The Confidence Gap In Men And Women: Why It Matters And How To Overcome It

In December of 1920, Amelia Earhart paid to go on her first plane ride. The experience lasted only ten minutes, but it changed the direction of her life: Amelia was determined to be a pilot. It didn’t matter to her that there were only a few women in the field of aviation. Through hard work and challenging conditions, she developed her skills. While other female pilots feared the long journey across the Transatlantic, Amelia’s gutsy determination led her to be first woman to fly it solo. The confidence she possessed was one of her greatest strengths and led her to set many  records.

Amelia Earhart was not the only highly competent female pilot during that time in history. Although she was skilled, I don’t believe that is what caused her to be so successful. Rather it was her confidence, her willingness to go after the impossible, and her belief that she could do it. At Zenger Folkman we’ve found that confidence proves to be equally as valuable as competence because it leads to action, attention, and resilience—all traits exemplified during Amelia’s transatlantic flight.

Amelia Earhart’s accomplishments were especially noteworthy at the time, because of her achievements in what had been a male domain.  Aviators were nearly all men. Gender differences in confidence are quite dramatic.  A study done at Cornell University found that men overestimate their abilities and performance, while women underestimate both. In fact, their actual performance does not differ in quality or quantity.

This female confidence challenge was also described as the “imposter syndrome” by Pauline Claunce and  Suzanne Imes. Women frequently express that they don’t feel they deserve their job and are “imposters” who could be found out at any moment.  They found that women worry more about being disliked, appearing unattractive, outshining others, or grabbing too much attention.

Men are not exempt from doubting themselves—but they don’t let their doubts stop them as often as women do.  A Hewlett Packard internal report found that men apply for a job or promotion when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them. What doomed them was not their actual ability, but rather the decision not to try.

Zenger Folkman’s research shows that as women’s experience increases over time, so does their confidence. The graph below shows that women’s confidence increases more with age than men’s. But consider the many opportunities lost in early years because of fear and lack of confidence.

 

Thanks. I hope this was helpful. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this piece.

 

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

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What Should A Husband Do After He Cheats?

I sometimes hear from panicked husbands who have just cheated on their wives. They often didn’t intend for this to happen and are reeling as to what to do next. Many ask me what they should do immediately following the cheating. I often hear comments like: “I just cheated on my wife. This is a disaster. I love my wife and am committed to my marriage and I have no idea what I was thinking or how I could be so stupid. What do I do now? How do I make this right so that it’s not going to absolutely destroy my marriage or my wife?”

And sometimes, I hear from the wives who have just found out that their husbands have cheated. They often ask me what their husbands can do to make things right again. An example is a comment like: “I just found out my husband cheated once. I am devastated and I don’t know where we go from here. He keeps asking me what he can do to help me get over this, but I have no idea what to tell him. I’m not sure that there’s anything that he could do to make me feel any better.” So, in the following article, I’m going to offer some suggestions as to what a husband should do after he cheats in order to begin the process of healing.

Immediately Remove Yourself From The Situation And The Other Woman. Do Not Give Yourself The Chance To Cheat Again: I do believe that there are some men who never intended to cheat on their wives. And once it happens, they’re lost because they truly didn’t see it coming and were completely unprepared. Sometimes when they tell you that “it just happened,” they aren’t completely being dishonest, although a lack of intent doesn’t mean innocence either.

That’s why it’s so important that the husband remove himself from the other person and any circumstances that contributed to the cheating. It’s not at all uncommon for me to hear from men who vow never to cheat again, but who later end up doing just that because, once again, they found themselves in situation that they did not plan but could not resist. I’ve even had men tell me that they went to break things off with (or make things clear to) the other woman only to end up cheating with her once again.

My suggestion is to cut off all communication. And if you just have to communicate with her to make your intentions clear, then do not do this in person where there’s potential for more cheating or temptation. If you work with or regularly see this person, then you will need to make some changes. You do not want to put yourself in a situation where you have continued contact. This is not good for you, for her, for your marriage, or for your wife

Figure Out What Really Went Wrong And Truly Fix It: Even though you might 100% believe that you had no intentions of cheating, the fact is that, for whatever reason, you did. In my opinion, people truly don’t act without reason or motivation. There had to have been something that contributed to your impulsive actions. It’s pretty easy to place the blame on the marriage, your wife, or even the other woman. But you are often better off looking within yourself.

