Saturday, July 18, 2015

Making Friends with the Chef

When I last talked about The Chef, it was not in a nice way.  I can't remember now (and I am too lazy to go back and look) what the issue was, but it is likely he felt some slight from me (to be fair, often justified), got emotional, and said something horrible.  He does that when he gets upset.  K used to do that too.  When she did it over the years, it would upset me, but I would quickly decide that it was not worth the argument and I would let it drop.

When The Chef does it, it pisses me off and I think, "Well fuck him.  I don't need this shit." and I stop talking to him.  Then because I'm pissed, I'll tell someone like K or T that The Chef was an asshole to me.  They tell me he is a jerk and I should stop wasting time with him.   I won't tell them about the thing I did to provoke him, so he ends up looking worse.

Invariably, in a couple of days, but no longer than a week, The Chef will reach out to me.  He will say something cute that will break my urge to ignore him.  When I respond, he will apologize for whatever it is that he said.  We will engage in conversation and then we both feel better.   This has happened a few times over the year I have known him.

So the question is, why do I bother with him?

I think part of the reason is, he likes me.  Since T and I broke up, I have been online looking to meet people with poor results.  Gay guys don't seem to like me.  I am not what they want physically and therefore they are not interested in taking the time to get to know me.  Most people who take the time, like me to some degree.  The Chef is someone who is not interested in guys who look like they stepped off the cover of Men's Health.   He is attracted to guys who look like me, therefore he was interested in taking the time to get to know me.

T was like that too.  I never had a lean body, and I know T likes that.  But with him, he liked my eyes.  That small physical attraction was enough for him to want to get to know me.  Once he did, he was able to look past other physical defects, get to know the real me and... well, you know the rest. 

Regarding The Chef, it would be dishonest of me to not admit that part of the reason  I am willing to deal with his emotional outbursts, is because he likes me, and there are not a lot of other guy who do.  I have to admit that part of me (a small part) wonders if he is not my last best chance.  

The other reason is more self-reflective.  I think I provoke him.   Part of me is still (and will always) be linked to T.  My feelings for him are always there.  Sometimes, I think I am disappointed that The Chef is not T, so I do or say things that push The Chef away. 

This is all in my head.  T is not doing or saying anything to make me hang on to him.  In fact, sometimes I feel like he is keeping me at arms length, you know close enough for a best friend, but not as close as a boyfriend.  He tells me all the time I need to find a boyfriend.  I have told you before about the active steps he has taken to invite me to things where I will meet other gay people.  He has been clear on what I need to do.  The stuff in my head, is mine alone.

So back to The Chef.    Over the past several months we have been talking.   He would like more of a boyfriend relationship with me.  I am resisting.  When I start to think that way, shit happens and then it's no fun.  I have made it clear that I want to be his friend first.  I want to get to know him more.  I want to take things as they come.  If he is my boyfriend, I have certain expectations of him.  I have different and lesser expectations of people who are just friends.   

With the "just friends" attitude, we have been getting along pretty well over the last few months.  I know he still wants more.  I don't know where it will go in the end.  I am taking things as they come.

I am still actively trying to meet more people.  I will still go to the "gathering of the gays" that T invites me to.  Two of the guys that go (a married couple) live not far from me and are interested in meeting up from time to time.  I am also thinking about joining a gay bowling league, different from the one I did a few years ago.    If this thing with The Chef does not work out, then I maybe I will have some good friends I can hang with.  That will make being alone, not so bad.  

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Clearing Up The Conflict

In the end, I went to the dinner.   T was really into the celebration.  More so that I would have expected.  I took this picture of him popping out of the cake.  

I worked out a deal with my daughter.  I told her I would go to a friends birthday party, and I would take her and her brothers to a theme park on Sunday.   Seemed like a fair trade to her.  I got to go with a clear conscience.   While she did not say anything, I think K would have preferred that I went to help her with the kids.  I figured she's a big girl and can handle it.

If I had not gone, T would have told me the food was not that good, to spare my feelings, but as it turns out, the food really was not that good.  It was OK, but the place bills itself as a high class Asian restaurant , but it was not any better than the take out joint near my house.  Just more expensive.

The birthday boy reserved a room with a large "U" shaped table.  The people were kind of divided.  His family on one side and the gays on the other side.  I doubt it was planned that way, but that's how people sorted themselves out.

