15 Intense Signs of Chemistry that Reveal an Instant Connection

You just met them, but sparks are flying already! But how do you know it’s intense signs of chemistry? Well, it’s time you found out.

If you felt an immediate connection with someone you just met, don’t ignore it. Instead, investigate those emotions because it shows a mutual understanding. What are the intense signs of chemistry you need to remember, you ask? Well, wait no further. I’m about to tell you everything you need to know.

The magic of chemistry

You either have chemistry with someone or you don’t. There’s no in-between and not something you can force. There are some people you just click with, while others turn you off.

There have been a couple of times where I met a guy, and the chemistry was mind-blowing. We couldn’t keep our eyes off each other, the conversation was amazing. It was like we were made for one another.

Okay, fast forward and none of those relationships worked out—except for one, and we’re still together. In other words, intense chemistry isn’t just this feeling of wanting to sleep with someone. It’s also a sign you share something deeper.

What you need to know about the intense signs of chemistry

Sometimes when you really like someone, you can’t tell if they really like you or not. Your mind becomes a little cloudy. Plus, you feel impatient, and I completely understand. So, you want to know if there are intense signs of chemistry between you. Everyone loves a little intensity.

#1 You’re immediately comfortable around them. Usually, when we have a crush, we’re very nervous and uncomfortable around them. But when it’s mutual chemistry, you’re automatically comfortable around them. You feel safe and judgment-free. Remember, chemistry is all about shared energy, and it’s clear you two are vibing.

#2 You can be yourself. Whatever you say, whatever is on your mind, you feel free to say it to them. When we’re uncomfortable, we’re constantly analyzing what we said and what we should say in the future. But when it’s intense chemistry, there’s no pressure to try to be someone you’re not. In fact, you’ve never felt freer than when you’re around them. 

#3 Endless banter. Who doesn’t love the banter with someone they can have a good conversation with? Not everyone loves engaging in small talk, many people want to share a deeper conversation with someone. When the conversation just flows effortlessly, and you feel light, that’s a great sign they understand you on a deeper level.

#4 Eye contact. Never underestimate the importance of eye contact. Most of us communicate non-verbally. When you’re at a bar, how do you know if someone likes you? They look at you. Eye contact is a great way to is if there’s chemistry. If both of you are staring at each other intensely, well, it’s clear there’s something going on.

#5 You get each other’s humor. When you hang out with someone with who you don’t share chemistry, you may not understand their humor and vice versa.

Laughter is one of the best ways to connect with someone, and if you two share a similar sense of humor, well, that’s a sign of intense chemistry. Good chemistry is when you can both laugh together at the same jokes.

#6 It’s all about one another. Whether at a party or out with friends, you’re always focused on each other. You make sure both your needs are being met, and share affection when you can. Chemistry isn’t just about the sexual connection you share; it’s deeper than that. You genuinely care about one another.

#7 Time is relative. When you’re with them, you’re not looking at your watch or checking your phone. When you spend time together, no one is keeping track of the clock. Whether it’s five hours or ten minutes, time flies when you are together. If there’s a real connection, then you are in your own world.

#8 You can’t wait to see them. The minute you leave them, you’re waiting to see them again. The butterflies in your stomach are going wild, and the anticipation is killing you until you see them again. You don’t want to be away from them; you feel like something is pulling you to them every time.

#9 You love to tease each other. You may think teasing sounds childish, but when you’re with someone you like, teasing can be used as a form of flirting. If you share intense chemistry, there’s going to be a lot of flirting. But, that’s not a bad thing, I mean, who doesn’t love flirting with someone they like?

#10 You have butterflies. Your stomach is going wild whether you’re beside them or apart. You’re nervous, in a good way, and your stomach is reminding you of that. If you’re feeling butterflies, don’t ignore that. This is a sign of great chemistry going on.

#11 You annoy each other. But in a Notebook type of way. You will pick on each other for no real reason. Rather, you are testing the boundaries and trying to get a reaction from one another. If you hear people telling you that you’re an “old married couple,” well, you have a real connection going on between you two. 

#12 You can handle silence. There’s an awkward silence, but then there’s a good silence, the silence that’s needed. If you can’t sit beside someone in complete silence and feel comfortable, well, then something is off. Intense chemistry isn’t just about talking. It’s also about how you share those quiet moments together.

#13 The feeling doesn’t go away. If you share intense chemistry, it’s not going away that fast. When two people feel close to one another, that’s a bond that isn’t easy to break. This isn’t a feeling that’s going to just disappear overnight. It’ll last for a long time.

#14 And then there’s sex. I can’t pretend this part doesn’t matter. Intense chemistry is deep, but it’s also sexual. When you are around each other, there’s a constant sexual tension floating in the air. You want to rip their clothes off, and they can’t stop licking their lips when they look at you.

#15 There’s a flow. Here’s the thing, when you are together, things just flow. You feel comfortable; they feel comfortable. There’s nothing forced. And this flow doesn’t usually happen unless there’s intense chemistry, and this is rare. If you feel this flow, then ride the wave and don’t overanalyze it.

Sharing chemistry with someone is an amazing experience and definitely something you need to enjoy. Are you sharing these intense signs of chemistry with someone special?

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Tales of Rock: Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson Leaves Wife Of 29 Years For “Superfan”

About a year after splitting up with his wife of 29 years Paddy Bowden, Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has reportedly moved into a Paris home with his new fitness instructor girlfriend.
Dickinson’s new muse, Leana Dolci, is said to be 15 years younger than he is.

The Mirror reports the heavy metal legend could be headed for an expensive divorce in excess of $90 million, about half of his fortune.

Bowden and the rocker have three children, all of whom are now adults. She is reportedly vacationing in South America, “having some space” from all the hubbub about her marriage.

Dickinson recently confirmed in an interview that he was indeed living in France “with my girlfriend.”

Over the past year, Dolci and Dickinson have gotten serious; she’s even met his children. She “has always been a huge Iron Maiden fan,” one source told The Mirror, noting that she followed the band “around for nearly 10 years.”

In 2017, a couple of years after beating stage 3 throat cancer, Dickinson published his autobiography, What Does This Button Do? The book’s title is a reference to the singer’s unending curiosity, which has led him to success in rock and roll and in other pursuits.

Dickinson is also an airline pilot and flies Iron Maiden from gig to gig on the band’s own plane.

One Thousand Page Views In One Day!

Wow. Just wow. When I started this blog back in 2016, I got 963 page views for the whole year. Yesterday I surpassed 1,000 in one day! I’m absolutely amazed.

I’ve had some great traffic days in the last six months, but never reached this height before. 

