New Car – Part 2

1984

I remember when my dad and I went to the dealership to look at the car. At that time they had a few white ones and a couple blue ones. I really liked the white one. I had never seen a car like this before. I loved that it looked like a spaceship and had flip up headlights like a Corvette.

We worked out the financing and my father basically made the deal. I was too busy drooling over the car. I had the VW minibus, and then the Fiesta, but this was a brand new car.

My car.

I remember when they made delivery of the car, I was so excited. I clearly remember this exchange with my dad.

“I love this car! It’s so beautiful! I can’t believe it’s mine!”

“You will when you start making the payments on it.”

My dad being the banker, made the deal on the financing, and didn’t want me married to a car payment for a long period of time. The sooner I could get it paid off, the sooner I’d have equity in the car, and be free of the payments.

But what that caused me was an incredible financial hardship. The payments were around $300 a month and I really wasn’t making much money back then. I was married to that car for years. It sucked. I wished he would have done a 60 month deal, but what did I know back then? Zilch. I just wanted to drive a cool car.

When you’re a young man and you get your first new car it’s like a rite  of passage. It’s like the car becomes an extension of yourself. It becomes part of your identity because you don’t have much of one yet. It’s like someone handing you a box full of cool. It’s your chariot. The stereo booming, while you speed down the road in your machine of metal is a feeling like no other.

I know that many men never get past the importance of owning a cool car. Sadly, there are so many underdeveloped men that feel that they are defined my driving an exotic and/or expensive automobile.

I’ve known men that think that if they drive a high performance car they’re successful or powerful. When in reality, most women don’t care about cars, and they’ve invested their money into a depreciating asset.

The moment you drive your car off the lot it begins to lose value. Why would you want to invest your money in something that’s a money pit? I remember talking to a man with real wealth who told me this: “Don’t look at what kind of car the guy drives… look at his house. Anybody can lease a nice car and live in their mom’s basement.

But at age 23 it was an incredible rush to own a cutting edge, never seen before, cool car. I remember it being described as the “technological flagship” of the Subaru line.

I found these photos in an old album of mine.

There’s my baby right in front of the house in Wildwood, NJ!

Loved that car!

I remember I was working at Circle Liquor in Somer’s Point, NJ. There was a girl named Lori that worked there that I was in love with. I don’t think she held the same feelings for me, but I did go out on a couple of dates with her. Her dad worked at the Showboat Casino, and I think she just worked there until her dad could get her a job at the casino.

I went to pick her up one night, and it was snowing and I cleaned all the snow off my car out front of her house so she could see the car. But she didn’t really care about what I was driving or me for that matter.

She was really pretty, and I just couldn’t get her to fall for me. She ended up going to work at the Showboat, but I stayed in touch with her.

I remember one night I was supposed to meet her for dinner in Somer’s Point. I drove up there and was at the restaurant. She was supposed to meet me there and didn’t show up when she was supposed to. I called my friend Ferd as to what to do. “Order Johnny Walker Black on the rocks and stay cool. She’ll show up.”

I was an anxiety ridden mess as usual back then and my nerves were shattered. I ended up calling her at a payphone and talking to her. I may have spoken to her two times that night while I was waiting. She eventually bailed on our date and I knew I was dead in the water.

I sadly drove home in my iron steed.

I talked to my father about it, and he said the following. “Maybe she doesn’t want a guy who works at a liquor store. A warehouse type. She works at the Showboat now. She probably wants a better class of man.”

Thanks for grinding my self esteem even lower than it already was, dad.

Those kind of statements are what propelled me to get a job in a bank like him. I figured if I had a good job, I would be able to get a quality woman.

Little did I know that that would be the beginning of some of the worst decisions of my life. 20 years in banking. Marrying a girl who came from a nice family for all the wrong reasons. It was the beginning of me losing my true self. But millions of men have made the same choices and been miserable for decades.

I remember describing my future wife to my dad and why I wanted to marry her. His response was, “That sounds like very republican thinking.”

But you’re the one that told me to be more than a warehouse worker, dad!

They’re all equal now, and none of it means anything to me from where I stand in my present life, but these were defining moments.

I loved everything about the car. I just felt so good when I was in it and driving around. I remember when it was new I’d be stopped at a light and people in the car next to me would look at it and say, “What is that?”

It was that cool in the mid eighties. I loved being that guy.

 

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

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8 Things Guys Worry About – But Shouldn’t Tips

Guys aren’t immune to entertaining silly, irrational thoughts on occasion. Unlike women, we’re just generally better at hiding the things that we needlessly worry about.

From the size of our package to our perfectly-adequate incomes, guys regularly stress over things that would probably make women laugh. So, if you’re a guy reading this, start taking notes: Here are eight things that you probably worry about, but shouldn’t.

Finding a Solution to Everything

Generally speaking, guys are known for being problem solvers. We see a problem and we naturally want to fix it. Because why else would you complain if you don’t seek a solution?

