The Happiest Hour – 9/27/19

The week is over, and the canned wine is packed for a quick jaunt upstate with MV. Bring on the nature.

Here’s what you missed this week:




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.



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.









The Drinking Club with a Reading Problem Meets…and Decides We Want the Honest Truth

It was a weird week. The lunar blood moon eclipse was last night, the longest full blood moon we will see in our lifetime. Making this the longest week we will endure in our lifetime (hah, who are we kidding). Mercury also went into retrograde on the 26th. Translation: brace yourself for the extra crap the universe is about to throw our way, just for the heck of it.

Which is the perfect segue to the club’s latest read, Look Alive Out There. You may know Sloane Crosley from her first collection, I Was Told There’d Be Cake, an ode to twenty-somethings trying to hack it in the Big Apple. Or possibly her novel, The Clasp, about a hot mess love triangle that traipses across Europe in search of a necklace lost during the Nazi occupation of France that served as the inspiration for a famous short story. I enjoyed The Clasp; her protagonists are self absorbed and coming to terms with the unfulfilled dreams of their youth (they’re in their late twenties). But there is something so authentic about their messy and indulgent quarter life crises that you go along for the ride, and hope they come out the other side more self aware. And who doesn’t love a good mystery?

Pairs well with: Cabernet Sauvignon and meaningful discussions about why we will not date someone that chews with their mouth open.

But I digress. During our meeting last night, between bites of Trader Joes’ mushroom and truffle flatbread, we had our standard five minute discussion of our read. Our thoughts: we love Sloane’s voice. Her essay about Jared, the privileged high schooler from hell? Phenomenal. We’ve never related to a story more. We got lost in the middle of the collection, feeling as confused as she was in the chapter where she got altitude sickness in the mountains of Peru. But she got us back with her final essay. Her struggle to decide whether she wants, or is even cut out for, motherhood resonated with us. As a group of women in their mid-twenties, a decision like this feels foreign, a choice relegated to the realm of the real grownup. Sloane’s uncertainty leads to a revelation about what may make a good parent: a willingness to share your experiences with a tiny human and impart some of the wisdom you’ve gathered, so they can go out into the world armed with knowledge. If you can manage that, then you might be suited for it after all.

All this talk of nonexistent children led to a very interesting dialogue on relationships, covering everything from what’s everyone’s type, to whether we would want a friend to tell us if they didn’t like our significant other. Our answer: if we ask what you think of him, we want the truth. None of us want to go too far down a path only to discover that the people who know us best think there is someone more compatible out there.

What else is new with the club? How kind of you to ask:

  • We have two book related events on the calendar: books and brunch in Hoboken (stay tuned for more indie bookstore adventures), and movie night, where we each consume a (large) amount of wine while watching a terrible book-to-movie adaptation. Current nominees are Twilight and The Great Gatsby. Recommendations welcome.
  • DR is killing it at work, earning herself a promotion and additional awesomeness.
  • MM escaped attending San Diego Comic-Con to run her company’s activation, while yours truly spent the week inside the convention center selling books and trying not to get swept away by the crowds (I can’t complain though: there a few things better than a California sky and a warm sea breeze).
  • AM, after watching Kid Gorgeous seven times, may have a future as a John Mulaney impersonator.
  • DD is ready to help the singles mingle. And by that, I mean she wants to set us all up on blind dates with her single guys friends.

What else are we reading/watching/listening to:


Until next time,