Another tale of one man’s journey through the dating scene in Philadelphia, searching for true love.
In our last episode we left our hero right here:
“I’ve had a wonderful night with you.” She says, taking my hands in hers. She looks up at me. Her eyes are dark but full of light. I don’t question what is happening. “Thank you so much for your time tonight. I can’t thank you enough. I feel like you fixed me. I have been wearing armor my whole life and when I take it off I always get hurt. I feel like I’m safe when I’m with you.” She lifts her hands slowly and gently touches my cheeks and kisses me gently. Her kisses are soft and sincere.
I’m blown away by her words. Normally the work is being done and the results just come. They never realize until later. But she seems to feel it in the moment. I have not encountered a girl like this before. She’s so mature. I am captivated by her beauty and honesty. Just when you think you can’t feel that magic again, you do. The key, I think is not to look for it. Just let it happen. It is happening. She wants to see me again and is sure about that. But deeds are stronger than words. Young people get distracted. It’s so easy now. I am already prepared for disappointment. I am just happy that tonight happened even if I never see her again. This one is different. But I can’t put my finger on it. I actually like that. The unexpected is so exciting. That is my favorite part of the game.
We sit for a moment at 20th and Market. “I love Philly in the Fall.” she says.
She looks down Market street. Billy Penn has his back to the city at Broad street. “Why is his back to the city?”
“He’s not turning his back on Philly. He’s welcoming the world to come here, Rebecca.”
When I came here 8 years ago I was clueless about the city but now I am a pro at all things Philly.
There is this moment where we are just sitting there. I’ve just had this incredible night with my future second ex-wife. (kidding!) The city is moving all around us. The lights, the cabs, the people, the energy and the night. There is a moment when we are just sitting there silently looking into each others eyes. My God she is exquisite. What curse is this that has been cast upon me? Where I fall in love with this lovely maiden only to be shattered again. I’m not afraid. I love the drug. I hear the hiss of her stockings as she crosses her legs. We kiss again. I am once again 18. It is new and magical. The city vanishes behind her lips.
“Ok. So movies or something?” She says in her hopeful girlish voice. And as corny as this sounds I said: “Yes! A thousand times yes!” Rebecca giggled and said: “I’m going to call and UBER.”
“Already done.” I replied. The black Lincoln pulled up to the curb, and stopped. She looked at me. “What?”
“Safe passage, dear.” I smiled.
She attacked me once again time like a Northern Pike hitting the bait. Her arms suddenly around me. Her breasts pressed against my chest like flowers in a memory book. Those full lips against mine. Her tongue swirling with mine. Me…grateful I had popped a piece of Dentyne Ice Peppermint before we left the bar.
“Take her home. She’s precious cargo. I’ve seen your face, Santos,” I joked to the driver.
Rebecca giggled as she got in the car. Her skirt riding up on her thighs. “I’ll text you when I get home safe! Thank you! Movie date!”
I smile and wave. I’m in love. The sedan pulls away. I turn and make my way back to Rittenhouse to the bat cave. I’m feeling sparkling, crackling euphoria. I get a text. “I feel so special you sending me home in a car.”
“Because you are special.”
I am happy, but I wince slightly knowing I have lived a similar scenario like this once before that ended badly. Well they all end badly. What relationship ends well? It’s super rare. You either get married and have kids or you break up. That’s it. Rarely do people ever find a happy medium. Most of humanity is just predisposed to fall into a couple of buckets of what is right to ensure happiness, and it’s all a lie. These are old laws that were put in place to bring order to the tribes and the colonies. You can’t bang your sister, or your cousin, oh and stay away from your neighbor’s wife or you’ll go to Hell.
That’s the only choices we have as a society. Do they really work? I contemplate this as I walk home, taking a long drag on a glorious cigarette. It feels so good. I’m not going to smoke around this exquisite baby. She’ll never kiss me then. We don’t have many choices here. If you love somebody and it is electric, then you should get married. Live together. get a mortgage. Buy a $1000 dress you’ll wear once. Get piles of gifts and money. Pay $20,000 for a party to make you too guilty to get divorced for at least 5 years. Go on a big expensive vacation. Why? None of it makes any sense. I’ve done it and it’s all just a waste of time. It’s all been created by corporations to make money. The greatest things in life can’t be seen and can only be felt, and are absolutely free. I don’t believe in God, But I swear to God It’s true. Everything else you think you have to do is bullshit. All there is, is your health, your family, (if you choose, unless their assholes, then fuck them) and your own life. All you need is stuff to do, some cool people around you and some stuff to look forward to. But without your health your are totally fucked. So that one erases everything else. Look at that asshole Steve Jobs. That motherfucker was rich as fuck and that cunt never recognized his own daughter. He was super rich and cancer came and took his ass. Almost seems like justice for being a dick, but I digress.