Though it sounds logical enough, this practical approach may not be what your girlfriend is looking for when she unleashes her problems on you. Sometimes, she just wants to let her frustrations out—that’s it.

Don’t stress so much about finding a solution anytime she comes to you with a problem. Instead, ask her whether she wants advice or not. If she doesn’t, then you can sit back and not worry about coming up with a solution she clearly doesn’t want to hear.

Showing Emotion

It’s not unmanly to show emotion and talk about your feelings. In fact, showing emotion and being vulnerable may be more important for men than it is for women.

Studies have shown that guys who regularly suppress their emotions and don’t seek out help when they need it may turn to harmful coping strategies instead, such as substance abuse and risk-taking behaviors. In a 2008 study published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, men were more likely to crave alcohol when they experienced negative emotions compared to women.

So, go ahead: Let it all out. If anyone calls you a sissy for crying or admitting that you’re depressed, feel free to show them the door.

Having Perfect Skin All the Time

Some guys are lucky enough to never experience adult acne, while others just aren’t so fortunate. If your face is breaking out all of a sudden, it’s truly not the end of the world.

If you’re seriously stressing over the pimple in your nose, then you might just be making the problem worse. In a 2017 study published in Acta Dermato-Venereologica, researchers found a strong association between stress levels and the severity of acne in subjects with mild to moderate acne.

Bottom line? Try to relax! Get some exercise, practice meditation and listen to soothing music. It will do both you and your skin some good.

And Having the Perfect Body

We won’t lie to you: Many women do enjoy rippling abs and bulging biceps on a guy. However, women might be more attracted to your body flaws than you might think.

Your dad bod in particular could be a hit with some women. Several surveys have indicated that the popularity of the dad bod is on the rise, with many women reportedly finding it more attractive than washboard abs.

You don’t need to look like you just got done with a Men’s Health photoshoot to land the girl of your dreams. Just focus on treating your body with kindness and improving the things that are in your power to change.

Other Guys Stealing Your Girl

If you’re seriously worried that some handsome guy is going to swoop in and steal your girl out of the blue, then there are two possible reasons for your concern. You either have serious relationship anxiety and need to work out your deep-rooted insecurities or your relationship is already on shaky ground to begin with.

In both cases, it probably wouldn’t hurt to try therapy. There’s no shame in seeking professional help. It could potentially save a perfectly good relationship and make you much happier in the long-term.

The Size of Your Male Member

Admit it, you’ve probably worried about your penis size at some point in your life. But once you take a good, hard look (pun intended) at the research, you’ll quickly see that you have nothing to worry about at all.

A 2007 study published in BJU International surveyed more than 50,000 heterosexual men and women. In the survey, a whopping 85 percent of women were satisfied with their partner’s penis size, while only 55 percent of men were satisfied. Two of the studies found that women preferred wider penises to longer ones.

Furthermore, studies have shown that few women can orgasm from vaginal penetration alone. Rather than mope about your completely average penis size, you should instead be focusing on giving her the best clitoral orgasm of her life.

Impressing Everyone Around You

Who doesn’t want to be liked? It’s common for younger guys to go out of their way to impress their girlfriend, coworkers, boss and even random people on the street.

But let’s face it, trying to impress everyone is absolutely exhausting. Life is much too short to constantly be worrying about what everyone and their mother thinks about you.

The only thoughts that should matter to you are from the people who love you no matter what. Once you realize that and finally let go of your constant need to impress, you’ll likely feel a huge weight lifted off your shoulders.

Your Income

No matter what your current income, you probably wish it was higher. How do we know? Because apart from perhaps Bill Gates, there is no guy on the planet who doesn’t want more money.

By all means, ask for a raise at work and climb the career ladder. Just don’t fall into the trap of believing that a higher income will magically solve your problems or land you a girlfriend.

Besides, think about how many guys are living happy lives and have super-hot girlfriends, despite living on salary that’s barely above minimum wage. The only difference between these guys and you is your gratitude—or lack thereof.

Worry Less, Live More

We all have anxieties that get the best of us at times. The key is to not allow them to steal your happiness. None of the things on this list are worth the space they potentially take up in your brain. So, kick them to the curb, focus on the things that truly matter and you’ll likely be much happier for it.

 

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50 Words Of Sympathy & Condolences For The Loss Of A Mother

Simply saying “I’m sorry for your loss.” isn’t enough sometimes.

Death is never an easy topic to discuss ― even if it’s a natural part of life. Experiencing the loss of a loved one is so much harder. “Expected” deaths hurt just as bad as the ones that come out of the blue.

What makes death so difficult is realizing that you’ll never get to see them again or create new memories, and knowing what to say — what condolence messages to send for the loss of a mother — can be an impossible task.

I can only begin to imagine how traumatic it is to lose a mother. I know nothing compares to the loss of a mother. Moms are irreplaceable in our lives, because of the large role they play in our childhoods, adulthood, and beyond.

