I’m a Fast Pedestrian with Angry Thoughts, but at the End of the Day I’m Spiritual So It’s All Good

One of the things I advertise on my OkCupid profile is the fact that I can walk really fast through crowded urban streets.

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 8.24.16 PMIt’s not that I’ve ever been particularly proud of this ability – frankly, there are many other, more important things that I can do well – but “walking briskly in New York City” was really the only answer I could think of for that question that didn’t make me sound like a pretentious douche bag who looks in the mirror on an hourly basis and probably has a pet name for his penis. Because that’s nobody’s type.

(Although now that I think about it, I have been involved with or know more than a few of those kinds of dudes. And they never seem to run into any problems getting laid. So maybe I’m wrong and that’s actually everybody’s type?)

(Holy shit. I think I just figured out why I’m single.)

(Hold on…)

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 9.04.04 PMOkay, I’m ready for all the men to want me now.

(Side note: While the above answer is of course a joke, I did have to change my real-life profile to that for about twenty seconds in order to secure the screen shot. And it was the most anxious, frightening, and uncomfortable – and yet oddly invigorating? – twenty seconds of my life.)

Moving on.

Wait, where was I going with all of this anyways?

Oh, slow people. So I started writing this post from my seat on the commuter train, because basically I had to zigzag my way through an army of molasses-paced pod people at Grand Central Station to get there, and it was so fucking annoying because everyone loves to walk in every which direction while being all “I’m slow and I wear mittens” while I’m just internally like, “ARGH! GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY AND LET THE TALL GUY THROUGH SO HE CAN GO HOME AND DRINK WINE AND GOOGLE LYRICS TO NINETIES POP BALLADS AND FANTASIZE ABOUT BEING FRIENDS WITH OPRAH AND VENT ABOUT HOW SLOW YOU ARE ON HIS BLOG.”

But then I started writing, and then that whole OkCupid introduction turned into a way more involved tangent than I had originally intended it to be, and so by the time I was ready to get into how enraging slow people are, the frustration had worn off and my desire to angrily rant was (mostly) diminished. And then I reminded myself that having to deal with dawdling pedestrians is small. fucking. potatoes compared to the real issues in the world (potato famines, for instance), and we are all cut from the same divine thread of oneness and so really I need to be spreading love and light to everyone — even people with shorter legs than me.

Wow. I’m pretty sure this entire post just turned into like, a deep lesson in perspective, love, forgiveness, and the Golden Rule, all at the same time. You’re welcome for the wisdom.

Now move.

 

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How to Make ANYTHING Healthy (Yes, this Post Contains All the Secrets)

(Alternate Title: True Life: I Use Healthy Substitutions to Rationalize My Binge Eating – Part Two)

Every Friday at my company is “Wing Day!”

It’s kind of like Casual Friday, except instead of wearing non-professional attire, employees come to work dressed up as winged creatures – bees, pterodactyls, slutty angels – anything, really, so long as it can fly.

(Side note: Can we talk about how I just managed to spell “pterodactyl” right on my very first try? I swear. This kind of thing never happens, and frankly, I think it means I’m brilliant.)

Okay, so actually, I’m lying. (About the dressing-up-as-creatures thing; the getting-pterodactyl-right-on-the-first-try thing is completely true, and I’m standing by my brilliance.)

Wing Day is, in reality, just an excuse for everyone in the company to pig out on Buffalo wings for lunch, as they are the Friday special in the cafeteria.

And so here’s a conversation that occurred in the lunch line between my coworker JaJa (this pseudonym was her choice, by the way, and that tells you pretty much everything you need to know about how much of a delight she is) and myself the last time I indulged in this obesity-fueling ritual:

  • Nic: I can’t believe I’m doing this. I have a date tonight. A date. I’m now forever going to be The Guy Who Ate Wings for Lunch On the Day of a Date.
  • JaJa: Oh, stop. It’s fine.
  • Nic: Hold on! [Dramatically sprints to the salad bar. Returns ten seconds later, panting.]
  • JaJa: What did you just do?
  • Nic: I had to grab some fresh baby spinach.
  • JaJa: OMG.
  • Nic: Yes. I am having my chicken wings on a bed of spinach.

