This is an old phone box in a village close to where I live that has been turned in to a free book swap. It’s charming isn’t it? I’m planning to drop in a couple of paperbacks before Christmas.
I’m not as much of a reader as I would like to be, but I am a member of a book club. There are only six of us. We meet at least once a month, drink prosecco, and discuss books for about 2% of the time. We sometimes go on special Book Club Outings, it’s all very lovely.
No one has ever asked to join us, or even made me feel they might be in the slightest bit interested. I’m sure they’re not. In fact, this is the first time I’ve given the matter any thought.
I think I have been working on a general assumption that we’re of an age where everyone is fine with the fact that we all have different groups of friends. We get on with our business, and accept that we won’t be invited to everything, all the time.
I only questioned this recently when someone made an off-the-cuff remark about another mum’s ‘club’. They had organised some drinks that she (not a member) was not included in. She just said “why do they have to call it a club?” She was obviously a hurt, and had decided that the whole thing was childish.
Are we guilty of exactly the kind of behaviour that we chastise the children for? Forming exclusive cliques that make other friends feel, well, a bit crummy for not being involved in?
It reminded me of another conversation I’d had with a woman who said that she would love to be in a book club, but had been told that she couldn’t be part of a local one, because she didn’t live on the right street!
Even though I tell myself I’m fine about it, I’m not immune to feeling a tinge of hurt if I’m not invited to something I would enjoy. I’m sure this will be the case whatever age I am.
I’m not saying ban book clubs, or any other club. It’s often just an excuse for a group of mates to make sure they get together regularly. However, I’m not too old to be reminded to consider other people’s feelings. I’ll try remember that if someone’s not in my club, they almost definitely aren’t going to be interested in me banging on about what we are up to.
I’d love to know what you think, please comment below and we can chat.