I’m a bartender who’s witnessed countless first dates — here are all the things you’re doing wrong

  • As a bartender, I’ve witnessed countless first dates play out in front of me.
  • I’ve come to learn several mistakes people make on their first dates, like getting too drunk, underdressing, or not having enough money to cover the bill.
  • Here are the biggest mistakes I see people make on first dates at bars.

Something a world-famous bartender recently said on bars and dating culture stuck with me.

Jim Meehan, the author of “Meehan’s Bartender Manual,” said that in the early years of his career, bars weren’t where people went on dates, but where they went to find dates.

Nowadays, online dating has changed the game. And as a bartender in the age of dating apps, I’m grateful that I’m spared the horror of seeing real-life Tinder swiping in front of my eyes.

But one painful ritual I’m frequently audience to is the cringeworthy first date. I’ve witnessed countless first dates play out from behind the bar, and I’ve gotten a sense of what works and what doesn’t from both parties.

These are the worst and most frequent mistakes I see people making, and what they could be doing better.

Know the kind of bar you’re going to.

Know the kind of bar you're going to.Nathan Klima for The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Because of apps, most of us go in relatively blind to first dates — we haven’t met our match in real life.

But that doesn’t mean you should go in blind to the bar too. You don’t have to be the person who didn’t make a reservation, or is overdressed or underdressed, or isn’t ready for the sticker shock of the menu. I’ve seen all of the above, and other than being small-talk fodder for the date, it’s not a good look.

Scout a place on a day before the date. Make sure you know things like the likelihood of a wait, or if the atmosphere is entirely too romantic, or too loud to hold a conversation.

But be cautious of overfamiliarity.

But be cautious of overfamiliarity.Reuters/Bernadett Szabo

It’s also funny to me when people take different dates, week after week, to my same bar.

We bartenders won’t do it on purpose, but you are running the risk of having us inadvertently reveal your penchant for dating around, which also might not be a good look.

“Hey there. Same as last week? Old-fashioned for you and a Bee’s Knees for the lady?”

In my effort to flex my ability to remember your face and drink order, it’s not uncommon to accidentally reveal you were here last week with someone else — someone who in this case apparently likes to drink a Bee’s Knees.

Check your card balance beforehand.

Check your card balance beforehand.Shutterstock/svershinsky

Always check your card balance before you go out to make sure you have enough to cover your bill. Or if you’re out of town, make sure your bank won’t lock out your card for security reasons.

I always try to be discreet if I can tell someone is on a date when their card is declined, but if you don’t have cash or another viable card, that date you intended to treat may end up footing the bill. Awkward.

For goodness sake, tip 20%.

Always tip your bartender 20%. No matter how the service was. Every time. Whether you’re on a date or not. But especially on a first date.

Because even if waiting tables or making drinks isn’t your date’s current profession, you never know whether they were a former service-industry worker and will be sensitive to the issue.

I can almost guarantee they’re going to check to see how much you tipped. And a good tip will show them you acknowledge the hard work that goes into a service-industry job, which usually comes with a base rate below the minimum wage.

A tip higher than 20% would be, ahem, uber-classy and demonstrate generosity.

And if you know that your date has worked as a bartender and still don’t intend to tip 20%, just stay home.

Side note: If a customer gives me their phone number while I’m bartending but tips less than 20%, I’m immediately throwing it away.

Don’t get wasted.

Don't get wasted.Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Garden & Gun

This one probably speaks for itself.

I remember a gentleman once showing up early at the bar for his date. He pounded two double vodka sodas by himself. He pounded another double vodka soda when his date left, after an awkward hour of squinting, swaying, and not saying too much.

It’s also pretty awkward to get cut off by the bartender on a date with someone new, as happened to me just a few weeks ago. After balking and accusing me of simply not wanting to serve him, the young man — yes, it’s usually the men over-imbibing — left a one-star Yelp review about it.

I imagine that being cut off in front of your date is less embarrassing than falling down the stairs at a three-story bar, so I maintain that I was helping him in the long run.

When it comes to conversational faux pas, oversharing is a big one.

When it comes to conversational faux pas, oversharing is a big one.Chris Hondros/Getty

I’ve seen more than one dater’s eyes glaze over as their date regurgitates a spectrum of emotions on topics relating to their exes, drug use, daddy and mommy issues — the list goes on.

It’s one thing to have a back-and-forth where you’ve connected on deeper, emotional topics on a first date, but when it’s a monologue, it’s like watching a therapy session — a really awkward therapy session.

Daters often have go-to topics, like travel and television, but miss cues that their date doesn’t care.

Daters often have go-to topics, like travel and television, but miss cues that their date doesn't care.NBC

Even traditionally “safe” topics, like travel, can go awry when daters use it as a conversational crutch.

From polling other bartenders, I can say the television show most heavily abused as a first-date conversation topic that goes absolutely nowhere is “The Office.”

So if your conversation is going this way: “Have you seen ‘The Office’? No? Well, there’s this scene where …” Stop at the word “no.” Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

A lot of conversational topics are fine with a good mix of questions. But some daters I see are like trial lawyers: They cross-examine their date.

A lot of conversational topics are fine with a good mix of questions. But some daters I see are like trial lawyers: They cross-examine their date.Getty Images

I’ve seen a lot of dates become deeply uncomfortable because they start to resemble a job interview.

