3 Signs You Need Space From Your Partner, Because Sometimes You Need A Break

One of the most satisfying parts of having a bae is that there’s always someone around to spend time with. Whether you’re in need of a Netflix and ~chill~ buddy or a date to bring to a family event, being in a relationship ensures that you have someone by your side when you need them. That said, no matter how in love you are, making time for yourself is really important too. Space is something you should never be ashamed to ask for, so if you’re recognizing the signs you need space from your partner, it might be time to have a conversation.

Recognizing these signs doesn’t necessarily mean that something’s wrong with your relationship. It could just be that you’ve been neglecting your needs as an individual, which can start to feel like a major strain on yourself, mentally and emotionally. I spoke with best-selling author and NYC dating expert Susan Winter to find out what you should be looking out for.

“It’s absolutely normal to love someone and also need your space,” Winter tells Elite Daily. “Partnership requires a lot of emotional and mental energy. Being in a relationship also means we’re aware and attentive to our mate’s feelings and needs.” Sometimes in our rush to satisfy others, we forget to take care of ourselves. If you suspect this might be happening to you, here are three signs you could use some you-time.

1. Everything your partner does annoys you.

According to Winter, if you find yourself constantly annoyed by everything your partner does, then there’s a solid chance that it’s time to take a step back. “When we push past our own self-care boundaries, everything our partner does will get on our nerves,” says Winter. It’s not that you don’t love them, but just like being over-exposed to your BFF or even your family can stress you out, there comes a time when you need to do your own thing for a sec.

2. You lash out at them.

“[If] you’re really bitchy [to your partner] no matter how hard you try to be nice,” it could be that you need some time to recalibrate and recharge your emotional battery, explains Winter.

Letting your partner know that you need some space can be tough, so instead, many of us try to keep quiet about our urges to fly solo. But keeping your feelings bottled up makes it easier to take out your frustrations on your SO, which can result in more hurt and confusion in the end.

3. Being around them makes you feel short-tempered and irritable.

“Too much togetherness is suffocating,” says Winter. “We’re going to be impatient and reactive if we haven’t had space to unwind and collect our thoughts. The correct balance of together and alone time is essential for any relationship to thrive.”

If you find yourself feeling tense around your SO for no reason, then it could be a sign that it’s time to have a conversation with your bae about your need for space. However, Winter also notes that if you aren’t communicating with your partner and are instead pulling away, there might be a bigger issue at place.

“You’ll know you’ve got a problem if you get more joy being away from your partner than with them, you find yourself making less and less time to see your mate each week, or you have to force yourself to put on a ‘happy face’ in order to appear normal,” warns Winter.

It’s important to be direct with your partner about how you’re feeling. Communication is essential to a healthy relationship, so there’s nothing wrong with making more time for yourself as long as you let your partner know, so they aren’t in the dark about your needs. A good partner will be supportive and understanding, so don’t be afraid to be honest.

 

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

My new book, Phicklephilly 2 is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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4 Things You Need To Know About Pickable, The New Dating App That’s Giving Women All The Power

When it comes to certain things — OK, maybe everything — we all benefit when women are in charge. And in our opinion, the same thing applies to dating in the digital age. That’s why our ears perked up when we got wind of Pickable, the new app that’s redefining what it means for women to be in control of their dating lives.

And trust us, we, too, have heard it ALL before. We’ve tried the websites that promise to deliver more compatible dates than a matchmaker, we’ve downloaded the apps that pair you based on your most obscure interests, but mostly, we’ve wasted time going back and forth with matches that we have no chance of actually meeting IRL.

But then we met Pickable, which checks the two most important boxes when it comes to online dating: It’s like no app experience we’ve had before (and we’ve had ’em all), AND it gives off major girl power vibes.

Yes and yes, thank you!

Here are 4 things you need to know about Pickable.

