Yes, I am actually in a book club
In my previous life, bbc (before book club), the term ‘book club’ conjured visions of suburban women sitting around bitching about life. I steadfastly avoided them like the plague: my life was enough of a cliche, joining a book club would be the icing on my cake.
Besides, I’m conscientious about using any term which includes ‘club’; its exclusivity annoys me. I’m in, you’re out, it says, if you happen to not be a member. I’m more of an “everybody’s welcome! the more the merrier!” kind of girl; Maritimers never want to hurt feelings.
However I do love to read, and miss those days spent in English literature classes, trying to make sense out of Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Orwell. It was interesting to share ideas and concepts with others who loved books, examinations notwithstanding. Keep the class, lose the tests. That sounded promising.
Add to this utopia the ability to tailor your studying to include mostly books you have a burning desire to read, and assemble a group of people who will not cry “FOUL!” on the odd occasion life was too busy to finish the book, and you have yourself a book club, cupcake.
Despite knowing the concept was a sound one, I continued to resist. It would take up valuable time and energy, two things I was perennially short of. I steered wide and clear.
So when my friend Ruthie invited me to hers, I naturally and quickly responded that they weren’t my thing. Ruthie, knowing me well, persisted, demanding that I elaborate exactly why they weren’t my thing. When I couldn’t, I found myself staring at an email the next day with the details of the next meeting.
A few weeks later, cursing Ruthie for getting me into this situation, I arrived on the doorstep for my first meeting, armed with a bottle of wine and a carefully annotated and sticky-noted copy of the book. I didn’t know anyone except Ruthie, and I felt like the new kid in school, which is something I had never experienced in my life. What if they hate me?
Like any well-designed storyline, where the insecure heroine finds her groove in the end, this club I had so adamantly resisted became my most treasured evening out each month. It is an incredible group of warm, savvy and adventurous women. Whoever hosts chooses the book, so sometimes I am forced out of my comfort zone to read books I never would have otherwise, but am always glad I did in the end. (Well, except for Blindness. Sorry Ruthie.) I have slowly come to know all the members, and would jet off on a girls weekend with any of them in a heartbeat (hm, idea.) We drink wine, eat like queens, and bitch about life.
And sometimes, we even talk about the book.