Because no matter what risk factors were present, you did have a choice. Why did you make the choice that you did? Look at issues like poor impulse control, a lack of self-esteem, any tendencies for reckless behavior or self sabotage, or other pressures or flaws that may have contributed to your cheating. It’s important to be brutally honest with yourself and to get help if you need it. Because it’s not fair (or realistic) to ask your wife to forgive you or to give your marriage another chance when you can’t completely assure you that you will never cheat again. You must remove any risk factors so that you are both secure in the future

Decide If You’re Going To Tell Your Wife About Your Cheating: Whether to admit to the cheating is one of the most common questions that I’m asked by husbands. Many wonder if they are better off just admitting everything or if it would be better to spare their wife the pain, make any changes on their own, and remain silent. I can not make this decision for you. Only you know your wife (and what your reaction might be,) as well as your comfort level with keeping this from her and the level of guilt that you are grappling with.

You also need to consider how likely she is to find out about the cheating because I can tell you that if she finds out from someone else, this might factor into her future decisions. Many wives will see your keeping the cheating from them as just one more example of your deception. However, on the other side of the coin, once you tell her, you also have to be prepared to deal with the considerable fall out that this admission is going to cause.

Whether You Tell Your Wife About The Cheating Or Not, Have An Improvement Plan That You Fully Intend To Follow: Few people are ever going to buy that cheating can actually be a positive thing. But I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with trying to extract some positive changes from this huge mistake. If you cheat but then never gain any insights into your behavior and never make any positive changes in yourself and your marriage, then this whole process truly was a waste in which only the negative consequences mattered.

But, if you can at least gain some positive insights and make some positive changes that are likely to make things easier and better in the future, then at least some good came out of a very bad decision. If you can use this is a starting point or as the inspiration to become a better husband and a better man, then at least you made every attempt to make the best of your actions and this will hopefully matter to your wife, whether she knows what inspired your actions or not.

 

Thanks. I hope this was helpful. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this piece.

 

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

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Clarice – Chapter 4 – Champagne Lady on a Beer Budget – Part Two

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

Yesterday we left off here:

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?”

“Umm… well, yes, but…”

“That’s pretty much all I got to offer. I got no ass! I got skinny bird legs!”

“I’ll be the judge of that.” I say, smiling slyly.

Here’s the great thing about dating older women. They are over all of their body issues. They don’t give a shit about all of the nonsense that clogs the heads of younger women. like her profile says: “I know what I can, and cannot do.”

We’re slowly munching through the tacos. She seems to like them. I order another Tecate. She starts looking at the wine list. (Here we fuckin’ go…) I can’t MAKE her drink tequila if she doesn’t like it. I tell her it’s okay to have a glass of wine. (I know! There goes ten bucks!)

She asks me about my artistic background. I tell her about my art and musical background. (I don’t want to epand on that here. That’s for future posts) She asks if I do anything artistic now. I tell her I do some writing.

“Has anyone seen it?” she says.

“No.”

“You should write a blog.”

“Really?”

“Sure! You know about all of these things around the city. What to drink, where to go, and what to do. It would be really interesting. You could even write a blog about dating. I’m sure it would be fun to read!”

“Do you really think so?”

“You should look into it.”

“I’ll see what I can find out about blogging.”

(Oh, the irony!)

Time goes by and she’s getting a buzz on. She starts getting a little affectionate. I ask her if this okay with her PDA rule in place. Apparently it is, because she kisses me again. She’s canoodling around my ear and neck. “Oooh you smell good!” (She’s into me. It’s so on.) “What is that you’re wearing? It smells sooo good!” I tell her I forget what fragrance I grabbed out of the vanity this morning. Maybe Aqua di Gio, by Giorgio Armani I tell her. (Bold faced lie. It’s Axe body spray, Phoenix)

She kisses me again. “Don’t you ever use tongue?” she hisses. “I do…” I look into her eyes, and then at her mouth and then look downward, then back to her eyes, just so we’re clear. I tell her when I kissed her at the Ritz on Saturday she seemed a little tight-lipped. She says she was right there ready for anything. Got a live one here. Maybe it was the tequila talking. Clarice has no idea who she’s dealing with here. Like a baby seal hopping into the water to cool off, just as the grey dorsal fin cuts through the water heading right for her. She kisses me again. Now her lips feel softer and more passionate than Saturday. I can tell the difference. She’s been thinking about me.

