Renegade – 1978 to 1979 – Chapter 6 – Creative Forces and Lies

The picture above was taken in a photo booth at the Roosevelt Mall in Northeast Philly on a Saturday. I don’t know why we took that photo. A sober band of guys just getting pizza and stopping at Sam Goody’s record store to pick up the Rolling Stone’s latest, Some Girls. (Which is brilliant!) I’m in the background looking stoned, Jerry looks like he has no teeth and Larry looks like a zit faced mutant with barbie doll hair (As cruel Jerry used to say)

I don’t know what the dollar bill signified. But it was a day in the life of Renegade. We were walking the mall as a band and we had swagger. We had a set list and really wanted to play somewhere. We wanted to start to gig because we were tight and ready.  I was overjoyed just to be a pert of this journey, and the guitar was coming along quickly. (natural musical ability from my mom’s side of the family and my daughter Lorelei has gotten the best of both worlds and has already eclipsed everyone with her talent.)

We got records and pizza and sodas and it was a lovely afternoon for the boys in renegade. i don’t know where Mike was. He didn’t really hang with us. I don’t remember why. Nothing bad, just different Charlie Watts life I guess.

We’re walking and we run in to my ex girlfriend Claire and some of her friends.  I’m praying I’ve had the foresight to write about Claire so you know who she is before this series comes out. But based on my track record I’ll get that done even though as I write this series. (See: Claire – 1978 – Loop Line Girl)

We run into these babes and no one has a clue. Claire and her St. Hubert Catholic school girl friends.

“Hey Claire.”

“Hey Chaz. How are you?” (She looks cute. We’re both 16 now)

“I’m good. This is my band, Renegade. Jerry and Larry this is Claire.”

“Sup?”

“So you’re really in a band now?”

Jerry and Larry look at me incredulously

“Yea. This is a real band and we play rock.”

“I knew you weren’t in a band when we were going out.”

“You did?”

“Yea, cause you were always makin out with me and never had to go to practice so i know you were full of shit the whole time.”

“Oh… sorry about that, but this is a real band. I’m making music now.”

“Yea, whatever. maybe I’ll see you in Wildwood this summer. You broke my heart.”

Jerry and Larry shuffling uncomfortably. Their singer in a tight spot. They say nothing to defend the loser.

“Well it’s real now and I’m sorry and it’s nice to see you.”

“Later”

There is an easy recovery from a moment like this when you’re 16 years old. You can make your whole life a lie to try to be something you’re not when you’re young. No one could check anything back then there was no internet. Your word was everything I knew loser dudes that built there whole lives on lies back then. I had low self-esteem and was happy this pretty girl liked me and lied to her about a dream I wished about so hard for a long time. I wanted to be a rock star so bad i lied to everyone in my early teens i was a musician and I was just a loser piece of shit.

But when it became real it felt good. I actually didn’t need claire anymore because ia had sort of arrived as an srtist , a singer and a shitty guitar player.

It didn’t matter anymore. I was eating pizza at the mall with my band. We were a real entity. It was so beautiful, nothing else mattered. The women would come.  I was changing.

The boys would leave at dusk. I would have dinner with mom and the sisters and then dry the dishes with mom over the current hits on the radio. I loved that. Me and my mom singing Fame by David Bowie.

I would return to the cellar and plug my shitty Sears guitar into Jerry’s Stage amp and Univox Super Fuzz pedal and attempt to jam by myself and write a song.

I would listen to my records relentlessly and study chord and music books nad took all of my sisters piano books that had chord formations for guitar in all of the music.

I would play for hours and decided to write some songs. Punk was big then and we used to play Blitzkrieg Bop by the Ramones and I figured if these idiots could make a record using three chords so could i.

I wrote a three chord song about a local girl named Jill who was really cute but a dick tease and called the song Get Lost.

It was a punk song and I am proud of that work because it had a thudding verse and a bright chorus like most Ramones songs. You have to understand this is a a kid who finally picked up the guitar a month ago and was now composing. He started basic.

