Itchy and Snatchy

I’ve had my fair share of bad dates and am so glad to be happy in a relationship for the moment but there is always a story to tell.

I talked to her a few times and got a general idea of who she was and things she liked so we agreed to go out. I picked her up and she asked me to take her to Target to get a baby shower gift.

Hmmm… odd request but okay. The entire time I’m in Target with her she’s complimenting my looks. Now I know I’m not a bad-looking dude but this girl was making me out to be Tom Cruise or something. The red flags start waving.

We leave and go to dinner. A steak house. We sit and chit-chat. She says she’s starving. So the server comes and takes our order. She orders a burger.

I’m like, hey you can order a steak, get whatever you want.

She says nope I want a burger. Okay. No biggie. I order my steak and we wait.

Conversation was mild and flowing. No real red flags until dinner came. She looks at my steak and says, oh wow I should have ordered a steak that looks so good.

Hmmm… ok I told you that, but whatever. I take a bite and she won’t touch her burger. It just sits there for a few minutes.

Here’s where things get weird. She starts laughing hysterically and points behind me and says look at that guy over there. Naturally I turn around and see nothing. I turn back and she has bare hand grabbed my steak and has it in her mouth taking a large bite out of it. She tosses is back on my plate and licks her fingers. I’m pretty shocked at this point and ready for dinner to be over. You’d think that’s not too crazy.

Oh, it gets worse.

So I’m done with the steak. She proceeds to inhale her burger. She,s a very petite girl so I’m amazed. Then she starts scratching herself. Like she’s itching. She’s scratching between her legs and it’s getting more vigorous.

I ask if she’s okay, and she says she thinks she’s got a yeast infection. She said it pretty loud and if people didn’t turn their heads at the steak part they are now and it gets quiet. She is scratching really hard now. I’m signaling the waiter for the check.

She asks if I can take her to the store for some Vagisil. At this point I’m ready for some candid cameras to come out and tell me I’m Punk’d.

I pay quickly and we get in my car.

I drive back towards her place and she says she’s not ready to go home but needs to stop and get some Vagisil. I pull into a grocery store in front of her apartment and park. She gets out and looks back and asks if I’m coming in too. I say no and will wait in the car. As soon as she walks in I left.

She called me 4 hours later asking where I went. Never talked to her again.

She’s dubbed “crazy steak girl.”

 

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Cherie – Chapter 9 – Misconduct on your Birthday

“You’re hot like coffee, but sweet like chocolate”

The Wednesday before her 27th birthday arrives. The day before I had called my friend Keila, who is great at all things party and presents. I tell her my dilemma in regard to what I could get Cherie for her birthday. She offers some good suggestions.

I head to Starbucks. I get in line and ask the guy behind me what’s a good dollar amount for a gift card. He says go with $20 because Starbucks is expensive coffee. I get the card and then head to my next destination.  I walk into the shops at Liberty Place. I know Cherie likes milk chocolate so I scope out a little something of that variety. The girl working is very nice and guides me to a little box of six different kinds of truffles. Looks perfect and I know Cherie will love it. Cherie isn’t expecting anything so it’ll make it even better when I surprise her. I ask the girl if she can wrap it up and she says she can put some fancy birthday ribbon on it. I pay for it and she puts it in a fancy Godiva gift bag with some nice tissue paper around it. She asks me if I want a little card and I agree. It’s blank, which I like. I always have to put my words in cards, none of that store-bought nonsense.

I move out to the center of the mall and sit at a quiet table. I have about 30 minutes to kill so I can get things set up. I write a little witty prose in the card and put her name on the envelope. I slide the Starbucks gift card under the ribbon. Now I’ve got a great little gift for my lady.

I head over to Misconduct restaurant at 18th and JFK Blvd. I’m early, and my favorite hostess is there. (See: Mary – Unexpected Table for Two) I tell her what I’m up to and she’s down. She says she’ll hold the gift under the hostess stand next to her purse and we’ll use a code phrase when I want her to bring it to the table. She also reserves my favorite table, #12.

