Marisa – 2017 to Present – Part IV – A Blonde Moment

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

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I’m back at the restaurant. Mary is still there but she’s about to leave. “She’s in the restroom.” She says.

“I know. She text me.”

“Maybe she got lost in there too!”

I’m sitting at my table. The restaurant is nearly empty now. Out from the back comes a cute Filipino girl with blonde hair!

She gets to the table and apologizes profusely. I tell her I forgive her and we’ll move on.

The hair closest to her scalp is now blonde. As it descends to her shoulders it fades into a tawny color. She tells me that she let a friend of hers experiment on her. It looks kind of cute. A dramatic change from the black hair she had when I met her a week ago. It’s a little weird, but she’s got a cute face. I also notice she is wearing a really low-cut top that showcases her ample bosom.

She keeps asking me if I like her hair. I tell her it looks fine and that she looks cute. I don’t think she’s happy with it. I would bet you the next time I see her it’s back to black.

We order food, and start chatting. She is currently enrolled in the Community College of Philadelphia. She says she is studying criminal law. I find that impressive. She lives on her own, and the only job she has currently is the hostess gig at Sofitel. She formerly worked at Parx casino as a craps dealer, blackjack, and roulette person. She mentions that she also worked at The Sands Casino in Bethlehem. What she really wants to do is become a poker dealer, because they get to keep their tips instead of pooling them with the rest of the dealers.  I ask her why she isn’t doing anything with the casinos currently.

“It’s a long story.” She says.

She asked if I am married. I remind her that I already told her that I was married, but divorced back in 2001. She doesn’t ask about children, so I don’t volunteer it. She says that marriage sucks. She said she got married about ten years ago and divorced three years ago. She tells me she has a younger sister that is still married. She says none of the rest of her family is here in the states.

Based on the math, I would bet that they both may have been mail order brides. They got their citizenship and off they went. Her younger sister’s marriage stuck, but Marisa’s failed. If her being a total scatterbrain is any indication as to how she is most of the time, I can see why she’s divorced. Once the cute, flirty exterior stuff wears off, I can see how the interior is just a tangle of bad wiring and grinding frustration. I ask her why her marriage ended.

“It’s a long story.” She says.

I notice something else about her during lunch. She chews with her mouth open. It’s fucking gross. iI makes her look like an amphibian. How has she lived for thirty-two years on this planet without anyone giving a shit enough to tell her to shut her trap when she’s chewing.? It really is unattractive. This is only the second times I have been appalled about a woman’s eating habits. The first being Annabelle. She ate like she was raised by wolves. Just shoveling the chow into her gob at feeding time. Just awful. (See: Annabelle – 2013-2014)

I’ve been told by several people that I am a very neat eater. One should have proper etiquette at the table and dine in a civilized manner. If you eat like an animal, you were raised by animals. That, or parents that just didn’t give a shit about you enough to provide you with the proper tools to break bread with other civilized human beings.

So the problem that she is facing with communication lies in her phone. I can see that is only a fraction of the problem. She says she dropped her phone into a toilet and it fried. The college she is attending gives out free phones if you’ve lost or don’t have a phone. It’s a safety thing for the students. It’s a crap phone that doesn’t do much of anything. But that doesn’t explain a person having no sense of direction and being an hour late. I’m sort of a sap for coming back and meeting with her but, cuteness won this round.

The bill comes and of course, no wallet comes out. I’ll have to ask my accountant if I can somehow claim these lunches on my taxes. Make Phicklephilly into a business entity, so I can write off all of these stupid dates.

She says she hasn’t drank an alcoholic beverage in 2017. I then ask her why she’s been texting me to meet her for a beer late night. She said I could drink but she would just drink soda. I think alcohol is the only way I could deal with her beyond today. It would have to be brown liquor and lots of it.

She tells me she was due in at work at 3pm but has called them to say she got held up at school. She uses my phone to call, and is texting with her phone. I ask her won’t she get in trouble for coming in late? She says as long as she calls, who cares. I’m starting to see why she’s working as a hostess at a hotel bar, and no longer with the casinos.

Marisa says she’s forgotten her black button down shirt for work. She has also forgotten her shoes. She tells me she has to go to H & M to buy a shirt. I have a little time, so I go with her. We’re walking south on 17th street, and I tell her it’s probably not a good idea to keep going towards Walnut street. When she asks why, I tell her that we will literally walk right past the Sofitel hotel. It’s already almost 3:30. She really has no sense of direction.