I am so grateful to everyone who takes the time to read, subscribe, and like my blog!

This is an extra special Thanksgiving holiday because I have so much to be thankful for.

I’ll continue to bring you the most interesting content I can come up with for your reading pleasure. 2021 is right around the corner, and we’ll all grow together.

Thank you, one and all!

Charles

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Women Can Tell You’re Insecure if You Do These Things

As we continue to have more complex conversations about what it means to be a man today, the more our old-fashioned ideas of masculinity come into question. In a recent thread on Reddit, women started sharing some of the things that they’ve noticed straight guys do that are meant to show how manly they are… and how these traits more often than not just betray their insecurities.

Feigning ignorance of things considered “beneath” them is a common one, especially when it comes to pop culture. “My slightly older coworker never misses a chance to mention he doesn’t know who Drake is or what Snapchat is because he likes to hate on the younger generation as much as possible,” reads one comment. “It’s super cringy.”

This lack of knowledge is almost always fueled by some form of elitism, and among guys often extends to an exaggerated ignorance of all things “girly.” As one commenter recalls: “I had a friend who basically had a whole performance to show how little he knew about makeup, nail polish, or clothing. I don’t expect people to know a ton about makeup, but pretending you barely know what lipstick is takes things a bit far.”

While such feigned cluelessness sounds silly, it can also be some pretty regressive ideas about gender roles. This is especially harmful if that aversion to feminine-coded things is passed down from parent to child. “I work in a childcare and there are always dads who get super insecure when their son wants something pink or girly,” said one commenter. “I got chewed out because one kid begged me to let him wear the pink pull-ups instead of the boy ones. His dad was so mad at me. Like I was trying to turn his son gay or into a ‘sissy’ or something like that. Your kid picked them out, not me!”

Perpetuating sexist or misogynist behavior doesn’t just let down the next generation, it also holds back the guys doing it, says one commenter, who bemoans the idea of men policing each other’s masculinity: “When they avoid something they enjoy (or would likely enjoy based on other things they also like) because they’re worried about how others will judge their manliness if they do. When they do things they clearly hate/resent because they’re afraid their manliness will be called into question if they don’t. Whenever they judge other men for doing things that aren’t manly. When they get irrationally upset at somehow being exposed to something “girly” even if by accident (freaking out about using the wrong shampoo for instance).”

Another misguided, toxic masculine idea is that being an “alpha” is all about domination and making others look weak.

“Genuine leaders don’t tear anyone down, they don’t try to make themselves look big either,” reads one comment on this topic. “People respect them for the way they act towards others and follow them because of it.”

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

The Big Flamingo

Wildwood, New Jersey – 1971

This little story takes place a year after my father bought the house at the shore in Wildwood. It was a magical time. We were the only kids I knew that had a shore house and could disappear from the neighborhood in Philly for the entire summer. I remember when I would come home at the end of August my friend RJ didn’t even recognize me at first. “All I saw was this kid with a brown face with white hair!” That’s how tan we all were when we got home after spending July and August on the beach.

Undated Travel Souvenir Brochure Boat Cruises Capt George Sinns Big Flamingo NJ - Advintage Plus

My family obviously wanted to take advantage of all of the wonderful activities the seashore had to offer. The boardwalk, with is wonderful amusement rides and games of chance, the beach, Winterwood, Cape May, mini-golf, and movies.

One day I was probably working on the architectural design of some elaborate sandcastle with my dad and sisters. This cool refurbished blue PT boat cruised by out beyond the waves. I asked my father about it and he told me it was an old warship converted into a sightseeing boat.

j7p3T.jpg

It looked fun, but there was an even bigger boat that did tours through the inland waterway and out into the ocean for the tourists. That was the Big Flamingo.  I always thought it was called the pink flamingo because of its obvious color, but that’s the real name.

1980 Capt. Sinn's Big Flamingo Sightseeing Cruiser Boat Wildwood Crest NJ PC | eBay

I wanted to take a ride on the pink one because it was bigger and looked cooler. I remember reading about it in a brochure we had lying around the house. The tri screw, twin-engine sounded like the more powerful ship. I wasn’t a fan of heights or deep water so the bigger boat just seemed safer to me.

Capt. George Sinn’s “Big Flamingo”. The Wildwoods’ largest sightseeing cruiser – the 85 foot triple Diesel Air Sea Rescue boat, the former P444, sails 10:30 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. daily from Sinn’s Dock, Cardinal Road, and Park Boulevard, Wildwood Crest, New Jersey.

So dad took us out on the Big Flamingo one evening. My mom didn’t go because she stayed home with baby Gabrielle. I also believe like me, my mom didn’t like feeling dizzy or off balance. We both ate Dramamine for long car rides and always felt a little nauseous when it came to any kind of weird motion.

Illness caused by motion during travel. Travel by car, air, or boat all can cause motion sickness. Motion sickness usually goes away when the motion stops. Symptoms include fatigue, uneasiness, dizziness, and vomiting.
Focusing the eyes on objects straight ahead may help. Avoid overeating, alcohol, and smoking before travel. Oral or patch medications can prevent or treat symptoms.

I remember she once told me that she went out to a restaurant with my dad at a nice restaurant near a harbor. She said she could see the boats going up and down outside the window and she started feeling seasick. We were the same when it came to any unstable movement in our surroundings.

But Dramamine never came into play when thoughts of going out on a huge ship that toured the bay and then a little bit out into the ocean and back. Me, Janice, April and my dad all went on the cruise and it was amazing! It was the first time I’d ever been on a boat and it was super fun! Another great tradition was born for our summers in Wildwood!

Here’s a cute little song to go with the above story.

 

Wildwood, New Jersey – 1972

Wildwood NJ BIG FLAMINGO boat cruise showcard original | #42663641

Here we are a year later and one of the things we kids definitely wanted to do was get back on the Big Flamingo! Capt. Sinn’s giant tour boat docked back in Otten’s Harbor.

So, one fine evening we all headed over there to board the boat for another cool adventure.

Off we go on the boat and it cruises along in the bay through the inland waterway. It was a lovely evening as the sun set over the grassy sound. Good times!

As we rounded the southwestern point of the island, down around Diamond Beach beyond Wildwood Crest, we entered the Atlantic Ocean. This was the best part of the tour. As twilight approached, the ship headed northward, and if you looked off to your left you could see the whole boardwalk. It was a dazzling vision of lights, amusement rides, and music. Probably the best view of Wildwood at night from afar. A view you’d never get to see as a kid.

