ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING: Inspiration and Behind the Scenes – Part 1

The truth behind the story!

This is a 4 part mini series I wrote over the weekend as a companion to my recently published book. It will run over the next 4 weeks, every Monday morning at 8am!

Thank you!

Angel with a Broken Wing is my first work of fiction. It’s got all of my favorite elements in it. But where do these ideas come from? Well, I’m going to tell you.

I’m going to think back and try to remember some of the inspiration for this story.

I am obviously Christian Blackmore. Not anymore, but I was back in the 90’s. I was miserable in my marriage and my job, and I wished  I could just run away from the life I had created.

The Cover: I was an art major all through school. When I think about that now, it feels like a million miles away. I liked comic books growing up, and my first exposure to art was in comics. I always made art throughout my childhood, so art class was a natural progression for me in school. It was the only class that was effortless.

I loved to work in pen and ink. I liked its stark simplicity. I have several works from high school that I still retain in my collection. This one, The Angel is my favorite.

It was an incredibly cold day in February of 1980. I was in my double period, art major class. There were only two of us in the class that were any good. Me and Bill Polini.

I looked out the window as the snow came flying. I took pen in hand, and imagined a beautiful girl. In a warm place. She’s with me. We’re maybe riding horses…or camels. She turns to look at me, and the reflection of the oasis behind me reflects in her sunglasses. I long to kiss her.

“Yea. I should try to draw that.”

Uncle John: I had an uncle John on my mother’s side of the family. I share many of the same characteristics of my mom’s side of the family more than my dad. My mother had four brothers; Roland, Robert, Norman, and John. All of her brothers kept their hair and all died in their late 70’s and 80’s so maybe if my liver holds up, I’ll meet the same fate. John never left me any inheritance, but my uncle Rob left all of us kids some loot and it was substantial. He lived in Florida.

The Pinto: My grandmother, (My dad’s mom) We called her Grammy. I loved her. When everybody thought I was a piece of garbage in my early teens, she was the only one that had faith in me. So She will always have a special place in my heart. She was a cool lady, who liked a cold glass of beer and some good neighborhood gossip. Just an adorable lady. When she died, the last car she owned was a gold Ford Pinto. That car is my last memory of her. So I used it in the story. The car’s fate is based on stories I heard back in the 70’s about an engineering flaw in the vehicle.

Woodbury, New Jersey: I lived in Woodbury from 1992 to 2001. My wife and I owned a house on Barber Street. I modeled Christian Blackmore’s residence after my own house there. So when I wrote about him in his house in Woodbury, I could picture my own life there.

The Phoenix: I remember first hearing about the story of the Phoenix on an old record album. It was a collection of stories about superheroes. It was like an old radio show type collection of plays on one LP. I remember hearing about the Phoenix in one of those stories, probably back as far as 1973. When one of the characters describes the Phoenix, it is a verbatim rendition of what I heard on that record, nearly 50 years ago. I always felt like I could relate to the Phoenix in my own life. I always felt that no matter how many times I got destroyed in my life, I always came back better than what I was before. I think that’s why I have the characters make a stop over in Phoenix, Arizona on their journey to LA. There are some transforming moments for a few of them in that chapter.

Gloucester County College: When I was married back in the 90’s my then wife came from a very collegiate family. I never went to college, but had several college credits from the American Institute of Banking through courses I had taken through the bank I worked for. My wife thought I should go back to college at night and take courses to get my college degree. So I did. I took those classes at night after work, at Gloucester County Community College. I don’t feel that it was a waste of time, because it led to some interesting things. I’ll be getting to them shortly.

The Gun: Everything you read in Angel about the Bulldog .44 revolver is true. I never owned a gun, and like Christian Blackmore, I hate guns. But all of the info about that weapon is from real events. The story Christian tells Sheryl about the girl at the shore is all true. That happened to me in the summer of 1977. Funny thing is, I recently reconnected with that girl from New York on Facebook. (At 57, she’s still hot!) Oh, one last thing, I had to make a slight change in the action sequence involving that gun. During the final edits of the book I discovered that the bulldog .44 only holds 5, not 6 bullets like most revolvers! I guess because those bullets are so big!

