No Matter Who You Are, We All Need To Brush Our Teeth

Commercial Real Estate Agent with Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker AZ BR 528507000

Funny how young experiences gently but indelibly imprint our subconscious and shape our way of being . . .

I've had a few.

As a young teen, I'd stay at my cousin's in Conejo Valley, CA for weeks in Summer. 

Her older sister had a restaurant in La Crescenta. (Italian, of course.) 

So I learned how to wait tables.
(I also learned that I'm not good at waiting tables! LOL)

One day, a man came into the restaurant and by appearances, anyone would think 'that's a homeless guy'. Unkempt and shabbily dressed.

I went to the back kitchen and said, what shall I do with him?

My cousin laughed! "Give him anything he wants! That's Kirk Kerkorian, he owns half of Vegas!" She was not exaggerating - her husband was his nephew. 


Fast forward to my late teens.

I'm in Hollywood in radio school, taught by industry greats of the day. One was Art Hannes, who at that time was the 'Voice Of God' (the main announcer) for CBS. A gig we all would have killed for, but not one you could apply for! He was the original, and had been for decades! His career started in the late 40s.

Since I commuted from the Inland Empire area of SoCal, which entailed me being gone all day. I had a bag with change of clothes, toiletries etc in my car. One item was a red toothbrush which I had taken out of my purse and put in my front pants pocket so I could discreetly ensure none of the vending machine snacks lived in my pearlies. This particular day, I did not return the toothbrush to my purse.

I had come out of the ladies room, and there was Art. He noticed my toothbrush sticking out of my pocket. Oh boy!

He said to me, "I like your red toothbrush!" and before I could stuff it back in my pocket or make any apology about this appearance of impropriety . . .

he opened his jacket to reveal a RED TOOTHBRUSH in his inside pocket!

He said: "Just remember, no matter who you are, we all need to brush our teeth." 


In our world, in this Tik-Tok, 'IG Model' 'Influencer/Bad Influence' age, it's easy to get lost in APPEARANCES. Agents drive fancy cars, buy fancy houses and wear fancy clothes to show they are successful. But are they?

Without financials . . . who knows?

We assist consumers in managing hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars on what might be the biggest investment they may ever make! 

Do they really know if we know what the hell we're doing, and what that could conceivably cost them?

Consumers, look past appearances to the EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND WISDOM that the ideal broker possesses.

You can't drive it, wear it, live in it or buy it on credit! 


This image says it all, in my opinion . . . 


🎶People forget
Forget they're hiding
Behind an eminence front
An eminence front, it's a put on🎶
Featured Photo by Raghavendra V. Konkathi on Unsplash


Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!

I used to have a graphic design business.  One day a disheveled man walked in off the street.  Very unkempt, hair hadn't been combed in weeks, t-shirt was stained and badly wrinkled, and I was pretty sure he'd slept in his clothes, his pants were held up with a cord.  He sat at my counter, and spread open a notebook and asked me a bunch of actual graphic arts questions, and asked if I could provide a bunch of services.  In an effort to kind of "put him off", I answered affirmatively, but that I would require a 50% deposit to move forward. 

He reached into his ratty pants pockets, and pulled out several checkbooks, and a whole bunch of very wrinkled hundred-dollar-bills and between cash and checks gave me enough to move forward.  As soon as he left (after spraying some air-freshener), I called the bank to ask if the check he's written was any good, the banker asked how much was the check written for?.. I answered it was $2,500.  He responded: "Oh, is that all?  Yes, he laughed, he's good for that!"

That man became one of my best clients for the next half dozen years. And I don't think he ever combed his hair and rarely changed that damn t-shirt.  I kept lots of Febreeze on hand.

May 03, 2024 08:14 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

WOW! Yup, can't judge by appearances or even odors, LOL!
There was a book out in the 80s called PT - The Perpetual Traveler by Dr WG Hill.It was REALLY expensive at the time, like 200 bucks. 

Anyhoo, Dr Hill's book was basically how to fly under the radar of taxes, governments and bureaucracies, and one of the things he taught was NEVER to show your wealth. Old car, old clothes, I don't think he taught to smell or be unkempt but definitely not to 'stand out' . . . LOL 

We just don't know who has money - or doesn't - these days! 

May 03, 2024 08:21 AM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 602.710.8161 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Candice A. Donofrio , who would have thought that a red toothbrush will connect you with the famous radio announcer?! Your essay made me reflect on serendipity, appearances and true value. I loved the visual and the comment to it, too. 

May 03, 2024 08:26 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

There were a few of those 'big timers' who were great 'real people' . . . arrogant a-holes too but they taught important lessons of their own! 

May 03, 2024 08:46 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Quick to judge and grade a person as good, bad, wealthy, pauper, etc based on way way too little information. Don't do that. Love all, serve all like the Hard Rock Cafe Candice A. Donofrio. Great personal post! 

May 03, 2024 08:49 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

serve all like the Hard Rock Cafe

Amen to that!

May 03, 2024 09:33 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Candice A. Donofrio, You make me laugh, but what you say is true. Most people, however, do judge a book by its cover. One of my best clients owned a large medical supply company and 50 rental townhouses, which I managed and eventually sold for him. He drove around in a beat-up station wagon and dressed up in very casual clothes. He could buy and sell anyone but you would never know it to look at him

May 03, 2024 09:10 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

And the other extreme is the 'new Porsche every year' (I had clients like that) who couldn't qualify - even though the Mrs was a mortgage broker! LOL

May 03, 2024 09:34 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Candice,
Amen, sista! I also have a few stories that prove the very point of your post. Some people use it to their advantage, others just do it to mess with people.

May 03, 2024 09:29 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

Yeah . . . people are easily messed with too these days! LOL

May 03, 2024 09:35 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Candice and you got me at your title today and I could add to the list also.  Make it a great weekend.


May 03, 2024 10:54 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

You as well!

May 04, 2024 08:12 AM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

I have went electronic with my tooth brush...and love it.  Hard to carry around so it stays at home but I get your message.   Personally I like to carry toothpicks and chew on them...I just hope I don't die of Dutch Elm disease! Have a great weekend Candice A. Donofrio 

May 03, 2024 10:57 AM
Kathy Streib

Hi Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker just don't run with a toothpick in your mouth!!

May 03, 2024 05:48 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I loved reading this post and all the comments. I have read many examples of people who don't look successful but are, and the reverse as well. While it's difficult not to judge people by first impressions, it's really in our best interest not to judge. Ya never know.

May 03, 2024 01:15 PM
Candice A. Donofrio

Never can tell!

May 03, 2024 03:25 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Well done Candice!!!  Growing up in Texas, I learned that you can't judge a book by its cover. At a luncheon, I sat next to a sweet lady.  She was neatly dressed but it didn't appear to be a designer suit..and very simple jewelry.   She was married to a good ole boy oilman and could have bought the hotel we were in and all of the buildings around it.  

BTW- I don't think they make Sonicare toothbrushes in red. Bummer.   Libra

May 03, 2024 05:52 PM
Candice A. Donofrio

Kathy Streib this 'looks like' it's posting to Kat, AR gremmies again but here's a Sonicare in 'Miami Coral' that would perfectly complement the lovely ♎'s color palette! LOL LOL LOL 
Sonicare Miami Coral

May 04, 2024 05:35 AM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

            Love everything about this post especially the WHO! 

🎶People forget
Forget they're hiding
Behind an eminence front
An eminence front, it's a put on🎶
May 04, 2024 01:23 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

A top favorite Who song!

May 04, 2024 11:04 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I always enjoy your stories from the past, they often give me a good chuckle!

May 04, 2024 04:13 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

Achievement unlocked!

May 04, 2024 11:04 AM
Michael Elliott
Fathom Realty - Burlington Township, NJ
Burlington, New Jersey Residential Sales

Please post more frequently, this is awesome.   

May 04, 2024 04:32 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

Thank you! I've been here 18 years this July and sometimes I'm motivated and others not so much, or waylaid by other things . . . 

May 04, 2024 11:06 AM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

Loved your post, Candice! RE agents get judged a lot, sometimes wrongly. There are a few who are more fluff than substance, talking a great game but then submitting a poorly written offer. Or they do not have nearly as much experience as they like to proclaim. On the other hand, I like being underestimated at times. I can honestly say that more than once my clients got the house because the listing agent assumed this sweet little immigrant was a pushover. They didn't see the claws that only come out when needed. I hide them well, lol. 

May 04, 2024 08:46 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

 I like being underestimated at times.

💯!!!!! I like being underestimated ALL the time! Bwahahah!

May 04, 2024 11:12 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

I so love reading your posts as they are originally with limited filters.  Yes we don't know what we don't know and we do know what we do know. Thank you for sharing your red toothbrush.

May 05, 2024 04:53 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

Thank you! 💖

May 05, 2024 07:42 AM
Anna Chroscicki
Re/Max Masterpiece Realty - Port St Lucie, FL
Realtor - St. Lucie County affordable Real Estate

I read this article in Roy Kelley's blog. He asked to comment on your/original blog (Candice A. Donofrio). This is ONE OF THE BEST BLOGS I HAVE READ IN A LONG TIME. I love it. I just wanted to give 'props' to the person who shared it also. I hope that is OK. 

May 10, 2024 08:41 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

Of course! 💖

May 10, 2024 08:48 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

The last part with the appearance of success says a lot as well. and this partner brushes a couple of times a day.

May 16, 2024 05:57 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

Right on! 

May 18, 2024 07:35 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

I always love your posts and this one does not disappoint. Appearances do not always tell the story. My dad taught me n the late 70's and 80's to look at people's shoes in our family antiques shop in London as they might be shabbily dressed but be wearing expensive shoes indicating they had money.

May 16, 2024 11:37 AM
Candice A. Donofrio


May 18, 2024 07:36 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Candice A. Donofrio - You're a genius when it comes to storytelling. I enjoyed reading it very much! 

Your first story reminded me of a landlord I had many years ago. He always came to collect his rent wearing a flannel shirt and dirty overalls. When I went to get my checkbook, he placed a wad of money bundled together with a big fat rubber band. The first bill was a $100.00 bill. I assumed the rest were all $100's too. When I went to his funeral, I found out from his wife that he liked to mess with people's heads to make them think they were rich. They weren't. He didn't like being a landlord but was forced to do it after his father died. He was trying to teach others not to judge a man by his clothes. 

I also liked learning about your experience at the Hollywood radio school and the day you met Art Hannes! Wow! That must have been a great moment! 

Thanks for sharing these great stories. I liked them very much! Congratulations on your FEATURE. 

May 16, 2024 03:47 PM
Candice A. Donofrio

The school I went to, ALL the instructors were working, successful radio personalities, voice over actors etc . . . Art was a true gentleman and I can't say that for a couple of the others! LOL

May 18, 2024 07:36 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Your story takes me back to my days as a bank manager. We loved to tell the story of a man who went to his bank looking very unkempt. He was not treated well. In a huff, he closed out his MAJOR account.

You never know.

May 18, 2024 07:30 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

You never know! 💯

May 18, 2024 07:37 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I love it! My favorite sentence: "Agents drive fancy cars, buy fancy houses and wear fancy clothes to show they are successful. But are they?"

My granddaughter and I had a convo this weekend about exactly this. I don't get caught up in driving the newest vehicle, I don't live in the most expensive home I can afford; I don't compete with stylish attire. BUT I am successful and true to myself. I hope I instilled some honesty and humility into my sweet grand with my "words of wisdom". Be yourself!

May 21, 2024 09:25 AM