She sees a Forever 21 on Chestnut street. We hang a right into there to find the shirt. I notice her sense of humor is like Eliana’s.  (See: Eliana – 10/2016 – Part 1 – Third Time’s the Charm) Sort of a poke fun at you humor. They say something, you believe they mean it, then they say, “Just kidding.” But this happens over and over again to the point of it being annoying. It may be something that is just part of their culture, but I don’t care for it. American’s have a hip sense of humor and some other culture’s humor is silly to us. Look at humor on your local hispanic channel. There’s nothing clever or ironic about any of their humor. It’s mostly silly. Almost vaudvillian in nature.

I don’t know my way around Forever 21, but I have no problem being the only guy in a store full of attractive young women. If Marisa can’t find her way to a restaurant on a major intersection in Philly, there’s no way she knows where to find a dress shirt in a retail outlet with two floors full of stuff. She starts wandering around and I simply ask one of the sales ladies. They direct us to where we should go. I actually found the right shirt for her. I have three sisters and a daughter. I know my way around women’s clothing stores.

She is going to get the shirt and now we’re looking at shoes. I ask her size and she says five. I find a nice pair of dress shoes in her size. She likes them and for some reason thinks they are 30% off.

So we’re all set. We go up to the counter, and she starts looking at stuff to hold her hair back. She let’s another woman go ahead of her, and I don’t know if she found anything. We go next and the cashier is ringing up the sale. The shoes are $27. She asks the girl if they are 30% off and the girl says no. I tell her that $30 is cheap for that sweet pair of shoes. But Marisa tells the girl to take them off the bill because she doesn’t want them now. Okay, so just the shirt.

She swipes her card and it is declined. the whole deal is off. I assume there isn’t even enough in her account to cover a $15 shirt. I don’t know if she expected me to step in and pay for it, but if that’s what she thought, then she can kiss my black ass.

We end up leaving the store empty-handed having basically wasted an hour where she should have been at work. She tells me she brought the wrong card. I know that the “wrong card” usually means, “No money.”

I walk her down to Sofitel, and before she walks down the alley to go in at the service entrance, she gives me a hug and a kiss. I watch her as she goes, to make sure she gets in okay.

To sum up this ordeal I would say this. She’s a cute girl with a nice body. She looks younger than her thirty-two years. I would take her to the movies, if I felt there was any sort of future with this girl. But I kind of don’t like her. She had a chance to just have a nice free lunch today, and she fucked it up royally. I think the chewing with the mouth open just ruined it for me. she’s an unmade bed in all aspects of her life.

But… I would sleep with her. But that’s it. Just a purely physical and sexual coupling. I don’t want to hang out with her again. It was just too painful for me. This poor soul is just a scatterbrained idiot. But I am very forgiving, so you never know.

Maybe being a blonde suits her.

 

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Marisa – 2017 to Present – Part III – Lost in the Translation

One man’s quest to find love in this city

Marisa gets back to me in regard to my arrival at the restaurant. The lunch is set for 1pm.

Let the madness unfold here…

12:45

Me: I’m at the restaurant and our reservation is for 1pm

12:51

Her: Hey Ok, I’m gonna be there.

Me: Ok. (smiley face and thumbs up)

(She’s lost.)

1:00

Her: Hold on.

Me: Ok

1:22

Her: Hey where is actually. the hotel.

(Hotel? What? Why doesn’t she know where the place is? I’ve given her the name and address three times.)

Me: 18th and JFK Blvd. Right on the corner.

1:23

Her: the restaurant

Does she have a flip phone?

Me: Where are you? Yes. (Name of restaurant)

Her: Ok. Sorry. Walking. Cause. I’m.

Me: Ok. Where are you now? I’ve been waiting here for half an hour.

1:27

Her: I was lost. I’m sorry. I’m walking now.

Me: Where are you now? Ok

Her: I went the other side.

On the other side? The other side of what? The city? The Earth? Has she died and gone over to the other side and is texting me from beyond the grave?

It’s been forty-five minutes now. I have asked her three times now what her present location is, and she hasn’t responded with and answer. Where the fuck is she? I can walk from Penn’s Landing back to Rittenhouse in forty minutes.

Me: Ok. Where are you now?

1:35

Her: Near by

(Nearby what???? I hate lateness. As I said above, that was drilled into my soul by my father.)

Me: Near what? What is the cross street of your present location? ???

(I hear nothing but the familiar roar of frustrating crickets.)

I should fucking leave. On top of all, of this there are two assholes that have been sitting at MY table for over an hour and a half. They finished eating a half hour ago and are just dawdling.

I hate everyone now.

Except Mary. She doesn’t know this is a date with a young Filipino delish that looks like it’s not happening.

I haven’t heard anything from her. It’s been an hour that I’ve been waiting and texting this idiot.

Marisa stood me up.

