Love is like Cocaine: The Remarkable, Terrifying Neuroscience of Romance – Part 2

Yes, you really are addicted to love.

Beliefs and Brain Chemistry

When the systems of neurotransmitters in our brain destabilize during the early phases of a romantic relationship, our moods become unsteady too. And so does our ability to think rationally and make wise decisions. When you become truly infatuated with a person, you might make decisions you wouldn’t dream of making in a sane state of mind. Nothing really matters compared to the object of your infatuation. In extreme cases, we might max out credit cards, leave our families, move across oceans, abdicate a throne, rob banks, or even commit murder for the sake of love.

When there is a substantial imbalance in your brain chemistry, your preferences and reasoning abilities change and so do your beliefs. Research has shown that when you mess with your brain chemistry, you are more likely to have spiritual experiences, see things that are not there, and form beliefs that are not grounded in evidence.

In the 1960s, researchers experimented with the psychedelic drug psylocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, to see if it could induce spiritual experiences in healthy volunteers. The first of these experiments took place on Good Friday in 1962. Harvard researchers administered psilocybin to ten students in the basement of Marsh Chapel at Boston University. The religious setting and the drug together gave rise to religious experiences in all study participants.

(The experiments came to a halt when the US government prohibited them in the early 1970s.)

Psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin, LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), and mescaline, affect the dopamine system, the serotonin system, and the adrenergic system. Their effects on the adrenergic systems, which normally cause an increase in the blood concentration of adrenaline, can cause panic attacks and extreme anxiety. The drugs’ effects on the dopamine system are responsible for thoughtless decision making and irrational actions during a “trip,” such as self-mutilation or suicide. The psychedelic effects of the drugs are largely due to their affinity for the 5-HT2A receptor. This receptor is a serotonin receptor. When a psychedelic drug in the serotonin family binds to it, the drug functions just like serotonin.

In normal amounts, the feel-good chemical serotonin yields a sense of relaxation and relief. In large amounts, however, serotonin and serotonin agonists like LSD, DMT (dimethyltryptamine), and the magic mushroom ingredient psilocybin have psychedelic effects. In large amounts, these chemicals trigger the brain’s main excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, which makes parts of the brain go into an over-excited state.

The effects of excessive amounts of serotonin can be so powerful that our critical sense is turned off. A famous, mind-boggling case illustrating this is the Dr. Fox study. In the 1970s an actor was trained to deliver a brilliant talk on mathematical game theory while saying basically nothing of substance. The actor, who bore the name Dr. Myron L. Fox, had taken a scholarly article on game theory and stripped it of its content. The talk was rife with hedging, invented words, contradictory assertions, and references to his alleged earlier articles and books. Surprisingly, his delivery so impressed the audience that nobody noticed that he didn’t really say anything. At the end of the talk the audience, which consisted primarily of experts, bombarded Fox with questions, which he answered proficiently without providing any substantial content. After the lecture, the audience was given the opportunity to evaluate the performance. Everyone was very positive, they thought the lecture had been interesting, and some noted that Dr. Fox had presented the material clearly and precisely and offered lots of illustrative examples. And these folks were academic experts on the topic of mathematical game theory! Speaking of being fooled by what you hear!

This effect of delivery on audience evaluation has come to be known as “The Dr. Fox effect.” The Dr. Fox effect can be explained by noting that a large surge in “feel good” chemicals will turn off our critical sense. Funny, charming, and persuasive people signal to our brains that everything is as it should be. Their smooth behavior boosts our serotonin levels, which turn off our critical sense and increase our feeling of satisfaction—so much so that our initial beliefs are never subjected to scrutiny in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the anterior insula, regions of the brain involved in reflecting critically on new information.

The effects of psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, DMT, and psilocybin, are extreme. Because these drugs cause the brain to enter an over-excited state, they can have seizure-like effects. They furthermore can give rise to hallucinations, illusory color experiences, a feeling of floating , a feeling of one’s identity disintegrating , a feeling of becoming one with the universe, and illusions of time and distance. Thoughts can become uncontrollable, rambling , and obscure, and edged in acid, old memories may blend with new experiences.

