Hunt’s Pier – Chapter 9 – Aftermath

Wildwood, New Jersey  – 1980

Sadly, at the seashore Autumn approaches. It comes slowly. The sky and the sun look and feel differently. Fewer people are around. It gets to a point where the pier is only open on the weekends in September before it closes for good.

But you’re not going back to your friends at home or at your school in Philly. You’ve finished high school and now live in Wildwood. What was once the most exciting place on Earth has now become a desolate wasteland.

It was as if it was all a dream. But all dreams end and you have to wake up to the reality of life living in a resort town in the winter.

It’s awful.

But Hunt’s liked me and let me work as an Usher in one of the few movie theaters still open in town. Like my father, before me, I would tear tickets in half and show people to their seats in a movie theater.

It was depressing to fall from such a height. The summer sun, now gone. My wings have melted and I hit the hard sand with a thud.

It wasn’t so bad. I saw the movie Dressed to Kill half a dozen times and really became a fan of Brian Depalma and John Lithgow.

Once that was over and the theater closed for the season they offered me a job working maintenance on the pier. I joined the ranks of all of the other flunkies working odd labor jobs on the pier. A far cry from my supernatural existence the month before.

But I learned a few things. Work needed to be done on the Log Flume, and it was 60 feet in the air. The water had obviously been drained from it and it needed to be cleaned, painted, and winterized for the coming winter. Initially, I was terrified to climb the ramp up to the top of the ride. But there were other guys there and I couldn’t look like a scaredy-cat, so up I went. When I was inside the actual tube area of the ride, the sides were high so you couldn’t really see how high off the ground you were. The pier is thirty feet off the beach so you’re almost 100 feet in the air. But after spending a few days up there I was not only comfortable with the height, I was literally running along the little walkway that ran around the perimeter of the ride. That’s a series of metal posts about ten feet apartment strung together by a two-inch-thick rope. The walkway is literally a catwalk made up of three boards. It’s only about 2 and a half feet away. I could run along it on the edge of the ride without fear. Funny what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. I learned nothing is ever as bad as you imagine. As long as you don’t let the fear in.

There was this one guy who had worked at one of the games of chance at the front of the pier named Mike. He was a heavyset guy from South Philly and one of the funniest people I’d ever met. He and I became friends and even though he seemed like a tough guy, it was all an act. I noticed he was too afraid to go up on top of the log flume. But he and I became friends and I used to give him rides to work. He lived in an apartment with another guy back on Park Blvd. I would pick him up in my VW minibus and it would be cold out. The windows would be rolled up and he would release what I would describe as a Milwaulkee Beer Fart. A silent but deadly emission that was so bad I thought I’d die. He said it was from drinking a bunch of PBRs and eating Chinese food while he watched kung fu movies at night. It was awful, but I liked him because he was a delight to be around. A big ego and personality full of false confidence.

He was supposed to go to California with me to become an actor but it turned out to be all a bunch of careless talk over beers because he hadn’t saved any money. So once the reality of me actually leaving wildwood and going out there, he found some excuse to not hang out with me out of shame. Mike turned out to be what my father called a feather merchant. I think he thought he’d attach himself to me and I’d end up paying for everything. Not happening. Sadly, that would happen to me in the future. People would enter my life and I would love them. They’d bask in the warmth of my sunlight until the money was gone then fade away.

Some memorable things from that time were, once we were cleaning out some old furniture and detritus from the Strand Movie theater and opened a rusted old door and found a hand-carved deer and a sea horse from an old Philadelphia Toboggan Company merry go round. I don’t know if they were from the old classic down on Marine West/Nickels pier but we knew they were rare and original. They weighed a ton so we alerted the manager and he was surprised. I never heard anything about those pieces but I’m sure they were sold for quite a bit of money to a collector somewhere.

Once I was sent to a big warehouse that was underneath the Shore movie theater to get some supplies. I pulled up on the battery car and parked it outside. I unlocked the big wooden door and went inside. It was pitch black inside and I felt the wall for the switch. I found it and flicked it on. The area was suddenly filled with bright light.

Standing before me was a beautiful naked woman.

I was startled by the sight and jumped backward at the sight of this Venus.

But she wasn’t real. She was the animatronic girl prisoner from the dungeon in the Pirate Ship. This motorized beauty had been a prisoner of the ride for over 30 plus years by then. She had been removed from the ride to be painted. I knew the main painter for Hunts. He had done a marvelous job making her beautiful again. Her blonde hair and blue eyes shone brightly in non-life. It wasn’t that there was an anatomically correct life-sized naked lady standing before me in the dead of winter in a warehouse. It was that it was HER. I always loved her from when I was a boy walking through the pirate ship. There she was, her dress torn to rags, her bosom heaving through her ragged clothes. I didn’t even realize it as a little kid but there was something erotic about her. Chained to the wall in the corner. A damsel in distress and all she did was breathe.

But now, here she was completely naked before me and freshly painted. It was as if after all I’d been through on the pier and in the last year she suddenly appeared to me like an angel to say: “Remember me? You always secretly loved me. Well, here I am. Look at me. Because you won’t ever see me again, Chaz.”

And I wouldn’t. Like the rest of the team, we all went on unemployment for the colder months of winter. I made the best of the winters in Wildwood but knew that the sunny beaches of Santa Monica and the bright lights filled with unbridled adult fun were waiting for me in California.

By then it wasn’t so much of starting over in LA and becoming a metal god of rock. It was just more about getting out of this sad, dead town and off this island that only came to life in the summer. It was a terribly depressing place to be in the winter as a teenager. The island was filled with rich kids, drug addicts, and teen pregnancy all rising out of boredom and complacency. Wildwood is a wonderful place to be in the summer as a kid, but the winters are long and cold and it’s nowhere to be for a young person growing up.

Video Thanks to Ralph Grassi

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Truancy – Part 1

Philadelphia, PA – Spring – 1977

My older sister, who was a straight-A student, for some reason told me that she and a couple of her girlfriends had cut school one day. I was shocked that she’d done something like that and even more surprised that she told me about it.

I asked her how she had pulled it off, and she told me that she had forged a note purportedly from my mother to say she was sick. She turned it in at school and no one was the wiser. She had good handwriting and a terrific reputation at school so the note never came into question. It was an iron-clad well-executed plan.

I had never entertained the notion to cut school for that very reason. I would have been happy to cut school just to get a break and run free for a day. It seemed exciting and fun, but I knew without a note from my mother, I’d swiftly be brought to justice.

But my sister told me she’d clip one of my mom’s blank cards and write a note for me if I wanted to pull the same stunt. Again, I have no idea why she told me and why she agreed to do this for me. But I was more than willing to talk to my friends about cutting school the next Friday.