Cherie is texting me that she’s leaving Temple University. I know it’s going to be a nightmare for her to get down here and park. Septa has recently gone on strike again, and that always causes a great deal of major problems for the city and it’s commuters. There’ll be heavier traffic, little parking on the streets, and full parking lots. I recently spoke with an UBER driver, assuming they would be killing it during the strike, but he said no. There are so many more cars on the streets because everybody has to drive in to the city, that they aren’t getting enough fares fast enough to break even. So even the alternative taxi services are screwed when Septa strikes.

Lunch is at 12:30 but I know that Cherie won’t make it until after 1:00pm with all of this nonsense going on. I’m sitting at my table, sipping my water, looking at my phone, and chatting with the staff. I have my little surprise gift hidden and I don’t care how long it takes her to get down here, I’m just happy I’m going to see her.

She’s texting me and getting frustrated. She doesn’t want to be late, but I assure her I understand and to just be safe. She finally finds parking and says she’ll be there shortly. The server jokes that she thinks I’ve been stood up, or this is all just a lie so I could come in and chat with her and the hostess.

“You work for tips, right?”

She laughs.

Cherie arrives. She looks lovely. Custom fit black leather jacket over what appears to be a burgundy top that is low-cut in the front. As she approaches the table, I stand. Her skirt is short and grey. She is wearing black leather ankle boots. That combination showcases her shapely legs. We hug, but avoid the PDA. (Public Display of Affection) She apologizes for being late and compliments me on my patience as always. I really don’t mind waiting for her. I know she comes from a great distance most of the time. Septa has screwed up the city, and finding parking in center city is brutal. It’s not that she’s recklessly late every time. There are just extenuating circumstances that she’s constantly up against to see me.

So baby gets a pass.

She orders some crazy Cowboy Burger that I’ve never ordered and I get my usual Chicken tenders and a little bowl of mac and cheese to share.

Lunch is lovely, and the conversation and laughter are lively. The staff is on point, and the food is great as always. We get the check, and I give them my card. When the server brings it back for me to sign, I give them the code phrase. “Can you tell me when tea time is?” I didn’t come up with this line, the hostess did. She comes over and places the Godiva bag down on the table. Cherie seems really surprised.

“Happy Birthday, Cher. I know you said you didn’t want anything but me for your birthday, but I had to get you a little something.”

“What’s this? You’re so sweet!” She exclaims.  She’s looking at the candy and Starbucks card, but then goes for the little card with her name on it. Opening it quickly she reads it, and starts smiling. It reads:

“Cherie, You’re hot like coffee, but sweet like chocolate” Love, Me XO”

“Thank you so much. You didn’t have to do this.” She’s holding the little card. “I like this…”

We leave the restaurant. We’ve been there for about two hours. Her car is parked all the way down at 20th and Bainbridge. A little bit of a hike from Misconduct. She made better time than I thought. We get to the Saab and hop in. Her skirt is riding up a little. Her thighs are tantalizing. Some kissing ensues. But like I said, it’s still light out, and people are walking by, some with strollers. Her window is open, so if I’m smooching her, and I see someone with kids or a stroller approaching in the rearview mirror, I start talking about church or some bible reference. Hoping they see that we are just good christians having a heartfelt conversation about God. But once they are past, I’m back at her.

We both realize, this whole making out in the car is an invitation to the C-Blockers. We know where this relationship is heading like a speeding train. It’s inevitable. Then I get an idea. I tell her to drive. We go a few blocks east and I have her hang a left.

“When you see a parking spot anywhere up here just hop in it.” We find one right in front of a restaurant. Perfect.

“Where are we going?”

“You’ll see. Trust me. You’ll like it.”