Often, the questions are too probing and invasive.

If you’re trying to figure out your date’s marriage goals, bank account, and family disease history on the first date, you probably won’t get a second.

Don’t bring up your conspiracy theories on a first date.

Just don’t.

Or maybe do. They’re loads of fun for me to hear.

The best so far was a guy on a first date revealing he believed that “the moon is a man-made construct” — a serious level-up from the “we faked the moon landing” theory. Not as good as the “moon is made of cheese” hypothesis though.

Don’t misrepresent your physical appearance.

Don't misrepresent your physical appearance.Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn

I remember one incident where a guy was so freaked out by something that as soon as his date went to the bathroom, he had to tell the bartender I was working with: He thought his date looked great, but her dating-profile pictures must have been at least 15 years old.

People may be judgmental jerks about your appearance. But some won’t be. Misrepresenting yourself, on the other hand, perturbs everyone.

Don’t mansplain things to the bartender to try to be impressive.

Don't mansplain things to the bartender to try to be impressive.REUTERS/Marko Djurica

I think it’s a good thing when a couple on a date can make good conversation with the bartender. People reasonably make character judgments about others based on how they treat those serving them. Warm conversation can go far.

But men in particular are enormous offenders of bad bar chatter with the bartender on dates.

Sharing an enthusiasm for spirits, asking questions, and even sharing some information is fine. Giving condescending sermons on things I already know, like the difference between bourbon and rye, do not impress me and do not impress your date.

Likewise, don’t order an overly complicated drink to flex on your date.

Likewise, don't order an overly complicated drink to flex on your date.Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

The look I will give you while I make your Ramos Gin Fizz — an eight-ingredient cocktail that requires so much shaking that some bars just use a blender instead — will indicate to your date that you are a bona fide jerk.

Especially if I can tell you ordered one in an attempt to seem impressive.

Don’t act accosted by small grievances.

Don't act accosted by small grievances.Getty Images

Any time I’ve been serving or bartending and a dater bickered over trivial bill errors (that often weren’t actually errors), I usually notice a curled-lip response from their date.

You don’t look assertive. You look cheap and petty.

Likewise, don’t send back a drink when it’s not exactly to your liking. Suck it up.

And men especially, don’t act so affronted by a “girly” drink.

And men especially, don't act so affronted by a AP/Chris Pizzello/Invision

Don’t insist that I pour a cocktail meant for a stemmed coupe into a rocks glass in front of your date.

Plus, as I have in the past, I will make the next drink three times as effeminate just to make you reveal your fragile masculinity all over again.

Finally, if you insist on doing any of the above, don’t sit in front of me.

Finally, if you insist on doing any of the above, don't sit in front of me.Sarah Jacobs

Please, spare your bartender. We aren’t like servers. We’re stuck in front of our well.

And you always seem to insist on sitting right in front of us.

Sure, witnessing the schadenfreude can be entertainment. But it’s mostly just cringeworthy.

 

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Lovely Lauren – The Most Beautiful Bartender I’ve Ever Met – Part 1

Look at our Lauren. So pretty. A lovely queen.

Let’s go back to 2013. Let’s go back to a time when I worked for a start-up site. Let’s go back to a time when I really believed the words people told me were true. That there were investors and we would build the company I worked for.

We would build this company into an international brand and it all was all a lie.

It happens in business.

We decided to write some articles about some of our paying clients on our drinking publication. It’s a magazine to show you where to get happy hour and places to go drink.

People… we have YELP for fuck’s sake.

I did what I could for this publication. When I was hired I thought this was going to be a well-funded brand that was about to go national, but we never got the funding and in the end I was fired because they could no longer afford me.

I loved working there, but my goodness, guys.

We had a great client that I acquired. Stratus.

Amazing rooftop bar. Kimpton property. They were paying us every month and we went to see them about their new mobile bar options.

I asked the general manager if there was anything he wanted us to write about.

He said go in there.

He waved me away to the private room Vapor.

I walked to the room and entered.

 

And that’s when I met Lauren.

 

I laid eyes on Lauren and she was one of the prettiest girls I’d ever seen.

I mean… Lauren is absolutely gorgeous.

She’s pretty, fit, and so affable.

I think. This is it. The perfect interview and photo shoot with this lovely woman.

My boss is with me. This is a rare paying client. He’s taking photos. The pics are good. I hope I don’t look too old with this hot baby.

 

I write up a bunch of questions. I’ve never done an interview before. But I try to write an interesting conversation with a beautiful lady for our paying client.

 

Lauren comes to the office so I can interview her.

We’ve already taken so many hot pics of you. I appreciate you coming in to do the interview.

I’m so excited to meet her. This is the hottest bartender I’ve ever met.

Now she’s coming to the BNY Mellon Center to come to our trick/phony rented office at our little drinking publication. (Without investors, we’re doomed in this business model.)

Sweet Lauren shows up. She’s wearing a tank top and a pair a daisy dukes and its killing me.

Her legs are spectacular.

She was great in her photo shoot. Her forced shoot. Pimped out by her manager and us.

I feel bad for the first time at my job at the publication.

Sad thing is this work will never be published.

It’s a fun amazing interview with a smart, pretty girl. When I turned it in to management at the drinking publication, they told me they wouldn’t publish it because it wasn’t a match for the ideology of the site.