Sheryl Stanton: Sheryl was inspired by a girl I met in one of the banking courses I took at Gloucester County College. I pretty much describe Sheryl as how this girl was in real life. We had a good friendship for a brief period and even had some romantic dalliances. She did break it off with me when she moved to California for a period of time. The real Sheryl never worked in a mental health facility. That’s completely made up for the story.

Karl Itzky: The first kid I met when I went to Frankford High School in 1978, was a guy named Karl Itzky. He was the only person I knew other than my older sister. I just liked his name. He is nothing like the Karl Itzky in the book. He was a nice guy, who I sadly lost touch with when I moved up the social ladder in high school.

Honest Files: The name of the bar/restaurant where Christian and Sheryl hang out is taken from a song by the band, Urge Overkill. There are many references in the book about music I was listening to back in the 90’s where this story takes place. It’s from their album, Exit the Dragon. Here are some of the lyrics from the song:

Hey, hey I’m dead on arrival
Hey, hey I’m distant
Crawling right back
Yes, I’m crawling right back
‘Cause I’m honesty, don’t break my heart
Honesty won’t break it
Honesty won’t break you heart
Honest it won’t
It won’t, it won’t, it won’t, it won’t, it won’t…

I thought it was a cool song, and that bar is where I hung out with the real Sheryl back then. It’s where we would spill our guts to each other about everything in our lives. I used to say we were opening the ‘Honesty Files’ about what we were experiencing at that time.

The real place is exactly the way I describe it in the book. The animal trophies on the walls, all of the real bookcases all around the room, and the fireplace. We spent many a night there pounding martinis and smoking tons of cigarettes. (Yea, you could smoke in restaurants and bars back then!) It was a welcome repose from our chaotic lives.

Exterior - Picture of Charlie Brown's Steakhouse, Woodbury ...

Here’s the real Honesty Files… It’s a place called Charlie Brown’s at 111 Broad Street, in Woodbury, NJ

 

More next week!

 

You can buy Angel with a Broken Wing on kindle and paperback right here:

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

 

 

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING is Now On Sale on Amazon! (kindle and paperback)

PUBLISHED!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

The day is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier! This has been a long time coming and a labor of love. I’ve been working day and night to get this baby written, and I think it’s my finest work yet! I hope you enjoy it!

Please buy my book!

 

I wanted to create something new. Not a non-fiction, compilation of stories from my blog. Something new. A story. A fable. A love story that included all of the elements of all the films I liked. A thriller, road movie, romance, mystery, an action yarn, that would be full of twists and turns.

The world had gone a bit mad, and I wanted to create a world I could control. I wanted it to take place in a time before there were smart phones or social media. A story about a boy and a girl trying to fall in love, during extraordinary circumstances. Let’s put a fancy car in there. Have them drive across the country on a road trip. Let’s throw a bad guy in there. That’ll keep them on edge. Let’s make it a mystery too. Let’s ‘David Lynch’ it up a bit with some interesting, unique characters. Let’s make them all flawed in some way. They all have the potential to be good, but they’re all struggling with themselves. They all want something, but they don’t know the right way to get it. A collection of misfits all trying to find themselves. All broken in some way. They want to fly, but their wings are broken, so they choose to run.

What if you could just run away from your current life?

Christian Blackmore works as a manager at a local finance company in New Jersey. He’s burned out from all the bad loans, and making collection calls every night. He spends his days laboring at a job he hates, and his evenings drinking at a local bar with his best friend. 

When his favorite uncle dies, and leaves him a unique inheritance, he begins to question the path he’s taken in life.

He decides to take a road trip across the country with a woman he just met. She’s a mysterious beauty, who may hold a dark secret. 

What begins as a romantic journey, becomes a nightmare, when he realizes he’s being followed by an elusive stranger. What does he want? Is it Christian, the girl, or something far more sinister?

Angel with a Broken Wing, takes you on a terrifying, coast to coast thrill ride across America. Can one man fall in love, and stay one step ahead in a cat and mouse game with a killer?

