Rob and Laura – Thanksgiving: Food and Beverage Dilemma

I’ve been friends with Rob and Laura for a few years now. They’re a really cool couple and I love hanging out with them. They’re a smart good-looking pair that both have good jobs.

I’ve had lunch with Rob a couple of times in the last year but I haven’t seen the new house they bought recently.

So I was thrilled when they invited me over for Thanksgiving this year. They said it would be a small intimate affair.

The reason I entitled this post as “Food and Beverage Dilemma” was because that’s what initially was going to be the theme of this post. It certainly begins with that, but takes on a completely different turn later in the post. But I decided to leave the title the same because that’s all I want to remember of this Thanksgiving.

If you’ve been following phicklephilly, you’ll know how I feel about Thanksgiving these days. (See: Thanksgiving Tradition ) I’ve had tons of great thanksgivings in my life. My family was always big on Christmas, not thanksgiving. I get it. I’m very grateful for everything I have in my life, but I don’t need to stuff my head with tons of food that takes hours to prepare to feel that.

But when Rob and Laura invited me to their new home I really felt special. I was actually getting excited for Thanksgiving to arrive.

My buddy Church gave me a motherlode of liquor last year so I decided to re-gift a bottle of whiskey to Rob. (See: Church – 2014 to Present – The Motherload) It was a bottle of Westland American single malt whiskey. 90 proof and apparently very good. I also was going to bake some of my own chocolate cookies for the event. I figured bring them a nice bottle of something and some of my cookies for dessert.

A few nights before Thanksgiving, I was looking at the bottle and decided to look it up online to learn more about it before giving it away. This way I could talk about it at the table.

I find it online and it’s going for between $80 – $100 a bottle!

Wait a second. That’s really expensive. Am I prepared to part with a $100 whiskey? I need to rethink this. Shouldn’t I keep this bottle because it’s so valuable and just get them something else? Funny what money does to your mind.

Well I’ve got a few days. I’ll think about it.

I go into the salon and run my predicament by Achilles.

“Are you gonna drink it?”

“No. It’s too nice for me. I like my boxed wine and vodka that comes in a plastic bottle.”

“How much did you pay for the whiskey?”

“Nothing. It was given to me a year ago.”

“Well, if you’re not going to drink it, and you got it for free, why don’t you just give it to them and maybe they’ll realize that it’s expensive and reciprocate someday. But if not, you had a nice Thanksgiving with your friends.”

“You’re right. And I’m going to bake cookies.”

“Fuck that. Just buy a few gourmet cookies, put them in a paper bag and be done with it.”

“Yea. You’re right. That’s what I’m going to do.”

But the night before Thanksgiving I was still torn. I walked out of the salon after I closed and headed to the liquor store a block away. I got half way down the street and turned back.

Screw it. Achilles is right. I’m going to pick up some cookies at my local grocery store and pack up the bottle of Westland Whiskey for Rob and Laura.

Each one of those cellophane bags has two cookies in side so I’ve spent a total of eight bucks on Thanksgiving this year. Good to go!

The next day I did the long trek to Fairmont. It probably took over 40 minutes to get there. It was so nice to see Rob and Laura.

But they have a two year old son that was just up from his nap. I know Rob has been telling me about how challenging it’s been being a parent. They both have big jobs, the kid’s in day care all day, and when they get home they’re so exhausted from work they don’t want to deal with him.

I’m a parent and like my parents before me children are like intelligent puppies when they’re little. Those dogs need to be disciplined. A trained dog is a happier and more calm dog. And boys are tough. But once I’m there for awhile I realize very quickly this isn’t happening.

He’s a winey, wild, child. That must have worked and he knows when he does it they will yield to him. He’s like a little drunken tyrant midget. I even played with him on the floor for awhile with his animals and trucks and it was tough but I feel like no one’s doing that with him. He certainly lacks order in his life. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I’ve never raised my voice or my hand to my daughter Lorelei. But I was consistent in my words and deeds and brought order and calm into her life. She knew exactly where the fences were and still are.

But it’s just not happening here and it’s stunting this child’s social development.

I love Rob and Laura, but they need to get on the stick about raising this boy. It’s not his fault. He’s just an untrained puppy who sadly has got his parents by the short and curies and they need to take back the power and straighten this boy out. Just like my friend Marigold and her crazy kids. No one is disciplining these little monsters!

The child’s behavior ruined my Thanksgiving this year. I don’t have the will to go over there again if he’s there or even awake. Lunch or happy hour but adults only!

So in closing, my food and beverage dilemma wasn’t the problem at all. It took on a whole new form.

