March 9, 2022
Not long ago I told you about book clubs I’d attended that didn’t exactly work out for me because reading the assigned book by the deadline was too much like homework. Homework was never really my strong suit. It probably was just the club part that appealed to me.
I then suggested a show club, where we watch and discuss TV shows, which sounds much more fun than reading a book. Well, I did it. Some friends and I watched “Cheer” on Netflix, which is a documentary-style series that follows a championship junior college cheer squad or two and delves into the backstories of the cast.
Usually I don’t go for a show like this because I don’t have the time or desire to get to know new people, but these “Cheer” kids won me over. I went all in, taking notes on each episode so when we had our Zoom Show Club meeting we had organized discussion topics. Yes, Mom, I couldn’t do it for school, but I could do it for this silly club because I took the time and energy to apply myself.
I’m thinking of starting some other types of clubs and I’d love for you to join.
Anxiety Club – I’m super nervous about this one. We’ll keep the group small and trustworthy, so when we expose our insecurities and bare our emotional souls, we know the other club members will stick to what we’ll call our “Las Vegas Motto” – what happens in Anxiety Club stays in Anxiety Club.
In fact, this club will be so small there often might only be two people at a time, usually just on the phone. So really it’s basically me and whichever one of you actually answers the phone when I call crying about whatever anxiety I’m having. My sister is the highest-ranking member because she gets these phone calls at least once a week, and by “at least once a week” I mean at least once a day.
Celebrity Encounter Club – If you love pop culture and celebrity news this is the club for you. Everyone will take turns telling stories of any celebrity encounters they’ve had. I don’t mean your run-of-the-mill, garden variety celebrity sightings on your vacation to LA or NYC Those are for amateurs.
We pros at Celebrity Encounter Club will tell stories of real interactions with stars, like the time I worked on a morning radio show and an actor with a small role on a very popular 80s sitcom who became a stand-up comic arrived for an interview and offered us all some, uh, freshly mowed grass at 6 am
Now that’s a celebrity encounter! Club members with photo or video evidence get to take home the leftover desserts from the meeting.
Jewish Geography Club – We’ve all experienced this before, just not in official club form. At our meetings, we’ll simply name drop other local Jews and see how many people announce, “That’s my cousin.”
Then we’ll go through our family trees to figure out how we are each related to the person originally named and determine if we also could be related to one another. If the participants are people who’ve always wanted a closer friendship, they are likely to announce that they, too, are now officially related, even if they’re not. That’ll be our warm-up activity, like an ice breaker.
During our official club meeting we’ll have a dry erase board and an appointed scribe. The scribe will write a name on the board while everyone yells out, all at the same time most likely, how they know that person. It’ll be just like the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but with a spread of food and side discussions about something snarky, like how the person named on the board didn’t look so good the last time they were seen in public and what possible mystery illness they might have.
Eye Rolling Club – Clearly this is one where teenagers attend with a parent. The more embarrassing the adult is, the better. The person hosting that month’s club meeting gets to keep track of which teen rolls his de ella, her de ella or their de ella eyes the most at their adult’s behavior.
The key to this club’s success is physical proximity. The teen needs to be within six feet of their assigned adult so they can be close enough to see and hear all of the embarrassing details.
This club has everything… Dad jokes, stories of bed-wetting accidents that happened past the age of 5 and controversial discussions of taboo topics like your own opinion on anything under the sun no matter how innocuous it seems because anytime you speak actual words your teen wants to crawl in a hole and die of embarrassment.
I might as well tell you now, I’m going to win. Each time. No one can embarrass their kids like I can, especially when I’m not even trying to. That’s called natural talent, people. You’re either born with it, or you’re not.
Columnist Amy Fenster Brown is married to Jeff and has two teenage sons, Davis and Leo. She volunteers for several Jewish not-for-profit groups. Fenster Brown is an Emmy Award-winning TV news writer and counts her time with family and friends, talking and eating peanut butter among her hobbies.