30 May 2011

Bill-Bored

Happy Memorial Day!

In my opinion, one of the more unsightly pieces still strewn about the city are billboards. With their unkept appearance, it's a wonder why the proverbial "they" haven't just taken them all down and replaced them with digital billboards you see as you're entering Atlantic City advertising "the loosest slots in town." But sometimes the new and improved never get their day when the old and safe are still around.

About a year and a half ago, one of my co-workers had a roommate and friend, Liam, he introduced me to and let the chips fall where they may. The meeting was tres-casual: I brought with me two friends who were in a "dating-lite" relationship as my wing-people, just in case I didn't like him and needed an out. But it wasn't necessary: he was cute, had an out-going personality, and was digging me in return. After some chit chat and snooping around in his room (the book shelves), I found he was also very bright with a pretty cool job as an international admissions counselor at a big-time university - all pluses to me. The icing on the cake was his open-mindedness to cuisines other than Italian and Irish (Olive Garden and McDonalds). We exchanged saliva and numbers and called it a night. Over the following weeks after we first met, we started a "dating-lite" relationship - complete with dinners, make out sessions, and sex.

I absolutely love the idea of dating someone, but in the words of an ex in the heat of an argument: "things shouldn't be that hard; you shouldn't have to work to make things work." At the time, I didn't understand. But that was when I was a doe-eyed, 22 year-old optimist about gay relationships. Of course, you had to work at a relationship. What I now understand about that comment is sure you have to work, but when you find yourself struggling to find common ground, struggling to find time for each other, and struggling mentally to keep yourself in the relationship, it probably should be laid to rest - and that's true with any relationship for that matter.

The First Time
Like I said, Liam had a great palatte for food. For me, a guy who eats sushi - amongst other things - to the front of the line, please. And I'm not talking about California rolls with fake crab or any of that shit. I'm talking sashimi - straight up pussy-raw fish. It says: adventurous, non-judgmental, open-minded. Test that theory out, even if it's on yourself. On our first date, he asked to meet at one of my favorite sushi houses. I played dumb and asked him to order: warm sake, edamame, age tofu, boat of sashimi, and a few rolls. On another date: Indian. Boy, did he know his way around the menu - palak paneer and naan? Put it in my mouth now.

Things were moving pretty quickly, so I thought it was a great time to introduce him to my bestie and one of my gal pals. I cooked dinner for all of us, but he arrived late. Forgiveable enough, but he was overly apologetic (yuck) . . . and drunk. Additionally, he pulled a Madonna and had this strange English accent every now and then. After dinner, he had his hands up my shirt and was caressing me, putting on a show for my now-uncomfortable friends who were innocently watching television - not a great first impression and kind of embarrassing. Text message the next morning:

Liam: I'm blue
DeeCue: LOL. [Who says that?] Why?
Liam: Because I was a jerk last night.
DeeCue: Eh, it's cool; just be mindful of the company. (Implication that he was a jerk intended.)

I got over it. Coincidentally and unfortunately, it got very busy at work, so the timing wasn't ideal. It gave the impression I really wasn't over it and I am pretty sure his take on it was I wasn't making an effort to hang out with him. I was finally able to hang (at least that's what I thought) but last minute cancelled. In "retaliation," when I truly was able to meet up and tried to make plans, he said he was busy. I didn't blame him, but I was fairly angry since it was indeed a work issue and beyond my control - as in, I wasn't hooking-up with other guys. We stopped talking for a few months.

The Second Time
My work load drastically lightened and seeing no obstacles in my way, I sent him a text: "I'm blue." It opened up the lines of communications once again and then: [poof!] I had a boyfriend for the summer . . . sort of. For whatever reason, he enjoyed my being a dick. What can I say? You are what you eat, right?

The summer seemed fine. I had a job that had me up at 4am and in bed at noon but I was making the cheddar, so no complaints here. To make plans with me was few and far between - my typical July and August. Liam wasn't having it though; he wanted to break bread. He argued that I could take a nap; that I was being lame; and that I needed to hang out. Ugh. I did end up taking a nap and, as expected, was cranky when I woke not to mention disoriented. I called him up to find out where I should meet him. When he answered, he was laughing and unable to hear me while my co-worker was making kissy noises and teasing in the background. Annoying.