Mothers are undoubtedly real-life superheroes who sacrifice a multitude for our well being. Her sacrifices begin at the moment of our conception and continue for what seems like forever.

I send my condolences to those who have lost their mothers. I know sympathy quotes and condolence messages won’t make the pain go away, but they do provide a sense of temporary comfort.

Although I have not experienced the loss of my mother, I know a thing or two about loss. During loss we all grieve, feel sorrow, and sometimes even feel regret. Loss is truly an indescribable, overwhelming feeling. When you experience loss you feel so many emotions rolled into one.

These emotions are natural they come with a passing of a loved one, especially a mother. It’s really important that you allow yourself to feel your emotions ― no matter how painful and draining it maybe. Bottling up your emotions is a disservice to your healing process.

The only way to learn to live with the loss is to go through it and use the passing time to heal. I don’t know your mother, but I’m sure she’d want you to be happy again and continue to live your life to the fullest.

Thankfully, in our time of sorrow and loss, we don’t have to grief and heal alone. Many are willing to send their condolences and give a helping hand.

As you go through the healing process, I want you to meditate on these words of sympathy that express condolences for the loss of a mother.

1. Your mom will always be with you in spirit.

condolences for loss of mother

“Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day.”

2. Your memories make you stronger.

“A family is a circle of love, not broken by a loss, but made stronger by the memories. We are forever blessed that God connected us to you.”

3. Be comforted by the fact that she was in your life.

“I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought, and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.” ― Leo Buscaglia

4. There is power in your tears.

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.” ― Washington Irving

5. Losing her will never be easy.

“Losing a member of the family is never easy, especially one who offered such unconditional love.” ― Rike Ninja

6. She will bring people together even in her passing.

“A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.”― Maya Angelou

7. It’s okay to be sad.

“We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression.” ― Confucius

8. She will live on forever.

“Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.” ― Emily Dickinson

9. You’re sad because she added happiness to your life.

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” ― Khalil Gibran

10. Love is worth grief.

condolences for loss of mother

“Grief is the price we pay for love.” ― Queen Elizabeth II

11. Crying heals you.

“Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow.” ― Rita Schiano

12. Be grateful for the memories.

“Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow” ― Robert Louis Stevenson

13. Speak of her with comfort.

“When you speak of her, speak not with tears, for thoughts of her should not be sad. Let memories of the times you shared give you comfort, for her life was rich because of you.”

14. She has found peace.

“The sun, the moon, the wind, the stars, will forever be around, reminding you of the love you shared, and the peace she’s finally found.”

15. It’s okay not to be prepared for a loss.

“No matter how prepared you think you are for the death of a loved one, it still comes as a shock, and it still hurts very deeply.” ― Billy Graham

16. It’s your right to grief.

“I believe that everyone can appreciate the right of a family to grieve the loss of a loved one in peace.” ― Dave Reichert

17. Surviving loss may be hard, but it’s not impossible.

“When you lose a person you love so much, surviving the loss is difficult.” ― Cristiano Ronaldo

18. Your relationship is not dead.

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”― Mitch Albom

19. Death is a natural part of life.

“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know.” ― Lemony Snicket.

20. Her impact on your life will last forever.

condolences for loss of mother

“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” ― Chuck Palahniuk

21. No one looks forward to death.

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it.” ― Steve Jobs

22. Celebrate her life.

“I’ve told my children that when I die, to release balloons in the sky to celebrate that I graduated. For me, death is a graduation.” ― Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

23. Your love keeps her alive, even if she’s gone.

“Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.”― Mitch Albom

24. Your tears show that your heart is pure.

“Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.”― José N. Harris

25. Your mother’s love will always protect you.

“Love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves it’s own mark. To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.”― J.K. Rowling

26. Everything happens for a reason.

“God is never cruel, there is a reason for all things. We must know the pain of loss; because if we never knew it, we would have no compassion for others, and we would become monsters of self-regard, creatures of unalloyed self-interest. The terrible pain of loss teaches humility to our prideful kind, has the power to soften uncaring hearts, to make a better person of a good one.”― Dean Koontz

27. It’s okay not to know when you’ll be done grieving.

“Everyone keeps telling me that time heals all wounds, but no one can tell me what I’m supposed to do right now. Right now I can’t sleep. It’s right now that I can’t eat. Right now I still hear his voice and sense his presence even though I know he’s not here. Right now all I seem to do is cry. I know all about time and wounds healing, but even if I had all the time in the world, I still don’t know what to do with all this hurt right now.”― Nina Guilbeau

28. Her legacy will live on.

“A mother’s love is always with her children. Losing a mother is one of the deepest sorrows a heart can know. But her goodness, her caring, and her wisdom live on-like a legacy of love that will always be with you. May that love surround you now and bring you peace.”

