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I’m Out-ing My Book Club

March 27, 2011 9 comments

Maybe I shouldn’t do this but I’m about to OUT my Book Club.

Like most other Book Clubs (I suppose) we meet once a month. We just read Just Kids by Patti Smith. It was an inspirational book about an artist’s quest to be true to herself.

This month there were six of us. There could be anywhere from two to twelve of us. Sometimes our lives don’t afford the leisure time needed to read a whole book in one month, so it’s okay when one of us doesn’t have the mindset for whatever reason, to have finished the book. We are still invited to come and we often do. We meet at one of our houses and everyone brings something really good to eat.

We are a diverse group of women ranging in age from our early thirties to our mid forties. We have a lot going on in our lives and while we do discuss each book, inevitably, one of us strays “off topic” and we find ourselves talking about other things. Last Monday, it started with our pets; the dog that licked the furry inside of a pair of UGG moccasins, the chickens that come up to the porch every day and “call” for their food, the cat that carries the toy kitty in its mouth like a baby all through the house.

I’m sure every Club has its unique qualities, ours however, is very special. Okay, here is where I start the OUT-ing.


One of the six of us recently plunged back into “commute-mode”, making the hour-and-a-half train trek that it takes to get into the City, each day. She just took an editor’s position at a well known comic book company. She talked about how her family life is being affected by this new venture, how she gets home late and has less time to spend with her kids now.

We do what we have to do, yes. Some of us do it better than others. She, is showing us how to “do it” with grace.

Another one of us took on the daunting task of home-schooling her two children this year. She spoke of the struggles and triumphs she experiences while teaching her children, herself. She inspires awe. She is also the same wise, young mom who reminded me a few years ago that you need to set a good example for your “daughters” by showing them that as a woman, being a mom is awesome but that doesn’t mean you have to give up being an individual who pursues her own interests, hobbies and friendships. The travel writer in our group is on her way to Ghana this week. She has been collecting money for toilets to be built at a school there that doesn’t have any. She is a giving soul whose generous nature and fearless spirit is an example to us all.

Our musician has gone back to school for nursing. She is kind and caring and seems to be able to juggle her music, her part-time job, being a mom and being a student, all while her musician husband is away on tour in Europe, with mind-blowing ease. There is now the adventurer who came for the first time this month. She bought but didn’t read the book. She actually went to Spain and saw Patti Smith perform last month. She shared that fantastic experience with us, along with the tale of riding an airport bus the day after the concert with the cellist who was hired to play for Patti. This woman is unwavering in her dedication as an educator and her commitment to learning for all children. And then there was the one of us whose life is not where she expected it to be right now. She is exploring all of her new, scary, exciting options and drawing strength from each of these women who reassure her efforts and gently point her in directions they think will help her secure the independence she’s seeking.

This month, Book Club began with Patti Smith’s incredible life adventure. From there we went to pets, to jobs, then math, travels, astrological charts and finally, to one of our daughter’s who’s recently been bullied at school. This topic in particular infuriated all of us as we offered empathy and suggestions to our friend.

Hell hath no fury like a mom whose kid is being “messed” with — let alone six of us.

Book Club met this past Monday. It was a round table of support, advice, laughter, good food and good friends.

And although it’s our love for books that brought us together, it’s the encouragement that we continue to receive from each other as we journey on our own quests, to be true to ourselves and the love that we have for one another, that keeps us coming back, month after month, whether we’ve read the book or not.

There. It’s done. We’re OUT-ed.

Tell me, are you in a Book Club and do you love yours as much as I love mine?

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