While our serotonin levels tend to be low when we fall in love or are beset by a mindless love obsession, there are also states of love that resemble LSD trips. When your passion is unrequited or when you are away from your new love, your serotonin levels drop. But if you unexpectedly bump into him or her or realize that his or her love is not unrequited after all, your brain may release a surge of serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline, making your mind a bit like the LSD mind. In this state, you may be more likely to see things that are not there, have experiences that are mixed with old memories, and act in irrational ways.

Dopamine by itself can cause people to form beliefs that are not grounded in evidence. People whose blood levels of dopamine are higher than normal are more likely to attach meaning to sheer coincidences and find meaningful patterns in arbitrary scrambled images.

Peter Brugger, a neurologist from the University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland, examined twenty people who claimed to believe in paranormal events and twenty who claimed they didn’t. When the participants were asked to tell which faces were real and which were scrambled among a series of briefly flashed images, people who believed in paranormal events were more likely than skeptical participants to pick out a scrambled face as real. The results were the same when the participants were tested using words instead of faces. After the initial trials, the researchers administered L-dopa, which has the same effects as dopamine, to both groups of participants. After taking this drug, skeptics made many more mistakes when looking for real words or faces than before taking the drug.

The results of the study suggest that dopamine can make you see things that aren’t there and form beliefs without solid evidential backing. These results may explain the tendency of people in love to idealize their partners and attach meaning to every little move he or she makes. When in love, your dopamine levels are high when you think of your lover. This makes your brain a less reliable instrument for forming solid beliefs or making wise decisions.

 

 

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6 Ways To End A Sex Drought

When it rains, it pours. Here’s one I’ve had on the back burner for awhile from one of the ladies.

You hear it all the time, and the implication, of course, is that there’s also a flipside: When it’s dry, it’s dry for ages. This is especially true when it comes to sex. Often it feels like the only thing you need to get a guy’s attention is another guy’s attention. Conversely, when it’s been awhile since you’ve done, ahem, the deed, it can feel like it’ll never happen again. Which, of course, it will. It’s only a matter of time. After the jump, for your reading pleasure, a list of helpful tips to get the ol’ ball rolling again. By which I mean: LET’S GET YOU LAID. It’s been too long.

1. Maintain realistic expectations. First things first: Stop looking for your future husband. We’re not out to find you Mr. Perfect, we’re looking to get you laid. Find someone to whom you’re attracted, someone you think is a decent guy. That’s all. You don’t need identical value systems, you don’t have to be on the same page about kids, you don’t need to worry if he’s unemployed. Here’s your one and only guiding line: “I’m looking for someone attractive and kind. I’m going forth. And conquering.”

2. Embrace casual sex. It’s 2020. Let go — if you haven’t all ready — of the double standards put upon women who have casual sex. If you want it, have it. (And safely, of course.) Put all your energy into enjoying yourself (and kicking idiotic terms like “slut” to the curb).

3. Travel. Now, when I say travel, I’m talking as big or small as you want to go. Travel to the new bar that’s 20 minutes from your home instead of 10. Travel to that resort you keep meaning to check out that’s two hours away. Travel across the country. Go to Europe, for god’s sake! Put yourself in a situation that lets you be the new girl. It’s not just that you’re meeting new people — it’s that on levels both conscious and not, you’re expanding your mind and broadening your horizons, and all those sorts of things will create a new level of openness that will only have a positive effect. Are we talking Break-a-Budget-That-You-Can’t-Afford? No. We’re talking figure out what you can afford, and spend it on new sights and experiences.

4. Use Facebook or Twitter to your advantage. We need to make sure people know you’re single and looking. So start using those status updates to just that sort of positive effect! Wait for an instance wherein you’re in a zone of loving your single-dom, e.g. you’re glammed-up and out with your gal pals, and post a tweet or status update wherein you bravely address it. I’m talking something in the spirit of, “The single gals at the restaurant are always the ones laughing the hardest!” In short, don’t be afraid to speak of your single-dom in an online setting. It serves you well to embrace, announce, and relish the status just as often as you can.