It’s now nearly 2pm and I have been here for over an hour. I tell Mary I’m just going to leave and tell Marisa I have other appointments and I can’t wait around anymore. Mary agrees. I tell her I am very busy, but I miss her and want to see her. She is her usual self and feels the same. The thing with Mary is; she has never been married, no kids, so she isn’t romantically minded. She actually is unable to be lovey and flirty at all. She explained this to me on one of our dates. I understand. This tells me that I can either remove her armor or simply be the man who opens her up.

“I’m not a player” she says.

I ask her to explain. Mary says that she’s not used to being in the game anymore. “It takes me a long time to warm up.”

“There are other ways to warm you up, Mary.” I smile, and look away.

It’s all very interesting to me how I am now. I want her, but if I never saw her again, I’d be just fine. I see me in her apartment, watching movies with her and us kissing, and then me taking her. This is new to me. I normally have spent my life with younger women. Maybe now that I’m spending time with some of these older women, the scale has shifted, and now I’m the jewel.

I tell her that we should go to Doobies (awesome dive bar) and get some cheap drinks and food and catch up. She agrees. I tell her I’ve never left a restaurant because of a delayed or failed client. She says, “Tell them you were here and had to go meet other clients. It’ll put you in a position of strength. They were late or cancelled, and you were here on time. You were on point. They blew it. Now they owe you.”

Mary’s great.

I leave and head over to 17th and Market. I was supposed to have eaten lunch an hour ago. I head for my favorite hot dog street cart. I’m done with this chick. I order a grilled dog from the cart. I go for the brown mustard of course. I don’t need a bag. I’m going to ram that burnt crispy dog into my open maw like a baby Caiman.

I decide before my two afternoon appointments that have now been compromised by this silly, scatterbrained girl, I’ll stop over at the salon and commiserate with my partner, Achilles. I get there and rage out on how frustrated I am with these idiots. He agrees and comes back full force. We’re a good team.

Then this text comes in when I am at the salon. Remember, I got there at 12:45 for our 1pm lunch. It is now 2pm.

1:55

Her: Hey I’m here a cross. What is the restaurant. Name. I’m calling you. I’m here. Hi. Are you still here. Are you. Still here.

2:03

Me: I left

Her: Pls. Reply. Still here.

Me: Are you really there?

2:05

Her: Yes. Misconduct tavern. ? I’m here. Where are you

Me: Ok. On my way.

I jump in a taxi and head back to the restaurant. At this point I’m just doing it for the blog.

Her: I cannot.

Me: Cannot what?

Her: Use. The phone. To call now. I cannot. I was using. Someone. Phone. Ok.

2:08

Me: I’ll be there in 2 minutes

Her: K. I’m in restroo

I walk back into the restaurant

Me: Ok. I’m at the table.

Her: Ok

Goddammit.

 

Tune in tomorrow for the crazy conclusion!

 

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

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Marisa – 2017 to Present – Part I – The Friendly Hostess

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

I was sitting at the bar in the Sofitel hotel the other night with Church. Normally we would be at our other favorite bar, but it really depends on who’s working. The people and personalities are what really give life to a good bar. I love our other bar and adore the staff, but sometimes you have to change it up. What I love most about Sofitel is that it a quiet bar. It is plush and dark and classy. The staff knows us and Church is a beloved figure there. For once I am riding his coat tails here. His legend looms large here.

We’re sitting there chatting, and this lovely little Filipino hostess walks up and starts chatting with us. Obviously, dark almond eyes, raven hair, and olive skin. She looked late twenties or early thirties. It’s hard to tell. The bar is dark, and she looks young.

She immediately starts talking to us both, which is odd. The hostess or host never circle the bar and check on the clients. It’s refreshing and I love the attention. Church doesn’t know what to make of it, but I’m on it. She’s very sweet, and affable.

I’m sipping a martini, and I think Church was having a coffee. He excuses himself to the restroom, and I make my move. I give her a free tanning card for the salon and my new business card to the institute. I also ask her if she’d like to have lunch with me sometime. She says yes, and I type her name in my phone. I do my signature move, by handing her my phone. She instinctively types her number in and I have her. A swift and easy kill.

She says she has to go make her rounds and off she goes. Church returns and all is as it was. My friends know my life and what I do, but unlike some, I never reveal it all. That’s a sign of weakness. You have to always play your cards close to the vest. Give them all enough so that they trust you, but keep your dark powers to yourself. That’s what makes you who you are.

We hang for a bit, and she’s already texting me that she got cut early. Church loves being on his phone so it’s not unusual for me to be on mine at the same time. I’m texting her. She’s adorable, and based on her forwardness, I know she’s available.

We leave, and as usual, Church drives me home, which I really appreciate. It’s winter and my man makes sure I get home safe.

Marisa and I text each other over the next week or so and I try to set a lunch date. I have to be careful, but I have to be bold. I feel alive when I am negotiating deals. Whether it is in the boardroom or the bedroom. My lifestyle isn’t for everyone. If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. I feel like the man I was in my late teens and early twenties again. But I’m now middle-aged. No more do I have the fears and trappings of a younger man. My time on Earth has taught me well. I have overcome all of the bullshit I carried around with me for years. Life is more simple now.

I’m in sales. I have a lot of lines in the water at all times. I only surround myself with good people now. It clears the mind. All of the crazies are gone to spin-off into the universe somewhere. It means nothing to me now. If this girl wants to have lunch with me, fine. If not, who cares. I am now surrounded by willing, eager candidates.

I am not being arrogant. I’m a gentleman, and will always be. It’s in my nature since I was a teenager. That will never change. But I am not getting any younger, and if things don’t move forward now, I have to move on and cut loose the detritus. There’s always more to do and more living to get to.

Based on our texts, Marisa seems a little bit erratic. She’ll text me at 10pm and ask me if I want to meet for a beer in the interim. I tell her I am home and going to sleep. I can’t tell her that I am sitting in my chair watching season eight of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, drinking vodka clubs and smoking cigarettes, in a ripped T-shirt and an old pair of shorts. I just don’t feel like moving. I’ll get to her when I get to her. On my time.

So I set the date. Lunch at one of my favorite spots. She gives off a flaky vibe, so I know I’ll have to hard confirm this one to make it happen. I can just sense these things now.

Here’s the thing. Mary works as hostess at this restaurant. I don’t know why I chose this place. It could be a “worlds collide” moment for any other man. But I dig the danger. I have romantic designs on Mary, and I’m bringing a fresh baby to my table on a day she’s working. Why would I do this? Because I know the risk is low, as well as the value of both of these women. I can pull it off. What could go wrong?

 

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

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Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Chapter 4 – My “A” Game Lunch

I wasn’t sure, but I sure felt the euphoria of Annabelle. It had nothing to do with her, but at that point, neither of us knew that.

I had sent an email to Annabelle sometime after our “First Date”  thanking her for a wonderful time. I also asked her if she’d like to meet me for lunch at Jones (Stephen Starr restaurant at 8th and Chestnut) I knew the General Manager and knew I would get the exclusive hook up.

She got back to me and said yes!

I made a reservation, and got there early. My table was clear and I took a seat. the staff knew what to do. I waited. Annabelle arrived and I waved her over. She she had a t-shirt on and was wearing a pair of denim cutoffs that showed off her long slender legs. I hadn’t seen them before, but at nearly six feet tall, she had incredible pins.

She said she had just come from the pool where she had been swimming. I didn’t care. I was just happy that she had shown up. She had this scrubbed, day at the beach air about her. I liked it.

Within minutes a bowl of their signature mac and cheese, (which is glorious at Jones) arrived with a side of siracha. Annabelle was impressed. She wasn’t accustomed to going to restaurants with older men that made things happen. I could tell this. She was a simple girl who was surrounded by artsy people who had nothing.

We dug into the mac and cheese with great fury. Baby was hungry and liked to eat. We chatted, and I was happy to see this beauty again. I did my nervous talking thing I do with all new women in my life. But she was laughing a lot and I knew it was working. I was still friends with Michelle, but she was moving on with Delaware Dave, and I was feeling the power with this one. (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day)

I gave her a dvd of “The Art of the Steal” the documentary about the Barnes museum that we went to on our first date. I also brought her two miniatures of Chivas Regal’s Maple Whiskey, or as I call it, Hangover Nightmare Juice. At some point on our first date she mentioned that she liked maple syrup. Annabelle was delighted. How crazy will it be when I go to her apartment and find that she has no DVD player or a TV???

Sadly, I was still in love with the idea of love and didn’t know what I was getting myself into. If someone had pulled me aside and told me that this whole thing was a mistake that would have been great. But I know I would have done it anyway. I missed the drug of love I once had with Michelle and wanted it again. Annabelle was twenty-six and I wanted her. I didn’t even care so much about her age, I just needed to feed the addict.

That was me back then. I suppose that was me always. The failure that could always close beautiful young women. I wanted Annabelle to feed my addiction to love. I was the guy who couldn’t have a healthy mutual relationship with a woman. I had already gone down in a ball of flames years ago. A failed marriage, and a string of bad relationships. Nearly more than I could count. The last few had failed because they were younger than me and wanted marriage and kids. I had already destroyed that and had a kid to prove it. A hundred thousand dollars blown on child support and a broken family. Nothing worked. I wasn’t cut out to be in a relationship, let alone a marriage.