In related news, I sometimes add broccoli to my macaroni and cheese:

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I also like to add about a third of a packet of additional shredded cheddar, but that’s neither here nor there.

Did I mention that the macaroni is made with fifty percent whole grain? I mean, this meal is basically a power smoothie. That is, if power smoothies were all carb-y and cheese-laden, which, aren’t they?

STOP LOOKING AT ME THAT WAY.

Am I doing power smoothies wrong?

P.S. In case you missed Part One of this series, because apparently my reprehensible eating habits are steadfastly becoming an epic trilogy similar to The Godfather and/or Star Wars (and/or the nineties horror gem The Leprechaun… that was a trilogy, right?) you can find it here.

P.P.S. The folks over at Kashi have actually read Part One, and they told me to eat their cookies “in moderation.”

Screen shot 2014-03-05 at 10.18.57 PM

FOOLS.

Initially I was super offended by this tweet, but then that wink-face changed the game. So I’m willing to brush it off. Also, does the wink mean that they’re asking me out on a date? Because… yes. Kashi, I’ll date you. I mean, I’m already in a borderline-sexual relationship with your cookies (PUN!) anyway, so everything about this scenario just feels right. And yet so wrong.

This is What Happens When I Best Man a Wedding

Yes, I just used “Best Man” as a verb in the title of this post. It’s a thing now, and you’re welcome.

So. After throwing an epic three-night, thirteen-man bachelor party at a rented house in Vermont last fall (the details of which I can’t get into for legal reasons), getting fitted for a tux while awkwardly asking the salesman, “So, what’s your perspiration policy?” (he just looked at me weird and said, “We clean them”), and sneaking my way into my now-sister’s bachelorette party in December by flashing everyone with my GC (Giant Co.. Gay Card) – my brother got married a few weeks ago. And! It was the best day.

Like, ever.

The fun started the night before at the rehearsal, where this conversation took place between two bridesmaids (whom I will refer to as Hilary and Amy) and myself:

  • Nic: Hey Hilary, wanna hear something hilarious? My aunt told my stepmom earlier that she thought I “had eyes for you.”
  • Hilary: Ha! Wait. Your aunt doesn’t know you’re gay?
  • Nic: I mean, it’s not like I hide it. I just don’t think she realizes that gay people exist in real, everyday life. Like, she’ll probably find out about me when we’re at my wedding.
  • Amy (joining the conversation): Oh hey, you have one too?!
  • Nic: What? No. I don’t. I’m not getting married. [Laughs uncomfortably.] I mean, I am getting married. I hope. Eventually. Just not any time soon. Gotta find the right guy first. All the ones I meet seem to fall short in one way or another, and I’m at the point where’s it’s like, I’m not in a rush to meet The One anymore, because where’s the fun in that? Plus I don’t wanna settle for less, y’know?
  • Amy (pointing to my left ear): I was talking about your cartilage piercing.

So that was awesome.

The ceremony the next day was also awesome, although there was a minor debacle when I went to deliver flowers to the bride in her dressing room and was cornered by the photographer, who asked to borrow the rings – allegedly for the purposes of taking artful pictures, but probably more so because she gets some kind of twisted joy out of making other people anxious – and then disappeared.

After five minutes passed, I started slightly freaking out at the realization that it was twenty minutes to showtime and my brother was waiting for me. So I bid adieu to the bridal party and luckily was able to find the photographer in a hallway, regain possession of the rings, and step outside to get back to the main church.

Except now it was raining and I didn’t have an umbrella, so I was like, “SHIT.” I went back inside and asked the photographer if there was an indoor route to the church that I didn’t know about and she was all, “I dunno.” So then I was like, “SHIT,” again, and just decided to run the few steps there.

