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Welcome to Phicklephilly

This blog is about my life here in Philadelphia, people I meet, and the experiences I’ve had with them. Mostly women. I’m a gentleman, but I’ve been told I’m very fickle. My goal is to bring you the best dating and relationship content I can.

I appreciate you reading, commenting on, and most of all following my blog. 

I publish every day at 8am and 12pm EST.

Please check out my Collections tab. There you’ll find a list of all of the great collections of stories that are so fun to read.

Here is a list to get you started!

*** Go to the SEARCH widget on the Homepage and simply enter the name of the series you’re interested in, and off you go!

Here’s the list:

Celebrity Sightings

Crazy Dating Stories

Dating and Relationship Advice

Miscellaneous Stories 

Sun Stories

Tales of Rock

Tinder Moments

Wildwood Daze

 

More to come!

 

I also have several series about all of the people I’ve met here in my 10 years in Philadelphia.

*** Go to the SEARCH widget on the Homepage and simply enter the name of the person and you can read their series!

Annabelle

Carol

Cherie

Clarice

Dina

Eliana

Johnny R.

June

Kylie

Maria

Marisa

Mary

Michelle

Rebecca

Sarika

Trish

Valerie

 

If you’d like, you can just cut and paste the names into the SEARCH widget on the home page and go from there.

If anyone out there knows an easier or a better way to do this please let me know!

Thank you for your continued support!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Instagram: @phicklephilly         Facebook: phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

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10 Obvious Signs Your Partner Is Not That Into You And It’s Time To Reconsider Your Relationship

Have you ever been so crazy for someone that you become blind to the fact they are not into you?

Sadly, often our attraction and passion clearly make us miss the warning signs that the other person is giving us. Or we just aren’t able to detect them.

Usually, this dilemma arises from believing that if we insist the other person can change their mind about us. Unfortunately, that is simply impossible. Once someone shows you they are not romantically interested in you, the only thing you could do is to accept the bitter truth. And although it is painful to move on from someone you have strong feelings for, it’s actually for the better. Only after leaving the wrong person will you be able to find the right one for you.

But no matter how bad a break-up is, staying in an unsatisfactory relationship with someone who’s not actually into you is even worse.

Closing your eyes to the fact that he or she doesn’t love you truly and doesn’t treat you the way you deserve could cause heartache, frustration, and disappointment.

Remember someone who really likes you and wants to be with you will pursue you!

They will do whatever they can to make things between you two work out. He or she will be glad to spend time with you. They will treat you with respect and make plans for the future with you. If they don’t behave this way from the beginning, or they don’t seem to look seriously at the relationship, you’d better cut them loose. Because chances are very high, he or she is just not that into you.

So to help you solve the dilemma if he or she loves you truly, we’ve outlined 10 obvious signs that your partner is not in love with you.

1. You Initiate Contact. Always.

If someone misses you and wants to see you, they will. If they don’t call and expect you to be the first to initiate contact, then you might need to reconsider if they are the one for you.

2. You feel close to your partner only when you have sex.

Some people need time to open up. But if you notice that your partner isn’t really close with you and your only intimate moments with them are when you have sex, you might need to think again whether they really love you.

3. You don’t have sex.

Another problem with intimacy in the relationship could be that you and your partner don’t have sex, and even if you do it’s not enough or you are the one who initiates it.

4. They don’t make plans for the future with you.

Someone who’s into you and feels confident that things are going in the right direction will gladly plan their holiday with you or offer to take you with them next time they go on a trip. In contrast, an emotionally unavailable partner wouldn’t even want to make plans for the next weekend with you.

5. You don’t know their friends and family.

Spending enough quality time with your partner is crucial for the success of every relationship. Yet, the natural behavior of a loving partner is to introduce you to their friends and family and make you feel a part of their social circle. If they don’t do that there’s a chance he or she is not serious about you.

6. They are always busy.

It’s important that partners respect each other’s freedom and personal space. But if you’re constantly being neglected — your partner never finds time to go out with you, or they often don’t answer to your texts — it’s likely that they’re not really into you. One of the most painful situations is to try to reach out to someone and be repeatedly ignored.