You can check it out here:

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

I want to first thank my daughter. Thank you for coming into my life. You are my inspiration. I love you! I can always come to you with an idea and you make it perfect.

Scott Macintosh. You’re my best friend. You’ve been with me since the beginning. Thank you for staying on the ship, even when it was sinking. 

Will Ball. Thank you for your friendship, the films, the laughs, and of course, the cocktails. I’m honored to have you in my life as a friend. 

A.M. Homes. Thank you for answering my letter with a personal note so many years ago. I was so inspired by your words, it gave me the courage to write my story the way I wanted to tell it, without fear.

Thanks to the amazing team at Amazon Kindle. Without you, I’d be lost in a sea of technology. I can write the words, but you guys help me turn them into books.

Thanks to everyone at Amazon. I became a member over 20 years ago when you were just a giant bookstore. After crawling on my hands and knees to agents and publishing houses for years, Amazon finally gave me the biggest platform on Earth to bring my literary work to the world!

A special thanks to everyone at WordPress. Without you, I couldn’t publish Phicklephilly everyday for the last four years! Now we’re a dot com and I’ve monetized the site with ads! You gave me a home to bring my work to everyone! Thank you!

Thanks to all the folks over at GoDaddy. You made the transition from just another blogger, to a dotcom look easy. Thanks for always being there when I needed you. You’re the best!

Thank you, dear readers, and subscribers for all of your support over the years I’ve been writing this little blog. I appreciate you all, and try to respond to all of your comments. I love your comments!

Please buy my new book. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed. It’s quite a ride!

This is a great book to read at the beach this summer!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

 

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER, EVERYONE…EVERYWHERE!!!

 

Zoolon Forever!

Angel with a Broken Wing is Now on Sale at AMAZON

“What if you could just run away from your present life?”

I’ve been composing my first work of fiction.

It’s a romantic thriller, that takes the reader on a cross country odyssey across America.

A young gentleman meets a nice girl, and they decide to take a journey together.  Both wanting to escape their mundane lives.

What begins as an idyllic road trip, turns into a nightmare, as they discover they’re locked in a cross country, cat and mouse game with a mysterious stranger.

It’s a real corker of a story, so hopefully you’ll want to read it!

You can get it here:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

 

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

Buy Angel With A Broken Wing, Now on sale on Amazon!

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

What It’s Really Like to Be Sober Curious: When an Alcohol “Break” Becomes Permanent

In the spring of 2018, 42-year-old Kim Banks found herself in a lonely place. Struggles with anxiety and depression interfered with life as a wife, mother of 5-year-old twin boys, and her work in public relations. Despite self-improvements like daily exercise, healthy eating, and good sleep habits, Banks wasn’t happy.

“I was feeling lots of anxiety and depression, along with irritability, even though I was trying to do all the right things,” she says.

In the back of her mind, Banks describes a nagging thought, “Give up the alcohol.”

“I was in a constant, daily argument with myself,” she says. At the root of was the question: “Should I drink tonight?”

Photo credit: Instagram/@kimbanks_reset
Photo credit: Instagram/@kimbanks_reset
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Banks ended each workday with a few glasses of wine. On weekend nights out with her husband, she describes “going a little hard,” and leaving a wave of bad feelings for the next day.

“I knew I needed to eliminate alcohol, but it was the last thing I wanted to eliminate,” she says. “I really enjoyed wine, and I definitely bought into the idea alcohol enhances experiences,” she continues. “Tell me to give anything else up but the wine.”

Initially, Banks describes a curiosity around “taking a 30-day-break” from alcohol. She researched online for information about what impact alcohol has on the body. “I mainly searched for success stories from people who gave up drinking for 30 days or more,” she explains.

Her online searches turned up first-hand accounts of people like herself, who hadn’t suffered major life-altering consequences from drinking, but saw their drinking as problematic all the same. Others identified as “alcoholic” but blended traditional 12-step recovery with other support among fellow “sober curious” followers.

Banks made the decision to go alcohol-free. “I was thinking, ‘This isn’t making me happy anymore, but it’s ingrained in my daily habits,'” she says.

