The Beach House – Chapter 12

“She was driving, Mr. Tomlinson.” Good God! She’s blaming herself. “The report listed distracted driving as the cause.” He paused for a moment, then continued when I didn’t interject again. “Ms. Perez stopped showing up for work after the accident and was terminated about four months after the accident. She had refused counseling, and the hospital had to let her go.” Another pause, then he continued, “In October of that year her home was repossessed by the bank. I was unable to find where she went next. About six months ago she surfaced at the Causeway Apartments. Suite Number 224. The “suites” are basically one room apartments paid weekly. The Causeway Apartments are in a seedy part of town.” Frank paused again. “Do you still want me to continue Mr. Tomlinson?”

“Yes.” I wasn’t feeling very well anymore.

“By the time she arrived there, she was addicted to heroin.” He paused again, then continued into my silence. “She earned money for her habit through prostitution.” He spoke the last sentence quickly and moved on. My hands were shaking. “She is currently two weeks in arrears for the apartment. Her belongings are now in storage on site, and no one knows her current location.” I wasn’t really prepared for this much. I now knew why she hated herself. I knew why she would never tell me everything. Fuck me! I still loved her. I had to find the out the rest.

“Frank, I really appreciate your discretion.” I paused while I collected my thoughts. “I just purchased a small boat to replace one Ms. Perez wrecked. Bob will have the owner information. I need to know what happened four nights ago when the boat was wrecked.”

“I can look into it, Mr. Tomlinson, but it’s my experience that these things never seem to get better.” He was a bit hesitant to continue. I think he sensed that I was more than just concerned.

“Just do it Frank. Double your normal rate and contact me only.” The rest of the world will just have to guess.

“It will take me a day or two. I’ll get back to you when I have something.” He was all business.

“Thank you Frank.” I hung up the phone. I wasn’t sure anymore about confronting Mia. There was a bit more pain than I was expecting. I wiped my eyes dry, put on a smile, and headed back to the house.

Mia was laughing with Bob when I entered. I caught a quick imitation of my expression attempting to swallow a vitamin on Mia’s face. New clothes, nice house, and normal conversation. She didn’t look like she belonged to her past anymore. I wasn’t looking forward to disturbing her new image. Wally saw me walking in.

“Thanks for the tour Dale.” He was all smiles.”I’ve got to get back to the grind. It takes everything I’ve got to keep that clinic going.” He patted Mia on the shoulder and headed toward the door. “I am so happy you’re doing so well.” Mia kissed his cheek and sent him on his way. As soon as the door closed her expression turned darker and she turned to me.

“Am I allowed to know what you two were talking about on the beach.” She had a determined look on her face, and I could sense a little fear behind it.

“Wally thinks it’s a bad idea that I’ve gotten so close to you.” I felt a little honesty would be best. I may keep things from her, but lying wasn’t a good option. She sighed.

“He’s right, you know. I’m not really a good person to get close to.” She looked at me with a sad expression.

“He wasn’t worried about me, he was worried about you. He was afraid I might change my mind and cause you to relapse.” I saw a shiver run up her spine, and a little fear appear in her eyes. I felt a little more honesty was necessary. I caught her eyes with mine. “I told him I was fully committed to you.” Mia dropped her guard and moved quickly into my arms.

“I don’t deserve you.” She was holding me very tight. I smiled inside knowing it was I who didn’t deserve her. I pissed on the world for so long that I should have died a lonely old man. I now saw a shared future. I had to get her to drop her past like she has gotten me to forget mine. I didn’t care who she used to be, I only cared who she was now.

“I have to go out and take care of some business this morning. Can I leave you alone for a few hours?” I smiled and gave her a quick kiss. She kissed me back a bit longer.

“I’m not going anywhere.” She was getting more comfortable with me. I could feel it in the way she caressed the back of my neck and the look in her eyes. God, I didn’t want to see her in tears again.

I grabbed my keys and drove the SUV downtown. The navigator was off by few blocks so I had to circle around a bit. “Seedy” was a nice way of describing this area. I finally found the Causeway Apartments. It looked more like an old run-down hotel. There was an old guy in a grey beard on the front stoop rocking back and forth. It looked like he had deteriorated with the structure.

I wasn’t confident that my vehicle was safe parked here, but I had no good options. I should have paid Frank to come with me. I parked as close as I could get, hopped out, and locked it twice. I walked up to the old man. “Is there a landlord here?”

“More like the land king.” He started laughing at his joke. I could smell his foul breath even though I was a good five feet away. “First door on the left. Can you spare some change?” He held a liver-spotted quivering hand. Screw it, I thought, at least he provided the information first. I reached into my pocket and loosened a ten by touch. I didn’t want to pull out a wad of bills on this street. I handed him the ten.

