You could see the beauty and hear the sounds of the season as Rosalyn "Roz" welcomed U.S. G.I.R.L.S. into the ambient, Season's 52 for our holiday meeting. There was holiday music, beautiful poinsettias, and of course women, all with high energy, ready to discuss Terry McMillan's "Who Asked You?"
Roz, with the assistance of her daughters Brie and Courtney, decorated the tables with party favors, questions, and there was a cleaver character organizational chart that Roz devised. The chart even included photos of how she pictured the characters. This was not only unique in theory, it was functional because there were so many characters to remember during the discussion.
Roz also had the special events staff personalize a menu with the name of our book club on it. This was quite original, and made U.S. G.I.R.L.S. feel "unique" (no pun intended).
As the staff took our drink orders, we chatted about the beautiful weather. Even though it was unseasonably warm, it was beautiful nonetheless, and perfect for photo opportunities.
Roz asked her daughter to offer up a blessing and we began with our first course service of Season's 52's signature Grilled Garlic Pesto Chicken and Blackened Steak and Blue Cheese flatbread appetizers that were simply scrumptious.
The service was family style which gave us the opportunity to indulge without leaving our seats. This may have been our 1st book club meeting where there were no discussion questions offered by the publisher. This proved to be no challenge for Roz, as she devised 21 well thought out questions that made our discussion lively.
There was much discussion about family dynamics and sibling personalities. We also discussed ,with sensitivity and discernment, the caring for aging parents and the life choices family members are faced with.
I digress, time for our Entrees:
The server brought out a delicious array of Grilled Chicken Salad and Rocky Mountain Buffalo Burgers with Blue Cheese (on the board). The presentation was beautiful; You gotta' luv "ladies who know how to lunch!!"
Okay..."where was I?"
Celeste's guest, Sharron, who works in the medical profession, shed some insight into the care (or should I say, the type of care..Sounds of me clearing my throat) that Nurse Kim offered. While she did not "abuse" Lee David in what we would consider the traditional method; is what she did any better? Was it more acceptable in the eyes of the readers?
Why was this element interjected into the story? These readers may never know, but it did lend to much discussion.
We explored the theories of behavior when discussing the very different paths that Barbara Jean's children took. While discussing we asked ourselves, were they really so different after all?
From Tammy and her estranged brothers, to Omar and his struggles with his sexual identity, we had a host of colorful characters to keep us entertained all day!!
Sorry, another digression..."Dessert anyone?"
Our final course was a lovely display of mini indulgences that consisted of: Key Lime Pie, Old Fashioned Carrot Cake, Rocky Road, Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse, Mocha Macchiato, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie with Double Gingersnap Crust and seasonal fruit and berries. I think I'm forgetting one or two, but needless to say, there was a vast selection.
Okay, back to task...
We all agreed that the book began at a snail's pace, but picked up speed and was quite enjoyable with an ending that was cohesive and heartwarming. Barbara Jean finding love and happiness within herself was paramount.
Now, on to the fun and games, or should I say, "more" fun and games. Courtney took charge of the Secret Santa portion by distributing numbers and then handing out the gifts. All the gifts were wonderful and everyone enjoyed opening their gift bags and exclaiming with oooohs and ahhhhhhs
Roz asked JayBee to present a reflections segment with a photo montage of our 2013 meetings and special events. JayBee prepared a slide show commencing with Ann's hosting of "Twelve Tribes of Hattie" and concluding with Celeste's hosting of "Calling Me Home" to the tune of Ne Yo's "Miss Independent."
Thank you, Roz for a spectacular beginning to our holiday season with your selection and presentation of Terry McMlian's Who Asked You? This meeting was truly one for the books!!