1. It’s built on anonymity.

One of the most unique aspects of Pickable is that it’s a totally anonymous experience for women, right up until they come across a guy they want to connect with. Unlike other apps, female users don’t have to worry about less-than-ideal people (i.e. coworkers, exes, the list goes on) coming across their profiles.

Women start by downloading the app and browsing anonymously. That’s right — they don’t have to include a photo, bio, or even their name. Men, on the other hand, create a simple profile with their name and photo, as well as an optional bio.

When a woman sees someone she wants to strike up a convo with, all she has to do is shoot him a photo, which he can either accept and start chatting, or skip and move along.

How easy is that?

2. It will save you time.

Dating apps are a lot of things. One thing they shouldn’t be is time-consuming.

Pickable provides an alternative to browsing profiles ’til you’re blue in the face, and it helps you avoid the dreaded ‘pen pal’ situation where you and your matches talk forever, but never actually meet up in reality.

Women may have anonymity on Pickable, but men also luck out: All they have to do is chill out and wait until they’re notified that someone wants to chat, and from there (if they’re interested) they can engage, and then take the conversation where it should be — offline, ASAP.

No more sending messages out into the void and getting shot down, or worse, not getting a response at all.

3. It cuts out the stuff that doesn’t matter.

With some apps, you’re practically encouraged to build out elaborate profiles with oh-so-clever bios and the *perfect* pictures that show you from all the right angles.

But how much does that stuff actually matter in the long run?

Not much, according to Pickable. With their minimalist profiles for men, and no profiles for women, they’re cutting out all the fluff that usually just ends up complicating things, and getting straight to what’s most important: Meeting up in real life to see if you’re actually compatible.

4. It evens the playing field.

Even though the Pickable experience differs for men and women, a couple crucial things remain the same: Neither can send unsolicited messages, and once a woman’s chat request is accepted by a man, EITHER can send the first message.

This gives both parties the ability to come up with a fun opening line, and makes unsolicited messages from people you’re not interested in a thing of the past.

Want to try out Pickable and see for yourself what all the hype is about? All you have to do is download the app for free (!); it’s available on both iOS and Android. And in the meantime, click here to learn more about how Pickable works to make real connections in the easiest, most fuss-free way possible.

 

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

My new book, Phicklephilly 2 is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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7 Signs Your Relationship Won’t Last, Based On How You Spend Time Together

It’s completely normal to wonder whether your relationship will last. And there are a lot of different indicators about what makes a strong relationship or a weak one, but we often overlook one of the most basic and obvious tells: how do you spend your time together?

Now, that’s assuming you are spending time together. Because if you disagree on how much time you should be spending, that’s a problem on its own. “If you find that you are constantly negotiating how often you want to be together, it’s not a great sign,” relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein, LCSW, tells us, “It suggests that there’s a disparity in what you both want this relationship to be. One of you is likely to be pushing for something more serious and the other is likely wanting something very casual. Either option is fine, but the disparity can cause problems.”

So let’s assume that you’re spending an amount of time together that both of you are comfortable with — so what do you have to look for? Well, there are a lot of different signs as to whether or not you’ll make it in the long run. Here’s what you have to look for, based on how you spend time together.

1. You Can Never Decide How To Spend Time Together

How you spend time together can give you a big clue into your relationship health.

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

You know those days where you get caught in a horrible cycle talking about what restaurant you should go to or if you should see a movie? If that happens too much, it may be a bad indicator for the long term.

“If you have trouble determining how you do want to spend time tighter, it can also be a problem,” Hartsein says. “You can’t expect a partner to have the exact same interests as you do, but if you have very different ways of spending your time and trouble finding common ground, it could be an issue. If one of you is a homebody and the other one always wants to be out socializing, it will likely be an issue!”

Sure, some things you’ll do by yourself and some days you’ll both be indecisive, but figuring out how to spend time together shouldn’t be too stressful. If you never can figure out what to do with your partner, that’s a sign.

