Phicklephilly – Happy New Year – 2020

Wow. What a Year!

What a Decade it’s been!

How do you like my new Homepage pic? In the last few years the skyline here in Philly has dramatically changed. The town has really boomed in the last 12 years I’ve lived here. So I figured the pic should reflect how lovely our city looks now as we enter a brand new decade!

I’ve been writing Phicklephilly for over 3 years now, and it’s been an incredible journey of dating, love, relationships, and new discoveries!

I’d like to first express my incredible gratitude to everyone who has chosen to read, like, comment, and most of all, follow my blog. I appreciate every one of you and will always try to respond to any of your comments on any of my stories.

Can we talk numbers for a moment before I get to the good stuff?

Here’s where we are as of this writing. Over the last 3 years, I’ve had over 55,000 visitors to the site, and over 100,000 page views! I can’t believe my good fortune.

Thank you all!

I started this blog back in the Fall of 2016 with a single post on a Monday about a date I went on. After writing it, I thought… How the heck am I going to come up with something for next week? But I wrote something else and was on my way. It was a very long and slow progress in the beginning. (The only way to become a writer is to simply write!)

Then I’d do an update on the occasional Wednesday. Then came Tales of Rock. Then Crazy Dating Stories from my past. What followed was Dating and Relationship Advice. What was once a once a week thing has grown to a daily forum!

Top Blog Posts of 2019

You want to know what’s weird? Out of everything I’ve written on here, (1800 posts!) the most popular thing I’ve ever composed is a post entitled, Asian Massage Parlors – The Fun Part. It’s had over 2700 page views in the last 2 years! People all over the world read that piece every day! I don’t know why, but it’s an odd anomaly based on what phicklephilly is usually about.

Another strange phenomenon has been the success of articles I’ve written about two actresses that were on a wonderful program from the BBC. Death in Paradise. It’s a great little series that takes place at a fictional resort. The local police force solves a different murder each episode. Actresses, Sara Martin, and Josephine Jobert have both been on the show at different times. I was completely taken with both of these lovely, talented women. Well, apparently, so is the world. Anything I’ve written about either of them have been some of my most successful posts ever! (2400+ views each!) You’d think a Dating and Relationship themed blog wouldn’t get that kind of traction writing about actresses that aren’t even popular here in the US. But apparently, globally these ladies are beloved. Congrats ladies! Thanks for making my blog great!

There are several other posts that are wildly popular as well, but mostly people like stories about my teenage years. One of the most popular ones is about a young lady named Lola whom I had the pleasure of having as my little girlfriend back in the 70’s. It’s a sexy, fun tale that has somehow caught the imagination of my readers. (1200 views!)

Also, it seems anything sexy seems to generate quite a bit of buzz. One of the top performers is entitled, Hookers on Tinder. (All time views: 3200!) I’m still a bit surprised by all of this, but I promise to keep trying to create quality, fun content that people like to read.

This kind of data tells me that the people have spoken, and maybe I need to dig deeper into my checkered past and pull out some more stories from my youth!

I’ve written so many heartfelt pieces about my life, family and feelings. No one really cares much about me working through my issues as a kid. They love the crazy, sexy stories and dating advice! (I don’t really mind what you like. Just keep reading folks!)

Anyway, let’s talk about what’s coming up on Phicklephilly in 2020.

 

Dating and Relationship Advice

This series began back in 2017. I would publish content on the weekends. It just seemed like a natural progression for the blog to take. I wrote about dating and relationship tales from my own life, and thought, why not give a little advice to help others?

It was okay for awhile, but then a friend of mine was going through a difficult separation from his wife and I wanted to help. I of course, rallied around him to assist. But I also thought, what if I try to write something every day that references dating and relationship guidance? I’ll do it every day for 30 days and he can read it, and it’ll help acclimate him to the new dating world after being off the market for 12 years.

Well, that turned into 90 days. Then I simply pushed on and kept researching and writing, and before I knew it, it became an everyday thing.