And then, as I was approaching the entrance to the church, I slipped.

AND I PLUMMETED.

I was clearly touched by an angel, though, because I managed to make my hands hit the ground first. So it mostly just looked like I was doing a spontaneous and highly awkward military pushup (on a rainy church sidewalk, in a tuxedo) for a second. I also managed to quickly retrieve the rings (which, by the way, had also plummeted and were dangerously close to a sewer… I know. Can you IMAGINE?) and put them safely in my pocket.

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One would never know I had just almost ruined the entire wedding (and my ruggedly handsome face) with a single plunge.

And after that, everything went smoothly.

I pranced into the reception to En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind” while the Maid of Honor whipped me (literally), I rocked the Best Man speech (by “rocked,” I mean I got up in front of everyone and went on a long-winded verbal tangent about how my brother is a guy who exemplifies love and I am a guy who spent most of the nineties making Mariah Carey-themed scrapbooks), and I made sure everyone got really, really drunk – which, given our network of friends and family, didn’t actually require too much effort on my part, but still.

The whole thing was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make you stand back, look at your life, and say, “Holy shit. This is it. This is what matters.” It’s like, we can get so caught up in our daily routines – coffee, soul-sucking jobs, petty arguments, super important life-or-fucking-death (just kidding, I mean petty again) arguments, social media, Mariah Carey’s mental health (okay, maybe that’s just me?), the fucking weather, etc. – that it’s easy to start believing that the stuff that doesn’t matter, matters. But then something reminds you that it doesn’t.

Over time, I’ve found that meditation and books and — frankly — wine are good at helping me get to that place of transcending the bullshit. Celebration and love and family are even better.

And Best Man-ing is, of course, the best.

 

Three Things I’ve Decided About the Search for Love

I recently came across a half-serious/half-bitchy article on Esquire‘s blog that addressed the myriad ways in which my soul sister, Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City, has allegedly corrupted the belief systems of modern women. Within, the author kind of says — no big deal — that my entire life’s work is bullshit. Also, the reason I’m single.

Specifically:

7. Portraying Yourself as Someone Who Can’t Find Love Will [Not] Find You Love. Publicly crafting yourself as a person who can’t find love will not encourage anyone to love you. You should resist every urge to make your dating horrors into a cottage industry. Do not blog about them, do not indicate them in your status updates, and don’t you dare read your personal essays at even one open mic night.

This makes scary sense, doesn’t it? Like, when I first read it, I was all, “Shit, my Internet writing! My blog! I have destroyed ALL chances of ever finding a husband. Should I purchase an impregnated cat now? Or?”

But then I breathed deeply, closed my eyes, and thought to myself, You know what? No.

Because for me – someone who has been healed and inspired by the writings of many a confessional memoirist – writing is all about transparency. And with that, honesty. And so yeah, I’ve written quite a bit about being unable to find a decent man over the past three years (interestingly, just about the amount of time that has elapsed since my last serious relationship… Coincidence? No? Holy shit, it’s not! That article is totally on point and I’m steadfastly getting closer and closer to dying-alone-with-nothing-to-show-for-my-life-but-a-Netflix-account-and-a-freezer-full-of-ice-cream status with every word I type, huh? Wait. NO. I am going to stand in my truth on this one! I’m also going to finish my thought, as I’m pretty sure this parenthetical tangent happens to be in the middle of what should have been a cohesive sentence but has now just become a long schizophrenic ramble about nothing) but at least I’ve never tried to pretend I’m perfect.

With the above in mind, here is my list of three things I have learned about the search for love this year:

1. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved (or to love yourself).

