This is an article I captured from Thrillist and rewrote a bit.


Using Your Phone at Dinner?


“You see people in restaurants all the time who are sitting across the table from each other, and instead of staring at each other, they’re staring at their phones,” says Dwyer, a doctoral candidate in psychology. “We were really curious: Is it having an impact on people’s social interactions, how much they’re enjoying the time they’re spending with other people?”

The short answer, they found, is yes — and not for the better.

Phone use during a meal led to a modest but noticeable decrease in diners’ enjoyment, according to their research, which was published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and will be presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s annual convention on Friday. Technology at the table caused people to feel more distracted and less socially engaged, leading to a drop in enjoyment equivalent to half a point on a seven-point scale, explains Dunn, a professor of psychology and the study’s senior author.

“[Phones] do make a difference,” Dunn says. “But it’s a small enough difference that you could easily overlook it and not even necessarily realize how phones are altering your experience in subtle ways during social interactions.”

The researchers asked 300 people to go out to dinner with friends or family, with the intention of studying how phone use affected the experience. But the researchers did not want people in the study to be aware of that goal.

To disguise the study’s intent, the researchers told half the group that they’d receive a study-related question by text at some point during the meal, so they should keep their devices on the table. The other half thought they’d answer the question on paper during the meal, and were told to put their phones away as part of a longer list of study directions.

Afterward, both groups answered questions about their enjoyment, phone use and overall dining experience. Their responses showed a clear dip in pleasure among the phone users — who, just by virtue of having their phones on the table, ended up using them for an average of 11% of the meal.

The effect appears to transcend dinnertime, too. In a second experiment, the researchers texted survey questions to more than 100 people five times a day for a week. Each time, people were asked about their emotional state and what they’d been doing in the last 15 minutes. If they had been on their phone while having a face-to-face interaction, they enjoyed the interaction less than people who had been face-to-face with another person without a phone, the researchers found.

Kicking a tech addiction can be tough; even after conducting the study, Dunn says she still finds herself tempted to respond to a text or two at the table. But the results emphasize how important it is to unplug around friends and family, Dwyer says.

“Phone use can be a bit of a habit. You’re used to pulling your phone out and looking for new notifications,” he says. “Have a rule that if you’re going to go out to dinner with some friends or family members, you’ll put your phone on silent and leave it off the table. Try to stick to these rules so you can form new habits.”

If you can resist the lure of your device, Dunn says, you may actually enhance your experience in a few ways.

“Phone use may be contagious. People are more likely to use their phones when others around them are also using their phones, so that suggests there may be this sort of domino effect,” she explains. “By putting your own phone away, you might be creating a positive domino effect.”

Using Your Phone at Dinner?

16 Style Mistakes That Age You

This article came up on my Newsfeed on Facebook.  Wonder what you all think?

If you’re not old enough to have watched The Golden Girls when it originally aired, then you shouldn’t be dressing like them.

You’ll have plenty of time for shoulder pads and pant-suits when you’re actually a senior. For now, just avoid these fashion faux-pas that add decades to your look:

1. Long, Long Hair

As we age, we develop the tendency to try to hide our new wrinkles. Ironically, nothing adds years to your look like straggly hair that’s a bit too thin to be as long as it is.

Instead of growing your hair in a vain effort to cover up the visible signs of aging, choose a layered cut that frames your face nicely. There’s no need to go full-on pixie cut, but mature hair has a different texture, so work with it, not against it. Not only will you look younger, you’ll probably save on shampoo costs too.

2. Baggy Bottoms

When you’re ready to give up on dating, start wearing ill-fitting pants. Baggy bottoms are a must when you’re simply over it. If you’re still into attracting dates, though, make sure your pants fit.

They don’t have to be skin-tight, but if there’s enough fabric on your behind to double as a parachute, you’re not going to win any beauty pageants. That’s okay. You don’t have to win a beauty pageant. More power to you. We’re just telling you how it is; what you do with that information is your own business.