I talked to my friend Dave Oprysko and he was down to do it as well. We agreed to both pretend to go to school and then we’d meet at a designated place and go from there.

Normally, I would leave the house with my little backpack and walk down Magee street to Martin’s Mill Road. I would follow that out to Fels Junior High School. Which for me was like going to prison every day. It was a horrible place to be during my waking hours five days a week. I looked like a freak, steeped in puberty. Glasses, braces, zits all over my face, greasy hair, weird clothes, and black buckle shoes. I was a terrible student and found the place nothing but a den of boredom and bullies. Student body and teachers alike. The place was like something from a horror movie for me.

Even the walk home each day was an opportunity for the jackals and hyenas to find new ways to torture me on my way home. They came in all shapes and sizes. Bullies aren’t born. Sadly, they are all created by extremely toxic men. Terrible fathers who could only express themselves by beating their sons verbally and physically. This behavior creates their wicked pups that go out in the world filled with violence and bitterness to be inflicted on the weak. It’s a vicious cycle of crippling behavior. These bully children carry that behavior into the workforce later in life, usually ending up in labor jobs or worse… middle management jobs.

Would an average human stand a chance against a pack of hyenas? - Quora

I remember one day I was in art class and it was before the teacher arrived. Of course, the entire class of 14-year-olds were all chattering and creating a ruckus like primates. A couple of these animals fell upon me for no reason. Knocking me out of my chair to the floor. I tried to get up but they pulled one of my pilgrim shoes off my foot and began tossing it around the room. This was funny to them. The boys all laughed and the girls giggled as I crawled back to my seat.

But then the teacher entered the room, and everyone quickly settled down and got into their places. The teacher was about to begin the lesson when she suddenly looked down. She bent down and picked up my little buckle shoe. She held it aloft with some confusion. “Does this belong to anyone in here?”

I slowly rose from my seat red-faced and made my way to the front of the class to retrieve my ridiculous piece of footwear. It was almost surreal in a Charlie Brown kind of way as I walked up to get my shoe. The peals of laughter from the entire class stung in my ears like battery acid. One shoe on, and the other a bare sock, there I go… clop…. clop…. clop…. clop.

I took back my shoe from the teacher who looked at me as if I were the one making trouble. I made my way back to my desk looking down at the floor the entire time. I sat back down and put it back on my foot as the teacher began the lesson. I never told on anybody, because I knew the repercussions of tattling on these apes would only result in worse beatings later.

It was one of the most humiliating moments in my life at that point.

I remember this one teacher I had named Ms. Zanan. She hated me so much that one day when I was home sick from school, she sent a note home to my mother saying  I was seen at a fire drill they had at school that day. My mother knew it was a lie because  I was home all day. I later heard that she actually stood in front of the whole class and said, “What else can I write about him?” Yea, an adult who was a teacher did that. She must have been a deeply troubled, sad, and lonely woman. But if there was a way I could get away with it, I would have gunned her down in the street like the cur she was.

This sort of thing happening to a child in their developing years marks them deeply. It’s like it’s branded into your hide forever. The bruises fade and the wounds heal but you never forget what people are capable of. Sometimes the cruelty of children is unfathomable. Ad yet, none of this would ever happen if their parents had done the right thing in raising them. The trickle-down effect of violence in schools is devastating to young minds.

Like many before me, I stopped the cycle of violence in my life and never let it become a part of me. I transformed my pain into art, music, and literature. (Oh, and by the way, I was NEVER picked on by any black kids in my school or in my life, EVER. It was all white kids that decided to make the conscious choice as a pack of dogs to torture kids like me.)

But on a positive note… Maybe if all of this hadn’t happened, I might not be the man I am today. The past can only hurt you if you let it.

I was determined to somehow rise up and out of the mess, my life was in 9th grade.

Here’s some great news I found while researching this post:

Former Fels HS building to be demolished

Too bad Miss Zanan wasn’t in there when that happened. I would have made sure I put bike locks on all of the doors.

But I digress…

I want to move on from this subject and get back to the story at hand. Me taking a day off from school. But I’ve just been inspired to write a story about a kid who gets picked on and what happens to him later in life. Maybe years later he exacts his revenge on those who have wronged him. Who knows if I’ll ever write it, but I’m inspired.

Friday arrives and the night before my sister wrote the sick note and gave it to me. I put it in the desk in my room and knew I was good to go. Foolproof.

I left the house after breakfast with my little backpack and an umbrella because my mom said it looked like rain. I was excited to pull off this deed. But when she handed me my lunch and the umbrella, I felt a twinge of guilt. Here was my sweet mother not wanting her son to get all wet and here I was about to cut school.

I left the house and walked down Magee street to Rising Sun avenue. On the corner was this big old house that I think belonged to a doctor. It’s a tax office now, but it looks pretty much like it did back in the 70s. I found this photo on Google Earth, but back then it had huge bushes all around the grounds of the house. I never saw anyone ever come or go from that place but we used to hang out there all of the time.

I later would sit on the steps of the porch and make out with my girlfriend Clare. But that wouldn’t happen until a year or so later. At least you know my life became exponentially better once I got out of the hell hole of Fels Junior High.

https://atomic-temporary-111921946.wpcomstaging.com/2018/06/08/claire-1978-loop-line-girlfriend/

Anyway,  I get to the house on the corner which was a known meeting spot for my friends and me. I stashed my bookbag and the umbrella under one of the huge bushes next to the house.

I was a bit nervous but also excited. It was 7:45 in the morning. I was supposed to be on my way to school. But that was not to be the order of the day.

I was relieved when I saw my friend Dave walking towards me on the avenue. He had another kid with him. I don’t remember the kid’s name or if he even went to our school, but he was a friend of Dave’s. He was a nerdy kid like the rest of us, with his thick glasses and pocket protector. But he seemed nice, so I was fine with him joining us for the day.

I told the guys to stash their stuff with mine under the bushes, and we were off. We walked north on Rising Sun until we reached Martin’s Mill Road. Instead of going east towards school, we went west. This was it. There was no going back at this point. We were doing this.

To be continued tomorrow!

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

How Long It Actually Takes To Feel Like Yourself Again After A Breakup

You won’t feel this way forever — as long as you do something about it.

While you’re still figuring how to get over a breakup, low self-esteem is inevitable and you can’t help but wonder if you’ll ever learn to love yourself again.

Let’s face it, breakups stink! Getting over someone you loved is difficult.

Right now, you’re probably wondering how long it takes to get over a breakup, and how long your low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence will stick around.

Even if you are the one to initiate the split, you are still likely to experience a complicated range of emotions — sadness, confusion, self-doubt, and anger. You’ll ask yourself, at some point, “How long am I going to feel this way?”

The end of a relationship not only initiates lowered self-esteem but it can also be the onset of depression.

