Requirements for Consideration

Catfish ruined chance encounters on the internet for me. I have never done an eHarmony, Match, or any of the others. Given my current transportation issues, and my ‘single’ status slowly sinking into my version of reality, I sometimes consider throwing up a profile on Plenty of Fish. Why not, if I have learned nothing it is that the internet’s strict adherence to truth should be praised. I must have 2314 emails saved as drafts for Al Gore, thanking him for making my life and my personal quest for expanding knowledge so simple. Research is a snap, and since everything one reads on the internet is fact, instant gratification is a mere Google search and click away.

Still, I often wonder why my inbox offers me AARP memberships, and ads for finding love over 50. Somewhere along the lines, my age has been mangled in cyberspace, and the other day, an email to make my boobs look spectacular in a super miracle bra ninja-ed itself through the junk mail filter. What a world we live in. Our names slid to one list or 531, even with those small print promises assuring me my information is held in the vault of secrecy and the cloud of trust.

But back to love, or more accurately, making connections to embrace my unattached status. Oh yes, I am a butterfly, and I will glide from one flower to the next, wings spread and flapping like a hummingbird on ice. This was my plan in 2007. New man in a new part of the country, coming off a busted relationship, I was going to enjoy being non-committal. What better place to notch my belt buckle of poor decisions than South Florida? I distinctly remember going out with a girl  of 25, Monica, very attractive, and from all observations and slights of  hands, elbows, etc, she was all natural. I picked her up and we drove to Ft. Lauderdale, to enjoy some sushi and then get our collective groove on at Voodoo Lounge and then maybe Art Bar.

The “get to know you” chit-chat instantly let me know this woman was going to challenge my sanity every single time she spoke. When a top-level role model for life is “a toss-up between Paris Hilton and thin Oprah,” well call me clairvoyant, but I knew just making it to Ft. Liquordale was going to be a severe test on my mind.

“What do you do for fun Monica?”

“Oh, like all sorts of stuff, but shopping and like hanging with my girls at like the spa, you know, that takes up a lot of my time. And of course, like we spend a lot of time getting all crunk and like, on the beach. What about you Mike?”

Oh, I like finding really beautiful girls with IQ’s that are lower than their combined measurements. “All sorts of stuff, I love sports, do a lot of reading, relax at night with a good documentary, and I write.”

“Me too! I like, write all the time in my like, pink sequined Paris journal. Mostly like poetry, but sometimes it will be about like some bitch whose like seriously way too fat, grabbing a a size 2 mini dress, and it’s like the last, one, so I am like, bitch you’re going to  stretch it out like 4 sizes. And you read Mike? I just love Twilight  and any celeb memoir.”

“Wow. Awesome. It’s really nice to meet someone who doesn’t just mindlessly, endlessly watch E! and MTV and care more about the purse Nicole Ritchie carried to dinner last night than the fact our country is about to implode because all the 5/1 ARMS are going to reset.”

“Yeah, do you think I am pretty? Like, my nose, I think it’s just like, to wide and has a funny slant.”

Never underestimate the importance of a quality sound system in the car. Always pack the personal top 10, CD’s that have left sonic imprints that would make Michelangelo think himself a hack sculptor. It’s Dark Side, Ten, Lateralus, Downward Spiral, Electric Ladyland, Dirt, Life After Death, Paid in Full, etc. and their noise silences the mindless chatter. For a moment, Monica tries to talk over Black, and I just look at her, eyes one part crazed, one part lost in the song, offering a telepathic Shhhh!!!

Dinner resulted in an early check, me seriously considering leaving her in the restaurant, before the tactful solution of, “Monica, I think the oysters I ate at lunch to give me an edge were past their own personal ones.”

Truth be told, it was her asking our Japanese waitress, since due to a “like totally serious allergy to cumin” she must make sure no cumin, be it seed or ground, toasted or raw (ok, I added all the end stuff, like this ding bat even knew what cumin is, that the Japanese are not likely to dredge sashimi in a mexican spice) be on any of her rolls. Are you truly being like fucking serious?

I put on Dark Side, loud, and just melted into the luxurious sound scape, that bounced from side to side, and floated to meet in the middle at times…and then we were back at her place.

“Do you want to come in Mike?”