I sat next to a couple, I'll call them Mike and Robert.  They have been together 24 years and they just got their first dog.    Robert was going on and on about this snooty dog they got from a snooty breeder.  (All my dogs have been mutts rescued from the pound.)  Robert was talking about the dog with a not too bad looking Asian guy (T thinks he was Filipino) who also has a snooty breeder dog.    At first, T thought I should engage the Asian guy, since he knows I have a weakness for men of the Far East.  We did not have to hear him talk too long before I knew that we was not for me.  T knew too.  He was GAAAYYYY.  I mean gay like Jack from "Will & Grace".  There is nothing wrong with people like that, it's just not attractive to me.

Anyway, Mike was much more talkative with me.  He is also from the Northeastern Unites States and was transplanted to the south.  We talked about how after more than 10 years of living here, we could not handle the cold any more, so moving back was out of the question.

Mike asked me if T was my partner.  I told him we used to date, but now we were just friends.  I let him know the position was open and I was accepting applications if he knew anyone interested.  He told me I have to "put myself out there".    Yeah.... where have I heard that before?

Anyway, the dinner was nice and the company was good too.  T did not talk to me much during dinner.  He was not being rude.  In his mind he was giving be a chance to talk to the other people at the table.  I would have preferred there be no one else at the table and I could have spent the entire evening staring into T's eyes.  

Sorry, I lost track of myself for a minute.  

Anyway, that is the update and it all turned out right in the end.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Frustrating Conflict In My Head

I want to be to be in two places at one time. 

Yesterday I came back from a 10 day business trip.  I was five time zones away so it was difficult to keep in contact back home.  When I got home yesterday, my daughter was the happiest to see me.    I am sure the other kids missed me to, but they had other things on their minds.... like Xbox.

Tonight is an annual fireworks display that I always attend with the family.  I always have a good time and the kids like it.  Since I have been gone, it seems extra important that I attend.  At least in my head.

One of the guys from T's new batch of friends is having a birthday today.  I have met this guy and his partner at T's house more than a few times.  They are good guys and I was invited to his birthday dinner tonight.  In addition to being a good excuse to see T (whom I have not seen in several weeks) it would be another chance to make an impression on these new people so maybe I can make some friends of my own.  

I cannot be in both places at the same time, so since the kids expect me at the fireworks, I told the birthday boy that while I appreciated the invite, I was doing this other things with the kids.

Now I am agonizing about this decision.   You see I WANT to go to the birthday dinner.  However, I feel like I HAVE to go to the fireworks with the kids.   

While I am at the fireworks, I will be thinking about the dinner and how much fun it probably was.  I will talk to T later tonight and he will tell me.  (If it was super crazy fun, T would tone down his report so as not to make me feel bad.  He might tell me the food was not too good, so I would not feel like I missed out.  Not exactly a lie.  Maybe a "soft-peddle" of the truth.)

On the other hand, if I go to the dinner, I will be thinking about the kids at the fireworks.  I don't want to be the absentee father, so I would be feeling guilty about not being there.  MY daughter told me she really wants me to come, which would add to the guilt.  I think I would have a good time at the dinner, even though I am on the outside of that group, they are nice to me when I am there.  Every time I get together with them, I increase my chances of making a connection.  (All I want is a friendship connection.  Not looking for love at this point.)  At the same time, I don't like the idea of missing events with my kids.  

Last year K took the the kids on a cruise.  I went too.  Not really because I had a burning desire to take a cruise with her and her husband.  It was more that I did not want my kids to have that experience without their dad being there to share in it.  More than a year later they are talking about the cruise and I am happy when they say to me, "Dad remember on the cruise when....?"  and I can say, "Yup, I remember that!!"     I kind of feel this way about the fireworks tonight.  I know I don't need to be "super-dad" and be at everything.  That is not realistic anyway, but I kind of feel like I have to try.  

I know  I cannot be in both places at once, but I want to be.    I know I cannot do everything, but I want to.  I know there will be other events (for both the gays and the kids), and I don't have to go to all of them, but I want to.

"Do whatever you want and then be happy with it.  I make my decision and I am OK with it.  You get sad."  T told me this morning.  He is right.  I wish I could be more like him in this regard.  He makes his choice, sticks to it, and lives with the consequences, even if they are difficult.    He does not agonize over the possibilities and he does not bemoan the outcome.   He is decisive.   I REALLY admire that about him.  It's probably why he has been successful in his business dealings.

I want to be more like that.  It's just my brain is not quite wired that way.  I need to fix that.  It might be why I have trouble sleeping.  But that is a whole different blog post.

For tonight I am still not sure what to do.  It has been cloudy all day.  Maybe I'll get lucky and the fireworks will get rained out and postponed.  Then I really could do both.