It doesn’t matter what happens after this date with Rebecca. She’s a doll and I like her. I hope to go out with her again. And odds are I will based on this writing. But even if I never see her again, I’ll at least know we shared some great moments. I only have about 20 summers left in me according to Keith Richards. So as Jim Morrison said: “I’m gonna get my kicks before the whole shit house goes up in flames.” Sure the Doors, suck and the Stones rock but you get the point.
I make my way back to Rittenhouse down 20th street. I draw deep on my Parliament 100. It feels good. I’m clear. I walk past the 7 Eleven and Twenty Manning. I get to my door and work the key into the lock. My building is old. 120 years old. But it has character. I like it because it’s like me and it’s where I belong. I’m done. I strip down to my home uniform; T-shirt and shorts. Nothing else. I fix myself a vodka and club soda and flop in my chair. I drop my cell on the table next to me and search Netflix for something short and sweet. 30 Rock works. I take a sip and light another cig. It all tastes good and satisfying because of the nights events. Oh, and that Liz Lemon has fantastic legs.
My phone pings.
“Home safe. Had an amazing night with you. Thank you for everything. Let me know when you’re available to see me again. Looking forward to it! – Rebecca XOXO”
I text her back that I’m home and confirm our amazingness. I tell her I’ll text her tomorrow.
I take a sip from my drink and a drag from my cig. Tonight I welcome the sound of the crickets singing outside my window.
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I know these initial chapters are short and I’m sure the real Michelle reading them will feel the same. But Just know that this is the beginning of me knowing her. There isn’t much data, because not much was happening in the beginning. But just know these stories will expand and be rich in history once I get to know her. Stay with the story. It gets better.
Michelle began work as an account representative in my department. At first it was kind of weird having her there. We were all a bunch of misfits and she was this really pretty woman who seemed perfect. Why would she want to work with a bunch of miscreants like us? But everyone made her feel welcome. Of course I would chat with her because she was a total babe and I couldn’t help it.
Michelle, is basically an easy-going girl. For someone as tall and beautiful as she is, she doesn’t have analoof attitude. She’s very approachable and friendly. I have always described her as, “The nicest, beautiful girl, I’ve ever met.” That statement stands true to this day. Many think beauty equals kindness. That is usually not the case. Physically beautiful people get preferential treatment every day.
Beauty is not subjective. Contrary to popular belief, men and women generally agree on who is and who is not physically attractive, even across other cultures.What makes someone enjoyable to look at? High cheekbones, fuller lips, big eyes, and a thin chin are associated with sexiness in women, whereas a big jaw and broad chin are preferred in men. Smooth skin, shiny hair, and facial symmetry are also key aspects of beauty. According to various studies, these provide measures of health, good genes, intelligence, and success. More often than not, the world rewards beauty. Beautiful people are viewed as healthier.
Facial symmetry, considered the beacon of beauty, can be perceived as good health, even if it is not related to actual health. In an Australian study, researchers morphed photographs of young adults so that their faces were perfectly symmetrical. In general, the symmetric version of each face — both male and female — received higher health ratings than the normal image. Individuals with asymmetric faces were perceived as unhealthy.
It’s easier for beautiful people to find mates. Men seek attractive women as mates because good looks signal youth, health, and reproductive fitness. Beautiful people are more persuasive. Good-looking people can use their sex appeal and good looks to be more persuasive, say in a job interview or when asking for a promotion. Attractive people are more persuasive, in part, because they also possess or develop key personality traits — like intelligence and strong social skills — that make them more effective communicators. Researchers also found that compared to unattractive speakers, attractive speakers were much more fluent talkers.
Beautiful people are perceived as more likeable and trustworthy. Beautiful people are typically treated better by others. In a study from Harvard University, researchers found that wearing makeup, shown to enhance a woman’s attractiveness,boosted people’s perception of the subject’s competence, likability, attractiveness, and trustworthiness.
All of that said, when I met Michelle she was just coming into her own. She was breaking internal barriers, emotionally and physically. She had a hard shell that she wore like a suit of armor every day. Not a hard exterior or an attitude, just a barrier to protect her fragile, developing, inner self. She was a confused twenty-seven year old woman. Just trying to figure it all out like every other girl her age. She liked novelty, but loved adventure, sometimes in the fast lane.