I wanted to write a song about a waitress I was in love with in Wildwood, named Therese, so I wrote  song about her too. i loved Farrah Fawcett, so she was next. I composed a song called Bombshell for Farrah. I don’t think anybody knew what my songs were about until my next band but things were definitely evolving in Renegade. I was happy that the band was open to creativity and writing our own songs.

I presented Get Lost and the band loved its punky Ramones simplicity, and my friends loved it because they knew Jill was a sweet kissing dick teaser. I actually remembering hearing Walk this Way by Aerssmith for the very first time when I was making out with this sweet 14 year old on the steps of my friend’s house and loving the song more than her.

Larry was inspired and wrote a theme song for the band. Renegade was a punk classic. It was angry and vicious. I loved what he did even though I eventually wanted to play heavy metal not this nonsense.  I knew I wanted to make very heavy and furious music that would match with my current music tastes.

Jerry wrote a song called Running Wild. It was a plodding rock song and I really liked it. I remember my mom could hear every song we did come up through the floor boards in the kitchen. I remember she would ask me at dinner why Jerry repeated the words Running Wild so many times at the end of the song. I told her I didn’t know and that’s just how the song faded out.

The next day I expressed my mother’s question and he just shrugged it off. But later that afternoon when we played it he said it over thirty times just to drive my mom nuts. We all had a good laugh over it and I’m surprised my mother didn’t just march downstairs and yank the guitar from his hands.

I had a friend named George who would come over my house and teach me riffs on guitar. He was really good and showed me the fundamentals of basic 12 bar blues and boogie woogie chords. I really liked George. He was a good friend. In exchange for the lessons I wrote a song for him to play for a girl he’d been dating. Her name was Meghan. He was totally in love with her. He liked the song I composed and you know what? It got his V Card punched!

Rock n Roll!!!

Judas Priest was coming up. Iron Maiden was on deck. I didn’t even know about these bands but I wanted to make hard rock and heavy metal. I had a lot of frustration and sadness in my existence and if you’re not going to hurt people you make heavy music to cull your frustration and disappointment that you live with everyday.

You’re band mates disappoint you with their conservatism and how they are trapped in traditional songs and norm. You want to go forward and make furious hard music that is angry and  sounds like your frustration of your whole life. I was happy in this band but I knew I had to eventually go harder.

But at least we had a band and created something. Now to get a gig somewhere!

 

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What Is A Relationship Supposed To Be Like?

So I was with this girl for 2 years and obviously I learned a lot, but what has me lost is what I thought relationships were supposed to be? I think I might have been too controlling, and I was wondering if it was wrong of me to basically treat it like we were married when we weren’t?

I always thought when you found someone special, even though there are loads of others in the world, you’d work at the relationship and commit to each other.

If I came across another person that made me feel something for them, out of respect and love for my partner I’d step away and keep distance with the person and go back to my partner. I’d consider my partner in my future decisions like career goals and if I moved, not expecting them to come with me or change their life around, but holding out the option.

I guess I’m just confused here as to what’s the point of being with people anymore? I guess it’s not to have a partner in crime, as opposed to just experiences of pain and holding back feelings and honesty and emotions. It’s fickle and fragile and even if they say they love you, they won’t sacrifice a damn thing for you.

But I shouldn’t expect them to right? So what shall I do? Should I not date anymore? Am I wrong now? I feel so silly for thinking and believing this way. Love is not a special emotion and an act of devotion and commitment? It’s not kindness and sacrifice and compromise?? It’s not honesty?? It’s an experience?

How do I prepare myself for a world of dating?? I hated my past relationships so much because I had to hold back every part of myself with them. I couldn’t trust them or love them. So what do I do now?

What are relationships supposed to be like? Is love more of an experience and not commitment? If you just date someone for the fun they bring you, and then toss them aside when it’s too hard and another opportunity arises, how do I prepare myself for a life like that?

