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The Maxim Maxim

For those unaware, besides being my last name, the name of a magazine, an integrated circuit manufacturer, and countless other companies; a Maxim is a universal truth. A proverb. As you might have guessed, that is where the name of my company came from, Proverbs, LLC. Pretty clever, huh?

It is also the name of a specific proverb coined by my friend Liz. Simply put, the Maxim Maxim states that "For any item that a person is in need of, having specific requirements, and which should be readily available off the shelf, will, in fact, have to be custom ordered and/or manufactured." It is the proverb that I have been cursed with most of my life.

We recognized the Maxim Maxim while shopping for my first high definition television some four years ago. I had done all my research on brands and models, determined the perfect viewing angle from the ideal reclined position upon my couch, and performed all the measurements for distances from the wall, viewer and floor. I found the perfect television, right down to the model number. Research completed, time to purchase.

Only no one carried it in stores, and we went to them all. One store had the same model in a larger screen size, which they offered to sell at the same price. Good deal, right? Except being a larger television would require the screen to sit further from the wall (bigger means a deeper box) and thus closer to the viewer ruining the optimum viewing experience. Much like sitting in the front rows of a movie theatre.

The worst part of the shopping experience, aside from having to go shopping, is that none of these stores could even order the model I wanted for some reason. Or maybe it was just too much hassle for them. I wound up having to special order the television online and pay the extra premium shipping charges. Thus the Maxim Maxim was born.

It wasn't until after that ordeal that I noticed it was something I had always been afflicted with. Some friends (*cough* Heather *cough*) say I am being too picky, but I don't believe wanting shoes and clothes that fit classifies as "picky". Yes, the Maxim Maxim really does hold true for those things as well; from purchasing shoes (I am a men's 10 extra wide, and no one use to carry that size), to buying clothes (30/32 waist, 32 length pants are impossible to find in American stores, not enough girth apparently), to furniture (the stand for above mentioned television was a two week ordeal), to computers, to parts for robots; and the list goes on and on.

At this point when I mention to friends needing an item for something, I will generally produce a tale of the heroic ordeals that I will likely have to go through in order to find said items. "I'll be out of the country for a few months as I travel to the darkest reaches in the Amazon Rainforest in search of the sap of a rare and endangered dwarf tree to mix with the volcanic ash from a long dormant volcano buried under miles of ice on Antarctica and cured with the methane rich waters from the under ocean lakes found only in the Gulf of Mexico. It must all be mixed within the perfect vacuum of space and set to dry under the warmth of a star going super nova. Unless you happen to have an extra bendy straw for my orange juice."

And that is the Maxim Maxim.


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