Wildwood Daze – Summer of 1979 – Lola – Part 2

I chatted with my mom at lunch. Had some Ellio’s pizza. Ellio’s is the first pizza I ever tasted. I was a very picky eater since I was a child. I didn’t even try pizza until I was 12 or 13. But Ellio’s was a frozen pizza you could buy in the store. It came in a box with three frozen slabs (three rectangles each. Nine slices.) I could normally crush a single slab at 17. I didn’t like trying new things but I was introduced to ‘pizza flavor’ through Pepperidge Farms ‘pizza flavored’ goldfish crackers.

As my taste buds matured during puberty, pizza flavor seemed amazing. So I tried Ellio’s frozen pizza and immediately loved it. It’s total shit now, but back then it was actually really good. (See: Thanksgiving Ritual)

But Sam’s Pizza at 26th and the Boardwalk was still the God of Pizza in Wildwood. There is no other slice that can compete. Fuck Mack’s Pizza.

I felt calm. That was always a welcoming feeling because most of the time I was nervous and fearful in general. I told my mom I was headed to the beach for a bit. Life was so simple and beautiful back then. I wish I could have enjoyed it more.

But as I write this now, I think I did.

I was off today, and it was another perfect day in North Wildwood by the Sea. Sunny and a good beach day.

I grabbed my cigs, lighter, big blanket, a towel and a beach chair. I stuffed it all into the chair so I only had one thing to carry. Cigs were in the waistband of my bathing trunks and matches/lighter were either in the pack or tucked into the cellophane that encased the box. I’m wearing my Aerosmith T-shirt for no other reason but that I love that band with all of my heart.

I also brought my Polaroid One Shot Camera with me. (Google it kids!)

I walk over to 9th street towards Lola’s house.

Lola’s already sitting on the porch and ready to go. I like that. She looks sweet. She’s wearing a long T-shirt so it covers her like a shitty cotton mumu. I don’t care. I’m just happy she’s here.

“I see you’re ready to go.”

“Been waiting for hours. Where’ve you been?” She giggles and grabs her towel off the chair next to her and we’re off to the beach.

It’s not terribly hot and we chat as we make our way through the trail that leads to the open beach.

It’s a lovely August afternoon. Maybe one of the last great days of summer. The beach is filled with people and the smell of coppertone and solarcaine. I can hear the phillies game on several radios around me so it feels like some sort of beach stereo experience.

The extremely tanned ice cream man is making his way down the beach. He’s dressed all in white. His hair tawny from the summer sun. His legs are strong from marching up and down the beach for two months selling fudgicles, orange creamcicles and cherry ice. He carries on his back a small ice box loaded with treats and dry ice.

He calls out to anyone that’ll listen or the thirsty child that he has a box of treats for them.

“Ice cream!      Cherry Ice!       Fudgicle!”

The single propeller planes roll by in the sky over the Atlantic Ocean pulling long signs behind them that your best bet for dinner tonight is at Urie’s Fish Fry at 588 West Rio Grande Avenue.

Mom’s are putting lotion on their kids. Dads are laughing and talking about sports. Families are together and enjoying the summer sun. Happy to be away from the heat of the city. It’s always cooler at the shore and nice to escape the oppressive humidity of the heat in Philly.

Teens play frisbee and splash each other in the water. It’s a perfect day in the paradise I have been blessed to live in thanks to my father’s strategic moves to bring THE QUINTESSENTIAL SUMMER EXPERIENCE he had but sort of never had.

In this moment at age seventeen, I’m Wildwood royalty and I don’t even know it. I’ve lived in a house a block and a half from the beach in North Wildwood every summer for the last decade. All thanks to my father. I know sometimes I talk shit on my dad in this blog, but the guy was fucking magic whan it came to summer and christmas. (Not in that order!)

So here I am with Lola. Like everybody, we stake out our little piece of real estate on the beach and spread out my course blue blanket. I liked it because it could house several people and sand couldn’t penetrate the material. That’s key at the beach. Sand is your enemy. Chafing. Grit. Irritation. And other things…..

But sand is soft. It can get so hot that you will have to run to the beach and literally throw your towel ahead of you so you have a place to stand to rest. (We used to do this all of the time!)

But today the sand is soft under our feet. It’s warm and yields to our every step.

We lay out the big blue blanket and place it down like every other person on this beach. I drop my cigs and lighter and open the beach chair. I brought it because it holds all of my stuff in it and maybe Lola wants to chill in a chair and not be forced to sit on a blanket the whole time. I don’t know, so I just went with as many options as possible for her because this is all new territory.

She’s happy to sit on the blanket and I drop it in the chair. We’re chatting and I think we’re both starting to feel the August heat. Not in a sexual way that I know of, It’s just a really hot day.

