Monday, August 30, 2010

The End of A Great Weekend

Today I had the pleasure of having my daughter home with me on my regularly scheduled day off. She had earned a ton of credit hours on her job and she decided to take the day off to spend with her dear old dad.

Lovey was in town today in order to leave to go be in the Netherlands to visit her sister there along with her mother. My daughter fixed us a scrumptuous breakfast. We ate like fiends...and then I had to leav eto run some errands. My daughter tagged along with me and we had a great time just hanging out.

We then spent the afternoon lounging around the pool of friend's ours. It was a great way to relax. (Even Dan swooped by for a swim.

I declare...I wonder about this man. Scott has been out of town...and will be back on Wednesday.

But, who knows....how that is going.

Dan seemed a bit pensive today as we talked.

Now word from Andy....in response to my emails.

Hopefully I will hear something from him later this week.

Early Monday Morning


Here's a picture I took while I was at work this weekend photographing that floral design convention. Feel free to comment on what you think.

Much has happened in my life since that last posting I made. My MAC laptop croaked...so I had to splurge on a brand new computer. This time I opted for a desktop. It's a beauty. It's a 27inch I-Mac with one terabyte of storage capacity....and so much RAM...it flies through tasks I ask it to do.

I spent all day Friday, Saturday and a hunk of the day this weekend photographing a flower show in Fairfax. They provided all my meals....my lodging.....and my registration for the event....and I got to take a ton of pictures. It was certainly an interesting event to be part of. But all the flowers....the pollen...the fragrances...etc...sent me into an asthma overload. I have hacked and coughed all weekend long.

Another side benefit of the weekend was getting the opportunity to visit with my married friend, Doug. He's a floral designer...and just a wonderful person to be with. We laughed and got to spend some really special time together.

Late on Friday night, my world got a little bit complicated. A man that had served as my former pastor in my other life when I was a fundamentalist pentecostal was tragically murdered at the hand of his oldest son following a rather heated argument over something trivial. From what I have heard...and it never has been confirmed by the family...and probably won't, the young man has been battling his own demons for quite sometime. He's been diagnosed as being bi-polar...and on top of things, he is a gay man -- clearly something that his dad could not accept.

My pastor died on Monday....and now his son is charged with first-degree murder.

There is going to be a memorial service here in my area next Sunday. So, I am planning to go and be part of this...to offer whatever kind of support I can to the remaining family.

I was fairly close to my pastor. In fact, I served as the Chairman of the Board of Deacons during his tenure. It is a shock...and I am still unglued by it all.

While he was serving my church, the eldest son was always living out of the area....and they never seemed to talk about him much. My gaydar went off a number of times when I would get to see this boy....but it was never really confirmed until just now.

Tonight when I got settled back home....I was invited to dinner by my pal Greg the photographer. He was telling me all about his photoshoots....and I got to tell him about my adventures in the land of floral design....and flowers!

Dan appeared at my house tonight....and we got to visit and get caught up. "K" has sent me a ton of messages that I received on my Blackberry while I was at my photoshoot. Andy sent me an email just before he toddled on off to bed. I felt bad because I didn't get it until just now when I opened my email here on the computer. So I fired off a note to him fairly quickly. AND...I just noticed that Sex God has emailed me. (I just haven't had the energy to open that one.)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Lovey is in town. She and her mother are headed off to the Netherlands tomorrow afternoon. My daughter and I are invited to breakfast with them first thing in the morning. She and I then have a swim date with Dan at a mutual friend's swimming pool.

So lots is happening. Lots has happened.

And I apologize to all of you dear and faithful readers for not being able to keep you updated while I was working my buns off over the weekend.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Comfortable In My Own Skin


Each new day for me is an adventure.

Back in the olden days, I often asked God why I was made like I am. I mean, I was gay. (I still am.) I was overweight. I was not athletic. I was contantly picked on and made to be the brunt of jokes. I did not feel "normal."

Day in and day out...the harassment never stopped.

I internalized a whole lot back then and I remember having internal discussions with myself every day as I would wait for my carpool to pick me up.

"You can do this, Frank. You can get through another day."

This became my mantra.

My stomach usually was in knots...and I had stomachaches.

I was not happy.

In fact, I was miserable with my life then.

So my defenses started being built. I built inpenetrable walls. I'm sure I came across as cold and aloof. I became a loner.

I buried myself in church work. I was able to hide my strangeness and anti-social behavior in the cloke of religiosity.

Looking back at it all now, I was really and odd duck.

Fast-forward to today.

I marvel at the man I have become. I'm totally happy. I look at my gayness as just another one of my fascinating traits that makes me the loveable and unique person I am. I'm somewhat of a social butterfly. I have a full social calendar.

Continually, I look at myself and my desires and wonder if my standards are too high....or if my expectations are too far beyond what they should be. I've reached the conclusiont hat perhaps my view of what relationships are versus what I desire may be slightly askew. Perhaps this is some residual effects of the "Old" Frank and his perceptions of the world.

After the post yesterday, I realized that there are a number of men who seem interested in me on some level. I've spent so much time bitching about my lack of a boyfriend/partner/husband...that I forget that I must be doing something right. Oh, to put it bluntly, I don't have any guy yet who has vowed their undying love and devotion to me. I haven't walked down the aisle yet.

But, for all their shortcomings....all these men are good men. They are still getting to know me on some levels. They like spending time with me. All of them, (except Sex God) seem to want to know me on a deeper level than just to find out what I can do for them between the sheets.

So, isn't this what I am looking for?

Wake up, Frank!

Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees! LOL. I think this is my problem.

I like the man I am. I've got a good heart. I have much to offer. It's gonna happen sooner or later. (A lot of you have told me this.)

I'm relaxed. Happy. Content.

Last night my daughter and I had dinner at a local Cheesecake Factory. The food was out of this world -- it always is there. I noticed how people treated me as we walked to and from the place from my car. People would make eye contact and smile...or nod.

When we got settled at out table....I just happened to look over at the next table. There was a humongous family seated there...happily eating...and celebrating one of their members' birthdays. I suppose my relaxed aura showed....because one of the kids looked up at me and said, "Hi! What's your name?"

"I'm Frank. Who are you?"

"I'm Kevin."

"Pleased to meet you Kevin."

Next thing I know, the whole family starts acknowledging us...

Not too long ago, this would not have happened.

At another restaurant....in a darker time, a woman started chatting with me. She said that I had a rather foreboding coutenance....and did not seem too approachable.

I was shocked...and semi offended. But in looking back at that time, I know that she was right.

Man, have I come a very long way.....and I'm still here to tell you all about it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Long and Very Slow Day...

Today is just a very long and slow day here at my office.

The high point of the day was when I received a telephone call from Doug. I am doing some photography work for him this weekend and he wanted to confirm that I was still going to assist him. I told him that I was... So, I get to spend the entire weekend with him.

I will get to see him in his element and watch how he interacts with his colleagues and clients.

He sounded happy and excited. I may get to take him to a gathering of my friends on Saturday night. We will play that one by ear.

Hopefully this will be a quiet and restful weekend.

The Laptop Has Died

My trusty Mac Powerbook G4 died last night.

It has been my faithful companion now for 5 years...and I have certainly put it through all the paces over that time. We've created video together. We've managed my photo and music libraries together. I've composed my email on it. I established this blog on it.

And it is dead.

I have an appointment at the Apple Store this evening to see if it can be fixed. I am prepared to buy a new computer, but...gosh...I hate that this one has failed.

Life goes on...

A curious thing happened to me yesterday. I got an email from the kisser. (Henceforth known as "K".) (The married guy that wanted me to meet his mom....) He just wanted me to know that I was beautiful.

Never really considered myself in those terms before. Another hot guy told me I was "doable" last week....

I just wonder what all this means...or if he is even giving me a second thought. Well, I suppose he is giving me additional thoughts in order for him to write me... But I just wonder in what context he thinks of me....as a friend? as a partner? as a friend with benefits? Just what?

So, let's recap:

I have a number of really neat men in my life at the moment:

Dan - the man who likes pretending we are a couple....and who is looking for a partner with special qualities. His current partner, Scott, is not fitting the bill.

Andy - the cutey pie with the sweet and gentle temperament....with killer legs...powerful thighs....great chest.... He wants to go slow.

"K" - the man who is married and who likes to kiss me in front of his wife. I've become friends with the wife....I've met his mother.....and I've seen the new house. I've also learned his wife and he sleep in separate bedrooms.