29. You will not sink, you will survive this.

“Mother was comfort. Mother was home. A girl who lost her mother was suddenly a tiny boat on an angry ocean. Some boats eventually floated ashore. And some boats, like me, seemed to float farther and farther from land.”― Ruta Sepetys

30. What we deeply love becomes a part of us.

condolences for loss of mother

“What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes part of us.” ― Helen Keller

31. You eventually get into the acceptance stage.

“Any natural, normal human being, when faced with any kind of loss, will go from shock all the way through acceptance.” ― Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

32. You will always be connected to her.

“Those we love and lose are always connected by heartstrings into infinity.” ― Terri Guillemets

33. Family is worth the risk of loss.

“A family is a risky venture, because the greater the love, the greater the loss… That’s the trade-off. But I’ll take it all.” ― Brad Pitt

34. You won’t forget the way she made you feel.

“My mother is a never-ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune.” ― Graycie Harmon

35. It’s a blessing to have known and be loved by your mother.

“Though sorrow may impede my heart. It is of great love to have known you.”― C. Elizabeth

36. Your love for her matters more than anything.

“Losing you is most difficult for me, but the nature of my love for you is what matters.” ― Haruki Murakami

37. She’s always going to be at your side.

“Mother, you left us beautiful memories, your love is still our guide, although we cannot see you, you’re always at our side.”

38. Your grief won’t always be this intense.

“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”― Vicki Harrison

39. A loss of a mother is a different kind of loss.

“I’ve lost lots of men in my life, besides my mother, which is a whole different loss.” ― Patti Smith

40. She will live on in your heart.

condolences for loss of mother

“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

41. You can continue to love her.

“In life, we loved you dearly, in death, we love you still. In our hearts you hold a place, no one else will ever fill.”

42. This loss will make you a stronger person.

“Losing my mother at such an early age is the scar of my soul. But I feel like it ultimately made me into the person I am today; I understand the journey of life. I had to go through what I did to be here.” ― Mariska Hargitay

43. Your memories of her will never pass.

“The world changes from year to year, our lives from day to day, but the love and memory of you shall never pass away.”

44. Growth is coming.

“With loss comes growth.” ― Julie Foudy

45. Remember how fortunate you were to have her in your life.

“Whenever I am missing you, I also remember how fortunate I was that you were in my life. I wouldn’t trade those moments for the world.” — Cindy Adkins

46. Her hugs will last.

“A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go.”

47. A mother’s love is powerful, even in her absence.

“Love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.”– J.K. Rowling

48. She’ll always have your heart.

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a while, but their hearts forever.”

49. It’s okay to miss her, just know she’s still with you.

“Mom, I am missing you today but I know that you will always be with me in my heart.” — Karen Kostyla

50. Mothers never really die.

condolences for loss of mother

“Mothers never really die, they just keep the house up in the sky, They polish the sun by day and light the stars that shine at night, keep the moonbeams silvery bright and in the heavenly home above they wait to welcome those they love.” — Helen Steiner Rice

 

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

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Life Before Quarantine – Part 6

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

Two Face takes a wife…

 

 

 

 

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

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Life Before Quarantine – Part 5

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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Life Before Quarantine – Part 4

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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45 Life Lessons Written by a “90-Year-Old” Woman That’ll Put Everything Into Perspective

Regina Brett knows a thing or two about handling life’s many curveballs. The author wrote down 50 life lessons the night before her 45th birthday after being diagnosed with breast cancer and turned them into a bestselling book, God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons For Life’s Little Detours. In the decade since then, these lessons have gone viral numerous times on the internet amid claims that Regina is 90 years old (she’s actually in her 60s) because of the wealth of knowledge she possesses. “I’m officially an urban legend,” she jokes on her website.

These universal lessons are relatable to anyone who needs a little reminder of what’s important in life, so keep scrolling to read them now, and remember to soak up the little moments whenever you can.

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.
  9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  11. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  12. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  14. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
  15. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
  16. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
  17. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  19. Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  20. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
  21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  22. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  23. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
  25. Forgive everyone everything.
  26. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  27. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  28. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  29. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  30. Believe in miracles.
  31. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  32. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
  33. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
  34. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  35. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
  36. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  37. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful, or joyful.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  40. The best is yet to come.
  41. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
  42. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  43. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

 

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

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Life In The Time Of Covid-19

“When playing billiards with my father he always said… “Don’t just make the shot that’s in front of you, son. Think of where the cue ball is going to land AFTER you hit the ball you want in the pocket. That way you’ll be ready for your next shot. And the one after that…”

If you write a blog and you’re reading this, you know we always write ahead. Just to beat the deadlines of our own publication. I’m a huge fan of planning and staying ahead of what I want to publish here. 

But tonight, I’m just going to write something for right now.

This is new to us. We’ve lived through 9/11. As terrible as that was 20 years ago, it happened to other people. It was an isolated incident that changed America forever. When I say ‘other people’ I mean the rest of the country watched in horror at the events that unfolded on TV that day, but we lost nearly 3,000 lives. (2,977 to be exact.)

We’d never seen anything like it. The worst attack on US soil in the short history of our country.