“Wanna go in the ocean?”

“I think I need it at this point, Chaz.”

Lola takes off her big T-shirt. She’s wearing a brown one piece. The cool thing I realize in this moment is being at the beach with girls is that you get to see them strip down to basically underwear and it’s totally cool. It’s the only time in your young life that you get to see girls basically go down to a bra and panties right in front of a boy and it’s totally normal. But unknown to them in that moment it’s an explosively erotic experience.

This has happened to me over and over on this very beach. But it never comes to a fiery light until you hit puberty.

Everybody’s always stripping off their clothes on a regular basis everyday on the beach. It’s just what you all do to get some sun and go swimming.

But you reach a certain age and everything changes.

Anne pulls off her T-Shirt.

She’s beautiful in the late summer sun.

I look upon her. Lovely face, dark hair and warm brown eyes.

She’s wearing a brown one piece. It’s cut low in the front that showcases her ample breasts. There’s no back in this suit. It’s cut high on her thighs. Her legs, even though she’s short, are shapely and full in all of the right places. She’s absolutely gorgeous.

Her brown skin, tanned from the season glows in the late August sun. Like me she’s a little sad she’ll soon have to go back to Newark, NJ.

But I have this moment. I have today on this beach.

This is the sandy stage where I may have a sweet moment with this lovely girl who came to me in my favorite arcade.

“Let’s go in the water.”

“Yea. It’s hot.”

I walk to the edge of the sea with this new girl. She seems so nice and I feel no anxiety.

We jump into the waves. I love the force of the ocean even though I don’t like heights or deep water. But it feels nice with Lola.

The beach is full of tourists, but as we sink into the warm ocean, it’s just the two of us in this moment.

We’re swimming around and it feels so good. Anne is really sweet and we’re laughing and joking with each other. She looks beautiful.

She swims over to me and puts her arms around me. She’s lovely and wet. Her hair a tangle of curls. Her dark eyes sparkle in the late afternoon light. She glides into my lap. I cradle her. We’re in the ocean so she’s just sort of floating in my lap. She’s so close. I’m holding her in my arms now. I run my hands along her soft smooth thighs.

We kiss.

Lola’s lips her plump and salty. But so sweet against mine.

Our tongues swirl together.

She was like a luscious mermaid. I kissed her deeply as the waves washed around us as young lovers. Lola’s breasts are overwhelming and they are all around me as a teenage boy. It’s too much but just right in a three bears kind of way. It’s really nice to gently hold her.

It was one of the perfect moments in my life.

I’ve had many, but this was one of the first ones and they mean so much. They mark you so deeply.

We just floated in the sea kissing and cuddling and caressing. It was almost spiritual.

I fell in love with sweet Lola in that moment.

In 4 hours I’ll publish Part 3!

 

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Dating and Relationship Advice – 8 Very Subtle Gestures Proven To Help Get Someone You’re Into In The Mood

When you’re into someone and ready to take things to the next level, you might think about sending some signals. And while more obvious moves like saying straight-out that you want to have sex or turn them on might be, in some ways, simpler and more to the point, there’s something to be said for the very subtle gestures proven to help get someone in the mood. Yes, the chance that these much subtler gestures will be overlooked might be slightly higher than if you go for something more obvious, but the less overt gestures can get the job done just as well.

Being a little bit nervous in a new relationship or if you haven’t been intimate in a while is totally normal and understandable and in these cases in particular, subtle gestures might make you feel more at ease. But even if you’re not shy about your intentions or feel the slightest of butterflies in your stomach, sometimes a subtler gesture feels a little more romantic and like it fits the situation a little bit better than something so obvious and, well, not quite as romantic (if still effective).

“If you want to take your relationship to the next level try to make that clear,” Bethany Ricciardi, a sex educator at TooTimid, tells Romper in an email. “But always remember it is about the gestures you make and how you act that usually end up counting, not just what you say.”

1. Rub Their Back

A gentle, almost absentminded back rub can be both subtle and effective when it comes to getting someone in the mood. “caressing the back is a psychological, as well as a physical turn on,” Jenna Ponaman, CPC, ELI-MP, a relationship coach and expert, tells Romper in an email exchange. “The feeling of a light trace up the spine is instantly tension releasing — in fact it may tickle for some. It’s a teasing signal to the body, leaving it to want more…something more tense, more hands on, waiting to be taken over. The slight caress of the back trigger a primal response, if you will. Being taunted with while at the same time relaxing and moving into that feel good state.”