 

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

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6 Red Flags They’re In Love With You, Even Though You Want To Keep Things Casual

In an ideal world, we’d all come into relationships with clear intentions and total alignment on what both parties hope to get out of the partnership. But things don’t always go as planned, especially when sex, emotions, and life in general are involved. Even if two people totally agreed to keep things casual from the start of dating, or both said they were searching for something serious, what happens next is a result of how you feel. Feelings cannot be predicted; if you fear your partner is falling faster than you are, here are the red flags they’re in love with you.

Unfortunately, you can’t time out love. “It’s not realistic to think that in every relationship, people fall in love at the exact same time,” says licensed marriage and family therapist, Anita Chlipala. You may notice the person you’re seeing acting doe-eyed around you, and instead of making your heart skip beats, it gives you cold sweats. Know that pumping the breaks when you aren’t ready is totally acceptable. If you are into your SO, but not feeling the big L word yet, there are still ways to make the relationship work.

But before you address where your relationship stands, you might want to make sure that you’re reading all the signs correctly. Luckily, your partner’s behaviors and verbal cues can give you a lot of information about what’s going on in their heart (and mind). Here are some of the signs that the person you’re seeing is falling for you, and the ways to get you two back to a mutually understood place.

1. They Might Actually See Your Soul Through Your Eyes

 

Kate Moyle, psychosexual therapist and partner at Pillow App for Couples, says that both lingering eye contact and touch are signs of intense connection. “We know that skin-on-skin contact releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone which plays a key role in intimate relationships,” she continues.

2. Their Calendar Is Cleared Out… Only For You

 

Moyle also points to significant time investment and attention as a way to find out if your partner is feeling all the feels. “When we are in love with someone, we want them to feel special,” she says. “We often see this at the start of relationships, when we will drop everything for that other person in an instant or put them first above seeing others.” If you feel the person you’re seeing putting extra care and time into your relationship, it could mean they are looking to make things serious.

3. They Use A Lot of Heart Eye Emojis

 

Does the person you’re seeing answer all of your texts immediately and use a ton of lovey emojis in their responses? LeslieBeth Wish, Ed.D., psychotherapist, author of Smart Relationships, and founder of Love Victory, says that extreme excitement over hearing your voice or receiving a text from you could mean they’re falling for you.

4. They’re Always Down To Do You Favors.

 

Remember that commercial where a guy buys his girlfriend tampons and the song “I Would Do Anything For Love” plays in the background… as though to say that love compelled him to buy her feminine hygiene products? Well, it wasn’t that far off.

According to Wish, favors can be a sign of heart flutters, especially if the person does favors for you without your asking.

5. You’ve Been Penciled In For The Future

 

A lot of the time, we think actions show love, but what about the things someone says that hint at it? If “they talk about doing things and going places in the future,” Wish advises that their feelings for you might be the real deal.

6. When They Say “Meet The Parents,” They Don’t Mean The Movie…

 

Lastly, Wish says that if the person is really keen on you meeting their friends, family, and/or colleagues, serious feelings are most definitely in the air.

OK, so maybe all signs point to love. Just relax. The best thing that you can do is be open with your partner and let them know how you’re feeling. If they confirm that they’re in love, Chlipala recommends expressing your side of things by saying something like, “I’m really enjoying spending time with you, but I’m just not there yet. I’d like to keep getting to know you better, and I do care about you.” Then, reset expectations to let them know exactly where you are, because being open and honest is the best way to handle someone’s intimate emotions responsibly.

 

Was this helpful? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject!

 

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

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Lily – Nice To Meet You? – Chapter 1

Oh, lovely Lily.  You came into the salon to tan. We have to be careful with you. We can’t just throw you into a 12 minute sun bed and over expose you. You’re unique and special. We need to be gentle with you.

Who are you lovely Lily? We’ll tan you for whatever reason you need to but you seem illusive and reserved.

I’m so happy I met you. I told you I write a blog and want to tell your story. I look forward to crushing wine or beer and cigarettes at McGlincheys with you.

I believe you could become a series in this blog. Your story is so unique I feel everyday I want to meet you for a drink.

I have no interest in exploiting you Lily. I just want to tell your story.

 

We were supposed to meet the week before, but she got really stressed out at work because her job is really demanding. She broke out in hives on her face and didn’t want to be seen in public. 

I get that. 

 

I wrote the above words about two months ago and I just confirmed with Lily that we are meeting for drinks tonight. I’ll finally get to know this enigmatic beauty. Technically it’s a Sun Story because I met her at the salon, but I’m getting to know her outside at a bar so I’m going to leave it as is.