“Watch my car, will you?” I just nodded to him as I walked past.

“Ain’t no one gonna touch it Mister. Not with Freddy on the job.” He was smiling pretty well. I saw that he was missing about half his teeth. Surprisingly, there was double door entry way to the place. It smelled like stale alcohol, but it must help with the weather. I pushed through the second set and was met with another smell. Unwashed dog was the only thing that was close. I wrinkled my nose and knocked on Suite 101 on the left.

A man slightly bigger than me in a stained wife beater T-shirt answered the door. “What you want?” He sounded like he grew up on the street and was proud of it.

“I am here to bring Mia Perez’s account up to date and pick up her things.” I wasn’t sure I should have put it quite that way. I felt it may have come off a bit snobbish. He just smiled.

“She don’t pay with money asshole, and I ain’t interested in no blowjob from you.” I wasn’t prepared for that. The image of Mia on her knees before this piece of shit hit my brain like a ton of bricks. My fist shot forward before I had a chance to consider where I was. I connected with his face before he had a chance to drop his shitty grin. He dropped on his ass like a sack of potatoes, and blood started coming out of his nose. I had never hit anyone in my life before. My hand was in extreme pain. I struggled to ignore it. The landlord’s expression promised my impending death. He rose, keeping a careful eye on me.

I pulled my money clip out of my pocket. “My investigator has told me that Mia has stayed here for six months.” I started counting out bills and he slowed his rise. “I have no idea what one of these dumps cost.” I kept snapping more bills off the clip. He returned to his feet and took a half a step away from me. His nose was dripping blood on the floor. He didn’t seem bothered by the fact. “This is five thousand dollars that says she was a model tenant, an angel of virtue, and always current with the rent.” I handed him the money. He understood immediately.

“I’m sorry I insulted her, Sir.” He took the money from my hand slowly. “I mistaked the name for someone else. Where would you like Ms. Perez’s belongings?” Greed is a wonderful motivator.

“The black SUV up front.” I handed him another hundred. “Hire some help if you need to. Lose anything that looks like it might be related to drugs or her old profession.” He nodded his head.

“Bobby get out here! We gots work to do.” He was yelling back into the apartment. A younger carbon copy of the landlord appeared from around the corner.

“Damn, Pops! Who did your face?” He was eyeing me with suspicion.

“I ran into the door. We got to load Ms. Perez’s belongings into this gentleman’s SUV.” He was pointing at me. The son didn’t grasp the “gentleman” reference and started to speak.

“You mean that whor…” His father’s hand moved much quicker than mine ever could and slapped his son across the face.

“We don’t make disparaging comments about our best tenants.” The landlord smiled at me and handed his son the hundred. “Let’s get her stuff loaded.” Bobby moved off with renewed vigor after pocketing the hundred. I returned outside to Freddy guarding my car. He was leaned up against it like he owned it.

“Thank you Freddy.” I smiled at him and received a toothless grin in return. It took the father and son team fifteen minutes to load up the five boxes that made up Mia’s life. Bobby must have heard the whole story, because he apologized to me at first sighting. After the SUV was loaded, the landlord came up and indicated they were done.

“I removed some stuff you didn’t want to see.” He looked down toward me. He had a tissue stuffed his right nostril. “Everything else is there; we ain’t no thieves.” Honor among slime, I thought to myself.

“Thank you,” I said. I entered my vehicle and drove away. As soon as I was out of sight, I took a good look at my throbbing hand. It was beginning to bruise and was a bit stiff. I flexed it and figured there were no broken bones. I remembered the feeling when I saw the landlord fall on his ass. It felt good to defend Mia’s honor even though it was unwarranted. I conveniently forgot that I would be in the hospital if the landlord wasn’t so greedy. I drove home the victor.

I found the house empty when I returned. I panicked, kicking myself for leaving her alone. I ran to each room and checked the bathrooms. I grabbed my phone and was about to dial Monica when I spotted some black hair at the top of a lounger under the umbrella. I stopped to catch my breath and laughed to myself. That is exactly where I would be if I were her. I donned a set of swim trunks and headed down.

I found her sound asleep with her finger three chapters deep into The Hobbit. “My fantasy woman” was my only thought. I moved the umbrella to extend her shade time and pulled the other lounger close. I quietly lay on my side to watch her sleep. She was wearing one of the new swimsuits we bought yesterday. I wished it could have been the white bikini. This was a full suit that still revealed her curves. I loved those curves. I watched her chest go up and down slowly almost in time with the waves. My beach was so much better with her on it. It took only a few minutes before I nodded off.

