I was thumbing through a magazine when my Life company called.
"Hello?" I anwered, expecting a foreign accent in automation.
"Hi! Is this Andrea?" picture Flo from the Progressive commercial.
"Yes," I replied.
"Hi, Andrea. I notice that you terminated your Happiness contract some time ago, and you aren't on a plan with us. In order to maintain Life, I'm going to need to set you up on some kind of plan." I knew this had been coming.
"Look," I said, "I terminated my contract because I wasn't happy. The Happiness wasn't working for me, and I wasn't going to continue paying for something I couldn't use."
"I understand, Andrea, but you can't LIVE without Life coverage, so you're going to have to choose a plan. We have misery, desperation, and apathy available at very reasonable prices if cost is an issue." I was becoming irritated with "Flo."
"I paid for a Happiness plan and I DIDN'T GET IT! I got Misery and paid for Happiness. I invested a lot into that plan, and it returned NOTHING."
"I'm so sorry, Andrea. Why don't you come in to the office. I think I can work with you since you have been with the company so long. I just need you to bring your Visa card, all your designer shoes, your Internet information, all your work clothes, and your queen-sized bed."
I was confused, but I figured it was worth a shot. So I took all the things she asked for and headed to the Life office. When I walked in I was amazed to see a woman who looked EXACTLY like "Flo" in an office much like the one on the Progressive commercial. Weird.
"You must be Andrea!" she said cheerfully. I was having trouble hating her.
"Ding, ding, ding," I said sarcastically. She then asked me to place the items I had brought on the counter. I laid them out carefully, only to see her scoop them off into the trash.
"What are you doing?" I asked her.
"We can't start you on a new plan until we remove all traces of the previous one. Trust me, Andrea, this plan will be much better. All you have to do is make some exchanges."
I wasn't too keen on her little plan, but I figured it couldn't get worse. She sat a pair of brown boots on the counter.
"What are those?" I asked. Other than my Dr. Martens, which she considered "designer," I had never worn boots.
"Part of your plan," she cooed. She went on to inform me that I was no longer allowed shopping trips to the Buckle, I would wear the brown boots for casual and work shoes, and my casual jeans and t-shirts would have to do for attire. I would be sleeping on a full-size bed, and no longer have DSL Internet. "Also, your brother won't be mowing for you anymore, because you won't live in town. Closest fast-food looks to be about twenty minutes from your new area."
"Do you mind telling me how this MORE EXPENSIVE plan is supposed to make me happy?" I growled at her.
"Ah, last but not least, let me show you your new Mate. It's the BC-5000, our newest, most up-to-date Mate! Andrea I can get you this Mate for the simple cost I just described. Would you like to know his features?" I was impressed. He looked great. He was sturdy and attractive. A newer model than I was used to, but I was intrigued.
"The BC-5000 is attentive, caring, loving, and protective. He is an excellent provider, and works very well. We have had no troubles with this model. He will listen to you, he will love you for you, he will hold you when you need to be held, he will kiss you even when you don't want him to, and he will be your life-long partner, always taking care of you and being an equal attributer to the relationship. He has a lifetime guarantee, and," she looked around and lowered her voice "he is your soul-mate."
"He's...amazing," I uttered, "but what does he have to do with all this stuff?"
"To operate well with him, you'll be living on his farm. Thus the boots and old jeans. You'll be in a little country house on a little farm where people won't stalk you or bother you. You'll sleep in a full-size bed and still have more room than your queen because you'll want to stay so close to him. And you won't need those "work" clothes anymore, because you'll be busy making a home for you and your new Mate. What do you say?"
"So I can trade all this crap for THAT?" I asked, astonished.
"Yes!" she exclaimed, smiling from ear to ear. She lowered her voice again, as if she were telling me a secret. "We call it the True Love plan."
"I'll take it!"