My favorite spot to stand on the deck was in the absolute front of the bow. It was the best place to be on the ship. You really experienced the power of the ship cutting through the ocean.

But what began to happen was completely unexpected. The ship began to encounter ground swells. A groundswell is a long-period group of waves created by a distant storm system over long distances, at least 2,000 miles away from the coast. The majority of groundswells are produced by mid-latitude depressions between 30 and 60 degrees, and travel from west to east, swinging towards the Equator.

No one told me this could happen, but there was no way anyone could have known what was happening. What this means is, instead of the big ship cruising along placidly in the sea, it begins to go up and down in a sickening repetitive movement. Not little rolling waves. I’m talking this huge ship goes up two stories and then comes back down, causing a jarring feeling in your stomach. This happens over, and over, and over again. This is how people become seasick. It’s a normal occurrence, but being a kid I was absolutely terrified.

My dad told me to stay where I was and just ride it out. I think what made it so horrifying for me was, last year I had a great time. I felt safe and had a wonderful time. Now I was stuck on a boat in the ocean and it felt like it was out of control. It doesn’t matter how big the boat is, it’s simply no match for the power of the sea. If it wants to toss you around, it’s going to. There’s nothing you can do but ride it out.

Apparently, people were getting sick all over the boat. At least I wasn’t alone. My dad and sister Janice were close by, but it was the unexpected, trapped feeling that gripped me. That was the worst part. It was a sudden horror that washed over me again and again.

The captain turned the ship around halfway through the tour and headed back to the bay. We had nearly made it back into the calm water of the bay when I began vomiting. I just chundered right over the side. The wind was blowing, and I remember my dad trying to catch the blowback of my technicolor yawn with his hands. He just didn’t want my puke to splash back on the other guests. (Always the respectful gentleman)

I felt a bit better when we finally got back to the dock, but was badly shaken by this experience. I had always had anxiety since I was little and this sort of event really rattled my psyche. My sister Janice was fine and I think April was okay as well, but I felt a bit shattered after that event. My mind went from trusting a fun event that turned into a terrifying, embarrassing nightmare the second time around.

These are the type of wacky events you laugh off after they happen and you simply chalk them up to, “well, that was awful.”

But the next morning I woke up with an anxiety attack. I didn’t know what anxiety was back then. I was just overcome with sudden fear again. People who don’t suffer from anxiety simply don’t understand. They’re all fine the next day. Me… basket case. That feeling of losing control or going crazy. Heart palpitations or chest pain. Feeling like you’re going to pass out. Trouble breathing or choking sensations are all part of those types of attacks.

It actually traumatized me. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I felt nauseous. I felt fear. I didn’t want to go to the beach, or near any kind of water. It was an overwhelming post-traumatic terror I had never felt before. But of course, nobody else understands it because they aren’t afflicted with that sort of chemical makeup in their brains. It really sucks.

But my mom was very understanding and just let me take it easy for a couple of days around the house and neighborhood. My mom and I shared some of the same fears and it runs in our side of the family. On the other hand, my father and sister Janice are more stable and they simply go forward. Little April was unaffected by it all because she’s simply tough.

After a few days, my father wanted to take us over to a spot called Dad’s Place Marina. It was a great spot to go with family & friends. Everybody knew about the place but I had never been there. I had heard it was a neat place to go fishing and especially crabbing. I had never gone crabbing but it sounded like a fun thing to do.

My dad had found a couple of old metal rusty crab traps in the storage room behind the house. He asked me if I wanted to go. He said it was just a dock on the bay, and I could walk back onto the shore any time I wanted. I liked the idea of the escape route and agreed to go with him and Janice.  So my mom took April and baby Gabby to the beach and we drove over to Dad’s place in our VW minibus.

When we got out there, my dad bought a couple of new crab traps and some squid for bait and we were good to go. Crabbing is a very passive activity and it’s probably what I needed to overcome my fear of the water and acclimate myself to being near it.

Dad’s Place

1950s/60s Good Fishing and Crabbing, Dad's Place, Wildwood, NJ Postcard / HipPostcard

It turned out to be a fun day, and we caught lots of blue point crabs. (Those are the ones you want for eating, not those little spotted ones that grab your toe in the surf.) It was fun to drop the trap off the edge of the dock on its line and simply wait. After a while, you’d pull it up periodically to check your trap. Sometimes you’d have a crab or two. I even caught a tiny sea robin in mine! I was shocked you could catch a fish with a crab trap.

So, the trip to Dad’s Place and the day of crabbing with my sister and father, sort of reset me. After that, I was fine and resumed trips to the beach and playing in the ocean.

But I never set foot on that goddamn Big Flamingo ever again!

And… here’s a song that seems appropriate for what happened above.

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

8 Scientifically Proven Ways to Become a More Attractive Man

For most men, being attractive is extremely important. Being pleasant to look at can also play a major role in how successful a man becomes. After all, as the old saying goes; look good, feel good. Meaning that if you are confident in your appearance, you become more confident overall. Thanks to some research from Men’s Health and IFLScience, here are a few science-backed ways to become a more attractive man.

GROW A BEARD

Growing a beard is the basically one of the best things you can do for yourself, a study from the University of New South Wales found that, to women, the most attractive men are those who have heavy stubble. “Facial hair correlates not only with maturity and masculinity, but also with dominance and aggression,” the authors, Barnaby J. Dixson and Robert C. Brooks, wrote. “An intermediate level of beardedness is most attractive.”

WEAR SUNGLASSES

Ever wondered why sunglasses suddenly make anyone more attractive? Vanessa Brown, a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, has a few explanations. First of all, sunglasses make you mysterious, which is always sexy. “The eyes are such a tremendous source of information-and vulnerability-for the human being,” she told The Cut. Furthermore, sunglasses also cover up any facial asymmetry, which also makes you attractive since facial symmetry is important.

HOLD YOUR CHIN UP, LITERALLY

According to a study titled “Facial Attractiveness: Evolutionary Based Research,” women find secondary sex characteristics, like a large jawbone and defined cheekbones, super sexy on men, because they suggest genetic strength, high testosterone levels, and masculinity. And we all know masculine men are sexy. That said, tilting your face up a little bit and holding your chin high highlights your jaw and cheekbones, as well as psychologically makes you seem more dominant, both of which make you look attractive.

BE AN ACTUAL NICE GUY

study conducted at the University of Guelph and Nipissing University asked 800 people about their sexual history, as well as how likely they were to engage in selfless acts, such as charity work and donating blood, in order to understand if there was a correlation between altruism and the amount of sex people have. The study found that people who were more selfless had more sex and dated more people than those who were selfish.

