Wildwood Daze – Betty Ann – Part 9 – Farewell, My Love

Wildwood, New Jersey – August 1984

I remember Betty telling me, at the beginning of our relationship, she was moving to Chicago in three months for her husband’s job. So I knew no matter what happened between us, it would be short-lived. It was an affair she wanted to have with a younger man to get revenge on her husband. But what she didn’t realize at the time with whom she had chosen to have that affair.

We were sitting on a bench on the boardwalk one afternoon. It was a warm sunny day, and the tourists milled about us. Eating, drinking, playing games, and going on amusements.

We were just having a moment of gentle repose when she turned to me.

“You know, Chaz… when I started this with you it was just to get back at my husband.”

“I know, Bets. It’s okay. I’ve had no illusion as to what this relationship is.”

“But… I’m sorry about that.”

“It’s okay. I’m fine with it. I’ve just been happy to be with you, even though our time has been short.”

“But… I never thought that I’d fall in love with you.”

I smiled and kissed her. “I love you too, Betty. I loved you the first time I saw you come in the store.”

I knew what I was getting myself into. At 22 I was just driven by my desire to love and be loved. Nothing more. I’d always been that way. Almost desperate to be recognized by a beautiful woman. To feel real value and worth. It was a young man’s folly, but back then it was real. It was what I was.

The movers had begun to pack up her house and prepared to truck it off to Chicago. One evening we were lying on a sheet on the floor of her bedroom. We had just completed another one of our fiery sessions. The house was basically empty, sans us on the floor and a fan that blew across the room to cool us.

“Chaz…”

I laid back and stared at the ceiling with her beside me. I turned to her and kissed her lips. I knew this relationship’s expiration date and had prepared myself for its demise.

“I’m really going to miss you, Chaz.”

“I’m going to miss you too, Bets.”

“You know… I went off birth control a while back.”

“Wait… what?”

“Yea. I stopped taking it over a month and a half ago.”

“Umm… why?”

“I love you, Chaz. I thought if I got pregnant it would be a nice present you could give me, so I would always have a part of you with me forever.”

Anxiety goes into overdrive.

“Are you…?”

“I don’t know and I don’t care. It’s my decision.”

Not much was said after that while my mind swirled with a million possibilities. All of them ended with me getting shot by her husband.

To be honest, it had been such a crazy whirlwind romance I couldn’t even process what was happening at the time. I was just traveling through time in space caught in the vortex that was mad love and desire for Betty.

One night, about a week before she was supposed to move I was sitting at the kitchen table at my parent’s house having a snack. I was the only one at home at the time. The phone rang and I answered it.

It was Betty’s husband.

It was an awkward conversation and at first, I denied who I was. But he knew he had the correct number and that it was me. I don’t know how he got my number or name, but he must have gone through his wife’s things. He had stated on the call that Betty had run off to Texas to spend some time with her friend Leddy and that I should call her.

I was surprised at how cool he was, but somehow the jig was up. This was bad. This wasn’t supposed to ever happen, but what did I think could happen with what I was engaged in. He gave me Leddy’s number and I quickly scrawled it down on a piece of paper by the phone. Then he hung up.

I called the number and the person who answered the phone wasn’t Betty but sounded giggly and maybe high. She put Betty on the phone and we talked. She expressed again that she was in love with me, and that she no longer wanted to be with her husband, so she took off to her friend’s house to get her head straightened out. I assured her that as hard as it was for both of us, she should try to work things out with her husband.

Frankly, as much as I adored the drug of being with a girl like Betty, it had all begun to wear on me. The sneaking around, the idea of her infidelity, and the fact that she had a 5-year-old daughter.

I had prepared myself for this affair to only exist for a finite amount of time and felt resolute with its outcome. It frightened me that her husband had called my parent’s house and I’d had enough. Worlds colliding is never a good thing. I didn’t want this sort of mess in my life anymore. The possibility of Betty ever staying with me and making life with me in Wildwood seemed unimaginable to me. It didn’t make sense. Betty had been a secretary that hooked up with a high-powered married executive. He left his wife for Betty, his then-mistress. That almost never happens. People cheat because they’re not getting something from their spouse. It has nothing to do with sex, it’s more about that person’s character and bigger things wrong in their current relationship.

Betty was 32, but when I look back on it now, she was very immature as a woman. She liked being with charming, fun me because she longed to be young and 20 again. That was never going to happen. She was a house cat now. No job, no real skills, a mother, and a kept trophy on the arm of a rich guy. She had her daughter with him securing her financial stability. But Betty and me at age 22 would never have worked. Was she going to go from living in a nice house and driving a BMW 5, to living in some cheap apartment with a guy who worked at a video store? She just was caught up in a world of lust and fun and needed to get her head straight.

I get it. Once women hit around 28, the clock starts ticking. They need to settle down, find a husband, and have a kid. That’s happening a million times around the world right now. Even as you read this story it’s happening everywhere.

We kept in touch leading up to her going, but she did end up moving to Chicago with her husband and daughter. I was relieved, but for some reason, I wasn’t sad. I guess because Betty loved me and I her, but she was never mine. She belonged to another man. Her heart was all for Chaz, but the rest of her life was with him. I think after some time and counseling, she realized that and relented to his will. But it was for the best.

She wrote to me a few times and we chatted on the phone, but they were to stay out in Chicago for at least the next 3 years. So I knew time would heal all wounds.

She did call me one night and we were chatting and she asked that I mail her the polaroid pic of her topless back to her. She stated she just didn’t want a photo of her like that out in the world. I was fine mailing it back to her. It never meant anything to me anyway. Why would I look at some crappy picture of the woman I was seeing in the real world. Looking at a naked pic of Betty just seemed tawdry compared to what we once shared. Something sweet and elegant.

Here’s some of the stuff she sent me in the mail in the following months after she left.

Is that binding? (lol)

You’d think that the story would be over at this point. But there’s one last thing I have to tell you.

Tune in next Tuesday for the bone-jarring conclusion to this sordid tale.

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Wildwood Daze – Betty Ann – Part 8 -The Drive In

Wildwood, New Jersey – July 1984

Even though at 22 I was glad I still had my summer of 1980 and California powers with women, Betty was a lovely compliment to my history. I loved all of our deliciously devilish encounters. She was gorgeous, had a slamming body, and most of all experience. Being a woman of 32 she was different than the girls I’d dated up till then. They kind of didn’t know what to do with or to a man to bring him to a boil. It all came from me. My desire and uncontrollable urges. But Betty was a woman, not a young girl. She knew how to touch and please a man. She had things she could do to enhance and sometimes even slow down the encounter to make it longer and more enjoyable. I realized why her husband had cheated on his first wife to get with Betty. She was a little dynamo in the bedroom. My time in California had changed me from a kid selling cookies in a town full of werewolves, into Lon Chaney himself.

But I loved my new girlfriend and being the gentleman I had come to be, I wanted to take her on some fun dates. I think I loved romance and courtship even better than sex. Sex is an act that celebrates how we feel about each other in a physical union. But romance and courtship take more time and are far more elegant. I know I’m right. Have you ever watched one of those nature shows about the courtship of some birds? The male does a fantastic dance, a show, collects stuff, and makes a shrine to his potential mate. When the female finally gives in and chooses him, it’s over in like a second. I’m like… dude, you did all of that just to get laid? Yes, yes I did, says the bird. Because it’s called romance, son.

Look at this guy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWfyw51DQfU

I told her about all of my wonderful fun times at the drive-in movie theater in Rio Grande and she wanted to go. She said she’d never been to a drive-in movie and it sounded fun. 

