She’s a pretty girl, that’s for sure. Everywhere she goes, she gets noticed. It’s that sort of girl-next-door thing that gets everyone’s attention. Some would call her a hippy; she does like wearing her flip-flops and sundresses whenever possible. Growing up in Silicon Valley, she cares about the environment, loves diversity, and needs her double mocha latte in the afternoon. She drives a purple Honda Civic hybrid that she absolutely loves. People are always wondering who she’s dating while she flirts with whoever comes her way. She doesn’t mean to lead people on, she really is just that friendly. Her name is Yahoo.

Growing up, Yahoo had a friend, a younger boy whom she spent considerable time with. He was a bit geeky, no doubt, but she liked him and wanted to help him along his way. He secretly had a crush on her while growing up, gazing longingly at her through his black, thick-rimmed glasses. Someday, he thought, someday I will date her. He was skinny and spent way too much time in front of a computer but had a strong work ethic and other smart friends. Eventually, he became quite successful on his own. His name was Google.

Yahoo fell on some hard times but never lost her smile. She still wore her pretty purple dresses around town and acted as if nothing were wrong…people always liked that about her. Still cute, still friendly, Yahoo just went about her life as usual until she caught the eye of someone, a businessman. The businessman moved in fast, buying her flowers, offering to take her out to dinner. He was from out of state so he felt like he had to move fast to win her affection, and after only a couple of dates, he proposed. His name? Microsoft.

When Google heard about this proposal, he immediately called up Yahoo to find out if it was true. It was, of course, completely true. Google, starting to divulge his long-standing crush, practically begged her not to accept the proposal.

“Please,”, Google start, “how could you consider marrying him? He’s a stuffy businessman, he didn’t grow up around here, he can’t possibly understand you!”

“He’s a good man,” she responded with her usual smile, “and will be a good husband. He has a steady job, a lot of money in the bank, and good family.”

“But he doesn’t really love you! He couldn’t, he just doesn’t know you…remember all the times we spent together?”

Yahoo thought about this. It was true, she and Google had spent some nice times together, and she knew that Microsoft didn’t really love her. But she had been waiting a long time for a suitable man to marry, and he could offer so much to her. Perhaps, though, she was overlooking something.

“Well, I’m starting to get to the point where I really want to settle down,” she said, “and he has a lot to offer me as a husband.”

“What if there were someone else?” Google paused with a look of longing.

“Like who?”

“I don’t know…maybe, me?” He couldn’t believe he’d just said that. His heart was beating so loudly he swore she could hear it.

“Really? You would marry me?”

“Well…” Google thought long and hard. This was a marriage he’d love to have, but he knew his parents wouldn’t allow it. “I can’t marry you but I could offer you some help, you know, just until you get back on your feet. That guy…he really is a bad guy, he’s done some bad things and I’m afraid he’ll make you do bad things too. You deserve better…”

“You’re sweet to be concerned,” she said, “but that’s not much of a counter offer. I know he’s done some things that seem shady in the past, but he’s really turned things around lately. He’s not all bad, really, there are some very good things about him. I’m afraid I’m going to need to consider his proposal…it could completely change my life.”

Google was heartbroken. How could she fall for someone so different from the two of them? Microsoft, in the meantime, kept quiet and patiently awaited Yahoo’s answer. He’s confident, and that scares Google while also enticing Yahoo. He tells a sweet story. Whether the story ends happily or not depends on what Yahoo decides…

Disclaimer: Any viewpoints and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nicholas C. Zakas and do not, in any way, reflect those of my employer, my colleagues, Wrox Publishing, O'Reilly Publishing, or anyone else. I speak only for myself, not for them.

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