3. Dark Lipstick

Unless you were born a goth, stick to a bit of gloss. Natural shades create a supple, youthful look. Darker colors draw attention to lines around the mouth, and though those are usually the product of a life full of laughter, it’s generally a look most women want to avoid.

Even bold shades of ruby red can end up making you look older than you actually are by highlighting wrinkles around the mouth. If your skin is unbelievably smooth, then you can get away with it. For the rest of us, dark lipsticks aren’t the best choice. There’s a reason most older woman usually wear shades of nude.

4. Neutral Pantyhose

Neutral pantyhose make you look like you’re applying for a corporate job in the 1960s, which, come to think of it, is fine if that’s what you’re going for. But when it’s a youthful appearance you seek, skip the hose or stick with black.

If you’re black is a little too dark for your outfit, go for a color. As long as the neutral hose of the mid-century is behind us, we’re good.

5. All-Black Outfits

Black goes with anything, but it can also give you a funereal look, like an Irish mourner from the 1920s. Even a bit of contrast can help prevent the sense that you’re going to start keening at any moment.

Try pairing a black dress with a bright pendant necklace and dangle earrings. Even better, wear break up your outfit with a colorful scarf or cardigan.

6. Boxy Blazers

Contemporary fashion has a thing called a “boyfriend blazer.” The idea is that these jackets could have come from your boyfriend’s closet, but in fact, these items are cut to create a slim, feminine silhouette.

Do not actually wear your boyfriend’s blazer if you don’t want to add a decade or two to your appearance. Big, boxy blazers make you look like David Byrne, circa Stop Making Sense. Just remember: Shoulder pads are the enemy, now and forever (but not in the ’80s).

7. Antique Dresses

Shopping at the thrift store can yield gems. Just be wary of picking up too many floral, lace-lined numbers. First off, you’ll look like a walking doily. Second, you’re not an extra from Little House on the Prairie.

Finally, wearing a grandma’s dress will make people think you’re a grandma. That’s awesome; grandmas are great and we love them all. That doesn’t mean they all look super-youthful, though.

8. Stretched Out Skinny Jeans

This is not exactly the same thing as item No. 2 on our list, which, as you will recall, was labeled “Baggy Bottoms.” It’s sort of the same, but not exactly. We mention the hazard of stretched-out skinny jeans because it’s such a widespread issue, a special subset of the Baggy Bottom debacle.

The problem began when clothes manufacturers stopped using any denim that wasn’t at least 80-percent rubber bands. That stretchy denim looks great for about a week and a half, then it loses its elasticity, just like your skin does when you age. That’s not a good look when you’re going for youthfulness.

9. Herbert Frames

What do we mean by “Herbert frames?” You know, black plastic glasses that are big and thick and might have made you look punk in the early ’90s but now mostly just make you look like someone who was young in the early ’90s, i.e., an aging hipster.

Plastic frames lined with bright colors are all the rage these days. Try them to keep your face looking smooth and youthful.

10. Jersey Fabric Dresses

Jersey fabric is the most comfortable cloth in the world. Wearing a jersey dress is like wrapping your whole body in your favorite old T-shirt. Everything is wonderful about this soft, light fabric, except for the way it treats your figure.

Jersey tends to cling to everything. That can create some unflattering angles, which increases the appearance of age. Plus, the fact that you so clearly dress for comfort suggests that you’ve given up on standing out in the crowd. Try double-knitted jersey for a similar feel on your skin without the unforgiving fit.

11. Thick Black Eyeliner

In general, the trick to emphasizing your youthful features is to avoid drawing attention toward your more autumnal qualities. We’re thinking, specifically, of eye wrinkles.

The area around your eyes is one of the first places that your years of life, laughter, and loss are etched into your face. Thick, dark eyeliner acts as a spotlight on this frequently wrinkled area. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

12. Too Much Tanning

The sun preserves life on the planet, but it also gives us wrinkled old leathery hides when we spend too much time basking in its rays. It’s all about the ultraviolet light, which wages an all-out attack on collagen fibers in the skin.