I was awakened later by a soft set of lips kissing my hand. I open my eyes and was met by a quick kiss. “Whose face did this to your hand?” She was lightly caressing my now black and blue knuckles. It looked a lot worse than it felt. There was concern in her eyes. I was about to lie about how it happened. It would just be insulting; she knew why my hand was bruised.

“I don’t want to tell you right now.” I looked into her eyes and prayed she wouldn’t push. She shrugged her shoulders.

“Then I probably don’t want to know.” She grabbed my good hand and pulled up. “It needs some ice though.” She was leading me back to the house. She looked good in her suit. I was hanging back half a step watching her cute butt cheeks go up and down as she made the incline. She caught me out of the corner of her eye. “Stop watching my fat ass,” she said, smiling as she spun around, hiding her behind.

“Sexy butt, sexy breasts. I don’t care which way you walk.” I laughed as she began to blush. The way she filled out the suit, I wasn’t sure if I would prefer the bikini. She built an ice pack inside of a wet towel just like Grandma. I sat on a stool. She pulled up next to me and placed the ice pack across my knuckles. She held it there while she stroked my arm with her other hand. I felt a tremor in her hand as she caressed my arm. I looked up and realized she was putting things together. Her eyes were beginning to water.

 

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5 Men on the Best One Night Stands They’ve Ever Had

When sharing our one night stand stories, we tend to go for the bad, messy, or funny moments. Everyone has had their share of awkward and uncomfortable hook-ups, and it can be nice to bond over those weird nights. But sometimes we get so focused on when things go wrong, we forget to remember the encounters that are awesome.

Spending one amazing night with someone you’ve just met can be such a release. The great thing about a one night stand is how it just exists in that one time. You feel free to experience the moment, knowing no future meeting will ever taint it.

Maybe you’ve been nervous to have a one night stand, worrying about what it would be like to sleep with someone you just met. Looking for some encouragement before your next spontaneous hookup? Check out these guys’ stories of their best one night stands.

1. She Made Him Feel at Home

“I had been chatting to this girl on Tinder when I was visiting Brisbane for a few days before flying to Melbourne. She randomly text me as I was out walking in the evening asking if I wanted to come over so I said yes. She picked me up in an Uber and we grabbed a few beers and chilled at hers. Turns out ‘hers’ is actually her cousins and his wife’s. They have four dogs so I got to chill with them, the girl and some beer—was awesome. Went back to her room, as it was getting late, and all the good bits happened. The next morning I end up sitting in the dining room with the girl, 4 dogs and the cousin and his wife eating a full English breakfast they made specially for me (I’m from England originally)—a nice little bit of home away from home.” —Mike, 24

2. She Picked Him Up in a Hotel Lobby

“My best one night stand also includes my favorite pick up line. I was on the road, and an amazing girl walked up to me in the hotel lobby (with her three friends behind her watching her hit on me all excited and giggling) and starts up conversation. I wasn’t even thinking about sex or anything at the time, so it didn’t really register to me what was going on until she says, ‘I’ve always wondered what the rooms look like in this hotel.’ Even then it took me a few seconds and then the lightbulb went off and in my head I was like, Oh, so that’s what’s going on right now. Stellar line. Needless to say with a creative personality like that, the rest of the night was fun. Really fun. Hmmm, I wonder what that girl is doing now?” —Anand, 43

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3. They Were Together in the Middle of Nowhere

“I was on an island in Vietnam for three days with no reception. Everyone was canoeing, swimming, and then drinking at night. I was dancing to this DJ and didn’t know where my friends were when I met this Irish girl. We went skinny dipping and as we moved algae glowed in the water. It was so cool. We moved to secluded chairs on the beach after that. Then the next day we left the island and I never saw her again. Such a memorable night.” —Thomas, 21

4. An Amazing Night Following by an Amazing Breakfast

“I met a girl at a bar and we want back to my place, had an amazing night and when I woke up she had made an amazing breakfast (restaurant-quality) and then I left and I never saw her again.” —John, 28

5. He Needed it to Move on

“At 20 I had just gotten out of a multi-year relationship with my high school sweetheart. I hadn’t really figured out how to date as an adult yet, so I hadn’t had sex in over nine months. A friend’s band needed a fill-in bass player for a mini-tour of California. I invited a high school friend to our show in Oakland. She came and brought a friend. Not thinking I had any chance with her, I was completely loose. We went out dancing after the show and had a blast. She and I danced up on a pedestal together. We were cracking each other up with jokes all night and clearly had a connection, but I thought we were just having fun.