She orders another margarita. (Thank you!)  I’m feeling good and into my third Tecate. It’s nearly seven. Need to wrap this up soon. I promised Church I’d meet him at Sofitel. She starts talking about the Comcast Holiday show they do on the digital wall in the lobby of the Comcast tower. She asks me if I’ve ever seen it. I told her I saw it a couple of years ago. (Probably with Michelle and her mom.) She says we should go see it. I tell her I think it’s over by now. She looks it up in her phone. It was over the day after New Years Day.

“Aww too bad, I thought we could go see it after this. See? I’m trying to think of free things we can do together!” (points for that)

I apologize that we missed it, and also tell her I have to go meet with Church after this. He has some important stuff to cover with me.

“Oh…You’re always fitting me in! On our first date at Panorama you had to leave.”

“I had our annual holiday toy drive at Time for the kids at CHOP!”

“On New Years Eve you had to leave me again!”

“I promised my friend Carly weeks ago that I would help her set up a New Years wedding party!”

“Now you’re fitting me in around your friend!”

“He’s having some domestic issues, and my friend needs my support. We set this meeting up a before I made this date with you.”

“Oh…okay. I’m sorry.”

“No worries. I really like you Clarise. I want to see you, but I’ve had a lot of things going on over the holidays. I know now that they’re over, it should free up some time for us to be together.”

“My birthday is coming up, you know. I’ll be sixty-two on January 15th. Martin Luther King’s actual birthday, not the day we celebrate it. Do you have to work that day? It’s a Sunday.”

“Normally I do.”

“Well, here’s what I think you should do; switch with someone. Get on the train. Come out to Upper Darby around 1pm and I’ll pick you up and bring you to my house. You can stay until whenever you have to leave.”

“That would be great. I’ll see what I can do.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Clarice is making it clear she wants me to come over and make love to her. Which I am prepared to do. I like Clarice, and I want her.

The check comes. She had two margaritas, one glass of wine, and three tacos. So technically, not including tip, she will have only cost me twenty-three dollars tonight. Please don’t think I’m cheap, dear reader. If you have been reading this blog, you’ll know that I have spent thousands of dollars wining and dining all of these women.

We walk outside and she takes my arm. I walk her to her subway stop. I walk her down to the first landing and kiss her. She’s surprised and pleased. I offer her what I did not before in a kiss. She smiles and kisses me back.

I hear the roar of the approaching train. Time to go.

 

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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Sun Stories – 2016 – Corn Chips and String

Another day at the office…

I was working at the salon on a Sunday. Some times the weekends are when that odd things occur. It’s a courtesy day, and we’re only open from 11 to 4pm. I never know who is going to walk through our doors.

On this particular Sunday, a really beautiful, sexy brazilian woman walks in. She doesn’t even look like she needs to go tanning. Her skin is a rich caramel color. She has never been to the salon before. She completes the client consent form, and I put her in the system. I ask her what she’s trying to accomplish. Is she going to an event, or on vacation, or maybe just maintain her current color?

She tells me she wants to just get a bit darker, and only wants to buy one session because she has to fly to Boston tomorrow. I’m trying to figure what her deal is. She could be a model, or a stripper or a porn star on tour, or maybe she’s a high-class call girl. She could be none of those things, but it’s Sunday and my mind wanders to keep it interesting.

I ask her if she wants to do a stand up tanning unit or the lay down bed. She asks what is the strongest. For the best overall tan I recommend the stand up model. It surrounds you with fifty-two bulbs at two hundred and thirty watts of power. She accepts, and I swipe her credit card for seventeen dollars for the nine minute session. That’s the maximum time you can spend in that unit.

She goes into the room. There’s a five-minute prep time on the room for the client to prepare to tan. Undress, apply lotion, etc. When the five minutes expire, the unit automatically lights. I tell people who if they are ready sooner, they can simply step inside and press the start button.

Once she’s in the room, I set the timer and go about my business. It’s quiet this Sunday and not many people have come in. I frequently walk around the salon just to make sure there isn’t any detritus on the floor, or anything else is amiss.