We’re not saying you should wear a face-kini every time you leave the house, but it’s worth investing in a little high-SPF sunscreen. Your skin will thank you sooner than you think.

13. Shapeless Frocks

This may seem obvious, but the temptation to throw on a muumuu and rush out the door can be overwhelming at times. Resist it.

Also, we just realized that ironic muumuus are probably going to be this summer’s big fashion trend, so maybe ignore everything we said on the subject. All hail the muumuu!

14. A Short Scarf Around the Neck

You’ve probably seen ladies with colorful silk scarves tied around their necks. Do you think any of them get carded at the grocery store? No, they do not, and the simple reason why is that short silk scarves around the neck went out of fashion about 50 years ago.

If you just stocked up on colorful silk scarves and are wondering if Etsy issues refunds, don’t worry. There’s an awesome way to wear them that actually looks pretty youthful. Try tying them around the strap of your purse. You get a pop of color without looking precisely 150 years old.

15. Brooches and Lapel Pins

Even the word “brooch” sounds old. So does the word “lapel,” come to think of it.

Anyway, sticking an old gilded piece of finery on your boxy jacket makes you look a little out of date. Try a few one-inch round buttons instead. That’s what the kids are into these days.

16. Excessive Foundation

Too much makeup fuels the suspicion that you’re hiding something under there. Plus, there’s something unnatural about a face with a ton of foundation. Make sure no one could credibly use the verb “to cake” while describing the way you put on your face.

Keep it light and natural. Otherwise, people might stop carding you, too, which is always a shock the first time it happens. Or so we’ve been told by our elders; we certainly don’t have any first-hand experience with stuff like that.

16 Style Mistakes That Age You

The Bear Families Share

The Bear Family Left had just been joined by The Bear family Right. The Left Bear Family didn’t understand The Bear Family Right but thought they were right. The Right Bear Family didn’t understand The Bear Family Left but thought they were Right. The boys in the Bear Family Left made a very long list of complaints about the Bear Family Right and sent it to them after an event at house the bear parents shared.

The sons of The Bear Family Left complained about how they were treated, why the house they now visited that was originally owned by The Bear Family Right had rules. They had rules growing up, but for some reasons those rules should not apply in the Bear Family Right home.

bears81-1024x716The same sons thought they should be served only on the best crystal, china and silver, but could not understand why they had to help clean up anything. They thought it was now their house, but with that came none of the responsibility of the home where they grew up and were expected to help clean up after meals. They wanted to be able do anything they desired in the house, but none of the responsibility of helping to maintain the house.

The Bear Family Right suggested maybe paper plates might be fine for a picnic since there were so many people in attendance, then there would be no argument about who was to clean up the mess. The sons of The Bear Family Left were insulted with the idea of paper plates for an outdoor barbecue, and felt they were being treated unfairly when they were not free to use all the things in the house that The Bear Family Right had collected for many years, treasured and did not want broken.

The Bear Family Right did not ever have the chance to explain any of the significance of the cherished pieces because it did not matter to The Bear Family Left. The Bear Family Left felt that if it was in the house it should be used in whatever matter they desired. If they wanted to take crystal to the beach that had been a gift from a dear friend, now departed; they felt they had the right. It was okay with them to put beautiful cut crystal bowls on the rickety outdoor table, They did not know or apparently care that it was last gift from The Bear Family Right’s late husband. They told The Bear Family Right that if anything was worth it should be sold, not cherished.

Because The Bear Family Right asked to be careful of some of these things, The sons of The Bear Family Left became extremely angry. They huffed and they puffed, they sent degrading emails to their father, telling him how totally horrible this person that he loved and married treated them. The mother of The Bear Family Right never once had the opportunity to explain any of it.

The sons of The Bear Family Left felt the Bear Family Right had forced their father to sell his home and move into her beautiful beach front cottage. What they did not realize is that the beach cottage was worth a lot more money and would be a better investment after the retirement of the father.