“Next thing I know, we’re making out in a car while being driven home. We hooked up that night and again in the morning. While the band went sightseeing during the day, we basically pretended like we were in a relationship. We made a nice breakfast together and did homework together (we were both in college). I treasure the day we spent together. We were so comfortable and relaxed together, the sex was amazing, and the whole experience was just what I needed to get my confidence back.” —Jason, 35

Sarah Fielding Sarah Fielding is a freelance writer based in New York who covers a range of topics for outlets including Men’s Health, Bustle, and Insider, with a special love for mental health and sex and relationships topics.

 

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How to Deal With Being in a Relationship With an Older Guy

All relationships have advantages and pitfalls. May-September relationships (where the man is significantly older than the woman, usually by at least a generation) have their special challenges. Knowing what to expect can make the difference in the relationship.

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    Determine why you are choosing someone older as a relationship partner.

    • Sometimes the relationship is a superficial one, based upon the man’s financial situation. This stereotype is seen often in the media, and therefore makes people immediately think that if you’re with an older man, it’s because of his money.
    • Other women prefer much older men because they are attracted to the knowledge, experience and/or wisdom that comes with those years.
    • Still other women prefer older men, but only if they appear to be younger than they are. This helps negate some of the “gold digger” comments.
    • Still other women choose older men because they had an unhappy or nonexistent relationship with their father, and are trying to fill that hole they feel in their lives.
    • Other women have a “caretaker” instinct that draws them to older men who genuinely care and appreciate their kindness.
    • There are also women who are sexually attracted to men with wrinkles and gray hair.
    • Older men tend to be more grateful for their relationship with someone younger, and are somewhat less likely to cheat.
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    Realize that you’ll have to deal with prejudice.

    • You’ll be mistaken for the man’s daughter or granddaughter on occasion.
    • Prepare to hear people humming “You’re Sixteen” and “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” near you.
    • Some friends will immediately think your boyfriend is creepy and will think you crazy for dating this man. You may have to convince them of his good qualities.
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    If the relationship would be an illegal one, strongly consider the consequences.

    • This means that if you’re under 18, you could be subjecting the person you want to date to possible criminal charges. Even your consent is not enough to overcome statutory rape. It is in the man’s interest that you keep the relationship platonic until a romantic relationship is legal.
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    Remember to include your boyfriend in some of your activities, and let him know that he’s welcome to include you in some of his activities.

    • This will help people see that you two are not just a “secret” embarrassing item, but that you two actually do have a relationship built upon attraction, respect, trust, and shared experiences.
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    Think about the future, especially if you consider marriage.

    • If you want to start a family. An older parent isn’t necessarily a bad thing … children are born to parents who are in their 40s.
    • If you’re in a March-November relationship instead of a May-September relationship (a 2-generation difference) then you need to prepare for the very real possibility that you will outlive your partner while you are still young or early middle-aged. Be sure end-of-life concerns are taken care of for your partner, and that you are emotionally ready for the stress: both during the relationship and after.
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    If you two really do love each other for the right reasons, most people will eventually accept your relationship. Those who don’t either can’t see past their prejudices or don’t care about your happiness.

 

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Matchmaker’s business flourishes amid ‘dating app fatigue’

Michal Naisteter approached a city planner at Reading Terminal Market and bantered with a pediatrician at the Bok Bar rooftop. At a Franklin Institute Science After Hours event, she was intrigued by a young entrepreneur, and she chatted up a Delaware politician at a local coffee shop.

No matter where she meets people, her introduction remains the same.

“Hey, I’m Michal. I’m a married matchmaker,” she says. “Are you by any chance single, ’cause I think you’re really cute.”

All those people ended up saying yes to Naisteter, 35, who for two years has worked as a matchmaker for the national company Three Day Rule.

They are soon added to her company’s pool of more than 4,500 Philadelphia singles, most of whom are not paying members but are open to being set up. After a meeting where they have a “heart to heart” with Naisteter, she considers matching them with a client.

While many people may start humming along to the song from Fiddler on the Roof when they hear the word matchmaker, Naisteter’s company emphasizes a modern approach to what may seem like a quaint method for finding love.

There has been demand for matchmaking services as the proliferation of apps has chipped away at the stigma associated with seeking outside help for dating, an IBISWorld report on the growing $3 billion industry shows. Even with free options like Tinder at the fingertips of singles, some people turn to matchmakers for a more personalized, albeit pricey, experience.

People in Philly seem particularly disgruntled with the city’s dating pool, Naisteter said. Though loyal to the city, they say living here is like a small town where they already know everyone. That’s simply not true in the sixth largest city in the United States, she says.

For those who want to work with Naisteter, there is a $5,500 premium membership fee for three months, with higher priced options for six and 12 months. With this payment comes an in-depth meeting about anything from family history and past relationships to the attributes of a potential partner, as well as a professional photo shoot.