This breaks my heart. We have a paying client that asked us to write a piece for them and put it in our magazine.

I loved meeting Lauren and interviewing her, and I thought it would be a really great article that our readers would enjoy.

Something new and different with a pretty lady that would get people excited to go to Stratus at 5th and Chestnut and support our paying client.

But no. Our publisher turned it down. I think he liked it but that wife of his would have freaked out about us talking to hot women. I really believe that.

 

But…

I recently found the interview and all of the photos.

I want to honor lovely Lauren and publish it here.

So please enjoy meeting the prettiest and most charming bartender I know here on Phicklephilly.

Thank you Lauren, and I’m sorry about all that nonsense in the past.

Hopefully my followers will enjoy your story.

Tune in tomorrow for more…

 

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Phicklephilly – Night of the Huntress – 2017

The lady is sitting at her table sipping her drink, and giving me and Church the eye. Church pegs her for an “entrepreneur.” That’s what he calls escorts and hookers.

I was having a good evening at the salon. All of the sunbeds were working, we even got the washer and dryer up and running. Some of my favorite ladies came in to tan and I could feel that things were starting to fall into place at the new address. Achilles even stopped in with Sharon, so he could do a few things and she could go tanning.

I had gotten a text from my friend Alice, (See: Alice – 2011 to Present – The Cute Recruiter) saying she wanted to meet up for a drink. I was already meeting with my buddy Church (See: Church – 2012 to Present – Brand Ambassador) so I told her to meet me at Sofitel after 8pm.

I close up the salon and head to Sofitel. When I get there she’s already at the bar having drinks with her friend Bob. I’ve met him before he’s a really nice guy. Works in IT, makes good money, but no game when it comes to the ladies. I find out Alice’s company, which will find you a job and a date completely hooked him up with some dates, and number three girl was the charm. It sounds like Bob sort of has a girlfriend now.

Things are going well at Alice’s company. if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll know that her friend Keila has left the company after a year or so to pursue other interests. Alice and Bob are hungry and ask if I am too. I’m not that hungry but she says she’s starving and putting it all on her corporate card. So I tell her I’m famished if she insists.

Church arrives and as promised and he makes delivery on another bottle he promised me. A bottle of the Macallan 17-year-old scotch. It’s a fantastic bottle, and 17 is my family’s reoccurring lucky number. They don’t even make this scotch anymore. It’s a $250 bottle of scotch. Did I mention that I love Church?

We’ve been coming to Sofitel more lately and Church is friends with the bartender, Liam and we’re getting the hook up on drinks. To explain what the “hook up” is, it’s when you have a bunch of cocktails and you get the bill and it’s $11. Then you just tip the bartender handsomely with cash. So instead of getting a bill that’s up to $40,  you only spend around $25 and the bartender gets a better tip. You can’t abuse it but you have to get to know them and become a regular, and you get the hook up all over town.

Alice and Bob have to get to another gig, so after devouring cheese steak tacos and fries and cocktails, she says they have to bolt. She pays for everything and off they go. That was awesome. Free round of drinks and dinner and now I can focus on my time with Church.

So this younger guy wearing a wool hat comes into the lounge and takes a seat at a table by himself. He appears to be waiting for someone. We assume a blind or Tinder date.

In a little while this attractive woman in her thirties glides into the room. She walks over to the gentleman sitting at the table. We assume that his date has arrived. But something just doesn’t feel right. Turns out that those two are not together, and after a brief exchange, she moves to a table adjacent to the bar. I’m on the end closest to her, and Church is to my left.

The lady is sitting at her table sipping her drink, and giving me and Church the eye. Church pegs her for an “entrepreneur.” That’s what he calls escorts and hookers. This chill black guy enters the bar and sort of just hangs back behind us. He obviously works there at the hotel. He’s definitely security. So we start joking with him about hooker patrol. We don’t look over at her while we’re doing this because we don’t want to make it obvious that we’re on to her.

Hat guy’s date shows up and joins him at his table. I look over. Not bad. Decent legs, curly black hair. After a drink or two, they pay their bill and leave. The entrepreneur, keeps smiling at me and making eyes. We’re still all talking about her at the bar, Liam and one of theservers have her pegged for a pro.

I’m ready to go out and have a smoke. We leave our coats on our chairs and the bag containing the $250 bottle of scotch. We’re just outside the building. Within a minute the lady comes running out to tell us we forgot our coats. I tell her we’re coming right back after I smoke. I thank her for her concern and she goes back in.

We head back in, and I’m chatting up the hot server Laura. We’re talking about scratch offs and she’s telling me how she’s trying to break up with the doctor she’s currently dating because she feels she should be dating someone her own age. She’s only 25 and this guy is into his 40’s.  She’s keeping her options open and he keeps buying her stuff, because that’s what guys with money do for younger hot women they like sleeping with.

The assumed hooker hasn’t paid her bill yet and Laura is getting nervous because she’s her guest. Laura thinks she’s going to run out on her bill, because now she’s moved to a table by the exit. But then the lady comes up to the bar to pay her tab. I’m sure at this point the only reason she did that is she thought one of us may strike up a conversation.

We’re all holding our breath to see if the card clears. It goes through okay, and as she’s leaving, she leans in to me, touches my arm and whispers, “I think you are very cute!”

We’re a little stunned, as she is walking out she turns and says that she’ll be back in a little bit. After she’s gone we all have a good laugh about the whole show that just unfolded before us.

