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So I met a man....

Okay, I know I've already got the interest of some of you! He was a perfect stranger. (i wonder why we always say "perfect" stranger?" Anyway I have no idea if he is perfect or not. But I was quite taken with him or more accurately with his view of life...or still more accurately his view of his own life!

We met at an auction. I'm a total auction addict and although I buy stuff to then sell online, I truly have discovered that I love to research antiques and collectibles and especially art; I love the excitement of bidding, winning...but I'm digressing. I sat down and then an older gentleman sat down beside me. We got to talking in between bidding. I'd noticed he was buying a lot of stuff and seemed to be so happy. I also noticed that while he jotted down the items he won just as I did, unlike me, he didn't note the amount he was paying for each item. Now we're not talking thousands here. Mostly not even hundred. But I was taken with the cavalier way he bid on items, clearly enjoying when he won. We were bidding on very different things so there was no feeling of competition and I guess that was why we began chatting. He asked me a bit about what I did with the items I bought, found my knowledge of the items I was interested in impressive and so on. I asked him a bit about what he did with his items and he told me he sold most of the items at a large Sunday flea market each week.

Then he explained that he got into this biz because when his last CD matured and he realized he was getting 1.5% interest on his money, he decided "the hell with that." He withdrew all his money and figured there had to be better ways to make a profit on his savings. Now I could think of a lot of ways that would be better than investing in negligible interest CDs. But I wouldn't have come up with his idea but when he explained, I realized how wonderful and creative this was for him. He lived alone, was bored, lonely...retired. He still felt vital and wanted so much to enjoy life. So he came up with the idea of going to auctions, buying the things he both liked to buy and believed he could see at a profit, bringing the items home, repairing them, cleaning them up, whatever, and then every Sunday he woke way before the crack of dawn and brought his goods to market, in this case a great country flea market.

What struck me is it was all about having a purpose, getting out of the house, meeting people, feeling some excitement, developing new interests, and, as R. told me he was making "a hell of a lot more money on his savings this way and it was a hell of a lot more fun."

I loved his attitude, his zest for life. It reminded me how important it is to stay active, creative, inventive. And how important it is to find ways to connect to people, especially people who share your passion. R. didn't feel alone. And that's because he wasn't.

And for the day of that auction, although I'd gone there by myself, I wasn't alone either. A very nice feeling.

p.s. R. was worried about whether I would have enough money to pay for everything I bought and he graciously offered to lend me money if I needed. Oh, and when I bid on a fan for my kids, he said it was a shame he didn't live closer to the auction house because he had several at home and would be glad to give me one. When I related this the next night at dinner, the other couple were convinced the "old guy" was trying to hit on me. I do not believe it for one instant.

But, hell, if he was, I figure that would have been a bonus! What "older" woman (or man for that matter) doesn't want to feel they're still young enough to be hit on?


  1. Your new friend has a great outlook on life. We could all learn something from him. Thanks for sharing.


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