where everybody knows your name

Sometimes you just need to see a friendly face. Being a regular is an art and something to aim for. Sure, you may have gone into becoming a regular in order to snag a discount here and there, but you’ll come out with much more than that. You’ll have a seat reserved for you every week at the same time, have a butcher who cuts the chops thicker than they normally would, a wine seller eager to tell you what they just got in stock, or have a place of refuge where your drink is waiting and you can relax when you’ve had a hard day—where everybody knows your name. My friends, without further adieu…Patrick Kotary.

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

on being a regular

guest blog presented by: Patrick Kotary
You can find Pat on Twitter: @Kotary; insta: patrickkotary, make sure you follow him!

The TV show Cheers has, in my opinion, one of the best storylines of any sitcom ever on TV. A bunch of people, some working at, some going to, this bar. They share their lives with each other and always have one another’s back. As soon as an episode starts you feel like a regular heading to that same old spot on Beacon Hill. It also has a great opening theme song that is basically the theme song for all the “regulars” at any biz, USA. The kind of place where you can walk in and say, “Hey Joe!” or “Sal! What’s up?” or “You know what I’m having, Mike. Make it a double!” – “Isn’t it always?!” he replies with a chuckle.

Becoming and eventually being a regular somewhere is one of my favorite things. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a creature of habit or I like feeling special (who doesn’t?). It’s not an easy task though by any means. You can’t just walk in and get preferential treatment. If you think about it, it’s a lot like falling in love. At first you might not be sold on the person – say they voted for Obama in both elections- it’s a potential deal breaker but you think hey why not at least try to keep this going (okay, both elections is extreme, let’s say just ’08). Then they begin to grow on you – you connect and find a mole hill of common ground that has the power to grow into a mountain – you find out they dislike Maryland and love Virginia as much as you do. Then one day you realize you’re in love and couldn’t imagine leaving – you both watch the sun go down drinking UNsweetened tea on the Veranda.

Take my dry cleaner for example. I went on a “first date” there primarily because the other place I tried was broken down – I wasn’t sold right away because pants cost $2 more than shirts, but the lady was nice and gave me a quick turnaround. Then after a couple visits she says I don’t have to go by the in by 9 out by 5 rule and she knows I like medium starch without my saying so. Finally the unabashed love – I go there almost every week now, we chat about our weekend plans and the weather, and we exchanged Christmas cards. Now I can’t imagine going to a different cleaners!

You have to keep in mind though that also like love, this is a two way street. You have to show that drive to becoming a regular as much as they want you or more. Be friendly, ask how they’re doing, and give them a nice tip once in a while.

Where do you consider yourself a regular? Particular Starbucks? Bar in AdMo that has that certain level of dive bar you’ve been searching for your whole life. Wherever it may be for you, embrace it! And if you don’t have this kind of place, find one. You’ll probably get better service and will definitely walk out with a smile. Who doesn’t want to go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came?

embrace it

& be proud

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I bleed red and white, green and gold, and blue and gold. I will never be able to shake those long “O’s.” Despite the season, the Badgers, Brewers and Packers are always on my radar. I can never get enough cheese, and PBR is my kind of beer. I can pronounce any place you point to on the map, and I will argue that we have more lakes than Minnesotawisconsin pride.

Folks, Wisconsin is my home and it always will be. For the past three years, I have lived in DC and I still get butterflies when I land in the motherland. I still get excited when I see a fellow Wisconsinite walking around DC repping my state. Wisconsin has state pride like I’ve never seen or experienced before. I know Texas would argue they have the most state pride, but I respectfully disagree. Wisconsin has camaraderie.

I’m sure it’s evident that I have undying state pride and love for Wisconsin, and frankly, that’s a burning passion that I will always have.

Over the weekend, I got in a heated argument with a friends’ friend I met. As we were making introductions and creating small talk, (let’s call him) Bill asked me where I was from and I proudly exclaimed, “WISCONSIN!” I countered and asked him where he was from. After much hesitation he answered, “New York…City.” With his response, this was something I was not pleased with or something that I was going to let stand by the wayside, I again asked again, “No, where are you really from?” Bill again hesitated and finally responded, “Chicago.” The conversation goes like this for a while and I finally get Bill to tell me where he is from after I told him I was very familiar with the “Chicago-area.”

I will give you the same talk that I dished out to Bill on Saturday night. Be proud of where you are from. Take pride in your upbringing and where you came from. Where you are from has a lot to do with who you are now. And truth be told, being a coward about your roots is almost an insult to your parents and how they raised you.

When you think of Wisconsin, what comes to mind? Probably the Green Bay Packers and cheese, and with good reason. The Packers are a storied NFL franchise, but as the foam cheese hats the Packers fans wear indicate, the real pride of Wisconsin are the people, the sports, the seasons, the beer, the cheese and the list will only continue.

Until the day I die, I bleed Wisconsin through and through. If it wasn’t for my Wisconsin and Midwestern upbringing, a lot would be different and I sincerely take pride in being from the great state of Wisconsin and being a true Midwestern.