Tuesday, December 20, 2011


     “Oh come on, Lester. Let me set you up with my friend Amanda. You two are perfect for each other.”
     Lester signed. His lunch break was almost over and Mia hadn’t let him enjoy a single minute of it in peace. She pestered him from across their office’s tiny breakroom table ever since he clocked-out and she showed no signs of relenting.
     “Pleeeeease?” She leaned in front of him with her hands folded.
     Lester shook his head. “I’m just not comfortable with blind dates.”
     “Don’t be a coward.” She punched him in the shoulder. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
     Hi sipped the last of his soft drink. “I’ve had too many failed relationships in the past to jump in without knowing someone first. I’ve learned that there are a lot of qualities to look for in a woman before I get involved. If they’re not there, then it’s just a waste of time before we break up and hate each other. I’m tired of getting hurt.”
     “You’re so pessimistic,” she said, leaning back in her chair. “Maybe that’s why you’re still single.”
     He crumbled up his soft drink cup and tossed it in a wastebasket next to the table. “Look Mia, you don’t understand how many failed romances I’ve had. It’s made me picky and I’m proud of that. I want to get married someday and I don’t intend to waste any more time on dates that will lead to nothing. There is a long list of things your friend and I would need to have in common before I’d even consider meeting her, and even then there's no guarantee that we’ll like each other. I think the odds of meeting someone who is compatible for me are extremely slim, so yes, I’m a little pessimistic about it.”
     Mia rolled her eyes. “How about this, Lester… Amanda and I have been friends since kindergarten and I know her better than anyone. Ask me anything you want to know about her and we’ll see if she meets your standards.”
     Lester looked her in the eye. “If I do this and she falls short—which is likely—will you drop the subject?”
     “Scout’s honor.” She held up her hand in a pledge.
     “Okay then.” Lester rapped his fingers on the table while he thought about what to ask.
     There were so many things to consider—hobbies, religion, political views, age, social inhibitions, intelligence, temperament, music—he didn’t know where to begin. A lot was at stake on these questions and he needed to make sure he asked them in the right order. He took his time evaluating every possibility. Mia feared they would be late returning to work and was getting ready to punch him again when he finally spoke up.
     “Okay, first question,” he said, leaning forward in his chair. “Who’s her favorite Beatle?”
     “George.” She replied without hesitation. “Definitely George.”
     “George?” he repeated. “Why would anyone choose George?”
     Mia shrugged. “Amanda adores him. She always has.”
     Lester leaned back and thought about this.
     “Well?” she asked.
     “Okay Mia, set us up.” He stood up and walked toward the door.
     “Wait, that’s it? What about all your questions and requirements and high standards?”
     Lester stopped and looked back at her. “Well I didn’t expect you to say George.”
     He left the room and returned to his desk with a big smile. Amanda—what a great name! For the first time in years, he thought he might be in love.

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