Clarice – 2016 – Chapter 3 – Champagne Lady on a Beer Budget – Part One

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

After our New Years Eve date, and the date the next day with Mary, I started thinking about my money. I’m approaching this correctly, but operating at this level has a price. Limited time and resources. But when you have a solid pool of candidates, it puts you in a position of power. I’ve begun to realize this as I make this journey. Valerie was my maiden voyage. I was in the mindset, that if I didn’t feel something deep, I couldn’t go forward with her. She was simply an expense, and there was no return on my investment. June, was fun, but I simply wasn’t attracted to her. Fair enough. If one or two fall off, there are always others waiting in line to get onboard. But I really like Mary. She’s cool and fun, and had great history. I’m attracted to her. Same with Clarice. I want her, but I can’t be dropping a load of cash every time I see her.

There are always a few out there circling now. That’s good. That gives me the advantage. The other big advantage here is that I’m younger than both of these women. Normally I’m the old guy dating the younger women. I have real value, but youth is king. An older man will always be beholden to a younger woman due to her obvious youth and beauty. But if the tables were turned, it now puts me in the position to call the shots. What if I simply tell Clarice that I really like her and love spending time with her, but I can’t drop that much coin on her anymore? What’s the worst thing that could happen? The older woman leaves me because I’m not buying her enough drinks and dinners? Fine. She’s a gold digger and always was a gold digger. What do I get from her leaving me? One less expense that’s not yielding me any return on investment.

Mary has been pretty good with paying dutch on some things, so the issue is not with her. It’s with Clarice, and I’m about to solve it.

I told Clarice I was available on Wednesday evening and would like to see her. She agreed. Clarice texted me the night before and asked me what we were doing. The reason I hadn’t locked it down was because at the time I was struggling with how I was going to solve this situation.

I decided to simply call her. Just talk to her the old fashion way. She answers the phone: “To whom do I owe this great honor?”  I find that endearing because I say that when I answer the phone when somebody I like is calling me. She wants to know what we’re doing. I flat-out tell her that I really like her, and want to spend time with her, but I can’t spend fifty to a hundred dollars every time I see her. She says she agrees, and says I need to be more creative. I like that answer and it’s not a farewell. She suggests she just come to my apartment. (I find that a bit forward and a veiled suggestion for sex) I tell her Lorelei lives with me and I can’t be dragging strange women through the house with my kid there. I can tell this caught her off guard. She was married thirty years ago, but the marriage yielded no children. So she never thinks about kids. I also mention that if she likes, she could kick in on the bill occasionally. She says that since she just spent a bunch of money on a load of food for a holiday party she recently threw, that’s not happening.

Which tells me some things, about our confident, empowered, CEO. Good looking lady. Former opera singer. (No money in the arts) Runs a company (or maybe just works for a company) that sells marketing materials to companies for promoting their brand. She’s the CEO of a company that does marketing for non profits. (Non profits have no money to spend) It sounds like a company she made up which makes her the CEO. Just like my friend Alice is the CEO of her company. She revealed that she is looking to get a job with the African-American Museum here in the city. (She’s looking for a job!) Hot lady has no money!

So even though she is eight years older than me, this further lowers her value. But… she is charming, beautiful and fit. I am attracted to her, and I will use all of this to my advantage without doing anything dramatic. I will simply be myself and change the game.

I was seeing a client down at 12th and Locust, (It’s a gay bar) and when I walk out at 4:15 I hear someone calling my name. I look around and don’t see anyone I know. Then I see a familiar car parked right there. It’s Church!

“What are you doing down here?” I say.

“I was gonna ask you the same thing.”

“I’m seeing Jay at the club to pitch him my new bar leadership program.”

“Or you’re hanging out in a gay bar!” he quips.

“Yea, and you’re parked in your car out front of that gay bar cruisin’ for dudes.”

“Hop in, I’ll give you a ride, sailor.”

I told Clarice to meet me at El Rey, at 20th & Chestnut at 4:45. It’s best to get there before 5pm because the happy hour fill up because it’s so awesome. Dollar tacos, two dollar Tecate, and five dollar margaritas. How’s that for getting creative?

We’re parked out front of El Rey, and I see Clarice walking towards the bar. “Okay, this is my five o’clock appointment, dude. Thanks for the ride. I’ll meet up with you at Sofitel after seven.”

I wait for her to go in, and Church doesn’t ask who I’m meeting with so I don’t mention it. I head in and she’s at the bar taking off her coat. I stride towards her and nearly call her by her blog name by accident!  We hug, and squeeze ourselves into the seats at the bar. It’s a little tight. This used to be the old Midtown Diner III. They kept the affixed seats and the counter when they remodeled the place into El Rey.

I explain the happy hour to her and after a few tries she gets it. She goes with the margarita, no ice. I grab a Tecate. She gets the drink and doesn’t like it. They served it on the rocks which is wrong. She says the drink is super tart. She is making dramatic faces to prove it. I’m finding it annoying. Former opera singer/actress drama. Too much. She grabs the bartender and he fixes the drink. No rocks, and I tell him to add a little more triple sec to lower the tart signature.

Clarice says she’s not a tequila fan, but she’s trying to keep with the “Dating on a budget” program that I am now enforcing. I like that. We order six tacos. So right now the bill would be thirteen bucks. I can live with that. (for now!)

