Column: Rockin’ abs, sore ankles and forgiveness

Do you know how it is when you get an unexpected present?

July 1, the start of a new month, I was “gifted” by a social media app, on computer and phone.

I’m not much of a fan of social media groups, because I have seen the potential they have to abuse.

But it’s pretty common for people to communicate now by using Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter.

Pity the average guy who doesn’t have access to any of that stuff.

I consult all those sites, mostly because it is one of the ways you can get new information, if you are an editor, reporter, news junkie.

It’s true the truth sometimes comes out on such sites.

The gift I received July 1, totally unexpected, left me a little puzzled and wishing to say “What?”

It was a photo of a buff young man.

It reminded me of a “gift” I had received years ago when I had my business in Washington, D.C.

My spouse and a friend who worked for me thought it amusing to surprise me on my birthday, with a male dancer.

Twice, in my commercial food business kitchen, I was visited by guys.

My employees thought this was an unheard-of benefit of working for Takoma Kitchens. My employees, all turned-out Latino women, savored the sight.

There we were, making pies and breads and pastries, relaxing for a bit of joy.

It is traditional when such things happen to photograph the scene. And, one dancer left a photo, so it could be something to cherish forever.

Now in my possession, another photo.

The person who “gifted” this I know in a semi-professional way. I met him through a business venture.

I know how it was when I was much younger. I wanted to keep friends current about life developments.

This photo shows what it looks like to really take care of yourself.

I am diligent about working out several days a week. When you accumulate years, you have a need for something to keep you more pliable, less creaky.

But I can’t say all my exercising can compete with my friend’s photo of really rocking abs.

I was proud of myself yesterday, at the gym, when I stayed on a treadmill longer than the gentleman beside me.

I discovered this morning all that effort resulted in a slightly discolored ankle, left leg. That ankle had been broken — twice.

The question in my mind: isn’t it a bit awkward to have your picture out there, circulating on Facebook?

Yes, in my day I was photographed much, usually as part of a story I was doing for one of my newspapers.

As a reporter covering state politics and presidential candidates in Iowa, my photo was posted in a display on the front of the Des Moines Register building.

A coup, for a girl.

Yes, I was young. I enjoyed being 28, and photographed.

Luckily, this wasn’t about something like abs.

Oh, youth. My friend can be excused. He is 28.