I think maybe I should just be alone. I love women. Desperately. But what if for some reason I am only in love with the idea of love and I am unable to actually be in love. I want Annabelle. She’s receptive, and artist, blonde, long legs…

I’m a fool. I am only chasing and courting her because she is young and beautiful. Just like Michelle. That unattainable gazelle that is just out of reach. I must have her. But do I really know her? Is it a match? She works in the arts. They’re a bunch of weirdo losers in the “arts”. We have nothing in common. Just this common connection. A girl I met in a bar that is kind of finding her way in life.

But I’m happy in this moment. I love the sound of her warm voice.

The lunch goes well. It’s the 17th of July. My father’s birthday. He’s 83 today. I picked this day because 17 is a common number in my family. It keeps turning up. That’s why this second date is happening. Annabelle is along for the ride. I’ll call my father tonight and tell him all about it. He’ll listen intently and live through me for once. But not really. He’s had his life. It has been so much more colorful than mine. Just like when I’m talking to him and telling a story. He’s not listening. I know he’s just waiting for me to shut up so he can talk.

He’ll ask her name, and I’ll tell him. He’ll access her heritage and maybe approve. If she sounds western European she’s good.

I remember when I was out in L.A. and working as a musician. My girlfriend at the end was a nineteen year old black girl. I remembered when we finally packed it in and came home. I loved and trusted my dad, because he was awesome. I told him about the black girl and what had happened. I’ll never forget what he said, ” Are you into blacks now?”

I should date and fall in love with a beautiful black girl just to smite that motherfucker. Yea, I can call my dad a motherfucker, because he fucked my mom and made me.

But I digress…

The lunch goes really well. She was excited about the pair of miniatures of Chivas Regal Maple.(The shit tastes terrible)  I also told her I would have asked her out to a second date sooner, but I was waiting for the Art of the Steal DVD to be delivered in the mail!

I have to go meet with the nice people at Chris’ Jazz Bar and she has to go to a photo shoot.

We go outside, and her bike is locked to a pole out front. A bicycle. A simple girl. She’s young and beautiful. Oh, those legs.

I’m in love with the idea of love.

What’s wrong with me?

I tell her I have to go and we hug. I remember very specifically, I went in for the hug…and went for the kiss on the cheek back by the ear. I think we all want to kiss on the lips. But you must sometimes settle for the cheek. It’s just the stupid rules of dating. Especially in the beginning.

She tells me her birthday is coming up soon.

The baby seal is hot. She’s been sitting on the rocks with her mom. She decides to jump into the sea to cool off. The water is crisp, and frothy.

Twenty five yards away, a dark grey dorsal fin cuts through the  water, sensing the life. Feeling the drug of the next love affair. Ready to feed.

I tell her I have some good ideas for her birthday, and she agrees. (I’m so going to make this happen)

I kiss her cheek and say that she’s great.

I walk west on Sansom. I text her that it was amazing seeing her and want to see her again.

When I get to Chris’ Jazz Cafe, I’m waiting for the general manager, and I get a text.

It’s Annabelle. She agrees, and gives me the XO

When I saw the XO I knew it was on. I kissed her on the cheek. That’s still the friend zone. But you can cross over. If a girl throws you an XO in an early text, you’re in boys.

I wasn’t sure, but I sure felt the euphoria of Annabelle. It had nothing to do with her, but at that point, neither of us knew that.

She wanted her dad, and I just wanted to be loved by pretty girls when I was thirteen. So here we are, and we’ll have to see what happens.

 

 

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Mary – 2014 to Present – Chapter 2 – New Years Day Brunch 2016 – Part One

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

Normally, a dating post like this one would appear on a Monday. But since I’m publishing three days a week now, to preserve continuity with the events of New Years weekend, this is technically the third installment of the events that occurred over my New Years weekend. Clarice, Carly, and Mary is a trilogy that should be together.

Since our first date Mary and I have met for lunch at Capital Grille and also at Square 1682 again for drinks. We went to Capital Grille because she said she’s known the bartender for fifteen years. She says she gets the hook up. I dig the hook up when I get it so I was down. The lunch was delicious and the company was good. Poor Mary, was having some oral pain for some dental work she needed done, so instead of steak she went with the salmon. But at nearly sixty-nine years of age, she’s hanging tough and looking good doing it. I did the burger to keep the cost down, but in the end we didn’t get any hook up. Good news is, Mary kicked in over forty dollars towards the bill, so Mary is clutch. The moral of this story is, if your name isn’t Phicklephilly or Church, you don’t really get the real hookup.

So this would technically be our fourth date. Mary’s cataract surgery was complete and the vision in her right eye is now clear again. After my date New Years Eve brunch with Clarice, (See: Clarice – 2016 to Present – The CEO – New Years Eve Brunch) and the wedding set up with Carly, (See: Carly – 2014 to Present – New Years Eve) I was ready to spend New Years Day with Mary.

