I have stuck to my goal and I am back on the one date a week plan. Unfortunately for me, not a one was called back for a second date. Who knew that there were so many boring people living in New York City? I guess that if they say that because of the larger population there is more crime, you can make that assumption everything. More theatre, more shops, more urine soaked streets and yes even more dull dates! Instead of complaining about the current state of my dating pool, I will share another story from my past.
When I tested positive I locked myself from the world. I only left my small studio apartment, in the center of Philadelphia, for work. I didn’t go to the gym. I didn’t go out with friends. I simply shut myself away, while escaping into the world of Veronica Mars. A couple of months passed by and finally Corb was able to pull me out of the depths of despair. On one outing I had seen this guy that I chatted with a couple of times on a gentleman’s socializing network. He was the epitome of my type: blonde hair, blue eyes, athletic build. Dreamy. He was in a group of guys that were talking to someone in my gaggle of gays. After a full night of avoiding eye contact, one of my oh so lousy and non effective dating tactics. He then came up to me and said, “Ok, I know we have chatted on-line before.” From the look on his face he was too embarrassed to say that we had met on a Manhunt. Since I knew this fact already and now I felt like messing with him I said “Really, where, Myspace? Friendster? “No, not there…” His face turned three shades of red. He looked too adorable to torture him any further and I said. “I know, I remember you.” And I remember his shirtless torso, but I was smart and kept that as my own private thought!
The next day I did my best cyber stalking. Since there was no Facebook back then, this task was a little daunting and was exacerbated by the fact that I only knew his first name, Andrew. After spending hours on Friendster and MySpace combing through my friends friends’, I found him. What to do? Yes, I sent him one of my cyber stalking emails. And score we set up our first date.
It was truly perfect. Dinner at a pub then back to my apartment for some wine. We talked for hours while I made him listen to my favorite songs of the day. (side not, if I ever invite you over to my apartment, be wearing if I start playing music. Seriously, I won’t stop!) Andrew left my apartment with a tender kiss. Two days later he called me to see if wanted to hang out before he went to Boston for a swim meet, yes he’s a competitive swimmer. Le sigh! I had told him that I had already put on my blue polka-dotted pjs and I was in for the night. He then told me to walk the 5 blocks to his house wearing those pjs. And I did.
When I walked into his apartment he was packing a suitcase preparing for his trip. He told me that he such a great time that he wanted to see me before he left. I coyly jumped on his bed and watched him pack. We started talking and I could see my plan working. He could not resist me in my blue polka-dotted pjs and he jumped on the bed. As our kissing went from passionate to ravishing I knew that my plan had a fatal flaw. Not only did I not tell him about my status, he was the first prospective sexual partner that I would have to tell.
I abruptly stopped and pushed him away. “We can’t…” “Why?” Don’t get me wrong, it is still very uncomfortable to tell someone that I am HIV Positive, but back I had no idea what to say. I didn’t have the words. Clearly I must have been with someone positive prior, but I didn’t have any positive friends. I had no one to help shepherd me through those tough times. I completely was at a loss. So I did when I do best, I retreated. I don’t know what possessed me to do so, but I just grabbed a pillow and covered my face. I was so struck by my embarrassment all I wanted to do was hide.
Imagine this if you will, being on a second date with someone and in the throes of passionate kissing and heavy petting, they push you away and cover themselves with a pillow and don’t say anything. What would you do? Well, Andrew did nothing except for patiently wait for me to uncover my face and to uncover whatever was preventing me from moving forward. After about, what seemed like an eternity, I told him my status. Pillow still glued to my face, fearing his reaction. He gently pealed the pillow away and kissed me and told me that while he is negative that his first boyfriend was positive. He went on to say that “I am fine with it as long as I am control of what we do sexually.” I had no idea how that line would affect me subconsciously.
I became sexually inept. That is so terribly uncharacteristic of me. I mean, I am 1/2 Puerto Rican. Sexual ineptitude is not part of my DNA. I know my these issues were caused by many factors. One being that this relationship was on the heels of me just testing positive and I hadn’t come to terms with that reality for myself. Not to mention the reality of being in a relationship with someone who was negative. More importantly, because of my status, I thought to keep him that I must let him be in control. I was so desperate to feel wanted and normal, that that kind of relationship is what I thought I deserved.
Cut to three years and a mortgage later, Andrew ends the relationship ends. It took me quite some time to realize that that was the absolute best thing that could have ever happened to me. Because like Ms. Jackson (cause I’m nasty), I have regained my control.