Social, intelligent women? Check.
Social, intelligent women who have access to gallons of wine? Check…make that a check plus.
Free food? Check.
Multiple book sales in one fell swoop? Check.
Stimulating conversation? Check.
Great socializing opportunity? Check.
Ample ego-stroking? Check.
And, hey, don’t we all need a good stroking every once in a while? Of course we do.
The standard schedule for the book clubs I’ve attended usually goes something like this:
First 20 minutes: help hostess set up, since every member is invariably 20 minutes late.
Next 10 minutes: everyone prepares a plate of wonderful home-cooked delicacies and/or assorted Whole Foods pasta salad variations the ladies each pitch in.
Final 90 minutes: it’s all about me. Me. Meeeeee! This is where the whole ego-stroking thing comes in.
But at a (semi-) recent book club confab, our whole schedule went terribly awry. At first, things looked like they were going to plan. Per usual, everyone was twenty minutes late. Then we all grabbed some food. Then came the first question.
“So how are things going with that guy you’ve been dating?”
I almost responded, “You must have me confused with someone else.” But then I realized this question wasn’t directed at me at all.
“I need to spruce up my condo. Where did you get those drapes?” Well, they weren’t my drapes, so once again I had nothing to say.
This was a terrible broach of accepted book club practices. You gotta focus on the delicate artist with the fragile ego.
Hello, ladies!?!? Time to expand our minds and talk about some enriching literature, no? How about a little attention over here? Hello? Anybody out there?
* * *
Now, here’s where I let my readers down. I have a bit of a blog backlog (otherwise known as a “bloglog”), so I haven’t been writing my recent blog entries quickly enough after the events I recount. I’m letting too many storytelling gems leak out of my head in the intervening weeks.
Case in point: this book club conversation. Once I got over the fact that it wasn’t all about me, I realized that I could mine this non-literary discussion for some pretty damn good material. The problem is: I can barely remember what any of my notes mean (please see the above reference to “gallons of wine”).
Violent friends. Throwing pots and pans at each other.
Ferrari. Overcompensating. Then I saw it.
When he’s Naked.
Strawberries and chocolate sauce.
I have no idea what any of those scrawls mean? What’s wrong with me? Have my writer’s senses been dulled? The one exchange I definitely recall from my notes is recounted in the most random collection of words on the page.
Loins. Moist. Sepulveda. Panties. Belly.
No, it’s actually not a reminiscence of hot teenage sex-capades on the Westside of LA…oh, that it were. It was actually everyone in the group going ‘round the table listing their least favorite words.
* * *
And I was very grateful and flattered when the conversation eventually worked its way to Anecdotal. We had a wonderful discussion about the story and the many bars, restaurants, landmarks and neighborhoods in San Francisco I used as the backdrop for the book. I wanted to thank Heather Carter and Nicole Weinberg for inviting me into the inner sanctum of their book group (I hope I didn’t reveal too many club secrets). And Heather, the drapes were amazing…could you let me know where you got them?