HAVE OPEN BODY POSTURE

A study from the U.K. found that men who have open, dominant body language and sit with open body posture-meaning legs spread and arms stretched out-are seen as more attractive than those who don’t.

LOOK PROUD

A 2011 University of British Columbia study found that the most attractive facial and body expression was that of pride, and bafflingly, the least attractive was happiness. A truly interesting and frankly odd revelation, but OK. With that said, look proud when you’re talking to women…or any other time, for that matter. It’ll do wonders for your life.

WALK CONFIDENTLY

Aside from looking proud, another physical mechanism you should perfect is your stance, because ladies love a man who looks confident, stands confident, and walks confidently. Self-confidence is, after all, one of the first things people notice about you. According to R. Don Steele, author of Body Language Secrets: A Guide During Courtship & Dating, “Confident people are not in a hurry, but there’s a difference between meandering and walking slowly with purpose. Always walk as if you know what you’re doing and where you’re going.”

TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH

Lastly, let’s state the obvious: Having a nice set of teeth is crucial for attractiveness. A study from the University of Leeds and University of Central Lancashire found that teeth are “the human equivalent of a peacock’s tail.” So, brush, floss, whiten, do whatever you need to do to get your smile looking absolutely amazing.

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Lorelei – Happy 24th Birthday!

Lorelei,

I love the originality of you..

Your willingness

To stand out from the crowd.

Your unique Perspective

On what’s happening in your world

 

I love the wisdom of you…

The way you trust your intuition…

Your unfailing commitment

To doing the right thing

 

And most of all,

I love your heart…

The genuine compassion, empathy,

And friendship you offer,

To everyone you know

 

You have made me a better person,

And I’m grateful everyday you’re in my life.

 

I love you,

 

Dad

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=kat+wiedenmann

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

10 Shocking Things Guys Wish Girls Knew

You’ve probably heard it before—boys love to complain about how confusing girls can be. But us girls know firsthand that understanding guys can be just as complicated. In hopes of helping girls better understand the guy’s point of view, we surveyed 150 guys about a way-worthy topic: you! What do guys wish you knew?

Here’s one from one of my female readers I thought was worth sharing…

1. Texting does not mean what you think it means.

“Please, tell me why a girl thinks texting or snapping her equals I want her to be my girlfriend,” says Mikey. Blunt, but we like blunt. Mikey is in the majority when it comes to flirting. Nearly every guy we talked to says when he texts, he’s really just trying to get you know you better. A text is just a text, not a confession of love. “It’s like texting a girl means I’m admitting I like her, but that’s not what’s up,” explains Mikey. “It’s more like I’m texting because I might like her. I hate it because the next day the girl acts like she owns me. Or, if she’s shy, suddenly she can barely talk to me because she’s scared. It’s stupid.”

Basically, a text or a snap from a guy isn’t some hidden signal to decode. “I’m just texting because you’re cute or nice or whatever,” says Jordan. “If you treat me like I’m a dog just because I think you’re cool enough to text, that’s not cool.” In other words, exchanging texts with a guy isn’t a reason to change your behavior. Just be yourself, take it slow and feel out the situation. Sure, a text could lead to something more, but for now, it’s just a text, so there’s no need to stress or DTR right away. And if you’re feeling nervous? Keep your cool. Texting your crush can be just as easy as talking to your BFF.

2. You don’t need makeup to impress guys.

Judging from our survey, boys just don’t get makeup. In fact, a lot of guys even complain about it. Sure, they all like pretty girls, but they also have a problem with a face that looks full-on painted.

“Why do girls think they need to have so much crap on their faces?” asks Billy. “Girls at my school wear all this black crap on their eyes, and their lips are, like, thick with brown goop. It’s ugly. Do they really think that will get them a guy?”

Don’t worry, we set Billy straight about one thing: Girls don’t apply makeup to “get them a guy.” We wear makeup because we like it, full stop.

Still, guys’ hatred for cosmetics is no joke. But remember, boys are not the authority on fashion and beauty. You may be a girl who prefers to go au naturel every day, or you may love using every shade of eyeshadow in your Naked palette on any given Tuesday at school. Either way, you do you, girl! Sure, it’s good to know that you don’t need to put in a ton of effort every morning to impress someone, but it’s your choice if you want to apply enough purple mascara to impair your vision. Go for it.

3. A lot of times, guys’ are at a loss with girls’ emotions.

“What is up with girls hopping up and down when they’re happy about something?” asks Pete. “I really do want to know why are girls so excited about normal stuff,” says Pete. “Every other thing, it’s like, ‘Ohmigosh! No way!’” Clearly Pete just doesn’t get that a new season of your favorite show or the return of the PSL are pretty much the best things since sliced bread. But really, what Pete’s saying is something a lot of surveyed guys struggled with: unpacking how girls are feeling, and why.

Colin, a self-described shy boy, has an interesting theory: “I think girls like attention, and being excited about something makes people look and wonder what she’s so happy about.” Hmm…While Colin the amateur psychologist has certainly thought a lot about the topic, we’re not sure he’s cracked the case yet.

Arnie, a jokester, has a theory of his own: “I think girls are just different. You’re raised to let your feelings out, even if they’re bad. I’ve never seen a guy friend cry, but I’ve seen a chick fall apart because some dude she liked didn’t pick her for his volleyball team in phys ed.” Arnie may be onto something. It’s true that because girls are viewed as more emotional, our emotions are seen as more acceptable to express in public, while phrases like, “Man up!” tell boys to keep their feelings, whether it’s sadness or excitement, hidden away.

Here’s the deal: boys are just as emotional as girls, but a lot of times, they don’t show it. That may explain why our guys are so confused about girls’ displays of emotions. Hang in there girl, and remember, there are some things guys just don’t get.

4. Gossiping and being mean to others makes *you* look bad.

“Girls are always passing notes around or texting each other in class, and it’s just so friggin’ dumb,” says Joey. “Or they’ll look right at me, then whisper to each other and laugh. Do they want me to think they’re talking about me? ’Cause I do. And if it’s really true and they are talking about me, then that’s just lame.”

Rude is the word, actually, Joey. Whispering and gossip can seem pretty immature, especially when you’re spreading rumors or being mean to another girl. “When I hear one girl talk trash about another girl, it’s like I can’t believe it,” says Dominick, “like I’m in a bad movie about how mean girls are. If I heard my friends were talking about me like that, I’d transfer schools.”

