where everybody knows your name

Spending Father’s Day with familiar faces.

I used to think it would be cool to have a favorite restaurant or hang-out that I frequented so often that I knew everyone and they knew me. Where all I had to do was walk through the door and an ice cold Dr. Pepper and my favorite dish would automatically be brought to my table. I guess the notion came from watching too many late night shows. You know, like old Cheers re-runs when everyone shouts “Norm!” when he walks in, or all those movies where the home-town customer walks into the greasy-spoon and the waitress asks “the usual?”. But I’m pretty sure now that having such a hang-out wouldn’t be nearly as cool as I once invisioned it. So what if they know my name? So what if they know my favorite drink or dish? They would never really know ME.

I woke up this morning to my daughter asleep and sprawled-out across the end of my bed. As I stretched she woke up, jumped out of bed and ran to fetch my Father’s Day present which her grandma had taken her to buy yesterday. It was a cool craftsman tool in a little gift bag with an absolutely adorable Strawberry Shortcake Father’s Day card. Talk about a great way to start out the day!

The day kept getting better as I fellowshipped with my family in my Adult Bible Fellowship at church. This place is far better than any often-visited restaurant. These people know me. These people care about the real me. It’s so cool to sit in a room with people who know and trust you enough to tell you just what it is that is going on in their lives. And I’m not talking about whining oh-woe-is-me, either. I’m talking about saying it like it is. The joys, the sorrows, the fears, the excitements of daily life. “Not what dish on the menu will it be today, Anthony?” I’m talking deep — like medical problems, family problems, job offers, job losses, grief from a loss, excitement over a new birth or a first step. Cheers! doesn’t have anything on this!

After church, my daughter and I spent the rest of the day with my best friend and his family. We grilled and ate together, the kids played in the sprinkler while we talked, watched Hitch, ate watermellon, and shot some hoops. On my way home I thought back to my musings from last night. Yes, my life has been broken up a lot the last two years. Yes, I would have given just about anything to have had Lisa back with us celebrating Father’s Day. Yes, I’m still at a loss for what to tell the Head-Hunter tomorrow. But I’m happy to have a place where everybody knows my name.