Wildwood Daze – Kites – Part 2

So I needed another kite. I knew my mom wouldn’t spring for it. So I used what little allowance I had to get another one.

It had to be this:

The Baby Bat! This was a cool kite. Probably the coolest kite Gayla ever made. Black, with flaming eyes, and the lower edges looked like real bat wings. It too was only a dollar.

I loved my new, cool black kite. The eyes were stickers you had to put on yourself, so the spacing had to be perfect upon application. You didn’t want your bat looking cross eyed or weird. It needed to be cool and menacing.

In hindsight, I think the better name for this kite would have been the Manta Ray, because it better resembles a ray than a bat. Just saying…

Our next idea was to buy more twine. Let’s connect two or more spools of twine and make the tether even longer than 200 feet. Let’s go for 400 feet of string. It became less about the simple whimsy of flying a kite as a restful activity, and more about let’s see what these kites can withstand.

But, this is what boys do. Let’s just see how far we can take an idea before something breaks, or we’re injured. As kids we used to engage in activities that endangered our health and welfare on a daily basis.

It was called the 70’s! Nobody wore seat belts in the car, and nobody wore helmets when they rode their bikes. It was like the wild west back then. Look at jaw breakers candies. Perfect choking hazard for any child. But when you’re young all you ever think of is “I”.  I’ll be fine. I’m Indestructible. I’m Immune. I’m Immortal. You never think anything you do will have any consequences, until you start seeing kids wearing casts on their arms and legs for broken bones.

Good times!

So, I tied the string together, and wound the second spool of 200 feet of string to the first one. Now I had 400 feet of tether. My kite will go higher than ever! My kite is going to go so high, a plane or even a helicopter could crash into it. Now that would be a spectacular day of fun for a couple of boys. Nothing like causing a good old-fashioned air disaster to get the blood up.

We head down to the beach with my new Baby Bat kite and a giant spool of string. The wind is up and blowing north. We follow the path through the bushes to the open beach.

Once there, we let it rip. The string is going out like mad and the kite is rising high into the twilight sky. The sea air is invigorating as I watch as my great ebony vessel rises higher and higher. I decide to place both of my index fingers into the ends of the spool and just let that sucker spin. The cylinder of twine is a blur in my hands as the line goes out like mad. It’s as if I have a fish on the line. (That, or a giant bat!)

The bat is going so high, it’s getting smaller and smaller. Soon it’ll be just an inkblot in the sky. I’ll have flown the highest kite ever!

Now, you have to keep tension on the line so that the kite stays up. If that pressure is off the kite could fall. But the wind is carrying my kite higher than I’ve ever seen a kite go. The spool spins on my fingers.

The line… still going out.

Once it reaches the end, it’ll stop, and the kite will soar even higher. 400 feet is just seconds away! My beautiful brand new kite soars like a bird.

But that didn’t happen.

What I failed to realize was that the string on these spools isn’t tied to the spool. It’s simply wrapped around it by a machine when it’s manufactured.

The final feet of the twine go out, and I’m left standing with what would be equal to an empty role of toilet paper in my hand.

The kite is so high it continues to fly. But it’s so far away and we’re on a beach, so I can’t even see the string as it slips away at high speed. I watch as my brand new  Baby Bat flies away on it’s first, and final mission. My friend is laughing hysterically as we watch the kite fly over the channel as it heads out to sea.

It probably crashed somewhere across the channel in Stone Harbor, five miles away.

So, that was the end of that kite.

I owned a few more Baby Bats that summer. I think it was my favorite kite design. Most were destroyed in sky battles or tangled in electrical lines and lost. I remember my mom saying, “You went through a kite a week that summer!”

Ahh, what a grand time we had as children each summer. Living by the sea, in the sunshine, and getting our exercise. Those experiences build strong, healthy minds and bodies. Better than any video game you could imagine.

One night, there was a land breeze from the west and my friend and I were flying the latest kite. It was a red Sky Raider.

Exciting fun for all ages! Boys, girls, and apparently old guys who smoked pipes! (for only one dollar!)

We were sitting up in the lifeguard chair. Which is the coveted spot to sit on the beach at night. You’re probably 7 feet in the air and it definitely feels like a position of power for a couple of kids.

Ogunquit Beach Lifeguard Chair at Sunrise Ogunquit Maine Photograph by Toby McGuire

I got tired of holding  the string of my kite, so I tied it to the chair. The red kite sailed high over the Atlantic Ocean. Normally you don’t stay long on the beach during the day when there’s a land breeze. It brings all of the green  flies from the bay to the beach. They aren’t like the annoying pests you get in your house in the summertime. These suckers are bigger and ‘bite like horses’, as my dad would say. But by nightfall they’re usually gone.

So my buddy and I are just chilling in the lifeguard chair and chatting. We’re watching the red kite as it flies and dips over the sea. But at some point, the wind died down, and the kite vanished below the waves. At that point we didn’t feel like hauling in all of that wet sandy string, so we just broke the string and let it drift away. I remember before it sank it looked like a big red shark’s dorsal fin before it slipped away.

Another dollar and a half well spent. Taken by Neptune.

I wanted to change up my game. I needed a better kite.

I had heard from one of the other kids that there was a bigger and better kite that was made by Gayla. It looked like the Sky Raider, but it was bigger and had a metal controller you held to maneuver your kite.

Kind of looked like this, but much bigger. It had a six foot wing span. It was called…

The Invader!

Rare 1962 vintage Gayla kite The Invader Kites with box | #1821116875

I had to have it. It cost a whopping six dollars!

I scraped together what little allowance money and change I had to get that kite. It was bigger than any kite on the beach, and it had the cool metal controller included. I scampered over to the store and bought it.

I quickly assembled my great bird and was ready for action. The controller is simply a wire frame shaped like an hourglass that you hold horizontally like an airplane controller. (Don’t get too excited. Think, cheap-ass, coat hanger bent into a metal bow tie.)

Flying Fish Kiting Team: Radcliffe Conversion

You actually needed two spools of twine to operate the kite properly. They were both hooked to the controller and the other ends were attached at two different points on the kite’s brindle. This is so you could steer and maneuver your amazing kite.

I was about to become the Lord of the Skies in Wildwood.

I made sure the string was securely tied to each spool before I hand wound them both back onto each cylinder. I affixed the ends of each cord to the appropriate spots on the kite.