I know she works in the medical field. But I feel like she’s into something else as well. So hopefully I’ll find out tonight.

I purposely didn’t order any food in for dinner tonight because I knew I’d be dining with Lily in a couple of hours. So I’m hungry.

I’m at the salon and I get a text from Lily an hour and a half before we’re supposed to meet that says the following:

“Would you be interested in a different restaurant? I actually just had Dan Dan on Sunday.”

I immediately text my buddy Roman over at Square 1682. “Are you at Square?”

“Damn right.”

I text Lily back. “Meet me at Square 1682.”

“Perfect.”

I’m happy about this change of venue. I didn’t really feel like going to Dan Dan anyway. Now I can see my favorite bartender in the city.

I get to Square at 8:15. Got to be punctual. Maybe she’s already there.

Roman is happy to see me and shakes my hand. He places a fresh glass of Chardonnay in front of me with a side of ice.

My man.

All good. I’m here early and looking forward to getting to know more about lovely Lily when she arrives. I’ll probably go with the burger and I may be able to crush it because I haven’t eaten since 2pm today.

“I liked the piece you did about McGlinchey’s in your blog. It was spot on.” (See: Why Philly Icon Bar McGlinchey’s May Never Be The Same) 

“Thank you, Roman!” I’m happy that he reads and subscribes to my blog. A busy beverage manager, bartender, husband and dad has time to check out my work.

I’m sipping my Chard and chilling at the bar. It’s a quiet night despite it being Restaurant Week here in Philly.

Restaurant Week happens twice a year I think. The spots that participate in it offer a few menu items for reduced rices. Three course meals for $35 each. That’s deadly for Philly.  You just can’t get that in this city at that price anywhere.

At 8:30 I text Lily that I’m at the bar.

I’m sipping and chatting with Roman and happy to be at my favorite bar in the city but only because of my favorite bartender. I don’t go out much anymore and it’s a treat to be here. I’m completely in my element here. The bar is elegant, dimly lit, and it almost feels like it’s date night here tonight. There are several couples coming and going at the bar.

I look to the end of the bar and hot latina server, Carla waves. I throw her the heart sign and she grabs it and presses it to her heart and smiles.

Ella is running around and waves as she cruises by me.

I’m home. I love this bar.

I haven’t heard back from Lily. I text her at 8:45: “Are you okay?”

I go out for a smoke. The cig tastes cool in the 30 degree night. I’m sure I’ll get a text from her cursing her UBER driver. It happens. My dear friend Alice is always classically late. I’m not worried. (See: Alice – The Cute Recruiter)

I go back in and Roman and I are chatting. I tell him I’m meeting a girl here tonight to interview her for the blog.

“Give her until 9pm. The half hour rule. Anything could have happened in this city.”

“I’ll call her at 9.”

“Good plan.”

I’m on my second glass of Chard and feeling fine. If nothing else, I’m in my favorite bar with my number one bartender. I’m only a few blocks from my house and it’s not freezing out.

I step away from the bar and go into the lobby of the hotel. I call Lily. It rings and rings and then her voicemail comes up. I leave a message:

“Hey Lily. Hope you’re okay. I’m at Square. Just checking to see if you’re alright. Call me back or text me.”

I go back to the bar. I know she said in a previous text that she would have to leave around 9:45 from our meeting. It is now 9:10. I tell Roman I want to close out.

I haven’t been stood up since the 90’s.

I’m not angry. There has to be a reason. This is a responsible woman with a real job.

I pay the bill and walk home.

I enter my apartment and am very happy to see my daughter Lorelei. (See: Lorelei – 1996 to Present – Father’s Day) She looks adorable. She has a new platinum pixie haircut. She looks like Tinkerbell.

I love that kid!

She’s watching The Dukes of Hazard on my flat screen on Netflix. The remake with Jessica Simpson. She says she’s never seen it. She liked Jessica when she was a kid. I was more than happy to buy her the poster for her room back in the day.

Image result for jessica simpson dukes of hazzard

 

The only reason for me to watch that retched film would be to see her with those slamin’ legs. The only way I could view that movie would be with the sound turned down and listening to Nine Inch Nails playing the song: “Closer.”

But I digress…

I’m in my room, sipping chardonnay and smoking a cig. I start writing this piece. The great thing about writing about your life is, even if it goes badly. You still get a story out of it.

Blog needs content. Feed the beast. Good or bad you still get a story out of it.

 

Wait! I just got a text from Lily!

 

What the hell happened? Tune in tomorrow!