7. They are not interested to learn personal things about you.

Someone who really loves you will find time to learn more about you. They will want to know more about your day and will surely ask “get to know you” questions. One of the primary characteristics of a healthy relationship is that you can share both your happiness and problems with your partner. So if he or she is not interested in listening to you or doesn’t seem to be happy when you are, they are most probably not getting serious about you.

8. They say they’ve never been in love.

Many women are likely to fall for guys who are immature and don’t know what they want. Sadly, this type of men often mask the fact they don’t seek serious relationship by saying they haven’t found a woman who is worth their love.

But this is not true. As sad as it sounds such people don’t know what true love is so they are not able to give it to their partners. That’s why trying to build a relationship with such a person is just a waste of time.

9. Don’t confuse flirting for love.

A lot of people need to flirt to feel happy and satisfied with themselves. That is typical for men, but there are women who love flirting too. So if he or she flirts with you but never asks you out, this is a red flag. Any person who is seriously interested in you will try to date you. So, if your crush isn’t taking any steps to ask you out, they are probably not into you, and you’d better move on.

10. They don’t have time for you.

You should pay attention to how often your partner prefers their own company to yours. If you notice that he or she has been spending less and less time with you and they don’t seem to care or to give you a reasonable explanation why they started disappearing from your life, your relationship might be in danger.

You don’t have to feel bad if your partner doesn’t love you the way you do — you don’t have any fault about this situation. It’s just that he or she is not the one.

So, if you feel that there’s something wrong with your significant other’s behavior or attitude towards you and if you notice most of or all of the signs discussed in this article – don’t hesitate to talk about your relationship with them immediately.

Never underestimate yourself by staying in a relationship with someone who doesn’t seem to care enough about you and has no intentions to commit to you.

You are amazing! So you need to be treated with love and respect. And certainly, there is a person out there who will treat you exactly this way.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

Kita – Chapter 28 – Hair Done & No Fun

Today is the Saturday I wanted to take Kita to Dave and Buster’s but it was the only day she could schedule her hair appointment. So I will continue to pursue her to get some fun in her life. I’m just floating around the city when I get a text.

“Hey, Charles. Look at my hair now.”

“You look like Storm from the X-Men.”

“Hahahaha”

“It’s like a silver head dress!”

“So happy I’m going blonder!!!”

“It’s going to look so awesome! I’m running some errands in the area. Need a Frappuccino?”

“I ate a banana recently, but thank you! It’s too cold outside to be running errands.”

“Yay! Bananas are better for you than coffee drinks. Oh, and it’s not too bad out now.”

Hours later…

“I talked to Achilles about working there! I want to do it. I am just looking at logistics with my classes and me going away for breaks. My classes are different so I’m making my schedule next week, so I’ll have a decision by then ok? Also, thank you for the Honey Grow card. (Smiley emoji)”

“Sounds great. No worries. We’ll work with your schedule. Take your time working out. You’re welcome! I knew the one person that could put that card to good use!”

An hour later…

“Can you make sure Achilles knows I’m still pondering it? I feel like he thinks I told him 100% yes. I brought up the schedule thing but I think he thought differently. Oh yea, I used the Honey Grow card today and it was delicious!”

“I’ll talk to him Monday. He and I already have decided to split the schedule between the two of us until we find someone. We’re going to open the gym in December so I may take more of his shifts while he runs the gym. Don’t stress, Kita. Take your time and we’ll figure it out.

Two hours later…

“Thanks Charles. I fell asleep. I’m exhausted for no reason.”

“I’m sure you’re tired, Kita. Big day. Hours at the salon creating the perfect blonde highlights! I hope you like it.”

“I do, I’m just so dead right now. And the weather and darkness so early never helps. Haha.”

“I get it. I just wrote an article for the salon that we’re going to send out to our members about Seasonal Affective Disorder. We worked on it today and I know it’s important that we communicate with our clients about the importance of how we can help them.”

“That’s awesome! Yeah, it really does affect your moods/emotions.”

“It’s paramount that we communicate the importance of controlled UV emissions to our clients for their well being during these cold, dark winter months in the Northeast. I’m glad you get it.”

“Yes because it definitely helps!!!”

“Well we’re here for you to absorb your power through our light! I’m going to do a stand up session before I start work tomorrow. Oh, and I have some new ideas to get you darker!!!”

“Thank you!!! (Smiley emoji) Thank goodness for tanning! And what are your ideas?”