How Giving Up Alcohol Became a Wellness Trend

Ruby Warrington’s 2018 book Sober Curious is something of a guidebook for this less-threatening, label-free, booze-less trend. The book describes Warrington’s “gray-area problem drinking.” Uncomfortable with the label “alcoholic,” she developed a following of like-minded non-drinkers via her book, podcasts, and social media. Banks is one of many who either gave up drinking altogether or drink more mindfully.

Sober coach Rae Dylan lives in New York City and sees the trend up close. Cities like New York City and Chicago are seeing a rise of sober-free bars and events. Instagram and Facebook pages devoted to alcohol-free living boast followers in the tens of thousands.

“I see it as part of what’s happening all around us,” says Dylan, who works with recovering addicts and alcoholics requiring protection from the press, nutritional guidance, mental health issues, medication, and detox. “People are more interested in a healthy lifestyle and part of not-drinking is part of this healthy culture which recognizes it’s not healthy the way Americans drink,” she adds.

In particular, the idea of not drinking in what some consider awkward social situations, like a bar atmosphere, is encouraging, Dylan believes. “It’s a good thing; the movement gives younger people, who may feel pressure to drink or do drugs, another outlet,” she says.

“Instead of feeling pressure to drink,” Dylan continues, “the focus comes off labels like ‘alcoholic’ and, instead, people focus on having a cool virgin mojito with maybe organic cane juice.”

Finding Like-Minded Non-Drinkers

Banks admits her first steps into a sober lifestyle weren’t easy. Friends and family didn’t object, but they had difficulty supporting what they couldn’t understand.

“I was surrounded with casual drinkers who didn’t understand why someone would choose to give up alcohol without being an alcoholic,” she says. “I wasn’t a rock-bottom alcoholic, so it wasn’t a black-or-white issue for me.”

Instead, the issue, like Warrington describes, was more of a gray area. “I was tired, my skin was breaking out and I had tried everything else,” she continues. “I knew in my heart what I needed to cut.”

Finding support from other non-drinkers meant turning to the internet and social media. At first, Banks was unaware she was part of the sober curious movement. Her first steps going wine-free centered on setting up an Instagram page to record an initial 30-day break from alcohol. “I would post things like, ‘This is my second day without alcohol!’”

Today, Banks has nearly 6,500 Instagram followers celebrating her alcohol-free experiences. She credits this early support with her sober lifestyle today. “There were so many supportive people on Instagram,” Banks says. “I felt like I had these online pen pals who really got what I was going through.”

She describes the connections as uplifting without shame. Followers celebrate her victories and help her navigate rough days. Plus, she knows she has 24-hour access to a community of support. If she and her husband go out for the evening, she’s only an Instagram away from others who are also abstaining from drinks on a weekend night.

Trend vs. Lifestyle

Living in Greenville, SC, Banks doesn’t have the luxury of countless, trendy sober bars to visit. But, time away from drinking has made it easier and less appealing to go backward. She says she focuses on the reality of drinking versus the fantasy.

During a recent family vacation, Banks said the idea of having a drink sounded tempting. She reminded herself, however, of the reality behind the “one drink,” which included, for her, likely more than one drink, a bad night’s sleep and heavy anxiety in the morning. “In the beginning it was so hard, but now I’ve had so many experiences under my belt, and I feel more confident,” she explains.

“I think through the drink,” she explains. “I admit to myself I have the urge, but I know the ‘idea’ is way better than any glass of wine.”

The days of pushing through moments of temptation are fewer and further between. If she needs support, she knows her Instagram followers are always nearby, along with other sober curious friends she’s made on the journey.

Her friends and family are still casual drinkers, but Banks has been abstaining from alcohol for the past year and a half, and has no intention of going back to her evening wine. “I love waking up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning without a hangover,” she says.

Enjoying sober experiences has left Banks feeling healthier, more focused, and more present for her husband and children. In addition, her family’s finances have improved without the steady purchase of wine. She says her husband is proud of her accomplishment, and her children are enjoying a more active family life with hiking and trips.