2. Pay Them Compliments

 

Compliments maybe aren’t your typical go-to when it comes to the art of seduction (or maybe they are), but they probably should be a part of it. “Let the person you’re into know it,” Ricciardi says. “Share how attracted you are to them; the more attractive they feel the more they’ll want to have sex with you!”

 

3.Mirror Them

“Mirroring the person’s attitude and energy level, as well as key movements, is a way to draw closer and signal the desire for a connection,” Maryann Karinch, an author or co-author of multiple books on body language, including one on dating, tells Romper in an email exchange. “Mirroring is effective because it’s a nonverbal signal that there is a desire to bond.” If they’re upbeat and you respond in a way that’s also upbeat, they’ll pick up on that.

4. Sit Close To Them

Cuddling up after a long day may or may not lead to anything else, but it definitely can strengthen your bond. “[N]aturally, when you cuddle you release oxytocin, which makes you feel good and feel stress free,” Carla Romo, a dating and relationship coach, tells Romper by email. “If your partner has had a stressful week it can be a great idea to spend time cuddling. When you are less stressed this allows you to be more relaxed to get in the mood with your partner.” So while you might sit close to your partner on the couch just to feel close to them, it can also be an effective way to get them in the mood.

 

5. Make Eye Contact

If you’re trying to get someone in the mood, where you’re standing and how much attention you’re paying them both make a difference. “make sure you are in the closest intimacy zone, but leave a little space so [they] can observe the sexy signals you will be sending,” Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, a licensed psychotherapist and body language expert, tells Romper in an email exchange. Coleman says that making — and maintaining — eye contact can definitely help clue them in to the fact that you’re interested and get them in the mood as well.

 

6. Don’t Close Yourself Off

When you’re trying to seduce someone or get them in the mood, you might not think that your posture and the way you’re standing matters all that much, but it actually can have a real effect. “If the front of your body is exposed to the other person — that is, arms are not crossed in front of you, you are not angled away from the person, and your legs are even slightly apart — your body language is displayed great trust in the other person,” Karinch says. Standing with a more open posture is subtle, but it just might help.

 

7. Cup Their Face

“It shows how much they care for and adore you,” Ponaman says. “For a woman, our arousal can be very much tied into our emotional appeal.” That means that showing how much you care for them beyond just your level of physical attraction might help if you’re hoping to get them in the mood.

“This would be an instant turn-on for most,” she adds.

8. Tilt Your Head

Head tilts in and of themselves might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to a gesture designed to turn someone on, but it might be more effective than you think.

“[Gestures like head tilting, eye contact, and more] are effective because they are universal signs of sexual interest that get the person’s focus where you want it and send a signal that would be hard for them to misunderstand or ignore,” Coleman says. “This is sure to help get their pulse revving and their juices flowing.”

 

Was this helpful? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject!

 

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Dating and Relationship Advice – The Four Types of Love Addiction

“Romantic love is heavily associated with the same regions of the brain as drug addiction.”

I feel like this is one of my most personal and powerful reveals. I’ve done extensive research on this subject over the past three years and here’s what I’ve discovered.

Romantic love is heavily associated with the same regions of the brain as drug addiction. Those who have it experience the same intensely pleasurable feelings, while those who are deprived of it experience the same crashing emotional lows and cravings. Consequently, it’s fair to say that love is an addiction. Whether it is positive or negative, though, depends on whether the love is reciprocated, appropriate and nontoxic.

Still, because everyone’s different, there are different types of negative love addiction. Humans can be loosely categorized into four major types, based on their overall patterns of thoughts and behaviors. Each of the four types tends to experience negative love addiction in a different way.

Romance Junkies

Romance junkies fall into the category of explorers, ruled largely by the dopamine system of the brain. Explorers are adrenaline junkies, hooked on thrills, adventures, and above all, novelty. In romance, this translates into an ongoing search for the dopamine rush affiliated with new relationships. When the infatuation phase gives way to the inevitable crash and burn, romance junkies are likely to go elsewhere seeking a new infatuation. (Totally me.)

Attachment Junkies

Builders, who are largely ruled by serotonin, are cautious, conventional, rigid rule-followers. They like to stick to plans and schedules, and take responsibility very seriously. Consequently, they tend to revere attachment above all other elements of a serious relationship. Their love addiction keeps them holding on long after a relationship has run its course.

Violence Junkies

People who fall into the directors category are largely ruled by testosterone. Although many directors never escalate into physical violence, they tend to be less empathetic and less socially skilled than their peers. Consequently, they tend to be action-oriented, using their physicality to express their emotions. They are likely to become violence junkies, addicted to chaos and turmoil in their relationships. When they are rejected, violence junkies may turn to stalking, physical attacks, or even impulsive suicide or homicide.

