My sweetheart Marty has created quite the “Norm from Cheers” ritual. Four to five mornings a week, he goes to this local deli where he orders the same thing, “Lox, cream cheese, one slice of tomato on an untoasted everything bagel.” Every time.
Like a fly on the wall, he sits on the outer benches of their outside “dining” (if you could call it that) and absorbs all of the local gossip while hunkering down with his yellow legal pad reviewing the behemoth day he has ahead.
By the second week, he smiled a bit when as soon as he walked through the front door, the owner would say, “Usual,” and Marty would nod.
Unlike Norm from Cheers, “nobody knew his name,” (he eventually did formally introduce himself) but knew what he had. Within walking steps inside the deli, the guy would just look over at him, Marty would nod back, and the shorthand “Usual” order was in the process of being made.
Week after week the same ritual ensued, it was a quiet comfort, but then Marty became slightly restless and needed to “shake things up,” and told me the big news.
Today he was going to order scrambled eggs on an English muffin and see if the guy reacted. Just to shake things up!
He walked in, the guy gave him the “nod,” and Marty said, “No today I’d like scrambled eggs on an English muffin. The guy looked shell shocked like Marty had suggested they do a group Macarena dance in the parking lot followed by a communal sing-a-long of Kumbaya.
Even when he went to pay, the same owner, was about to ring up the “usual.”
Marty and I had a little chuckle when he shared the story.
Yet a few minutes later I saw that this simple anecdote housed within it a great metaphor for what we do every day in our lives and quite frankly we do to others.
As humans we are often in a dance between feeling both soothed by the familiar, and by having our own “Hey Norm” moments where people “know us,” it’s somehow comforting.
But that comfort can also box us in when people around us become taken aback by us doing things differently. When we are not being “Norm” or “Normal,” to how they perceive us! We can leave the most interesting compelling aspects of ourselves behind closed doors!
Your claim to fame isn’t about being Norm or Normal?
It’s about being YOU!
Every Day is Different and We are Different Every Day!
May yours today be wonderful!