I was ready.

We took my vinyl Phoenix to the beach for it’s maiden voyage to the heavens. The wind was blowing from the south which was perfect. This way, if anything happened it wouldn’t crash in the sea. It would land on the beach north of where we were standing.

I slowly let out the string, and my great winged toy was carried upward. It looked enormous. Some people who were still on the beach at dusk, looked on with pride and amazement at the kid with the amazing kite.

I was so proud as I watched it sail higher and higher. Such an enormous pull on the strings. Huge kite. More wind resistance coupled with great aerial strength and elegance. My beautiful winged beast flying high. It’s glorious six foot wing span, like some great albatross, controlled only by my willing hands. I held the controller and watched as my kite flew higher and higher. We were coming to the end of the string.

This was it.

That moment where the line would become taut and the kite would fly even higher on the tension of the lines. I would proudly steer it along the beach as startled onlookers watched the glory of my passing.

The Sky King.

The Invader!

The anticipation was exhilarating as the end of the spools approached. Within seconds, the strings went taut.

The force was so great it yanked the controller from my tiny hands.

I watched in mute protest as the controller flew from my grasp and bounced down the beach.

My friend and I gave chase. Running as fast as we could in an attempt to catch the bouncing metal frame as it bounded down the beach. It had enough weight to keep the kite aloft, but was light enough to escape from us.

We eventually ran out of energy as the kite flew further and further away.

Another kite had made its escape. It would probably crash like the last on the other side of the channel in Stone Harbor.

My kite…

Snatched from my hands like my fleeting childhood.

 

I’ll always look back on my times at the shore with fond memories. Some of my greatest moments happened on that sandy stage.

 

Here’s a great song that serves as a soundtrack to this story.

 

Here’s one gentleman’s obsession:

http://gaylakitememories.blogspot.com/2012/07/introduction.html

 

Why couldn’t this have happened to us?

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How Do You Know If You’re With The Right Person? Ask Your Partner These 7 Questions

When you get into a relationship with someone, it’s safe to say that you want to make sure you’re not wasting your time. You want to be with someone who understands you, appreciates you, and is someone you can potentially see a future with. But because we aren’t mind readers, it can be hard to determine if your partner is really right for you. Lucky for you, you don’t necessarily need to be clairvoyant to figure this out because there are questions you can ask your partner to see if they’re “The One.”

“On the surface, asking questions sounds like a good idea, however, how you ask is the key,” Richard Horowitz, professional educator and co-founder of Growing Great Relationships, tells us. “Your partner does not want to feel interrogated. Therefore try to ask questions naturally and not all at once and also ask your partner to ask question so that it feels like a mutual conversation.” Through these conversations over you time, you’ll be able to learn about things such as their values, likes, and dislikes, which can play a huge part in whether or not you two may be compatible with each other. But if you’re confused about where to start, here are seven questions you can ask your partner to find out if they’re truly the right person for you.

1. How Would We Handle Worst-Case Scenarios?

Andrew Zaeh 

Sometimes the best questions to ask your partner have to do with the extremes. Christine Scott-Hudson, licensed psychotherapist, marriage therapist, and owner of Create Your Life Studio, tells us that asking your partner about how they would handle things like emotional affairs, illnesses in the family, or even invasive in-laws is a good way to gauge your partner’s views and how they are under pressure. If your partner’s answers show a willingness to work together to figure out a solution, it’s a good indicator that they’ll be a communicative partner throughout the relationship. But if they have hard-and-fast rules about certain things, you can determine if they’re someone who’s right for you. This question is also a good way to determine if your partner is going to be the support system that you need in a relationship or not.

2. Do You See A Future Here?

This question may seem like it would be awkward to ask early on in a relationship, but it can really show you whether your partner can see things progressing. “Many couples notice they have doubts about the progression of their relationship,” Scott-Hudson says. She suggests asking about all the things that may come with the progression of a relationship like what pace they want to move at and when they’d like to meet and involve friends and family members. “These things are best discussed before the couple moves in together or marries in order to prevent misunderstandings and to promote clear and healthy communication.”

3. Do You Want Kids?

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

You may want to become a perpetual dog-parent and never have kids, or you may want to an entire football team as a family. Whatever your preference is, it’s important to discuss it with your partner to see if you two are on the same page. With something like kids, it’s a little harder to compromise on. Scott-Hudson explains that it’s also important to be on the same page about the issue of possible infertility, to determine if you and your partner would be supportive of each other in that case. She also explains that it’s important to take it a step further and ask about how they would want to raise kids, if you both want them. She suggests asking questions like, “In what religion [if any] will we raise our children? Public or private school? Do you expect one parent to be a stay at home parent, and one to work? Or do you expect both parents to work outside of the home? Will they work during high school and college, or be full time students? Is adoption a possibility? Is in vitro a possibility? Is foster parenting a possibility?”

4. How Do You Feel About Your Family?

Andrew Zaeh 

Family can either be a great or a tricky subject for some people. Either way it’s important to learn about your partner’s family and their interactions with them to determine what values your partner grew up with and how they might act in the future. “How they answer will determine their attachment to important people they grew up with and gives you good information about how they will treat you and your possible children in the future,” Dr. Tammy Nelson, sex therapist and sex therapist and consultant for Ashley Madison, tells us. “It doesn’t matter if they are in a positive relationship with both parents, but more importantly, if they have forgiven them for past mistakes.”

5. How Do You Feel About Sex?

Sex shouldn’t just be something you and your partner do, it should also be something that you talk about. “We choose a partner based on physical and sexual attraction,” Nelson says. “If sex is important to you now, it’s definitely going to be important to you later on. Make sure that you both have the same level of interest in sex and you both see it as a priority.” This is also the case if you’re someone who doesn’t want to have sex. Being open and honest about your position on sex and asking your partner to do the same can show you whether or not you two are compatible.

6. How Important Are Politics To You?

Andrew Zaeh 

For many of us, our political ideals are directly aligned with our identities and personal values. Asking your partner about their political affiliations or who they vote for can give you an idea of what they care about and also what they might not be too concerned with. “Strangely enough, we can put up with separate religious or spiritual views and we can handle it if they are terrible slobs as roommates, but studies show that we cannot tolerate a partner who votes on the opposite side of the aisle,” Nelson says. “It might not seem like a big deal now, but if your partner has different values than you, it will matter. Particularly now, at a time when the government is divided so clearly down party lines around things that matter deeply.”