The father of The Bear Family Left had two rather exotic cars when he married the mother of The Bear Family Right and bought one more after they met. The sons did not know the story behind the new red Porsche, they just thought the new bear wife had forced him to sell his favorite toys. The new bear wife thought the toys were very pretty, especially the Mustang and did not want him to sell his toys. One by one he sold them, as he felt that part of his life was in the past and he wanted simple nice/functional cars to drive going forward. Maybe his sons did not know that the Porsche he traded in caught on fire spontaneously the day after he traded it in. That could have happened in the garage. His sons never knew that his new wife had always driven Porsches and sold the last one shortly before they met. The sons knew so very little about her history and never asked.

The sons described the new bear wife as being cold, self-serving, constantly negative, extremely rude, extremely disrespectful, confrontation, condescending, short (true as she is not very tall), ridiculous and insulting. They felt they were not welcome in the home their father shared with her and that she treated them with desrespect. The father has yet to figure out why they feel this way because she is the happy and positive person in their personal relationship. It should make one stop and wonder how the bear wife felt whenever they came to visit?

The sons of The Bear Family Left were troubled by how they felt she treated their father and that she somehow wanted to change and control him in every way. They felt she had taken his retirement, (which he lost when he was let go) his house, his cars and his money.  They did kind of forget that she might have brought equal or more to the marriage, but had never bothered to ask. The Bear Family Left sons knew very little about The Bear Family Right or what their history was or what they had accomplished.

One day the oldest son of The Bear Family Left thought he had enough of it when the bear wife asked if he would mind staying with his dog in the fully furnished art studio above the garage, as new carpet had just been installed in the house and the wife had asthma. She asked him very nicely with the bear father standing at the front door, unbeknownst to the son.

The son grabbed his dog, went out the back door, coming in swearing a couple of minutes later.  He seemed to forget there was a six year-old baby bear in the room and a son of The Bear Family Right.  He called the bear wife many bad names and shouted he was going to find her and tell her off.  She had been sitting in her adjacent office and heard it all.  She calmly told him she was there and that she would like his father to be there to hear what all he had to say.

She walked to the front of house looking for his father and he followed yelling at her. By the time the father was found too many false accusations to mention had been screamed at the wife.  She finally yelled “No one can talk to me like that in this house”.

He left and the older bear couple went for a walk with the baby bear.  Everyone was unhappy. When they returned, the older sister on The Bear Family Left came in the house in tears. She and her father talked and she left in a huff. Nothing good was going to happen in this situation. The rest of the day she would not let her bear daughters play with the other baby bear.  No one was happy and the bear wife never ever got to try to talk to anyone.  She was now a “fucking bitch”, according to son and treated everyone horribly. I guess they did not know that was one more thing finally accomplished on her bucket list.  Next year she would volunteer to be the horse poop picker upper.  She figured that had equal stature on the list.

The Bear Family Right was very upset as she had always tried to be as nice as possible. She had helped The Bear Family’s youngest son get into architecture school, spending hours redoing his portfolio, rewriting his entry letter and helping more than once redo his resume. His portfolio had been selected as one of the best at the architecture school and was on display.  She had taken a month to plan a wedding shower and later a rehearsal dinner for the youngest son and his finance, doing all the cooking herself, designing invitations and inviting a lot of young people she did not know into the beach cottage. She had spent time talking to the oldest bear son when he was having marital problems and spent several hours rewriting a resume for a girl he met. She was the one that sent cards, gifts and always remembered important events. Yet, here she was a terribly horrible person that they all had hated since they met her.

The children of The Bear Family Right and the father of The Bear Family Left do not understand why they think she is bad. They had never seen her treat the other family badly as they say, or be negative or rude. They never heard her insult them, confront them or be condescending. They do not feel she treated them like children, unless trying to get their attention to come to dinner is a childish way to say dinner is ready. The bear father is still trying to figure out what she said that was hurtful or traumatizing as they say it was. She is trying to figure out the same.

The Bear Family Right said every visit was overshadowed by constant tension. If they felt that way and the rest of the family did not know it, how do you change it? If you can’t talk about things and feel you can only express yourself via explosive behavior or very nasty emails, how do you solve anything? This is not intellectual thinking, this boorish childlike behavior.