So the following weekend we hopped in her BMW and went to the drive-in. We stopped at the liquor store on RT 47 before we went in and I picked up some beer. Always Miller ponies because they were small and stayed colder longer. (You also consumed them a bit faster because they were so small) We found a good spot and parked. I set up the speaker on the driver’s side window and we were good to go. I ran to the snack bar and got us a big bag of popcorn and we were all set. 

I’ve always loved movies and I especially loved drive-in movies. You’re in the privacy of your own car, you can talk, drink, smoke, and do whatever else you want in the privacy of your vehicle. 

The movies playing that night were Footloose and Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom. a perfect 80s double feature with my best girl.

We were munching our popcorn, sipping cold beer on that warm summer evening and all was right in my world. I liked this part of our relationship. Betty liked to smoke pot so she sparked up a joint. I didn’t smoke back then, because I didn’t like the sudden confusing feeling THC gave me, so I declined. I noticed when Betty was high she’d get a little snippy with me but in an endearing way. She offered some hits to me but I said I was fine with just beer. “You’re always saying no to me, Chaz.” she’d say. I knew that wasn’t true. I was a young buck at my peak of physical prowess but I was sitting next to a woman in her sexual prime.

We enjoyed the movies and acted like a couple of teenagers. Betty said I made her feel like a young girl again. She said she loved the way she felt when she was with me. She missed being a single girl and going out on fun dates.  I knew she’d love this. I could see from my actions this was going from more of an illicit adulterous hook-up to a real romance. 

It was a lovely night and after the movie, we decided to drive around a bit. We drove out to Cape May and I wanted to show her the concrete ship. It was a famous tourist spot not only known for its cape may diamonds, but a sweet make-out spot. 

I remember the road that led out to that place is incredibly straight. I once asked my dad about that, and he told me that a trolley used to run out that way. We were a mile or two away and I asked Betty if she could pull over. We sat in the car and talked for a little bit and then things became a bit more amorous, but then I suddenly pulled away. “Can I drive the rest of the way?”

“Ummm… oh, why not, Chaz.”

We switched seats and I got behind the wheel. I knew the road was deserted at night and straight as an arrow. So when we got to the beginning, I floored it and the BMW responded just like Betty did to my touch.

Betty was giggling and not angry at all. I knew she’d yield to my wishes. It felt great to drive a car with such performance. I’d never had a chance to drive such a car. We reached the coastline in a minute or two and I hit the brakes and parked.

We parked and climbed into the back seat. As she fell into my arms laughing, I realized that I had broken not one, but two of her original rules that evening. I’m sure it never crossed her mind, but it did mine.

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Wildwood Daze – Betty Ann – Part 5 – Summer Nights

North Wildwood, NJ – May 1984

The saga continues…

I was sitting on the porch at my friend Pitchy’s house and telling him all about my exploits with Betty. He was amazed by the tales of my recent prowess. Pitchy was my best summer friend at the seashore since 1971 when I first met him as a kid. He lived right around the corner from me at 7th and Ocean Ave. We had a rich history together hanging out all of those summers in the 70s. He was a close friend and we’d had some great times together. He had a lovely dry wit that was uncanny. He was also a person I could always trust.  One of his gifts was that he had always been the master of the dime toss game on the boardwalk.

But he was never that good at talking to girls. I noticed a lot of young men struggled with that back then. (And even today!) I never understood that but I guess we’re always good at things we like, and I loved the company of pretty women so I was okay.

I would tell him… “If you think you’re going to be tongue-tied on a date with a girl… take her to the movies. That’s two hours right there where she’ll be entertained and fed. You don’t have to say or do anything at all. Just hold her hand during the picture. If the film is fun and exciting, she’ll associate those feelings with you and you’ll be fine.”

Pitchy was working as a summer cop in North Wildwood by 1984 and really enjoyed police work. He had always wanted to be a cop and was beginning his career as a summer cop to gain experience.

I’m happy to say that through the years, he stayed in law enforcement and became a roaring success. He achieved success beyond anything I could have imagined for him. 

We sat on his porch in the quiet evening silence of North Wildwood. All the craziness was happening 25 blocks away on the boardwalk and in the clubs on Pacific Avenue. But we both had a moment of repose from our jobs this evening and were just chatting and sipping a few cold beers. The glow of the neon signs from the motel, The Friendship 7 across the street was the only light that illuminated our presence on that porch. 

He would do these comedy bits like he was the voiceover guy for a movie preview. It was hilarious and I loved when he would come up with these things. It was like he was describing me as a character in a horror movie. He would say; “In 1980 you loved him as the Wildwood Gigalo. But now…he’s back. It’s been four years… but he’s back. Chaz is… THE HOMEWRECKER. This time it’s not your girlfriend…It’s Your WIFE!”

I liked that he referred to me as the homewrecker as if I were the villain in a movie. So funny. I told him how Betty drove a light blue BMW 5 and that she and I stayed in motels in Wildwood to hook up. I never thought back then how much Betty must have spent on babysitting fees for someone to watch her daughter, Kelly while she galavanted around Wildwood with her young boy toy, ten years her junior.

But as much as I had built up a reputation as a rocker and charmer of women, it was nice to reach that legendary status with my friends. It’s all so silly when I think about it now.

I’d be on the phone with Betty.

“I want to come to Wildwood to see you this weekend, Chaz.”

“That would be great, Bets.”

“Can you maybe rent a room for us?”

Because the season hadn’t started yet, the rooms would not only be available at several motels in town, they’d be much cheaper. 

This became a regular thing with Betty and me. She liked her anonymity in Wildwood. She had no fear of running into anyone she and her husband knew up in Absecon. Plus, she had that whole rule about not having sex with her in her house, car, or matrimonial bed.

I was totally fine with it. I was working and had money to burn, and Betty always had cash. Most times she would pay for everything. I remember one day I was at her house and she gave me a brand new Gucci watch. It was beautiful. A 14k gold timepiece with a lizard skin strap.  I wore that watch until the strap practically dissolved on my wrist. I loved that watch. It was the nicest piece of jewelry I had ever owned.

At this point, I wasn’t falling for Betty…

I had already fallen.

I always shared with my mother what I was up to romantically in my life. I would sit at the kitchen table chatting with my mom and profess my love for my new, older girlfriend. I told my mom I was done dating girls and only wanted to date women now.

“Oh, you mean that alley cat you’re currently running around with?”

Mom did not approve. I think she had some concerns about the seed not falling far from the tree in this family. She had already had enough of my father’s many dalliances and probably feared I was becoming like him. On the other hand, I know my dad secretly loved the idea of his son capturing the heart of such a lovely woman that was in his wheelhouse.

(This polaroid was taken in a little photo booth in an arcade on the Wildwood boardwalk. It was her idea. I’m so glad we did this. I was so happy.)

We stayed in several different motels that spring and it was awesome. We once stayed in a motel that was right on the corner of 8th and Surf Ave. That was around 100 yards from my parent’s house! Crazy night!

We’d do fun things like go to the boardwalk, and it was amazing. Going out to eat and just spending time together. I just loved being with Betty. I know she enjoyed my company too because I think I helped her retain her youth and show her how fun it was to date again. I think she needed that in her broken marriage. 

The passion we shared.

I remember we once pulled up at a motel where one of my friends was working as a lifeguard and I introduced her to him. Betty Ann stepped out of the car in a white mini-dress. Her caramel skin glowed in the sun and her raven tresses tumbled over her shoulders like a moonless river.

I didn’t really hang out with this guy/clown anymore. He had burned too many bridges with me by then. I really did it just to show off my spectacular girlfriend to him. He later told me that if he ever got a girl like that he would never let her go, but I knew by then I was now operating at a level that he’d never understand, or ever be able to achieve. 

