Bills, Administration and Loans

I have a term for the system of services one relies upon in their day-to day, domestic lives (the dry cleaner, the barber/stylist, the bank, the grocery store, the dentist, the house cleaner….), the seemingly insignificant, mostly mundane parts of our lives that remain in the background until they’re missing or they go awry.  “Personal Infrastructure.”  It’s the things that we consciously choose to keep our lives functioning properly and relatively hassle-free.

Well, leaving my home of 20 years has meant saying goodbye to a really top-notch, highly reliable Personal Infrastructure.

The first piece of the new puzzle to figure out here was, of course, the grocery store.   It’s a Stop and Shop.  It  has a not-so-pleasant history as a Grand Union and an A&P and who-knows-what-else.  Stuck out at the end of the Cape, this space was mostly neglected by whomever its parent company happened to be.   At some point, the good citizens of the Lower Cape raised enough ruckus that the powers that be at the Stop and Shop chain took notice and ramped up the service and selection of this, the only store that serves the 3 outermost communities of Cape Cod.  I think I’ve about mastered its odd assortment of goods and indecipherable layout.  This makes me very happy.  Quickly finding the Horseradish is critical!

The second piece of the puzzle was a decent bike shop.  Since Gary (Fisher, the mountain bike), is my primary means of transportation, his health and well-being are crucial.  I’d been a rental patron of a West Side bike shop ever since my first visit, but even after 15 years of multiple rentals the owner never really warmed up.   Then, as Provincetown Fate would have it, a couple of  summers ago,  I met the owner of the downtown bike shop over a lunch beer at the Lobster Pot and he’s remembered my name ever since.  Done. Gary now is in his tender care.

Third was banking. Since there’s only one bank with real, live people in town, I choose Seamen’s Bank.  Locally owned, locally operated, fiscally sound, it’s a nice place to drop my tip money off each week.  I’ve banked “remote” for 25 years so it’s nice to actually walk into the bank and speak to a real live person.  This greatly outweighs the fact that the bank’s technology is very 1998.

Lastly, and probably most important in this Infrastructure Rebuilding process, has been the haircut.  Getting my hair cut ranks up there with the Best Of Days.   Nothing makes me feel quite as happy as a good cut.  It’s a wonderful renewal, a nice relaxation time and a good ego boost.   Holly’s been cutting my hair for 8 years, and before her, David for 12.   I love my stylists, they’re close friends and important people in my life.  So this change I met with particular anxiety.  And today I went.   To someone new.   Of course, this being Ptown, I know him 12-ways to Sunday:  he cuts 3 or 4  friends’ hair, he went to school with Holly’s cousin, he’s a fellow Southerner, etc, etc, etc.   And once again, the Cape provides.  I got a great haircut, had a really nice time, relaxed in the chair and was charmed by the newest member of my Personal Infrastructure.

Life is good!

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