Annabelle – Chapter 14 – I Can’t Quit You Baby

Adults speak to one another and close the relationship. It’s wrong to put a person on a shelf like they are some sort of toy, and then think you can take them down and play with them whenever you’re confused or lonely. It’s just shitty behavior. The person you’re doing that to is a human being with feelings. You’re a rotten person if you think that sort of behavior is okay.

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This is the most painful chapter I have ever written on phicklphilly. The pain and sadness Annabelle has caused me is immeasurable. But the saddest thing is she doesn’t even know it because she is so lost as a person. Just a fool running errands for others that are making fools art.

Annabelle had officially dumped me on Thursday, April 17th, 2014. She texted me a day after that, and we made arrangements for me to get what little stuff I had at her apartment. She was nice enough to tell me that she’d bring it down to me. It was just shirts and stuff so I was fine with it. I was happy I didn’t have to drag myself out to Northern Liberties to go get my shit because I hated going out there.

It was a sunny Saturday morning when she showed up and handed me a bag.  I thanked her and asked her how she was doing. She said a little sad and depressed. I told her I was too. (A bold-faced lie)

She asked me if I was hungry. I told her I was. She asked if I wanted to get something to eat. I told her I did.

It was an odd moment. She had broken up with me a few days ago and now here she was wanting to hang out with me. I didn’t mind. I eventually had a friendship with my ex before her and remain friends to this day. (See: Michelle – 2007 – Present – A Brand New Day)

It was a nice day in Spring so we walked up to DiBruno Brothers on 18th and Chestnut Streets. It’s a really nice food market and eatery. We both got some sort of salads and went upstairs to the dining room. There weren’t many people up there. Maybe just two other couples. I don’t remember what we talked about, but it was probably whatever shoot she was going on or what play she was working on.

When we were finished eating, she moved to the chair closest to me at the table. She started to kiss up on me. It was really nice. Normally we never did public displays of affection. But it was sexy and hot. It’s weird. Something’s not right about that.

But it felt good, and a day later we were eating at an Indian restaurant near my hospital and then went back to my apartment and made love. The sex was good like always and I actually said to her: “If this is what you breaking up with me feels like, you should break up with me every week!”

Be careful what you wish for. We’ve all heard that old adage. But I liked the new Annabelle. It was all the stuff I liked about her. Food, sex and spending a little time with a pretty young woman. But at that time back in the Spring of 2014, I didn’t know that I didn’t love Annabelle. I didn’t even like her. I just was in love with the idea of being in love with her. I had no idea what was happening to me at the time. Now I had the drug almost on my terms. I wouldn’t have to “put my time in at her shitty apartment”, or put up with the grinding frustration and disappointment of being in a relationship with her. All the responsibility was gone.

But if you go into a new love, (It had been 2 years since Michelle) you must go into that new relationship for the right reason. That’s why I always warn people not to “have sex on the 3rd date” and ask themselves, do they really have much in common with their partner. Like the same things, activities, shared some of the same friends, work and religious values can also come into play.

But your old pal Phicklephilly, plowed right into this relationship with this woman  25 years his junior, not thinking any of this through. All I wanted was to be romantic with a young woman and feel the rush of new love. I didn’t realize it but I had gotten hooked on a drug I had nothing in common with. The only thing Annabelle and I had was a common attraction to each other. She’d never been in love before and didn’t know how to love or what to do with her feelings. Me, I meet a friendly, tall, young blond bartender and I’m ready to go head over heels.

What a fool I was.

A week or so later, I met her at a bus station near 30th Street just to give her moral support for trip to New York to buy some lenses for camera she owned. I just wanted to make her feel calm before her trip, and it worked. You might think why wouldn’t you go with her, and spend the day?

Here’s the thing, if we could have just hooked up sexually and I didn’t have to do any grinding boring stuff I had zero interest in, the relationship could have worked. So there’s no way I wanted to go anywhere with her.

On another occasion, I met her at 30th Street Station for a quick-lunch, and I put her on a train to somewhere for a shoot. I remember her saying, “Let’s have sex tonight!”

I was fine with that at the time. We had dinner that night. It was like being back at the beginning when things were good. Then back to my apartment for passionate fun.

Here’s the problem with that. I was getting exactly what I wanted from her. I was getting the thing I liked about our relationship so for me it was perfect. I didn’t have to see her all the time and I was still being delivered the euphoric dopamine that I so craved. I had no idea how damaging this is to one’s psyche.

Then it started to become less and less. That’s when the withdrawal kicks in. I went from someone who was relieved when she ended it, and now I was really missing her. I was losing her for real now. But it wasn’t her I was losing, I just wasn’t getting my “fix” anymore. Normally I’m not like that, and I vow to never let that happen again. But I never realized the relationship was sick from the start and doomed from day one.