 

 

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

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Kaja – Monday… Sigh

I get a text on Sunday night. “Are we still on for Monday?” It’s Kaja. I just had lunch with her last Friday. (But she did close with the words, “When can I see you again?” with a hug and a kiss.)

I tell her I go to Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse every Monday for lunch at 1pm. She agrees to meet me and it’s on. I get there around noon so I can do some work and edit the week’s blogs because I was so busy writing about her I forgot to do it. I really wanted to get her story down because it was so good. (See: Kaja – 2003 to Present – Out of the Blue)

She arrives at 12:45. I like that. To me, punctuality is imperative. She looks great as always. This is the most I’ve ever seen her in a small space of time. With Kaja it was always pop in, and then pop out for another two years. But what’s happened in the past year has changed everything for the better.

I hope for her sake it stays that way.

She tells me more about prison. She says the food you get the first few weeks is worse than they describe it in the movies. It’s small portions of gross looking and worse tasking grub you can imagine. So she was basically starving for a couple of weeks. Maybe that’s to weaken the prisoners at first.

After a few weeks you can apply for commissary. A prison commissary (commissary being a word taken out of context in such situations) or canteen is a store within a correctional facility, from which inmates may purchase products such as hygiene items, snacks, writing instruments, etc. Spices, including those packaged with instant ramen noodles, are a popular item due to the often bland nature of prison food. Typically inmates are not allowed to possess cash; instead, they make purchases through an account with funds from money contributed by friends, family members, etc., or earned as wages. Typically, prisons set a maximum limit of funds that can be spent by each inmate on commissary; in the U.S. federal system, it is $290 per month. It’s generally prohibited for inmates to trade items purchased on commissary. However, certain items tend to be used as currency. Cigarettes were a classic medium of exchange, but in the wake of prison tobacco bans, postage stamps have become a more common currency item, along with any inexpensive, popular item that has a round number price such as 25 or 50 cents. As prison budgets are cut in the USA, ramen has become a popular commodity to supplement food needs. Mylar foil packets of mackerel fish or “macks” are one such item. In 1930, the U.S. Department of Justice authorized and established a commissary at each federal institution. Some prison commissaries are staffed by government employees and inmates, while others have been completely privatized. Significant price markups are common in prison commissaries, although some prison systems set maximum markups; for instance, the Delaware Department of Correction has a 20% maximum markup. $100 million in purchases were made from Texas’ prison system alone in 2009. Prison commissary is a privilege that is often taken away for infractions.

She said once she had commissary she ate a bunch of food and a lot of it was carbs and sugary food. I think she just stuffed her sadness with chow. She said she ballooned up to 180 lbs. She’s 5’9″ so when she was a dancer she was 120 lbs. She says, “Too skinny.” I say, “Super hot.” But now she’s 140 lbs. and would like to lose a few more. I still think she looks good, but she’s right. She shouldn’t look like an Estonian matron by the time she’s 40.

She clarifies that she went in for two months and was released on bail. But had to go back in and serve seven more months for all the other infractions. I’m not clear on this but basically she did a total of nine months in the can.

She’s apparently living with this old guy who isn’t all there. I’m thinking she may have met him back in her stripper days. She doesn’t get into the details of how she knows him, but apparently he’s retired, bi-polar and not all there. He just sits around all day and chain smokes and watches TV. She hates it there because he’s nuts and she never knows what she’s coming home to. (That’s bi-polar for you!) Sadly, all of her clothes smell like filthy cigarette smoke.

 

Back in jail she was in a cell that was a  big room, three stone walls and the front is all bars. But she’s in there with 19 other women. It’s all bunks. So take 20 women that are in for different offenses, throw them together. They’re sad, they’re depressed, and they’re angry. Throw in some PMS…That’s a powder keg waiting to go off.

So she said there was all kinds of drama, fights, and even some romance. Classic women’s prison movie stuff.

We go on and off topic and I’m sure more will come out as we hang out. Like I said, I’m just glad she’s okay. We have a delicious lunch together and I tell her my Monday ritual here at Cav’s. She says she has some more things to do, and has to make a few call and will let me know if she can stick around. Either way is fine with me. As I get older I enjoy most people in small doses.

Kaja goes outside and makes a few calls.

I continue editing phicklephilly until she returns. I get the last one finished, just as she approaches the table. She is such and elegant woman with such good manners I wonder how she got into all of the trouble she has. But if she sticks around long enough, I may get the story. I’m okay even if I don’t.

Kaja tells me she has to go. Now worries. I’ll do some writing and sip a Manhattan in a few hours. She drops $25 on the bill and a hug later she’s gone.

