Carol – 5/2014 to 8/2016 – There’s No Fun in Dysfunction – Part I

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

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I was introduced to Carol by a friend of mine who works as an event director for a center city restaurant. I was literally sitting at the bar and my friend walks up with Carol, and says “Can you babysit this one for a while and I’ll meet you next door in a little bit.” Carol and I immediately hit it off and were chatting and laughing. We went to Square 1682 for a drink. Carol seemed fun. She has  a nice face, long brown hair she’s probably 5’4″ green eyes and is somewhat voluptuous. Very busty. She recently cut her hair to shoulder length and donated it to make wigs for cancer kids, so that’s a nice gesture.

I liked her well enough. She was bubbly and fun to be around. I did notice that her regular speech was peppered with profanity to the point where I would have to say something. I can trust a person that uses the whole language but too much cursing is just a lazy mind’s way of expressing itself. Something I also noticed that when she would drink she’d become very intense about whatever it was she was talking about. Sometimes it seemed overpowering and I can see how that would drive people away from her. But we had fun that night and I saw a green light so I went in for a kiss but she deflected it. I thought I saw a green light but apparently it was turning from yellow to red!

So after that night I didn’t see her for a while but I ran into her one evening. She was coming from her latest job and was on her way home. She worked at some start-up here in the city. We chatted and decided to have a drink. We get there and she is drinking, and getting excited and loud and as usual a little profane. It was actually painful for me to be sitting there. I was feeling stressed just listening to her. Then she saw someone she knew outside and went out to chat with them. We were in a bar I frequent so I was comfortable sitting there by myself. The bartender even looked at me like; “Dude, I feel your pain.” She got me a whiskey just to soothe my nerves.

Carol had mentioned she was supposed to meet her friend for birthday drinks down at some bar down in midtown village or as some call it the gayborhood. Her friend who was having the birthday is gay so it would stand to reason. I can’t remember the name of the place but it’ll come to me. Carol hadn’t come back from whoever she was talking to outside and I wanted to go see my friend who worked the door over at Ashton Cigar Bar, so I settled up at Square 1682 and text Carol that I had to leave. Frankly I was relieved to get away from her.

So I’m chatting with my friend at Ashton sipping a drink and smoking a cig so I’m calm and happy now. Carol texts me and asks me what I’m doing. I tell her I’m at Ashton. I know I shouldn’t have done that but I had already had a few drinks in me and was feeling fine on a Friday. So she comes to Ashton and gets carded by my friend. As a sidebar here my friend has a good job but was bouncing just as a part-time gig. Anyone you ever met who has worked at a bar knows it’s a tough job. You have to deal with a bunch of drunk and arrogant people some of the time. So when Carol gave him a hard time when he carded her and may have called him an asshole, my buddy wanted to toss her out. But I smoothed things out. But his tolerance for that kind of nonsense is very low.

Carol begged me to go to the birthday thing with her and I was like what the hell by then. So I agreed. I find that the more alcohol I consume the easier it is to deal with her volatility. So we walked over and her friend was there. Surprisingly enough it was a great place. The people were friendly and I was having a good time. I even ran into a guy I had met in my business network there with his friend whom until that moment I didn’t know was gay.  I believe in live and let live, but when you’re in a bar you would never go to and you’re like, “I know that dude.” “Wait… that dude’s gay?”

Anyway we had a good old-time there and later Carol jumped in a taxi and I walked home.

So Carol and I would meet up occasionally. Normally there was drinking involved. We both like vodka so that’s a match. I remember it was Thanksgiving Day of 2015 and we both sort of had nothing going on, so I went to her house and we made road sodas and just walked around the city and ate and drank. The city was quiet because of the holiday and the weather was nice so it was memorable. I remember later telling a friend of mine who had a big family and friends type Thanksgiving, that had been somewhat stressful as most holiday gatherings go. When I described my day with Carol, he said that he thought that was glorious. Road sodas, stop at Misconduct Tavern on Locust for food, Jose Pistola’s for drinks and then one more stop and then home.

And it was good. On another occasion I brought her up to my office and we would drink, listen to music and smoke cigarettes and just chat. So we would get pretty buzzed and I ended up kissing her lips. It was nice, and I was thinking maybe we could have something? I wasn’t that into her and she did make me crazy with her “tire spinning in the snow” like rants about her mother or her boss or her sister or her dog or whatever was working on her mind at that minute. But there was something about her I liked. Maybe we were just filling some void in each others lives at that time. She was then out of work, and needed someone who would listen and not be a slob to her and that was me.

My all time favorite moment with Carol, was one night we were hanging outside of Square 1682 smoking cigarettes. We ran into a guy we both knew. I worked with him, and Carol knew him from college. he called her some creepy nickname when he saw her. So she says, “Hey Alan, whatever happened to that crazy bitch you were dating that cheated on you with your roommate?” Alan goes “I married her.”

Crickets! (But glorious silent elegant crickets.)

