Last week I did my first book club guest author visit. It was so much fun. Every reader takes something different from a book, so it’s fascinating for me to learn which parts stick with different people.
One of the women in the book club made an observation that had never occurred to me. As she noted, I write a lot about the need for independent female friends. MWF Seeking BFF is largely about the importance of strong friendships that are separate from romantic relationships. “I think that’s generational,” she said. She went on to explain that whenever she tells her mother about how, say, all her girlfriends went on a vacation, her mom’s first reaction is to ask “what were [the husbands/boyfriends] doing?” To her mom, the idea that the ladies would go off and do all these activities independent of their husbands was strange. In her mother’s generation, this woman said, women didn’t just up and go out with the girls. And if they did, they first talked to their husbands to make sure they had plans, or were otherwise taken care of.
I’m not sure this is specifically generational. The woman who brought this up was about my age, and our mothers are probably similar ages. My parents, who were married for 30 years before my father died, spent a lot of time together but were also quite independent. My mother would leave for quilting retreats. My father, an American history buff, once went on a solo road trip of the antebellum south. I thought this was really strange at the time. Now I think it’s pretty cool, and was probably quite smart. When my mom left to quilt with the ladies, she didn’t feel the need to make sure my dad was cared for every second that she was gone… he was a competent guy, after all.
But I have heard these kind of questions. The “But what will Matt be doing??” inquiry, to which I usually respond “I don’t know, you should ask him.”
So I’m wondering, do you think the notion of it being ok to focus on friendships, even if that means leaving the men to fend for themselves, is a generational one? And what changed to suddenly make this more acceptable?
It’s Valentine’s Day! You know what makes a great V-Day gift for your be sties? (What? You love them too, don’t you?) MWF Seeking BFF. You can:
Order a copy
Read an excerpt
Get the book club guide
Watch the trailer