Michelle is kind. Like I said, she is a very nice lady. She is also mostly conservative, but liberal in her beliefs. She always comes across as authentic. She doesn’t like bullshit, or those who spew it. She had a strong dislike for fake people or gossips. She does not have the time nor the tolerance to put up with a lot of nonsense, or “give people a lot of chances.” She’s very civic-minded and volunteered at several foundations.
Michelle does love to laugh, drink and smoke cigarettes. She loves to listen to her music. Michelle is always down to party any day of the week. Who doesn’t love a chick that’s willing to take a few chances?
She had told me she had won a trip for two to Greece through the company. Sadly, she had to come up with the money for the hotel or the airfare or something. So it wasn’t really a prize. I don’t know what it was. I asked her who she was going with and she said her ex-boyfriend. They had been together since they were 15 and broke up when she moved to the city a few years ago. (See: Michelle – Chapter 1) I think she had been with him for so long, (I’m sure he was the first one to punch her V-Card, so there’s that.) When you’re with someone like that when you are so young and you’re together for years, that person sort of becomes like family. They were trying to get back together when I met Michelle. She had dated a few guys since coming to Philly, and even had a relationship with a guy that worked at the company for a while. I’ve met him and he’s dumb as a post. He never treated her well simply because he didn’t know how. He liked acquiring her but he couldn’t relate to her and was never compassionate to her. He just didn’t have it in him. He liked hanging at the club with his boys surrounded by bitches and hos. Are you getting the picture? They were like O.J. and Nicole but without the murder. There you go.
So that was a fail. When you fail you go back to the familiar. Michelle migrated back to Delaware Dave. That’s what I’ll call him. But Dave was in Delaware and didn’t like being around crowds, or going out in the city or anything. Me, on the other hand was there in the office with her everyday. I had been away from Philly for many years and loved going out and exploring the city. Actually, back then I was living in a little apartment in Pennsauken NJ. I would commute in every morning. I had not yet become the Dark Lord of the City of Brotherly Love yet in 2008.
One night our department went out to dinner at the Continental on 18th street. I remember me and the retarded guy making room for Michelle to sit next to our boss because it was so obvious he liked her. The dinner was great and the drinks flowed. Michelle had to go and Herbert was super concerned about Michelle’s safety walking home. A little too much. This guy was weak. He was smart and well-educated but when it came to matters of the heart he couldn’t handle himself properly. It felt awkward. So he’s had a few drinks and we’re walking with him and he says: “Guys, I think I’m falling in love with my employee.” This wouldn’t be the first time for family man Herbert. We found out that he once worked for a competitor and had an affair with one of his employees. It didn’t go well and I saw the long scratch from a key down the side of his white 300 series Mercedes. What an idiot. So he ended up leaving that company and coming here. I wonder how he explained that gouge to his wife. Probably blamed it on vandals.
There were days when I would take a seat next to Michelle by her work station and chat with her. She began to open up to me about some aspects of her life. She suffered from some health problems that many don’t understand. Nothing life threatening but troublesome in regard to quality of daily life. I gathered some info from a specialist and passed it along to her. I would sometimes leave her a granola bar as a breakfast snack some mornings. I also bought her lotion because her hands would get dry in the cold weather. Sometimes in the afternoons we would watch funny videos on her computer. She admitted that when she saw clips of people falling down accidentally or from doing stupid activities it really tickled her. So our work friendship was developing. I was just honored to be around this lovely lady.
This was so much better than scuttling down the hallway after her to the billing department.
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I think this is why I started this blog. I have been wanting to write this story for a very long time, but just have not had the will or energy to write anything. But since I’ve made some changes in my life, the art has returned to me and it’s flourishing. I have two friends that I socialize with. One of them is a brilliant artist who smokes too much weed and drinks too much coffee just to function all of the time. Her name is Trish. She’s not doing anything with her talent. Soon she’ll be 30 and will have smoked her youth away. The other one is always saying he needs to start writing a blog again. My friend Johnny R. His would be brilliant. I even went so far as to tell him that I would pay him $20 in beers if he would just publish four blog posts. But what’s his problem? Complacency and vice. He has been with the same girlfriend for the last 8 years. She’s older than he is, she owns the house they live in, and her family owns the shore house they stay in during the summer. He loves adderal, Budweiser, tobacco, cocaine, gambling and hookers. That’s a lot of vice. The secret to moving forward in life? Forgive everyone. Including yourself. If you have resentment for anything in your life, you have to constantly maintain those thoughts in your head. You only have to forgive ONCE. Let go of the bars that are keeping you in your rusted cage and take a step forward. Just one step. In any direction. Just one step. But these people have it all in their heads and they just never do it. Don’t get me wrong, I like both of these people very much, but it’s just sad they can’t grow as people.
I am determined to move forward and tell these stories. My stories.
I had just returned from New York. I was working at a consulting firm and they laid off a bunch of us because business was slow. I was kind of tired of Manhattan anyway. I took a job selling advertising for a news agency in Philadelphia. It was the Fall of 2007.
It was a big company, but out of all of the women that worked there, only two were absolutely beautiful. One was blonde and one was a brunette. I met the brunette in my department and loved her immediately and would always try to talk to her. She had some loser boyfriend who would play video games every night and ignore her while she sat on the couch and knit. Pretty pathetic, right? I once told her if I she were at my house sitting on the sofa, I’d throw the X Box out the window. Because that chick had to be way more fun than any video game.
But the other beauty was the blonde. Michelle. This chick had hit the genetic lottery. 27 years old. 5’11”. Model pretty. Slamming body, and great legs. As a matter of fact she was a former print and runway model and a National Champion swimmer. Swam with Olympian Amanda Beard. She was much younger than me and everybody wanted her and loved her. The thing about her was that she was very nice. She worked in billing and although I thought she was attractive, I really didn’t ever consider her as a romantic target. She was just too amazing and hot for me to bother.
Or so I thought.
She had moved to Philly a few years before from Delaware. Who wants to live in Delaware? She had broken up with her boyfriend that she had been with since she was 15. I know right? He was a house painter who smoked weed and seemed the type that couldn’t “work for the man.” She grew weary of his immaturity and they broke up.
Michelle was also friends with this little weasel that worked somewhere in our department. I never understood that relationship. He was in love with her like Dudley Moore was in love with Susan Anton. (google it youngsters) Like I said, she worked in billing and was growing tired of it. Michelle was making decent money but thought she could make more in ad sales. Advertising sounds sexy, but it is a grinding 9 to 5 job filled with rejection and despair. So her weasel friend warned her against it. But she went and spoke to my then boss, Herbert. Herbert was married and had a good degree. Married, a few kids, the usual drill. But he had eyes for Michelle as well. But like I said, she was light years out of these clown’s league.
Herbert wanted to bring her onto our little team. Our crew consisted of me, some young guy who seemed semi-retarded and mushy, a plain woman who had most of the accounts and hardly ever came in, and this Jersey Shore type guy who was greek, handsome, fit, tan, and had an I.Q around room temperature. He hardly came in either. He had been assigned some accounts and his stuff just rolled in. On any given day, the retard, the mom, and Jersey Shore would all be there. Retard would be making his calls, Mom would be working on her stuff and then leaving early and Jersey Shore would be playing online blackjack on his computer. You’ve seen his the type, in the club. Like a pack of four or five of them in their striped shirts and red bull cocktails, and pockets full of rohypnol. I’m half kidding. I got a kick out of Jersey Shore guy. I would make fun of him to his face and he liked it.
So Herbert wants to bring her aboard. She’s never sold anything in her life but I know she could do well. Just show up and talk about the product and the guy will probably buy from her just so Michelle comes in his store again. Herbert wants her so he can see her everyday and be close to her. Michelle denies this to this day, but I know people. Hey, if I were Herbert in his domestic existence I would have done the same thing. But at that time I was no one in that company. Just the oldest dude on the team but with the most experience in sales. That was all that was needed.
One day I had an issue with the billing on the very first account I had brought in. It was Trump Casino in Atlantic City. I was so proud of that account. At the time I had no idea that Trump was slow pay. Sometimes, no pay. This may seem ironic at this moment in time, but it was known for years in Jersey that Trump was bad pay. He put hundreds of hard-working solid people out of work because he has a history of not paying his bills. Not kicking our current presidential candidate, but for this forum, the guy is a well-known deadbeat in Atlantic City, I’m shocked more people haven’t come forward in the last couple of months.
So I had to go down to billing and figure it out. But I was new and I didn’t know where it was. So I went to Michelle and asked her. She seemed annoyed that she had to deal with me. Maybe she was just tired. She starts giving me directions and I’m not getting it. The building was huge. Finally she simply gave up and said; “I’ll show you.”