I was so proud to be with such a beautiful, sweet woman. Just kissing Betty was like waking up on Christmas morning. We’d kiss, and she always ended it with a little extra peck on the side of my lips. It was like she was putting her signature on that last kiss… just to remind me I was hers. 

But no matter what we did during the afternoon on our dates, it was all simply delaying the inevitable. We always ended up back in the room…and back in the saddle. 

(Cue up: Aerosmith – Rocks – Side 1, Track 1)

One night, we stayed in a motel on New Jersey Avenue. As summer approached it was getting harder to find available reasonably priced rooms. But it was a nice place, and of course, at the end of our fun day we ended up back there. I remember it being especially hot outside, and the air conditioner was right over the bed. It kept us cool while we passionately tore each other to pieces like teenagers through the night.

The next morning we walked out to the car and there was a piece of paper clipped under the windshield wiper. It looked like a ticket.

It was an official warning from the police.

The notice stated that we had violated the local noise ordinance in North Wildwood. It said that neighbors were complaining about the loud sounds of, “Moaning, Screaming, and a Squeaking Bed… Nonstop”.

I was obviously stunned, and Betty was horrified.

But as I read down toward the bottom, I recognized the name of the officer who had issued the warning last night. It was my buddy, Pitchy. He knew I was staying there and recognized Betty’s BMW.

Nice shot, dude.

(I may still have that warning ticket packed away somewhere!)

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It’s gonna be another burner!

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Wildwood Daze – Betty Ann – Part 4 – Boy Toy

The next time I saw Betty was in the store. It was business as usual. She came in to order another video for purchase.

I would never kiss and tell and this new affair was top secret. No one I worked with knew what was happening between this queen and me, and I wanted it to keep it that way. I had never had an experience with an older woman, let alone a married one.

A few days passed.

When the movie she ordered came in I called her to let her know we had received it.

“Why don’t you bring it by my house tonight and bring something else we can watch. I’ll get a babysitter for little Kelly.”

After work that day I again drove to her house. This time it was under the cloak of night which I preferred. I was worried about her neighbors seeing something, or worse… saying something. I was pretty paranoid this whole time.

I get there and she invites me in. She gives me a hug and a little kiss. She’s very much in control of this situation.

She tells me that she’s having some issues with her video equipment and something’s not working right. This was pretty common back then. The technology was new and there were a lot of different complex hookups the average person didn’t understand. But because I was working at a video store I was a master of all things VCR and TV.

“I appreciate you taking a look at my system. I don’t know what’s wrong with it. Oh, and can you see if you can get the sound to come through the stereo when I watch a movie on the VCR?”

“I’ll take  look at that.”

“A couple of my girlfriends may be stopping by for a sec to drop off some stuff for a bridal shower we have to go to next week, okay?”

“I don’t care. You do your thing and I’ll see what’s wrong with your system, Betty.”

I’m down on the floor in front of their entertainment system checking all of the leads, wires and plugs. At one point I even had to move it away from the wall a bit and climb behind the piece of furniture.

I can hear the doorbell from the other room and Betty chatting with several other women.

But then it gets a little quiet. I’m checking the RCA audio/video cables and making sure red is right and white is left and yellow is direct video. I remember I had brought some really good gold top cables from the store. (Paid for with my employee discount of course!)

I came out from behind the unit to see several attractive ladies standing together giggling at the edge of the living room. They were whispering and smiling at me. Betty introduced me as her friend Chaz who was “helping” her with her video system from the store. I smiled and waved, and went back to the task at hand.

In a short time, I heard the front door close and Betty returned to the room.

“I think I fixed it, Betty. Watch.” I flipped a few switches and grabbed the remote. Everything was working fine and the sound was coming through the stereo now.

“Thank you, Dr. Video!”

I liked that title. “That’s me! At your service, Miss.”

“That was my friends. They thought you were cute.”

“They seemed nice.”

“I wanted them to see you. I was showing you off to them… my boy toy.”

“Is that what I am to you, Betty?”

“Of course. Come here and join me on the sofa.”

I obeyed like a dog. She welcomed me into her arms and we kissed. I loved kissing Betty. She was just so beautiful and perfect.

If she wanted me to rob a bank with her I would have done it.

She takes my hands and looks into my eyes. “Listen Chaz. We have to talk about a couple of things.”

(Here we go…) “Okay…” (Is this where we plan to rob a bank?)

“We have to have some rules. We can’t fool around in this house.”

(What’s she talking about? We haven’t even done anything yet!)

“You can’t drive my car, and we can’t fool around in my car. We can’t ever have sex in my bed either. I can only see you when I can because I’m the one with everything to lose here. I’m the one who’s married.”

(This all seems a bit premature, but I’ll say whatever she wants at this point. I just like seeing her.)

“I understand, Betty. I’m just happy to know you and spend time with you. I’d never do anything to make you feel uncomfortable in any way or jeapordize your marriage in any way.” (But in reality, it was she who called me and started this whole affair. But whatever.)

“That’s good, Chaz. We can have a lot of fun together and I think you’re a sweet guy. I just need to set some guidelines at the onset of this.”

“I totally agree, Betty. You’re right. I promise to respect your wishes and will make every effort to protect your interests.”

(I can almost hear my father in this moment…)

“Thank you, Chaz. That means a lot to me. I just don’t want any complications.”

“Me either, Betty.”

“C’mere…” She pulls me to her and kisses me deeply. It felt wonderful to hold and kiss this lovely woman with caramel skin. Her raven tresses tumbled over her shoulders like a moonless river.

I wasn’t falling for Betty at this point. I had already fallen for her the first time I laid eyes on her in the store. It was instant. But I never dreamed I’d be here with her right now. It was all a miraculous dream. I felt resurrected after failing to become a rockstar in Los Angeles. Here I was still able to pull the talent. I still had my mad game no matter what I did for a living. I had come so far from the timid, loser of my early teen years. Now I could get the kind of girls I could never have imagined would even talk to me in junior high school. But here I was. Making out with the lovely Betty Ann.

Most men dream about getting women they fantasize about when they meet them in real life. But I had become a magnet for this in the summer of 1980 in Wildwood and later in LA.

We wrestled on her sofa like a couple of high school kids. I don’t even remember what videos I brought over and I know we didn’t watch them. It was exciting. It was probably something Betty missed in her life now. She missed the rush of a new guy. A new face. A young man. Boundless energy and a fiery libido in its absolute prime. I was just happy to be in this simple teenage-like intimate moment with her. We were like a couple of kids just making out on the couch and doing a little gentle touching.

“I really appreciate you listening to me tonight, Chaz. It means a lot to me that you’ll respect my wishes and stick to my rules. I needed that.”

“Of course. I completely understand.”

Betty smiled and held me tightly. Her warm perfume swirled about me as my face disappeared into her dark mane that was like ribbons of coal.

At that moment, I knew.

I knew what I had to do. I was now determined to a singular mission.

I was going to break EVERY ONE of those rules and Betty Ann was going to like it.

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Wildwood Daze – Betty Ann – Part 3 – Lipstick on your Collar

Spring, 1984

I called Betty and assured her I was on my way. I had the necessary videos on the front seat of my car.

Betty lived in a nice house in a lovely neighborhood in Absecon. As I pulled into the development, it was as if they had simply poured asphalt into the shape of a road through the woods and dropped a few elegant houses in there.

I parked away from the property and approached her house. (What if something crazy happens and I have to make a quick getaway?)