We are chatting and I’m making her laugh as usual. She is beautiful. I ask her how her last date went. She said she cancelled it. Just wasn’t feeling it. I knew it. Once you’ve heard Led Zeppelin, you don’t want to listen to any other crappy bands. She tells me more about her ex husband, and some other guy she dated for five years. I’m feigning interest as usual. It seems to be working.

She shows me her profile on OKCupid, another dating site. She wants me to read her profile. It’s actually really good, it shows a smart, confident, independent woman. I like that. “That’s why men are intimidated by me.”

“I can imagine. But I dig a confident woman. Especially one as pretty as you.” The picture she has posted of herself is spectacular. She looks like a gorgeous woman in her forties. I notice the age posted on the profile says she’s fifty-six. I point to this and she laughs and says, “That’s my OkCupid age.” I laugh and get it. She looks great and ratcheted back her age five years. “I’m really impressed with that pic of you, Clarice.”

“Cause my tits look so good?”

Read the thrilling conclusion to this story tommorow! Where we’ll answer questions like: Will our hero win the heart of the girl before he runs out of money?  Do her tits really look that good?

 

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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Clarice – 2016 – 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.

 

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

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Church – 2013 to Present -Seizure Salad

I’m sitting in my go to bar with Church. It’s our spot and it’s what we do. He’s sipping a Sailor Jerry and Coke, and I’m having my usual Chardonnay with a side of ice. He orders a salad and I go with the sliders. There is a couple a few seats down from me to my right. I know the guy, his name is Brian, but I don’t know the lady he’s with so I wave but don’t approach. He could be working.

On the left of Church, is a brunette in her thirties and an older gentleman. Looks like a lawyer. We don’t really pay any attention. We’re chatting and doing our thing.

Daphne rolls behind the bar and says hello. She tells me it’s a slow night. Not much happening. She goes back to her hostess stand and it’s just another night in paradise.

Suddenly, the woman who was sitting to Church’s left, goes off the bar stool and hits the floor. Normally, I’d call that Thursday night.  We see so many banged up people around the city losing their shit. But this woman was having a seizure. People within visual range are shocked and the bar goes quiet.

I point to the phone on the wall, because the bartender on duty didn’t see one of her patrons suddenly vanish from the bar. “Liz, call 911.”

She starts dialing. Church, with his cat-like reflexes, springs into action and goes from sitting next to me sipping a drink to all the way around the other side of her on the floor holding her head to keep her steady. I get down there and untangle her leg from the lower rail of his bar stool. I have the legs. Church is focuses on the poor woman’s head. She’s thrashing about, and Church is barking commands to those around him. He’s literally single-handedly coordinating the effort to help save this poor woman, and keeping her from injuring herself further.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Church was formerly a Corpsmen in the United States Navy.

A Corpsman works in a wide variety of capacities and locations, including shore establishments such as naval hospitals and clinics, aboard ships, and as the primary medical caregivers for sailors while underway. Hospital corpsmen are frequently the only medical caregiver available in many fleet or Marine units on extended deployment. In addition, hospital corpsmen perform duties as assistants in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing medical care to sailors and their families.

They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and health care providers at medical treatment facilities. They also serve as battlefield corpsmen with the Marine Corps, rendering emergency medical treatment to include initial treatment in a combat environment. Qualified hospital corpsmen may be assigned the responsibility of independent duty aboard ships and submarines; Fleet Marine Service, SEAL and Seabee units, and at isolated duty stations where no medical officer is available.

Yea, pretty bad ass. That’s the guy you want next to you when somebody takes a header at your favorite bar.

She’s making what almost sounds like barking sounds, and staring wildly about. He’s got a good hold on her. He’s talking to her. But mostly he’s trying to keep her from bashing her face into the wooden wall of the bar. The bartender comes around, and some others have gathered. I grab a cloth napkin and ask if we need to put it in her mouth. I always heard that epileptics could bite or swallow their own tongues. Church says, no. He knows what he’s doing and has the situation well under control.

She seems to be calming down. I look over at the guy who was with her. He’s just standing there staring, and looking uncomfortable. The paramedics come and stabilize her. I feel so bad for her. It’s the holidays, and she’s out for a drinks and this horror befalls her. They get her onto the gurney and roll her out. The police are there and also ask some questions. Church is on point, he gives law enforcement the full report.

They also speak to the guy she came in with. He says he doesn’t know her very well. He met her over at DelFrisco’s steakhouse, and then brought her over here for a drink. That’s a big lawyer hang out. Not my scene. This guy didn’t do anything to help or comfort her when she had the seizure, and he didn’t go to the hospital with her. I don’t care if you just picked up the chick in a bar. Lady falls down, you go to the damn hospital with her. I’m thinking that weasel was married and didn’t want any problems. How would he explain to his wife that he was at the hospital with some other woman? I may be wrong, but I got the vibe something was definitely shady about that guy.

We go back to our seats at the bar and have another drink. Church is pissed because somebody was telling him to turn her head when she was foaming at the mouth and that’s not what you’re supposed to do. Me, I was just glad the lady was okay.

Daphne came over to chat and get a recap. I tell her what I know, and tease her.”You had to say it was a slow night and that nothing was happening, and look what you did, Daph…”

“I know, right? Me and my big mouth.”

Indeed…

 

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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Welcome to PhicklePhilly!

This blog will be about my life here in Philadelphia. People I meet, and the experiences I have with them. Mostly women. I am a gentleman, but I have been told I am very fickle. My goal is to write a different little story each week. They will all be true, colorful and candid. “Life is fleeting and fragile. Enjoy yourself!”