These have been my kind of holidays and I think I finally got it right. In December I saw my family in the middle of the month at our annual holiday party.

Fantastic.

Like I’ve said before I’ve never been a fan of New Years because it’s drunken amateur night. Just can’t do it. So this year, I’ve managed to build these little meetings around the holiday, without actually having to participate in said holiday.

I decided to take Mary to brunch at the City Diner at Broad and South. It was formerly Juniper Commons. A Kevin Spraga restaurant. It was an abject failure. They had eighty different gins. You could pick your club soda from a load of different flavors. It had a diner decor and played 80’s music throughout. I had brunch there when it first opened. I had this magnificent pancake concoction. Best ever. The two times I went back my buddy Church said the burgers were sub par, and another time I had brunch with Trish there, the food outright sucked. Who wants gin, let alone eighty different kinds?

The place went under in less than six months. Bitch, please.

A Greek family came in and turned the place into a twenty-four hour diner. Crushing it. perfect spot and perfect idea. Like my partner Achilles over at the salon, the Greeks just know how to get it done. Wait until some big shot goes in and does the whole build out on the restaurant and wait for it to fail. Then go in and open your restaurant and all of the stuff is already there to make it work.

Genius.

I meet her there and we’re all set. I called a few days before and made a reservation for a window booth on the Broad street side. The mummers parade goes right down Broad street all day on New years. Perfect vantage point to dine while watching the parade go by. Mary is impressed. It’s what I’m good at. Being at the parade can sometimes be a shitshow, but being behind glass and away from the crowd and noise, it’s a delight.

We have a really nice Irish girl who will be our server. It’s about 1:15pm at this point. I order a Yards Pale, and Mary goes with the prosecco. How about that? Two different dates in two days, and they order the same thing. Just goes to show, ladies dig bubbly when it comes to day drinking. Place is swinging. Very busy. Juniper Commons was never like this.

Mary and I are chatting and catching up on what’s been happening in our lives over the holidays. The server comes by and we’re not ready. That always happens. I get chatting with someone and forget to look at the menu. She returns in a bit and we’re ready. Mary goes with the Eggs Benedict with Canadian bacon, and I have the french toast deluxe. Deluxe means they give me a sizable slice of ham, two pieces of bacon and a single sausage. Just a glorious brunch item. Order is in, and now it’s maybe 1:40pm.

We chat away, and order another round. The diner fills and several large parties come in. We’re laughing and talking as the parade rolls by. The people watching alone is almost better than the parade, and we’ve got a court side seat.

Time goes by.

More time goes by.

And even more time goes by.

We’re not starving but it’s been an hour and no food.

An hour!

At a fucking diner!

At Midtown diner they crack that food off to you so fast you barely tell them what you want and it’s in front of you. And Little Pete’s? Lightning. We can’t figure out what’s wrong. The server comes over and apologizes, several times. We’re not angry because we’re enjoying each others company the time sort of just rolls by. But we should be a little cross about this situation. The server tells us it’s the kitchen’s fault. They have had a few large tables come in and they are in the weeds. But that’s not our problem. I understand the challenges of the service industry and so does Mary…first hand.

Once it’s an hour and a half, and we’re about to order our third round, the server returns once again. She apologizes and is really sweet. We tell her it’s not her fault. I suggest that we pay for our drinks, and when our food eventually comes out after two hours, we eat it and tip her up to what the whole meal would cost, but the manager or owner comps our lunch. In theory this seems fair.

But the server tells us that they are Greek. (we know this) Any shortcoming that occur in the diner are the fault of the server. But we tell her she is completely innocent in all of this. She insists they will take it out of her pay and she’ll get in trouble.

Well that sucks. I can’t let that happen. We tell her we’re rescinding the offer and to forget we ever said anything. We express this with great earnest because she’s under enough stress, running around all day serving hungry cranky customers. I drop the idea.

Mary agrees. We’re cool. The server tells us just two more orders ahead of us and they’ll bring us our food. We’re both a little buzzed at this point and are still having a lovely time.

A few minutes later our orders from nearly two hours ago finally arrive. Fresh and hot just as if they were delivered minutes after we ordered. Presentation looks solid, and we’re both satisfied. We tear into our platters like hungry children. (#firstworldproblems) it’s all delish!

The server comes back and tells us if we want another round it’s on them. I think we’re square. It really wasn’t bad sitting there with Mary chatting away on a beautiful day. We’re finishing up and she gets a glass of wine and I go with a cocktail. The Scofflaw. It contains Crown Royal, dry vermouth, grenadine, orange bitters, and an Amarena cherry. Not a bad, spirit forward drink for a diner at 4:30 in the afternoon.

We’ve been here all afternoon!