On the positive side, it can also provide a powerful learning experience that may benefit your future relationships.

But while you are waiting to “feel” that great learning opportunity, you are probably more likely to start feeling bad about yourself and wondering how long your low self-esteem will last while you’re going through the heartbreak.

While six to eight weeks is the average length of time spent getting over a breakup and recovering, according to licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., author of Should I Stay or Should I Go? a variety of factors will play a role in just how long it takes for you.

I used to know someone who actually mourned the loss of his wife for over 5 years and still hasn’t recovered. The last two years of their marriage had zero intimacy, and she ended up leaving him. He was too busy blowing thousands of dollars in strip joints every night. He’s an addict and a pathological liar, so she did the right thing to leave this incredible bore. She immediately hooked up with some other guy, got pregnant, and had a baby.

She has a good job and plenty of wealth she’s earned, so good for her. She was smart enough to move forward with her life and get away from this loser. Sadly, her ex is still circling the drain and I assume will soon clog it before going down it sooner than later.

Anyway, let’s move on. 6 to 8 weeks to mourn is plenty.

Researchers at the University of Berkeley say that the brain in love is the same as the brain wired for reward (in this case, interaction with your ex).

Your brain still wants the reward (your ex, not necessarily “love”), so the symptoms of a breakup are essentially the symptoms of withdrawal.

There are 3 major factors that influence how long it takes to get over a breakup:

  • What you tell yourself about the breakup
  • What you tell yourself about your future
  • What you tell yourself about yourself

And what you tell yourself about each and all of these topics will reflect both how you feel about yourself and the speed with which you recover from low self-esteem after a breakup.

Playing the victim will always make getting over your breakup take longer. Instead of indulging all-or-nothing negative thoughts about your ex, take ownership of your own role in the breakup.

It always takes two and healthy relationships don’t just end suddenly. A realistic assessment of your relationship can actually be a source of empowerment for you.

Low self-esteem after a breakup is naturally going to rear its ugly head and tell you that you will never find love or be loved again.

But, you will learn how to get over someone and love yourself again as long as you do something about it.

Instead of believing that you will never find someone (or someone as good as your ex), empower yourself with the belief that you are on a path of learning how to love better.

The wounded, post-breakup heart tends to process painful statements and dynamics from the severed relationship: “The person who I thought knew me best and loved me the most now thinks I’m worthless, so it must be true.”

Self-loathing, however natural, doesn’t help you with building self-esteem again.

The time it takes to heal a lowered self-esteem when you’re learning how to deal with a breakup will be predicated, in large part, on your ability to realize that you are not the negative things your ex said about you or the negative things you think about yourself.

Even if it seems awkward, take time every day to engage in the practice of self-love — meditation, sleep, nutrition, exercise, socializing, getting a change of scenery, having a good cry…and getting off social media!

Take heart in the fact that extreme emotions, both good and bad, don’t linger.

We couldn’t survive if we lived 24/7 in the extreme highs and lows of the emotional gamut.

Instead of focusing on the physical manifestation of your ex, which likely stirs up feelings of negativity and anger, you can choose to focus on the positive feelings you had about them.

While that may seem counterintuitive, this practice will remind you that you had the opportunity to experience your own selflessness and capacity to love.

It will also help you to silence your inner critic and to process your emotions in an appropriate way — two important steps in mending lowered self-esteem and self-worth.

Valuing your own ability to love will empower and strengthen you to move on, low self-esteem after a breakup can disappear by reminding you that you are the only one who gets to define you.

 

The Absolute Dater – Making Online Dating Easy Again

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Addicted to Grief?

When time doesn’t heal, the brain’s reward system may be playing a role

When Anne Schomaker lost her husband in 2002, she did everything you’re supposed to do to heal from grief. She went to therapy, she volunteered, she traveled, she took up new hobbies, and she dated. To the outside world, she looked like she was moving on. To the outside world, it looked like she was healing the “right” way. But inside, she was frozen in mourning, unable to move forward emotionally. Nine years after the death of her husband, nightmares still haunted her in her sleep and she avoided reminders that would push her further into despair, such as the arias from the operas they had enjoyed. “I wasn’t really doing well. I had terrible pangs of sadness and despondency. I was missing my husband so badly. The pain just didn’t go away.”

Complicated bereavement is a disruption of the normal grieving process after a loss. While the loss of a loved one can be expected to be deeply painful and elicit emotional distress long after the loss has occurred, the symptoms of grief usually dissipate over time. Sometimes, however, healing does not occur. Instead, you become locked in a state of ongoing mourning; the emotional wound of your loss remains wide open and you are unable to move on. You may be preoccupied with constant thoughts of your loved one, experience intense longing, and be overwhelmed with feelings of sorrow, numbness, or anger. You may feel intense loneliness, even when you are surrounded by others, and may go out of your way to avoid reminders of the person you have lost. Or you may do the opposite—you may surround yourself with objects that make you feel close to your loved one, continuously return to the places that elicit memories of your time together, and live as if you are constantly waiting for their return. You are especially likely to experience complicated bereavement if you lost a loved one suddenly and unexpectedly, without the opportunity to emotionally prepare yourself for their death.

Many people with complicated bereavement are encouraged by well-meaning friends and family to move on, and you may feel that your emotional state is nothing more than a personal shortcoming. You’re told that you’re not grieving the right way. However, research indicates that complicated grief is actually a complex psychological illness with a neurological basis. A study by Mary-Frances O’Connor, published in NeuroImage, examined the effect of grief on brain function via functional magnetic resonance imaging. When people with complicated bereavement were shown pictures of their loved ones, “the nucleus accumbens – the part of the brain associated with rewards or longing – lighted up.” Those who experienced “normal patterns of grieving” exhibited markedly less nucleus accumbens activity.

This area of the brain is also associated with the longing for alcohol and drugs, suggesting that memories of loved ones may actually have an addictive effect on those with complicated bereavement, providing a new understanding of why you are unable to move beyond acute grief. As Dr. O’Connor says, “It’s as if the brain were saying, ‘Yes I’m anticipating seeing this person’ and yet ‘I am not getting to see this person.’ The mismatch is very painful.” Recognizing the neurological underpinnings of complicated bereavement may help researchers and clinicians develop more effective treatment protocols. More importantly, it may help you better understand your experience and reduce the feelings of self-blame and shame you may feel.

Unfortunately, the addictive qualities of your memories may also lead you to develop other addictions. In your attempt to cope with the overwhelming pain of your loss, you may have turned to drugs or alcohol or even food, compounding your emotional distress and presenting new dangers to your well-being. While using substances to escape psychological suffering is common among people experiencing grief, people with complicated bereavement are particularly vulnerable to developing substance addiction issues as they seek to soothe themselves from severe and ongoing mourning. However, any relief you find is only temporary and once the effects of the alcohol or drugs wear off, you’re back where you started or even worse off, as the effects of the substances themselves exacerbate your distress. The resulting cycle of grief and addiction can have serious implications for your ability to function, your physical health, and your fragile psychological state.