Doug - the wonderful older man that is also married. We really enjoy spending time together. One of the last times we spent together, he announced that "I'm Dangerous" because I tempt him in ways that are frightening to him.

"Sex God" - the slightly younger man that only wants me around for sex. Now the sex is powerfully awesome...but I have pulled back from this relationship because I want/need more than just an intense romp in the hay.

"Doable" - the attractive man who pronounced me as "doable." Need I say more?

So, for all my bitching....there are men out there... I am blessed to have such men in my life. Many people in my situation would give their right arms to have one good guy.....but so far I have six potential men -- not counting Jake -- who I sitll have not heard from...

I'm just anxious to start something. I'm not getting younger. Dan, Andy, "K" or Doug would be great boyfriends. With my luck they will all probably step up to the plate all at once. Then how do I decide who the lucky man is going to be?

I am willing to take my time. I want this to be the best choice for me.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Something That Made Me Smile....

I had a coffee date with that guy who called me on August 21st. He was the subject of my post OUT OF THE BLUE. Let's use his name -- Andy.

So, I have had the opportunity to chat a little with Andy over the weekend. Nothing substantive...but I've wanted him to know that I was thinking about him...and being mindful of how he detests being on the telephone, I just did not want to push my luck.

We confirmed our plans yesterday afternoon. I must say, i was looking forward to spending some time with him. Turns out he was having dinner with another friend...but he wanted to do dessert with me. (This was fine.)

So he called me at 9pm and said that he was headed to the place we had agreed upon. When I pulled up...I must see he struck a fine form in his shorts....and t-shirt. He is taller than me...a little buffer....and his legs were really nice to look at. But, I did this scoping out of him with all good taste...and stolen glances.

Really I'm not a sex-maniac and I am not desperate. But I do admire beauty when I see it.

This is a beautiful man.

I suppose the thing that makes him beautiful to me...not only do I find him quite attractive....but he has a gentle nature about him. He is kind...and spiritual. He has a strong faith in God....and I find this so refreshing.

I'm digressing....

So we order our coffee and start talking. We spent two hours together. We then walked outside.....and stood under the awning of the establishment, while the misting rain fell. He then turned to me and gave me a really big hug....

and a peck on the lips.

It felt so good.

He looked at me and then smiled.....and said.... "You're quite an attractive guy."

I think I blushed.

"I'm serious." he said.

"You are too...." I responded.

There...I let it be known. Frank was attracted to Andy.

I went on.

"But...you know, Andy, what I find most attractive about you of all? Your spirituality....your gentleness.....your kindness."

He blushed.

"I've always been eager to jump between the sheets with someone who is the least bit interested. But with you, it is so different. I want to go slow," he said quietly.

"I like slow." I answered.

Another hug....another kiss.

Late at night in a parking lot......a light summer mist falling....

Could this be the one?

I just received an email from him this morning. It says: "I always leave our meetings feeling content and relaxed after our talks...Hugs"

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Why is the Fantasy Always so Much Better Than in Real Life?

I have thought a lot about this man named Jake who was our waiter last night at dinner. He was such a cutie and so sincere.

But to be very honest here....I kind of wonder if he was just out after a larger tip.

No note.

No communication at all.

Ah...why is the fantasy always so much better than real life?

Oh I could conjure up all kinds of scenarios with the man from Friday night......or picture a perfect romantic evening with Dan......or think up most any type of situation involving any of those men I am friends with that I have the crushes for....

But they are never going to happen the way that I picture them....

Why can't they?

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A New Day Has Come!

What a wacky weekend!

I'm still reeling from that encounter with the waiter. If I never hear from him, it will be okay because he just made my entire day!

Reading your comments makes me realize just how random all of that was...and makes me wonder if this is how I'm going to meet the man who will become my partner....my beloved? Gee, I suppose it could happen anywhere....or at anytime.

My daughter is still shocked about the waiter. It struck her about how nervous he was when he started the conversation with me. I thought it was kind of cute. She felt so sorry for him. I asked her "Well, have you ever approached a total stranger before? Someone that you may have felt a sprig of attraction for? I give him an A+ for effort!"

She nodded and agreed.

"Bless his heart," she said.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Strange, But True

Some facets of this weekend have seemed like trips to the Twilight Zone. Just take a look at all that happened on Friday night!

For all its strangeness....nothing compares with what happened to me today. The nice thing about this, my daughter witnesses this and it left her scratching her head.

Following church....my normal gathering for lunch afterwards.....and then a family gathering, my daughter and I decided to have dinner at a wonderful mexican restaurant we know. So, we got settled and just were chit chatting.

Our waiter named Jake showed up with our chips and salsa...along with our menus. He took our drink orders. As I talked with him, he just seemed different. He was quite attractive and young...very young...but I did not think too much about it.

When he return to our table....he made mention of the outfit I was wearing. "I really like that shirt you have on..." I commented that it was much cooler than the outfit I had on yesterday when I was at a wedding to take pictures. "Oh really? Are you a photographer?"

He then went off on a discussion about this photographer he likes....then he asked what my outfit was yesterday. When I said it was purple and black....he said, "Wow, I bet that looked really good. I love those colors."

He got a little tongue tied.

He then disappeared to check on our food....and my daughter said, "Dad, I think he is hitting on you."

It did seem a bit odd...all this attention he was paying to me. It was as if my daughter were invisible.

When he appeared with our food....I struck up another conversation with him. He told me that he was pursuing a computer degree....he also told me how long he had worked at this restaurant... etc.

Every few moments he came by and my daughter said that when he was behind me, he kept looking at me.

It totally amazed her.

Finally he brought us boxes to take our food home....and our bill. I told my daughter that I was going to have some fun with Jake. I was going to write down my cell phone number, but she thought my email address would be much better. So I put it at the bottom of the signed receipt...and put it into the wallett for him to pick up. I decided to wait for him.

He finally came by...and I handed the bill back to him. He told me what a delight it had been to serve me. I wished him luck in everything he does...and he reached out to shake my hand. I shook it....then he said, "But I don't know your name..." I said, "I put my email address down at the bottom of the receipt....drop me a note!"

He beamed!

"All right" he said.

I gently rubbed his lower back..."I would really enjoy hearing from you," i said....and he nodded.

With that we parted.

My daughter was dumbstruck...

"Why can't anything like that ever happen to me?" she said.

I chuckled and thought...this was really random.

Do you think he will write me?

Is It Friendship or Is It Something More?

Mixed signals...I hate 'em.

When I receive 'em...I get very frustrated with myself because I have just enough timidity to not want to explore it further and find out what kind of signal is being sent.

Is it for friendship?

Is it for friends with benefits?

Is it for something way better than any of the above?

Who knows?

Friday night I was invited to dinner with "that man" who has the wife. The story is that she wants him to find a "partner"...and he kissed me in front of her, God and everyone else in the middle of this year's Pride. What's with that?

Oh, it wasn't a tongue inspection of my tonsils or upper throat region....but it was a kiss....full on the mouth and lips....and a BIG hug...with an apology of wanting to spend more time with me, but physically being unable to do so because of leg surgery.

He and I have had dinner....where he introduced me fully to his wife back in July. (See July 21st post.)

Then this past Friday, I am invited to his new house to meet his mother.....and spend time with he and his wife...

Upon my arrival, I realized I had left the little housewarming present sitting on my kitchen counter. Felt like a heal...(when I told him this later...he says, "Well, you have another excuse to come back!")

So, I found the new house...and pulled into the driveway. As I was getting settled and ready to exit the car, the front door opens and he walks out alone to meet me. There he was....all tanned....all cute.....my heart melted. But then this is nothing new it always does when I am around him. I get all tongue tied and can't think of things to say....or when I do say something I thnk I babble.

Anyway, there he is....all 6'3" or 6'4" of himself. I approach him and there he goes again...

A big kiss on the lips.....and a big bear hug.

Right there in front of God and his neighbors.

I floated into his house.....said hello to his wife. She gave me a great big hug...... Then I made my way over to his mom....shook her hand.

He and his wife then gave me the grand tour of their home. In a nonchalant way, they informed me that they each have their own bedrooms and sleep alone.

My goodnes I thought.....with a husband like this and you sleep by yourself! WHEW!

The evening flew by....and I got to know them even better. But, it got to be "that" time when I had to drive home. He lives about 10 miles from me. They made all kinds of plans as to what all we could do together....explore DC......he wants to watch me do a photoshoot....he wants to join my gay bowling league....