 

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8 Super Things The Happiest Couples Do Before Bed

Taking the time to reconnect with your partner at night can set a positive tone for the following day.

Your bed should be a place for sleeping, sex, cuddling, and conversation — not for scrolling mindlessly through your Instagram feed.

We live in a busy world and between work, kids, bills and other daily stressors, many couples struggle to find time to connect.

That’s why it’s so important for couples to make the most of whatever alone time they have together ― whether it’s an hour or just 10 minutes. We asked relationship experts to tell us what the happiest couples do before bed to keep their bond strong.

Here’s what they had to say below.

They exchange “I love yous.”: “Despite all the hassles of the day, the quirks and annoyances you experience from one another and ominous feelings about the day ahead, make the effort to let your partner know they are loved. And rather than just heave it out with your last sigh of the night, say it like you really feel it.” ― Ryan Howes, psychologist

They don’t try to settle arguments that aren’t easily resolvable: “It may not seem logical, but happy couples don’t actually settle disagreements before going to bed. We’ve all heard the adage, ‘do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,’ but it’s actually misunderstood. Trying to address heavy subjects, especially those you disagree on, at the end of the day when you’re both tired and short on patience is not smart. Too many couples make the mistake of starting fights at this time of day when they should be building connection ― not creating division.” ― Smith

They go to bed at the same time if possible: “Too many couples go to bed at different times, leading disconnected lives in the evening after already having spent all day apart. Happy couples, however, are intentional about coming back together at bedtime and reconnecting, if only for the few minutes of brushing teeth and getting under the covers. Going to bed together builds connection and provides opportunity for more intimate connecting.” ― Kurt Smith, therapist who specializes in counseling for men

They unplug from their phones and other devices: “We live in a wired world, and more often than not, this takes away from the time couples could spend connecting through dialogue, affection or intimacy. What’s more is that when your partner is on their phone, you feel like they’re not in the room and are somewhere else instead. In my therapy practice, couples who become aware of this intrusiveness sometimes create general rules such as ‘no phones past 9 p.m.’ or ‘no phones in the bed’ to counter such dopamine-inducing but oxytocin-suppressing social media habits. This can really set a couple up for feeling close throughout the entire next day.” ― Kari Carroll, couples therapist

They prioritize getting a good night’s sleep: “Although this isn’t very romantic, beyond the usual advice ― i.e. kiss goodnight, have sex, and say, ‘I love you’ ― getting a solid night’s sleep fosters good mental health, which in turn, makes people more emotionally available during the day. If sleep is hard to come by, get professional advice to develop good sleep habits.” ― Michele Weiner-Davis, therapist and author of Divorce Busting

They keep the kids out of the bedroom: “Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for the two of you. Although nightmares and illnesses might trigger children to climb into bed with you, in general, if intimacy and connection is your goal, encourage children to stay in their own rooms. Couples need privacy and boundaries to stay connected.” ― Weiner-Davis

They take a few minutes to practice gratitude: “Gratitude has been shown to have a wonderfully positive effect on mood and mindset, so why not share that together? Whether it’s something specific you appreciate about one another or a positive experience from the day, share something you’re thankful for to end the day on a bright note.” ― Howes

They set aside time to chat about the day and open up about their feelings: “The happiest couples regularly discuss the external stressors in their life and allow their partner to vent often. This doesn’t mean going into negativity overload all evening, but it does mean setting aside 15 to 30 minutes to unwind and lean into the relationship by showing support for the other relationships and experiences in your partner’s life. In my practice, I help couples listen to their partner’s stresses without feeling the need to take them on or problem-solve. Their partner tends to be appreciative of this opportunity and just feeling understood empowers them to be ready to tackle the next day’s stresses.”

 

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Church – Annual Toy Drive for CHOP

Five years ago Church started a charity at Christmas to collect toys for children who are in the hospital at CHOP. (Children’s Hospital) (See: Church – Brand Ambassador)

Back then he was the Vice President of the Philadelphia chapter of the United States Bartender’s Guild. Liquor representatives and bartenders and people in the hospitality industry would all gather and donate toys for his event.

