The Reveal

So, a few weeks ago when we were discussing, well, marriage, the amazing research of John Gottman came up (hint: go listen to this episode of This American Life if you haven’t already). John Gottman has a book The Seven Principals of Making Marriage Work, that clearly we all need to read, so Liz announced that it was time for a REAL APW book club.

Well. Cue me nodding my head, and writing down the name of the book. The thing was, when I got to our local bookstore, I just couldn’t do it. Not… in July. Not… heading out for vacation. I kept trying to imagine putting The Seven Principals of Making Marriage Work into a bag to take to the beach, and, um, no dice. So. I decided to shelve that for a more studious time of year, but clearly, the time was now for the APW book club.

So. The first book for the official APW book club? Get excited….. because it’s The Commitment by Dan Savage. You’re welcome! One of the quotes on the back cover (which is about The Kid, but is true for this book as well) says, “This is a book that reads like light entertainment but actually proves to be a deeply political, sensitive, and wise reordering of the entire notion of family values.” Which is kind of what we’re all about, no?

I bought The Commitment back when it first came out, and actually went to a book reading where Dan Savage was verbally insulted by a crazy person, and I have lots of good things to say about this book. Plus, I pulled it off my shelf last week to give it a look over, and am now on page 77, because I couldn’t stop re-reading, even in my over stressed brain addled state. This book is TOTALLY going to the beach with me.

What you should know about this book:

  • It’s about Dan Savage and his partner (and their six year old son) deciding if gay marriage was for them (and obviously I’m not going to give the answer away).
  • It’s about totally considering and re-considering what marriage is, and if it’s worth it, and why we do it.
  • Dan Savage will push your buttons. And of course, I f*cking LOVE that about him.

So. Yes. Here is the big reveal:While I figured it would be fun to read the book, and then come back and talk about it in September, it occurred to me that with all the chatter I was hearing about people wanting to have APW meetups, it might be a little *more* fun for people to meet up in cities accross the world, have some drinks, talk about the book, have some more drinks, talk about their weddings (Or not. You don’t even need to be dating someone to come.), and to have some more drinks and talk about how they made new friends.

So this is how it’s going to work:

  • Per the vote yesterday, the meetup will take place during the day on Saturday September 11th. I know. It’s honestly not a very good day for me, but I’ll do my crying before I come, eh, San Francisco ladies?
  • Meet ups will be organized via the APW Facebook page. I’ve set up pages for cities where I know there are a bunch of readers, but you guys should feel TOTALLY FREE to set up pages for any place where you’d like to have a meetup.
  • As of today, and all weekend, you should leave a message to say “Hey, I’m in” on the appropriate meetup page. Also, if you’d like to help plan your meetup, say that too.
  • On Monday, I’ll do a tentative headcount of each meetup, and pick two leaders from the people who wanted to help plan in each city.
  • THEN, y’all can decide where you’d like to meet.
  • And that’s it. I’ll set up a Flickr page closer to the event so everyone can dump their pictures into it, and then when it’s all over, we’lla come back and talk about the book here.
  • Fun!

So! Go buy The Commitment, and then go to Facebook and sign up! You can talk about it in person if you’re near a meetup, or on APW afterward, if you’re not. I can’t wait to talk about the book already. But first I have to go re-read it on the beach.

PS San Francisco ladies. I’m totally not planning the Bay Area meetup. I’ll let y’all do that. I’m just going to show up and let you guys figure out who I am, or not. I’ll be the one with a drink and a lot of opinions.

Featured Sponsored Content

  • Jolynn

    Yay! Just bought the book and can’t wait to talk about it!

    • You are on it, girl!

  • Emi

    Awwww, sweet! “The Kid” is one of my all time favorites. Really wish I could be anywhere NEAR a meetup in Sept. Ah well, I’ll read the book anyway.

  • Carbon Girl

    Oh, to live in an actual city . . .

    • my nearest meet up is about 2 hours away.

      • At the moment, mine is a 3.5 hour flight and a trip through customs away… And is in a city I might be off to for honeymoon…
        If I get this job next week though, I could treat myself for my birthday for a weekend… :)

  • Oh to live in the US

    • liz

      short lil plane ride…?

