A Dream Redefined

As a young gay boy growing up in the middle of nowhere (Shelby, Ohio), I always had a vision of what my “grown-up” life would be: I’d have a fabulous job, have fabulous friends, live in a fabulous city, wear fabulous clothes, take the train to work (I’d be too fabulous to drive) and – well, I think you get the picture. An experience-hungry gay teen in a town of, like, 8000 people (most of them my cousins), dreaming of a fantasy life in a major metropolitan area. I always thought my life would look like this:

Commuters on a TrainYeah, that handsome guy on the left would have been me (like I EVER looked like that), taking the train into “the city” to my job (no doubt in advertising or public relations), stealing a peek at the uptight lady-in-a-power-suit’s New York Times. These didn’t even exist when I was fifteen but I am SO sure I would have had a kale smoothie – with an energy boost – for breakfast, I would have “worked out” at lunch (maybe racquetball for 45 minutes?) and then I would have taken the train home to my handsome “boyfriend” in the tony suburb we lived in outside the city – I’m thinking it would have been like a 40 minute commute, each way. Once home, I would have popped some great-but-not-overly-pretentious wine and my love and I would have watched the shows we taped on the VCR the night before. Bliss.

Fast forward thirty years into reality…

I do have a job I enjoy – two jobs, really – but to be honest, I am making about the same dough I made when I was twenty-five. Instead of a smartly-cut suit, I wear a logo’d polo shirt and khakis to work every day, and my sleek attache case has been replaced with my brown bag lunch. I did make it to a “big city” – well, actually, I live in Cleveland, Ohio, the 45th largest city in America. I love smoothies, but the kind made with peanut butter, honey and bananas. Exercise? YUK! And I do not live with my boyfriend – I actually live with my legally-married HUSBAND (although we prefer the term spouse) and my commute from work is a seventeen minute bus ride to a mildly tony suburb of Cleveland. There is no wine; I quit drinking more than a decade ago. And the VHS has been replaced by On Demand/a VCR.rtabus

Is my life what I imagined/hoped it would be? No – it’s even better!

I have a man that completes me in every way, after a lifetime of false-starts and failed relationships. Today I left my job at one of our city’s most-revered public institutions, walked past our world-class art museum as well as the permanent home of our world famous orchestra, thru the campus of a prestigious private college and waited at the bus stop outside the campus cathedral. While I didn’t get to “steal” a Wall Street Journal or Times read, I sat next to a lovely lady that was chatty, obviously an immigrant and just super delightful and polite. No one did any break dancing on the bus, and no one gave me a card that said s/he was (insert disability here) and selling these cards to make a living. I stepped on the bus at 5:38P; at 6:05P, I was in my PJ’s, missing my Beloved (he works tonight 5-10P). I called a couple of friends and then made a cup of instant coffee with “fancy” flavored creamer. I am now waiting for my Beloved to get home from work. It’s been a great day.

Dreams are great but seldom turn out to be all we imagined them to be. If, like me, you get lucky – your life will be even better than you imagined! I had a rough draft for my life in my head, one which I thought was perfection. The reality is, my life is honestly more perfect now than I could have ever dreamed.

Would I like to “hit” The Powerball for $160 million dollars? You bet but, all in all, I am pretty blessed. Thanks, Universe! I appreciate it!

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Father’s Day 2014

Today is Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to all the “Dads” out there, but especially mine. Happy Father’s Day, Pop-pop!

dadThe past year hasn’t been your easiest, but you have pulled through and I am proud of you – proud of your resilience, proud of your “bull-headedness” (in a good way) and proud of your honesty, openness and loving spirit. I have lots of great memories of you as my Dad, and I am looking forward to making many, many more. I’m sorry Mom (Bee-Boo) isn’t here to celebrate with us today, but I know she is watching over us, and you. I can feel her love every day, especially today.

As we look ahead to Father’s Day next year, my wish for you is a life that is more carefree, with less health worries and concerns and just more time to do whatever you want to do. You deserve that. I love you more than you could ever know, and am proud you are my Dad.