7. How Do You Act After Arguments?

Although it may be hard for your partner to be totally perceptive to how they act after arguments, asking this question can give you an idea of your partner’s behaviors and what they might need from you whenever you have a falling out. Scott-Hudson suggests asking questions like, “Do you like to be left alone? Do you need physical comfort, like a hug or a pat on the arm, when you are upset? Do you need time and space to process your feelings? Do you need me to reassure you that I’m not leaving you, that I’m not going anywhere, or abandoning you?” By asking your partner these questions, you can determine if their behaviors at your relationship’s worst will be something you’ll be able to deal with or not. And if not, you might have to reevaluate whether they’re the one for you.

It might be hard to determine if your partner is your perfect match with a few questions, but these questions are a starting point to bigger discussions that can really show you what’s important to you and your partner and if those values are compatible in the long-run.

 

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The Top of the Stairs

1970 – Philadelphia

I have three sisters. Janice who’s eighteen months older than me, was born in 1961. My sister April, was born in 1966, and Gabrielle born in 1970.

Sometimes when we went to bed and my folks had people over, we’d leave our rooms, and lie at the top of the stairs and listen to our parents downstairs. It was probably just out of curiosity. What are the adults doing downstairs? What are they talking about? Different voices and laughter. The sounds of adults having fun grownup time with their friends and neighbors. Kids don’t like to go to bed. They want to be up and a part of everything. But we could only listen from the top of the stairs.

Sometimes, we’d lie at the top of the stairs in our pajamas listening to my parents when there weren’t any guests over. Maybe we were hoping we’d hear some secret info about what Santa might be bring us this year. But sometimes, more often than not, there was no laughter. Their voices sounded angry with each other. What could they be angry about? We didn’t do anything. We were in bed. We would hear them fight and argue downstairs in the kitchen. I don’t remember what they argued about. It wasn’t so much their words, but the sound of their voices.

If I think back to the sound of our parents voices when we were little, the sound was more important than what they were saying. Children respond more to tone than to meaning. A young mind only has so much capacity for complex emotion. If the voice is soft and gentle, it’s usually followed by a smile and praise. But if the tone is loud and sharp, it’s probably followed by admonishment or punishment.

Like dogs, we learn the difference in those tones very quickly.

When you’re a little kid, and it’s time to go outside, what’s do your parents always say? Go put your shoes on. We’re going. Where are your shoes? We have to go. Because when you’re a kid, you like to run around in your stocking feet. Normally the shoes come off when you got home, because your mom doesn’t want you tracking dirt all over the house.

One morning, my father was getting ready for work. He couldn’t find his shoes. He looked all over and it just didn’t make sense. His closet was always neatly arranged full of ironed shirts, ties, and suits for his job at the bank.

He asked my mother if she’d seen them. Having no idea what had happened, she joined in the search. They finally found his shoes, and several other pairs stashed away behind some boxes in a different closet.

They began to ask us kids if we knew anything about it. Gabrielle was just a newborn so it couldn’t have been her, and Janice and I simply shook our heads.

My middle sister April, who was a very little girl at the time, but always outspoken, took responsibility.

“Why did you hide daddy’s shoes, April? You know he needs them for work.”

“I heard you and daddy fighting last night. I heard what he said to you. I thought if I hid his shoes he wouldn’t leave. You can’t go outside without your shoes.”

Such a simple act, but what an elegant plan for a four-year-old child to conceive in an attempt to keep her family together, and her daddy from leaving.

I’ll never forget that.

 

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7 Things You Need to Know If You’re Dating Someone With Kids

How to Approach Dating a Person Who Has Children from Another Relationship

Dating someone new definitely has its challenges: assessing your compatibility, getting comfortable enough to let your guard down, discovering your differences, and coping with new relationship anxiety. Add a kid or two into the mix, though, and it’s a whole different ball game.

“Dating someone with kids is a package deal,” says NYC-based relationship expert Susan Winter. “Even when your date has limited or partial custody, their children play a significant role in their long-term partner selection process.”

Not only will their kids probably play influence who they allow into their lives, but it’ll probably affect how they function in a relationship, too.

“They have people that physically and emotionally need them in order to survive,” explains Mike Goldstein, founder of EZ Dating Coach. “You will always be priority number two, no matter how hard you fight for the top spot.”

So if you’re in the midst of getting to know someone with children from a previous relationship, here are a few different things to kind in mind before you get too deep.

1. You may not get as much quality time alone as you’d like

If you’re the kind of person who requires a lot of attention from your partner, you’ll need to come to terms with the fact that other people are also vying for their time. Just how much room they have in their calendar for you will depend on how many kids they have, as well as what their ages are.

Chances are you won’t be able to plan date nights as often as you’d like. Keep in mind, however, that this could also be a positive thing.

“If you love your alone time, this will be a huge bonus for you,” says Goldstein. “And if you enjoy planning, this will be a great exercise in coordination to work around each other’s schedules.”

2. Keeping it casual probably isn’t an option

Point blank, a single parent is more likely to be looking for something serious when dating around.

“Dating involves the possibility of integrating a person into the family system,” explains Winter. “This is done with caution, over time, and with much consideration.”

This is why you should be sure to clarify your intentions early on before you meet their kids.

“It’s important that their kids not be exposed to many people coming in and out of their parent’s life,” adds Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples’ therapist in Los Angeles.

On the plus side, as those dating with kids tend not to take the situation lightly, you can rest easy knowing that they’ll be in it for the long haul.

“You get the almost automatic benefit of knowing that the person you are dating is into you because time is precious in their lives, and they will likely not want to spend it with you unless they think there is something meaningful there,” adds Brown.

3. You probably won’t meet the kids right away

Don’t be alarmed if your partner isn’t ready to introduce you to their children right away. After all, they will likely want to make sure the relationship feels stable and you’re both on the same page about the future.

“Parents are naturally protective of their kids and need to screen who they are dating before introducing them to their children,” explains Brown. That’s why he says to make sure you “avoid the tendency to try and push for a premature commitment on their part.”

“You will likely need to take things somewhat slower.” adds Brown.

