Tag Archives: relationships

Where’d You Go?

I guess I’m at that age. I’ve been to way too many funerals in the past year. This is the part of life that older folks used to tell me about… but I never really heard it. I’m older now. We all get here. Then there. It’s no surprise really.

Special friends and family that have been pulled from my world.. a little too harshly for me. We get together to celebrate their lives… to share memories… to laugh… and to cry. Sometimes I feel selfish for making their lives… and their deaths… about me. About MY loss. I guess that’s the only perspective that I have though. I don’t apologize for that.

I try to see the positive that comes from these types of things. And they’re there when I look through the tears. I’ve become a little closer with the friends and family that I haven’t seen in awhile. I learn to value the expression of feeling more. I learn that we all really are so similar. The differences don’t matter. Sunrises, sunsets, beaches, a bottle of ice-cold root beer, running through a sprinkler, and playing frisbee in the middle of the street… matters. Breathing deep matters. I get this from those that left me.

So with half the year done, and another half to go, don’t let the differences matter. Don’t let the money matter. Or the career. Relationships are what are important. Work them. Put effort into them. FEEL them.

And for the record, I’m done with funerals for now.

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Less is more. More or less.

So yeah… I’ve been fairly consistent in my personal weight loss plan, or as I lovingly refer to it – “my healthy friggin’ lifestyle change.” It hasn’t been too difficult really. Two steady months of treadmill treading, park-walking while dodging bees and dog crap, and mindful (is cardboard a gmo?) caloric menu planning. I’ve lost 20 pounds. I didn’t think I was THAT out of shape (in all fairness, a pear is a shape). Im thrilled. I’m happy that I can once again tie my shoes in straight-on knots without some sort of convoluted out-of-breath body twisting. I can also now cut my toenails in the shapes they are meant to be in so that they don’t slice Daryl in the middle of the night, and most importantly… I can now see my d*ck when I pee.

I believe the first few months of any self imposed habit change are easy really. Daryl and I quit smoking several years ago, and neither of us lost an arm, a temper, or any friends that we like for that matter. We have it in us. Scheduling, determination, and willpower come easily to get initial results. It’s the continuing on and maintaining that evolution in the long term that separates the wheat from the chaff, the peanut butter from the jelly, the boys from the men.

Day 76 and counting…

Yesterday morning as he was hurrying out the door for work, Daryl says to me (in reality, he always seems to phrase it more like a thrown out jeopardy question,) “we ARE supposed to go to the gym tonight, right?” Now this gives me so many options out at this point. I can answer with, “Well, no. I’m too tired. I didn’t really sleep well last night. I kept having nightmares that I was actually eating clowns (cannibal or craving carvel cake? You decide.) which were holding odd-shaped colored balloon animals that were clashing with the clowns shoes.” That would have been reason enough, or I could have told him that I wasn’t up for it because I was depressed that my prescription for my anti-depressants had expired and exercising just wasn’t on my bucket list today. Or better yet, I can confuse him with one of my personal schedules that use words like conflict, house cleaning, or that I have to find a certain spice for a new recipe I’m researching and I won’t have time to go to the gym. I like to make up spice names to throw him off track. Who doesn’t need to have cardomomgerania?

Apparently he thinks I didn’t hear him the first time, so he repeats the question while muttering something about being late. I sheepishly answered, “Sure, I’ll look forward to it” with all the enthusiasm I can muster after one sip of coffee. I’m thinking that I could always feign I wasn’t awake enough to make rational choices at that time of day.

Work gets in the way.

Work was slow today. I had three customers all day. Its Tuesday. It’s summer. It’s graduations, vacations, and the implosion of Delaware interstate 495. People just aren’t into furniture buying right now. I get it. I’ve been doing this commissioned job long enough to know it comes in cycles. What I wasn’t prepared for was that at the end of my long shift, I felt the need to reward Daryl and I for our healthy lifestyle determination. To hell with earning a paycheck today! To hell with healthy living! Let’s go shopping! For me. For clothes that aren’t baggy and a smaller belt.