I’m walking back from the beds in the back hallway and the brazilian babe sticks her head out the door of the room. It’s just off to the left of the front counter. The session must be finished. “How’d you make out?” I ask as I carefully approach. “I feel like I get nothing.” she says.

“Well, I put you in for the max time.”

She proceeds to open the door fully and she is wearing the equivalent of what appears to be three Doritos chips connected by a few pieces of twine. She’s lovely. The latina gives me a wry smile. I try to avert my eyes, but she places her hand on her hip, and repeats, “I feel like I get nothing. Can I go again?”

“I can’t really do that, Miss. Nine minutes is the max time we should send anyone in that unit.”

“But I get nothing.” Her green eyes glance about the salon. It’s empty. She proceeds to pull down the top two triangles of her tiny bikini revealing her ample, sunburst breasts to me. “See? Nothing.”

In my mind I’m thinking, “What would Achilles do? What would Achilles do??  What would Achilles do?!!”

“Um…do you have cash?” I chirp.

She turns away, her raven locks swirl as she reaches for a twenty-dollar bill on the table in the room. Her breasts swing as she turns.  There is no corn chip sized piece of fabric in the back, just a bit of string. She’s basically naked in front of me. She takes a step forward still exposed, and hands me the bill. I try to hold my gaze on her emerald eyes, but it’s a struggle.

“Okay so you do me again?” she purrs, giving me a sly smile.

“Y,yes… I’ll reset the unit to do you again…”

I go to the register and ring in another stand up session. I pull out the three dollars change from the twenty, and set it on the counter to give her when she comes out. I write a note in the system to have Achilles ask me about the Brazilian lady.

Her session ends. I hear the door open again. I slowly turn to the left. “You see? Much better this time!”

She’s completely naked. She looks the same color to me. But I now see her waxed vulva instead of the dorito sized piece of fabric that was once wedged neatly into the moist junction between her caramel thighs.

Giggling she slams the door.

A few minutes later she emerges from the room. Thankfully, this time fully clothed. (Thankfully? Who am I kidding?) She struts past the counter, grinning. “Thank you so much!”

“You’re welcome. Oh, miss! Your change?” I hold out the three singles.

“You nice man. You keep tip.” And she was gone.

I feel like I should have been the one doing the tipping…

 

 

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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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…

 

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Michelle – Chapter 8 – New York City – Sunday

We woke up sometime the next morning in our motel room. I started calling it the Guns and Roses suite because there were clothes and stuff strewn everywhere. We got ourselves together and got back to Journal Square and headed back into the city. The Path train took us back to 32nd and Sixth Avenue.  We headed east and found a nice breakfast spot. I think it was the first time either of us ever drank Bloody Marys. We kind of needed them. It had been a long night.

After breakfast we hung out in a park. There was live music and people walking their dogs. I was sitting in the grass, leaning against a tree. It was such a beautiful sunny day. Michelle was leaning against me, and I was just happy to be holding her close. We stayed there for a while and then headed downtown. We stopped somewhere in SOHO so Michelle could use the restroom. When she came out she said, “That is literally the filthiest restroom I have ever gone in.” I don’t even know if she was able to go. I know this has nothing to do with the story, but I just remembered it.

We went to this nice restaurant and started drinking martinis. Which for us is never a good choice, but back then we drank a lot of martinis. They get you there fast. But sometimes take you too far. Michelle liked her martinis dirty. I prefer them straight up with a twist. Ketel One if they have it. Ketel is my favorite vodka. I once met the 9th generation son of the family that invented Ketel One. I still have the signed bottle on my mantle.

My rule on martinis is this: One is not enough. Two is too many. Three is just right.

We met another couple and were having a great time chatting with them. The drinks and laughs were flowing. Our server was really nice too. It was a really nice place. We were both periodically getting up to use the restroom, because I suppose the alcohol was going through us. I don’t remember whose idea it was, and I don’t even know why, but at some point it was decided that we were going to run out on our bill. We were really sweet, nice people.  Why would they even ask for a credit card up front. We would never do anything like that.

But we did.

Again, we were drunk, and in a strange city. We pulled some crazy shit in Philly as you will read in the coming chapters, but as far as I can remember, we never did that. I still feel ashamed about that and I’m sure Michelle does too. But I’m sure some karma has already come around and hit us both in different ways. When you do that, the bill comes back on the server. So we screwed him out of over $160 that night. Please don’t ever do this. It’s terrible behavior, but we were out of control back then. Like Bonnie and Clyde. There is no excuse for what we did. If I could remember where that bar is in New York, and that guy still worked there, I would go hand him $200 for us being punk ass morons.