While I’m sitting there I get an email from Cavanaugh’s. It said that “You really like us and we really, really like you so we’re giving a free drink of your choice on us.”  How brilliant is this small chain of sports bars? They must know I use their wifi every Monday and see that I’m a trackable regular. They sent me a reward for spending money there on a weekly basis. That’s the future of advertising!

I show the coupon to Karina and she says your drink is free. So when I walked out of Cav’s my bill was $10. Peanuts!  Karina is now my #1 favorite female bartender in the city. Killer hospitality!

I text Roman over at Square and ask him if he’s working, and if it’s busy. (See: Roman – 2012 to Present – Rock and Roll Bartender)

“I am and it’s not.”

I pack up and head over. Normally I would have just gone home but I want to charge up my devices and write some more pieces. I have so many right now. I thought I’d be dry by now and writing about my past more but there are a lot of things going on.

I get there and sit at the end of the bar. It’s quiet. I plug everything in and I’m typing away. Roman sets a glass of chardonnay down and a glass of monster ice cubes. I like ice in my wine. Old networking trick. Water it down, and nobody knows what it is you’re drinking. It waters it down and you can keep going without losing your shit like everybody around you.

Almost like a magnet, people I know start coming in. They’re stopping by and chatting and catching up. It’s lovely. Even a server I thought didn’t like me comes over to chat. She’s telling me how she has been with an older man for over five years because he really appreciates her and treats her well.  (Well done, sir! She’s 29!)

After an hour or so I crack off a couple of pieces and pack up. I had maybe three Chardonnay. My bill was $5.50.

Hookup city!

I pay cash, tip heavily, and head home. I’ve had a lovely day surrounded by good people. That’s my life now. I’m blessed to have gotten to this place.

I go home and chat with my buddy Church on the phone.  (See: Church – 2014 to Present – Brand Ambassador) Daughter Lorelei is over in Jersey at her boyfriend’s house. I have the place to myself tonight. I’m in the command center, (My chair and ottoman in front of my 50″ flat screen watching Netflix . I light a cig and pour myself another glass of Chardonnay.

UPDATE: Kaja is back to working as a stripper in New York City!

 

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

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Kaja – Out of the Blue – Part 2

“Kaja says that she has to tell me something. But she needs a little courage. She orders a glass of chardonnay. What she’s about to tell me will shake me to my core…”

Kaja takes a healthy sip of her chardonnay.

“I just got out of prison two weeks ago.”

“What!”

She had been living in Delaware and went to jail for DUI charges in connection with a four-car crash along the 300 block of Spring Mill Road in Villanova back in December of 2016.

Lower Merion police said Kaja was intoxicated at the time of the collision. Police also identified her as being at fault for the crash.

One person was taken to an area hospital with leg and arm pain. Two of the cars had to be towed from the scene. Kaja’s minor child, who was also in the car at the time of the crash, was not injured.

She was arraigned and later released on bail. She had been charged with DUI, endangering the welfare of children, improper child restraint, speeding and other citations.

Police say this was her second DUI arrest in Lower Merion following a crash.

According to police, Kaja was arrested Oct. 22, 2007 for a head-on crash on Conshohocken State Road near Henry Lane. She later pleaded guilty to that offense. Police reported that she was given a sentence of three days to six months in the county prison. She was ordered to pay a fine and costs. She also sentenced to 2 years of probation.

I will note that this Kaja doesn’t fit the socially upwardly mobile mold of the two other Main Line DUI women that were busted for the same thing. Same area, similar age range, but Kaja is a repeat DUI offender.  At that time, she blew a 0.38 blood-alcohol content, nearly five times the legal limit.

Kaja was taken to Montgomery County Prison in lieu of $7,500 bail. According to an arrest warrant, an officer asked Kaja if she had been drinking and she stated, ‘Well, ya.’ Then, according to the warrant, when asked to submit to a field sobriety test, she responded by “stating she was ‘smashed’ and that she in no way should be operating a motor vehicle.”

One other driver in the crash was treated for injuries. Kaja’s 5-year-old son was not hurt, but police say he was not restrained in a child seat.

Court records show Kaja pleaded guilty to drunk driving and causing a serious injury crash following a 2007 accident.

She is the third mother charged with driving drunk and crashing her vehicle with her child in the backseat in the past four months in Lower Merion.

I will ask some of the same questions I asked before:

What has gone wrong here? How do families not know if someone is having issues? Do that many people really in this day and age routinely drive around comfortably numb? And who exactly let her get behind the wheel of a car? Who lets an intoxicated young mother get behind the wheel of a car with a child in the back seat?

