish this paragraph I have to get up from my laptop, walk away, and distract myself with something else.
Have you ever taken Viagra or a similar drug when you didn't need it? Details please.
When it works it can be hella fun.
The most fun I had with it was at the Duluth Family Sauna. I wrote about it at the time. I didn’t really need to take it, but it sure made for a hell of an evening. I rather like walking around some place like the Sauna, or the warehouse, or Steamworks with the dick of a sixteen year old me. Talk about confidence. And staying power. It’s like becoming The Incredible Hulk of gay sex.
Oh, and there’s also a whole blog post dedicated to it as part of my ‘Acquired Tastes’ series. So go to the archives on my site to check them out, if interested.
I still have some Viagra in my medicine cabinet, but am hard pressed (no pun intended) to come up with an occasion where it would make things more interesting. Things are so good, right now.
Of course, I could pop one and terrorize the boyfriend for a couple of hours.
I’ve always been the one that leads, so this could take some adjusting on my part. That said, I’m more than up for the challenge. The rewards are huge; for there’s nothing better than two-stepping with my baby! (Okay, maybe one thing better.)
Lee’s Liquor Lounge (101 N. Glenwood, Minneapolis, MN), long a friend of live music, hosts a free GLBT Country Barn Night every Sunday night. If you go early, you can get a dance lesson and learn the latest line dance steps. Lee’s is a great time; a clean joint, open, friendly, well-lit, with plenty of reasonably priced drinks to be had. You can even get a pizza.
Things were in full swing by the time the boyfriend and I arrived. A couple of women we play board games with were meeting friends there and invited us down. The boyfriend had been there many times before and knew a lot about the place, which surprised me a bit as he’d never struck me as the country music type. But then, he’d demonstrated his ‘tush push’ on more than one occasion – and I gotta tell you – the boy has got it going on!
Decked out in a pair skintight black jeans that wrapped his hot ass, thighs, and calves perfectly, a tight black tee showing off his massive arms, and his size 12 cowboy boots emblazoned with orange flames, dude looked downright intimidating, as in, so hot I might stare all night, but never work up the nerve to approach him. Thankfully, for once, I had the inside track (yay, me!), so I wouldn’t be spending the evening as the gawkiest wallflower in the juke joint.
Nope. I’d be dancing with this hunk.
We sat on the ‘girls’ side. Apparently the bar, on the dance side, is divided – gay guys on the far end of the dance floor, ladies in the front half. I spent my first half hour sipping my drink, making small talk, and watching the line dancers. Their skill levels ranged from the commanding and fleet to the totally clueless. It looked like such good fun, I wanted to join, but couldn’t work up the nerve to go out there and make a fool of myself.
Instead, the boyfriend and I waited for a slower-paced two step number. The line dancers drifted away as couples filled the floor.
And there it was – the question and issue that would haunt us the rest of the evening: who leads?
I gave following a shot. It was a mixed bag. He had to stop several times and remind me who was in charge. The next song was a waltz and I think I took the lead. We did a little better, I thought, but was then told that I was not allowed to make faces while dancing (damn). We sat out the faster numbers and before long the line dancers turned another set. It was fun to watch.
Then the floor cleared and it was couples time again. We tried another two-step.
Okay, admittedly – I am out of practice. I haven’t danced with anyone in ages. In fact, I can’t remember the last time. And let’s face it, couple dancing is very intimate and, as I recall, anytime you have a new partner there are adjustments to be made by both parties. You have to listen to one another’s bodies and respond to the appropriate touches. (Does this sound familiar?)
So, it wasn’t smooth sailing, but then, it wasn’t a train wreck, either. I remain encouraged. I believe we have lots of potential.
Of course, the boyfriend gets asked to dance by one of the better couples dancers – a tall, dark, handsome, thin gent with some nice stubble going on and some great moves on the floor. I watch as they twirl about in tight, florid circles, looking like they’ve danced together before.
Which they probably have; the boyfriend gave me the 411 on all the regulars, even the ones he’d gone on dates with. Insecure me, for once, didn’t feel threatened in the slightest. This is a nice, friendly community. Very open. Very sweet. Very real.
I’m still trying to determine if I’m the jealous type. See, I’ve never dated anyone younger than myself, and something tells me that plays into this a bit. But I’m not sure how much. Or if such things bother me at all.
And they all seemed to know one another. In fact, the moment we arrived, a couple the boyfriend knew, but hadn’t seen in ages, swooped in and tried to find out what was new in the boyfriend’s life. I think they were trying to figure out who I was in the mix, but the boyfriend didn’t say anything, so I kept mum, too.
The faster two-step dances ended, and the line dancers returned to the floor. It was time for the ‘tush push’ and I encouraged the boyfriend to hit the floor. Wow. Let me tell you, that was another revelation. When that man crouches down and forward for an eight count of pelvic thrusts? Whew! Call 911, because a fire just done broke out on that dance floor.
Damn, he looked good.
I resolve right then and there to get my ass to the bar early next Sunday so I can start taking those free classes they offer. I don’t think of myself as being competitive, but maybe that plays in there more than I’m willing to admit.
We get to dance a few more. And, no, I never quite get it right, but I’m not losing hope.
The next night we text back and forth a bit about it. I tell him how much fun I had and he tells me I have to stop fighting him when he leads. So we compromise; I get to lead until I know what I’m doing and then, maybe I will be relaxed enough to let him drive.
I don’t think of myself as controlling. But dancing is an art (even the most casual dancing), and I do tend to have strong opinions when it comes to any kind of performing art. Hopefully I’ll just relax and stop being all neurotic about this.
That said, I am excited to finally have found someone to dance with. Dancing was never high on my priorities list when looking for a mate, but that doesn’t mean I don’t really appreciate this opportunity.
I’ve been couple dancing ever since I can remember. My parents used to drag all us kids, dressed in identical, matching outfits, to all the polka festivals each year. So the polka and the waltz come naturally to me. But I was always the one who leads, so I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I have ‘issues’ with following. But it’s nothing I can’t learn.
I’m so excited and grateful that dancing might be part of my life again.
And that’s true of a lot of things in the past four months. I’m playing guitar and piano again. Singing, too. Trying new restaurants and attending events I would never have before. Playing board games and video games and being exposed to many things that I sort of denied myself before. And all this has swept in to replace all the casual sex I used to try and fill the void with.
Well, the void is filled. I feel more alive, more real than I have in years.
Now I just have to work on my two-step and my poker face. Will I succeed?
Well, it’s something I really, really want, so…
…I like my odds.