Remember the show Cheers (did I just reveal something about my age)? Cheers reminded us that “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.” This is easily done on a small island.
I mean, it’s fun to walk into a bar and have someone call your name and invite you over to sit with the group.
It’s fun to go to a music festival, and walk around chatting with all your happy, drunk friends (because if you’re lucky enough to experience something like a music festival on your rock, there’s a good chance that most of the people you know are as excited as you about live music, food trucks, and locally made rum – all with a view of the sea).
It’s fun to walk into a dive shop and feel like you’re part of the family.
On an island, you can get the “Cheers” experience almost everywhere you go.
The lady at the movie theater knows our group of friends…we go to the only theater on island every Sunday. She lets everyone know what row we’re in so that we can all sit together.
Mama’s Blacksheep, a band that travels to the island for a month or two each year, knows us by name (we dive with them while they’re here). They know what songs we want to hear, and they joke about people in the audience as though we’re all family.
Being known and knowing people really gives the island a “small town” feel. And my island is small – 22 miles by 7 miles (at the widest part), 82 square miles in all.
It’s great to be where everybody knows your name!
I am Head of Middle School for the largest (still small) private school on the island. Between that and being a diver, I run into people I know almost everywhere I go.
….and it’s usually a great feeling!
Except that one time…
I recently went to the gynecologist. Well, she’s actually a midwife. When you’re sitting in a chair, wearing a paper robe, with your legs in stirrups, and your knees 3 feet apart…it can be awkward when the person who is checking out all your girlie bits asks about her boys’ first day back at school. I feel like these conversations: “How does everything look down there,” and ~insert any question at all about two teenage students at my school~ could be kept separate. There is a time and place for everything….But in reality, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
On a small island, things don’t really fit in nice, neat, little separate boxes. We all mix together. We all know way too much about each other. We talk about the things we have in common, we talk about what we know…the important thing is, WE TALK TO EACH OTHER!
At the end of the day, you’re likely to tap your rum glass against just about anybody’s. Everybody is warm…everybody is smiling…everybody is shouting, “Cheers!”
And everybody knows everybody’s name.