A little while later, I’m well into my 3rd chardonnay, the entrepreneur returns. She starts giving me the eye again and I’m wondering where she’s been. I decide to go upstairs to the restroom and pray I’m not followed. Church texts me that she has attached herself to some Archie Andrews/Beeker  type from the Muppet Show guy at the bar. He’s eating this enormous club sandwich at the bar so he looks like an easy target to her.

Then this skater boy type comes walking up to me, singing a song about how he can’t find his waitress. He hands me his credit card. “You seem to have an honest face. I have to pay for my brother and my drink.” I’m surprised and sing back to him that I’ll make every effort to find his server.

Laura pops out from the back and I tell her what’s up, and the guy will be right back, he had to give his brother directions to the hotel. She looks surprised, but takes his card and runs it. The skater returns and she gives him his bill and off he goes.

We move down to the other end of the bar, and then this odd-looking older fellow comes in. He’s wearing what appears to be a red racing jacket with matching shoes and driving gloves.

Church says to me: “Welcome… to Fantasy Island.”

The guy orders some weird drink with some sort of Whiskey, B & B and some olives. I’ve never seen or heard of it before. We don’t talk to the guy. He just seems too weird and eccentric. It’s been a bizarre and fun night.

Or as Church and I call it, “Wednesday night.”

 

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Johnny R. – 2009 to Present – Needle in the Groove – Part 2

I remember in the past we used to call the Gold club “The Death Star.” Johnny and I would be out at happy hour and we’d be walking around trying to figure out where to go next. After a few rounds we could start to feel the pull of the club. It was like a tractor beam that would just start pulling our little drunken rebel alliance feet over towards 15th and Chancellor. If you know anything about Star Wars, that’s what the Death Star did to the Millennium Falcon.

After our hilarious experience at Locust Rendevous, we headed over to our favorite dive bar McGlinchey’s on 15th street. McGlinchey’s has cheap drinks and you can smoke in there. I’ve written about it before. (See: Johnny R. – 2009 to Present – Dive Bar Blues) It’s a den of scum and villainy. But we love the place. The surly staff, the crashing bottles as they are thrown into the trash, and the filthy bathrooms all add to it’s bygone era charm.

We get there and we look for a pair of seats. (Just writing about this place makes me want to have a cig right now) Normally when it’s cold there are a few empty seats near the door. We’re in luck and we’re not too close to the door. We walk up to the bar chairs, and they’re empty but there’s all these bags and clothes and one crutch lying on the bar rail. (Nothing surprises me at McGlinchey’s)

We ask the guys to our left if it’s their stuff and they say no. We ask the bartender if anybody is sitting here, and he says no. Then he turns to some old coger that’s sitting around the corner of the bar and tells him to move his stuff. Why the old guy dropped all his stuff over here and then went and sat over there, I’ll never know.

So he comes and hauls it over to his area and we sit down. We look over to our right and there’s an attractive brunette sitting by herself at the bar. That’s rare for a dump like this. She’s obviously doing what most people do nowadays. They have their faces in their phones. Of course some other old guy starts chatting her up. He seems harmless enough.

“You can see that girl is visibly uncomfortable.” says Johnny.

“Agreed.”

I order my usual. Their shitty house white wine with a side of ice, and Johnny gets a bud bottle. He grabs a few singles off the bar and heads to the jukebox. He always has a good sense of what to play, and soon the music is overtaken by eighties and nineties rock. He usually spends a solid fifteen minutes over there picking songs, so I start chatting with the bartender. He’s a tired looking middle-aged guy wearing a Star Wars t-shirt. I compliment him on his wardrobe choice. We start to discuss about how we both saw the original film in the theater back in 1977.

I started to write about that experience in detail but decided because it was so epic, that I’ll give it its own space in the future. It’s a great story, but this post is about today with Johnny, so it’ll have to wait. The bartender complains about all the stuff wrong with him now that he’s old, like arthritis and what not. I thankfully have none of those problems and I’m only one year younger that him! It’s probably because I have suffered so much emotional, mental and romantic pain in my life, maybe that was enough.

Johnny and I are chatting about our usual stuff. What’s going on with life and work, how he’s annoyed by his girlfriend, music, what shows we’re watching, etc. But one thing that he tells me has struck a chord. He tells me he has started writing his blog again! I really wanted him to do it, and he says he’s written three things so far, and wants to call it Tales from the Gutter. Which I think is a brilliant title. He’s just going to write about his life experiences and things that piss him off. I love it, and I can’t wait to read and be his first follower!

He asks about my blog and I tell him what’s been going on with it. He’s amazed that I’ve completed all of my Monday through Wednesday posts for the next five months.

“What? So, if you dropped dead today, your blog would continue to publish for the next five months?

“Exactly. It’s a written and scheduled.”

“You’re a prolific motherfucker.”

“That I am Johnny. Now let’s get over to the World Famous Gold Club and do what we came out here to do today.”

Eighties hair metal band, Ratt is playing on the jukebox as we walk out the door. We walk north on 15th Street until we get to Chancellor Street and bang a right. On the corner is an Applebee’s that no one I know ever goes to. I once picked up an order of chicken fingers for one of the strippers at the Gold Club. That’s what the Gold Club is; a gentleman’s club. Funny how they call strip joints gentleman’s clubs now. I have rarely seen any gentlemen in strip clubs. It’s usually a bunch of frat boys, douchebags, sad married guys, or creepy sad old men. There is a thrill to going on occasion. I never go alone. I actually don’t really care for such places. I know Johnny digs vice and I wanted the third time I included him in my blog to be interesting. But he knows that.

