PHICKLEPHILLY 2 is Now for Sale on Amazon and Kindle!

“He found love… but can he keep it?”

“Love is a many splintered thing” – Andrew Eldritch

Here it is! The long awaited sequel to the best selling Phicklephilly! Thanks to everyone who bought the first book, and to all of my readers and subscribers on this blog!

Without all of you, none of this would be possible!

You can get it here!

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

When I started writing Phicklephilly back in May of 2016, I never realized how much it would grow and flourish as I went forward. It began as an earnest effort to start writing again. After a few false starts through the summer, I finally decided that if I was going to start writing again, I should stop talking about it and just do it. 

It began like most creative works. Slowly. Once I published my first post, I thought; how am I going to do this every Monday? I had no followers and no exposure anywhere. Instead of worrying about that, I decided to dig in and start to tell stories from my recent past. But since then it’s grown exponentially. It’s a dot com now and has hundreds of thousands of page views. I’ve monetized the site and secured advertisers that generate revenue to support my work. It’s been a lot of fun!

In the beginning, my inspiration was a server named Maria who worked at a local restaurant. I sort of had a crush on her but it never became anything. But it was enough to get me writing again. When I met her I had already been in Philly for almost ten years.

 My first relationship with Michelle had only lasted about three years before she left me. She was approaching age thirty and the alarms were going off in her head to get married and make babies. I had already been married and divorced years before that and had a daughter. I wasn’t going down that painful and expensive road again. The odd thing about my relationship with Michelle was, it was the first time I had a girlfriend that after we broke up, stayed friends with me. We were best friends. Isn’t that the key to all successful and loving relationships? 

Michelle reconnected with her former high school boyfriend. Normally that never works but I think this time it might. I think Michelle broke up with him, left Delaware and came to Philly because the guy wasn’t on the road to success. I think Michelle needed to explore the world a bit. She did that for a while and then met me. I was new and different and we had the time of our lives together in the city. But what neither of us realized was that was all we really were. A couple of people who loved the city and it’s nightlife. The drinks flowed and the laughter ensued. But once we got an apartment and moved in together it was the beginning of the end. We didn’t know it at the time, but domestic life never suited our relationship. We were best friends who liked the social excitement of going out, and being a deadly couple in the city. Once the adventure ended it was over. 

We tried it for a while, and did all of the things that couples do. Celebrate the holidays, birthdays, family stuff, and all of the other grinding aspects of domestic life. But we just got to a point where Michelle realized I wasn’t going to marry her and give her kids. We remained friends for several years after that until she moved to California in 2013 to be with her former boyfriend. He had become the man she had hoped he’d be many years ago. She married him, and at the time of this writing has a baby daughter. So it all worked out for her. She achieved the American dream.

I on the other hand started dating Annabelle in 2013. Annabelle is a failed actress and photographer. She makes her living shooting head shots and weddings. The reason things failed with Annabelle was our obvious age difference, and absolute opposite lifestyles. I was the corporate sales guy, and she lived in a world surrounded by theater people. It was like oil and water, and the only thing we shared was our mutual attraction to each other. Annabelle served as a temporary stand-in for my friend Michelle. The relationship lasted a tumultuous nine months and ended. It was fun in the beginning, but all romantic endeavors are. Once the reality sets in that you’re not a match, normally the relationship dissolves. Both of these relationships are well documented in the first Phicklephilly book.

Michelle is long gone, but her memory continues to haunt me of what could have been.

Near the end of the book I met Cherie. When I started writing the blog I realized I had to get back in the dating game. So I did what most people do. I went on Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, and whatever else was available. I went on a bunch of crazy dates, but things clicked pretty early on with Cherie. 

I realized I had an ending to my first book. I had burned through a couple of relationships, and then met my love, Cherie. Everything was right in the world. She made me happy and we shared some wonderful times. Over the first couple of months we became close and Phicklephilly had a happy conclusion. It seemed like the perfect ending to a great story. I had reached my destination, and had found love in Philly!

Also, when I was with Michelle and Annabelle, I wasn’t writing. Their stories were told from memory, so it’s basically our greatest hits. But phicklephilly the blog was alive and well when I met Cherie. A rich history indeed!

But what happened after the end of the first book? We’re both in love with each other and things are going great. The story has to continue. I can’t just let the tale end there. There’s so much more to reveal. 

Please join me on my continuing journey.

 

You can get it 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.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Michelle – Chapter – 23 – One More After This, And Then I’m Done

I don’t really go on social media anymore.

I don’t care about your lunches, or dinners or events or your social events

It means nothing to me. I used to post everything I was doing on my social media when I was working in advertising.

But no more. I live a private life and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

Social media’s a sad symptom of our society that gives every moron on Earth a voice.

