Fred knew he was boring, but he was a lawyer. Who said they were supposed to be scintillating? He’d gotten through Boston University Law by the skin of his teeth and his roommate’s help. Fred liked the law - no question - he just didn’t have the patience to do all it required. When he graduated, he breathed a sigh of relief. His new job at Simpson, Simpson, Simpson and Greene was respectable. He was ready for the next step.

After an unspectacular social life during his student years, he thought it was time to look for a woman who would rather be a wife than a lawyer, teacher or social worker. Fred didn’t object to women in the workforce, he just felt their place was in the home. He’d dated some women from Radcliffe whose ideas shocked him. No, what Fred wanted was a wife. If he could find the right mate, the children, the house and the summer place on the Vineyard would appear in due course.

In his methodical way, Fred spent lunchtimes in the Public Garden, keeping his eye out for possible future mates. He was soon sharing a bench with a woman named Dee who worked at a near-by public relations firm. She was tall, but, at 5’6” or so still shorter than Fred’s 5’8”, dark hair, slender and only twenty-eight. The age, the height, even the hair color seemed good to Fred. They started to date. There were differences: he liked the Beach Boys; she liked the Beatles. He liked steak and lobster served at nice restaurants with tablecloths; she enjoyed ethnic foods in atmospheric locales. He liked dinner and the movies; she preferred exploring the clubs around Harvard Square. He liked the beer at the Hofbräuhaus in the Square, but the guitar-playing folksingers at the clubs bored him. He disliked Harvard Square, so full of Harvard students and their arrogance.

In time Fred learned that Dee was not enthusiastic about having children, but he thought that would change. After all, faced with a cute baby, didn’t all women want to be mothers?
Fred realized this was one of the ideas he’d carried over from the small town where he’d grown up. But Walpole wasn’t so different from Manchester, New Hampshire, where she came from. He was sure she’d come around. Probably that friend of hers over in Cambridge with all the kids had given her the wrong idea.
As for her job, she could call it whatever she wanted, a Gal Friday seemed to do the same thing as a secretary - not as much typing maybe, but all the rest of it. They’d been dating for two years when Fred began to consider proposing. He’d almost decided to take the plunge when Dee announced her move to New York.

He realized immediately he’d wasted two years of his life on the wrong woman. It was a close escape. Vowing to be more careful in the future, he remained single until his forty-fifth birthday when he married one of the younger secretaries at Simpson, Simpson, Simpson and Greene. Two years later he had two children, a big house in Brookline and an offer in for a summer place on the Vineyard.