A month went by, and I was on that tour boat on the Delaware river with my colleague when she texted me that she wanted to meet up for dinner. I really wanted to see her, but had to do that, “don’t get right back to her” move. But when I did she got right back to me and we set it up. She wanted to go to dinner and then stop and Chris’ Jazz club after. I was down for that. Of course I wanted to see her.

We planned to meet over at Pennsylvania 6, which was a French and Southern fusion type place. I knew she’d like it.

I was actually sipping a Ketel One vodka martini straight up with a twist as I waited for her at the bar. My hands were shaking I was so nervous. Yes, this was happening to the experienced old lion. She came in and noticed it. I don’t know what I said to cover.

We had a lovely dinner and were very sweet to one another. When the meal was over, I asked her if she was still down for Chris’ Jazz. She stated that she was tired from the wine and could we just go back to my place and relax on the couch and chill in the AC. I was fine with that because I didn’t feel like hanging out at the Chris’ Jazz anyway.

We went straight to my bedroom and had sex, and she spent the night.

The dopamine drops again. We took a selfie in bed together the next morning. We went to breakfast and then I put her in a cab and off she went. She asked that I send her the selfies from earlier and I did. (It was just our two faces on the pillow. Nothing racy)

A few weeks went by.

Her Uncle came to visit one week and they were at Chris’ Jazz and I was at some food and booze festival half in the bag and she texted that she was missing me. I jumped in an UBER and hung out with them for a bit, then he left and I went back to her place. The usual acts ensued. I was so drunk that night, if she had asked me to come rob a bank with her I would have gone.

This sort of nonsense went on through the summer. But the in between times were the worst. Because she stopped planning things with me that led to sex, it was just random, drunken hook ups. The relationship was slowly being picked apart. It was like I’d get a little better hang with another chick, and then Annabelle could just swoop in whenever the mood struck her and she’d rip open the sutures of my healing love junkie heart.

All of my friends were telling me it was wrong and that I should cut her off. But I just couldn’t get off the smack.

One time I ended up drunk with her in Northern Liberties and we ended up taking a selfie of just our shadows on the ground. Ironic now how that was really all that was left of us. We both just fell into her bed and went to sleep.

The next morning I wanted to get frisky with her and when I tried to she said, “I can’t. I’ve been with someone, and I found out they were having sex with someone else. So if I have something I don’t want to give it to you.”

Well that was nice of her, but I still wish I could have had sex with her that morning as hungover as I was. I love morning sex. It just makes the rest of your day better. But you can see how reckless her life decisions are.

So I was a safe rebound after whoever she had been seeing cheated on her. I left and did the long walk of shame back to Rittenhouse.

We did meet for a really nice seafood dinner out at Doc MacGrogan’s in University City that September. I took a bus down to Old City, and then called an UBER and went to her apartment in Northern Libs. Picked her up and then had the UBER take us to the restaurant. She was once again exposed to what it’s like to be treated like a lady by a gentleman.

The dinner was nice and they were my client at the time, so I got the hookup. During dinner we talked about us. She said she missed me. I asked her if she wanted to try again. She said that she did but wanted to go slowly. I would have been okay with that with how turned around in my head I was at the time. But after I wrote it all down in these 15 chapters did I realize how wrong all of this behavior was. Adults don’t do that to each other.

I thought after dinner it would be back to the batcave for some frolicking and frivolity. I didn’t even get to ask if she wanted to come over. She feigned a headache and I got dropped off at my apartment and she went on home. She always pulled the “fake headache” move whenever she decided she didn’t want to do something. Lame, juvenile behavior.

After that she simply “ghosted” me. For those of you reading this that don’t know what that means, it’s when someone in your life simply vanishes. They don’t call or text. It all suddenly stops. Nothing. Just gone. This went on for months. I wasn’t going to contact her. She did this. I needed to heal. Adults speak to one another and close the relationship. It’s wrong to put a person on a shelf like they are just some sort of toy, and then think you can take them down and play with them whenever you’re confused or lonely. It’s just shitty behavior. The person you’re doing that to is a human being with feelings.  You’re a rotten person if you think that sort of behavior is okay.

It was a lonely, vacuous, depressing time for me, heading into winter. The darkness of depression closed around me like a black cloak.

Months passed, and I was at a toy drive to help kids in the hospital during the holidays. Me and my buddy Church do it every year for Children’s Hospital.

I get a text from Annabelle out of the blue. It sent a shock wave of anxiety searing throughout my mind and body.

After months of silence, I get this text:

“Hey! I’m in New Orleans and I’ve been thinking about you everyday. I even had a dream about you!”

Searing pain and fear. I’m trying to move on with my life.

“I’m working a Toy Drive for the holidays. Can I call you when I get home?”

“Sure!”