I used to bitch a lot about the concept of self-love being a cliché crock of shit perpetuated by assholes who were already married and therefore never had to put their money where their smug, supposedly self-loving mouths were. But then I devoted this year to my inner journey and realized that maybe I was a little full of shit, too. I read up on spiritual principles, developed a relentless zeal for Oprah’s brilliant series-for-seekers Super Soul Sunday, and adopted a meditation practice. And I realized that I, like everyone else, had some healing to do. So I started reflecting, forgiving, visualizing, and meditating even more. I was doing pretty well. But then I developed a mindset that was all, “Okay, so after enough hours of meditation I’m just going to be perfect and completely healed and self-loving and awesome one hundred percent of the time, and then I’ll be able to allow love into my life. Right?”

IMG_20131202_201754

Sorry, Nic of a few months ago, but no. The path to self-actualization never ends. The only thing that really matters is that we’re making progress and loving ourselves through the process. I’m choosing to believe that my romantic match will agree with me on this. He won’t be perfect himself, and he won’t expect me to be perfect in return. And if he does? He’s not for me. (And furthermore, he’s probably a total douche canoe.)

2. Trying to control outcomes is exhausting and – oh! – pointless.

At the end of the day, Life (capital L, y’all) is gonna do what it do. So I’m going to say that Oprah has it right when she says that love, as with everything else, is all about a) setting an intention (i.e. “I want to meet a quality man who is basically a thirty-year-old version of Nick Jonas except gay and willing to get married and shower me with affection on the regular”); b) taking intuition-led action on that intention (i.e. “I totally just meditated on a love-affirmative mantra, updated my OkCupid profile, and went to a gay bar!”); and then c) surrendering the intention to the universe (i.e. “Okay God, so this isn’t my problem anymore. I’m trusting you to hook me up with my future husband, mmmkay? Thanks!”).

Needless to say, that last step is the hardest part, and yes, I’m still working on it. (Clearly. Or else I wouldn’t be blogging right now, as I’d kind of be busy giving my gay thirty-year-old Nick Jonas husband an epic blowjob.)

2a. Was that last parenthetical TMI?

Probably. But again, writing is all about honesty, right? On that note…

3. Portraying yourself as anything other than someone who can’t find love – when you, in fact, are looking for love and haven’t found it yet – is pretty fucking dishonest.

So, okay. I’m a firm believer that every word we put out there is an energy-carrying affirmation that is likely to manifest itself in our lives in one way or another, so on that level, I’m all about not being whiny and woe-is-me towards love. But I’m also a firm believer that I would be a total asshole if I tried to downplay my struggle over the past few years and cover it up with affirmations like, “Quality men flock to me and love is easy and I’m just, like, flawless! Yay!” (I’d also have absolutely no material, but that’s neither here nor there.)

At the same time, though, I’m not trying to repeat history. And so here is the affirmation I plan to take with me into 2014: “I am grateful for the many valuable lessons I’ve learned from my past romantic misfortunes, and I now know that I am deserving of a healthy partnership with a like-minded man. I trust Life to know when to bring us together. (And until then, I will fucking rock the single life.)”

3a. So now that my inspirational/uplifting moment is over, can we just talk about my gay thirty-year-old Nick Jonas husband character for a second?

I mean, honestly. How perfect would that be? We would be Nic and Nick!

NIC. AND. NICK.

 

I Accidentally Made Out with a Closeted Married Man, and Now I’m a Hot Mess

First and foremost, I feel the need to assure you that the events I’m about to recount actually took place. Like, in real life. Which you’ll soon realize is insane because one) I have already written extensively on the subject of falling in love with hot suited strangers during my daily commute on the Metro-North train, two) I once even blogged about a fantasy sequence in which I made out with one of them but he ended up being married, and three) that is somehow EXACTLY what happened to me last Friday night, in real life. IR-fucking-L.

There’s a lot to discuss here, so let’s just start from the beginning.

It was the end of a long week, so naturally I went out for post-work Sangria in the city with one of my best girlfriends. One pitcher turned into two, and before I knew it I was a little tipsy on a late-night train back to Connecticut. The train was delightfully empty, so I got cozy in a four-seater all by myself and prepared for the fifty-minute ride home.