But… after a year I realized he was too busy to read it and it felt like a waste of my time. I also wanted to focus on the things I wanted to write about in my own life. I was tired of having to edit 14 posts for over 3 hours every Sunday night, just to be ready to publish for the upcoming week’s material.

But then something magical happened. 

My daily traffic DOUBLED! 

I liked that very much. But after a year and a half of that I decided around the end of the third quarter of 2019 I was sick and tired of writing dating and relationship advice every day. I decided to stop doing it by year end and focus on stories that were exclusively about my life experiences from then on.

But… it got to be about a month ago and I realized that dating and relationship advice had become the bedrock, the foundation of the blog itself. It seemed people loved reading them and always enjoyed the content and commented to let me know that it was helping them in their daily lives.

So… Happy 2020! I will continue to try to bring you the best and most interesting dating and relationship content I can for at least another year. (Knowing me, I’ll probably never stop writing about the subject because there’s so much to tell!)

Thank you for all of your words and support. Dating and Relationship Advice is here to stay!

Did you know there’s a Language Translation widget on here now? It’s really increased my global reach, and I like that people everywhere in the world can now enjoy my stories in their native language. Phicklephilly can be read in any language with a simple click of a button! (Now you have no excuse not to read my blog!)

Sun Stories

These stories will continue to be told through 2020 but probably not much further than that. If you keep reading the blog you’ll find out why. However, I’ll be introducing some new people that have come to work at the salon so we’ll see how they work out. The lovely Amelia and Eileen come to mind. I hope you enjoy reading about these great women whom I’ve had the honor to know.

Crazy Dating Stories

I’m almost out of gas on these stories. They’ve been fun to recount, but there are only so many in my memory. I’m sure there’ll always be some crazy story to tell based on who I am, but for the most part, they’ve been exhausted at this point. I will eventually tell the tales of my young life in New Jersey with some legendary people, but there are still some from my time in California in the early Eighties, but beyond that not much is left. Which brings me to…

California Dreamin’ 1982-1984

I really enjoyed writing about the journey on the road to Los Angeles back in those days. I think I did justice to the trip itself, but I know there’s so much more to tell. I still have more stories to tell, but they’ll no longer be running every Friday anymore. I’ll probably write a few more and run them on Saturdays. I’ll compose them as the memories surface, but I’ll write them when the mood strikes me. I promise they’ll be interesting, but for now I need to focus on the things that are happening in my life right now. (So, they’re not going away, just published a little less.) Spoiler Alert: George Carlin and Arnold Schwartzenegger will both be making appearances, and I have proof that I’ve met them both!

Erotic Fiction

I tried my hand at writing erotica in 2019. I thought this would be a fun foray into something a bit more racy than the usual Phicklephilly dating fare. I worked hard on creating rich stories with solid plot lines and characters with a bit of sex. I thought they’d be a big hit with my readers.

I was dead wrong.

Murder Mystery Weekend, Another Life, A Unique Gift and The Beach House all withered and died like a house plant that gets no light or water. I get it. No one read any of them. (Okay, like one guy read maybe one or two of them, but that’s just not enough for me to continue these erotic series) Frankly, I liked the idea of A Unique Gift. (The whole mind control thing tickled me.) I loved writing The Beach House and thought it would make a solid book, or movie. But alas… all of it failed miserably. I appreciate anyone who took a look, but I get it. It just didn’t work.

All of that content and more sexy, NSFW stories can be found on the following site:

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/about/

So, going forward, the only things that will run over on that site (La Petite Mort) will be content that’s too racy for phicklephilly. I’ll post a NSFW link on any given story and you’ll be able to click on it and go read the story over there. I’d simply abandon the site, but based on recent events, I think I’m going to need that it to be able to publish some of my upcoming adventures. But for now, Erotic Fiction is done on Phicklephilly.

