You came up with such excellent questions for today’s (!!) APW book clubs (happening all over the US, details here). A special prize goes to any book club crazy enough to get through all these questions:
- In several of the essays, particularly in the beginning of the book, authors defined themselves as either “never the girl who dreamed of her wedding” or “the girl who dreamed of a big, white wedding.” How did that characterization affect their approach to marriage/relationships later in life? How did it affect their actions in their relationship(s) or how they viewed/wrote about their relationship(s) in the book? Do you define yourself in that way and how does it affect your approach to/view of marriage?
- How do you plan to resolve the probable conflict that will arise if you desire to “have it all” (kids, career, housekeeping, vacation)? Are you willing to sacrifice something, or are you likely to turn into The Bitch in the House when your burdens inevitably become too great?
- Is it society, women themselves, or a combination of both that sets up seemingly unreal expectations of women in the role of lover, wife and mother?
- Almost all of the women mention either A) purposely trying NOT to turn into their mother OR B) wishing they could emulate their mother’s behavior/walk in her footsteps. Is this dichotomy inevitable? Are we always living in reaction to our mother’s choices and experiences? If so, do you (sub?)consciously gravitate toward a or b? Is there a third option?
- Based on the post-script to the book (in which one of the author’s mothers writes a letter to the author refuting many of the conclusions the author drew about how difficult her life was) – What do you think your own mother’s letter to you would look like?
- “…the few married couples I know who do have passionate sex after the first couple of years (or the first kid) fuel their passion with anger” (pg. 98) and then “I may have compromised but I didn’t settle” (page 99). Is it unrealistic to expect to always (as in until the relationship ends – although perhaps not on every occasion) have passionate sex within marriage? Is “to have compromised but not settled” enough?
- Is this book scaring the crap out of you? If so, why does it freak you out?
- Is it all doom and gloom? To what degree should we expect the worst?
- And, from Kimberly: Are you already The Bitch In the House? I kid, I kid. (Kindof.)
Have fun ladies, and take pictures! We’ll come back next week to discuss The Bitch In The House here on APW.