I’m pretty sure I’m in the best Book Club on the planet. My Book Club has 11 of the coolest women ever who bring a crapton of food to our monthly meetings. And wine. Lots and lots of wine. There’s non-alcoholic drinks as well, of course, largely due to the fact that with 11 women in their 30’s someone is always bound to be pregnant. But now that I think about it, there somehow seems to be leftovers of wine and nothing else at the end of the night… Strange.
If the food and drink doesn’t convince you that my Book Club rules all Book Clubs, this will. This Book Club has been meeting for over 5 years. Or maybe it’s just shy of 5 years. I am quickly learning that my sense of time gets worse and worse as I get older. My brother gave me a fabulous solution to this problem: Take however many years you think something has been happening, then add a year. Typically that’s about right. Somehow I seem to just lose a single year off most things.
Anyway… Wait, how long have I been writing this post? Add a year… Just kidding. So we’ve got great, fertile women, amazing food typically themed somehow to the book of the month and wine meeting for somewhere around 5 years, give or take. And sometimes sangria. Those are my favorite months. But even with all those amazing components coming together to create a symphony of literary goodness, it’s no small task keeping a Book Club alive and exciting for this many years. It’s like a good marriage- you gotta work at. Unlike our marriages, however, it’s all women. So everyone involved is big on communication, sharing their feelings, talking, keeping it “fresh.” We even bring flowers and unexpected gifts, occasionally. I’d say we are all the perfect wives for each other. However, like even the best marriages, sometimes you gotta spice things up a bit.
Luckily for us, there is no shortage of “spicy” book mavens in my group. You don’t believe me? Let me prove it… For our October meeting… drum roll please… I heard murmurings of a craft. Yeah, that’s right, we’re doing something crafty with our wine drinking and appetizer munching. Do we know how to party or what?
When I heard this little gem of a rumor from one of my Fellow Book Lovers the wheels began to turn. A craft? What kind of craft? I’m not real crafty, per se, but I definitely went through my jewelry and candle making phases. Just so we’re all clear- I sucked at both of those things. Due to my non-diagnosed OCD, all my jewelry had to be symmetrical. It was so boring. 5 blue beads, 1 silver bead, 5 blue beads, one silver. No creativity whatsoever. Buying from the bead store was also ridiculously stressful since I don’t have a creative bone in my body and could never imagine what a bag of loose beads would look like as a bracelet or necklace. So everyone got symetrical jewelry for about 6 months and then I retired my crimper and lobster clasps. And the candle making… Let’s just say that was about 12 years ago and Hubs still has back problems from falling down the stairs as he flew down them following my desperately shrill scream of, “FIRE!!!” Uh, I accidentally left the wax in the pot, on the burner when I wandered into the family room and found a good movie on HBO. It was only when smoke started billowing into the room that I realized I’d forgotten I was making candles about 20 minutes earlier. And just so we’re all clear, candle wax is oil based. Why is that important? Er, because if you ever have a candle on fire, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT pour water on it. The first just gets worse. And really really big. And it may melt the blinds covering the window next to the stove. That’s my PSA for today.
Anyway… back to Book Club Craftiness…As I chatted with my friend who spilled the crafty beans, the idea of knitting and quilting came to mind. That’s a fun craft, right? Oh! We could all make scarves because it’s a crisp 87 degrees right now in SoCal. And then, we thought of macrame. I mean who wouldn’t want to spend an evening learning how to macrame? That is definitely the stuff good Book Club meetings are made of. At least good, spicy Book Clubs, that’s for sure.
And so we began to brainstorm macrame ideas. The conversation started out innocent enough. Memories of Girl Scout camp and summer camp at the Y, making key chains and bracelets. You know the stuff I’m talking about, right? I’m sure you do. Most of you are my age- kids born in the 70’s- and our moms had a plant hanger or two dangling in a corner somewhere. Come on, admit it. You know you had a plant hanger with the bizarre white hook in the ceiling that stayed there for decades even after the plant hanger was deemed old fashioned. Ever wonder why your parents kept the hook in the ceiling? I think I have your answer… I think our parents may or may not have been into “50 Shades of Macrame.”