If you are suffering from complicated bereavement and a co-occurring substance addiction, healing is within reach. However, effective treatment requires specialized care designed around your unique needs to address the full scope of your emotional and behavioral health issues. In practice, this means that both your grief and addiction must be treated simultaneously to ensure that you process your state of bereavement while attending to the physical and psychological effects of your substance use.

Through comprehensive clinical care, you can develop the skills you need to move forward with your grieving process, cope with your pain in healthy, productive ways, and regain your sense of joy and possibility. Meanwhile, you will learn how to gain control over your addictive drive toward harmful substances as well as safely exploring the complex relationship between your use and your grief to give you a complete picture of your psychological state within an environment of hope and support.

The goal of treatment is never to minimize the loss of your loved one, but to discover ways of expressing, understanding, and coping with that loss in ways that are nourishing, revitalizing, and restorative. With the right therapies delivered with compassion and respect, you can begin the process of meaningful recovery to reawaken your spirit and enhance your quality of life.

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Here’s How It Really Feels To File For Divorce, According To 12 Men

It’s a whirlwind of emotions.

All divorces have to start somewhere.

And not just in terms of that first painful discussion, last straw argument, or moment when you and your spouse pass the point of no return.

In most cases – almost 70 percent, to be exact — women take the first legal step in filing for divorce.

So whether a husband knows it’s coming, or is about to be blindsided, chances are he’ll be left catching up in terms of emotionally processing such a monumental life change.

The moment the paperwork starts and the process becomes official, a lot of feelings hit.

So after telling your spouse you want a divorce, what does filing for divorce actually feel like?

As these 12 ex-husbands and fathers explain, the feelings can shoot the emotional gamut and bring everything from unimaginable pain to life-altering relief.

One thing’s for certain – the process comes with a lot of emotions.

1. I had a lot of regrets

“The divorce papers may as well have been a white surrender flag. That’s what it felt like. My ex-wife and I did everything we could to try and keep things together. But, we just ended up driving ourselves further apart. I guess my regret came from feeling like we – or I – had given up. Like maybe there was just one more thing I could’ve done to save us. Some ‘magic’ thing I missed. And filing for divorce was just a reminder that everything we tried just wasn’t good enough. We had to give up.” – Ken, 42, Oregon

2. I was relieved

“It was a long time coming. So, when I actually filed the papers, it was a big breath of relief. Even though there was more – much more – paperwork and legal stuff ahead, that first step was huge. I think she felt that way, too. It was just this weight of bad, unfortunate decisions that was lifted and put into the past, and would let us move forward as better people, and better parents. That was a huge part of us getting divorced – being able to function better for our kids. It’s been a little while since my divorce, but I’ll never forget that feeling.” – Andy, 37, Illinois

3. I felt so guilty

“My wife divorced me because I had an affair, so I don’t think it’s any surprise that I felt incredibly guilty once it all came out in black-and-white. The situation was complicated. There were a lot of emotions involved. Somehow, seeing your entire marriage broken down into pages and pages of legal paperwork just wipes all of those emotions away. And, for me, what filled that emptiness was guilt and shame. I wasn’t the only one who made mistakes. But, during that stage of our divorce it felt like I was.” – Gary, 36, California

4. I was shocked

“I was in shock from the second my ex-wife said she wanted a divorce. Honestly, I don’t even remember filling out most of the paperwork through the whole thing. Except the checks. I had no idea she was as unhappy as she was. We had what seemed like a great life, with wonderful children and loads of other blessings. The rug was completely pulled out from under me. The kids, too. Not one of us had any idea it was coming. It was a lot of sad, awkward conversations with them about why mommy wanted to leave, and I remember just feeling shocked the whole time words were coming out of my mouth.” – Mike, 40, Ohio

5. I felt stupid

“I actually had to Google ‘How To File A Divorce’. I had no idea. I really didn’t. And I didn’t know any lawyers, or anyone I was close with who had actually been divorced. For the most part, my ex-wife and I were on the same page about splitting up. Our kids were suffering because of our marital problems. But I’ve never felt stupider than when I cold-called a lawyer and was like, ‘Uh, Hi. I’d like to file for a divorce…?’ You don’t learn how to do that in school. Even if you know people who are divorced, you never get to see the inner workings of what it feels like. And it felt really embarrassing.” – Doug, 38, California

6. I felt angry. Very angry

“My ex-wife filed our paperwork. She was the one who wanted the divorce. When I got to see everything, I was blown away by all the reasons she listed for wanting to dissolve our marriage. She wrote down that I was neglectful, hurtful, unreasonable … just all these ridiculous claims that I’m guessing her lawyer told her to say. None of it was true. And I remember sitting there, reading it all, thinking about our kids and what a great father I thought I was, and just seething with anger. It felt like someone starting a rumor about me back in high school. I just couldn’t believe it.” – Christopher, 39, Maryland

7. I was proud

“I gave my ex way too many chances, for way too many reasons. Everyone I knew pushed me toward divorce, and they were absolutely right. So, when I actually filed the first bits of paperwork, it was like taking charge of a situation I’d let get way out of hand. It was a pat on my own back that I really needed, after the borderline abusive relationship I’d been in. It was me standing up for myself, which wasn’t something I was used to doing. To be honest, I think my divorce helped shaped the confidence I have today. If you knew me before, you’d know how grateful I am for that.” – Jimmy, 38, Virginia

8. I felt a lot of different emotions

“Throughout the whole divorce, I was constantly up one minute, and down the next. First, I’d think it was the right thing to do. Then my mind would flip-flop and I’d start thinking about all the things I’d miss. The bigger things were obvious — the house, the relationship with my kids, and stuff like that. But there was also a lot of weird, little stuff, like playing fantasy football with her uncle and cousin, that I realized I’d never be able to do that again. At least not without it being super awkward. The start of a divorce is this weird ‘whole marriage flashing before your eyes’ kind of thing. And it definitely gave me a chance to reflect on the gravity of my situation.” – Drew, 41, Pennsylvania

9. I felt very conflicted

“A lot of people will congratulate you on surviving a divorce. On one hand, you’re like, ‘Yeah. Thanks. I’m glad it’s over.’ On the other hand, it feels really icky to be congratulated about something so terrible. I’d tell people we filed the paperwork, and they’d give me an ‘atta boy’, or whatever. It didn’t feel right, at all. I’ve always thought it was weird how hunters congratulate each other for killing something, and it kinda felt like that. A lot of these people were at our wedding, and now they’re congratulating me on helping kill our marriage? It was a weird, unsettling feeling, that’s for sure.” – Anthony, 34, Tennessee

10. I was heartbroken

“I loved my ex-wife very much. She fell out of love with me, and that was just a completely devastating ordeal. The start of the paperwork was just brutal. It was just a cold reminder of what happened and, more importantly, what was about to happen. I didn’t want to finish it. I kept putting it off, probably just out of hope. I dragged it out as long as I could. Not out of spite, but because I was genuinely hoping for a miracle. Divorces are a special kind of trauma, and mine was no different.” – Josh, 35, Washington, D.C.

11. I was bitter

“When we got married, my ex-wife didn’t have much. It was my house, my car, and most of my money. Financially, it definitely wasn’t an equal partnership. I started to get really hostile toward the end, but there was nothing I could do. I just had to bend over and take it. The only thing that calmed me down was knowing that our kids would benefit from the arrangement. Maybe not benefit, but at least be taken care of financially. I didn’t think of it that way when I read her list of conditions, though. I just saw pure red.” – Gabriel, 43, Ohio

12. I felt guarded

“I didn’t want people to know. Part of it was shame, I think, but part of it was also me trying to protect myself from more pain. My trust was completely shattered leading up to our divorce, and I think that spilled over into my relationships with other people. I just didn’t know who I could count on. It felt like everyone was out to get me when, really, nothing was further from the truth. I had a lot of people wanting to help and support me, but my emotions were completely clouding my judgement. I’m so lucky they stuck by me through it all, because I was hard to deal with for those months while everything got sorted out.” – Steven, 36, Florida

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now on sale at Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Cherie – Sigh… Beyond Epilogue

So in the wake of the apparent going of Cherie, I am left with no alternative.

Am I sad that my relationship with Cherie has evaporated under the weight of a myriad of reasons?

Her obligations to her job at CHOP, her family, bills, son, health issues, school issues, her financial issues, etc.

All of these issues have factored into the collective demise of our relationship.

I take responsibility for this too. I work a million hours at two jobs now and I’m rarely available either.

Cherie had to get a babysitter and travel 40 miles down here to see me. That’s a hike and hard to do. I’ve never gone to see her where she lives, and it seems that our love affair was reduced to nothing more than booty calls and some movies and meals.

Going into this, I wore armor. I was never going to let what happened to me with crazy Annabelle ever happen to me again. (See: Annabelle)

If you don’t evolve, you die. I knew I could never let my desires ever rule my life again. I needed to be clear and understand that if I got into a relationship with anyone ever again, it had to be different.

I had to be different.

For the first time in my life I didn’t let my addiction to the drug of love rule the day.

I realized after Annabelle that I could never let anyone hurt me again in the way she so easily did with her folly.

I needed to learn and evolve beyond what happened and be ready to fall in love again, but make sure certain things were in place.

When I met Cherie, it was 2016. This blog was new, and I joined these dating apps to meet women to get back in the game. I went on so many dates, and tried to date age appropriate women, and it really failed.

It gave me content for the blog, but it felt like an exercise in buying dinner and drinks for people I didn’t have any passion for.

But I had to find my way back into the dating arena.

Did I want love? Well, I guess we all want that, but 4 years ago I felt that if I was writing a dating blog, I should not only cover it all, I should try to actually find a decent mate.

I felt that I found that with Cherie.

But I was still working on my old model for meeting and dating women. Cherie matched with me on Tinder. She was 26, fit, hot, single mom, good job, and ready to get her BS in neuroscience.

Our first date was amazing. But I was still doing the same thing. But this one had a few different parts.

All of the other ones wanted marriage and kids. Cherie had a son and didn’t want any more. I thought that was perfect. I get the young hot girl on the right side of 30 who doesn’t want what every other girl I’ve met in the last 15 years has wanted.

Cherie’s great. Any drama she had in her life she kept it away from me. I loved being with her and was honored she wanted to be with an old lion like me. She was fire in the bedroom and I loved when we were together.

I actually loved when we’d burn it down and then she was gone the next day.

I realized that after my marriage and all of my failed relationships that a girl who would love me and visit occasionally was perfect for me.

I had my work, my little social life, and my alone time. I only needed to be Led Zeppelin once or twice a month with Cherie.

Because of her school, work, child responsibilities, she couldn’t be around all the time and I loved that.

I remember my father saying, “I want a woman, but I want her when I want her.”

That sounds selfish, but I understand that now. I understand a lot of things as I get older.

It’s a relief to really know who you are at my age. So many men can’t do that. If they’re friends of mine, I’ll help them with that.

Or not…

So like I said before, I would walk through Rittenhouse with hot Cherie and think, “Wife” but I know that’s not true. It was just a feeling I had because I loved her and she was beautiful.

So pretty. Her brown thighs flexing and glowing in the afternoon sun.

But I can’t be in a relationship or ever be married.

The phicklephilly guy. The dating and relationship guru, can’t be caged and has no interest in any of that.

I’ll probably lose followers but I have to tell the truth.

I love the company of people in my life. I work so much. I get my energy from people. I’m so happy you’re all in my life, but I just don’t think I can be in a relationship.

It’s hard. All of the attention. The texting. The commitment. The time. All of the stuff. I’ve done it all… and I’m done.

Don’t worry, the blog isn’t finished. I love dating, and who knows? Maybe I’ll meet a girl who turns my head around.

I believe anything can happen and love is the strongest force in the galaxy.

I normally have an agenda when I write because there’s a story to be told, but tonight I just wanted to talk to somebody about what I’m going through.

I think I’m destined to be alone.

I’m fine with that.

Sadly. It’s over between Cherie and Me.

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Loving Someone You Can’t Have: 15 Ways to Handle the Pain

There are only a few things more agonizing than being in love with someone you can’t have. How can you deal with this kind of pain? Here are 15 ways.

Whether the person you secretly love is your best friend’s fiancée, your boss’s crush, or your close friend who’s clearly in love with someone else, there’s no escaping the pain of being with them and knowing that you can never have them. Whenever they’re around, you get consumed by your efforts to conceal your emotions, hoping that the way you stare at them won’t give away your real feelings. There are times when you ask yourself why you’re subjecting yourself to this kind of torture. And the answer is quite simple: they bring you joy.

How to handle the pain of loving someone you can’t have

Maybe you’ve decided that it’s better to be with someone you really love, even if you can never have them, than not have them in your life in any way. If that’s your decision, then there’s nothing much you can do, except handle the pain that goes with it. Here are some tips on coping with the pain of loving someone you can’t have.

Be cool

If you are still hanging around because you hope that the two of you will be together one day, or you’re still enjoying the happiness the person brings, even with all the pain, here are the things you can do to cope.

