Sarika – 2014 to Present – Back In The Widow’s Web

Surprise, surprise!

I left the salon after a meeting with Achilles about the fitness center. I wanted to hit Dan Dan, the Asian fusion restaurant and bar where my buddy, Chet works as bartender. I just wanted to unwind after a long day of work, and toss back a few chardonnays.

I was completely out of cigs, so I headed over to the nearest newsstand at 16th and Locust Street. I stood in line while a few people ahead of me were buying their lottery tickets. (Or as I call it, 401K for the poor) I realized I didn’t have enough cash so I got out of line and headed to the little store down on Spruce.

I get my smokes and I head back up 16th street. I get to the intersection at Locust street again, and who do I see crossing the street from me but Sarika! She’s smiling and waving.

I’m wondering how this is possible and it almost seems surreal. I know she looked up at me two weeks ago at Parc and then looked away. I just assumed she had read the blogs about her and she now hated me.

But here she is smiling and looking gorgeous as always. She apologizes for being all sweaty but she says she just came from a spin class at Flywheel across the street.

She still looks sexy as hell. Sweat beading on her forehead, her raven tresses askew and curling about her shoulders. I can see her nipples poking through her wet sports bra. I think this is how she would look after a session with me.

But I digress…

She’s lively and a bit out of breath. We catch up on what’s been happening in our lives. I talk about the fitness center and she goes on about how much she has had to travel lately for her job. She says she recently got a raise. She’s obviously killing it as an engineer/scientist. Brains and beauty.

I ask her if she’d like to join me at Dan Dan for a drink, but she said she’s too sweaty and gross to go anywhere. She just wants to go home.

She says she met a guy she likes. I think she said they met in Atlanta, but he lives in Florida. All of these long distance relationships. But when you think about it, in this day and age it’s not that bad. Sarika travels so much it’s nothing for her to hop on a plane and jet down to Florida for a few days. She can afford it and she’s accustomed to traveling.

I’m happy to hear that she’s doing well and not mad at me. I guess when she said she was reading my blog a few months ago she missed the stuff about her. Bullet dodged!

She says she has to go to Boston this weekend, but will be back next week. She’d like to meet up for a drink.

So I’m happy about this little twist. I’ll let sleeping dogs lie, and we’ll move forward from here.

Sarika is back!

 

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.

Instagram: @phicklephilly Facebook: phicklephilly

 

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.

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly

Sun Stories – Achilles – 2015 to Present – The Bronze God

Part of the Wednesday series will be called “Sun Stories.” That’s any interesting things that happen at the tanning salon.

Here is another friend of mine, that I wanted to introduce to this story. So when I’m writing about my adventures and they are involved in the process or the dialogue, You’ll know who they are.

Achilles was a client of mine. I reached out to many clients that were in the system where I formerly worked selling advertising. He was one of the ones who got back to me. I went to see him at the time. He owns a tanning salon/spa and it was his slow season. Late Summer to early Fall. He hadn’t advertised with us before and I convinced him to give us a try. He gave me some ad artwork, and we went over frequency and budget. We ran the ads for about 12 weeks, but after a while we felt it wasn’t working.

He was ready to not renew the contract with me, but I came up with another idea. I came up with some really good ideas for ads to promote the salon. Instead of the standard coupon type ad, I created some really catchy copy with some great images, to capture the spirit of the place. So he decide to give me one more chance and ran for another 3 months.

During that time I would go into the salon on a weekly basis and chat with him about the copy and some ideas. We also became friends. He would tell me all about his challenges with his younger girlfriend. Achilles is a low-key, simple man. When I say simple, I don’t mean simple-minded. He is incredibly smart and talented in many ways. He just wants to live a simple and uncluttered life.

Born to Greek immigrants, he came to America when he was 6 years old. None of the had much and none of them even spoke English. But if you know anyone who is Greek, they are a great proud people. The Greeks had built their own civilization when many of us were still swinging from trees. They work in restaurants, stick together as a family, save their money, and then open their own businesses. Achilles was running around the city at age 10 delivering pizzas. He’s worked his entire life.

But he’s so much more than that. He can fix anything. Build anything. He’s got a head for mathematics and design. He’s good at running a business and making money. He can build structures, like housing. He can fix your car. He can take apart most mechanical appliances and repair them. His motto is, “Why should I pay someone to do it, if I can do it myself.”

Oh and did I mention he’s in great shape. At 47 he is muscular and really fit. 5’10 180 lbs pure muscle. He owns his own business. Has a beautiful house. A few nice cars, money in the bank, and a motorcycle. It seems like the perfect package. (It also almost seems like Phicklephilly is taking a turn with the other team here doesn’t it?)

So I would go into the salon every week, and Achilles would always be either complaining about his hot young girlfriend or his staff.  His girlfriend of 8 years is always creating arguments and fights out of nowhere. We have discussed this several times and we don’t know why she does it. She just does. He even came so close once to asking her to marry him, and he pulled back and didn’t because of her nonsense. If she could just be cool and just enjoy the calm life she has with him, he’d probably take a chance with her. But only time will tell.

One day for like the fourth time he’s complaining about his staff. This one doesn’t clean the place right. That one calls out because she has anxiety. This one is hung over. Weekend guy’s mom is dying again. I tell him maybe he should hire people who are a little more mature and a bit more reliable. I say this as the 10th beautiful, tan young thing walks by me in the lobby. I tell him that I like to work, and would love to work there as a part-time job at night. So after us building a business relationship for over 9 months his response was: “You’re hired.”

I started working 2 nights a week, and then I occasionally got the weekend schedule. When some people left and the schedule shook out I had most of the shifts. I worked Monday through Friday at the advertising job from 8:15 to 4:45, and worked every evening from 5 to 8 at the salon. Sunday I worked 11-4pm. My only day off was Saturdays. I was working 70 hours a week and loving it. I actually really love working at the salon. The clients are nice and it’s a fun and easy job. I’m a good sales guy, so he actually pays me commission for selling accessories.

I’ll probably stay in advertising as long as possible even though it’s a grinding thankless job. But Achilles and I are looking to open a gym or a spin bike studio somewhere in the city. If that happens we’ll be business partners. So stay tuned!

 

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

I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about related characters, such as male and female friends and acquaintances on Wednesdays at 9am EST.

Michelle – 2007 to Present – Chapter 2 – Getting to Know You

I know these initial chapters are  short and I’m sure the real Michelle reading them will feel the same. But Just know that this is the beginning of me knowing her. There isn’t much data, because not much was happening in the beginning. But just know these stories will expand and be rich in history once I get to know her. Stay with the story. It gets better.

Michelle began work as an account representative in my department. At first it was kind of weird having her there. We were all a bunch of misfits and she was this really pretty woman who seemed perfect. Why would she want to work with a bunch of miscreants like us? But everyone made her feel welcome. Of course I would chat with her because she was a total babe and I couldn’t help it.

Michelle, is basically an easy-going girl. For someone as tall and beautiful as she is, she doesn’t have analoof  attitude. She’s very approachable and friendly. I have always described her as, “The nicest, beautiful girl, I’ve ever met.” That statement stands true to this day. Many think beauty equals kindness. That is usually not the case. Physically beautiful people get preferential treatment every day.

Beauty is not subjective. Contrary to popular belief, men and women generally agree on who is and who is not physically attractive, even across other cultures.What makes someone enjoyable to look at? High cheekbones, fuller lips, big eyes, and a thin chin are associated with sexiness in women, whereas a big jaw and broad chin are preferred in men. Smooth skin, shiny hair, and facial symmetry are also key aspects of beauty. According to various studies, these provide measures of health, good genes, intelligence, and success. More often than not, the world rewards beauty. Beautiful people are viewed as healthier.

Facial symmetry, considered the beacon of beauty, can be perceived as good health, even if it is not related to actual health. In an Australian study, researchers morphed photographs of young adults so that their faces were perfectly symmetrical. In general, the symmetric version of each face — both male and female — received higher health ratings than the normal image. Individuals with asymmetric faces were perceived as unhealthy.

It’s easier for beautiful people to find mates. Men seek attractive women as mates because good looks signal youth, health, and reproductive fitness. Beautiful people are more persuasive. Good-looking people can use their sex appeal and good looks to be more persuasive, say in a job interview or when asking for a promotion. Attractive people are more persuasive, in part, because they also possess or develop key personality traits — like intelligence and strong social skills — that make them more effective communicators. Researchers also found that compared to unattractive speakers, attractive speakers were much more fluent talkers.

Beautiful people are perceived as more likeable and trustworthy. Beautiful people are typically treated better by others. In a study from Harvard University, researchers found that wearing makeup, shown to enhance a woman’s attractiveness,boosted people’s perception of the subject’s competence, likability, attractiveness, and trustworthiness.

All of that said, when I met Michelle she was just coming into her own. She was breaking internal barriers, emotionally and physically. She had a hard shell that she wore like a suit of armor every day. Not a hard exterior or an attitude, just a barrier to protect her fragile, developing, inner self. She was a confused twenty-seven year old woman. Just trying to figure it all out like every other girl her age. She liked novelty, but loved adventure, sometimes in the fast lane.

Michelle is kind. Like I said, she is a very nice lady. She is also mostly conservative, but liberal in her beliefs. She always comes across as authentic. She doesn’t like bullshit, or those who spew it. She had a strong dislike for fake people or gossips. She does not have the time nor the tolerance to put up with a lot of nonsense, or “give people a lot of chances.” She’s very civic-minded and volunteered at several foundations.

Michelle does love to laugh, drink and smoke cigarettes. She loves to listen to her music. Michelle is always down to party any day of the week. Who doesn’t love a chick that’s willing to take a few chances?

She had told me she had won a trip for two to Greece through the company. Sadly, she had to come up with the money for the hotel or the airfare or something. So it wasn’t really a prize. I don’t know what it was. I asked her who she was going with and she said her ex-boyfriend. They had been together since they were 15 and broke up when she moved to the city a few years ago. (See: Michelle – Chapter 1) I think she had been with him for so long, (I’m sure he was the first one to punch her V-Card, so there’s that.) When you’re with someone like that when you are so young and you’re together for years, that person sort of becomes like family. They were trying to get back together when I met Michelle. She had dated a few guys since coming to Philly, and even had a relationship with a guy that worked at the company for a while. I’ve met him and he’s dumb as a post. He never treated her well simply because he didn’t know how. He liked acquiring her but he couldn’t relate to her and was never compassionate to her. He just didn’t have it in him. He liked hanging at the club with his boys surrounded by bitches and hos. Are you getting the picture? They were like O.J. and Nicole but without the murder. There you go.

So that was a fail. When you fail you go back to the familiar. Michelle migrated back to Delaware Dave. That’s what I’ll call him. But Dave was in Delaware and didn’t like being around crowds, or going out in the city or anything. Me, on the other hand was there in the office with her everyday. I had been away from Philly for many years and loved going out and exploring the city. Actually, back then I was living in a little apartment in Pennsauken NJ. I would commute in every morning. I had not yet become the Dark Lord of the City of Brotherly Love yet in 2008.

One night our department went out to dinner at the Continental on 18th street. I remember me and the retarded guy making room for Michelle to sit next to our boss because it was so obvious he liked her. The dinner was great and the drinks flowed. Michelle had to go and Herbert was super concerned about Michelle’s safety walking home. A little too much. This guy was weak. He was smart and well-educated but when it came to matters of the heart he couldn’t handle himself properly. It felt awkward. So he’s had a few drinks and we’re walking with him and he says: “Guys, I think I’m falling in love with my employee.” This wouldn’t be the first time for family man Herbert. We found out that he once worked for a competitor and had an affair with one of his employees. It didn’t go well and I saw the long scratch from a key down the side of his white 300 series Mercedes. What an idiot. So he ended up leaving that company and coming here. I wonder how he explained that gouge to his wife. Probably blamed it on vandals.

There were days when I would take a seat next to Michelle by her work station and chat with her. She began to open up to me about some aspects of her life. She suffered from some health problems that many don’t understand. Nothing life threatening but troublesome in regard to quality of daily life. I gathered some info from a specialist and passed it along to her. I would sometimes leave her a granola bar as a breakfast snack some mornings. I also bought her lotion because her hands would get dry in the cold weather. Sometimes in the afternoons we would watch funny videos on her computer. She admitted that when she saw clips of people falling down accidentally or from doing stupid activities it really tickled her. So our work friendship was developing. I was just honored to be around this lovely lady.

This was so much better than scuttling down the hallway after her to the billing department.

 

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

I publish new Dating content every Monday. I publish Updates and bios and stories about related characters, such as male and female friends and acquaintances on Wednesdays at 9am EST.