I’m tired of you all. I see you all for who you really are and the pool is so shallow I see nothing in any of you anymore.

But for a moment I saw something that caught my eye.

My former girlfriend Michelle was pregnant with a little girl due in June. (It already happened)

She’s finally reached all of her goals of having her health, a happy marriage with her husband and now a child is on the way.

Well done.

It’s good we’re no longer in touch.

My work is done and you have no longer any use for me.

Perfect.

I’ve lifted you to the place I have hoped for you.

I think we both agree that what you have now is what we both hoped for you all along.

Well done, Michelle.

We had a great time, but you’re needed where you are now. You made it, and now you have all of the things you want.

I am honored we had the time we had together. It was the best time of my life, but now you’ve found true happiness and all of the things you wanted.

God Bless you both and I wish you all only health, happiness and the wellness of your child.

Michelle, you finally got the perfect life you always wanted. You have the perfect marriage with the man you’re supposed to be with, finally! I’m so happy for you. You live in the place you’ve always wanted to be in and have the job you always dreamed of.

Perfect.

I hope your baby girl is born happy and healthy!

God bless you all!

You did the right thing.

 

I’ll be at the bar…

 

 

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

My new book, Phicklephilly 2 is coming soon on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

SPECIAL REPORT: My Daughter has TWO New Original Songs Out!!!

 

During quarantine, my daughter has been working hard in the studio creating not one, but two new songs!

Check them out here!

https://m.soundcloud.com/innovatedtruce/jollyrancher

 

 

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

My new book, Phicklephilly 2 is coming soon on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

COMING SOON… PHICKLEPHILLY 2

“He found love… but can he keep it?”

Love at First Swipe! 

Phicklephilly 2 is the sequel to the best selling book, Phicklephilly: One man’s journey to find love in Philadelphia. In the first book, our hero returned to the city in search of the perfect girlfriend. It was a funny, and sometimes heart wrenching tale of a man trying to navigate the pitfalls of the modern dating world. 

After two failed relationships, he turns to online dating. He goes on several crazy dates, but finally finds a woman he really likes. She’s a bright, unique beauty, but like all relationships, they face several challenges.

Phicklephilly 2 continues his journey and shows you what it’s like being in a relationship, and the dynamics that play out living in the city. But several factors work against them both at every step. Will the couple survive the pitfalls and demands of being in an exclusive committed relationship?

He doesn’t always do what’s right, but neither does she. This is his intimate story of what that’s been like for him. Join him to see if he wins… or loses again. 

There’s always three sides to every story. His side, her side… and the truth. 

 

PHICKLEPHILLY 2 will publish on September 14th!

 

 

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

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

12 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Lonely, According to Experts

You could say this world is more connected than it’s ever been.

Friends, family, and strangers who live miles apart can communicate instantly thanks to social media and email. Anyone can hop on a plane from New York City and reach Los Angeles in just hours. In large metropolitan melting pots across the globe, thousands of people from different countries and cultures mingle and break bread. It’s as if time and space is collapsing, bringing all sorts of people closer to one another.

Yet so many of us feel lonely and can’t seem to shake it.

Researchers claim that the U.S. is experiencing a “loneliness epidemic.” In a 2018 survey, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), experts discovered that about 22% of Americans say they constantly feel alone. Such prolonged feelings of isolation can come with serious health problems, both mental and physical. Feelings of isolation are often associated with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Doctors have also found that people who are lonely tend to have increased blood pressure, weaker immune systems, and more inflammation throughout the body.

Turns out, connectedness not only makes our lives more interesting, it’s vital for our own survival.

So what should you do when you’re feeling blue without anyone to lean on? Here’s what therapists, doctors, and researches say are some of the best strategies to cope with loneliness:

1. Name it. Validate it.

Telling other people you’re lonely can feel scary, shameful, and self-defeating. But expressing that feeling can be the beginning of releasing it.

“We tend to stigmatize loneliness in the U.S., equating it with being a loner or a loser,” says Kory Floyd, Professor of Communication and Psychology at the University of Arizona. “That stigma encourages us to avoid admitting when we’re lonely. Denying our loneliness only perpetuates it, so before we can recover, we have to be honest — at least with ourselves — about what we are experiencing.”

2. Take stock of connections you already have.

Sometimes when we are feeling lonely, we can’t see what’s right in front of us.

“Many of us get tunnel vision when it comes to affection and intimacy, in that we ‘count’ only certain behaviors while discounting others,” says Professor Floyd. “I might notice that my friends don’t tell me they love me, or don’t ‘like’ my social media posts, but I overlook the fact that they always volunteer to help when I have a home project to do. When people expand their definitions of affection and love to include a wider range of behaviors, they often discover that they aren’t as deprived as they originally thought.”

3. Recognize you are not alone (in feeling lonely).

If 22% of Americans constantly feel lonely, know that if you’re feeling isolated that you’re sharing the same experience with millions of other people.

“[When I’m lonely] I remind myself just how pervasive loneliness is and I imagine being connected to ‘all of the lonely people out there’. Sometimes I listen to Eleanor Rigby [by the Beatles] to hammer that point home,” says Megan Bruneau, psychotherapist and executive coach. “Loneliness is a healthy emotion, revealing places we yearn for connection.”

4. Get curious. Ask questions.

Recognize that loneliness looks different for people at different times of their lives, and that there are those who have many relationships, but still feel like something is missing. Ask yourself what loneliness looks like for you.

“It’s important to differentiate between situational loneliness and chronic loneliness,” says Bruneau. “Most people feel lonely from time to time, especially in today’s individualistic, independence-valuing, more-single-than-ever-culture. However, if I’m feeling loneliness more frequently than usual, I get curious about the shift. Has something changed in my relationships leading me to feel more disconnected? Have I been nurturing my current connections and creating opportunities for new ones that make me feel ‘seen’? Am I intentionally or accidentally isolating [myself]?”

Whether our loneliness is brief or chronic, questions like these can help direct us to the best way to cope, she suggests.

5. Take the time to slow down.

If you’re frequently busy, running around with your to-do list or feel stressed by all the meetings at work, it might be time to hit the breaks.

“Sometimes when people’s schedules are back-to-back for too long, they start disconnecting from themselves and other people,” says Judith Orloff MD, psychiatrist and author of Thriving as an Empath. “They get overwhelmed from overworking and too much stimulation. So the practice [then] is just to relax and do what their body needs.”

Perhaps that relaxing for you could mean listening to music, taking a bath, or just sitting with nothing to do and nowhere to be.

6. Reconnect with self-love and appreciation.

You can use alone time to get back in touch with you.

“You have to be your own best friend,” says Dr. Orloff. “I go to my sacred space and I meditate. I take a few deep breaths, relax, and ask worry, fear, and loneliness to lift so I can just be with myself.”

She recommends that those who are new to meditation can try to sit for three minutes and focus on something they find pleasing — like the ocean or dolphins — or any simple things they are grateful for. “Focusing on what you’re grateful for rather than what you don’t have shifts the negative thinking,” she says.

Being alone and strolling through nature can be meditative, too.

7. Perform anonymous acts of kindness …

… and recognize the kindness in others.

Sometimes when you feel alone, you might feel like isolating yourself from the world, which only continues the cycle of loneliness. In that case, finding a group of friends to hang out with or dropping into a large social scene can feel like a lot. So why not consider starting small?

“Go out into the world and notice a smile from the store clerk,” says Dr. Orloff. “Hold a door for somebody or do something nice for a stranger and then you start to get the endorphins and the oxytocin going in your body. Oxytocin is the bonding hormone. It’s what mother’s have when they give birth. So oxytocin is important.”

If you are feeling a bit more extroverted, you might even try starting conversations.

“Get out every day and have a conversation, face-to-face, with your neighbor, a friend, your grocer, the librarian — in short, any one whom you might meet regularly,” says Susan Pinker, psychologist and author of The Village Effect. This doesn’t have to be a close relationship. Research tells us that even weak bonds strengthen our immunity and well-being.”

8. Join a club.

Perhaps you are looking to develop more of those deep meaningful relationships. In that case, you might want to explore hobbies with other people to form bonds over common interests.

“This could be a class, a committee, or a volunteer group,” says Pinker. “Any activity that puts you in a social environment on a regular basis.”

Vibe with someone over your love for pottery at a local art class. Find a Meetup group of people who are just as obsessed with Game of Thrones as you are. Or maybe try something completely new, like goat yoga. You can have fun with this.

9. Put your hand over your heart.

Lack of physical connection can be the cause of loneliness. When we were babies, our bodies were trained to respond to physical touch as a form of communication and connection with our caregivers — especially when “goo goo gaga” didn’t quite cut it.

So, even if you don’t consider yourself a touchy-feely person, physical contact has always been at the center of feeling safe, secure, and cared for. But know that you don’t need a lover, a friend, or a massage therapist to give you a reassuring caress. Placing your hand over your heart could do it.

“Our bodies registers the care we give ourselves in a similar way that it registers the care we get from others through physical touch,” says Dr. Kristin Neff, associate professor at the University of Texas and author of Self-Compassion. “‘Supportive’ touch works with the person’s parasympathetic nervous system, which actually helps calm us down and reduces cortisol and releases oxytocin.”

Everyone, however, is different, Dr. Neff says. Some people prefer a hand on the stomach. Others prefer holding their face. Some love hugging themselves. If you’re by your lonesome, this could be a chance to figure out how to be your own buddy.

10. Create something.

Sketch. Paint. Knit. Anything to get your creative juices flowing.

“Creative arts have an extraordinary capacity to elevate and transcend our negative emotional experiences through self-expression, as well as to connect us more deeply and authentically with each other,” says Dr. Jeremy Nobel, MPH and the founder of The UnLonely Project.

One of Dr. Nobel’s favorite strategies is expressive writing. Jotting down thoughts and feelings you recognize others may be experiencing has a similar affect as, say, going to the movies. At the theatre you share a room with a group of people — perhaps strangers — who are all witnessing the same journey with you. Even if you don’t talk to anyone, you and the entire audience are connected through shared experience, Dr. Nobel explains. Mentally, the same thing happens when you write, even if you never share it with a soul. Although, sharing could be a healthy way to find connection among others.

11. Check your social media usage.

While the jury is still out on whether or not the rise of social media is driving loneliness and depression, it doesn’t hurt to reevaluate the effect it has on your life.

Are you using it to make meaningful connections? Are you spending too much time on it? Is it causing you to withdraw in unhelpful ways?

“If we feel dissatisfied with our face-to-face relationships, we [often] retreat into the world of social media, which only exacerbates the problem,” says Professor Floyd of the University of Arizona. “On social media, it seems as though everyone else has better jobs, better houses, better vacations, and better relationships than we do. That isn’t actually true, of course.”

If Instagram and Facebook are dragging you down, it might be time for a temporary screen detox.

12. Work with a mental health professional

Sometimes we need professional help to escape the dark thoughts keeping us in isolation.

“One of the most destructive effects of long-term loneliness is that it distorts our cognitions about ourselves,” says Professor Floyd. “We come to believe that if we are lonely, we deserve to be lonely and that no one will ever love us the way we want. Those thoughts in turn guide our actions in ways that end up keeping us lonely. Cognitive behavioral therapy is designed to bring our thoughts and behavior better in line with reality.”

If you’re struggling with loneliness, anxiety, or depression and need professional help, the American Psychological Association‘s Psychologist Locator tool can help you find a licensed therapist in your area that takes your insurance.

 

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

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

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Iris – Quarantine Girl

Iris is one of my daughter’s friends. She’s 26 years old. I think she may be one of her best friends, because when she comes over they have such a fun time. They stay up to all hours laughing, drinking, smoking, talking and listening to music. It’s a grand old time here at the squirrel house as they call it.

The term squirrel house came out of something my daughter used to say when she was little. I was working in New York at the time but kept an apartment in Haddonfield, NJ for awhile. This was back in 2004, so Lorelei would have been around 8 years old. I had two sofas, and the smaller one was hers over by the window. When she would lie on it and look out the window all she could see was trees, so she said it felt like we were living in a tree house. It was a cozy apartment and she said we were like little squirrels living in their house in the trees.

So now in 2020 when it rains and we’re safely tucked away in our apartment in Rittenhouse, we call it the Squirrel House. It’s a sweet memory for us both. Her friend Iris is incredibly perceptive and has a great memory. She’s has a great ability when it comes to recall. She’ll hear something once and be able to talk about it. She heard about the squirrel house reference and now refers to me as Papa Squirrel. Probably one of the kinder titles I’ve earned over the years. She sometimes calls me Faja, and I’m assuming that’s father in another language.

I’ve known her for several years, but in the last year or so she and Lorelei have become close. During quarantine I’ve had zero social life except for a few zoom calls here and there. It’s nice to have people over. It’s great to hear my daughter laughing and enjoying time with her good friend. I’ve had the opportunity to hang out with them a little bit over the last few months, and have really gotten to know Iris.

Iris is adopted, and never had a father, or a real father figure in her life. I think this has led to a few bad decisions when it came to vocation and romantic partner choices. But she’s a resilient soul and my daughter really likes her. Lorelei’s a good judge of character and wouldn’t keep her around if she didn’t like her.

Iris has expressed that I’m the closest thing she’s ever had to a dad. I found that hard to believe because I don’t see her that often. But I suppose in the time she’s been here it’s felt like that to her. Maybe she sees how Lorelei and I interact as father and daughter. Lor’s mother was pretty strict, inflexible and set in her ways. I remember that because I was married to that woman for 8 years. It was rough. It was even harder on Lorelei living with her for 18 years. But when she turned 18 she left New Jersey and moved in with me. It was her choice to get out from under the oppressive thumb of her mother. Lorelei finished out her senior year in high school, commuting from Philly each morning by herself. Lor has lived with me for over 5 years now and we couldn’t be happier. I’ve always treated her like an adult, and she respects me and the house. She’s a good kid, and I’m really proud of her.