2. You’re Distracted

Are you actually in the moment? I’ll give you one guess what the biggest culprit here is — that’s right, phubbing. If you’re snubbing your partner for your phone when you spend time together, it’s not a good sign. In fact, a study of 450 people from Baylor University found that 46 percent had been phubbed by a partner — and 22 percent said it was the primary source of their arguments.

“You might be a phubber if time away from your phone, even for a minute or two, results in serious anxiety,” Jonathan Bennett, relationship/dating coach and owner of The Popular Man, tells us. “You can’t fully focus on the person talking to you because you’re worrying that you’ll miss a text, Instagram post, or that new person viewing your Snapchat story.”

If this sounds like you — or your partner — may be the problem. Now, you don’t need to panic — a lot of us struggle with our phone use, after all — but if you put the phone away and find things strained and awkward, pay attention to that.

3. You Can’t Be Quiet Together

Being able to spend time quietly together is a great sign.

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

At first, your relationship might feel like fireworks and sparks all the time — and that’s great. But over the long term, a sustainable relationship has to have its exciting moments and its quiet ones.

“Most people feel awkward and fill the silence with non-stop chit-chat or annoying questions,” relationship coach and psychic medium Melinda Carver tells us. “Let’s say you are walking in the woods and resting at a waterfall — if you two can enjoy the moment together silently, you are enjoying a companionable silence.”

If you and your partner are constantly needing to fill that silence, you may not be comfortable enough with each other to make it in the long haul.

4. You Have To Be Attached At The Hip

When you’re out with other people, how needy are you? “I have noticed that those couples that have felt the most comfortable and secure with their partner show it in the form of trust,” dating expert Noah Van Hochman tells us. “This can be seen when you are at a party or event together where your partner is not tracking your every movement, but instead allowing you to do whatever it is that will make you smile without the need to crowd you.”

Sure, you might get very serious about your relationship in the early days, but at some point you both need a sense of independence and autonomy. If you feel like you need to be right at each other’s side, there may be trust or co-dependency issues.

5. You Distract Yourselves From The Big Issues

In a strong relationship, you should feel like you can talk about anything.

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

You should be able to talk about pretty much anything with your partner. If you spend your time together skating around big issues or just in total denial, that’s not a healthy relationship. “One clear sign that your partner feels at ease around you is that they feel comfortable talking about anything with you,” Shlomo Slatkin, who founded the Marriage Restoration Project with his wife, Rivka, tells us.

Make sure that your time together isn’t just burying your head in the sand. If you feel like there a certain things you can’t voice to your partner, that may be a sign that they’re just not the right fit for you.

6. It’s All Work And No Play

How often do you laugh together? If your time together doesn’t involve laughing or letting go, that can be a pretty depressing relationship to maintain. “Give yourself permission to be silly — it’s easy to take relationships way too seriously,” says Bennett. “You don’t always have to be on your best behavior. Sometimes, it’s OK to simply have mindless laughter and goof around with your significant other.” In fact, it’s healthy.

My mom always says if you’re swimming upstream you’re going the wrong way — of course relationships have tricky moments from time to time, but if it always feels like work then maybe you just aren’t a great fit.

7. It’s Just Default Time

It's important you and your partner spend meaningful time together.

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Spending time together can come in a lot of forms — and if yours is always default time and never a date night, it may just be that you’re taking each other for granted. “It takes work to keep the romance alive and the couple has to make a conscious decision to put this work in,” Ravid Yosef, dating and relationship coach at LoveLifeTBD.com, tells us. “Schedule regular date nights that do not include your couch or PJs.”

It’s totally natural to spend some time zoning out in the same space — it just shouldn’t be all the time. Sometimes, making the effort can make all the difference.

The way you and your partner interact and spend time together is a good indicator of how things will go in the long haul. But as long as you’re being present, making time for each other, having fun, and communicating, then you should be on the right track.