Moral of the bear story: Don’t hold negative feelings  inside and blame how you personally feel on everyone around you.  As in most situations there is more than is seen at the surface, but if you do not have the conscience to delve a little deeper, then you deserve the consequences.

Aftermath: The mama bear got to go to Urgent care with an asthma attack brought on by dog hair and bad air. The family is now split due to where a dog slept and life goes happily along.


The Bear Families Share

Put a little love in your life on Valentines Day!

Put a little love in your life on Valentines Day!

My began with an email from my sweet husband (welcome to the tech world), followed by Yoga (I took Chocolate for my class), and then a nice run/walk on the beach with Rusty, my Bernese Mountain Dog. He thought that was pretty nice!

Off to my studio to do a little TRX and then paint. Dinner with husband tonight, so all in all a pretty nice Valentines Day.

Hope yours is even better!! Rusty at the Be


Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

Happy Third Wedding Anniversary.

My husband is in Portugal and I am home with the Kingsley Menagerie.

Rusty, our Bernese Mountain Puppy at 12 weeks discovered he could punch the Bullshit Button on our “glass” Noguchi coffee table first thing this morning, as I grabbed that, he ran off, jumped over the barrier and ate all the toilet paper off the roll in the guest room. During my attempt to clean that up, he pooped in the living room while I plugged and unplugged the toilet with his toilet paper.

Cayanne , the orange Siberian Forest cat was busy in my office destroying the shade AND my Airstream collection while I was doing puppy duty. After I shooed her out of my office (actually a little more than gently) she meowed, climbed up on the kitchen counter, took two dog bone treats out of the bowl and carried them throughout the house.

Next duty was the outdoor letterbox. (Need I say more?)

Maybe not the most romantic Wedding Anniversary so far…..

Hope you all are having a wonderful Thursday!


Quiet can be your best friend

Quiet can be your best friend

Having just returned from a two week road trip to meet my beautiful two year old grand daughter from Cambodia, traveling with my youngest son to visit my oldest son was rewarding in many ways.

Getting to know Claire a little was totally amazing! Traveling with my youngest son was a fun adventure. We talked a lot on the trip, but also found we could comfortably drive for many miles not needing conversation.

I have always loved the quiet times of the day. First thing in the morning, enjoying a cup of coffee and view from my kitchen and last moment before the sunset when the quiet of the day joins the beauty of the sky.


Being alone is not always lonely…

Being alone is not always lonely...

Thought it might be fun to take some of my more simple paintings and add the commentary I was thinking about when I painted them.

This was a boat that I photographed in Cinque Terra, Italy and I always loved the serenity of the photo, and think I translated that into the painting.

I love my alone time! It is not that I don’t enjoy the company of family and friends; it is just that time walking or reading gives me the freedom to do exactly what I want to do at that time.

Enjoy your “alone” time as it makes time with family and friends much for valuable


The Cleanest Cat – Chapter from a book I might write….

 When I was widowed some 22 years ago, I began dating after about two years.  I met some “interesting” men with many stories of their own.  I thought it might be fun to share with other women some of the funny adventures I encountered along the way.  Let me know if you enjoy this chapter and think I should write more, and if so what is your suggestion for a provocative title for a book. 



Chapter Two:  The Cleanest Cat


Aaron, “The Cleanest Cat” man, washed his cat in the shower and vacuumed that poor cat daily.   Maybe I should mention he washed his cat named Fritz in shower with him, not separately.  I wonder if he felt closer to the cat because of this.  I am not making this up, this is true story.  I did not know about the cat when I first met him for coffee or even when I went out to lunch with him.   He shared the information with me during lunch on our second date.   The date I should not have gone on.  Guess I should have found out more before I went on that second date.

Cat man seemed so normal when we went for coffee and talked. Although I realized later, that I had paid for my own coffee.   Humm…  That is not a good start.  Signs of cheapness should not show up this soon.   I have this theory:  “How it begins is how it ends”.  You buy your coffee or dinner on the first date and you will be paying for more than half of everything with this person from then on out.   This is just a general theory that seems to have been fundamentally true throughout my last fifteen years or more of online and personal ad dating.

