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.
on being a regular
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?