Rather than pressuring them to let you meet the kids, focus on doing whatever you can to build trust. By doing that, you’ll help them feel ready to take that step.

4. Be prepared for plans to change on a dime

Kids add a certain element of unpredictability to life, so at some point, your partner may need to bail on date night at the last minute.

“Anything can happen that will alter your plans unexpectedly,” explains Winter. “Health issues, school or behavioral problems can eliminate that romantic holiday you booked months ago. That’s why you have to have a flexible disposition to date someone with kids.”

Try not to take it personally when they need to take a rain check. It’s not that they don’t value their plans with you … it’s just that their kids come first.

5. Being spontaneous won’t be easy

And speaking of plans, the best way to handle dating someone with kids is to choose specific dates and times to meet up. As much as you may want to whisk them away for a weekend, that probably isn’t realistic. After all, they may need to make special arrangements in order to spend time with you.

“The two of you may not be able to act as spontaneously as you might like,” says Brown. “That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a night out or a weekend away. It simply means that you will have to take the logistics of child-care into consideration.”

6. The way to their heart might be through their kids

When you start connecting with your partner’s children, don’t be surprised if you see a smile whenever you’re around the little ones. Basically, that twinkle says they’re falling, as for most parents, seeing someone bond and build trust with their kids only strengthens their decision to be with you.

“Your [partner] may very well appreciate it if you take a genuine interest in their children,” says Brown. “This will likely earn you bonus points as their children are very central to their lives.”

On the contrary, Winter notes that if you don’t get along with your partner’s children, that could create some friction that jeopardizes your relationship. While you don’t need to win them over right away, you’ll eventually need to be able to coexist peacefully.

7. Don’t expect constant contact

With technology at our fingertips, we’re used to getting immediate replies to texts, social media messages and so on. But when you date someone with kids, you’ll need to adjust your expectations for response times a bit.

“When you’re a parent, your time isn’t always your own,” notes Brown.

There may be times when your partner is tied up caring for a kid who isn’t feeling well, or helping them with their homework. That means it’s important to understand that they won’t always be able to get back to you right away.

Clearly, there are distinctive drawbacks that come with dating a parent, but there are also numerous benefits as well. Goldstein notes that parents often have a certain level of patience and selflessness that can definitely play to your advantage in a romantic relationship. Not only that, but Brown points out that you’ll have the opportunity to see a different side of your partner. Their title as a parent will allow you to learn a lot more about their character and values early on just by observing how they interact with their children.

“There is always the possibility that you may fall in love not only with the person you are dating, but their kids as well,” adds Brown.

Dating someone with kids can be an incredibly unique and rewarding experience — as long as you keep these particular considerations in mind. And remember: A parent has already given their heart to their children. Now, they have to decide if there’s room for you, too.

 

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11 Of The Biggest Deal-Breakers In A Relationship

  • Deal-breakers in relationships are the things that will cause you to call it quits — no matter how long you’ve been together. 
  • Some common deal-breakers include a partner’s stance on having children, a lack of responsibility with money, or a lack of ambition.
  • We asked dating and relationship exerts to name some of the biggest deal-breakers people cite for breaking off a relationship.

When you’re considering the type of partner you want in your life, there are plenty of things that may make your list.

From their sense of humor to their looks to the way that they treat you, everyone has some sort of picture of who they classify as the ideal mate.

But just as there are specific things that we look for the person that we’re dating to have, there are things that we hope to never encounter, too.

Although everyone’s list of deal-breakers may not be exactly the same, there are a few things that many of us can probably agree on. Here are 12 of the biggest deal-breakers — according to experts — to compare your list to.

They won’t address the issues that you present.

couple break up breaking up fight ignore

Shutterstock

Regardless of how long you’ve been with a person, one of the most important things in a relationship is ensuring that both you and your partner are happy. So, if you’ve found yourself in a predicament where your comfort is put in jeopardy and your partner is doing nothing to rectify the issue, psychologist Dara Bushman told Insider that this could definitely be something to drive your relationship to its end.

“When you first started dating, you felt connected and were having a great conversation that was very stimulating and soul-nourishing,” she said. “Over time though, you’ve began feeling a disconnect. The disconnect may not be the concern — it’s the partner’s aloofness, inability, or unwillingness to discuss what the disconnect is.”

“If you’ve approached the topic and your partner becomes guarded or even defensive, this could be a deal-breaker. Communication is foundational.”

They’ve changed their mind about having kids with you.

Another important topic that should be discussed before deciding to go the long haul with a potential mate, is whether or not you see kids in your future together.

But if one of you has second thoughts or is on the totally different side than you are, according to Bushman, that should totally be a deal-breaker.

“Another big deal-breaker is someone changing their stance on having kids with you,” she said. “If you wish to have children while your partner already has children — or even if you’re both childless — and they were initially open to creating a family together, but after some time decide against, this can be crushing. They may seem great on paper and you even convince yourself you can make do without your own children for a bit. After a while, however, you may realize that the lack of flexibility from your partner is more than just about not wanting more children. A real and lasting relationship would find compromise.”

They have a tendency to cancel plans at the last minute.

Few things are worse than making plans with someone and then having them cancel at the last minute. And, if that repeat offender just happens to be the person that you’re in a relationship with, it could very well be the reason why you’re considering ending things with them.

“Having spontaneity in a relationship is good, but if your guy or girl is always canceling at the last minute to do something that ‘just came up,’ that’s a deal-breaker,” matchmaker Bonnie Winston told Insider. “It shows they do not respect your time, your plans and your interests. For example, if the person blows you off without much notice for something like a sports thing with their friends, that’s a deal-breaker.”

You are not on the same page when it comes to finances.

During the initial dating phase, how your partner chooses to spend their money may not be that big of a deal.

As you start to grow in your relationship, however, it could become more of a focal point and if you’re not on the same page, it could cause a lot of friction.

“Not being close to or on the same page concerning spending money is a deal-breaker and many cannot get over the strain of finances,” Winston said. “Additionally some people feel being consistently cheap with everything, bad tipping, or rudeness to waiters is a deal-breaker as it indicates that someone is just not generous in other areas.”

They’re showing a lack of interest.

Although it seems like a simple thing to note as a deal-breaker, many people ignore the signs when there’s a lack of interest from their partner, and according to Winston, it may not always be as simple to spot as you think.

