a kitchen life with women: girlfinds

In ALL, FRIENDSHIP by Stephanie Klein9 Comments

Book Club Book clubs in the house, in the bistro, and most definitely in vogue: it’s my second this month. I appeared at my first book club where I’ve ever, in person, showed up at someone’s home to discuss my own books–my life, my work and world–with strangers. The best part? The connections made. Having another mama to now go with our daughters to see Annie at Bass Music Hall in a few months… hearing their stories–I just loved it.

I love when you find yourself surrounded by people who couldn’t give a shit about blogs or the web–they’re simply not part of that world. That’s what I like. Maybe it’s because it allows me to feel "different," "special," but in truth, I really don’t think so. Why I like being around "offline people" is because we all share our stories without worrying how they’ll be retold or twitted. There’s no self-consciousness. We’re just women in a kitchen–what I grew up seeing on TV, or in the movies, but not so much in my own home.

I don’t remember my mother inviting many friends over. She mostly spent time with her sister, which means I grew up with my first cousins… which is a life I’d never trade. I love those memories; they smell like strong coffee.  I love and miss my cousins and wish everyone would just up and move to TexASS.

The house of my childhood, despite being my mother, my sister, and me, was never a house of women. Yet, it’s still the life I always imagined for myself. A kitchen life. Filled with secrets and sauvignon. A world of women who mother, who want to mother but can’t, who wouldn’t mother if you took them prisoner and forced them to lick wax out of the ears of Christmas elves. Women any way. Girl Scout troop leaders, sorority sisters, lawyers, marketing executives, sisters. In a way that first book club I attended is what family feels like: clicks and cliques around an island kitchen with another bottle being uncorked.

Book clubs, or even getting together under the pretense of a book, a majong game, or a stack of cards for (dare I say it) Bridge, Bunko, or "Ballsy Stampers & Scrappers" nights… is right up my alley. I love making new girlfriends and hearing all about their girlfinds. I think I’m finally at the point now where I’m eager to make new friends, try new things, and really get out there. I think this comes with the sprouts being older and far more managable. I’m not as nervous anymore. Then again, when work hits, I hate to say it, my life becomes the pajama house existence that I know oh so well. Speaking of which… I’m off tomorrow to Los Angeles for exciting work meetings! I’ll be out there until Thursday… staying with a dear girlfriend, whom I met at one of my book readings. I feel so lucky.

A YEAR AGO: Advice Needed
3 YEARS AGO: Catchin’ Yankees With Honey
4 YEARS AGO: White

Comments

  1. One of my favorite things about you has always been that you connect with your fans. From personal emails to replies every now and then on the blogs. Have you ever showed up for a book club meeting as a surprise? That would be funny as hell.

    I don't think there is such a thing as offline people, come on now. These days? No way.
    My mom always had one close gf she often had over, and they are still best friends today. Best friends for 35 years. That is a long time.
    Enjoy your trip.

  2. Girlfriends are great. I don't have sisters so my girlfriends are the next best thing and the great thing about that is we CHOSE each other. I cherish my girlfriends–they are supportive but won't hesitate to set me straight if it is needed. So glad that you are finding new girlfriends! Enjoy!

  3. Out of curiosity, do your book club visits end up being really about the book, or about your life, the issues and "content" of the book as it were?

  4. Different book clubs are… different. Sometimes there are people you can tell didn't read the book, which is fine. Usually in a book club, that's me. I'm the one trying to skim it the day of. But plenty of the women did read the books and have lots of questions from why I chose to structure things the way I did to asking how the people in my life felt about being included in the book. They always like hearing that I let my friends pick their own names in the books. People like hearing updates, want to know if Stephen is Philip in Straight Up and Dirty… that kind of thing. They ask advice about raising their daughters. So it definitely always goes beyond the book. I also have a readers guide designed to talk about the book and by extension our own lives.

  5. What is between the sheets? I signed up for those emails and just receive updates when you blog? I thought there extras?

    Btw, just picked up Moose today!

  6. What a lovely memory of you, your aunt & cousins. I have only 2 cousins and they are 10+yrs older than me. Family relationships are so important & special. My mom and her sisters are on not the best of terms right now and it is making me realize how important it is to treasure every moment!

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