But today’s different. 

A virus that’s transmitted from person to person like a cold. We’ve all caught colds, had the flu, stomach viruses, etc.

But nothing like this. 

A virus so strong that it’s easily transmitted and passes between people. No animals are affected by this virus.

Just humans.

This is just a taste of how fragile our existence is on this planet.

I don’t know where this came from, but hopefully we’ll find out, and create a vaccine for it.

But for right now, we’re all behaving very well in the first few days of this quarantine.

 

I tell my stories here about all of my dating foibles and relationships on this blog. I’ve been a decent dad and a fun boyfriend, but when comes to domestic relationships, I’ve never been able to submit.

I appreciate all of the friend and fan support on here, but as I dish out all of the dating and relationship advice, I’ve found that very thing quite the quandary.

I give advice on what to do on a date and how to maintain your relationships.

I’m good at that. I like to write words and lyrics.

But words are hollow unless applied to deeds.

I’d like to believe that my words mean something, and maybe make a small difference in the lives of the people that take the time to read this blog everyday.

And for that, I’m grateful.

 

For the moment, I’m employed by a restaurant in this city. So is my daughter, Lorelei. We’re both in the hospitality industry.

I worked last week. It was business as usual. We were gearing up to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and March Madness was on the way. We should have made a bundle last weekend. A payday so big it would have covered the last two months of winter.

But none of that happened. No one came in. No crazy drunken crowds of people wearing green, or funny beads, or fighting, getting shitfaced for no reason, and throwing up in plastic hats at the curbside.

None of it.

Are they all so broken that they need to drink to the point of illness to celebrate the dissatisfaction and mediocrity of their lives here in Philly on a designated day?

Nothing happened.

 

Nah, something did indeed happen.

Covid-19.

 

Saturday I normally work from 2pm until at least 11pm. I came in at 5pm and was cut at 8:30pm. It was so slow that even being scheduled was a gift from the owner. When I got there, he told me I was off on Sunday. Normally, I work from 12:30pm to 10:30pm. But I was off. I haven’t had a Sunday off since August of 2019.

Monday I was scheduled to come in at 10:30am and work until 10:30pm. My typical Monday is a twelve hour day on my feet. I don’t mind. I like to work and be busy.

But by Sunday night, I was told not to come in until 4pm that day.

By 2pm I was told not to come in at all.

Off again.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and now today… Friday.

Still off.

Why?

Because every restaurant in this city has been closed for the next 14 days because of what’s happened. I was on the phone with a friend when my daughter called and told me she wouldn’t have to go into work for the next two weeks.

I told her the same.

I’ve had my share of struggles financially in the past and also with employment. Many times by my own design.

But this was different.

Everyone in the entire industry was affected.

I think they told us two weeks so we wouldn’t lose our minds. But I don’t see this ending anytime soon.

Restaurants can only do pick up and take out. No one is allowed to hang out in any bar or restaurant in this city.

That leaves most places with scheduling one cook, a clerk to ring up and take out orders, and a delivery guy.

That’s it.

The rest of us are fucked.

Well, we’re all currently fucked.

One of my brokerage accounts is down over $7k. Bills and rent are due. So yea, if my little life is an example… then yea, we’re fucked. 

Forget me for a second. Think of the people that already have the virus.

How about the people that have it and don’t know it?

But are we?

Let me take a moment as the phicklephilly guy that you’ve been reading for the last 4 years to say a few things about this.

We’re all stuck at home and can’t go out. Income is either running out or is gone. I don’t expect to be paid anymore from my current employer. I think this could go on for awhile. But here’s what I’m thinking about, and I’m going to share it with you all.

If you have your health right now, embrace it and help others that need you.

I know that sounds a bit cliche, but hear me out…

Call or text all of your friends and loved ones today and through this weekend. Just check on them. This is the perfect opportunity for you to connect and reconnect with everyone you know. It won’t be weird. Don’t make it weird. Just call and check on them. This is your perfect opportunity. Because for the first time in the history of this country, we are all experiencing the same thing. 

This is what we have in common right now.

Exactly the same thing.

The enemy is the virus. Not a man, or a country, or a race, or an idea, or a religion. This enemy doesn’t care about your race or your religious beliefs. A virus is a living entity that wants to take you over for the last time.

As a species we’ve been a scrappy lot. We’ve successfully moved to a spot that isn’t even in the food chain anymore because we’re so good at killing everything.

We are the best and the worst thing that Earth has ever known.

But we’ve made it ours and for now, Earth is where we’re hangin’.

This is an opportunity.

Right now you have your health.

Appreciate that.

Got laid off from your job? Cut your hours? Not allowed to come in because of the virus?

Use this opportunity to plan.

Humans have always been great planners. That’s how we beat everything else. Plan for the rest of your life. You’re alive now. What if you get it and you die?

Embrace this time. This forced quarantine. Think! What are you grateful for? Do you really like that job you’re currently not having to go to?