Then, Naisteter will search LinkedIn, Instagram, and networking events, or while living her daily life, like grocery shopping, to find people to match with her clients, with a goal of at least one match a month.

Other matchmakers range from national companies like the paid-service It’s Just Lunch to Danielle Selber, who is called the “in-house matchmaker” at the Philadelphia nonprofit Tribe 12, which encourages people to make a $36 donation if they are satisfied with the experience.

The way Naisteter views it, a matchmaker saves her clients time by searching on their behalf and then screening people before a first date to make sure they are representing themselves accurately and are a good fit. Her objective, she says, is getting people on fewer but better dates.

Three Day Rule launched in Philadelphia in May 2016, three years after its founding in Los Angeles. In that time, the company says, it has matched about 550 people in Philly and sat down with more than 1,500 singles. Naisteter has worked with more than 50 paying clients and of her current clients, the youngest is 26 and oldest is 67.

While Naisteter said there is not one metric for success, since not everyone is looking to be married right away if at all, the company said that in the last couple years, 70 percent of its clients overall were still dating one of their matches when their contract ended.

Even if the people Naisteter meets don’t fit well with a paying client, she helps them improve their dating profiles or offers general advice.

“I’m like a cheerleader and a sex therapist and your girlfriend all rolled up into one,” she said.

Modern matchmaking

Three Day Rule CEO Talia Goldstein started listing her colleagues’ recent successes on one of their recent weekly conference calls with matchmakers in 10 cities, including Los Angeles and New York.

“For matching shoutouts, Melissa has two second dates and a third date. Samantha has a third date. Julia has a second date, and a client who went on hold to date her match….”

But when it was Naisteter’s turn, she didn’t highlight a traditional success like a wedding. She told a story about rejection.

He is in his 30s with a healthy career, but no relationship. Any time she sent him a match, he would ask: “What do I say to her?” ”What do I text her?” ”Where should we go?”

Naisteter has worked on empowering him to make his own decisions. “If you want to meet someone amazing, you have to be amazing yourself,” she would tell him.

So he gave it a try. He took a date to a ping pong bar in Philly and thought it was fantastic. But when Naisteter debriefed the woman after, she said he didn’t talk about things he did outside of work, and she didn’t feel as if he would be interested in what she does for fun, like salsa dancing. Naisteter relayed this to him and told him the woman wasn’t interested in a second date.

“So the next day, he wrote to me, ‘You know what, I think I’m still going to write to her, like I would be down to go as friends. I want to go salsa dancing, or I would come to one of the events that you organized,'” Naisteter told colleagues.

Naisteter considers her job more than just getting people dates. Along the way, she wants them to learn more about themselves and how that reflects what they are looking for in a partner.

In a way, she’d been readying herself to be a matchmaker long before she even knew a job like this existed.

After taking a human sexuality course as an undergrad at Pennsylvania State University, she went on to earn a master’s in that topic at Widener University.

She lived in Tel Aviv for a year, teaching English to children of migrant workers. She also worked in Boston and did HIV counseling on needle exchange vans. After working in public health, she decided she wanted to do more on the education side and learn Spanish.

So she went to South America with a backpack and suitcase and ended up in Medellin, Colombia, for four years. Back in Philly, she wanted a career change that blended her education, experience, personality and life history, and found this job while searching online with a friend one night.

While in Medellin, a friend set her up with her now-husband. The two have an 8-month-old daughter, Hanna Rodriguez.

With clients, Naisteter will tell them about her husband, Manuel Rodriguez. At 31, he is younger than her and from a different religion. “If we were on an app, I could’ve potentially swiped the wrong way.”

But instead of focusing on physical attributes or what was written down, the friend simply said: “You’re a good person, and he’s a good person.”

They call that friend “our cupid, or our matchmaker.”

‘Dating app fatigue’

It isn’t likely that matchmaking services like Three Day Rule will overtake the online and mobile dating market, said John Madigan, an industry research analyst at IBIS.

Tinder, PlentyOfFish, and OkCupid are all brands from Match Group Inc., which IBISWorld reports has about 42.3 percent of the industry’s market share. Match Group’s stock has more than quadrupled to about $61 Monday from $15.20 in November 2015.

Dating sites like Match.com, eHarmony, and Chemistry.com comprise half of the market. Mobile dating, which can be found free with apps like Hinge and Bumble, is 31 percent. Matchmaking is just 12 percent. Match Group was an early investor in Three Day Rule in 2014.

But Madigan has noticed that “dating app fatigue” is driving demand for matchmakers.