Then he showed up. Hot businessman guy. He was wearing a grey pinstripe suit, fancy watch, and (according to my tipsy-goggles, at least) was ruggedly handsome – kind of like Brandon Walsh from 90210. Except manlier. And thirty-something. And, again, in a suit.

I took about five seconds to observe and appreciate his hotness, texted my friend something like “OMG, this man on the train is my everything,” glanced his way again, and then went back to staring at my phone (lest he catch me looking at him and interpret my stalkerish gazes as reason to desert me and switch to another train car that wasn’t crawling with predatory gay bloggers).

As we pulled out of Grand Central, the conductor came on the intercom and was all, “Please make all seats available,” and then the hot businessman opened up a roadie Coors Light, took a swig, and responded (to everyone and no one), “Uh, the train is empty!”

In my mind: He totally just opened the floor for conversation!!! Should I respond? I should definitely respond. No. That’d be weird. Wait, but he was weird first to even make the empty train remark to begin with. OK I’m doing it! No. YES. NO. Yes.

Out loud: “I know, right? The train is so empty!”

To my surprise, he looked my way and smiled warmly as I mentally congratulated myself for being capable of putting words together quickly enough to respond to his declaration. (Even though, let’s be honest, all I did was say exactly what he said except with a “so” in front of it.)

From there, we engaged in a bout of small talk about our commutes (we live in the same town, turns out!) and jobs (we work in the same part of the city, turns out!) and interests (we both watch football, turns out!).

While all of this was going on, I started developing the hopeful feeling that this guy was maybe gay, maybe into me, and maybe meant to be my husband. I mean, why else would he be so friendly? But then I told myself, “No. Calm yourself down, Nic. This dude probably thinks he’s just having a man-to-man discussion about Eli Manning and meanwhile you’ve let your mind go to that ‘ohmiGod is he gay and in love with me?!’ place in not even five minutes. GET A GRIP.”

After a few moments, we reached a lull in conversation. And then some random ass creepy guy in a black trench coat showed up out of nowhere and took one of the seats directly in front of me in my four-seater, despite the fact that there was a whole train car of empty seats available to him! James (the hot businessman guy — fake name, FYI) and I immediately exchanged glances to acknowledge how bizarre this was.

The creepy guy must have realized that James and I were telepathically discussing his weirdness (or maybe he just had to pee), because he abruptly got up and went to the bathroom, leaving me alone to wait for him to return and maim me take his seat back.

But then.

Like a knight in SHINING fucking ARMOR, James got up, swooped over into my four-seater and asked, “Would you like me to sit here instead?”

And so of course I said, “Yes!” and officially moved on from the “ohmiGod is he gay and in love with me?!” place into the more confident “My life is a romantic comedy and James and I SHALL BE MARRIED AND THIS SHALL BE THE STORY WE TELL OUR ADOPTED CHILDREN’S CHILDREN!” place.

For the remainder of the ride home, James and I talked. About our educations, occupations, hometowns, hobbies, and dreams. At one point I told him how I was working toward becoming a full-time writer and he responded with, “That makes sense; you give off a crazy-creative vibe,” and I had to pinch myself to ensure that I wasn’t just train-hallucinating this whole situation.

When we got to our stop, we walked off the train together.

“Alright,” I said as we approached the escalator, “I guess I should get on my way. Got a bit of a walk home.”

Then James was like, “Do you want a ride?” and I was like, “Yes!” (Because an exclamation-pointed “Yes!” had clearly become my go-to answer to any and all of James’ questions that night.)

I know what you may be thinking: Nic just accepted a ride from a stranger? Is he fucking nuts?!

Yes, I did. And yes, I am. And this is why hot people are dangerous. Because had this dude been gross looking or even just average, there’s no way I’d have said anything other than, “No, thanks.”

Still, as we walked to his car, there was a small voice inside of me that was like, “Uh, Christian Bale in American Psycho, Nic. He was hot. He wore a suit. And he killed bitches!” But I was able to quiet it down by asking James flat-out, “You’re not a crazy American psycho, are you?”