So we dash out of there, and hail a cab. Michelle is freaking out thinking we’re going to get caught. I think she was having some problem with her shoe or something. We jump in the taxi and tell the driver to take us to Times Square. The funniest part I think for me was when Michelle saw police lights in the distance behind us. She switched out her scarf for a yellow pashmina and put it on her head as a disguise. I don’t think the NYPD is interested in assholes that run out on their bar bills. There’s real crime in New York.

We do pay the fare for the cab and hop out at Broadway and Seventh. Right in the heart of Times Square. We are drunk and exhilarated. I remember standing on this little concrete island in the middle of the street and just kissing Michelle deeply. It was one of those landmark Hollywood film moments. The couple in love. New York City blazing around them. The sights. The sounds of the city. All of the colors, and lights, and cabs, and people. The camera whirls around them as they kiss. All is a blur but them. It is a shining symbol of everything they are at that moment. I am so in love with her. I’m not afraid. I want to be with her forever.

This mighty city that discarded me and sent me packing back to Philadelphia a year ago. I have now returned briefly with my queen. To conquer and plunder its walls.

We stumble down the street. Everything is awash in lights and sounds of the city. We decide we’ve had enough, and want to go back to our room at the motel. We walk about a block when we come upon a stretch limousine. The driver sticks his head out the window, and says “I want the cologne he’s wearing.” He says, obviously referring to Michelle. She says something about how it’s not the cologne, it’s the man. My head swells with pride. “Want a ride?” he says.

“You serious?”

“Sure, where ya goin’?”

“The PATH train.”

“Get in.”

I kid you not, that happened. We get in and there is beer and other booze in the car. There are also bags of goodies. Somebody else’s stuff. I toss a beer to Michelle, and crack one myself. We’re laughing and chatting with the driver. Despite our recent foray into crime,  we decide not to steal any of the stuff in the limo. It’s obvious, this chauffeur was parked waiting for whoever hired him, and just wanted make a quick fare to kill time. There was a bottle of this gross Seagram’s raspberry twist. Which is just an awful liqueur. Michelle stuffed it in her bag. (It was half full, and that’s all we took.) So here are these two fugitives from justice, drunk and in love, being driven to the train station in a stretch limo. I slide the guy like $30 and we thank him and hop out.

There was something about the energy that Michelle and I gave off when we were together. It’s not something you could see, but something you could feel. We would get access to whatever we wanted. No matter if we were supposed to be there or not. I’d be in a suit with my trustworthy face, and she with her radiant beauty. In the coming chapters you’ll see how this happened over and over. We literally could get away with anything.

We get back to the Guns and Roses suite at the Skyline Motel. This has been a crazy weekend. This is the also the first time I made love to Michelle. I was nervous, but madly in love. I remember at one point I looked up at the mirror on the ceiling. I couldn’t believe that was me up there making love to Michelle. Everybody wanted her. But she chose me.

There was something I didn’t mention before. As genetically perfect as Michelle is, she is terribly myopic. It’s like God created her, stepped back and thought, that’s too good. Let me just screw up her eyes a little so she develops some character. Let me give you an example of how blind my baby is. After we fool around, she goes to use the bathroom. The room is dark. I’m on the bed. I pull the sheet over my head. She comes out and says, “Where’d you go?” I pull down the sheet. “Oh God, I thought you left the room.” This chick is blind. I always told her that it was a good thing. Because as her vision gets worse, and I get older, she’ll still think I look good!

We’re lying in bed together. “So…are you my girlfriend now?”

“What do you think?” Michelle replies.

I’m really happy. I’ve won.We fall asleep in each others arms.

To be honest with you, I don’t remember much else of this trip. I don’t even remember driving home. I know I had the bottle of awful liqueur in my closet at my apartment for a year before I threw it out. Maybe if I turn this blog into a book, I’ll have more details about everything. All I know is, I was in love, and being with Michelle were some of the best times of my life.

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

 

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Michelle – Chapter 7 – New York City – Saturday

Another tale of one man’s journey through the dating scene in Philadelphia, searching for true love.