Tinder Moments

This was a monthly series where I collected funny, crazy dating profiles from online dating sites. Frankly, I don’t really use those sites anymore and got tired of collecting, and cutting and pasting all of that nonsense into my blog. So they’re also sadly dead on this site. You can always go back and read the old ones. They’re pretty funny!

Phicklephilly and Sun Stories published as books on Amazon Kindle

I tried to get two books published over a year and a half ago and ran into so many technical difficulties with the team at Amazon, I decided to scrap the idea. However, I’d like to try again in 2020 and also have another work of fiction entitled, Angel with a Broken Wing, I’d like to try to publish this year. So, fingers crossed! I’m going to give it another shot! Wish me luck!

Tales of Rock

I still love researching and writing this column. As a musician and a fan of music, it’s fun to dig up these stories about the musicians we all love and hate. They’ll continue to run every Sunday at 8am through 2020. I’ve also added another feature entitled, The Best Band You Never Heard. It’ll run on the first Sunday of every month and introduce you to just that. Great bands you may never have heard about that rock! Tales of Rock is here to stay!

Phicklephilly the Podcast

I’ve done a few of these on Spotify and enjoyed making them. If I have time I’d love to do a podcast series about a former love of my life, Michelle. I still miss her friendship and would like to create a kind of audio book type thing so you can hear my stories in my own voice. I’d also like to have guests on and interview interesting people about a myriad of different subjects. Please stay tuned, this is new ground for me and any feedback is always welcome!

Guest Bloggers

There’s one person’s blog I’m interested in promoting this year on Phicklephilly. I enjoy supporting other artist’s work. I’ve done it in the past. But here’s the thing. It has to fit with what I’m creating on this forum and sadly, I really have little time these days to add anything other than the content I work to publish here everyday. I’m not ruling it out, but I just don’t want to bite off more than I can chew this year.

Dating

The core formula of Phicklephilly has always been my personal experiences here in Philadelphia. Although Dating and Relationship Advice has become the foundation of the blog that carries it forth, I believe the stories about my life lie at the center of its existence.

I live a quiet and private life now, but have always believed in absolute transparency in the words that I write here. I have no illusion as to who I am, or what I am in this world. I’m not ashamed of anything I’ve done, and it’s all from the heart.

Let’s review what’s been happening.

Michelle

She was my girlfriend over 10 years ago. I still sometimes think about her, and you can read her series on Phicklephilly from 2016-2017. Originally there were only about 15 chapters but it will probably swell to 24 based on events and time. But I assure you, Michelle is not coming back. I miss her and wish her well, but it is what it is. Michelle is the one who got away.

Cherie

Cherie is my lovely girlfriend I started seeing near the end of 2016. That relationship has weathered time, distance, and my dalliances with other women. The issues in this union have been ongoing. The distance factor: She lives 40 miles away in Pottstown, PA. Our age difference: 30 years. Our work schedules: We both work crazy hours. Her family obligations: Lives with her parents and sister and has a young son. We rarely see each other. It sucks, because she’s a wonderful lady.

Sadly, when I look back on the last year or so, our tender relationship has been reduced to little more than a series of booty calls due to the sheer lack of time either of us have to see each other. Cherie is a great girl, but I have a feeling that in 2020 this relationship will sadly meet it’s end. (But, I could be wrong!)

Kita

She’s the Asian girl I met a year and a half ago at the tanning salon. A lovely, sweet girl trying to navigate her life at college here in Philly. (You can go back and read the entire sordid odyssey on this blog.) I never saw any of this coming and feel bad about it. We dated a little bit, but it felt more like a mentor/student relationship that recently spun out of control in glorious fashion. To be honest with you, at the time of this writing I don’t know if I’ll ever see her again.

Jazmin

This has been a recent, unexpected development. I don’t quite know what to make of this Persian beauty. Her appearance has been quite unexpected and I have no idea where this one will lead me. (Probably into trouble!)

Rebecca

Ah… last but certainly not least is the ethereal, Rebecca. I met her back in 2016 on Tinder when I first started writing this blog and got back into the dating arena. She predates Cherie, but disappeared for a period of time. I found her absolutely enchanting despite her then chaotic lifestyle. She recently resurfaced, and I decided to rerun her original series from the Fall of 2016.

