Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Small Town Sweet and Sour, Part IV

“Sometimes you want to go, 

where everybody knows your name, 
and they’re always glad you came;”

OK, you should be singing the theme song from “Cheers” in your head now, at least the chorus.That was the great thing about Sam Malone’s Boston bar. You weren’t a nameless, faceless entity at Cheers. No matter how aggravating the individual, no one was a disposable extra. No one was a Star Trek red-shirt crew member. (In the early series, crew members in red shirts were always the first ones to be eaten by aliens, or sucked into a quicksand vortex on the strange planet.)

And so it is in a small town. Everyone knows your name. Or at least they think they do. That’s a huge blessing sometimes. Like when you forget your checkbook at the convenience store, but since you know the manager, they let you run home without paying and get it. Or when you overhear the lady at the video store asking so-and-so’s kids if their parents would approve of them renting that particular video game.

Other times, it’s not so enjoyable having everyone know your name, depending on what they’ve heard and assume to be true about you. Then it’s a lot like what happens when your older brother or sister was rotten in school and your teachers figure out you’re related. And then, sometimes, you just want to disappear…

 Sometimes I want to go, where no one knows my name.   

7 thoughts on “Where Everybody Knows Your Name

  1. Unknown says:

    So true. Like all places it had it's pros and cons. Some days more pro than con, some days more con than pro. Guess that's when we need an extra measure of grace to keep us going and to extend!

  2. Edye says:

    I think small towns make a person stronger. If some one thinks/says something about you that isn't true. This gives you the opportunity to accept Gods grace to forgive and pray for the offender. Receive God's strength to bear up under their accusations and honestly pray for a person you really don't like. (Hey we're only human.) Small towns also make a person stronger in that you know most people, they know you and like you anyway. Small towns hold us accountable for what we say, think and do concerning others,,, after all, it's not about US. 🙂

  3. Niki Turner says:

    Good points! I keep thinking about the fact that Sam was always there, behind the bar, ready to listen and help them sort out their interpersonal crises, kind of like God is always there ready to listen to us. And thankfully, God doesn't have interpersonal issues Himself, like Sam did!

  4. Anonymous says:

    My first real job as a single young adult was in a small town of about 2500 people. In the first week I was there, as I walked home from work, someone on the street called me by name and asked me if I was related to someone with the same surname as me. To this day, I have no idea who it was that stopped me but obviously they knew my name as the newcomer to town!
    Elaine King

  5. Jill Kemerer says:

    Oh, Niki, I think you need a road trip! I know I'd love to go away for a weekend. 🙂 Sometimes the small getaways are the most necessary!

  6. Erin Frost says:

    Very true! I think this is why some people seek out blogging communities … to get that small-town feel in a big city. It's nice when people know your name.

  7. Niki Turner says:

    Elaine- We've had the same thing happen here, frequently. Our last name is the same as one of the long-term families here in town, and we're always explaining, "no, we're not related…"

    Jill- LOL. Because our town does not have many amenities (i.e. no fast food, no movie theater, no mall, no normal sized grocery store, no Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target or any other box stores) almost everyone in town takes these mini-road trips every week at least 40 miles one-way to the larger communities. I think it preserves everyone's sanity.

    Erin- I agree with you about blogging communities. It is nice to get online and find a friend!

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