The Trellis – Part 2

Philadelphia, PA – Mid 70s

There was this guy named Rudy Falf who lived with his brother across the street. They were probably both in their early 40s back then. They were both weird guys. They kept to themselves and I have no idea how they supported themselves. I’m assuming their parents maybe left them the house across the street where they resided.

Now, when I say “weird guys” I don’t mean creepy, pedo-type guys. They were both really sweet people. But a little touched in the head. Rudy’s brother was really quiet and sort of furtive. We didn’t see much of him. But Rudy was always out. He had a cast in his one eye which made him look even weirder. Like, ‘one eye is looking at you, and the other one is running down to the shop to get a pack of smokes.’ But they were both sweet and harmless men. Rudy was really friendly to us kids, and would always give us comic books. I remember he would sit in his car and just run the motor and read his comic books. I didn’t know why, but I heard he did that to charge up the battery because I rarely saw him ever drive that car.

I remember one of our neighbors told her two daughters that they couldn’t go to the Falf house for trick or treat on Halloween because she figured the brothers would diddle her daughters. But that would never happen because they were two really nice people. Just a little touched in the head. It’s that kind of ignorant behavior that creates prejudice in people. Just because somebody is different or weird, doesn’t make them evil pedophiles. I wasn’t raised that way and never agreed with her behavior.

But we liked him because he was nice and always gave my friend RJ and I comic books when he was finished reading them. I probably still have a few left in my collection. Free comics are always welcome!

Oh, one last thing. Rudy had this crazy stutter. Certain words would just hang there and he’d just keep saying the prefix of a word over and over really fast until the rest of it came out of his mouth. It was odd, but as kids, we just saw it as the way he spoke. And could this guy talk. He could ramble on forever about the most simple of subjects.

Everybody in the neighborhood loved my mother. I mean, everybody. It was like she had a fan club. Back then all of the dads worked and the wives all stayed home and took care of the house and kids. The ladies would stop over and chat with her. My mom was such a good listener and very cordial, so people just gravitated to her. I think there were days where our neighbor, Mrs. Hanley would come over with a cup of coffee and her cigarettes and talk my mom’s ear off. But my mom was always nice and would host anyone who wanted to swing by out of boredom.

Of course, my mother would be at the market and always run into somebody in the neighborhood and they’d chat. But one of the people who was the most annoying was Rudy Falf. Not because he was nuts, but because he would walk her home from the market and literally chatter nonstop. Stuttering his way through some nonsensical tale. My mother would smile and listen respectfully.

But one day she runs into him in the market and she hears him going on and on about a theft at his house. He’s literally talking non-stop to anyone who will listen about this crime that’s been committed against him.

Of course, this gets the attention of my mother in the checkout line. I mean, you couldn’t escape this guy if he started waffling on about something. He just wouldn’t stop going on and on about the subject. But my mom, knowing she’s been cornered and will probably have to listen to him all the way home, smiles and listens to him.

“What happened, Rudy?”

Rudy responds in his usual stutter, more manic than ever because he’s upset about the crime that’s committed against him.

“Somebody stole my ligga, ligga, ligga, ligga ligga, ligga, ligga, ladder!”

“Oh really? That’s awful. I’m so sorry to hear that.”

“Yea, it was lying right on the side of my house and somebody came along and stole it!”

“What did it look like?”

“It’s wooden and about this long! I’m going to call the police!”

The stark realization of what’s happened hits my mom like a freight train.

Rudy’s stolen ladder is resting against the wall of the garage in the garden of our yard.

She tells him how sorry she is for his misfortune and will keep an eye out for it. She never tells him!

Of course, my mother being the sweet woman she is, and an upstanding member of the community, is mortified. She immediately comes home and tells me the story she just heard.

I tell her I had no idea where Michael had gotten the ladder from and thought he had picked it out of someone’s trash. For once, I was telling the truth. My mom surprisingly believes me and tells me to figure out a way to get that ladder back to Rudy.