So don’t trash talk or put down other girls to seem cool. Guys certainly aren’t impressed, but more importantly, you don’t want to hurt others. Sure, people talk about other people. That’s life. But there is a big difference between gossip and character assassinations. You wouldn’t like it if the gossip was about you. It’s bad form to let anyone believe you’re saying negative things about him. If you absolutely must exchange information, be discreet. Oh, and be sure that the “information” isn’t going to hurt someone’s feelings, OK?

5. Boys worry about what you think of their hair, skin, weight and clothes.

“My best friend is a girl, and the other day she said my hair looks exactly the same every single day,” says Luis. “I couldn’t believe it because some days my hair is jacked up.”

Guys may not talk about their insecurities to girls, but they totally think about their appearance even if they don’t say it out loud. “I had to ask my mom to take me to the dermatologist because I was breaking out on my cheeks and back,” says Jay. “I couldn’t stand it.”

His friend Robert has a different issue: “Girls like guys with good bodies but, when I try to get six-pack abs, it never works. I just feel like I have a spare tire all the time.”

If you could get a view of Robert, you would tell him what we told him: He’s out of his mind—the boy is a total babe! But here he is worrying about looking like a model. Moral of the story? Boys have body image issues, too. Isn’t it a relief to know that?

6. PMS is no excuse to be mean.

“I know girls get weird when they’re on their period, but I don’t get why they have to act like I’m their worst enemy,” confides Sean. “Sometimes, my sister acts like she wishes I were dead because I won’t give her the remote control, but all that’s going on is she’s PMSing. Screaming at me and freaking out on me isn’t right.”

We know what you’re thinking: Boys just don’t understand what it feels like to wake up with serious cramps, bloating, breakouts and headaches. So, yeah, we feel your pain—and we really mean feel it. But that’s the point: Boys don’t.

Let’s face it—the hormones that come with menstruation affect moods and being cranky around your time of the month is beyond understandable. But that doesn’t mean you should take our your pain on anyone, much less a guy who doesn’t get it. The best thing you can do is take care of yourself. Just deal the best you can by taking care of yourself. Avoid things that aggravate physical and emotional symptoms like caffeine, sugar and greasy foods. Ever wondered what your cravings mean? We’ve got all the answers. But seriously, get plenty of sleep, drink loads of water, get some exercise and take lots of warm baths—yes, even in the afternoon when you get home from school. Soaking in bubbles while daydreaming is a girl’s best friend.

We’re not saying you should become a recluse just because you’re wearing a maxi-pad. But don’t feel bad for bowing out of a social opp if you’re really not up to it. What’s the point of going to a party if you’re not gonna have a good time? Oh, and if you do snap at your boy for no other reason than those nasty hormonal intrusions, a short, simple apology (“Sorry—I was in a bad state of mind yesterday”) could go a long way. No lengthy, drawn-out explanations necessary.

7. Guys care way less about your body than you think.

“If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when a girl asks me if she looks fat,” says Stephen. “I don’t know if you’re fat.” And a lot of the boys echo his sentiment. The truth is, you’re a way harsher critic of yourself than a guy will ever be. Guys can’t tell slight differences between sizes, and honestly, they don’t really care.

All guys have different tastes when it comes to the feminine physique. Some guys like booties. Other guys like their girls thin as a fence post. Who cares? You are what you are. Worry more about your own health and happiness and less of guys’ opinions on your looks. Need some self-image pick-me-ups?

Whether you’re questioning a guy friend for his honest opinion or fishing for a compliment from a guy you like, asking about your body is usually a no-win situation. You’re just putting the guy on the spot. And, guess what—if a boy likes you, he likes you for the way you are right now, this second. A shy boy named Paul says it awesome: “Girls’ bodies are an endless mystery to me. I think you’re all beautiful.”

8. Don’t feel pressure to wear revealing or tight clothes just for guys’ attention.

“I think girls get mixed up because of how how people dress on TV,” says Matthew.

Matthew’s not wrong, fashion on TV is all about skimpy looks and attention-grabbers. But remember, the fashion you see on TV are really just costumes designed for performing. The point is, girls should wear what they feel comfortable in, not what TV or movies tells them to wear and definitely not what they think guys are looking for. If you’re still wondering what guys look for in a wardrobe, the truth is, it depends.

“I like the way my last girlfriend dressed,” says Miguel. “She wore some stuff that showed off her great athletic body, but it wasn’t like all hanging out. Sometimes she wore baggy pants and just a little of her belly showed. Or sometimes, if she wore those tight jeans girls always wear, she wouldn’t have her boobs all out.”

In other words, for a lot of guys, less is more. You don’t have to look like a pop star or a character from Riverdale, you just need to wear clothes that make you comfy and happy. And if you’re feeling yourself, the right guy will too!

It’s good to know that guys aren’t looking for runway models, but some guys just don’t get fashion altogether. I mean, you wouldn’t let your brother pick out your outfit, would you? So who needs them to tell you what to wear?

“My sister complains that boys always stare at her boobs, but she wears tight shirts that totally show off her boobs,” says Chad. “I’m confused.”

Ugh, Chad, girls’ fashion choices aren’t an invitation to stare. The truth is, a lot of guys are not fashion experts, and they won’t be impressed just because your outfit shows a ton of skin. Bottom line? You do you girl, and the rest will fall into place.

9. Most boys are looking for the right girl.

Daniel puts it so eloquently: “I would love to find a girl who’s cool.” Being “cool” does seem pretty vague, but our guess is that Daniel is looking for a girl who can be herself around him.

Whatever he means, Daniel is not the only boy looking for a girl to like! Don’t believe it? “I’m sick of everyone acting like boys aren’t as mature as girls,” says D.B. “It’s just that we also think about other stuff. If it happens, it happens, but I’m not going to talk to my friends on the phone about girls every day.” So even if a guy plays it cool about girls, it doesn’t mean he’s not interested. The truth is, a lot of guys are just as interested in finding the right person as girls.

That doesn’t mean all guys are as mature as D.B. His friend Raymond, for example, gives another, ummm, interesting perspective. “So many girls at my school are hot, but me and my friends just wait for them to figure out who they want because that’s what girls seem to do at my school. It’s like they’re all spazzed out about finding a boyfriend all the time. We just have to wait and see.” Hmm…Seems like Ray might not be ready for a relationship.

A lot of surveyed boys agree with Ray on one count, though: some girls may put too much emphasis on finding a boyfriend. As Eric says, “Do girls want any guy or the right guy?” Sending signals to the guy you like is different from going full boy-crazy. Do you and your squad constantly discuss guys? If so, maybe scale it back a bit, and not just because of what boys think. Remember, you have so much more interesting things to explore than “who-likes-who,” as fun as that can be sometimes. Plus, it wouldn’t hurt to show guys (like Ray) what’s really on girls’ minds.

