I had the idea for this project about a decade ago, and had never done anything more than kick it around with Jay for a couple minutes every few years. But then this morning, in the most unlikely of scenarios, I was finally prodded into action by . . . you and your Space Force shirt???
Jay was visiting me for the weekend in Milwaukee, and we were eating breakfast at a small cafe down the street. We had a table near the big front window so Jay could watch the six inches of snow falling: for him, the biggest storm he’d seen in years living in DC – for me, just another day in our too-long Wisconsin winters.
We were busy brainstorming some ideas for a consulting gig, but had forgotten to bring paper and pen. So we asked you if you had anything extra lying around, and you brought us a classic green diner guest check – we loved it! I would post a picture of the actual check with our notes on it, but I can’t go around sharing state secrets 😉
Toward the end of the meal, when you had come back for probably the fourth time, the logo on your shirt caught my eye. For a second I thought it was Star Trek, but it didn’t feel quite right, and then I saw the USSF letters next to it. People like to say that Space Force ripped off the Star Trek logo, but I like to think of it more as an homage.
I commented in surprise at seeing my first Space Force shirt out in the wild, and you told me that you were supporting your sister in Colorado Springs (who I assume is actually in the Space Force?). You don’t know this, but I have two uncles who went to the Air Force Academy in the Springs, and I used to drive down there all the time from Denver when I lived out there as well.
It was all a really fun and unexpected conversation on an otherwise regular Saturday morning. Jay and I left the cafe in a great mood and ready to work, in large part because of how much value you added to our experience, so thank you for that!
We walked back to my house, went over our notes, built a little landing page for our ideas, and then finished work for the weekend. That evening as we were chatting about our day, the conversation circled back to our brainstorming session in the cafe, which Jay said “felt like breakfast in a mountain chalet.” That sounds a little ambitious, but hey, I’ll take it 🙂
When we got to the part you played in our little adventure, I mentioned that it would’ve been a good time to have an “I Met You Today” card to leave behind. I was going to shut it down for the day, but Jay must’ve still been in a creative mood, because he got really excited and told me that we finally have to build the website and launch the project, because he had recently had some encounters that he would’ve loved to write up as well.
I checked that the domain was available – it was – and we decided to go ahead and build it so that from now on whenever we have a great interaction with a person that we’ll probably never see again, we can leave a card behind, and at least that person will get to know the positive impact they made on our lives.
So thanks again for a great morning and for deciding to wear your USSF shirt, without which none of this would have happened. And now dozens or hundreds of people over the next decade are going to have their days made a little brighter as a result of this project. Yay for creating unexpected joy!
PS: Since you’re the first person we did this for and the site didn’t exist on the day we met, I’m actually going to end up walking back into the cafe to give you a card in person, which is probably going to be the most awkward thing I do this week . . . and that’s saying something.
I hope you’ll forgive me for whatever half-formed thought falls out of my mouth as I hand it over and literally run away afterward. But hey, we all have to be good at something, and I’m good at that.