The tables have turned a bit over the past few years, and the past year in particular – now, instead of always worrying about me, now I am always worrying about you. But that’s OK. I’m happy to do it. My beloved MSW and I, along with my sibs and their spouses, love you like crazy and will take care of you until you get mad and tell us to go away. And then we will STILL take care of you, so get used to/over it. And try to enjoy the coddling…

old handsSo Pop-pop? Settle in and get ready. Whatever the next few weeks, months or years hold, I am in it with you. We will laugh next Father’s Day in your backyard, as we are grilling burgers and sipping some suds. Promise. Happy Father’s Day, Pop-pop. We love you – Tim and Martin

Perfect Tuesday

perfect dayToday is the last day of what was, essentially, a five-day holiday from work. My business partner and I have worked out our schedules so we have alternating weekends off and he was generous enough to also let me take today off, too. So, between a day spent outside the studio last Friday, a three-day holiday weekend and today’s “bonus” day, I feel rested and recharged.

I spent the entire day with my beloved MSW – we kinda’ “unofficially” decided to have a technology-free day, so cell phones and email were ignored all day (I am cheating a bit by writing this blog entry, LOL!) We did everything and nothing – saw the new X-Men movie (KICK-ASS, BTW!), did some modest shopping, shared a sub from Subway, came home and took a short nap and then watched some TV. He just brought me a freshly-made fruit smoothie (made with soy milk – gosh, he is so healthy) and I am sitting here, blogging away.

Sometimes the most perfect days are the simplest – we did nothing “extraordinary” today (although we did manage to spend less than $50 at the grocery, LOL). I spent a rejuvenating day with the guy I love, saw a movie and did some mundane shopping. And the day was fantastic! I would encourage each of you to have a “nothing day” as soon as possible. You will be glad you did. And if – like me – you are lucky enough to have someone to share all that “nothing” with, you are truly blessed.perfect day text

A Lovely Day

I have to admit – I like the word “lovely.” Number One, it feels decidedly “Brit” to me, as in a lovely spot of tea, or a lovely morning. So that makes it cool already. And Number Two, it is such a weird, archaic word in America that only gays and old ladies use it – for example, “My grandson sent me some lovely posies for my birthday,” orThose Hugo Boss sunglasses? Lovely.” Anyway, I had a lovely day today…lovelyI took today off from technology completely – well, for about twelve hours, LOL! – and spent the entire day with my beloved Martin. We visited Pop-pop (my father), brought him some Thai baked goods from Cleveland, brought in some Chinese takeout for dinner, ran a couple errands for him and just visited. It was lovely spending the day with the two men I love most in the world. Martin and I also placed flowers on my mother’s grave today, in anticipation of Mother’s Day tomorrow. Rather than some trite wreath of polyester flowers framing a “MOM” ribbon, Martin insisted we get a pot of living geraniums in the most beautiful maroon color – they were awesome. (Thanks, Sweetie!) I know Pop-pop was pleased, and I am pretty sure BeeBoo (my Mom) is pleased as well.

Geranium-Calliope-Burgundy

My high school AP English teacher, Ms. Arrington, always forbade use to use the word “nice” (too over-used and over-worked, she insisted) but honestly? I had a super nice day – no work BS, it was great being with my Pop-pop (he loves Martin almost as much as I do), I felt good that we were able to remember and honor BeeBoo (my Mom) for Mother’s Day and, all in all, it was a pretty kick-ass, lovely day…

I guess the thing that made really today a lovely day was that, at the core of the word lovely is LOVE – which is what I felt all day long today. Thanks, Universe – I needed that!

Here It Comes!!!

Today is the last day of November. Sigh. Goodbye Fall. You know what’s next, right? That’s right – Christmas. This is the general feeling of anticipation at my house today…

Waiting-for-Santa-ClausMy Sweetie loves – and I mean LOVES, L-O-V-E-S – Christmas. I do too, actually, but not to the extent he does. It is actually one of the reasons I love him so much – he is totally invested in holidays, and makes every one special for me/us. Plus – the good news about marrying someone from another culture? You get to celebrate the holidays observed by BOTH. So, while I have always enjoyed Christmas, now I also get to enjoy St. Nikolai Day, too. St. Nikolai Day on 06 December is observed with a small gift and delicious cookies:

cookiesCookies? A gift? Then Christmas two and half weeks later? How could it get any better?!?

