How Gilmore Girls Do Money: Brian Fuller
Every morning, Brian buttons up his short-sleeved dress shirt and makes sure his pant cuffs are free of dust and stains. He can save money by wearing them a few times without washing, since the laundry machine takes $3.00 to wash and dry a load of clothes and a bulk shipment of Shout Wipes comes out to 27 cents per. Sometimes less than that, if he can get them from an Amazon third-party seller that also accepts Amazon Prime.
He pins his bike clips carefully around his pants, puts on his helmet, and rides the five miles to Century 21. It’s on the outer edge of Stars Hollow, the logo the same mustard color as Brian’s shirt. (He planned it that way, though his coworkers have yet to notice.)
Brian gets off his bike, locks it up, and does one more quick spot check before entering the building. He’ll turn 30 in a few weeks, making him the youngest real estate agent in this Century 21 franchise. Brian used to wonder if someone else would walk in the door, the way he walked in looking for a job, but the kids these days don’t seem interested in real estate, or franchises, or small cement-block buildings on the edge of town. So it’s Brian, a few women in their 50s, and the franchise owner.
Brian used to make the coffee every morning when he was the franchise’s receptionist, and he never really stopped. Now, they have a phone tree instead of a receptionist, and a little bell on the desk that lets agents know someone is in the lobby. He misses the old days, which makes him feel old—even though most days, he is still the youngest person in the room.
He keeps his blazer at his desk so it will stay fresh, and has a recurring reminder in his Outlook calendar to get it dry-cleaned once a quarter. He doesn’t wear it all that often, these days; only when meeting with clients and showing homes. Home sales are finally starting to pick up again, which means a little extra examination of the blazer every morning, a quick check for stains and smells. It’s usually clean.
Brian has a picture of his parents on his desk, and no one else. When he sees one of Kyon’s posts in his Facebook newsfeed, he likes it. She’s married, of course, living somewhere in South Korea that Brian can only picture in his imagination, and even then it looks a lot like the inside of Mrs. Kim’s antique store. He feels a little embarrassed to look at Facebook pictures of Kyon and her husband, even though he and Kyon are friends and it shouldn’t matter. That’s why he only likes, and never comments. He’d never dare send her one of those messages that he reads about in the advice columns, the ones that begin “Remember the time that the two of us met at the gazebo in the middle of the night?” and end with letters to Carolyn Hax asking whether it’s time to end a marriage.
Brian is not interested in ending marriages. He is interested in building his—and Stars Hollow’s—future. Not that he’s sure there’ll be much of it. He used to wonder if Hartford would start to spread out towards Stars Hollow, picking it up as a sort of quirky suburb, but Hartford hasn’t been doing all that well lately, and everyone who wants a home in Stars Hollow has one.
But today could be different. Someone could walk in the door today and change everything. That is the kind of thing that happens in Stars Hollow all the time, or used to. He’s young enough that it could still happen for him—the person who will buy his next house, or be his bride, or invite him to play in a band again. Until then, he’ll keep his pant cuffs clean, make the coffee, and wait.