Hey together, since the journal section is now constantly shut down, as I was just thinking about starting one of my own, I guess I have to post this here. It also has a demand for advice. I suppose I'm rather savvy about sex, but when it comes to the depths of relationships, I have to pass on all the questions. So maybe you read this, and if you have advice for me, you should feel asked for it. Christmas 2006 - Claire's Diary 23DEC - 24DEC Whew, actually this is my first celebrated Christmas. Hard to believe, isn't it? It's true, however. Christmas is a family matter, to most, and if you don't have a family noteworthy, Christmas isn't what it is to others. My usual Christmas habits were either holing up as much as possible to avoid the yuletide jolliness all around, or looking around whether any family man or woman has the urge to trade his shift with you. I never really liked this time of the year, when everyone seems to be talking about Christmas plans, gifts, visits, complains about his in-laws visiting, or has a rave because of a family reunion. And if you meet another fellow who has to work on 24/25DEC, he'll inevitably fill you up with complaints about this. And if you say that you're happy to work or be busy on Christmas, you get a lot of funny looks. However, let's forget about these things for this year. Frank, who is a man with a background similar to mine, could understand my notions for Christmas. He's not avoiding it, however, usually he spends it with his in-laws, who are doing some traveling this year so that he and me got together. We made this plan during our Europe trip in July/August. He lives near Seattle, which is where I travelled on 23DEC. Frank is actually a great guy: Around my age, German immigrant and living and working here for 20 years, anything but bad looking, and he has some other things about him that make him gorgeous for me, even if those features are unimportant to others. He doesn't keep his PC/Work stuff in his living room, neither in his bedroom. That always gets a frown from me. He knows how to look after himself, his apartment, and his cooking, without making any fuzz about that. His music is still coming from records, tapes, and just a few CDs, and films are on cassettes. Important for someone who is also stuck to this old-tech stuff, and thinks that the word film is a paradoxon to DVD (look up the ethymology of film!) I know these issues seem ridiculous to some readers, but they're important to me. Not the most important things, but extras that light up on my radar screen like a storm cell. And just in case you don't find yourself in them, they're like extras, no necessities. Let's get to the celebration. We had it on 24DEC, since Frank is German-born and he saved this habit. Fuck, I really don't care whether it's 24 or 25. could be 27, 28, 30 for me just as well. We had dinner at a nice restaurant, not many there, so it was really a private matter. After that, back to his apartment for the presents and all. I have asked a few weeks back what presents do you give to a guy who has been your companion for almost exactly 6 weeks, with big pauses in between? I couldn't find an answer so far, so I relied on my instincts. Even though I don't have any, for Christmas presents, that is. Just my luck that I found a nice UAL 777 scale model, desk size, at OAK in a shop. Maybe not really a lift-off for a present idea, but it's the thought that counts, right? Frank surprises me with a dinner reservation for a local New Year's Eve dinner and party, coming together with a 2007 photographic wall calendar, presenting shots of Cyprus, where we had a great week in August. The personal side of this present was that he used calendar preprints, and added the shots from his own collection. In my eyes, he's rather good with the camera. In retrospect, I don't think I gave Christmas a bad start. What could be done wrong about it, after all? But it's definitely better to spend it in the company of a guy, than in company of a bottle, and your own place. 25DEC - 30DEC I'll cut the stuff short a bit. Let's just say, we did some trips, aerial and by land, around the vicinity. Cape Flattery, the Cascades, Portland, Olympic Peninsula. If you are from around there and complain that there's nothing to see really, except tourist traps, let me tell you that I don't care. I liked the trip, I like being together with Frank, and if you have a problem with overpriced tourist restaurants, that's your problem and not mine, do you read? 31DEC, 1JAN So, for all Seattle insiders, I guess I have been to another tourist attraction for you. Screw it, it's been a fucking great night, the New Years Eve party at the Space needle. Certainly can't complain about the view (Observation deck), the dance and the dinner. I'm more outgoing on New Year's Eve, it's less a family matter, so I always see whether I get an invitation, either for a public or private party (I don't like throwing parties myself). Still, this is special, Frank is more than a friend I think, and surely he's more than a fuck buddy. I have a fuckbuddy at OAK, we hardly do more than hot sex, but with Frank it's more. We share tastes, likes and interests, and we can talk for hours on end. That is, once you get Frank talking, he's more a quiet type, and if we don't end up with our hands all over each other within some hours. We spent all night at the party, until it was pushing 0200. And I wasn't really tired then, neither was Frank, so we cracked our private bottle of Champagne at his apartment when we got there, and had a little more fun. Dancing, drinking... it wasn't before 0400 that we hit sheets, and I guess that's a little VERY late for two old folks like us ;-) No sex that night, just fitfull sleep until about 1200, together with a great hangover. As great as New Years Eve is, New Year's first mornings suck. At least if you drink alcohol, here's to all abstinent folks. You really don't miss anything. It's my last day now, and it feels like this. After the past week has been very busy, today is somewhat a bored day. Probably Frank and I go along so well because we only have short periods of time together? Especially since half of the day is over until we're out of bed, showered, shaved and dressed, the mood is hanging a little. Frank prepares a few things for work that have to be done until tomorrow, and I'm making myself comfortable on his couch and contemplate our situation a bit. Have I mentioned the funny position that I found myself in when I woke up? Must be the strange bed, but acutally I spent the night with my head on Frank's chest. Funny, I never get that close to a man when I sleep. Should that be a sign? I know Frank is more than a fuckbuddy, but I'm a little anxious. Probably it's good that today is my last day, and tomorrow I'll have more distance. I doubt, by 90%, that this is love, but there remain these warm feelings and thoughts of all kinds of fuzzy, comfortable things. They're not exactly new to me, but have always been a little uncomfortable. It takes a lot of time for me to get used to it. FIN I'm home again, and writing this. I'm still not really comfortable about my situation, I'm feeling like I'm in a Christmas romance movie. "Sleepless in Seattle", probably, or just any TV/silver screen production that has to do with Christmas, a handsome man, a (self-praise) goodlooking woman, and a found love. That should be one more reason to stop this, but I won't, and being down the coast and away from Frank, I don't think I have to do that. Presumably, we'll meet again in February, professionally, somewhere in Eastern Montana. And here's what's funny: I am looking forward to it. I enjoy Frank's company, on a professional and private level. I don't believe in this crap that you can "think" about a relationship, its outcome, gains and losses, like you can think rationally about irrational/emotional matters. I guess I'll wait for at least those two more weeks in FEB to see how those will come out, and then probably make a decision. I'm sorry for sounding like a crappy article on Cosmopolitan, or Glamour, or other Girls' Mags. I could lose two fingers of a hand and still count the guys I've fallen for, I'm not experienced with this kind of situation. Anyways, a happy new year to you all!