Month: November 2014

Sunday, September 8th, 2013 (Part 4)

I don’t know if it was the swaying motion of the train or the stagnant air in our car. It might have been when the AC went out and we paused for a couple of minutes waiting on train traffic ahead. It might just have been my hangover once again catching up to me, my movement not there to keep it at bay. Or it could have been my empty stomach and the Powerade I’d had at the end of the race sitting vitriolic in my stomach.

Or maybe it was a combination of it all.

But whatever the case, those train doors could not have opened faster. I had an uncontrollable sweat going and dizzying nausea. My face went even paler so that your mother even noticed something was wrong. Those train doors opened and I bolted out and up to the street, knowing I was about to vomit.

There I was, standing on the side of the street vomiting into a plastic bag. And to top things off your mom was standing just a few feet away. Talk about embarrassment! Talk about a guy you don’t want your son dating! What a mess I must have looked.

If it were my mom, I probably could have gotten by saying I had come down with some 24-hour bug. My mom doesn’t drink ever. She doesn’t know the signs of a bad hangover. But your mom seemed smarter than mine, or at least hipper. She knew why I was throwing up. But she didn’t say anything. She didn’t seem dreadfully put off by it or embarrassed. She was a good mother, offering me water and asking how I felt, worrying more than judging, though maybe she held back her condemnation for your ears only. (If she did, you never mentioned it to me, so I’m going to pretend she didn’t.) Still, I was mortified.

I was throwing up the dredges of electrolyte-laced Powerade. (It looked corrosive, the green color of the Powerade mixing with the gastric juices in my stomach to create this disgusting acid green liquid that burned all the way up my throat.) Even when I’d finished emptying all of my stomach’s contents, my body kept going, dry heaving sporadically so that I had to stop a couple of times each block to hover over a street trash can in case my body managed to find some residual iota of slime.

We sat down to brunch and I made it all of ten minutes. I knew by then that there was no way I was going to last. I needed to sleep. Eating was only going to make me vomit again.

I made my apologies (I really was sorry), and headed out. We were sitting at a six-person table; you were sitting between your mom and me. So I made myself feel less guilty by thinking that I wouldn’t have been able to talk to her much if I had stayed. I was glad she’d wanted to get lunch the day before, so I at least had gotten to know her then. And made a good first impression, even if my second one was dreadful.

The subway ride home was one of the most excruciating I’ve had in the City. I stopped and grabbed a bag of chips, just to try to keep something in my stomach. The minute I got out of the subway at my stop, I threw them up. (I wasn’t lying when I said I wouldn’t have made it through brunch.) I got home, crawled into bed and passed the fuck out.

That morning and afternoon are still so vivid though. I remember sitting in the bathroom at the restaurant, feeling miserable as I dry-heaved, and then feeling doubly miserable for how guilty I felt. I guess the pain of my afternoon was my penance for partying too hard, for being angry at you over something so trivial.

You have to understand that I went into meeting your mother feeling very much unwelcome. You didn’t want to tell her about me, so I felt she didn’t want to know me.

I don’t even know how bothered you were by my poor performance. I don’t think I ever told you why I got so drunk that night. I know that I fucked up that weekend, and I hope you forgive me.

You see, I’ve learned that you can’t get between boyfriends and their mothers.

My second boyfriend just about hated his mother, constantly complaining that she criticized him and knit-picked about every little thing. I’ve never heard a more exasperated voice than when he talked to her on the phone. What did I think of her? I thought she was perfectly lovely. He detested the one time his mother wanted to play family board games while I had a blast. But in front of him, I learned to disapprove of his mother, too. That’s all he wanted, someone to take his side.

You, on the other hand, love your mother. And I tried to do the same.

It’s a shame I’ll never see her again. But I’m glad I got to meet her the one time. I learned something from knowing her. Maybe even she learned something from getting to know me. Or maybe you learned that she can handle knowing about your boyfriends.

By the way, did you tell your mom when you broke up with me? Was she a counsel in your decision making?


Sunday, September 8th, 2013 (Part 3)

Like I said, I had plans to go out with my friends that night. And go out I did, definitely harder and later than I should have, considering I had a 9AM walk to get to the next morning. We were only drinking at some dive bar in the Lower East Side. It wasn’t even a gay bar, so really not that much fun. But I had my annoyance from the afternoon sitting in my stomach, and I decided to chase that down with beer after beer.

I can admit to you now that I was pissed at you (childishly, I know). This was supposed to be my weekend. You had your hands full with your mom. But even with that, you’d managed to take over my plans. I’d spent the entire morning and afternoon commuting to and eating lunch with you and your mom. I got home and had maybe one hour to sit and relax before I needed to get ready to go out. And even once I’d gotten out, I couldn’t (shouldn’t) drink too much or stay out too late. Not with having to meet you and your mom early the next morning.

Somehow, even though I wasn’t hanging out with you, you had managed to monopolize my weekend. I know it isn’t fair to say. I realize and take full responsibility for my own part in this. I liked hanging out with you and your friends. So we hung out with them. And I neglected mine. It’s not like we never saw my friends. I’d say it was a ratio of one to six, my friends to yours. And I was okay with that. Usually. But this was supposed to be my weekend with my friends. And then it suddenly wasn’t any more.

However, powered by my anger, I tried to make it my weekend with my friends anyways.

All I remember of the night is playing pool with Shane and drinking a lot of Mexican beers. Tecate, I think. I managed to hope into a cab at 3:30AM or something like that. I got home after four, set my alarm for 7AM and crawled into bed where I passed out, the world pulsing around me as I tried to lay still.