At the time, she drifted in and out of my life. But I met Cherie and she took precedence. Cherie quickly became my main squeeze and I gave little thought as to what happened to Rebecca. I was sort of falling for her back then, but she was so flaky it was hard to lock on to her in a meaningful way. I get it. A young lady with a busy life. But there was just something wonderful about her that I could never quite possess. That obviously made her even more desirable to me.

I wanted to go back and release the original series and publish everything that happened leading up to her doing what she did. I had some drafts that I never published back then and wanted to tell the whole story now that she’s appeared back in Philadelphia. I was too busy with my new love, Cherie to even think about her back then. I hope you find her series as interesting as I do. I loved writing about her back then and I guess I just felt the story needed to be told once and for all. At this point it’s more of a nostalgia piece than anything.

 

Other than that I’ve been leading a pretty quiet and uneventful life. I like to work and stay busy. I feel like old Ben Kanobi from Star Wars, A New Hope, Episode IV. Not Obi Wan out fighting the Empire, just old Ben hanging out in his little house watching Netflix.

Sometimes I feel like all of my memories are here on phicklephilly and scattered in a bunch of letters and photo albums in my house.

But… I’m still alive and well and I’m sure there’ll be some new adventures I’ll explore in this brand new decade!

Thank you again for reading Phicklephilly loyal readers!

Onward and upward into The Roaring 20’s!

Thank you!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

 

Zoolon Forever!

‘We’re All Wearing Diapers’: Shocking New Year’s Eve Truth

There are only a handful of cities with celebrations so spectacular on New Year’s Eve that they’ve built an international reputation on it.

At the top of the list, arguably, is Sydney – for it’s magnificent and world-class fireworks display on the city’s sparkling harbour.

Perhaps the most iconic, however, is the ball drop in New York’s Times Square – otherwise known as “the Crossroads of the World”.

It’s where some two million people pack the streets in the core of the Big Apple up to 16 hours before the clock strikes midnight. They come for the spectacle: a free concert featuring some of the world’s biggest stars; an illuminated ball that drops from above a high-rise building, marking the end of one year and the start of the next; and an explosion of confetti, with handwritten wishes written on each piece from members of the public, fluttering through the skies above the bustling streets. To be a part of it and feel the electricity in person is on the bucket list of many people all over the world. The celebration is so popular that revellers arrive in the morning to secure prime position before it fills up and police block access.

But there’s a catch that most tourists who flock to the city for New Year’s Eve are largely unaware of: There are no bathroom facilities. Zilch. No Portaloos, no public rest rooms, and no access to restaurant or bar facilities for non-customers. And in a place so packed that it can take hours just to shuffle from one block to the next – and that’s outside of police pen “lock-in” periods – it’s a discovery many revellers don’t make until it’s too late.

Those privy to the set-up, however, have a secret: adult nappies.

New Year's Eve fireworks display over Times Square, New York, USA.
New Year’s Eve fireworks display over Times Square, New York, USA.

It’s said that the streets of New York City will “make you feel brand new” – a line immortalised in Alicia Keys’ hit song Empire State of Mind.

Just don’t expect to get that on New Year’s Eve when the streets are lined with thousands of adults wetting their “diapers” and thousands more urinating directly onto the street.

“So far, it’s dry, and I’m hoping to keep it that way,” nappy-wearing Dallas teacher Heather Feist, 33, who began lining up at 9.30am, told the NY Post at last year’s event.

Others were not so lucky.

“I’ll definitely need to shower after peeing my pants all day,” Ayame Yamakawa, 22, told the newspaper after travelling 22 hours from Okinawa, Japan, just for New Year’s Eve this time last year.

She had already wet herself once by 2.41pm after lining up at 10am, according to The Post.