I could hardly wait to text Daryl that I had opted out of exercise in favor of vodka drinks and Tuscan fries at one of our favorite watering holes outside of Media. That in-depth highly paraphrased “textversation” went sort of like this:

Ed: “Hey babe! Let’s not go to the gym tonight. Let’s go have drinks and food at LaPorta and then let’s go clothes shopping at Penneys at Granite Run Mall.
Daryl: “ok”
Ed: “That’s it? That easily you want to drop the gym for vodka and a few snacks? You have no willpower at all do you? Why do I even try?”
Daryl: “Is this a test again?”
Ed: “What? Whatever are you talking about? (damn, he knows)”
Daryl: “In that case, I’m thrilled that you decided that we could forgo healthy living to go shopping at Penneys with my Associate discount card. I love it when you make all of our decisions! (All sort of condescending emoticons with kissing hearts and grinning teeth… Blah blah blah)”

Shopping requires stamina. Relationships require stamina. And vodka.

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three words equal one date.

Last Saturday evening, I decided to “enhance the dating experience” of Daryl and me. These “ideas” seem to POP into my head on my days off while I’m tooling around obsessing running errands, viewing porn reading the news on the internet, or just sitting on the crapper playing Bejeweled Blitz in an easy chair reading a good biography.

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Our “dating life” has not gotten stale, mediocre, or even lack-luster after eight years together, however, with our conflicting work schedules we often go days without dates, weeks without sex, and months without a good vodka tonic. Sometimes it feels as though we’re two disabled Carnival cruise ships passing in the night.

So occasionally, I just like to… what’s the term I’m looking for… “raise the bar?” Yeah, I’ll go with that for now. I’m fortunate that Daryl is so adept good at tolerating embracing my ideas to be creative in our relationship. I always enjoy the look on his face when I present these brainstorms over a glass of pinot noir and some English cheddar cheese when he gets home from work. It’s usually a look of a deer in headlights bewilderment, followed by feigned understanding and capped with a sigh smile, a nod and him obligatorily enthusiastically asking “how do we get started?”

“I’m not suggesting initiating new toys, or boys, or boy toys into our dating repertoire,” I explained to him,” I just think we can use tools to make the date more meaningful and thought out.” He shuffled for another piece of cheddar as I sipped my wine and began to explain that on Sunday (his day off) and Monday (my day off) that we could give each other three words that begin with the same letter and must be “incorporated into the date” somehow.”

He washed the cheese down with what I thought was a larger than normal gulp of the wine and continued to wait for more explanation. “For example,” I responded, “Water, Wish, and Wine! You have to come up with a date tomorrow evening that somehow involves those three words! Easy-smeasy right? (thinking to myself that I am NEVER again to use the phrase “easy-smeasy” while presenting an idea of ANY kind).” I must admit that I sort of had a preconceived idea as to how this date could happen quite easily and inexpensively. I’m thinking in my head that a quick trip into West Chester to the Court House fountain, throw in a couple of pennies, grab a glass of wine and a salad at Iron Hill, and BINGO! We’ve enhanced the dating experience with water, a wish, and wine!

Not so fast. Daryl didn’t seem to make the “W” connection quite as quickly and looked a little panicked. Okay, I’ll concede that I DID push this on him without a whole lot of warning, and I thought that perhaps we needed a little time to digest this plan as we finished up dinner for the evening.

The next morning, as I was sipping coffee on the sofa while listening to pretty birds chirping outside while unfriending a few tired folks on FaceBook, I received a phone text from Daryl who happened to be in the bathroom down the hall (how DID we ever survive without smartphones?) that said “Transportation, Transparent and Tradition. Use one or all three in our date tonight.”

I was ecstatic! My idea was accepted!

I immediately started thinking about how I could incorporate these three words into a fun-filled, exciting, worthwhile date. The first word that instantly stuck in my head was of course, “transparent.” I thought Saran Wrap, right? It’s obvious, overt, and just plain obscene!

Sigh.

I dug the Saran Wrap out of the bottom of my foil and baggies drawer (oh yes, I have snack baggies, quart baggies, gallon baggies, zip lock, and even color strip baggies… it’s pathetic) and took it to the bedroom where I was going to “test” how this would work. I didn’t get too much “wrapped” when I realized that this would most definitely NOT be pretty. So I thought about using invisible Scotch Tape on my nipples! I could hardly contain my self-brilliance. How hot would it be to see me with “transparent” tape on my erect fleshy nipple? Then I tried to pull one off of as a clump of hair followed.

Sigh, again.

I finally decided to just make peach Jell-O with homemade whipped cream and a fresh slice of peach on top for dessert. “Transparent” down, two words to go.

The “tradition” part was easy. I just incorporated that into our traditional clinking of the wine glasses at the beginning of our meal. I most likely could have come up with something better on this one, but considering the timing, I went with it.