“There are so many physical and emotional benefits from intentionally taking a break from alcohol,” says Banks. “It opens a whole new world. I’m a better friend, wife, and mom,” she adds. For now, she remains alcohol-free, one day at a time.

 

 

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

8 Things to Say at the End of a Date if You Have Zero Intention of “Grabbing Drinks!” Ever Again

When I went to grab drinks with Josh* at an Irish pub near my work, we had decent chemistry. It wasn’t “Omg, I found my soul mate” chemistry, but it was the kind that I sometimes gaslight myself into believing could potentially develop over time. (Note: Dudes do not do this.) In this specific case, it was because we had a mutual love of Kacey Musgraves and he could hold a conversation without awkward pauses…yes, the bar is really that low, people.

But after one drink, I was ready to call it a night. We parted ways, said our goodbyes, no kiss (although, he did plant one on my cheek, which I guess in hindsight reads, “Hi, not interested”) and then I turned and started walking the other way. But before I was completely turned around, he hesitated in one of those awkward, first-date fidgety moves and said with a smile, “We should do this again sometime.” I nodded and started walking away à la my own Sex and the City moment. In my best Carrie Bradshaw voice, I thought: Damn, Tay, you still got it.

A week later. though, when I texted Josh: “Hey, Josh, how are we this week?” I was left on read. Now, I normally have a great gut instinct (weird flex, sorry), but I wasn’t getting ghosting vibes from Josh. He said he wanted to see me again? We had good conversation? What about Kacey?! I mean, I genuinely thought it was one of those one in a million chances that Josh had actually lost his phone or was out of service range or didn’t get my text for some reason (I know, I know: Insert my clown face here). But when he still didn’t text me back, I realized I was being ghosted. The worst.

So, in honor of my personal experience with the phrase: “Hey, yeah, we should do this again sometime,” (both me doing it and receiving it with no intent of following up), I want to make the bold plea: Can we *please* stop ending dates with this empty promise if we don’t, like, actually mean it?

I understand that closing out a bad date can be super awkward. What do you say? How do you finagle your way out of a kiss? How do you end the date pleasantly without being mean? Sometimes, if you’re like me, it really is just easier to blab out “Oh, I’ll text you!” or “Let’s do this again!” because as humans, we don’t know WTF else to say. In order to prevent this—and giving someone false hope for date number two—here are 7 other things you can end a date with instead:

  1. “Let me know when you get home safely!” Not only does this show interest in the person’s well-being (or, in my case, that they didn’t get pushed onto the subway tracks by someone), it’s also a pretty friendly way to get them to text you when they get home. That way, when they do, you’ll have the confidence to tell them through a text you weren’t feeling things because it’s *so* much easier behind a screen.
  2. “Good luck in that ______ this week!” You’ve just been talking for the last hour, maybe two, about the other person, so they’ve probably mentioned what they’re doing the following week. Wish them luck on whatever you can recall—whether it’s a work presentation or calling to make their own doctor’s appointment.
  3. “Thanks for the drinks!” or dinner, or coffee, or whatever. If you picked up the tab, “Thanks for the company!” works too. This type of statement is clutch because it doesn’t elicit any response other than “You’re welcome!” But if you really can’t think of anything to thank them for because they were a grade A douche, how about “Thank you for paying for the buzz I now have and will use to drunkenly swipe on other dating appers as soon as I get into my Uber after I unmatch you”?
  4. “Do you know how to get home?” It doesn’t have to be condescending (or it totally can be if your date asked if you knew how many carbs were in the bread basket you ate), but it’d be perfectly okay to end the convo with directions, a hug, and then a good ol’ pat on the back.
  5. “Give your pup a kiss for me!” …because you will, very unfortunately, never meet their cute pup to do it yourself, considering you despise anyone who chews with their mouth open.
  6. “Here, take my leftovers!” Let’s hope that your date isn’t awaiting your text for round two, but if they are (because you’re just that much of a catch), at least they’ll have some leftover Bolognese to snack on that can temporarily make them happy.
  7. “Gentleman (or ladies), if you are without a rose tonight, it’s time to say your goodbyes.” Hug them, kiss them on the cheek, and then offer to walk them down to their subway station.
  8. “Honestly, you’re kind of a shit date.” Hey, I’m always one for full-frontal honesty. How else do they learn?

