Maybe I'll be off the hook next time

It probably started off with the question, "have you read any good books lately?"

More likely it was, "are you working on any good books?"

It seems like the only question my Grandmother really asks me. At least anything that really has anything to do with me that doesn't end up being a gossipy kind of thing. There's another similar question about authors or anything neat or something. It's work related though. After 10 years, really, that's all you can focus on, what I'm working on? Do you ask anyone else about their job? It may sound innocent enough, but it seems to be more of a way of impressing her book club.

If you actually know me, or have heard/read some of my stories below, you know why this is such an ordeal in my mind.

Anyway. A few months ago, we did a blog tour for Robert Whitlow's The Choice. I actually had two copies of it because I had requested it from the publisher for review before I found out we were doing a blog tour on it, so my mom and I were reading it at the same time.

I guess Mom actually told her what we were reading and about it being good. I don't remember the conversation if we had it. Grandmother, before she even read it, recommended it to her book club.

Then the guilt trips start. "I sure hope it's really good. When I pick a book, I hope the group likes it. I don't want them not like something I picked out." In a certain tone.

She's made a point to tell me it was the next selection more than once.

I sure didn't force anyone into anything.

She did tell Mom she thought most of the club had actually read the book through this time.

So, Monday morning. I was brushing my teeth, getting ready to make my way down the hall to start to work. Before I could finish brushing, the phone rang. I checked the Caller ID. Oh. My. Word. to start a Monday. Call screen and blame it on brushing my teeth. Some people only call me when they want something. My brother. My grandmother.

A little while later I get the courage to call back. The book club meets Tuesday night and she wants me to come. I don't have an excuse. Not really anyway, but I did delay the answer for a few hours.

I got my mom off the hook, saying she couldn't come. My guilty conscience or inability to say no or something pushes me to say yes.

I think my parents were in utter disbelief. When Paige heard about it, her reaction was, "please tell me you are not going. You know it's going to be a bunch of old people." Having met some of Grandmother's friends in the past, I knew what I was in for. All of us did.

I could only answer, "it's for brownie points." Paige answers, "I've never heard of brownie points before until today and I've heard it twice."

I just kept telling myself, "you can get a Starbucks on the way. You can get a Peppermint Mocha Frappachino on the way. You have a gift card that will cover the venti on the way."

When I arrive, there was a bit of me being the object of show and tell. It still seems to me to be more of an "aren't you impressed that she works with authors" kind of thing. She kept bringing up, "she works from her home" as if that were a big deal. Maybe if I worked out of my 5 bedroom luxury home somewhere other than Corsicana. I work in a small extra bedroom of my duplex in the rentalhood where the kids bang on the walls and Three's Company's dog barks it's head off any time I walk outside and is out of the fence half of the time when I go out back to get in/out of the car.

There were 10 other women there. Four I knew. Four she always talks about. I don't know how the combination of the 5 of them ever get along really. Two of the four in particular were shocked I was there. These two I ate with and made sure Mom knew I took one for the team. (Oh, and no, Mom, I didn't tell her you were off all last week.)

During the meeting itself, she kept talking to me, almost gossipy stuff. At one point she was disagreeing with everyone about a character and whether the person was real or not. Of course, that was expected too.

It was kind of interesting. I think she kind of had to be the center of attention in a way. Not surprising.

She made a what was a somewhat meant to be a snide remark that only I could hear (and the closest nearby) that I was like my father when I was commenting on something related to the book discussion. Well, that almost came as a relief.

Payback was telling her she sounded like her sister later.

At one point, as everyone was getting ready to leave, one of the infamous friends was showing off an injury to the back of her thigh. By pulling down her jeans, bending over in her underwear, right in front of the glass front door, showing everyone her injury.

A) I wouldn't be showing everyone my injury. B) I wouldn't be pulling down my pants for everyone to see. C) I wouldn't be doing this in front of the glass front door.

After all this rambling of mine, I think I'll get to the point... I really think I just did this so that she couldn't say I never come see her. So that next time, I could say no with a less guilty conscience. To gain brownie points for some kind of redemption later. Christmas will be here soon. I just hope to be higher up the grandchild ladder for a little while, especially when all are gathered together.