I Loved It – But I’m BEAT

So I am writing this post late, after the Sunday night Icona Pop concert I attended with my Beloved and our friends, Mike and Chris. All in all, it was a GREAT time – Icona Pop kicked ASS and were worth every painful minute we waited (165 of them – minutes we waited) till they took the stage. The opening act was some “tween” DJ who was really good but I am pretty sure he has never shaved even once… The next TWO acts were variations of lame white girl rappers who frankly, in my humble opinion, both SUCKED. Plus the language – dear God, the language. I have never heard so many F-bombs set to a “boogie beat.”

Just when I was ready to call it a night, Icona Pop finally took to the stage and were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G for over an hour…

photo (49)photo (50)photo (48)The concert was really, REALLY amazing but I was reminded of a few things:

1. It is always more fun to go to a concert with friends – thanks, Chris and Mike, for joining us!

2. The headline act always appears LAST – that is why they are the headliners…

3. Standing room only venues demand comfortable shows. And cushioned socks…

4. Concerts that open with a pre-pubescent DJ will probably maybe be a little heavy on tween girls in the audience.

5. Second only to airports, a concert venue is the best place to witness people and their rude behavior.

6. Much as I hate to admit it, I am 55 – not 25 – so these late hours on a “school night” are bad news.

All-in-all, I had a fantastic time, and I think Martin loved it, too. It was our first “real” concert together so we will always have that memory; that, and the herds of 4’11” blonde girls that crowded us all night. One literally stood with her head in Martin’s armpit to watch the show. Ugh. I know, I’m supposed to shout, “I Don’t Care” – but I do…

Please. Give a guy a little space. especially when that guy that has been standing in that space since 7PM, and you “rolled in” at like 9:05PM…

“So, What ARE You Guys Now?”

This is the most recent question that has been popping up since I wed my beloved Martin on Thursday: “So, what are you guys now?” meaning what do we call each other.

Our ringsOur rings – this pic taken by my Sweetie 08/08/2013

This is a question that countless gay and lesbian couples have grappled with before us. We get married, have our love “legally documented” and suddenly, we have to “become” something. Our culture in general – gays and lesbians in particular – is hung up on labels (hence our latest designation of LGBTQIA – we have become “The Alphabet People.”)

Since our marriage, Martin and I are the same people we have always been – two guys that love and care for one another. After our marriage, suddenly we can not just be Tim and Martin anymore, society demands we become “something,” as if getting legally married has morphed us into some new, mystical creatures (Unicorns? Creatures with wings?)

After being wed, most gays and lesbians attempt to apply the general societal labels associated with heterosexual marriage. These labels typically fail – let me explain…

Husband and wife have definite gender role values (like it or not) and neither Martin nor I are really “wife” material – we are both caring and nurturing, roles I associate with the wife label but we don’t wear aprons or pearl studs. Husband sounds rugged and masculine, but sort of detached and absent – the uncaring provider role (although it does automatically suggest a penis is included, LOL!)

1950s-housewife

The traditional “lover” always makes me think of some player named Casanova that has several other “lovers” at one time. “Partner” is so vague – business partner, tennis partner, dance partner? I mean, I used to ballroom dance but never at a competitive level.

BallroomWhich brings us to “spouse…”

Spouse is defined as, “…one of a married couple.” OK. So, two people, married, no societal associations based on gender roles but, really, “spouse?” In my head it sounds like some heavy German bread – “The kraut and bratwurst are to be served with a thick slice of spouse, with coarse grain mustard.” Or maybe the annoying sound some logo animal makes during a commercial for high-risk auto insurance (think AFLACK – can you see a seal, throwing back its head on a outcropping of rocks, going “Spouse. Spouse. Spouse?”) Or finally, the worst image that comes to mind for me is that spouse sounds like a medical “inconvenience,” like a blister or a bunion – “Kelly’s bra rubbed her shoulder so badly it gave her a little spouse.” See what I mean?