Betty Knight. The prettiest lady that came in our video store. How was this different from California? Those days in the early 80s were full of debauchery and recklessness. I was back. But I lived with my parents for god’s sake. I failed out there in L.A. My career or, my imagined career in music was already over. Why? How did that happen? All I ever wanted was to be a rockstar and now here I am.

I sang in a band in Philly, played guitar in a band in Wildwood, and played more rock in L.A., and none of it amounted to anything. My favorite thing in the world wasn’t going to happen to me. What was to be my fate now? Was I just a leaf cast upon the winds of my whims and dreams only to be cast asunder in some grinding domestic life from now on?

But all of the magic things happened in the summer of 1977, 1980, and 1983. I was on a 3-year success cycle there. What happened? It’s 1984, and I thought my luck had run out. My transformation was over. I’ve had my laughs and had my fun with all the girls, I need to buckle down and fly right.

But here I am. Walking up the pathway to this lady’s house. This stranger. This beautiful woman that looks like a Mayan queen and smells like the first day of spring. No matter what I do I always end up here. Walking up to the next adventure. The next extraordinary affair in my life. Why do I keep doing this? Maybe it’s not me, and it’s the forces trying to get me back on track as to where I’m supposed to be.

(This is her front porch. What’s behind the Green Door?)

I was nothing in the ’70s. Then I rose up. But there were those who seemed superior to me. Undoubtedly these things had been allotted to the beautiful, the athletic, and those with clear skin. This stuff was for them. Not a loser like me.

But here she is. I’m at her house. Not a girl. Not some teenager hanging at my side by the pinball machine. This was a woman. 10 years my senior. For some reason, she’s chosen me. It can’t really be happening.

Is my co-worker Tyrone some sort of cupid or even a wizard in matters of love?

I didn’t know what love was back then. Any love I ever felt for anyone came at a price. Whether it was scorn or the sweetest touch of a hand in mine.

I knocked on the door. There’s the moment. You’ve made a sound. Has it been received? There is nothing in the world right now but you and your waiting.

Do you knock again?

No.

Wait.

Knock again. Use the brass knocker on the door this time, buster.

I can’t believe I’m standing here right now. In this neighborhood, knocking on this customer’s door. I look down at the two plastic tape cases in my hand. Rod Stewart and Eddie and the Cruisers on Beta.

The door opens.

Betty is dressed in casual clothes. Light blue button-down blouse and jeans with white Keds. Those dark eyes and raven mane though…

Nothing alarming here. Gotta stay cool. She welcomes me into her home.

She’s lovely and relaxed. I on the other hand am a cluster of nerves and anxiety. I almost can’t describe the feeling. It’s as if I’ve been the miraculous winner of some exotic lottery.

We exchange pleasantries and I set the vids on the table. Her house is how one would picture the home of what appears to be a wealthy person. I know she drives a light blue BMW 5 series, but I don’t know what Betty does for a living.

She takes me on a tour of her house. It’s clean, neat, and nicely appointed, but nothing that points to extravagance. But it’s a really nice house in a very nice neighborhood. We go down a flight of stairs that lead to the basement. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean the basement in some John Carpenter film, it’s a finished basement. As we head down the steps I see some framed photos that appear to have been taken at the Grand Prix. This part of the house is giving me a strong male vibe here.  We walk through a finished playroom area complete with a bar and pool table. Spider sense is tingling like mad now.

“Well, I guess you know I’m married.”

“Umm… No, I didn’t. I hadn’t thought of that, Betty.”

To be honest, if a lady is renting little mermaid videos she obviously has a little daughter. If she has a little daughter, she might be married. But in my blind desire for her back at the store, I can honestly say I didn’t think about any of that. I know I should have, but at that age, I only saw what was before me and what I liked and wanted. I think that’s simply a trait of youth. You act before you think of the repercussions of your decisions. I know I did that well into my 40’s! You want what you want when you want it, and nothing is going to stop you from getting it. You only see the end goal and not all the hazards along the way to your destination.

“My husband, Dick works at the Showboat Casino.”

“Is he in the mob?”

“Oh gosh, no. I wish everybody would stop assuming that just because someone works at the executive level in a casino they’re associated with the mafia.”

“Sorry. I didn’t mean…”

“It’s fine. It doesn’t matter. Follow me.”

Betty then takes me into the laundry room. (Is this where I get murdered and no one ever hears from me again?) I doubt it. Betty is 5’3″ and 100 lbs. She reaches into the dryer and pulls out a man’s dress shirt. She holds out the collar to me.

“Look at this.”

“Okay… Hmm…”

“What does that look like to you?”

“That looks like lipstick, Betty.”

“Yea. The lipstick on your collar always tells the tale on you.”

“I suppose so… I wouldn’t…”

“And look at this.” She reaches behind a cup on the shelf above the washer and produces what appears to be a woman’s earring.

“I found that in his car.”

Things don’t look good for Dick at this point. Who named Richard goes by the name Dick anyway? I would love to know the question’s when, how, and why.

“Wow.”

“Yea, what does all of that make you think of?”

“Well if that’s not your earring and that smear on the collar of his shirt is clearly not your color, I’d say your husband is probably cheating you, Betty.”

“Yep. That son of a bitch.”

Clearly, she’s pissed.

Why is she showing me all of this so early in our first meeting? It’s as if a message and a motive need to be sent. As nervous as I am at this moment, I kind of like the rush and intrigue of my current situation. I don’t know why, but I’ve always been like this. The nice innocent guy who is somehow drawn into the darker aspects of existence. This is a precarious position I’m in and the bigger question is… where is Dick right now? Cheater or not, I’m in the basement of the guy’s house with his wife right now. I don’t know where the escape routes or heavy sharp objects are in the house. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

“Where is he right now?”

“He’s in Chicago on business until Tuesday.”

(Sigh of relief.) Oh… okay. Well, I’m sorry this is happening to you, Betty. You seem like a really nice lady.”

“I am, but I should have expected something like this to eventually happen. Let’s go back upstairs. Would you like a beer?”

“That would be awesome.” (Alcohol would be the perfect remedy for my nerves right now.)

We get up to the brightly lit kitchen. “When you said you should have expected this, what did you mean?”

She takes a bottle of Heineken from the fridge and pops the cap. Pouring it slowly into a pilsner glass I notice how dainty her hands are and how lovely her vermillion nails are. “Well, that’s how I met Dick. A leopard doesn’t change his spots.”

“Go on…”

“I was his secretary. He was married before. I worked for him in my early twenties and he started having an affair with me.”

“He left his wife and married you?”

“Yep. So I suppose I should have seen this coming. Maybe he’s tired of me now that I’m 32. I wonder who he’s fooling around with this time.”

Her sadness mixed with betrayal and scorn flashed before me. She’s so beautiful and perfect that I can’t imagine a man wanting anything but her. But I was young. I’m jaded from being in bands and living in L.A. for a couple of years, but youth is still a place I can’t escape. I take a deep swig from the ice-cold beer for solace.

“I’m sorry, Betty. I’m glad you feel comfortable enough with me to tell me how you’re feeling.” (I’m navigating new waters at this point.)

“Yea… Hey, come look at my cul-de-sac. I love my cul-de-sac.”

Okay, at this point I have no idea what a cul-de-sac is. Is it french for some sort of sexual thing? No. Can’t be. Is it something in the house? I’m lost here. I had heard the word but never knew what it meant or what it was.

She walks me over to the kitchen sink. I look down. Okay… drain, spigot, dish sprayer thing. What am I supposed to be looking at?

She points out the window over the sink. “Look. Isn’t that a lovely cul-de-sac?”

