How Book Clubs Can Save You From Bar Fights.
A select item *cough*totallyawesomelight*cough* is supposed to be arriving for the bedroom today, and I’d be lying if it said I’m not a little bit excited. I’m not, oh-wow-we-just-booked-a-trip-to-Bhutan excited, but a good, solid I-can’t-believe-I-only-hit-2-red-lights-on-the-way-to-work excited.
Also, last night I did something different.
In an effort to expand my network of friends and actually… I don’t know… meet people who live in my area, I attended my very first book club meeting ever.
No, I hadn’t read the book.
Fortunately for me, it was that particular club’s very first meeting as well, and I definitely wasn’t the only one who was lax in my book-reading duties. In fact, a good portion of the time was spent teasing the girl who’d picked it (and, consequently, hadn’t even finished it herself due to its horrendousness).
If you’ve never been to a book club meeting — especially if you’re a guy and you’ve never been to a book club meeting — I’m sure there’s a tiny aire of mystery surrounding a small gathering of women coming together to over wine and hors d’oeuvres to discuss the merits of the latest Nicholas Sparks spewage and whether or not Hollywood should, in fact, turn it into a movie and cast Channing Gosling Pattinson as the lead.
Oh, there’s not?
Well, fine then.
But I’m happy to report anyway that this particular group of women was a fabulously diverse mix interested in all types of genres and levels of difficulty. After much discussion and getting-to-know-each-other stories, I’m pretty confident we can come up with an interesting selection that will keep each of us involved and entertained. And not in a fake, feigning-to-be-intellectual way, but in a wow-that-was-a-great-read-that-I’d-probably-want-to-talk-about-even-if-I-wasn’t-being-forced-to-right-now kind of way. It was a relaxing evening, no pressure, no stress, and better than meeting for drinks in a rowdy bar.
Why aren’t there any men in our group? you ask.
It’s not because they aren’t welcome, but I’m pretty sure a group that initially started as all women will always have a tough time garnering male membership.
Because women are scary.
What? We are.
We may as well just admit it.
As much as we’d like to think that we’re laid-back, calm, and collected, the right trigger will send us into a fiery blaze of passion. Like, for example, the time when my neighbors, Erin, Justin and I decided it would be a good idea to take my sister to a hometown, backwoods, country funk bar called Drifters (I kid you not), then strip her down to her skivvies, wrap her in a promotional radio banner, and enter her in a homemade bikini contest.
Like you’ve never done that before.
Erin acted as the unofficial contest promoter, running around it a hat she stole from the disk jockey and recruiting contestants from the crowd, while Kasey and I handled the making of the
home bar-made bikini. I’d like to say the competition was fierce, but in the nicest way possible, I will just say that the particular town we were visiting wasn’t exactly known as a national hot spot for the recruitment of Victoria’s Secret models. But it was a hot-spot for spirited good sports, and one woman even strutted around in a costume she’d made ahead of time, entirely out of bottle caps.
But, let’s face it — You wrap a 5′ 8″ tanned, blonde Barbie look-alike up in a banner in a bar full of inebriated military men, and it no longer matters how much time you spent on your costume.
So, as my sister stepped onto the makeshift stage to collect her $100 grand prize winnings, someone — just one person — booed her.
Now. Even bottle cap girl had been a gracious loser, knowing it was all in good fun, and even gave Kelly an awkward-’cause-we’re-half-naked-in-a-bar-beauty-pagent type of hug, but this person — this guy — thought it was it was the appropriate setting to boo.
My lion-like instinctual defense of my baby sister, plus the 3 Southern Comfort and Cokes I’d consumed, told me otherwise.
I don’t know what happened. I didn’t know how to stop it.
At one moment I was this girl — this girl who’d never been in a fight and got straight A’s all through high school and took my balanced Libra status very seriously — and at the next moment I was this ugly, snapping beast — a 115-pound beast, but a beast, nonetheless — who can apparently move faster than a cheetah through a roomful of people with the intention of attacking my little sister’s offender. My little sister’s very big offender.
I’m not sure what I would have done had I actually been able to reach him.
All I remember is a surprised look on his face — the look one might get when he’s about to get attacked by a yapping daschund or a feral kitten — and then I was being held back.
And I thought to myself in a fuzzy sort of way, Wow. This is what it feels like to be held back.
Fortunately, Justin and Kasey’s husband were reflexive enough to keep me from reaching the guy. I honestly don’t know what would’ve happened had I gotten there, and the peacekeeper in me is pretty damn happy about that.
I may not have been able to inflict bodily harm, but for a fraction of a second I sensed fear from the guy.
And it wasn’t an imposing frame or bulk of muscles that caused it. It was the pure, unadulterated, plasmic fire that only women, I think, possess.
I’ve seen it sober, too.
And that can be a scary thing.
Even to me.
Huh. Maybe I need more Nicholas Sparks books in my life, after all.
*Please excuse my excessive use of hyphens in this post. I’m out of control.