      • Unfortunately it would be two quite long plane rides… :(

        But if anyone’s up for meeting in St Petersurg, Russia, I’ll be there!

        • Arachna

          Lol! I’m not there (though I’m from there) but that’s pretty cool, we are everywhere .

  • awesomeness.

  • This sounds like such fun! I wonder how many Canadian APW readers there are, and if they’d like to have a meet up too!

    • Meg

      I made a meetup page for those of us from Halifax. I think I might be the only one, though…

    • KristieB

      I’m in Alberta – 1/2 in Edmonton and 1/2 in Calgary these days.

      • Amanda

        Ah! I recently left Calgary for Seattle, met the love of my life, and fear I won’t be returning. Except to visit my sister, which happens often (but unfortunately not on Sept 11th). I am sure there are plenty readers from Calgary &/or Edmonton, good luck!

      • Amber

        I’m in Calgary too! I am so glad to hear there are other Calgary readers — I am so excited to meet everyone!

      • Carla

        I’m in Edmonton too; I definitely just went and bought the book and am tearing through it ^_^

  • Shawna Johnston

    I really like this idea. Unfortunately, I am technologically challenged. I live in Nashville, TN, but don’t know how to add that to facebook page for the meetups. (Maybe no one else in Nashville is reading this, cause I didn’t notice any cities from the South, which isn’t surprising, but surely some one else is out there….)

    • CarMar

      Shawna, I used to live in Nashville (as of May) and would have loved to have met up with you! I think to start a discussion on the FB page, you first need to “like” or join the page – whatever they call it these days. Then when you go to the Discussions tab, there should be a button with a plus sign in the upper right corner of the page.

      • I’m a nashville!

  • Hey Meg, noticed no DC or Baltimore meet up. Not enough of us? I signed up for Philly anyway.

    • meg

      There *is* a DC meetup, silly. There is a fair number of you in Baltimore too, so you can shoot for a meetup there, see how it goes.

      • AhWhoops!

        I signed up for… both???!!! Liz and SMK!… but Bawlmer peeps!… sigh.

        • Kidding. There is now Bawlmer.

    • liz


  • My relationship and marriage would be vastly different if I didn’t read Savage Love. I’ve actually been with Savage Love longer than I have been with my husband. Great choice!

    • meg

      Me too. LOTS longer.

    • KristieB

      Our “first” date was sitting in a little old coffee shop on a couch eating gelato and reading Savage Love. That’s when I knew I’d marry him.

      • Lisa

        I would always read Savage Love allowed to my now-husband, sister, anyone who would listen whenever we went to brunch, ice cream, coffee, anywhere I could find the free paper!

        • Lisa

          And, I totally mean ‘aloud’ – too little sleep, yikes.

  • Lisa

    Oh my gosh, I so love Dan Savage and also went to one of his book readings, where he read the bit about his son getting diaper rash – holy hilarious stuff, so good! Excellent choice!

  • Bummer I would love to start the Columbus Meet up but I will be on my honeymoon that day. Hmm maybe if there’s a Lihue meet up I could attend? :)

    • Michelle

      I went to Lihue on my honeymoon too, almost two months ago. It’s so relaxing and beautiful. Enjoy it!

    • Sept Bride

      Erin – I will ALSO be on my honeymoon in Lihue that day. :o) See, you knew there had to be more of us, right?

      Cannot. Wait. To. Be. In. Hawaii. (Mostly because that will mean that wedding planning is DONE. Yippee!)

      • We’re actually staying in Kapa’a but I figured Lihue is the bigger city. :) I can’t wait to have a whole pay period off from work (15 days) and then to just relax in Hawaii. Be sure to go see the Waimea canyon if it isn’t already on your list. It’s so pretty!

        • Jackie

          My FH and I got engaged in Kaui’i, and I fell in love with a really isolated beach called Mahaulepu Beach. You should definitely check it out. It’s not to far from Poipu Beach.

  • tnason

    I’m so excited I’m going to be able to make it. When you said end of August, beginning of September I figured we would still be gone for our wedding/honeymoon, but its just after we get back. Could someone tell me how to make a page or post one for Madison, WI. (I have a facebook page, but I don’t use it so I don’t really know how to do anything.)

