A pair of pink sandals, a pink stuffed penguin named Pingu, and a pink, doll-sized tutu (which H- had used on her polka-dotted stuffed puppy as a bathing suit all day) made it clear that the two men were not alone in the house. This particular Friday night’s late hour ensured the girl-child was deep asleep in her room. It also ensured that any interested onlookers, the likes of which James Fenimore Cooper’s noble Chingachgook would label “blackguards in the grain”, would not be surprised to see George and Pete staring at two respective laptop screens as they intermittently stated their latest life observations. Those screens, naturally, were filled with images of women supposedly interested in dating. Well, at least George was viewing a proper dating site. Pete found himself fighting the good fight, that is, deciding how inappropriate it would be if he friend-ed a woman on LinkedIn because she was a smoke-show.
“Pete, just do it. It’s not a crime,” said George.
“I know that it’s not a crime,” Pete said with a touch of exasperation, “I just think that it’d be tasteless. Plus, this chick has 500+ connections. Apparently it stops counting at 500. I can already tell that there’s no promise there.”
“What does the number of her connections have to do with anything?”
“Look, I really want to believe Rudi’s advice and just try to find a woman with whom I enjoy spending time. But I’m just saying let’s look at reality for a second. She is gorgeous, posts videos on youtube of her singing with her sister, and has over 500 connections on LinkedIn. Whereas I don’t really like people, am pretty sure that I don’t even know 500 people, and I certainly don’t want to be dragged to events where everyone spends all their energy pretending that they’re not pretending, blah, blah, blah,” he said, running out of air. “Plus, it appears that she enjoys her job. And that means she’s not interested in kids, raising a family, etc.”
“Fine. You’re right,” George conceded facetiously, “don’t click connect.”
“You know what guys in the Air Force used to say?” Pete asked, his tone somewhere between frustrated and bitter. “Poverty is the greatest aphrodisiac.”
Opening his eyes wide, as was often the case when he liked what he heard, George nodded and said, “I’ve been trying to find a poor woman for forever. Or at least one who grew up without much. That type of woman would know how to budget, not be comfortable spending a lot of money, be happy just to have a steak every once in a while-”
Laughing, Pete asked, “Ha. You’re serious? I thought you were joking at first when you agreed.”
“-I’m totally serious. Especially since reading Anna Karenina and all those scenes of the simple life of farming.”
“I told you man. That’s what Tolstoy did at the end of his life. He practically gave up his nobility to work out in the fields,” Pete added, “and he had 13 kids.” He then paused just long enough to form a point. “The trouble is, I have no idea where or how to even start to look for a woman like that.”
“All I know is that a big step in problem solving is voicing the problem.”
“My mom asked if I’ve ever considered a deaf woman.”