This particular clique is 5 or 6 ladies who are close with each other, see each outside of the bookclub meetings, talk on the phone, keep in contact. I have never been part of either of the two cliques that evolved. Interestingly, each is composed of those of the same general backgrounds. Not surprising, I guess. But a birthday lunch should not have been done this way. It's always been a group event.
Believe it or not, I have never been thrilled with any of them, we were brought together because we worked together at the college. The bookclub came about because some of the ladies thought it would be a good way for us to remain in each other's lives, and it has served that purpose. 17 years after retirement, we still meet once a month. And some are close friends. I guess I'm the odd-ball, the loner, I never got shmaltzy with any of them. But I was a part of the group as I was a part of the work environment with them. Always included. Until now, me and 3 Jewish ladies. I have had both good and less-good interactions with each of them over the 50 years we know each other, and if I leave the group, I will not be missing much. With the exception of networking. We still recommend people, places, and things to each other, keep each other up-to-date on former colleagues who are not bookclub members. I did go to the Zoom last week just for that reason, I am not in a position now to seek out other outlets. I am somewhat disabled and depleted, and my family's unusual needs at this time keep me from much else in life. So as little as this is, I have decided it's probably better than nothing. I was matter-of-fact at the Zoom, some of the ladies were obviously glad I was there, the others were kind of quiet. You know what? It's OK. I'm better than that.
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