    • FK

      Hooray for Madison! I’ve lived in NYC a long time now, but that’s my hometown, and it sounds like we’re getting married at around the same time too! Represent!

  • Stephanie

    Tnason – are you in Madison? I’m moving there this weekend and would love to work on the book club meet-up! :) I absolutely live this idea!

    • tnason

      Yep, I’m in Madison

  • This is so exciting – and I love Dan Savage, but haven’t read this book so I’m all in!

  • liz

    i dig it.

  • Rachel

    I’m so bummed that’s my bachelorette weekend and I’m going to miss this:( What a fabulous idea!

  • Is anyone from Texas (specifically, Houston)?

    • meg

      Lots from Houston, we’ll add a page.

      • Alyssa

        Ooo! Ooo! Is there enough for a Dallas page?

        Ooo! Ooo! Am I gonna get smacked for asking?

      • Awesome – I am a new reader so I didn’t realize there were any Houston-ites – YIPPEE!

  • ddayporter

    this. is. awesome! I’ve been wanting to read that book, this will be just the motivation I needed. :) :)

  • Tori

    I loved, loved, loved The Commitment. If you haven’t read it before, you’re in for a real treat. I was thinking about having a selection from The Commitment read during my wedding ceremony, but I think older family members of mine would have had heart attacks.

    And I am so in for meeting Team Practical members based out of Chicago. See you soon!

  • Man, wish I could participate, but Sept. 11 is my WEDDING DAY! Woot woot! Yes, I know, it’s September 11th. But goddamnit, we’re taking the day back and making it about happy things. I will for sure take the book on the honeymoon in Sonoma :)

    I’m pretty sure I was the one who got The Onion blocked at work because I would read Dan Savage every week through the AV club, but whatever, it’s worth it.

    • September 11 is my parents’ anniversary (obviously they married well before 2001, and even well before 911 referred to emergencies). My Dad was at work in the WTC on 9/11, but got home safe, making it probably the worst and the best anniversary they’d had. Their anniversaries have been bittersweet ever since, though, as the trauma of 9/11 is still fresh for my dad, having lived through it.

      • meg

        Yeah. Let’s just say I feel for your dad. Geeze. Shudders.

  • Aw man, that’s my wedding day! After the meetups, will there be additional discussion of the book online? Because I think that would be swell.

  • SO great!

  • Erin

    Meg, you’re so smart. What a great way to do a meet-up!

    But, damn… Every time I try to extricate myself from FB, someone comes up with another reason for me to stick around ;)

  • Michelle

    I’m in. Minneapolis/St. Paul, anyone? I need an excuse to add another book to my reading list. My husband loves the Savage Love column, but I’m not that familiar. Looking forward to it.

  • dev

    Practical ladies AND books. This is the best of both worlds!

  • Sarah

    Oh, I love it! I’ve had the book sitting waiting to be read … see how it all works out? Perfect timing!

    DC/NOVA ladies … I’m looking forward to seeing you!

  • Yes. I LOVE this book. Can’t wait to reread it! :)

  • Barbra

    Is anyone reading this from Orlando? I’d love to do a meetup here! Actually, I just (by coincidence) started reading this book this morning!

  • Ah, crap. I have my kids that day and can’t come.

  • Alyssa



  • Trudi

    Great book! Can’t wait for the NYC meet up!

  • The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the ONLY thing that helped with the Great Name Change Debate of 2009 (which was also the worst long-term disagreement that I hope my husband and I ever have.) The book ROCKS. But not beach reading.

    Psyched for the Boston meetup!!

  • yesssssssssss. won’t be at the meetup, but in solidarity i will read, since its been on my list FOREVER. <3

  • BG

    Oh, man, Chicago meet-up. Sadly, I a) don’t have a Facebook account (I know, I’m lame), b) will be moving to a new apartment and c) will be getting married 7 days later, and will probably be in full-on planning/maybe freaking out just a teensy bit mode.

    Chicago ladies, have a drink for me!

