“A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.”
Are you blessed to be surrounded by a group of friends that celebrate the milestones in your life? Who have something or lots of things in common with you? Who let you be yourself? I joined my book club about seven years ago when a neighbor/friend invited me. I wasn’t a huge reader, but was excited about the chance for connection. Little did I know what we would share over the years to follow.
We meet the 2nd Saturday of the month at a restaurant or in someone’s home. This month we read “Julie & Julia” by Julie Powell and then each made a recipe from the “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” cook book. The food is always great, the conversation takes twists and turns that you wouldn’t expect, but that we’ve very much come to expect. Some of us keep in touch throughout the month and sometimes “book club” is the only time we get to see each other. But when we’re together we just take up where we left of the last time. Always food, most the time chocolate, many times a book was read and even discussed.
Over the ten years that the club, founded by Diane (the group elder ha-ha, with her spectacles and her “sun dial clock spinner” as a calendar) have been in existence we have: had 15 members, 7 babies, 1 divorce, 1 marriage, 2 kids added through marriage, 5 husbands had vasectomies, 1 member had a (failed) transcervical sterilization equaling one surprise baby, 6 kids turned into teenagers, 3 kids got drivers licences, 1 grandchild was born, 6 of us turned 40, a few internet dating experiences, 1 member went to Europe, 1 member went to Puerto Rico, 1 member took 5 trips to India, 1 (plus husband) received US citizenship, 8 job changes, we’ve had 27 pets and “so many hamsters”, 8 minivans and a party van (who-hoo!) We’ve read countless books, eaten at innumerable restaurants, shed tears, laughed a ton, have committed zero homicides, zero affairs and had zero arrests (so far!).
We’ve also enjoyed book-themed meals, holiday gift exchanges, an outdoor movie, craft nights, hot-sizzlin’ summer romances, movies, and much girl-talk. Some have left the group, some have taken breaks, some come to group even when they haven’t read the book and sometimes there’s no book at all. But for anyone who loves to read, eat, talk and come as you are, you’re most welcome to join the fun!
Ten years of friendship takes you through a lot of changes in your life. For me, personally, book club is one place I can be myself or one part of myself where I can’t be in other places. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we agree to disagree. But if we do disagree chocolate or a cocktail (did I forget to add cocktails to the list!?) covers a “multitude of sins.”
I truly believe that women especially, need connection and community. Life demands a lot of women; kids, jobs, friends, home-life, volunteer work, you name it, women seem to do it. We need a place to unwind on a REGULAR BASIS. It’s a kindness to yourself to find a group of women (small or large) that you can trust and that will build you up and help you to see that life is good albeit overwhelming at times.
If you’re a woman and have never experienced this type of friendship with other women, you’re looking in the wrong places my friend. There was a wise mentor-man in college that pointed me to the direction of relationships with other women. I didn’t know what all the fuss was about, I didn’t appreciate groups of just women and opted for the coed groups. But then I met community in a small group of gals my age. I’ve been involved in various women’s groups through church, work and community ever since. Yes, women can be manipulative, catty, and untrustworthy, but I don’t believe that it’s “most women” I just believe that a few end up spoiling the reputation of many.
Enjoy your good friends, they are gifts. Risk relationship with groups of women (or men if I have a male reader) and see how rewarding it can be to do life together with “friends that love at ALL times and sisters that are born for adversity.”
Do you have a group of friends you’d like to brag about? Please share!