Photo by Troy Mortier on Unsplash
Photo by Liubov Ilchuk on Unsplash

Are You the Closer

Today I was in Port Raymond, a working-class town in the heart of leafy Westchester County. I was to be meeting Mario Tremini. I was out of my comfort zone. Surrounding me were old dusty industrial buildings and construction trucks of every size. I felt tiny in my SUV, looking where I was to meet Mario. As I was standing on the street, an 18-wheeler pulled up with the driver, sticking his head out the window, and yelled, “are you the closer.”

Furthermore, I was “the closer” to $million deals; today, I am “the closer” to $100 sales. I answered yes, that is me! The world changes, yet it stays the same. A young man dressed in construction garb jumped down from the truck and introduced himself as Mario. He looked like he had just climbed out of a mud pit. His hands were hardened with dirt as we both wiped our faces to clear the dust in the air. We walked through his garage, navigating pipes, wood, and machines to enter his office. We left the world and space of construction and entered a typical office setting.

Two Phones

Mario had apple earbuds on and kept taking phone calls as he led me by hand motions. His phone never stopped ringing. Half were from workers, and the other half were from his mother. In typical motherly Italian fashion, his mother called every 5 minutes and kept asking when Mario and all were coming over for lunch. As one call dropped, another rang with his workers intermixing with his mother. The conversations went from English to Spanish to Italian. Mario, never stopped talking as he kept motioning me to follow and shook the mud and dirt off his clothes and work boots.

Introductions/The Past Meets The Present

Mario told me this would be a family group signing and that his brother, wife, and sister-in-law would join the party. Phone calls continued, especially from Mario’s mother, calling every minute. Suddenly, Mario stares at me and states he knows me. Mario asked me where I lived. I told him my family grew up in Purchase, and my kids went to Harrison, HS. As a result, Mario jumps up with a big grin and asks if I am Lauren’s dad. I said yes, in a startled manner. Mario got very animated and excited as he told me in typical Italian fashion with his arms whaling and a loud voice that he was close friends with my daughter.

Suddenly, I remembered Mario with flashbacks shooting through my head ten years ago. There is a long way and road to the world of 18-wheelers, all things construction, and conducting a notary closing. Mario told me that my daughter was a great kid with a gleam in his eye and great enthusiasm. Mario brought back many beautiful memories of my daughter’s high school years. We just told stories and laughed and laughed. The only non-truth was when Mario told me I did not age one bit in ten years.

The conversation turned to both of our journeys. Mario hugged me and showed me great respect after hearing of my reinvention. We both agreed we do what we must and were two lucky guys. I smiled as pride overcame me as I knew I had come full circle, so much better for it.

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Family Family

The mother kept calling. Mario kept telling his Mama that he would be there shortly. So now the troops started coming in. First walking in, his sister-in-law, Francesca. She was attractive with dyed blond hair and a lot of jewelry and seemed very sweet. Next walked in the brother Joseph, who mumbled like he was getting over a binge of the night drinking. The family had a warm and wonderful bond as they laughed at each other and with each other. Therefore the entire situation reminded me of my family; warmth, jokes, jabs at each, and a great deal of real love.

Now, Mario’s wife walked in. Caroline was stunning and also very warm. What an excellent, warm cadre of characters. They owned a second home together on the NJ shore, where they spent their summers. No different than my family as I had spent all the years of my marriage at my in-law’s summer home on Cape Cod.

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Typical Gathering/Sitcom

Family members kept exchanging insults. During the closing as they just made light of each other. All repeatedly went after Joseph as he would swirl his words as he almost fell to the table. My notary fee of $150 for the signing was more like a ticket price to a comedy show. I was in the middle of an Italian family sitcom.

This encounter was no different than my family settings, just other names. And yes, the mother kept calling as Mario kept yessing her in Italian. All I could hear was, “Si Mama, Si Mama.” Every closing was an adventure for sure. I was very grateful I had the support of my family and muscular internal strength to move forward in my experiences. We warmly said our goodbyes with big hugs. I could not wait to call my daughter and tell her what had happened.

Once again, my notary signings brought me full circle and to a better place. The journey from world trekking to notary trekking and the lessons learned continue. — reinvention, discovery, and keeping it real.