 

Crowds celebrate new year on Times Square, NYC. Picture: iStock
Crowds celebrate new year on Times Square, NYC. Picture: iStock

 

The celebration lights up New York. Picture: iStock
The celebration lights up New York. Picture: iStock

At a previous NYE street celebration in Times Square, Jeryl Lippe, from New Jersey, got a bad case of karma after she smuggled vodka into the alcohol-free zone inside a water bottle. She didn’t eat anything other than a breakfast bagel and didn’t have her illicit drink until the end of the day, she told local The Post. But, “by the time it was turning midnight, I had drunk a lot and was desperate to go to the bathroom,” she continued. “I tried to find some place to go – hotels, restaurants,” she said, but she was denied.

Chuck Pappas travelled from interstate for NYE at the “Crossroads of the World” in 2014, at the time telling Business Insider: “We have Red Bull, energy shots, lots of snacks, water, playing cards, we’re all wearing several layers and … we’re all wearing diapers.”

Brian Alvarado, from Westchester, New York, last year recalled how one of his friends gave up and urinated in the street, adding, “I’ve heard stories of people who wear (adult) diapers.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

Carly – New Years Eve 2016

“Awww… Sheila. Always a bridesmaid. Never a bride.” I thought to myself.

Carly asked me if I’d help her set up for New Years Eve at the restaurant where she works. I hate New Years, but I love her, so I agreed to help. She needed me there around 4:30 on Saturday so that worked.

I had just come from brunch with hot senior citizen, Clarice at Jones. (See: Clarice – 2016 to Present – The CEO – New Years Eve Brunch) I walked into the restaurant and took the elevator to the second floor. I told the bartenders that I was here to help Carly set up. They didn’t know if she was in the building or not. I texted her to let her know I was at the bar. Surprising, she got right back to me. “Stuck in traffic, should be there in twenty minutes.”

No skin off my nose. I had Cory make me a vodka martini straight up with a twist. What the hell, it was New Years Eve.

I had a great day, albeit expensive. I was still glowing a bit from my romantic time with Clarice. I took a photo of the cocktail in front of me and sent it to Carly just so she wouldn’t rush, and also know that I was in good hands. I ask Cory for a cocktail napkin, and wipe my mouth. I drop it onto the bar, as he hands me my drink.

Cory: “How’s bad is your life?”

Me: “What?”

Cory: (points to napkin marked with lipstick)

Me: “Ohhh…” I smile.

Cory: “Happy New Year.”

I was playing with my phone, and sipping my drink.  Just enjoying the sights and sounds of the restaurant, still decorated beautifully for the holidays. Some time passed, but I figured we had plenty of time. New Years probably wouldn’t get going until after 9pm. It was only around 5pm at this point. She said the whole job would only take a couple of hours.

Carly texted me again, saying she was looking for parking and that traffic was nuts in the city. It’s New Years Eve in Philly. Of course it’s going to be crazy. I ordered another martini.

I was chatting with the bartenders while they prepared for the impending onslaught of revelers. Twenty minutes later, I get another text. “Come up to the penthouse. We’re on the 14th floor.” I drain the last of my martini and ask for the check. Cory waves me off. “Your good.” I thank him, wish him a HNY and throw down a ten. I head to the elevators in the back by the Club Quarters. There is a mob of people there that look like they’re dressed up for a wedding.

The attendant has to insert a special key card to allow access to the penthouse. I’m sausaged into the elevator with a gaggle of  hot bridemaids. (I’ve been in worse situations)

We reach the penthouse and the place is a flurry of activity. “Who are all these people, and where is Carly?” One of the staff points to a door, leading upstairs. I head up and there is Carly and her husband.

“What are we doing and who are all of those people down there?”

Carly tosses me a 187 ml of champagne and says there’s been a change of plan. We’re now setting up for a New Years wedding and have two hours to do everything.

“They’re getting married here and the reception is here?”

“Yep.”

“Sounds good to me. Let’s do this.” I chug the tiny teaser and start grabbing boxes.