“If one partner makes the other partner feel unattractive, divvys out criticism of the way one dresses, comments on weight, or other things like that, it can come off as if they are not interested,” she told Insider. “Likewise, if one person always talks about themselves and never shows interest in you, your life, your job, your friends, or your family, that can, and probably should be, seen as a deal-breaker.”

You don’t have the same values.

couple selfie

Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images

When you choose your partner, you should consider all aspects of the person, and that includes comparing their values to yours. Do they see eye to eye on values like integrity, ambition, love of family, and other things important to you?

“Attraction and chemistry are great, but what happens when looks fade and the spark wears off?” Rachel DeAlto, a Match.com relationship expert, told Insider. “If your potential partner differs significantly on a core value, the relationship can be doomed.”

When they get upset, they fight dirty.

DeAlto also said that if you’re with someone that talks down to you or treats you poorly when you are having a disagreement, you may want to reconsider the reason behind continuing the relationship.

“Everyone gets angry on occasion, and sometimes we even say terrible things we don’t mean,” she explained. “The deal-breaker arises, however, when people get nasty during every argument — name-calling, gaslighting, and failing to listen are all traits that lead to misery in a relationship.”

It’s important to note that these can also be the signs of a potentially abusive relationship too. Your partner should never make you feel unsafe and if they do, exiting the relationship should be done with care and potentially with help from a professional and your loved ones.

They aren’t over their ex.

texting

Pixabay/stocknap

Although you may be super into someone, if they’re still hung up on someone else, you shouldn’t let that slide.

“You know when someone is still stuck in their past,” DeAlto said. “Their emotions are still high when they talk about them — positive or negative. Often they even admit they aren’t ready, but it’s rationalized away.”

There’s no sense of vision.

couple serious

Getty Images

For many people, lack of ambition or drive in a partner can be a huge turn-off. That doesn’t mean that it’s a deal-breaker for everyone. But according to relationship expert and dating adviser Jeffery L. Miller, it should be.

“Being a very determined and successful person and pairing with someone who is content can be detrimental to any relationship,” he said.

There’s a history of abuse with you or someone else.

couple fighting arguing

Getty Images

Whether physical, mental, emotional, or sexual, if you hear of someone being abused, it may seem like an easy fix to “just leave.”

Unfortunately though, Judy Ho, a psychologist and author of “Stop Self Sabotage,” told Insider that it’s not as easy as it seems, nor is it that simple to notice that it’s happening.

“Physical or sexual abuse are absolute deal-breakers in a relationship and occur more often than one might think,” Ho said.

“What is sometimes tougher to spot is psychological or emotional abuse. Sometimes this occurs alongside physical and/or sexual abuse but sometimes it can occur in isolation.”

She continued: “Emotional abuse can be extremely damaging. Some examples include extreme control, like tracking your whereabouts, demanding that you don’t spend time without them, and telling you that you are no good, worthless, and nothing without them. It can break someone down to the point that they don’t believe they deserve any better and therefore continue to stay in an abusive relationship. If this is happening in your relationship, it should be a deal-breaker.”

There’s a constant denial of a substance abuse problem or refusal to get help.

If you are with someone who is dealing with addiction, it can be tempting to stay with them. And while support from a partner can help people overcome addiction, if it’s taking a toll on you and they aren’t seeking help, it could be time to leave, Ho told Insider.

“There is no shame in suffering from such a disorder, but it can wreak havoc on a relationship — not to mention the person’s life in multiple domains like physical and mental health, work, and other social relationships,” she said. If someone refuses to seek help for their substance abuse, lies about their use, or you notice that the problem is getting worse over time, it’s a deal-breaker.”

 

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Innocence Lost

Early Grade School – Philadelphia, PA

I grew up on a street called Magee Street. It was a picturesque neighborhood of classic 50’s and 60’s lifestyle. All the dads kissed their wives goodbye in the morning and went off to work. All the wives stayed home and got the kids ready for school and then settled into housework and running errands. Most of the kids went to Lawndale school which was a public school and all of the Catholic kids went off to Presentation in nearby Lawncrest.

I remember being in the car with my dad one day and a kid named Mark Simpson was being pulled around in a wagon by his sister Linda. Only thing was, he had a cast on his leg.

“I always see that kid running out in the street all the time.”

“Well he’s not running now.”

“He got hit by a car. That’s why his leg is broken. He better watch out or he’ll get killed one day.”

I listened to my father’s words and watched in silence as Linda pulled her little brother down the street until they vanished from sight.

We lived in a time of basic rules. Say Thank you. Respect your elders. Stay off of other people’s property. Look both ways before you cross the street.

We also lived in a time of no bicycle helmets. No one wore seat belts. (Some cars didn’t even have them.) No sunscreen. No organized sports for everybody. Children ran free to go anywhere unsupervised. Just be home in time for dinner. I played by the railroad tracks. We’d ride our bikes miles from our homes. We had no cell phones. We developed keen senses of direction and distance. Everyday we thought of new ways to have fun by putting ourselves in some sort of isolated danger.

But we were fine. Young people live by the “I” words. They don’t know it, but they do. Immune. Indestructible. Impotent. When you’re young you think you’ll live forever.

Grade School 

I think I was in 4th Grade when I became a Safety.  You wear a little white belt like the kid in the picture above. You also get a nice shiny silver badge to pin on it. (My sharpest memory of being a Safety was when I was doing poorly in school and my father said he should rip that belt off me and beat me with it. Fucking piece of shit thing to say to a child. But he was a rage machine back then.

Your job is to stand on your designated corner and put your arms out and block the little kids from crossing the street until it’s safe. I don’t even know how I became a Safety. Maybe someone just elects you. Maybe they didn’t have enough kids who wanted the job. But each morning and afternoon, you’d go to your assigned corner and protect the little kids.

I remember one time I was holding a soft pretzel in my hand and I put my hands out to stop the little kids. As I was waiting for the traffic to clear one little kid on my right took a bite out of the pretzel in my hand in front of his face. Too cute!

Mark Simpson and I worked the same corners. We weren’t really friends, but he lived up the street from me. I think my sister Janice maybe sometimes hung out with Linda, but I’m not sure. I think Mark may have been a grade behind me. On cold mornings his mother would whip up a few thermoses of hot chocolate for the Safetys. We’d finish up getting all of the kids to school and then all head into an office in the school and sip hot cocoa together. A little warm repose and reward for keeping the little ones safe on their way to and from school.

