pI was born and raised in a smallish town, 40 miles outside of Philadelphia. Everyone else who shares my DNA is from that city, I am the only country acorn in the family tree. Although my mom lived more than half of her life in the ‘burbs, she never stopped feeling like an outsider and she passed her prejudice of “local yokels” on to me, despite the birth certificate that I am one myself.
No longer part of a corporate team, over the last few years, the places I frequent have welcomed me into their communities.
- At the every-other-week breakfast with my friend at a local diner, our drinks arrive before we get our coats off. They don’t know our names, but they know how we jump-start our day.
- At the restaurant where my husband and I have breakfast most Saturdays, the staff knows us not by our names, but as the Seahawks fans.
- At the coffeehouse I go to once a week, they know my name and my favorite barista greets me with a hug.
- At the pub where I eat lunch most Fridays, the servers know that I always order takeout for my husband’s dinner.
As I do with all new things since her passing, I wonder what my mom would think of my “Norm” status at these neighborhood establishments. I’m pretty sure she would dig in her Taurus hooves and refuse to see me being a regular as having anything to do with the area in which I live, deeming it a five-mile radius coincidence, not a geographical fact. But she would be happy that I’ve found places outside the world of business to feel at home. Besides, she loved going out to breakfast and to have her cup of joe brought to the table without having to order it would have given her a thrill. And they could have helped her stir. Holding a spoon with a hoof can be a challenge.