Downstairs we tell everybody that if they aren’t immediate family they have to leave until the wedding starts at 7pm. Holy shit! We have one hour! I’m arranging chairs in the main room. Then placing these tall glass vases next to some of the chairs.

I dump big pearls into the vase. Then I pour water in it. Then I place a tall, thick candle down in it. I then scatter white rose petals around the base. I replicate this nine more times.

Everybody is doing something. We have an efficient team of people who work at the restaurant and have to do this stuff on a monthly and sometimes weekly basis. Even a couple of the bridesmaids were jumping in to help. There was the fun ethnic one who was really into helping and working with us and the photographer. Then there was the skinny hot one who did very little but complained a lot.

“Awww… Sheila. Always a bridesmaid.  Never a bride.” I thought to myself.

We get everything set up, and then have to get out of there because they’re going to do the ceremony. Just think, it only takes twenty minutes to get legally bound to someone. If it doesn’t work out and you have kids you’re stuck for the next twenty years in an emotional and financial hell of your own doing. (meaning: If you’re the man)

At one point I was out on this deck that many people don’t know about near the roof. There’s a guy out there in a tux, probably well into his sixties. He’s heavyset, and coughing while he’s lighting a cigarette. Built to last.

I start chatting with him. He’s the father of the bride. Turns out he’s a lifelong cross-country truck driver that delivers for BJ’s Wholesale. We share a moment. I congratulate him on his daughter getting married. I even had a chance to speak with her later. She said she met her husband at a bar in Ocean City, MD called Secrets. Sounds like a good place to meet your soul mate.

So me, Carly, her husband, and a few other people go up to the roof with another 187 ml each to catch a smoke. The view is great. When would I ever get to see this view? I love new views of my city. I take a few pics for Instagram. Carly is passing around the Mary Jane vape pen (marijuana) and that just adds to the fun.

Later we head back down stairs to get ready to set up for the reception in an hour. There’s a bar set up in the back room. I see a box of soft pretzels somebody brought in. I grab one and stuff it in my mouth. (Or as I call it: Drinking armor) Carly hands me a box of stuff, and says, “Make this and then make me five more.”

“On it.” It’s a glass vase about fifteen inches tall. I have to place it on a round mirror. Then place two little candles around it near the base. Put a few strings of pearls hanging out of the vase. Stuff a sponge in the opening. Then stuff white and black feathers, some with gold trim into the sponge all around it. It’s actually a fun project. I then replicate it five more times.

I bring out a tray of cigars and cutters. They are in a small room off the balcony. This way people can go out there and smoke cigars. I thought that was a good idea. So these crazy kids get married, leave for an hour, then come back to rock out to their Great Gatsby themed reception until midnight when it turns into an epic New Years Eve Party. I think it’s pretty cool, but setting all of this stuff up and all of the money and work that goes into this massive party all seems like a waste to me, but what the hell, I’ve had my time. I’m rootin’ for these kids.

Carly lets us know it’s time to go. The bride is thanking us all profusely. I was happy to spend time with one of my favorite people and do something nice for someone’s special day. It was great. The bride tells us we can have whatever is left over upstairs, as she stuffs four cigars in my coat pocket. We go upstairs to get our stuff and I walk out with a half a dozen 187 ml bottles. I like that it has the name of the bride and groom on every bottle.

I say goodbye to Carly and her husband, and thank them for the fun evening. I’ll be home by 9pm and asleep by 11pm at the latest, before 2017 even happens. I haven’t missed a thing.

Update: Carly has left her job as Events Director at the restaurant where she works. She wants to focus on the legalization of marijuana in Philly. She lives in Manayunk which is only a 15 minute car ride from center city, but when you live in the bubble of Rittenhouse like I do, she may a well be on another planet.

I miss her terribly and our Monday night cocktails and conversations. I saw her recently, but it’s just not the same. Hopefully I can see one of my favorite people in the world again soon.

 

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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Clarice – Chapter 2 – New Years Eve Brunch

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

On our first date, Clarice had said she wanted to go to see Rogue One with me. I agreed. We were to meet that Saturday and check it out.

