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.


2 thoughts on “Regular

  1. I was amazed how nice it was to be recognized as a regular. During my senior year at Pitt, every Saturday I went to the Bagel Factory in Shadyside for breakfast. Nobody ever said anything special to me, and I never really took notice of anyone there. But after I graduated, I moved back home for a year, then decided to go to Pitt for grad school, and when I moved back I went back to the Bagel Factory one Saturday and the guy behind the register said “Oh, we haven’t seen you for a while! How are things?!”. I was living in Squirrel Hill then, so it wasn’t as easy to get back to that branch, but the good feeling it gave me, the feeling that somebody, somewhere, in the city knew who I was and took notice of my absence, made it all worthwhile 🙂

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