5. Tell the elderly. Listen: I’ve gotten more dates from keeping the elderly abreast of my single-gal status than pretty much anywhere else. I swear! I’m talking my grandmother, my grandmother’s friends, and various elderly neighbors. These women have been around a long time, they’ve got a wide network, and they spend a decent portion of their day chitting and chatting with friends. Here’s a group that loves — and I mean loves – to match-make.  They’re just the types you want looking out for you and your cause. The other thing is, and I know this is a broad generalization, but I have personally seen it proven time and again: These women tend to know The Nice Guys, — i.e., your Grandma’s BFF Agnes isn’t going to set you up with Mr. Rude Bartender. No. She’ll set you up with so-and-so’s son who went to overnight camp with her daughter’s daughter 20 years back, a guy who works presently with, oh I don’t know, web content. So the next time these women of a certain age approach you, slow down, settle in, and share your story!

6. Get out of the house! Arguably the most obvious of the points, but just as a healthy and helpful reminder: Your home is for having sex. Not finding sex. Take a moment and consider how many of your mundane, daily activities could be moved to various areas that get just a wee bit more foot traffic than your couch. For example, if you read your paper in the morning at your kitchen table, perhaps get in the habit of reading it over coffee at your local coffee shop. If, in the evening, you love whiling away the hours on the internet, maybe do so on your iPad at your local bar. What I’m saying is, it helps to be available for someone other than a Peeping Tom.

 

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5 Behaviors That Reveal Someone Is Romantically Attracted To You

Attraction is a funny thing. No matter how much you try to hide it, some signs of it will seep through in someone’s body language. The question is whether the person you’re romantically attracted to notices those signs or not.

But that also extends to you – do you notice when someone has feelings for you? Or are you oblivious to it? Admittedly, most of us don’t go out of our way to look for signs of attraction. On top of that, many of them are very subtle, giving you no reason to pay any attention to them.

1. Facial Changes Can Show When Someone is Romantically Attracted

The face reveals a lot about a person, whether it’s what they’re thinking, how they’re feeling, or how they’re reacting to any given situation. It’s difficult to see any person who is constantly in control of every single movement of their face. Here are some signs to look out for!

· Smiles

Smiles aren’t just a sign of happiness. They signify comfort, enjoyment, appreciation, infatuation, and a wide variety of other positive feelings. As such, a person who always seems to be smiling wide around you may just be into you!

Most people don’t smile constantly throughout the day – they do so when they experience something that makes them do so. And maybe that “something” is your extra-special company!

Sure, faking a smile is totally possible, but many people can easily detect a less-than-genuine grin. It’s unlikely that someone is holding up a totally passable and believable smile for long periods of conversation. So if that certain person just can’t seem to stop grinning whenever you’re around, they may be romantically attracted to you.

· Tilts Of The Head

You may notice that, when you speak, the person who may be attracted to you tends to tilt their head to one side. Their head may be ever so slightly angled. This move has its roots in biology. How?

Well, according to behavioral investigator Vanessa Van Edwards, the subtle movement of neck exposure allows chemicals containing scents and odors – mainly pheromones – to enter the air. It’s a sometimes subconscious, sometimes intentional method of attracting a “mate”!

You can also interpret a head tilt as a sign of trust – the act of exposing a vulnerable location to the person sitting near you. It can also be a cute position that some people naturally adopt when they are listening intently. Whichever way is true, it bodes well for attraction!

· Blushing

Ever notice that your face gets warm when you’re around someone you like? It happens when blood rushes to your face, which can happen due to embarrassment, nervousness, or being flustered. Some of these emotions can occur when you’re attracted to someone.

It’s not obvious in all people, of course, especially in those with darker complexions. But if you have a sharp eye, you may be able to spot blushing in cheeks, lips, ears, noses, or even necks.

