A little over a year ago I wrote this post about girl friends. While it was just me venting my sadness over my lack thereof, the response I received was overwhelming and I realized that I was not the only woman out there who felt that way.
Still, I didn’t really do anything about it. I met a few people over the course of the next few months, but I am terrible at trying to organize outings. I have never felt comfortable as a “host”, and I always feel like it’s my fault if people don’t have a fabulous time at something I’ve suggested.
Anyway, by November of last year I decided it was time to actually do something about it. As much as I enjoy spending time with the Hubster, girlfriends are just… different. And it’s important to have them.
So, I did what any enthusiastic, book-loving, new English-teacher would do: I started a book club.
Well, I tried to. I found out that one of my most favourite people from my Hippie U days lived on the same side of The City that I did, and she loves books almost as much as I do (although she’d probably dispute that. haha) so after catching up one night, we thought a book club was a marvellous idea.
I was so excited about it.
Nerd confession: I have always, always wanted to be in a book club. When I saw The Jane Austen Book Club, my heart melted. I wanted that.
So, when the idea came up in our conversation, I jumped all over it and assumed that everyone would be just as excited as we were. She invited a few friends, and I invited a girl that I had just recently met through a course I was taking at a local college. It started off beautifully–through messages on Facebook, we chose our first book, and got to reading.
Sadly, it never got beyond that. We were never able to find an evening to meet, not everyone read the book, and things kind of fell apart before they ever got started. I’m not going to lie, I was really sad about it. I mean, I was so close.
By March I was still riding that same wave of loneliness that had rushed over me last summer when I wrote that post. So, with a little gentle encouragement from the Hubster, I decided to be proactive and give it one more try. I still hadn’t given up on the dream of a book club, and I thought it might be the easiest way to connect people that may not know each other, so I decided to try and feel it out.
This time, I went through my Facebook and messaged every single girl under 30 that I knew lived in a 30km radius and put forth the idea of the book club. I crossed my fingers that all these women wouldn’t laugh at my nerdiness and hoped that at least a few of them might entertain the idea.
Almost all of them wrote back, and almost every single one that did was interested. I knew that for many of them, their interest may not ever extend beyond that message, but I was ecstatic.
I set up an evening to get together, and hoped that I wouldn’t be sitting alone in the restaurant. I knew it would be tricky because at the time, I was the only connection for most of these girls. They all knew me, but not each other.
I just hoped they’d come anyway.
I think there were four or five of us that first night. It was a little awkward at first, but everyone seemed to get along well and we decided to go ahead and pick our first book. We started off with “Handle With Care” by Jodi Picoult.
I was so excited that I ran home to make a Facebook event detailing our first book (yes, I’m a loser like that) and invited everyone, even the girls who hadn’t made it to our little meet and greet. I was positive it was going to be a success. We decided to meet once a month, and I could barely wait four more weeks to meet again.
There were only three of us at our first real “meeting”. Even though it was still nice to go out, I couldn’t help but wonder: was this one going to fail too? Maybe I just wasn’t meant to do the “girlfriend” thing.
Despite our small numbers, I chose another book and we set another date. More people RSVP’d for our second meeting, but at the last minute my boss scheduled me for a shift I never worked that happened to conflict with Book Club. I messaged all the girls to tell them they could go ahead without me, but they were all uncomfortable with the idea as they still didn’t really know each other well yet.
I was pretty sure that the whole thing was going to fall apart, but I set another date anyway.
More people came. For the next month, I asked someone else to choose the book and the location, and we slowly formed a core group of girls who seemed to love the idea of a book club as much as I did. We were still a tiny group, but it was happening.
Month after month our group got a little stronger, and a little bigger. One day I received an unexpected message from a friend who lives an hour away, asking if she could join. Then someone else, a friend of another girl in the group, asked if she could join. We took that above photo at our August meeting, and we’ve since had two new lovely ladies join our group. Before I knew it our little book club had taken off and we were not only discussing books, but turning it into a lovely girl’s night.
A girl’s night that we’ve since decided needs to happen more than just once a month.
We are now on our 6th book, and it’s an evening I look forward to all month. When I sent out those messages last March, it was all on a whim, hoping that I might get one or two people interested. But what came from it has been so much better than that–I finally found my group. I don’t feel like I’m the one “looking in” anymore.
I found my girls. And they are absolutely fabulous. xo
very happy you found your girls, that’s definitely something i’m lacking here in seniors city. could you post which books you’re reading so that i too can read them as well, i’m having difficulty finding good books to read.
i just saw the jane austen book club again last week and it made my heart smile :)
This is amazing! I think I may need to do this. I am so disillusioned by my lack of girlfriends, especially single ones.
What a wonderful thing to do! I’m so glad you didn’t give up and that you got a great club going now.
You lucky lucky girl! How FUN! I tried joining a book club once but it was all really really uptight women that hosted out of their homes and read the most boring atrocious books I’d ever heard of. I’ve made some great girlfriends but they are all in different areas so it’s tough to get together. Maybe I’ll take your lead and start a book club in my new town.