Some really fabulous bloggers have created an online bookclub, the Brilliant Book Club. I, for one, am very excited about this. You see, I love book clubs and love discussing books, but I managed to get the boot from my book club here in town. How is that, you ask? Here’s the short version…and I just want my Brilliant Book Club ladies to know what they are getting themselves in to…
At a cookout at our neighbors’ house one day there was another couple there (let’s call them Nancy & Ted) who we had seen a few times before and always enjoyed. In the course of a conversation with Nancy we realized that we had friends in common (let’s call them Erica & Joe).
Nancy: “We looooove Erica & Joe and are always trying to get together with them! In fact, Ted & Joe have been talking about mountain biking together and Erica invited us to go on a trip with them, but we couldn’t.”
Me: “Oh my gosh, that is great, I love Erica & Joe, too! In fact, Erica leads this huge book club that I just went to the other night. There are a lot of really fantastic women in it and it is a the-more-the-merrier thing so you should totally come!”
Nancy: “I would love that!”
Me: “Great, I will send you the email.”
Fast forward about 15 minutes…I discover through another side conversation with someone else that Nancy is actually the teacher of Erica & Joe’s grade school daughter. Oops.
I get home and email Erica if it is ok if I invite Nancy. Condensed version: no, it is not, I shouldn’t have said anything at all because it put her in an awkward position, and I proceed to get what amounts to an email version of a slap on the wrist. I try to call Erica, leave a voicemail, no call back.
Ok, I get it. I don’t have grade school kids yet but if I can see how that might be uncomfortable for Erica.
But I will say, Nancy is really laidback and relaxed, as well as busy with a fulltime job, 3 kids, and lives about 40 minutes away. My bet was that she would forget about the whole thing.
I informed Erica that IF it came up with Nancy I would take the blame and just say that I forgot to email her the information. Erica told me that wasn’t good enough, I should do nothing else as I had “already created a very awkward situation” for her, and to leave it alone. So I did.
But this isn’t the end.
Soon thereafter, as I am gearing up to head to the next book club meeting, having heard no word from Erica at all about if Nancy said anything to her at school, I get a warning from a mutual friend that I might want to skip the meeting. Apparently a confrontation was being planned and I was to be chastised for inviting a teacher.
So in a fit of tears, I grabbed a big glass of red wine and called my best friend. She assured me I am not a terrible person and that I should just watch my reruns of Smash (ps – that was a GREAT show that shouldn’t have been cancelled) and drink my wine. Just what the doctor ordered.
But this isn’t the end.
Two days later Erica sends a very long email to the book club list serve, which goes out to Lord know how many but definitely over 20 women. This email informs everyone that, although she didn’t want to, recent circumstances and a situation forced her to put rules on the book club.
The new rules: before inviting any one new to the group the inviter was to email Erica with crucial stats of the invited. These crucial stats included first and last name, names & ages of kids, where they go to school, and what they do. At that point Erica would inform the rest of the book club who was up for consideration and any current book club member could reject the invitation.
Obviously we know where this was coming from. Me. I was the “situation.”
I replied back to Erica, with the help of my parents and husband. I said something short and sweet like: “I am surprised that my invitation to Nancy created all this discussion and debate. I hope you know I was just trying to be nice.”
No response. To this day, I haven’t heard a word from Erica at all. In fact, I haven’t even seen her.
After sitting on things for a few weeks, trying not to do anything in haste, I decided to remove myself from the book club. Which hurt since I loved the women in the group as well as the great conversations we had.
I love books, I love talking about them, I love people. But clearly I had created a firestorm and removing myself was probably best for all.
By way of resolution: Nancy had, indeed, forgotten all about the invitation and the offer, & she never said anything to Erica (this fact confirmed by way of Nancy’s husband, Ted, to my husband).
This story is to share with you, friends, that I am very excited to have a virtual book club to be a part of. I feel the passion of a book club burning in my soul and I am raising my hands and shouting, “Hallelujah!”
You’ll be seeing book reviews from me on here (I had fun doing my first book review of Sandberg’s Lean In & that was actually well received by you all, so I am excited).
And if you want to join the Brilliant Book Club head to their Facebook page.
WAIT – I should probably check with them before I invited anyone. Send me your crucial stats and I’ll get back to you.
PS: If you are Erica reading this, can we please be friends again?