An Evening With James – Part 2

Yesterday I began the two-part saga of hanging out with my friend James. Thanks for tuning in for the conclusion!

The Lyft arrives and it’s a five-star driver with a pleasant personality and a clean car. I’m safe and on my way to see James. Based on my calculations I’m less than 15 minutes away from his house. But for some reason I guess I was traveling during a surge period and this ride is costing me $17! What the heck?

But I let it go because it was my mistake that got me here and I’m happy I’m safe and in an air-conditioned, clean vehicle to my friend’s doorstep. I chat with the driver and he points out all of the hot spots in town on our way there. Noted. I’ll pass these recommendations onto James when I see him. He’s single now and should get out in the real world to hunt and not so much on these dating apps.

He drops me off and I knock on James’s front door. After a few minutes, I hear a window opening above my head. I look up and James is sticking his head out the window. “Didn’t you get my text? The door’s open. I’m just out of the shower.”

I go in and head for the kitchen. He has a jar full of those peanut butter-filled pretzels on the counter and I munch on a few of them. Nothing’s changed since I was here last. Several pieces of furniture are gone, but he’s set up a turntable and some speakers next to the 50 plus liquor bottles in the corner of the room. He wants to install a bar of some type to put his collection into but he’s just been too busy. But it’s been a productive busy. Lots of interesting dates and the obligations of running his talent agency.

I think about the last time I was here. Lethal cocktails, beers, burgers, and dogs. I loved it all but at my age, none of the above loves me back anymore. I was under the weather for 2 days after that last time. That won’t happen again, right?

James comes down and starts making cocktails. I’m petting one of his exotic cats. I like the grey and black one that resembles a tiger. James thinks that cat is an a$$hole but I like him because he’s so handsome.

James gives me one of his famous Manhattans. It packs a punch but is delicious. Are you supposed to use 100 proof rye whiskey in that drink? Probably not, but  I can’t say no to a freshly made quality cocktail that’s made with authentic ingredients right down to the brandied berry on the toothpick. Plus… they’re free. Free always tastes better than paid for. James makes really good cocktails and never scrimps on the quality.

So I tell him about the last few weeks of non-stop commercial writing assignments, my encounters with Lin, and my harrowing trip to get here today. Then it’s his turn.

His life now that he’s single sounds like my life when I started this blog back in 2016. Non-stop dates, events, and oceans of alcohol.

He’s hungry, so he whips up some tasty little frozen chicken nuggets. James is the king of hot sauce and dipping and he brings out the plate of snacks. He’s telling me about all of his dates in detail, (which I love because I’m now living vicariously through my young apprentice) and we munch on the chicken while sipping our potent beverages. (I even ripped off a few little bits and fed them to his cat which he enjoyed!) James told me that could give the cat diarrhea later but I figured a few little scraps wouldn’t hurt him. Cats have far more robust and septic digestive systems than humans or even dogs.

The next couple of cocktails I consumed were whiskey and coffee liqueur based and they were delicious. But I was already buzzing from my first Manhattan.  Did I know that these venomous drinks were a recipe for a hangover tomorrow? Of course, I did. But did it at any time cross my mind during this social visit with my friend? No, it did not.

So, it turns out I was right about his motives for the evening. It was number 2. Strip club. Okay, James. Whatever you want buddy. You’ve never been there and you should at least see what it’s all about.

We’ve been chatting for a few hours and through several cocktails and I’m fine with it. It was probably around 10:30 or 11:00 by the time he called the Lyft to take us to Delilah’s.

Delilah’s describes itself on their website as “a landmark in Philadelphia for over a quarter-century. Over that time Delilah’s has established itself as the premier entertainment destination for business travelers, celebrities, and uninhibited Philadelphians alike.”

That sounds great, but that’s never what any of these kinds of places are like. Even using the phrase, “gentlemen’s club” is abhorrent. You can hang whatever title you want on any of these joints and they are all just strip joints, plain and simple. It can be big, and fancy with tall stripper poles and lots of fancy lights, stages, and music, but it’s all the same stuff.

A den of iniquity full of sleazy, sweaty losers who are looking to escape reality. A place where these losers can flash some money and get the attention of a few desperate, damaged women in skimpy outfits. The last time I was here, was for my friend Duncan after his divorce. I don’t go to places like this because I never need to. I can meet real women in the real world. Places like this are gross and so are the men who frequent them.

