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Book Club Is Supposed To Be Wholesome And Relaxing, Right?

, , , , | Friendly | June 21, 2022

I attend a bi-weekly Book Club through my local library. It’s a (mostly) great group of people, led by a really funny librarian. In the second week of each month, we discuss the book of our choice, and in the fourth week of the month, we finish any discussions and pick the book for the next month. It’s fun and invigorating, and we all love it.

One month, the book we picked is on the long side, and our second week’s meeting barely scratches the surface. We’re enjoying ourselves so much that we make plans to meet at a local cafe and continue the discussion in the third week of the month. Everyone is able to make it except our leader, who has to work.

Everyone shows up, and things start out great. But then, one member takes over. She quickly veers off the topic of the book and into the shopping she and her sister did. The problem is that all the rest of us are just too darn polite to tell her to stay focused. I make one attempt to bring things back to the plot, and an older guy tries a bit later. But that is it. I know, I know, it’s our own fault we let her monologue for a literal half an hour (I timed it) about mushroom-shaped rocks. Yes, that’s right, mushroom-shaped rocks.

At the end of the time in the cafe, the talkative member goes on about how much fun she had and how, “Next time, she’ll host things at her house.” Everyone really does love the book club, so everyone else agrees to meet at her house during what is presumably the first week of next month. I don’t say anything either way. 1) I’m honestly not sure if my schedule is open during that week and 2) I’m not sure I want to deal with her being a hostess.

That evening, I get a down-right hateful email from her.

Member: “I don’t know WHAT your problem is, but I NEVER did anything to you. So CUT THE CRAP!”

Me: “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Member: “Don’t play dumb, you B****! You kept interrupting me all night, and you didn’t confirm you’ll be coming to my house when I host the discussion! I didn’t do anything to you, and I DON’T DESERVE TO BE TREATED LIKE THIS!”

Me: “I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t sure if I’ll even be able to come. Calm down, please. It’s nothing personal.”

Member: “NO, NO, I REFUSE TO BE CALM! WHAT YOU DID WAS A CRIME AND I’M GOING TO TREAT IT LIKE A CRIME!”

Yes, she actually called it a crime. Realizing there was nothing I could say that wouldn’t fuel the fire, I just forwarded the whole conversation to our leader librarian and ignored her.

The next week rolled around, and it was the fourth week of the month. Everyone showed up at the library to finish our discussion and pick out the new book — everyone except [Member]. We shrugged it off and continued. 

I came home that night to a furious email — one sent to everyone. [Member] was raging about how we all deliberately stood her up and led her on. Apparently, when she said, “I’ll host next time,” she meant during the fourth week of the month, not the first week of the next. Why she thought everyone would agree to that and leave our leader librarian alone, I have no idea. It wasn’t just me, as everyone except her assumed she meant, “Next time, we’re not meeting at the library,” and that we would attend our usually planned meeting at the library.

[Member] never came back. No tears were shed.

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