I’m a lucky guy in so many ways – I have a great spouse, a loving family and friends, a job I enjoy (I guess I could be richer and thinner, but…) and my health is pretty sound. So, going into Christmas, I really don’t have “much on my list.” I pretty much have everything I need/want already. Like I said, I am a lucky guy!

When Did THAT Happen?

I constantly have to remind myself that time is always in motion – minutes turn into hours, hours turn into days, days to weeks and so on… It is easy to forget how time keeps turning – then I have weird “OMG” moments like I had today at work…

On Monday, 17 June 2013, I sent my SBF (Sweet Boyfriend) Martin the pic below. It was my way to share with him my “hard work” in getting the planter watered outside our store. We had planted it together a few days earlier and I wanted to let him know it was still green and alive and well. I was pleased.

Planter Pic early summerIt’s not like its any sort of exotic planting, or any crazy, lush “moment” but Martin helped me plant it and we had fun doing it together. I thought it looked great – and hoped that maybe it would grow over the summer and “fill in” a little bit.

Fast forward a little over twelve weeks – this is how that same planter looks today, Saturday, 21 September 2013 –

Planter pic early Fall 13I know, right? The planter is now like this insanely overgrown “forest” – and as I looked at it, I thought to myself, “When did THAT happen? I have to take a pic and send it to my Sweet Boyfriend. It will make him smile.”

Then I thought to myself again, “And when did THAT happen? Martin is no longer my SBF, he’s now my legally-married husband/spouse/partner.” And that thought made ME smile.

I think we all too often forget that every day is a singular, beautiful moment in our lives – moments that usually just get “lumped together” to make a week, or a month. We look forward to “special days” when we should realize that every day is special. And we – me! – sometimes forget to be thankful for every day we are/I am given, to celebrate even the smallest joys and to never, ever take any day for granted.

Seeing those flowers today – really seeing them, and how big they had gotten – made me realize that maybe I have just glossed over quite a few days these past few weeks.

I am gonna’ have to start paying closer attention – I’d hate to miss something awesome…

Turn That Frown Upside Down, Mister

Lately my life has been a wee bit stressful. I totally get it – EVERYONE’s life is stressful but, selfishly, I am concerned mostly with my own. Suffice it to say that everyone’s life is composed of many moving parts; when they all coordinate and come together, well, that is magical. When they don’t, well, you have my life at the moment…

It will all work out. The Universe always takes care of me. Always. That said, it does tend to test me. Often. Actually, a lot more often than I would like. So today, I have decided to post a few random things that would make me smile. I hope they make you smile, too…

I like flowers. Gerbera daisies are one of my FAVORITE flowers. Maybe I will buy a bouquet for me and My Sweetie tomorrow…

Gerbera Daisy BouquetI am OFF work tomorrow. Maybe we will go to a matinee. Martin and I used to see 2-3 movies every week; now we haven’t gone to the theater in weeks…

CinemarkMaybe we should just get all dolled up and have a “Movie Date” on Friday. We could see a movie or two and grab a late lunch.

Two guysAfter the movie and lunch, we could indulge in something sweet. Weight Watchers be damned – I want something sweet, sticky and chocolaty, like these ‘smores cupcakes. Yum.

cupcakesGood golly, I DO love a great “baked good.” Finally, Halloween is coming. Martin and I have yet to assemble our costumes so maybe we need to get that process in motion – plus, Halloween is Martin’s FAVORITE holiday, so just seeing him get all excited makes me all excited, too…

HalloweenSo yeah, all these activities will make me smile and lift my spirits. And you know what the single, unifying thread is among all these things/activities? My amazing partner. Sigh… Maybe THAT’S the answer. I just need some one-on-one time with my Sweetie…