Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Book Club

Rejoice with me, I'm part of a book club now.

I've always wanted to be part of one, but I didn't know how you go about finding those things. More importantly, I didn't know how, after you'd found one, you became part of it. It seemed too much like hunting down and inviting myself to a party, something I'd never do in a million years. I'm not an invitation solicitor. I'm not even an invitation hinter. Or, I don't mean to be. I do it accidentally sometimes.

(This one time, I was talking to a friend who, unbeknownst to me, was having a party at her house that night—'party' was probably the wrong word for it, it was so small. It was slightly bigger than a double date, but much smaller than a party. What's that called? A 'thing?' Like, "I'm having a thing at my place tonight"? Sure.

So, okay, I was talking to this friend and I mentioned in passing that I didn't have any plans that weekend and was feeling preemptively bored and a little mopey about it. She said, bless her well-meaning heart, "Oh, well, I'm having a party at my house; you should come."

Ah. The I Invited All the People I Actually Want There Four Weeks Ago But You Can Come Too If It Will Make You Feel Better About Your Life invite.

So then I had to go because I had already said I had no other plans, and I figured I'd be able to blend in pretty well because I'm good at blending in at parties. But when I arrived I saw that it was actually a thing, not a party, and I was not able to blend, like, at all. The whole time I was there, I felt like I shouldn't be. I felt like everyone else at the thing was thinking, "I thought this was going to be a thing, not a party. Why is there this extra person here?"

At least it was a one-time engagement and not a recurring obligation—like, say, a book club.)

So, anyway, I did not want to invite myself into a book club. Besides, what if, after all the emotional expense of finding an existing book club and getting myself in somehow, I didn't end up liking the group? What if they only wanted to read books about horses or vampires? What if there was a particularly snooty, extremely well-read person who took over the discussion and made the rest of us feel like idiots? What if they wanted to meet biweekly? After inviting myself in, or hinting myself in, or whatever, I couldn't very well quit, could I?

But a few months ago, a friend mentioned a book club she was in and invited me to come along It was that easy—as is almost always the case when it comes to things I've overthought to death. So far, we haven't read any books involving horses or vampires, everyone is very smart but no one is snooty, and we meet once every few months, which is very doable.

We met just last night, in fact. We read the book My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises by Fredrik Backman. I loved it—we all agreed that the first six chapters are ones you have to sludge through a bit, but the ending is worth it. We discussed the heck out of that book and picked a new one for December. I was pleased with the experience.

(When I was leaving the house, Sully asked where I was going. I told him I was going to my book club and he scrunched his little face up and said, "Book club? Is that a joke?"

I said, "No, it's not a joke. Why would it be a joke?"

He said, "Well, okay. Everyone's going to be real surprised to see you there."

What can that mean?)