This side of Chancellor doesn’t even look like a street. It’s just the side of Applebee’s and then you walk a few more steps and at the end of what resembles a filthy alley lined with dumpsters you come upon the entrance to the little strip club. If you kept walking past it you would literally enter the parking garage of the Park Hyatt.

I remember in the past we used to call the club “The Death Star.” Johnny and I would be out at happy hour and we’d be walking around trying to figure out where to go next. After a few rounds we could start to feel the pull of the club. It was like a tractor beam that would just start pulling our little drunken rebel alliance feet over towards 15th and Chancellor. If you know anything about Star Wars, that’s what the Death Star did to the Millennium Falcon.

We enter and the place is pretty dead. It’s dark, but I like that. It’s like you step out of the sunlight of the outside and suddenly enter this other world of booze and flesh. Colored lights dance about the room, and the joint smells of stale beer, cheap perfume, and shame. On the stage is some fat white chick writhing around on the floor. Johnny likes a curvy gal, so he sort of digs her. We take a seat at the back-end of the bar against the wall. If I have to sit at the bar, this is my favorite spot. I can lean against the wall and watch the dancers from the side of the stage.

I order a cheap glass of chardonnay with a side of ice, and Johnny get his usual. The bartender is a cute little black girl that looks like she’s in a really shitty mood. I mean like: “Just kidnapped and put on Le Amistad, shitty mood.”

“Day shift is looking a little rough there Johnny.”

The curvy gal approaches for tips for her dance. I always give a dollar. I don’t need to stuff it between their breasts or in their G-string. I just put it in their hand. I’m sure they get groped and felt up enough. She’s actually very sweet and friendly. Most of the girls usually are. But that’s part of their sales pitch. Their sole duty is to separate the patrons from their cash. But I believe this girl is genuinely sweet. She’s chatting with Johnny and  I glance down at her pale thigh and see that she is, or was a cutter. There is a set of  four short scars just bellow her bikini line.

Check it out here: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/cutting-self-harm-signs-treatment#1

I’d write about cutting, but I don’t know much about it. Apparently it’s more common in girls than boys and they cut themselves to ease the pain of some sort of mental anguish. It’s really sad. Most of the women I’ve met that are or were cutters, suffered from anxiety and depression. So it stands to reason, if you’re an overweight girl who has had the misfortune to end up taking your clothes of in a club for money in front of dirty old men, there’s certainly something that drove you into this vocation.

I’m sure it wasn’t anything pleasant.

And you thought me and Johnny going to a strip joint was going to be fun and erotic. Well, I write what I see and what I feel.

There’s now an attractive Latina girl onstage. She’s kind of hot. After her song she comes over to us. That’s another reason to be at this end of the bar. We get them as soon as they come off stage. I actually find it sexy if an attractive girl is a little sweaty. Latina comes over to me and says hello. We do the fake name exchange. They obviously don’t use their real names.

Incidentally, in this blog all the names have been changed, and the photos are just stock pics I’ve gotten from the internet. Obviously to protect the identities of the people I write about. I tried to find attractive ones that resemble what they look like in real life. But why I’m saying all of this is, the reason I call my friend Johnny R. is because when we would be in the Gold Club he would always introduce himself as Johnny Rivers. Like the singer, who is probably best known for the song, Secret Agent Man. (Which I love! I always used it as my intro music when I used to do stand up.) There were other times he’d be hopped up on coke and Adderall and he would just yell out: “I’m Johnny Rivers!” really loudly in the bar. I always enjoyed that.

So we’re chatting with lovely Latina. Curvy Girl has gone off to make the rounds for more singles and possibly give a lap dance to some hapless gent. Latina has a good body and a nice face. I give her a dollar for her dance and so does Johnny. Both of her nipples are pierced. I suppose some people like this but I really don’t like piercings or tattoos. Does it look kind of hot on a stripper? I guess so, but it’s not my cup of tea. What are nipples for? Right. Where do nipples go? Right. I don’t want to feel any metal in my mouth at anytime. I wore fucking braces for three years. The only metal I want in my body is Heavy Metal! And that goes in my ears and into my heart! I don’t want to put my lips to some girls pert nipple and feel the click of cold steel against my central incisors.

So I guess we’re all clear that I’m not a fan of body modification in any form. Evolution made you beautiful. Leave it alone!

Johnny looks at her breasts. “Did that hurt?”

“No.” is Latina’s reply.

How can driving a sharp piece of metal through a part of your body that’s loaded with nerve endings and blood vessels not hurt?

Okay. No more metal nipple talk.

She goes on her way to make her rounds. Johnny decides he wants to get a lap dance from Curvy Girl. He feels that he can talk her into having sex with him or at least getting her to give him oral sex.

If you know anything about strip clubs, for the most part there is a huge “hands off” policy in place. If you touch any of the girls, you’ll usually be ejected. But not at the World Famous Gold Club! Johnny has had sex with like five different strippers from there over the years. It hasn’t happened in the last few years, but he hasn’t been in the city as much as he used to be.

