Saturday, September 19, 2015

Tread Lightly

The host of MTV’s popular hit show Catfish Nev Schulman once said, ~I support any means to make real connection so long as that it does lead real quickly to real connections. It’s the long-term online friendships and relationships that start to get really hairy.~ Without a doubt, pretending to be someone other than yourself online pertaining social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. is considered o be a recipe for disaster, so to speak, especially if it involves matters of the heart. I think its safe to say we all have that innate mindset in which each one of us would never fall victim to being Catfished until it actually happens. Personally speaking, it happened to me in 2003 and it occurred during a fairly new singing competition in the United States called American Idol.

As I said before, the unfortunate occurrence happened in 2003 involving American Idol where Ruben Studdard ultimately won over runner up Clay Aiken. Now, my situation as a then 26 year old didn’t pertain to the show exactly as it centered more around within the realm of the Idol message boards. Essentially, I would post my opinions, musings, and other humorous observations of either the show, host, judges, and/or contestants whereby making online friendships along the way. Of course, I didn’t have any intentions whatsoever to make any kind of deep and/or personal connections on an American Idol message board but somehow I did with someone who I was drawn to. A someone whose only form of identification would be their log in name and profile pic/avatar, which after 12 years I have forgotten.

Kari Jenaika. It would be a name that would etched into my brain and would never forget as long as I live. You see, over the course of a couple of months the conversations with her began on the message boards; but it would inevitably get more personable as we chatted with each other on hotmail instant messenger. The two of us deeply connected with each other in a more mental and emotional way. However, the conversations between the two of us were never sexual in nature, which most online relationships tend to head towards. In any case, she would share with me that she lived in Tuscon, Arizona, going to school to be a nutritionist, and to pay for school she worked as a waitress at Hooters. You know, in hindsight her job should have set off a major red flag but at the time I didn’t care because the for the first time I was opening up emotionally to a woman to where I let my guard down.

If you think about it, it’s a tough situation indeed knowing the conversations about what the future holds and staying connected to/with each other for a lifetime to the point where we’d possibly one day meet gave me hope to actually experience true happiness. Yet, it wouldn't come to fruition as she would “mysteriously disappear” at an airport as she would be moving to Alaska. The only information I was able to find out was from a mutual idol friend of ours from the message boards who coincidentally lived in Alaska and helped her find a job there as well. According to her, they found her bags with a hand written letter that was just started. That letter that was being written to someone and even though my name wasn't on it she believed it was for me. Thinking about it, the moment I heard that news I thought the world ended and I was never really the same person since then on the inside.

In retrospect, for me to even share a personal event in my past that I swore I would never share shows that it’s time to finally let go it. Granted, I’m not the type of guy who expresses his feelings outwardly and after my experience it caused me to bury everything I feel when it comes to a particular female I’m interested in. Truth be told, it wasn’t until the MTV Show Catfish that it finally dawned on me that someone was actually cruel enough to play with my feelings of mixed emotions where I was quite possibly falling in love with “Kari”. Hey, it’s a life experience and not to mention lesson learned so much so that even though I don’t have any closure with “Kari” I don’t dwell on it anymore leaving it where it should be…in the past. In the end, I’ll stick to face to face interactions from now on and if “Kari” has taught me anything when it comes to being interested in a certain female, online or not, its to simply in a Breaking Bad/Heisenburg mentality tread lightly.

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