So here goes this gorgeous tall goddess walking down the hall. Her calves like upside down bowling pins, and her high heels clicking against the tile floor. Here’s me, scuttling along behind her in my cheap old suit and cheap shoes with rubber soles. The soles squeak with every step, so it’s like seeing Aphrodite being followed by Sponge Bob Squarepants.
Pathetic. We get to the department and she turns and goes back to her office. I felt like a loser.
But that was all was about to change.
The Michelle story is epic. I will publish a new chapter every other week over the next 7 months.
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Another tale of one man’s journey, as he navigates through the dating scene in Philadelphia, searching for true love.
I work in advertising. A colleague and I normally go out to lunch at some of the local eateries here in center city. We have a list of spots we like and there is one in particular that we really like. There’s this one server that I started to like. We both thought she was great. After awhile we would ask to be seated in her section every time we went there.
Maria was always on point with the service and friendly. She’s a beautiful hispanic girl. Dark brown hair that tumbled to her shoulders like ribbons of bittersweet chocolate. She has light caramel skin and is very fit. She runs most days so she’s in great shape.
When her section would slow down, she would always spend a little extra time with us to chat. We loved the attention from such a sweet girl.
I have many contacts and clients throughout the city. One of which is a tanning salon. Maria said she’d like to check it out and I got her a free pass to go tanning. She gave me her contact info so that I could set it up.
I sometimes get tickets to events through my job. Maria had expressed an interest in going to the Philadelphia Flower Show. So when my co-worker got tickets because they were advertising with us he gave me a pair. I called Maria and asked her if she’d like to go. She accepted!
We met at the convention center and she was on time, which I like. We went in and checked her backpack. We grabbed a couple of glasses of wine and walked around the event. It was really nice to spend time with this girl that I only ever spoke to at her job. Here she was with me and we were getting to know each other. I was happy. During the event I remember she mentioned to me that she had lost her “M” necklace. Not at the event, but somewhere else. I thought about how great it would be to replace that for her. But I was getting ahead of myself.
We looked at some beautiful small orchids that she showed a fondness for. I made mental notes for future romantic gift ideas in case that wonderful idea ever occurred. I also signed up for some sort of green energy thing and they gave me a single little rose in a vial and I gave it to her. (First flower!)
A few weeks went by and I would see her at the restaurant when we would go there. I asked her to another event that I got tickets to through work. Due to scheduling conflicts she was unable to attend.
Some more time went by, and one day we went to the restaurant and one of the other servers told us Maria had been fired. We were shocked because we thought she had been one of their best and long-term employees. We asked why and she said, “For drinking on the job.”
Now I know a lot of bartenders and restaurant employees in this city and the policy in regard to drinking on the job vary. I spoke with one bartender who works at bar up by Temple University and she said, where she works she can do the occasional shot with the clients if they insist. She said she comes out from behind the bar and does it with them. If by chance the booze is clear in color and she is pouring the shots she will make sure hers is water if possible. I spoke with another bartender who works at a nice hotel bar here in center city the same question. He said, “Look, if it’s you guys, (I have known him for several years and the guy I was with is a local liquor rep) I can do the occasional shot to taste something new with you.” But other than that it’s prohibited.
So I decided to get to the bottom of this new development in Maria’s life. I texted her and asked “Are you no longer at the restaurant anymore?” She got back to me rather quickly saying “Yea about that. It’s a joke. I’ll have to tell you the full story then.”
I was interested to find out, but more so to see her outside of the restaurant, one on one! But I also decided to do something else during our meeting. Because fortune favors the bold.
We agreed to meetup the next day at a Starbucks. I got there first and she arrived shortly after. I don’t really drink coffee. I like the smell and taste of it and have drank it in the past, but I just don’t NEED it like most people. If someone said to me,”you can never have coffee again.” I’d be like, “no big deal.” But if the said, “no more wine again ever.” Dude. We’ve got a problem.
Anyway, she arrives and she has this cute tan summer dress on and she looks incredibly hot. So we get our coffees and sit down. She begins to tell me her side of the story. And like any story, there’s her side, the restaurant’s side, and the truth. She said that everybody does it. And they decided to make an example out of her to drive home the message that drinking with the patrons was strictly forbidden. If they would fire a long-term senior employee for the infraction, then anyone could be let go at anytime. Pretty effective message.
Tune in on Wednesday for Part II of this story. What is our hero planning on doing at the coffee shop?
Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am EST.
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This blog is about my life here in Philadelphia, people I meet, and the experiences I’ve had with them. I’m a gentleman, but I’ve been told I’m very fickle. My goal is to bring you the best dating and relationship content I can.
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