I recall hoping that Mom was busy doing housework or tending to PopPop when I brought my friends over to “play.” You see, I knew that if she had the time, she would talk, talk, talk to them, asking them all about their family, school, genealogy, other friends and so on. There I was, rolling my eyes, fidgeting and dreading how long it would go on. I thought she was being nosy!
Today, I know better. She was just genuinely interested. It seems that, as we mature (some of us, anyway), life becomes less about us and more about others. In the last several months I have met four men who graduated from my high school, and we weren’t at a reunion! We were 90 miles away on the East End of Long Island.
How did we meet? You see, I work in real estate and most of them just happened to appear at my office in Sag Harbor looking for advice. During the conversation about their real estate needs and goals, we started chatting and -viola- the connection came out (it doesn’t hurt that I can spot a parochial school kid a mile away).
Going this deep into conversation is a relatively recent practice for me. In the past I would just get the business facts and then go to work. Today, I find myself more interested in what makes people tick. These days, I find that my friends become my clients and my clients become my friends, which makes my business that much more enjoyable. There’s a trust level there that doesn’t come naturally between real estate broker and client, and I prefer to deal with people with whom I have a bond.
So, here’s my story (not that you asked): I grew up in Elmhurst, New York and my family was lucky enough to spend summers in Westhampton. After university, I went west, spending seven years in California, then moved back east to Boston for six years, where my three sons were born. After a two-year residency in Hillsborough County, New Jersey, I fulfilled my dream of returning to the East End of Long Island to live with my family, and have been here since 1996.
As a youth, I attended Catholic parochial schools, graduating from Archbishop Molloy High School and SUNY Potsdam. My early professional career started in mental health, then progressed in the hospitality industry for 20 years before I settled into real estate in 1998.
I’ve driven across the country from coast to coast seven times and the length of the East Coast more times than I can count. I’ve visited each of the lower 48 states at least once, but rarely stray far from the ocean breeze. One more fun factoid: my teenage heartthrob and I are back together after 40 years of living fruitful “other” lives. We reunited, after all this time, through Facebook. Crazy, eh?
Why am I sharing this? It’s not that my story is “ fabulous” or even special, but it’s my story. Care to tell me yours? Drop me a line. Or consider asking the next person you meet one more question about themselves than you might normally ask. Maybe you’ve crossed paths and would enjoy the connection.
I wonder how many other graduates from my old high school I have done business with, but never asked? How many people who we have similar backgrounds have we passed on Main Street or at the beach over the years?
Cheers to reaching out to one another!
Michael Daly is an East Ender and regular contributor to The ≠reached at 631.525.6000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org