Despair Junkies

Negotiators are ruled primarily by estrogen and oxytocin. They tend to be agreeable, trusting, nurturing, and introspective, the caretakers in their relationships. Their addiction runs toward self-sacrifice, giving more than they should to heavily damaged partners. When they are rejected, despair junkies fall into rumination, obsessive thinking, and clinical depression. They tend to talk endlessly about the trauma, blame themselves, and try fruitlessly to figure out what they did wrong. Despair junkies are at higher risk for suicide in the wake of rejection.

Love addiction is complicated and highly personal, and every situation is different. Most people, regardless of type, manage to successfully navigate the pain associated with a breakup. Still, it is wise to be aware of your own type and those of your closest friends, and to watch out for each other in the weeks and months following a rejection. Taking proactive steps to ease the trauma can help to ensure that you do not fall into a dangerous pattern.

Which one are you? I’d love to hear some feedback from you.

 

 

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Cherie – Chapter 9 – Misconduct on your Birthday

“You’re hot like coffee, but sweet like chocolate”

The Wednesday before her 27th birthday arrives. The day before I had called my friend Keila, who is great at all things party and presents. I tell her my dilemma in regard to what I could get Cherie for her birthday. She offers some good suggestions.

I head to Starbucks. I get in line and ask the guy behind me what’s a good dollar amount for a gift card. He says go with $20 because Starbucks is expensive coffee. I get the card and then head to my next destination.  I walk into the shops at Liberty Place. I know Cherie likes milk chocolate so I scope out a little something of that variety. The girl working is very nice and guides me to a little box of six different kinds of truffles. Looks perfect and I know Cherie will love it. Cherie isn’t expecting anything so it’ll make it even better when I surprise her. I ask the girl if she can wrap it up and she says she can put some fancy birthday ribbon on it. I pay for it and she puts it in a fancy Godiva gift bag with some nice tissue paper around it. She asks me if I want a little card and I agree. It’s blank, which I like. I always have to put my words in cards, none of that store-bought nonsense.

I move out to the center of the mall and sit at a quiet table. I have about 30 minutes to kill so I can get things set up. I write a little witty prose in the card and put her name on the envelope. I slide the Starbucks gift card under the ribbon. Now I’ve got a great little gift for my lady.

I head over to Misconduct restaurant at 18th and JFK Blvd. I’m early, and my favorite hostess is there. (See: Mary – Unexpected Table for Two) I tell her what I’m up to and she’s down. She says she’ll hold the gift under the hostess stand next to her purse and we’ll use a code phrase when I want her to bring it to the table. She also reserves my favorite table, #12.

Cherie is texting me that she’s leaving Temple University. I know it’s going to be a nightmare for her to get down here and park. Septa has recently gone on strike again, and that always causes a great deal of major problems for the city and it’s commuters. There’ll be heavier traffic, little parking on the streets, and full parking lots. I recently spoke with an UBER driver, assuming they would be killing it during the strike, but he said no. There are so many more cars on the streets because everybody has to drive in to the city, that they aren’t getting enough fares fast enough to break even. So even the alternative taxi services are screwed when Septa strikes.

Lunch is at 12:30 but I know that Cherie won’t make it until after 1:00pm with all of this nonsense going on. I’m sitting at my table, sipping my water, looking at my phone, and chatting with the staff. I have my little surprise gift hidden and I don’t care how long it takes her to get down here, I’m just happy I’m going to see her.

She’s texting me and getting frustrated. She doesn’t want to be late, but I assure her I understand and to just be safe. She finally finds parking and says she’ll be there shortly. The server jokes that she thinks I’ve been stood up, or this is all just a lie so I could come in and chat with her and the hostess.

“You work for tips, right?”

She laughs.

Cherie arrives. She looks lovely. Custom fit black leather jacket over what appears to be a burgundy top that is low-cut in the front. As she approaches the table, I stand. Her skirt is short and grey. She is wearing black leather ankle boots. That combination showcases her shapely legs. We hug, but avoid the PDA. (Public Display of Affection) She apologizes for being late and compliments me on my patience as always. I really don’t mind waiting for her. I know she comes from a great distance most of the time. Septa has screwed up the city, and finding parking in center city is brutal. It’s not that she’s recklessly late every time. There are just extenuating circumstances that she’s constantly up against to see me.

So baby gets a pass.

She orders some crazy Cowboy Burger that I’ve never ordered and I get my usual Chicken tenders and a little bowl of mac and cheese to share.

Lunch is lovely, and the conversation and laughter are lively. The staff is on point, and the food is great as always. We get the check, and I give them my card. When the server brings it back for me to sign, I give them the code phrase. “Can you tell me when tea time is?” I didn’t come up with this line, the hostess did. She comes over and places the Godiva bag down on the table. Cherie seems really surprised.