It’s getting dark now. I take her to the tanning salon. We walk up the stairs, but instead of going in, we throw a left and open a door to the space in the front of the building that’s unlocked and un-rented This is the spot where Achilles and I were going to open our spin bike gym. It should have been open for three months by now, but the owner decided to sell the building. That put everything on hold. Sadly, the space still remains empty. The one whole wall is glass from floor to ceiling. Great view of the night street below. People are bustling by and the street is filled with angry motorists, blowing their horns and gridlocked because of the Septa strike. The space is quiet and if feels safe above the street. I kill the ceiling fans, and throw the switch to turn off the overhead lights. Now the space is dark. There’s a leather love seat by the window. I push it across the hardwood floor to the back corner. There’s no way anyone can see us from the street. I text my co-worker and friend, Trish, (See: Trish – The She Wolf) who is next door working at the salon that I am in the empty space out front. I decide it’s better if I stop over with Cherie, and make an appearance.

We go next door. Trish is happy to see us. I introduce Cherie to Trish, and I can see they are hitting it off. I tell Trish that we don’t want to sit in a bar somewhere, so we’re just going to be next door enjoying the view and chilling. We go back to our leather love seat next door. I lock the door behind us. So no one can see us coming to the salon and no one can see us from the street.

The romance ensues. It’s such a great space. if someone said to me a year ago, that I’d be not only working at this salon, but I’d be next door in the space where I was supposed to open a spin bike gym, making out with a beautiful young woman, I’d think they were nuts. But here we were. It all felt so illicit. I knew we weren’t doing anything wrong. The space is empty, it’s 7pm at night, no one can see us, and my buddy Trish knows we’re there.

I have vowed to try to keep these stories PG-13, but the limits are slowly being pushed into R rated territory. I don’t know how I can continue to write this story about Cherie, without including some sort of 18+ warning. But maybe I can share a few things that were said over the next hour or so. (Or I will at least embellish so you get it.)

Cherie: “I like your new jeans. Have you tested the zipper enough?”

Me: What? Ohhhhh…. Who are you, Monica Lewinski?

Me: “Okay, so the top you’re wearing is just a one piece jumpsuit? Do you have to take the whole thing down to use the restroom?”

Cherie: “No. There are two snaps right here at the bottom, see?” *Snap! *Snap!

Me: “So from the eyebrows down…no hair?”

Cherie: “Oh my God… You’re incredible. That feels amazing!

You get the picture. It was just a little preview for the coming days, so to speak. It was like we had been shopping for a car for the last few dates. We took a couple out for a little test drive that night, and were ready to make a purchase the next time we we’re together. It was simply inevitable. We literally couldn’t take it anymore. The great thing was. She’s not much of a drinker, so after all of our dates, I have never had one drop of alcohol or smoked a cigarette around her. I don’t mind, because when I’m with Cherie, I want for nothing but her and her alone. It feels great.

So after that bit of third base activity, we decide to get out of there. I walk her to her car and kiss her goodnight. I’m only a few blocks from my house so I head home. It feels nice to walk in the cool October night and reflect on our passion. Cherie said she wants me for her birthday and I want to grant her wish. I just need to figure where and how I can make that happen.

Cherie and I have reached critical mass and something has to be done.

 

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Cherie – Chapter 8 – Lion and the Scorpion – Part II

Two weeks ago this story left off with the following cliffhanger:

…But here’s the best part of all of that. She works in a pediatrician’s office as one of her two jobs. She says she loves children. She wants to be a doctor that practices pediatric neurosis when she finishes her education. That’s awesome. So I’m assuming, young woman, loves kids, already has one would probably want another one or two to round out the dinner table. Based on these stories you know that my last 3 relationships all ended for that reason. I’ve already been married. I have a child. I have paid over $120,000 in tax-free money to someone who is not a nice person and hurts those around her. My ex-wife has already burned through her second marriage and has another kid. But I digress.

Oh sure, I could get married and have another kid and live happily ever after. Sure that could happen. But based on my track record, it’s a sucker bet. If I did that and somehow fucked it up again. My child support payments would be coming out of my Social Security checks. No. Just place the gun in my mouth and gently curl your finger so that everything I ever was ends up on the wall behind me.

