At one of our semi-weekly gym sessions, Taylor and I discussed the latest happenings and traded gossip. Somehow, the conversation got to Taylor’s current 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?”

“Yes, I’m fine. In any case - I have a great idea for a very nice girl I’d like to ask out, and wanted to for a long time.”

“Really? Who?”

“Oh, I want it to be a surprise.”

“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 with her back against the wall, next to a guy standing facing her with his hand on the wall. 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. And I feel that she became a lot more solid since she started tutoring you.”

“Possibly. But she’s still full of it.”

“Jenn, don’t worry too much. We’ll go on a couple of dates and if she won’t be interested, 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. I cared too much about both of them.

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.
                -->  perlygatekeeper has joined #perl
  <perlygatekeeper>  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 treats her dates awfully,
                     and looks positively awful (purple hair, too much and
                     inconsistent makeup, and general neglect).
          <jennray>  She’s not really what his type of girls was so far, so
                     I’m afraid he’s going to get hurt. What should I do?
          <rindolf>  jennray: TRIZ!
          <jennray>  rindolf: what’s TRIZ?
          <rindolf>  TRIZ == Theory of Inventive Problem Solving.
                  *  jennray is puzzled
          <jennray>  That should be TIPS.
          <rindolf>  jennray: well, these are the initials in Russian.
          <jennray>  rindolf: ah OK.
  <perlygatekeeper>  jennray: why don’t you just perform a makeover on this
                     girl and get her to at least look better.
          <jennray>  But what about her attitude?
  <perlygatekeeper>  Well, one bird in the hand is better than two in the
          <jennray>  perly: you might be right.
                  *  rindolf gives perlygatekeeper the international TRIZ
          <jennray>  perlygatekeeper++


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 absolutely wicked idea…”