I am proud to be a nerd. I have always been proud to be a nerd. I have always loved to read. I wanted to get good grades. I go to the Renaissance Faire, in costume! And I have more than one costume. Yeah, I try to be cool, to a point, not everything I do is totally dorky, but I enjoy my nerdiness and I fly my nerd flag with pride. So it should come as no surprise that I have always, always wanted to be in a book club.
It’s always so disappointing to read a great book, or a horrible one, and have no one to talk to about it. Even when you’re browsing the shelves at bookstores, where booklovers and readers come together, people don’t want to talk. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve offered a piece of advice to a wandering teen or answered a question the clerk couldn’t only to get a quirked eyebrow and an awkward silence. My husband tries to read, and he reads a lot more than most of my friends’ husbands, but he’s not going to want to read everything I do and he doesn’t read as fast as I do so I can’t chew his ear off.
Then we moved to our cute little beach cottage in Mid-town Ventura and about two years later we got new neighbors, almost at the exact same time. Luckily all of the men were social little butterflies and they met and became friendly. So I decided to have a bar-b-que to get to know some of our neighbors better. Yeah, very domesticated of me, I know. But as a rule I’m an introvert and, while I can put on the public smile, I prefer to keep to myself. I enjoy throwing parties, but I like to be the hostess because you have so much to do you aren’t really expected to be social. You have to tend to the food, the drinks and move around constantly so you don’t leave anyone out. But this didn’t work out at a bar-b-que. The food is done when it’s done and the drinks are all in an ice chest. Not much to do.
So I had to sit and be social. And I know this is going to be shocking to you, but the men and women split and separated so I felt obligated to be with the girls. Very 1950’s of us. I just kept thinking about I Love Lucy reruns. Anyway. One of the new neighbor couples came over but the girlfriend stayed with the guys. How I envied her. The women that had shown up were moms, one of a toddler and one soon-to-be. I am not a mom. These two ladies just went on and on about kids. I did not have much to add to this conversation. Then the wife of the other new neighbor showed up. This poor girl was eight months pregnant and not in a good mood, but she felt like she had to come and she did not talk about kids, even though she had one and one on the way. I liked her. She was a hairdresser and worked out of her home, two doors down! Score for me.
Then finally, the girlfriend I mentioned wandered over to the henhouse. My husband had told her I was a writer and had just published my first novel. She wanted to talk about books. I was gobsmacked. She wasn’t a baby-maker either, which was why she was hesitant to come over, and really, I couldn’t blame her. It was starting to get late and people wanted to go home so I let everyone know we were ordering the MMA/UFC fight that night and everyone was welcome to come back. And wouldn’t you know it, these two girls wanted to see the fight! What?! Now, unfortunately the preggers of the two couldn’t make it, but the other one did and she didn’t just come because her boyfriend wanted to see the fight. She wanted to see it just as much as I did. Madness, I know.
A week went by and I met preggers for a haircut and color and found out she had all of the same reading tastes as I do. I mentioned that I would love to have a book club because none of my friends read and lo and behold she said she’d love to be in a book club! Later that week the boyfriend and girlfriend neighbors invited us over to watch the girl MMA fights, which we never watched; my new friend and I sat at her kitchen table, eating and drinking wine, talking and laughing for hours and hours. She had read my book and enjoyed it! Of course she was my new favorite person.
Now the three of us are in a book club together. We laugh, talk, eat and drink for hours into the night. We’ve just finished up The Mortal Instrument series, planning to discuss City of Fallen Angels this Friday and it’s been a month since we’ve had a meeting and I tell you, I am going through withdrawals. My book club has become something amazing for me! I have two new girlfriends who share similar interests as I do and who I can talk candidly to. We gossip about our neighborhood, we bitch about our men and we laugh enough to cry. And somewhere in there we talk about books.
So that’s how my book club came to be.