Last fall when I received an email from an 80-something reader signed “Susan in Berlin,” I had just been invited to join my Maryland family’s spring break trip there. I decided it would be great to meet a stranger who reads 80-something, so I responded to her email and invited her to meet for coffee.
I wasn’t convinced the trip would happen until I was strapped into my seat on Lufthansa. I wasn’t sure I would meet Susan for coffee. And both things happened except that it was dinner, not coffee, and Susan’s husband John and my pal Louise joined us.
We met at an Indian restaurant between our two neighborhoods. With a name like Susan, I was sure she was an American living abroad. Nope, she was born in East Germany. As an 80-something reader, I was sure she would be near my age. Nope, she couldn’t be more than mid-fifties. She and her husband were completely charming. They ordered for us, showed us how to eat what we ordered, and walked us back to our Airbnb.
Susan told me she had been reading the blog almost since its beginning. I asked her why she was so loyal (even her husband reads it), and she told me that her mother was not aging gracefully and she was looking for a role model so she could do better.
I want to publicly thank Susan and John for being a highlight of our Berlin visit.