It would always take place at a local bar called Time. The first one I attended was in 2014. That was the year that Annabelle dumped me and kept coming back on a monthly basis to fool around with me. It was a confusing and unstable time for me. I remember sitting at the bar and pounding Cutty Sark Prohibition. (100 proof) I had gotten a few texts from Annabelle saying how she missed me and was thinking about me everyday and even had a dream about me.

I was at my breaking point with that idiot and I told her I’d call her when I got home. Later I did just that and told her we were done and I couldn’t have her drifting in an out of my life anymore. But that’s a story that already been told in this blog. (See: Annabelle – Nice to Meet You)

So spring forward to 2017 and I’m at the salon. Church pops in to tan and hang. It’s a Monday night and I assume we’re going to dinner like we usually do. Then he tells me that he can’t because it’s the Toys for Chop thing at Time tonight.

I don’t want to go. I don’t work in the industry, I don’t have a toy to give and I feel like I’d be looked upon as just a groupie looking to get free spirits. But he tells me there will be some attractive babes there and with a few twists I’m in.

He’s been out of the liquor industry for a couple of years now and I haven’t worked for the liquor publication in a few years so we’re both a bit out of touch. He no longer runs the event and has passed the mantle on to a rep at another liquor brand.

He wants to go to the event together, but I have other plans. I tell him to go on without me at 7:30 and when I close the salon, I’ll roll over there after 8pm. The reason I do this is because whenever I have to go somewhere with Church that has a timeline, he gets really rammy as the deadline approaches. This causes me stress and I don’t need any stress in my life anymore. (See: Ghost – Swedish Metal Fiasco) So I send him off and the minute he steps out of the salon I hit the send button on the computer and activate my food order. I am determined to have a nice meal before I go over to this event. When I say nice meal, I mean drinking armor. I know it’s going to be oceans of whiskey and I need to prepare for that.

My food comes and I eat half my sandwich and that should be enough. I close the salon and head over to Time.

When I arrive the woman running the event is outside and asks me if I’ll give her $5 to fend of some homeless guy selling flowers. I’m happy to see her but it seems strange. I give her the money and head in. She tells me she’ll buy me a drink. I don’t mind and just go inside.

I run into the usual suspects of the industry and am happy to see them. I get a glass of Buffalo Trace on the rocks and sit next to a guy I know from a local bar. I like him but I quickly realize he’s drunk as fuck.

Then I realize everyone there is pretty much hammered. It’s 8:30pm. How long have these people been drinking?

I end up sitting at the bar sipping delicious free whiskey chatting with a beautiful blonde who unfortunately is blackout drunk. I don’t know her but she tells me we’ve met several times. I’m surprised by this statement because she appears to not even remember who she is.

Toys for Tots is a national organization that collects toys for underprivileged children from poor families. This event was created for children in the hospital around the holidays. But these kids have families that have jobs and money. They are going to get plenty of toys and goodies for christmas, sick or not. They don’t need more crap from us. Where do the toys really go? Who regulates who gets what? What about the money? How does that get distributed?

I realize now that this is an empty charity. It’s just an excuse for a bunch of industry people to get together and get shit faced drunk around the holidays masked as a charity. It’s awful. Thank God I got something to eat before I came here tonight. There’s a plate of cold cuts on a table and that’s it. Other than Church who has given up drinking, I’m the only sober person here.

This is a horrible and wasteful event. I had an opportunity to go to see a Led Zeppelin cover band with Church last week. We saw them last year. I declined this year because once you’ve seen it, you’re done. It’s not Led Zeppelin and it’s just going to be a rerun of the same show from last year. I don’t want to do that again. Pay too much to drink shitty beer and watch some clowns cover Zep tunes while I watch them through some other jerk off’s phone? Fuck that.