“Happy Birthday, Cher. I know you said you didn’t want anything but me for your birthday, but I had to get you a little something.”

“What’s this? You’re so sweet!” She exclaims.  She’s looking at the candy and Starbucks card, but then goes for the little card with her name on it. Opening it quickly she reads it, and starts smiling. It reads:

“Cherie, You’re hot like coffee, but sweet like chocolate” Love, Me XO”

“Thank you so much. You didn’t have to do this.” She’s holding the little card. “I like this…”

We leave the restaurant. We’ve been there for about two hours. Her car is parked all the way down at 20th and Bainbridge. A little bit of a hike from Misconduct. She made better time than I thought. We get to the Saab and hop in. Her skirt is riding up a little. Her thighs are tantalizing. Some kissing ensues. But like I said, it’s still light out, and people are walking by, some with strollers. Her window is open, so if I’m smooching her, and I see someone with kids or a stroller approaching in the rearview mirror, I start talking about church or some bible reference. Hoping they see that we are just good christians having a heartfelt conversation about God. But once they are past, I’m back at her.

We both realize, this whole making out in the car is an invitation to the C-Blockers. We know where this relationship is heading like a speeding train. It’s inevitable. Then I get an idea. I tell her to drive. We go a few blocks east and I have her hang a left.

“When you see a parking spot anywhere up here just hop in it.” We find one right in front of a restaurant. Perfect.

“Where are we going?”

“You’ll see. Trust me. You’ll like it.”

It’s getting dark now. I take her to the tanning salon. We walk up the stairs, but instead of going in, we throw a left and open a door to the space in the front of the building that’s unlocked and un-rented This is the spot where Achilles and I were going to open our spin bike gym. It should have been open for three months by now, but the owner decided to sell the building. That put everything on hold. Sadly, the space still remains empty. The one whole wall is glass from floor to ceiling. Great view of the night street below. People are bustling by and the street is filled with angry motorists, blowing their horns and gridlocked because of the Septa strike. The space is quiet and if feels safe above the street. I kill the ceiling fans, and throw the switch to turn off the overhead lights. Now the space is dark. There’s a leather love seat by the window. I push it across the hardwood floor to the back corner. There’s no way anyone can see us from the street. I text my co-worker and friend, Trish, (See: Trish – The She Wolf) who is next door working at the salon that I am in the empty space out front. I decide it’s better if I stop over with Cherie, and make an appearance.

We go next door. Trish is happy to see us. I introduce Cherie to Trish, and I can see they are hitting it off. I tell Trish that we don’t want to sit in a bar somewhere, so we’re just going to be next door enjoying the view and chilling. We go back to our leather love seat next door. I lock the door behind us. So no one can see us coming to the salon and no one can see us from the street.

The romance ensues. It’s such a great space. if someone said to me a year ago, that I’d be not only working at this salon, but I’d be next door in the space where I was supposed to open a spin bike gym, making out with a beautiful young woman, I’d think they were nuts. But here we were. It all felt so illicit. I knew we weren’t doing anything wrong. The space is empty, it’s 7pm at night, no one can see us, and my buddy Trish knows we’re there.

I have vowed to try to keep these stories PG-13, but the limits are slowly being pushed into R rated territory. I don’t know how I can continue to write this story about Cherie, without including some sort of 18+ warning. But maybe I can share a few things that were said over the next hour or so. (Or I will at least embellish so you get it.)

Cherie: “I like your new jeans. Have you tested the zipper enough?”

Me: What? Ohhhhh…. Who are you, Monica Lewinski?

Me: “Okay, so the top you’re wearing is just a one piece jumpsuit? Do you have to take the whole thing down to use the restroom?”

Cherie: “No. There are two snaps right here at the bottom, see?” *Snap! *Snap!

Me: “So from the eyebrows down…no hair?”

Cherie: “Oh my God… You’re incredible. That feels amazing!

You get the picture. It was just a little preview for the coming days, so to speak. It was like we had been shopping for a car for the last few dates. We took a couple out for a little test drive that night, and were ready to make a purchase the next time we we’re together. It was simply inevitable. We literally couldn’t take it anymore. The great thing was. She’s not much of a drinker, so after all of our dates, I have never had one drop of alcohol or smoked a cigarette around her. I don’t mind, because when I’m with Cherie, I want for nothing but her and her alone. It feels great.

So after that bit of third base activity, we decide to get out of there. I walk her to her car and kiss her goodnight. I’m only a few blocks from my house so I head home. It feels nice to walk in the cool October night and reflect on our passion. Cherie said she wants me for her birthday and I want to grant her wish. I just need to figure where and how I can make that happen.