Kaja is a repeat offender. With these new charges she went to jail. They reported that her ex husband has the child.  Except if she is a repeat offender, how is it she is allowed to drive anyone around, let alone drive herself?

I will say it again that to me this is an alarming issue. And with now multiple incidents (different women) to hit the news a couple of months apart, I will state again that I truly see this as an issue.

But if we’re honest, by varying degrees this is not a new issue. It’s just not one discussed in public as much as whispered down the lane.

Once again, I want to try to show these women compassion. But if I am brutally honest, with this one I am having a hard time doing so. Why? Because this woman seems to have “oops, done it again” and wow, when do you stop? When does the being a mother gene kick in?

Alcoholism is an awful disease. I have friends who have been “in the program” for years. Including now not so young moms. Some have been successful working their programs, others not so much.

I received a lot of off-line feedback from women who had experienced issues with alcohol and/or had been a child of one or more alcoholic parents. They thanked me for talking about it. And shared some heart wrenching stories of their own. I won’t betray those confidences, but I applaud them for being brave and dealing with it.

Some people with alcohol issues never hit the bottom to stop, some do. They have to want it. You have to want to get better.

So Kaja a young mother from the Main Line sat in jail for seven months unable to post bail. Somewhere, someone is undoubtedly trying to help her 5-year-old make sense of all of it. Can you imagine being that child? Accident, noise, mahem, sirens….mom being taken away in the back of a police car.

My heart aches for the children. The smallest and almost silent victims.

And no parent wants to judge another parent, but this is hard to wrap my head around. I guess at the end of the day I don’t get how you put the alcohol first, child last.

Here is hoping something good happens for this latest DUI incarceration. Kaja seemed like she was on a collision course of destruction given her past decisions and choices.

She could have killed quite a few people including herself and her child.

Her eyes are tearing up and I’m sitting there thinking about her in an orange jumpsuit sitting in jail for the last seven months. Sharing a big cell with a dozen other women sleeping in bunks. I think of the fear she must have had every day she was in there.

It was all over the news when it happened. But I don’t follow the news so I never saw it.

She’s only been out for two weeks! I’m shocked and amazed by this story. She said she’s gotten her Real Estate license and went to bartending school so she thinks she’ll do that. She’s living in an apartment in Manayunk, and her mother has been helping her financially.

Obviously she’s lost the privilege to drive for awhile. She’s also on probation and has to check in periodically with her parole officer.

I reached out to my friend Rocco, who works for Redfin Real Estate and told him that she has her license and if he could help her. He asked that she give him a call before he puts her in front of Human Resources.

I can ask around to see if she can get a bartending gig somewhere with my connections.

I pray that she’s come out on the other side of this having learned a valuable lesson.

Lunch is great and goes on until 2:30pm. We’ve really covered a lot of ground in our conversation. She even whipped out cash and paid her half of the bill. (Wow! Maybe she truly is reformed.)

“Why did you reach out to me, Kaja?”

“Because you’ve always been like a quiet port in the storm that was my life.”

“Thank you.”

“Why did you meet with for lunch today?”

“Two reasons. I’ve always been honest with you, dear. First, I always liked you. For the most part my time was always good with you. You were always sweet to me. Second, I do write a blog, and your life is certainly a doozy.” (I had told her previously about phicklephilly)

“Well just change my name.”

“I will not reveal your real identity in the blog, Kaja.”

“When can I see you again?”

I give her some days and times. She says maybe next Monday but we’ll figure it out through text as the day approaches.

Before we separate she hugs me and kisses me on the cheek. I do the same. Twelve years and here we are.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the law in PA about DUI. 

 

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Kaja – Out of the Blue – Part 1

I met Kaja back in 2003. She was 22 years old. She had called my office about getting some life insurance. Like most financial reps I went to meet with her at her apartment. I ring the bell and she comes to the door.

The young slender woman standing before me is what I have always described as an ethereal beauty. An exquisite fine boned, absolutely beautiful woman. She was born in Estonia where apparently all of the most beautiful people come from. At that moment she was probably one of most lovely women I had ever seen.

Kaja was very sweet and also had a little son. He was probably 4 or 5 years old so she must have had him young. Apparently things didn’t go with her baby daddy because they have to do pick up and drop offs at the local police precinct.

She also had a roommate who was a pretty dark-haired girl. I don’t remember her name. I think they worked together.

So I start the application process and of course the client has to be honest about all of their facts with their agent.

She goes on to tell me that she works as a dancer at Delilah’s Den. That’s the finest gentleman’s club in the city. She worked a few nights a week and earned around $15,000 a month! That’s crazy money for a 22-year-old girl.

