Husband (Not) Wanted

This piece came from a prompt in a webinar on Idea Generation from Jericho Writers. It’s thoroughly silly and I had a lot of fun writing it. Please ignore gaping loopholes and lack of logic.

Gen looked up from the folder she was glaring at when her assistant knocked on the office door frame. She summoned a smile and waved her in.

Lina sat on one of the chairs in front of the desk and raised a brow at her boss. “What’s up? It’s normally at least Wednesday before you look like you’re tossing up between vodka and murder.”

Gen huffed a reluctant smile. “I think I’m in the wrong job.”

Lina shrugged. “You’re good at what you do, you care, and you hate incompetence. So, what’s up?”

“Family this time. My parents want to see me happily settled down with the right sort of man, giving them grandchildren and they recruited grandfather to the cause last week.”

“Uh oh.”

“So at our usual family lunch yesterday, I was presented with a folder of all the eligible sons or grandsons of grandfather’s business connections so I can select a shortlist of candidates.”

“Well at least you’re getting some sort of choice I suppose.”

Gina pushed the folder across the desk. “Take a look, then let me know what you think about how good my options are.”

Lina flicked through, then looked up. “Are you sure this is the husband folder and not the CV collection for the open finance role?”

“I know, right? There is NO personal information, no indication of human quirks and interests and you just KNOW at least half of them will have some epic form of baggage. But I have to come back with something for grandfather or he’ll be hurt and offended.”

Lina started thumbing through the profiles again, then started to grin. “You know, you’re right. You really can’t make an effective decision unless you have all the relevant information. We just need to get hold of it.”

“I’m guessing you have a plan.”

“It’s school holidays. How about we grab a favour from some of our casual staff. Pay them to come up with full social media profiles on each of the candidates that you can take back to your family.”

Gen grinned. “I love it, and it’s a great excuse to get the super-teens into the office, and office work onto their CVs. Can you ask payroll to bill their hours to me personally?”

Two weeks later, after their usual Sunday lunch, Gen gathered her family in front of her parents’ big-screen TV and plugged in her laptop.

“You went to a lot of effort to select a list of preferred candidates for the position of my husband and I thank you for your care and interest.”

Her parents looked smug. She continued.

“However.”

She opened her presentation. “You were unfortunately missing key information on every one of them. I would like to share your list with you again, with some additional information my team has uncovered in the past couple of weeks.”

Her grandfather looked concerned and she reached over to pat his hand. “They’re not all dreadful, I promise.”

Now her parents were looking worried. She turned to her laptop with a smirk of her own.

“First, Nigel Tate. While officially single, he’s been living with his girlfriend for ten years now and they have two children.”

She flicked a series of pictures from the man’s Instagram feed up onto the screen. They showed a happy family unit with loving parents and two adorable boys.

She looked levelly at the other occupants of the room. “I do not believe in breaking up families for the sake of business alliances.”

She turned back to the screen. “Second. James Drowton. Also officially unmarried, but also in a long term relationship. In fact, he and his partner have just adopted.”

Onto the screen came a series of shots of two handsome, smiling men and a puppy, all with captions saying ‘our new fur baby’.

The list went on, serious girlfriends, serial cheaters, drug users, fraud convictions conveniently hushed up. Her super-teens had managed to strike all but three of the fifteen candidates off the eligible list.

She finished the presentation with a collage of the three profile pictures. “I would be open to meeting any of these three…” she grinned, “and the puppy.”

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