Michelle – Chapter 9 – Friends of Rittenhouse Ball on Square

One night Michelle and I finished work and did what we always did. Went out for a few drinks. We ended up down in Rittenhouse Square. There was this huge really posh gala going on. We were accustomed to just going wherever the night took us back then and based on our antics in New York, we probably thought we were indestructible. She was still living at City View out at 20th and Spring Garden, and I was still in my little apartment over in Pennsauken, NJ.

We come upon this event going on inside Rittenhouse Square Park. It’s the biggest event of the season. They hold this huge event every Spring. All Rittenhouse people. Wealthy people. People of commerce. Everybody is dressed up in their finest. Big white tents. Live band. A stage with a dance floor. White tablecloths on every table. Beautiful high-end trailers with bathrooms that are nicer than the one in your house. Law enforcement posted at every entrance and exit.  Butlers walking around with amazing hors d’ouevers. Not that pigs in a blanket shit. Like fat delicious shrimp and sushi, crazy meats, and puffy stuffed pastries. Wine and champagne is flowing freely. Cocktails being mixed and poured at two bars.

This is an $800 a plate ticketed charity event. There is no way a couple of advertising sales reps are getting in to this event.

I’m wearing a black suit and tie. Michelle is in slacks and a nice blouse. We walked up to the entrance where they were checking people in. I whip out my ID lanyard from the company I work for. It looks official, It has my photo, my name and name of the media company on it. I tell the lady that’s doing intake where I’m from and what I’m representing. Basically using my account executive ID to trick her that we’re with some sort of press. I look official and approachable and Michelle is hot. She has the same ID with her info on it.

They let us in. We couldn’t believe it. We’re going to stuff our heads with free snacks and wine. Bonnie and Clyde have arrived. We’re chatting with all these rich people and sipping wine. They were all so nice to us. One of them even asked if I’d like to secure my briefcase in their suite across the street at the Claridge. Nobody knew we didn’t belong there. You know why? Because when we went somewhere we acted like we belonged there. Like we had tickets to the event. It was just raw confidence. Maybe it was arrogance too. But whatever it was, we definitely had it going on.

Just good old sexy mojo.

Michelle was having a blast but she felt underdressed. I told her she looked great, but she insisted she run home and change. She wants to put on a nice dress. I’m telling you, we were out of control. So I slam down the rest of my chardonnay and start heading for the exit.

Who do we run into on the way out?

The President of the company we work for. Not the vice president of operations. Not the general manager. Not our sales manager. But the President! Top dog. Head Honcho. Big Cheese.

He’s with his Indian wife. They obviously have tickets. He sees Michelle and gets all excited. Because everybody loves hot Michelle. He says “Are you attending this event tonight?” We’re like, “Yea, but we just need to step out for a minute, We’ll be right back.” He didn’t give a shit about me. If he ever had the unfortunate luck to have to share an elevator with me at work, he wouldn’t even speak to me. He’d just play with his phone. But that fat fuck loved Michelle. And I had a thing that he wanted. I’m sure it just made him loathe my existence all the more. But I didn’t give a shit.

So we tell the nice people at the door we will be right back. They don’t bat an eye. Now, if we had simply left at that moment and didn’t return, I can’t honestly say for sure that things would have turned out any differently for us.

Yea… but they probably would have, but we’re not having any of it.

We blaze back to her apartment in a taxi. We get there relatively quickly. She dashes into the apartment and gets changed. Within minutes, she emerges in a black cocktail dress and heels. She looks stunning. But I liked the way she looked any old way. But this was perfect for the Ball at Square. We jet back to the party and walk up to entrance again. “Remember us?” I say, smiling. We walk right back in, no questions asked. We grab a couple of drinks, and we’re back into it. I can see the President off to the side chatting with some other men.

The band is in full swing, and Michelle and I decide to hit the stage. We are dancing, and it’s lovely. There may have been maybe two other older couples up there, cutting the rug, but for the life of me I can’t remember. I was just lost in this moment, dancing with the woman I loved. Right in the middle of Rittenhouse Park. We own this place too.

After our dance, we grabbed a couple more wines. I was chatting with someone, and Michelle was seated chatting with the President’s wife. She was a lovely Indian woman. I know she didn’t drink or smoke. But of course Prez was a drunken oaf.

