Thursday, 27 August 2009
I like working hard; the demands of my job plus background research and personal development are… fine. I really like it. I’ve spent 8 years in healthcare slowly climbing up the greasy pole so I suppose that’s my career! And I want to progress further.
I also have a small micro-business which ticks over. The credit crunch has hurt and it’s very much a loss leader at the moment but things are getting better. Building that has been on the back burner and I haven’t really been able to meet the needs of my clients recently. Yet I prefer to think of it not as a hobby but something with real potential.
Managing all this and being in a relationship is, nevertheless, hugely challenging. I like a challenge. But it does occur to me that I have no time any more. I really don’t know how mums do it. Really.
Fella spends three or four nights at mine per week and I love that. Weekends are all his, and we’ll often go out Wednesday night too. Wednesdays or Thursdays tend to be my ‘business’ day but whether working for my boss or just for me, I like to be up between 5:00 and 6:00am and I won’t get home before 7:00pm. I like to go swimming twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays) and I want to expand my fitness regime around that. Plus I take work home in the evenings too, and I need to do a lot of ongoing learning and research. That pretty much leaves Tuesday nights as my quiet/catchup time. All of this varies with an active social life sans Fella of course...
Time management is not one of my problems. Though I dare but whisper it I suspect being a plain old ordinary human type being might be… Or maybe it’s just massive sleep deprivation primarily caused not by early starts but an inability to say ‘no’ to the offer of another drink.
In darker moments of introspection I wonder if I have really achieved so far. I’ve friends who’ve moved to China, Australia, America; got married and had kids; worked abroad. But I’ve always believed that hard work and sheer sticktoitiveness will pay dividends (like a good protestant should). All part of the process of becoming *shudder* a proper grown up Frumpella, methinks. I need to sit down and really, really plan ahead. My five year plan. Like Stalin. Except I’m not growing the moustache. Unless evil communist bastard chic becomes the next big thing.
In the meantime I shall keep the pink flag flying here, and be a tired but cheerful - and surprisingly happy - fairy.
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
He’s at home preparing for the interview, and in touch by email. I’m here thinking about the possibilities of a rather nice bottle of wine given to me for my birthday. And I’m really rather happy.
The piece of music in the YouTube video at the bottom of this post is a new one to me, though the composer is one I rather like. As soon as I heard it, it made me think of having Fella wrapped up in my arms. I’d love to listen to it whilst just holding him…
We talked at the weekend about Fella’s birthday. He made a huge effort with mine and I want to reciprocate if not surpass his efforts. His birthday falls on a Saturday. The plan so far is: work drinks on Friday night; birthday lunch with his family (cross fingers me too) on the Saturday followed by partying the night away in Soho with his friends; and I’ll take him to dinner on the Sunday :-)
But I have hit upon, for his birthday present, a jolly wheeze that I’m rather proud of. I’ve decided to take him to Paris in October on the Eurostar for a long weekend. All my treat.
The plans for this weekend are drinks on Friday, then Saturday as a quiet day together. Sunday a friend is having as birthday party and then the Monday is a bank holiday so who know what whims may take us, and where?
Weekends and birthdays and holidays oh my.
It’s nice to plan ahead. It’s nice to be able to plan ahead. If he does get the job then we may plan ahead indeed, double-plus oh my!
I shouldn’t count chickens till they’ve hatched but the theme that emerges, gentle reader, is that I plan for us. Fear not, however: loved up though I am I have not entirely lost my head! It really is difficult to recognise sometimes we are barely past three months; and we are, at most, planning ahead to month five. But a cheerful fairy can dream, can’t he?
Monday, 24 August 2009
I took it easy at work today, given how rotten I feel, and came home early. I wanted to avoid the Gardener; he has some character traits that veer (at least for me) from amusing the tiresome when one is under the weather. Besides, I had some messages to reply to and some food shopping to do. Friends on the phone, by text, and by email to keep me entertained… and a quiet (and early) night in has its appeal sometimes.
