Celebrating “Nothing”

Posted by Dave

Before Paul Newman became a purveyor of foods, he made a classic film entitled “Cool Hand Luke.” The movie’s title came from a poker game which Luke (Newman) won on a bluff. He didn’t even have a pair of deuces. Luke’s response to his victory: “Sometimes ‘nothing’ is a real cool hand.” In my life, sometimes “nothing” is also a really great excuse for a get-together.

Twice today, I participated in joyous celebrations. Tonight’s was to congratulate son Erik’s lovely friend Adrienne on her acceptance at Texas A&M (no Aggie jokes, please.) The earlier one (a brunch) was – ostensibly – about nothing. It wasn’t a birthday, anniversary, or retirement party, but was rather simply an excuse for a lot of very old friends (perhaps I should re-phrase that “friends of long standing”) to once again share a few happy hours together. All too often, those of us of a certain age see each other frequently – but mostly at funerals, hospitals, and other less than gleeful gatherings.

The “nothing” party was rich with laughter, great old stories, and – since we were celebrating “nothing” – no official business, like toasts, cakes, and such. This reduced level of stress (no surprises to keep, and nobody whom we had to “impress”) allowed the host and hostess to actually enjoy their own event (which is often impossible at more formal gatherings.)

Gina would want me to point out that – as hosts – she and I did enjoy tonight’s party in Adrienne’s honor. Our event was also low-key (and low-stress), and also included wonderful stories, great food, and a convivial combination of friends and family. But we had a particular reason for celebrating. The brunch bunch needed no excuse at all.

And that particular “nothing” is a something well worth celebrating – all by itself. So the next time anybody tells you that they have “nothing” to celebrate, I hope you’ll respond, “Me too! Let’s have a party!!”


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