In my case, I didn’t really know what was in store for Josh’s and my future, which is why I was fully ready to leave our date not expecting anything in return. But when I’m told, “Oh, we should do this again sometime!” that sends me—and I’m assuming other people too—into a spiral of “Oh, okay, I guess they had a great time and are into me.” Had Josh not said anything to me at all, I probably would’ve been more okay with the slow-fade from our date. But when someone gives me an unsolicited promise, I’m inclined to expect them to keep it.

*Name has been changed.

 

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!

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Life Before Quarantine – Part 11

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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

If You Drunk Text Your Ex, Do You Still Love Them? An Expert Says Not Quite

You’re jolted awake by the sound of your blaring alarm, reverberating straight from your nightstand and into your subconscious. You roll over, shut off the noise, and feel the familiar pain in your head of a throbbing hangover. As you open your phone to check the photos from last night, you realize with horror that you fired off a message to your ex, of all people. “What does this mean?,” you wonder anxiously. “If I drunk text my ex, do I still love them?”

In the midst of an alcohol-fueled night, almost everyone has sent a text that they regret. Your inhibitions were lowered, and at the time, it seemed like a perfectly rational idea to reach out to a person you used to date. In the morning, this no longer seems like such a clever plan — and discovering the text immediately fills you with panic. You thought you had moved on from your ex, but now you’re concerned that maybe you have lingering feelings for them.

Chelsea Leigh Trescott, breakup coach and podcast host of Thank You Heartbreak, tells Elite Daily exactly what that drunk text might mean. Spoiler alert: it’s probably not as bad as you think. “Drunk texting your ex could mean you’re still in love with them, but it could also mean a myriad of other things that have more to do with fear than love,” she explains. Consider the scenario you were in last night. Were you out with a bunch of happily coupled-up friends, talking about how close they were to getting engaged? “Drunk texting your ex after this evening now may be motivated by the fear of never finding the one, and not actually the belief that your ex really is the one,” Trescott says.

Similarly, if your family is constantly asking why you’re single, you might get stressed about fulfilling their expectations of you. In that case, it’s easy to understand why contacting your ex would feel safe and familiar. “When our inhibitions are lowered due to alcohol, our resulting behavior is more heavily influenced by the immediate context and circumstance we are in than any careful and conscious revelation about our ex,” Trescott says. Your brain is only focused on the here and now, and something triggered a memory of your ex that made you want to reach out to them.

Two beautiful girls drinking and having fun on a girls' night out
Shutterstock

I know what you’re thinking. “But what about the saying, ‘Drunk words are sober thoughts’?” Trescott says there’s no real truth to this idea. “They’re unprocessed thoughts to be challenged,” she says instead. “When we’re communicating drunk, we’re anxiously attempting to satisfy selfish needs or to extinguish sober fears and lingering wounds.” When you’re drunk, you’re more likely to say things that you wouldn’t say sober, but that doesn’t mean those drunk words are true. “While alcohol may lower our inhibitions [and] cause us to be less guarded, that’s not nearly the same thing as becoming more genuine,” Trescott says. “What might come out [instead] are exaggerated confessions fueled by temporary emotions and momentary urges. That drunk text is more an indication of your hopeless romanticism than your deep-seated love.”

For whatever reason, you were reminded of your past relationship, so you decided on a drunken whim to contact your ex. It doesn’t have to mean anything more. Now, if you’re trying to figure out a way out of this situation, Trescott has a plan for you. “The best way to address a drunk text with your ex the next day is with a follow-up text that takes accountability for your altered state,” she suggests. “That text might sound like, ‘I’m sorry if last night’s text seemed to come out of the blue. It’s obvious to me now that I have some unresolved feelings that have less to do with you and more to do with me. If you can, please take those drunken texts with a grain of salt. In the future, I’ll do better when I’m under the influence. ;)” This text keeps it lighthearted and downplays any potential awkwardness.

