The Drinking Club Has A Conversation. Maybe With Friends.

We really outdid ourselves this summer. Not only did we not read the book, we didn’t show up to the meeting. The Drinking Club traded the sticky sewage of NYC summer for beachy breezes and spiked seltzer, which is how MV found herself the sole attendee of our latest gathering, wine carafes forlornly decorating the table. After a stern talking-to from AM, we rescheduled for after Labor Day. The calendars were cleared, the wine procured, the pizza ordered.

But before any of that, we had a bookcase to move.

DD graciously hosted us at her new apartment, a spacious Brooklyn walk-up that she shares with a roommate and several oversized armoires. I wouldn’t be surprised if they started pining to be human again. Just before our gathering, DD sent out a call for an extra pair of hands–she had found a free bookcase in an apartment a few blocks away that would perfectly house her unpacked books. Yours truly responded. For the record: IKEA plastic wood is heavy. Especially when you’re hauling ass down the block, trying not to drop six feet of it across the sidewalk, as your phone keeps buzzing because your cheese pie and side salad are early.

We hefted the bookcase up the flight of stairs to find our deliveryman safeguarding our order until we arrived. He was not impressed. Which is fine, because we didn’t need his approval, or the assistance of the three bros on the street who assumed we couldn’t manage. We are woman, hear our muscles scream in protest.

The canned rose soothed our souls as we waited for the rest of the group to arrive. We busied ourselves with a question that has plagued the group for a while now: how do we feel about splitting the bill on a first date (or not splitting it)? I think this gem from Overheard New York says it all, but The Drinking Club is evenly split on this issue. Our philosophical differences did not stop us from making plans to try a Chelsea speakeasy for an upcoming meeting. Let’s hope we all show up.

What is magical about this group of women is that, no matter how much time has passed, the conversation effortlessly flows. On the docket this meeting: the shade of lipgloss we all now own because we turned MM’s tube into the communal club color (you can find it here, in case anyone cares #notsponsored); the ambitious New Year’s resolutions some of us made (DD has a dating quota she must fill come December 31); MM’s Theragun, which will soon become the Drinking Club’s Theragun; and that time DR ordered an Angel from TaskRabbit to assemble her IKEA haul. We also laid out some necessary ground rules for the Drinking Club. We are only allowed to miss a meeting for the following reasons:

  1. Husband
  2. House
  3. Baby
  4. Illness

“Well, none of those things are in my future, so I better get my ass to book club,” said DR. Girl, same. But we all knew I’m too much of a nerd to miss, on top of that.

What we did not converse about this meeting: our latest read, Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. I only just got off the NYPL waitlist. I know you’re waiting with baited breath for my analysis. Thus far, I’m engrossed, even though Frances and Bobbi make me cringe. Whoever thinks teenagers are the worst blocked out their college years. I’m eager to see this foursome implode spectacularly. Hopefully, it will teach our anxious protagonist something. Literally anything.

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Until then, I’m hoping to see more of the Drinking Club. As the conversations around us, the social, the political, devolve into doomsday scenarios, I’m finding the balm for this is conversations with friends.

 

Cheers,

EV

 

The Club Did Not Order Their Feminist Dystopias With A Side Of PDA, Thank You Very Much

We did this to ourselves. I really have no right complaining to you about it. Like that will stop me.

Let’s set the scene: it’s a brisk fall evening in the city that never sleeps. The club ventures down to the Lower East Side (LES for all the NYU snobs out there) for our latest gathering. The bar is tucked away on a quiet section of Rivington St, away from the bustle of the Bowery. Down the uneven concrete steps we walk into the den of our dreams. Small wooden tables line one brick wall, while sunken leather sofas, Edison bulbs, and built-in wine cabinets complete a warm and inviting space that I would dare HGTV to top. I believe one club member even called this place her wet dream (for obvious reasons, I won’t disclose who it was. We don’t know each other that well yet).

We should have realized that, given the pheromones released by staring at exposed brick, it would be the perfect date night spot. We know of at least three couples who ended their night tangled in bedsheets with their amour. And we full-heartedly support their endeavors. Cuffing season is upon us; you gotta nail it down soon before flight prices go up. We just really don’t need to see you dry humping while we enjoy our charcuterie board.

Pro tip: two bottles of wine does not make them go away. It does make you drunk (why does your alcohol tolerance disappear after 25? Shouldn’t it improve with age?). What actually makes you forget about the girl with the pink dye job sucking her boyfriend’s face off: stories about electrifying women (literally) setting the world on fire. I’m obviously talking about our latest pick, The Power by Naomi Alderman. You may have seen it as the speculative fiction title on the NYT’s Top Ten Books of 2017, or Margaret Atwood’s knock-your-socks-off endorsed read. Or on Obama’s reading list. Regardless, if you haven’t heard about it, it is our privilege to tell you to stop what you’re doing and go to the nearest library or bookstore.

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The premise: in a present almost identical to our own, young women wake up one morning with an immense electric power coursing through their veins. This power has the ability to weaken any man, and much worse. It doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to figure out how the world reacts: it loses its shit. What does happen is unusual: women fight back, and they win. They channel their strength to topple the patriarchy and install a new world order. Told through multiple perspectives (female and male), Alderman presents a matriarchy that is awe-inspiring and terrifying. It gives the reader pause. If women were given the opportunity to dismantle the system, would they create a world founded on fairness and equality, or would some use their power to suppress? Through the journeys of each character, she demonstrates how power corrupts, and how the well-intentioned allow themselves to be swallowed up in the same cycles of abuse.

Like I said, nothing kills libido quite like a story about women burning it all to the ground for funsies (this is not Beyonce’s version of girl power). But, in today’s endless news cycle of hate and fury, it’s important for us to understand what power is, and what it can do to us if left unchecked.

If you’re looking for further reading, check out this enlightening interview with the author. And if you learned anything from our last meeting, it’s this: never go to a wine bar that has couches. You now know what happens on them.

 

–E