Aaron seemed like the nicest man, so I was trying to be a little merciful, even with his cheapness about the coffee?  It is interesting to watch when you first meet a new man for coffee especially.   If they don’t offer to buy coffee, they certainly are going to be taking you out to nice dinners.   In Aaron’s case I thought I would give him a second chance.  He did drive a very nice and exceptionally clean BMW and he lived in a very lovely golf community not that far from me.   Well if you consider 75 miles not far.  I live in fairly small and slightly rural area in the Pacific Northwest, so maybe that is considered close to me.

The up side of where I live, is that I do live in a cute little beach cottage with my own private sandy beach; an unheard of thing in the Pacific Northwest.  We have lots of beaches with lots of rocks and lots sea weed and lots of muck.   So I am very lucky to have that sand and wonder if I will ever find a man that I will really want share wiggling his toes in it with me.  For instance, Mr. Clean Cat would not want to get sand under his toenails or between his toes, so I am sure there would have been no sand wiggling with him.

At any rate we talked and had a great time on the coffee date; so he invited me to come see his new home at lunch time the following week.  No, let me rephrase that, he insisted that I see his house the following week.  He was so totally enamored with his house; he was willing to drive and pick me up and take me there for lunch.  It seemed a tiny bit extreme.   Lot of driving for only lunch!  150 miles for lunch, sounds more like somewhere you fly for lunch to me.

I could not imagine he thought I was that special.   Little did I know, not only was I not special, he was just slightly, no absolutely obsessive compulsive.  Not just about picking me up, but about everything he shared with me.   I did not know this at the time, but I found that out soon enough!  The second date!  Cat Cleaner was friends with very good friends of mine so I allowed him to come to my home to pick me up in his very clean BMW.  With friends in common it seemed to be a fairly safe adventure.

The day of our lunch date, Aaron arrived exactly on time, not a minute late, and did not comment on my lack of landscaping in the front of my beach cottage and sincerely seemed to enjoy my little house.   That was nice! My house is clean and neat, but has a lovely assortment of weeds and dirt and rocks on the way from the garage to the front door. At this point in time I have lived in the house for two years and have been concentrating on finishing the patios on the water side, so I have no flowers on the entry side of the house yet.   No lawn, no arbors, just a sidewalk.  Maybe I can finish the yard if a million women read and laugh at my adventures on awful dating in this book and admit that older women have just as many if not more challenges than the gals in “Sex in the City”.

To continue, when I opened the door to his car it was so clean, I was afraid that I might leave finger prints or leave one grain of sand from my very muddy rural driveway.  I actually thought about taking off my shoes and putting them in a plastic bag and carrying them in the car.  I held my breath and got in.    The car did not explode from my extra dust.  You will understand that comment later.

We talked the whole way there about people we knew in common.  When we ran out people in common he told me the best to clean toilets.   It is amazing what you can talk about with people you don’t know at all.    I now know how to perfectly clean my toilets, according to Aaron.  Not sure I would really bother doing this much work, but according to Clean Cat man, you put Clorox in the water, leave it for an hour, come back and scrub with Ajax, then polish with car wax, so nothing will stick.    That was almost worth the date to me.  On the other hand, it was almost too much information.  I thought toilets were meant to be cleaned by cleaning ladies.   So now if I ever get in a bind, I certainly will know how to clean a toilet.   I am not sure about the car wax, but who knows?

When we arrived at his home I could not help but notice that not a plant was out of place.  The perfect yard.  The perfect entry.  There were no dead heads (you know those dead flowers you are supposed to remove), no leaves on the ground, each and every plant was in a perfect location and perfectly tended. It was almost beautiful.  If it had not been so contrived, so totally organized, so clean I might have appreciated it.  But no, I like those wild gardens with flowers and plants mixed together everywhere, with all different shapes and sizes having a great time together.  To me it should look like the plants made love together and are hugging each other, rather than standing totally alone in perfect harmony.  This was a perfect harmony yard, not a luscious sexy yard.  Guess we all see it differently!   Boy I am glad he did not look closely at my yard.   The weeds peeking out under beauty bark and falling love with hydrangeas.

Slowly walking through the faultless yard to the exquisitely manicured front door the Cat Cleaner told me the scientific name and variety of every plant along the way, how he pruned them, how he watered them, how he fertilized them and why he had chosen each and every one.  Boy did I wish I had my own car, and we had not even gone into the house yet.  Escape was on my mind or was it boredom.   It made me wish I was a much better judge of character at that first coffee date.  I just want to think positively of every one.   Must be a character flaw.

Somehow I just kept walking up to that front door, I was starting to get worried about going in that front door, the utterly polished front door.  Would I be able to breathe in the house, or would it be purified air?  I held my breath and removed my shoes, and charged forward wondering if my socks were clean enough to walk on the incredibly spotless white carpet.   Aaron led the way, so I followed and listened as he described every room and every perfectly placed piece of furniture.   I work as an interior designer and even though I love “perfection” in design, there is big difference between sterile perfection and magnificent comfort.  I would say his home was hygienic flawlessness and my date was not over yet.

Kind of scary isn’t it.   Not scary like you could get hurt, but surprising what you meet when you date.

The date went on.

I sat in his kitchen and we talked while he showed me all his neatly organized cabinets.   I had never had a man show me his cabinet organization before.   I have had them show me a lot of other things, but never the inside of their cabinets.   He even showed me his garage.   There was classic car in the garage, a lot of closed cabinetry, and a desk complete with computer set up.   The desk was flawlessly ordered, no paper or pen was out of place.    I asked him why he had his office in the garage instead of in the house.   He and his cat Fritz lived alone, so had two extra bedrooms.  Aaron explained that he did not like the mess of an office to interfere with the tidy interior of his home.   He had a system, where he added a vent from the furnace in the garage and it made it warm enough to easily work in the winter.   Don’t ask me how it worked, but it must have been filtered and purified enough to make him happy.

After about an hour, a glass of water and a plate of carrots; I asked him if he was still going to fix me lunch.   Aaron told me he did not have any other food in his house.    I tried to diplomatically tell him that I was starving.   I really wanted to say it was one in the afternoon, you invited me to lunch (you idiot) and where was my food, but I didn’t.   He asked me to give him a minute and disappeared down the hallway.

I picked up a two year old travel magazine, the only one to be seen and went out to the patio followed by Fritz the cat, sat down and enjoyed the sunshine.   It was a perfect summer day wasted with another horrible online adventure date.

Aaron was gone for about thirty minutes.  One of my lessons here was to never get in a car and drive somewhere with someone you don’t really know, no matter how many friends you have in common.  Take your own car!!   Have an escape route!

When Aaron finally came out to the patio, he had showered and changed his clothes.   I noticed he had freshly shaved his head as well as his face.  Maybe I didn’t mention that he shaved his head.  I asked him what he had been doing, as if I didn’t know, and he said he had showered so we could go to the golf club for lunch.  He looked perfectly clean before, so not sure why the second shower, or maybe it was the third or fourth. As we sat there talking, I looked down at his legs and realized they were shaved too.  So in my sort of nice way I asked him if he shaved his legs.   He told me he did not only shave his legs, but he shaved his entire body.

I asked Aaron if he was a body builder, as he was in fairly good shape, and many body builders do shave their entire bodies for competitions.  He said no, but he told me felt cleaner when he shaved every where.   It made wonder why he did not shave his cat.   It might be easier than showering it everyday and followed by a good vacuuming   I will share with you that I never had the opportunity, nor did I care to find out if he shaved everywhere on his body, but I would bet he did.   Thus you meet the obsessive compulsive man.  By comparison the rest of the afternoon was just dull.   We had lunch at the club house, and he gave me a ride back home.

He called about once a week to say hello for the longest time, but l either did not answer the phone, or I was busy.

The Cleanest Cat – Chapter from a book I might write….