#1 Enjoy your time together, but don’t ask for anything more. Condition your mind to only focus on the good times and forget the rest. Don’t demand anything more than what’s given to you, because it’s likely that they’ll say no. If you’re going out to grab some coffee, enjoy those moments. Who cares if they’re going to be with their partner afterward? Not you! Acknowledge the pain, but focus on the good times.

#2 Do not ask questions that could hurt you. Asking questions that run along the lines of “Did you ever love me?” and “Am I not good enough?” will just hurt you, or cause tension in your relationship. The goal is to avoid pain, so it’s counterproductive to seek answers to these questions.

#3 Divert your attention to hobbies. Spending too much time analyzing your feelings? Roll your sleeves up and get a new hobby—right now. Just get out of bed, go to a craft shop—or wherever else you can—and get your hands movin’. Not only will this temporarily help you ease the pain, it will also make you more creative—and creativity is always a good thing. Imagine how many paintings or hats you’d make by the end of the year, if you just use the time you spend on self-pity wisely?

#4 Be a real friend, but protect your feelings. Of course, you want to be their crying shoulder. But when it comes to unrequited love, and you’re on the losing end, don’t give your all. Make sure that you’re comforting them without crushing your heart. It’s okay to listen to them talk about their frustrations with the person they love, but it’s another thing if that’s all you talk about and you’re even helping them plot the perfect surprise party for their beloved.

#5 Be surrounded by friends. During times of emotional turmoil, you need the loving arms, sound advice, and truckloads of craziness of your best buds. There’s nothing like pondering and laughing about your situation over a couple of beers. I am sure they’ve all had similar experiences, and would be very much willing to share some tips. Say “cheers” and laugh it off, at least for one night!

#6 Stay away from hurtful situations. If you know that they’re going to be with their partner at a party, don’t show up. Why would you? It’s like committing suicide. Simply decline their invitation and be at peace. Sleeping all day or binge watching your favorite TV show are so much better than seeing the person you love with somebody else

#7 Learn to compartmentalize. To cope with emotional turmoil, you have to learn how to compartmentalize. When you’re with the person you adore, be with them 100%. But make sure that when you’re working or doing something else, your mind is not wrapped around them. It takes a lot of practice, but it can be done.

#8 Devote 30 minutes every day to sulk. Set a specific time in your day to just be sentimental about your one-sided love affair. Don’t let thoughts about your beloved consume you all the time; when the thought pops in your head, tell yourself that you can only think about it from 6:00-6:30. It sounds like a crazy idea, but it’s effective!

Cool isn’t an option

Perhaps some time has passed, yet you’re still stuck in the same situation. You want things to change, or you’d rather be left alone. Here are some things you can do to eliminate and even totally get rid of the pain.

#9 Stop pretending you’re okay. If you’re really in pain, you don’t have to pretend you’re okay. Not anymore. You’ve been dealing with this for months *or years* and it is exhausting to put on a fake smile all the time.

Tell them you can’t be with them while they shop for their lover’s gift because it hurts you. Don’t laugh or smile if you really don’t feel like doing those things, either. You are entitled to express your real feelings, just like they’re entitled to theirs.

#10 Limit contact as much as possible. Yes, even if seeing them makes you “happy” on the surface. You must learn to turn away from something that only gives you temporary happiness and be okay with missing out, because here’s something you should know: if it causes you distress, you’re not missing anything! Do yourself a favor and protect your emotions.

#11 Date other people. Why not? Don’t be scared that you’ll lose the tiniest chance of having the person you can’t have. You’re the only one being sentimental about it. Trust me, they’ll even be genuinely happy for you. If they actually like you, but have been too afraid to make a move, this may give them a push to finally do so.

#12 Hide them from your feeds. You always want to see them and find out what they’re doing—that’s why you added them on Facebook. But then you also see them cuddling with their sweetheart. Ah, those photos can make you bleed! Once and for all, hide them from your timeline. They’re like an addiction. You have to cut them out of your life, by all means.

#13 Write about your feelings. Writing about our feelings can give us a clearer view of what we’re going through. This is a well-known therapy technique that won’t cost you a dime. This has the same effect as a prayer. What makes this better is that you can actually re-read what you’ve written, so you can assess yourself better. This serves as a great proof of just how crazy you are being!

#14 Write a letter to yourself. After writing about your feelings, it’s time to write a letter to yourself. Yes, it may sound cheesy, but it’s one effective way to regain your self-esteem and forgive yourself. It can help you reconnect with yourself, so you can face reality, and make new plans for your life.

#15 Finally, tell them what you feel without expecting anything. It will relieve you of all the self-inflicted tension you’ve built up over time. Simply inform them that you like them, but know you can’t have them. This will liberate you, as long as you ensure that you’re not doing this to get sympathy or love.

Be advised: if confessing your feelings would put you and your beloved in danger *i.e. if you’re in love with your future sister-in-law*, forget it. It’s not worth the trouble. Just deal with it on your own.

It’s painful to love someone you can’t have, but don’t let it take over your life. Sure, allow yourself to sulk for a time, but after that, dust off your sorrows and toughen up a little *or a lot*. When all is said and done, you’ll be glad you took care of your heart and sanity using these tips, even when in love, because those are the things that only you can protect.

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

16 Quotes About Unrequited Love That Are SO Accurate, It Hurts

The French expression “la douleur exquise” literally translates to “the exquisite pain,” and refers to the pain of wanting someone you can’t have. TBH, I don’t think there’s a more eloquent, accurate way to describe the experience of a one-sided romance. But there are also numerous quotes about unrequited love that perfectly capture the agony involved.

If you caught feels for someone who doesn’t reciprocate said feels, take comfort in this: Unrequited love is so common that you can read about it in countless classic novels, hear multiple multi-platinum pop stars sing about it in current hit songs, and even watch contestants on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette deal with it IRL. In fact, a 2014 study published in the journal SAGE Open, which analyzed music over the last 40 years, found that a sizable portion of the lyrics in popular songs referred to unrequited love and romantic rejection.

When you love someone who doesn’t love you back, you may find yourself teetering between optimism that your crush will eventually feel the same way, and despair that they don’t. Longing for the unattainable can leave you feeling confused, lost, vulnerable, disheartened, and everything in between. But each and every experience with love — even, and especially, the ones that don’t end with a happily ever after — presents a learning opportunity. So, the best thing you can do is allow yourself to feel the complete spectrum of your emotions, and trust that eventually you’ll be able to glean some shred of wisdom from your one-sided romance.

Quotes about unrequited love can be hopeful — or capture the despair and the heartache.