“People are getting tired of swiping right, swiping left, ‘Do I find this person attractive?’ It’s a very superficial-based connection,” he said. While other matchmaking firms do this work, Madigan singled out Three Day Rule in his report because it has been “growing quite quickly,” doubling in revenue in 2018.

After spending years swiping through five different dating apps, Ed Cahan, 37, an engineer who works in real estate, was losing hope. His friends were married and having their second children, and he felt his time was ticking away.

He got coffee with Naisteter and asked how the premium membership worked.

“I thought about it for a couple days, and then I was like, ‘You know what, I tried all the apps, I tried all these things, Why not? I’ll say yes and I’ll see what happens.'”

So they met up again. Naisteter optimized his dating profile by helping him get new photos and linking his Instagram account to show off his woodworking hobby. She told him his usual date suggestion of coffee around 6 p.m. was just plain bad. Since he doesn’t drink, she suggested going to a nice restaurant at 8 p.m. for dessert and a better ambiance.

Cahan, who lives in Northern Liberties, told her how he was looking for someone who was Jewish like him, adventurous, entrepreneurial, and outdoorsy.

When she sent over his first match, he told her the next day that she nailed it. “You listened to me and you found exactly what I was looking for,” he recalled.

The two went on a dessert date last month at Parc. Even though he said it was a good date, the two haven’t gone on a second.

Now he is waiting for more matches.

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Chapter 15 – Madam Wong’s West – The Yamamato Sisters

“Frank, this is Jill and Vickie. They’re sisters. They’re going to hang with us.”

Frank and I decide to go check out Madam Wong’s West over on Wilshire Blvd. It’s a famous rock and roll place that originated in Chinatown, (See: Tales of Rock – Esther Wong) But the place we’re going is her other location in Santa Monica. It’s within walking distance from our shitty apartment. The goal is to check out the local rock scene and try to talk to some girls.

We are drinking 102 beer at the apartment getting our pre-game on. (it was called 102 because it took them 102 times to get it right. They didn’t, because it was $2.99 for a 6 pack of 16 oz beers!) We didn’t have a name for it back then we just drank before we went out so we wouldn’t spend so much money when we went out. All this accomplished was getting us thoroughly plowed before we walked out the door and then we would just drink more. So it’s a bad idea that we did over and over again. I’m sure we did it for years after that but, youth… live and learn.

I remember that night very clearly. I was drinking a beer in the shower while I was getting ready. I had my boom box on. We had a red light bulb in our bathroom and it was cool. I was listening to “I don’t need no doctor” by Humble Pie. It was amazing.

We get all dressed up and head out, buzzed and ready to see the night in L.A.

We get to Madam Wong’s and realize that although I’m legal to drink in New Jersey at age 18, the drinking age is 21 in California. So I’m fucked.

I get an underage stamp but Frank gets a 21 stamp. Well this sucks. Fucking state laws. I’m pissed but we’ll make it work. We’re a crafty lot.

We go in and head upstairs. It’s got bands downstairs and upstairs.  I love that it’s two floors of rock. We don’t have anything like this back in Jersey. It’s like a giant house of rock. I loved it instantly and wanted to play there.

We find a cool round booth upstairs and take a seat. Some band is playing onstage and they suck. On the table there is a card that says “Two Drink Minimum” and I tell Frank to drop out jackets and go get some beers and I secure that table.

“What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to go downstairs and procure us a couple of women to join us at our table. So go get four beers. ”

“No fuckin’ way.”

“Way.”

“Okay. Well then have at it Chaz.”

Frank doesn’t know my mad game from picking up babes in Wildwood,NJ for years.

We’ve got our booth and Frank is getting our beers and I head downstairs to hunt. I have no idea what I’m doing and I have very little knowledge of women in L.A are like but at this point I’ve had a few beers and my courage is alive and well in me due to the alcohol.

I’m wandering downstairs and I come across a pair of pretty Asian girls. I’ve never met an Asian girl before. I literally walk up to them and ask them the following:

“My friend and I have a table upstairs. Would you like to join us?”

They say an immediate yes and I take the older girl’s hand and head upstairs. I lead them to the table and Frank’s eyes are like saucers. I can tell my comrade is pleased with my kill. He’s more than pleased. He’s amazed at my prowess.

I was really cute back then and I’ve always been charming.

“Frank, this is Jill and Vickie. They’re sisters. They’re going to hang with us.”

Frank is speechless. I see the joy in his eyes. He can’t believe I pulled this off. He has no idea that this is just the beginning of our California odyssey.

We enjoyed the night with these pretty sisters and got their numbers. We wanted to see them again and go on dates with them. That’s what people did back then. We went on dates with girls. Took them to the movies and record stores and lunch and dinner spots.