So I pull the trigger on this lovely, seemingly perfect romance. Because this way I don’t have to say my last 4 relationships ended for the same reason. I can still say 3, because this beautiful flower that has grown between Cherie myself in the last few weeks will be stomped into the earth under the hob nail boot of reality. Doomed from the start. Destroyed before it could ever flourish.

“Do you want more children, Cherie?”

“No. I don’t want anymore children. I told you that on our first date.”

How the fuck could I have missed this incredibly earth shattering piece of information? This is incredible news. Groundbreaking stuff. If she really doesn’t want kids, we could actually sustain a long-term relationship.

Maybe.

She knows my situation. Well, I’ll just play it cool and try to fly level. We’ll see where this goes. I won’t lose my mind and rush into anything. My last girlfriend has been gone for two years. Cherie’s been split from her son’s father for two years as well. Maybe the stars have aligned. She’s really laid back. Getting her education. Working two jobs in her field of endeavor. I’m not going to think about all of this. I’m just going to enjoy our time together. Let the universe unfold as it should.

We decide to get something to eat. She’s come all the way down here. I should at least feed the girl. We walk South on 22nd street. Down to Sansom. We head East and I look through the window at Cavanaugh’s. Too noisy on a Saturday night. We round the corner at 18th and I peek in Wrap Shack. Looks too crowded. Then I get an idea. She once said she liked breakfast for dinner. I know just where to take her.

We hit the Midtown Diner up the street. It’s dead. Which I think is odd, but then I speak to the hostess. She says this is the calm before the storm. They watch all of the people walking South to the bars, and then around 11:30 to 2am they all come back. Then the place gets busy again.

This 24 hour diner has been here a long time. It’s a Philly classic. All of the waitresses are old. They’ve all worked there for many years. That says a lot about a place.  The servers are the kind of old dolls that call everyone “Hon.” The whole dining room is empty. We can pick any booth we want. We take a seat and check out the menus.

“Remember that black lace top I wore on our second date?” Cherie asks.

“How can I forget? I reprimanded you for dressing like that for school.” I respond.

“Well, I had a T-shirt in my car. I wore that top for you. I was all covered with mosquito bites and covered up, but I wanted to show you my body. I changed into the T-shirt before I went to class.”

Wow. I had no idea. I need to pay close attention to this one. She was into me by our second date at El Rey. That little minx. She’s playing footsie with me under the table. She reaches under the table and rubs my leg. I’m trying to concentrate on the menu but it’s useless. This is how she is when she’s sober. I’m sober too. I don’t even think about drinking or smoking when I’m with her. Cherie is the drug I’m on. Just like the song by Roxy Music.

But don’t you know, this couple comes in shortly after and sits in the booth right next to us. I mean right next to us. I turn my head to the right, and they’re right there! C-Blocked again!

Everything is liquid between us and everybody is doing everything they can to stop us from attacking each other. We actually feel a little angry about this. I just laugh and tell her that humans are for the most part social animals. They can’t help but be near each other. We discuss moving to the back, but decide against it. We’d look rude. It’s not that important. We’ll have plenty of time together. The game is afoot and I love it.

“Cherie. Your birthday’s Thursday. What are you doing for your birthday?”

“Nothing. I have to work. I don’t really care about my birthday.”

“Don’t you want anything?”  I know it’s early in the game, but I’m trying to be nice.

“You know what I want?”

“What?”

“I want you. I want to be with you. You know… in that way.”

Okay…. Okay…. This lady knows what she wants. I’m almost find it a bit intimidating but arousing. Man… This is going to be good. I need to plan something soon.

I’m attracted to Cherie, and think she’s a great girl. I love making her laugh and she also has a great sense of humor. I like when she just looks at me with her dark dreamy eyes. I feel so lucky. At my age, to have a lovely girl like this attracted to me is wonderful. I’m not experiencing the intoxicating rush I felt with my last girlfriend, Annabelle, but I feel safer this time around. (See:Annabelle – Nice To Meet You) Cherie knows who she is and what she wants. She’s already been a parent for six years. She’s grounded and responsible. I’m actually relieved that I’m falling for this woman, and I’m not on an emotional rollercoaster like I was with the highly unstable Annabelle. I’m not wondering what she’ll do next, or what crazy decision she’ll make about her life. That poor impulsive fool.