It’s also a high risk business. So I didn’t know if I could get the policy approved. But I was good and I figured I’d find a way for this single mother. Oh, don’t ever say “I support single mothers” to a stripper when she’s working. You’ll get your ass kicked.

So everything went fine and we eventually closed the deal. I remember me bringing a little toy to her son and she gave me a book about Estonia. It was a nice business relationship. I liked that she was a very sweet and kind woman even though she worked in a tough industry. I liked that I knew her outside her business and never went to where she worked. Discretion with my clients is paramount.

Through the years we always kept in touch. We never really hung out together. It would be more like a visit. We would meet at her apartment for tea and just chat and catch up on what was going on in our lives. This would go on for years. But there were years I didn’t see or hear from her. Sometimes I thought each time would be the last.

I think she kept in touch with me because even though I wasn’t ever part of her chaotic world, she could trust me. She worked in an industry that makes the women who dance start to resent or even hate men. They meet a lot of married guys and even local public figures who act like total slobs and perverts. That can mess with your head.

She would text me on facebook or call me on the phone and we would meet somewhere. One time we met and just strolled around Rittenhouse park. Then I wouldn’t see her for a year or so. It’s been a unique friendship. But someone you really make a solid connection with you don’t need to see all the time. I haven’t seen my friend James in a few years but when I do, It’ll be like when we were like teenagers. I don’t need to talk to someone or see someone all the time. If I like you and you text me that you want to meet up, I’ll set it up.

That’s how it’s been over the last twelve years for Kaja and me. I know she’s had her ups and downs but so have I.

I remember once she reached out to me and we met up for brunch at Square 1682. She drank Long Island ice teas and was getting buzzed. I unfortunately had to pay for everything. After brunch we are walking down the street and she wants to go to a gentleman’s club. I get us an UBER. We end up going to Cheerleaders strip club down on Delaware Avenue. She’s pushing strippers at me and giving me a hand massage. I’m drinking wine and she’s getting annoyed that her boyfriend is texting her.

She tells me that her boyfriend is coming to the club. I’m not worried because once jealous boyfriends meet me they see that I’m not a threat. So he shows up and he’s just your run of the mill douche bag. But he’s actually nice to me and is telling me about his business and buying me drinks.

I go to the bathroom and when I come out they are gone. They just stranded me down there. I really thought this was a dick move, but he’s weak and she’s drunk. I’m a big boy and I get a taxi back to Rittenhouse. I chalk it up to the alcohol and figure I won’t see her again. No big deal. It is what it is. I’ve been duped and used by worse people.

A year or so goes by and I get a text on Facebook messenger.

It’s Kaja.

“Good morning, friend! How have you been? It would be nice to catch up.”

“I’m good! How are you? I’d love to catch up.”

“I’m good, thanks! When can you pencil me in?”

“Next Monday? Do you still have the same number?”

(Provides a new phone number. I notice as I enter into my phone it’s the 3rd one she’s had in a few years.)

Now we’re texting and we set up a lunch for that Friday at noon at Misconduct at 18th and JFK blvd. That’s one of my go to spots. I text my friend Mary the hostess that I’d like to reserve table 12. (See: Mary – 2016 to Present – Unexpected table for two)

Thursday I get a text from Kaja asking if we are still on for Friday. I assure her that we are.

I get there on Friday, fifteen minutes before noon. I get a call from Kaja that she’s running about fifteen minutes late. No worries. Then she calls again and tells me she’s arrived and is looking for me. I get up from my table and walk to the hostess stand. I tell her where I am and I don’t see her.

“Do they have more than one location?”

“Yes. I’m at the one at 18th and JFK.” (I texted her this exact location the other day)

“Oh. The UBER driver took me to the wrong one. Is it within walking distance or should I cab it?”

“Take a taxi. It’ll take too long to walk here.”

“I pride myself on being punctual. I’m so sorry I’m late.”

“No worries, Kaja. Just get here safely.”

Ten minutes go by and she arrives. It feels like a long time since I’d last seen her. She’s as beautiful as ever. Those luminous blue eyes still dazzle me. She hugs me and we take our seats at my table. We’ve got time and we’re going to be here for the next two and a half hours. I tell her all the stuff I’m doing and we order our food. I of course get my go to chicken tenders and she goes with the mac n cheese with chicken and peppers.

Kaja says that she has to tell me something. But she needs a little courage. She orders a glass of chardonnay. What she’s about to tell me will shake me to my core…

Tune in again tomorrow for the thrilling conclusion!