He just laughed adorably and said, “No! Trust me, you’re in good hands. I never do this. At all. Is this weird? This is weird. But I feel comfortable with you.”

And so we hopped into the car and continued talking for the duration of the ride to my apartment while our hands almost touched on the center armrest and I realized that I still didn’t have any conclusive evidence of his gay or straightness. There was a part of me that truly wondered if James was just a really nice straight man doing me a favor… but then there was another part of me that wanted to believe we had been flirting all night long.

Either way, when we finally got to the front of my building, I didn’t want to say goodnight. I considered inviting him up to my apartment, but then I was like, “WHO ARE YOU?” (to myself, not him) and instead settled for exchanging cell phone numbers with the intention of hanging out on purpose sometime soon.

And then.

I thanked him for the ride and reached out to shake his hand goodbye.

AND THEN.

He leaned over and went in for a kiss!

And so before I knew it, I was living in a dream and we were making out. And y’all — it was good. This man clearly knew what he was doing. Which is why it was so jarring to me when he abruptly stopped mid-make-out, said, “I don’t know what I’m doing!” and freaked the fuck out.

“What?” I asked, acting as if everything about this whole situation wasn’t bizarre enough to begin with.

“I don’t do stuff like this,” he nervously responded. “I’m married.”

So then my heart kind of casually just stopped, no big deal, and I said, “Wait. You’re married?” [Dramatic pause.] “To a human?”

“A human, Nic?” he replied. “Yes. I’m married to a woman.”

Jaaames!!!” I whined. “WHY?”

And then I punched him. (Playfully and on the chest, but still.)

He proceeded to apologize for not telling me about his wife before kissing me, and then he got this really sad look on his face, and for a second my heart felt incredibly heavy for him. Because I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to be trapped in a straight life and married to a woman and have to deal with inner demons and family pressures and tempting little hot pieces of ass like me just occupying four-seaters on trains on Friday nights.

But then I felt more bad for his wife, because I’m friends with quite a few women and I know for a fact that none of them want their husbands to be repressed gay men.

But then (and maybe I should be ashamed of this?) I felt mostly bad for me. Because seriously, WTF? I meet this perfect-in-every-way man — the old-fashioned, technology-free, just-like-in-the-movies way, even! — and we hit it off tremendously, and he’s the most passionate kisser in the history of the world, and then he’s somebody’s husband? How did I forget to check his left hand for a ring? How did he think it was okay to pursue me in the first place? Do any quality, available men even exist anymore? WHERE HAVE ALL THE COWBOYS GONE?

After about thirty awkwardly silent seconds of sitting in James’ car post-wife-confession, I decided to just start making out with him again. This was desperate and not okay, I know. But again: his kiss. It was delicious. Delicious and forbidden and sexual and hot. And I knew that he was a very dangerous person to even think about getting involved with, but I wanted to pretend for just the shortest moment that he was good and genuine and mine.

And so we kept making out in his car for about ten more blissful seconds, but then — and I think this may have been my conscience resurrecting itself from the low-self-esteem-y grave I’d just dug for it — I started wondering what his wife’s name was and what she must be doing and what she might think he was doing and what her Pinterest might look like. And so I finally mustered up the strength to say, “Dude. This is fucked up. We can’t do this.”

“You’re right,” he replied, not fighting me at all. “I understand if you want to just lose my number. I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine,” I sighed. “It’s fine.”

Then I got out of his car, walked up to my apartment, and aggressively slammed my bag against the floor in a fit of rage. I ran to my window to see if his car was still on my street, but he had already driven off. Regardless of all the reasons not to, I wanted to call him right then and there to ask him to come back so we could try and recapture whatever the hell it was we had both just discovered and lost, all within the past hour.

But then I walked into my bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror, and realized that I really, really needed to take his advice — and just lose his number.

2014 UPDATE: We ran into each other at Dunkin’ Donuts and it was weird.

 

I’m Becoming Rational and It Feels Weird (but Good-Weird?)

