"Nice try." Rob said as pushed his empty plate forward and leaned back in his chair away from the table. A look of satisfaction eased onto his face.
"Thanks." Bob replied through a fork full of pasta.
Rob burped loud and long.
"I'll do the dishes." I said, standing up from the table.
"Bill, leave the pots and pans for me." Rob said.
Bob had just prepared and cooked the best meal we three young roommates had eaten in a very long while. We were all in our early twenties living in an apartment above a house. Most of our meals consisted of Spaghettios, pizza or bar food. Occasionally Bob, who raised as a latchkey kid learned to cook at an early age, would make dinner for the three of us. That night he made the best tasting Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo I have ever had.
"Nice try Bob, nice try." Rob said again smiling.
Bob was not offended. He knew that Rob's "nice try" was of the highest compliments he could receive. "Nice try" was Rob's funny way of saying excellent or perfect, while keeping you humble.
Not too long ago I started to use the "nice try" phrase with Lauren. Lauren in return also started using it with me. It is our little inside joke way of saying "good job". Sometimes, like any inside joke, it is misunderstood by other people who might hear us say it. We sometimes get funny looks but we know what it means.
Tomorrow marks 10 years of being married to Lauren. When I married her it was a Nice Try. The past 10 years have been a Nice Try. I hope the next 10, 20, 30 years will be a Nice Try.