That, and the place was raided a year or so ago for that very thing. Prostitution. But that’s the charm of this dirt hole. I never have to worry about that sort of thing because I don’t get lap dances. What’s the point of paying $20 per song while some hot nubile girl wiggles around on you and gets you all worked up for no payoff. Well, that’s true for most fellas but apparently not if your name is Mr. Johnny Rivers! He’s never paid for sex ant a strip club.

So he goes off with Curvy Girl to the back room. I’ll be interested to hear how that all goes in a little while. I look over at the stage and there is a really fit black girl sliding around the pole like a lovely ebony serpent. Her body, a lean vessel of sinew and muscle. Already she’s my favorite girl in the place. I know what I just said about lap dances, but I’m a leg man, and her legs are killer. She’s smoking hot.

She comes off the stage and right towards me. I love her! “Hi.” she says in a low sexy voice. Her body is absolutely slammin’. She looks me in eye, takes my hand, and places it on her left breast. Her nipple is like a rubber bullet pressing against my palm. (Just writing this is making me want to stop in there and see if she’s working tonight. Vice!) I gently squeeze her breast and she smiles. Then I release her.

“You’re beautiful! I’m a leg man, and man…if your legs aren’t spectacular.”

“Thank you.”

Johnny returns. “Oh, and what bit of ebony delish is this?” She says hello and gives us her stage name.

“You can touch my legs if you want to.”

I am smitten by this dark temptress. I couldn’t resist. I reach down and just run my hand up the back of her leg. Exquisite. I hand her a few more bucks.

“Do you want to get a private dance with me?”

“You’re the prettiest girl in here. Do you mind if I catch up with my friend, and think about it for a bit?”

“Sure thing. But if you get a dance with me I’ll make your dick hard.”

She slinks away with feline grace. I want that ass, but I don’t do lap dances. I think it’s just a waste of money and gets you nothing in the end. I guess I could make this example: I like to drink. You buy a bottle of something for about $12 and drink it. Over the next few hours of doing whatever you’re doing, you get a buzz, relax, feel good, socialize, or just chill out and let go. So for $12 you can have a great night.

If I go to a casino, I spend $20 because I’m not a gambler and never have been. I burn through that $20 in under 15 minutes, and I’m done. I don’t get off. I don’t feel good, and I’m out $20. Now I know it doesn’t work that way for real gamblers. They get high on the action, not the winning or the losing. Just the action. You see, I need some sort of payoff. I need the reward and with booze I get it, and with gambling I don’t.”

I love women and sex. I have been addicted to the feeling of love, and not really been in love. I didn’t know it at the time, but that’s how it worked. You meet a woman, there is the spark of romance, and if there is chemistry the payoff is hot love and sex. Huge payoff. I think love is the best drug in the world. If we could have sex all the time and feel loved, we’d probably have a lot less problems. I think the greatest feeling one can have, it to love and be loved.

But hey, I digress. That’s why I can’t invest the $20 in the lap dance. I get the action and zero payoff. Now I’m sure Johnny has a whole different view on this issue. Because he likes to gamble, and as we know in the past he’s paid the $20 for the lapper, and gotten a blow job out of it or straight up banged the stripper bareback. Yea…bareback. Like I said. Johnny’s a gambler.

Let’s see if his little foray with curvy girl paid off.

“So, what happened back there with her?”

“I don’t know what’s going on. The last few times I’ve been here, the girls won’t do anything sexual.”

“Think you’re losing your touch?”

“No, it’s probably because the place has been busted so many times. Do you think I’m starting to look like a cop?”

“Well you are Irish Catholic and approaching middle age, sir.”

“Really? I’m not even forty yet, asshole.”

“Wanna blow this place?”

“That’s a lot of dudes. I think they’re here for the ladies, not to get sucked off by you.”

“Let’s go. I’ll call you an UBER.”

 

 

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

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Ann Marie – Rose Among Thorns

“Oh come on Jimmy, we all know why you always sit at the very end of the bar. Just so you can check out Ann Marie!”

I did some work in the morning, and then was to meet up with Church for lunch. We met at one of my favorite Monday lunch spots in Rittenhouse. Can’t beat a $5 cheesesteak and fries or tots to kick off your week at Cavanaugh’s.  I get there and of course my girl Ann Marie says hello and immediately delivers to my table a water and diet coke. She always uses my name and provides outstanding hospitality. I always get the same thing when I go there on Mondays and she knows exactly what I want. It’s a little slow in this sports bar, so Ann Marie hops up in the chair across from me and we start chatting.

I ask her how her trip to California was with her Mother. Ann Marie is getting married in October so she and her mom and sister went out there to pick up a special Vietnamese wedding dress.

While traditional clothes of Vietnam have always been very diverse depending on the era and occasion, after the Nguyen Dynasty women began to wear elaborate Ao dai for their weddings. These dresses were modeled after the Áo mệnh phụ (royal Áo dài) of Nguyễn Dynasty court ladies. The style of the Nguyễn Dynasty has remained popular and is still used in current-day Vietnamese wedding attire. The difference between the Áo mệnh phụ and the typical Áo dài is the elaborateness of its design. The former is usually embroidered with imperial symbols such as the phoenix and includes an extravagant outer cloak. This gown is preferably in red or pink, and the bride usually wears a khan dong headdress. The groom wears a simpler male equivalent of the dress, often in the color blue.