After the magic of the Wishing Stone, things seemed to move forward in my direction. The right direction! Michelle’s 28th birthday was rapidly approaching at the end of May. People were all asking the perfunctory: “What are you doing for your birthday?” Where it’s like, great… Now I have to come up with something. But she was telling people that she’d like to maybe go to New York City for the long weekend. She knew I had lived and worked in Manhattan for the last couple of years before I came back to Philly. We were chatting about it. I asked her what she was planning. She wasn’t sure but was definitely thinking of getting out-of-town, and NYC seemed like a good spot.

Based on how volatile things had been leading up to this moment, I had my reservations about us going away together. There had been so much back and forth with us, and as much as I would love actually spending time with Michelle on a weekend day, it just seemed like for some reason it just wouldn’t happen.

It was a Friday, and her birthday was on Sunday. I had picked up a little gift bag of goodies for her and hid it under her desk while she was away from it. She was very surprised when she found it. It wasn’t anything really valuable. Just stuff she liked. I probably had a couple of packs of Parliaments in there, her favorite Orbit gum, maybe some granola bars. Just little stuff. It was sitting on her desk, and we were chatting, and that little weasel that I told you about in Michelle’s first chapter comes over. He’s like: “Oh gum, can I have some?” Michelle is like, sure. But the best part for me was knowing the following:

  1. This guy is so far in the friendzone that he might as well be a blood relative of hers.
  2. He doesn’t know the gift bag with the gum is a present from me, or that it’s even her birthday.
  3. I enjoyed watching him really struggle with the cellophane to open the gum.
  4. She’s going to NYC with me and no one at our company knows we’re an item.

Weasel realizes it’s her birthday, asks her what her plans are for the weekend. She tells him she’s going to NYC. He asks with whom? She says, “A friend,” and smiles.

The afternoon went by and I don’t remember if I walked her home, but I probably did. Either way, on Saturday I was back in Jersey awaiting her call. She wanted to get some rest and leave for New York later in the afternoon. But based on the past events I prepared myself for her to bail. I was out that day with my friend Vicky. We stopped at Marshall’s or Ross because I wanted to pick up some new shirts. I was telling her the whole tale of what I had been through with Michelle. We were in the car ready to leave the parking lot when my flip phone rang. I answered it. It was Michelle. I was expecting the worst. She said if I could come by her place around 3:30pm she’s be ready to go to NYC.

For some reason I was astounded. I told her I’d be there, and went home to pack. Vicky was very happy for me. I put some things in a bag and fired up my ’94 Taurus wagon.

I got to her building and text her. She came down with her bags. I couldn’t believe this was really happening. It was like a dream come true. Here I was seeing Michelle for the first time on a weekend. We were going to New York!  She gets in the car and asks if we can stop at the Starbucks down the street so she can get a coffee or a tea. I pull around and she goes in and gets it. I was a little annoyed because we were already getting such a late start. I wanted to get on the road, and now we were making a stop already. But it was probably just my anxiety about the whole trip in general. Since I had just come back from NYC a year ago, it was an easy drive.

It’s super expensive to stay in NYC. I knew of a nice motel where we could stay across the river in Jersey City. It’s a really quaint, clean little place. We get there and go into the lobby to inquire about a room.

They say they are booked all weekend.

“Is there another hotel in the area?” I ask. “Sure. Go north on this road a ways and it’s up on the right. It’s called the Skyline Motel.”

“Great, thanks!” We drive over and come upon something we didn’t expect. The Skyline Motel is an old place on Tonnelle Avenue. We pull into the parking lot and walk up to the lobby. But you can’t go in because it’s just an Indian guy behind a bullet proof glass like a teller window at a bank in a bad neighborhood.

“Long or short stay?” He says. Okay. When a proprietor of any motel or hotel asks that question it only means one thing. I’ll translate that for you. “Do you want the room for an hour to bang the person you’re with, or will you be staying the night with us?” We paid and he gave us the keys to the room. We went upstairs. I swear, we walked past this skinny hooker at the payphone putting her shoes on. This place was one of “those places” The whole vibe of the place was sketchy. But it was the only hotel in the area, and we would just go with it. Michelle didn’t seem to care.