I’ve had an action packed life and continue to rock out in my own way. It seems like every time I get roped into someone else’s nonsense I have a shitty time. I’m not going to do that anymore. So no more Zep cover bands, no more concerts for any other bands I don’t know, and no more industry parties. I’m over it.

My life is elegant in its simplicity. I like to work and stay busy. I like to write and watch Netflix when I’m home. I love to sip a glass of wine and smoke a cig. As long as I’ve got my health and daughter Lorelei is okay, I’m good.

There’s so many lost and lonely people out there. I hope they find themselves. But getting fucked up on a regular basis is just a dead-end. So like I said at the end of the blog I wrote about the band Ghost…. Never Again!  (See: Swedish Metal Fiasco)

 

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Common Mistakes Women Make in a Marriage

Common Mistakes Women Make in a Marriage

What is it about the whole “blame game”? It’s so easy to fall into this destructive habit and often as women and wives we can find ourselves pointing fingers even with our eyes closed. But if we just take a moment to think carefully and to be really honest, we will soon see that as wives we make mistakes too. Here are some of the most frequent ones:

1. Giving the children first place

We all adore our children; that’s clear. But there can be a problem when hubby gets pushed aside in favor of the little ones. It won’t be long before he gets the message that he’s just not as important anymore if you consistently choose to spend time and energy on the children, putting their needs over his and your own. Remember, in a few short years the children will be grown and fly out of the nest and then you and your husband will be alone together again.

2. Seeing your husband as another child

A small step further down the slope from putting children first is treating your husband as another child. Nothing could be further from the truth. Maybe this makes you feel like “supermom” but it is very disrespectful towards the man who in fact fathered your children. No matter how much your husband’s parenting skills may be lacking in your opinion, seeing him as your second or third child is not going to improve matters at all. Sometimes the shoe can be on the other foot and the wife is treated by her husband like another child in the home. This is usually a sign of abuse and unless resolved usually ends unhappily.

3. Not setting boundaries with in-laws

In-laws are a controversial topic at the best of times. If firm boundaries are not set right from the start, untold havoc can be wrecked in a marriage. Remember, first and foremost you married each other and not each other’s families. Yes, families and parents will always have an extremely important role in our lives, but they also have their place and should not be allowed to come in and encroach on areas of privacy and decision-making which should belong to the couple alone.

4. Not learning to fight correctly

Lack of conflict resolution skills is perhaps one of the number one reasons for the disintegration of marriages. Whether it is stonewalling or yelling uncontrollably or both, these kinds of behaviour can be extremely corrosive to any marriage. Learning to fight right is a skill that needs to be honed with commitment and determination if you want your marriage to thrive. It requires time, effort and willingness on both sides to sit and talk through difficulties, with respect and love.

5. Needing to be in control

This is a tough one – who’s the boss?! Often it’s the little everyday things (as well as the bigger things) where we women often seem to need that last word. Why is it so hard to admit when he may have a better idea? If we would just step back and allow that man we married to make those wise decisions of which he is probably very capable we may be in for some pleasant surprises. It is worth remembering, marriage is not the place to compete, but rather to complete one another.

6. Not meeting intimacy needs

This can swing both ways, but generally as a wife there can be times in your marriage, especially with young children, when you feel pretty exhausted. The last thing you may feel like is making love, while for your husband it may quite likely be the first thing. Within reason, if this becomes a regular pattern of consistently not meeting his intimacy needs, it can mean a slow death for your marriage.

7. Not making an effort to look good

After several years of marriage, it can be easy to settle into a comfortable routine of just pulling on the first and easiest outfit, even staying in your pj’s all morning if you can. We all know that inner beauty is what counts most, but don’t underestimate the value of looking your best on the outside too. This is one more way of showing respect to the man you love, that you care enough to make yourself look pretty for him – and in most cases he is sure to appreciate it.