I used to know a guy that was addicted to these scum holes. He has no personality or game of any kind and has blown thousands of dollars at places like this. He’s always been a sleazy loser and this is the only way he can ever get the attention of fit young women. He has to pay for it. Pathetic.

The women who work there are usually all mentally damaged in some form. What girl chooses to end up in a vocation where she has to parade around in her underwear for a living and be nice to a bunch of gross losers while they stuff dollar bills in her bra or thong? No little girl ever dreams of being a stripper when she grows up. She’s been damaged by someone along the way. It’s so sad.

We arrive and go inside. We’re both in good spirits due to the amount of distilled spirits flowing through our veins and just being together. James pays our cover which was $10 each. We have to go through a vigorous security process similar to getting on a plane. Maybe worse. Patted down by burly security guards, put your keys, wallet, and phone in a tray while you pass through a metal detector to enter the club. I whipped out my vaccination card but nobody cared. As long as I wasn’t packing any weapons they didn’t care if we were patient zero and carriers of covid and ebola!

We walk up to the first bar as you enter the main area. The last time I was here I prefer to sit in the back because it’s quiet and a bit more remote. But James has never been here before and he’s dazzled by the energy of the place and all the female pulchritude.

Within 30 seconds two attractive blondes in skimpy outfits were upon us.

Have you ever walked onto the property of a used car lot? What’s the first thing that happens? Right… you are immediately accosted by some sleazy used car salesman who descends upon you like a desperate starving vulture.

That’s what it felt like. These girls are looking to maximize their earnings each night and we are simply ATMs. They charm us with their wiles to figure out our emotional PIN, and their job is to separate us from our cash.

These two hapless souls were all over us from the minute we got to the bar. We barely had time to order a couple of Stella Artois. James picked up on the vibe immediately, and we got our beers and headed to the back away from these cute piranhas.

We take our seats at the end of one of the bars and enjoy the show. The women that work at Delilah’s are better looking than the gals that work at some of the other clubs in town. This is the premier place, right? But as I said, it’s all the same trip in every one of these places across the nation.

James seems to be getting into the spirit of things though, so I’m happy he’s having a good time. He’s never been here so being newly single again, he’s glad he can go where he pleases and do what he wants and doesn’t have to answer to anyone anymore. He doesn’t have to get permission from his girlfriend to go live the life he wants.

I tell him since I wasn’t entirely sure we were coming here tonight I didn’t prepare. (I never prepare because I never go to places like this.) When you go to a strip club you should always bring plenty of cash because it’s king in these joints. Cash for lap dances in the private rooms and lots of singles for stuffing in G-strings.

So against my better judgment, I head over to the ATM. Now, when I used to go to the Gold Club down in center city with Johnny R before I cut that alcoholic loser off, I knew to never use their mac machine. Here’s why… Strip clubs know they have a captive audience full of drunk, horny losers. They exploit every inch of that real estate. Crappy drinks are overpriced, the girls are money-hungry jackals, and the fee to use the mac machine is usually jacked up. They know you don’t want to leave to get more money. You want that lap dance from that hottie who’s been teasing you for the last hour with promises of love and maybe other things in the back room.

The Gold Club is a place where sexual stuff can happen. I’ve witnessed Johnny R get all kinds of favors from the girls there in the back room. It’s a low-class place and the staff isn’t as pretty as at Delilah’s so they’re more apt to give a few favors for the right price.

The ATM fee at the Gold club is around $6. Which is twice to three times what you’d pay at an average ATM anywhere else in the city. But dudes pay it and probably don’t even notice they’re getting hit with the fee. Being drunk and horny clouds their vision. But, here I am at Delilah’s, the “classy” joint in town and I’m about to take money from their ATM. I figure, what the heck. I’m only going to write all about this later and it’ll be more informative to my readers if they know the real deal.

So I go to the mac machine and put my debit card in. I choose to take out $80. I get my four twenties and receipt and head back to the bar to see James.

I pull out the receipt from the machine and show it to him. He doesn’t notice it at first, but see if you can.

Yea… a horror show. A $16 fee just to get your money out of that thing! That’s highway robbery!