“Transportation” was more difficult to figure out. I thought that perhaps a ride to “Kiwi Yogurt” in town would be a fun way to relay transportation, but since I had used a dessert for another word, I was at a road block. I finally decided to dig out a game that we used to play called Mille Bornes. It’s a card game that originated in France and required us to interact while moving along in an imaginary car race to the finish line. It was a perfect solution considering the winner had choice of the after dinner um… prize.

So it’s not the finale of the Bachelor, or Game of Thrones, but it DID give us the opportunity to have a little fun with a little effort. I can’t wait to try this again next week!

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the noise of insanity.

And there are these days where I feel the walls of my mind falling apart among themselves in silent clamor. I hear them crumbling and cracking within my head as they struggle for space within to call their own. I push them, and push them again far away from the stairs to my heart. I will not open that straining door to those blackened blocks of fear, of panic, of insecurity and failure.

Life and her grace continue to provide me with newer and brighter mornings to find hope in every hopeless situation. It lays at my feet the capacity to build newer and better relationships. I must capture all the fleeting frantic sticky moments of this day and force them… no, cradle them within my soul and mortar those tumbling chunks of insanity within.

I WILL succeed today. I WILL once again, be able to detour that which is not welcome in my world. I WILL breathe in the perfect peace and fill my lungs with inhaled freedom. I will squeeze my eyes shut harder still to deny the light of any cruelty on this day as this gloriously exhaustive struggle of staying sane remains.

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better than sex.

There. I said it. As I rapidly approach the age of 56 in a week or two with my heels dug into the floor like a sugar-induced 4 year old at the end of a Chucky Cheese Birthday party, I have proclaimed that a good foot rub IS, in fact, better than sex.

footNow mind you, I’ve had my share of outstanding sex, so I speak with authority. I’ve had sex with people that I either long to remember, can’t remember, or don’t WANT to remember. There were sexcapades in exotic locations like beach front homes, hot tubs overlooking city skylines, the Ritz-Carlton overlooking Central Park in autumn, once on a gondola ride to the top of Mount Killington in Vermont, and even once in the private dining room of a restaurant. I’ve also enjoyed sexual encounters in not so exotic, but no less exciting places like sofas, cars (both front and back seats and once the hood of), bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and even the occasional alley and stairwell. Oh the blog entries I have ahead of me…

However, none of them compare to the feeling of having an honest to goodness foot rub. My job in sales requires that I work on my feet for several hours at a time. I continue to smile at work in hard soled shoes and I am fortunate enough to have a man who thinks nothing of offering me a foot rub when I get home to make me feel good. He’s pretty much offered to do them from about a month into our now 8 year relationship.

He has good hands… strong hands. Over time Daryl has learned to adjust his touch via my facial expressions, verbal cues, or perhaps it’s the guttural moan that accompanies an especially tender ball. Of my foot, the ball of my foot! We haven’t used lotions, oils or scrubs while he continues to improve the circulation of my aching dogs.

Then one time after a particularly vigorous rub (or maybe it’s been several times, damn it!) I thought I heard him ask ME if I’d return the favor.

Asking me AFTER my foot rub, is like asking a guy if he loves you after sex. Hello? I just came after all that pleasure and now I want to take a nap. Wham bam thank you uh… MAN. Anyway, I ignored his requests for reciprocal rubs because… well… I think it’s because my hands aren’t strong enough (lie) or perhaps I have an aversion to feet in general (lie), or maybe it’s just due to the fact that I’m selfish (truth).

Well tonight, it’s going down. This afternoon I went out and bought one of those foot soaking bubble massagers at Wal-Mart for under 20 bucks. Problem solved! I’ll just tell him to let me fill it up, plug it in, turn it on, and watch the fun begin! It’s like a dildo for your feet!

You think I’m THAT shallow?

Don’t worry. I’m not THAT selfish and uncaring most times. I WILL let him soak his feet after I make an outstanding dinner accompanied with a choice wine. I’ll provide music and a relaxing mood as he soaks his cares away. Once he’s all wet and seduced by bubbly joy, I promise to give his balls (feet) a rub as well as manipulate his digits (minds up here) with scented oils and moisturizing creams.

Hopefully he’ll be so relaxed, he won’t be able to walk. In a good way.

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the Negro nod.

Please bear in mind that while Daryl totally supports my blogmanic blurbs on our co-named site (after I post them of course), that I should have a disclaimer somewhere on it that states that my opinions are NOT necessarily his.

