In the week before Valentine’s Day, Marvin Pincus had two new customers for his (free of charge, of course) love advice and fly-tying consultation services. He tied up a midge for one client, a salmon streamer wrapped in lead for another, and wished them well. This was his busy time, of course. He knew another would come in mid-May, in desperate anticipation of June weddings.
“Marge,” he said, sipping coffee and looking out at the snow, “I think we need a vacation.”
Marjorie Pincus smiled. They’d both been retired and on permanent “vacation” for years now.
“I’ll go if it means I don’t have to make the beds or do the dishes,” she said.
“The only thing is, what if someone needs the fly tying love advice service while we’re gone?”
This bothered Marvin. A man who spent more than 40 years being dependable every day can’t be expected to just turn it off like a faucet.
“Honey,” Marge said, “maybe you could designate someone to be on call? Like a doctor does? You know?”
Marvin thought about that and buttered some toast. “Only one I can think of who could tie flies well enough would be Delbert McLean, our chamber of commerce. Knowing him, instead of giving love advice, he’d talk them into starting a business here.”
“You have a point,” Marjorie said, laughing. “But what would be wrong with just going away for a week and letting people figure out their own love lives for a while?”
Marvin sat quietly and Marjorie looked at him and thought how maybe she should be his customer. She was under no illusion about her looks. She was old. Old and wrinkled. She was hoping Marvin wasn’t just married to her because he was used to it. She studied his face, and strangely, didn’t really notice his wrinkles.
Marvin smiled at Marjorie then. “Any vacation ideas?”
She shook her head. He saw in her the years of love and friendship, and he saw, right in front of him, the same gorgeous, sexy young woman he was once ready to kill for. She hadn’t changed a bit.
He took her hand. “How about we drive for a hundred miles, get a motel room, watch old movies and eat take-out pizza?”