I was on my way to somewhere, and I stopped at the salon. I was chatting with Trish. People were asking about the holiday hours that were posted at the counter. “You’re covering my shift this Saturday, right?”  She said.

I was caught completely off guard.

“Yea, remember you said you’d work for me this saturday, because I’m going home Friday to see my aunt and uncle and my parents for the holiday.”

I’m looking at my phone in my calendar. I don’t see it. I put everything in my calendar for just this reason.

“I’m supposed to see Rogue One…” Obviously not the answer Trish was looking for.

“I don’t see it in my calendar. Was I drunk when we made this plan?”

“I don’t know when you’re drunk!”

“Are you saying I’m drunk all the time?”

“No!” Trish looks like she’s about to cry. “I guess I can see my aunt and uncle next year…”

“Settle down. hang on. I’m going to make a phone call.”

I step out of the salon and go into the empty space next door. (It hasn’t been rented for three years) I call Clarice. Great thing is, being an older person she actually answers her phone. I explain my dilemma, and how I’ve got a friend and co-worker ready to squirt some tears in the salon. Clarice is completely understanding. I actually was happy to pick up the hours. I can go see Rogue One anytime. It would probably have been packed anyway.

I want to see her again, so I reach out to her a week later. I lock her down for brunch on New Years Eve. I’ve never been a fan of New Years anything, so it’s nice if I can do something during the day and then go home by nightfall. That’s when all of the amateur animals come out.

Saturday rolls around and I head to Jones. It’s a Stephen Starr restaurant at 8th and Chestnut. I forgot how noisy of a place it was. Hard surfaces and a high ceiling. They serve a lot of comfort food, and the place is decked out in 1970’s decor. It’s one in the afternoon and the place is swinging. I check my coat and wait for her. She appears on time. You know I like that.

She looks really good. Hair looks amazing. Those flowing raven tresses. Leather jacket, jeans and boots. Hot.

“Wow this place is busy. Are we even going to be able to get a table?” she says.

“We do when I have a reservation.”

The hostess takes us to our table. I’m happy to be here. I haven’t set foot in this place in over three years. We’re chatting and looking at the menus. I really dig their mac and cheese. So I suggest we share a bowl of that with a side of siracha. She agrees.

The server comes back. Clarice goes with a glass of prosecco, and I do a Yards Pale Ale. I put in for the mac n’ cheese, and let her order first. She’s not ready, but asks me to go first. I tell her I’ll speak slowly to give her more time. I go with the puffy french toast.

“That’s what I was going to order! I’ll have that too.” she says

“Should I order something else?”

“You should, so we can share.” Her again with the controlling. (This is eventually probably going to be a problem)

Am I imagining this? Am I being over sensitive? I’ll allow it. I decide to go with the Quiche. Because  I love quiche and I’m a real man. I looked at it before and it was my second choice after the french toast. At least it’ll be healthier.

“That was my second choice!” she quips. (Hmm…)

It’s noisy but I’m happy to see her and I’m having a lovely day. The weather is great and we’re right on the edge a new year. The mac n’ cheese arrives. It’s bubbling fresh in the bowl. Looks delish!

We rip into that, and it’s just as good as I remember. Brunch arrives a little premature, but it’s 1:30 and I haven’t eaten yet today so I’m in the mood for food. Everything looks and tastes great and we’re sharing.

After a while the place empties out somewhat and it’s a bit more quiet. we’re discussing the holidays and family, etc. For some reason I can really tickle this lady. I just start talking about stuff and she laughs her head off.

I ask her how her other dates went. She said she checked in with the Delaware guy on Wednesday about that evening, and he said he was boarding a plane. He didn’t reach out to cancel. He was just going to bail. She obviously took offense and didn’t respond. He texted her again on Saturday and she just ignored it. The friday guy she cancelled. It was supposed to be his third date with her, but when he was saying things like he wanted to come to her house and cuddle she was put off. Maybe the fool thought the third date rule somehow applied to this thoroughbred.

