Being fifty-something, I’ve learnt to laugh at myself. Goodness knows there are more opportunities to do so every day.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been busily telling anyone who will listen that I’m joining a book club in the new year.
I’m quite excited to be popping my book club cherry … it’s been on my mental bucket list (not this one) for many a year.
Now, I’m not up with the latest releases, the hip and happening authors, or who’s hot and who’s not in the literary world. I’ve fallen badly out of touch with all that over the last few years. My day job over here has me reading and researching all day long and by most evenings it’s all I can do to catch up with the blogposts from my favourites in the blogosphere or flip through a magazine I’ve picked up at the library after wandering purposelessly up and down the fiction aisles trying to look as if I have a purpose there.
When my new book club (did I mention that there will soon be a book club to which I belong?) buddies nominated the latest Barbara Kingslover release as our first read, I played along. I pretended I knew the author and her previous works (apparently there have been many) and have since been blithely telling all that I need to get hold of Barbara Kingslover’s latest novel so I can finish it before MY book club meeting in January (I may even have slipped into a braggy, Hamptons-kind-of accent).
Sure, I got some odd looks but I assumed people were intimidated by my new book club “status” or hadn’t heard of Barbara Kingslover. Plebeians.
Today I braved the big box retail centre to purchase said book. There is nowhere local that stocks it and I had brazenly vowed to support the book club authors by purchasing brand new hard copies (not e-versions) of their books. So I ventured into the fluoro-lit plaza and queued with the (other) literary types at the service desk.
“I’m after Barbara Kingslover’s latest novel Flight Behaviour,” I offered up (knowingly; maybe even Hamptons-ly). I spoke loud and clear, wearing my big-girl braggy book club pants on the outside, (over my stylish 7/8th capri pants and mock moccasins) a la super-heroine.
The assistant looked at me oddly for just a second or two before responding, “Sure, it’s over here.”
I swished my cape and followed her to the front of the store.
There it was, piled high in the window display: my first book club read. Ever. It was even on special. Winning!
I paid for my prize and headed home (faster than a speeding bullet), planning to reward myself by cracking the spine after dinner.
Once home, I couldn’t resist. I slipped the novel out of its giant gaudy plastic plaza-branded bag and smugly rubbed my fingers along its embossed metallic cover printing, spelling out the author’s name, letter by letter, as if it were in braille.
It says KingSOlver not KingSLover. Doh!
How many times have I pronounced that name incorrectly (and seemingly with authority) over the past few weeks?
How many times have people (kind souls) known but not corrected me?
Looks like my cover was blown long ago.
Not so smug now.
It seems my big-girl braggy book club pants have wedgied me.
From the inside.
Well and truly.
Not at all how I envisaged popping that cherry.
Close, but no cigar.