The Gift of The Magi – By O. Henry – Part 2

At 7 o’clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit of saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: “Please God, make him think I am still pretty.”

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two–and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Della wriggled off the table and went for him.

“Jim, darling,” she cried, “don’t look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn’t have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It’ll grow out again–you won’t mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!’ Jim, and let’s be happy. You don’t know what a nice– what a beautiful, nice gift I’ve got for you.”

“You’ve cut off your hair?” asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

“Cut it off and sold it,” said Della. “Don’t you like me just as well, anyhow? I’m me without my hair, ain’t I?”

Jim looked about the room curiously.

“You say your hair is gone?” he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

“You needn’t look for it,” said Della. “It’s sold, I tell you–sold and gone, too. It’s Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered,” she went on with sudden serious sweetness, “but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?”

Out of his trance, Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year–what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

“Don’t make any mistake, Dell,” he said, “about me. I don’t think there’s anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you’ll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first.”

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.

For there lay The Combs–the set of combs, side, and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoiseshell, with jeweled rims–just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length, she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: “My hair grows so fast, Jim!”

And then Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, “Oh, oh!”

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

“Isn’t it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You’ll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it.”

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head, and smiled.

“Dell,” said he, “let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep ’em a while. They’re too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on.”

The magi, as you know, were wise men–wonderfully wise men–who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

 

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The Gift of the Magi – By O. Henry – Part 1

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.”

The “Dillingham” had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called “Jim” and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling–something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim’s gold watch that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s. The other was Della’s hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.

Where she stopped the sign read: “Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds.” One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the “Sofronie.”

“Will you buy my hair?” asked Della.

“I buy hair,” said Madame. “Take yer hat off and let’s have a sight at the looks of it.”

Down rippled the brown cascade.

“Twenty dollars,” said Madame, lifting the mass with a practiced hand.

“Give it to me quick,” said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim’s present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation–as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim’s. It was like him. Quietness and value–the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch, Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends–a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.

“If Jim doesn’t kill me,” she said to herself, “before he takes a second look at me, he’ll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do–oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty-seven cents?”

 

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Tales of Rock – John Lennon turns 80: What the musician thought about a possible Beatles reunion

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How Can Someone Fall In Love Quickly After A Breakup? Experts Explain

There’s no right or wrong way to get over a breakup. There’s no set time frame for moving on either. But if you’re someone who can’t stomach the thought of being with anyone else for a while, it can be pretty shocking to find out that your ex has happily moved on and fallen in love with someone else so soon.

Some people really can move on quickly right after a breakup. In fact, a 2007 study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that most people can get over heartbreak in about three months. According to Kim Egel, licensed therapist who specializes in relationships, how long and intense the relationship was are often key factors that contribute to how long it takes someone to heal. If your families are close, or if you have the same friends, it can be even more difficult to fully walk away.

“Healing time is very individual and unique to the specific relationship dynamic,” Egel says. “For example, if the relationship was unhealthy and abusive, it could be longer to sort through the kind of emotions that come with such a connection.”

It may seem obvious, but there is a difference between seeing someone new and actually being in love with them. It’s not shocking to find someone getting out there and dating other people in order to help with the moving on process. That’s what rebound relationships are all about. But it can be pretty surprising to hear someone say they’ve already fallen in love again so soon. According to experts, it’s very possible for some people.

Here are the reasons why some people can fall in love again so soon right after a breakup.

1. They Emotionally Checked Out Of The Relationship Earlier Than You Thought

Some people emotionally check out of a relationship long before they end it.

KaptureHouse/Shutterstock

It’s easier to fall in love with someone new if you weren’t that in love with your ex in the first place. “There are many relationships where one partner is more serious about it than the other,” Kate MacLean, relationship expert at Plenty of Fish, tells Bustle. “The less serious partner likely had ‘one foot out the door’ and was ready to move on.”

More often than not, people don’t just end a relationship out of nowhere. It can sometimes take weeks or months until they realize that they’ve finally had enough. People usually start checking out of the relationship once the thought of breaking up enters their mind. According to MacLean, it’s usually only a matter of time before thoughts get put into action.

2. They Have No Walls Up When It Comes To Love

When someone falls in love again so soon after a breakup, it’s easy to believe they’re just doing it as a way to fill a void. But as Shannon Battle, licensed professional counselor who specializes in relationships, tells Bustle, that’s not always true. “Love isn’t well thought out, it’s strictly guided from emotional regulation,” Battle says. “People who are more emotionally responsive to situations may use actual feelings of love to compensate for their hurt.”

Shortly after a breakup, it’s normal to want to close yourself off to love for a while. But according to Battle, some people don’t. “They have no boundaries with this emotion and they freely give it to others because they highly value intimacy and connection in relationships,” she says. When you’re truly open to giving and receiving love, it’s easy to fall in love again. Some people would rather open themselves up to a good feeling like love than feel pain.

3. They Found “The One”

Some people will fall in love shortly after a breakup if they meet "The One."

Shutterstock

“Love is very mysterious,” Egel says. “Sometimes the right person will come along at a very interesting time, and that can be right after a breakup.” When it comes to love, there are no rules. Just because someone fell in love right away, it doesn’t mean that they cheated, didn’t love their ex, or that their last relationship wasn’t meaningful to them. It just means that they happened to find their perfect match soon after a breakup.

Even if this is the case, it’s still important for that person to take time to process their feelings towards the breakup in order to get a sense of closure. That way they can move forward and start their new relationship off right.