  • Is it possible we can still occasionally discuss the book here or on the Facebook page for those of us that don’t really live in a place (or work the kind of schedule) that’s conducive to regular meetups?

    • Julia

      Perhaps a sort of virtual meet-up on the 11th on the discussion page on facebook?

      • or you can use aim’s chatroom feature. Just create a room and tell everyone the name to join in for live chat!

      • meg

        True enough. We’ll obviously also be discussing the hell of it on the blog, afterwards.

  • I just started _The Meaning of Wife_, so this will be marriage reading month for me! Requested both from the library, because even though I live in a town without a bookstore (horrors), we have an awesome library.

  • I’m in for New York City! Except, um…I don’t have a Facebook account. (I had one for several years and deleted it just last month.) So this will have to count as my vote.

    • merryf

      This is me, too! I don’t have Facebook (though I am wavering) and I would love to go to the NYC meetup.

      • Kim

        I’ve never had a facebook account (and now I feel like I’m so late to the party, MEH). I might just crash one of the Baltimore/D.C. meet-ups if I’m not north of the border then. :)

        • liz

          meg, maybe once The Head Person In Charge of Things is picked for each group, you can introduce them on APW? provide their email address? for dear friends like these who don’t have the joy of facebook in their lives- so they can somehow stay in the loop with their geographical pals.

          but seriously, facebook-less-guys. you don’t know what you’re missing out on. you wouldn’t believe how fat the popular kids from high school have gotten.

          • hahahaha…actually very true!

          • meg

            I think I’ll end up just listing all the meetups and locations on APW. The difference between 11 and 15 isn’t going to break a party :)

  • Kee

    Eh… Geneva, Switzerland anyone??

  • J’adore Dan Savage and super glad to have a chance to reread The Commitment. :)

  • Sarabeth

    This will be awesome – I’ll have been married for all of a week! Lucky we’re putting off the honeymoon, I guess…

    • Sophie

      I’ll be married one week too! we’ve got a week before our honeymoon adventure. just enough time to do a staycation and go to a APW meet up. congrats fellow labor day weekend wedding : )

  • Love Dan Savage. This is such a good choice. Was just listening to his story on This American Life and bawling. And it had nothing to do with marriage or sex or relationship advice. It was all about his mother and religion. He just gets the complexities of the world. I’m in.

    • Emi

      I know the story you’re talking about–totally ripped my heart out.

  • Jen

    Nashville, anyone?

    • Kate

      Hey Jen,

      Was reading straight through the comments, and saw Shawna Johnston said Nashville, too, a couple hours ago! I think that qualifies as a meet-up worthy.


      • Liana

        I’m in Knoxville, but unfortunately I’ll be in Atlanta for training the month of September – anyone else down South?

        • Oh, hey, I’m from Knoxville! I can’t do Sept. 11 either. Maybe we can arrange some other time when you’re in town (Saturdays are impossible for me)

        • ElfPuddle

          We’re working on an ATL meetup…come sign up for it!

  • Bummer! I was hoping the meetups would happen late August… I’m getting married the weekend before, I guess I’ll have to commute the book club in spirit from my honeymoon!

    Side note: Any other New Yorkers (the city) that can’t make 9/11 and would like to try August 28 instead?

  • peanut

    what a great idea! Unfortunately I will be out of the country preparing for our wedding (eek!), but I’ll still read the book!

  • maura

    dear meg,

    all i read was book club and the commitment and got up from the reference desk, walked 15 feet to where the book was on the shelf. i haven’t read it, but recently recommended it to a patron who is writing about the current state of marriage in the us.

    then i read when the meet up is! waaah! i’ll be helping people find books on that day! (hopefully, really. i might be laid off. libraries are in dire situations these days…)

    anyhow. thanks!

  • Melissa

    Is there no one else in Los Angeles? I was so excited about this (and I’m not typically a “joiner” but I like you people!) and then clicked over to facebook and there is no LA group. I cannot possibly be the only one so if there are others, lemme know and let’s start a group!

    • Melissa

      um…there is a page for LA (she says sheepishly). but still no one else on it, so sign up LA ladies! Or else it will be me. Meeting up with myself. In my living room. And I do that EVERY Saturday already.