“I have a special lotion, (Only for you my #1) and I want to try a 12 minute over exposure session and see what that does. Always creative.”

“Oh my! A special lotion???? The tingling one?”

“Yes! But it has a very gentle tingling vanilla and chocolate scent that I’m giving only to you. Always working hard for my Yelp reviews.”

“Wow sounds delicious!!! Hahah.”

 

By then it was almost midnight, so we both went to sleep.

Thing was, I wish she were sleeping next to me.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish everyday.

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Should You Break Up? 7 Major Signs It’s Time for You to Leave

If you’re waiting for a sign, this is it.

Growing up, I always thought dating would be the one easy part of life.

Money, travel, jobs, those things were complicated. But dating? Simple. You’d find someone you liked, they’d like you, too, and you’d hang out until you got married. Then you hang out some more, pop out a few kids, and get buried next to each other. The children you had together would stop by once in a while to drop off a few flowers. Not a bad life.

If you’ve dated at all you know real life is basically the same thing, except the person you like doesn’t like you, your house is on fire, you never sleep because of the kids you popped out, neither of you makes enough money to live your dreams, which causes resentment and you didn’t really like each other to begin with, so you hate each other for the rest of your lives and people tell a fake love story at your funerals because they didn’t really know you to begin with. Sound about right?

 

Dating/marriage is never easy. People tend to think that if you just stick together you’ll be okay. But realistically, that isn’t always the case. Being with someone should make you happy. It should give you a support system, an extra leg to stand on.

If you’ve been with someone for any length of time, you’ve probably struggled with this question: How do you know when it’s time to leave?

Here are 7 telltale signs it’s best to go your separate ways and move on.

1. You don’t want the same things.

In any relationship, there will be things that you don’t agree on. But the difference here is lifetime goals.

A big one is having kids: if one partner wants children and the other absolutely hates the idea, this can cause tension in the relationship. If your significant other is set on living their days out in another country or traveling the world and you can’t stand the thought of leaving your family behind, this can become a major problem. These are the big-picture ideas that most people are much less willing to compromise on. Even if someone gives up their lifelong dream to be around you there is no guarantee that they will be content with that choice. Resentment can build, causing cracks in the entire foundation of the relationship.

2. You are constantly trying to make them happy and they don’t reciprocate.

In any kind of relationship, you shouldn’t be the only one putting in the work. It isn’t fair to expect one person to carry the burden of a relationship. Both partners have to be invested for it to work.

If you are the only one doing any sort of gestures, the only one inviting them to hang out, the only one trying to make sure they’re happy, then you’re in for a world of hurt. This kind of relationship usually ends up paining you more than anything and that’s just not sustainable.

3. You’re not interested/invested anymore.

The honest-to-goodness truth is that sometimes feelings fade. It’s tough to admit, but you notice your love fading, despite the fact that you still have a respect for your SO. This is when you have to own up to those feelings and try to do the least damage possible.

You should be honest and tell your partner how you feel (or more accurately how you don’t ). At least this way you’re not leading them on. I know from personal experience that that’s almost harder to take than the actual breakup. Your SO deserves someone who wants them and loves them: if that isn’t you, its time to let them go so they can find someone who truly will.

4. You’re starting to feel like life would be easier without them.

Some people genuinely make your life harder. This is tied back to number two, meaning you shouldn’t be with someone who is asking so much of you and not giving that back, but also to the idea that some people honestly begin to have a negative affect on your life when you date them.

If your SO is begging for extravagant gifts they know you can’t afford, making unfair ultimatums, causing fights left and right, or demanding more than you are able to give, they don’t respect your needs. If you think life would be easier without them, chances are you’re right. Just make sure you make this decision with a clear head and not out of spite.

5. You’re together because you feel obligated to be, not because you want to be.

If you’ve been with someone for years and you’re sick of the relationship, get out of it. If the dinner table is silent or the bedroom lonely, you may have lost that spark.

You can try to fix this by going out of your way to make time for your partner, spending time getting to know each other again, going to counseling. But if nothing works and you’re unhappy, it’s better for everyone to end it than to suffer through just for appearances.

As a child of divorce, with many friends who are also children of divorce, children aren’t a ‘good’ reason to stay in an unhappy marriage. I could write a book on this topic. Everyone deserves to be the happiest they can be. Your children will suffer just as much if not more with two regretting parents than with functional divorced parents.