Apparently she’s having a Vietnamese wedding and then a Catholic wedding after that. Then there is the reception of course. So basically Ann Marie’s wedding day is going to last from 11am till the last person stumbles out of the reception.

An engagement ceremony usually occurs half a year or so before the wedding. In the past, most marraiges were arranged by the parents or extended family, and while children were sometimes consulted, it was nearly always the parents’ final decision. It was not unusual for the bride and groom to meet for the first time at the day of their engagement. However, in the last few decades, Vietnamese women and men marry based on love rather than arranged marriages.

Preparation for the traditional Vietnamese wedding begins with choosing a date and time for the marriage ceremony. This is decided by a Buddhist monk, Spiritual leader, or fortune teller due to the spiritual nature of the occasion. This tradition may change if the family is Catholic. (Which our westernized Ann Marie is)

The wedding consists of an extensive set of ceremonies: asking permission to receive the bride, receiving the bride at her house, and bringing the bride to the groom’s house. Both Vietnamese and oversea-Vietnamese who desire to have a hybrid traditional Vietnamese and Western-style wedding will often incorporate the last two ceremonies with the Western-style wedding.

And then obviously at the end of the ceremonies, there is one reception for the two families and guests. Sounds like it’s going to be a big day for our girl.

“I told my bridesmaids to just keep me hydrated and energized to make it through a very long day!”

I’ve known Ann Marie for a few years now. We never hang out, I just know her from the sports bar. There are a million sports bars out there, but your staff is really what makes the difference. That goes for any business. There are bars I go to and I love the guy that works every Monday night, but I wouldn’t set foot in that place on a Wednesday if he’s not working.

Ann Marie’s great. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s really cute and fit. There’s a group of construction workers that come in and drink some afternoons and they only come in when Ann Marie is working. They love her like we do. There were days I would be sitting at my table in the back and I would be working on my laptop. I’d pop out for a smoke and one of the guys would be out there and we’d be chatting. Next thing you know he’s sending me a drink back to my table. Just good hard-working fellas.

I remember another time I was sitting at the bar and I was eating my sandwich. That same group of guys were there and they were drinking, laughing and busting on each other. The one guy says something like, “Oh come on Jimmy, we all know why you always sit at the very end of the bar. Just so you can check out Ann Marie!” Of course the guy laughs but doesn’t disagree with them.

I think to myself… “Fuck! That’s why I always used to sit at the end of the bar in the Spring and Summer, so I can check out Ann Marie’s legs. If you’ve been following this blog, you know I’m a leg man. Ann Marie may be petite but she has well turned legs.

Church arrives and we order our food. We go with the special. He goes with fries and I choose tots. This way, everybody wins. The place gets busier and Ann Marie is running around taking orders and serving at the bar.

Church and I are chatting after lunch and Ann Marie cruises by. “Can we get the check? I thought you were keeping me here.”

“I’m going to keep you here forever, dear.” She says with a wry smile.

That’s what I’m talking about. You come for the $5 cheesesteaks, you stay for that kind of hospitality and charm.

Update: Ann Marie has since left her post at Cavanaugh’s to pursue a career in Marketing. Oh well, hopefully her replacement can live up to the high bar set by Ann Marie. Oh, and if you’re reading this dear, You’re going to be a beautiful bride to a lucky gentleman.

 

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Daphne – 2014 to Present – Lovely Hostess – Part Two

“Drop the Clutch and Go!”

I know a server over at Misconduct on JFK Blvd, named Brianna. She’s a sweet baby with raven curls, caramel skin and slender legs. One day I’m lunching over there with my buddy, Rocco. I see Brianna giving her phone number to a guy that appeared to be in his sixties. I’m astounded. I call her over and ask her what’s going on. “If you just gave that old dude your phone number and you’re going to meet him for coffee, I want to go shake that man’s hand, on a solid close.”

She says she knows him from another bar, and he’s really nice. He looks lonely. He also comes into Misconduct to see her. (Hell, I did the same thing when Maria worked there) He asked her to meet him for coffee.

“And you’re going to go have coffee with him?”

“Of course not. I get hit on all of the time in here. But he’s nice and I didn’t want to be rude.”

“I really respect this man’s initiative at his age. But what happens when this guy texts you to set up a time to have coffee?

“Nothing. I just never get back to him.”

So I get it now. No matter how nice they are to you and even if they give you their phone number they will simply ghost you.

I was a little miffed, but understood. The odd thing was, Daphne knew me as a regular. I would hang with Carly and Church there all of the time. I get the hook up from Roman the bartender. I know basically everyone that works there and she doesn’t even have to get back to me even as a common courtesy.

But what right do I have to her? None. She’s young and beautiful and holds all of the power. There is truly nothing I can do about it. Fucking crickets.

So a few weeks pass and I don’t see her. I figure maybe she went on another of her global trips or was busy with school. Then one night I was sitting at the end of the bar with Church, and I see her. She’s chatting close by with a few of her coworkers. I tell Church what happened. (Rather, what didn’t happen!) I tell him I’m going to say something to her. Church at this point thinks I am trying to get her to sleep with me, and he says, “Pump the brakes.”