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

8 Reasons You’ve Stopped Having Sex in Your Relationship-And How to Address It

THESE ARE THE MOST COMMON ROMANTIC ROADBLOCKS YOU MIGHT ENCOUNTER.

As a therapist who specializes in modern love and studies the science behind connection, I inquire about the sex lives of dating individuals and couples constantly. What I hear in my sessions mirrors recent data, which indicates an upward trend in the number of U.S. adults who reported having no sex in the past year. That number peaked at 23 percent in 2018, according to a report from the General Social Survey.

Social scientists, psychologists, and economists have weighed in on rationales for the “sex recession,” citing everything from the increase in social media and phone use to newfound awareness of unwelcome and assaultive sex. And while there are surely societal influences that may be impacting our sex lives at large, there are also elements that are unique to our individual relationships. That said, here are some of the most common interpersonal reasons people in relationships stop having sex, as well as how to address them.

1. You focus on cultivating intimacy but not desire.

Desire, our capacity to succumb to our pleasures without guilt or shame, is selfish by definition. On the contrary, long-term relationships are built on mutual respect and mindfulness of the other person’s needs. In order to have a thriving sex life, we must wrestle with the contradictions between our values and our innate desire. Intimacy thrives on security and stability, while desire feeds off newness and is stifled by routine.

One intervention is to find opportunities in your relationship to be sexually transgressive. Consider writing or stating an erotic fantasy to your partner. Identify a new space (room, city, state) to have sex in. Simply talking about breaking the rules, even if you don’t actually break them, can invite a playful and adventurous spirit into your sexual connection.

2. You don’t spend enough quality time together.

In 2010, research from the National Marriage Project found that couples who spend time alone with each other at least once a week are 3.5 times more likely to enjoy above-average levels of sexual satisfaction than spouses who did so less frequently.

Investing time and energy in your relationship promotes a connection and could lead to increased sexual satisfaction. If life feels “too busy” to carve out this time, consider scheduling date nights or sex like you would a meeting or workout class, to ensure it is prioritized.

3. You don’t know what you want—or how to ask for it.

Experiencing pleasure requires that we have a clear sense of what we want. Pleasure is sometimes viewed as self-indulgent and narcissistic, two qualities that most people don’t want to be defined by and therefore resist exploring. But instead of judging our preferences, we must own them. Masturbating on a regular basis can help nurture a relationship with ourselves. Through experimentation, we can identify what feels good and how we like to be touched.

It is our right to have our needs met—and clearly stating our sexual preferences to our partners is like giving them the road map to helping achieve that. Show or tell your partner how to satisfy your needs. You’ll both be better off for it (and so will your relationship).

4. You’re not comfortable with your body.

Several aspects of body image, including weight worries, sexual attractiveness, and preoccupations about the body during sex, predict sexual satisfaction in women, according to 2009 research published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Men are also impacted by these concerns; one 2016 study published in Psychology of Men & Masculinity found that around 20 percent of “normal” weight men report hiding an aspect of their body during sex.

This evidence suggests that it is not our bodies themselves that impact our gratification, but rather our feelings toward them. Implementing positive self-talk has not only proven to increase confidence but also to internally remodel the negative grooves in our brains. Additionally, building awareness of what we allow into our field of view by limiting our intake of body “inspiration” on social media can positively impact our self-concept.

5. You’re experiencing a life transition.

In all rites of passage—consider the shift from childlessness to parenthood, singlehood to coupledom, married to divorced, or rebuilding after an affair—there are role exits and entries, where we must let go of an old identity in order to inhabit a new one. Anxiety, depression, and inner conflict tend to ensue when we experience a role transition. Walking into the unknown, even if it’s the most beautiful uncharted territory, is going to ignite fear.

The primordial human response to fear is to self-protect and clamp up. Normalizing this transitory period by removing expectations to behave like you “used to” or “do better” may help you relax and therefore open up sexually. Start by executing small and approachable sensual acts that will support you and your partner in building a track record of success. Couples that view their sexual narratives as continuous know that transition periods are chapters and not endings.

6. Your sex life is a reflection of another impasse in your relationship.

Our sex lives can be a barometer for other roadblocks in the relationship. For example, if you’re constantly being told that what you’re doing is wrong, you may notice a decreased attraction to your partner. Power struggles outside of the bedroom bear down on what transpires beneath the sheets. Underneath each criticism we have about our partners is a wish, an unmet need longing to be granted. To break the negativity cycle, begin to phrase your disapproval as requests. When we state our desires with intention and vulnerability, making it about ourselves rather than others, there is a higher likelihood that they will be well-received and met.

7. Your technology addiction is inhibiting your sex drive.

Modern life provides ample material for stimulation. Having more modes of conveniently accessible distraction on our smartphones can intercept our appetite for human connection. Start to build cognizance of when, where, and how long you are using your phone. Get curious about how your engagement with technology may be distracting you from stressors in your life or impacting the quality of your face-to-face relationships.

Making intentional decisions to engage and disengage from technology—such as removing TVs, laptops, and phones from the bedroom space—may help you have more satisfying experiences with both your digital and human interactions. Keeping the bed sacred for sleep and sex can train the brain to associate this place with these two acts, increasing the likelihood of both.

8. You’re not in the mood (for a variety of reasons).

A lack of sexual desire may be influenced by physiological challenges, psychological issues, or a combination of the two. Certain health conditions, like diabetes, or medications, like anti-depressants, may impact how turned on you feel. Life stressors, subsequent worries, low self-esteem, and a history of sexual abuse can all promote sexual distance. Expressing these mind and body experiences to a trusted partner, friend, or therapist may reduce their grip on the sexual connection.

On top of sharing our truths, building scientific knowledge about how our bodies are wired, may reduce guilt and shame related to low desire or arousal. The sexual response cycle that we witness in movies and other forms of entertainment—which is desire, arousal, and then orgasm—does not align with most of our lived experiences. In consensual sex, many of us do not feel desire or arousal until the act begins. Meanwhile, some individuals may not even be seeking physical satisfaction with sex, but rather emotional closeness. Reducing the pressure to achieve orgasm may enable couples to enjoy more aspects of the journey.

Approaching our sex lives as living, and therefore malleable, gives us permission to change the dynamic at any time. Having the will to revisit the erotic narrative in a relationship encourages us to look deeper into our own desires and those of our partners, having the potential to lead to more and better sex. And if you’re not sure if your sex slowdown is a bigger issue than you might think.

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Maria – Chapter 9 – A Drink with my Muse

I’m working at Mac mart and killing it. I love working there. It’s been an interesting transition from the tanning salon. I committed myself to the salon for two and a half years hoping some kind of equity position but that never materialized.

I”ve been killing it and I’m feeling the over load. My daughter and my new boss has warned me of working too much , but I love to stay busy.

But by working more at Mac Mart and less at the salon I actually have time off.  Something I haven’t had for 2 years. It’s odd for me to be free to do nothing at 5pm at night.

My friends ask me why I haven’t been at happy hour and I tell them I haven’t seen them at the bank.

It’s a joke but it actually rings true.

I’s nice to see $6,700 in your checking account.

But I’ve given up my shifts at the salon and relinquished them to the girls I’ve hired. I could take them but the ladies need them and I have the shifts at Mac Mart.

But with these shifts, there are days when I work all day and I finished at 5pm.

I’m not used to this. For the last 2 year I’ve been locked into 8pm at night.

I can actually go to an event and have someone work for me during my shift.

Our season is over and I’m down to one girl a night and I can focus on Mac Mart.

So I actually end my Thursday at Mac Mart at 5pm knowing I can go to Square 1682 because there’s and event there.

It’s a beach themed event. They have all of these drink specials at the outside tables. My favorite bartender on Earth is there. (Roman – Rock and Roll bartender)

It’s hot. Philly is hot from 3pm to 6pm, but the sun is setting and the event is nice. the music is good thanks to Roman. He’s singing some songs and its beautiful.

It’s a little alien. After working every night at the salon until 8pm every might, I’m accustomed to entering the night after that. My social life began at 8:30 or later, and my good friends were forced to accept that.

But tonight I’m finished at my job at 5pm and it’s nice. I worked the morning and afternoon at Mac Mart and it was lovely. I love my new career.

But to leave a job at 5pm after 2 years is a bit weird. I had texted a few people to let them know I’m off.  The Stewardess, a friend and finally,…. the muse, Maria. (See: Maria – Amore en Vano)

I decide to text her: “Happy Hour today?”

“I could technically meet for a drink. I have to work at 6 tonight. So random lol.”

“And I leave the office at 3pm.”

“I”ll be at Square 1682 a little after 5pm”

“I’ll see what I can do”

Classic Maria. Elusive and gorgeous. I have to expect she will NEVER come to meet me.

I know she’s busy, and I took a risk. I know I’ll never hear from her, but that’s our relationship.

Maria inspired the blog Phicklephilly. She can do what she likes. Be bad. Never get back to me. I’ll love you anyway, because you’re my inspiration and got me writing again after 10 years of nothing.

Maria you are special.

You can do whatever you want. Since it’s inception 2 years ago, phicklephilly has had over 970 posts, and over 51,000 views and thousands of followers.

You can do no wrong, dear.

Thank you.

I roll out of work and make my way east to Square 1682 two blocks away.

It’s a beach themed event outside the bar. They’ve roped off the street and my man Roman is pouring special cocktails and singing songs.

Industry people are there and I know so many of them. It reminds me of my past life in that world and I’m so happy to see them all.

I had texted several women that night to meet me just for the sake of sharing a drink. I had gone there just to see Roman and hear him sing after 2 years of absence.

I was sitting in the shade sipping a free cocktail with a gentleman I’m friends with from a fine Italian restaurant in the area.

I’m surrounded with lovely people I know from my past life in the bar industry. It’s great, but then I look at my phone and MARIA is calling me.

I take the call and am dumbfounded that I’m getting a call from my muse. She says she’s inside the bar.

I tell the people I’m sharing the shade with I have to go.

The muse is calling.

I go inside and the bar is empty.

But my lovely Queen is sitting at the bar waiting for me.

I am so happy to see her.

She looks gorgeous as always. Her hair is chocolate ribbons and her face is as lovely as a brand new day as always.

She’s been ghosted by her shitty boyfriend that sadly used my friend as a side piece and that breaks my heart because I adore Maria. This clown was able to be intimate with someone I really care for and then discarded her.

But that’s how it works in this city sometimes. We live and we learn.

Even I know now that all of my muses have been toxic and I can never date my inspiration.

But in this moment, Maria has appeared and I’m so happy to see her. The inspiration for Phiklephilly.

She just got her Bachelors of Liberal Arts in Marketing and graduated from Temple University.

I know she’ll that she’ll choose a handsome husband at some point. As she should. But there will always be the guy that wrote a blog that loved her hospitality at Misconduct and thought she was beautiful and charming with a pair of lovely legs that always loved her from a distance.

I enter the bar. My bar.  My favorite bartender is playing outside, singing songs and pouring cocktails.

I am inside with my Queen with my most hated bartender in the city. Dee. Just a ball of Awful. Fire her today.

It doesn’t matter, I’m with the muse.

Maria gets a tart fruity $7 cocktail and I get a heady one in a copper pot. I”m just stupid happy to be with the inspiration of phicklephilly.

10 years. I write nothing

Maria. Phicklephilly is created

Never date or get mixed up with you muse.

It was beautiful as the sun went down on the fun even outside, and I was in my bar with my queen for a moment.

I looked upon her. She said she went to the beach for a day. Her skin was caramel and beautiful.

She had to get to her job, but is still looking for a marketing gig now that she’s graduated. I’m shopping her resume to some of my contacts in the industry.

But sadly as hard as I push her resume to my industry contacts I keep getting the same response.

A career waitress at 32 with a BA in marketing will only yield a job in sales.

I’ve worked in sales my whole life and have been wildly successful, but sales in itself is an almost imossible nut to crack.

I want so much for maria, but based on what I know about the cold stark world of corporate  life, I don’t know if there is anything for my dear out there at this point.

I’ll keep pushing…

I’m so proud of her and Maria has come so far.

I am grateful for every hug she gave me.

I will always love Maria.

There’s just something about her….

 

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

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Duncan – Concentrated Dosage – Part 2 – Saturday

“We keep getting older, but they stay the same age.”

I wake up on Saturday morning, and after a day of drinking and activities on Friday, I’m a little banged up. Duncan and I were supposed to go to breakfast at 10am but that wasn’t going to happen.

I rolled over to the Ritz Carlton around 11am Saturday. Duncan was chilling in the lobby. We decided to head down to the movie theater. It was a little cold, but not too bad. Duncan was freezing because he lives in a warm climate and can’t take the cold winters of the Northeast anymore. (Fuckin’ wimp!)

Philly is an incredibly walkable city and we decide to walk all the way down to Columbus Blvd. to the movie theater. It’s right on the Delaware river. (Hence the name, Riverview Stadium) It probably took us about forty minutes to walk down there. The nice thing about walking around Philly is, it gives you time to look at all of the sights and just talk.

I love my time with Duncan this weekend. We’ve really reconnected as friends and as men. He’s been in my life for twenty years and I want to keep him there.

We get to the theater and there’s a line for tickets, but people are in line for everything playing and there. I decide to leave Duncan in line and try the kiosk, because there’s always that person that’s in front of you that is making it their life’s work just to by a couple of tickets to see a movie. That goes for everywhere I go in life. I’m always behind that person that is digging through a coin purse at Rite Aid, or making international transactions at an ATM, or just basically doesn’t ever have their shit together when it comes to doing anything in regard to a retail transaction. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this.

So I hit the ticket kiosk and swipe my card for two tickets to see Rouge One: A Star Wars Story, and I get them! I pull him out of line and we go in. Duncan’s happy that I came through in the clutch because we’re cutting showtime pretty close. The tickets were twenty something by I don’t care. I know what’s going to happen next, and I’m all set.

The theater is huge, and we take the escalator upstairs. We hit the snack bar and Duncan is on the case. He orders a bucket of popcorn. Mistake. No one can eat that much fucking popcorn. Then he gets our drinks. The girl upsells him to the large size because she says we can get free refills. Mistake. No one can drink that much fucking soda. Maybe a couple of dudes that just walked of the face of the Sun, but no human can hold that much liquid in their bodies in one sitting, but I admire her upsell. He gets a box of M&M peanuts for himself and I take the popcorn over to that machine that literally drenches the bucket in butter. It’s probably not even butter, but who cares, it’s delicious. I tell him I want a tray of soft pretzel bites with the spicy cheese sauce and we’re all set. The snacks came to somewhere around thirty-five dollars, and I’ve won. Duncan just bought me a deliciously gross breakfast and the tickets I bought were less that what he paid to feed our sorry hung over asses.

We get into the theater and there aren’t that many people in there. I like that. We take a pair of seats in the back and get situated. We watch a bunch of previews which I love. I’m starving and start ripping into my pretzel bites and the popcorn. The sodas are so enormous I feel like the sheer weight of them will pull the chairs over. My fingers are soaked with butter and I can’t even get a grip on the barrel sized cup in the built-in holder, so like a little kid, I have to go to the straw, rather than pick up the tankard of diet coke. As silly as this is, there is something nostalgic about being a kid at the movies and having all of these treats. It’s breakfast for a couple of men, who are about to watch a new Star Wars movie. We’ve loved them since their inception in 1977.  I’m happy, and I don’t even care that like always, I have dribbled the spicy cheese whiz down the front of me.

We watch the film and it’s glorious. Better than I expected. I’m a film guy, so I won’t reveal a thing, and you’ve all probably seen it. It’s a story that takes place before the original Star Wars movie. It’s a little slow in the beginning but way better than the ones made by George Lucas before this. So if I had to rate the Star Wars pictures I would rate them as follows:

Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope

Star Wars: Episode 5 – The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens

Star Wars: Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi

Star Wars: Rogue One

I have left off the first 3 prequels Lucas made, because they basically suck. Here’s a classic example of an artist losing sight of his art and original vision. It’s fine. I don’t care. This happens over and over in music, film and art in general. I know the fans are screaming and go wild over the failure of the creators making sub par art and letting them down. It happens. You have to embrace and enjoy how their art made you feel in that moment when you first fell in love with what they did. If you expect the artist to keep making the same art and making you feel that initial rush again at the level you first felt it, it’s just not going to happen.

Look at the band Aerosmith. I LOVED Aerosmith in the seventies when I was growing up. My sister, Janice brought their first record home, because she was hanging out with a band that did their song Dream On. She wasn’t that into Aerosmith, but liked the band that was covering their work. I on the other hand as a fledgling rock guitarist fell in LOVE with Aersmith. It was 1975 and the song “Walk this Way” was playing on the radio from their third record, “Toys in the Attic”.  Their first album is great because like any band, they had their whole lives to write it. But then the studio pushes them for another record and it’s just not as good. The band is great, but the material just isn’t there. They work hard and tour and have a special talent so then they make ‘Toys in the Attic” and it’s a great record. They’re all poor and touring their asses off and doing shitloads of drugs. The lifestyle is changing them and killing them.

People love the song Walk this Way (A nearly perfect FM rock song) and a lot of people buy the “Toys in the Attic”

Then in 1976, Aerosmith puts out a record entitled “Rocks.” A black cover with just the name of the band and the word ‘Rocks’ and picture of five diamonds. It is absolutely one of the most perfect hard rock albums of the seventies. Every song is magnificent.

I love Aerosimth. I wore out the Rocks album. I listened to it everyday and learned how to play every song on that album on guitar. I wanted to be Joe Perry and Steven Tyler rolled into one skinny blonde kid with a guitar.

But you can’t expect them to keep making Toys in the Attic and Rocks every year so you can get your rocks off. Things happen in an artist’s life to change, alter, grow, or fail in some way. So you have Lucas trying his best to make something but the fire and hunger just isn’t there anymore. The heavy metal band Metallica are all wildly rich men. Do you think they can make the powerful angry music they once made? No way. Neither can Aerosmith or George Lucas. Just wrap yourself up in the memory that their art gave you in the beautiful moment of your life and leave it at that. Other people will rise up and take the helm and get you off in a different way.

I’m guilty of this too. Maybe my problem is I keep trying to go back and get that love rush I did when I was younger and I keep dating younger women. It always ends badly, because they want to go forward and get married and have kids and I’ve already done that. Maybe I just need to wrap myself up in my beautiful memories and be done with it.

But Disney has Star Wars now. I don’t listen to Aerosmith anymore except for the old stuff. Marvel Comics is making great films and Star Wars is definitely on the upswing creatively, because someone else is doing it. So for now, I’m going to stick with what Matthew Macoughy said in the film Dazed and Confused, “We keep getting older, but they stay the same age.”

I know it’s wrong, but I want to date a girl that makes me feel like the original Star Wars movie again.

Tune in tomorrow for the thrilling conclusion…

 

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