We then walked out into the night to my car-- me, he and she. I hugged her good night.....and walked over to him. It happened AGAIN. He wrapped those big strong arms around me......put his lips on mine.....and releaed me to go to my car.

It took my breath away.

Is it friendship he's after or is it for something more?

Stay tuned and perhaps we will all find out together!

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Out of the Blue - 2

It has been a good morning thus far. Beautiful blue sky. Nice late summer day.

It is Friday.

And I just got of the telephone from another caller that came "out of the blue."

I've spoken of my crushes that I have. These are all men that I am attracted to and for whom I have felt that gentle squeeze on my heart that tells me that I could definitely feel more than just the good feelings one feels when experiencing animalistic passion between the sheets.

This particular gentleman and I have been friends for six months. He's younger than me. I met him through friends...and I've had the opportunity to spend a little time with him. It has all been good. I wrote about him back on July 21.

He's the guy that is married, who kissed me full on the lips in front of his wife at Gay Pride. Back on July 21, he and his wife were on the way out of town for vacation, but she wanted to get to know me better. So we spent the time talking about a host of things. I just totally felt comfortable with both of them. He is the man that's wife knows of his gayness....who wants him to have a partner.

Just now he called to say that him and her have finally settled into their new house. They want me to come to dinner....and to meet his mother!

His mother?!!!?!?!?

Of all my crushes....this man has managed to move into first place.

It is all I can do to keep my mind focused....and to play cool when I am around him.

This could all just be his desire to have friends and I could be one of many. It could all just be in my head....the thoughts that he might be scoping me out.....etc.....etc.

I realize that.

But over dinner this evening it will be great to enjoy his closeness......his attentiveness......his kindness...... and just to make eye contact with him.

And to daydream...

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Out of the Blue

Lunchtime at my office is a pretty special moment for me.

Not because of the food (god knows I love food.).

Not because I have taken the first word of EAT PRAY LOVE literally, as I continue my spiritual quest....see below.

Lunchtime is just time when I can leave my office....find a spot to ponder...or, because I happen to work in one of the most exciting cities on the planet, actually walk the three blocks to the Capitol or check out a new exhibit at one of the Smithsonian Museums. I could even walk along the Tidal Basin or the Waterfront.

It's really a cool life!

Yesterday the temperature was mild. So, after I ate my sandwich, I decided to find a nice bench and people watch. It's one of my favorite pastimes. It's nothing for me to do this and the President drives by....or the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Or I watch a network journalist doing a standup for the nightly news.

I told you it was a cool life.

But yesterday I found a bench outside of NASA. As I sat under the shade of a tree and relaxed, my cellphone rang.

When I picked it up, it was a man that I have been friends with for a couple of months. He's one of those guys that are too busy for a relationship. He told me that he does not talk on the phone....he hates it. We've had dinner together a number of times.

But I've always felt like the initiator...and I was just tired of that.

So, I let him slide for almost two weeks.

And here he was, on his lunch hour, talking to me on the telephone!

"Wow", I said. "it's you!"

"Yeah," he laughed. "I didn't want you to think I had blown you off or something."

We talked for twenty more minutes. He says that he wants to see me on Monday night when he returns from out of town!

I ended the conversation kind of playfully. "Well, I just want you to know, friend, how blown away I am here. I mean, you said that if I ever have a long phone call with you, it means you like me. So, am I safe to assume that you now like me -- I mean since we've been on this call for almost 30 minutes -- on our lunch hours?" I chuckled.

"Indeed," he said. "I like you...and I like spending time with you."

SCORE!

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My Quest for Spiritual Wholeness


From my earliest memories, I have been aware of my spiritual self. I can't remember ever having been trained in this or ever having been given the command by the adults that orbited in and out of my life, "You shall be spiritual....or you shall be Christian."

It's just something that has always been.

So, as I have repeatedly said in this blog, I take my spirituality quite seriously. Had it not been for my relationship with God, I don't believe I would have survived the gay thing; it's fallout and my subsequent divorce were just too traumatic to have survived it alone.

But...

In saying all this, I have to also confess that I do not consider myself a spiritual giant by any means.

I'm just an average everyday man, who happens to be gay...who is also conscious of God's presence and who happens to be striving to become more aware of His presence. I feel like I am still spiritually in pieces at times and so, before I leave this planet, I very much want to experience wholeness.

Part of my journey has led me through the lives of some pretty interesting people. As a result I have learned so very much from each of them.

For some odd reason, I just have this feeling in my gut that I am on the threshold of bigger and better things. Perhaps I may fully realize my long held dream of that special man in my life.....or I may get to experience some long held dreams. Whatever the case, it makes my heart flutter with an air of expectancy.

This has all been increased following my viewing of the new Julia Roberts film, "Eat, Pray, Love". This movie is perhaps the best one I have seen in a number of years. It fully resonated with me on levels that I hadn't expected.

The Julia Roberts character (Elizabeth Gilbert) reminds me of me. I understand how she felt.

I get it.

So much in fact that I have gotten the book and am now reading it.

When Oprah first introduced me to Ellizabeth Gilbert and the book on her television program, even though I found the story interesting, it seemed to only be targeted to a female audience. It's kind of like O Magazine being described as a women's magazine. EPL seemed to be a women's book.

As a gay man, I let the story drop.

I am so thankful for the new film. It's appeal is broad....it's not just a women's movie.

It's for me too.

So let's just see where I go from here!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Heart of Gay Relationships

Call me slow.

VERY slow.

Or call me Pollyanna.

More bluntly, just call me stupid.

I have this ideal in my mind. I meet this wonderful man....he's kind, compassionate, considerate, loving, affectionate. We meet and fall in love. Then we begin a life together....filed with love and laughter.....good and bad times -- but because we have each other, the bad is more bearable.

****sound of a old phonograph needle being dragged across and album*****

OUCH.

So far, in the gay world, this is not my experience.

Yesterday I learned this first hand.

As a result of some big changes I made to one of my profiles on one of those dating sites, folks are cruising by my profile and some are making contact. One guy in particular caught my eye.

He wrote to me faithfully for a period of about a week. It was fun. He is ten years younger. Nicely built. Said he enjoyed everything I do.

So, since I took the day off yesterday...and was already out and about, I thought I would meet him.

Which I did.

The first thing he wanted was for me to service him.

Yup...in "that" way.

That's not what I am about.

So needless to say....I didn't stay long....and I left....

The relationship was over long before it could ever start.

It's discouraging....it's bothersome.... AND....what a waste of my time and apparently his.

So, I am left to wonder, when you are dating....and meeting new people......how does one know that they aren't being sold a bill of goods without substance? Is the heart of gay relationships only in how long it takes to get both parties between the sheets?

If it is....and the number of gay relationships are a series of sexual encounters....I suppose it says a whole lot more about the status of those relationships than I had ever pondered.

Most of the guys I am meeting don't appear to want any substance. They seem to thrive on the rush that comes along with the hunt....and then the conquering. When the moaning stops, they throw you a towel....show you the door....and get online looking for the next conquest. The performance pressure is on: you better be at your best. Forget about the nervousness....or the uncertainty.....or learning what makes the other guy quiver.... Forget about close and intimate conversation before during and after. Just get in, get off and get out.

Apparently...all it takes is fifteen minutes or less.

So here I am....a good guy....looking for a special man. He's kind, compassionate, considerate, loving, affectionate. We meet and fall in love. Then we begin a life together....filed with love and laughter.....good and bad times -- but because we have each other, the bad is more bearable. We even grow old together. We know everything about each other.

Sometimes I wonder if it even exists in the gay world.

Only time will tell as I continue my quest....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another Relationship Heals!

My ex bf contacted me on Facebook. He initiated a friend request...and then followed up with an invitation to eat dinner together. We set a date and time...and off we went to a little diner not far from my house.

This is the young man that I dated a year ago...and he dumped me in order to begin a relationship with my best friend. It all went down quite badly. After it went down....my now former best friend attempted to out me to everyone on my Facebook page...and became furious when I dropped him.

As a result of all this stupid chain of events....my ex and I never got to finish bringing things to closure between us....until we had dinner the other night.

It was great getting to talk to him and to catch up....and to move past everything that was keeping us apart.

Forgiveness is a wonderful thing!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Almost Let the Cat Out of the Bag - 2

I have so much that I can write about....but given the lateness of the hour, I will only write one brief tale tonight. Stay tuned during tomorrow for aFol whole host of installments.