Of course there was nothing on the tele and the DVDs didn’t grab me. No more gaydar, not for me gentle reader, oh no. So it was Top Gear on the good old iPlayer and some more nourishing soup for dinner.
It occurred to me that this is how it is for that half the week my Fella isn’t here. I’m surprised at myself really. I’m a terrible introvert so I would have supposed that ‘quiet time’ would re-energise me and refresh me for the next time I see him. But no. I’m sad and down; and it’s cheap plonk; a sore throat; missing his arms around me and mine around him, for me tonight. And every night when he’s not here *sigh* (except the sore throat!).
We already have plans for next weekend and it will come around soon enough. I do need the down-time to concentrate on work and business and friends and laundry and shouting at the bank and all the humdrum things that never seem to impinge on romance as seen on TV. But still, I’d really like it if he were here. Doesn’t have to be any naughty fun or anything… though it would be nice :-)
It’s peculiar an otherwise full and busy life is tinged with a hint of sadness purely because Fella isn’t around - and risks being entirely abandoned when he is. I did wonder as things developed whether I’d be caught in the trap of wanting him when he’s not here, and wishing he were gone when he is. So far so good, though.
Well, I suppose that’s enough of that before I drift off into the analysis that he really doesn't like. So let us pass through the darkness, gentle reader, and head toward the light.
Saturday, 22 August 2009
Fella and I met on Friday after work and headed back to my place for the usual snatched weekend together. He’s attending a colleague’s child’s naming ceremony today so this afternoon I have a little time to myself to post on this blog.
This morning I found Fella to be insanely beautiful. Watching him prepare for the ceremony I was enraptured. I found myself wondering why he’s with me. Not in a “I’m not good enough for him” sort of a way… far from it. He can be quite complimentary when he wants to be! And he’s really very giving. Apart from a recent hiccup I marvel about how close we are becoming.
In many ways the way our relationship has developed is much better than the expected love-at-first-sight perfection from the word ‘go’ that is too often expected in the dating game. I am satisfied in more ways than one; and in more ways than one we still have a lot of growing to do.
I find myself thinking about my role in this relationship. He’s the pretty one, the creative and outgoing one. He isn’t career focussed or competitive but he is talented and good. And he deserves so much. It’s funny, but I perceive a more traditional masculine/feminine relationship between me and him that, on first principles, I would argue is entirely unnecessary within gay couples – no need to stick to clichés etc. Yet for the two of us my part in the relationship seems to be the provider; the one to whom the physical labour falls – building things and fixing things and growing things. He’s te cook, the nurse, the communicator. Of course it only goes so far – we’re both men after all (and how – hubba hubba!).
Rather than making me uncomfortable I think it’s a source of inspiration. I always want to be better than what I am and for him – to keep him if you will – I need to be fitter, healthier and more productive. I have to work on my career much more, really going for the next rung on the ladder.
In any other guise it might be called building a life together and in many ways it’s so much more comforting than being TOLD sweet nothings… actions speak louder than words. Well, I’ve been hurt before by the difference between what’s been said and what’s been done; it’s all to the good.
Working for me and working for us isn’t two different things any more. That’s pretty good. It seems to fit… of course we have issues; and I mean we, not me… but it really is glorious sunshine gentle reader.
Thursday, 20 August 2009
So when things are less than perfect it is difficult for me to understand what is going on. I sometimes wonder if I have some kind of highly-specific relationship autism. Christ, I’ve been through before enough how introverted I am and how my less than ideal upbringing didn’t quite draw me out of my shell. Didn’t exactly help with the gay thing…
I’ve also talked before about a distance Fella likes to keep between us; so whenever I get close to him he draws back. whenever I pull away he pursues me. Recently I perceived this gap to be closing. The way we laughed, the way we made love, the things we did together over the last couple of weeks have been so great.
This last few days it’s like we’ve gone into reverse. He’s returned to ignoring some of my texts and emails and of course he doesn’t respond when I ask what’s wrong. Then when I decide to leave him be for a while – to save me explosively loosing patience – I receive email after email…
I was worried tonight that he would want to break up (see the angst! Do you see??). We had a drink and chatted for a while but I have a bit of a cold and work’s been so busy lately… I was too tired to make a night of it. We parted ways around 6:00pm.