Shutterstock

Knowing that you’re not alone in your heartache obviously won’t take away the pain that comes with unrequited love, but it can help to ease it somewhat. So, whether you’ve found yourself in the dreaded friend zone, or the object of your affection is inconveniently in a relationship with someone else, refer to these quotes for a quick hit of much-needed commiseration, reassurance, and hope.

1. “In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing.” — Mignon McLaughlin

2. “Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.” — Washington Irving

3. “To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.” — Federico García Lorca

4. “When you loved someone and had to let them go, there will always be that small part of yourself that whispers, “What was it that you wanted and why didn’t you fight for it?”― Shannon L. Alder

5. “It’s wicked to throw away so many good gifts because you can’t have the one you want.” ― Louisa May Alcott

6. “The worst feeling is falling for someone and knowing that they won’t be there to catch you.” — Rashida Rowe

7. “Living with someone you love can be lonelier than living entirely alone, if the one that you love doesn’t love you.” ― Tennessee Williams

8. “Too many of us are hung up on what we don’t have, can’t have, or won’t ever have.” ― Terry McMillan

Reading quotes about unrequited love may offer some much-needed reassurance and commiseration.

Shutterstock

9. “When you love something, you have to make sure it loves you back, or you’ll bring about no end of trouble chasing it.” — Patrick Rothfuss

10. “An unrequited love is so much better than a real one … As long as something is never even started, you never have to worry about it ending.” — Sarah Dessen

11. “A person doesn’t know true hurt and suffering until they’ve felt the pain of falling in love with someone whose affections lie elsewhere.” ― Rose Gordon

12. “Because, if you could love someone, and keep loving them, without being loved back … then that love had to be real. It hurt too much to be anything else.” — Sarah Cross

13. “The heart is stubborn. It holds onto love despite what sense and emotion tells it. And it is often, in the battle of those three, the most brilliant of all.” — Alessandra Torre

14. “Sometimes no matter how many eyelashes or dandelion seeds you blow, no matter how much of your heart you tear out and slap on your sleeve, it just ain’t gonna happen.” ― Melissa Jensen

15. “There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it.”― Shannon L. Alder

16. “Let no one who loves be called unhappy. Even love unreturned has its rainbow.” — James Matthew Barrison

 

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

How To Deal With Sadness Around The Holidays, According To Experts

“Hey, We’re all here for you.”

If there were ever a time of year that energy hangs heaviest and most potently on humanity, it would probably be the holiday season. If you feel sad during the holidays, even knowing that it’s a common experience doesn’t always make the ache dissipate. But there are simple things you can do to cope that might make the twinkling lights and constant carols easier to bear if you’re in the midst of a rough time internally.

“Holidays may serve as a strong reminder that things in our life are not quite where we want or expect them to be,” Dr Victoria Chialy Smith, a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice, tells Bustle. “We may feel a wide variety of emotions including longing, regret, anger, sadness, and depression.”

Smith says the unresolved feelings the holidays can evoke are understandable. Perhaps you’ve experienced loss that feels particularly hard this time of year, or the financial expectations of the season leave you feeling you stressed and self-critical. Smith says to first and foremost give yourself permission to feel the sadness and heavy feelings. There is no need to get on your own case about not being full of cheer and serenity.

“Meet all of these difficult emotions with compassion,” Smith says, and think about doing that by staying grounded in the present when you start getting a wave of old memories, regrets, longings, or difficult emotions. “Try to stay connected to the peace of the present moment by tuning into your breath or what is immediately going on around you,” she says.

Dr. Jo Eckler, a chronic illness coach, clinical psychologist, and author of I Can’t Fix You Because You’re Not Broken: The Eight Keys to Freeing Yourself from Painful Thoughts and Feelings tells Bustle something similar. Don’t squash down the feelings you’re having, and don’t feel the need to act like your blood is made of glitter when you’re actually feeling bummed. You don’t have to pretend.

Eckler also points out that this time of year is “a ripe time for the comparison trap.” Disengage from compare and despair behaviors, though, friends, be it on social media, in conversation, or just in your own head as you walk through the holiday markets, feeling a bit glum.

“We see images of families laughing together in handmade matching PJ’s and frolicking, or super lovey-dovey couples,” Eckler says. “And even though we might have good families or partners ourselves, it’s hard to live up to a posed picture.”

 

As for the expectation to get on board the holiday activity train? Well, especially if parties, gatherings, and celebrations feel triggering, there is certainly no need for you to be the belle of each holiday ball. But that said, isolation is something you want to avoid when you’re dealing with sadness or symptoms of depression, Dr. Rebecca Cowan, of Anchor Counseling & Wellness, LLC, tells Bustle.

“When people become sad and depressed, they tend to want to isolate, and this only worsens these symptoms,” Cowan says. “Balance is key, and so is implementing a self-care plan.”

That means things like sleeping, eating enough, sharing with friends, doing things that make you feel relaxed and happy, and Cowan says, getting some sunlight. At least 30 minutes a day.

Counselor Jessica Eiseman, based out of Texas, tells Bustle that it can also be helpful to begin to create your own traditions, to make the holidays something you can enjoy. She brings up the term “un-holidays.”

“Maybe you don’t fit into traditional standards or expectations for the season,” Eiseman says. “Maybe you don’t celebrate at all or you take a trip by yourself. The most important piece being that you create some meaning based on what you enjoy and brings a little peace, if not happiness.”

Eiseman also says that if you aren’t already, visiting a therapist can be really helpful. And if the feelings seem to be worsening, or they are affecting things like your appetite and ability to sleep, do reach out for professional help as soon as possible.

And remember, it’s really OK to feel the heaviness this time of year. It’s palpable, and we are sensitive creatures! Just do what you can to take care of you. Consider it a holiday gift to yourself.

 

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

Prova – Boycott

I wasn’t going to run this, but fuck you, Prova.

Boycott

[ˈboiˌkät]

VERB

1.withdraw from commercial or social relations with (a country, organization, or person) as a punishment or protest.

synonyms: spurn · snub · shun · avoid · abstain from · wash one’s hands of

NOUN

1.a punitive ban that forbids relations with certain groups, cooperation with a policy, or the handling of goods.

synonyms: ban · veto · embargo · prohibition · sanction · restriction · avoidance

 

Anytime I end up covering a Saturday for Summer at the salon I usually walk around the corner to see Prova at the bar where she works.

I specifically go there to see her. We’ve both been working a lot and busy with our lives. I haven’t hung out with her in a few months. The last time we were actually out together was at the Angel’s Envy event at the Red Owl in the Hotel Monaco.

I sit at the end of the bar and chat with her and the other bartender, Lizzie. I order a glass of chardonnay with a side of ice. I ask them if I can run over to Dunkin’ Donuts and get them coffee and donuts. They leap at that opportunity and I tell them I’m going out for a smoke and then I’ll go to the store.