Frank and I had no money but if we had a couple of little girlfriends we were going to treat them right. It’s all we knew. I’m from Philly and everybody hates me and I have little history of dating. Frank was in the junior wing of the IRA in Belfast and also has little experience with girls. We just met a really cute pair of Asian sisters. They have our full attention!

We kissed them goodnight and even took some pictures.

We want to see these girls again!

… And we will.

Oh yes… We will.

 

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

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7 ‘Outdated’ Dating Rules We Should Bring Back

Old-timey dating rules get a bad rap for good reason. They tend to propagate silly, non-feminist notions about finding love: “Wait for him to ask you out. A lady never makes the first move.” “Follow the three-day rule: Don’t contact your date until three whole days have passed.”

But the truth is, not all of the advice that dating columnists foisted on singles back in the day was bad. Read a handful of these “rules” (clearly not the ones mentioned above), and you might just find a juicy little nugget of wisdom that can be applied to your dating life.

Below, we talk to four dating coaches about what old-school dating expectations are worth bringing back today.

1. Practice chivalry.

Let’s all commit to being more chivalrous and mannerly while dating: Open the door for each other, don’t talk over one another, text after the date to make sure the other person got home safely, always call when you say you will.

Given how lackadaisical people tend to be in the Tinder era, these small but impressive moves will set you apart from the masses.

“Don’t skimp on the chivalrous behaviors, which not only make a good impression but [make] someone feel special and wooed,” said Samantha Burns, dating coach and author of “Breaking Up & Bouncing Back.”

“Step up your courting game!” she said. “Chivalry never goes out of style. Also, as you grow comfortable with your partner, you can get lazy in love, so it’s important to start with your best foot forward and ideally try to maintain this courteous behavior over the course of your relationship.”

2. Ask someone out on a real date instead of suggesting something vague like “hanging out.”

Enough with the half-assed “Wanna hang out?” day-of requests. That’s how we get ourselves stuck in a Netflix-and-chill routine and in situationships.

Legitimize your intentions by asking the person out on an actual date. Yup, a full-on date, where you plan the night out in detail and ― depending on your comfort levels with each other ― maybe even offer to pick your date up, said Jenny Apple, a matchmaker in Los Angeles.

“Obviously it’s OK if they prefer to meet, but have a genuine game plan in advance and let them know you’ve thought things through,” she said. “Being a gentleman ― or woman― is making sure you treat everyone around you with care and consideration, and especially your date.”

3. Pick up the phone and call your date.

Americans send and receive five times as many texts as phone calls each day, according to a survey from International Smartphone Mobility. It’s easy to see why you’d prefer to text while dating: With texts, you have a better chance of avoiding awkward lulls in conversation and you can take your time to dash off something witty and writerly.

But texting isn’t quite the same as a full-on conversation. Calling offers you a chance to really connect with the person before you meet IRL.

“Not only can you connect better talking, but a voice and good conversation can be a turn-on,” said Kimberly Seltzer, a dating coach and host of the podcast “The Charisma Quotient.”

“A modern-day edit to this rule would be to text first and find out when someone’s available to talk,” she added. “That shows you have respect for the person’s schedule and you’ll avoid a frustrating game of phone tag.”

4. Let the mystery and sexual tension build up before you jump into bed.

OK, OK, hear us out on this one: While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with hot-and-heavy first-date sex, there’salso something to be said for letting the sexual tension build up — that small graze across their back on the walk to your car, the silly sexual innuendo, and hopefully, some fireworks during first-time sex.

“Sometimes when you jump into bed, you miss all the foreplay and romance that is an important part of the experience,” said Fay Goldman, the founder of New York City-based matchmaker group Meaningful Connections. “Play a little hard to get; it makes the person want you more, which is actually better if this is going to be a long-term relationship. You need some time to fantasize with your brain.”

5. Don’t introduce this person to your friends until you’re serious.

Don’t force your friends to endure another awkward hangout with a random person they’ll never meet again. Bring the person around only once you’re sure you want to continue dating them, which, according to Burns, means you’ve spent intentional time together learning about each other’s values, hobbies and goals, and have a sense of what you’re both looking for.

“After that point, it’s valuable to get your bestie’s feedback,” she said. “It’s important to have our friends vet our potential partners, since they can sometimes pick up on red flags when we’re blinded by love due to all of the dopamine and oxytocin that get us excited and attached to someone very quickly.”

Bottom line? Your friends care about you and are probably invested in your dating prospects, but don’t burn them out!

