A CHANCE ENCOUNTER while hiking at Faribault’s River Bend Nature Center in late November led me down the rabbit hole of internet surfing on a cold January afternoon. How did I get there and what did I discover? Here’s the backstory and then the story. Sit back and enjoy.
The story begins with me and my camera. I carry my Canon EOS 20-D with me nearly everywhere, especially to natural spaces like River Bend. Another photographer—a young man—happened to notice and inquired about my camera. We talked equipment for a bit before I continued down the woods-edged trail and he returned to senior portrait photography.
Later, while walking across the parking lot, I spotted a colorful car covered in messages. I put two and two together and determined this vehicle belonged to the young photographer I’d met earlier. I liked the car, a work of art really, enough to snap a few frames.
Well, those car photos and that chance meeting were forgotten until I rediscovered the file images recently. “I really ought to post those car pictures,” I thought to myself. That led me to Google “Curtis Pecore-Kotek.” I learned he’s a high school senior from Faribault who specializes in photography and videography. Yes, he’s on YouTube and that’s how I ended up watching his video, “How to Get a Girlfriend,” posted a year ago. Note that I rarely watch YouTube.
The video title intrigued me, mostly because I wondered where Curtis would go with the topic. I quickly found out. He went to Walmart. And then to Hy-Vee Grocery Store. There he randomly asked shoppers and staff for tips on getting a girlfriend.
Many of them, much to my surprise, responded to the teen thrusting an over-sized microphone toward them. Only one seemed concerned about what Curtis would do with the recording…before giving a lengthy, thoughtful answer.
And what did the fine folks shopping for food and other goods or working advise this teenager about getting a girlfriend?
Be kind. Be nice. Be gentle. Be honest. Be real. Be confident. Be a “good person.” Be yourself. Be the best version of yourself.
Have a sense of humor. Tell a few jokes.
And then there’s this one: Hang out in the right spots (although “right spots” were not defined).
Curtis ends the video by interviewing a girl who wants to be just a friend, not a girlfriend. I sensed her uncomfortableness in the questioning.
I found the video entertaining, interesting and insightful. Interviewees offered great tips, many sharing the same advice. Curtis handled himself well. He seems real, confident, nice, kind and possessing a sense of humor. I’d say he’s got it covered in the qualities he needs to find a girlfriend. Whether he’s connected with a young woman beyond friendship in the year since crafting this video, I don’t know. He’s young, there’s plenty of time for relationships…
TELL ME: What tips would you give Curtis about getting a girlfriend? Or about life in general?
NOTE: In watching this video shot a year ago, I noticed something I rarely see in Faribault now: people wearing face masks to stop the spread of COVID. At the time, a state-wide mask mandate was in place.
© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling