For the first four installments of this Dateland Mystery, go to www.jenniferparello.com. Readers, let’s get this out in the open: I’m going to admit something that you all have been far too polite to tell me. This mystery series is one of the lamest things I’ve ever written.
Oh, I know what you’re doing now. You’re furrowing your brows, and quietly muttering, “No! That’s not true. Why, I could name dozens of ‘Dateland’ columns in the past year alone that were far worse that this mystery series.” Oh, Reader, you are too kind. That’s why I love you.
I really don’t like to make excuses for myself, but I feel I owe you an explanation for why my columns over the past year have been—how you say?—flat.
The reason, dear Reader, is that I’ve been medicated. Yes, me! And while this medication—that of the mood-altering kind—has had a positive effect on my relationships, and has given me the chance really to appreciate the beauty of Muzak, I believe it has dulled many of my treasured sensibilities, namely, my near-genius for wild swings of cranky, madcap, and self-destructive behaviors.
The most daring emotional reaction I’ve managed to work up during this year of drug-induced stability has been a shrug of indifference. My life is void of consuming obsessions. I now check my e-mail only once a day, rather than every five seconds, to see if an impossible object of my affection has sent me a slightly prickly and ambiguously worded missive. And, saddest of all, I haven’t stalked anyone in months.
I feel that you, Reader, have been the greatest victim of my flatlined emotions and uneventful love life. I feel that I owe it to you to get off my meds, which I have done cold turkey this past weekend. Wooo, what a ride it has been! My brain merrily shirked off the heavy gray coat that has been smothering it; took a hearty breath of the cool fall air; and immediately began chasing inappropriate love objects, filing lawsuits over imagined slights, and drinking everything in the liquor cabinet.
What does this mean for you, Reader? Well, first off, we’re putting an end to this stupid mystery series. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to end up with any of the suspects. They are all far too suitable.
So, here’s how we’ll close it off: Because my unleashed brain is feeling quite flush and generous (it plans to spend a lot of money that we don’t have on a new car this afternoon—God, I love losing touch with reality!), it has decided to award a prize to every single person who submits a guess of whom I would have ended up with if I was still on my medication.
Simply send your guess, along with your mailing address, to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send you an excellent prize. It’s that easy!
Have you forgotten who the suspects are? Do you really care? Just pick a name: Vanessa, Lucy, or Ellen. Everyone’s a winner!
But the biggest winner, Reader, is you! Now that I once again am unhinged, you can expect many exciting and ill-advised adventures. At least until my doctor wrestles me down, and reapplies the Thorozine drip. But, until then, let’s have ourselves a time!
Hey! I wrote a book. It’s a novel called Dateland. In the words of the great showman Mike Todd, “It ain’t Shakespeare, but it’s Laffs.” You can buy it at on Amazon.