Iris has expressed on a few occasions that she wished she could rent me as a dad to hang out with. I liked the idea, because she’s a nice kid and I could be a father figure to her. Just somebody to talk to when she’s struggling with something that she can’t share with her adoptive mother or any of her friends. Never having a father takes an enormous toll on all children. Especially young women. Guys can sort of make it without their dads. We just need that older dude to kick us in the ass sometimes and teach us some skills, manners and keep us in line. But girls suffer because their father is the first man they ever meet. They’ll meet several, but their father is the very first. If you’re a good father your daughter will go out in the world knowing what a good man acts like. A father instills in them the tools and nurturing a young woman needs to meet some the challenges of the world. Good information, time, and love are all paramount to her development.

Here’s piece I wrote for Father’s Day.

Why A Strong Father-Daughter Relationship Is So Important For Girls’ Self Esteem

One night when Lorelei was out training for a part time gig, I woke up from my nap. (Yea, I take naps now during the pandemic. Writing books is exhausting! lol) I came out to the living room and Iris was still there. She had stayed over the night before but normally she’d be gone. But she told me where Lorelei was and that she was staying over that night as well. Like I said, I’m happy to have people over and if Lorelei’s happy, I’m happy. Iris is always welcome in our home. (We’ve even given her keys)

I fixed myself a drink and sat with her. We chatted and it was really the first time we had ever hung out together. Just the two of us. Normally I stay in my room when she’s over because I don’t want to be the hovering dad encroaching on my daughter’s time with her friend. But this time we just chatted about a lot of things.

It came up that she wished there was some way we could hang out sometimes. I was all for it, but we both had concerns about the dynamic of the relationship. How would Lorelei feel about it all? It all seemed like a slippery slope built on other people’s expectations and social norms. I think that was the biggest part of it. Iris is in Philly often not just to hang with Lor, but she has other friends in town. So she’s around quite often. I thought it would be nice for both of us. I could take her out to eat or to a museum or whatever. We could talk and I could provide some semblance of what it might be like for her to have an older male figure in her life that cared about her. She’s never really had that. But we didn’t know if Lorelei would share. And most of all we didn’t want it to be awkward or weird. I’m sure it wouldn’t be because I’m not awkward or weird and it would just be wrong for it to be anything else. I wanted to spend time with her, and she with me. She had expressed it before and said she had often thought about it.

So we agreed that at some point we’d breach the subject with Lorelei, but weren’t sure how or when we would do that. So I decided to run the notion by a few of my male friends.

I spoke with my best friend Duncan about it. His response was: “Dude, she’s in her twenties, smokes weed, has tattoos, has had questionable jobs, and no father figure. How are you just not going to fall into that?”

Okay. Bad Idea. Duncan is a divorced bachelor. He has no game. Never been a dad, and has shitty role models as parents. He’s a driven businessman and totally the wrong person to ask. I should stick to conversations about rock music, comic books, and Star Wars with him. So that was a waste of time.

I spoke with my friend Johnny R. If you’ve been reading this blog you know him already. If not, simply go to the search bar on this site and type, ‘Johnny R’. he’s the king of vice in this city. A great. smart guy who’s been in a stable relationship with the same woman for over 10 years, and has had only two different jobs in that entire time. Sounds tame, right? Johnny R. loves tobacco, alcohol, gambling, adderall, cocaine, strippers and hookers. Like I said…king of vice. But a great guy! None of that affects his relationship with me. But I ran the idea of spending some father/daughter time with Iris.

“Dude. Do you think you’re entertaining these ideas because you’ve been in quarantine for five months and the pool of female companionship has shrunken down to a puddle in your life? Do you really want to do this, or are you just desperate to hang out with a woman who isn’t someone you’re related to? I know you’re accustomed to being surrounded by women all the time. You have a very active social life. You write a dating and relationship blog full of your exploits. Do you think because you’ve been locked down, you’re just happy to hang out with Iris? Come on… she’s 26 years old. But most of all, she’s your daughter’s friend. It’s wrong. Think of your daughter. What will she think?”

Johnny makes some good points here, but like my friend Duncan, they come from similar places. Both not married. Never had any children. Having kids changes a man. It makes you a better, morale man in this world. If you haven’t ever been a parent you just don’t know what it’s like. So I did appreciate his opinions and he made some great points, but I think I’m barking up the wrong tree talking to these guys.

I have three sisters. I grew up living with women. Most of my male friends don’t understand how I can be friends with so many women in this city. Most men think any connection with someone of the opposite sex is a means to an end. Them trying to bed her. That’s never been the case with me. There is the romantic candidates and those endeavors play out accordingly, but most of the women in my life are simply friends. They like the idea that they can hang out with an older gentleman that isn’t trying to get into their pants.

