Well, we're not exactly snowed in but it's a fact that we did not veer far from our base in Riverhead. It's coming down. I'll give the newscasters that. But, I grew up in New England before the 24-hour news cycle. "Snow", they'd say on the nightly news. That was it. We knew there would be school the next day. I didn't have a snow day until I went to graduate school in Washington, D.C. School was canceled? Why? A flake came down in Brookland. Panic ensued.
Tonight, January 7th, 2017, I am with Mark in Riverhead. We walk to Jerry and the Mermaid's for dinner. It's a few feet. We kick a drift here and there and we are home.
Jerry and the Mermaid's big dining room is closed. So it's more like those bars at the Cape where the locals gather. Eight young men walk in. They look so different. I can't figure out what they have in common so I ask one chubby young man with blonde hair, "are you a group? what do you have in common?" And I apologize for being perpetually curious. It turns out they are the band, Zac Brown.
They have driven from Rochester, NY, through a snowstorm to perform at the local theater only to find out that the show has been canceled and rescheduled. They're having dinner at Jerry and the Mermaids.
Over a delicious dinner of shrimp scampi and linguine, I think of an idea. What if we traveled all over America and I created a new blog called Local.com and we encountered places like this?
Over my second glass of wine, this idea starts to take hold.
I get up my courage to interview the waitress. The last thing she needs is for me to take her time. She's very busy. But, she agrees to talk to me. Corrine is 36. She has two kids, 12 and 6. She is busting her ass to make everyone happy. And, surprisingly, in this major snowstorm, Jerry and the Mermaids is busier than hell. I know the waitressing thing. I've done it. And I have periodically prayed that I never had to do it again. And at some point, I realized I could not actually do it. Period.
But Corrine says that she loves interacting with people. She loves talking to people. And when I ask her how things are going she tells me that things are really good. Her daughter is celebrating her 12th birthday tomorrow and they are going to have a party for her and she will be able to be there for her kid.
I'm debating whether or not to interview Zac Brown's band, and this hooded androgynous young creature steps up to our table. "I'm Corrine's daughter," she says "you know, the waitress?" "Yes, I say, Tomorrow's your birthday. What do you want? What do you want to do? What is your future?" I ask her, laying it on.
"I want to make people happy. I'm going to make videos and make people happy."
"You know," I say, "that happiness isn't enough? People have to be fulfilled."
She smiles. Her braces show. Her father is standing off to the side making sure that this journalist is not doing anything to hurt his daughter. And, she says, "yes."
I tell her about 10,000 hours. And assure her that she will most definitely succeed. I really don't want to do video. But those preferences shadow the difference in our ages.