Following the excitement of last night, I had today off. I spent the day cleaning and doing laundry -- regular fun stuff. At lunch time, I thought it might be wise to write a thank you note to Dan about him being such a good sport for riding with me to the wake. It wasn't anything all that spectacular.....just your basic, run-of-the-mill thank you.

Early in the afternoon I got a couple of emails back from him. telling me how much he enjoyed being with me last night....and how much he appreciated my willing to listen to him....as he was sorting out various things in his life.

Imagine my surprise when he asked if I would like to see a movie tonight.... He couldn't go until around 10...and he said he would understand if I couldn't since I have to work tomorrow. I wrote him back and agreed to do it.

So we met at the appointed time at the theater. We spent time chatting....and he began covering similar issues that he did last night on the way home from the wake. Clearly the man has a lot of stuff on his mind. So I listened.

We then went into the movie.... The movie ended around 12:30...and we walked out slowly to the parking lot where our cars were parked. He and I were parked nearly side by side.

I walked him to his car....and he came over and gave me a gigantic hug. I told him that I really cared for him....and how special he was.

And for a split instant....I saw something pass through his eyes. It's a look that I have not see before. It was a look of endearment...tenderness....all that. But it passed by very quickly.

As we got over to his side of the car....I gave him another big hug....and a kiss on the cheek. He then started talking about something totally unrelated. I chuckled. I honestly think he is oblivious......or he is being coy. So I stroked his cheek......and I said, "You are so funny!"

He looked up at me....and said, "Why do you say that?"

I responded by saying...."You just are."

With that I told him good night......and he drove off....

You may wonder why I didn't just lay all my cards on the table. Well, here is the reason.....I have no interest in complicating his life with Scott, even though he is certainly questioning that relationship. I will not be the "other woman."

But....after he gets a chance to think things through a bit.....and he gets over his being oblivious......then he might be able to figure out what I am trying to say.

Stay tuned.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

I Almost Let the Cat Out of the Bag

Happy Monday to all of you. I am off today trying to get some things cleaned up around my house.... Yesterday was quite an adventure for me....

I spent the day traveling to a town not far from where Lovey lives. I had to attend a wake of a lady that I have known for quite sometime and could not talk my daughter into driving with me. (She had a cookout to attend...)

So, I thought of one of my crushes. Actually he not only is someone I have had a secret crush for for many, many, years....but he is a dear friend that I love deeply. The only thing is he is totally clueless as to the depths of my feelings for him. After church yesterday, I called him up to see if he was doing anything. I casually mentioned that I was getting ready to drive the long distance to attend the wake in the late afternoon....and that I would not be returning until late that night.

I invited him to go along! I never imagined that he would do this. He stays quite busy with his life...and his boyfriend. But, to my surprise, he was all for going with me. "After all the stuff you do for me," he said, "It would be my pleasure to spend some time with you."

So, off we were. Traffic was a mess.....and I wound up taking the scenic route on some long and winding roads. The trip to the wake was filled with chit chat......and my GPS system...... We talked and laughed.

I told him about my "doable" story. He roared. I also told him another story involving some friends of miine who sent me for 4 cans of crisco for an impromptu fisting party they were throwing. (That's a story for another day.....trust me....) No, I did not get into fisting, but I was roped into photographing it for them! UNREAL. But my friend and I laughed and laughed about it. I said I would never look at CRISCO in the same way again.....and he kept reminding me that I was highly doable.

We had another laugh when, here in the middle of red-neck estates, two gay guys (us) pull into the mighty crowded funeral home and as we found a parking spot, there was a man in a baseball cap and a girl making out big time by his pick up....right there in front of god and everyone....within shouting distance of the corpse's on display. When we parked.....we roared again!

"Get a room!" we said in unison.

As luck would have it, we ran into Lovey almost first thing. She gave me "that" look. The one that seemed to say, "oh my goodness, you brought your boyfriend with you..."

I introduced her to Dan. I could tell that she was making all kinds of assumptions..... We proceeded into the viewing room. Dan was right behind me. I turned back and said..."she thinks you and I are a couple."

Dan said, "And you are not going to do or say anything to correct her!"

"But...." and he shsssshed me.

We viewed the body.....signed the register, I filled out a slip of paper giving the family a little memory of the decesaed that I had...... I was then ambushed by a host of people I had not seen in a very long time. I did not noticed that Dan had disappeared.

So after I had spent about 20 minutes offering condolences to various and sundry people.....I was ready to go.

Dan was no where to be found.

I walked out to the parking lot....and he wasn't there.

I looked on the front porch of the mortuary....and he wasn't there....

I went back into the viewing area and there he was.....sitting on a comfy couch.........with.....LOVEY!

So he got up and made room for me to sit next to her. (Did he really have to do that?) He then said that he had to find the men's room, but would be back. He then ased me if I was doing okay and as he did so he gave me one of those loving...concerned look that a boy friend would give to another.

I could have clobbered him.

He disappeared....and Lovey then started chirping away about all the people she had seen. She couldn't remember some folks' names...and I reminded her.

I then made a comment about how we needed to get going. Lovey wanted to know if we had dinner plans....she hadn't gotten to have dinner..... But she didn't want to horn in on any special plans that Dan and I had.

I told her that I would check with him....

As if almost on cue, he reappeared....and I looked at him and said, "Lovey wants to know if she can join us for dinner!"

"Certainly," Dan said....rubbing my shoulder.

So not long afterwards there he and I -- the happy couple -- sat across from Lovey, having a wonderful steak dinner. She then asked about how long we had known each other.....and other little chit-chat. Internally, I was mortified.

Dan kept answering all the questions good naturedly.....where he was from......what kind of work he did......how hard it was for him to keep Frank out of trouble......how glad he was that Frank was in his life......

Oh my goodness.

I felt like I was in an episode of "I Love Lucy."

Then it was time to head home. Dan actually hugged and kissed Lovey goodbye....and off we were....heading back up the long and winding country road home in the summer darkness.

After all that, I decided to just be quiet. I did not know what to say. I was afraid to say anything actually....for fear of saying something inappropriate.

I concentrated on the road.

Mortification was setting in full force.

Dan then started talking....about how good his relationship with Scott is. How compatible they are. How great the sex is. I told Dan that I was very happy for him.

Then he said something that made my heart skip a beat....."I'm not sure though that he is the one for me for a lifetime though. There are areas that give me reason to pause."

"Oh?" I said...trying to be nonchalant.

I really wanted to tell him how our little charade really made me feel. How perfect it felt....how he actually completed and verbalized thoughts I was thinking......how proud I felt to have him there with me......and how perfectlly he handled Lovey."

"What are the qualities you are looking for in a lifetime partner, Dan? What would that look like if you could define it?"

He then began describing me...

I chuckled.

And I almost told him.....

but I lost my nerve.

Just then his cellphone went off....and it was Scott.

The car sped on through the summer night.

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Who Is My Mr. Right?

Okay...in response to the queries I have received....here are some of the characteristics of my Mr. Right. Please note that these are not set in stone, but are just the kinds of things I look for in a life mate:

1. Someone around the age of 50 -- give or take. Typically I am not attracted to folks below 30....simply because that my kids are in the 24-26 yo age range. To me, it just seems creepy to be dating someone that age.

2. Someone my height or taller -- give or take. I'd really like someone who is 6'2" or taller...just from the standpoint I have always fantasized about looking up...and stretching to hug or kiss my special guy. Stupid I know...but it's my fantasy.

3. Someone who is attractive -- at least to me. This is one of those cases where I'll know it when I see it. They don't have to have the body of a porn star.....or sculpted like a greek god.....(although I wouldn't reject them if they looked that way.). I like athletic looks.....football player builds.....bears.....and the like. I like facial hair.....wonderful eyes.....a person who is strong.

4. Someone who can be romantic and not be afraid to hold hands....be a great kisser....and to not be afraid of expressing his feelings verbally.....or nonverbally in a physical way. Yes, we're talking about sex here. I am all for cuddling and snuggling. Just touching and coming up behind me and hugging....AWESOME.

5. Someone who can cry when touched by a movie....or a love note.....or a card....

6. Someone who is not afraid of monogamy in the traditional sense and understands commitment. So many gay men have different interpretations of the word monogamy. I want someone who defines it the same way I do: "You don't take off your clothes and assume a lying down position....or do certain acts on another man besides me."

7. Someone who can hold a conversation about world affairs, current events....is intelligent....has a good job....and knows how to shoulder responsibility. I am not going to be anyone's sugar daddy.

