Dina – 2011 to Present – Aggressive Diversity

I have been working a ton of hours lately. Work at the day gig, at night at the salon because we burned through some employees lately. I knew Summer was coming back soon but didn’t realize that her return was almost two months away. (See: Summer – 2017 to Present – Night Shift Girl and Outlaw) So rather than try to find someone, hire them, get them trained, figure out if the schedule works for them, I figured I’d just take all the night and weekend shifts and Achilles would hold down the fort during the day. Subsequently, I had no life for the last two months. I mean, I squeezed in a couple of lunches with friends and maybe two nights out with my buddy Church.

Just non stop work. But I like to work and be busy. It keeps me out of trouble, and once I do get a day off I’ll truly appreciate it.

Well that day has arrived and it is glorious. I go to the bank and get a check to give to my  friend and broker, Dina. (See: Dina – 2011 to Present – Lil’ JAP)  I then head over to one of my favorite lunch spots, Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse. My favorite bartender doesn’t work on the day I go in anymore. I miss her. (See: Ann Marie – 2016 to Present – Rose Among Thorns) But the girl who took her place is really good. She’s a little blonde named Kelli.

I get there and go to the table where I always sit in the back. Normally it’s quiet in there when I go and gets even quieter as the afternoon rolls on. But right now there’s a ten top sitting right near me and apparently these people work for the Yelling and Loud Laughing Corporation. It’s a little annoying, but I’m sure they’ll quiet down when their chow comes out.

I order my usual from Kelli. Cheesesteak, American, no onions, fries, no pickle, a diet coke when my food comes out. Just water for now. That’s my move!

This is my first day off in 53 days! So happy. I get my food and it’s perfect. Kelli doesn’t forget my diet coke as the sandwich arrives. On point. Ann Marie never did that. She always just came to my table with the soda and the water at the beginning. I like it this way better.

The big table leaves after a while and the bar is nice and quiet again. Bliss. I have my laptop and crack off a few new blog posts from my past. I’m having a lovely day so far. Kelli checks on me a few times. I like the attention I’m getting. Not as flirty as Ann Marie but better service.

I tell Kelli that when Ann Marie was here, around 3pm she’d make me some spirit forward cocktail. I don’t know what it was, but she cobbled together some sort of Old Fashioned. Kelli asks me what was in it and I tell her. She says it sounds more like a Manhattan. I tell her when she gets a chance sometime after 3pm I’d like to have that with a side of ice.

I continue typing away. Some time goes by and I glance at the clock on my laptop. 3:01. Kelli appears. “Are you ready for that drink now?”

Right on time. Within a few minutes she delivers what appears to be a perfect Manhattan, neat, in a martini glass, maraschino cherry, and a side of ice. Looks good to me.

I’m typing away and it takes me the full hour to drink it. I go out for a cigarette and when I come back, Kelli returns and asks me if I want anything else. I tell her that the drink was great and I would love another. The creative juices are flowing and the keyboard is smoking.

The second drink arrives and I know this one won’t last as long as the first one. It never does. More typing, more sipping and this guy is done in 45 minutes. God, it feels so good to finally have a day off. I’m not meeting Dina until 7pm. I’ll hang here until 5:30 and then head over to Square 1682 to see my favorite bartender, Roman. (See: Roman – 2012 to Present – Rock n’ Roll Bartender)

Feels like two months ago before all of these crazy hours happened. I tell Kelli I’m going to close out. I look at my bill. She gave me industry discount on both cocktails! Those drinks were made with Bulliet Bourbon. That’s a great brand! Kelli only charged me $5 per drink! They were first-rate, and Ann Marie never did that for me.

I tip her up to what all of this would have really cost and pay cash. Cash is king in this industry. She’s pleased and I’m overjoyed. Kelli’s my new #1 day off “It” girl! Sorry Ann Marie!

I head over to Square and set up my laptop and phone at the bar. They have receptacles to plug-in so I can power up my devices and still type and text while waiting for Dina to arrive.

Roman already has a glass of chardonnay with a side of ice at the ready before I even sit down. Come for the booze, stay for the hospitality. Roman is happy that the vacation season is over and the patrons are back at his bar. I’m chatting with him because I haven’t seen him in almost two months. Just our usual small talk, life, work, family, etc.

A while passes and I’m feeling happy. Dina arrives and we decide to get away from the bar and take a little table to chat. Little Dina looks adorable, or as she would say, “Adorbs.” Even though she’s only 4’11” she has the metabolism of a bee. So of course she’s starving. We order another round of wine, and she gets a bowl of mac n’ cheese. I will say this, the food at Square 1682 is good. But Misconduct makes better mac n’ cheese, as does Jones down at 5th and Chestnut. But Dina stuffs it in her little maw like it’s her last meal.

