If you’re as old as I am (twenty-nine), you probably remember the show Cheers that used to come on Thursday nights. It had one of those theme songs that everyone remembers.
Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?
Sometimes you wanna go..
Where everybody knows your name
And they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
The troubles are all the same.
You wanna be where everybody knows your name
And then, Norm comes into the bar and everyone yells his name, “Norm!”
They say (and I’m never quite sure who “they” is) that the most important word for every person to hear is their own name. I’m pretty sure that’s true because when someone I don’t know well calls me by my name, I feel honored that they know me. I get a little more puffed up. I feel a little more confident. I’m pretty sure that’s what we all want. We want to be known, acknowledged, and loved.
In fact, I’m so sure that this is true that I spend a good bit of my time running around trying to remember everyone’s name. I’ve met a lot of new people in this adventure we’re on -- I mean . . . a lot! I keep trying to get everyone’s name ingrained in my brain, but it’s probably my biggest hurdle.
My friends and I call it “Playing the Name Game.” You know the conversations:
“What’s her name? You know, she lives in town. We used to see her in the library when we took the kids to storytime.”
“Yes, yes. I know who you mean. She has dark hair, three kids.”
“Right, her husband works at Manitowoc. He’s an engineer.”
“Yeah, her daughter’s really into drama.”
“Exactly. What’s her name?”
“I don’t know.”
You’ve had those conversations too, right? The ones where you know every detail about another person, right down to her bra size, but you just can’t remember her name. What’s up with that? Why is it that we can’t remember the people of our lives, the people we’ve met who’ve made us who we are?
I’m thinking it’s our lack of downtime and the overload of the brain. I’m thinking that we’re not taking the time to really know people anymore. I’m thinking that we’re trying to do so much, trying to stay on top of all of the posts, news stories, sports teams, blogs, . . . One report suggests that we take in 34 gigabytes or 11.8 hours of information every day. Wow! It’s no wonder we can’t remember people’s names.
So, I propose that we all slow down just a bit, that we put away our phones, turn off our TV’s, hide our iPads and other devices and just relax with a friend, listen to a stranger tell a story, learn the name of that person you’ve been encountering every day for the last year. Let’s find a place where we just settle in and “take a break from all of our worries.” Let’s find a place where it’s like a little get away from the real world. Let’s find a place “where everyone knows your name and they’re always glad you came.”
That’s my dream for the Fireside Pub. We’re only three minutes from Rt 11, but it’s like a little get-away -- away from town, away from work, surrounded by wide open spaces, a place for play, a place to slow down. It’s a place where you’ll see people you know and where we’re always glad you came. It’s a place where I’m determined to learn your name (even if you have to remind me 25 times - have faith, time 26 will be a success!)
Let’s work together to build a community where everyone does know your name and they are glad you came. You can even get your name on a mug and stop in every day for your ½ price glass of beer or wine and just be. Take a break from the hustle and bustle. Slow down. Get away. Spend time talking. Get to know someone new. Learn someone’s name. Tell someone yours. Be known.