This feels much better. I’m happy that Cherie’s in my life. I’m not a spiritual person, but this feels like some sort of blessing.

The waitress approaches. “Hey there. It’s been awhile since you two have been in here.”

I’m thinking, it certainly has been awhile, since we’ve never been there together. But her sentiment is sweet. Maybe it’s just me that looks familiar. Or that my daughter has mysteriously become a black woman. We order some food and are chatting. Already deciding that we’d like to meetup on Wednesday for lunch. I know just where I’m going to take her. We’re also planning on seeing each other on Saturday too. This is getting serious. Technically, this is only our fourth date, but we’ve had very long dates. It just flows naturally.

My friend Carly said she may be able to hook me up with a room at the Club Quarters for Saturday. She said that if the hotel isn’t 95% full, they’ll hook me up with a room for $50. Which is incredible. If not, Carly said she can still hook me up with a room for $129, which still isn’t bad. Think about what I’m getting. Spend the night with a beautiful young woman? Totally worth whatever it costs. I could also take her down to the shore house. But that’s a hike, and I have to be back Sunday morning to run that salon. So simply for the sake of geography and time, Club Quarters works for me. I’ve already cleared it with my sister that no one will be at the shore house just in case. I won’t have to get a zip car. We’ll cruise down in the Saab.

I think about how frustrating and confounding my courtship was with Michelle, and also with Annabelle. All the back and forth. Flip flopping with their choices. Not really knowing what they wanted. Cherie is direct and clear on what she likes and what she wants. It just makes for a happier more calm relationship.

We finish eating and those C-Blocking losers next to us have already left, so we have a little personal time before the bill comes. Remember how I used to complain about all those senior citizens I was dating and how the wallets never came out? This is so different from that. Cherie drives an hour to come down here to see me. Pays $25 to put her car in a lot. Doesn’t want anything. The bill is only $17. I’ve been with her for seven hours. $17 is what the whole date cost me.

We walk back to the lot at 23rd and Cherry. Isn’t that cop still sitting in his SUV in the same exact spot? It’s been hours!  What is he on, stake out?  We decide to just leave. She drives down to around 21st and Lombard and finds a quiet spot. People are walking by in Halloween costumes. It’s fun to watch. We’re talking and more kissing ensues. It’s really nice.

It’s getting late, and I know she has to make the hour drive back to Pottstown. It’s really great that she comes to me. She said her personality is that of a pleaser. That’s funny. Me too. I certainly am looking forward to pleasing her at some point.

She drives me back to my place and we say our good nights. I ask her to please text me when she safely arrives home. She says she will. I go upstairs and fix myself a vodka club on the rocks and light a cigarette. It feels good to be home in my chair after a wonderful evening with Cherie. I think about our lunch date coming up on Wednesday. I’ll call the hostess ahead of time and reserve my favorite table. I know Cherie has made it clear what she wants for her birthday, but that’s inevitable. I’m going to give that gift to her a lot. That really seems like a gift for me. Again, I cannot believe my good fortune here.

I feel like I should get her a little something, and give it to her on Wednesday. I’ll think on this. Talk to my female friends. I can’t go with jewelry, it’s too early. Huge mistake. That sets the bar too high if we make it to Christmas. God, then there’s Valentine’s Day after that. I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ve got a few days to plot what I’ll do. Something small and sweet.

My phone pings and she is home safe.

I wish her sweet dreams.

 

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Sun Stories – Colleen – Fudge-O-Rama – Part Three

I couldn’t think of a fudge pun for part 3 of this little trilogy. If any of you reading this can think up a better title for this entry, please let me know and I’ll change the title!