After about an hour of laughs and crazy stories I hand her the envelope from my bank. But before I do I say these words: “Aggressive Diversity.” She gets it and stuffs it in her purse. The bill comes and she grabs it and pays with her corporate card. This really has been a wonderful day, but it’s not over yet.

We stop over the salon, because it’s Summer’s first night back closing up the place. Dina gets to meet her, and check out the new fitness center. We get the place locked down without incident. But there’s one more critical stop we have to make. We walk up to Chestnut street. She says she’s picking up dinner for she and her husband. I go into the restaurant with her. I don’t know what she’s ordering I’m just people watching and chilling. After a few minutes they hand her this giant bag filled with boxes. Yea, we’re at Popeye’s Chicken! It’s a decadent secret of lil’ Dina’s. Girl loves her some fried chicken!

Apparently they look like they ordered one of everything, plus fries, biscuits…the works! How are they going to eat all of this food!? They’re just two people. Dina calls and Uber and I get a ride home with her. What a great day.  I love my broker/friend!

 

 

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Dina – 2011 to Present – Lil’ JAP – My New Broker

“Jews are good business people. Your financial advisor, lawyer, and accountant, should all be Jewish.”

I met up with Dina the other night at Tria. Tria is a wine bar in center city.  There are actually four locations. We met at their newest one, down in Fitler Square. It’s literally four blocks from my house. I think it’s my favorite one out of all of them now. I’m sure the old money in that neighborhood bitched about a bar going in on the corner down there. But I’m sure once they saw how nice it was they probably relaxed.

Dina arrives with a plan. She has worked in financial services for the past few years, and now she works for her dad’s firm. They’re good people, and I have known Dina for over six years. I decided I should invest some of my funds with her. I like her, and know what it’s like to be a broker. I used to do that job years ago when I worked in banking.

She was a total pro when she gets to the bar. We catch up, and then she breaks out the paperwork to create my account. I had given her a few stock ideas, but we both agreed they weren’t aggressive enough. The stuff I was looking at was almost like debt instruments. Bonds. I want equity and growth. I have to think of leaving something to Lorelei for the future. I tell Dina I’ll start with a small amount just to get the account open. Once it’s up and running for a month or so, I can plow more into it.

Dina, is young but has the soul of an old Jewish lady. She’s wise for her years. One of the things I like best about her, is her ability to cut through the bullshit in life and know what’s important. She knows a lot about me and this blog. She has always totally agreed with the lifestyle. Sometimes, I feel that some of the people around me are a little judgemental of what I do. I get it, and that’s their hangups. If they had the guts, they’d already be living the lifestyle and I’d be wanting to emulate them.

But Dina is very cool, and accepting of who I am. She has always embraced our friendship and nothing is too far out or over the top in regard to my exploits. She also has a good eye for identifying the “crazy” in some of the women I meet. I’m glad Dina is in my life and I know my money is with the right person.

Dina: “Jews are good business people. Your financial advisor, lawyer, and accountant, should all be Jewish.”

I’m sold. I’m meeting with her again tomorrow for lunch, and we’ll get this deal started.

 

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Nadereh – 2016 – Persian Beauty

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

I met Nedereh on the online dating platform, Clover. It’s like Tinder but I think the woman has to speak to the man first. (Or maybe that’s Bumble) She lives in Jersey City which is up near Manhattan, so she’s really far away. Normally long distance just doesn’t work. But she is going to be in town to meet with her brother. I was at Square 1682 and ran into my buddy, Church. (See: Church – 2012 to Present – Seizure Salad) His phone was dead and he needed to use my charger. I always carry a charger in my blazer. He senses that I seem a bit on edge and asks what’s going on. I tell him I’m meeting some chick I met on Clover for a drink. It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving which is a huge drinking night. Everybody gets together with family and friends and goes out to party. I didn’t plan on staying out late, I almost never do anyway. I’m getting too old for that shit. Besides nothing good ever happens after midnight when there has been a lot of booze involved.

Nedereh texts me that she is parking. Church asks me if I want him to leave. I told him to hang in case I hated her. Besides, she was only staying for about an hour or so and then going to her brother’s house.

Nedereh arrives and she looks good. Early fifties, but great skin so she looks younger. Pretty face and a fit body. I’m drinking my usual chardonnay with ice and she orders a glass of red. I introduce her to Church. We’re at the bar and she’s sitting between us. We start chatting to learn more about each other. She’s originally from Iran. Her family came here to the US twenty years ago. She said her husband is an asshole and they have been divorced since 2002. She has one son who lives in California and works in IT in Silicon Valley. Match.com and Clover haven’t yielded any good matches for her yet.

