Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bob, the Polish Porn Enthusiast

Bob was a friend-of-a-friend. The friend who introduced us was a co-worker of my ex-husband Doug. Let's call him PV. PV was a social engineer long before Facebook. He absolutely loved creating connections between people. "Oh, do you know so-and-so? Let me introduce you." I think PV envisioned his friends as a collection, all displayed together artfully on a shelf. The only problem was, many of PV's friends had strange quirks, and they didn't mix well together. PV was the sort of person who could subtly alter his personality to harmonize with whoever he was spending time with at the moment. Not everyone can do this. So PV's attempts to create little subsets of friends usually failed in the end. There was the added factor of PV's propensity toward gossip. If he could get friend A to move in with friend B, sooner or later he'd do his very best to get the "dirt" on friend A from friend B or vice versa.

Doug and I moved from New York to Atlanta in the mid-1980s, and PV followed a few months later, for the same reason we did: job changes and a lower cost of living. PV lived with us for a few months, then got his own place. After a few years, he met the lady he later married. She was an eminently level-headed and sensible person, but even she needed a few years to wean PV off his never-ending frat party, the mad social carousel.

PV came to like the south quite a bit and did his best to persuade his old NY friends to relocate. A few did, but most either declined, or they moved briefly to Georgia, found it very much not to their liking, and high-tailed it back to the frozen north. Bob the Polish Porn Enthusiast belonged in the latter category.

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