Where everyone knows your name

Who does not remember what this is from? Yes, “Cheers” where this is the theme song, and when Norm walks in, everyone says his name. Isn’t that a great feeling? To be missed because you were gone for months as you recuperate from surgery? To receive invitations to lunch? I am from Southern California and it just blows my mind when this little town of 25,000 people are somehow connected by marriage, years of school together or otherwise related or known. I think there are no six degrees of separation here – it is more like 4. But I also wish I would’ve had something like that growing up. Where you can see the change of how the city has changed with newly paved roads (yes, I remember gravel roads when we first moved here), new businesses come to town, and progress as it changes the residents. I moved around a lot when I was younger and looking back, probably was not very grounded to one location. To some people, that is hard to comprehend because that is all they have ever had. They grew up in one place, went to school in one place, went off to college, to come back to live in that one place. That wasn’t me. But every time, I visit family, I cannot wait to get back home. This is where I have lived for almost 14 years now and I love it here. This is where I am most comfortable. I like knowing that I can walk into one of the local restaurants or stores and maybe run into someone I know, but also know I might not. I get that feeling every time I walk into Rock’s store…she always says the same thing – just like it was the something the Seven Dwarfs would say. Don’t get me wrong – not everyone knows my name, but they might know one of my sons, or my husband. They might know my neighbor or someone I work with. That’s what I am talking about – those degrees of separation that are a lot closer than we think. Who knows your name? Is there a place where you live that you can walk into and know “I belong here.” Someone told me she learned that lesson several months ago when not one person acted like they were glad to see her after being gone. Not one. Sometimes the words not said say more than we think they will. When someone you love and care about stops by to pick up a piece of chocolate from your office, use their name. I love to be able to call people by their names – it connects me with them and I want to be able to do that, even at different levels. If you know how this makes you feel when someone calls you by your name, return the favor. It has been said that “What’s in a name?” but sometimes it means much more than we think it does. It makes us feel that we belong, that we are loved, that we are home. Nothing is better than that.

Michelle Homme 2011 ©