She works in Manhattan, selling insurance through brokers. She lives in a high-rise  apartment building in one of the better neighborhoods of Jersey City. A coincidence is that her birthday is 8/6/63. I’m 8/9/62. Both Leos and although a year apart, very close in birthdays. Who knows? Maybe we could share our birthdays with one celebration next summer if this works out.

She asked about the distance factor. I knew that would come up and be a problem. I like her. She’s pretty and sexy and I think we could be a match. But Jersey City? Come on. I lived there. She might as well be on another planet. I thought helicopter and told her that, but she had a better idea.

Nedereh  thought we should drive toward each other and meet in the middle. That’s a great idea actually. It would keep her away from my Philly lifestyle and my longing to be alone, but I could occasionally visit with her in some foreign town and explore, and go on a date. Could be sexy and fun.

I don’t know. Seems like a stretch. The holidays can be such a bitch.

I think the best part of the encounter was Church. He ignored us most of the time, which was respectful. He played with his phone and ran his business. But he would chime in and occasionally and be the best wing man ever. Nedereh asked me about my music career and Church started whipping out pics of me back in the day with my band. Nedereh liked the pics of the young, skinny, me but said I looked great now. I liked that. He showered her a pic of me last year holding my axe and she liked that too. Church was there making me look totally metal and I realize that he is an amazing wingman.  I don’t require a wingman, but he was perfect. I won’t forget him for that.

Church was funny and lively and I really appreciated having him there.

In some of my Tinder pics I have a beard. I shared some pics with Nedereh and she asked me about my beard. (Middle Eastern chicks like beards) I told her it now comes in completely white. She didnt’ seem to mind and liked the beard just like Michelle did. Michelle inspired the beard. She always thought I looked good with a beard and if I wasn’t clean-shaven, it would scratch her sweet face and she didn’t like that. I told Nedereh if she became my girlfriend I would grow my beard back. She loved that and laughed.

It was a wonderful hour and I’d love to see this Persian beauty again. She was fiery and fun. I love when there is good energy with people around the holidays. It makes it so much more intense and romantic. Everyone is in the spirit.

She had to go and I walked her to her car. She was driving a Mercedes 2 series. Which is little but I don’t care about material things. I’m sure she is proud of her little coupe. She said she may come back into the citylater to party with her sister-in-law. I told her I was down but I didn’t really want to do it. I was done. I hooked her, gaffed her and brought her aboard and was done.

I actually hoped I didn’t have to go out again. I spent my energy on meeting her and being in character and that took a lot. Church was awesome and he was waiting for a friend of his to show up to meet up for a drink.

I kissed Nederah and I told her I wanted to see her again. She is a solid lady and I would love to spend time with her. But the distance thing will probably sledgehammer any of that and I have to realize that. Fucking Clover. Too much distance. I am not ruling her out because she has great energy and we definitely had chemistry.  We’ll just have to see where this takes us.

I  texted her later and I told her I was tired and had family commitments, and wouldn’t be able to come back out later, (a bold-faced lie) and she agreed she was going to stay put as well.

Church said the best line of the night: “What nationality is she?”

Me:”Iranian.”

Church: “Maybe she’ll take you hostage.”

Me: “I hope so.”

 

I have spoken to her since that night and we both agree we like each other and would like to see each other again. It’s just the distance factor.

 

 

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Duncan – 1997 to Present – Blind Ambition And The Sin of Avarice

I have known Duncan for a long time. Nearly 20 years. He is originally from Northeast Philly like myself. I met him back when I was in retail banking. I was selling mutual funds at a branch in South Philly. He was my underwriter. So I would procure the clients, and sell to them, and Duncan would put together the hypotheticals and make recommendations. So he was my back office support person assigned to me. He had followed a girlfriend to Charlotte, North Carolina a few years before. Our headquarters were there.

We became friends shortly after he saw that I had written, “The Green Manalishi with the Two Pronged Crown”, on the auto reply on my internal email. It’s a Judas Priest reference and he got it. We started talking and got to know each other and our mutual of all things heavy metal.

He had family in Pennsylvania and would come up and visit occasionally.

Over the years he would come and stay at my house and we would plan his visits around heavy metal concerts. We’ve seen AC/DC, Motorhead, Ronnie James Dio, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Cinderella, Iron Maiden, and many other bands on several occasions.

When I got divorced he dumped his girlfriend who had gotten heavier and lazy. I bounced around the banking industry for a few years, and dated a few women. Some crazy, some not so crazy. I don’t remember if he dated much after he split with his girlfriend. Here’s the thing, Duncan is a good-looking, fit guy, but he has absolutely no game whatsoever. He works out, but doesn’t eat all that well. The boy needs more fruit and vegetables.

