Opinion: 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.

My wife is constantly busy. She always has something to do. I usually have nothing to do, but I look forward to that. I wake up in the morning and when Mary Ellen says, “Tell me again what you are doing today?” I can say: nothing. And when she gets home at 6 p.m. and asks, “What did you do today?” Once again, I can say: nothing, or better yet, absolutely nothing.

This morning, I called my best friend. “Hey, Bob. I can’t believe you’re home. What are you doing?”

“Nothing, what about you?”

“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 bills, doing 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.”

I called my wife. “Mary Ellen, I am home right now and I have nothing to do.”

“The lawn needs to be mown and the garage needs to be cleaned … and you say you have nothing to do? Go do something.”

Now, all of a sudden, I have lots of things to do. I better get started on my chores.

I might as well. After all, I have nothing else to do.


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