I thought I would try something new so I joined a book club at the local library branch. I called and signed up over the phone. They told me which book to read and I read it. I had never met any of the other group members until tonight.
"I'd like to introduce to you our newest member, Fran Fletcher," the group leader told everyone else.
They turned and looked at me as if examining me for some sort of intellect between my ears. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat.
The leader continued, "Well, Fran, why don't we start off with you telling us your thoughts on the symbolism on page 25."
Page 25? I didn't even remember what was on page 25. I started to panic. I needed to say something, anything.
"I really liked it," I said.
I saw one of the others roll their eyes. But at least someone else offered their opinion.
One of the men said, "I thought it was very skillful how the author was able to talk about the hypocrisy of the age under the veiled constructs of social conventions."
"Yes, I agree," another said. "Parts of the novel were very existential."
I sat there dumbfounded. Had they read the same novel I did? I didn't even know what existential meant yet alone how it related to what I had read. It seemed like just an old romance story written 200 years ago to me.
These people were very intellectual. It was obvious they read not just to read but to evaluate. I read just to read. This was nothing like I expected. I'm never going back.