When I first found out that Mr. and Mrs. Bill Gates would be divorcing after 27 years of marriage earlier this week, I thought immediately of Holly Golightly — the classic American gold-digger immortalized by Audrey Hepburn in the admittedly loose but arguably more famous film adaptation of Truman Capote’s 1958 novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. In the film, Holly maintains a constantly updated list of the richest men in America under 50, which always struck me as a particularly impressive feat in the pre-internet era. While Bill Gates would have exceeded Holly’s desired age range, I imagine she probably would’ve made an exception for a potential suitor of Gates’ fame and net worth, and I could picture her immediately setting to work figuring out how to scheme her way into his social circle, seeking more than just $50 for the powder room.
Like young, aspiring Holly Golightlys everywhere, my own immediate response to the Gates divorce was, “Bill Gates is single,” and then to Google his net worth. It’s a gold-digger reflex — genetic, probably. We know we aren’t going to be the new Mrs. Bill Gates, but we can’t help but at least consider the possibility. Even if we did have a shot, however, it turns out we’d still have to get through one final boss: Bill Gate’s ex-girlfriend, software engineer and venture capitalist Ann Winblad.