The synonyms for spouse are even worse: companion (Hoke and Miss Daisy?), mate (a love match at the zoo primate house?), roommate (Oscar and Felix?), helpmate (what, do I live in assisted living now?), life partner (like some sort of medical equipment?) and finally, better half. I mean, by definition better half implies that I am the lesser half, and I am not sure if I like that too much, either…

So, the search for the perfect word to describe us continues. For now, I think the best choice is just to be us. For a long time, circumstances forced me to refer to my Beloved by the cryptic code SBF (shorthand for My Sweet Boyfriend). Now that we are married, maybe the BEST name for the two of us should just be what they really are – Tim and Martin. I kinda’ like that…

A Lovely Day Trip, and The Stuff of Nightmares

Today my Sweetie and I took a quick trip to Jamestown, NY, to get our marriage license.

New York state has marriage equality – UNLIKE Ohio! – and is the closest state where my Angel and I can get married. The one restriction, if you will, is that New York has a 24 hour waiting period – to avoid “Britney Spears” weddings, I imagine. Anyhow, we took the leisurely trip there and back in one day. We had no problem whatsoever in obtaining the license; in fact, every single person we met was SO dang welcoming and accommodating, well, it felt actually a little “Stepford-y” at times (but in a good way!). Anyhow, all in all it was a great experience and we are one step close to being Mr. and Mr. – Hooray! I cannot WAIT!!!

On our trip home, yours truly had to take an unanticipated “potty break” so we stopped at the first available exit – I think it was the last exit westbound before entering Ohio from Pennsylvania. We rolled into what looked like a deserted BP station. It had an attached restaurant that appeared to have been closed for YEARS, and it seemed like every other light was out inside the attached  mini-mart. I walked in, scanned for the restroom sign and toddled my way into the men’s room.

When I opened the door, I swear I almost fainted.

You know those zombie movies, where it’s all like post-apocalyptic and everything is dirty, broken, old and yellowed? Well, I found that movie set today…

Disclaimer: Those “weak of stomach” need to stop reading now.

In addition to the fact that the room looked like it hadn’t seen a mop or broom in DECADES, this is an actual photo of the “urinal wall.” Nope, I am not kidding:

photo (36)For any lady that has ever wondered “what a guy’s room looks like inside,” I will say this is far from typical. And, as someone that needed a urinal in working condition, well, this sight was not what I had hoped for. Thank goodness, the toilet stall was still intact/functioning but it was SO gross that I will not even share that picture. And just in case you cannot read all the notes, here is the important one:

photo (37)Yes, that is correct – the sign says “UNSAFE – Do not drink water – Not suitable for drinking!!” I have to confess, at 55 years old, this was the FIRST bathroom that ever “skeebed me out” so badly that after I left, I wanted to get home as quickly as possible and take a shower. The whole place should be condemned…

On my way out, I bought a bottle of Diet Coke – a sealed container product – because I feel no one should “Pee For Free.” But honestly, that was one scary bathroom…

Enjoying Today

I have a friend leaving for vacation in a week. She cannot WAIT for the coming week to be over and her vacation to begin. She knows vacation will be awesome.

I have two friends leaving Cleveland and moving to a large, southern city in two weeks. They keep reminiscing/thinking about their lives here, wondering if they have made the right decision about the move, remembering all the great times they have had here in the past.

My beloved and I keep watching the mailbox, waiting for a document to arrive that will set in motion an entire chain of events that will (finally) make our lives secure and stable – but it will take weeks, probably months, before everything is totally settled. Until that happens, well, we just keep thinking about the future.

Three very different stories/situations, yet all have one thing in common: each person mentioned is not “present,” not living in and enjoying THIS moment.

This pic pretty much sums up what I am (finally) coming to understand:

todayI am as guilty as anyone of “wishing my life away,” of thinking some point in the past was better or thinking that the future will be brighter. Maybe they were/will be, but the reality is this: I am here. Now. In this moment, and this day.

I am not suggesting that we all erase our memories or stop dreaming/hoping/working towards a better future – no, what I am suggesting, and what I am challenging myself to do, is to learn to savor and enjoy each day as it happens. I will – hopefully – no longer “discard” any day, simply because I was grocery shopping or running errands or filling out forms – whatever. I am coming to understand that each day is unique and special, just like snowflakes (cheesy analogy, I know, but apt). I have to stop discounting my normal “everyday’s” and begin enjoying them for what they are – beautiful, singular days of experiences that can never be enjoyed again.

snowflakesFor example, I am writing this post on a quiet, peaceful Sunday afternoon. My beloved is talking with his family via computer, and I can hear them laughing and chatting in the next room. Previously, I would have labeled today as a big zero day but not anymore. My Angel is enjoying family time, I am enjoying some private writing time (in addition to this post, I also completed three snail mail cards to be mailed tomorrow) and the day is cool and sunny. To be honest, the day is turning out to be completely different than originally planned; we were supposed to go to the beach, and/or to a concert with friends tonight. Those activities are not going to happen. In fact, nothing monumental is happening and that is OK. The day is turning out to really great anyway. I am enjoying a peaceful day with the guy I love and that is really much MORE than just OK.