One of my female friends once said to a mixed group of people, “Charles is the type of man we all wished the men in our lives spoke about us when we weren’t around.”

I think that sums it up. Most of my readers here on phicklephilly are women. If I were a wolf they’d know it, and steer clear of my blog. I can’t let other people’s ideas and perceptions cloud this subject. They aren’t me and are nothing like me. It’s always good to get a second opinion, but I think in the end, people are going to do what they’re going to do.

I even ran it by James at the Drive In last week. He knows about Iris. I told him about what was happening and he told me to do nothing. I love James, but he’s neither a husband nor a father. Normally he’s asking me for advice but I thought I’d run it by him. I respect his words, and decided to listen to him. I’m not going to pursue it.

But then opportunity knocked.

 

To Be Continued on Thursday…

 

 

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

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

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

The Top of the Stairs

1970 – Philadelphia

I have three sisters. Janice who’s eighteen months older than me, was born in 1961. My sister April, was born in 1966, and Gabrielle born in 1970.

Sometimes when we went to bed and my folks had people over, we’d leave our rooms, and lie at the top of the stairs and listen to our parents downstairs. It was probably just out of curiosity. What are the adults doing downstairs? What are they talking about? Different voices and laughter. The sounds of adults having fun grownup time with their friends and neighbors. Kids don’t like to go to bed. They want to be up and a part of everything. But we could only listen from the top of the stairs.

Sometimes, we’d lie at the top of the stairs in our pajamas listening to my parents when there weren’t any guests over. Maybe we were hoping we’d hear some secret info about what Santa might be bring us this year. But sometimes, more often than not, there was no laughter. Their voices sounded angry with each other. What could they be angry about? We didn’t do anything. We were in bed. We would hear them fight and argue downstairs in the kitchen. I don’t remember what they argued about. It wasn’t so much their words, but the sound of their voices.

If I think back to the sound of our parents voices when we were little, the sound was more important than what they were saying. Children respond more to tone than to meaning. A young mind only has so much capacity for complex emotion. If the voice is soft and gentle, it’s usually followed by a smile and praise. But if the tone is loud and sharp, it’s probably followed by admonishment or punishment.

Like dogs, we learn the difference in those tones very quickly.

When you’re a little kid, and it’s time to go outside, what’s do your parents always say? Go put your shoes on. We’re going. Where are your shoes? We have to go. Because when you’re a kid, you like to run around in your stocking feet. Normally the shoes come off when you got home, because your mom doesn’t want you tracking dirt all over the house.

One morning, my father was getting ready for work. He couldn’t find his shoes. He looked all over and it just didn’t make sense. His closet was always neatly arranged full of ironed shirts, ties, and suits for his job at the bank.

He asked my mother if she’d seen them. Having no idea what had happened, she joined in the search. They finally found his shoes, and several other pairs stashed away behind some boxes in a different closet.

They began to ask us kids if we knew anything about it. Gabrielle was just a newborn so it couldn’t have been her, and Janice and I simply shook our heads.

My middle sister April, who was a very little girl at the time, but always outspoken, took responsibility.

“Why did you hide daddy’s shoes, April? You know he needs them for work.”

“I heard you and daddy fighting last night. I heard what he said to you. I thought if I hid his shoes he wouldn’t leave. You can’t go outside without your shoes.”

Such a simple act, but what an elegant plan for a four-year-old child to conceive in an attempt to keep her family together, and her daddy from leaving.

I’ll never forget that.

 

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Tales of Rock – Awkward Family Photos: Punk and Metal Edition

Today is my birthday and I love Rock, so here’s a fun special edition of Tales of Rock!

I’m sure you’ve spent way too much time scrolling through the amazing feed of Awkward Family Photos. So instead of rolling your eyes right now, just admit you enjoy looking at other people’s terrible photos. And let’s be real – the era of the awkward family photo is going to fall by the wayside soon as generations obsessed with perfect selfies delete anything that shows us in a less than perfect state. Gone are the days where if you paid for the photos to be developed, they went in the damn album to be immortalized forever in your family’s storage. With that in mind, enjoy this little collection of punk and metal angst from the good old days…

 

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

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

 

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Tobacco Road – 1977-1996 and 2008-2018

I started smoking cigarettes when I was around 14 years old. I was going on 15 but it was just something kids did back in the 70’s. Everybody smoked cigarettes. It was so widely accepted despite the health warnings. Everybody I knew smoked cigarettes. Back then you could buy a pack of smokes for $0.51 a pack at Rite Aid. That’s super cheap! A whole pack of cigs for half a buck? Incredible!