I am who I am, and have become the person I am by doing the very opposite. If you tell me I can’t have something, I will find a way to have it. If you tell me it can’t be done, I will find a way to do it. My father used to say, that if I didn’t apply myself and get an education, I’d never amount to anything. I’d end up like the homeless guys in the Subway. He even once said that if I had a woman, he would be able to take her away from me, because I was nothing. He also said, “(My Name) always takes the path of least resistance.” I was older by then, and tired of taking his shit so I said, “You know what else always takes the path of least resistance?”

“What?” he says.

“Water. Water always finds the path of least resistance. You know that thing where all life on this Earth has emerged. You’ve seen the Grand Canyon, right Pop?”

He didn’t say anything after that. He just glared at me. It wasn’t worth continuing the conversation. I just had to consider the source. So if I’m thinking something, or wanting to do something that I believe in, don’t ever fucking tell me to “Pump the brakes.”

It’s a matter of principle now. I’m going to “Drop the clutch and go.”

Daphne approaches. “Hey…” she says using my name in that honey contralto. “What’s happening?”

I tell her the story about my friend at Misconduct, and tell her it’s okay, and I realize now that’s how it’s done in this business.  When a gentleman asks to meet with you, you simply ghost him.  She’s like… “What?”

I remind her about the text I sent her and how we were going to try to meet up on that Sunday. She pulls out her phone and holds it up to show me. “See the last text is from me, thanking you for bringing me the cough drops when I was sick a couple of months ago. I don’t know what Daphne you sent the text to, but it wasn’t me.”

I feel like a jackass, but an extremely happy jackass. We have a laugh about it and she tells me to try again. She has finals coming up and the holidays are busy, but we should try to get together.

I text her a few days later and wait. An hour or two later I have a response from Daphne. So we’ll see what happens.

 

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Annabelle – Chapter 6 – Mia Ling: A Solution During Indecision

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

If you’ve been following phicklephilly, and reading the Annabelle series, you’ll realize that pretty Asian girl isn’t Annabelle, but this is Chapter 6 of Annabelle. You’ll soon see why.

I was sitting at the bar at Crow and the Pitcher having a drink when I got the text. It was Annabelle. She said that with everything going on with her birthday this week, would it be alright if we didn’t do the comedy club thing this week.

I felt the pain hit me. I turned to the one person who could help me in this moment.

The bartender.

Who happily, was female. I told her my plight. She said what Annabelle wrote wasn’t a no, it was just a delay. She may really have a lot going on this week. Her birthday was on Thursday and that’s when we were supposed to go out. The bartender told me to text back that it was fine, and that I have some other ideas, and what days she’s available. She gets back to me, and it looks like Sunday will work.

“But I already bought the tickets to see Natasha Leggero at Helium this Thursday.”

“I’ll go with you.” comes a voice to my right.

I look over and there sitting at the end of the bar is a lovely Asian girl. “Are you serious?”

“Forgive me for eavesdropping, but it sounds like whoever you were going to take, passed up a great opportunity.”

I turn to the amused bartender. “Get her another of whatever she’s drinking.”

I walk down and sit next to her at the end of the bar. I introduce myself.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Mia.”

We chat and I don’t tell her I really like this other girl, I just kind of play it off as not a big deal. But if she wants to go to the show with me, I’d be happy to take her. She’s into it and I get her number, and we discuss where and when we’ll meet to go to the show. I can’t believe my good fortune. I would obviously rather spend time with Annabelle, but like the song says, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one your with.

She tells me she works at an art appraisal company. She is Chinese. She tells me her specialty is asian art in particular. She’s pretty. Fair skin, about 5’5” tall, dark brown hair and brown eyes. I like that she was forward about wanting to go to Helium. “I like to laugh, and I’ve seen her on Chelsea Lately.” she says.

After another drink, I have to leave to attend an event. I say goodbye and tell her I’ll text her the day of the show. I’m walking across town and check in with my friend Alice. (See: Alice – 2012 to Present – The Cute Recruiter) I wanted to get a second opinion from a young woman. I tell her what I’m up to and she agrees. She says, if there is a guy she likes, and she sees him on social media with another chick, it makes her want him more. This confirms that what I’m doing is right. I hope it doesn’t backfire on me.

The night of the date, Mia and I meet at El Rey before the show. We’re sipping our margaritas and laughing. She thinks I’m funny, and I feel like the warm up act before the headliner. We finish up and head over to Helium.

There actually are two comics that come on before Natasha. They’re both solid. Then she comes out and she’s really funny. Mia is laughing so much I hope they don’t make any jokes about Asian people.

After the show, Natasha comes out into the lobby and people are talking to her. I walk up and ask her if we can get a picture with her. She’s very sweet and agrees. She comments how cute Mia is during the pics being taken. I tell her thank you, and that I rescued her from human trafficking. Natasha cracks up and so does Mia. Everybody wins!

I post the pic to Facebook, and let it fly. I thank Natasha and Mia for a lovely evening. I walk Mia to her train, give her a smooch, and off she goes.

I pulled it off. I hope it works. Comedy show, seen. Arm candy, documented. Met the headliner and have the pictures to prove it.

I’m walking home, and I text Annabelle that when we were talking she mentioned that she likes seafood. (She’s pescatarian) I suggest we meet at Devon in Rittenhouse on Sunday at 6pm. She says that sounds great.

So there you have it. Everything is going well. I just hope we make it to Sunday with out any more cancellations. Fingers crossed.

 

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

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