10. If you like him, just tell him.

There was one major statement that kept popping up on our surveys: “Girls should not flirt and act like they like me, and then later ignore me.” Maybe the flirting thing is to girls what the phone is to boys: You’re just flirting to feel him out, and it doesn’t mean you want a relationship. We get that.

Sadly, guys are obviously confused, and sometimes take your friendliness as flirting. Can we trust guys to know the difference? “There is a big difference between just being cool and flirting,” says James. “I can tell if a girl is just talking to me or if she likes me.” A lot of surveyed guys aren’t as confident as James. You may be feeling confused if he likes you, and chances are, he’s in the exact same boat.

So what do you do when you want to make friends with a boy, but you’re worried that striking up a random convo could be misinterpreted as major flirting? Just be honest. “If you like me, just tell me. If you don’t, say you’re not into me like that,” says Ray. It may seem tough to tell a guy you’re just not into him like that, but in the long run, he’ll appreciate knowing the truth instead of feeling led on.

OK, just telling a guy you like him isn’t as easy as it sounds. But all the guys agreed on this one, which means it should work. Courage to be honest? You can do it. Plus, telling your crush how you feel can be a major confidence booster. You can offically consider yourself fearless.

What do you think girls? What surprised you the most about what guys think? Let us know in the comments!

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Kamala Harris Breaks Glass Ceiling as First Female Vice President, First Woman VP of Color

The vice presidential glass ceiling has been broken.

California Sen. Kamala Harris will make history as the first woman elected vice president, now that Joe Biden won enough states to capture the White House.

Biden beat Donald Trump four years after Hillary Clinton came up short in her bid to be the first female president.

Harris, 56, was the first African American woman and the first Asian American person on a major party’s presidential ticket.

Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., raise their arms up as fireworks go off on the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. Looking on are Jill Biden and Harris' husband Doug Emhoff.

Her husband, entertainment lawyer Doug Emhoff, will be the first “Second Gentleman.”

Harris has said she expects to work closely with Biden, offering him a perspective shaped by a different background.

“It is about a partnership that also is informed by one of the reasons I think Joe asked me to join him, which is that he and I have – we have the same ideals and values but we have very different life experiences,” Harris said during her final fundraiser for the campaign.

President Barack Obama has called her an “ideal partner” for Biden who is more than prepared for the job as “someone who knows what it’s like to overcome barriers.”

Only the second Black woman to be elected to the Senate, Harris was the first Black woman to be elected district attorney in San Francisco and attorney general of California.

Biden had faced tremendous pressure to choose a woman of color as his running mate because of the large role African Americans – and particularly Black women – have played in the Democratic Party and because of the racial issues thrust into the foreground by the coronavirus pandemic and the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police.

“There is no vaccine for racism,” Harris said during her vice presidential acceptance speech. “We’ve got to do the work for George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor and for the lives of too many others to name.”

Announcing his choice, Biden called the former prosecutor a “fearless fighter for the little guy, one of the country’s finest public servants.”

Only two ran before her

Harris was only the third female vice presidential nominee of a major party ticket.

Her debate with Vice President Mike Pence was the second-most watched vice presidential debate, after the 2008 matchup between Biden and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was running mate to Republican nominee John McCain.

Harris’ response when Pence tried to cut in on her time, “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking – I’m speaking,” sparked a meme. T-shirts, face masks and other products emblazoned with those words were quickly available for sale on the internet.

Biden’s age contributed to the public’s interest in Harris, as his 77 years increase the chance that he might not serve a full term or seek re-election.

Republicans sought to characterize Harris as member of the “radical left” who would control the more centrist Biden.

Voters had a divided opinion of Harris, with 46% “very” or “somewhat” favorable and 47% “very” or “somewhat” unfavorable, according to a VoteCast survey of 110,405 voters by The Associated Press. The difference was as polarized as the rest of the election. Those viewing her favorably almost entirely – 93% – supported Biden, while 87% of those viewing her unfavorably supported Trump, according to the survey.

Sen. Kamala Harris speaks on stage.

Breaking barriers of race and gender

Biden’s selection of Harris gave the campaign a big fundraising boost. Backers sent more than $34 million immediately after Biden announced his pick, and she headlined numerous fundraisers throughout the fall. Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., which Harris belongs to, began donating $19.08. The sorority, the oldest Greek-letter organization established by Black college-educated women, was founded in 1908 at Howard University, her alma mater.

Harris was often dispatched to energize voters of color, particularly Black Americans. The first candidate on a major party ticket to have attended a historically Black university, Harris campaigned at HBCUs, barbershops and other places of significance for communities of color. For many virtual campaign events, Harris broadcast out of a studio set up at Howard University.

“I say it’s about time a graduate from a state university and a HBCU graduate are in the White House,” Biden said of himself and Harris at a drive-in rally in Atlanta.

Who is Doug Emhoff?

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and her husband Doug Emhoff take the stage during a drive-in get out the vote rally, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Philadelphia.

Emhoff was also a regular presence on the campaign trail and formed a bond with Jill Biden, who preceded him as the spouse of a vice president.

Emhoff, who will be the first Jewish American in the vice presidential residence, was a regular Biden surrogate for campaign events targeted to Jewish supporters. He was also “sent all the time to probably the hardest spots,” Biden senior strategic adviser Greg Schultz said during an October campaign event.

Emhoff has been offered lots of advice on how to tackle his new role.

“Everyone’s got an opinion on this, which is nice to hear,” Emhoff said during the campaign. “Which means people are actually excited about the prospect of someone like me in this role – and I get that.”

He hopes to tap his legal background and focus on justice-related issues, particularly “access to justice.”

Emhoff still has the voicemail of a congratulatory call from Biden after Harris and Emhoff got engaged in March 2014.

It was Harris’ first marriage and Emhoff’s second. His son and daughter – named Cole and Ella after jazz legends Cole Porter and Ella Fitzgerald – came up with their own name for their stepmother: Mamala.

“To my brother and me, you’ll always be ‘Mamala,’ the world’s greatest stepmom,” Ella said in a video montage introducing Harris before her convention speech. “You’re a rock, not just for our dad, but for three generations of our big, blended family.”

During an appearance on Hillary Clinton’s podcast, Harris described how she had been teaching Emhoff how to cook after the pandemic confined them to their Washington, D.C., apartment.

Harris’ own passion for cooking was often a topic on the campaign trail. She has described it as “one of my joys” and recirculated a video of herself making masala dosa with actress and writer Mindy Kaling last year.

