The Bizarre Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allen Poe is a Halloween Story Of Its Own

More than 150 years ago, Edgar Allen Poe, literary icon and father of gothic horror, died a dark and untimely death. His demise is shrouded in so much mystery, the story could easily be plucked from the pages of one of his books.

(Cue thunder and lightning.)

Edgar Allen Poe is a name synonymous with suspense and dark romance. His poem “The Raven” is a classic that still appears in modern pop culture, and yes, a football team named themselves after it. Without his book “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” the world’s very first detective story, we very well might not have the likes of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. His beloved moody aesthetic has even inspired other prolific cultural icons such as Salvador Dali and Alfred Hitchcock, according to Biography.

And with the recent news that Mike Flanagan, creator of Netflix’s “The Haunting of Hill House,” will be adapting “The Fall of the House of Usher” into a series, Poe’s name is buzzing around yet again.

Though many of us can recite a famous morbid line or two, not everyone knows about the tragic life and utterly bizarre death of the Master of Macabre.

It seems Poe was destined to become well acquainted with melancholy, and even some scandal. Born to transient, alcoholic actors—both who died within a few days of each other—Edgar was sent off to a foster home when he was just 2 years old. Later, at age 27, he secretly married his cousin Virginia … who was 13. To be fair, we’re still not sure if this was indeed a romantic relationship. It’s certainly a conversation starter in cultural relativism circles though. Oh, did I mention that the controversial relationship was also cut short by death, when Virginia was overcome with tuberculosis? Are you surprised? Me neither.

Edgar Allen Poe’s child bride Virginiaupload.wikimedia.org

During his life, Poe was the poster boy for “starving artist.” Struggling to make any sort of money from his work, he resorted to gambling to pay off debts. Spoiler alert: It led to more debt … We’re talking burning your furniture to stay warm kind of poor. Not a good look. It eventually led him to joining the army to escape his creditors.

“The Raven” was Poe’s first worldwide success. Other works like “Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” began gaining popularity and critical acclaim. At long last, the writing career he had pursued since the age of 13 was finally coming to fruition.

And then….DEATH! Behold, I’ll tell the tale.

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poeupload.wikimedia.org

Once upon a midnight dreary … it was a rainy night in Baltimore, 1849. Election Day (more on that later), a man was found addled, immovable and in the shabby clothes of a stranger. That man was none other than Poe. He spent the next three days in delirium, flowing in and out of hallucinations and calling the name “Reynolds,” who to this day, is unidentified. The great poet’s last words ever uttered were said to be: “Lord help my poor soul.”

Though an official record states the cause of death as “brain swelling,” it has sparked much speculation and alternative theories.

There’s the good ol’ fashioned “beating by ruffians” theory, thought to have happened after friends left Poe in a drunken stupor. Or, for something a bit more sensational, the gang fight could have been instigated by a woman who “considered herself injured” by Poe. Seeing as Poe had a reputation for tumultuous romances, this is entirely plausible.

Then there’s a possible “cooping.” Don’t know what “cooping” is? I didn’t either. But Smithsonian Magazine defines it as “a method of voter fraud practiced by gangs in the 19th century where an unsuspecting victim would be kidnapped, disguised, and forced to vote for a specific candidate multiple times under multiple disguised identities.” It added that before Prohibition, alcohol was often given as a reward for voting. So basically, Poe could have been voted to death. You really can die from anything.

One doctor has hypothesized that rabies was to blame. This theory has a few reported kinks to it, however, as there was no evidence of hydrophobia. Yeah, apparently a common side effect of rabies is a fear of water!

A more modern theory developed when Poe’s grave was dug up and, inside his skull, an unidentified mass was found. A mass that studies now show could have been a lethal brain tumor. I, for one, could see a mind like Edgar Allan Poe’s eating him slowly from the inside in silent agony. And they say that you don’t have to be pained to be creative.

There are still other theories of carbon monoxide poisoning, heavy metal poisoning, and, yes, alcohol poisoning. Though that last one is a tad boring.

Portrait of Edgar Allan Poeupload.wikimedia.org

No matter which theory ends up being true, the legacy of Edgar Allan Poe is one that continues to bewilder, inspire, disturb and delight us. In a way, he is the absolute epitome of transfiguring the grotesque into the beautiful, both in life and in art. And his romantic, yet sorrowful spirit lives on in our retellings of his beloved classics.

Though he himself is nevermore, his poetic style will remain timeless forevermore.

 

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

What Does ‘Submarining’ Mean?

Ever since digital technology came along to enhance and further complicate our lives, modern romance has seen an influx of new dating terms and behaviors. The most famous of these is, of course, ghosting: when the person you’ve been seeing cuts off contact without warning. Other variations of this include love-bombing, when somebody inundates you with messages and attention, then goes AWOL , and fizzing, where the communication simply peters out, often mutually.

