"Update" NYC

What’s My Age Again?

“It’s not how you look, it’s how you feel!”, “Age before beauty.”, “With age comes wisdom.” I think it’s safe that for those getting older that we’ve heard or read these quotes time and time again. These quotes exist because it’s to help those who are struggling with their ages. Or in some cases, it’s to tell the world to fuck off because you have walked the walk and no longer care what society says about getting older.

I haven’t written in several weeks not because I didn’t have anything to write about but rather because I’ve been allowing myself to go down the rabbit hole of feeling blue due to my birthday that is looming. I was doing, what most do and that is cataloging all of things in my life that hasn’t happened or that I haven’t achieved all before I turn forty next year. Usually, I love my birthday but this year, I’ve been having a rather hard time processing it all. However, last week a certain event occurred that had me feeling a little bit better about my situation.

Last week started off like any other week for most…having a case of the Monday blues. I didn’t want to get out of bed and I certainly didn’t want to go to work. When I arrived to work, it seems like everyone had the same sentiment that I did. Every coworker was in a bad mood and I just chalked it up to the fact that Mercury Retrograde had just begun and that it was going to be a bumpy ride for the next couple of weeks. I finished work that day and skipped the gym and went straight home and locked the door. I wasn’t sure how the rest of the week was going to turn out but I wasn’t liking the way it had started.

The next day already appeared to be getting better because I was having dinner at DOMODOMO, this delicious sushi place on West Houston with a friend of mine that I don’t get to see very often. After a great conversation, delish food and a bottle of wine, I was starting to feel like myself again. Especially since my friend could relate to the feelings I was having about my birthday. We parted ways and I wanted to feel like a kid again, so when I got off the subway at my stop, I spotted a Mr. Softy Ice Cream truck and properly ordered a vanilla ice cream cone and walked back to my apartment with glee.

By the time, Thursday rolled around, I was in excellent spirits. Work had gotten better, the weather was amazing and after the gym that day, I was filled with so much energy that I decided to go to my local bar around the corner from my apartment, RISE and have myself a drink. As I was standing at the bar, I did notice a handsome older man doing the “look back and back again” toward me. I smiled at him and he smiled back and once he did that I knew I had to be the one to introduce myself because he appeared on the shy side. Before I did that, I needed a shot of confidence otherwise known as tequila. I thought he wasn’t looking when I did the shot but turns out he did because when I said hello he said, “What was that shot for?” I was busted but I was honest with him and told him that I needed it in order to talk to him.

The first thing I noticed about him was his piercing blue eyes and his thick Bronx accent. He introduced himself and said that I was very cute. I thanked him but also said that the word “cute” is for describing puppies, babies and people under the age of twenty-five. He laughed and assumed I was in my twenties. When I told him my age he said that I looked good and when I asked him his age, I was a little bit taken aback. He said, “Well, I just turned fifty-six.” I did my best to not show a reaction because I assumed he was in his late forties and my mother is only a year older than he is. Granted, my mother was very young when she had me but I was still taken aback by his response and I was also a little bummed with myself for judging someone so quickly just because of the age difference.

As we continued to talk, I discovered several things about him that I was both fascinated by and a few things that I need to watch out for. He is a retired cop, he has been divorced from his wife for almost two years. He has three children and one of his children literally lives two buildings down from my apartment. He told me that he helped her move in recently and that his daughter and I have the same building management. He thanked me for being so comfortable with his story and did confess that he is still new to this lifestyle. As soon as he told me that, I knew that this man needed to go out and explore what it’s like living the life as a gay man. The positive side to all of this is that his children know and accept him.

The evening continued on and before I knew it, it was almost eleven and I needed to work the next day. He walked me outside and asked to see me again and I told him that I would like that. That is when we started talking about our crazy schedules and I told him that I can do this past Sunday evening and he said he’d let me know the next day. Before we parted ways, he said, “What do you find sexy in a man?” I told him that I find manners incredibly sexy, someone tall and a guy that can pull off a baseball cap. He smiled and I walked to my apartment. As I got inside and began to wash my face, I realized that it was exactly eight months to the day since Mr. D. and I had any form of communication and while I admit to missing him from time to time, I was certainly over the heartache.
When I woke up on Friday, the city was extremely humid and it was rather unpleasant to be out and about. I got out of work early, went to my spin class and I got ready to go over to my friend’s apartment on the east side to have a nice relaxing air conditioned evening. On my way to my friend’s apartment, I got a text message from the guy I met on Thursday evening saying that he’d like to see me Sunday evening for dinner. I told him that it would be very nice to see him and look forward to Sunday. I spent the rest of the evening catching up with friends and having a nice time.