We talked about how we would dump someone if we wanted to; and how it is wrong to use sex as a weapon. When we talk we often talk in metaphor and simile. A consequence I think of our early rows when it was – as it still is – Early Days. We talked about Fella’s birthday, and what we would do, one the day some six weeks away from now. And upcoming dinner parties. And future nights out. And... I went home reassured.
He’ll be here this weekend, hurrah, and I look forward to having him. I always miss him when he isn’t in my arms at night. It’s strange on the one hand to fight to keep hold of him, by maintaining a measure of emotional distance; and on the other fighting to hold onto him because that’s the only way I sleep at night.
I’ll tell you one thing… if we did split up I’d try to understand but I can’t imagine being single again *touches wood*.
Monday, 17 August 2009
The best thing to report is that since my birthday things for my gorgeous guy and I are on the up and up. One of the things I like best about my relationship is that after some wobbly moments at the start is that we seem to go from strength to strength. This trust thing is a lark isn’t it? I’m somewhat in awe how he and I become more affectionate and settled every week. And this weekend marked 13 weeks – three months – since we have been together.
On Friday Fella and I went to dinner at the Texas Embassy with some of his work colleagues, whom I have met several times before. In fact on the previous Wednesday we had all gone to The Orphan, which is actually rather good – Fella was most pleased as this is the third cinema trip our group had made and the last two films he had not liked; and this time it was his choice.
On Saturday we spent much of the day working on an application form for him – his current work contract is up in October but he has a great work ethic and a keen mind and all his colleagues love him so I know he won’t be out of work long. I liked helping him in that way. It was nice and… domestic… and especially pleasing was his efforts to reward me in a way that made it remarkably difficult to type
That evening we went, unplanned and spontaneous like – to see the annual drag queen race in Greenwich.
It was great fun and I got to meet more of his friends. We got on really well, which I know pleased Fella enormously and he had a great night which in turn pleased me. Despite my need to be up early we ended up dancing the night away and despite an unfortunate incident on the way home (see below) all was rather wonderful.
On Sunday I went to Kew Gardens to see some family – the Italian branch to be exact –who were on a visit to London. It was nice to see them even though four generations of Milanese chaos was somewhat wearing after but four hours sleep. I did invite Fella but in the end I let him stay at mine to work on his application. It was so nice to come home to him – he cooked me dinner and spent the night again; the third in a row – we fell asleep in each other’s arms watching TV and in the morning we discussed (1) him maybe keeping more stuff permanently at mine to save a lot of carrying back and forth and (2) considering perhaps, in the next 100,000 years maybe moving in together.
Well there’s so much more that happened recently I have plenty more posts to come! In the meantime happy happy joy joy.
On Saturday after a night out Fella and I were walking back to my place when a group of youths saw us and gave us a lot of hassle. I was holding his hand as we walked, and they spotted it and we got a lot of abuse. It could have been a lot worse but I was pretty shook up. I just kept hold of his hand and we just kept walking… yes it could have been worse but it’s sad. I’ve tried hard not to get too angry about it and be philosophical. The good thing to come out of the incident is a determination never to let go of his hand again wherever we are; and a much clearer understanding that – as ever, as ever, gentle reader, gentle reader – coming out was absolutely the right thing to do.
On Sunday I saw some family who largely live in Italy – though some live in Cyprus. They all know I’m gay and they’re fine with it; though there was an uncomfortable discussion with my aunt when she explained that if I were to come and visit – as I (and Fella) would be most welcome to do – I should be better off coming without my mother as they understand her attitudes are… complex. It made me a bit sad that these delicate negotiations were necessary, but again I’m lucky to have so many good people in my family that I get that support – not in a them/us way, but a holistic we’ll-help-you-manage way. Sadly the penalty for homosexuality in North Cyprus remains life imprisonment so I think for now I choose the sun on my heart over the sun on my skin!