As you may notice, most of these mistakes described above involve “omissions” or good things we have not done, and then there are also “commissions” or hurtful things we have done. So yes, marriage is hard work and we need to constantly work on doing less of the harmful things, and more of the helpful. If ever there was a worthwhile reason for hard work, it’s marriage.

 

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Serena – The Succubus

This happened a few years ago. I met Serena on OkCupid. She was absolutely gorgeous. Our first date was nice but I’m convinced that she isn’t into me so I’m resigned to never seeing her again.

To my surprise, she wants to see me again.

Next date, I take her to this nice place and we have hors d’oeuvres and share a bottle of wine. She suggests we continue hanging out. I’m house and dog sitting for my friends and they have a pool table, so I suggest we go back there and have some more drinks and play pool.

She was a little spazzy and I was a little worried she’d had too much to drink, so I suggest we hang out awhile to sober up and she insists she’s fine and wants to go now so I have her follow me. She gets lost following me on the freeway, takes the wrong exit and we have a few phone calls and it takes her about 45 minutes to find my friend’s house.

She finally arrives. Great.

There’s good sexual tension and we’re getting along and having a great time. She suggests we go outside and smoke some pot she had brought with her. I tell her I’ll have a hit (I’m a lightweight when it comes to the stuff) but she can go right ahead.

This is where shit gets weird. I’ve never seen someone smoke themselves retarded faster or with such fervor. She just fully bakes out. Hit after hit after hit. The weird thing is that it makes her really argumentative and aggressive. She starts bashing “my place” and I have to keep reminding her that it’s my friend’s place. “These chairs are fucking ugly.” “Why is the deck shaped like this? It’s really stupid.”

Weird shit like that. I gently remind her again that it’s my friend’s place and I didn’t make the decisions.

She wants to play pool now. Oh boy. Maybe this will change the tone of things. She’s so high that she can’t hit the cue ball. She whiffs multiple times and grows increasingly agitated. I’m trying to figure out what the fuck is going on. My thoughts are racing. “Was that weed? Was it laced? Is she high on PCP or some shit? It tasted and smelled like weed. Am I going to get all crazy too? I feel fine, but she smoked a metric butt-ton of it.”
I try to bring it back to a positive place. I think it’ll be cute to try to get closer to her and help her hit the ball. Bad idea. She wants to do it herself.

“Back the fuck up! I can do it!”

Woah.

Okay, this date is screwed. She hates me now. Everything has taken a turn. I’ll just be cordial and kind and let her sober up a bit and we can get her on the road.

“Let’s watch TV.” She says.

Okay. I turn the TV on for her. She starts bitching that I don’t have any of the channels she likes. Why don’t I have them? I remind her again that it’s my friend’s place. She seems really agitated. Then she’s suddenly on me like a facehugger. She’s furiously making out with me. Whichever Lovecraftian horror has possessed her obviously needs my seed to make the anti-christ. I am completely confused by everything.

She asks to see my room. I tell her that I have no room, I remind her AGAIN that this is my friend’s place. She wanders off down the hall and finds the guest room which has a futon.

“Why don’t you have a real bed?”

“Not my place. My friend’s place.”

“I think it’s really weird you don’t have a bed.”

She mentions the futon a few more times in case I missed it.

I excuse myself to use the bathroom. What I’m actually doing is staring at myself in the mirror asking what the fuck is going on. I have entered the Outer Limits. Neither the horizontal, nor the vertical, are under my control any longer. (Google it millennials) What is she on? Should I ask her to leave? She’s SO attractive but this is not going well. Maybe I should ask her for more of her weed and she and I can succumb to the darkness together, and we can burn this motherfucker down.

My dick and my brain are at war. Both mean serious business.

I exit the bathroom and return to the living room.