I didn’t hear my alarm go off the next morning. By some miracle I woke up on my own and looked at my phone. I about died when I saw it was already 8:30AM.

That certainly woke me up quickly. I leapt out of bed. No time for a shower. It was a good thing we were walking. Hopefully it would give me time to air out before brunch. I smelled like a vodka punch stain on a couch a week after it had spilled. I threw on some shorts and a t-shirt and went out the door. I was running so late that I didn’t even bother trying to take the bus crosstown. I hailed a cab and climbed in, willing it to move more quickly.

Only when I sat down in the cab did I take the time to feel my hangover. My initial panic at missing the race and irretrievably soiling my image in your mother’s mind had all but overpowered my hungover pains. Now that I had time to sit, my hangover hit me like a baseball bat in the face, knocking me back as it blurred my senses and split my head open. I hadn’t thought to eat or drink anything before leaving, and I’d only gotten four hours of sleep. I hadn’t been hungover like this in a very long time. It was going to be a terrible morning. But I just needed to pull it together for a few hours. Then I could crawl in my bed and die for the evening.

The cab got to the west side of Central Park and I hopped out, texting you my apologies and finding out where I should meet you. You all were also running a little behind, so I wasn’t too late. I found you and your mom and we started the walk.

Now five kilometers isn’t that long of a walk. Only three miles, and it was at a leisurely pace. However, with my hangover, I didn’t know whether or not I’d make it. Surprisingly, the fresh air and exercise revived me. Even though I looked a mess (pasty skin, bloodshot eyes, bloated body, limp hair poking out of my backwards cap), I thought I might just make it through the afternoon in one piece.

Optimism can be dangerous, though.

I made it through the entire race. I even managed to take pictures afterwards (ones where I look horrible, thank you for that eternal reminder). But then we headed downtown to meet your roommates for brunch. We hopped on the subway and everything went downhill from there.

Sunday, September 8th, 2013 (Part 2)

As the days before you mom’s visit ticked down, I kept asking you if you’d told her yet. Every time I got a negative. I felt like such a nag. And I think I eventually stopped asking. I had already paid my money to walk in the Susan Komen race, so I was going to meet her one way or another. Though the pessimistic thought that you’d make me walk a mile behind you guys so she wouldn’t see me did cross my mind. (I have a terrible, worst-case-scenario syndrome. I can’t control it. Negative thoughts pop into my head at the worst times and once they’re there, I can’t shake them. I think I get it from my mother.)

Finally, you did tell her. I wasn’t wholly thrilled about it, though. You waited until literally the last minute. I thought you were going to have to tell her at the airport when you picked her up. But you called her a couple of days before her trip and filled her in on me. I’m not sure how the phone call went. You seemed super relieved when you told me, so I assumed it had gone well. A weight off your shoulders, letting your mother in on a secret in your life. A silly secret, if you ask me. But then I didn’t know your mother. I’m sure you had your reasons.

Now that your mother knew about me, the plan was for me to meet you her at the race on Sunday and then go to brunch with you and your roommates afterwards. Easy enough. Part of me wished that she (or maybe it was your doing) had wanted to get to know me a little better than just one morning and afternoon hanging out with you and your friends. But then the other part of me was happy to have a free weekend.

I’m not complaining, because I love your friends, but I always felt like I tagged along with them on the weekends instead of seeing my friends. I’m that friend who disappears when he’sin a relationship, I know. I learned that after doing it three times. But I was excited to have a Saturday night to myself. I made plans to hang out with Scott, Kristen and the rest of the kickballers. I was looking forward to a nice relaxing Saturday morning and afternoon of catching up on Netflix and then an early night out with my friends so I could get up bright and early Sunday to meet you and your mom for the Susan Komen race and then have brunch.

A simple enough plan. Unfortunately, I didn’t execute it so well.

The first kink came on Saturday morning when you called. Apparently your mom had decided that she wanted to spend more time with me and had invited me out to lunch with you two. Great! More time spent with your mother was a good thing. She could get to know me a little better. I was fine with that. Happy even. I didn’t have any plans until that evening, so I could definitely do lunch. And even that wasn’t a huge commitment. I would have plenty of time to relax before I went out for the night.

But then it trickier, or at least a little more annoying. Your mom didn’t want to have lunch just anywhere. She wanted to have lunch in New Jersey. She has this thing where she wants to do something in every state in the US. And I guess she hadn’t marked New Jersey off her list yet. Talk about out of the way. But it was your mom and I wanted to make a good first impression, so I got myself ready and set out to meet you, feeling a little disgruntled now.

I felt like you had hijacked my weekend. My entire morning and afternoon were spent riding public transit. First I took the crosstown bus to the West Side. And then I hopped on the uptown 1 train to get to your place where we immediately turned around and got on the downtown 1 train which we rode to Penn Station. Then we transferred to the PATH train and rode it across the Hudson River to Hoboken where we got off and literally walked all of ten yards to a pizza place there.

Hours of my day spent commuting. And for what? So your mom could say she had eaten at a nondescript pizza place in New Jersey? It didn’t seem worth it to me. Not when there are so many great places to eat in Manhattan. Places a lot closer to where we both live.  I was annoyed, especially considering I had to get back on the train and redo almost the entire trip to get home. (And let me tell you, it’s not easy getting to the East Side from Penn Station. It took me three trains!)

So yes, I was peevish afterwards. And it had nothing to do with your mom. Meeting her was lovely. She was nice. And although I felt a little subdued by my own fears of what she’d think of me, she was friendly and we got along well enough. It hadn’t been a disaster by any means.

The disaster came the next day. So I guess it was the second and not the first impression where I really failed.