So, I went to book club. It was hard for me to do, to say the least. It's hard for me to admit, but I think I am, by nature, pretty anti-social. I am very content with my handful of really good friends, and I'm comfortable with them, most of the time. I am NOT comfortable with people I don't know. I'm practically incapable of making small talk or polite chit chat with people, for whatever reason. And if I'm put on the spot for any reason, I just flip out--maybe not outwardly all of the time, but it happens.
Combine all of that social anxiety (or aloofness or insecurity or whatever combination you want to call it) with the fact that this was Edna's book club and my sister and I joined due to a special request to honor her, and you have another whole ball of emotional wax. Alcohol was going to be necessary for us to make it through this successfully, so we started with a couple of Durty Geese. Okay, I think it was probably actually spelled DIRTY, but in my brain it turned to DURTY. And it's a goose because it's made with Grey Goose...dirty with olive juice and some gigantic green olives on a plastic sword. I could have drunk MANY of these, but at $9 a pop, it wasn't happening.
So I followed it with a Yuengling, which was much more in my price range.
My crappy little cell phone takes horrible pictures. The frustrating part is that when I had a cheaper, crappier phone, the pictures were better. I upgraded, and this is what I get when I try to take a picture of a perfectly lovely ficus in the corner. Crap.
The food was really yummy. I forget sometimes what it's like to eat in restaurants without a kid in tow...and it's weird. I have trouble knowing what to do with myself when I all I have to do is eat my food. But I managed, and this is what was left. I wish I had those leftover waffle fries right now. Why did I leave those on my plate? What you don't see, because I ate it, was an excellent prime rib sandwich, complete with au jus and horseradish, which my soon-to-be 26 year-old sister tasted for the first time in her life. Unbelievable.
There was no room for dessert (which was good, because I had gone over my limit and ended up leaving a crappy tip as a result--which I partially and irrationally blamed on the server who had the misfortune of telling me they didn't take checks. I was forced to leave the remainder of the cash I had on me, which was something slightly shy of what I'm comfortable with as a tip. Oh well. And I know--who uses checks anymore?)
As we finished up our meal, I kept waiting expectantly (and somewhat anxiously) for the book discussion to start. The few things I actually COULD have discussed about this book (the man who loses his wife to cancer and then can't function alone, the underlying infertility that leads the main characters to adopt from Korea, feeling somewhat set apart from people no matter how hard you try to fit in) were not really things I wanted to tell strangers, so I was sweating it. All of that anxiety was unnecessary though, because I soon found out that the other end of the table had been discussing the book the whole way through the meal. Ooops, and haha! Relief!
Overall, it was a lovely experience, mostly because I got to hang out with not only my sister, but with Edna's good friends, and doing something that SHE used to take such great pleasure from. I read a good book, ate a good meal, drank a GREAT martini, and had a pretty good time in spite of myself. And I'll probably go back.