There’s no set time for when people should be fully healed from a breakup or when they should be allowed to fall in love again. Everyone processes heartbreak in their own way, and everyone falls in love on their own time. These are just the reasons behind why some people can fall in love in love so quickly after a breakup.

 

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You’ll Never Find True Love If You Keep Making These 11 Mistakes

here’s a reason you keep attracting the wrong people.

When it comes to love and being in a relationship, attraction plays a huge role.

Are you trying hard to find love and build a healthy relationship but nothing you do is working?

You may be doing a bunch of things that are blocking genuine and true love from entering your life.

So, if you’re asking yourself, “Why can’t I find love?” and “Will I ever find love?”, you need to be aware of what you’re doing wrong and what healthy relationships really need.

So, here are 11 fatal attraction mistakes that stop you from finding love and building a genuine relationship.

1. Holding on to old relationships

Always let go and move forward from past relationships. Holding on only blocks you from moving forward. Focus on the lessons you learned from that relationship and bring that with you but leave the rest behind.

Don’t treat new relationships any different because of past hurt. Don’t take out previous pain on a new partner. Really work that out before you move on. Take the lessons you learned but leave the rest behind and start fresh with each new person.

You want to move forward and not stay stuck in the past. You can never do that if you are replaying the past and criticizing past mistakes. Either regretting the past or wishing you were still in it will always block you from moving forward.

If you are hanging on to old relationships you are closing the space for a new love to come in. Work through and fully grieve old relationships so you can open up space to move forward with a new love.

2. Lack of self-love

It’s so important to love yourself first because if you don’t love you, you cannot attract others who will love you. If you aren’t treating yourself right you won’t attract others who will treat you right.

Take a good look at how you are treating yourself.

Negative self talk? That will attract others who will talk down to you. Not trusting or believing in yourself? That will attract others who won’t trust you or that you won’t trust.

3. Living in energies that repel love

Before you can attract anything into your life, you must add more of that same energy to your life. Are you looking for stability when it comes to love? If so, look at where you are unstable in your life and make changes.

If any element of your life is unstable, it’s very important to work on that. Instability will only attract someone who is unstable. Really look closely at each area of your life and take new steps to work on any areas that aren’t stable.

This goes for anything you are looking for in love, fun, comfort, etc. Whatever it is you are looking to attract in a partner, really focus on, adding more of that into your life in all areas.

We are whole beings and must align every area of our life to what we want, not just the one area we are working on.

4. Too much focus on everyone else’s problems

Don’t focus on other people and what they are doing to you. Focus on what you are doing to attract them in the first place. We only have control over ourselves, no one else.

Nothing ever just happens to us, we create everything in our life with our choices. The good news is by making some new choices you can get what you want.

5. Feeling desperate

Desperation when looking for love will only lead you into desperate situations and attract those who will only hurt you.

Know that happiness can only be found in yourself. Do not expect love to fill your happiness need. Yes, love can make you happy but it’s the cherry on top after you have found your happiness inside of you first.

Being happy within yourself and not needing love to fulfill you is the best way to attract love to you. Looking for anyone else to fulfill you will never lead to anything and will only leave you empty inside.

The beautiful thing is that you can find love and happiness within yourself without needing anyone else. Focus on your passion and your purpose and that will lead you there.

6. Not fully expressing yourself

When you keep things in and don’t express yourself you aren’t being your genuine self and can never attract real genuine love.

Be yourself and say what you feel when you feel it. You want to attract someone who will fall in love with you, not with who you are pretending to be.

7. Seeing yourself as having baggage

We have all made mistakes and have a past. See it as all learning experiences that made you the wonderful person you are now.

When you see it as baggage, a weight, or a problem, you put out to the world that you aren’t worthy.

Instead, be thankful for all you have learned and gained from those experiences and put that foot forward.

8. Only focusing on the negatives in your life

Focusing on the negative will only attract more negative to you, especially in relationships. Every negative thing you go through is there to teach you something to lead you to a better place.

Look for the lessons in these negative experiences and make new choices to get out of them instead of just dwelling and lingering in them. They are always a tool to move onto a better life but you must look deep and find those lessons and make the necessary changes.

There is always a new choice you can make as a step out of any situation. Focus on the positives and what you do have so you can attract more positive into your life.

This especially applies to negative thoughts about yourself. Being happy with yourself is so important in attracting the right person for you. If you aren’t happy with yourself, the person you attract cannot ever be completely happy with you either.

9. Not having fun in your life

Fun and laughter are big love attraction magnets.

Think about it: aren’t you more attracted to someone who is happy and having fun? Purposely find ways to have more fun and laugh in whatever way works for you.

10. Not taking care of yourself

Nurture and be sure not to neglect yourself. When you neglect yourself you can only attract those who will neglect you as well.

You must always put yourself first so you will have more to give to others. Always put your oxygen mask on first.

11. Expecting love to save you

Love is two whole people who come together to make things even better for each other. Never expect someone to come in and save you or make you feel fulfilled inside.

Only you can find your own happiness and fulfillment. No one can magically do that for you.

But, once you have found that in yourself, love can help that grow even more and it’s the perfect cherry at the top of the sundae. But you must build that sundae by yourself first!

Kristine Carlson is a psychic medium, an Advanced Soul Realignment Practitioner, and author. If you would like some answers about your love life or anything else, you can get a convenient, personal email reading or clearing from Kristine on her website.

 

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

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