I’m a cheapskate anyway when I go to these kinds of hellholes, so seeing this I knew I would NOT be spending much money in this dump. I wouldn’t anyway, but wow. Just wow. It made me wish that I was the owner of that ATM. What a cash cow!

James laughs in surprise and whips out a neatly wrapped stack of $100 in one-dollar bills he has to have gotten from his local bank of account. I laughed at his planning. Well done, James! You came prepared. You’re a regular boy scout!

I gave him 2 twenties and he reluctantly counted out $40 in one-dollar bills to me in exchange.

He’s been chatting with probably the prettiest, fit dancer in the place and tells me he’s going off to get a lap dance. Good for him. He needs to experience this place to its fullest. But I think he’s in for a rude awakening. We all know what happens and NEVER happens in the champagne room at Delilah’s.

While he’s gone two really cute Hispanic girls approach me. They’re both adorable and alluring. I haven’t seen them in here all night, nor have I seen either one of them dances on stage. They both proceed to cut right to the chase. “Give us $300 and you can come in one of the back rooms and have s*x with us. (Gotta watch the words I use here. Google Adsense flags anything sexy on my sight now. If I want to earn ad revenue on here, I gotta keep it clean) I graciously decline their offer, as tempting as these two lovely sirens are.

James returns 15 minutes later, and I ask him how was his “lapper” with the brunette.

“Sucked. She sort of writhed and hovered over me, and there was no touching.”

“Welcome to an upscale gentleman’s club, James. You can get tossed for touching in this place.”

I can tell James is disappointed with what we’ve experienced thus far. We throw back a few beers and the good news is, neither of us was drunk. I tell him that even though I had to let my friend Johnny R go because of his multiple addictions and failure, the guy was right. He never wanted to come to Delilah’s. He always preferred the Gold Club in the center city because he liked its authenticity. It doesn’t pretend to be a classy joint like this place does. It knows it’s a sleazy strip club and it does it well. The girls are average and very friendly, the day shift is a little scary, but at least they’re truthful with what they provide and what they are.

By the end of the night, we were approaching the 2 am witching hour and last call. James was determined to spend some money apparently and stay in the spirit of things. He was crumbling up bills and tossing them onto the stage. At one point he went to the edge of the stage and just laid out money along the edge. It was all one-dollar bills but he seemed to be enjoying himself despite the grinding disappointment of this place and their ilk.

He encouraged me to do the same so I placed 2 bills on the edge of the stage. God, I hate these places but I love James, so who cares. We had a fun night out. I took a LYFT home and he was within walking distance of his house so he headed home.

When I get home, I notice my clothes smelled of cigarette and cigar smoke and I reek of cheap perfume. Hopefully, a hot shower will wash the stench from me, but sadly the women that work there can’t wash off that kind of a shame.

And the best part? I got a colorful story out of it, and when I checked my wallet the next morning  I still had most of my money! I had $38 in ones and $40 in twenties, so at least I didn’t get fleeced last night!

The only thing is, I didn’t have a migraine the next day, but all those rich cocktails did give me a headache for the rest of the day, and my stomach has been a little shakey for two days.

I’m getting too old for this rich life, but I’m having fun doing it. I think next time we go out, I’ll stick to spiked seltzers, lots of water, and some good food to sop up the booze.

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

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

Lin – A Brief Repose

I went to Southgate bar and grill for opening happy hour, but Lin didn’t show. It would have been awesome if she’d have walked through the door, but no dice.

She probably forgot about it. No big deal.

I was complaining to my friend the other day about how I thought being a paid writer was a bit sexier than it is in reality. I pictured myself being like Hank Moody in the series, Californication. Just that cool guy, who hangs out, drinks, smokes, and parties his way around town. Bedding multiple, attractive ladies along the way.

But that’s fiction. Being a real writer who earns a living doing it is a solitary existence that takes patience and diligence daily. You can’t write 2500 words about ‘the tax advantages of solar power’ or  ‘Lead Routing for Today’s Salesforce’ if you’re hungover or messed up on drugs.

You have little free time because you’re stuck behind your keyboard for hours on end researching and writing about a bunch of stuff you know little about. But it pays the bills and keeps a roof over your head while you’re waiting for your next novel to become a bestseller.