We enjoy our free drinks and I pay the bill, but I told Mary that since she’s had so many medical woes lately, I wanted to do something for her. She’s been paying dutch normally when we go out, and I appreciate that. It’s New Years day of 2017, and I enjoy her company. I want to do something for her.

Tune in tomorrow to find out where these crazy kids end up next!

 

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Annabelle – 2012 – Chapter 1 – Nice to Meet You

I get the bill. “The second one was on me.”

The title for the Annabelle series was going to be: “The Final Elegant Arc” but in light of what I’ve learned in the last year, I can no longer call it that. So I’m not going to call it anything.

My life has its moments of elegance and moments of pain, but it is far from final.

I was meeting ex-girlfriend Michelle (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – Nice to Meet You) for brunch on a Saturday. She was getting her hair done in the morning and then we would do our usual Saturday ritual. I was early as usual and her hair appointment was running long. (That kind of amazing beauty takes time. Just happy we’re still friends!)

I stepped into one of the shittiest hotel bars I’ve ever been in. Just because it was a block from the hair salon. The Warwick Hotel is a beautiful place on 17th and Locust. They have a restaurant a coffee shop and a bar connected to the hotel. Prime Rib is a nice spot on Locust and Tavern 17 is at 17th and Chancellor. I’ve been to this bar many times before when friends would visit the city and stay at the Warwick. The drinks suck, the service blows, the management turns over on a semi-annual basis and the way the place is laid out is in a way where you can’t see anything. There are all of these large pillars or supports that are everywhere through the bar area, and you can’t see what’s going on at the bar. The bartender may not see you and you’ll have to wait.  You can’t find your friend, etc. It’s just a suck bar.

But I thought the number 17 would bring me luck. 17 is my family’s lucky recurring number. It is very prevelant in my father’s life and I thought there could be something there. Recently my friend Trish (See: Trish – 2011 to Present – The She Wolf) asked what my birthday was. I told her 8/9/62. She said,  “What’s 8 plus 9?” I responded…17.

I walk in a little hung over from the night before. The website I worked for at the time had a huge party the night before and we were all a little shattered from it. I walk in Tavern 17 around 1pm on that fateful Saturday. It’s empty and dark. Which for once I was happy about. Behind the bar was a very tall, fresh faced, slender blonde working the bar.

I swagger up to the bar and ask for a Corona. I introduced myself and run my usual program on her. “What’s your name, what do you like to do when you’re not working here?” She tells me her name, and says she’s a photographer as her full-time gig. The Corona is crisp and deliciously ice-cold. It’s actually just what I needed.

Something tall and golden that is no longer Michelle.

Annabelle seems nice and I’m making her laugh with my fatal charm. She’s 5’ll”. Taller and leaner than Michelle. We exchange business cards. I tell her I’ll check out her website. (Michelle is still way prettier though! Michelle reads this blog!)

I text Michelle and let her know where I am. I’m having a beer and she can just come here when she’s finished.

I crush the first Corona just to knock the edge off the day. Annabelle pops the cap from another and places it front of me. It’s just as good as the first. There is no one else in this shitty bar at this time of day, and she’s happy to have someone with which to chat.

She says she does a lot of head shots for local actors in the city. Annabelle is very connected with the local theater community here in Philly. She also does some wedding work as well. I’m assuming that pays pretty good. I can’t put and age on her but she looks to be about 24 or 25.

I’m feeling better now. Chatting with this tall blonde is good and the cold beer has reactivated the alcohol still in my system, giving me a gentle but effervescent buzz.

The door squeaks and the sunny afternoon light pours into the bar. Michelle enters the bar. “Oh, and here comes another charming and lovely blonde.” I say on cue. I introduce the two ladies and we have a laugh. “Your hair looks great, Michelle”

I get the bill. “The second one was on me.”

“Thank you, Annabelle!” I tip up to what the bill would have been and gather my stuff. We say goodbye to Annabelle and head out of Tavern 17 into the afternoon to have some delicious brunch and drinks.

Then we’d probably head back to my apartment and watch Netflix, sip wine, and smoke cigarettes. I’d be in my chair and she’d recline on my sofa.

I later checked out Annabelle’s website and reached out to her on Facebook, but nothing ever came of it. I didn’t ask her out on a date or anything. I may have asked if she ever wanted to meet for lunch or something. My usual gentle M.O.

But like I said, crickets.

When you meet someone like that, and it’s brief, there is a good chance they will quickly fade from your memory. I met tons of people back in 2012. I had a job that was 50% socializing. I didn’t forget Annabelle, but I wouldn’t see her again until a year later in 2013.

And it would be a whole new ballgame.

 

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Michelle – 2007 to Present – Chapter 10 – Night & Day

A week went by after the Friends of Rittenhouse Ball crashing incident. I figured that we got away with it without incident.

