Thursday, August 4, 2016

Beer and Books


My wife and I love spending time together. Really...we do. Honest. But every once in a while, we take the opportunity to venture out on our own to hang out with our own group of friends. Many of these friends are mutual acquaintances, but these get-togethers are gatherings that don't offer much appeal to the other.

My wife has a book club with a group of ladies that she looks forward to every month. As a matter of fact, that's where she is as I am writing this. They've been getting together for as long as I remember and I don't see any end in sight for them....which is good since they seem to love it.

A little over six years ago, I got together with a co-worker for a couple of beers after work. That former co-worker has since become one of my best friends and the beer after work turned into a recurring get-together that has grown to a larger group of friends. Somewhere along the line, we started calling it "beer club." 

Our two clubs might sound like a night and day difference, but I have a feeling they are a lot more similar than it might appear on the surface. The photo above may be a little misleading as beer club never happens in a bar and book club doesn't take place in a book store, but you probably don't want to see a photo of a garage or our messy porch.

My wife's book club apparently doesn't just sit around and talk about books. At least that's not what it sounds like whenever she has hosted it at our house. Either that or all the books they read involve a lot of animated discussion and bursts of laughter. I would find that hard to believe as some of the books they read aren't exactly side-splitting comic novels. 

Beer club is a chance for the guys to get together and solve all kinds of problems. Most of my automotive needs are taken care of at beer club. We've celebrated, and vented about, wins and struggles in our professional careers. We've had some heated (and animated) discussions about religion and politics. There's never a shortage for conversation. 

The ladies' book club seems to have a slight advantage in the food department though. There always seems to be some appetizer, snack or dessert that I hear about after the fact. I know she brought a cake along with her this evening. 

The closest thing beer club gets to this is when it's butcher night after deer hunting. We will have a grill going while butchering and enjoy some of the freshest venison possible. Every once in a while, there might be a pizza involved, but that's few and far between.

At the end of the day, or night - as the case may be, each club isn't really about the label it has. It's about the friendships, laughter and an opportunity to put the rest of life on hold for an evening. They may have different names, but the end result is the same.

Maybe you have a similar "club" that you look forward to. If not, I would highly recommend starting one. There are plenty of opportunities to get together with friends, but where's the fun if you don't turn it into a highly structured and well organized affair and label it a club? Ok. Maybe not, but you have to start somewhere. Learn to walk before you fly. Until next time....