There’s nothing glamourous about it and it’s a lonely existence. But I like writing and learning about new things. I also love the dopamine drop when you finally finish a long piece knowing you’ll be paid handsomely for it. But more likely than not several assignments are waiting urgently right behind the one you just finished that need to be done. You have deadlines that must be met. This kind of writing isn’t sleeping late, heading over to Cavanaugh’s for lunch and then writing your dating blog for the rest of the afternoon while you sip poorly made manhattans.

This is work and it’s a grind. But that’s what most jobs are. They’re not fun. That’s why they give you money to do them. These companies don’t have the talent on hand to write all of this stuff for their internal communications, websites, and their blogs. So they job it out to freelancers like me to get the job done quickly.

When I said at the top of this piece that I was complaining… I wasn’t complaining. I like having a job where I get to write all day. A year ago, I could be where I was working in some B-rate sports bar, dealing with a$$holes, drug addicts, mentally unstable whackos, alcoholics, illegal aliens, felons, and sex offenders. And that’s just the people I worked with!  (Sadly, I’m not exaggerating)

So, it’s just not as sexy as I thought it was like in the movies. But nothing is. Do you think being a cop is cool and fun? That’s a dangerous and sometimes boring job. It’s feast or famine most days.

I was simply lamenting with someone of like mind who shares this same vocation. She has so much more experience than I do when it comes to this sort of work. (She was the editor for a news agency in Philly for years, so she knows her stuff) I respect her and like her as a person and I’m so fortunate to have her in my life. She’s opened not only a new profession where I can use my talent and earn a living but a whole new chapter in the book that’s my life. So I may complain but I’m still enjoying it!

So, I was coming back from my daily trip to my go-to breakfast nook, Rachael’s in Rittenhouse. They know what I like and make me the same thing every day so I don’t have to even order when I go in. I say hello, grab a seat and they bring me my breakfast. During this long period of non-stop writing assignments it’s been a happy little break I get each morning to get some fresh air, see some people, eat a delicious meal, and then back home to work.

I was still ruminating about how my life as a paid writer was nothing like Hank Moody’s but I just thought about the money.

But I walked on the west side of 19th street today because there was some construction going on on the other side. I was walking by Metropolitan Bakery and I hear a familiar voice.

“Hello, Charles.”

Sitting there outside at one of the little tables sipping her coffee was lovely, Lin!

It’s as if the gods had heard me complaining about my boring writer’s life and decided to throw me a bone to cheer me up. They wanted to show me that I can still have a little joy in the daily grind of cranking out article after article.

She gestures to the seat across from her, “Sit.”

I happily sit down and the dopamine is flowing through me. This is great! It’s just what I needed today. Two days ago I was so frustrated with a client’s demands that I wanted to pack it in. (Not really) And now, I was chatting with my neighbor. It was a tiny miracle. Just incredible luck and timing. The lift I need in my day to carry on.

“Your hair looks different. You look great.”

“Yea I got it trimmed and they frosted it.”

“Well, it looks nice.”

We chatted a bit and she stated that her schedule is usually pretty crazy. I asked her what she was doing after coffee, and she said she was going to walk up to the bookstore (Shakespeare & Co.) on Walnut Street. But then she had to go home and go to bed.

“To bed?”

“Yea, I’m working from 6 pm to 6 am for the next few days. It’s brutal.”

And here I was crying about writing industrial articles for money from 9 am to 9 pm every day from the comfort of my air-conditioned house. I told her I wished I could walk up there with her and stroll around the bookstore and look at literature, but I had to get home and write. (People like other people that are busy. Remember what I always say on this blog: “We always want that which retreats from us.”)

However, there were a few flags. Not red, but flags. She recently met me. I’ve only seen her twice. But a few things are going on here. In the last photo on her Instagram, she has her natural hair color. Black. When I met her it was sort of blonde. That’s new. A week or so later at this encounter her hair is cut in a shorter style and frosted.

Not a big deal I suppose, but she mentions that she’s getting her first tattoo and raised her arm to show me where.