All I see out there is the end of a street surrounded by other nice houses in a circle with no apparent exit. It’s just a street that ends with no passage. I’m confused but I have to play along. I look intently out the window at the view. “Well, I must say, Betty… that’s about the best-looking cul-de-sac I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“I know, right?”

But as I turn around and away from the window, Betty is standing right there in front of me. Like, right there. Like six inches in front of me. My heart quickens as I look into her dark eyes. I can feel the familiar searing burst of warm color that explodes in my mind and heart.

This is ignition.

I set my glass on the counter and kiss her lips. It feels like I’ve kissed her before. But it’s brand new. But there’s a friendly familiarity to her kiss. We fit naturally together like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in the universe right now. I take her in my arms and we kiss deeply. It’s amazing. I’ve been kissing girls all of my life. but now I’m kissing a woman. A beautiful, exquisite, experienced woman. My god, she’s beautiful. If Dick walks in here right now and shoots me dead, I’ll die willingly knowing the last thing I ever did in this life was to kiss this lovely woman.

The kiss comes to a conclusion and she hugs me tightly. She smells incredible. What is that fragrance? Is that Red Door? I don’t know. I can’t think straight. There’s too much dopamine firing in my brain. I lean back on the counter and look at her. She smiles and her eyes twinkle as she tosses her raven mane to the side. My god… what did I do to deserve this moment?

Instant love.

“You’re cute, Chaz. I like you. Bonus points for being a great kisser.”

I blush like mad and look down. “I always liked you, Betty. Ever since the first time you came into the store. You were my favorite. You’re the prettiest girl that comes in the store. I’m glad Tyrone said something to you now.”

I didn’t know it at the time, but this is probably what she needed to hear from her husband. She was over 30 and had a 5-year-old daughter now. No longer the spring chicken she was when she met her husband. No longer the forbidden fruit that he spent time with at the office every day. Most men never leave their wives for the mistress, but this guy did, and then cheated again.

“I always thought you were cute and nice, Chaz.”   Get your beer. Let’s go into the living room. and watch a movie.”

We watched Eddie and the Cruisers. It is a cool story, with a great soundtrack, but is a cliche-ridden mess. But I didn’t care, I was just happy to be sitting on the couch with this pretty lady. There were more beers drank and more sweet kisses stolen.

We watched some of the Rod Stewart video because she loved him. Most girls from that generation loved Rod Stewart. I never understood it, and neither did my mother. “What do they see in that skinny big nosed Scotsman?” she would say. But what was happening here now was no place for thoughts about my mom.

After some cuddling on the couch and more kisses, it was time to wrap up the day. I smooched her one more time before opening her door and making my departure. We planned on getting together soon, and I didn’t ask any questions. It was her movie and I was merely an actor in this one. A very willing actor.

I think this was an audition for me. Betty wanted to see what I was like outside of the store. She felt comfortable enough to bring me to her home, so at least there was that.  But would I get a lead role in this affair?

Only time would tell.

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Check out my latest book, LAWNDALE now for sale on Amazon!

Wildwood Daze – Betty Ann – Part 2 – Infatuation

If you missed Part One, you can read it here.

Spring  1984 – Wildwood, NJ

I was 22 years old.

Like any job when you work with men, we always have our favorite female customers that come in. Everybody had their favorites, but there are always the top 5, top 3, and number 1. I know it may sound silly or sexist, but it’s really just something men do. I’m sure women do the same thing as well. That certain guy that comes in with the shoulders, eyes, or voice that makes you weak in the knees when he comes in your store to buy or rent something. It makes any job more fun.

But there was this one lady that came in that I absolutely adored. She was petite, with lovely caramel skin and raven hair. Her name was Betty Knight.

Not Elizabeth.

Betty.

I made it known to my male coworkers that she was my number 1. They all agreed she was one of the prettiest women that came into our store. No one knew much about her other than the fact she was beautiful, over the age of 30, and had a little daughter. Just a lovely lady who periodically came into the store to rent movies.

There was this black guy I worked with named, Tyrone. He was in perfect physical condition. I remember the guy just being in incredible shape. He could just grab onto any secure object from above and pull himself up in the air. You could wash clothes on this guy’s abs. I was always envious of guys that looked like that. Anyway, he was a sweet guy who had a goofy sense of humor.

He liked silly jokes and pulling pranks. One time I was putting away some of the video boxes on the shelves in the library. I was reaching up high to put a box on a shelf and Tyrone snuck up behind me and tickled me. I was not only surprised, I accidentally farted. I was embarrassed, but Tyrone thought this was the funniest thing he’d ever seen. He joked and kidded about it with me for the rest of the week.

I didn’t really mind, because no one else was around when he did it, and he didn’t tell any of my co-workers.  He simply enjoyed juvenile humor. I liked him so I took it in stride. Just locker room horseplay among guys working together in a boring retail job. Let’s face it, farts are funny.

He knew I liked Ms. Knight because when she would come in I always said that I’d wait on her. I would fuss over her and go above and beyond on the charm and customer service. I don’t know if she realized it at the time, but I simply did it because I thought she was gorgeous, and enjoyed engaging her in the store. Any excuse to chat with her and be near such an ethereal beauty.

Thursday

One morning I was working the day shift with my man, Tyrone. We were just working the counter, chatting, and watching videos on MTV. (Which ran all day, every day at the store.) Betty came in to drop off some videos and get some more. Of course, I greeted her and did intake on her returns. She then went back to the library section to look for more movies.

When I looked at her account I noticed she rented The Little Mermaid on a regular basis. Now, this isn’t the one we’re all familiar with. This isn’t the animated Disney classic that my daughter grew up on. This was a cartoon made back in 1975, and one of several titles that found its way onto home video in the 1980’s. I’m talking some Hans Christian Andersen stuff here.

Amazon.com: Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid: Fumie KASHIYAMA, Tomoharu KATSUMATA: Movies & TV

Not many people have ever seen this relic, but back in the mid-’80s, you couldn’t get many Disney titles back then. They hadn’t made the leap to home video yet. I knew a guy I worked with who had a bootleg of Disney’s Pinocchio back then. That was a rare and illegal copy of the film. The video and audio were poor quality, but it was still Pinocchio and a watchable dub.

We chatted a little bit when she returned to the counter to rent her movies. I mentioned to her that I noticed that she rented the Little Mermaid quite often and that if she wanted we could order her a copy for purchase and it would only be around forty bucks. I even told her I could hook her up with a discount. She said she’d think about it.

The transaction passed without incident and she was preparing to leave. Then Tyrone suddenly said the following words:

“Charles likes you, Miss Knight!”

I was mortified. I couldn’t believe the unmitigated, awkward, audacity of the outburst. Was this something he did to his friends? Just outed their private romantic feelings to whomever? It was insane.

“Shut up, Tyrone!”

She simply smiled and I was so embarrassed I could barely look up from the counter. She gathered her things and walked out the door, smiling and saying goodbye.

“What the hell, man?”

“What? You know you like her!”

“But you didn’t have to tell her! I don’t know anything about this woman! It’s weird, dude!”

Tyrone just laughed it off and went back to stocking the shelves.

A week or so passed, and I was working at the counter with a different guy who worked there. That’s when the phone rang. My co-worker was waiting on someone so I answered it.

“Thank you for calling Home Video Centers, this is Charles. How can I help you?”

“Charles. Just the person I want to talk to. This is Betty Knight.”

(My heart rate speeding up…)

“Oh… Hi Betty. What can I do for you?”

“I thought about what you said, and I want to order the Little Mermaid for purchase. Can you order it for me?”

“Sure! Let me just write that up and take some of your information for the order.”

I do that and then… “We’ll probably get that in a week to ten days, and I can probably get you a discount. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Umm… would you like to get together sometime?”