I proceeded to try to numb the pain of this reopening of the wound by plowing Cutty Sark Prohibition based cocktails down my gullet. Church calls it “The Babymaker” because it’s 100 proof and makes you do crazy shit.

Maybe it was just the fuel I needed that cold winter’s eve.

Later when I got home, I called her I chatted as nicely as I could and then told her that I couldn’t keep doing this. I couldn’t live like this.

“So we’re not dating anymore?”

“No, Annabelle. We’re done. We’re done. I can’t keep talking about this. It’s all too painful to go on.”

I wrapped up the conversation quietly, and hung up. Then I proceeded to unfriend and block her on my Facebook, Instagram and finally block this selfish person in my phone.

That was the end of it.

 

You too, Michelle….

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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Crazy Dating Stories: Cyra – Revenge Reeks For Mr. Not-So-Hidden Agenda

He drove me to a different bar and insisted I sit down and “drink the taste out of my mouth”.

I met Cyra on wordpress. That’s the platform you’re reading phicklephilly on. She’s also a writer and has her own blog about adolescent behavioral science. Yea. A little heavier subject that my dating blog! We were chatting the other day and she asked if she could give me one of her dating stories for my blog. I’m always looking for good content and love a crazy dating story, so I jumped at the chance.

Take it away, Cyra.

 

I did a summer internship at a museum years ago when I was in college.

After the term ended and I went back to school, I got a call from one of the researchers I worked with over the summer. He wanted to meet and have dinner because he was going to be in the city.

I was really happy about it because I considered this guy a colleague and thought it was really nice of him to want to keep in touch with me. He was about 15 years older than me, but that didn’t matter because this was a dinner between friends. So I thought.

So the day came and he picked me up. He was driving a rented sports car, a little flashy for a guy on a conference trip but ok. He was dressed like a man going for a night at the clubs as well. And I had dressed pretty conservatively.

He suggested we see a movie and I was a little surprised but agreed. He took me to an “alternative” theatre downtown and I sat through 90 minutes of borderline softcore. I could barely look at him when we finally left.

He didn’t seem to notice or care that I was embarrassed and uncomfortable. He just said “Let’s get something to eat.” and lead me to the car. I thought dinner would be us chatting about our work and what’s new in our lives.

He insisted we have drinks before dinner and kept getting the waiter to top up my wine during the meal. He didn’t want to talk about work, he kept trying to talk about the people we worked with. As in who was doing who. I tried to be polite and listened to him talk. He kept trying to toast things to get me to drink more. It was really awful.

The alcohol and the food didn’t mix well. I finally told him I really wasn’t feeling well and had to leave. As we were leaving the restaurant I felt the need to vomit! I had no control. Thankfully I was able to sort of hide behind the restaurant and spew my guts. I was there for about half an hour.

By the end of it I was feeling better but still really weak and woozy.

I assumed that the “date” was over. Now he’d drive me home and leave, disgusted by what had happened. I didn’t care. I was just looking forward to going home.

Instead he drove me to a different bar and insisted I sit down and “drink the taste out of my mouth”.

I knew it was time to leave. I told him I was going to go into the bar and call a cab if he didn’t drive me home immediately. He asked me to come to his hotel room with him instead.

I started to leave but he finally relented and drove me home. Unfortunately, when we got there he tried again to persuade me to go to his hotel room. I was still feeling ill and he delayed me a little too long. I puked all over the floor of the rental car. It smelled like stale alcohol and sour milk.

He started shouting obscenities at me and I finished heaving on the front step of my building. He tore out of the parking lot and almost hit a parked car.

I was really angry and upset when I got home. So I called the police and reported his car as a drunk driver. He was picked up and charged because he was drunk and his car was full of alcohol-soaked puke.
I heard he lost his job over it too. So it was worth it.

 

Wow. Don’t mess with Cyra!

 

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Annabelle – Chapter 9 -Matyson

“I’m like twenty-six, and you’re fifty-one.”

I noticed something strange when I looked at Annabelle’s Facebook. It suddenly said that she was in a relationship with some guy. I looked at the guy’s Facebook and the only photo was just a pair of weird hands holding a cat. I remember not being upset about it, because the dude seemed like some kind of weirdo. But I did need to find out what was going on before I invested anymore time into this girl.

There was a restaurant that I used to love at 20th and Chestnut called Matyson. I went there years ago with my ex, Michelle. (See Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) Normally I don’t want to go to a restaurant that doesn’t serve drinks, but Matyson has exceptional food, and that’s where the focus lies. When I brought Michelle there I just brought a bottle of wine.

After my wonderful experience at Matyson with Michelle, I always associated the place with love. So having recently fallen for Annabelle, I figured I had to take her there for dinner. She’s a pescatarian, and they have some amazing seafood dishes. She loves to eat and I knew she would love it.