The point here is that if you’re unhappy, there’s a reason. If you’re trapped in a relationship, I don’t think it really qualifies as a love connection anymore.

6. You aren’t interested in a continuing relationship.

If your partner is expecting this relationship to grow into something more and you don’t see it going anywhere, it’s probably time to cut things off. Leading someone on or letting them believe that they have a chance at a future with you is cruel. Dating casually is also totally normal and acceptable, but if one person doesn’t know that’s what you’re doing, then you’re being unfair to them.

The difference between both people knowing it’s a fun but not serious relationship, and a ‘serious’ relationship you know will never be long-term for you is that your partner has a choice in being involved. If you know, you know. And that’s OK! Just don’t let someone think otherwise.

7. You feel yourself turning into someone you aren’t proud of.

One of the biggest hardships in dating is letting yourself become something you aren’t. It’s easy to slide into a persona of what someone wants you to be, or the ‘ideal’ girlfriend or boyfriend figure. In a good relationship, you should feel comfortable being exactly who you are, with no boundaries. The person you’re with should value you for who you are, flaws and all.

The other problem could fall under this category is that you feel yourself becoming manipulative or aggressive. If you’re becoming that way as the result of a toxic relationship, get out of it and make some time to focus on you. The same goes for if someone is treating you poorly; get out as soon as you can.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

Tales of Rock – 6 Musicians Who Predicted Their Own Death in Song

Everybody dies. That’s no secret. Even you, you’re going to die some day. Accept it. Once you accept it, write a bizarrely specific song that details how exactly you’re going to die, live up to your prediction and voila! You’ll be an entry in a Cracked article, just like these guys.

 

6

Richie Rich feat. Tupac – “Niggas Done Changed”

Let’s just get it out of the way: Nobody knows who the hell Richie Rich is. According to the lyrics of this song, he’s got a hand full of game. For all we know, that is still true. Maybe even a sack full of game by now. We don’t care. The real star of this tune, featured on the Seasoned Veteranalbum, is Tupac Shakur. His verse on “Niggas Done Changed” is the stuff that conspiracy theories are made of.

This probably isn’t the right one.

Unfortunate Lyrics:

“I been shot and murdered, can tell you how it happened word for word, But best believe niggas gon’ get what they deserve.”

What Happened Next:

Pac was shot and murdered, just like he said. The shooting happened on the strip in Vegas after a Mike Tyson fight. Obviously, at a time like that not many people were around, so nobody saw the shooter and the case remains unsolved. Unsolved for most people anyway. Some others are convinced they know exactly what happened. Tupac faked his own death! The logic went as follows: Since Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli advocated faking one’s own death, and Tupac used Makaveli as a stage name, then he must still be alive. That’s shaky reasoning, even before you take into account that the real Machiavelli didn’t actually say much of anything about faking your own death.

If he was dead, could he do this?

But when “Niggas Done Changed” was released less than two months following Tupac’s death, the “Pac’s Still Alive” movement was off and running, and it hasn’t let up since. Group psychology experts contacted by Cracked attribute the movement’s seeming refusal to die (sorry) to the fact that Tupac Shakur has released at least seventy-three studio albums since his death and also to the fact that he’s totally alive, y’all.

 

5

Lynyrd Skynyrd – “That Smell”

Have you ever put a curse on somebody? Like if you came home and found that your roommate ate your leftover Chinese food and you got pissed and told them you hoped it gave them explosive diarrhea and then it actually did and you felt really bad because you didn’t realize your own powers? Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “That Smell” is kind of like that. Except substitute “diarrhea” with “horrible plane crash” (although with a title like “That Smell” it totally could have gone either way).

The song was written to express lead singer Ronnie Van Zant’s disappointment with the lifestyle lead and rhythm guitarist Gary Rossington was leading, as his drug and alcohol problems had started to negatively affect the band. After a verse poking fun at a recent alcohol-fueled car accident Rossington had, Van Zant starts pouring on the ominous.

Unfortunate Lyrics:

“Say you’ll be alright come tomorrow, but tomorrow might not be here for you.” “Angel of darkness upon you.” “The smell of death surrounds you.”