We got to the grub-pub and the chain of events concluding "Round 2 of Liam" ensued. We walked in and I immediately saw a kid I used to be a camp counselor for when I was in high school. Of all people and days, he gave me a cool, hip guy handshake and the three-pat hug. He also alerted me of the other guys in my camp class who were all grown up - and hot; of course, I had to say "hey." As we were about to take our seats outside, at the bar was someone I had dated and with him was clearly a hook-up. We exchanged introductions and I gave the guy a hug, but when my friend introduced his date to Liam, his date said:

Date: Hey, remember me?
Liam: No . . .
Date: Yeah, from the PATH last night, you were reading a book?
Liam: Oh, yeah . . .

I rolled my eyes, chuckled, and excused ourselves to head to our table. [As an aside, my bestie always told me anytime you roll your eyes in a relationship, end it.] Walking out to a breezey July afternoon, I lost my second wind and immediately felt cranky stuck in patio seating with an audience to see us on our awkward date. As fatigue settled in and my bed beckoning for me from afar, Liam asked me how my day was. I told him that I would rather not talk about it because I would just get irritated from the lack of sleep and sound like I was whining. He insisted with a shit eating grin, clearly attempting to push my buttons. After a brief pause, I began to replay the annoying day had, the annoying week had, the annoying summer had all to which he simply stated: "it's your choice."

I started fuming, but didn't have the power to fight - so I kept quiet, gave a momentary stare, and looked away. He asked what was wrong and I said nothing. He asked if I wasn't going to say anything and sit in silence, I said:

DeeCue: Yes.
Liam: I'm not going to sit in silence.
DeeCue: [to waiter] Can I have a beer and burger? [to Liam] OK
Waiter returns with beers.
Liam: Oh, oh, you wanna go on a guilt trip?! WELL, PACK YOUR BAGS!
DeeCue: [to waiter] Hey, thanks. [to table two feet away] Hi, how's your meal?
Waiter: . . . And the burger is for you, and the other . . .
Liam: [to waiter] I'll have that to go and the check. [to me] You know, I tried to make this work but you're always "too busy," whatever that means. Stop making excuses.
DeeCue: [sipping beer] . . .
Waiter: Here you go.
Liam: [looking at the bill, chugging his beer] Well, you know what? [throwing down forty bucks] I'M SORRY I WASTED YOUR TIME!
DeeCue: [to table two feet away] I love the service here . . . and the entertainment.

Liam grabbed his take-out and stormed out of the patio area, but had to again pass in front of me on the sidewalk. I continued drinking.

The Last Time
OK, I was either a glutton for punishment or I just really wanted to make this work with Liam. I'd like to think that it was the latter. I wholeheartedly asked him if we could try to make things work out - for real. I was putting forth my efforts seriously. And by seriously I mean I wasn't hooking-up behind his back while getting to know him just because this relationship wasn't formally made exclusive. But ultimately, that was the problem.

One of my colleagues invited me over for Christmas dinner. Driving over was like watching "One Life to Live": MELODRAMATIC. He braced himself in the passenger seat, holding his stomach, randomly opening the windows, and billowing his cheeks sporadically. I asked what the matter was and he said "Nothing." He clearly was experiencing some motion sickness, but if he wasn't admitting it, I wasn't dragging it out of him; he's a big boy and to be honest, it was annoying the crap out of me.

We got to her house and he stood next to the car with his hand on the door breathing deeply. I rolled my eyes. He continued to mention I was a horrible driver to complete strangers, most of whom were friends of mine. I had enough.

The next day, I was home alone and spent it that way. Not at any moment did I think to call Liam to hang. What was wrong with me? This was the third time I was trying this out; clearly it wasn't working. I called up my best friend for the test-run break-up conversation:

DeeCue: Can we test out my break-up script?
Bestie: Sure.
DeeCue: I don't think this is working.
Bestie: You're an ass! You're lame! Fuck you!
DeeCue: OK.
Bestie: You've learned well, grasshopper.

He taught me that when you are on the receiving end of a break-up, always try to maintain decorum, but you are allowed to be a saucy mess. Otherwise, if you are the breaker-upper and you genuinely don't want to hurt feelings, let the other person say their piece and just grin and bear like a constipated trick in mid-push.

DeeCue: I don't think this is working.
Liam: I can't say that I'm surprised. I wish you would have said something before I ran around the city looking for your present and also went to Christmas dinner with you and your friends, but then again, you weren't always the king of timing.
DeeCue: OK.


I do respect him and hope he finds someone who can keep up with him. The one thing I promised no matter what was not post about him since he sometimes reads this.

Point of the conversation: Trade-in for the new and improved model.

- DeeCue

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