I’m a writer. I’m always planning the next few chapters in anything I’ve ever written here. 

When playing billiards with my father he always said… “Don’t just make the shot that’s in front of you, son. Think of where the cue ball is going to land AFTER you hit the ball you want in the pocket. That way you’ll be ready for your next shot. And the one after that…

After that…

After this.

This global pandemic. 

That is some scary shit. 

I’m actually surprised in the moment that I write this. The the films, Outbreak and Pandemic are very popular on Netflix. Oh, the irony of our own fate! I’ve always been a huge fan of Art imitates life, imitates art.

There’s no anarchy.

Not yet.

I’ve been off work for over 5 days now and I haven’t had this much free time in years.

Monday I went to breakfast, wrote, talked with friends and loved ones, had dinner, and watched my shows. I, for once… had nowhere to be.

Tuesday, pretty much the same.

Wednesday, More of that just living and breathing thing. Daughter came home. I was happy to see her. She went to the supermarket and bought a bunch of food. She cooked dinner for the two of us and we actually sat and ate, and chatted like a real family.

It was elegant and beautiful.

We never do that.

We work in the industry and pass in the night, and crash here.

But for the first time in a very long time, we actually sat down as a family and broke bread together.

Lorelei made an amazing stromboli from scratch. She’s vegan, so she made it that way. But for the life of me I couldn’t tell, and it tasted so delicious, I went back for seconds!

That wouldn’t have happened if not for today’s circumstances.

Embrace that. Your partner. Your children. Your health. Yourself.

(ok… here we go)

You beat 250 million other sperm to get to here.

You were racing for your mom’s egg, and there were 249,999,999 dudes chasing you.

You got there FIRST.

You won.

Embrace and appreciate that. You’re partner, your children, your friends, your employer… everybody you’ve ever met got here the same way.

You’ve earned your right to be here on Earth today. 

 

Embrace what’s good in your life right now. We all have the same problems at different degrees in this life.

But in this moment… Today. You are reading this and I hope you’re okay. If my blog suddenly stops you’ll know Capt. Trips got me. (look it up!)

Be thankful everyday for your health.

Surround yourself with good people. (But no more than 10, okay? Just for now!)

Find something to do. If you’re home, find something to do with your free time. For a workforce that’s accustomed to working themselves too long and too hard, you may find this sudden stop a bit jarring.

Are you in love? Are you feeling loved? If you have it, embrace that. It’s the strongest force in the galaxy.

No love? Stop lying. Somebody’s worried about you right now. Give them a call. This is your opportunity to forget the past. All bets are off. You can call anyone, ex, old flame, enemy, frenemy…. reach out and just check on them.

I’m going to call and check on my landlord. Who knows, maybe my diplomatic charm will get her to slide me a free month during this crisis.

Think of all of the projects and other thing you’ve been saying you want to do. But you never have any time to do any of them because you’re always working, and when you have free time you need to rest from the life of work you don’t even really want.

Go clean your house. It’s Spring! Clean up. Get rid of stuff. Have fun. Take a nap. Have a drink. Smoke some grass. Call your mom.

Have something to look forward to. Remember what I said about planning? This is your opportunity to plan for the future.

The world is on pause right now.

(I wish the fucking Dow Jones was on pause right now!)

Take this time to do whatever you want. Lean into your free time.

My goal is to crack off 3 volumes of Crazy Dating Stories by the weekend. And I’m going to fucking do it.

All I do is cry about how I don’t have anytime to write because I work so many hours.

I have no excuse now.

And neither do you.

Do something. Anything. Try something new. Even if it’s you having the ability to be at home alone in the quiet of your own mind and just take a break.

Here’s your break from everything.

 

I’ve been walking the city. This is MY city. I’ve walked it’s streets. Drank it’s wine. Danced with it’s women. Taken my share of the money that’s available here. (In my jobs, you idiots!)

The city is deserted. Sure, there are some people and kids about. Folks out walking their dogs, but it’s different right now.

It’s like nothing any of us have ever seen in our lifetimes.

I’d like everyone that reads this today to contact just one person you haven’t spoken to in awhile. It’s not like you won’t have anything to say to them! We’re all experiencing the same thing right now as a species.

You can do it!

I’d like to see some comments about this idea and what you folks did.

I have a translator widget on this blog so no one has an excuse to not do it.

Contact someone, and write your results in the comments section.

Stay safe people.

 

“Don’t be the tree that falls and makes no sound.” – Phicklephilly

 

 

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

12 ‘Little’ Relationship Milestones That Are Actually A Big Deal

The big relationship moments — like the first date, meeting the parents, moving in together, getting engaged and getting married — seem to get all the attention. Sometimes the smaller (but still significant!) moments don’t nearly get the credit they deserve.

