Two months ago, I saw a posting on Craig's List from a woman who was interested in starting a book club. She wanted it to be a women's book club, and hoped to arouse the interest of "boomers."
I answered her post, and long story short, we had our first meeting last night at Borders. When I first met Rita I was impressed. She was nice, warm and very organized. We talked for a while, and she mentioned that one woman was coming with her husband, but only because they came into town together as he had an eye appointment earlier.
I expected that while we wimmin folk met, the husband would wander around the store, or go buy a coffee, or whatever it is that men do while their wimmin folk are engaged. But no...when the couple arrived, he plopped himself down and made himself comfortable.
When we were all there, Rita handed out a list for us to fill out with our pertinent contact information. When Howard's wife passed the list to him to sign, I noticed Rita looked alarmed.
When we started discussing possible book choices, it was clear that Howard thought he was part of the group. He suggested types of books he wanted to read. At some point, I thought that perhaps I had misread the posting; perhaps the group was to be a mixed group.
In general, this couple was annoying. They are well to do, and made it known. "We have a nice place at 'the Lake.'" All of a sudden, everything was "the Lake" this and "the Lake" that. The wife stated that they had gotten into house swapping, because they loved to travel and since they lived at "the Lake," they had a desirable place to swap.
Then she complained about some guy who swapped a one bedroom apartment for their tony lakeside property. "He sure cleaned up in the deal," she said.
When we discussed when our meetings should be scheduled, we suggested meeting the last Wednesday of the month, as it seemed to work for everyone already. "Oh no" the annoying couple replied. "We travel at the end of the month...every month."
When one lady asked about how a book club worked (as she hadn't been in one before), Annoying Wife started saying "Well, we've always done it like this..." When Rita suggested some ways we could run ours, Annoying Wife said "But I've never done it like that before."
Rita wants the group to be part activity group and part book club. Her proposed plan is to read and discuss a book one month, and take the next month off to go to a wine tasting or out to dinner or other such activity as a group. Annoying Wife said "Well, before we do any activities, we need to bond as a group first." I chimed in, "The best way to get to know people is at an activity where conversation isn't relegated to book discussion."
After the meeting finally ended, I thanked Rita for organizing the meeting, and then quickly drove home to check out the posting. I was right; the group was intended to be women only.
I wrote Rita and asked if Howard was going to be part of the group. "It's kind of awkward, I would think, if the group is intended just for women to say 'Hey Howard, unless you are prepared to wear a dress and go through menopause, I think you need to find something else to do on the third Wednesday of every month...'"
I haven't heard back...but I'm at least hoping that if Howard intends to be part of the group, that he at least dress the part.