Fels Junior High

I was in 8th grade. I remember walking down the hallway early one morning. The school was oddly quiet. My friend Jimmy Hunsinger comes around the corner and says the following words:

“Did you hear? Mark Simpson was coming home from chess club, and ran out in the street around a bus and got hit by a car.”

“Oh my God. Is he okay?”

“He’s dead.”

‘What?”

I just stood there frozen. My face, a grimace of mute protest.

You cannot process that kind of information when you’re a 12-year-old boy. Your friends can’t die. Kids don’t die. There must be some kind of mistake. What kind of horrible lie is this?

But it was true. He ran out in the street around a stopped bus, and a car coming by the bus on the left side took him out. Apparently the trauma to his head was so forceful that he was hemorrhaging from his brain and he died on the way to the hospital.

Word quickly spread throughout the school and the neighborhood.

I remember my friend Michael and I went to his funeral service. (Closed casket) Everyone was dressed up in suits and ties and girls were in their Sunday best. This kid named Paul Berger was standing to my left in the pew, and he was playing with the zipper on his jacket because he was obviously bored. I told him to knock it off and be still out of respect to our fallen comrade.

After the service the family came to us and thanked us for coming. I just remember Mark’s sister’s face was almost unrecognizable to me because of how scrunched up it was from crying nonstop. Her face soaked with tears as she hugged us both. We here alive and had been through a few scrapes of our own but nothing compared to this nightmare.

Later we went to the Simpson’s home to pay our respects. This is some grown up shit here. Death puts everything into perspective. Especially when a child dies.

What Michael and I found odd was that nobody really looked broken or sad there. It was like a forced family reunion over grim circumstances. Everybody was eating and drinking. Mrs. Simpson asked us if we wanted to go up to Mark’s room. I had never been in Mark’s room let alone this house before. Like I said, we didn’t really hang out together.

He had a typical young boy’s room. It was neat and clean with all sort of boy memorabilia about the room. It felt weird to be looking at his stuff and touch his things. I picked up a little model car he had made. I thought they should give all of this stuff away to other kids because Mark will never come home again.

But of course I didn’t say anything about it.

As darkness fell over the neighborhood in those days, the clouds soon clear and people go on with their lives. Kids playing and going to school and just normal everyday events happen. Life goes on. The world continues to turn and some of us are not in it anymore. Some day that day will come for me and everyone I know. But we all hope it comes in old age and asleep in our beds when death comes to scatter our days. Not as a child.

I suppose the biggest ironies of this story are: My dad’s black prophecy about Mark getting hit and killed by a car. Him being a Safety and protecting other little kids from getting hit my cars, and then darting out into the street and taken by that very thing.

 

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Eliana – Part 1 – Third Time’s the Charm

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

I met Eliana on Tinder. She is a very cute Filipino girl. Pretty, early thirties, fine boned with lovely slender legs. But she is very busty. That is rare for women of Asian origin. But if you ask her she will say she is Pacific Rim, not Asian.

We chatted for a bit on Tinder and then we decided to meet. She is a chef, so she works a lot of odd hours. We tried to figure it out between our schedules, but it was a struggle. She seemed nice and ready to date. I liked her.

She met her husband when he was in the military. He clipped her young and married her. He is of Austrian origin. Western European. He probably wanted her because she was sexy, exotic and young. She has a son who works as a flight attendant (probably gay) and a daughter who works in pharmaceuticals. I’ve seen pictures and her son is a nice looking boy and her daughter is smoking hot. Filipino and Austrian makes very good-looking girls.

They made those kids right away so it must have meant that the sex was fire. She cracked them off a year apart. They were married for a while. Her son lives with her out in Westchester. Her daughter is in college in California. She said her ex-husband is an asshole that eventually became verbally abusive. Eliana seems very sweet so I figure it’s his personality flaw not hers. Normally that is the case. Probably a military narcissist and she eventually became not good enough for him. They lived in Florida back then. The daughter is the little princess in dad’s eyes and can do no wrong. Eliana describes her as the spoiled brat. Dad probably loves her because she looks more like his side of the family. The son doesn’t like his father and says he’s an asshole just like mom. I figure military dad doesn’t like his son because he think’s a gay kid couldn’t have come from him and it’s mom’s fault. (Just speculating)

We scheduled a date to meet for lunch in the city. She has a brilliant car. it’s a Chevy Volt. Mad technology. But she’s afraid to drive into the city. She doesn’t know the city well and she says she’s not good at parallel parking. Typical Asian chick. (Sorry) We made a date and then I bailed because I had a cold. I was sniffing and sneezing and mostly coughing all of October 2016. She didn’t like that but I stayed in touch with her because she seemed nice. She was patient and forgiving, and understood.

We were supposed to meet up again. It was a Thursday. My partner Achilles at the salon got sick and asked if I would run the salon from 10am to 8pm. That’s a long day but I don’t mind it. It’s a fun job and I get to chat with the ladies and write this blog. So I had to bail again.

I could tell she was perturbed and my credibility was slipping. She had been in a shitty marriage, then she dated a guy for a few years and he was crap too. Apparently he was verbally abusive too. Her son is very protective of his mother. He always advises her on these losers. But he told her she needed to get out there and date again. I haven’t met him but I like this kid.

His mom is hot and she needs to meet a nice man.

So finally I make another date with her. Some time had passed and I didn’t know if she would be still interested. But she was and I begged her to meet me again in Philly again. She told me her son had told her to take the train. He knows she’s not good with navigating center city and the whole parking thing. That’s a challenge for anybody I know coming into the city. Finding a spot is hell and the parking authority is a vicious bunch of robbers. I swear they must be paid some sort of commission for ticketing cars because I have never met a more motivated team of employees that will run down every expired car in the city to write them a ticket. Who would want to do that job? “How was your day, honey?” “Good. I hurt every person I touched.”

She agreed to meet me and I told her to come to Racheal’s my favorite breakfast spot. It was afternoon but they make deadly sandwiches and I figured it would be quiet spot we could chat. The owner and staff know me so it would be a safe haven.