What Happened Next:

On October 20, 1977, just three days after the release of the now unfortunately titled Street Survivors, the plane Lynyrd Skynyrd was traveling in crashed in a forest near Gillsburg, Mississippi. The line “the smell of death surrounds you” took on a whole new ugly meaning after Rossington survived but three bandmates, including Van Zant, perished. As if the song and the album title weren’t enough, thanks to the plane crash, Street Survivors now had, quite possibly, the most inappropriate album cover ever.

Yes, that’s the band and, yes, they are on fire. In the wake of the plane crash, original copies of the album were recalled and replaced with a cover image of the band standing against the completely non-depressing black background. Of course, the fire cover was restored for the deluxe CD reissue of the album in 2008. Like almost every other crime, there is a statute of limitations on bad taste. Apparently, it’s 30 years.

 

4

Jeff Buckley – “Dream Brother”

Jeff Buckley’s “Dream Brother” is said to have been written about a friend who was about to leave his girlfriend and child. In the song, he warns of the sadness to be had by following in the footsteps of Buckley’s father, Tim Buckley. The elder Buckley was a promising young musician who had his career cut short by an accidental heroin overdose. He also walked out on Jeff and his mother shortly after Jeff was born. It’s that last part Buckley is singing about, but he probably should have considered penning a few lines to himself regarding the “musician gone too soon” part. Or, did he?

Unfortunate Lyrics:

“The dark angel he is shuffling in.” “Don’t be like the one who left behind his name.” “Asleep in the sand with the ocean washing over.”

What Happened Next:

We’ve never given relationship advice to a friend that involved any mention of a “dark angel shuffling in,” so we’re not sure how that first line would apply to a dude leaving his girlfriend, though we will concede that the second one fits. But the third? “Asleep in the sand with the ocean washing over,” well, that’s just pretty fucking creepy. Less than three years after the release of “Dream Brother” Buckley died. By drowning. This leads us to an obvious question: “Hey, Jeff Buckley, how about taking your own advice?” We’re guessing the reply would be something like, “Hey, leave me alone you assholes, I’m dead.”

3

Hank Williams – “I’ll Never Get Out of this World Alive”

Immediately, there’s nothing too shocking or particularly insightful about the title of this song. It’s obvious that everyone is going to die at some point. Most of those people, however, won’t crank out a comical tune about it right before they go. Released in 1952, “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive” was the last single Hank Williams released in his lifetime. The lyrics are your standard down-on-your-luck type of stuff. Troublesome, sure, but nothing life threatening going on. But still, there’s that chorus…

Unfortunate Lyrics:

“No matter how I struggle and strive. I’ll never get out of this world alive.”

What Happened Next:

After reportedly struggling and striving, Hank Williams barely made it out of the rest of the year alive. On the morning of January 1st, 1953, just months after the song was released, he was pronounced dead at the Oak Hill Hospital emergency room.

“Doctor, hurry, he’s struggling. And striving! Oh no…”

There is a myth that the song was actually #1 on the Billboard charts at the time of his death, but “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive” actually didn’t reach the top spot until shortly afterhis death. Today, Hank Williams is hailed as an innovator in the field of record promotion for being the first to employ the “Die Young and Sell a Ton of Records” technique.

 

2

John Lennon – “Borrowed Time”

You may not know this, but most posthumously released songs are indeed recorded before the artist dies. Although “Borrowed Time” wasn’t released until four years after the death of John Lennon, it was actually the first song he recorded following a five year exile from the music business. The unnervingly upbeat tune wraps lyrics about the frailty of life around the type of instrumentation you would expect to hear during dinner on a Carnival cruise ship. It was inspired by a Final Destination-like escape from death Lennon pulled off while sailing to Bermuda through an intense storm. An experience like that would probably just inspire us to shit our pants and stop showering. Lennon, on the other hand, was inspired to start rocking again.

Unfortunate Lyrics:

“Living on borrowed time, without a thought for tomorrow”

What Happened Next:

John Lennon was sometimes criticized for not practicing what he preached. Like how he sang about imaging no possessions but lived in a million dollar apartment. You could argue that he totally lived up to the lyrics of “Borrowed Time,” but you’d be a fucking prick for doing so. We only mention that criticism because it was Mark David Chapman’s main beef with John Lennon.