He always had around five dogs. They were his buddies. He lived on a remote road and had a big yard for the dogs to run around in. Always the dogs. So while I’m working in and out of banking and consulting, Duncan is taking all of these courses to become a CFA. (Certified Financial Analyst) He meets a woman in one of the courses he takes at night and they get to know each other. I think she was married before or in the process of getting a divorce.

So they hook up because they are both sporty and good looking. They eventually get married.

One thing about Ducan that is his biggest flaw is that he has no coping mechanisms in place. He has to control everything, and everything has to be about him and meeting his needs. Kind of like my dad. So after two days with the guy you’re ready to escort him off the property. You have to do the activities he wants to do, and eat the food he likes to eat. That shit doesn’t work long-term with any relationship. But he only visited a couple of times a year so I didn’t mind. We had good times for years.

Duncan was driven to be what he wanted to become and put off family until he felt he had reached a certain level in his career. “When I pass this test, or when I get that license, we’ll try to have kids.” Well, he put it off for too long and the window was closing on his wife’s ability to reproduce. They tried for a while but nothing was happening.  She finally did get pregnant but at some point lost it. It was painful physically and emotionally for her. She didn’t want to go through it again, and that was it.

Duncan’s wife came from money and had no real concept of it. I remember him telling me she had over one hundred thousand dollars in revolving debt. She kept promising to pay it down, but I don’t think she ever did. He only found out about it when they were doing a refinance on the house and she couldn’t be on the loan because she was so upside down with her credit card debt. Duncan always kept all of their finances separate. She liked to blow money on frivolous things, and Duncan was always frugal.

With any hope of gestation off the table, she started going out on the weekends with her soccer buddies. Many of them were younger and she would stay out late and party at the bars and clubs. Duncan used to smoke a bunch of weed when he was cool, but was never really a drinker. He doesn’t go out anywhere. He’s not social at all. He doesn’t really have any friends. I think I was his best friend for many, many years.

He did cut me off for about two years once when I first returned to Philly from New York. I don’t remember why. Some trivial shit. But out of nowhere he started texting me again. When I asked him why he cut me off, he literally said he had no recollection of doing it. I remember exactly where I was when he cut me off. Saying, “we had a good run, but it’s over.” But I was just happy we were back. Even if he lived fifteen hundred miles away.

Duncan is telling me he’s getting fed up with his wife going out all of the time. But she probably was bored with him by then. I know if I were a woman I wouldn’t stick around. He’s got to be 48 years old by now and he still acts the same way he did back in his late twenties when I first met him. He hasn’t evolved as a man at all. Still the same guy. But he gave up weed years ago.

So after about a year of her going out he finally says he’s going to divorce her. They were married for eight years. He worked his ass off for the bank. They own him. Scooter is married to his ambition. He spends so much time working that he has amassed a small fortune. But of course his loser family all have their hands in his pockets. He had to go on their mortgage or they would lose their house and have to go bankrupt because of their reckless spending.

They split up. He’s on his own with his house full of dogs again. He tries to date some woman at his office and she’s not interested. He has to go to therapy for his divorce. Not because he’s sad that it ended but because he’s so angry that he failed. He started dating some older Asian woman at his tennis club. He says he’s never getting married again. But he bought her $5000 earrings last Christmas. He makes killer bank now. They have been together for a few years now. I refer to her as Yoko because I hardly ever hear from him anymore. They’ve come up to the area twice, but the first time I really didn’t feel like hanging out with them. Then around last 4th of July, they were supposed to stay in the city but ended up staying out by his parents and I never saw him.

One of the last conversations I had with him this year was him telling me that when he sells his house in the Spring 2017, he will be worth a million dollars. Maybe then he’ll finally be happy.

But I doubt it.

UPDATE: Duncan text me over the holidays that he was on the train with his girlfriend on their way to Warminster to see his family. He sent me a photo of a 1.75 bottle of Grey Goose being held by her in a liquor store. He said it was for me. No warning. No planning. Just has a bottle for me and am I available in the city tonight. I already had really important plans with a lady, and I wasn’t going to be around. I told him I’d be available Saturday night and Sunday. I got a text later from him saying he was on South Street, and where could he take his girlfriend for dinner. I told him Serpico or Ella. I never got a thank you or another word from him. He said later that maybe on Sunday he could see me because he was visiting his cousins. At this point, I wished he just left the bottle on my front steps and left. Because it’s all about “Mr. I have no coping skills.” So I think I’m done. (Still love him though) Too much has gone by and he’s so locked into his old Asian granny of a girlfriend that I won’t hear from him for a long time. I liked him better when he was a pot smoking clerk. At least he was fun back then.

Bitter?

Yeah. Table for one.

(But… Stay tuned. There is more to come in the future and will be glorious.)

 

 

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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