“I’m sorry Monica, I’d rather watch some secret Lucille Ball at 80 sex tape, I just really feel so sick. You are beautiful, and I can’t wait to see you again. By the way, when you cook spaghetti, do you break it in half?”

“Well, yeah, doesn’t everyone, how else is it going to fit in the pot?”

With that, I kissed her goodbye, permanently. Breaking spaghetti? I am compiling this list of seemingly innocent questions, and  I am pretty sure, does not ask them. And they are vital to know the answers to.

Do you buy garlic in a jar? Do you know how to twirl pasta without a spoon, or do you cut it up? What is gravy? What do you think of the Olive Garden? How many houses do you want to have in 10 years? What band is the ultimate band to see live? T/F: MTV is the biggest reason American youth are so incredibly  stupid.

Then we move along to theory:

  1.  iPhone 5 comes out next week, and even though you bought every incarnation of it from the beginning, you have finally seen Apple creates a herd mentality, and besides having a 2-year contract that now spans 2 decades, it is time for you to sheer off your wool and make a nice sweater for your grandma.
  2. Spending $500 on a shoe that will be worn at most 3 times, and result in torn cartilage, strained ligaments, makes perfect sense. $500 given to a charity that then buys a starving family of 5 enough food to last them 6 weeks makes little sense.
  3. A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush.
  4. Knowledge is power, and those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.
  5. What’s really important is fame and media attention.

This is just the beginning of the madness. You’d think a Facebook profile would have accurate pictures, that the wall posts would give some insight into what makes the brain tick. But then there is Catfish. Behind that picture of someone you think is Suzanne Taylor, is Gord Thompson, a man disillusioned with life because he is not Canadian and his parents chose to name him after a bumpy vegetable. Worse still, he scours flea markets, looking for Wagner 78’s and old posters of outhouses.

Three weeks later, you see “Suzanne” on “To Catch a Predator” dressed in a latex body suit with overalls and a rainbow clown wig. Oh yes, this is how I think. Surely there must be an easier way than digging through people’s closets and childhood traumas frightening results in adulthood.

So there you have it, a post, finally, absent of gloom and sadness. In fact, today was an awesome day. I am pleased to announce Team Janflone has booked its first official speaking engagement of 2012. Granted it is on Friday, April 13th, and in North Dakota…ahh, springtime in Jamestown. The North Dakota Pharmacists’ Association has signed up yours truly to speak about my life as a pharmacist and crazed drug addict, and, as a bonus, my speech will be open to the general public, meaning, all of you are welcome to join me up there.

Book that plane ticket now folks! The following day, I plan on hopping in a car with a few friends and taking a drive up to Atlanta. Yes, I am going to at least be at the Global Humanitarian Summit,and we are still trying to work out getting me into the speaking mix there as well. Again, this one is free and open to the public. So, if melting snow and 40 degree temperatures are not your thing, surely, a visit to Hotlanta is right up your alley!

The momentum is building, and while I just spent the first 1000 words rambling on about the perils of the internet and its inherent anonymity, I am really psyched. It’s been a great first week push in spreading a message that needs to be heard. If North Dakota recognizes a problem, surely that speaks to the enormity of the problem. I kid you North Dakota. I hope to get to all 50 states this year, and our ultimate plan is to have a sponsored RV trip around the US by summer time. Oh yes, Mike’s Shed the Stigmas and Wake Up Tour might just be pulling up in your driveway, as we get lost looking for that guy in Texas who serves deep-fried bacon, with a side of white gravy.

Seriously, January has been an awesome month. Sales through the first 15 days surpassed December’s total. We continue to build, incrementally gaining ground to leave Amy Fisher’s book sale total in the dust. Also, a Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc version should be available by mid-February. Life is not so bad.

It’s very rewarding and humbling to know none of my fledgling  success would be possible without everyone helping me out in any way possible, whether it is sharing this blog, liking & sharing Long Sleeved Summers Facebook page, mentioning it to friends or colleagues or buying and sharing the ordering info on the memoir itself, all these things add up into helping spread the message. The support is humbling, and everyone shares in my success. Thank you all!

“It is always the secure who are humble.” ~Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Inner Peace & Honest Smiles to All – MFJ


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