A COLUMN ABOUT NOTHING
Every night at dinner my wife and I ask each other, “What are you doing tomorrow?” I’m not sure why we do that. We never to listen to the answer. In the morning we repeat the question. Then later that night when we both arrive home, we ask again: “So…what did you do today?” We get the same response as before, but it’s always fun to hear it for the first time.
We are both retired from full-time work, yet my wife is still constantly busy. She always has something to do. I, on the other hand, sometimes have nothing to do. I mean NOTHING. Honestly, I look forward to that. I try to run every errand the day before it’s scheduled, take care of any obligation related to my part-time work at WISH-TV, and make sure my column is written early. Then I can wake up in the morning and when Mary Ellen says, “Tell me again, what are you doing today?” I can say: nothing. And when she gets home at 6:00 p.m. and asks, “What did you do today?” Once again, I can say: nothing, or better yet, absolutely nothing.
My friend Bob is retired. I often call him, but he’s seldom home. I figure he’s doing something. So, just this morning, when I successfully managed to have absolutely nothing to do, I called him. “Hey, Bob. I can’t believe you’re home. What are you doing?”
“Nothing, what about you?”
“Hey, that’s exactly what I’m doing. And I thought I was the only one who was that lucky.”
“Dick, when I say nothing, I don’t literally mean nothing. I’m paying some bills, doing a couple loads of laundry, cleaning out the car. You know, nothing, really.”
“You call that nothing? That’s something. Don’t you know anything about nothing? Now, I am really doing nothing.”
“Look, are you bored, Dick? Do you want to do something?”
“No, Bob, that’s the whole point. I want to have nothing to do with you.”
“Well, you don’t have to get nasty about it.”
I had had enough of Bob. I called my wife. She always wants to know if I’m up to something. “Mary Ellen, it’s me. I wanted you to know I am home right now and I really have nothing to do.”
“You’re at home where the lawn needs to be mown, the back deck needs to be washed, and the garage needs to be cleaned… and you say you have nothing to do? I’d like you to get all that done before I get home tonight. Now go do something.”
Mary Ellen kind of put a damper on the whole darn day. Now, all of a sudden, I have like nine things to do. I guess I better get started on my chores.
I might as well. After all, I have nothing else to do.