Speaking of beef, holy shit, right? Mooo, right?

Chapman delicately handled this beef by shooting Lennon to death, about six months after the song was written. Hopefully, Lennon practiced what he preached this time and genuinely didn’thave a “thought for tomorrow,” because, unless that thought was “be dead,” he was guaranteed to be pretty disappointed.

 

1

Jimi Hendrix – “The Ballad of Jimi”

In 1965, before most people even knew who he was, Jimi Hendrix entered a New York recording studio and probably weirded out everybody in the room by cutting a new tune about how some dude named Jimi was going to be dead in five years. “The Ballad of Jimi” starts with a declaration from Hendrix that the song is dedicated to the memory of his best friend. That the friend’s name is a guitar player named Jimi is apparently to be chalked up to coincidence.

Hendrix further confuses matters with the line “that is my story” before ratcheting the creepiness up considerably.

Unfortunate Lyrics:

“Many things he would try, For he knew soon he’d die.” “Now Jimi’s gone, he’s not alone. His memory still lives on.” “Five years, this he said. He’s not gone, he’s just dead.”

What Happened Next:

“I’m gonna go over there and die, now.”

Next, Jimi Hendrix suffocated in the most horrible way imaginable that doesn’t involve cock. He choked on his own vomit. Conveniently, for the purpose of this article, he died almost exactly five years after recording “The Ballad of Jimi.” “Five years, this he said. He’s not gone, he’s just dead.”

Disturbing as all fuck, isn’t it? Probably the only reason he didn’t get more specific than that was that nothing rhymes with “choked on vomit.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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What Kind of Women Do Men Never Leave?

Men do not throw first of all skillful manipulators. In general, the majority of women are manipulators, it helps them catch, and then and give life to a man forever.

The manipulator’s master has two skills: she is able to choose the victim correctly and keep the length of her required leash. She can pretend to be a weak woman who needs a constant burn, then suddenly begins to exert pressure. Only thanks to this skillful and thoughtful work with emotions, she can keep her husband tense and with a constant sense of guilt, while not giving a minute to enlighten the brain and to understand what a terrible situation he was in.

We can assume that in her youth she was not very popular, but “that only person”, whom she could catch, from her already certainly will not go away.

What Women do Men never leave?

Men also do not throw arbitrary, strong and independent women. I will not talk about women who seek a lot without help. A typical example is a business lady who “made herself.” As a rule, such women have a lot of problems with the opposite sex. Men do not want to be close to a strong and independent woman, because there is no way to put pressure on her directly. Such a woman has, in essence, male power, which she does not face.

We are talking about women who show “feminine strength”. Such a woman will not try to seem weak, she is independent, but all her desires are performed by men in running. She can afford a crowd of admirers to choose any, sip his all juices and throw away the waste material on the trash. Such women are not thrown – they are thrown.

Such women are not interested in why in this life someone is thrown by men ..

There is another category of women who are not thrown. Such a woman does not try to control, use and manipulate men. She lives only for herself, working on herself, not sucking on the energy of other people, trying to “correct” at least one man for their needs and their own notions.

Women are afraid to be abandoned, while believing that the husband is constantly, she is to blame for something. And after all, you can control only yourself, otherwise – happiness will not be.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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The Beach House – Chapter 21 – Conclusion

“It went too far. She thought I was going to fire her.” I was pleading my case to deaf ears.

“Ahh, Monica, I’m so sorry it came to this. ” Mia wrapped Monica in her arms. Monica was still in shock, and I don’t think she even recognized Mia.

“I was about to tell her when you walked in…” I didn’t want Mia upset with me on our wedding day.

“Well you should have told her sooner.” She started rubbing Monica’s back. “You probably had her in tears all day.” She sat Monica on a nearby chair and looked back at the smiling Wally. “Wally, grab some water and a towel or something.” He left, chuckling. Monica’s mouth was still standing open. “Well, tell her, Dale. I won’t have any tears at our wedding.” Monica’s mouth opened wider. Mia’s hands were on her hips, waiting for me to comply. I softened my voice as I dropped to one knee in front of Monica.

“You remember Mia Perez, Monica.” I smiled trying to make sure she understood I had no ill will. “We kind of hit it off during the detox.” I grabbed one of Mia’s hands off her hip. “We’re getting married today, and I needed you here as a witness.” Monica mouth was still wide open, looking between Mia face and mine. I gently took hold of Monica’s hand. “Are you alright?” I heard Bob re-enter the chapel.