I made the reservation, and asked for a quiet table. I cruised by the place and they weren’t open yet. I headed to the liquor store to pick up some wine. I got a white and a red, just in case she wanted either. I return to the restaurant and Annabelle is already there. I tell her it’s a BYOB and that’s why I have the wine. We go in and the hostess seats us in the back. I had asked for a quiet table on my reservation and that’s what I got. It’s early and the place will probably fill up and get noisy, but until then, we’re good.

We’re chatting and they open the wine as we’re looking at the menu. I don’t remember what she ordered but I know I got the swordfish and it was terrific. Every time I’ve eaten at Matyson the food was always amazing. You could always find something exotic on the menu as well. Sweet breads, escargot, etc.

So the dinner goes well, and we’re done. I can’t remember if we had dessert, but we probably did, because Annabelle likes treats. I suggest we do a picture for posterity. When really all I want it for is to document us together and put it on Facebook. Back then I loved to show off all the places I went and all of the people I was hanging out with. I realize now that most people’s social media is just the greatest hits of their lives. I think if you could see the day in and day out it would be pretty boring. But back then I was just happy that I was going on dates with this younger woman and wanted the world to know. It all seems so silly to me now.

So she comes from around her side of the table and sits next to me.

“Ooh… This is where I want to be!” she exclaims.

I’m actually surprised. For some reason I just couldn’t get a good read on this one. With my last girlfriend Michelle, I knew she liked me because we were always getting drunk and attacking each other. With Annabelle it’s been a long slow promise. I mean, I know these younger girls aren’t very sure of themselves, but it’s taking a bit of time. They take the picture and I’m happy with the result.

“This is really great Annabelle.”

“Yea, it is. (sighs) You’re a tough one.”

“Tough? I’m not tough.”

“I REALLY like you.”

“I really like you too, Annabelle.”

“I’m like twenty-six, and you’re like fifty-one.”

“You’re twenty-seven now, and age is but a number my dear.” (I didn’t say that, but something like that.)

“I’m kinda seeing someone.”

That’s when I literally felt this searing pain spread from my heart outward. It was actually like a fire that suddenly flashed across my chest. “Oh….” I think she could sense my pain. Maybe she was afraid to hurt me, but didn’t know what she wanted.

We left the restaurant and were walking towards Rittenhouse square. She started to say she didn’t really like this guy and feels that it will end soon. I had to seize the moment and show my alpha dominance.

“Well normally, when I have a presence in a woman’s life, those sort of problems just work themselves out.”

“Yea, you’re probably right. I don’t really like him”

I don’t know who this clown is, and frankly I don’t care. But I want this girl, and I will win. I’ve won before. (Even if it was only temporary!)

But in hindsight as I write this, I should bear in mind a word of caution. Is this what Annabelle does? Does she like most girl in their twenties, simply leap from guy to guy? By doing that, you never fully experience the loss of a lover. You simply discard him when you’re tired of him or have discovered a new place in which to land. It’s a wicked cycle. I could someday be on the receiving end of what’s about to happen this other guy.

We’re walking down 18th street and I ask her if she’d like to see the batcave. She agrees. It’s only around the corner. I take her in and the first thing she sees is the mini lights I have strung around the french doors that lead to my veranda. I have them on a timer and it looks really cool and illuminates the living room just enough. We sit on the couch and I ask her if she wants some wine. I pour her a glass and fix myself a vodka and tonic. I put on some chill music and we just hang out.

“Is that a working fireplace?”

“Absolutely, and it’s awesome on cold winter nights here.”

There’s some smooching and light making out. I think I’m all good here. I don’t have to worry about a thing. She really likes me, and hasn’t felt this way before and is a little confused. It’ll be fine.

Eventually, she actually falls asleep in my arms. I just remain still and sip my drink listening to the music.

I’m happy. Annabelle is with me at my house. Things are moving forward. I’m falling in love with her if I haven’t already.

She wakes up about twenty minutes later.

“Was I asleep?”

“Yes, dear.”

“Wow. That’s never happened before.”

“Sure, you’ve fallen asleep plenty of times!”

“No I mean, I’ve never been on a date with a guy and I’m so comfortable early on that I can just fall asleep next to him.”

“Get used to it.”

She smiles, “I should probably get going, I have an early shoot tomorrow. Can I use your restroom?”

“Absolutely. Through there and then make a right. I’ll call a car for you.”

“You’re funny.”

We walk outside and she says that she’ll see if she can get cab. I tell her to wait. She looks puzzled. A black Lincoln pulls up and stops. I tell her to get in and they’ll take her home. This is when UBER was really new in the Philadelphia market. Back in 2013 it was still an exclusive service. They were one of my accounts and I had a $600 credit with them!

The car pulls away and I go back in the house. I’m in my chair sipping a drink and smoking a cig. My phone pings.