2. Signs Of Attention

If you don’t pay attention to someone a lot, chances are you don’t have strong feelings for them. That’s why the way someone responds to you, indicates their attention or reacts to show acknowledgment can greatly reveal how they feel about you. Here are some examples.

· Eye Contact

This is likely the most well-known sign that someone is romantically attracted, among other things. The eyes are the window to the soul, and eye contact indicates interest, encourages honesty and can make you both feel more open to each other. Essentially, it helps to build a connection. (1)

This is especially true if someone looks into your eyes for a long period of time. This can quickly become sensual and alluring. Interestingly, the inverse can also be true – someone who seems too nervous to hold eye contact for a long time may have a big crush and not know how to act because of it.

Regular, long periods of eye contact can also lead to the building of a deeper relationship that is more affectionate. So this eye contact could actually cause both of you to like each other even more!

· Leaning In

Someone who doesn’t want to be around you may seem to slowly back away or put some distance between both of you. But someone who wants to hear more will slowly, subconsciously lean in.

You may notice that this person stands noticeably close to you – as close as they can get. They don’t back away when you approach them first, and they tend to angle themselves so that they are fully facing you. This means they are fully invested in what you have to say – and maybe attracted!

Believe it or not, the direction of their feet can also indicate this. If their feet are pointed towards you, it’s because every inch of them wants to face you, be closer to you, or, at the very least, pay rapt attention you.

· Nodding

When someone repeatedly nods their head as you speak, it may be because they want you to know just how interested and invested they are. It is, however, often an unintentional movement – typically a small form of acknowledgment to what you’re saying because they don’t want to interrupt and break your stream of voice with their own.

3. Posture

Body language and posture make up a huge amount of communication, and many subtle movements can be an indication that someone is romantically attracted to you. After all, verbal communication has to work in tandem with nonverbal communication to get a point across correctly! Here are some areas that may reveal attraction. (2)

· Crossing Legs

Especially common in men, the act of crossing one’s legs and angling them towards someone else is a big sign that someone is interested. It is a way for them to express their attraction in a way that is biologically programmed, so it’s not easy to control – but it is very easy to notice!

· Palming

Palming is the act of holding your hands out, palms facing upwards or outwards usually towards the other person. Typically common in women, this act indicates a sense of vulnerability, honesty, and openness. It often also shows that someone wants to get to know you and is trusting you to get to know them.

· Open Stances

An open posture – such as a wide stance, an open facial expression, or relaxed limbs – are all a sign of comfort and point to a welcoming nature. This person wants to let you into their life, or, at least, into this conversation and all that it entails.

On the flip side, if someone’s posture is stiff and tight, they may be feeling awkward and may dislike the situation that they are in. They may cross their arms, look away, or tense up. If this is happening, it’s fairly safe to say that this person is either not interested or extremely guarded.

· Mirroring

Mirroring is the subconscious act of mimicking the posture or position of another person. For example, if you rest your chin on your elbow, someone who is attracted to you may do the same, effectively mirroring your appearance.

You can also take note of this from afar. If someone sitting several desks away seems to mirror everything you do, they might be secretly watching you.

4. Touch

Someone who likes you may try and find a lot of excuses to touch you. This can build a bond and help create chemistry and tension between two people, especially if you reciprocate. They may do things such as:

  • Lightly punch your arm
  • Touch your hand
  • Put their arm around your shoulder
  • Touch your arm or leg
  • Offer to get something out of your hair

Touching someone is an intimate action, and it can help the person in question to gauge your own interest. The way you react to the touch will tell them whether they should continue to pursue you or give up the conquest.

5. Speech Patterns That Indicate When Someone is Romantically Attracted

Everyone flirts in a different way, but in certain areas, it’s easy to spot someone who is romantically attracted – if you’re paying attention to how they speak. Certain very simple, seemingly casual and platonic interactions can actually be indicators of romantic interest. This is especially true if they are done alongside other signs. Here are a few examples.

· Teasing

Playful teasing is a common habit in those who flirt. It’s done to get a reaction and build chemistry. It can often cause the two of you to share a laugh, and you may even get a couple of inside jokes out of the deal. It builds a good rapport between two people, making it easier for them to relate to each other.

· Compliments

Compliments are a great thing to give and receive, and they increase positive thinking in both parties. If someone is repeatedly showering you with compliments, then chances are, they’re at least somewhat attracted to you. (3)

A few offhand comments of a positive nature don’t necessarily indicate that someone is romantically attracted to you. But repeated compliments that are heartfelt can be a sign of someone trying their very best to impress you or get you to like them.

· Tripping Over Words

Someone who is anxious around you may fumble their words, say the wrong things, or stammer a lot. It can be quite endearing to watch, and it’s a sweet sign that someone is nervously trying to impress you, or is simply too flustered to think of what to say coherently.

· Asking Questions

Asking questions is part of any normal, positive conversation. However, there is one fact across all interactions – people don’t ask a lot of questions unless they’re interested in the answers.

Small talk questions about the weather and how you are can be dismissed as politeness. But someone who is clearly invested in you and asks about many different aspects of you is really trying to get to know you better.

Final Thoughts On Some Hidden Behaviors That Reveal Someone Is Romantically Attracted To You

Do you think someone is romantically attracted to you? With an observant eye, some positive thinking, and a little luck, you’ll be able to spot these signs in the person who has caught your own attention. Don’t be surprised when you notice that you display a lot of these signs of attraction when you’re around your crush, too!

 

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

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Rebecca – Chapter 7 – Cypress and the Oak – Part 4

I met Rebecca 3 years ago on a date. Rebecca has recently made an appearance in my life so I thought I’d re-run this series so everyone won’t have to go back and search for her series to catch up. Enjoy!

Fall of 2016

Rebecca was ripping into her slices. Baby was happy. She seemed liberated from tonight’s heartbreaking tale. I love to see a lady eat. I hope I can cook for her one day.

“Okay, so what ultimately happened to the Hiroshima twins?”

“Well my buddy went back to Belfast to study law to become a barrister and I kept in touch a little bit with the sisters.”

“That was the end of it?”

“Well one night big sister calls me and says that there is some great band playing at Madam Wong’s East in Chinatown. So I go, and she and baby sister are there and the three of us are hanging out. I’m burning pretty clean that night because I’m driving. Now my buddy has been gone for months. Baby sister isn’t into me at all. I’m fine with that, she’s still with older guy. What if that dude was married the whole time and she’s just his side piece? That would be crazy, but I wouldn’t rule it out. So baby sister ends up leaving and I hang with older sister. She’s a great girl, and ex-girlfriend from one of my best friends in the world. We’re living it up and dancing, and having a great time at the show. I wish I remember who was playing. (T-Bone Burnett) But if I can’t remember they couldn’t have been that great. I’m happy to be with her and then she tells me something. She says that when we initially met, she was really liking me. She wanted me but settled on my buddy when she saw I was into her younger sister. I ended up making out with her that night. There was some grabbing under the table but not much else. I wasn’t that into her but she was a sweet girl. I liked the fact that she was always into me though. We both had a great time and then she went home. I never saw either of them again.”

“It’s still a good story.”

“I guess. One of many. One of the more tame ones.”

“Oh really?”

“Well I was in a band.”

“Ok, rockstar, but I still liked the idea that the younger sister was in love with the older gentleman. She knew what she liked.”

“I suppose.”

“Do you go on Tinder a lot?”

“Hardly ever now. I can’t really be bothered with it. It seems so superficial.” (Bold-Faced Lie. I’m writing a dating blog!)

“Me either. I’m kinda done with it. You’ve been amazing tonight. Thank you so much for seeing me and listening to all of my woes. I feel so much better. I’m glad I let it out. I hope you’re not freaked out by it. I know you didn’t ‘Super Like’ me on Tinder but I’m glad we met just the same.”

“Well for the record, you didn’t ‘Super Like’ me either.” I laughed to make light of this nonsense.

“I know it’s all so silly.”

