Evolving.
Published on October 5, 2005 By Angloesque In Entertainment
A co-worker of mine invited me to join her book club. They were currently reading The Time Traveler's Wife (which, by the way, I highly recommend) and it would be held tonight at one of the member's homes. I don't know my co-worker very well, but she seems like the type I would really like, so I accepted the invitation, read the book, and went to the house.

There I found four women interested in (1) wine, (2) home decorating, (3) clothing, (4) their kids, and (5) the book, in approximately that order. Now I can understand the book club being like a social event; I understand their interests and the fact that they all know each other and I'm a stranger. But it was painfully obvious that I shared none of their interests, and no attempt to get on track with the book kept them from flinging off in to outer space: "That reminds me of the time I was looking at reupholstering the dining room chairs...."

But it occurred to me as they sat there, prattling on about sofas and home-buying and mortgages and the cabernet they'd had for lunch, that I do not ever want to be intersted in those things. I don't like wine, my sofas were my parents', my clothes are from sale racks and Goodwill, my home has lots of pictures of my family and friends and interests but no pictures of Italy, no cigars or $500 fake floral arrangements; I don't have hair extensions or a dye-job or a 3-carat diamond; and the book was fantastic and yet I was the only one who'd read it all the way through.

And my co-worker didn't even show up.

The Time Traveler's Wife is a fantastic, beautiful tale of a man who involuntarily time travels and the woman whom he loves and marries. It's a story about free will and foreknowledge and love. It's a big idea to gnaw on, but it's a pleasurable chew. Even the book's paper had a satiny touch; turning each page was like opening an antique chest your grandmother had and not knowing what was inside. And tonight, I alone enjoyed it, with the taste of bitter wine on my tongue and satisfied feeling in my belly that says I like my priorities where they are.

***

Would I be like them if we had more money? I don't think so. I think we'd own a home, we might actually buy our own sofa, but window treatments, wine and designer clothing would never touch our lives. And our friends will always be the slightly nerdy, techy guys who play video games (even probably when they're 75 and wearing dentures) and girls who rewatch Pride & Prejudice if only for the lake scene.

***

I love my life and I wouldn't trade it for theirs, not for all the vineyards in Napa Valley. Now a good book? I might trade things for that.

Comments
on Oct 06, 2005
That's terrible that the co-worker who invited you wasn't there. And they might as well change the name from a book club to social hour or something more appropriate. It' s good to socialize and that will be a given but at least if they had spent most of the time on the book and actually read it!

At least you got one good thing out of it, the read of a good book! That's priceless in my book (pun intended!)
on Oct 06, 2005
I'm glad you have your priorities in order, A. I think we'd probably get along pretty well in real life
on Oct 06, 2005
The Time Traveller's Wife is fantastic, I'm glad you're enjoying it.

I'm sorry about your book club experience....I wish that I could say that not all book reading groups are like that, but all of the ones I've been to are about the same. Attended by chicks who are snooty (usually officers wives) and who want to gab about how much money their new carpet cost, how their little James Wilkie learned how to say 'cat' but says it SO eloquently, and rave over their Jimmy Choo shoes and Seven For All Mankind jeans that cost $750. They're usually all faux-intellectuals who're only there because it makes them sound smart ..."My literary circle is discussing post modernistic art and it's influence on Audrey Niffeneger" (Or something equally inane). Bitches, all of them...bitches, I tell ya!

Ahem...sorry, got a bit carried away. Anyway, glad that you're enjoying TTTW. If you want to gab about it sometime, let me know.

'I hate to be where she is not, when she is not. And yet, I am always going, and she cannot follow'
on Oct 06, 2005
Hey Shades, nice to see you. I think we'd get along pretty well, too. But as I reread this blog, clearly the 4 oz of bad white wine was going to my head.

Dharma, I'd love to discuss the book. You want to start a new thread, or go for it here? I don't care. Have you read the "To His Coy Mistress" by Andres Marvell? I'm pretty sure that was a one key to the book.

-A.
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