I concur with Michael. He tells me that he did indeed nick the ladder from the side of Rudy’s house but thought it was in the trash. The truth of what he does or doesn’t believe is a moot point at this juncture. We need to get that ladder back to Rudy’s house as soon as possible before we get in deep trouble.

So that night, Mike and I quietly crept over to Rudy’s house under that cloak of darkness. We gently placed the ladder back where Michael had found it. Then we did what all boys do when faced with adversity. We ran away!

So, in closing, no harm was done, and Rudy’s ladder miraculously reappeared safely back on his property. When I think about this whole incident now, I think it wasn’t so much about us climbing on my mom’s flower trellis. We just wanted a way to get up on the roof. My mother knew that if the trellis broke and we fell, we risked falling through a bunch of sticker bushes and possibly crashing down on one of the many large stones that surrounded her garden.

Parents don’t stop their kids from doing risky stuff to control them, but to try to keep them from killing themselves.

Or… one of us boys could have fallen off the roof and hit the concrete driveway below doing some serious damage to ourselves. Can you imagine falling 20 feet and landing headfirst onto cement as a kid? If you survived the injury you might end up talking like Rudy for the rest of your life.

And nobody wants that.

But, I got a good story out of it, so it was all worth it!

 

 

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The Trellis – Part 1

Philadelphia, PA – Late 60s, Early 70s

When we were kids we had this little pool in our backyard. It was actually set up in our carport, not our yard. My mom would put down a big blanket on the ground, and then haul the pool out of our garage. It wasn’t very big, but we had a good time playing in it. It was probably only 6 feet square and less than a foot deep. But it was a fun thing that we could play in to cool off and frolic about.

My mother would fill it up with water from the hose. She’d do this before lunchtime around 11am. By the time we were finished eating, the sun would have warmed the water and we could all go in.

Some of our friends would come over and we’d all have a grand old time on a warm spring day.

The Mitchell family down the street had acquired a large above-ground pool and that became the popular spot in the summer for the neighborhood. I didn’t ever go over there for that because to me it was too crowded and too deep. Not for me.

Besides, once school let out we’d be down the shore for the summer. Which was 1000 times better than any pool in our neighborhood.

Anyway, when we were done playing in our little pool, we’d obviously have to come in and get into some dry clothes. But for some reason, my sister and I would leave our wet bathing suits on our beds. I have no idea why we did this. We could have turned them into mom, or hung them on a doorknob or something. Who wants a wet bed?

But we did that a number of times and my mother was not pleased. She finally told us that if we did it again, we’d have to write: “I will not leave my wet bathing suit on the bed.” 50 times. Which when you’re a kid is a tedious and time-consuming process. I suppose because we didn’t listen to her initial request, this punishment would drill the idea into our thick heads.

So, it happened again and my older sister and I had to write. She was a good student and had mad school skills, so she blew out the punishment in an hour or so. But it took me forever. I finally got it done, and never left a wet bathing suit on my bed again. Effective punishment. It got the result my mom desired. She also figured a little exercise in penmanship never hurt anyone.

My mom had a wooden trellis bolted to the sidewall of the garage in our yard. That’s where all of her rose bushes were located. I remember we always had nice roses growing out there. My mother always liked nature and animals, so she was a natural green thumb out there in the garden.

You had to be careful out there by the rose bushes because as lovely and fragrant roses are, they all have thorns. Much like the women I would meet later in my life.

But when boys see a trellis bolted to a wall, they don’t see a structure to support the flora and fauna of mom’s garden. They see a ladder. What do you do with a ladder? Yep. You have to climb it.

The only reason we climbed the trellis was to get up on the garage roof. Kids love climbing and exploring new spaces. It’s fun to get up on top of things when you’re small. There’s a feeling of power and safety at that height. The garage rood instantly became a cool hiding spot and hang-out spot.

When I think back on the construction of that trellis I’m amazed it never broke under our weight. It was just thin slats of wood nailed together. It was meant to support the vines of plants, not the bodies of young boys. But we climbed up there all of the time.

My mother caught sight of this, and told me if I didn’t stop climbing her trellis, I’d have to write as I did after the wet bathing suit incident.

I may have stayed off it for a week, but in no time we were back up there. Sure enough, I was caught, prosecuted, and sentenced to writing the same sentence over and over. “I will not climb the trellis.” I had to write it 100 times. Not just once… but this time, for a week straight.

That seemed a cruel and unusual punishment for such a simple infraction, but it wasn’t about climbing the trellis, it was the fact that she’d told me not to and I willfully disobeyed her and did it anyway. That sort of repugnant behavior was always met with swift justice in our house. That, or a good smack!

So, each day I would write the same sentence over and over after lunch. It was horrible. After a while, the words you write mean nothing to you. It’s just the same thing over and over. Sometimes I would write the same letter or word over and over down the page and then go on to the next one. Anything to change up the sheer monotony of the task.

I think by the fourth or fifth day, she lightened my sentence and I only had to crack off 50 sentences. Did my handwriting improve? Not in the slightest bit, but it kept me off my mom’s trellis for good!

But I missed going up on the garage roof and hanging with my friend Mike. That was our little throne up there. But what to do?

A year or so passes.

One day Mike comes over and tells me he found an old wooden ladder in the trash somewhere. Back then we were always picking things out of people’s trash and making stuff out of it. But this was a big ladder. Sturdy too!

So Micheal brings it over and we carefully place it in the garden and lean it up against the edge of the garage. It fits perfectly! It was just the right height to get us safely back up on the garage roof. We left it there and it became the way up and down to our little clubhouse. We’d sit up there and chat, and eat peanuts, tossing the shells everywhere. We didn’t care about the mess. The shells were organic material and anything we left up there couldn’t be seen from the ground so who cares?

The most important person who didn’t care was my mother. She never said anything about the old wooden ladder leaning against our garage. I suppose as long as we weren’t on her trellis, we were fine.

To be continued tomorrow!

 

 

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Here’s What Happens When You Love Someone Who Isn’t Good For You, According To Experts

If you want to be in a relationship, odds are you’re also looking for a partner who is (at minimum) kind, respectful, and a good fit for you, and to be in a relationship that builds you up and makes you happy. But you also can’t really plan who you’ll fall in love with, and sometimes, it’s hard to tell when someone you’re dating is being genuine. Unfortunately, that means that you might end up in a situation where you love someone who isn’t good for you. It’s not your fault, and we’ve all been there at some point or another.

Maybe you have your doubts, but if you’re not really sure if the person you’re dating or in love with is good for you or not, there are some things to look out for — and most of it is about how they make you feel.

“Someone isn’t good for you when you don’t feel like the best version of yourself in the relationship,” Samantha Burns, dating coach and author of Breaking Up & Bouncing Back, tells Elite Daily. “Oftentimes, when you’re with the wrong person it will feel out of balance, with you giving more than you’re receiving. In a healthy relationship, there should be an equal effort invested by both partners. You can tell if someone isn’t good for you if you’re regularly feeling on edge, anxious, insecure, needy, argumentative, jealous, sad, or crying frequently.”

And perhaps unsurprisingly, being in a relationship with someone who isn’t good for you can have quite an impact on your life and your self-esteem. I asked Burns to weigh in on what happens when you’re in love with a person who isn’t good for you, and here’s what she had to share.

You might alienate yourself from your support system.

sad and lonely girl, violence crime and kidnapping people concept.

Shutterstock

“When you’re in love with someone who isn’t good for you, your other relationships take the back burner, or you alienate yourself from your support system,” Burns explains. “When you’re first dating someone and falling in love, you go through that honeymoon phase where you’re obsessed with spending a lot of time with your new partner, but it takes an unhealthy turn where you stop investing time and energy into nurturing your other friendships.”

Sometimes, that happens just because you’re distracted by new love — and you can fix that by putting in the effort to reprioritize — but it can also be the result of a controlling partner.

“If your partner is controlling, they may ask or force you to stop going out with your friends, or talk poorly about your family, slowly and manipulatively isolating you from others,” Burns says.

If anyone you’re dating asks you to stop spending time with your other loved ones, that’s a major red flag.

It can make you feel needy all the time.

As Burns points out, we all have needs — and we all need things at different levels. All of that is totally normal, too.

“Everyone has needs, and some have more than others, which isn’t a bad thing and you shouldn’t let someone make you feel belittled or judged for wanting more,” Burns says.

If you’re feeling needy all the time, however, that can be a sign that you’re with someone who isn’t good for you.

“We tend to only feel needy when our partners aren’t meeting our emotional needs,” Burns says. “When you’re with the right partner, you’ll be able to openly talk about both of your needs and ways you can help meet each other’s.”

What you want to watch out for is a partner who doesn’t seem to understand or care about your needs.

“When you’re with the wrong person, they will ignore or refuse to help you or change their behavior. There’s an overwhelming sense of disconnection, and one or both of you don’t speak each other’s love language, which is the way in which you make each other feel most loved,” Burns explains.

It diminishes your self-worth.

Being in a relationship with someone who isn’t good for you — and thus, doesn’t make you feel good about yourself — can also pose a problem for your own self-esteem and make future relationships feel more difficult for you.

“Dating someone who isn’t good for you slowly diminishes your self-worth, and you begin to believe that you’re not worthy or deserving of a loving, fulfilling relationship,” Burns says. “You pick at your flaws and mentally beat yourself up.”

As a result, Burns says you might start to settle for less than you deserve. “You feel desperate for love and connection, so you lower your standards for anyone who shows you attention because you don’t think that you’re worth more,” she says.

Your partner might be emotionally abusive.

Sad woman lying on bed after an argument with her boyfriend.

Shutterstock

Something to keep in mind is that a partner who isn’t good for you may also be emotionally abusive, so it’s important to watch out for signs like gaslighting, too.

“Someone who isn’t good for you may also engage in a manipulative form of emotional abuse called gaslighting, in which they deny and invalidate your emotional experiences,” Burns explains.

Gaslighting can make you start to focus more on your partner’s feelings than your own, and make you feel like you’re always wrong even when you’re not.

“They don’t take accountability for their wrongdoing, blame you, and somehow even when you know you’re in the right, you wind up apologizing just to smooth things over because you’re uncomfortable with the tension,” Burns says. “You then start to tiptoe around conflict and worry more about their feelings than you’re own.”

If you feel like you can’t even bring up anything that’s bothering you because your partner will just blame you, that’s a major red flag.

So, how do you move on?

If you’re trying to move on from a relationship in which you were in love with someone who wasn’t good for you, Burns has some advice.

“Spend time rebuilding your self-concept and identity by working toward new goals in your personal and professional life,” she suggests. “Engage in new hobbies, whether it’s signing up for your first 5K, learning to play the guitar, or planning an international vacation, and surround yourself with quality friends who build you up.”

Along with finding new hobbies, cultivating your friendships, and building your identity back up again, it’s important to spend time learning to really value yourself.

“You need to reclaim your power and rebuild your worth,” Burns says. “A healthy, secure relationship develops when you value, respect, and love yourself first. The relationship you have with yourself impacts all other relationships in your life, so you need to get to a place where you know you’re a catch and someone will be lucky to have you.”

And remember, you can absolutely be in a healthy, fulfilling relationship while you’re still working on these things — as long as you’re taking care of yourself and putting yourself first. You deserve a partner who does the same — a partner who’s good for you — and you deserve to be in a supportive relationship where you can both grow together.

 

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

Tales of Rock – 28 Crazy Facts About Freddie Mercury That Will Shock You

Font - WHENASKED WHATONEOF QUEEN'SMOST FAMOUS SONGS BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY MEANT HE REPLIED IT BEARS NO REAL MEANING, ITSALL RHYMING NONSENSE"

Sports - MAYWAS CONCERNEDTHAT FREDDIECOULDNTRECORD THE SHOWMUST GOON SINCE HE COULDNTEVEN WALK ANYMORE MERCURY CONSUMED A MEASURE OF VODKA, SAID "I'LL FUCKING DO IT DARLING AND SANG THE VOCALS IN ONE TAKE
Font - HE HADALONG TERMRELATIONSHIPWITHA GIRLINTHE EARLY70S NAMED MARYAUSTIN WHEN HE DIED, HE LEFT HER MOSTOF HIS MONEY, HISHOUSE AND HISRECORDING ROYALTIES
Sports - FREDDIE MERCURYUSEDTODISGUISE PRINCESS DIANAASA MAN SOSHE COULDJOIN THEMON NIGHTSOUT WITHOUT BEING RECOGNISED
Photo caption - KURT COBAIN MENTIONED FREDDIE MERCURY IN HIS SUICIDENOTE EXPLAINING HOW HEADMIRED AND ENVIED HISABILITY TO PERFORM ANDEMBRACE THE LOVE OF HIS AUDIENCE
Font - HISKNOWN VOCAL RANGE EXTENDEDFROM BASS LOW FOF2)TOSOPRANO HIGH F(F6) HECOULD BELT UPTO TENOR HIGHFCF5), WHICHISALMOST FOUR OCTAVES
Font - THE WHOLEAD SINGER ROGERDALTREY CALLED MERCURY "THE BEST VIRTUOSOROCK 'N' ROLL SINGER OF ALL TIME. HE COULD SING ANYTHING IN ANY STYLE HE COULD CHANGE HIS STYLE FROM LINE TOLINE AND GOD,THATS AN ART.AND HE WAS BRILLIANT ATIT
Font - FREDDIE FELT VERY UNCONFIDENTABOUT HISTEETH BUT REFUSED TOHAVE ANY WORK DONE ON IT SINCE HE FEARD THAT IT MIGHT CHANGE HISUNIQUE VOICE
Sports - FREDDIE MERCURYAND MICHAELJACKSON TRIED COLLABORATING ONAFEWSONGS BUT THE UNION APPARENTLY FELL'APART BECAUSE JACKSON KEPTBRINGING HIS PET LLAMA INTOTHE STUDIO
Sports - HEWAS VOTED NUMBER59IN THE BBC'S POLLOFTHE 100 GREATEST BRITONS BUT HEWAS BORNIN ZANZIBAR
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Font - FREDDIE MERCURYS BIRTH NAMEWAS FARROKH BULSARA HE LEGALLY CHANGED HIS NAME TO FREDDIE MERCURY AROUND 1970, WHENQUEEN WAS FORMED
Poster - FREDDIE DESIGNED THE FAMOUS QUEEN CREST LOGO HIMSELF THE LOGO FEATURESTHE ZODIAC SIGNS OFALL FOUR MEMBERS: TWO LIONS FOR LEO (DEACON AND TAYLOR), A CRAB FOR CANCER MAY AND TWO FAIRIES FOR VIRGO (MERCURY
Sports - ASPECIES OF YELLOWFLOWERS WAS NAMED AFTER FREDDIE MERCURY AFTER HISDEATH
Font - FREDDIEWROTE 'CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE'IN THE BATH HE WAS IN THE TUBAT A HOTEL AND GOT INSPIRED FOR THE SONG HE EVEN HAD THE PIANO BROUGHTTO HISTUB TOT ALLOW HIM TO COMPOSE
Font - MAY SAYS OF MERCURY CABOUT RECORDING MADEIN HEAVEND HE JUST KEPT SAYING WRITE ME MORE. WRITE ME STUFF. I WANTTOJUST SING THIS AND DOIT AND WHEN IAM GONE YOU CAN FINISH ITOFF: HE HAD NO FEAR,REALLY"
Font - FREDDIESAIDABOUTTHE BANDNAME IT'S VERY REGAL OBVIOUSLY, AND IT SOUNDS SPLENDID. ITS A STRONG NAME VERY UNIVERSALAND IMMEDIATEI WAS CERTAINLY AWARE OF THE GAY CONNOTATIONS,BUTTHAT WAS JUST ONE FACETOFIT
Font - HUTTON,WHOWASTESTED HIV-POSITIVE IN 1990,LIVED WITH MERCURY FORTHE LAST SIKYEARS OF HISLIFE NURSED HIM DURING HISILLNESS AND WAS PRESENT AT HIS BEDSIDE WHEN HE DIED
Photo caption - ASTATUE OF FREDDIE WAS UNVEILED IN MONTREUX,SWITZERLAND ON 25 NOVEMBER 1996.

How To Compliment Women Without Making It Weird

Once I complimented an intern on her haircut. From behind me, a male coworker commented, “I was going to say that but I didn’t want to seem creepy, what with #MeToo and all.” He figured that this intern would hear “nice haircut” and think “assault.” We teased him about it, and he doubled down: “I didn’t want to make anyone feel like I was looking at them!”

Pretty much every man’s greatest fear is coming off creepy or turning into his father or whatever. But for the vast majority of normal guys, the worst charge you could throw at them is that they’re creeping someone out. It’s a healthy fear, considering the world today and how many men are behaving inappropriately. Even small acts performed with good intentions can come across poorly, and it can be difficult to navigate what is and is not appropriate. A compliment in the workplace can easily cross lines, so here are some tips to help you stay in the compliment safe zone:

Don’t make it about you

The first defense against accidental creeping is taking the word “I” out of your compliment. Even the most innocuous compliments adopt sexual undertones when they start with “I.” Centering the compliment around how you feel carries with it a suggestion that you think the woman you’re complimenting is doing what she’s doing – whether it’s wearing a cute top or wearing a little bit more makeup today – for you. “I” compliments are unsettling because it sounds like you’re telling us that what we’re doing suits your sexual appetites. “I love that shirt” feels like you’re thinking naughty things about what’s under the shirt, while “that shirt is awesome” is much safer. G-chatting someone, “I loved it when so spoke up in that meeting, so feisty!” is creepy. “You made a great point about the budget in there” is nice.

Never call a woman “feisty”

This is self-evident.

Don’t comment on women’s bodies

This, too, should be obvious, but you should never compliment a specific body part. I can think of very few things creepier than hearing “you have such great legs” at work. Specific body part compliments are only for people you’re dating or sleeping with. With the exception of dramatic hair changes (“you got a haircut!” will suffice), you should never comment on someone’s body. Even “you look great!” and “did you lose weight?” are deadly. I know “you look great” seems innocuous, but it often comes off as “I would sleep with you.” As for weight: Never mention it. It’s not your business. You have no idea why a woman lost weight. Perhaps she has emotional issues with it. Perhaps she doesn’t even want to be losing weight. You also don’t need to tell someone how well their clothes suit their body. It doesn’t matter if that dress is flattering; we’re at work, we’re not dating. You can tell a woman her clothes are cool without veering into “your jeans always fit you so well” territory.

Stick to professional merits

In general, we tend to neglect non-appearance-based compliments. One positive comment about a woman’s work will go a long way towards making you seem less horny. Most of your compliments should be not about appearance: I would aim for a good 90/10 split with only 10 percent of your compliments being about how someone looks or what they’re wearing. What’s left, you may ask? Well, you do work with this woman, right? “You killed it in that meeting” is a safe option. If you feel awkward delivering unsolicited work praise (you shouldn’t) try framing your compliments as thank-yous. “Thanks for catching my mistake in the third paragraph, your stuff always looks so polished.” Just be careful not to sound surprised that she’s good at her job, though. Exclaiming, “Wow, what you said was so smart!” is a bad look.

You don’t need to do it

Unless you’re in a feelings circle and everyone is required to say one nice thing about the person to their left or whatever, giving a compliment is never mandatory. It seems like somewhere along the way, a lot of men confused being decent to women with complimenting us, and I worry it has become a compulsive tic. So I’m telling you now: You don’t have to say every compliment that comes to you. Especially if you’re concerned that you’re toeing a creeper line, just shut it down. No one needs to hear your opinion on anything unless someone is about to cut a wire to dismantle a bomb and you are the only one who knows which wire is correct. Most opinions (and your compliments are, fundamentally, your opinion) can stay in your head. Ultimately, understand that a lot of women you work with simply might not care what you think about their new shoes. No woman I know, despite the myth that persists, is upset that she’s not getting more compliments.

 

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