After a while people started sitting down to the $800 a plate charity dinner. We thought it best if we didn’t try to weasel in on that, or clip any of the gift bags.

We made our way out of the main tent, and were sitting on a little bench on the edge of the event. Before us was a little table with a candle on it and a bowl of popcorn. We munched on the popcorn, and reflected on how fun it was for a couple of hours to be a part of such an exclusive event.

I glanced to my left and saw one of the ladies that had let us in twice speaking with law enforcement. The officer approached us and said that we had to leave. We were respectful and he escorted us off the property. We thanked him, and went on our way, heading west on Walnut street.

Michelle insisted that we were probably going to get fired. I told her that wasn’t going to happen. I eventually calmed her down and we ended up going to a piano bar. We ended the night singing along with a bunch of other revelers to the songs of Billy Joel, Elton John and more!

The Prez? Just a fat drunken, cigar chomping narcissistic sociopath. (That’s what I’ve been told by a reliable source that worked closely with the man) He and his lovely wife ended up getting divorced years later. She probably got tired of his drunken womanizing. I once had a drink with the owner of the company, and he said the President’s expense reports were astronomical. Just a fucking a pig. He got like liposuction or something after his divorce because he dropped the weight fast.  He looked like a bobble head.

He ended up banging some chick from Jersey they brought in to do a wine show on the website. What we eventually found out, she formerly worked as an escort. Yep. So The Prez lost his nice wife and married a whore. Seems fitting.

But we had a great fucking time.

Tune in two weeks from now, and see if our heroes get fired, or at least reprimanded for their unmitigated repugnant attitude towards authority.

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

 

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Sarika -The Return of the Stone Fox

I reached out to Sarika, not because I like her, but I wanted to find out what she was up to with her life. I was just going to meet up with her for a drink, but my buddy Rocco hooked me up with two VIP tickets to Taste of Philly. So I decided to take her to that.

Taste of Philly is a big event that two large publications put on each year at the Crystal Tea Room. The Crystal Tea Room is a big event spaced owned by Finlay Catering. It’s actually on the 9th floor of the building Macy’s is in on Market Street. They gather a large group of food and beverage companies together in a few big rooms. They sell tickets for $35 a piece and hundreds of people come and stuff their heads, and drink their faces off all night. It’s a fun event and I always run into people I know. It’s nice to see and be seen. VIP is invited to arrive at 6pm and then at 7pm they let the rest of the animals in. Normally we hang for two hours and then bolt. Where else can you drink and eat that much food and booze for $35 in Philadelphia?  But we did it for free and VIP thanks to my man, Rocco. (See: Rocco – 2015 to Present – Amanda Peet)

I go to Square 1682 and wait for her. She arrives shortly thereafter. She looks absolutely beautiful as always. Her skin actually looks a little darker. I comment about it and she says she’s been traveling. She says when she’s not working she takes little trips. So she has obviously been going to places that have lots of sunshine. But even with darker skin she actually looks more exotic and even hotter. Just a stone fox.

She has a really good job as an engineer for a scientific research company. She has been there for over a year now. She had a romantic affair with one of her co-workers at her last place of employment and it didn’t end well. So she ended up leaving and having to switch jobs. Super hot, but can’t keep a man.

She tells me she moved from her crappy apartment on 19th street. She now lives in a really posh high-rise in Rittenhouse. Initially when I asked her to meet for a drink she invited me over to her place. Now I know why. She wanted to show me her awesome new apartment. She showed me some pics of her views, and they are spectacular. It’s a one bedroom and she’s only paying $1500. Which is a great deal for the location and the amenities of living in that building. I bring her up to speed on my life and she tells me what she’s been doing.

It sounds like she has a bit of a lonely life. Works all the time, and has to travel extensively for that job. Traveling for work is exhausting. I’ve lived that life. She makes great money, but instead of coming home and resting, she’s taking these little vacations all of the time. It’s almost as if she is running away from her life. Always trying to escape something. Maybe she’s trying to forget something. All of her past brief relationships have all ended in heartbreak.

She always comes off very blunt and honest. She’s extremely bright but she’s also cunning and a bit mean.But that wasn’t the case tonight. She is perfectly well-behaved. I asked her what ever happened to that guy she was seeing. (The one she wanted to bring as a date to the $80 a plate New Years event I invited her to last year.) She dismisses me, saying, “I don’t want to talk about it.” She always says that when her relationships end badly. So he probably dumped her or cheated on her and then dumped her. It happened to Halle Berry and Jennifer Anniston. It always just amazes me that a young woman who is beautiful can’t keep a man. (Sarika is definitely one of the most gorgeous women I know) I am sure they are captivated by her beauty initially, but once her best representative falls away, she reveals her true self. A vacuous, mean-spirited girl who cares for no one but herself.

Rocco arrives with the VIP tickets. It’s great to see him because it’s been awhile. I am sipping my signature chardonnay with ice. Sarika is sticking with water because she says she’s trying to lose weight. She’s smoking hot and doesn’t need to lose any weight. But it always seems like she is on a diet. What woman isn’t? It’s kind of sad.

Rocco pounds two martinis into himself. Which surprised me, but then I thought to myself, he still works for one of the companies that puts on tonight’s event. They have recently been bought out by their distributor, and I hear the new management are a bunch of assholes. So maybe Rocco needs a little medication before he faces all of those clowns that will be there tonight.

We head over to the event. We get there around 6:20pm. But there is a huge line outside waiting to check in and get up the elevators. Apparently they are not ready upstairs and they missed the 6pm VIP opening. That is not good. But being the arrogant punks we are, we just blaze by everyone and go to the front of the line. We didn’t even get out little paper bracelets to say we were VIP. We tell the angry mob that we are VIP and work for the company that puts on the event, so technically we weren’t lying. Sarika is delighted by our attitudes.

The event was good and the food and drinks were delicious. We just kept going back to the VIP bar and getting refills. Sarika was drinking and stuffing her head with delicious treats. So there goes that supposed diet. But we’re all having a great time. I run into many people I know and we are all getting a solid buzz on. Then something extraordinary happened.

I’m walking along with Sarika by my side and I see someone I haven’t laid eyes on since 1979.

If you didn’t see someone for 35 years you may not recognize them. The same would go for you. 35 years is a long time. But with the advent of social media, I recognized him. If I hadn’t been connected to him on Facebook, we would have walked right by each other like strangers.

I say his name and he recognizes me as well. I hug him and I am so happy to see him. He was the bass player in my first rock band. I remember him as a skinny, awkward teen with long blonde hair, who wore glasses and had a shaggy little beard.

Now he’s a big fat guy with a full grey beard and short grey hair. At least he didn’t go bald. He introduces me to his average looking wife who is in her 50’s as well. I’m making a big fuss over him, and start singing lyrics to a song that he wrote. I have that kind of memory. He’s smiling and laughing. His wife asks who I am. He tells her I was the singer in the group Renegade back in the seventies. She’s amazed. He says I look the same, just a little older. He then says that he now looks like Santa Claus. (He sort of does resemble that jolly old elf) I tell him he looks great. He glances over at Sarika, and I introduce her. He looks back at me and says, “I see you haven’t changed.”

That sly compliment is better than money to me.

We go on our way and keep munching and drinking our way through the event. Michelle would have loved an event like this. We run into a few more people we know and it’s a fun night. Sarika is very well-behaved and I’m having  good time with her.

After awhile we’re getting tired, and decide we have seen everything that we wanted to and we head out. We thank Rocco for the tickets and say goodnight. I walk Sarika back to her place but don’t go up.

Sarika has redeemed herself… for now.

 

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Sarika – River of Betrayal

I was down at Harbor Park down on the Delaware River, two summers ago. I remember I was stumbling about with one of my bartender pals, Myles. We her drunk and stoned and just grooving on the lights and checking out the ladies.

I remember looking off to my two o’ clock and seeing this stunning Indian beauty in a blue and white striped shirt with white slacks. She really struck me because she was so lovely. Just an ethereal, exotic beauty. She was with a group of girls, so we just kept walking. Myles had a girlfriend at the time and I wasn’t in the market, so we just browsed.

I never really thought of that Eastern beauty again, until I was chatting with my friend, Keila. She was showing me some of her friends in her phone, and I was suddenly like, “Wait a second! Back up! Who is that?” “Oh, my friend, Sarika?”

I told her how I saw her at Harbor Park and was immediately taken by her beauty. “Can you introduce me to her?” I squeaked.

So a few weeks later I was at an event with Keila, and she had her squad with her. Sarika was there. Keila knows everybody and has tons of contacts so it stands to reason she’d be friends with hot Sarika. She introduces me, and I proceed to tell her the story of how I had noticed her at Harbor Park weeks before.

I became friends with Sarika. We would meet up for drinks, and I was just happy to be seen in public with such a deadly beauty. I would take her to fashion shows and she would be hotter than the models on stage. I kid you not.

I learned that Sarika was a nerd. As hard to believe as that may seem, it’s true. She worked as an engineer. She would rather go to the Franklin Institute after hours with me than sit in a bar or go to a club. I found that incredibly hot. Because most nerds aren’t hot. I mean my friend Trish is hot, but not “Sarika” hot. We would hang out quite a bit. I started to realize that she didn’t have many female friends. She was seeing this pretty boy type, but I think he wasn’t that into her. Which I didn’t understand. How could you not be interested in someone who lovely? The more time I spent with Sarika, the more I started to see that she was vacuous and really self-absorbed. She would say things negative about herself only so you’d say, “Oh no you’re not. You look great.” Why would she need that?

Then I heard a story from my dear friend Alice. She was in New York with Sarika, and Alice was visiting some people and one of them was an ex that she was still friends with. Alice stressed to everyone that she still had some feelings for him. Which if you were a normal person you would be careful about what you said or did around them. So they’re in a taxi, and Sarika starts flirting with Alice’s ex right in front of her. Then goes so far as to laugh and make fun of Alice. I hear this story later, and I find it hard to believe, because Sarika has never done anything to me. But I’m not a girl.

Then I hear another story about how Sarika was flirting with Keila’s then boyfriend. She would do it right in front of her. Keila knew this was breaking the code. You don’t pull that shit on your friends. Granted, at the time she was dating this rich guy that looked like Woody Harrelson’s brother with down syndrome and the HIV. I didn’t understand that mess.

So what was up with Sarika? Was she really a Black Widow? My female friends would ask me why I still hung around with that shrew, and my answer was always the same. “She’s never done anything to me.”

New Years 2016 rolls around. I have tickets at the Pyramid Club for a $70 a plate event. Who do I want to be seen with in all the pictures on New Years eve at the Pyramid Club? Exactly. I don’t even have to say her name.

Well, it’s like the day before and I get a call from her and she says, “I’m trying to get Jim a ticket but it looks like it’s sold out.”

Ok. I know she has been seeing Jim off and on for a while now. First that smacked ass wouldn’t commit to her, because he probably was still banging his ex that he said he was ‘still ung up on.’ Maybe he didn’t want to commit to a brown-skinned girl.  i don’t know. But if you are my first choice to go to an exclusive event, and you agree, I don’t expect you to bring a date. It’s just rude. I didn’t expect to be kissing Sarika at midnight. i just wanted her to go with me. Sure i would have loved to have been with her, but i knew that wasn’t happening. She was just a friend, and the best darn bit of arm candy i knew.

I jus got really pissed at the infraction and sort of cut her off. I ended up taking some other loser chick that I could get to go with me last minute. I shouldn’t call her a loser. She’s clearly not but it just wasn’t the same. It was however one of the most sober new years eves I’ve ever had.

I started to think about some other times I was out with Sarika with some other women friends there. Sarika would sometimes make fun of the other girls. It’s kind of bizarre. Here is this tragically beautiful girl, who knows she’s gorgeous and smart as a whip, and she’s kind of an asshole to those around her. But I will tell you this. In the time I’ve known her, she’s never once been in a stable loving relationship. So there’s that.

My father used to say, you should be able to be friends with men and women. It’s a good balance. He also once said, “Go through this life and hurt as little people as possible.”

So watch out for karma, Sarika.

Update: It’s been over a year but I recently ran into Sarika and we have made some amends. I am supposed to meet up with her this month, so we’ll see what’s up. Sure she’s probably still a self-absorbed asshole.

But God, she is beautiful…

Phicklephilly!

 

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

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