Saturday, I woke up slightly hungover but I needed to push through and so I went for a run to sweat out the alcohol and the rest of the day was spent cleaning the apartment before I needed to get ready for something that I wasn’t sure I should even be doing. My ex-boyfriend that I used to live with, contacted me a few weeks ago, asking me if he could cook for me in honor of my birthday. At the time that he asked me, I was feeling rather vulnerable and I agreed. He lives in Astoria and he had sent me a text later in the day saying the trains were not running and that I would need to take an Uber. I responded back with, “This is what happens when people live on the countryside.” When I arrived, he was already preparing this meal he had planned. He was making clams, vegetables and tenderloin pork. In all the years that I’ve known him, he has never once cooked so I was impressed by all his efforts. He has an enormous patio and we sat outside, drank and talked but no matter all that he was doing, I didn’t look at him the same way. I was no longer that person and I was proud of myself for not letting myself get caught up in the moment. As the evening wore on, he got drunk and I held my own and it was as if I had been sent back ten years ago when we were living together. I took care of him and I was left alone to figure things out. It was late by the time dinner and drinks were done, so I did end up staying the night but I literally slept in the clothes that I arrived in. Yesterday morning, bright and early, I was heading back to my apartment and telling myself that might be the last time I ever see him again. There was a part of me that was proud of myself for growing up and starting to act my age.
When I got home yesterday morning, the first thing I did was wash my face, brush my teeth and shake off the previous evening. I took another spin class, came home and get ready to meet my friend for brunch at El Centro. We sat outside and it was perfect weather for margaritas and catching up. After brunch, we jumped in a cab and headed to the Christopher Street pier to layout in the sun. We only lasted for about thirty or forty minutes before we went to the Rusty Knot for a few more drinks before I had to excuse myself to head back home so I could get ready for my date.

I arrived at the bar at seven-thirty and he was already waiting for me. He looked just as handsome and he was very happy to see me. He asked if I wanted to sit down and we sat at a table and updated each other on our weekends. Part of me knew just by the look on his face that he was having a good time but the other side of me also knew that he really wants to see all that his new life has to offer. He deserves that because from the way he talks about his children, his respect for everyone around him…he is a good guy. He talked with great passion about how he grew up, his amazing childhood and the pride he has about being Irish. I was captivated by his words and his charm. He constantly paid me compliments and while there were men all around us, he stayed focused on me. When we finished our drinks, it was time for us to head to dinner. When we got up from our chairs, he reached in his backside and pulled out a baseball cap and put it on, smiled and said, “I remember you saying you like guys in baseball caps.” His baseball cap said something about being Irish with a shamrock on it. It was adorable and when started walking down Ninth Avenue he grabbed my hand and said, “Do you mind if I do this? It feels so good to be able to hold a man’s hand.” Normally on a first date, I don’t feel so comfortable doing this but with his smile, eyes and that baseball cap; I’d be a monster to tell him no. So, I grabbed his hand and it felt rather natural…for both of us.

We got to the restaurant, ordered a drink and waited for our table. As we were waiting for our table, he was so attentive, funny and made fun of me for not owning any pots or pans. When the hostess at the restaurant told me that our table was ready, he got up first and then I got up but when I looked up at him; he hugged me and kissed my forehead and then we walked to our table. As we sat down he said, “I have to say that I like your face but it was also nice looking at your backside too.” Just goes to show you no matter your age…boys will be boys. The dinner conversation was a pleasant surprise and I found myself not concerned about the time at all until I looked at his watch and discovered that it was past ten-thirty. We both had to work early this morning so we asked for the check. When the bill arrived, he said, “I am paying for this. I don’t want to hear a word from you.” I thanked him and told him that I would get next time if he wanted there to be a next time. He said that there certainly will be a next time.

As we left the restaurant, he kissed me and I thanked him for a wonderful evening. He grabbed my hand once again and he walked me to my apartment building (seeing that his daughter only lives two buildings down, he’s very familiar with my street). We kissed passionately for a little bit in front of my door before I told him to drive home safely. I got inside my apartment and fell asleep so quickly. I woke up this morning and saw that he had sent me a text last night telling me he got home safely, that he had a nice time and was going to bed with a smile on his face.

I woke up this morning feeling good and wanting to see him again. This meeting certainly happened when I wasn’t expecting anything and I know it was only one date but damn…it was a good date. Which, as we all know, is rare.
Age can mean many things to many people. We can let our age define us or we can let our age be just a number. The late, Coco Chanel said, “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” With those words, all I can say is that I hope you all let your beauty shine.

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