“Thank you for a lovely evening, and this limo ride home! I feel SO special!”

“That’s because you ARE special, Annabelle.”

 

 

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Annabelle – Chapter 8 – What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’?

“It’s not the kill. It’s the thrill of the chase.”

So I was scheduled to go over to Annabelle’s house to read her my screenplay. I remember her saying: “Bring your appetite because baby’s cooking!” This made me happy because:

  1. She’s cooking me dinner which makes this some next level shit.
  2. She referred to herself as ‘baby’ which makes me feel like she’s sort of my girl already.

I was at work and came up with the idea to bring a few things. It was August and very humid here in Philly. I stopped at the liquor store and picked up some wine and then decided to go to the florist around the corner. I picked up a bouquet of flowers. I hailed a cab and was on my way to her neighborhood in Northern Liberties. The cab ride was hot. I rarely take a cab now because of UBER and Lyft. Someday maybe even taxis will be a nostalgia service. We get to her building and I clamber out of the car with my stuff.

I go into the lobby and just as I’m coming in a couple is coming out. They see a gentleman with a bouquet of flowers and decide I’m not a menace and hold the door for me. Now that I have bypassed the security system I can surprise her at her door. I pop into the elevator and I’m on my way. It’s a big old building that appears to have once been some sort of factory that’s been converted into lofts. I walk down the hallway and get to her door. My heart is beating fast, and I can’t believe this is happening. I may actually be dating this girl and we are falling for each other.

I knock on her door, I have the bag with the wine and the screenplay in the left hand and the flowers in my right hand off to the side. Annabelle opens the door, and I say: “I brought the wine and the screenplay, oh and these are for you!” and whip out the bouquet of flowers from behind the door. She’s very surprised and happy.

“These flowers are beautiful! No one’s ever given me flowers before!”

I find that hard to believe, but I suppose anything’s possible. I really don’t know much about this girl. I ask for a pair of scissors and a vase. I cut the end of the stems on an angle and put them in the vase. They look awesome. I love giving girls flowers. It’s such a classic romantic gesture.

Her apartment is sparse and looks more like a photographer’s studio than a residence. I sit in a chair while she continues to prepare dinner. She’s wearing a pair of silky looking shorts that almost appear to be like lingerie. I admire her long slender legs.

A Siamese cat pads out of her bedroom and walks toward me. I don’t remember his name but she says he doesn’t like most people. He walks right up to me and rubs his snout on me. I reach down and gently pet him. Seems friendly enough to me. Animals can sense who’s good and who’s not. Their instincts have been honed over thousands of years to sniff out the differences between the assholes and the cool people.  Annabelle tells me he is very old and she has to give him an injection everyday to keep him alive. I’ve never heard of this before. How could you give a cat a needle without him wanting to tear you apart every day? He must realize that it’s the only thing that makes him feel better. Funny thing about cats, once they reach adulthood, they pretty much look the same their whole lives. How great would that be for humans? This cat is fifteen years old. That’s ancient for a cat. He looks great. Can you imagine being seventy years old and looking like you’re in your twenties? Who wouldn’t love that? If I could still perform I could date women in their twenties until the day I die!

But I digress.

She’s cooking up something, but I can’t tell what it is yet. It looks like some sort of vegan dish. I’m sure I’m not going to like it, but I like her so it doesn’t matter. She’s says she’s never cooked for anyone before, and can’t really cook. But it smells good, and I like that she’s making the effort.

We end up sitting on her sofa and dining on a large ottoman that she has in front of it. This seems very untraditional to me, but like I said, happy to be here.

She doesn’t really have much stuff. There is a desk with a computer over in the corner of the room, there is this sofa, the ottoman, a small table off to the right, and not much else. This girl is a former actress and now a photographer. It appears she lives a very bohemian lifestyle. No TV. No stereo. Just some books on a long bookshelf. I get the feeling she has collected them but not read them, but maybe that’s just me.

The food was fine, and I appreciate her efforts. I devour it as best I can, even though it’s not really something I would ever eat or even make. But she’s beautiful to me, and I am already hooked on the drug of love.

After dinner we clean up and return to the couch. I have two copies of my screenplay and tell her that I’ll read all of the male parts and she can read all of the female parts. She agrees and we begin. Every page of a script is equal to a minute of film, so my work is 118 pages so we should be able to blow through this in about two hours.

It goes well and I was happy to revisit my story. She is fascinated by the work, and asks how I was able to conceive of something like that and organize all of my thoughts and characters. I told her it was originally a book that was 541 pages long! The book, Angel with a Broken Wing, has so much more in it that the screenplay. More characters, sex and violence. She hears this and tells me she wants to read it, but I know that’s not going to happen.  Maybe someday I can publish it as a weekly blog. People always say; ‘the book is always better than the movie.’ I would agree with that but for the exception of porn!