One night we were at Aldine having drinks, and that is a nice place in Rittenhouse. Well the owner is behind the bar and of course I’m trying to possibly get a future meeting to discuss maybe advertising her bar/restaurant in the publication where I work. And Carol makes some reference of how she doesn’t want to leave her drink unattended while we go out and smoke because she doesn’t want to get roofied. Carol has a very real fear of that happening. And I get it. I really do. Anyone that would drug a woman and take advantage of them so they can easily rape them, should go to jail. And I don’t mean the local hoosgow. I mean you need to be sent to “pound you in the ass prison” and get passed around like a blow up doll for a long time. (reference: Office Space & American History X) But in this case Carol is saying something to a female business owner who owns a fine restaurant and she is right there behind the bar and we’re the only ones there! It’s a bit insensitive and inappropriate. So when we were downstairs I mentioned that it was a nice place and she shouldn’t say things like that to the owner. Just have her cover your drink with a cocktail napkin or hold it behind the bar. Carol was a bit drunk and adamant about the whole roofie thing. And again… I get it. You’ve read my views on that above. But I told her there are times when she says things and they are inappropriate and poorly timed. She needs to see and understand who her audience is before she opens her mouth. Like, am I going to come out and sing Carpenters songs at a Sturgis biker rally? Hell no. So she was stressing me out and I told her maybe we shouldn’t hang out anymore. Well we talked some more and apologies happened and we were fine.

One of my favorite things that we used to do during the winter and spring of this year was we would meet at an agreed movie theater. The Ritz theaters are my favorite. We would go see some film and I’d get some popcorn and a diet coke and she would break out the liter of wine from her bag. I can’t remember the brand of wine but it was a chardonnay that came in one of those non glass containers. She would break out the cups and would always pour us our drinks. We’d sit in the back of the theater and drink wine and eat popcorn. I even brought her 2 miniatures of vodka as a bonus for her. Great thing is, we have never been caught! It reminds me of a joke I used to do years ago in my stand up act. “I got thrown out of the movie theater the other day. Why? For bringing in my food from outside. We’ve all done that right? Well it had been a long time since I had a barbecue…”

Anyway, we have done the movie thing a few times and it has always been fun. One night she was feeling volatile about some family things and I met her at Happy Rooster for a drink after work. It was like 8:30 on a Friday and I just felt beat. Just exhausted and drained. But I knew after a few drinks I would be back in the groove again. So I’m sitting outside and I’m sweating and tired because it’s been very hot this summer in Philadelphia. I can’t get any service and all I want at that moment is an ice-cold beer and a cigarette. I finally get one and I crush it. Carol shows up late. I forgot to mention this. Carol is ALWAYS late. And you will learn that I am very punctual when it comes to things in life. My father drilled that into me. Maybe it’s the German in us. But to me, being on time is paramount in all situations. My father would say, “It’s not that we agreed on 11′ o clock, it’s that your didn’t honor that promise. So your word means nothing”. Sure he’s hard. But he’s right. He’s trying to make me a better person so I don’t fail people in the future not be home on time for bedtime. Life lessons. My ex-wife was always late for everything and it drove me nuts. But I won’t be writing about her in this blog because this blog is called “PhicklePhilly”, not “NoOneCanGetAlongWithYouPhilly.” Carol is always late for everything. I would have to tell her the movie started at 1:30 when it really began at 2:oopm. That sort of stuff which aggravates the hell out of me. So I’m sitting at Happy Rooster and she shows up and says she has a bottle of vodka in her purse we just need to go get some club soda and we can go drink that for free at my air-conditioned office. That seemed like a great idea. But here’s the thing. She is going on and on about how her grandfather recently passed and her sister and/or her cousin had somehow hooked some rings and stuff from the estate. Carol was super angry. Now I don’t drink coffee because I have natural energy. It’s a blessing. But many times I get my energy from the people around me. It works great for me. But there was so much bad energy coming off her it was killing me. I wished she would just disappear but she did have free vodka so I knew once I had my happy serum I wouldn’t give a crap what she was talking about. And don’t get me wrong dear reader, My Father passed away earlier this year. Carol was flipping about jewelry. Just stuff. I’m not a fan of stuff. I get the whole family heirloom shit. But none of that will bring back your loved ones. they’re never coming back. Just be happy for the fleeting time you had with them and be lucky that your had it at all.

So we’re at the office and she has to call her mom and go around and around with her about it for a while and I’m like, “what am I doing here? This is painful.” So I just plow the vodka into me and after a while I’m chill and can deal with her. So eventually she calmed down after talking to her mom. I know there was some talk about her and her mom making some other ring out of something and Carol getting some kind of tattoo. To me…all a waste of time but her, it’s not my family. So at one point out of the blue she says to me the following words:

“Do you think I’m fat?”

Find out Wednesday what our hero’s response is to that question. The result could be catastrophic.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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Author: phicklephilly

Copyright © 2016 by Phicklephilly All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. All stories and characters are based on real people and events. The names and images have been changed to protect their privacy. Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation!”

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