And then there’s submarining.

Also known as “zombie-ing,” submarining is a form of ghosting where a person drops off the grid, only to then get back in touch months later—perhaps just as you were finally getting over being ghosted in the first place. It’s pretty poor dating form, and it’s likely that more than a few people have experienced a submarine while in lockdown.

“People may choose to resurface for a lot of reasons, but more often than not, it’s out of insecurity or boredom,” says Gigi Engle, a certified sex coach and author of All the F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life. “Maybe they just stopped seeing someone, maybe they’re sick of being trapped indoors, or maybe they just need some validation and are hoping to get it from you. Whatever the reason, it’s pretty unlikely that it’s because this person actually cares about you. It’s more likely that they want someone to talk to and make them feel good about themselves.”

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Submarining is no better than traditional ghosting, because it involves the same apparent lack of awareness or concern for other people’s feelings. The internet disinhibition effect theorizes that the anonymous nature of instant messaging means we sometimes forget there is a real person on the other end of the screen, leading to us neglecting to extend the same empathy or consideration that we might in a real-world interaction.

Not that this is an excuse.

“If someone is actually into you, they don’t disappear out of nowhere,” says Engle. “If someone did just get ‘scared’ or whatever and disappeared, that’s a red flag in itself. Someone who doesn’t have enough emotional intelligence to at least send a polite text that they aren’t interested in moving forward is probably not someone you want to get serious about.”

As for what to do when someone reappears unexpectedly, that’s your call. Maybe they have an explanation for why they dropped off your radar completely for so long. But if you do decide that they’re worth a second chance, don’t forget that you’ve already witnessed them pull off that disappearing act once before.

“You can respond however you see fit. If you really want to give this person another chance, that’s up to you,” says Engle. “Just be aware that this is likely not going to end well for you. I would advise not getting involved again, as it’s likely to wind up ending in disappointment again. If you’re feeling gutsy, you can reply to their submarine text and tell them that this is a lame thing to do and if they wanted to chat with you, they shouldn’t have been so rude to you.”

Breaking things off with somebody is never easy, but having that conversation is an important step in giving both parties closure. And if the thought of composing a “we need to talk” message brings you out in hives, you can always use a chatbot simulator to practice.

 

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

10 Couples Tattoo Ideas Without Initials, Just In Case

Relationships don’t always last forever, but tattoos certainly do. If you and bae can’t wait to seal your love with some matching ink, there are so many creative ways to commemorate your ‘ship. But going all in and getting each other’s names or initials might be risky if the relationship doesn’t go the distance. Luckily, whether you want a bold design or something a bit more subtle, there are plenty of couples tattoos that don’t have initials you can base yours on. Naturally, there will always be naysayers who can’t get behind the idea of having matching tattoos with a partner. But if you and your SO are both on board, follow your bliss.

Thankfully, couples tattoos aren’t limited to just hearts or the date of your anniversary in Roman numerals. Any shared memory, hobby, or passion can be transformed into a cool design that’ll always make you think of your partner. As with any tattoo, the most important step is finding a tattoo artist whose work you’re both excited about, and doing plenty of research. Your tattoo artist should be working at a credible shop that follows the proper health and safety regulations. Also, it’s important that you and your partner can decide on a design, you both love. It’ll be on your body forever! Depending on how complex your tattoo idea is, it might take some ongoing discussion between you and the artist to fine-tune the final design, and that’s OK. Here are some fun design ideas inspired by couples tattoos done right.

1. Something To Commemorate Your First Date.

These little Ferris wheels are a great example of a minimalist design done well. Maybe it’s a nod to the location of their first date or kiss.

2. Something That Pays Homage To A Character, You Both Love.

If you and bae your partner share a love for the same character, movie, song, or superhero, this can also be incorporated into a sweet tattoo.

3. A Symbol That Reflects Your Connection.

These baby lightning bolts are too cute. Even though they’re in a prominent spot, they can be easily covered by the strap of a watch for work environments that might not be tattoo-friendly.

4. A Classic Motif With A Twist.

If you want to incorporate traditional elements into your tattoo design, adding a second meaning makes it unique.

5. Something In A Meaningful Spot.

These ring finger dots are as subtle as it gets, but their placement gives them added significance.

6. Reminders Of The Promises You’ve Made.

Meaningful words or phrases you and your partner have exchanged are also a good route to take. For all the Harry Potter fans out there, these elegantly penned “always” tattoos are the perfect nod to the series.

7. Two Elements That Interact In A Clever Way.

This hoop and basketball design shows how effective the interaction between two totally different tattoos can be.