When we finish reading the script, I lean in for an awkward kiss. Did you ever notice when you first kiss someone romantically on the lips, it just feels weird? Not every time, but there is that period of adjusting to each other’s lip configuration and facial structure. Did you also ever notice how you instinctively tilt you head to the right? That’s a human thing, right?

I’m just happy that I’m kissing her and she’s okay with it.

So after that I see it’s getting late and I should be going. I thank her for the dinner and the time, and I hug her goodnight.

I get outside and realize it’s pretty late and the area is pretty deserted. I start walking west and sort of don’t know wear I’m going. I have a great sense of direction, but I don’t get to Northern Liberties much let alone at night and on foot. I don’t know why I didn’t call and UBER, but after walking about two block I see a taxi. I wave him down and hop in.

The driver is really nice and I’m telling him about my date, because I’m giddy with joy. It’s a good ride home, and I’m happy that things are moving forward with Annabelle. It’s been a slow ride, but it’s not the kill. It’s the thrill of the chase.

 

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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Crazy Dating Stories: Abigail – I Can’t Even…

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

Here is another Tinder date. We both swiped right and started chatting. After a bit of that we exchange numbers. Abigail is a cute 26-year-old woman. She is about 5’3″, long brown wavy hair, green eyes, and fair skin. She’s fit and attractive. She arrives wearing a light blouse and a lovely red and white skirt accented by a large white purse.

We meet at Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse on 18th Street. The space was formerly the old Elephant and Castle. I have some great memories with my ex-girlfriend Michelle there. They have spent over $1.2 million on the remodel. The place is gorgeous. I’ll have to see how the food is. Abigail picked the place, and I’m wondering what this is going to cost me.

The place was surprisingly quiet, and she asks for a mistress booth. There are booths that when you sit in them, they pull a privacy curtain across the front of the booth. This way no one can see you. It’s very private. I like that she picked this type of table, because maybe she has some private sexy fun in store for me. I’m down for anything she wants to do.

We order some light fare. Abigail goes with the seared ahi tuna, and I go for the grilled barbecue shrimp. She said she knows this place is expensive, so she thinks we should just have some appetizers and drinks. I couldn’t agree more! A girl who likes the upscale spots, likes some privacy, and has a thrifty side. She just became more attractive to me. Abigail orders a double cuba libre and I go for my usual vodka martini, straight up with a twist.

The conversation is going okay. She seems nice. She works at a local bank as a client services representative. I like that because I used to work in retail banking myself many years ago. So much has changed in the financial industry, but some things still remain the same. Abigail is cute. As we used to say in the banking industry, “I’d like to make a deposit into her account. No penalty for early withdrawal!”

I’m feeling good and sipping my cocktail. But I start to notice something a bit odd. I notice she’s taking some small bits of her ahi tuna and ripping them up with her fingers and putting them into her huge purse.

What the hell? Is she stealing food for later? I mean…I’ve seen people do that with rolls and bread, but not fish.

So naturally I call her out on it. She smiles and says, “Oh, I’m just feeding Ernie.”

“Who?”

And with that she pulls out a fat guinea pig from her purse. I swear to God.

She plopped the thing in the middle of the table and it just kinda chilled out. I can’t believe this is happening.

“You can’t bring and animal in here.”

“That’s why I wanted this table, so we could have some privacy.”

“Here comes the server. Put that thing away.”

“His name is Ernie!” She hissed, as she stuffs the little brown and white creature back into her bag.

“How are you guys doing over here?” says our smiling server.

“I’ll have another martini, and the lady will have another rum and coke.”

The server leaves to go fetch our second round.

“Do you carry that thing around with you all of the time?”

“Ernie is my pet companion. Like Paris Hilton and her little dogs.”

“Yea, but she’s a millionaire, and famous…and those are dogs. You’re carrying around a rodent!”

“Keep your voice down!”

The server returns with our cocktails. I thank her and take a healthy gulp of the icy medication.

“I think this is some sort of health code violation.”

Abigail pulls “Ernie” back out onto the table.

“I really don’t think you should be….”

And that’s when I felt her foot travel along my leg and up to my crotch. I take my eyes off the little fella and look into her emerald eyes. They twinkle, and she gives me a sly grin.

“Okay…okay… Well he is kind of cute.”

I played with the little fella as Abby’s foot played with mine through my pants.  Ernie, was soft and cute. I on the other hand, no longer was!

He was really a chill little dude. I’m glad I’m drinking through this date. (Martinis help in any situation where everything doesn’t make sense) After a while, I could tell she was getting a little jealous of how well Ernie and I were bonding. I don’t have any pets, but I have had them in the past. Cats mostly.  My father always told me to touch an animal like you would a woman. Very gently. Living things respond to a gentle touch. Abigail was getting fed up at me for playing with Ernie, and back in the purse he went. She also withdrew her foot from my crotch. I could tell that after not eating much, and two double rum and cokes, our girl was getting a bit tipsy.