8. Someone that is open to life's possibilities and will not rule anything out.....including marriage. Having a full fledged....fulltime gay male partner will be a tremendous step for me. It will certainly be the culmination of my coming out process. This step will take some time......and I want someone there who is very open to all possibilities.....as I am.

9. Someone that likes adventure. I'd like to travel....I have a bucket list of things I'd like to do....and would encourage my partner to develop the same and we set about doing those things.

10. Someone that enjoys the beach....and downtime......romantic get aways to the mountains......trips to junk stores or to car shows.....or figuring out new things to do.

I am sure I could go on. But I will stop here. My standards are above average. I know that.

I am not asking for anything more than I am willing to give.

So look out!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rainy Sunday Morning

It's hot and humid, overcast and rainy here in the DC metro area this morning. I'm slowly maneuvering to get out the door to church. I awoke at 4am this morning and my mind was flooded with everything imaginable. My heart raced...and I had a hard time going back to sleep. I finally did, but was awakened by my daughter in Nashville who was having car problems.

Ah...the life of a dad is never done.

This weekend I have made some friends out in cyberspace....who have been asking me basic questions about my sexuality and the down and dirty of how I managed things while being married to a woman. I don't mind telling them bits and pieces of the story of mine....but I find afterwards that I am kind of drained -- even though those painful days are long gone.....Lovey is history.....and I am just trying to negotiate my life as an out, proud gay man.

It feels like I am in a new place these days. I'm a little more self-assured. I'm not willing to just be driven by the whims of my magic stick between my legs.

I am truly looking for something emotional....and meaningful. I'm open to experiencing a relationship with someone where the sex is a normal outgrowth of the intense feelings I have for someone -- not in order to solely get my rocks off.

But I must say....as I have alluded to many times....it is very slow going.....sometimes......especially on this wet, yucky day.

As I was laying in the darkness of the predawn hours this morning....I pretended.

I pretended that my dog was an actual living and breathing partner who was asleep next to me. I wondered how it would feel to really have a person next to me through the night. A man that would be there when I awakened. Someone that I could burrow into when I was sad or frightened by life's circumstances.

For just a few moments....it was thrilling. It was awesome.

Then the dog sneazed and yawned.....and began scratching himself.....and I was jolted to my senses.

One day it is gonna happen.

One day I'm gonna have that missing piece of me.

One day I will have my prince.

And, when I do....look out!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bitching...

Yes, I have been bitching.

You can see this in my writing.

But that should not be construed to be feeling hopeless about my lack of someone special. It is just my way of dealing with frustration at not finding him. After all, I want him NOW....and I want to get on with my life NOW..... But I am not going to settle for seconds...or leftovers.... My standards are quite high.

I know this.

Yes, there are times I get lonely.

Yes, there are times of private longing.

BUT....there are times that I am so thankful to be who I am. I have no regrets about coming out and living authentically.

I am surrounded by many, many friends.

Overall I am blessed.

But, honestly, there are times when I feel like I am going to explode from the desire to love someone.

All I can say is that it is going to be something when it does happen.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'm Doable...

Had an opportunity to spend time with a friend today. He and I spent a hunk of time catching up on various facets of our lives.

He is a good looking guy and he is eligible. He also said once that he needed to become more aggressive when it came to me. So I considered him as a distinct possibility for dating.

BUT...when I chatted with him today, he announced that he was in a committed relationship with a married man. He has been involved with him for 10 years....and he knows that it is not going to go anywhere.

Asl he chatted, he then told me that he thought I was quite attractive and quite "doable."

"Doable!"

Should I be offended or should I feel flattered?

I am "doable."

When I pressed him on this...he said that he would be happy to take me to bed. He thought we could tear up the sheets.

As I thought about this....what good is tearing up the sheets when there is nothing left after the moaning stops?

Are my standards too high?

Am I too picky?

Is there actually a man out there some place who is seeking something more like I am?

Where are you guy?

I'm "doable."

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From My Blackberry

What I would not give to have that special man in my life!

Today is a bad day on several levels. It would be so cool to have someone that I could curl up next to and spill my guts.

But, not now. Not today.

I heard from my friend Doug today. He is the man who lives south of here who is married. He is also the one who likes spending quality time with me and has told me on a number of occasions how dangerous I am to him and his marriage.

But he still calls me regularly to say how much he thinks about me. How much he cares, etc.

It really means a lot to me.

But, I just wish he were single.

Amazing!

So it proves that I can attract quality men.

Just unavailable quality men!

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A Little Romance...

I think what I need more than anything else at the moment is a little romance.

Oh, I'm not saying I need sex mind you. Just a little romance.

Maybe some old fashioned hand-holding -- a kiss or two -- a hug -- being held.
That would do so much for me right now.

But the available guys I know now are:

a) not interested;

b) too busy;

c) already taken by a female or another man;-

c) or, just not aggressive enough.


For example, I am having dinner tonight with a really nice guy. He is super nice...intelligent....a little older than me.....taller than me.....and he has even said that he needs to be more aggressive with me. So, while he may give me a quick peck on the lips....or a big hug....

It won't be romantic.

Right now I can think of 5 such men.

It is frustrating.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Day Off

My daughter has badgered me about taking a day off during the week so that we could just have some dad and daughter time.

I finally was able to clea rmy schedule, and today was that day. We did not do anything spectacular. We just played some tennis....had the dogs nails clipped.....also trimmed him ourselves.....and then curled up in the basement to watch some movies in my collection.

During the evening I received some very troubling news. One of my best friends from over 30 years ago died unexpectedly this morning. Her daughter had sent me a message on Facebook. I called her to express my condolences and I am planning to go to the wake or the funeral this weekend.

Not too sure how this is all going to work out, but we will see.

As a courtesy, my daughter called Lovey. She told her the bare basic information, and the connection went dead. After about ten minutes, Lovey phoned back and was all in tears about this death. She said that for some unknown reason, this death had affected her in a bad way. But she couldn't remember any of the details around her family...or anything else about her.

I was perplexed....but then, this is Lovey we're talking about.

Nothing she says or does surprises me anymore.

And so it goes.

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Frank's Adventure in a Funeral Home


A few months ago I was perusing the obituaries in the Washington Post.

I know....I know...but it was the only section of the newspaper I had during a very boring lunch. It was on one of those stressful days where I was hiding more than anything during my lunch hour.

As I ate my lunch I turned the page and lo and behold there I was on "that" page.

You know the one.

The one with "those" pictures.

Those pictures of the people who have passed on....who were born in say, 1927...and the picture looks like they were 22.

I digress.

As I scanned the names of those who had recently departed, my eyes fell upon a familiar name.

"Surely not," my mind thought as I read the notice for more details.

The name was right. The wife's name was right. But I didn't know his children. Then came the name of a stepson with a very unique surname.

"Yep, that's him!" I told myself.

So I decided to show up for the wake the following evening at the funeral home listed as across town -- way across town from where I live.

I left the office early that day so that I would be sure to arrive at the designated place and time. Gee, I didn't even know that there was a funeral home in that place. Sure enough, there was.

I arrived early to see a somewhat large group of people that all looked unfamiliar to me. The mortician who reminded me more of Santa in black greeted me at the door.

"These people are also here for the viewing," he said somberly, with a smile. "We're not allowing people in until the widow has had an opportunity to view the corpse," he continued. "I suppose she is stuck in traffic."

So I looked around the room and found a very discreet place to sit down to wait.

As I settled and got all comfy, a few more people came wandering in -- none of whom I knew. The mortician appeared again at my side with a candy dish.

"Would you like to have one of these?" he asked?.

"Thank you" as I reached for a mint.

"The wife of the departed is still not here," he said eyeing the assembling crowd nervously.

"I'm sure she will be here just as soon as she can," I said. The viewing was listed as 5pm, but when I looked at the clock, it was very close to 5:30.

More people arrived. This time there were faces I recognized from almost 30 years ago. Thirty years does make a big change in people.

Others just never change.

Several clergymen had now appeared. Other than for a few more gray hairs....and a sagging jowl here or there, and age lines, they were the same as I knew them in the day. One of them, who I had not had any dealing with in decades seemed to recognize me.

He approached me and I addressed him by name and told him who I was.

"Frank, Frank, Frank!" he said in a condescending tone that seemed to begin in heaven and by the third Frank, had reached hell. I knew something wonderful was about to be emitted from his mouth."

