Whenever you hear or speak about the state of New Jersey, there is usually a negative comment that follows it. It’s rare that you ever hear of, “Jersey Pride.” Unless, of course, you are from there and then you must defend the state that you are from. Like all places in the world, there are beautiful and majestic parts and then there are parts you are best to avoid. New Jersey isn’t any different than any part of this world. However, for this New York City Boy, it’s a rare occasion that allows himself to leave the city and venture off to different pastures. So, here is my journey to a land that we all like to call…New Jersey.
I was forced to take two weeks off from the blog due to a rather stressful and intense experience with identity theft. The person that took my identity, not only sabotaged me from a financial stand point but also managed to hack into my email account and also delete my Facebook. It was violation at its finest. I couldn’t write because not only was my time consumed by getting my life back together but also everything about the blog was connected to all this social media that we’ve all come to love and hate all at the same time. However, through all of this emotional and mental experience that I was enduring; I was still managing my time to allow to see the guy from New Jersey…Jersey City to be exact. In fact, it’s been decided that for this blog, his name will be; J.C.
J.C. and I had been on a rather smooth and calm road since we had met a little over a month ago. I was allowing myself to let go and not over analyze every little thing and just allow the chips fall where they may. He also helped calm me when the days of dealing with my identity theft were getting to me. In fact, between him and my friends the support was appreciated and overwhelming.
Never one to simply sit back and relax. I also thought that it would be a great idea to hire someone to paint my entire apartment while I was in the midst of all this identity drama. As of now, I can say that wasn’t my best decision at all. When they say, “You get what you pay for.” There is a huge reason that saying exists and it’s because this painter was recommended because he was so cheap. He began painting my apartment last Wednesday bright and early at 8 a.m. on a very hot and humid day. He kept me updated throughout the day on his progress, which I appreciated. However, my appreciation changed to annoyance when at 9 p.m. he was still painting and he wasn’t going to be finishing that evening. He told me that he would finish the next day a.k.a. the day before the Fourth of July. True to form, that Thursday, thirty minutes before he was to show up; he called to cancel. I expressed how pissed off I was and he was rather taken aback by my attitude and apologized profusely with him informing me that he would be at my apartment on Friday at 6 p.m. to finish the job. I really thought that was going to be the last of my drama for the week.
Last Thursday, the day before the Fourth of July, I was to be heading to J.C. to spend the weekend with him. It was discussed earlier in the week that we’d be spending the weekend together since he didn’t have to work and that we’d be hitting the beach in the Jersey Shore. After an early dismissal from work and waiting for the painters to arrive that afternoon; I had a few drinks with coworkers. The text messages between J.C. and I began and they all were surrounding the topic of when I’d be coming over to see him. As each hour went by of me having to change the time based on the painter also changing the time on me; everyone began to get short with each. Me with the painter, J.C. with me and me with J.C. It also didn’t help matters that the weather was extremely hot, humid and there was a severe storm on its way. Finally, I told the painter to arrive on Friday at 6 p.m. with no excuses. I really needed to get my ass to Jersey City or the entire weekend would be set with a negative tone.
I showered, packed for the weekend and made a rather horrible commute to J.C. and between the sticky weather, lugging around my luggage, the crowds on the trains and knowing that any minute it was going to rain heavily; I was in no mood to do anything with anyone. The minute I finally got on the path train that would lead me to J.C., my eyes began to tear up. I was frustrated with everything and everyone and ever since this identity theft has happened; I haven’t allowed myself to get upset and of course, of all times for it to happen is when I’m on the path train to see him. I needed to pull myself together in order for J.C. not to see me in the state that I was in. I needed to appear happy, chipper and excited but I simply couldn’t pull it together fast enough. By the time I arrived at the Journal Square stop, I was pissed, angry and an emotional wreck.
I exited the station and when I got to the top of the stairs, you couldn’t see two feet in front of you because of the down pour of rain that was happening. I hadn’t seen rain like that in a long time. I got a call from J.C. and it was his friend on the phone instead of him asking me what stop I got off on. I told him which stop and J.C. failed to tell me to get off on a different stop. Now, I’m really aggravated. Standing under a Duane Reade sign trying not to get wet with my luggage waiting for him and his friend (which I had no idea was joining us and I had never met before) and my patience running down to zero. When he finally arrived, he was a gentleman and walked out of his car with a huge umbrella, grabbed my luggage and I should’ve kissed him hello but I was too pissed at the lack of communication and the curve ball of me having to “turn it on” to meet his friend for the first time.
In short…my attitude for the first hour down right sucked. I was wet, tired and just wanted to spend time with J.C. Once the rain began to calm down, we finally found a place to eat for everyone was hungry and nothing like food and booze to defuse the situation. I decided in order to not make a bad first impression that I needed to befriend the best friend. We talked, we drank and everyone was so tired that we finished our meal and dropped the friend off at his apartment. J.C. and I went to bed that night and neither one of us were in the mood to be intimate.
Friday morning, we woke up and the weather still wasn’t exactly perfect. The rain didn’t want to go away and we had no real set plan on what to do that day. Seeing that I was in New Jersey what a better way to take advantage of shopping than going to a mall. The best friend really didn’t have any plans either and therefore, we got him to join us for some light shopping in the Newport Mall. As we shopped, things with me and my attitude still weren’t exactly perfect. I was disappointed that J.C. and I weren’t getting to have any quality time together and then another bomb was dropped on me. Probably the biggest bomb that I’ve experienced in the dating world in a long time…
As we shopped around, I could tell that the best friends, of course, had their own lingo and I was left to either participate or not. So, I switched the subject to the beach and how the agenda was going to go for the next day. That is when the bomb was dropped. Apparently, the plan was (without my knowledge at all) that the best friend had a friend on the Jersey Shore that had private access to a beach and that we’d be going there. On top of that, J.C., the best friend and I would be stopping over to stay the night at J.C.’s parent’s house!!! I’ve NEVER met anyone’s parents before, J.C. and I haven’t even talked about what WE are and when I heard the news, my face went white. Once again, I was thrown a curve ball and didn’t know how to catch it. I wasn’t prepared mentally or emotionally to meet anyone’s parents. J.C. simply said, “I’ll say you are my friend.” My attitude changed once again for I was now needing to come to terms with what was going to happen the next day and I was meeting more friends and this wasn’t at all what I was expecting. There was no quality time with J.C., I’m meeting all of these friends and now the parents. He simply didn’t get any of my reactions and couldn’t grasp why I was reacting the way that I was.
Later on that day, we drove to Bayonne to eat at this restaurant and went back to the Grove area of Jersey get ready for the fireworks. We were seeing the fireworks on the rooftop of the best friend’s apartment. I wasn’t sure what anyone expected of me but I wasn’t exactly being myself. I was one big roller coaster of emotions, one minute I was happy and the next I was standing out like a person with three heads. Everyone was exhausted after the fireworks and we had an early wake-up call to the beach the next morning. Once again, by the time J.C. and I got back to his apartment that night, neither one of us were in the mood to be intimate. I went to bed that night with the biggest pit in my stomach. I felt like if I didn’t change my attitude that everything was going to end between us.
Bright and early on Saturday morning and the first thing that J.C. said to me was, “Do you even want to go to the beach? For you’ve given off the impression that you don’t.” I knew that my attitude had gone too far and this was the breaking point. I said, “Yes. Of course I want to go.” We packed our beach bags, picked up the best friend and off to Tom’s River we went. The drive was better, I was doing my best to put on a show that I didn’t care about meeting the parents, that I didn’t care that I was meeting more strangers and that I didn’t care that I’ve had zero time with J.C. to get to know him better. When we final drove up to J.C. parents house, I knew there was no turning back. I was being introduced as “the friend” and I was perfectly alright with that.
It was suburbia at its best. Tree lined streets, cars parked in drive ways and the silence of nature. J.C.’s parents were amazing, kind and made me feel at home. There was never an awkward moment, it gave me a glimpse into J.C.’s childhood and I did my best to not make it seem like we were dating. We didn’t stay too long for we needed to then drive to J.C.’s best friend’s beach house and by the time that happened I really needed a drink the size of the Atlantic Ocean.
We get to the Jersey Shore and it was cute, quaint and nothing like any of my Fire Island experiences. The friends were lovely, I could tell that moments throughout the day that J.C. was still not letting go of my attitude from the past 48 hours. He was cordial to me but not loving like he normally has been. Yet, we made the most of it. I went on my own and got to know these new people and enjoyed the weather. We all left the beach around five, in order to get back to his parent’s house to have dinner. His mother was so kind to me by buying chicken breast since I don’t eat meat on the bone. The dinner was special and it made me miss my own family. After the parents went to bed, we all decided we needed to get some rest ourselves. J.C. and I slept in his childhood bedroom and the best friend slept in the guest room.
We were up early the next morning and back on the road to Jersey City in order to drop J.C. off for work. I wasn’t sure if he wanted me to stay another day or have me go home since things were all over the place between us. He told me, “You can stay or not. I leave that up to you.” Not necessarily a warm invitation but it wasn’t cold either and so I opted to stay while he worked for a few hours. While he was at work, the best friend asked if I wanted to hang-out with him. I thought that was sweet of him to offer and I took him up on his offer. It was a nice day that was filled with conversation and getting to know the best friend. He confessed to me over lunch that he felt bad that he was along for the entire weekend and that he knew that J.C. and I didn’t have enough quality time together.
By the time J.C. got off of work, we all realized that we were exhausted. It was now just J.C. and I on his couch with him eating ice cream and I cuddled up against him. Things were FINALLY back on track and I was starting to feel o.k. with things. This morning when he dropped me off on the path train that would take me back to my city, he kissed me goodbye and said, “I hope you have a better week this week.” It was exactly what I needed to hear.
In the dating world, it’s so easy to provide a list of things we want and don’t want from a potential partner. The list can range from the practical to the outrageous. We also know that as we get older, the list changes, compromises happen and you find yourself traveling to different lands. Will I ever become a Jersey Boy? Who knows? What I do know is that New York City will always by my home, my family, my blood, sweat and tears but with one swipe of a metro card I can find myself heading to different lands and sometimes that land can be a place we like to call…New Jersey.
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