My brain almost couldn’t process the data that was coming through the phone into my ear. I nearly threw the receiver into the air thinking this was some sort of spell that had been cast upon me by evil wizards and witches.

“Uh… yea. Sure…” (Anxiety raced through my system like a freight train.)

“You have my address and phone number. Are you working Saturday?”

“No…”

“Why don’t you just come to my house on Saturday around 2pm. Can you do that?”

“Yes, I can Betty.”

“Bring over a couple of tapes. I like Rod Stewart. Bring over one of his concert videos and maybe something else. Do you have any suggestions?”

“Uhh… how about Eddie and the Cruisers. That’s a great movie.” (trembling)

My mind is reeling at a million miles per hour. Dopamine is searing my brain as it explodes and blooms like a flower in my cerebrum.

“Great. Call me before you come, okay?”

“Sure thing, Betty.”

“Great. I’m looking forward to seeing you, Chaz.”

“Umm… you too. See you then.”

She hung up and I had to step away from the counter. I had to go outside into the parking lot to process what the hell just happened. I lit a cigarette. How was this possible? She’s like the hottest woman that comes in here! Why me? This almost seems like a prank. It can’t be real. It can’t be happening to me! I’ve lived a charmed life since I was 15 years old, but I don’t remember anything about me getting wishes granted. Had I somehow accidentally made some pact with the devil for my soul one night while I was drunk? This can’t really be happening.

But it was happening.

It was real, and it was on.

More next Tuesday!

Check out my latest book, LAWNDALE on Amazon!

It’s chock full of stories from my youth growing up in Northeast Philly in the 70s!

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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If Your Partner Is Really In Love, They’ll Never Do These 15 Small Things

When you’re happily in love, it’s so easy to miss signs that your partner isn’t exactly on the same page. While things like name calling and cheating are obvious red flags, it’s the little things you should pay attention to. Because according to experts, the small things can clue you in to how in love your partner really is.

“The reason why it’s so important to watch out for these seemingly small things is for the sake of kindness,” Julia McCurley, Professional Matchmaker and founder of Something More, tells Bustle. “Kindness, along with emotional stability, is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage.”

Small gestures of kindness are what make people feel cared for, understood, validated, and loved in a relationship. “Maybe you are OK with taking an Uber to the airport,” McCurley says. “But if it’s important for your partner to have you drive them, then you’re spending $100 of your time to make them feel like a million bucks.”

Although kind gestures are great and can make you feel loved, you don’t want to overlook the small signs of disrespect either. So if you’re curious about how your partner truly feels about you, here are some small things they likely won’t do if they love you, according to experts.

1. Say No To Driving You To The Airport

Ashley Batz/Bustle

In a true partnership, McCurley says both people should consider their partner a top priority. That means your partner should always be there to support you and try to meet your needs. If your partner really loves you, they won’t flat out refuse favors, like taking you to the airport, without a legitimately good excuse. If something is important to you, then your partner should find it important too, she says. “No questions asked.”

2. Tell You When They Think Someone Else Is Attractive, Even If You Feel Uncomfortable

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

There’s nothing wrong with finding other people attractive and talking about celebrity crushes once and a while. But if your partner actively comments on how attractive your friend, their friend or the server is when it makes you uncomfortable, they’re likely not thinking about your feelings. “When we’re in love, we tend to have tunnel vision for the person we’re with,” Amica Graber, a relationship expert with TruthFinder, tells us. “If the eyes are wandering, it’s a bad sign.”

3. Pick Petty Fights With You Regularly

Ashley Batz/Bustle

One petty fight may not make a huge impact on your relationship. But over time, “frequent fighting can take a serious toll on your relationship,” Graber says. These little fights over why someone didn’t do this or why someone always does that can really add up. If your partner constantly finds ways to argue with you over the smallest things, there may be a deeper reason behind it.

4. Forget The Details

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

When we’re in love, Graber says it’s a lot easier to remember the details about someone like the color of their eyes, the names of their siblings, or their favorite pizza toppings. “But if someone can’t remember any of the little details about you, they may not be 100 percent invested,” she says.

5. Air Your Issues Out In Public

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

You may do something that frustrates your partner, but that is no excuse for them to be putting you down in front of other people. “If you’re having a dispute about something, a loving partner will discuss it with you privately, and not in front of your friends,” Graber says. That means no passive aggressive social media posts either.

6. Criticize Your Lifestyle Choices

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

“Encouraging a healthy lifestyle is part of loving someone,” life coach Rebekah Storm, tells us. After all, when you love someone you’ll obviously want them to live a long and healthy life. But that doesn’t mean anyone should be criticizing what someone eats, drinks, or does to stay healthy. A partner who loves you will never make you feel bad for the choices you make in your life. According to Storm, shaming in any way is a sign of someone trying to feel superior, which can mean they feel insecure.

7. Compare You To Other People

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

A partner who truly loves you won’t compare you to anyone else. Even seemingly positive comparison like, “You’re way better than my ex,” can be problematic. “Someone who loves you will not be thinking about ways you measure up against other people,” Storm says. You exist independently of anyone they know or have known in the past, and creating a comparison may show your partner’s mind is partially elsewhere.

8. Lie To Avoid Hurting Your Feelings

Ashley Batz/Bustle

“A partner who loves you will respect you enough to be honest, even when it might hurt a little,” Storm says. When you ask your partner for their honest opinion, you should be able to trust that they’re telling the truth and not just what you want to hear. Even though the truth is not always easy to tell, trust is important in a loving relationship.

9. Keep You A Secret

Ashley Batz/Bustle

“In my experience, partners who have never truly loved me have actively hidden me from their social media,” relationship expert and writer, Gina Daniel, tells us. “If someone loves you enough to want to be with you, they should at least let people know you are involved, even if it’s just at your request.” It isn’t “needy” or unreasonable for you to want to feel like your partner is proud to be with you. Even if your partner likes to keep it fairly private online, Daniel says they should still respect your desire to be seen with you, and you both can compromise to figure out what form that will take.

10. Be Too Busy If You Really Need Them

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

“If your partner loves you, they’re going to be there for you no matter what,” Bethany Ricciardi, relationship expert with TooTimid, tells us. Someone who truly cares about you and wants you to be part of their life will never be too “busy” to be there for you. “Don’t think just because they missed a call while at work that they don’t love you,” Ricciardi says. “You have to be respectful to their time and boundaries too.” They don’t need to drop whatever they’re doing to be with you at any given time. But if you feel like you can truly count on them during your time of need, you have a keeper.

11. Discourage You

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

“They might be realistic with you, and give an honest opinion about how they feel when it comes to what you’re doing, but they’ll never try and break your confidence,” Ricciardi says. A person who loves you may challenge you in order to help you grow, but they’ll always be your biggest cheerleader.

12. Say Things That Put You Down

Ashley Batz/Bustle

When you’re super close to someone, it’s easy to make a critique “out of love.” But as Ricciardi says, a partner who’s truly in love will appreciate you for who you are. They wouldn’t want you to change yourself because that’s who they fell in love with.

13. Make You Feel Alone

Ashley Batz/Bustle

“Surprisingly enough, many individuals feel like they’re in a relationship by themselves,” Ricciardi says. “If your partner cares about you, they’re going to make sure you’re drowning in their love.” They’ll make the effort to check in with you on a regular basis and you’ll never be left wondering when they’re finally going to see you. In short, they’ll be putting in the effort.