"Frank...how are YOOOU?"

But before I could answer, he continued.

"I heard you got a divorce! What happened? You and your wife used to be such fine Christian people!"

"I'm doing fi---------" but before I could finish he had already leaped five giant steps to another ministerial colleague he had not seen in a while.

Thankfully, other people arrived that I knew....who didn't know the fat, middle aged guy I had become, and they left me alone. I was happy they didn't know me. There was the formerly demon-possessed woman, the convicted child-molestor, the microbiologist, the lobbyist, and other assorted people.

Suddenly, the Santa in black returned to stand by my side.

"She's here", he said cheerfully. "There was a horrible accident on the beltway that had delayed her."

"Oh," I replied.

It was only 45 minutes past the beginning of the viewing time listed in the Washington Post.

After a few more minutes, we were all ushered into the viewing room.

The beautiful wooden box was closed.

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Loving People 2


Just a note about that post entitled Loving People. It seems that under the qualifications I have for a mate, that I forgot the one most important one: a man that I love....unconditionally......and one that loves me in return.

I kind of thought that was just an "understood" qualification....especially given the name of the post as LOVING PEOPLE.

But, I just wanted to take a moment to make that point crystal clear!

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Depression in Gay Men

I just read a statistic somewhere that said that one of the top 10 health problems among gay men is depression.

I wonder why?

Could it be because so many of us grow up inside a deep dark closet and the only tools we have developed to cope with this thanks to society and the church are isolations, repression and self-hatred?

For me, it has not been clinical depression. I think it's more situational depression...or what I would call the blues.

Before marriage, I would have periods of self-loathing....and I would want to be by myself. I wanted to hide. I felt so all alone....and unwanted. I just didn't seem to feel like I could ever fit in. Even in a crowd of people...I felt the coldness of being alone.

When I got married....all that went away. I was busy about getting my life in order -- establishing my family -- climbing the corporate ladder. Who had time for the "blues?"

But then, as I reached my 40s and beyond, it suddenly started to reappear. I started erecting walls of isolation...and would feel rather antisocial. I detested being around my wife's family. They all had such wonderful social whirls...and I felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. I felt nothing in common with them. Family gatherings were a source of tremendous stress for me.

Then the separation and the divorce happened. Honestly, I felt like I was losing my mind. The period of 2005-2007 are perhaps the closest I have come to a nervous breakdown.

My world simply fell apart.

Not only did I lose my wife -- the one person I was taught to trust beyond measure. The one I could tell my deepest and darkest secrets to -- the one who knew me warts and all -- betrayed me. All my secrets became public knowledge...
I felt naked and alone.

At that time, I also lost the man in my life that I considered to be my soulmate. He was the love of my life...but for reasons still not clear to me....he could not deal with my divorce and he was not prepared to leave his wife. (I never had wanted him to.)

As time has passed, I got up the courage and the strength to pick myself up.....dust myself off.....and then begin again, but this time as a relatively out single gay man.

And here I am...

So I suppose I have earned the right to be blue now and then. It doesn't mean I enjoy it. It doesn't mean that there is something wrong with me.

It means I am human and that I still have a few demons to work with.

Yesterday after lunch the blues hit me -- like a ton of bricks they hit...without warning. I still smart a bit from their arrival...and am working quite hard to extricate myself from the pit.

It's very slow going.

It may sound funny.....but when I have these fits of sadness....I look for the triggers. I want to be able to shore myself up so that I can rise above them.

Yesterday, the main trigger was something totally silly. At lunch, I had time to look at Facebook. I sort of have a love -- hate relationship with the social networking site.

I have now had my account for almost two years. Oddly, in that time I have amassed just under 500 friends. Not too shabby for a man that complained just a few short years ago that I had no friends.

But here I am...with almost 500...people that I really have relationships with...people that I know....people that I care about and they care for me.

So, how did the sadness occur?

Well, I had seen that my ex-brother-in-law (he's the ne that's mom recently died and I moved heave and earth for to attend her funeral last week at Arlington National Cemetery.) had joined Facebook. So, I sent a friend request with a note saying, "I really hope this finds you well. I am so sorry about your mom. Let me know if there is anything I can do."

I submitted the friend request for his review and approval.

Yesterday at lunch I found out that he had ignored it.

TOTALLY

So even though it's silly.....and even though it's just FACEBOOK....it erupted the avalanche of the blues that came cascading upon my life.

This morning, I only added to this by listening to a Wynonna Judd song, "Is It Over Yet?" It came up on the I-pod while driving into work this morning. It's about the break up of a relationship...and everytime I hear it...I go back to the day of Lovey's departure, which I was not present for thankfully, but the song brings back that time period quite effectively.

I was right there again.

Standing in my empty house remembering what had been and wondering what would be.

Alone.

Afraid.

But determined.

To live again.

So here I am at my desk, about to begin a new day. It's hot outside. It's 2010.

Time to move on....and pull myself up off the floor.

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Monday, August 09, 2010

GOSH Y'ALL!

I'm not sure what's happening with this blog right now....but readership is way, way up!

In fact, y'all set a record on Sunday. We had 63 separate visits!

Thank you for reading the ramblings of a middle-aged gay man.

Loving People

I find that I have a tremendous love for people, in general.

I love gay people in particular.

I enjoy hearing their coming out stories....and if they are partnered or have been partnered, how they met, etc.

Yesterday at lunch bunch (the group that I serve as host for from my church -- each Sunday after church, we meet at a local restaurant and share a meal together. It helps us to get to know each other.) I sat next to an elderly woman that I have admired from afar, but not really quite gotten to know. She has a lovely British accent and I knew that she had been partnered for a while, but her partner had passed away a few years ago.

Lunch was a delight. We laughed and carried on and shared a host of stories. Turns out that Dianne (that's her name), was born and raised in South Africa. She spent her formative years there and shuttled to and from England. She was a nurse and told me her coming out story...and how she met her partner -- another nurse in 1967 in England. Her partner was American...and that is how she wound up here in Northern Virginia. Her one regret is that in the process of hooking up with her partner....she had to ditch a previous partner....and ow painful that all was. As it turned out, the previous partner married and had children....but died young from cancer. But in the end...everyone was happy.

I suppose that's what the bottom line is of life....is to figure out what those things are in your life that make you happy....or complete you.....and then go for it.

In the wee hours of the morning as I lay awake on my bed, I wonder what it takes to make me happy. I have everything I could ask for materially. I guess the one thing that would make me ecstatic at the moment would be for me to win the lottery and pay off all my bills! Then, to have a special someone in my life.

This weekend I ave been asked a few times about what it is that I look for in a man. Here is what I said. I prefaced it by saying that while the list of requirements sounds like I am narcissistic, it really isn't. You see, I'm not looking for anything from anyone that I'm not prepared to give in return. So, with all that said, here is my list:

1. I want a man who will accept me for being me -- not for what he thinks I should be...or what he wants me to be. Just someone who will take me at face value...and to love me unconditionally.

2. I want to matter to someone. I don't want to be anyone's leftovers....or their afterthoughts. I don't want to be his dirty little secret...where he is afraid to let other know about "us." I want to be the first thing he thinks about when he wakes up. I want him to think about me during the day. I want him to pick up the telephone and call me during the day....or to send me email.

3. I want him to be romantic.....and yes, someone that enjoys sex -- no hangups... Someone who has an adventurous streak...an element of creativity -- a man that is not afraid to be affectionate appropriately in public....and in private.

4. I want someone who knows how to laugh....at himself....with others... and possesses an easygoing personality. Someone who can be flexible and is not whiny.

5. I want someone that is not afraid to have a lively discussion or to disagree....

6. I want someone that I can respect and to honor. Someone who has a degree of spirituality.

7. I want someone who has a love of the beach.....travel.....antiques...old cars....junk stores....photography.....world affairs....exploring new places......

8. Finally a person who is his own man...dependable....not co-dependent....warm...loving...a strong presence...and a man who loves kids.....maybe even has some of his own.....or perhaps he will come to love mine.

Perhaps I am too picky....but I dream for this guy....and can hardly wait for him to be revealed!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Another Day

It is a beautiful Sunday morning here in the DC metro area. My daughter is upstairs running around at this writing getting ready to go to her church. She has announced that she wants to go with me to mine at 11am. So I must pick her up at 10:30. My dear friend, the Associate Pastor is preaching today...and he has asked that I videotape it. I have agreed to do so. So this will be a very neat experience.

