Our book club met last Monday. A tempestuous, rousing, almost rowdy discussion ensued. I love it when we get excited and all begin to talk at the same time, anxious to make our views heard. I have been asked many times why I enjoy both book groups I am involved with. The answer, I think, hasn’t much to do with reading the book, although that is a lovely bonus. The answer is that the discussion is as close as I can come to experiencing a lifelong fantasy, which I have begun to realize will never manifest itself. As fantasies go, mine will probably seem incredibly boring, but it’s mine and I embrace it.
Picture a summer evening, the sun beginning to set, a long wooden table situated in my outdoor arbor, lilac or wisteria vines hanging romantically overhead. A group of friends, men and women, perhaps six or eight, are relaxing after a leisurely meal enjoying their wine, deeply engrossed in a philosophical discussion…no wait…perhaps it’s political or current events. Whatever. They are talking, sharing ideas, voicing opinions, listening, arguing, laughing, coming to no conclusions or agreement, leaving the possibility open for another discussion another time over another meal. How many times I have longed for this scene! Certainly some version of it is in all my favorite foreign films.
Through the years I just never managed to gather the simpatico friends or the willing husband to fulfill this scenario. Discussions were about children or work and then, as time went on, investments or real estate, maybe current films. I did hold the line against sports conversations but, despite feeble attempts, I could never muster any deep engaging conversations at my dinner parties. Alas. And then it seemed that no one was having dinner parties much anymore. Too busy, too tired, too much driving, too much of everything got in the way. Couples and friends began more and more to meet at restaurants for dinner and my hopes for the fantasy philosophical al fresco dinner party dimmed and has been replaced by two book discussion groups and one movie discussion group, all of which meet once a month, helping me to assuage my muddled feelings about my fading dream.
Do you know this yearning? Do you live my dream? Is it as lovely as I imagine?
Posted by Donna