“You’ve known her for a week.” Monica looked back to me. “You don’t like anybody.” I laughed and patted her hand.

“I assure you, I love this woman more than life itself” I smiled at Mia who dropped her other hand off her hip and smiled back.

“I didn’t even know you could smile.” Monica was still in shock. Bob exchanged the water and towel for Mia’s bouquet. Mia sat down next to Monica.

“Your mascara is a bit askew.” Mia dipped the end of the towel in the water and began wiping the worst of it off her face.

“Making me take care of Mia was the best thing you could done for me.” I stood back up. “I needed her as much as she needed me.”

“I never met the Dale you know.” Mia kept cleaning Monica’s face as she talked. “I fell in love with a very tender man with a strange SpaghettiOs fixation.” Monica laughed at that. Leave it to Mia to move us past the tears. Wally leaned down near Monica.

“These two share a very compatible type of insanity.” He chuckled again.

“You see, Monica, I have no intention of firing you. You are my second favorite woman on this whole planet.” I smiled at her, figuring that should settle it. I saw tears welling up in her eyes. She jumped up and wrapped her arms around me and started bawling. I looked at Mia for help, and she was crying too. I looked at Wally.

“I knew this would be an insane wedding.” Wally started chuckling again. I was beginning to think he was a bit on the insane side.

Once the girls had fixed their makeup, the wedding went off without a hitch. Mia surprised me with a little poetic vow about me pulling her from a pit of darkness into “my heart full of light.” I had to think fast, and I could see in her eyes that this was payback for a handful of paint.

“Mia, before you entered my life, I thought love was only a word for poets.” I smiled into her eyes. “I now know poets are just souls who ache for what I have through you. You are my ocean, my waves. You are my SpaghettiOs.” I heard a whimper from Monica and I saw the water in Mia’s eyes. Wally was holding back another chuckle.

Mia and I took our witnesses out to dinner after the wedding to celebrate. We spent the entire dinner laughing and telling Monica all that had happened over the last week. We were into our fourth bottle wine when Mia decided to give her gift to Monica.

“Dale told me why you made him take care of me.” Mia was glowing. “I felt bad that my thoughtless husband would do such a thing.” I interrupted.

“Hey, I didn’t know you then!” Mia smacked me lightly in the shoulder.

“A tenth anniversary only comes around once. It deserves to be recognized.” Mia looked at me like I might forget some future event. “We wanted to buy you a second honeymoon to make amends.” Mia smiled handing an envelope over to Monica.

Monica opened the envelope with wide eyes. “Oh my God!” she said as she looked at the three-week cruise to the islands and South America.

“And everything is planned.” Mia was all jumpy. “I wanted to make sure you didn’t have to think about a thing, just like when you take care of Dale.” Mia was really proud of herself. “Dale cleared the time with Charlie’s boss, and I’ll make sure Dale doesn’t try and call during the trip.” Monica started tearing up again.

“Oh my gosh, guys! This is amazing!” Monica was wiping the tears from her eyes. Mia hugged her and started crying too. You would have thought we were poking them with burning sticks.

I was excited, because I saw the dessert tray heading our way. I slipped the pastry chef a hundred to make something special for me. The waiter went around, delivering the desert, leaving Wally for last. I was getting antsy. The waiter smiled at me and reached under the tray and pulled out a small top-hat-shaped cake. It was perfect. He placed it in front of Wally, who for once looked very confused.

“I don’t think this is what I ordered.” He looked up at the waiter who just smiled and nodded at me.

“I quote: ‘If you two are friends at the end if this I’ll eat my hat.’ ” My timing was perfect. Mia burst out laughing which infected all of us. To his credit, Wally ate the entire thing. I think he liked being the center of attention even if it was a joke at his expense.

Over coffee, Monica was whispering to Mia. Monica reached into her purse and removed what looked like an old envelope that had seen better days. Monica looked at me. “I made a promise a few years back that earlier today, I thought I would have to break.” Her eyes were getting watery. “I think I was planning to throw this at you Dale.” She was indicating the envelope, half smiling and half crying. Women were becoming confusing again. “Now, I get to keep that promise.” She handed the envelope to Mia, then wiped some tears from her eyes.