8. Something With Complementary Symbols.

These tattoos are another great example of how you can use different designs to complement each other. The sentimentality of sharing ink still rings true, and these tattoos can easily stand on their own post-breakup.

9. Designs That Are Similar Enough, But Still Different.

If you want the focus of your tattoos to be the same, but are open to small details that differ, consider something like this (or the more traditional yin-yang symbol).

10. Something That Nods To A Shared Interest.

If you have a shared interest, like astronomy, it’s easy to extract inspiration for beautiful tattoos.

Couples’ tattoos can be a creative way to express your utter devotion to an SO. That said, to avoid regrets, spend time thinking through any pros and cons. With the right prep, you’ll have a beautiful reminder of a meaningful relationship that will last a lifetime.

 

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

25 Funny Instagram Captions To Use After A Breakup That Show You’re OK

If your Instagram looked like #relationshipgoals up until your recent breakup, you might feel compelled to share the news of your split with your followers. (If Miley Cyrus can do it, why can’t you, right?) But if long, vulnerable captions aren’t your style, you might want to opt for funny Instagram captions to use after your breakup to convey that you’re newly single and going to be just fine.

If you’re not exactly feeling super funny today, don’t worry. This list has got you covered. Whether you want to just go with a hilarious Lizzo quote that shows how fabulous you are or you want to get some people sliding in your DMs as soon as humanly possible, this list is filled to the brim with options for every mood.

Rather than blowing up your group chat trying to come up with the best caption, let this list do all of the heavy lifting for you. Read each one of them and copy and paste whichever feels the truest to how you’re feeling onto your next Instagram post. Are you ready for this?

Summery young woman smiling and texting on cute bicycle in sunny city

Shutterstock

“My DMs are open for sliding. #letthegamesbegin”

This is a not-so-subtle and hilarious way to announce that you’re back on the market. Get ready for your followers who have been silently thirsting after you to pop out of the woodwork.

“Does anyone have Tyler Cameron’s number? Asking for a friend (that friend is me).”

Or sub in Travis Scott, Kristen Stewart, etc…

“You coulda had a bad b*tch, non-committal.”

As if this list would be complete without at least one Lizzo quote. If you want to send your ex a hilarious but also majorly passive-aggressive message, I’d go with this one for sure.

“no ring, no prob”

Pair this with the most DGAF picture you have for maximum LOLs.

“🎼 AND IIIIIIII-IIIII-IIII WILL ALWAAYS LOVE MEEEEE 🎼”

Give your own single-person spin on the Whitney Houston classic.

“PSA: I’m back on the market.”

I mean, the public really deserves to know this information. So, why not announce it PSA-style?

“I am Beyoncé always.”

Michael Scott has gifted the world with plenty of great quotes, but this may be one of his best. Quote the GOAT in your caption to let people know that you’re thriving on your own.

“FYI, Grandma you can stop asking how [ex’s name] is doing.”

Again, this is a little petty. But sometimes being a little petty is funny.

“Realized I’ll probs never find a love like the one I have for pizza & am totally cool with that.”

If you’re a pizza lover, go with this caption to let people know you’ve still got your bae.

“You used to be my cup of tea, but now I sip Champagne.”

I saw this on a t-shirt once and am just still not over it. So petty. So hilarious. So great.

“Made like Elsa and decided to let it go.”

Why not throw a little Frozen reference in there?

“Like Halsey, it turns out I’m bad at love… but I’m good at taking shots so who’s down to meet me at [insert fave bar here]?”

If you’re trying to party, go with this caption. Invite your friends out for a night of celebrating your newfound single status.

If someone is dishing out compliments, experts say it may be a sign they're into you.

Shutterstock

“thank u, next-ing & thriving”

Nothing like a good old-fashioned Ariana tribute.

“I’m good on my own.”

You came into this world alone and you’ll leave it alone, so being single is only natural. Let people know you’re back to being solo and loving it.

“Back together with my Day 1 (me) & we’re happier than ever.”

Just wait for the praise-hands emoji comments to roll in.

“We (are) on a break!”

Obvs, we had to throw a Ross/Rachel tribute in there for those of you who are, in fact, on a break.

“Who wants to help me come up with a fire Tinder bio?”

This is funny but it also shows you’re actively moving on.

“Back to doin’ what I do best: me.”

A little spicy.

“Hot take: There is no greater joy in life than sleeping sprawled out starfish-style in the middle of your bed.”

Have you ever tried doing this? It’s truly one of the greatest spoils of being single.

“singlin’ & minglin'”

You’re not just single and “ready” to mingle, let everyone know you’re out there actively mingling.

“Being a ‘relationship person’ never really quite felt on brand, anyway.”

This is a pretty cheeky way to announce that you’re really embracing and loving the single life.

“Single until I find a human I love more than chicken fingers.”