Last month I met up with my very talented writer buddy Steven to talk about our querying woes. In the middle of the cheesecake portion of our meeting (because with me, there’s always a cheesecake portion, and yes, I’m a Golden Girl), I got a call from a dude I talked to on OkCupid late last year, stopped talking to early this year, and then recently started talking to again in September.

He was calling to plan our much-delayed first date. He suggested hiking, I agreed, and then I hung up and analyzed the fuck out of the situation with Steven, because me.

  • Nic: So. I just agreed to go on a hiking first date. Hiking on a first date – this is a bad idea, huh?
  • Steven: OK, after having read the last few chapters of your manuscript, aren’t all of your dates hiking dates? What’s the problem?
  • Nic: No. There were only two hiking dates in the book, and they were the third and second, respectively. I’ve only ever been on one hiking first date, and that was with Far-Away Guy in August and WE ALL KNOW HOW THAT TUNRED OUT.
  • Steven: Calm down.
  • Nic: I’d rather go to that new beer garden that just opened in my town! Oh my God, this guy’s not the one. The one would have automatically known to suggest the beer garden and not hiking. I should just cancel right now and save us all time.

And that’s when Steven gave me an epic eye roll and was all, “Yeah, Nic. Cancel your date because this man you’ve never met before COULDN’T READ YOUR FUCKING MIND.”

Luckily, I was astute enough to sense Steven’s sarcasm, and so I soon realized that I was being ridiculous.

Also, I remembered that I love hiking. And so I went on the date, and that was four Saturdays ago. And we had a great time, and we’ve since seen each other three more times… and that’s all I’m going to say for now, because I’m starting to think that a four-week layover period between “dating-related thing happening” and “blogging about it” is the perfect recipe for perspective.

I think I just learned how to date (and blog) like a somewhat sane person? It only took me… OK, I just started counting the years, and that shit was depressing. Never mind.

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Taken on the date in question. NOW this is probably all foliage-y… but y’know, four weeks.

I’m Dating Again and Weird Things are Happening as a Result

Actual work conversation that occurred recently when I informed three of my colleagues (let’s call them Robert, Jenny, and Lola) that I had my first date in over six months lined up for later that evening:

  • Jenny: I have an idea! Let’s place bets on what Nic will say about this date tomorrow morning.
  • Robert: I’ll go first. I got five bucks that says he’s gonna be downtrodden and say that the guy was perfect except for one minor flaw that would mean nothing to a normal person but is in fact a complete deal-breaker in Nic-World.
  • Jenny: Good one – like, the guy won’t be an Oprah fan or something.
  • Lola: My guess is that he comes in bitching about the fact that his date checked out the waitress’s boobs and is therefore probably bisexual—yet another deal-breaker in Nic-World.
  • Jenny: Or he’ll come in and be like, “Ugh. I like him… But we have the same taste in movies, so that probably means we can only be friends.”
  • Me: Seriously, y’all? Not ONE of you is going to bet that my first date after a six-month spiritually-awakening sabbatical is going to go amazingly well and lead to a reciprocally fulfilling relationship based on trust, honesty, and mutual self-respect?
  • All three of them, in unison: No.

The next morning…

  • Me: Well, you guys. I just. It’s like… I don’t know. I didn’t like his energy.
  • Robert: I WIN!

I guess he kind of did win, but I’d like it noted that I was so not downtrodden about the situation. If anything, I was joyful and at peace — because even though this dude was normal, good-looking, and smart, he was also all “LOL that’s impossible” when I told him about my dream to eventually be a full-time author, and ain’t nobody got time for cynical dream-squashers who don’t believe in miracles.

In my date’s defense, though, I should share that there was a moment during dinner when I said, “I’d really love to be trapped in a room with your grandmother,” and I think he might have taken it the wrong way. What I meant was that, even though I’m not Jewish, I’ve always been fascinated with Yiddish terms – and so when he told me that his grandmother was a master in the dialect, I figured that being trapped in a room with her would be a golden opportunity. In retrospect, however, I realize it could have come off as predatory, inappropriate, and vaguely heterosexual — and why would he want to believe in my dreams at that point?

