Although I’ve been an avid reader all my life — and exchanged book recommendations with friends for years — I was never in a book club until today.
Of course, “thanks” to Covid, it wasn’t what I’ve always imagined: a cozy gathering in someone’s living room, drinking wine, snacking, and veering off-topic.
Well, that last part kind of happened.
This was a Zoom gathering of a dozen women including many who knew each other and a couple of newbies. What I soon realized is that a book club provides permission to gossip shamelessly and unreservedly about people we’ve never met: “I can’t believe he said that!” “I can’t believe she DID that!” “What on earth were they thinking?” “His parents never really understood him.” “She was just trapped.” “How could he have been so callous?”
And, of course, we all wondered what the future holds and whether there will be a sequel.
I recently posted about some drama in our tiny neighborhood, and am sorry to report that it’s only gotten worse.
Today, a surveyor came to check a height pole that had previously been approved by the county. Whether or not the height is correct is beside the point — in all probability, it is lower than the allowed limit. That will be decided by mathematics.
What disturbs me is hearing that a group of neighbors decided to hang out in the street and on lawn chairs to eavesdrop and comment throughout this process to… do what? Intimidate the people who are building the home? Make the surveyor nervous? Register their disapproval of something without having all the facts?
Several were people who believe themselves to be devout Christians. I have to wonder: Is indulging in malicious gossip, spreading misinformation, and jealousy masquerading as “concern”, what Jesus would do?