We asked people to reveal the “little” relationship milestones that were actually a big deal to them. Here’s what they said:

1. The first time they cry in front of you.

“My husband is a big guy. I nicknamed him ‘Bear’ because he’s so huge. But he’s also so mushy. When I was first leaving London (we were long-distance at the time), he started crying. It was so beautiful to see a man be so vulnerable with me. He cried basically the whole way to the airport and, from what I hear, the rest of the night. He is such a darling. Crying in front of your partner is a true moment of clarity. It shows you the levels this person feels and emotions they’re capable of.” ― Gigi Engle, sexologist and author of “All the F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life”

2. The first time you put up an Instagram pic together.

“This one was actually a massive one for me but probably extremely minuscule and even laughable to others. It was when we posted photos together on Instagram (aka #IGofficial). It was a little bigger of a deal for me since the 215,000 people who follow me didn’t even know I was in a relationship and that we had secretly been traveling together for about four months before I posted about it!” — Alyssa Ramos of “My Life’s a Travel Movie”

3. The first time they take you as a date to a work event.

“My husband, Amit, owns a performing arts company (AATMA Performing Arts) and works with kids as well. It was really special when he actually took me to meet all the kids and their parents. It was as if he was making it official that I’m his life partner. Especially being South Asian and identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community, that is a big and courageous move, which proved that we were really in this forever.” ― Aditya Madiraju, blogger

4. The first time you go on a trip together.

“The third date for my now-wife and me was a cruise, which felt like a real make-or-break situation for a new couple. Packing. Flying. Keeping track of passports and documents. Living in a small space together for a week. A bathroom with very little privacy. It went great, which boded really well for our future together. Four years and many cruises, resorts, flights, drives and hotels later, we are a great pair at home and on the road.” — Jenny Block, author of “Be That Unicorn: Find Your Magic. Live Your Truth. Share Your Shine”

5. The first time they refer to you as ‘Mommy’ or ‘Daddy’ to their pet.

“My wife had a dog when we met. It had been a long time since I had a dog, and I forgot how much I missed having one. I instantly bonded with him and grew so attached to him. So the first time she referred to me as ‘Daddy’ to him instead of ‘Dan’ was huge to me. Up until that point, I wasn’t sure if I won her over yet, but after that day I was 100% sure.” — Dan Regan, comedian

6. The first time you reveal your kinks in the bedroom.

“While for some people it might be silly or weird, it felt really good to tell my partner that I’m submissive. Trying choking and bondage with him was incredibly healing and bonding for us. It’s helped our relationship grow in so many beautiful, sexy ways. He’s super wonderful and adventurous. Being able to explore your sexuality to its fullest in a relationship is pretty dang magical.” —Engle

7. The first time they proudly display your artwork.

“Once we moved in together, my wife hung up my illustrations around our apartment. She didn’t ask to, she just did it. It was such a big deal to me, more than she realizes.

I grew up poor, on and off food stamps and in small, cramped one-bedroom apartments shared with four family members and millions of cockroaches. When I lived with my abusive ex, that space didn’t really feel mine because of how tumultuous the relationship had been; everything felt more like a shared space and less like a home. I never truly had a space of my own.

When I came home one day and saw that she hung up my artwork, it was the first time I ever felt like I fit in anywhere and was truly loved. Something as simple as hanging up a picture told me, ‘You belong here.’” ― Tevy Khou, illustrator

8. The first time you meet each other’s friends.

“Sometimes that little act of meeting each other’s friends is more stressful than meeting each other’s family (especially so in many gay or LGBTQ relationships, where your friends may be your chosen family). That first brunch, that first time out with their group of friends to the karaoke bar — you want to make a good impression, seem relatable, friendly, act engaged, and, of course, you’ve got to make a good impression. Because it’s the friends who just might end up having the biggest impact on what happens in the relationship.” ― Adam Groffman of “Travels of Adam”

9. The first time you collaborate on a project.

“The ‘little’ milestone that comes to mind is when my (now) spouse and I collaborated on our first art project. I can’t remember what it was because we have made a ridiculous amount of art together in the seven years we’ve been a couple, but it was probably a GIF of our cat.

This milestone quickly led us to start an art and animation company together. We call the company YoMeryl as a reference to our first date and the discussion we had that night about how amazing Meryl Streep is and that she could literally be anywhere so it’s best to not shout her name too loudly.” ― Bronwyn Lundberg, artist at YoMeryl

10. The first time they open up to you emotionally.

“When my partner shared deeper parts of himself, it mattered to me because it meant he was opening up and learning to trust me. As a writer, I’m pretty open about a lot of things, and I’ve learned (and am still learning) that everyone is not able to access their feelings so easily, so I always appreciate the unraveling of layers in relationships.” — Renée Cherez, writer

11. The first time they say ‘I love you’ to your dog.

“One milestone was when I caught him saying ‘I love you’ to my little Pomeranian, Oscar, for the first time. The two of them tend to have a like/hate relationship because they both battle for my attention and affection, which my dog always wins, so hearing him say he loves Oscar was a huge milestone for us.” ― Ramos

12. The first time they see you perform on stage.

“Before I met my wife, some women I dated would say, ‘I thought you would be funnier’ (because I’m a comedian). I didn’t think I was supposed to perform while I’m eating jalapeño sliders at Applebees, but OK.