She also mentions to me that she recently met up with her ex. Not “a month ago guy up in Fairmount”, but “4-year guy” who cheated on her and they split up. That’s never good. I asked her if she thinks he was trying to get back with her, and she said yes. So, he cheated because he was bored or tired of her, and now that hasn’t worked out for him and he wants his girlfriend back. This is all just pride and young person nonsense. Why did she agree to meet with him? She’s young, she was hurt when he cheated. She dumped him, and now she regrets it. She’s not happy with herself. Rudderless for the moment. The different hair. Blonde of all things. Now a tattoo. Chatting with the ex.

The flags are turning red.

She goes on to tell me she recently bounced her rent check. She’s only lived next door for a little over a month. She said the landlord charged her $20 for the bounced check fee and an additional $100 fine for the infraction. That seemed harsh. Incidentally, we both share the same landlord. I’ve never had a problem in the 11 years I’ve lived here.

This girl is a registered nurse! She’s got to be making good money working all of these hours she says she’s working. Maybe she’s just being reckless with her money. Maybe spending too much on stuff to stuff her empty heart filled with nothing but regret and sadness? Who knows.

She also mentioned that she recently acquired some mushrooms. So now she’s smoking weed and using psychedelics? Does anybody want to know that their nurse is a casual user? I don’t know if they can even do that. Don’t they get regularly tested? This girl is all over the place. Even in the short time I’ve known her, this seems like an overshare and a lot for me to download.

Red flags are now waving at me in the wind.

We chatted a little more and I pulled out my phone and typed in her name into the directory. Then I handed it to her. She put her digits into my phone and that was it.

I told her I was sorry we couldn’t hang out at the bookstore but we definitely should at some point. She agreed and kept saying, “text me. Yea, just text me. Our schedules are crazy. I’ll be around. Text me”.

So that’s a good sign. Now I have her number. I probably won’t text her for a week, because I have to focus on finishing these articles. I don’t want to get distracted by an attractive young lady. I have to get these done. But by Wednesday of next week, I’ll probably send her my contact info and send her a friendly little text to say hello.

Will I hear back from her? Maybe. I don’t know what her life or schedule is like. I may never hear from her. What if she gave me the wrong number? Nah, that would just be rude. I can’t think like that. But I’m going to text her once I’m done with all of these assignments.

I said goodbye to her and she went one way and I went the other. But I returned home energized and refreshed knowing that I had gotten to see my neighbor again and got her number. It was the better move and felt easy.

So I’ll hit her up next week.

As I said at the end of the last post about Lin, we’ll have to see what happens. But I’m already getting a vibe from this chick that she’s a bit confused and doesn’t know what she’s doing.

She may not make it to the “hang-out with Chaz” stage.

 

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

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

Lin – Hello Neighbor

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” – Michael Corleone (The Godfather III)

I attempted to write this a week ago, but something else came out. But I think I’m ready to focus on the story at hand. As I said in that other post,(There’s Clarity In The Truth) this could be nothing, but at least I finally have a new story for this blog. I’ve been writing about my youth non-stop for the last year! Those posts have done well and kept Phicklephilly afloat regarding content. But, to be true to the why I created this blog back in 2016, it’s my responsibility to report on things that happen in my life now.

I came out of my house the other day. I was probably headed down to Walgreens to pick up some stuff for the house. I haven’t gotten out much in the last year due to covid, but things are opening up now. I’m fully vaxxed and ready to safely mingle with the populous.

I went through the front doors of my building and there sitting on the steps of the building next door with her little dog, was one of my new neighbors.

She was a cute Asian girl with frosted hair and was obviously in her 20s. I stopped to say hello and pet her less-than-friendly animal companion. I noticed she was reading a book about chess master, Bobby Fischer.

I introduced myself and told her that was a great book. I asked her if she had been inspired by The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. She said that she had not and was just interested in chess.

We engaged in some general small talk; apartment life, Philly, relationships, where we’ve lived, how long, and how things had been through covid. There’s plenty to discuss with people now more than ever. We’ve all just come through a global health crisis and have that in common.

She stated that she had recently ended a four-year relationship because her significant other cheated on her. That’s rough. A deal-breaker for many. She had dated a guy she met on one of the dating apps for about a month, but that too had petered out. The coincidence of that last foray for her in dating is that the new guy lived on the same block as she did when she lived up in Fairmount.

She had said when they dated she was over his house nearly every day. But once she moved down here to Rittenhouse, he was done with her. Weird right? But it sounds to me as with all of these dating apps and the sheer availability of people on them with zero game, it’s easy to hook up with new people all the time. He either met somebody hotter or was too lazy to make the effort now that she’d moved across the city. I’m positive it’s one of them.

Maybe both.

She had told me a story where she was hanging in the park and some guy started to chat with her. His move was to open with a few words about her dog and maybe he had one of his own. I’ve seen this MO before and wonder why no one has invented an app where you could rent a cute dog for the day just to pick up chicks!

But this guy asked for her number and she relinquished it to him. Funny thing was, she later saw him at Vetri Pizza and he was working there. He also was wearing a wedding ring. So this clown is a player and a cheater. She found that abhorrent.

She asked me what I did and I gave her a short history. Musician and artist turned banker for 20 years and Ad exec for 10. I told her how I grew tired of being stuck in a cubicle all day and started to work in places where I could be around different people. Just work a job and go home every day. The last couple managing restaurants here in center city. I wasn’t particularly good at any of that and restaurant work just isn’t for me. I just don’t have the head for that business. It’s a grinding and vulgar industry and I want nothing to do with it ever again. It seems it attracts the worst people and that’s just not a match for my life.

She said that she worked as a nurse at Jefferson Hospital. I thought that was cool and that she was a bright girl. She even mentioned how she was interested in architecture and how she’d like to learn more about that.

Somehow books and writing came up, (probably all me!) and I told her I was currently doing commercial freelance writing for several different companies. I handed her my business card and told her to enter my name into the search bar on Amazon. She did this and of course, all of my books appeared. I loved it when she held her phone up to me and I saw the cover of Angel with a Broken Wing.

“You wrote this?”

“Yea, that and a few others.”

Lin said she loved books and literature and thought that was pretty cool. She even blew my mind when she said, “You’re like the most interesting person I’ve met in this city.”

That’s when the dopamine dropped in my brain and I felt all of my fatal charms returning to me after being in quarantine for over a year. That part of me that I’m so good at, but haven’t used in so long. I thought my powers were gone, but apparently, that’s not the case.

I loved the surge of meeting a new attractive lady. But this wasn’t some nice gal from Tinder. This was my neighbor. I had to tread carefully. We chatted for a while and it was really nice. Lin is someone I’d like to hang out with. She loves books, so maybe a visit to the Philadelphia Library or some small book stores around town. Or, maybe some conversation over a coffee or a cocktail. I would love that. Just the rush of hanging with someone new and interesting and of course, easy on the eyes.

She now had my business card and I purposely didn’t ask her for her number. Too soon. Too much. She’s right next door. No need to rush. She’s not going anywhere.

But since that initial meeting, I had thought about her and how I’d like to hang out with her. She just seemed nice and it would be fun to hang with a new person.

I told her that Southgate, the Korean BBQ bar and grill was opening up their inside bar on Friday and I was going to go there. She was free to join me there for a drink if she wanted but I just threw it out there. She may forget when the day comes or not bother coming, but as I said before. I have no expectations.

I’m just sliding down destiny’s rainbow, like always.

We had chatted for over forty minutes and she had to go in. I still had to get something to eat and pick up some stuff at the store, so we said goodbye.

Of course, I looked for her on social media and found her. Everything seemed happy and normal enough and there were no red flags. I figured at some point we’d cross paths and chat again.

Then I got buried in commercial writing assignments. They hit like a freight train. When it rains, it pours, and be careful what you wish for. I had wanted to be a freelance writer for a while figuring if I could just make some money doing it, it would support me, the blog, and my freedom to compose books. Just like the poet Robert Graves once said; “I raise dogs to feed my cats.” What he meant was, do what you have to to survive, so you can do the things you like.

Anyway, so here we are into the new year and this is my first new Phicklephilly story about meeting a new person. I’d like to get to know Lin and spend some time with her. As I said before, this could all be nothing, but if nothing else, she could be a nice person to hang out with and grab the occasional refreshing beverage.

I have no expectations.

But, we’ll see what happens.

 

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

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

There’s Clarity in the Truth

It’s been a helluva year coming through another year of covid. We were all quarantined for months and had little freedom. Some couples grew closer, and some broke apart. A guy I used to work with told me back on March 14, 2020, that he had just broken up with his girlfriend because she was an alcoholic. Months later I saw on Instagram that they had gotten engaged! I have another friend who had been in a relationship for 7 years and wanted to break up with his girlfriend for a while, but then covid hit. Keeping them together for another year. He dumped her a month or so ago and has finally been freed from an unhappy union.