Actually, the room was really clean. The bed was clean. The bathroom was all new and looked great as well. Good hotel in a shitty area. Oh, there was a mirror on the ceiling over the bed. We drop our gear and secure the room. A few minutes later we’re in a taxi to the Path train. Once there we we walk through Journal Square. When I lived up there, I used to call it Mos Eisley. Because at night, Journal Square was a den of scum and villainy.

We hop on the train into the city. It only takes about 20 minutes to get there. We get off at 32nd and Sixth on the edge of Korea town. We walk a few blocks. Manhattan is enormous. It truly is an amazing city. I love Philly more, but New York is one of the greatest cities in the world. We step into a pub and have a few drinks and some food. We’re happy and having a fun day so far. We walk up to Rockefeller Center. It’s Memorial Day weekend, so the weather is warm, and the city is a little quieter because people go away for the holiday.

We’re having a drink outside. We start chatting with this older couple that are pretty much doing what we’re doing. Just hanging, and enjoying the evening in the city. We’re just having a great time, and at some point they leave. A short time later, we look down and we see that they have forgotten a bag with some things in it. We look inside and there are some tourist looking stuff, but there is also some medicines. It’s something the man probably needs. Michelle and I in true fashion, spring into action. We may be two crazy kids on the loose in NYC, but now we’re on a mission. It’s actually a good thing that it was 2008. That’s 9 years ago. Because there is actually a AAA hotel guide in there. I flip through it and the Waldorf Astoria is circled in pen. Can you beat that?

We head over to the hotel. I’ve never set foot in there. It’s beautiful. I see all of these bottles of Dom Perignon around the lobby as if there were some sort of event there that night. I think if there is a way I can clip one of those bottles out of here I will. Michelle and I used to sometimes steal stuff back then. Nothing big, like cars or anything, but stuff like glassware from bars. I don’t even know why. We walk up to the front desk and tell them what happened, and ask if the people we met are staying there. We tell them we’re not trying anything funny, just trying to help. They take the bag and call upstairs. The people are staying there! The guy is surprised and relieved. I don’t even think he realizes that he had lost his stuff. He tells us he’s coming down. A few moments pass and he appears. We hand over the bag and he looks inside. “Well I can’t go without that! Thank you so much. Let me buy you both a drink.”

All we heard were the words: “buy” and “drink.”

He bought us both a glass of chardonnay. I think we had two rounds.  He paid for the first round and then we paid for the second. We bid him farewell, and he went back up to the room. Philly is expensive, but New York is super expensive. I think it was $14 a glass. Maybe more. Regardless, we were relieved that he bought the first round or we would have had a $56 bill plus tip. You’re looking at $60 for 2 drinks each. Nightmare!

On our way out, Michelle is admiring the bottles of Dom around the lobby. I tell her I had thoughts of trying to steal one, but I didn’t. “Do you know why I didn’t steal one?” I ask. “Because it would be wrong, and bad karma after our good deed tonight?” She says. “That’s a great answer, Michelle. It really is. But it’s wrong.” How so?” she asks. “I didn’t steal a bottle because it would have been wrong. I looked closely at those bottles on the way in. I didn’t clip one because they are all empty.”

We laugh on the way out and are feeling energized from helping someone, while being a couple in NY. I have no idea what time it is because I am so caught up in the moment. We stop at another bar. I know there are plenty of bars in NY that stay open until 4am. We’re having drinks and a great time. An hour or so later, we stumble out of the bar and back to the PATH train. We hop the train back to Jersey City. As the train rises out of the tunnel and climbs the bridge across the river, the car is filled with golden sunlight.

“We stayed out all night!” Michelle exclaims. “Great night though.” I say.

We hop in a taxi in Journal Square (Mos Eisley) and have him drive us back to the Skyline Motel. Maybe it’s too early for the hookers and junkies to be out yet. We get there quickly. Michelle suggests we pay for tomorrow night right now, because she wants to sleep through 11am checkout today. We pay the man behind the bulletproof glass and head up to our room. The great thing is, the curtains are really thick. I pull them closed, and it is once again night in the room. We get out of our clothes, but I don’t think in front of each other. She changes in the bathroom. We’re exhausted.

Sometimes we do good things. Sometimes we do bad things. Today was good. I’m just happy to be with Michelle. I can’t believe my good fortune in meeting her.

We crawl under the sheets and fall asleep.

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

Tune in two weeks from now for the thrilling conclusion to Michelle – NYC – Sunday

 

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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