Sometimes when I work the late shift Elena and I will go for bagels. (That should probably say “usually” instead of “sometimes.”) We don’t have a set time, date, or location so we are not regulars for bagel consumption. At the bagel place today I was watching the people who are clearly regulars. It’s an interesting thing to do. Like observing a club you could join but for timing and circumstance.
When not on late shift I am a regular at the Starbucks in our building. This makes me feel shame at times. We have coffee at home. We have (gross) coffee at work that’s free! Why do I need to go to Starbucks every day?
The answer (in addition to coffee addiction I think) is that I think there’s some comfort in being a regular, in being recognized at a place and for a small, insignificant sort of thing like your drink. The clever geniuses who wrote the theme to Cheers certainly recognized that.
When I was in London studying abroad I worked at a pub and there was an older gentleman named Dennis who came in every shift and got a Brakespears in a jug (as opposed to a pint glass) every shift (one afternoon, one evening) every day. Occasionally he would have two. I only worked two shifts a week but I knew Dennis and knew what to get him. He was a sweet guy. The definition of a regular. And not a bad gig, drinking beer at your local pub to pass through your retirement.