      • meg

        LA is one of my top 4 cities. So either it will fill out, or you ladies are all too cool for school.

  • Allison

    YES! I’m so excited about this!

  • liz

    oh, meg. always trying to be Wedding Oprah.

    • With better taste in literature, I hope. (About to be filleted by half of the crowd and cheered by the other half, I suspect.)

      • meg

        Oprah has GOOD taste in literature… usually… Who else could get America to read Middlesex and Night?

        But you knew what side I’d be on ;)

        • I know, I know. I’m on the side that resents that all general fiction now has to involve some tale of childhood trauma in order to try to get on her d*mn booklist.

          • Liz

            i don’t think oprah picks the books.

            i’m sure that lady has book-picking minions.

  • Heather

    I just started reading The Commitment yesterday!! APW + Dan Savage = awesomeness.

    If there isn’t already a Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill meetup I will get right on that…there has got to be at least one other APW’er in the Triangle!

  • CinSD

    Ha! Am I the only unengaged-but-attached lurker who is wary of publicly “liking” AWP? I mean, my *mom* is on Facebook. It’d be like the time she was trying to think of ways to explain her desire for particular job that came with less money and less authority — but less stress– than the job she was laid off from. She didn’t want to say, “I’m out of work. Obviously.” My suggestion was “Just tell them you’ll be having grandkids soon and you’ll want more time with them.”




    Mom, jubilant: “Am I having grandkids!?!”

    Me, penitent: “Um. No. But people understand that kind of thing.”

    Anyway: love this blog, love books and love Mr. Savage. My employer frowns on/totally prohibits F-book at work, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that San Diego will be on the list by the time I get home.

    • Katelyn

      Ahaha, same boat, Cinsd. My boyfriend would probably be okay with it, but I so cannot say the same for his sister! And I’m sure my aunt would have something to Say about seeing the word wedding on my page in any way, shape, or form. My mom is a regular reader of APW too, though as soon as I told her about this great site I found, she got that very knowing (infuriating) look on her face like “you’re so thinking about getting married, huh.”

      • Alyssa

        When you find your city on the discussion board, you totally need to make friends with the people who are the organizers. That way all you’re doing is adding another “friend” on Facebook and then you can ask that they send you the details, all stealthy and anti-nosy-folkswho-need-to-GET-UP-OUT-MY-BIDNESS-like.

        • Alyssa

          And by that I mean people other than you mom.

          You mom should totally be up in your bidness.

          • CinSD

            I know, awesome books and blogging and enthusiastic parents. May we all have such “problems.” :)

    • I’m so with you! Definitely attached, but nothing official yet.

      I felt a little weird going public with APW on FB, but I took the pulnge!

      Glad to know I’m not the only one!

      • meg

        Do people really poke around that much on Facebook? Lordy. I hate the place, but am willing to use the f*ck out of what they provide me for free.

        But you know, I spend enough time connecting with people online. The idea of doing it extra on FB to relax is a little… much…

    • Vanesa

      I’m attached, but the boy and I have a ‘no wedding stuff on facebook’ rule. In the world of facebook, we are not engaged, and, when we tell people in real life that we are engaged, we always add at the end “please don’t say anything about our engagement or our wedding on facebook.” APW is the only wedding thing that I’ve allowed into my facebook world and then only because of these meetups. All that to say that there are stealthy ways to sign up for the meetups without getting caught.

      1. You can totally reply to APW discussions without/before “liking” the APW page. A notice that you commented will show up on your wall, but you can remove it immediately so that no one else sees it. Just work fast and it will be like it never happened.

      2. If you want to “like” APW and don’t want people to know, consider hiding all of your interests for a while. In privacy settings, choose the “Basic Directory Settings” section. There you can set your interests to “Only Me” or leave them visible but exclude people who would freak out (moms, sisters, boyfriends, etc.), just choose “Custom” next to the interests section and you’ll get all of those options. Once again, there will be a little notice on your wall, but you can delete it.

      Now I just need to figure out how to prevent being tagged in any meetup photos posted on facebook….

      • Maaaaan I’m so jealous…I tried so hard to convince my fiance to keep ALL wedding stuff off of facebook (before we even got engaged). But oohhh no he couldn’t do that. So he went and announced it to the e-world as soon as it happened and now there are just…all these people…who are like expecting to be invited…and involved. It makes me feel so awful and inconsiderate. Of course NOW he feels badly about blowing his wedding wad (as it were…because I’m delicate) but it’s too late. I just try to divert people’s attention when they bring it up and hope they’ll forget about it by the time the day rolls around.

        • Vanesa

          Ugh, that sucks. I feel for you because I HATE talking about my wedding (yes, I’m excited; no, it’s none of your business; please stop foisting your expectations on me). I also feel for your FH, though, because obviously he was just excited to tell the world and didn’t realize what would happen. What an abrupt introduction to the crazy world of wedding bs.

          You should let him know that it’s his job to deal with the fallout (aka telling people they’re not invited). Perhaps he can do it in a facebook post – “dear everybody, you are not invited to our wedding.” ;)

        • liz

          my husband announced my pregnancy on facebook. before i told people.

          poor man couldn’t keep it to himself.

          people are just trying to find a way to be happy with you- as oddly as it comes out. once i figured that out, i didn’t feel the need to deflect so much.

      • CinSD

        Done and done. Excellent tutorial in stealth socializing.

  • stoked. (philly, ftw.)

    • Liz


      • Claire

        The Philly meet-up is going to be so very, very sweet.

  • irene

    With what Cinsd said… same here. :( Can someone start a Detroit or Ann Arbor or Lansing meetup?

    • meg

      Added! Up to you guys to pick between yuppies and urban blight for your meetup location.

      Personally, I’d pick urban blight every time, but that’s just me ;)

  • Kashia

    What a brilliant idea. Thanks! And I am super excited to learn that there are several of us in the Calgary area, which made my day.

  • McPants

    Eeee, I just read this last month! It was definitely the best part of my thesis research.

  • Anna

    I am so glad that I just finished reading it! Great book, gave me tons to think about.

  • Stupid Ottawa.

    Actually I’ll be in Montreal that day, and there is one on the FB group (with one other person), but I’m getting tattooed all that day so I’m previously engaged (ha! but not actually engaged at all).

    I’ve been meaning to read that book though, so I’ll definitely participate in the online discussion. I heart book clubs so much.

  • Holly

    I had never heard of Dan Savage until now (living under a rock???), and have jsut spent the past 2 hours reading the archives. WOW! What I have been missing! Thanks again Meg! :)

  • Eeek! I would normally not think twice about hopping the train (or megabus!) from Albany to NYC for this, but that’s 6 days before my wedding (yay!) and it’s also the day of my bachelorette dinner! I will toast a margarita to all of you lovely ladies, and count me in for the next one!

  • Ooooooooo so fun Meg! I have been meaning to read all of his books at some point but just haven’t made the time for it! Now I have a real reason to get my butt in gear. :) Thanks! Going to FB now to see about a Chicago meetup- perhaps there is already one in the works…? :)

  • Tristen

    Best idea EVER!!!

    Good call, Meg.

  • Sophie

    I’ve been reading this blog for a while now and I’m finally joining the discussion. I’ve so appreciated the thoughtful posts and discussions on this blog, especially as we get further and further along in our wedding planning. thank you Meg and Team Practical for encouraging and challenging me daily.
    I hope to meet some of you soon. I will be one week married on the day of the meet up! San Diego anyone?

  • Rachael

    I’ve been reading this site for a while, Em demands my presence (which is fine with me!!) but I’ve been out of town this weekend. Can I still go????

  • Yay! i’ve already read that book, and I own it, so i’ll read a long again. Its great.

  • Pingback: gay marriage activate « bonding carbon units()

  • Joselle

    Can Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert be the next book club selection? I’m only about 50 pages in so far but it is making me think, think, think, as I am less than two months away from getting married.

  • I just got a notice from my library that the copy I asked for has arrived from the other branch, so I’m going to get going with reading today! I live in Richmond, Virginia but am going to *TRY* to go to DC for the meetup….of course, with grad school looming ever closer this fall, that may fall through, but I’m going to try!