Later I come back with exactly what they wanted. Two medium coffees, cream and sugar. A blueberry and a chocolate frosted for Prova, and a frosted for Lizzie.

The girls are happy and Lizzie even high fives me to give thanks to the bounty I have provided.

I’m there for a couple of hours and in that time I’m talking to Prova. She tells me she’s leaving her other job at the rooftop lounge. She hasn’t told them she’s leaving yet but she’s looking. I remember I was there the week before and she had mentioned that. With the success I’ve had getting her this job, and the other one down at the beer garden two years ago, I put the word out.

I even asked my buddy Zack over at City Tap House if they needed bartenders. He said he’d let me know by the end of the week.

Prova tells me she has more days off than ever this upcoming week. I ask her if she’d like to meet me at Square 1682 on Monday for Happy Hour. She smiles and thinks that would be a wonderful idea. I’m looking forward to seeing her outside of this bar again and having a few drinks and chatting uninterrupted for a bit.

I make a mental note but also put it in the calendar. I won’t forget because Prova is my friend, but I do it anyway. I put everything in my calendar. I’m from the business world. (and so is she before she decided to bail on her finance job and work as a bartender in the service industry) You’ve got to stay organized. That way once it’s in there and I can think about other things.

I get my bill and I’m a little perplexed. It’s $27 for 3 glasses of wine. Hmm…

I pay it, and tip accordingly and leave.

“See you Monday, Prova!”

That Monday I’m at Cavanaugh’s doing my thing. You know my thing right? I go there every Monday. I get treated like royalty by Karina. A girl I barely know. My cheese steak that I don’t even have to order, because Karina knows exactly how I want it, and makes that happen. And how I want my soft drink to come out with the food, not before. It’s half off on Mondays, so a cheese steak, fries and endless cokes is $5. Then at 3pm she brings me a Bulliet Manhattan and another one around 4pm. My entire bill is $15.  I go large on her tip because of how well I’m treated. I pay cash because cash is king. THAT’S Hospitality. I can drink at home.

I come out to be served, and served I am at Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse.

Around 12:30pm I text Prova to confirm a time for tonight.

“What time do you want to meet at Square 1682?”

“Hey sorry totally forgot about today. Can’t meet. Taking care of some work related stuff. can we meet tomorrow?”

“Nope. I’ll be working.”

“Oh, ok I’m sorry. (sad-faced emoji)”

“It’s okay Prova.”

 

But it’s not okay, dear readers.

First of all, I got her that job at that bar. Sure, I know, anybody can get you a job but you’re the one who has to keep it. I get that. But I hooked that shit up for her. I’m a regular there. I know the owner. He’s the Uncle of my partner at the salon, for goodness sakes.

I bring you coffee and donuts because I care about you and like making you happy. You in turn charge me $9 for every glass of wine I had that day. Are you that desperate for tips, Prova? No industry discount, not a “This one’s on us.”

Nothing.

I know every bartender in the city has a certain number of drinks they can give away for free.

But you know what the worst part of this story is?

I made a plan with Prova to meet up and have some social time with her. I value her and my time. I only surround myself with good people now. It’s been a great relief to cut all of the detritus from my life. I care about Prova and like her very much.

She didn’t even have the decency to cancel with me on Monday. She could have even lied if she just didn’t feel like going out that night. I wouldn’t have cared. If I hadn’t reached out she would have just went on with whatever the fuck she did that day and never given me a thought.

But the fact that she ‘totally forgot’ about our meeting hurt my feelings. I remembered I was meeting with her that night. I didn’t have to put it in my calendar, but I did because she’s important to me. I really care about her and our friendship. I remember what kind of coffee she likes and the exact kind of donuts she likes. I remember all of that. I remembered to give her a free tanning session last year. I remembered that she needed to find a job and I found her not one, but two jobs in the same week.

But less than 48 hours after making a plan with me. Charles. You simply forgot. Work related stuff? What the fuck does that even mean?

You can tell I’m angry, disappointed, and most of all hurt. Prova, you simply forgot about me. I don’t mean shit to you. I don’t like the way that makes me feel when you smite me.

It’s rude and I won’t tolerate it. So, I’m going to stop going to the bar where you work. I’m also not going to recommend the place to anyone. I’m not going to text you or make any effort to contact you in any way.

I’m also putting a curse on you.

The curse is that when you reach the age of 35, you’re working behind the bar of some tavern. You have no man in your life who loves you or is courting you for marriage. And you still have to live with a roommate to make ends meet.

Oh wait… That one’s already been taken.

The only way to break the curse is to realize I am no longer in your life before this post publishes. You’ll reach out to me and apologize to me for your infraction. I, of course will forgive you because I truly care for you and always forgive. Everything will go back to exactly how it was before you fucked it up by carelessly discarding a valuable person in your life.

I wonder if you’ll ever wake up and realize that you can’t do that to people who care about you. I’m a person. With a heart. You hurt me Prova. I’m sad. Fix it before this comes out and we’re good. If not?

We’re already done.

I conveyed this story to my buddy Jake and he said to simply let go of the infraction.

 

So I decided to take the high road and let it go. Why should  idrink the poison hoping someone else dies? It’s a waste of valuable energy.

 

UPDATE: I went into the bar she works in bearing coffee and donuts. She was very grateful and said it was just what she needed. I forgive her, but realize we really have nothing in common now that she’s fallen into the black hole of bar hospitality and nightlife at 35 years old.

 

UPDATE: 6/18/18 I set up a lunch with Prova and she was 30 minutes late. I held a special table at one of my favorite lunch spots. When she arrived, she ignored my reservation, and wanted to sit at the bar so she could she could see her friend, the bartender who she knew. This was a recently fired employee from a place where Provo currently works. The friend jokes how Prova puked on her carpet. Nice job. I’m sure your family is so proud of their daughter who is now working in a tap room and pushing 40.

 

Let me describe the scene. I’m waiting at my reserved table for Prova. She’s 30 minutes late. The music at Misconduct is too loud for the lunch crowd but the staff is too dumb to realize that. Prova rolls in and makes a bee line for the bar to see her friend.

She forces me to relinquish my reserved table and sit with her at the bar, because it is no longer about our meeting, but her hanging with her bartender friend.

We eat, and Prova plows wine and shots before her shift at Bar 1518 and I realize that someone I liked has fallen into the black hole.

I have no use for Prova anymore.

I watch as she and her bartender friend do shots in the middle of the day and realize I have no more use for Prova.

She’s a lost soul. and everything I’ve documented in this post stands true.

Good luck, Prova.

You called me for help. I helped you. I liked you. You squandered our friendship.

You’re a morally bankrupt person.

Here’s your theme.

 

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

%d bloggers like this: