Blog: One Shining Moment (Almost)

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Burt Ross

I am reminded of a Swedish movie from the 1960s. Perhaps the movie historians of Malibu can remind me of its title. An Italian man of little physical stature is standing on a train platform when a gorgeous Swedish woman steps off the train and looks right at him. She waves, he waves back, and he starts to think he is truly worthy of this magnificent beauty. In slow motion she races towards him, he opens his arms, and she races right past him into the arms of her Swedish boyfriend.

This scene is a bit of a metaphor for my life, as a recent visit to the dry cleaners will exemplify. My bride and I go to Point Dume Cleaners. Susie, a truly kind person with a wonderful smile, is the proprietor. Until the fire did extensive smoke damage to her store, Susie would display Christmas cards from her customers right out front when you first walked in. There, we would see our annual family photo before we deposited our dirty clothes on top of it.

Even though we have rented a house on the other side of town, because Susie is such a joy to know and provides quality professional service, we happily continue to patronize her store. The other day, I dropped off a pair of pants, and Susie commented on how loyal we were. She then went on to say something that made my day… perhaps my year–make that my life. 

“You are the smartest person in all of Malibu.” I could not believe my ears. I beamed. I almost broke my arms patting myself on the back. She had not said one of the smartest people, but the smartest. Oh how sweet life is to be so appreciated!

Then Susie asked, “Do you want to know why you are the smartest person in Malibu?” I should have simply declined an explanation but, because I am curious, and stupid, I said, “Yes.”

“You are the smartest person in Malibu because you married your wife who is the nicest person in the world,” Susie explained. 

I should have quit while I was ahead.