The first came on January 1, 1988. I was sixteen years old. I was standing on a bridge in California, strapped to a bass drum, ready to march in the Rose Bowl Parade. Two teenage girls were sitting on the curb nearby, waiting for the parade to start. After giggling a bit, they managed to get my attention and tell me that I looked a lot like Tom Cruise. I was clearly better looking in 1988, and Tom Cruise had not yet lost his mind.
About three years later, I was spending a week in Weir’s Beach, New Hampshire with a bunch of friends, including Bengi, Coog, an old roommate named Tom and a couple other guys. When not chasing girls and getting sunburned on the beach, we spent a great deal of time at the arcades that were within spitting distance of our cabins.
At the time, Coog was known as the best video game player of our group, and one of the finest gamers of all time. Even today, he’s still our most prolific and experience gamer. But after a week of watching me play old school arcade games like Dragons Lair and Asteroids, Tom said to me, “Matty, if you and Coog started playing the same game on the same day, Coog would beat you every time. But if I gave you both a week to practice, I’d put my money down on you every time.”
For a long time, this was the best compliment that I had ever received.
Three years ago, Elysha and I were sitting in the doctor’s office, listening to the doctor explain a complicated procedure that I would be undergoing. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but in the middle of her explanation, I made an exceptionally honest, somewhat surprising, slightly inappropriate comment about myself and the process that we were discussing.
The doctor looked at me, clearly unsure of what to think.
After a moment, Elysha jumped in and said, “Doctor, my husband is the most authentic person you will ever meet.”
Best compliment ever.
Please take a moment and share your own.