She told Clinton that one of Emhoff’s own culinary attempts went awry, setting off a fire alarm. Harris had to wave her briefing book back and forth to clear the air. The couple subsequently agreed that Emhoff should stick to three dishes he knows how to cook – “and we don’t need to experiment with anything else,” Harris said.

Kamala Harris, left, with her sister, Maya, and mother, Shyamala, in January 1970, in Berkeley, California.

Presidential ambitions

Harris had competed against Biden for the Democratic nomination but ended her bid before the first primary votes were cast.

She struggled to place herself in an ideological camp, particularly on how far she would go to enact Medicare for All. She also faced criticism from some on the left for her prosecutorial record.

One of her campaign’s biggest moments came during a debate when she challenged Biden over his remarks about working with segregationist senators. She described herself as part of the second class to integrate her school as a child after mandatory school busing, which forced Biden to apologize for his earlier comments.

Although Biden didn’t hold a grudge, Trump immediately called Harris a “phony” after her selection. He frequently made fun of her first name – which is Sanskrit for lotus – and hurled insults at her from his campaign rallies, included calling her a monster.

Women’s groups spent millions on ads to “push back on disinformation and racist, sexist attacks” on Harris and show her in a positive light.

“She has taken on some of the toughest fights…and she’s done it all with a sense of style,” said the narrator in an ad called “Chucks” that included footage of Harris wearing her signature shoe choice and a young girl dancing in Chuck Taylors. “Someday soon, anyone will be able to see themselves as president.”

Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris on the campaign trail in Milwaukee.

Daughter of immigrants

Harris was born in Oakland, California, to Shyamala Gopalan, a breast-cancer scientist who emigrated from India, and Donald Harris, a professor of economics who emigrated from Jamaica.

Her first job was cleaning laboratory pipettes for her mother.

“She fired me. I was awful,” Harris said.

Gopalan would also tell Harris and her sister, “Don’t sit around and complain about things, do something.”

Harris frequently mentions the “stroller’s-eye view” she had of the civil rights movement, as her parents marched for social justice – a central part of family discussions.

She wrote in her memoir that she was inspired to become a prosecutor in part because of the prosecutors who went after the Ku Klux Klan and because of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who sent Justice Department officials to protect the Freedom Riders in 1961.

But she had to defend to friends and family her decision to try to change from the inside, rather than the outside, a justice system they saw as too often offering injustice.

Democratic U.S. Vice Presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks during an early voting mobilization event at the Central Florida Fairgrounds on October 19, 2020 in Orlando.

Prior record

Harris likes to tout a program she championed as district attorney to direct young people arrested for drug crimes into training and counseling programs instead of jail.

As California’s attorney general, she pushed for a tough settlement from five major banks accused of foreclosure abuse. One fellow attorney general who joined the fight was Delaware’s Beau Biden, the former vice president’s oldest son. The two developed a friendship before Beau Biden’s 2015 death from brain cancer.

After Harris joined the Senate in 2017, she put her prosecutorial skills to work grilling witnesses such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Attorney General William Barr and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“I thought she was the meanest, the most horrible, the most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate,” Trump said of Harris’ questioning of Kavanaugh.

Breaking barriers means breaking things

When Harris found herself competing for the Democratic presidential nomination with three of her female colleagues, the rivals enjoyed lighter moments on the campaign trail laughing with each other and comparing notes on the still-rare experience of being a woman running for president.

“We have spent a lot of time together, sharing looks at each other across a room when statements are being made,” giving each other a “knowing look” like “Yeah, that just happened,” Harris said during a fundraiser that included Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

Klobuchar recounted how, during one debate, the women had banded together to demand the technicians raise the temperature in the freezing studio.

“I mean, like you couldn’t feel your feet,” Klobuchar said. “And on the break, we’re sitting there huddled together … and we said to the technician from NBC: `You know what? Women do worse when it’s so cold. This isn’t fair. You have got to turn this up, right now.’ And so they turned up the heat, as we did.”

Harris said that women who go first know the sacrifices they’ve made and hope to make it easier for women to come up after.

Breaking barriers, she said, involves breaking things.

“And when you break things, you might get cut. You might bleed. It will be painful,” she said more than once. “It will be worth it, every single time.”

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Joe Biden is the 46th President of the United States!

Joe Biden has won the bitterly fought 2020 presidential election, bringing the former vice president into an office he had coveted for nearly five decades and ending the chaotic presidency of Donald Trump.

The Electoral College may turn out to be tight: States that appeared relatively safe for Biden turned out to be close, and the result was not the landslide win some polls had projected as possible. The coalition of states Biden assembled included those that had previously gone for Trump, like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The drawn-out process put the nation on edge, and led Trump to falsely claim victory in several key states in the early morning hours following a long election night.

But in the popular vote, Biden won easily. He commanded the most votes cast for any candidate ever in a US presidential race, more than 73.5 million. And he defeated an incumbent who was wildly popular with his base — and who exasperated Democrats with a presidency built on racism, lies, and the appeasement of his own ego.

Trump’s time in office was marked by undermining public health measures during a pandemic that has killed more than 230,000 Americans, by weaponizing the functions of government against perceived opponents, and by boosting conspiracy theories and white supremacist groups. Much of Biden’s first months in office will be consumed by attempting to undo what Trump has done, with nothing more pressing than gaining control over the coronavirus.

Biden’s attempts to govern will almost certainly collide with a hard fact: Trump was defeated, but Trumpism was not. Biden ran his campaign on a central, existential argument that Trump represented an aberration in US politics, and that American voters want a moderate, steady hand to return the country to some semblance of normalcy. In short, Democrats wanted this election to resoundingly repudiate Trump and his politics.

That did not happen.

The tensions Trump inflamed and capitalized on were present in this country before he came to power, and those divisions remain strong. While the final vote tally won’t be known for some time, more than 68 million Americans voted for Trump. Many of those voters believe Biden and other Democrats are corrupt, empowered by fraud, and unfit to lead, and they will form a vocal and zealous opposition. Over the summer, the largest protests in American history centered on stopping police violence against Black people and rectifying systemic racism, proposals Trump and many of his followers rejected. Unifying such a divided country, or even mitigating the partisan hostility, will be one of Biden’s most daunting tasks.