6. Dress up for the occasion.

When dressing, stay clear of yoga pants, cargo shorts or any other schlubby clothing items that suggest “IDGAF about this date.” There’s no need to go out and buy a whole new look, but a little sartorial effort goes a long way.

“Always dress to impress and make a memorable sexy first impression,” Selzer said. “Dressing up says to your date that you care and they’ll definitely take notice.”

7. Fill awkward silences with questions about your date — and definitely don’t spend the whole time talking about yourself.

You’d be surprised how many people spend the majority of their dates monopolizing the conversation and never really stopping to ask questions about the person across from them. To be a successful dater, you need to be a good conversationalist, which means that instead of sharing your entire life story, try to listen more than you speak.

“Ask your date meaningful, open-ended questions so that you can explore their core values, such as ‘What are your favorite ways to unwind?’ or ‘Tell me about your family,’” Burns said. “Listen with the intent to find out what matters most to your date, rather than being focused on your own response.”

She points out that this might require you to be more present and attuned during dinner, but believe us: The payoff ― a potential relationship with someone who becomes your favorite person ever ― is well worth the effort.

 

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

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Sun Stories: Kita – Chapter 12 – The Day Before Tomorrow – Part III

She comes out after a bit and is looking great.

“You look good. Just think in the next six hours you’ll get darker and darker.”

“I love it.”

She’s back hanging at the counter being my little protege.

“Did you get your six page paper finished?”

“Yes! wrote it last night and submitted it this morning!”

“Good work. I knew you would. I like what you said about writing in general.”

“What?”

“You don’t want to do it, but once you just start writing you’re into it and you just get it done.”

“Yea.”

“I feel that way about my writing. I know plenty of good writers. Better than me. Better material. But they just don’t motivate themselves to do it. If you want to be a ballet dancer, you need to take a class everyday. If you want to be a painter, you need to paint everyday. I write everyday and it’s gotten easier because I practice everyday. i like your work ethic, Kita.”

“Yea. It’s just that I have to do it, so I dig in.”

“Midterms are the end of the week, right?”

“Yea. So I’m studying like mad for that. So exhausting.”

But I love that she’s carved out some time to have dinner with me tomorrow night.

“I can imagine.”

I tell her about some of the challenges we’ve experienced with some of the staff here at the salon.

“I’d love to work here.”

My mind soars.

“You’d be amazing here. I know your parents have you on an allowance and they want you to focus on your studies but you’d be perfect here.”

“Oh my god. You’d be perfect. You’re like the poster child for this salon to show how it really works because you have such a great tan. Plus, you’ve got such enthusiasm for tanning.”

“Oh that would be incredible!”

“And the best part…”

“What?”

“FREE TANNING.”

I can almost see the dopamine drop in her pretty head.

“Ohhh… that would be Heaven.”

“I’m going to think about that. Just think. In the spring is our busiest season. We need two people on at night to handle the numbers. Can you imagine us running this place like a well oiled machine?”

“I would absolutely love that, Charles.”

I think about how I would absolutely LOVE that as well.

“You’d be perfect for this place. I’m going to think about that.”

“Giggles. I’m staying up here this summer, so that would be awesome.”

I tell her the story how in the last few weeks our beloved Summer (See: Summer- 2017 to Present – The Outlaw Returns) has asked me to take a couple of her shifts because she’s either had some family function, or, was hungover after a drunken fight with her boyfriend, or how her car’s transmission died while they were in NYC and couldn’t get back to Philly to work. On two of the occasions I had already made other plans. That stuck Achilles having to work from 10am to 8pm twice in the last month. He takes a very dim view to people calling out. Even to the point where when we talked about it he said she called out around 2 hours before her shift was to begin. Not cool. I don’t know what’s been going on with Summer lately. There seems to be a lot of chaos in her life, but it all seems self imposed.

Achilles is losing his patience.

“Start looking for somebody else, W.” (That’s what he calls me.)

 

“I know your parents have you on an allowance because they want you to focus on your studies but I know you’d love to work here, Kita. That could maybe come to fruition.”

She smiles and tells me that would be awesome. We’ll have to see how the whole Summer situation plays out.

I change the subject.

“Do you have any roommates?”

“I have 3 roommates. One is my friend, and we hang out a lot, the other two are nursing students and they have a different schedule than we do. We all have our own rooms and just share common area, kitchen and bathrooms. It’s a good setup because everybody’s chill and I’m usually studying.”

We chat some more and now she’s been here for over two hours much to my delight. She tells me she’s ecstatic about hour dinner date tomorrow and can’t wait to meet me tomorrow at 5pm.

We part ways and she’s off to study.

I watch her pad down the steps like a cat.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow…

I’m not even thinking of Cherie.

 

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

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