Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday Recovery and Book Clubs

Another Sunday spent recovering. After a very productive day yesterday; went out to brunch, went to the movies, went shopping, I had an excessive evening– which inevitably destroyed any gleam of hope for doing much of anything today.

He and I went to Brooklyn last night. We were at dinner with two other couples, and the two women are in this book club together. One of the couples is moving to Texas for some PhD thing so they have an opening in the club. B, one of the women, the one who isn’t moving, invited me to join. The great thing is that these friends of ours come from Him – he went to college with B’s husband, and they are all fairly new to me. It would be another great way to meet new women. Anyway – B and I always talk about this book club when we’re drunk – she’s a writer and she’s quiet. This fascinates me – specifically that she’s a writer and has historically said only a few words in my presence. I am one of those people who can walk into a room full of strangers and talk to anyone, and she has always been so quiet around me that I have, on occasion, thought that she simply thought I was an idiot. Only recently has she become talkative to me and I find this a great victory.

But I am really weirded out by bookclubs. First, it sounds very Oprah-esque. Second, it just seems so contrived. Every time I ask someone to describe what it’s like in these meetings, she (as it’s always women) says that it’s a lot of drinking, eating and just hanging out. Is a “bookclub” an excuse to meet up with friends and hang out? Why the required reading then?

I remember when book clubs were truly all the rage, maybe 5 years ago, it was way political. I had several friends, all in different book clubs. They talked about members being kicked out – the emotional challenges of breaking up with your book club because you wanted to go somewhere new.

I don’t know – maybe it’s because I’m consistently unproductive that I’m being critical. It’s the combination of being unproductive and the fear of commitment. Even more – B said that the book they’re on now is the Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. I mean Come ON! Could you get less fun? I mean, I read the book (or skimmed it) in college but this isn’t some fictional easy fun stuff. This is fairly hardcore. It’s a lot of work!!!!

I’m just going to do it. The reality is that I used to consume books as though they were going out of style. Even though He and I live together we have two subscriptions to the New Yorker – as we eat them up like candy and are very territorial about them. But sadly enough, I can barely finish an issue these days.

I’m going to email her right now and tell her I’m game for the next meeting. And in the meantime, if anyone has any cliff notes on the Feminine Mystique, please let me know.

Speaking of commitment – I am quitting smoking for the 23rd time tomorrow. Wish me luck.

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