I was ready to bail and leave, but she mentioned she could go for some ice cream. At this point I figured what the hell, and was cool with it. Maybe it would sober her up. My father used to say he would eat ice cream after he drank, because the milk fat neutralized the alcohol. I always believed that, but most of the time it just made me puke. I also later found out that maybe the ice cream settled his stomach or coated it, there was no ‘neutralization of the alcohol. It was already in your bloodstream by then. But if it worked for my father…

So be it.

So we go to Ben & Jerry’s over on Sansom Street. The place is empty. We get to talking about tattoos and piercing, (none of which I have) and she tells me she has nipple piercings, and I’m like “Oh?” and then she pulls down her shirt, in the middle of Ben and Jerry’s at 8pm and shows me her tits. I just kind of went poker-faced. So then I decide to walk her to her to the corner and hailed her a taxi. She “kiss attacks” me, and well, she WAS kinda cute, so I made out with her, sort of…Her lips were tense the whole time and she licked my teeth.

I bid her and “Ernie” a fond farewell, as I watch the cab disappear up 18th street.

A few days later, I accepted her friend request on Facebook.  I noticed that she had a Facebook page for her guinea pig that had more Facebook friends than I did.

I didn’t hear from her for a while. I was kind of glad about that, because let’s face it, the chick is crazytown.

A few months later the guinea pig died and its Facebook was a memorial page where a bunch of people commented how much they missed it. I ‘liked’ one of her statuses and she called me crying. She was hysterical. I calmed her down and promised her we would go out soon, to help ‘mourn her loss’. (Bold faced lie)

I eventually unfriended her, but not the guinea pig.

RIP:  Ernie

 

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Annabelle – Chapter 7 – Happy Birthday

“Make a wish, Annabelle.”

So in our last chapter, I took the lovely Asian girl Mia Ling to Helium, because of Annabelle’s indecision or scheduling conflict. All of this during her birthday week. I posted the photos of Mia and I on Facebook. Nobody ever said anything so I’m assuming she never saw it, but if she did see it, and it got her thinking, maybe it would help move whatever this is forward.

It was Sunday, and I remember it being a rainy day. I had been hanging out with my ex-girlfriend, Michelle most of the afternoon. (See Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) Even though Michelle and I had broken up over two years ago, we were still pals and hung out every other weekend I didn’t have my daughter Lorelei. (See Lorelei – 1997 – Present – The Apple of My Eye) Lorelei hadn’t come to live with me yet. She wouldn’t arrive until February of 2015.

There was a bar called Urban Enoteca at the corner of 17th and Walnut at the Latham Hotel. The only good thing about that place was that not many people went there, and it was a good spot for us to get out of the rain and chill out and have a couple of Chardonnays.  I suppose it stayed that way, because it closed down about a year or so ago. Something else is there now.

I was carrying a bag with me that had a copy of a screenplay I had written in it. Annabelle had shown an interest in reading it.

I was a little nervous about seeing her, and expressed this to Michelle. I think when she asked how come, I just told her that I really liked this girl. This wasn’t a walk around a museum, or lunch. This was her birthday dinner. I was wondering later if Michelle didn’t like the idea about me liking another girl so much that I was feeling nervous about our date. Probably not, because by this time she had already decided to get back together with Dave after being broken up for over five years.

Now that I think about it, I may or may not be the love of Michelle’s life, but Dave is her fail safe. They were a couple in their teens. Hell, he may have been the one that punched her V card. They broke up when she moved to Philly back in the early 2000’s, and then after a few years tried to get back together around the time I appeared in 2008, and then she was with me for a couple of years, and then again drifted back to him. This time for good. So maybe Dave is the love of Michelle’s life, and I was simply a distraction. He’s always been in her life, and firmly remains there today.

But I digress. I say goodbye to Michelle after our drinks and head over to Devon, the seafood spot in Rittenhouse Park. I made a reservation that morning for 6pm. I also did something else.

But I’ll get to that later.

When I get to the restaurant I find that they have already seated her. It’s a nice quiet table in the back. We get some wine and look at the menus. I’m really happy to see her. I love her! It’s only really our third date, and it feels like an ordeal to get here, but we’re having her birthday dinner, and I’m there!

I don’t remember what we ate, but the conversation was lively and it looked like she was really enjoying herself. I told her I had brought along a copy of my screenplay to give her to read. She came back with, “No. You hold on to it. I want you to read it to me.”

“Right now?”

“No, silly. Next time we’re together you can read it to me.”

“Okay…okay.” I say, a little awestruck. I can’t believe this is happening. I think she just set up our next date.