She parks in a lot and arrives on time. I wasn’t even there. Apparently she can get down here in 30 minutes. Good to know. Normally I am at the spot waiting for the girl but she is there wondering where I am. I’m sure she is already apprehensive because I ditched two times before.

I scamper from my apartment and head through Rittenhouse Square. I get there and she is there waiting for me. She is wearing a long coat, but she is wearing a light dress. We meet and she is sweet and beautiful. She looks like her pics, which are very close to the stock photo I have posted here.

She says since she is from the Philippines and lived in Florida so she owns a lot of light clothing. I ask her if she’s cold and she says no. Her ample bosom is very visible and I assume she is sending me a message. Her breasts are beautiful and she is really showing them off. Her dress is low-cut and they are very visible, which is distracting but lovely. I’m a leg man but they are tantalizing.

She is wearing boots but I can see that her legs are well turned and nice. She looks good. She seems really comfortable with her body and her sexuality. That could work.

I ask her if she wants anything to eat and she says no. I suggest we walk in the park. Rittenhouse is beautiful this time of year. The crews are busy putting up all of the Christmas lights and the tree. We walk through the park and chat. We get to know each other. I like her. There is something about her that gives me a sexual charge. Most women I meet don’t do that for me. But this one has a certain something. I can’t tell what it is. It’s not that I can’t tell, I just don’t know why I want her that way. She just exudes a certain sexuality. Maybe that’s what pulled her husband in. I totally get why he fell for her, because she has that thing.

She is distant a little bit. She talks and is social but keeps her physical distance from me. I find that confounding but I like it. It makes me want to reach for her more. We walk the park and get to know each other. She thinks I’m not that into her but I am. She says things like,  “You want to run away from me but I don’t.”

Sounds like rejection and esteem issues. Dismantle it before it’s begun. (Red Flag)

I think this is a sweet woman who has been hurt by a few losers and is gun-shy. Being around her I get a good vibe. I think she is very sexual. I have dated a lot on this odyssey and many of the women I have met give off a zero sexuality vibe. That’s probably why they are alone. Eliana has just chosen to lock herself away to protect her heart for a while. I may have the key to that lock.

Like any good sword fight in the park there is always a good thrust and parry, as my father would say, and I can feel there’s chemistry.

It’s windy and cold. The leaves dance around our feet in Rittenhouse Square.  My island girl doesn’t like the cold but says she is always warm. But the December day is taking her. I pull her close and kiss her. She pecks me back. I know she wants more but she’s guarded. That’s okay. I’m a very patient man.

We head back to Rachael’s. They must think I’m a gigalo. But I love that place and they are good at keeping my secrets. It’s warm in there and we sit at a table in the back.  We look at the menu and decide to get some food. They won’t come to the table, you have to go to the counter. She wants the ham sandwich, I go with the roast beef. She asks what the difference is between imported ham and domestic ham. The chef says the imported ham is more expensive but he doesn’t know where it’s imported from. I find this annoying but at the same time I want to know the answer. I vow to find out what the difference is. I know domestic is round and imported is rectangle but that’s all. It’s really funny. No one in my life has ever asked that question. But someone should have.

While I was ordering she was rubbing my back. It was distracting but I know this babe is electric and likes me.

We eat our sandwiches and they are terrific. Normally Rachael’s is my Saturday breakfast go to but these sandwiches are slamming. She is happy and grateful. I like her and she turns me on. It took awhile but we finally met. Many of the women I have met on the dating scene are incredible bores but she’s fun and sexy.

I walk her to her car and we sit in the vehicle for a moment to warm up. We kiss. I kiss her again. I can tell she is holding back to protect her heart. But I kissed her more and she became a little more passionate.

Eliana is a great lady. She is a hard-working self-made woman I respect. I want to see her again.

 

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Marigold – Good German Stock

I’ve known her since she was 21 and now she’s a mom!

I met Marigold when she was only 21 years old. That was back in 97 when she worked for me as a teller in my bank branch at 10th and Snyder Aves. in South Philly. They would sometimes send her to another branch to help out, so I didn’t see her all of the time. She always seemed smarter and sharper than her peers. I really liked her. (Tall blonde. Good legs.)

We would sometimes go to lunch and it was always nice to spend time with her outside of the bank. Marigold eventually left retail banking for a better job. I remember she always dated high-end wealthy or affluent men. She wasn’t a gold digger or anything like that, just knew how to date a better class of men than most girls her age.

We kept in touch and would occasionally meet up for lunch or drinks to catch up. At one point I was living in New Jersey and she was living in the Fairmount area for Philly. I was married back then. Years later I was working in Philadelphia, and she had moved to New York. So that kept us apart except for the random visit. I later moved to New York for work and she was then living in Newark, NJ with her boyfriend of several years. That was just a few train stops beyond where I was living at the time. So we got to hang out every once in a while.

I remember attending her bachelorette party. I was the only guy invited. Just me surrounded by a bunch of women. It was awesome! She and her fiance married at city hall but then had a big reception down in the Bowery of NYC. I took my then girlfriend Jackie, who was a second generation girl from Haiti. She was a lawyer on Wall Street. She wanted to get married and have children so badly, I think she scared me off. Lorelei was enough kid for one lifetime for me.

I eventually moved back to Philly and took a job at a local digital publication. I didn’t see Marigold as much as I would have liked to, but we always managed to get together at least once or twice a year. Then she moved out to Lexington, Kentucky. Her husband is a professor at the University of Kentucky, so out they went. he’s a great guy. Everybody loves Don.  Men and women alike. He’s so cool that he’s never minded me hanging out with his wife. Cassandra works as a financial broker, so technically she can work anywhere. I have known Marigold twenty years now, and I’m sure hasn’t been a fan of living out in the midwest. She’s a city cat like me and probably misses living in a metropolis. I would bet that at some point they’ll come back.

She has a little son who is now six years old and two daughters that are about two and a half. They are fraternal twins. They all have white blonde hair and look like the perfect little Aryan family. They’re all really cute. I think the son could have used a bit more discipline to keep his behavior in check, but he’s not my child. I know for a while about a year ago, cassandra was losing her shit having three little kids to take care of everyday. That was real challenge for her. I think it aged her.