And today… well, International and I are still in touch and he told me today he’s from Ouch and has a new boyfriend. It makes me feel a bit weird even though we would have split up either way and he surely never thought enough of me for it to last. The echoes of past love… I feel a bit guilty as it’s not fair to Fella; and these days he’s likely to be who I’d turn to, to talk about anything. Well, anything else. I’m not sad or regretful that International and I aren’t together. I’d be the greatest fool who ever done lived to choose anyone or anything over Fella.
Tut tut. Onward and ever upward, as they say. Walk on. Think on. Read on…
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Friend/colleague/evil ‘C’ pointed out to me today that I tend to flirt with office eye candy a lot more when my mood is low. This got me, as these things will, to thinking…
It occurred to me, gentle reader, that I go for guys because I have a low opinion of myself; that I feel inadequate.
God knows I like my man fun - and rarely if ever feel I get enough. Is this second hand epiphany result of my journey – perhaps my only, perhaps the first of many – between one monogamous relationship and another? Or perhaps because I had bad, bad day. Is it true? Is it??
The office is pretty full of eye candy at the moment. Goodness I do like thin tall guys, slightly nerdy, and in glasses [cue friend ‘A’?] and it is raining those guys in Victoria at the moment…
So here I am. In a relationship with a great guy; but still looking at guys wanting them to want me. See what I mean (longest standing and most gentle of all readers) about only being 19 in gay years? Goshdarn. I suppose the nice thing is I’m not actively trying to sleep with other guys (though if Fella hadn’t turned up…).
I suppose it shows how things come full circle. The whole point of coming out – when I was with Darren – was to come to terms with myself and make gay friends; explore gay culture and so on. My erstwhile heartbreak over him comes from being abandoned at the start of that journey. Perhaps I haven’t grown as much as I might suppose if I still meet gay guy guys and think “sex?” not “friend?”
Well, Rules 1, 2 and 3 are on the shelf right now so low self esteem or no it’s time to just grow up about the fact nothing can happen with guy X, Y, Z and instead… I dunno… treat them like straight-plus?
These things will have to happen on their own I think. I will admit my problems always seem small compared to those of others and that’s reason number 17 I need my friends around me – gay or straight – but at least now I know and they do tell me that knowledge is power.
Sunday, 9 August 2009
On Friday I went out with colleagues for drinks and dinner and ended up in a ‘scene; venue dancing the night away with friends until about 4am. It was all a bit messy…
I was absolutely mortified to wake up in the morning in Saturday and, looking over to me right, seeing the form next to me. Even more mortified - if that’s possible – to discover that said form was of a girl! Fortunately the girl was friend ‘C’; but the look of horror on my face amused her enormously and I’m guessing she’ll be dining out on that for some time.
On Saturday I met fella and we went to the Gay Icons exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Somewhat confusingly, it is an exhibition of icons selected by gay people – not general icons who are gay. Alongside your village people and your Kylie [yay], there were fascinating studies of people hundreds of years ago. American slaves who were gay; soldiers who were gay; poets and artists, etc etc. I had no idea, for example, that Tchaikovsky was gay. It was a good exhibition with lots of food for thought.
The main event, however, was dinner with Fella to a nice restaurant in Greenwich (North Pole). Like the Launceston we went to before it was wonderful food, and service. The décor was very interesting; the chandeliers were set up so there were fish living among the candles and my fascination with this embellishment amused Fella himself a lot too.
After that we had a couple of drinks at the Rose and Crown in Greenwich before heading back to my place…
He had to leave quite early on Sunday to meet his parents on their return from holiday so we couldn’t spend as much time together as I would have liked. But he organised such a lovely weekend it really touched me and sitting opposite him in the restaurant I began to realise how much I have fallen for him. One of the most enduring memories I’m likely to take from this weekend is watching this insanely beautiful man of mine sleep… he’s certainly earned his place in my heart.
Now of course the challenge is to make his (30th) birthday the very bestest birthday that ever there was… and of course day to day how to manage being an every so slightly more grown-up fairy. In the meantime I think one idea is to find 30 great small presents for Fella and then try to best him in the event!!