14. Monopolize Your Time

Ashley Batz/Bustle

If you’re in a healthy relationship, there’s room in your life for the other important people you love like your family and friends. “If your partner loves you, they won’t try and keep you to themselves,” Ricciardi says. “They’ll want to be happy in and outside of the relationship.” They might miss you when you’re spending time apart, but they’ll never try to make you feel bad about spending time with other people.

15. Make You Feel Like An Inconvenience

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

If someone loves you, they won’t you feel like you’re “just another chore getting checked off the list,” Ricciardi says. When you’re with them, they’ll be present. They won’t be scrolling through their phone or thinking about other things. They’ll be with you, 100 percent because they genuinely enjoy spending time with you.

When it comes to your relationship, the small things are extremely important to pay attention to. It’s the everyday stuff that makes up your relationship. If you can say that your partner doesn’t do any of these things, you can be sure they really do love you.

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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3 Ways You’re Driving Your Husband To Cheat On You, According To A Former Escort

You might be pushing him towards infidelity.

If you’re worried about your husband cheating on you, whether it’s “micro cheating” or a full-blown affair, then you may not realize that there are behaviors you may be doing that are driving him away — even if he’s cheating on you.

When you’re so busy looking for signs of cheating in your spouse and asking difficult questions like, “Is he cheating on me?” you’re missing out on behavior you could be doing that is distancing and hurting your relationship even worse.

As a former high-end escort, I met many cheating husbands and found myself in unique situations with these men. And surprisingly, some of the more common reasons that men cheated actually began long before they started cheating to begin with.

If you’re worried that you’re married to a cheater, you may be missing some huge red flags in your own behavior that are actually leaving your relationship open to an affair because of your fear.

Here are 3 things women do when they’re afraid their husband is cheating that actually push him away from them:

1. You expect more from him when it comes to communicating (with less room for messing up)

You may often feel jealous or out of control because your man doesn’t communicate with you the way you think he should.

Men can seem dismissive, distracted, and unresponsive, and women may take that to mean you’re being dismissed, you’re unimportant, and you aren’t being heard. None of those feelings build trust and intimacy.

It’s not hard to go from that point to, “He must be hiding something from me,” which makes you insecure in your relationship and concerned that he’s cheating.

This in turn may lead you to lashing out or accusing him of something when you’re angry or upset.

Most men have tunnel vision when on the computer, watching television, or reading … and they are multi-taskers. It’s not because they’re lazy or self-centered; it’s the way their brains are “wired.” This might lead to them seeming dismissive when you talk.

Make sure when you approach him with an issue, you have his undivided attention. A quick, “Hey honey, can I talk to you for a sec?” is typically all it takes.

When you call him, ask if it’s a good time to talk. Don’t assume that he can get into a whole conversation just because he answered.

If he’s busy — especially at work — he may have to interrupt you, which never feels good to either of you … even when it’s for a legitimate reason.

Many men only answer because they see that it’s you and think the call might be urgent. Others may only pick up because they’re afraid of the flack they’ll get if they don’t.

Give him the space to let you know if he talk at that moment.

If you think about it, these are things you’d do with any of your friends, clients, coworkers, your boss, or anyone you were showing consideration to. A simple check of, “Can you talk for a minute?” might save you both a lot of heartache down the line and not leave you open to worries that he’s cheating on you.

2. You take out your insecurities and jealousness on him

Jealousy can also cause double standards in communications. Men shared with me that women were open to talking about everything under the sun, but when it came to sexual needs, they often felt shamed and shut down when they tried to bring up their desires.

For instance, if your man asks you to dress up for him, perhaps put your hair up and dress like a high-powered executive, or even that you wear some sexy yoga gear while you walk around the house, you may be concerned that he’s dressing as someone that he “actually” wants to sleep with or is having an affair/fantasies of cheating with, but this often isn’t the case.

If he’s comfortable enough to ask you to do special sexy things with him, then you’re doing something

By going along with the fantasy (only if you’re OK with what he wants) you have his attention, trust, and sexual energy. Jealousy will only ruin this bond.

3. You’re not actually listening when he speaks to you

Women like to think that they’re the great communicators in relationships, but good communication starts with good listening. Many men I met with as an escort didn’t feel that the women in their lives were good listeners at all.

As a woman, you may tend to personalize ( or make up stories about) what men share instead of just listening.

You may think think if he wants you to participate in a certain activity, then it must mean you aren’t good enough as you are.

If you can take that “it’s all about me” mindset and put it aside, you can learn about your man in every way — not just sexually.

One way to open the lines to deeper communication right away is to admit when you feel jealous without blaming him for how you feel.

Try something like, “When you talk about me dressing up like a businesswoman, I couldn’t help but think you wanted me to dress like someone you’re attracted to at work. As silly as it might sound to you, I felt so jealous!”

Don’t worry about being right or wrong or look for comfort from him. Instead, state your feelings without accusation or looking for him to fix or justify what he said.

You can then start to focus on enjoying that he shared something he finds arousing with . Whether you agree to his fantasy or not, he’ll feel connected to you because you allowed him to be open without judging him.

Don’t let miscommunications and worries about cheating drive a wedge between the two of you.

Although super simple, these potent methods can help you find your peace, keep your power, and bring your man that much closer.

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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If You’re Losing Hope About Finding Love, This Advice Is A Must-Read

As someone who spent the vast majority of her life single, I know how fun it can be. That being said, I also know firsthand what losing hope about finding love can feel like. Spoiler: It’s not great.

For those of you who haven’t been there, let me paint you a picture. You’ve been single for what feels like forever. The last person you met was really great and you even saw a future with them. The two of you continued to see each other for weeks, months, or maybe even years until you mustered up the courage to tell them how you felt. At that point, they offered up some excuse about why they’re not looking for anything serious. This wouldn’t be quite so tragic if this was the first time this ever happened. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here. In fact, different versions of this same story have happened to you so often that you’ve resigned to the idea that maybe you were just destined to be single forever. And that thought can be catastrophically painful. I mean, what’s the next step after you’ve given up on love entirely?

Well, in a recent Reddit AskWomen thread, ladies who have been there share their best advice for getting your groove back when you’re starting to lose faith in love.

Happy woman hiker doing selfie at the top of Reinebringen hike above Reine village in the Lofoten archipelago, travel to Norway

Shutterstock

Treat your body like the temple that it is.

Start working out, eating healthy, getting 8 hours of sleep most nights, bathing daily, brushing your teeth twice a day, start reading a book at least a little every day and join a club for something you’re interested in. Work on you, put your best foot forward. Stop looking for a man and just gobble up the best life has to offer. Men will find you. Don’t settle for the first one unless he fits. Find someone with aspirations, a good kind sense of humor, intelligence, a clear criminal background and a similar take on life as you.

/u/PhyliA_Dobe

(This advice holds true for relationships with people of all genders, as does every other piece of advice in this story!)

Try changing your perspective for what a partner should be.

My dad told me recently, “You don’t look for a soul mate, you look for a teammate”. It completely changed the way I looked at dating.

/u/Latias

Don’t put so much pressure on marriage.

Stop worrying about it. You don’t need to get married, just concentrate on you!

/u/WeeRower

Enjoy life.

Enjoy the f*ck out of your life. For all you know, you get one go on this planet and i for one would feel like i wasn’t doing that justice by being sad about not having a man.

Sure it sucks sometimes. But he’s more likely to come a long if you’re enjoying all that life has to offer. He’s more likely to be compatible with you too.

/u/LokisLocksmith

Outdoor portrait of beautiful happy mixed race biracial African American girl teenager female young woman smiling with perfect teeth wearing a blue hoodie

Shutterstock

Live in the now.

When I was going through that, I just put it in the back of my mind and did what I could to help myself be happy in the moment. I spent a lot of time with my closest friends and worked on developing those relationships.

/u/NinjaShira

Consider your alternative.

I mean I get down about it from time to time, but I do tell myself it’s better than being in a miserable relationship. That is a lot more stressful.

/u/innerjoy2

Become the best possible version of yourself.

Enjoy your own company. Make yourself the most interesting person you know and like doing things by yourself. Because you never know, even if you find a partner, if they will be around for the rest of your life so might as well make the only person you’re guaranteed to have (yourself) fun and awesome.

/u/Alexander_dgreat

Find a hobby.

Hobbies. Hobbies. Hobbies. Then finding social outlets for those hobbies. And everything else just happens on its own.

/u/anzuj

At the end of the day, all you can do is be grateful for the life you have and the people you are surrounded by. Make the most of what you’ve got.

 

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Love is like Cocaine: The Remarkable, Terrifying Neuroscience of Romance – Part 4

Yes, you really are addicted to love.

Addicted to Grief

The emotional responses to a thorny breakup can resemble the responses to the death of a loved one. You feel weighed down by the memories, the longing, the wistful tears, the chest pain and the aching throughout the whole body. Or you are so outraged that you are lucky not to have a semi-automatic weapon. Or you are ready to go on a secret mission aimed at reversing the terrible outcome. It’s no coincidence that breakups can resemble the death of a loved one. When a loved one dies, you grieve. But death is not the only trigger of grief. Grief can occur after any kind of loss: the loss of a job, a limb, a breast, a home, a relationship.

According to the Kübler-Ross model of grief, also known as “The Five Stages of Grief,” first introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book,”On Death and Dying,” grief involves five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and acceptance. After the loss of a loved one, you may first deny that the person is gone, simply refuse to believe it. Once the truth dawns on you, you may feel outraged and attempt to convince the beloved to come back or beg God or the universe’s spirits to reverse their decision. Once you realize things are not going to change, sadness sets in. Over time you may finally accept what happened. These stages need not occur in this order, and each stage may occur several times. The different emotions can also overlap. You may be angry and in a bargaining mode at the same time, or deny what happened and still feel sad. Philosopher Shelley Tremain captured the complexity of grief well when she wrote on her Facebook site, “Today  would have been my father’s eighty-first birthday. Some days, I think time is on my side, that it’s getting easier to live with losing him. Then, it happens. Sometimes, it’s a figure of speech he was fond of, at other times, I am shaving him, or I look in the mirror and see the features of my face that are his, or we are sitting together holding hands. Just sitting there.”

Sometimes it is nearly impossible to let go of grief. When you continue to grieve a loss for a very long time, your condition is called “complicated (or pathological) grief.” The love story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert is a heartbreakingly beautiful illustration of complicated grief. Alexandrina Victoria was eighteen when she became Queen of England. Her Uncle, King William IV, had no surviving legitimate children. So Victoria became his heir when he died in 1837. When Prince Albert, her first cousin, visited London in 1839, Victoria immediately fell in love with him. Initially Albert had doubts about the relationship, but he eventually fell in love with her too. The couple got married in February 1840. During the next eighteen years Queen Victoria gave birth to nine children. She loved Albert deeply. Albert was not only a dutiful husband and the father of Victoria’s children, he was also Victoria’s political and diplomatic advisor. For twenty-one years they lived happily together. But the bliss came crashing to a halt when Prince Albert died of typhoid at Windsor on December 14, 1861.

Albert’s death completely destroyed Victoria emotionally. She was overwhelmed by grief and refused to show her face in public for the next three years. People began to question her competence, and many attempted to assassinate her. Victoria finally appeared in public but she refused to wear anything but black and mourned her Prince Albert until her own death in 1901. Victoria’s forty-year-long state of mourning earned her the nickname “The Widow of Windsor.” She never again became the happy and cheerful woman she had been when Albert was alive. In preparation for her own death she asked for two items to be in her coffin: one of Albert’s dressing gowns and a lock of his hair.

Complicated grief is so severe that psychiatrists now consider it for inclusion in the psychiatric manual for diagnosing mental disorders. If you have complicated grief, you have been grieving for six months or more. You furthermore satisfy at least five of the following criteria:

  1. You have obsessive thoughts about aspects of the lost relationship or the person you were with.
  2. You spend a significant amount of time every day or almost every day, thinking about your lost relationship or the person you were with.
  3. You have intense emotional pain, sorrow, pangs, or yearnings related to the lost relationship.
  4. You avoid reminders of the loss, because you know that reminders will cause you pain or make you feel uncomfortable.
  5. You have problems accepting the loss of the relationship.
  6. You have frequent dreams that relate to your lost relationship.
  7. You frequently suffer from deep sadness, depression, or anxiety because of the loss.
  8. You are angry or feel a deep sense of injustice in relation to the lost relationship.
  9. You have difficulties trusting others since the relationship ended.
  10. The loss of the relationship makes it difficult for you to find pleasure in social and routine activities.
  11. Your symptoms make it difficult for you to function optimally on your job, as a parent or in a new relationship.

Complicated grief is emotionally and chemically similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. In fact, some psychiatrists argue that there is no need to include complicated grief as a separate psychological condition. They are variations on the very same disorder, they say. Posttraumatic stress disorder can occur as the result of any traumatic event. The most common traumatic events discussed in the literature on posttraumatic stress are events of war, terrorist attacks, brutal physical and sexual assaults, and traffic accidents. It is not commonly noted that unexpected breakups and other traumatic relationship events can also lead to posttraumatic stress.

Posttraumatic stress disorder is a condition in which you keep reliving the traumatic event— for example, the breakup—avoiding situations that are similar to the one that led to the trauma. You furthermore have difficulties sleeping, you feel angry, you have difficulties focusing, and you suffer from anxiety. To be a clinical case of posttraumatic stress disorder, the symptoms must last more than a month and lead to difficulties functioning socially, on the job, or in other areas of life. Posttraumatic stress disorder is more likely to occur if the adrenaline surge at the time of the event was very intense.

A study published in the May 2008 issue of Neuroimage suggests that complicated grief sometimes occurs because a normal grieving process turns into an addiction. Led by neuroscientist Mary-Frances O’Connor, the team looked at images of the brains of people who satisfied the criteria for complicated grief and people who weren’t grieving and found significantly more activity in the nucleus accumbens of the people with complicated grief. Activity in the nucleus accumbens is associated with addiction.

It may seem strange that you could actually become addicted to emotional pain and a longing for a person who is no longer with you. The researchers suggest that your yearning and sadness may give you some type of pleasure or satisfaction.

Perhaps the turmoil of emotions does really provide some kind of gratification. Perhaps this emotional overflow is addictive. But it is also possible that the increased activity in the nucleus accumbens signifies increased dopamine levels of the sort found in certain anxiety disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The classical case of this disorder is one in which the afflicted is obsessed with thoughts of disease and germs and compulsively washes his or her hands after being near other people or anything that could possibly carry microbes. This disorder is associated with low levels of the mood-enhancing chemical serotonin and fluctuating levels of the motivator chemical dopamine. The low levels of serotonin cause anxiety that involves obsessive, jazzy thinking and the dopamine “reward” motivates the afflicted person to behave in compulsive ways.

As people ruminate obsessively over the events leading up to the loss in complicated grief, the condition may turn out to be similar in this respect to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Low levels of serotonin may trigger obsessive thinking, crippling anxiety, and a visceral yearning for the absent person or the irretrievable relationship. The dopamine response elicited by this kind of obsessive thinking and longing may motivate the grief-stricken person to engage in begging and bargaining and it could also ignite anger fits and a ferocious denial of the loss of the relationship.

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

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