Michelle – Chapter 2 – Getting to Know You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Author: phicklephilly

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3 thoughts on “Michelle – Chapter 2 – Getting to Know You”

  1. Oh my God Philly, I despair for your future as a writer. You are so fixated on looks. I can tell you’ve never actually loved a woman. You probably don’t know how. Probably not your fault. No offense. It’s a common ailment.

    Not trying to be a bitch, just trying to push you as a writer. If you want to describe your attraction to someone (or in your phickle case, multiple people) you’re going to have to not only describe the specifics of what attracted you to them (and I don’t just mean long legs, big boobs etc), but also you’re going to have to talk about your personal shit that made you susceptible to that attraction. You’re going to have to talk about YOU. I understand if that wasn’t part of how you envisioned your Don Juan-esque blog of serial romantic conquests and you don’t want to go there, but the result won’t ever be very compelling if you don’t.

    I’ll check back to give you feedback, or at least until I get bored. In the meantime, you might want to think about what constitutes *chemistry*. Good luck.

    1. Thank you so much, Grand! I have thought about this journey, and I know I will have to address what made me the way I am. I know it’s coming, and it will eventually all come out. It’s just taking me a while to get out. I really appreciate you seeing that in me and wanting me to be a better and more open and evolved writer. I want that too! Positive feedback makes me feel good and happy that people are enjoying my stories. But solid constructive negative feedback like yours improves my performance, and helps me grow not only as a writer, but as a person. Thank You!!!! 🙂

      1. Here’s an illustrative example of a guy that I find interesting to read about. Not attractive in any way, shape or form – just interesting. His name is Mike Cernovitch and he’s one of those alt-right bloggers from the Manosphere, who also happened to be one of the main drivers of the “Pizzagate” fake news story.

        This is a guy who tweets things like “I hate women but I LOVE pussy!” Gross, right? But how did he get that way? Well read a little about his backstory and you will see. He grew up on a farm in the mid-west, and he was always taught to respect women and be deferential to their needs. However he found that this prescriptive did not serve him well in his first marriage. He was a law student (who took nine years to pass the CA state bar) while his wife sailed through relatively easily and became a successful lawyer working for a Silicon Valley start up. She was the bread winner. Their marriage was a failure. She wanted him to be more assertive but whenever he tried to be, she didn’t like that either and he would lapse back into his deferential mode, but she still hated that too. He really couldn’t please her (how bad does that relationship sound?). Finally she got rich when her company did an IPO and divorced him. He got a million dollars out of the divorce settlement. But he was pissed and confused and feeling emasculated. So how did he pull himself out of this muddle? He re-invented himself as this really assertive, disdainful alpha-male Manosphere blogger – one of those red-pill guys. And he found success in that role as a blogger, grew a readership and even got laid a lot more. But, think about it, what is at the core of all his machismo? Pure fear and vulnerability. He’s still the same fearful guy he was before he divorced his first wife; he’s just found a mode of behavior that helps him feel *powerful* instead of powerless. I find a character like that interesting and dimensional. He’d be a good character in a movie.

        Everything that makes this guy interesting is character-related: his world view, his backstory and how his relations with women have evolved. Details like what bar he took his date to, or what love potion he ought at an occult store don’t make the cut. Too superficial and unimportant. Now, if you can figure out the substance and contradictions of your own character and the characters you interact with, then applying those superficial details on top is fine. But so far you have shirked the real work.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

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