Sure, this situation might be a little embarrassing, but it need not be the cause for major stress. Mistakes like this happen to everyone, and if you laugh it off and own up to it, you’ll show off your confidence. The next time you’re out drinking with your squad, maybe have them intercept your phone before you send that 2 a.m. message. That’s what good pals are for.

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

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Life Before Quarantine – Part 9

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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!

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This Is How America Drinks Now

It’s 9:30 in the morning and Ina Garten is emptying a bottle of Grey Goose into a giant cocktail pitcher. “Just what everybody needs, right?” she asks her audience on Instagram, where she has posted a video of herself preparing a Cosmopolitan for breakfast.

In any normal circumstance, a beloved septuagenarian food icon encouraging viewers to drink alcohol alone and well before noon would be attributed to a hilarious accident blamed on an anonymous social media manager, or else become a meme, like when Sandra Lee poured “two shots of vodka” that was actually more like five. Over the past month, though, plenty of Americans have come to the conclusion that there is no wrong time or place to drink, since time works differently now and there is only one place, which is home. Also because things are suddenly very scary.

Perhaps it’s the closure of bars and restaurants, or maybe it’s escapism, if not pure boredom. Whatever the reason, the coronavirus pandemic has lessened the stigma of drinking alone, and of drinking, period. Americans are buying more alcohol, and it’s not just to stock up for the next few weeks or months: According to data from BACtrack, a major brand of portable breathalyzers, people in San Francisco drank more, and earlier in the week, after the city’s shelter-in-place order. Another study of 3,000 workers by Alcohol.org showed that one in three people said they’re more likely to drink in isolation.

“Americans Are Excessively Eating, Drinking, Smoking Pot, Playing Video Games, and Watching Porn While Quarantined,” read the headline of a recent Forbes article that of course immediately went viral, thanks to a lot of people tweeting it alongside self-deprecating commentary about how nice it was to finally be accurately depicted by the media. These statistics are based mostly on sales figures, which showed significant growth in alcohol purchases in the third week of March. Here are some of those numbers, courtesy of Nielsen (note that sales slowed somewhat in the following weeks):

  • Alcohol sales were up 55 percent
  • Liquor and spirits sales were up 75 percent
  • Beer sales were up 42 percent
  • Wine sales were up 66 percent
  • Ready-to-drink cocktail sales were up 106 percent
  • 24- and 30-packs of beer sales were up 90 percent
  • Online alcohol sales were up 243 percent

It’s difficult to determine how much of these orders are to stockpile for the indeterminate number of weeks or months we’ll be without bars. Whether or not Americans are drinking more overall, though, our habits are certainly changing. After the year in which the biggest alcohol trend was less alcohol, the outbreak of Covid-19 has altered what, and where, we drink.

The main shift? Online orders. Boston-based alcohol delivery platform Drizly saw a sales increase of 461 percent over its expectation during the week of March 30, and each week those numbers continue to grow. More of those sales are also happening earlier in the week.

Liz Paquette, the company’s head of consumer insights, says that for the most part, people are sticking to what they normally drink — red wine has always been a top seller — but that they’re opting for lower-priced bottles. They’re also experimenting with at-home cocktail making. “Where we’re seeing the craziest impact is within liqueurs, cordials, mixers, syrups, bitters, all of those elements that go into making interesting cocktails. Our hypothesis here is that more folks are experimenting at home, especially as a lot of the hospitality industry is at home themselves and doing things like DIY classes online and virtual happy hours and things like that.”

Lindsey Andrews, the founder and CEO of Minibar, another alcohol delivery platform, can attest to that herself. “This is totally anecdotal, but I’m a white wine drinker, and I’ve found myself mixing up different new cocktails to mix it up. I’ve been making an aperol spritz one night or a spicy margarita another night way more than I used to, just for variety.”