I hope everyone can come to see the beauty in “nothing days,” just as I am coming to see it. I know you will be happy when you do… Promise!

Now It’s All But Over…

I seem to spend my days in a fog sometimes… Distracted by work, my family, the weather and just my general lack of focus, major events sometimes escape my knowledge. Oh, sure, I knew about the “royal birth” yesterday, and all its many joyous details but today I COMPLETELY missed a major event. Apparently, today is National Hot Dog Day 2013. And I all but missed it.

Hot dog with mustardI’m not exactly sure WHY today is National Hot Dog Day 2013, nor would I have even known about it, were it not for Facebook (Facebook – America’s News Source). So here it is now, after 9PM on a “major holiday,” and I haven’t celebrated the day yet…

I’m not even sure HOW to – I guess you are supposed to eat hot dogs, right?

Instead, after work I ate a delicious Caesar Salad with tuna, prepared for me by my Beloved, and later tonight before bed I will have a generous slice of the kick-ass berry custard layer cake he also made. From scratch. It.Is.Delicious. (I snuck a taste!)

Sorry, “weiners.” Maybe next year will be my big “All-Beef Frank” Celebration.

Close Your Eyes…

Today was my first real day off after a V-E-R-Y long and busy week last week, and I anticipate having a similar week this week again (it’s all good though!) To be honest, I was also off yesterday but my beloved and I did a whole round of errands – grocery shopping and the like – so we could have today completely free to spend all day together at the beach…

Guess what? It was gloomy and rainy all day today. Bullocks!

Anyway, as our alternative plan, we saw a matinee movie (“The Conjuring” – FANTASTIC!), stopped at our favorite European market to pick up some delicious Polish mayonnaise (there is NOTHING like it) and did a bit of off-price shopping. We had a very full, very fun day together, doing nothing spectacular but having a great time anyway; I guess that’s what it feels like when you have finally found “The One.”

So, after parking the car in the garage, I closed my eyes for a minute before heading upstairs, just to catch up and relish/remember the day before going on up to our apartment. As I closed my eyes, I remembered this little quote:

Kiss Laugh and LoveIt made me smile to realize that there I was, sitting in our parking garage with my eyes closed, smiling. I have always loved the quote above and I am happy to share it with you all today.

I love my partner very much. We had an awesome day today together; I hope your day was awesome, too. And the next time you close your eyes, I hope it is for one of the reasons listed above…

Sorry – Today I Am “Beached Out”

… I mean bushed, LOL!

My beloved and I had a BIG day today. We:

Stopped at the Dillard’s Outlet for a quick visit. I got new shorts; he got some new swim trunks, Then,

We drove out to Perry, Ohio to a fruit farm/orchard owned by an old friend from my days at The Ohio Design Centre. In the shadow of the nuclear power plant, we got a walking tour of the orchards – they were magnificent! And we bought some sour cherries – my beloved is gonna’ make some sour cherry cordial, a delicious alcohol-based beverage. Yummy. Then,

We spent a couple of hours at our favorite summer place, Mentor Headlands State Park:

Headlands State Park

State park SignThe water was really rough today – and cold! – due in part, I’m sure, to the excessive rain we have experienced lately but we love it there. After baking in the sun for ninety minutes or so, we took off for our favorite “trifecta” of off-price shopping:

Big Lots

Gabriel Bros

 

Ollie's

 

Only in Mentor can you find all three of these discount giants in ONE strip mall. It is definitely one-stop shopping. And, finally – after all THAT – we ran thru Marc’s to grab a few grocery “things…”

I am beat. I had fun. I love my Sweetie but, man oh man, that guy can S-H-O-P, LOL! I’ll write something more “profound” tomorrow. Promise. ‘Night, y’all…