Oh well, my bad.

Daryl and I have very little quality time together as most of you are aware. That being said, when we ARE together, prancing ourselves around in public as a happy go lucky interracial gay couple living in the Republican singed suburbs of Philadelphia (whew, more labels there than a “can-can” sale at Shop Rite), there are subliminal public observations that I tend to notice. It could be a wave, a gesture or a tone of voice… but there is one observation that is different… one that is frightening… one that I call…

… the “Negro NodTM.

Now I realize that I’m using an N word (as opposed to the N word) that is racially reserved for those of color, but frankly, this is my blog and my subject matter and I’m an adult of the utmost maturity, so there.

I didn’t notice “the nod” in the first stages of our budding relationship. Hell, we were in the throes of romance, and passion, slathered with loads of ubiquitous sex. Our eyes never left each other in the first few months (although I don’t think Daryl actually realized that I had blue eyes until our fourth date) and we were newbies and fresh and still discovering all of Daryl’s quirks and issues that I had to deal with.

Then, one steamy summer evening…

… while we were at a local mall shopping for candles, wine glasses and most likely underwear, I realized that there was a code… a secret code that I was not privy to. I was not a part of. Whenever Daryl and I would walk past another Black couple or family, the male would make eye contact with Daryl only and nod ever so slightly. I was confused at first. I smiled at them too, but they would only nod at Daryl. It wasn’t fair and it wasn’t polite. I felt invisible. I felt… what’s the word I’m searching for…

White.

I wondered if perhaps it was just a onetime thing, then I noticed it happening in other public situations like grocery stores, bars, movies, bars, the wine store, festivals and bars. I was appalled at how casually I was ignored by the men in Daryl’s race. No nods for me. What did I do to deserve this rude racial behavior?

Was it like some secret handshake between “brothas” that I was to never know? Was I being paranoid? Was it a silent symbol of solidarity that meant that someday the Black men would take over the world and I would be the one thrust into slavery forever? I felt panic and despair rise within my gut and then I thought…

Maybe I was over analyzing?

Daryl and I have discussed it in length. He says that I’m over reacting again and that “you Crackers do your own nodding too” but I still think I’m missing something. It’s as if he’s hiding a long guarded secret from the Mother Continent.

As a pasty White man, I don’t ever remember that sense of connection, or camaraderie with other White guys. I wasn’t a part of that fraternity. Then again, I didn’t really play a lot of sports, and I DID find my girl cousins a lot more fun to hang out with than the guys. I still sometimes attempt to do the “high-five” but I never really get that quite right either. I usually miss, or have my palm get slapped so hard I can’t use it for days. Not that I USE my palms for days mind you… sheesh… I’m digging a hole here.

Perhaps I could possibly lessen the significance of the “Negro Nod” by going into the secret signals and nods of gay men, but frankly that would be redickulously complicated and overwrought with more dramatic definition and flamboyant flair than I have time or patience for this afternoon, so I’ll save that for another day.

In the meantime, you just watch… you’ll see. Watch the interaction between Black men in public locations. Try to ignore it. I dare you.

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Top Ten Ways Two Gay Men Prepare for Irene.

Apparently we are in the path of what weather forecasters are calling the storm of the century. Now I realize that I’m a poster child for “skepticism” and I have been known to “pooh” these forecasts, but JUST in case, there are a few things Daryl and I need to do in preparation…

1. Check supplies of batteries. What the heck for? To put in a radio? We haven’t seen a “radio” since the seventies. (For the record, we have a DuraCell credit card)

2. Check for flashlight? Hrmpff. We’ll use our battery operated candles. It’s all about ambience.

3. Fill the bathtub with water. Um… we’ve done things in that tub that make us SURE to not use tub water for ANYthing.

4. Check bottled water. Do mixers count?

5. Get bread, eggs and milk. Oh wait… it’s NOT a snowstorm.

6. Check vodka supply. LOL. Like we’d forget that.

7. Check vodka supply, again.

8. Stay tuned to TV for up to the minute emergency coverage of the storm. Um… we have Comcast for cable and AT&T for our iphones. We’re screwed and will most likely watch a DVD of Mrs. Doubtfire.

9. Stay inside; drink plenty of fluids and rest. Wait… I think that’s if you’re sick.

10. Basically, Irene is considered an extreme blow job. Fortunately for us, we’ve got THAT one covered.

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