> From firstname.lastname@example.org Wed Feb 10 14:57:59 1993
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: Advice
> Delivered-By: Communicator
> The Geek's Analysis of Valentine Gift-Giving
> So, seeing as I'm diving headlong into the drained-swimming-pool of love,
> I've arrived at my second dilemma.
> You will recall L. from the flamage episode of the last week of third
> term. Over break, I took her out to lunch, and since we've corresponded
> quite successfully, but still on the formal basis of our six-year
> acquaintance. Now, don't be alarmed; I'm not at all interested in turning
> this into something romantic (nor, frankly, is there any potential of it).
> What I do want to do is thank her for her understanding last year, and for
> helping me get over E., and for being a good friend. And since Valentine's
> day is rolling around, we are at our dilemma.
> It would seem that we have an entire spectrum of strategic responses at
> hand (sounds like an excerpt from a nuclear war-fighting doctrine!): a
> card, a letter, music, chocolates, flowers, from $4 to $40. First, I think
> that anything obviously over $25 is an embarrassing sort of gift, one that
> makes a recipient feel guilty about the need to reciprocate (though it
> didn't do much for E.!). Thus, flowers and possibly candy is out (I had
> this wonderful brainstorm about a California fruit and date assortment, but
> the shipping cost more than the gift, violating #1). Rule #2: (the much,
> much tougher rule) it has to be appropriate. That's another problem with
> anything beyond a card: it can obviously be misconstrued. On the other
> hand, there's a surprise value to it that could work very well. Rule #2
> would eliminate music, since it assumes to much familiarity with her
> tastes, and seems to pedestrian to be justified as a whimsical statement
> Hmmm... It would seem that we are left with a response incorporating some
> sort of keepsake but not extravagant. We are forced to resort to
> creativity! So, where could we find custom-printed baloons? There we go, a
> balloon with a letter folded up inside, so she'd have to blow it up and pop
> it and... `The Life and Loves of Rube Goldberg, Volume I'
> Aha! A book -- that will be just perfect! Not just any book, but a book she
> has expressed an interest in procuring herself, a book I introduced her to
> -- Einstein's Dreams! Oh my, though, that does cause a problem. I already
> own a copy, and I wonder how much pain it would cause me to have to
> purchase a second copy of any book I already own... I could send her mine,
> but then there might be some awkward imperative of hers to return it.. on
> the third hand, that would be a really neat hook for an encounter when we
> got back in town over the summer.... and, it builds on our friendship
> rather than any illusory romantic potential. Brilliant, my dear Holmes!
> Now, what to write, what to write?
> (whose epitaph read: A Geek, But A Romantic Geek)
See Rohit, your stumbling blocks are far more sophisticated now than
they were 1500 days ago. Furthermore, you are worlds apart from such
sophomoric conundrums. Your social life is no longer a void! Admit it...
FoRK Committee Rules from now on:
(1) Never arrive on time, or you will be stamped a beginner.
(2) Don't say anything until the meeting is half over; this
stamps you as being wise.
(3) Be as vague as possible; this prevents irritating the others.
(4) When in doubt, suggest that a subcommittee be appointed.
(5) Be the first to move for adjournment; this will make you
popular -- it's what everyone is waiting for.