I don't think I am cut out for book clubs. I seem to always find myself in either a) a book club that doesn't actually read or discuss the book, but that just uses the whole "we all read this book" excuse to get together, impress each other with fancy treats and home decor, and talk about ourselves; or b) a book club that is apparently above anything that was ever on the New York Times best seller list and that thinks you are an idiot if you suggest a book that is not epic poetry. I'm either the snobbiest person about literature in the room, or the biggest ditz. Why can't I find a happy medium?
I finally suggested a book at a book club for the first time ever and the response was something like polite disdain. Although the group did settle on my suggestion, it was only after I said "I feel like you don't trust my recommendations" and made the leader feel guilty. Now things are bad. What if the group hates my book? What if they think it's ditzy? What happens when I show up next time and they say "I couldn't even get into this" or "it's only mediocre," etc. See? I'm not cut out for a book club because if someone hates the book I love, it means they hate ME.
I wish I could be like Mike, who never gets his feelings hurt. He doesn't care what people think of him. He doesn't go home and analyze every nuance of an evening, nor does he enjoy sitting and listening to my analysis of every nuance of an evening. But not to worry: I have compensated for his lack of self-consciousness by doubling my own efforts. Now I worry about what people think of me, and my spouse. It's a shameful spiral of self-loathing. I pluck up the courage to, say, suggest a book that I found profound, then I immediately feel shot down, so I back-pedal by pretending to be stupid, then I agonize over what people will think of the book, then I also agonize over whether Mike will wear overalls to the book club......etc. It never stops. Someone help me!