This will likely be never and I totally get that.

“Still not sure why I’d want a [BF/GF] when no human could ever be as loyal (or gorgeous or smart or cool) as my dog.”

True.

“Imagine waking up in the morning and getting to do WHATEVER YOU WANT without taking ANYONE ELSE into consideration… That’s pretty much every day of my life now, so I’d just like to publicly congratulate myself on that here.”

Ah, nothing like a good, old-fashioned congratulatory post.

OK, now take your pick and show the world just how fine you really are.

 

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

8 Fundamental Ways Being Cheated on Changes You

For the worse … and for the better.

Catching your husband or wife cheating on you changes everything about your relationship. How could it not?

“The psychology of infidelity is actually quite complex, much more than the current moralistic conversation about it where people are ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘flawed’, therefore dismissed as damaged goods attempts to dispel the cliché myth that ‘once a cheater always a cheater.’”

If you want to fix your broken relationship and save your marriage, it is possible. And the path back to a healthy relationship begins with each partner seeking to understand both the cheating spouse’s reasons for having an affair, as well as the ways in which the betrayed husband or wife has been changed forever as a result.

By taking such an approach, couples can reach a place of healing — and even redemption — with insight and wisdom, regardless of whether or not they ultimately stay together.

The ways infidelity changes you depend not only on who you and your spouse were before the affair, but who you are both committed to becoming once it’s out in the open.

No matter what circumstances led to the affair, no one in its wake will be left unscathed. Yes, that goes for the cheating wife or husband, as well.

There are always reasons, not excuses, why men and women cheat.

If you have been betrayed by your spouse, you’re painfully aware of the many ways their infidelity has changed you already.

But if you are the betrayer, you may not have thought through full impact your actions would have on your spouse and your family, let alone the lasting consequences you’ll face throughout your own life.

The effects of infidelity run the gamut from emotional to physical to neurological. The agony of a broken heart and broken trust isn’t only in your head — it lives and breathes in your body, too.

Here are 8 ways catching your husband or wife cheating fundamentally changes you on an emotional, physical, and neurological level.

1. Your self-esteem and self-worth are shattered

You wonder why you weren’t “good enough” and why someone else was “better”.

Because your self-esteem is destroyed, you start looking for things you may have done to cause your cheating wife or husband to stray. Surely, you believe, it must have been something you did or didn’t do.

2. You feel stupid

You start wondering how you didn’t see the affair coming, and how you can ever trust your own instincts again.

3. You lose your ability to trust

The affair is always in the back of your mind. Even if you stay together, your trust isn’t as unencumbered and naturally given as it once was.

4. You’re afraid to love again

The prospect of either falling in love again with someone else or staying with your spouse is frightening. You never want to give your power to someone again.

Because you’re afraid to let your guard down, the world becomes a less happy and promising place in which to live. Holding onto the notion of love is a challenge because you now associate it with unbearable pain.

5. Your brain takes a beating

Neuroscience has shown that the rejection from infidelity has both short and long-term consequences to brain chemistry.

Since feelings of love activate the release of dopamine in the brain, causing “a pleasurable experience similar to the euphoria associated with the use of cocaine or alcohol”, being cut off by the dagger of infidelity may impact neural pathways in similar ways.

6. You experience physical pain

The emotional experience becomes integrated into the physical experience, and you hurt … everywhere.

7. You can’t stop obsessing

Studies show that women are more prone to rumination than men, constantly replaying all the possible causes, scenarios, and consequences of the affair.

They are also more inclined than men to feel somehow responsible for trouble within romantic relationships in general.

8. Your eyes are opened

Despite how infidelity changes you negatively, it also affords you clarity after the shock and anger are mitigated. You begin to see what you may have ignored, and learn how you make choices in mates.

Research has show that this is likely to lead you to make better choices in future relationships.

According to Craig Morris, research associate at Binghamton University and lead author of the study:

“Our thesis is that the woman who ‘loses’ her mate to another woman will go through a period of post-relationship grief and betrayal, but come out of the experience with higher mating intelligence that allows her to better detect cues in future mates that may indicate low mate value. Hence, in the long-term, she ‘wins … The ‘other woman,’ conversely, is now in a relationship with a partner who has a demonstrated history of deception and, likely, infidelity. Thus, in the long-term, she ‘loses.'”

Ultimately, how your partner’s infidelity changes you is, of course, your decision.

There are plenty of individuals and marriages that heal and become stronger and more vital than they were before.

That’s not to say, obviously, that infidelity is a viable consideration for marital improvement and personal growth, but recognizing the many ways infidelity can change you will help both spouses recover from the painful aftermath of an affair.

And, hopefully, greater awareness upfront will take the consideration of infidelity off the table altogether.