Friday, December 10, 2010

First-Name Basis

"Makin' 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
Our troubles are all the same
You wanna be
Where everybody knows your name."
Theme song from the TV show, Cheers

I love walking into the Hutchinson Public Library and having the librarians know my name. (They'd know your name, too, if you put as many books "on hold" as I do.)

But I'd just as soon not go to another place where the receptionist knows my name. And I had to visit there again this week.

It's bad when you walk in the door of your dental office and the receptionist says, "Hi, Kim!" I love a friendly greeting as much as the next person, but really: Wouldn't it be better if she didn't know me by name? It rightfully suggests that I spend more time there than my yearly cleaning and hygiene appointment.

And, yes, I made an unexpected trip to Hutchinson this week to have a crown reattached. This is probably the fourth visit in the last two months. This visit was in the midst of hosting PEO and preparing for Brent's graduation from K-State tomorrow.

So while I'm glad I could get in to the office before the photos of me and the happy graduate, I still would prefer that I wasn't such a frequent flyer at the dental office.

To cheer myself up, I also went to the library.

It got me to thinking about other places where people know my name.

They know me by name at the parts counter at Straub International in Hutchinson. Well, they know I'm Randy's wife, and they know that I'm there to pick up whatever part (more likely part"s") he's called in to set aside. And Norman, the salesman, knows me by name. I'm not sure that's a good thing.

They know me by name at my Stafford Duckwall's Store. But after January 9, the Duckwall's Store will be no more. Alco is closing all 20 Duckwall Stores in small towns in rural Kansas. Nobody knows me by name at the Hutchinson WalMart, that's for sure.

They know me by name at Paul's Grocery and at Freund's Crafts 'n' Flowers and Quivira Insurance and Stafford Lumber and Harter Automotive and Elroy's Pizza and Kanza Co-op and the Post Office and the bank and all the other stores in Stafford. I'm thankful for our local body shop, Top Notch (but I'd just as soon they don't know me because of another car vs. deer encounter). I'm thankful for small-town businesses who know me by name.

I'm thankful my kids went to a school where everybody knew their names. I'm thankful for a church that's more like a family than an institution.

My family members are frequent attendees at K-State graduations - every two years or so (with an extra semester thrown in on occasion). They may not know my name, but I kind of feel like they do with more than eight decades of family history there.

No, I am never one of those people on Southwest Airlines who gets to be seated first because I'm a frequent flyer.

But that's OK: I like being where "everybody knows my name."

Except at the dentist's office, of course.

(And, just for clarification, I don't have any bars where people know me by name. Just in case anybody was wondering.)


  1. They know my name at the East Bank Club, Yoga View (Elston location) and every time I show my card at the American Airlines Admirals club at their many fine locations around the globe. Diversity is the spice of life.

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