I was down at our shore house a few years ago to see my father and she visited with her son. She wanted to meet my father that I always spoke of fondly to her. She wanted to see his train collection and also wanted her son to see it. It’s pretty spectacular. I’m glad she finally got to meet my dad. Her life with her father had always been a challenge. I believe he was bi polar and struggled with alcohol. I remember even in her twenties she was taking care of him. Writing out his checks to pay his bills, etc. that must have been a lot for a young girl to bear. I may have fucked up some things in my life, but I was always capable of taking care of my daughter. Girls need strong dads. I may not be the strongest father, but I was consistent with Lorelei. I also wasn’t a crazy asshole like her mother, so that’s part of the reason Lor has decided to live with me.

I am writing this because I am about to go see her and her daughter tonight. She’s visiting Philly for a couple of days to see everybody, and this must be my night.  I will finish this piece upon my return.

I got to their hotel at 5pm. They are staying at the Courtyard at Marriott. It’s a nice hotel right near City Hall. Originally that building was built in 1926 as a government annex to City Hall for over 60 years. In 1990 it was acquired and renovated by Marriott. The marble floors and three chandeliers in the main lobby are all original. It is the largest Courtyard Marriott in the world.

Just thought I’d give you a little Philly history there.

I go up to her room, and her little daughter is on the carpet playing with her maryjane shoes. She’s so cute and social. I know it’s been a stressful drive up from DC today for Marigold. They were down there visiting with Don’s family for the holidays. Marigold is happy that she only has the one child to look after for the next couple of days. She is relieved that her husband and his family will get to spend time with her son and other daughter. Three little kids are a handful, but getting a break and only having to look after one is much needed on her part.

I hand Marigold a skinny joint. She’s delighted. She hardly ever smokes weed so she says she only needs a tiny bit to get lit. She excuses herself and heads to the bathroom to toke up. I’m just chilling on the couch sipping a glass of wine. I tell her to run the fan in the bathroom to draw out the smoke. I hear the fan go on followed by coughing.

Moments later, Marigold reappears, smiling. “Thanks, I needed that. Do my eyes look stoned?”

I assure her she looks fine. We get her little one in the stroller and head downstairs in the elevator. I’ve decided to take them to Zavino at 13th and Sansom. It’s a small place but we’re in a nice little booth in the back. I had called ahead to hold a table and they were very accommodating. They take the stroller and hang it in the back.

We settle into our seats and order some wine. I know they all love pizza and that’s why I brought them here. It’s really good brick oven pie here. They have this location and a bigger one out in University City. Their happy hour is pretty solid. We got two pies (they’re small) eight bucks a piece and the wine was only five bucks a glass. For a nice place like this in midtown village, that’s a good deal.

We had a nice dinner without incident. Her daughter was well-behaved. The food was great and the service on point. I was happy to see Marigold and share this moment of repose with her. When we finished, she insisted on paying the bill. I left the tip. I walked her back to the hotel and we called it a night. It was a great two hours to catch up with my old friend. She said she couldn’t wait to snuggle up with her little one, smoke a little more grass and fall into the arms of Morpheus.

I love Marigold like a sister.

 

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Alice – 2012 to Present – The Cute Recruiter – What Now?

I got a text from Alice the other day. “Did you hear what happened?” That doesn’t sound good. “Keila resigned. Please don’t say anything.”

 

I got a text from Alice the other day. “Did you hear what happened?” That doesn’t sound good. “Keila resigned. Please don’t say anything.”

I call her. She’s clearly upset. She says that Keila calmly walked into the office and said she was giving her two-week notice. Alice was stunned, but probably not entirely surprised. They have been working together for about two years now running this start-up. I never felt that Keila was the right candidate for the job. I like her and think she has a lovely heart, but it just never felt like a match for her skill set. But Alice felt strongly about bringing her on board and making a go of it.

They did well considering it was just the two of them, and the occasional intern. Alice always seemed under a great deal of pressure from the investors. She’s incredibly driven to have this business succeed. But I think she saw this coming. Keila wanted a raise, equity and then took a vacation during a financial crisis. That’s not what your partner does after you’ve given her the greatest job she’s ever had.  Maybe Keila thinks that the company is going to fail and wants to get out now before Alice has to let her go.

I don’t personally believe that. Alice will fight tooth and nail to keep her company afloat. I suppose the only upside to all of this is the biggest expense many companies face is staffing. With Keila gone, Alice will save a ton in payroll. This is such a shame, but Alice will prevail.

She actually took the high road and is having a farewell party for Keila. I’ll be attending that event with Church this week, so we’ll see how it plays out. (See: Church – 2012 to Present – Brand Ambassador)

On a lighter note, Alice called me the other day and asked if I’d be a reference for her to get a cat. “You need a reference to get a cat now?” was my response. Apparently you do. I told her I’d be happy to give her a good reference. Great thing is, Alice is so nice I won’t have to lie.

The lady from the shelter called me today, and I gave her the lowdown on the ruthless CEO I know from the IT recruitment firm. I told her about how long I’ve know Alice, and what she has done for me personally and professionally. I described her as a well-mannered, church going, grandpa loving, nephew adoring, all around super lady. There was no way that I could fake any of that, because it’s all true. Alice is truly one of the best people I know. She is a hard-working dedicated businesswoman, but she always makes time in her life for family and friends.

Keila gave her a glowing review as well. Now if Alice’s new landlord just gives the green light, she’ll have her cat. I hear he’s a big fat orange guy. May even have a little Maine Coon in him. If she gets this cat (and I believe she will) he’ll be in the hands of a loving companion.

I spoke with her today and she says she texted her new landlord and he replied “I said I’d let you know when they contacted me.” What an asshole. I’m sure it’ll work out for the best. She also said she was moving into her new apartment here in the city and her parents were helping her move. She also complained that she had terrible cramps and that 2016 was definitely not her year. (Love her mettle!)

I’ve been hearing that term more and more lately. “This is going to be your year.” I think that gives people a false sense of hope for success. I have found that there are high and low points in every life. Having suffered from anxiety and depression most of my life I know that it’s best to fly in the middle. We all have good years and bad years. A bad year would be one of grinding poverty and not being able to keep a roof over your head. A good year would be, “Netflix had decided to pick up Phicklephilly as a TV series with a three-year option.” (Not happening yet)  Every year has its ups and downs. I’ve learned to just enjoy the day you’re in right now. There will be ups and downs, but it all shakes out in the end.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 8am EST.

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