The odd thing was, at our young age, my friends and I always had a story ready if we were ever questioned by any of the shopkeepers in any of the stores where we bought them. The story was always, “Oh, these are for my mom.”

But no one ever asked us who the cigarettes were for. Ever. We had no problem buying cigarettes anywhere we ever went.

I remember my ‘straight A’ student sister Janice taught me how to inhale.

When you start fooling around with smoking, your young lungs aren’t accustomed to breathing in toxic smoke. So you just puff them to look cool. But to get the full benefits, taste, and rush of smoking, you have to inhale the smoke. So one night my sister Janice showed me and my friend Anthony how to do it. We were standing down by the bulkhead at 8th and JFK blvd. in North Wildwood. She said, “take a small puff and then suck the smoke into your lungs like you’re being startled.” You suck it in really fast and in it goes. You get the full taste and then blow it out.

What I didn’t know is that once you do that, the nicotine enters your bloodstream and gives you that little rush that smoking cigarettes brings.

That is also the first day of your addiction to cigarettes.

I smoked and enjoyed cigarettes for the next 20 years.

Then my daughter Lorelei was born and I decided to quit smoking for health reasons. I didn’t want to sniff her baby head and have the smell of cigarettes present. But I was in my 30’s then and firmly addicted to smoking with a 20 year habit. So I bought the nicoderm patch. The patch is a sticker you place on your arm and it releases nicotine into your system without smoking.

Dosage & Steps | NicoDerm CQ

It was tough but I slowly got myself off cigarettes. It probably cost me $600 in patches but it eventually worked. I was free of smoking but as one ex-smoker once said to me, my blood was hungry for cigarettes for over 2 years after quitting.

But like anything else, if you stop doing it, it eventually fades from your life and you no longer want it.

 

Jump forward 10 years, and I was divorced for over 8 years and I started dating Michelle.   https://phicklephilly.com/2016/10/31/my-michelle-2007-present-part-1/

I loved Michelle. Probably more than I’ve ever loved anyone else in my life. We would be out at night touring the city and pounding cocktails.

Michelle smoked cigarettes and sometimes she’d have problems lighting them in the evening breeze. Having been a long time smoker, I could get a cigarette lit in a sandstorm with one match left on the beaches of Wildwood. I’d help her.

Me getting her Parliament lit and handing it off to her went from that to me taking one sweet puff.

Michelle worried I’d get re-addicted to cigarettes doing that. I assured her I wouldn’t. I told her, “I’ll only get hooked if I start buying them again, and that’s not going to happen.”

But back in 2008 I was madly in love with her and my life in general with her. It wasn’t long before I was picking up a pack of Marlboro lights on a regular basis.

I didn’t care. I felt alive with her and really loved the taste of cigarettes again. There’s nothing better than a cold cocktail and a delicious cigarette. It’s like sex.

But like everything awesome, if you do it often enough you begin to tire of it.

 

Jump to 2018.

Michelle was long gone and all that remained was my addiction to tobacco.

But things had changed. Cigarettes were now $10 a pack and I found myself growing tired of smoking in general.

I was older. Better in touch with who I was and what I wanted. I found that I really don’t have an addictive personality. I have more of a compulsive personality.

I would buy a pack of cigarettes and only enjoy maybe 2 of them. My favorite was the one after work. The celebratory smoke of finishing the day. An addict craves their drug of choice all the time. I was sick of smoking but still doing it. My mind wanted to give it up I was sure, but I needed to bring the body over with my thought process. And in that lies the true challenge.

I was tired of the smell, the dirt, the ashes, the health risks, and most of all taking it on the chin for $10 bucks a pack!

The only part of smoking I liked was the actual act of smoking. Holding it in my hand, puffing on it, watching the smoke blow from my lips. Not the actual need to smoke. I no longer had that. No addiction, just an annoying holdover from my past life. Something I no longer enjoyed, but just did out of ritual and habit.

(This factor will play out in another vice I would soon address.)

But what to do? I knew this chapter in my life had to end as I continued to evolve through my 50s.

I was moonlighting at the tanning salon one night and was cleaning one of the rooms. People are always leaving things behind in the rooms. I’ve found all kinds of things. Money, jewelry, drugs, underwear, etc. But this time I found a small, grey colored metal stick with a tiny light on it sitting on the table. I had no idea what it was and just figured it was some sort of wifi gadget for a computer.

But I was wrong.

The girl who had left the object behind came back asking for it. I gave it to her.

“What is that?”

“It’s called a Juul. You smoke it. Like a vape pen.”

I had heard of people vapeing but it all seemed weird to me.

“You can smoke that like a cigarette and nothing’s burning or making ashes?”

