I was not prepared.

When I first started working at my current job, I shared an office with Sister Nora. She was 78 when I met her and did not clear five feet – not by a long shot. But she was a nun, and I was intimidated by her. That is, until one day I turned to ask her something and saw her reading a romance novel at her desk. And I mean a real romance novel, with Fabio on the cover.

I silently turned back around, blinked, and thought, “…I was not prepared for that.”

It was a true moment of surprise, and how many of those do we get as adults?

I immediately warmed to Nora. I learned how much she loved romance novels, horror movies, hot tamales, and soap operas. We spent one Mardi Gras eating cupcakes and watching “The Bold and the Beautiful” in our office. I started picking up romance novels at Goodwill and bringing them in for her. For her eightieth birthday, I made her a card featuring her favorite things.

Nora's heart

Nora got sick in early 2012. Or, sicker. This time she went to the hospital, so I went to visit her. She wasn’t expecting me and when I walked in, she was on the phone with another coworker of ours.

Nora looked at me. It took a second, then said into the phone: “Oh! It’s…it’s the girl who gives me all the dirty books!”

Yes, she knew my name. But maybe she knew me a little bit better.

This St. Patrick’s Day, it will be one year since I last saw Sister Nora. It was her birthday. She was wearing a paper party hat and opening cards with her friend; it was a good last memory.

Now I sit at her old desk. I read more romance novels than I used to. And I remember how the nun who read all the dirty books became my friend, and how much I miss her. I was not prepared for that.

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Fabio on a piano will sell this deodorant

Last week, one of my social media classes talked about the concept of “going viral.”  One of the best examples was all about this guy:

No doubt, a very successful ad campaign that completely exploded on YouTube.  It’s funny and memorable and has made a star out of Isaiah Mustafa (aka the man your man could smell like).  There’s no way Old Spice can reach this level of viral success again; they also have to retire this ad campaign before it outlasts its welcome and becomes a failed TV sitcom.

In that spirit…there’s this now:

I’m left with the feeling of “is this real life?” I can’t tell if it’s going to be a successful campaign or not, but the comments suggest no one was begging for a new Old Spice guy.  Still, I spent the past ten minutes Googling Old Spice, and I still kind of can’t get over the way Fabio says “Old spices.”  Or, you know, anything.

Fabio modeling for the cover of his own book

Also, I once caught my 79-year-old office mate reading this book. Note Fabio is the author AND the cover model.

What do you think?  Is this the definition of trying to hard?  Is it funny anyway?  How old is Fabio and does he even have a last name?