Life continues to be going well for me. I really have no complaints.

I know of a few areas where I need to improve myself....and to get over some little fears that I have.

But don't we all?

One of the things that I have worked on....and I'm really proud of is the fact that I enjoy my company. I have come to really like me as a person. I am comfortable finally in my own skin. I detest drama and pretense.

I am also enjoying alone time.

Now, if I can just get over the fear of taking long trips by myself...

For the most part, I think that if there is no man out there for me -- ever -- I think I could be happy alone with myself.

This is certainly a mouthful....and it has taken a very long time for me to reach this point.

And...to my new pal in cyberspace, Ron. Thanks for your comments of encouragement....I am learning a lot from you.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Frank's Night Out

One of my friends, who has just moved to town from out west, invited me to dinner tonight. He and I have been friends for over 5 years. We met when I joined an online support group for gay married men who are also out to their wives. At the time I joined, I was in that category...and trying to make the most of it.

As I was getting started in the group, I learned that they were having their annual conference at a hotel in Baltimore. I decided to sign up for one full day -- the Saturday of the conference. Well, that turned out to be the second day after my wife announced that we were separating and gonna be divorced.

By the time I reached that meeting, I was a total wreck. This dear friend sat to my right...and he treated me like a mother hen during that meeting. He kept asking me if I were alright. Then just being there with a hand on my shoulder and telling me that it was okay to cry....that I was in a safe place...and to just breathe.

It also helped to know that he was a physician.

His kindness spoke volumes to me that day. I've never forgotten him...and we have kept in sporadic contact since. So, we were both tickled when he found out that he was moving to the DC area.

I've gotten to spend a lot of time with him...and it has just been special.

Tonight we had dinner at one of my favorite gay hangouts..... He'd never been there...but truly enjoyed it. I then suggested we spend the rest of the evening at a gay bar that features nude male dancers shaking all their "kibbles and bits." On the lower level, they feature a full drag show.

So we spent the evening there...and had a blast.

But I have to say, not only have I literally blown the house with the picket fence ...Ward Cleaver.....nuclear family ideal totally to smithereens.....but I have also trashed what used to be my image of myself as a child of God. Picture this: Frank, the fine upstanding Christian Man....from the old days......going to a gay bar.....(drinking lots of diet coke I might add)....and a huge percentage of the male dancers waving at me cheerily and calling me by name as I entered!

"Hey Frank....How are you?"

"Aw, Frank Baby....It's so good to see you!"

One of the Bulgarian dancers (a personal favorite) saw me from all the way across the room.....and he motioned for me to come over to where he was gyrating naked on his platform. As I approached....he knelt down.....gave me a big bear hug and kissed me. He told me how great it was to see me....that he had missed me......and he was so happy I was there....and he commented on how well I looked.


One of the youngest dancers, a 21 yo, commented to my friend that he and his boyfriend, (me), sure made a striking couple! My friend, went along.....thanked him.....put his arm around me....and gave me a kiss!

I nearly died.

For the rest of the evening....his arm was draped comfortably around me. He held me close....and as we drove home, he said to me...."Frank, I want you to know just how much I enjoy spending time with you!"

I smiled and replied, "I enjoy spending this time with you too!"

However, in typical Frank fashion....(I can't just have a normal relationship with someone it seems)....he is married.....and has been for 32 years. His wife knows about him....and is supportive of him having a closed loop relationship with someone -- that is, a married man who has a physical/emotional relationship with another married man...or a single gay man......who have agreed to be monogamous solely with each other. The married man is only with the man....and his own wife.

Why must this always seem so difficult?

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Work in Progress: The Old Tapes Play On...

It never ceases to amaze me just how much incidents from our childhood can affect the rest of our lives.

I've never been into sports.....and I credit it all with some bad experiences I had in elementary school. Back then I tried my hardest to fit in....and do what was expected of me. But, back then, folks like me were the fodder of abusive jokes....and mistreatment at the hands of classmates, and yes, even the teachers themselves.

I kind of picture myself as being somewhat "geeky"....or a "sissy" at times. But really, I didn't know this...and I tried very hard to be all boy.

Sadly, at the time I felt I failed badly.

On the basketball court, I dribbled like a girl.....on the volleyball court I acted like a sissy.......in baseball....I threw it like a girl.....on and on. You gave me a sport....and I was always compared to being like a girl.

So, I shied away from sports.

Of any kind.

I associated the stale gym locker room with distaste.... I was always afraid of having a misplaced erection there when I would shower, but.....it never happened.

I was just a mess of emotions.

So, let's fast forward some 30 years later. All three of my kids are athletic. They workout....the practically live at the gym....and they love sports. My daughter who lives with me loves tennis.....volley ball.....baseball.....softball........basketball.....EVERYTHING.

This morning she asked me to ride along with her to the tennis courts near our house....while she hit some tennis balls at the wall for a while. I did ...and in the midst of her fun she says to me:

"Dad, I would so get a kick out of watching you do this!"

In my head I heard, "I would have love to make fun of you while you get your sissy butt out on the court and try to hit the ball."

I found myself evading the opportunity. I told her that I was "too old"....or that I didn't want to....or that I had no interest.....

She kept badgering me...."Won't you at least give it a try?" she asked.

Finally, with those tapes of long ago playing in my head....I attempted to use the tennis racket and have some fun.

Gosh I was rusty....and I found myself repeating those tapes to myself. I really wasn't too much of an encourager to myself. I did more to tear down my esteem. But my daughter really was upbeat and positive.

After a few minutes of hitting the ball......I starting to improve. Oh, don't worry...I'm not headed to Wimbledon anytime soon....but I found it very interesting to get out there and try.

In spite of myself...

Friday, August 06, 2010

Mental Health Day

Today I took as a mental health day from my office.

Plain and simple.

Actually, I needed the day to myself because I wanted to go to the funeral of friend at Arlington National Cemetery. She was the mother of one of my former brothers in law and I thought it would be kind of me to go.

I then went to the family reception afterwards at a swanky restaurant in Arlington VA...and spent some more time with Mom O'Lovey....(Lovey's mother).

It was super good to be with fzmily members....or former family members to be able to offer some comfort. Then tonight I hosted a bible study.

It is now over...and I am exhausted.

It's bed time.

I'll write more in the morning.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

On Being Gay and Single


Dawn is just now breaking over the metro area. I'm sitting here at my desk, enjoying the glow of my 27 inch Apple monitor....coffee at my side and I am writing to you, my dear friends in blog land.

In all of my discussions I have with my gay friends who are married, one topic constantly comes up, Not only are they mortally afraid of being found out that they are in fact, gay, but they are petrified at losing what they have. They fear the loss of material wealth and possessions they have worked a lifetime to achieve.

But, as you talk to them, the base fear of all if their concern of being alone.

It's all very real and I am fortunate to not have lost much of my world goods. I've landed squarely on my feet. I have my job...I have my house...I have my cars.....I have my kids.

BUT...

I am alone.

And to be honest, it isn't all that fun.

I don't like it. In fact, I hate it.

In my dreams I think about waking up next to a good guy every morning.....and just being able to snuggle and to hug...and to kiss....and to touch. I think about communicating with him during the day....and saying hello....having occasional lunches together.....

I long to do just the normal, mundane stuff that one does with a life companion.

But I have to say....in my life right now....it just doesn't look good.

Here's a run down of my life thus far.

There's the man in Huntington, WV. He's the wonderful guy I met while there on my last trip. I enjoyed him so very much. BUT -- he's not interested in a long term relationship. He only wants one night stands. So, he's out..

Theres the guy here who came to my church. He's former military...and he's even dated a gay porn star. He's cute...he's funny....he cooks.....and he came on to me. He fixed me dinner and we saw AVATAR together. But then....he says he is too busy for a romance right now. So he's out.

Then there is Doug. He is six years older than me. He is gentle....loving...kind..... Definitely husband material. He has feelings for me. BUT.....he's married and speaks of how dangerous I am. So he's out.

There's another man that I have a crush on. My heart flips when he's around. He enjoys spending time with me. But the communications we have are sporadic. He's very busy....and He's married. BUT..his wife encourages him to get out there and find a partner. Defnitely not getting my hopes on that one.

There's another guy that I have been "seeing".... We have dinner periodically....and we enjoy being around each other. But emotionally it feels as though the relationship is stalled.