Although me and a few other girls in the group were never able to convince the gang to read “50 Shades of Grey” unless you’ve been living under a rock, we all pretty much know what the book’s about. And my friend and I figured using crafty night might be a good way to slowly introduce some racier topics to the group while also creating holiday gifts for the whole family. We also decided it would be a great way to get to know one another a little more intimately. Of course we’d never pressure anyone into anything they weren’t comfortable with. So we figured we’d have options for them to choose from.
First, The Bracelet…
-Option 1 is the Simple Bracelet- not too intricate and certainly not risque. Just plain and simple. Looks a bit like something I picked up at a Grateful Dead concert I went to but is innocent enough.
-Option 2 is The Bong Lover’s Bracelet. Now this is a little more of a walk on the wild side. There are twists and turns and even beads (symmetrically placed beads). But the beads appear to be turquoise. Turquoise is often worn by peyote smokers and hippies, right? Would any of the girls step out and go with the Peace Pipe Collection?
Next we have the ‘ol standby: The Plant Hanger.
Option 1is your classic plant hanger that all families had in some corner of the room or even above the kitchen sink. You know, the sink next to the avocado green refrigerator. Oh look an innocent owl plant hanger that could be hung in any child’s room if one liked.
But would anyone be brave enough to go with Option 2: The Goth Plant Hanger. This is not your mama’s plant hanger, people. It’s dark. It’s mysterious. It’s black. It even has fringe that would dance along your skin as you glided past it toward your dungeon of love.
We realized some people would begin to grow uncomfortable at this point. Maybe a Goth Plant Hanger is a Hard Limit for them. Maybe they’re metally chanting, “Red! Red!” at the thought of this dark knight surrounding an innocent fern. I understand, this is something one needs to ease into. So let’s move on to something one would label as “yellow” or perhaps “green.”
The Purse. OK, I gotta admit this is pretty freaking cute. If I saw it in Target I would totally buy it. I mean doesn’t it just scream, “Wear me with some Espadrilles and a flowy skirt in the summertime!”
Now that everyone has calmed down from the Bong Lover’s Bracelet and Goth Plant Hanger, I think it’s a good time to discuss technique. Knots are the key to good macrame. And anyone who’s anyone knows about knots, right? This will be a very telling moment, by the way. Those who look surprised are clearly not Knotty Girls who know about the underground community of knot experts. But those who nod their heads sagely… those are the Naughty Knotty Girls who are in the know.
Begin with a basic 1/2 knot: It seems innocent enough with it’s pale blue and brown combination. Those colors could be used in a nursery, so I am lulled into thinking this particular knot is innocent. But for those in the Knot Know, this is not innocent at all. It is the gateway knot, leading to bad, bad things.
Things like, what I like to call, Advanced Knots… This is the knot for those who don’t want to waste their time with baby nursery inspired bindings. This is for the professional. These raw renderings mean business. Which of our Book Club Girls is going to be a Knotty enough to learn the intricacies of image #6? This will determine who is the Boss in our macrame playroom.
Not sure who the boss is yet? This final choice will separate the Doms from the Subs. Tonight, at Macrame Mania will you go with this….
The not-so-easy-to-get-in-and-out-of-without-looking-like-a-moron, yet used as a symbol of romance and readiness in every erectile dysfunction commercial on TV, hammock?
Or… Will you spice it up a bit, Emeril style with a little BAM! and a what’s-supposed-to-be-a-single-swing-but-I-swear-looks-like-a-sex-swing?
That right there is the craft of a true Dom. If Christian Grey hosted Macrame Night at Book Club, he’d do it wearing a turquoise bejeweled bracelet, swinging on his macrame sex swing under his Goth plant hanger. Oh, and he’d give you all a super cute purse and recommend you wear it with strappy sandals. But he’d say it with fire in his eyes while swinging this macrame bad boy-
So you see, ladies and gentlemen, even the most innocent affair can turn scandalous. Nothing is sacred anymore- Book Club, summer camp crafting- it’s all been tainted by the debauchery of modern society. But on the bright side, my rope wielding friends now have a safe place to come and share the tricks of the trade…
And if we’re feeling particularly rebellious, we can make these sassy swimsuits-
Although this last one looks a little “binding” wouldn’t you say?
I guess the “M” in BDSM stands for Macrame… Who knew?
That’s just my normal.
*I get absolutely no credit for the awesome title of this post. M.S. you are a Word Goddess after this little suggestion. Thanks for letting me steal it;) And E.F. thanks for chatting on the cul de sac with me as we ventured down this rabbit hole of a discussion*