The Uber app on my phone messaged me: “Overton is on the way!”
Overton?!?! I know him.
Except I've never met anyone named Overton.
Let me explain.
Every big family reunion and holiday meal of my life featured at least one story about “Uncle Overton," replete with laughs that ran the length of the dining table like a wave and a few eye-rolls.
He was before my time, yet I've heard this name my entire life, talked about like he hadn't arrived yet, but would be joining us any minute.
The Uber message is the only time I've seen the name outside of hastily scribbled captions on black and white family photos: "Overton, 1945"
I said far too excitedly as I climbed into his Uber clean car.
He smiled and said. “Hello… Courtesy?
He said my name a little wrong with a distinct accent I was desperately trying to place.
“Courtney” I said (in what I hope sounded like a non-jerky correction.)
He smiled broadly… “Courtney!” He repeated enthusiastically.
I told him the mini-story about my Uncle Overton and how I’d never met anyone else with this name and how cool I thought it was.
Yeah, I was gushing a little, and my friend Margaret says I "scare people" when I do that, so I shut up.
Overton told me he was from Jamaica.
"I lived in the countryside," he said.
I imagined Overton starting his day on lush green Jamaican hill, with a fresh cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee taking in expansive views of the ocean.
Or maybe enjoying a pre-dinner martini with Ralph Lauren at his Jamaican getaway. (I saw it in Architectural Digest.)
Since it was rainy and cold New England night, I had to ask…
“Why’d you come here?”
He replied with the enthusiasm of a singlet-clad professional wrestler delivering a match-winning body slam to his opponent:
”The woman has the power!”
He bellowed this in Jamaican-accented baritone, emphasizing it with a forward jab of his right fist, keeping the other hand on the wheel.
I burst out laughing. WTH?!
"You left warm, lovely Jamaica to come to freezing New England because, 'The woman has the power?'"
What am I missing?
Did Wonder Woman commandeer Victoria’s Secret Army and invade Jamaica?
How did I not hear about this?!?
Back in the day, Wendy’s (the fast food hamburger restaurant) launched an ad campaign.
In it, a cute-ish old lady looks at a teeny-tiny meat patty, dwarfed by a HUGE bun and asks, “Where’s the Beef?”
She did it in a frank, "you're not pulling one over on me, buster!" way old ladies can get away with.
People went nuts for it.
The “Where’s the Beef!?” campaign went viral before “going viral” was even a thing.
This slogan was repeated at offices, on the street, in the grocery store, political campaigns. You name it.
“Where’s the Beef?!” became insanely popular because it asked what we all want to know.
Where’s the the stuff that matters? Where’s the meaning? The purpose? The passion? The point?
Where’s the beef? asks, “Do I even need to be in this meeting?”
It says what we want to say, but often can’t:
“Don’t waste my time with drivel and buzzwords." "Give me something I can work with!” "Let's get to the heart of the matter" "Is this all there is?" “Where’s the freaking beef?!”
Overton told me he came to cold New England because his wife was here.
Wonder Woman didn’t invade Jamaica, Overton’s wife invaded New England. I get it.
There's the beef. In this case, Overton's "Why." Here's a good rule of thumb: Whether you’re working for someone else, for yourself or mixing it up s