Cherie and I have reached critical mass and something has to be done.

 

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Cherie – Chapter 8 – Lion and the Scorpion – Part II

Two weeks ago this story left off with the following cliffhanger:

…But here’s the best part of all of that. She works in a pediatrician’s office as one of her two jobs. She says she loves children. She wants to be a doctor that practices pediatric neurosis when she finishes her education. That’s awesome. So I’m assuming, young woman, loves kids, already has one would probably want another one or two to round out the dinner table. Based on these stories you know that my last 3 relationships all ended for that reason. I’ve already been married. I have a child. I have paid over $120,000 in tax-free money to someone who is not a nice person and hurts those around her. My ex-wife has already burned through her second marriage and has another kid. But I digress.

Oh sure, I could get married and have another kid and live happily ever after. Sure that could happen. But based on my track record, it’s a sucker bet. If I did that and somehow fucked it up again. My child support payments would be coming out of my Social Security checks. No. Just place the gun in my mouth and gently curl your finger so that everything I ever was ends up on the wall behind me.

So I pull the trigger on this lovely, seemingly perfect romance. Because this way I don’t have to say my last 4 relationships ended for the same reason. I can still say 3, because this beautiful flower that has grown between Cherie myself in the last few weeks will be stomped into the earth under the hob nail boot of reality. Doomed from the start. Destroyed before it could ever flourish.

“Do you want more children, Cherie?”

“No. I don’t want anymore children. I told you that on our first date.”

How the fuck could I have missed this incredibly earth shattering piece of information? This is incredible news. Groundbreaking stuff. If she really doesn’t want kids, we could actually sustain a long-term relationship.

Maybe.

She knows my situation. Well, I’ll just play it cool and try to fly level. We’ll see where this goes. I won’t lose my mind and rush into anything. My last girlfriend has been gone for two years. Cherie’s been split from her son’s father for two years as well. Maybe the stars have aligned. She’s really laid back. Getting her education. Working two jobs in her field of endeavor. I’m not going to think about all of this. I’m just going to enjoy our time together. Let the universe unfold as it should.

We decide to get something to eat. She’s come all the way down here. I should at least feed the girl. We walk South on 22nd street. Down to Sansom. We head East and I look through the window at Cavanaugh’s. Too noisy on a Saturday night. We round the corner at 18th and I peek in Wrap Shack. Looks too crowded. Then I get an idea. She once said she liked breakfast for dinner. I know just where to take her.

We hit the Midtown Diner up the street. It’s dead. Which I think is odd, but then I speak to the hostess. She says this is the calm before the storm. They watch all of the people walking South to the bars, and then around 11:30 to 2am they all come back. Then the place gets busy again.

This 24 hour diner has been here a long time. It’s a Philly classic. All of the waitresses are old. They’ve all worked there for many years. That says a lot about a place.  The servers are the kind of old dolls that call everyone “Hon.” The whole dining room is empty. We can pick any booth we want. We take a seat and check out the menus.

“Remember that black lace top I wore on our second date?” Cherie asks.

“How can I forget? I reprimanded you for dressing like that for school.” I respond.

“Well, I had a T-shirt in my car. I wore that top for you. I was all covered with mosquito bites and covered up, but I wanted to show you my body. I changed into the T-shirt before I went to class.”

Wow. I had no idea. I need to pay close attention to this one. She was into me by our second date at El Rey. That little minx. She’s playing footsie with me under the table. She reaches under the table and rubs my leg. I’m trying to concentrate on the menu but it’s useless. This is how she is when she’s sober. I’m sober too. I don’t even think about drinking or smoking when I’m with her. Cherie is the drug I’m on. Just like the song by Roxy Music.

But don’t you know, this couple comes in shortly after and sits in the booth right next to us. I mean right next to us. I turn my head to the right, and they’re right there! C-Blocked again!

Everything is liquid between us and everybody is doing everything they can to stop us from attacking each other. We actually feel a little angry about this. I just laugh and tell her that humans are for the most part social animals. They can’t help but be near each other. We discuss moving to the back, but decide against it. We’d look rude. It’s not that important. We’ll have plenty of time together. The game is afoot and I love it.

“Cherie. Your birthday’s Thursday. What are you doing for your birthday?”

“Nothing. I have to work. I don’t really care about my birthday.”

“Don’t you want anything?”  I know it’s early in the game, but I’m trying to be nice.

“You know what I want?”

“What?”

“I want you. I want to be with you. You know… in that way.”

Okay…. Okay…. This lady knows what she wants. I’m almost find it a bit intimidating but arousing. Man… This is going to be good. I need to plan something soon.

