PRATIE PLACE

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Book Club

Furious at deer herds trampling and chomping my trees and flowers, two years ago I built a deer fence around my property. Now, at the end of the driveway one has to get out of the car to open and close the gate, so "going beyond the deer fence" seems like a big deal and has become sort of a joke. Here behind the deer fence, gradually my life has become quiet and lonely, hence this morning's exploratory expedition to "Books and Bagels" bookclub. I hadn't read the book. The people were mostly older than me and quite a few of them "held forth" at length. (Have you noticed that people who like to hold the floor raise their voices or wave their hands commandingly in front of them to prevent others from speaking?) However, since I mostly went just to be in the presence of fellow human beings, I enjoyed it anyway, especially a discussion of choices. The book involved shadkhns (people who arrange marriages) in Israel's orthodox community, and many of the speakers were resolutely opposed. I dunno. Considering choices made by myself and others, I don't think a lot of us chose/choose that well for ourselves. Maybe matchmakers do as well or better.

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