Moving on. In totally unrelated news, this happened on Monday:

Screen shot 2013-08-16 at 10.47.15 AMOh my God, you guys. It was huge and disgusting and it was also kind of doing the Crip Walk and I screamed and I cried and I no longer feel safe in my own work environment, BUT I’m still alive, so I guess that’s the silver lining in all of this. Like Beyoncé, Michelle, and Kelly circa 2001, I’m a Survivor.

 

I Think This is Called Growth

So, I have missed blogging. And Keychanges. And y’all. And Debelah Morgan, singer of the infectiously feel-good 2000 pop hit, “Dance With Me,” but that’s for another post.

Despite my blog-homesickness, my recent month-long sojourn has been crazy productive, and I’m as excited as a Leprechaun in a pot o’ gold (…I don’t even know) to write about what’s been happening in my life. Remember how at the beginning of the year I went all No Fool, No More (shout-out En Vogue!) on the Internet and wrote about how I’d be officially giving up unavailable men? Well, I’m currently four months strong. As my mom would say, Holla!

I’ve been in a very self-loving, self-improving, self-awesome space lately – which actually led to me inadvertently giving up all men – yet another reason for my blogging absence. Writing about desperation, food addiction, and general inadequacy? That’s so 2012!

So far this year I’ve realized that a) I’m pretty much amazing, b) I’m not fat, and c) I may not want a relationship right now after all. And I certainly don’t need one.

Talk about some freakin’ key changes – am I right?

After all of the absurdity I’ve documented here on my tumultuous search for post-grad-school love, I’ve finally started to look within – something I used to vehemently avoid, as I found the concept of self-love to be impossible and stupid and only for self-important, self-absorbed douchebags.

Like most good things, my journey toward self-love began with Oprah. Her Super Soul Sunday series will really make you think about shit. As a result of watching it, I’ve identified elements of society, my past, etc. that have all resulted in thought and action patterns that weren’t doing me any damn favors on my search for fulfillment. I recognized that a lot of my issues were with other gay folk – so rather than continue to cast myself in the role of “outcast” in our sometimes tragically anti-community community, I decided to write another piece for the Advocate that addresses how we can all use self-love and vulnerability to grow stronger together.

Read it HERE! But be sure to come back home to momma Oprah my blog when you’re done.

With my proclamation came lots of anti-Oprah vitriol from people who didn’t even bother to read the piece – lest they get a strong dose of truth and consequently melt or something – which pretty much hilariously proved my point in the article about how we need to stop being assholes and just start transmitting vibrations of love rather than superiority.

But thankfully, the piece also proved that there are some really, really great gay dudes out there who totally “get it.”

Like this guy Stephen (ignore Karl, he was having a bad day):

Screen shot 2013-04-13 at 11.18.00 AM

Or like the many others who took the time to e-mail, message, or tweet me with anecdotes about how the article resonated with them. It was inspiring, and felt great to have feedback that was more along the lines of “Wow – powerful message. Thank you for that!” rather than my usual supportive feedback which tends to be more of an admittedly baited, “You’re not fat!” (But I mean, please don’t stop with those – that phrase is music to my slightly obese — kidding! — ears and I obviously can’t hear it enough.)

Speaking of fatness – while I inadvertently gave up men, I also inadvertently lost ten pounds! Well, not totally inadvertently – I did start going to the gym five days a week and eating healthier, but it was more so because I realized that endorphins make me happy and less so because some guy struggling with his own myriad body and emotional issues told me to.

So, yeah. Things are going pretty well these days. And I guess that’s all I’m trying to say with this post – life is good, I love you all, and I’m still wholly devoted to and grateful for blogging and this blog and your blogs and, really, the word “blog” in general. Blog.

Blog!

 

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