Thursday, 6 August 2009
I have a boyfriend. I’m not sure that will come as a total surprise to you gentle reader but I will admit I sometimes catch myself still being somewhat startled. Overjoyed, to be sure; but it still feels weird. All of a sudden life is like this not like that. And I’ll be honest, it feels pretty good.
If we compare this relationship to that I had with Darren and International it is manifestly superior, for a variety of reasons. Not entirely down to them; I only came out roughly when Darren dumped me so the opportunities to be a spoken-for gay guy about town weren’t there with him; and that’s not his fault. And International kept me at arms length because of all his other boyfriends!! Well, I kinda knew what I was getting…
Many of the blogs listed in the right hand column, below, here are of gay men in relationships and so I don’t really need to repeat their experience of the logistics of being in a relationship. Not living on London has caused me and Fella some minor inconvenience but him working here means we can usually overcome these things. Poor planning on my part has been a tad expensive – the amount of new clothes, deodorants, and breakfasts I’ve had to buy because I forgot to take one item or other with me… £££!
I’m only now getting used to arranging work around my relationship. I’m always insanely busy but I really have only just worked out if I put in a bit of extra time when I’m not seeing him then it works out better for us in the longer term. A small example of the new experiences I need to assimilate…
Alongside work there’s money. I always felt dating was more expensive than casual sex or relationships because of the subscriptions, dinners, drinks, clothes etc… but actually making a relationship work seems to need some level of resourcing beyond time and care! Not much; I don’t equate love with rich any more than I do with sex. But I never want to have to say “No; we can’t go there/do this…” because I’ve miscounted somehow. That’s especially acute because the ambitions of the Frumpella’s manifesto to become a Grown Up Fairy (and the savings and investments that involves) contradict my instincts toward generosity.
Finally - not because that’s all to discuss but because I do not wish to bore you! – the subtle shift of other priorities preys on my mind. Should I still go to China as planned for a few weeks later this year? Maybe I should spend the money on a car instead ;-) And I still need to clear a lot of *ahem* acquaintances from my instant messaging, mobile phone etc – Lord knows Fella has made it very clear that dog won’t hunt!! Well, that perhaps is a clearer choice.
So much to do, but then again perhaps exactly the right amount of time.
Monday, 3 August 2009
We went for dinner on Friday at the Launceston Place restaurant and it was flawless. The food, resentation, wine, service… in a bid to impress insisted on paying for the whole dinner and at a healthy three figures it might raise my bank manager’s eyebrows at least!
I had brought with me to take back to sunny Buckinghamshire a rather fine example of my baking and some fizz which we enjoyed once at Fella’s place. It amused me as much this weekend that we had to share his single, boyhood bed in his small room but on Saturday night he relented and the sofa bed was prepared for Saturday and Sunday. He’s honestly the only person in whose arms I’ve been comfortable sleeping. I’ll certainly miss them tonight.
On Sunday he drove me to Marlow and we wandered along the Thames. Our sense of humour has begun to mesh and from the game of I Spy on the train out of London to the things we laughed about over Sunday lunch, I think we’re beginning to ‘get’ each other much more. I’m so glad I didn’t trip head over heels with this one. However long things last, I’m really please with how things have developed over the last 11 weeks or so. I think perhaps love at first sight is overrated; I wouldn’t swap getting to know him for the world.
Taking things relatively slowly is quite handy in other ways. I am so busy at work it’s useful to let things plateau at once or twice a week. For the time being. Till things progress of their own accord. Of course that supposes not-forever for Fella and I, but to presuppose anything else leads only to angst and so far trust has worked very well.
I’m always sad to part ways with him. It does seem a bit of an effort sometimes. Things aren’t perfect, not by a long way and that’s mostly because of me (relieved to be only human after all, though I am). Perhaps one or two nights a week provides a safety valve, perhaps, till I can grow into the next thing.
I was a bit worried that he was making do. Or that I am, perhaps. Easier to be in a flawed relationship than be brilliant alone. But the way he looked today banished such silly thoughts. I… look forward to things lasting at least a little longer.