I grew up in a smallish town where one often ran into people they knew when they were out and about. My parents went to specific bars where they were known by name — the Moose, the Dutch Inn, the sports bar whose name I have forgotten.
Moving from Elgin to Pittsburgh, I became an unknown. There was nowhere except my places of employment where I was known. Moving to Alexandria, the same — there was not one place other than work where anyone knew my name.
I wanted a “Cheers Bar” place where I was known. I wanted to be a regular somewhere. I was tired of being a stranger in places I frequented.
About fifteen years ago I finally got my wish. The owner of a restaurant we liked greeted me by name after visiting only a couple of times. Just because of that we’ve continued to go there — for dinner, for lunch, for bottles of wine or six-packs of beer.
A month or so ago I was surprised when the local fishmonger didn’t have to ask my name when I stopped by to pick up my fish order. I laughed and said I felt like I was walking into the Cheers Bar. He may be to young to understand, but hey… he knew my name.
Finally, just yesterday when I was shopping at a local boutique for a mother of the groom dress* for Andrew’s wedding, one of the sales people remembered my first name after hearing my last name. So that kind of counts, right?
I think I am sort of close to being known in another store, but I need to go more often.