She’s butt naked sitting on the couch watching TV. I don’t see her clothes anywhere. She’s acting like this is perfectly normal. Unfortunately, she’s a sight to behold. Perfection in human form. Her dark hair snakes down her back (I’m pretty sure I see it move of its own volition), her pink nipples glow in the light of the TV and the electric power of the palpable crazy. She’s like some dark succubus from an evil, yet sensual dimension.
My brain is fighting the good fight, but my dick is winning. This girl just dropped the A-bomb on me.

At possibly the furthest from my finest hour ever, my brain loses. I allow myself to fully give in to her crazy embrace. I carry her writhing form as she licks my neck and ears and face as though she’s dedicated to finally knowing the timeless mystery of just how many licks it takes to get to the center of the tootsie pop, but instead the prize is my blood. Her hands are everywhere. I struggle to hold on as this many-armed Kali goddess touches every part of my body at once. Picture frames are thoroughly knocked off the wall, and we finally make it to the guest room and the despicable futon.

I go down on her and she bucks like a rodeo horse. She doesn’t want that, she explains. She wants one thing, and she wants it hard. During our sexual rendezvous she continues to complain about the house and the futon. I’m growing irritated. She says she wants me to choke her and suddenly, a thought comes to me.

Is she purposefully trying to irritate me so that I fuck her in some violent and vengeful fashion?

If so, it has the opposite effect. I stop. My mind has cleared. What the fuck am I doing? What’s going on?

“What are you doing? Don’t stop! Fuck me!”

I ask her to stop complaining about the bed. It’s out of my control. I try to reel things back in. I try to slow things down, maybe connect with this stranger I’m naked with. It’s a little too late for that. She tells me so. She asks me again why I don’t have a real bed.

Something gives. I don’t know if she’s been trying to manipulate me into hating her, if she’s on something that has removed her ability to be in control of herself, or if truly the futon is the worst thing that has ever existed.

Either way. I’m done. I can’t go on.

I stop the crazy sexual olympics we’re engaged in and I tell her that I don’t feel comfortable continuing. She’s up and off the futon in a flash, like a martial artist kipping up from a sweep. She begins to furiously get dressed.

Ah. Her clothes were in here. She took them off in here. In preparation?
She seems more lucid now than she has for the last hour. She decides she’s leaving and I walk her to the door. I’m feeling strange, I don’t know if I was manipulated, or disrespected. I don’t know what to feel. Irritated, a sarcastic quip escapes my mouth.
“Well this was so much fun. Next time maybe I can come over to your friend’s place and complain about all their stuff.”

The look on her face is pure rage.

“YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO COMPLAIN. BECAUSE THEY HAVE A BED!”

I usher her out the door. I close and quickly lock it. I feel relief. I think maybe I just avoided being eaten by the devil. She sits in her vehicle in the driveway for 30 minutes. I peek out the blinds occasionally like a nosy grandmother to see if she’s gone. All she does is sit in her SUV and stare straight ahead. Probably trying to sober up, possibly trying to decide if she wanted to drive through the garage door.

EPILOGUE: I felt guilty about the whole thing. I decided to message her later and ask her what happened, and apologized for the way we left. She actually messaged back and apologized and said something about sometimes people just don’t work out. I wondered how much of that night she remembered.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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7 Things You Should Never Feel Obligated to Do in a Relationship

If you’re in a relationship, it’s pretty easy to assume that you genuinely want to be a good girlfriend.

No one enters into a relationship hoping to be mediocre, so it’s understandable that you want to do everything in your power to make your significant other happy.

Cher and Christian From Clueless

(Clueless via Paramount Pictures)
However, sometimes the desire to be the perfect shoulder to lean on for your S.O. can leave you feeling pressured to do things that leave you feeling uncomfortable. As fun as relationships might be, it’s also important that you stay true to yourself and shy away from anyone who would push you too far out of your comfort zone.

We’ve definitely been there, and we’re here to help! Keep scrolling for seven things you should never feel obligated to do in a relationship.