So it’s going really well. It’s so new and exciting at this point. So when we’re finished dinner, the server comes over and says to me, “Aren’t you the guy that does the advertising for Alcohol Monthly?” I tell her that’s affirmative.

“Thought so.” I’ll be right back.

When she returns she is carrying a lovely creme brulee with a single candle burning in it. She is flanked by two other attractive servers and they all break into Happy Birthday. Of course I smile and sing along.  Annabelle is absolutely surprised and delighted.

I live in Rittenhouse, so earlier that day I physically went to Devon to make the reservation. I gave them very specific instructions about what I wanted. It was her birthday. Here is her name. Here is what I want you to do with the dessert. The server is to ask me who I am, and when I agree, she’ll know it’s a go with the creme brulee and singing. A good, romantic gesture that worked and went a long way to making a solid impression.

They leave, and I take her hands in mine across the table.

“Make a wish, Annabelle.”

She closed her eyes and squeezed my hands. I did too and wished right along with her.

Annabelle released me, opened her eyes, and blew out the candle.

The dessert was beautiful and so was the birthday girl.

 

 

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Phicklephilly – 2017 – Holiday Party at Gran Caffe L’Aquila

What did that guy steal from his boss at the party?

I worked at the salon on Sunday. Trish came to visit me with a Latte and donuts. We chit chatted for a while. When a friend comes to visit, it always makes the time pass more quickly.

My lady friend, Mary told me that at Devon Seafood they do 1/2 off bottles of wine on Sundays. I was down for that. After work, I was sitting there waiting for her. I sipped a martini, just to kick off the afternoon. The bar was crowded and a little noisy. But I had an empty seat on either side of me. I heard a voice to my left ask if the seat was taken, and without looking, I said it was. I turn and it’s Mary! (For more on Mary, See: Mary – 2016 to Present – Chapter 1 – Unexpected Table for Two)

We settle on a bottle of red zinfandel. It’s her favorite. So even if the bottle if $30 you’re only paying $15 each to share a whole bottle. We’re chatting, and Church shows up. He wasn’t very talkative, but seemed better after he ordered some calamari. He’s not much of a talker when it comes to more than one person.

We hung out there for a bit, and I could see Mary was getting a good buzz on. She asked me what was in the bag I had sitting on the bar. I told her after our little get together that I had to go to a holiday party for the new company I’m working for now. In the bag was a gift wrapped present of two different scarves. It was for a Pollyanna that they were having at tonight’s event.

When we left, Church went his way, and Mary decided to walk me over to the restaurant. We get there, and I think Mary wanted to go in with me, but I told her it was employees only. She didn’t mind. I told her I’d call her an UBER, but she said she wanted to walk to clear her head.

I went into the bar and mostly everyone was there. I grabbed a drink from the open bar. I was chatting with the owner’s son, Jon and his Asian girlfriend. She’s really beautiful, and apparently an heiress to a clothing company in China. She told me her dad wanted her to come back to China and run the company, but she’s not sure. If I were Jon, I would marry her and move to China and run that company!

After a bit, we all head upstairs to a private area they have set up for us. Everybody puts their mystery gifts on a table off to the side. The restaurant proceeds to serve us a delicious five course meal. It was terrific. I am sitting at the good table. The founder, is to my right at the head of the table, her husband is across from me, and I’m next to the heiress and Jon.

After dinner they begin the Pollyanna. Everybody picks a random number out of a hat. When your number is called, you go to the gift table and pick a gift. Or…you can take an existing gift away from someone else that already unwrapped theirs. It’s pretty intense.

So it’s my boss’s turn and she picks up the present I brought in. She doesn’t know it’s from me. No one does. She opens it, and is delighted with the two nice scarves. They could be worn by anyone, but she puts them both on. She’s happy.

Then it’s another guy’s turn and he gets up and takes the scarves away from my boss! I’m mortified and delighted by this crazy turn of events. Just for office politics, I’d never usurp a gift from my boss, no matter what the circumstances of the game.

She’s being a good sport about the whole thing, but I can see she’s probably disappointed that she lost two nice scarves.

Another number is called out. It’s my turn. I reach for a gift that looks like it’s a bottle of wine, which it is, so I’m happy. Free booze always goes down easy.

Another number is called out. It’s my boss’ husband. He gets up, and approaches the dwindling gift table. He smiles, and then turns to scarf stealer guy, and takes the scarfs right from around his neck! Yay! The gift I brought in that was good, went to my boss. It was taken from her, and her husband steps in at the end and gets it back for her. He puts on the black one and she has the brown and red one on now. It was a great moment. I’m new, so now I have a story to tell them both Monday morning on our face time conference call.

The party was great and a lot of laughs. It’s a fun crew. Hopefully, we’ll all work together for a long time.

 

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