Minibar has seen a 75 percent increase in orders and a 373 percent jump in new buyers, while customers, on average, are ordering 22 percent more than they normally would. The top seller? Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc, a white wine that typically retails for around 10 bucks. “We’ve seen a decrease in orders of sparkling wine and champagne because this isn’t a celebratory time, unfortunately,” Andrews says. “A fun fact is Corona beer used to not be in our top three or four beers, and it’s now No. 3. People think it’s ironic or something.”

Many brick-and-mortar liquor stores are pivoting to home deliveries or contactless pickups, too. At DaveCo Liquors in Thornton, Colorado, which at one point was awarded a Guinness World Record for being the largest liquor store in the world, “it’s been crazy,” according to manager Ted Sutton. “Lotta beer. Lotta whiskey. Right now there’s a run going on tonic. I guess there’s something going on all over the internet that drinking tonic is supposed to help you with the virus.” (Reader, it does not.) “I’m selling a hell of a lot of Busch beer right now,” Sutton says. Plus, “I can’t keep the boxed wine on the shelf.”

This tracks with what other liquor stores are noticing: Inexpensive wine has been especially popular in liquor stores all over New York City. In an interview with New York magazine, Mark Schwartz of Little Mo Wine in Brooklyn said, “We sell a very good grade of box wine, it’s not junky, but people are like, “That’s where I’m going!” So they buy four boxes, which is equivalent to 16 bottles of wine.”

Sure, a lot of that is likely due to stockpiling — as people reduce the number of trips to the grocery and liquor store, they’re inclined to buy more — but Wine.com founder Michael Osborn told VinePair that he “wouldn’t call it pantry loading. But I would say folks are serious about having wine every night for their meal.”

I’ve noticed a shift in my own alcohol consumption. While I’m drinking less than I normally would on a Friday or Saturday night out (due to there not being an “out” anymore), I’ve been drinking more in the first half of the week, and earlier in the day. I’ve viewed my evening (or, uh, afternoon) glasses of pinot noir as a way to separate the endless hours on the couch into distinct chunks of time: “working” and “drinking,” usually while playing Animal Crossing or watching my friends try to bake something on their Instagram Stories.

There is no longer AM and PM. There is just “coffee time” and “wine time.”

— Sarah McCammon (@sarahmccammon) April 1, 2020

Finnish people have name for this. It’s called kalsarikännit, which translates roughly to “pantsdrunk.” Kalsarikännit, like many Nordic words, went slightly viral a few years ago because it packages pleasure as something virtuous and guilt-free. Americans so often feel as though we need permission to be unproductive, that in order to drink wine on the couch in our underwear it needs to be part of a foreign lifestyle-wellness fad.

Coronavirus offers a similar excuse for such behaviors: There are no bars, no restaurants, no parties. There is no one to impress, besides the people who already see us before we brush our teeth in the morning. The other day my boyfriend cracked a White Claw before noon, and there was no need for me to ask why. I just laughed.

Drinking alone has always been a fraught concept. It’s one of the classic markers of a drinking problem, and indeed, quarantine has been especially rough on people with alcohol or other substance addictions, as well as those with eating disorders. Yet plenty of other people have an even more difficult time abstaining from alcohol when they’re in crowds, and the stigma of the idea that the act of drinking alone itself leads to addiction is seen as spurious by at least some experts.

Besides being shorthand for problematic, drinking alone has traditionally be seen as just sad. New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov writes that in questions about drinking alone, “Too often, the answer is a finger wag.”

Instead, he argues that “the underlying social attitudes [these stigmas] indicate all underscore the Puritanical notion that drinking alcohol, regardless of the reason, is wrong. They suggest that the whole point of drinking is self-medication in one form or another, whether for heartache or ambient anxiety.”

What about the fact that wine is delicious? Or that it makes me feel better, as do pumpkin muffins? Everyone I know is relying on their vices of choice at the moment, whether that’s weed or porn or Chef Boyardee. In protecting ourselves from a potentially deadly virus, we’ve found other excuses for unhealthiness. And yes, drinking alcohol is generally bad for you, but so are a lot of things. Life won’t be like this forever. If you are healthy, you might as well pour yourself the occasional breakfast Cosmopolitan.

 

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

Life Before Quarantine – Part 8

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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