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WISDOM Wednesday: Paying Attention !!

A story by Malati Marlene Shinazy
This was an evening made for paying attention.

I met my new fellow at a favorite restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We timed it so we could watch the sun set. I wasn’t just paying attention; my eyes were riveted to the horizon … Abundant clouds held onto the orange-to peach-to pale pink sky for quite some time after the sun disappeared.

Dinner followed. If you love love crab cakes like I do, you pay attention to whether or not they have a lot of fillers – or do they taste perhaps, like crab, as crab cakes should. These did, so I savored every bite.

No need to write about the entrée. It was flawlessly delicious, as expected.

Dessert – My favorite part of any meal, was a rich chocolate mouse, drizzled with dark chocolate syrup. My palate was at full attention. And, since my date was attentive to every smiling bite, I ate extra carefully.
My date – This man was so gorgeous.  Sitting across the table, he was a visual dessert.  It was a challenge to pay attention to my dessert and not drool – over the man, not the chocolate mouse.

He and I chatted and gazed at each other for another 2-1/2 hours. Finally, though, time to depart… workday tomorrow.  No quick hugs tonight; these were romance novel kisses – Now I was paying attention to how perfectly he kissed and how perfectly I felt in his arms…

After scheduling our next date, I got into my new car.

New cars require paying attention too.  I needed to adjust the seat a little forward, a little higher, a little more tilt, a little more recline. Finally, it was ready — A farewell wave to my dessert-man and I was off.

The road homeward is two-lane country highway. It undulates an ascent from sea level through the vineyards and pastures, eventually emerging at town’s edge.  With no moon and or traffic that night, it was totally dark. I leisurely enjoyed the drive, replaying the perfect evening in my mind –
day-dreaming in the night.

A single second later, however, Lights and Sirens make a swift U-turn behind me… Screaming onto me like I was driving an armed-robbery getaway car.  I pulled over anywhere, rolled down the window, put on my game face.

“Mam, do you know how fast you were going?”

I made up a reasonable sounding speed… paying attention not to sound guilty.

“No mam; I clocked you at 85 miles per hour, 30 miles over the speed limit.”

I so wanted to argue with the officer, but I knew in the pit of my stomach he was probably right.  I drove away with a $350 citation, traffic school and a probable insurance rate hike… 

If I hadn’t been paying attention earlier in my drive, I sure was now.
photo by Lel4nd