I kind of like that after she went out with me, everybody else either screwed up or dropped off. My Led Zeppelin prophecy came true!

I should probably get to the 300 pound gorilla in the room. The bill comes. Granted, she had two proseccos and I had three beers. The drinks are what kill you. The bill was like seventy-three dollars. My eyes are watering. I look at it and I’m like, wow. Oh well, its New Years. I don’t make a big fuss over it publicly because that makes me look like a cheap skate and we all know that I am more than generous. I let the moment steam a bit, just in case there is help on the way…

Come on… just reach into your bag and offer the tip. Just the tip, baby…. You can do it. It’s going to be 2017. Equal rights for women. Please…….?

Nope. Not a fucking dime from the CEO boss lady.

Killing me.

We leave and enjoy a leisurely stroll down Chestnut Street. We’re headed west back towards center city. I have to go meet my friend Carly around 4:30, to help her set up for New Years Eve at the restaurant where she works. Clarice says she can hop on the next train back to Upper Darby anytime.

We reach Broad Street. I mention to her that they’ve remodeled the whole “rotunda” (bar area) of the Ritz Carlton across the street. “Wanna pop in and check it out?” Clarice is down for that. Maybe they’re handing out free drinks. I know she’d like that!

We head inside and the place looks gorgeous. It’s all decorated for the holidays and they have reconfigured the space. All of the furniture is new, and there is more private spaces around the room. The bar has been completely redone. they moved it outward from the wall and now you can sit all the way around it. Plus there are little booth seats against the back wall now. I need to come back here for happy hour again soon. Maybe with someone else though.

Just sayin’.

As we enter the main room there is a pretty black girl holding a tray of champagne. I can’t believe it. Free drinks. “Happy New Year.” She smiles. Clarice and I each grab a glass and look for a seat. We see several areas that have “Reserved” signs on them. We walk by several empty areas that are like that. “Oh that one is reserved too.” I say. as we’re walking by a seated couple. “They’re all reserved, she says with obvious disappointment in her voice. Clarice speaks: “Fuck this. Let’s goes sit over there.”

“We can’t. This is the Ritz Carlton, we can’t just do that.” I reply.

Wow. What a change in attitude since my days with Michelle. We take off our coats and get comfortable on the pillow covered sofas in our little enclosure.

“Fuck it. I’m doing it. If whoever this is reserved for shows up, we’ll apologize for not seeing the sign and leave.”

“But I can clearly see the sign right there on the table, Clarice.”

With a backward swipe of her hand she knocks the sign off the table. “C’mere.” She says as she grabs me and kisses me passionately. Now we got a show. She’s taking the sting right of that bill from Jones.

“I thought you said no PDA?”

“This is private enough.” She pulls me in for more kisses. She’s a hot lady. Maybe this is what Valerie and June were missing. That youthful fire that this sixty-one year old still possesses. She was in show biz for years so I know how these carny folk are all horny, but it’s a good thing.

“You know what I’d like to do that I’ve never done?” She purrs.

“What?”

“I wanna go to a strip club.”

“Noted. I’ll take you to Delilah’s one day.”

I need to write that down in the notepad of my phone as ‘Things to do with Clarice’. We’re just hanging on the sofa and nobody is saying anything. I’ve really got her laughing. We’re having a good time sipping our free champagne. I do realize that I have to go meet with Carly, so we finish our bubbly and head out. Of course I help her with her coat.

We walk a few blocks and I’ve got to keep heading west, and she’s got to go north to jump on the subway. I thank her for the day and she smooches me again. I do like Clarice. I’m attracted to her, and want to see her again.

Maybe one day when we’re someday watching Season Two of Phicklephilly on Netflix, I’ll look back on these moments and laugh. But right now this research is costing me a small fortune. I think I’ll find true love when I meet a woman that doesn’t want anything from me.

Maybe she’ll  just want me for me.

 

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