Hes aboomer clean freak yet still Ibelieve in love

I’m at a restaurant opening, one of those foodie places. All these hot-looking waiters are passing tiny potato caviar puffs. Plus, there are free, great little apple martini shots. So I’m feeling no pain. Dressed to the nines in my latest mixture of used Versace and H&M, I’m standing in a corner, eating those puff things. When no one is looking, I put dozens of potato puffs in my purse.

Barbara Rose Brooker

“Hello. I’m Len Kapstein,” says this thin, 70ish man with salt-and-pepper hair, and elegantly dressed.


“I know. I love your columns. I recognize you from your photo.”

“Wow. Thanks,” I say, trying to squish a puff into my red-leather envelope purse. He tells me that he imports and exports foods and coffee to Brazil. He has smooth, dark skin and even, too white veneers.

“Delicious puffs,” I say.

“You skewer men,” he says.

“I do?”

“Skewer,” he repeats, as if to no one.  “I hope I’m not one of those men you write about.”

“Of course not. Tell me about yourself.”

He gives lots of money to Israel. Plants lots of trees in Israel. Also, he loves dining.

”It’s important to eat the right food, and to drink the right wines,” he says. “Clean food,” he repeats, pressing his full red lips. “Food poisoning is rampant in this country.”

I nod. At least he’s world traveled. Gives money to Israel.  Not a boomer cheapo. He proceeds to tell me that his dead wife was a “pistol.” “A great chef,” he adds.

“Wonderful,” I say.

“I want to take you to Coi for dinner.  It’s the only restaurant with five stars.”

“Coy or oy?”

“No. Pronounced like French.”

“Sure,” I say, telling myself why not? He could be a good column, plus I’m tired of living on spaghetti.  Also, he’s world traveled. Who knows? He might be the one.

We’re in his shiny blue jaguar and he drives like a maniac. Plus at stop signs, he sprays this antiseptic stinky stuff, and wipes his hands with these hand-wipe things that stink like Clorox. I’m gagging and my tear duct is watering.  The windows are closed and I can’t breathe.

“Can you open the window, please?”



“Bugs are everywhere,” he says, his voice rising.  “I can’t open the window. The air is dirty.”

“I don’t see bugs.”

“Honey, you can’t see them. They’re in the air. They’re all around us. The last woman I was with let her sheets go for a week, and I got bed bugs.”

Wouldn’t you know it? Something is wrong. Definitely, he’s one of those Howard Hughes freaks. Suddenly, I hate his too neat Gucci suit, too neat car, too shiny Gucci shoes, too white teeth. I hate that at every stop sign he puts his cold, clean, clammy hand on my knee.

I hate the restaurant. It’s too serious. Drab. Military. Gray fabric walls. Cranky looking waiters who speak French and move like they’re gliding. People eating and not talking as if the food is too reverent for talk. I hate the endless wine, dying for my vodka straight over, hate the tiny courses, huge plates with a tiny mussel floating on it, flowers on top of the soup. While he’s slurping up a mussel floating in a huge white bowl, surrounded by flowers, he’s raving about how his wife was one of the top chefs in the world. “Honey, she was on Oprah, won awards. She was a pistol. She wouldn’t eat anything but good, clean food.”

“Delicious mussel,” I say, starving.

He smiles. “Most women don’t appreciate food like this.” He proceeds to tell me about the array of “bad blind dates.” “If they’re beautiful, they’re dumb; if they’re homely, they’re too nice. If they’re rich, they’re bitches. You can’t win. That’s why I haven’t remarried. My wife was clean as a whistle. These women aren’t clean. They wear dirty underwear under their couture.”

When we leave the restaurant, as the valet helps me into the car, I place my hand on the car door.

 “Oh my God!” he shrieks.

“God what?”

“You touched the car!”

“It’s just . . . smudged.”

Now he’s crying. Literally. He’s crying actual tears, ranting that he just spent two thou for a “friggin’ paint job!”

He takes pictures of the smudge with his cell phone. Then sprays this stuff around me to keep the bugs away.

I can’t wait to get home, and plus I’m hungry. He’s not the one, but still I believe in love.

Barbara Rose Brooker
of San Francisco is the author of “The Viagra Diaries” and a recently finished sequel. She is also the founder of the Age March, held May 21 in West Hollywood and set for Oct. 1 in San Francisco. Contact her at [email protected] or visit www.theviagradiaries.com.