Michelle: “We’re going to get fired.”

Me: “No we’re not. My numbers are good, so are yours and everybody loves you. We’re in the clear.”

But within a few days we were called into the President’s office. He ripped us new ones. Then they sent us over to human resources and we were written up. Those fuckers. I hate them all. As a matter of fact none of them are at that company any longer. The Prez eventually left, our manager the crazy Russian was fired, and the lady from HR left a year ago. So we’re all equal now. We didn’t even care that we got written up. We were both prepared to go work in a restaurant somewhere together if they had really fired us.

Ain’t love grand?

The whole thing blew over and we were all none the worse for any of it. Funny thing was, if anything it emboldened us even more to pull stuff. We were high on love and life and we just wanted to have fun. People would overhear our conversations and buy us drinks. We were a little surprised by that but loved getting free drinks. We were out almost every night. We’d hang out at Twenty Manning and spend our last $20 on wine on Sunday afternoons. Michelle even went as far as taking out a $1000 loan from our credit union just to maintain our lavish lifestyle. We didn’t buy a bunch of things, we just went out and drank and ate all the time. We’d be hungover and go to The Continental Midtown for lunch and our favorite bartender Mike G would hook us up with cool free drinks. He made us these cool drinks called Kate Moss. I think it was champagne, a shot of booze and a sugar cube which represented a lump of cocaine. We’d hang out at Chris’ Jazz Cafe and close the place. It would be two o’ clock in the morning and we’d be sitting at the bar drinking and smoking cigarettes. Speaking of which. I quit smoking cigarettes ten years before when my daughter was born. But sometimes Michelle had trouble lighting her Parliaments in the wind, so I’d do it for her. Next thing you know I would take a little puff. She was worried I’d get re-addicted to tobacco. I told her I’d only be hooked if I started buying them.

I started buying them again. God damn it.

We’d supposed to be out making sales calls and we’d be napping on a blanket in Rittenhouse Park. We’d also pack wine and snacks and go to Concerts in the Park every Wednesday night. We’d go to Devon and destroy an assorted seafood platter. We drank oceans of martinis. We’d be banged up after a crappy day of meetings and sales, and head right over to Mantra (Which is now where Dandelion is located on 18th Street) We would run out of money drinking martinis and the awesome bartender Kevin would just keep bringing them to us. I would always go back the next day and give him money.

Her bitch faced roommate traveled a lot and we’d go to Michelle’s apartment and drink her roommate’s wine. She always drank Clos du Bois chardonnay and we would drink the whole thing. We used to have to keep going to the liquor store to buy replacements for her. She never found out, but we must have replaced her wine at least five times. I still had an apartment in Pennsauken, New Jersey but I was hardly ever there. I practically lived in Michelle’s room. It was insane. We would work all day together, and then hang out every night and sleep together and then do it all over again the next day.

We were out of control and loving every minute of it. One night I just lifted up Michelle’s skirt out front of the Philadelphia Public Library and went down on her right there. Her sitting on the wall and me just going to town on her. Right on the street.

One day while out on four-legged calls, we crashed a private event for Deaf Children at the Rittenhouse Hotel. We drank their booze, and ate their food. Grabbed a couple of gift bags and left. I remember us dumping out the contents on the ground and just grabbing what we wanted. I took the DVD of North by Northwest, Michelle grabbed up the make up. I know all of this is wrong but we just didn’t care. Nobody probably heard us leave anyway.

Hanging out in Alma de Cuba, going anywhere we wanted. Michelle would take me to bars and I wouldn’t even remember having gone there we were so drunk most of the time. Once we decided to go see a psychic. Michelle believed it that stuff back then. I know it’s just a parlor trick, but it’s sometimes fun to do. But the night we went, this woman started bring up all of this stuff about my life and it was freaking me out. I started crying during the reading. Bizarre!

Oh here’s one… One of the local sales reps had just signed a new client. It was the G Lounge. I called it the D Lounge because only a bunch of douchebags went there. But he was all happy about getting them. It was a thirty thousand dollar ad campaign. Somebody came up with the brilliant idea to make a promotional video for them. But they would use Michelle and our boss, (the crazy Russian) as romantic interests in the video. That is wrong on so many levels. They went and shot the video and of course Michelle looked amazing, but after that everyone was drinking and our boss tried to kiss Michelle! Awful!

Michelle always said: “I have so much fun with you, that when the day is over, I wish we could do it all again.”

Oh, and here is the crazy irony of it all. After shooting the video and running it on their website, running banner ads, email blasts and newsletter insertions, G Lounge never paid the thirty thousand dollar bill. Never. Then they went out of business. There is now a place called 1925 in that space. It is equally awful.

 

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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