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At one of our semi-weekly gym sessions, Taylor and I discussed the latest happenings and traded gossip. Somehow the conversation got to Taylors girlfriend, Rebecca, and then Taylor said:

"Becky broke up with me."

"Really?" I said. "I'm shocked. I actually kinda liked her, and you two seemed so happy together."

"I know, I liked her too."

"Are you OK?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. I expect that we've been "just friends" for quite some time now. In any case - I have a great idea for a very nice girl I'd like to ask out, and honestly, I've wanted to for a long time."

"Really? Who?"

"Oh, you'll see." He smiled mischievously indicating that further inquiry would be futile.

"Fair enough", I said and we decided to go back to exercising.

The next LUG meeting, I arrived relatively late, only to see Erisa standing against the back wall. Next to her, very closely, stood a guy. They were talking happily and Erisa laughed a lot. It was obvious from Erisa's movements that she was feeling flirtatious.

"Another one bites the dust." I thought to myself and decided to approach her. "Hi Erisa!" I said.

"Hey Jenn, what's up?" Erisa said and then the guy next to her turned around to see me and said "Jennifer, hi what's up?". It was Taylor.

"Taylor!" I said surprisingly, "… hmmmm, can you and I talk outside for a moment? Out… side…?"

"Sure. Erisa, can you excuse us?" he said.

"No problem.", she said.

After we went out and got farther away from the room I said, "so it's Erisa, isn't it?"

"You mean the girl I'm asking out? Yes."

"Are you out of your mind? Don't you know how she treats her dates? She usually asks them not to call her back!"

"Yeah, I know. Not always, though. Besides, I think we're fairly like minded and she might be interested in a relationship with me."

"Possibly. But she's still full of it."

"Jenn, don't worry so much. We'll go on a couple of dates and if she isn't interested, like you said, I'm sure she'll let me know. I promise to you that I'm not going to get hurt. But it's worth giving it a shot."

"OK, " I said, "so when's your first date?"

"Friday's night."

"OK", I wasn't particularly happy about that. Not only did I care very much for Taylor, I found myself concerned for Erisa's feelings as well.

When I returned home this night, I started talking on the #perl channel again, my mind still occupied by this.

          <jennray>  Hi all, I'm back.
          <rindolf>  jennray: hi!
             <beth>  hi jennray!
          <jennray>  Hey beth, rindolf.
                -->  per1ygatek33per has joined #perl
  <per1ygatek33per>  Good morning, #perl!
             <beth>  good morning, perly!
          <rindolf>  Hi perly!
          <jennray>  Hi perly.
          <jennray>  Can I consult you guys on a personal matter?
          <rindolf>  jennray: shoot.
          <jennray>  OK, here goes: my best friend (a boy) has started dating
                     a good friend of mine, who seems commitment phobic,
                     and looks positively awful (purple hair, too much and
                     inconsistent makeup, and general neglect).
          <jennray>  She's not really his type.
                     I'm afraid he's going to get hurt. What should I do?
          <per1ygatek33per>  jennray: TRIZ!
          <jennray>  per1ygatek33per: what's TRIZ?
          <per1ygatek33per>  TRIZ == Theory of Inventive Problem Solving.
                  *  jennray is puzzled
          <jennray>  That should be TIPS.
          <per1ygatek33per>  jennray: well, those are the initials...in Russian.
          <jennray>  per1ygatek33per: ah OK.
  <rindolf>  jennray: why don't you just perform a makeover on this
                     chick and get her to at least look better.
          <jennray>  But what about her attitude?
  <rindolf>  I'm guessing he already has dudes to hang out with. If you honestly want to know, as long as a guy has a hawt girl on his arm, almost anything else is excusable.

Is she hot?

          <jennray>  rindolf: No, but I guess she could be passable. You might be right.
                  *  per1ygatek33per sighs
          <jennray>  rindolf++

I logged off and thought of the time I made a scene in the mall crying in the foodcourt. An ex boyfriend, Ray, had presented me with a tennis raquet for my birthday instead of the tennis bracelet I was so hoping for. I had been dropping hints for an entire month before my birthday. I guess he misinterpreted them. I knew he loved me with all his heart when I told him between sobs that I guess he didn't really know me. That night I felt a bit odd. A bit guilty, like when my parents first got divorced and I got to eat junk food at my moms house when I told her I wanted to live with dad because we had McDonalds for dinner everynight. That ended quickly as soon as my parents were on reasonable speaking terms again. My guilt over hurting Ray's feelings didn't last long either as the next day he presented me with a diamond tennis bracelet. It made me realise how much I meant to him and that I was worth real diamonds. Not many girls are as pretty as me and history is full of men worshiping beautiful women. I realised that day that I had been underestimating myself and so was Ray thinking he could chintz out on my gift knowing full well how lucky he was to have me. Like perlygatekeeper said, my beauty was a gift.

After this, I picked up the phone and called Jeff. "Jeff, you know Erisa, right?"

"Yep. " he said.

"She doesn't look too athletic, but does she pump iron or practice martial arts?"

"Oh no - she hates exercise. She says she'd rather exercise her mind than her body. Why?"

"I have this wicked idea…"

I knew that Erisa would never get diamonds, but perhaps with a little work she could be worthy of at least a nice dinner out. "she'd like that" I thought to myself as I brushed my hair thinking about how nice it is to do something for someone else.

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