Here's my first post of the new year. I'm afraid it's going to sound very much like many of my posts from the last month of 2010. If you don't want to read more of the same, then turn away now.
Okay, you've been warned.
Happy New Year. 2011 is off to an interesting start, and truthfully I wouldn't mind if this was the peak of it, but I know it's not. So here's how my weekend went.
Let's backtrack to December 30. I worked, then came home and met Anthony and his 18 year old nephew Andrew for dinner. We went to a restaurant called Smoque, which is down the street from one of my offices so I'm familiar with it. This was Anthony's first time there, he was curious to try it. The line was out the door so the three of us chatted. I was thrilled to meet Andrew and learn about his time in Chicago. He loves the city and had a blast. His Uncle "Tony" showed him a good time, taking him to cool neighborhoods and tourist attractions. Eventually we were seated and before long we enjoyed a fantastic meal. Later that evening we went to an improv show at The Annoyance Theatre. It was a super-funny show and a nice last night for Andrew's Chicago visit.
Friday I did some shopping then met up with Anthony, Benjamin and Anthony's cousin Matt who arrived in town that afternoon to spend the weekend. We went to a neighborhood restaurant for dinner which was terribly disappointing. Afterwards we met up with Dan and Luis at Jackhammer where we rang in the new year. It meant a lot to me to ring in the new year with Dan, with whom I have done so for the past 8 years. It was also nice celebrating it with a boyfriend for once. After the fanfare was finished Anthony wandered off with his cousin. Eventually I found them in the upstairs section of the bar, chatting with a couple friends. I talked for a while, then suggested to Anthony that we sneak out and go home for some alone time. He liked that idea. Matt and Benjamin were having a good time at the bar so they stayed behind. Dan and Luis were elsewhere so I didn't get to say goodnight to them.
The following morning I cooked breakfast for everybody - pancakes, bacon and sausage. It was delicious. But I had to run because later that day I was hosting a party at my house. That party turned into quite the festive event. Anthony, Benjamin and Matt got to meet my friends Karen and Cyd, who I've know for a very long time. Everybody got along very well and had a fantastic time.
Somehow we found the strength to go out that evening, we wound up at Big Chicks and stayed for a couple drinks. Benjamin stayed behind, Anthony, Matt and I went back to the apartment. Sometime after 5 am, I heard loud footsteps in the apartment and someone yelling "this is fucking bullshit, I ought to shoot you right now!" Needless to say I bolted upright from a sound sleep and freaked. Anthony just sort of brushed it off. I'm unsure how he could sleep with the sound of my heard pounding. I thought someone had broken into the apartment and was ready to kill us. I was sick to my stomach at the thought but knew I needed to remain completely silent. I listened and heard the footsteps walk back towards the front of the house. At that point, I considered exiting via the bedroom window, figuring a 2-story drop might break my legs but I could survive that. For some reason I just stayed and listened. Turns out, Benjamin brought home some friends who were prehaps drunk and had become rowdy. When I finally got up to go to the bathroom, everybody (Benjamin, his 3 new friends and Matt, who just kind of got stuck in it all) were up drinking and talking loudly. I did my best to give whomever may have seen me a dirty look as I went back to bed, then slammed the bedroom door. Let's just say that I was none too pleased in the morning and sick to my stomach the rest of the day.
Sunday the 2nd was Anthony's "Bon Voyage" party, again at Big Chicks. I ran some errands earlier in the day, then came home to get ready to meet up with the boys, again. Anthony, Matt and I had dinner at Crew, a gay sports bar. We then walked over to Big Chicks. Anthony had at least 2 dozen guests who came by to wish him well and have a drink with him. I was introduced to each one as his boyfriend, and we graciously ducked the "oh, are you moving to California too?" question by telling people that we are in the process of weighing our options and will figure out the best solution shortly. I decided that it wouldn't be nice to make anybody feel bad by just simply answering "no, I'm not." For the 3+ hours, I smiled and gracioustly greeted his friends, many of whom I'd met at one event or another. It was nice to see them again, unsure if I'll see them ever again but whatever.
The party wound down and Anthony, Matt and I went back to the apartment. Benjamin stayed home and was asleep when we got there. Matt decided he was going to drive back to Michigan. He only had 1 drink during dinner and was wide awake. Since he prefers to drive at night, it seemed like a good time to go. We said goodnight then went to bed.
I decided last night to give Anthony his going away present. Among the few small things I gave to him was a framed picture of us. It was taken at an event last October and it's a great photo of the both of us. He has said on numerous occasions how he loves it. When he opened it, he smiled and was so happy to have it. He opened everything but the card, saying he would save that for later. I think if he had read it, we'd have both cried. I sobbed as I wrote it. We turned out the lights and went to bed. He held me and we talked for about a half hour. It was nice.
This morning, a representative from the company coordinating his cross-country move arrived. They talked in the living room, I sat in the kitchen with my iPad. When they made their way to the back of the apartment, the guy introduced himself to me and asked me if I had any questions about how the move would go, I just said I did not. Anthony gave me a glance as if to say "I'm sorry." I smiled. I've gotten really good at smiling even when I don't feel like it. They finished, the guy left and Anthony informed me that on Friday, the packers would come in, pack everything and put it all on the truck. I said "but you're not leaving until Sunday." He said "I know." I said "where are you going to sleep for two nights?" He said "TBD." I said "well...you can stay with me." He said "good, because I was going to ask you if I could." With that, we started cleaning out his kitchen cabinets and I became the recipient of 2 bags of groceries. Afterwards he came over here with me, picked up something that he needed from my place, and went home to begin purging. I went on to the book store, then I took myself out for lunch.
Tonight in a fit of anxiety, I took down the Christmas tree...literally. I stripped the tree of all its ornaments, threw the tree in it's storage bad and hauled it out to the trash. The next tree I buy will be a slender tree.
I've been fine most of the day, but the process of taking down the tree made me feel a little melancholy. Anthony helped me put up the tree, so taking it down so close to him leaving seemed like yet another ending. I'm sad thinking about it.
I know things will get better. I know you're relieved to read that because by now you're sick of me whining about my relationship woes. I'm just processing it all right now.
So, what did you do for New Year's Eve?