“Well if it’s any consolation, Rebecca, I’m not afraid to say that I super like you now and hope I can see you again soon. You’re smart and beautiful and I’ve really enjoyed our time together. The museum was amazing because of you, and tonight has been wonderful. I’m just happy to be with you. There. Complete transparency, okay?”

“I know we didn’t do the Fringe Festival but I was just trying to think of stuff to do with you and then I went through my crap. Can we plan something soon?”

My heart is soaring. “Of course. Let’s text and or call. Whatever you want Rebecca. To be honest with you I dated an actress for a while and she liked all that Fringe stuff and I kind of hate it all. It’s fringe for a reason.”

“I agree. Maybe we could go to the movies. I don’t care what we see. I trust you’ll pick and it’ll be good. I’m thinking buttery popcorn and candy.”

“I’ll find something good. Maybe I can email you a few previews and we can agree on something.”

“No. You pick. We’re both busy. We’ll make it work. Let’s do a Saturday matinée and then grab drinks afterward so we can chat about the film!”

How great is this? Did I rub a lamp and did this girl come out of it?  We crushed most of the pie. She says how she’s going to be fat from eating so much pizza, but I assure her she won’t gain any weight if none of her girlfriends see her do it, so it doesn’t count. Like eating Snickers bars or drinking alone. Oh, wait, that second one is something else.

The bill comes and there is some pie left and we ask for a box. I say to her how it’s funny that the first part of our second date was her story, and then part two was somehow a tale from my past. She says how she would like to hear more of my stories and is fascinated by life and different experiences. She says she’d love to travel, but it’s expensive. I tell her I just got my passport for the first time. She says she likes to go to the seashore and I hold back that there is a shore house in my family a block and a half from the beach in North Wildwood. Too early. I like to play some great songs, but don’t play the hits too early. Let’s see where this is going. If it somehow progresses, I’d love to take her to the shore. Just to take a break from the city, and commune with nature by the sea. Oh, who am I kidding? It’ll look like a hooker hotel room in Jersey City in the heat of the night.

I insist on paying. Rebecca giggles and tells me I have to pay because her credit card may be maxed our from her last transaction. “Totally worth it.” She says.

It’s late. She has to work tomorrow and save lives. I have to write about this. We walk outside and Philadelphia is surprisingly quiet for once. I’ve had a lovely time with this treasure. The night is clear and the buildings are familiar. I’ve been on this odyssey for the last ten years and all I can think of is ‘Here we go again’. But I love the euphoria of this moment. The exhilaration of new love. I know that’s what it is. No one has said it. She may not even know what it is. She’s had a measure of the pain and searing anguish of love with Derrick, but here it is again. She seems interested in me and may not know what kind of animal she has caught in her snare. But I’m willing to be caught and ready to go.

“I’ve had a wonderful night with you.” She says, taking my hands in hers. She looks up at me. Her eyes are dark and full of light. I don’t question what’s happening. “Thank you so much for your time tonight. I can’t thank you enough. I feel like you fixed me. I have been wearing armor my whole life and when I take it off I always get hurt. I feel like I’m safe when I’m with you.” She lifts her hands slowly and gently touches my cheeks and kisses me gently. Her kisses are soft and sincere.

That’s the difference.

There’s no faking that.

Ever.

 

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Alicia – Chapter 5 – Get Her Number

I used to be at war with my demons and now we’re all on the same side.

I need my sleep from life in general. I wake late on Monday morning. There are things I need to do. They need to happen today. The first day of the week. I have to go deposit my check and talk to Alicia.

There’s no real reason to do any of this, other that the directive that always drives me. I like Alicia my favorite teller, and I want to break the shell of her understanding and take her to a nice lunch. I want to get to know her.

Why?

Why not. I’m attracted to her and her aloofness. That and those arms. It’s weird but it’s mine. There’s something unique about her. If I can just secure some time with her outside the credit union I can learn all about her. Is it for me or the blog?

Do I really want to get to know this stranger that handles my money or am I just doing this to create content for phicklephilly?

Have I done things before that have simply driven the blog? I’m starting to think that I have. I’m managing my current relationship as best I can and all of the facets that come with that but why this teller?

I know nothing about her. She’s behind bulletproof glass. Is this simply a new goal for me to keep my life interesting and drop the dopamine?

I’m starting to think that. Is the art now driving my life?

I don’t have a problem with that but I can feel the anxiety placing its cold fingers around my heart as I climb the steps to my credit union.

I take some deep breaths as I unbutton my overcoat and loosen my scarf.

“I need to get into character and just do this.”

I walk into the credit union and head to the desk. I fill out my deposit slip. My hands are shaking a bit. Am I just nervous or are dementia tremors kicking in from the drinking? I write my name and social security number and it looks like the writing of an old man.

I’m 55. Middle age has got me by the throat, but I still have mad game and after decades of dealing with my anxiety and depression… I can push those loser off me.

I know what I’m going to say. I worked it out all weekend. I’m ready. I’m going to run the program like I always have. I’m so good at this now. I turn to Depression and tell him to cheer up and go to work. I turn to Anxiety and tell him to settle down and just be excited at the prospect of a new lady.

I used to be at war with these demons and now we’re all on the same side.

Get in line.

I’m standing there with my paperwork. There are tellers waiting on customers. Just another boring Monday at the office.

I see her.

Alicia.

Her back is turned and she’s working on something at the back counter behind the teller area.

Fuck! She won’t see me. I’ll have to go to one of these other people.

Bust suddenly she turns and sees me. She smiles.

“I can take you down here.”

Time to close this.

I scamper down to her window. The credit union’s quiet. I need to do this now. I push my check and deposit slip into the slit under the bulletproof glass.

“How are you? Nice to see you.”

“You too.”

This is where the rubber meets the road my friends. The move has to be made now or you will lose forever.

“You said you like french toast.”

“Yeah” she smiles.

“On the weekends brunch goes to 3pm, but during the week breakfast ends at 11am. Most end at 10:30. The only place to get french toast in this city during the week after 11am is Midtown Diner. I’m not taking you there. Great spot, but no. I spoke with my friend Jason at Square 1682. He’s the General Manager. I described the dilemma of your 11am lunch break. He told me if I email him and give him the day we’re meeting for lunch he assured me that you will have french toast for lunch at 11 even though breakfast ends at 10:30. And the french toast at Square 1682 is slammin.”

Alicia is listening intently and smiles. She is delighted by my efforts.

This is how you date my friends.

Go slowly. Build the trust. Make her laugh. Make her feel safe. Be non menacing. Be trustworthy. Be creative. Bend time. Be original. Be extraordinary.

So many men fire off to quickly and blow it. My father taught me to be the lion lying in the grass and doing nothing. Like wine it could take years. Most men aren’t that patient. You have to be if you want something. I’ve waited years for the things I’ve wanted.

If you can do that and be elegant, you’ll close the sale and win the girl.

It may not work out, but it’s never the kill. It’s the thrill of the chase.

That’s the true rush of romance. The best part. The unknown. The excitement of the possibilities.

This could just be a lunch, but I want nothing more from Alicia. I love the idea of the old horse being able to get a lunch date with a beautiful young girl though bulletproof glass can still happen.

I tell her my efforts and Alicia is entranced.

“I can’t do this week, but next Thursday at 11 would work.”

“Perfect. May have your number?”

Alicia grabs a pink post it and scrawls down her phone number. She sticks it to my deposit receipt and thrusts it back to me under the glass.

 

The die has been cast. I’ve won after over a year of desire.

I tell her I’ll push her my contact info in a text. She smiles and agrees.

I’ve done it.

There is a pause and we look into each others eyes. We smile and I realize I have all I need and my transaction is done.

“Okay then. I’ll set it up.”

“Yea. Have a great day, Charles.”

“I have some more checks to deposit so I’ll see you soon.”

“Okay.” (smiles)

I walk out of the credit union. Should I go out and have a celebratory smoke or go eat before my shift at the salon because I have to train the new girl (Eileen or Amelia) tonight?

Go eat. You’ve earned it buddy!

 

Lunch date with hot Alicia!

 

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