The weekend grinds by. I work Friday night. I had to go see my sister at the shore house on Saturday and settle some estate stuff, which really didn’t feel like a day off. We’re trying to get this gym open and I’ve been working two jobs and this one for the las thirty days straight. My friends and all of the ladies in my life thinks I’ve left the living.

But I’m here. Just building a business in Rittenhouse. We will be successful but I’ve never worked this much physically but I love what we’re doing, so it in no way resembles the crushing feeling of busting your ass for some shitty corporation and having your talent squandered by morons everyday. Here at the salon, we rule. It’s a lovely place to work and I never want to go back to a cubicle agin.

Tuesday rolls around and I stop by the salon early because Achilles wants to talk business and vision. We both voted that our new fitness manager guy should go to Popeye’s chicken and get us lunch.

I really respect what he’s doing for us but I love that Achilles is clear on the pecking order in this company and having him go get us some fried chicken is a brash show of who is who in this business. I didn’t care, I just hate standing in line over there and it’s hard carrying all of those boxes and drinks back down to Walnut street.

It’s a subtle compliment from him to let me know that he and I are the main partners here. It’s Me and Achilles all day long, but we need him to manage, organize and run the gym. But we’re the loyal money partners in this business. I love the clarity and arrogance in that.

Later, we all munch our chicken and it’s good, but I think Popeye’s gives me tummy troubles, but a free lunch is what it is so that eases the pain.

Achilles leaves and I’m on shift doing what I do.

It was a quiet Tuesday and I expected that. But after 6pm we started to get a little rush. Some of my favorites were coming in and I love that. Pretty girls with lovely faces and legs to match. My dear friend Alice even stopped in to tan! (See: Alice – 2012 to Present – The Cute Recruiter)I loved seeing her and the lobby was alive with attractive chatty ladies.

Then during the melee Colleen arrived.

I was sending ladies to stand up units and lay downs left and right but I wanted her to know I saw her.

“Hey Col.”

I could she was carrying a large plastic bag. It was on. The deal was about to be closed. I could feel the juicy chocolate energy flowing through this facility.

Once I cleared the other girls from the room I turned my attention to lovely Colleen.

“Hello, dear. It’s so great to see you!” (she kept her word and came to the salon exactly when she said she would. We respect that here at the salon.)

“Here you go.”

There it is. The real deal. Two pounds of delicious freshly made fudge from The Original Fudge Kitchen in Cape May NJ!

Colleen has kept her word and this babydoll has just earned herself a month of All Access tanning for $35 buck! Well played!

Colleen is so amazing she even through in a bag of salt water taffy absolutely free. ( I love that she sweetened the deal)

She also gave me a little box of fudge as a thank you for brokering this complex tanning/candy deal.

Oh’ the benefits of being King!

Wow. That really captures my existence. Delicious candy. Cigarettes. A Chardonnay on the rocks, a shot of vodka in a Boston Red Sox glass, two pictures of my daughter Lorelei with the Father’s Day card she gave me, some pens, my glasses on a Rock Trivia book. I think I just smiled…

“Don’t refrigerate the fudge okay? Write Achilles a note about that. It’s important.”

At this point I’m so joyful, I’ll do whatever she says.

I write Achilles a note on the computer in the section where I let him know what’s going on in the salon on a daily basis. This is good fudge. Apparently you can freeze it, but you can’t refrigerate it. I don’t know.

I happilly take the pic above of the two pounds of delish and text it to Achilles and wait for a response…”

 

 

I show this to Colleen and she leaps into action….

 

We crack this pic off immediately as to not spoil the fruit of our rich bounty today. Sweet Colleen is instrumental in this communication.

Achilles response?

“Ok”

My response: ” I can’t believe you didn’t even notice my new manicure.”

Ten minute later…

“That’s also very nice, thank you for pointing it out to me.”

 

I’ll see him and the salon and the gym tomorrow and it’ll be business as usual as we continue to all work and build our model. But after working 30 days in a row because it’s what’s needed to be done to run a business there is always space for love, laughter and fudge!

Thank you, Colleen!

XOXO

 

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