Disillusioned after having been in World War I, Harold Krebbs returns to his Kansas home. There he finds that people want to hear war stories, but they do not want the truth. Similarly, Krebbs reflects, girls are too complicated; he would like to have a girl but "he did not want to have to spend a long time getting her." Nor does he want the lies, the "intrigue and politics" involved in dating. "It wasn't worth it."
Having been in a war in which all the frivolities are non-essential, and having observed the savagery of war, Krebbs longs for his life to be simple and authentic. All the artifices of society are not "worth the trouble" for Krebbs. Besides, he cannot relate to the girls who are living in a world much different from the one in which he has lived. Contenting himself with just looking at them, Krebbs tries to keep his life simple as "things were getting good again."