Mia seemed a little confused herself. The envelope didn’t have any markings and seemed to contain more than just paper. She broke the seal and looked inside, and I saw her eyes tear up. I tried to see what was inside as she pulled out a single folded piece of paper. Mia opened it and began to cry which was echoed by Monica. They hugged each other.

I reached over and looked into the envelope. My eyes began to water as I looked at my Grandma’s butterfly brooch. Mia handed me the letter and hugged me as I read:

To whomever has found my Dale’s heart,

Please take care of it. It is very precious to me.

Love Eleanor.

 

THE END

 

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Why is everyone suddenly using the C-word?

A journalist from Canada recently shared a video on Twitter in which she asked people in Manchester their opinion of Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon). Two young people – one male, one female – replied immediately with the word “cunt”. The journalist was taken aback, and the video quickly racked up retweets and comments. So what’s going on here? Is the status of this notorious word changing?

Swearing is power language, a parallel vocabulary packed with emotion and social force. But its effects depend heavily on context: one person’s everyday expletive is another’s strict taboo. These differences also vary greatly across time and place. The strong religious swears in English in the Middle Ages are now mild in most places, though minced versions remain popular (jeepers, cripes, gosh).

Over time, taboos shifted from religion to sex and excretion: fuck, shit and company. Salient among them is cunt. “In the premier league of profanity,” Susie Dent tells us, “cunt has been dominating the table for over two centuries.” Yet it was not originally profane at all. It was once routine enough to appear in street names, surnames, even medical books. “In the 14th century cunt was standard English for the female pudendum,” writes Jane Mills in Womanwords. A century later it was still “the standard way to define vulva”, according to Melissa Mohr in Holy Shit: A Brief History of Swearing.

Attitudes then began to change, and cunt became taboo. Slang lexicographer Eric Partridge notes it was “avoided in written and polite English” – though Shakespeare snuck it in anyway. Later it became obscene by law. Partridge’s forerunner Francis Grose, in his 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, defined it – nastily – as “a nasty name for a nasty thing”. The OED prudishly omitted it from its first edition but caught up in 1972 and has fared better in recent years, adding the adjectives cunted, cunting, cuntish and cunty in March 2014. (The authoritative Green’s Dictionary of Slang catalogues a great variety of such terms.)

“By the early 20th century cunt has acquired a layer of hatred in its meaning,” Kate Warwick writes in an exploration of the word’s offensive power, describing how phonetics and connotation contribute to that effect. Germaine Greer’s influential Female Eunuch (1970) deemed it “the worst name anyone can be called”, and many would still agree. Surveys by broadcasting standards authorities in different English-speaking countries consistently place it at or near the top of their offensiveness charts.

But profanity is determined socially, which traditionally has meant locally, and in certain dialects cunt has little or no shock value. For some speakers of Australian English, Irish English and British (especially Scottish) English, it is an ordinary element of their speech. In Scotland it’s even becoming a pronoun. There are socioeconomic implications: “Even within England,” writes Ally Fogg, “it is used more commonly the further you get (both geographically and socio-politically) from the ruling class and the bourgeoisie.”

Its casual use can be hard to adjust to if your culture categories it as a serious, misogynistic slur. In dialects where cunt is less taboo, it’s often used of men, typically as an insult but also with affection. That doesn’t rid it of its gender-markedness, though (any more than “guys” has become gender neutral) simply because some people use it that way. As Lynne Murphy writes, “The shift from feminine to masculine in BrE is part of a more general tendency to use words for women (or our parts) as the ultimate way to put down a man. Which sums up the status of womanhood in our culture rather neatly.”

There are signs that cunt’s taboo is decreasing slightly in North America, or at least parts of it. Feminist efforts to reclaim it gained momentum through Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues, while Michael Adams has tracked its re-appropriation on American TV – though he concludes that the examples don’t yet constitute a trend.

The word’s occurrence in high-profile shows such as Game of Thrones may reduce its profane power, if only a little, but the greater influence of religious and social conservatism will preserve the taboo’s strength. In language use we take our cues from family, friends and peers far more than from pop culture. One swallow doesn’t make a summer, and even a couple of swears doesn’t break a taboo.

 

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