A visit to our Hyannis pub had us feeling all warm and fuzzy.
For those of us of a certain age, the phrase ‘back in the day’ typically refers to the carefree, rock-and-roll days of the ’80. We young boomers and old X-ers remember the decade fondly. People were always game for a good time and popping into your local pub felt like a warm embrace. Even if you opted to visit “your bar” solo and found that the barstools weren’t filled with regulars, you’d certainly know the bartender, and chances were you’d strike up a convo with the guy in the next stool and be buying each other rounds within the half hour.
Now that everyone carries a computer – a.k.a. a smartphone – with them everywhere they go, it feels like the random bar-side convo has gone the way of 8-track tapes and oversized shoulder pads. If you belly up to a bar by yourself, you don’t talk to strangers; you play with your phone.
When we weigh in here with our random musings of BBC life, it’s usually after we’ve been out and about as a group. In other words, “we” are, in fact, “we.” But on a recent visit to our Hyannis restaurant, we were a solitary “me.”
Hunger hit on a recent Friday afternoon when I was in the midst of a long-overdue holiday gift returning marathon. After ridding myself of unwanted items at Puritan Cape Cod on Main Street in Hyannis, I had the brilliant realization that the BBC was two doors down. I chatted with Katelyn, the hostess, for a few minutes before heading to the bar where I sat down – gasp – by myself. And the strangest thing happened. Within minutes, I was chatting with strangers. It was like I was starring in my very own episode of MTV’s I Love the ‘80s and I was loving every minute of it.
Melissa was behind the bar and she immediately made me feel welcome. To my left were Dyan and Laura, a couple of stay-at-home moms who were enjoying a couple of apps before picking up the kiddos after school. Next to Dyan was Doug who was on the Cape visiting his mother and had stopped in before heading home to Middleboro to see his fave bartender, Melissa. And on my right were a couple of guys with graying hair – as would mine be if not for a talented colorist – one of whom looked vaguely familiar.
I gave one of my fellow gray-haired patrons a glance and, making every effort not to sound creepy, said, “Do I know you?” to one of the guys.
‘Back in the day’ I was a bartender. The year was 1985. The place was Harry’s. It was Fun with a capital F. Turns out the guy who looked familiar was Cliff, a regular patron at Harry’s 30-plus years ago, and we spent a few minutes catching up.
So what was supposed to have been a quick bite before racing onto to my next destination turned into a couple of hours. I met some new people and got reacquainted with an old friend. And no one was looking at their smartphone.
My kind of #FlashbackFriday.