 

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

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Mary, Mia, Daphne, Alexa, & Carly. We Call It Wednesday

The reason the stock photo for this entry has several women in it is because I encountered so many lovely ladies today.

Wednesday I decide to eat lunch at Misconduct at 18th and JFK. I love the chicken tenders and my friend Mary works there. (See: Mary – 2016 to Present – Unexpected Table For Two) I take a small table by the door. It’s right against the wall across from the hostess stand so I can chat with Mary.

We catch up on what’s been happening in our lives and the tenders are delicious as always. The lunch rush is over around 2:30 and I’ve got my eye on the table in the corner. There are two guys there and they’re finishing up. Hot Mia is still going to be my server. She’s a cute little Latina girl who’s new.

The guys leave and I move over there. Now my back is to the wall in the corner and I can see the whole restaurant and bar. I can also plug in my laptop and phone and charge up for a bit while I work on some accounts.

3pm rolls around and Mia asks if I want anything else. I ask her for a Manhattan straight up with a side of ice. She delivers and it’s beautiful. I sip it and type away. I like restaurants at this time of day. It’s that lull between lunch and happy hour and I can chill in the quiet.

One of the servers that I’ve known since the Maria days, (See: Maria – 2016 to Present – Amor En Vano) Brianna comes over and gives me a hug. She’s a delicious baby with raven curls that tumble to her shoulders. A slender legged caramel skinned delight. (See: Daphne – 2015 to Present – Lovely Hostess – Part 2) 

It’s getting close to 4:30 and I have to meet up with my friend, Carla. (Another friend I’ve never written a post about, but she did appear in the Epilogue of the Annabelle series)

I’ve chosen for us to meet at Tir Na Nog, the Irish pub over at 16th and Arch. My friend Johnny R. likes going there, because they get all of the international soccer games on their TVs.  (See: Johnny R. – 2011 to Present -Needle in the Groove) I’m not a huge fan of the place because it gets noisy, it’s busy, and it’s usually a sausagefest. I’m not a sports fan either so it’s a no for me.

But… hot Alexa works there as a bartender tonight! (See: Alexa – 2016 to Present – The New Hookup) She’s the girl that comes into the salon and told me to come in when she’s working and she would give me free drinks and I would just tip her. I need more hookups around the city. I have four now. So let’s see if she follows through.

I get my bill at Misconduct and the Manhattans were only $7 a piece. That’s cheap.

I get to Tir Na Nog and the bar is packed and noisy. I hate this place. I find a seat at the end of the bar next to the wall. Alexa sees me.

“Hey there! you came in! What can I get you?”

“Manhattan, please.”

“What kind of whiskey do you want?”

“I don’t care.”

“I’ll give you Bulliet.”

“Nice! Thanks!”

She brings it and it has a cherry and a rind of lemon in it. I can’t say anything because I didn’t tell her how I like it, I just hope it’s free. Carla arrives and I’m happy to see her. It’s probably been a year. She orders a beer and I introduce her to Alexa.

We catch up and I give her all the news. She’s the marketing director for a major restaurant chain here in the city. It’s a big job and keeps her plenty busy. If I hadn’t reached out to her I probably wouldn’t have heard from her again. Maybe?

I notice she is very chatty. Almost too much. I like Carly and she is one of the normal women I know. That’s why I kept her around. I’ve cut out all of the crazies from my life. I tell her everything that’s going on with me and she says I seem more calm than I’ve ever been. She’s right.

I tell Alexa we are moving to Dan Dan (A Suezuan and Taiwanese place down the street) My friend Norm works there as a bartender and he says it’s always happy hour prices when I go there. I love the hook ups! I’ve had two Manhattans and Carla has had two beers. I ask Alexa how we proceed. Normally the bill should be $36 plus tip, so you’re looking at $44 all told.

“You’re all set.”

I throw down a twenty-dollar bill and Alexa smiles and grabs it.

“That’s it. We’re good. Thank you.”

And that was it. $40 worth of drinks for $20 and Alexa gets a $20 tip instead of a $7 tip. Hookups work as long as she doesn’t get caught. I think I like Tir na Nog again.

We’re both happy to be off and out of that place. We walk south on 16th and rush hour is in full force in the city. We get to Dan dan and Norm is there. He’s been away in Italy for 10 days and we’re happy he’s back. I think that’s a trend in the service industry. They work and make a chunk of money and then go travel somewhere to break from the stressful life of that industry. I think it’s pretty cool.

Carla and I order up some delicious noodles and pot stickers with some wine. It’s the perfect ending to a fun day surrounded by good people.

 

Oh… here’s a little bonus dating advice video I like. Enjoy!

 

 

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

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