Then, there's SEX GOD. He's a guy I've known for quite sometime. He's available....and I'm available. The sex between us is incredible. Mindblowing....toe curling......earth quaking.....bed shaking.....lovemaking. WHEW! But in this case, I have my walls up. I don't really know why...other than the fact that several years ago this man hurt me terribly. At the time, I didn't know it had affected me so bad.....but it did. We've spoken of it. And this go round, there is potential for additional hurt: for example....he demands secrecy. We can totally have an all night sex marathon.....where we are both totally exhausted.... Yet, he doesn't want his family to know about us.....or his friends to know. So I have to ask....why do I have to be such a "dirty little secret." I deserve much better. So, he's out.

There are also the countless crushes I have had. These are the hotties that I have had tremendous crushes on. They have no clue. Some of my friends have encouraged me to go after them. To lay my cards all on the table and to make myself vulnerable. But, I'm just not in the mood to make myself that vulnerable.

So, I just sit.....and ponder.....and wish....... Wish that some of these men who are "so busy" would stop being so. Or those married guys would grow some balls and bust the closet door off their hinges.....and come after me!

Or those who are having such great sex with me would be honest and say what's on their mind...... Not be so secretive.

I just wish sometimes there were some more role models out there to compare myself to. Or some sort of mile marker or gauges that would tell me what the steps in gay male dating are. Or...how to know if the other guy is truly interested in me more than a quick romp in the hay.

I think I am doomed to be the perpetual best friend.....always the bridesmaid and never the bride.

So these are the things I am thinking about on this very early Thursday morning in Washington, DC.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

More Closure

Sitting at my desk and getting ready to run to an important 9am meeting, but I feel the burning need to write.

Although I am full of nervous apprehension at what lies ahead with my parents' medical conditions: dad is doing well...but his mind appears to be going down the tubes....mother's cancer is back and the tumor and lymph node have increased in size over the last two months, I am filled with a strange calmness and sense that everything is going to be alright.

Another opportunity for closure happened yesterday. I got to spend the entire day with Mom O'Lovey. She lives just down the street from me....and I keep in close touch with her. Over the past five years, she and I have forged a very close and loving relationship. So, if she needs anything, I do my best to provide it and such was the case yesterday. She needed me to help her run a few errands and it wound up taking the entire day.

It gave me some valuable one-on-one time with her that I don't normally get. We talked about everything under the sun...including all of her duaghters....and my divorce....etc.

I shared with her that I had a conversatin with Lovey last week that brought me some closure. I also told her some of the things we discussed and how hurt I had been by some of her actions including that awful series of emails from early on last year that basically told me I was persona non grata. As I had suspected, Mom did not know any of this...and she had wondered why we had seemed so distant. In fact, it appeared that Lovey did what Lovey has always done...painted me as that awful old "good for nothing" ex-husband that made her life hell. Yesterday, the door opened for Mom to see it all from another side.

She cried and apologized to me.

The purpose of my opening up and sharing stuff with her was not a play to get her "on my side"...but it gave me a chance to clear the air and to bring yet another level of closure to my life as God continues to move in my life.

I am definitely feeling much, much better about things in general....and these pesky little items in particular.

We'll see what happens moving forward.

Monday, August 02, 2010

And Finally....Closure

It's very early on Sunday morning. I'm very thankful that I don't have to go to work in the morning. I am planning a relatively slow-paced day...and doing some chores and paying the bills.

If you have read a lot of this blog, you know that a lot of my issues have centered around my ex-wife, Lovey. I've groaned and moaned. I've felt anger....I've felt hostility....I've felt betrayal......I've felt bitterness....I've even felt a sprig of hatred towards her -- all for some very basic issues.

* Her outting of me when it wasn't necessary to her attorney at the end of the divorce process.
* Her outting me to everyone she could think of in order to make herself look good.
* Her accusations that I have turned my parents against her.
* Her using me to help her with her ordination submission and then not bothering to invite me to the festivities.
* Her greediness.
* Her downplaying of anything good that I brought to the marriage and to her.

Oh...I could list a lot more.

As this blog shows...it has been quite a journey. Lots of depressing things happening.....Lots of loneliness.....Lots of room to feel sorry for myself.

And I haven't been getting better from it. Some of this stuff has been festering for quite sometime.

I really don't feel the need to go into all the gory details. Suffice it all to say that I have expended way too much energy and time dwelling on this situation...and allowing old wounds to fester....and to ooze.... Sorry to say, when wounds like this and open and fester and ooze....they only increase the amount of pain suffered by the owner and actually serve no good purpose.

About three months ago, a dear friend of mine, who was a former lady minister, needed a place to stay....and I offered the spare room at the house I share with my daughter. While she was here, she and I got to talk a lot about the things in our lives that were holding us back for closer communion with God.

I spoke honestly and directly about Lovey and the many things that had been festering in my life....and she said, "Frank, you need to pray for grace for this individual."

"But I don't want grace for that individual."

"Frank," she said. "Pray it anyway and pray it repeatedly. Pray that God will give you the grace to let it go...and to get rid of the hatred and bitterness."

"But I don't want to let it go....I'm angry....and I'm bitter.....and it's all their fault.....and I want them to know it."

"Frank," she said again. "You really need to let God soften your heart. If you don't, you could miss the blessings waiting in store for you. You may miss out on the leading of the Spirit. Trust me, and pray for this individual every day...even when you don't feel like it."

So, that very night I began praying.

I've done so every night for the last three months.

My prayer went something like this: "God, you know how I am feeling about so and so. You know the hurt I have felt....the rejection I have experienced.....the emotional pain and suffering I have experienced. I ask right now that you will bless so and so. Please give them the grace they need to function. Bless them...and use them in your work. Help me to let my issues go. Help me to be a better believer that can be used for your service."

This week I realized how much those prayers were working. Out of the blue, Lovey called me. She was friendly.

Had she actually consented to that lobotomy I had often hoped she would have? Or had I merely forgotten the alimony check? Or had I done something wrong? Or was she calling to chew me out for something I neglected?

No...she said she was lonely in her church parsonage there in the midst of nowhere. (My daughter was out for the evening.)

We reminisced about the olden days.....I told her that I was having fun running my Facebook page.....and keeping in touch with all my friends. She paused and said, "Frank, would you like to be my friend on Facebook again?"

I paused and said, "No. Not if it is going to end like the last time. I am done with all that."

She was taken aback and I was amazed at how direct I spoke to her. No tears welled up in me as it had previously. I numbed to the pain of the separation and the divorce.

We continued our discussion.

A door opened and I marched through it. I told her that I had hoped we could forge a close friendship with all of our history. But that I seriously felt at times this was impossible....given her sudden outbursts. I finally asked...."While I have you hear...there is something I need to know. After all that we had been through as a couple, and all the stuff I did to help you realize your dream of ordination, why did you not see fit to invite me to your actual ordination? "

And this is how I addressed each issue that had been festering within me for so long--point by point....issue by issue.

She cried. I did not.

She tried to blame her attorney and everything else.

But I did not cry....I was matter of fact and probed deeper.

Finally, she almost cried UNCLE. She actually acknowledged that she was wrong and that even though the gay issue was something to be dealt with.....had she been paying attention, she would not have sought divorce. She said that she had been distracted with her studies and her quest for ordination. She was afraid of what people would think about her if they ever found out that she was married to a gay man.

She had regrets.

She wishes she had someone in her life to grow old with.

In the kindest way possible, I told her "Lovey, you had all that. I was willing to be that person. So, wherever you go or whatever you do, there is one thing I always want you to remember: yes I was as gay as a goose. It was not your fault.....it had nothing to do with you. It is how I am wired. But in spite of all that, I loved you. Oh, I may have not had sexual desire for you....but the love was very real and very deep. I dare say...that no matter who you may meet....you will never find another man that loves you more than what I did."

It felt so good to let all those feelings out....and to say them clearly.....without sobs....without tears....but in just a matter of fact way.

Finally, I can say the weight of the world has been taken off my shoulders. These thoughts needed to be expressed to the source of my pain. And I did that.

Today I feel as though God is beginning to do something in my life. I am expectant...and cannot wait to see it all fall into place.

I think I understand what a visiting preacher told me "in the spirit" last June a year ago. She said, "Frank, God wants you to know that He is creating a new life for you. He wants to give you the desires of your heart. If you knew all that was in store for you, honey, it would blow your mind! But, even though God is at work in your life to create something new....some of the old is determined to haunt your new life. This will hold you back."

I think I now understand what she meant. I am waiting and watching.

Finally, this significant chapter in my life is now closed.