I’ve been helping him with all of his dating app profiles and even hopped back on Tinder myself for a minute. I’m glad he’s getting back out there after 7 years because he’s obviously been unhappy for some time, and now he can live the life he wants. He’s been going out on some interesting dates in the last few weeks and it looks like he’s well on his way to getting back in the game. He’s only 34 years old and has plenty of time to figure out what he wants in his life going forward.

On the other hand, I deleted the Tinder app from my phone after 2 weeks because it just doesn’t seem like something I want to be bothered with anymore. At my age and experience, it feels like all that dating app nonsense is just filled with a bunch of leftovers and losers.

I’m not saying everyone on there is a loser, but it just seems silly for someone of my age and level of the game should waste time swiping on a bunch of old ladies wishing they could recapture what they lost in their collective divorces. The profile all read the same to me. I’ve covered this subject extensively in previous posts, so I’m not going to go into it here.

I’ve decided that at 59 years old I’d rather just be alone and live my life here in Rittenhouse and not be responsible for anyone else’s happiness anymore. I don’t answer to anyone, and come and go as I please. I don’t think it’s fair to anyone that I get their hopes up and for them to think that they could maybe have a future with me. I’m just over it.

That could change, but for me being in a relationship is exhausting. If you’ve read this blog and my books you’ll know I’m a spectacular date, but a lousy boyfriend and an even worse husband. I just like being single and living my life on my schedule and pace. I’ve been in several relationships and fallen in love a bunch of times, and there’s nothing like that feeling when the dopamine drops and I fall in love. (or the idea of love and not the actual person) As I said, it’s not fair to any woman to have to deal with me.

This may all seem surprising coming from the guy who used to write a dating and relationship blog every day, but it’s how I feel now. My life has had so many interesting chapters and decades. But I’m not in my 30s or 40s anymore. I’m not even in my 50s anymore! Turning 59 in August might as well be turning 60. Who cares at this point.

But I’m not dead and the old horse can still get up and run and pull the plow if needed!

I’ve talked to several of my friends and they all think I’ve maybe got one more bullet in the chamber to take a shot at love again. But I don’t think so. Especially after the last year. I’ve become accustomed to being on my own, and just writing my blog and working on my books.

I decided that if I meet someone and it’s random, or we connect in some organic way out in the world, then maybe. But beyond that, I could care less.

My whole life I’ve been driven by my libido and desire. It’s a tiring lifestyle. I don’t regret anything and I’ve had a great time. I’ve done so many things and I now know what’s important in my life. My health, my family and friends, creating stories, and whatever I have to look forward to in the future. I feel good and I just did a nice 5-mile walk today around the city and it felt glorious. Just to feel the sunshine on my face and know that it’s “all systems go.” I just finished a 3-week gruelling binge of writing commercial articles for several businesses. The money’s great and I’m still learning so much about writing and generating good content. It puts food on the table and fills each day with a sense of accomplishment and gives me purpose.

I couldn’t be happier.

I think what happens to people is, they reach maturity or some form of it in their twenties. They get a good job, get married, and crack off a couple of kids. It’s traditional and falls in line with what they know and what their parents did, and what society reflects upon them.

But that’s never been for me. I’ve done all of that and all the stuff, money, and responsibilities that come with that just didn’t suit me. I’m happiest when I’m creating something and growing and evolving as a person. I think you have to always be growing and changing. Not changing like you need to become someone different… just getting better. Always build and refine your soul into the best person you can be.

I see so many people get stuck at a certain age and they just stop growing. This became apparent to me when I would run into one of my old crew before covid. So much has changed in the last year, but most of these people remained the same. All they want to do is the same stuff and haven’t seized this opportunity to look inward and learn something new or change their lives.

Covid and isolation during the last year have taught me so much about myself. I guess I kind of figured all of this out in my 40s and 50s but it’s now more clear to me than ever. I’ve watched so many simply circle the drain of their existence that I can no longer have them in my life.

There was a guy that attached himself to me several years ago when I met him in the hospitality industry. The guy is 53 and is an absolute disaster. It’s so sad. I can’t imagine reaching that age and being so clueless about myself and the world around me. I have an acute sense of the ways of the world and a strong sense of identity… now more than ever.

I had tried to cut that guy loose back in 2018, but he kept contacting me and would show up at my job. I didn’t know what to do with him even after it became clear to me that he suffered from mental illness. But once covid struck, it was easy to pull away and let him go forever. It was a relief that I no longer had to deal with his madness anymore.

There was another guy  I was friends with for many years since my days at the Inquirer back in 2012. He was an interesting character that I saw a few times a year because he lives up in Northeast Philly. But I realized over the last 10 years this guy hasn’t changed or improved himself… or his life at all.

I have nothing in common with him, so after years of grinding disappointment, I cut him off. He’s just not a person I want in my life anymore. He’s a loser and will always be a loser. If he was going to become anything other than a drunk, it would have happened by now. So there won’t be any more stories about Johnny R in Phicklephilly anymore. You can search for his stories on here if you want to read about our former adventures, but he’s gone for good.

It became clear to me that I could no longer waste my precious productive time on some of the detritus in my life. The covid pandemic made this clear to me. You find out who your friends are in a crisis. I haven’t needed anyone, but the people that I value have all shone brightly in my world through this pandemic. And for that, I’m very grateful.

But just like always, I’m a bit long-winded when I tell a story. This post was supposed to be about someone I met recently. (Don’t get excited. Nothing’s happening.)

This post started about how I don’t want to date anymore and how things may go for me in the future. It sort of dissolved into what you just read above. But…did it dissolve, or did I just need to get that out of my system when I sat down to write something new?

You know, you’d figure the last thing I’d want to do after generating a couple of dozen articles over the last few weeks for multiple corporations would be to write on my first day off in weeks.

But here I am, tapping away and spreading the word. But I suppose this all needed to be said. I’ll try again after this to write about the person I recently met. It was the old fashion way, which I like.

I’ve not finished dating. I don’t even care if nothing comes out of this. It’s just nice to know that if this lion spots a nice gazelle, then it’s still game on.

 

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

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

Freelance Commercial Writer

Happy New Year!

I’ve been writing this blog since 2016. In the beginning, it started as a hobby. A way for me to have a forum to tell stories about my dating and relationship exploits.

After about a year or so, I added the Dating and Relationship Advice articles to not only help my readers with their dating endeavors but to increase content which in turn, increased page views.

My goal was to at least reach 250k in page views by year 4. We achieved that goal early last year. During that time I added WordPress ads and was finally approved for Google AdSense. They run random ad buys on my site that generates revenue 24/7, 365 days a year.

So, all good. Between that and content links I place for advertisers, and banner ads I run on my site from clients and brands, it pays for the site.

But, when covid hit I found myself unemployed. No worries. Get paid by the government to write good content about my past and write and publish books? Yea, I’ll take that for a year and a half.

I knew that “grant money” would eventually run out and I’d probably have to go back to work in some form. But I had been in contact with a friend who was the former editor at a media site where we both worked several years ago.

She was building websites and writing articles for several businesses and was beginning to feel the stress of getting too many to write. So, she gave me the overflow. I had never written industry stuff in my life, so I was curious to see if I could get it done. But I figured, if I’ve been writing and publishing this blog for the last 5 years and have published 6 books, I’d probably be able to figure it out.

I started to write articles about subjects I knew little about. A solar panel company in Colorado, a stock photo company in Canada, skin and health care articles, lists of activities to do with your kids in Summer, storage facilities, a hot tub company, real estate and some IT stuff.

It was quite a challenge at first because it’s a completely new style and structure of writing I had ever done. But after a while, I picked it up, and off we went. It was at times a grinding experience and I really found out what it meant to be a commercial writer. It’s not sitting in the back of a bar sipping drinks and eating wings and writing about the girl I went on a date with last night. It’s not some cool romantic thriller novel born from my imagination.

It’s a daily 10 to 12 hour a day writing gig, with hard deadlines and many demands from clients. Sometimes I doubted myself but knew that if I stuck with it I could crank out quality content and get paid for it.

And I did.

The money’s good, and I’m going to see how long I can do this before I lose my mind.

Wish me luck!

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

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

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