So when I met my wife, I was happy she never questioned my lack of stage performance when we were on a date. When she finally saw me on a stage, I thought this will either enhance our relationship or could be the beginning of the end. Luckily, she liked my set and is now my biggest fan and harshest critic, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

 

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Zoe – Chapter 2 – The Real Deal

So, I know I have been creating all of this drama at the salon with who’s going to be my number 1. I’ve done this my whole life. I could walk the mall with my friend Spinner, and we always had to choose our favorite girl that we saw that day.

That was 15 years ago, but I’ve always carried that with me. I’ve cut all of the bad drama agents from my life that have been so well documented in this blog. But at the salon I have always had a top 10, a top 5 and a number 1.

It’s silly I know, but when you have no drama or pain in your life you sometimes create little fun games for things to make the job you’re in more interesting.

If you’ve been following phicklephilly, you’ll know that I’m always searching for my number 1.

It means nothing, but it keeps my active mind amused. I’ve had so many, and they come and go for different reasons. (All ridiculous but fun)

Michelle once said I only pick my top 10 because they are the prettiest girls that come in the salon. (In the beginning, she was absolutely right) but now my little game is about attendance and attentiveness. Kita turned into something else, Delaney failed, and Anastasia, has hope.

But I think my new list will include just great people I really like and have fun talking to.

But I think about these things.

I no longer am sitting in a cubicle, wearing a silly suit and tie, and going to meetings. I no longer sell products and services that have zero value to unwitting clients. I offer real solutions to customers and make them happy.

It’s a brand new day to be out of the rat race and it is exciting.

Most people buy into the American dream and do what we all did. Go to college, become a debtor, (prisoner/slave) get an internship for little money. Pay back your student loans for decades. Work you’re ass off for some shitty company with shitty managers and be stressed out all of the time to earn a decent paycheck. All the while being exhausted working on your next relationship hoping you can find a good mate to marry, settle down with, and/or marry and have a kid with.

The American dream.

Total bullshit.

But… it’s what we’ve been taught, so that’s what we did, and continue to do.

That lie is still alive today.

I see today that many people don’t like to work.

Work is the foundation of human existence.

If you hate what you’re doing or the people you work with, quit. Go do something else. Everybody thinks they need to make a bunch of money.

We’ve all been taught that Louie Vitton bags, Coach bags and Mercedes Benz and a big house and everything else are signs of success. All lies.

None of it will make you happy in your heart.

I’ve had it all and none of it made me happy.

It’s all bullshit.

You know what’s important?

Your health.

Good people and/or family in your life.

Having something to do everyday that makes you happy and helps others.

To love and be loved. (Hard one)

Something to look forward to every day.

Forgive everyone. Why should you drink the poison hoping your enemies die? They don’t care. Let it go. No one should live rent free in your head.

Ever.

Life is too short.

Zoe is a lovely girl.

She’s smart, sweet and has a great sense of humor.

I am always playing my “Who’s my new number one game” with myself.

It’s fun, because I have no drama from any crazies in my life anymore but I enjoy picking the best of the best in every aspect of my life for fun.

But after all of the girls that have come through here, Zoe has been consistent.

I’ll tell you why she’s the apex of this little exercise.

Zoe comes in on a consistent basis.

She’s always sweet and fun to be around.

I’ve upsold her to the premium package and she deserves it.

She listens to my stories and genuinely loves them.

She laughs at all of my jokes.

She always asks what’s going on with me and wants to hear any new crazy stories I have.

No one else cares what’s going on with this Leo.

She’s a beautiful, sweet woman, that is as attractive as her wonderful disposition and personality.

I decided that after all of this time she went from Top 10, to Top 5 to Number 1.

We both know it’s all a silly game, but it holds a certain weight.

Zoe, has been going to Temple University for two years and working as a server at a local watering hole. But recently she got an internship at a corporation that works with government, politics and non profits.

I’m proud of her and she’s making her way.

I decided that i wanted to do something for her, because I consider her a part of our businesses’ core family. (Even Achilles likes her, so that’s good, because he’s a curmudgeon)

When she would come in I would greet her as Top 5.

Zoe giggled (Love her giggle) and would be happy she was special.

Then I greeted her as Top 3.

Finally, after all of the failings of all of my other candidates, I decided that sweet Zoe should be my number 1.

It’s a meaningless title, but it means something to me. (And hopefully to her, because she’s clearly my favorite.)

Zoe is actually flattered (I think) by the title and I really mean it because she’s just so darn nice.)

I embrace this and decide to do what I’ve always done for my Number 1’s (Even though they haven’t deserved it, but again it’s all about me) I get Zoe her favorite tanning lotion. We don’t even carry it anymore but I need to get the best for my Number 1.

 

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly