“Let’s grab a beer sometime.” It’s a staple saying among guys. A common phrase between me and friends. We use it often to wrap up conversations.
It conveys our connection, but obligates us to nothing. Because really, who wants to add more to their to do list?
On a recent family vacation, I reflected on how great it was to travel again after so much was cancelled over the last 14 months. I thought about friends I hadn’t seen in a while. I missed those connections.
At dinner one night, I told my crew that I had an idea to throw a reverse surprise party for myself. It was pretty simple, send a message out to my “let’s grab a beer sometime” list with a date, time and location. Tell them not to respond, but just to show up.
In other words, surprise me.
My boys had little confidence anyone would show up for the old man. My wife was a little more optimistic. In fact, she saw the fun in the unknown. She even offered up the perfect subject line for the email: “Sometime”
So, a few weeks later after the weather warmed, I picked a date and sent the blast out to about 15 scallywags whom I’ve exchanged the phrase with at some point.
Just about everybody played by the rules. Except one guy, who couldn’t keep from playing the death in the family card. I’ll give him a pass. But only this time.
Before I rolled out, the family placed bets on number of attendees. Let’s just say my boys thought I’d be looking like the Tom Hanks character in Cast Away.
But they’d be sadly mistaken. I didn’t make it out of the parking lot before I saw my first familiar face. I hadn’t picked a table before two more emerged. Then as I was scrambling to add chairs even more showed up.
We were into double digits before I could say, “Wilson!”. The evening was off and running.
We agreed all conversations were covered by the Circle of Trust criteria, you know like the ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’.
The night covered the usual ground: family, college tuition, little league umpires and Swedish au pairs.
It was my kind of crowd (Heck, it better be. I picked it!). A posse that mixed well and everyone still had enough of a fastball to keep the laughs rolling.
By the time we called it a night, we were the last table on the patio. We’d connected and allowed ourselves a few hours of that underrated pastime of “guy talk”.
It was good to see friends. To slap each other on the back and give each other a hug goodbye. And with each embrace, one of us invariably offered up, “Hey, we gotta do this again…sometime”.
Go. See. Be Do.