I’m attracted to Cherie, and think she’s a great girl. I love making her laugh and she also has a great sense of humor. I like when she just looks at me with her dark dreamy eyes. I feel so lucky. At my age, to have a lovely girl like this attracted to me is wonderful. I’m not experiencing the intoxicating rush I felt with my last girlfriend, Annabelle, but I feel safer this time around. (See:Annabelle – Nice To Meet You) Cherie knows who she is and what she wants. She’s already been a parent for six years. She’s grounded and responsible. I’m actually relieved that I’m falling for this woman, and I’m not on an emotional rollercoaster like I was with the highly unstable Annabelle. I’m not wondering what she’ll do next, or what crazy decision she’ll make about her life. That poor impulsive fool.

This feels much better. I’m happy that Cherie’s in my life. I’m not a spiritual person, but this feels like some sort of blessing.

The waitress approaches. “Hey there. It’s been awhile since you two have been in here.”

I’m thinking, it certainly has been awhile, since we’ve never been there together. But her sentiment is sweet. Maybe it’s just me that looks familiar. Or that my daughter has mysteriously become a black woman. We order some food and are chatting. Already deciding that we’d like to meetup on Wednesday for lunch. I know just where I’m going to take her. We’re also planning on seeing each other on Saturday too. This is getting serious. Technically, this is only our fourth date, but we’ve had very long dates. It just flows naturally.

My friend Carly said she may be able to hook me up with a room at the Club Quarters for Saturday. She said that if the hotel isn’t 95% full, they’ll hook me up with a room for $50. Which is incredible. If not, Carly said she can still hook me up with a room for $129, which still isn’t bad. Think about what I’m getting. Spend the night with a beautiful young woman? Totally worth whatever it costs. I could also take her down to the shore house. But that’s a hike, and I have to be back Sunday morning to run that salon. So simply for the sake of geography and time, Club Quarters works for me. I’ve already cleared it with my sister that no one will be at the shore house just in case. I won’t have to get a zip car. We’ll cruise down in the Saab.

I think about how frustrating and confounding my courtship was with Michelle, and also with Annabelle. All the back and forth. Flip flopping with their choices. Not really knowing what they wanted. Cherie is direct and clear on what she likes and what she wants. It just makes for a happier more calm relationship.

We finish eating and those C-Blocking losers next to us have already left, so we have a little personal time before the bill comes. Remember how I used to complain about all those senior citizens I was dating and how the wallets never came out? This is so different from that. Cherie drives an hour to come down here to see me. Pays $25 to put her car in a lot. Doesn’t want anything. The bill is only $17. I’ve been with her for seven hours. $17 is what the whole date cost me.

We walk back to the lot at 23rd and Cherry. Isn’t that cop still sitting in his SUV in the same exact spot? It’s been hours!  What is he on, stake out?  We decide to just leave. She drives down to around 21st and Lombard and finds a quiet spot. People are walking by in Halloween costumes. It’s fun to watch. We’re talking and more kissing ensues. It’s really nice.

It’s getting late, and I know she has to make the hour drive back to Pottstown. It’s really great that she comes to me. She said her personality is that of a pleaser. That’s funny. Me too. I certainly am looking forward to pleasing her at some point.

She drives me back to my place and we say our good nights. I ask her to please text me when she safely arrives home. She says she will. I go upstairs and fix myself a vodka club on the rocks and light a cigarette. It feels good to be home in my chair after a wonderful evening with Cherie. I think about our lunch date coming up on Wednesday. I’ll call the hostess ahead of time and reserve my favorite table. I know Cherie has made it clear what she wants for her birthday, but that’s inevitable. I’m going to give that gift to her a lot. That really seems like a gift for me. Again, I cannot believe my good fortune here.

I feel like I should get her a little something, and give it to her on Wednesday. I’ll think on this. Talk to my female friends. I can’t go with jewelry, it’s too early. Huge mistake. That sets the bar too high if we make it to Christmas. God, then there’s Valentine’s Day after that. I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ve got a few days to plot what I’ll do. Something small and sweet.

My phone pings and she is home safe.

I wish her sweet dreams.

 

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

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Kim – 2016 – The Animator – Part 1

“Looking for: Single Men, near me, ages 36 – 50 for short & long-term dating and new friends.”

I met Kim on OkCupid. She had an interesting profile and we matched. She reached out to me first. I told her I had read her profile and she seemed fascinating and fun.

“Well then let’s meet up and see.”

“Sounds good. May I have your number?”

We exchanged numbers and that was that. It happened that quickly.

So I set up a lunch date and we meet up at Misconduct Tavern.

Here is her profile on OkCupid:

 

My Self Summary

Animator who likes most music. I can’t see likes.

