When we moved into our new house, we honestly had no idea what kind of street we moved on to. We hit the jackpot. Seriously! It’s so fun on our little street. And I’ll brag about life on the cul-de-sac another time. Tonight, however, I wanted to brag about how I decided to get out of my comfort zone a little so I could make friends.
Like I said, this is a fun street. The kids will all be out playing in the street and the moms stand in a driveway and talk. Or bring chairs to the end of the cul-de-sac and talk. I often feel like I have a hard time actually talking to other women without being awkward (I make a lot of self-deprecating jokes, thinking their funny, but in retrospect are probably just uncomfortable). I wanted to find a way to get to know the women on my street and be comfortable while doing so. I did find one thing in common: reading. We all like to read.
So I started a book club. At first I started it for just our street, but I stated at the beginning that was just because I didn’t know anyone else, so feel free to invite other women. We have had four meetings now (and read three books: “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie, “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer, and “The Ladies Auxiliary” by Tova Mirvis… This month we are starting “Edenbrooke” by Julianne Donaldson) and while I had to miss the last one because of a fundraiser for my winter guard, I am having so. Much. FUN.
Book club is great because I get to read. I know this from past book clubs, too. Sometimes it’s something I’m really excited about reading and have wanted to read for a while. Sometimes it’s something I would never have picked up in the first place but end up loving (hello, “Ender’s Game”!). It’s just good to have something new to read. And then knowing your friends are reading it, too? Bonus! We get to talk about it! I love discussions at book club. We don’t always agree and we don’t all take the same things away from the book. That’s great because then we learn from each other, too. We get to see new perspectives and find out more about each other and our different backgrounds. And when it’s a book that we all just LOVE? Well, the discussion actually is kind of boring. It’s way more fun to have something that divides us a little bit.
And then there is the food. It’s not book club without food. Everyone makes such yummy food. You would think it would be a competition on who can come up with the yummiest treat, but that’s not it at all. There is no competition. Just excitement for the book, the discussion, and the food.
Most of all, I have enjoyed having a time where I can really get to know these other women on my street. Hang out with them without having to chase the toddler down the street at the same time or whatever. Just sit, eat, talk, joke… it’s my favorite night of the month. I’ll tell you a little secret: I’d do this without the books. The reading part is a bonus. I just like these women and I’m so glad I convinced myself to go for it. I was scared when I sent out the first message about starting the book club. I was scared people would laugh and think it’s stupid. I was scared no one would show up. But show up they did. And it’s growing. And no one thinks it’s stupid. And everyone talks about it all month long: “Have you gotten the book yet?” “How far into the book are you?” “I have to tell you about what I love so far…” It’s exciting to be just to be a part of things.
Life is good on the cul-de-sac.