I had an almost-guest the other day. A woman who wanted to try AirBNB for the very first time during a visit with her relatives. She hadn't filled out her profile, so I kept the conversation going while I decided whether to allow her to stay.
As she put it, she would be 70 in December though she is in denial. She spent decades in animal protection work in DC, and a few years at an animal shelter in Chicago, before retirement. If I Googled her name, I might confuse her with a notorious puppy miller or a body builder - not her. She had her dog's picture on her profile because she has "avoided having her photo taken ever since she started seeing her grandma's face peering back at her from every photo."
I thought she was delightful! I would have gladly allowed her to stay, but as it turned out, her trip was cancelled. Too bad... She wrote me back a few days later to invite me to have lunch with her if I found myself in Wilmington, NC.
I may just do that. As I get older, I find myself drawn to people who have aged with grace and charm and courage. People who understand that chance connections can lead to remarkable opportunities for growth and insight, if you just let go of your fear.
I bet she'll be wearing purple...