 

Hang Out With Them at All Times
Being in a relationship is fun and exciting for many reasons, including having a built-in buddy to hang with pretty much whenever you want. As enjoyable as it might be to spend time with your S.O., you should never feel like you have to spend all your time with them. Other activities and other people are going to demand your attention, and you should be able to participate in other aspects of life without feeling guilty that your S.O. can’t be included in every second of your day. If your S.O. is pressuring you to spend every spare moment by their side, it might be time to say goodbye and search for someone who understands that there is more to your life than your romantic relationship.

 

Sacrifice a Hobby For Them
Hobbies are such a crucial part of what makes you unique and special. They are not only how you to choose to spend your free time, but they are also the source of many friendships and important relationships. Therefore, you should be searching for an S.O. who supports the things you love and would never ask you to give them up. There are many reasons you may feel pressured to give up your favorite activities. Maybe your S.O. thinks dance is boring, or maybe they’re upset that you’re spending all your time at soccer practice. Whatever the reasoning might be, you should never feel like you have to give up something you love to maintain your relationship. Hobbies are part of what makes you so extraordinary, and if your S.O. can’t see that, then someone else will.

Spend Money on Them
Navigating the “who pays for who” battle in relationships is tricky, so it’s important to remember that this rule goes both ways. Treating your S.O. to a nice dinner or buying them a pricey birthday gift is a sweet gesture, but you should never feel like you have to spend money in order to make them happy, just as they should never feel obligated to spend money on you. If you have yet to receive your most recent paycheck or you’re feeling a little strapped for cash in general, it’s okay to explain to your S.O. that you need to take a step back from spending for a while. The amount of money you spend on each other says nothing about the overall state of your relationship. Be open and honest about your finances, and understand when one or both of you doesn’t feel comfortable spending at the moment.

 

Lie for Them
Sometimes it might feel like you and your S.O. are a single unit, unable to separate your individual actions from the other person. It’s true that your actions will have larger effects on each other when you’re dating, but you’re still very much your own people. If your S.O. has done something wrong and you’re aware of it, you should never feel like you have to lie to keep them out of trouble. If they choose to participate in something dishonest, they need to be willing to accept the consequences of their actions. Lying for them only means you’ll get caught up in their drama and open yourself up to punishment, as well. Let them handle their negative actions in their own way, and try to stay out of the crossfire.

 

Spend Time With Their Friends Who Make You Uncomfortable
Dating a new person usually means that your friend groups will start to overlap. While it might be nice to mix your lives and meet new people, you should never feel like you have to spend time with any of your S.O.’s friends who you don’t feel comfortable around. Maybe you just get an overall bad vibe from these people or maybe you’re aware that they’re involved in some not-so-savory activities—whatever the reason might be, you should trust your gut and remove yourself from that situation, no matter how close they might be to your significant other. If your partner truly cares about your feelings, they’ll understand. They might even take your worries to heart and reevaluate the people they spend their time with.

 

Do Their Chores For Them
Sometimes when you’re dating someone—especially if you’ve been dating for a long time—the expected roles for your relationship can get a little bit twisted. Helping your S.O. with their daily chores or tidying up their space as a kind gesture is a nice way to show that you care, but you should never feel like their duties are also your responsibility. If you find that your S.O. expects you to clean up after them or is constantly asking you to complete their assigned tasks, it’s a pretty clear sign that they’re not willing to take responsibility for their own burdens. It’s not your job to make sure they get their stuff done, and you shouldn’t feel like participating in their domestic duties is essential to a happy relationship.

 

Apologize For Them
Being in a relationship naturally means that people will associate you and your S.O. with each other in social settings. It can be pretty exciting to have a person, and you should embrace the fact that you are now connected on a deeper level. However, your S.O. is still responsible for their own behavior. If they are rude, short-tempered or abrupt in their social interactions, it’s not your responsibility to apologize for their bad behavior. If you’re constantly feeling like you have to provide excuses for your partner’s actions, it may be a sign that they are not quite mature enough for a relationship, considering they can’t even conduct a conversation without offending people.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am and 12pm EST.

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly