Tuesday, April 06, 2004

April 6, 1992: A Palm Springs Fairy Tale
Twelve years ago, a young(ish) woman set out alone, to the desert kingdom of Palm Springs. She was recently detached from a Horrible Man, and pluckily piloted her old-but-trusty VW Camper Van southward from the rainy forests of Oregon, to start a new life in the warmth of the desert. She started a fine little business to support herself, made friends, and even dated a little. For a time, life was good for this Oregon Girl.

But after several months, Oregon Girl realized she had a business problem. A problem involving numbers -- numbers that would not add up, would not total, would not make sense. Unfortunately, Oregon Girl had a long and troubled history of getting her numbers to add up correctly. A deadline requiring these numbers was quickly drawing nigh. A Certain Date in April. A date that could not be broken.

But Oregon Girl was wise beyond her years, and knew when to seek the help of Professionals. She quizzed acquaintances, "Who can make sense of these numbers? Who totals your bottom line and comes up with the correct number, allowing payment to be rendered unto Caesar?" She received an answer: "Miserable & Associates, Certified Public Accountants, right down the street." Oregon Girl called M&A and spoke to a friendly woman who made her an immediate appointment for April 6th. "Hmm," thought Oregon Girl, "What a nice person to get me an appointment so quickly! She truly understands the math problem I'm experiencing!"

But mystical, magical forces were in play that Oregon Girl wasn't privy to. The friendly voice at M&A was in cahoots with another nice person at the firm. These poorly paid but good-hearted wage slaves had a plan. For at this firm, run by a mean Ogre (Mr. Miserable, CPA), was a tall, dark, handsome, young(ish) Prince from Ohio, recently detached from a Horrible Woman and currently in exile in the desert kingdom of Palm Springs. The good-hearted wage slaves' plan was simple: fix up the Handsome Prince with every available woman client that called at the firm until they found a perfect match! Oregon Girl was the first woman to be snared in their plan.

The fateful appointment day of April 6th dawned. Oregon Girl gathered her papers with their confusing numbers and paid a call at M&A. There she met Elaine, the nice voice on the other end of the phone. She and her fellow wage slave, Aimee, welcomed Oregon Girl to the firm's waiting area. They informed the Handsome Prince that his 3:30pm appointment had arrived. The Prince peeked around the corner to see whom it was the wage slaves had made such a fuss over. His initial reaction as recorded in his appointment book, which he has kept to this day, was but a single word: "Wow."

But the Prince was all business. Despite the wage slaves' good-hearted scheming, the Prince was an Ethical Man. He did not date his clients, unlike some (quote-unquote) Professionals. He escorted Oregon Girl into the M&A conference room, and asked Pointed and Proper Questions Pertaining to The Problem. But the attraction between The Prince and Oregon Girl was immediate and undeniable. They concluded their business and made an appointment for Oregon Girl to pick up her papers the following week. The Prince watched as Oregon Girl drove her trusty VW Camper Van off into the desert.

The second meeting of The Prince and Oregon Girl was as electrically charged as the first. The Prince handed Oregon Girl her correctly totaled papers. "You had a math error. You're actually getting money back," he said. "Lovely!" said Oregon Girl, and wrote M&A a check. Their business concluded, the Prince and Oregon Girl spoke of many things during the second half of their meeting; strange and magical things such as past hockey injuries suffered by The Prince. Oregon Girl was charmed by this handsome Prince from the Midwest, who was as honest as the day was long and played no Games. This was quite unlike the other Would-Be Princes of this desert kingdom that Oregon Girl had dated, with their Leased Mercedes and Smooth Facades that hid their true shark-like natures.

Their Business officially concluded, the Prince did something very Out of Character that continues to surprise him to this very day: he asked Oregon Girl out on a date. She accepted, but only after verifying that indeed, the Prince had never, ever dated his clients. But Oregon Girl was no longer a client! Their business had been concluded, and the Prince recommended another accounting firm. He would no longer total Oregon Girl's mangled numbers.

Or would he?

Twelve years after that Fateful Meeting on April 6, 1992, the Prince and Oregon Girl behave as though they're still dating. They married nearly 11 years ago in another magical desert kingdom, Las Vegas. The wage slaves' goodhearted plan succeeded admirably: Oregon Girl was the first woman client to be snared in their scheme, and obviously fated to be The Prince's One True Love. They recently welcomed a new addition to their family: RockStar, aka The Prince of Wails.

So it continues, to this day. The Prince and Oregon Girl live happily ever after, although Oregon Girl's numbers are still mangled and rarely total correctly.

--Dedicated with Love to my Handsome Prince of Palm Springs, Keeper of My Bottom Line

And now, my Faithful Readers, I bid you adieu for a week while I take a much-needed vacation. Love and good things to all of you :-)

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