What’s more, the control of the Senate is still unknown, with the possibility that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will be able to continue exercising his ironclad rule. Early in his campaign, Biden leaned heavily into his years as a DC establishment figure and dealmaker, as a pragmatist with progressive ideals but bipartisan tendencies who would seek to work with McConnell, as he had when he was vice president. But, as many progressive Democrats pointed out, McConnell’s strategy when Barack Obama was president was to oppose virtually everything. There is no reason to think McConnell will act any differently now. And while resistance to the Democrats will make it relatively easy for McConnell to hold his ranks together, the deep splits between progressive and moderate Democrats could make it hard for Biden to keep his party unified.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden rallies supporters on November 3, 2020 in Philadelphia.

Although Trump will leave office, he probably won’t leave the field. He will still wield more than 85 million Twitter followers, hold sway over a Republican Party that has transformed to fit his image, and inspire millions who passionately feel he gives them a voice in a battle against the establishment — whether that means elites, government, or other institutions, including science. He will likely seize every opportunity to oppose and undermine Biden.

Still, Biden will be president of the United States, with all of the official power that Trump has now lost. He won a hard-fought campaign that was historic in a way that no one could have foreseen: COVID-19 forced sweeping closures of the basic functions of society and brought campaigning to a halt in March. Biden chose to follow public health guidelines while Trump went on with large rallies where attendees were not required to wear masks — and many indeed did not. It was a contrast that Trump, who last month was briefly hospitalized after being diagnosed with the coronavirus, hoped would make Biden look scared, weak, and unable to draw a crowd.

Biden, though, made Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic the central point of his campaign, hammering Trump for minimizing the danger early on and failing to control its spread. Biden gave expansive speeches about the crisis and what it would take to recover from it, and he modeled safe behavior by observing strict social distancing and wearing masks at all public events.

The nature of the campaign — distanced, impersonal — was unwelcome for Biden, who has built his career since the 1970s on intimate human connection and visceral emotion. His life and career have been shaped by grief, after his wife and daughter died in a car crash in 1972 and then his son Beau Biden died of cancer in 2015. While meeting voters on the pre-pandemic campaign trail during the Democratic primary, he spent time connecting with them over their own losses, sometimes consoling people as he took selfies with them. Then, as hundreds of thousands of Americans mourned loved ones who died from COVID-19, Biden was able to speak to their pain.

“There are moments in our history so grim, so heart-rending, that they’re forever fixed in each of our hearts as shared grief. Today is one of those moments,” Biden said in an address from his home in Delaware in May.

“I think I know how you’re feeling. You feel like you’re being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest. It’s suffocating,” he said.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden after Sunday mass on November 1, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Trump, meanwhile, repeatedly blamed the death toll and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the US on a media conspiracy and his Democratic opponents. He mocked wearing a mask as “politically correct.” It was after a largely maskless event to introduce Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the US Supreme Court that Trump and members of his inner circle contracted the virus and the president himself had to be hospitalized. In the final weeks of the campaign, the pandemic surged across the country, with cases rising in almost every state and the Midwest battleground region hit especially hard.

The two candidates often felt like they operated in alternate realities through the general election campaign. Biden emphasized the very real toll the pandemic took on people’s lives; Trump downplayed it, and emphasized the need to get the economy moving again. Biden spent months cordoned off at home and only emerged for small events; Trump held giant rallies as if nothing had changed, which in some cases likely led to coronavirus outbreaks. But both candidates, for almost all of the race, made the campaign about Trump. For Trump, it was the usual drive to be the center of attention and self-professed savior of the nation, occasionally referring to himself as “your favorite president” or comparing himself favorably to Abraham Lincoln. For Biden, it was a constant invocation of the president’s failures even beyond the coronavirus, from his refusal to unequivocally condemn the white supremacists who marched on Charlottesville in 2017 to his cozying up to foreign authoritarians. Biden invoked Charlottesville on day one of his campaign, arguing that he was leading a battle for the soul of the nation. That theme persisted, a catchall for the existential threat Biden said Trump posed, be it to America’s decency or health and safety.

But near the end of the race, Trump did try to turn the election on Biden’s character, with a frenzied campaign led by Rudy Giuliani to implicate Biden in an unclear nefarious plot in Ukraine and China with his son Hunter (there is no evidence that the claims were true). In their first debate, Trump raised Hunter’s history of drug addiction, a strategy which didn’t gain much traction beyond the far right. “My son, like a lot of people, like a lot of people we know at home, had a drug problem,” Biden responded. “He’s overtaken it, he’s fixed it, he’s worked on it, and I’m proud of him.”

The second debate was canceled, when Trump refused to engage in a virtual debate after contracting the coronavirus. The third was less hectic but did little to change the dynamics of the race.

Win Mcnamee / Getty Images

President Barack Obama with Vice President Biden at the White House on December 19, 2012 in Washington, DC.

This was Biden’s third run for president, and while he was the national polling leader for almost the entirety of the race, the campaign still carried a feeling of improbability. His campaign for the Democratic nomination in 1988 ended in 1987, amid questions of plagiarism. His 2008 bid collapsed after a poor showing in the Iowa caucus, though he would go on that year to be elected vice president under Barack Obama, the first Black president.

Biden routinely attached his legacy to Obama’s in this year’s historically diverse field of Democratic candidates, which included more women and people of color than any previous primary. When Biden stumbled badly in Iowa’s caucuses and finished an embarrassing fifth in the New Hampshire primary, it looked like he might collapse again. But Biden and his advisers argued that the race would turn in his favor in South Carolina, where a majority of Democratic voters are Black — and they were right. Biden’s victory there triggered a mass clearing of the field, just as the coronavirus was beginning its spread in the US. An ideological battle between the moderate Biden and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders quickly flamed out, and Sanders promptly endorsed Biden, emerging as one of his more dependable surrogates.

Trump, during his four years in office, made a concerted effort to repeal legislation and regulations that defined the Obama administration: protections for trans and gender nonconforming children in schools and adults in the military, the DACA program for young people brought to the US as children, housing discrimination protections, and more.

How Biden, 77, will govern is a major question after a campaign so overtaken by both the pandemic and the current president. Before the pandemic, and before police shootings of Black men in Minneapolis and Kenosha, Wisconsin, Biden leaned heavily into reputation as a pragmatist more than a progressive. But as crises multiplied, Biden signaled he’d be more open to systemic and structural changes he never explicitly outlined.

Young progressive Americans for whom this summer’s protests were among the first defining political movements of their lives will be watching what Biden does as president to address insidious institutional racism, as well as crises such as climate change and gun violence.

“I don’t think Biden’s age has to necessarily be the limitation on him being a transformational leader, but it’s going to be up to the decisions he makes and those directing him make,” Chokwe Lumumba, the 37-year-old mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, told BuzzFeed News in June. “We can’t play it safe and assume the energy around Donald Trump will go away.” ●

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!