What I’m doing with my life

Designing stuff and trying to make things nicer in the world.

 

I’m really good at

Feeding everybody

 

Favorite books movies shows music and food

I love comic books, indie stuff, wonder woman stuff, software manuals, Dexter, Curb your Enthusiasm, SNL  30 Rock, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, New Girl, Shameless. Hannibal, Dark Crystal, Double Indemnity, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Rosemary’s Baby, Harold and Maude.

 

Music. I’m a vinyl collector. Old jazz, soundtracks well almost everything. Sometimes just for the album art, XTC,  Nina Simone, Iron and Wine, Echo and the Bunnymen, Depeche Mode, New Order, Morrissey, Donovan, Dylan, Lennon, every kind of music on my iPod, I am open to checking out any kind of music.

(Sounds great, right? But not really.)

Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, sushi, Indian, Ethiopian, seafood, pizza, edibles, mostly seafood. No pineapples or mango – I’m very allergic.

Six things I could never do without

Communication

Good stories

Music

Something to draw and write with

Delicious things

I spend a lot of time thinking about

Work, animation, comics, software love

On a typical friday night I am

Watching a movie (out or at home) trying a new restaurant or revisiting favorites, hanging out with friends. I love to be at home if I had someone special to spend time with.

you should message me if

You’re not looking for benefits or games. Serious inquiries only. Laughter often required.

Looking for: Single Men, near me, ages 36 – 50 for short & long-term dating and new friends.

 

And there is her profile. She seems nice, and I want to meet her!

Tune in tomorrow and I’ll tell you how our first date went!

 

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

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Kylie – Broken Wing – Part I – Reconnected Rebound

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

I met Kylie a few years ago after Michelle had broken up with me but we remained friends.  (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) I had met Kylie when she was shooting some photos for Philly Weekly. (See: Kylie – 2012 to 2016 – Broken Wing – The Rittenhouse Cocktail & Fashion Event)

I hadn’t seen her really after that, but back in May of 2014, my then boss and I ended up getting invited to go out on a tour boat for a few hours on the Delaware River. There was going to be free wine and snacks so we jumped on that cruise.

It was just a small party boat, that gave tours up and down the river in the spring and summer. It was beautiful day to be out on the water. There were a few other folks from the media there too  but one I noticed in particular.

Kylie is memorable for a few things. She has a very unique stacked bob hairstyle and a set of world-class legs on her. She’s probably only 5’2″ but she’s a runner and really fit. So every bit of sinew,musculature and balance is packed into those shapely stems.

So we’re chatting, and she’s looking hot with those legs out. The crackers and cheese are happening and the wine is flowing. We’re laughing and I feel like there’s a connection at some level. We’re reminiscing about the Rittenhouse cocktail event two years ago.

She tells me she’s on this gig to get some shots for Philly Weekly but they don’t pay much. She is still working with this older guy who has his own studio down in Old City. He’s been a professional photographer his whole life. When being a trained photographer really meant something  before it went all digital. Now every swingin’ dick in the city can just pick up an expensive digital camera and call themselves a photographer. Most wouldn’t know the difference between F stop and the F word!

She works with this older guy… we’ll call him Jim. He owns the business and he pays her to shoot some of the jobs he gets. I would think if you aren’t doing a lot of consistent commercial work and a bunch of weddings you probably won’t make much money. But over the years this guy has been pretty successful.

The cruise was a really nice way to reconnect with her. We exchange numbers and decide to meet up for a drink. So I’m feeling pretty good when I get off the boat.

It was maybe a week or so later, and we met up at Milkboy for a few drinks. Milkboy is a bar/music venue at 11th and Chestnut street. There are a bunch of people there I know and they’re treating us great. Somebody took a pic of the two of us and we looked pretty cozy. And of course everything has to go up on social media. I look back on my life back then and I was just as bad as everybody else if not worse. I put pics up of everything I was doing. Now I almost never post anything on my personal Facebook page or Instagram. I just promote phicklephilly on those platforms now.

Back then when I was Annabelle, I would post pics of us all of the time. I also had us locked down as “In a Relationship” on Facebook. So if you’re in a relationship and things end it doesn’t stay between you and your significant others. Every asshole that you’re “friends” with on Facebook know that it’s over. That’s like being a celebrity and breaking up with your spouse. The world knows. That must be horrible. Because I have 5000 “friends” on Facebook and everybody knows when it’s over. I will never let that happen again.

But… Annabelle didn’t know what she wanted back then. She probably still doesn’t, but if this pic of yours truly and Kylie pops up in her feed on facebook, it’ll look like I have moved on in less that 30 days after she dumped me.

Well, let’s see what happens.

Damn you, Annabelle.

 

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