“Yea. You can charge it on your laptop, and you have these little pods you stick into it. They have different flavors and there’s nothing burning, no ashes, no smell, no real smoke, no carbon monoxide. It’s awesome. I love it.”

“Is there nicotine in that thing?”

Image result for juul

“Yea, but only 5%. Which isn’t much, but it’s so much better for you than smoking dirty cigarettes.”

I was sold. The next day, I went to my local 7-Eleven and bought the starter pack of Juul. The unit, a charger, and 4 pods with different flavors. Virginia Tobacco, Cool Mint, Creme Brulee’, and Berry.

I charged the unit up at work that night and liked the results. I’ve been smoke free since May 2018 and have never looked back. I don’t smoke my Juul that much, and have zero desire to have a cigarette. When I see someone smoking a cig now, it looks dirty to me and wonder how someone could enjoy such a primitive filthy habit.

Ahh, the reformed smokers are the worst!

I’m so happy cigarettes are gone from my life for good.

I know what you’re all thinking… Oh, you’re still getting nicotine from that thing.

They make nicotine free pods now, so you can simulate smoking with no ill effects.

Image result for cyclone pods

 

So now I can still enjoy the celebratory smoke after work with no addiction or health issues. I feel great and enjoy my Juul very much.

 

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

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

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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6 Ways To Tell That The Guy You’re Dating Isn’t Going To Last

Relationships have existed since cavemen used their clubs to knock women out, drag them to a cave, and claim, “You mine!” Thankfully, so much has changed since then. Yet for some reason, we still let men hold all the power in relationships, just like we did in prehistoric times. We know we shouldn’t give all our power to a guy, but there are plenty of toxic guys out there who aren’t worth our time.

Why would you let a guy call all the shots? Maybe you allow it because you really love him. Maybe you lack the confidence that you need to take charge. Or maybe you just think that there’s no one better out there.

Regardless, spending all of your energy on the wrong guy ends up wasting precious time that you could spend on literally anyone else. Sometimes we become so wrapped up in our feelings that we don’t even realize that our love is unrequited.

So how do you know whether or not the guy you are investing your energy into is worth your time? Here are six glaring red flags that’ll prove that the guy you’re investing your energy into isn’t worth your time:

1. You’re the one putting all the effort into communicating.

In a balanced, healthy relationship, both partners will make an effort to keep the lines of communication open. It’s be glaringly obvious if you’re the one always initiating conversations, especially if you scroll through your messages.

If you’re unsure how a guy feels about you, take a step back for a few days and see what happens. This is your opportunity to find clarity. Does your phone stay silent? If so, he’s not worth your time because he’s not making any effort to communicate with you.

2. You don’t meet important people in his life.

You’ve been dating for a while, but your outings are always just you and your partner, or on occasion, some of your friends. You have never met his friends or family, and he blows off any conversation about them. If your significant other engages in this behavior, watch out, because he may be pocketing you. If you’re being pocketed, get out of the relationship now. Don’t let a guy string you along and then crush you. Men like that are not worth crying over.

3. He’s keeping your relationship secret.

You want to shout your love to the world, but your guy wants to keep things low-key. You have all your dates in relatively obscure places where no one will see you. Even if he claims that he wants to keep you to himself or save money, these secret rendezvous may be a warning sign that he’s hiding you away. If you feel suspicious that he’s hiding something by hiding you, don’t give into his requests for secret dates. You deserve better!

4. You do all of the digging.

When you’re interested in someone, you typically enjoy learning all about them. However, if you’re all of your conversations with your partner feel like a one-sided interview because they don’t bother asking you anything, then they’re probably not worth your energy in the long term.

5. You’re not his priority.

Maybe you’re dying to see a new movie, but he won’t give you a clear “yes” when you ask him to go. Or perhaps he often bails on you at the last minute and gives you a bunch of lame excuses. Maybe you’re the only one who ever initiates plans because he can’t be bothered to spend time with you. If you don’t feel like his priority now, chances are that you never will.

6. He avoids talking about your relationship’s future.

You don’t have to leave bridal magazines lying around your living room to find out your partner’s stance on marriage. But if you’ve invested a good chunk of time into your relationship with someone, you should have a deep discussion about he sees himself in the future and if that future includes you. If he avoids your efforts to casually discuss long-term goals and aspirations, chances are good that he doesn’t see you as a permanent fixture in his life. If that’s the case, get out before you invest any more of your time in him.

Are you fishing where the bottom-feeders hide or where you find the real catches? If your man is flashing neon warning signs and you are ignoring them, your relationship is not going to end well, so don’t be afraid to get out now. You don’t need to club a man over the head to get him to love you. You’re worth so much more than a man who won’t invest his time in you, so if he’s not worth your time, spend it on you and your friends instead.

 

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

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

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly