Do you know anyone who suffers from an ailment known as immediate familiarity syndrome (IFS)? It’s when a person you just met talks to you as though they’ve known you for years. More often than not, it tends to be spontaneously communicable, causing others to let their guard down and say things they normally wouldn’t upon a first meeting. As a journalist, and sufferer, this comes in pretty handy. But for people sitting across the table, there is a real danger to open up and then wonder what had just happened.
I only bring this up because I recently had breakfast with a Playboy Playmate. No, seriously. Former Playboy Playmate Julie Clarke met me for breakfast at Dolly’s Produce in Bonita Springs (note to self: try to make “French toast and Playmates” a weekly thing) to talk about what life was like when she was a single girl (she’s now a wife and mother). After all, who should know more about how to enjoy the fruits of singledom than someone forever associated with the caché of Playboy?
The problem, of course, is that even though I’d never met her before, I have seen her naked, which makes IFS even more painfully uncomfortable. One minute she’s just sitting there enjoying her hash browns and the next I’m asking questions far too personal—all in the interest of science (and by science I mean this column).
In my defense—and only mine–IFS sufferers come by it naturally with a personal level of confidence and comfort unmatched by the average human being. Warranted or not, we feel pretty good about ourselves and think you should, too. We talked about Hef, his ex-wife (an M&M-hating control freak), a nameless NFL star, other past relationships, nursing school and nudity. You know, the usual.
According to her, and I have no reason to doubt her because we’re basically best friends now, she was an angel during her multi-year Playboy touring schedule. It seems she had boyfriends during most of that stretch, and so was unable/unwilling to accept advances from rich, famous and/or sexy guys. (We’re giving her a pass on the football player she hooked up with.)
I’d like to ask Ms. Clarke if she was put off by my IFS, but I’m pretty sure she won’t ever return my calls. I should never have come right out and said that she should have taken advantage of her stardom and gone out with Charlie Sheen and/or Nicholas Cage. (Who knew those two lived together for a while back in the ‘90s?) I couldn’t help myself. It’s my condition. The truth is I really shouldn’t know what people look like naked before I interview them. It throws me of my game.
The Chronicles of Miss X: (She met another potentially nice guy this week, but it is the potentially weird one that caught our interest.) I had a 31-year-old, no-shirt wearing, six-pack-abs-sporting hottie offer to help me out around the house. Nothing sexual “or whatever you want,” he said. He just wants to be bossed around. He said it would be like Magic Mike cleaning my house the way I want it to be cleaned… Damned if I hadn’t just cleaned my apartment!