Don't get me wrong: Leona is smart, she loves her kids and provides well for them. She must be likeable in some way, because she's friends with someone else in the group.
But OH MY GOSH the attitude.
The "I'm in two other book groups" attitude. The "I work in medicine so I know a lot" attitude. The "I know a lot so no one should debate me" attitude. The "I don't want to hear from you if you don't agree with me" attitude.
The one that made her eyes shoot daggers at my mom when Mom got a little caught up in what Leona was saying and wanted to dialogue but accidentally interrupted her (because she was not done what she was going on about).
Yeah, that one.
Therefore, I knew that the real subject line should have read "Warning! Drama Enclosed" but I read it anyway.
It was too good not to share. My comments in bold.
[...G]ood seeing you last night. Thx for bringing your book ideas [that really don't coincide with anything anybody else wants to read].
I am reaching out to you in confidence [yeah, right--the first rule of book club is that there are no secrets in book club] because we [I'm sorry--where did "we" come from all of a suddent? I saw no cc's on this e-mail, and BTW who died and made you club president?] wanted to ask your help in guiding your mom a bit during the book club. [Say what?] Your mom is so smart [yeah, shockingly so for a homemaker, huh?] and we all love her [again, who is this "we" and why do I sense a "BUT" coming on?] and she has a lot to say, which is important.
But [Aha!] it is hard for all of us to have a discussion because she ends up dominating most conversations [Excuse me--"most"? You weren't even here last time!] and continues to have more [have more what? crackers?] when others are sharing. Last night it became uncomfortable for most. [Again, who? Was there a secret follow-up meeting?] That's why I called on people later. [Yeah, being put on the spot is SO not uncomfortable at all!]
Is there any way that you [ME!?] could advise her to be mindful of this. Usually the first 4-5 sentences are perfect, meaningful, insightful-but she goes on and on after that. [Wait, wait, wait--you are counting her SENTENCES? Is there a limit I don't know about?] Should we give her a 1 minute hour glass [!!! (I have no words)] or can you nudge her [WTF? You mean I have to sit next to her and assault her at every freaking meeting from now on?] after a few sentences?
Please let me know your thoughts and if I am off base. [Oh, absolutely, because you'd take that so well.]
My blood was boiling a bit after I read that. Fortunately, my first reaction was a good one: I closed it and walked away.
I still have not answered it, as I have been mulling over my options.
Option 1: Say nothing. I do not want to dignify this whacko e-mail with a response.
Option 2: Tell her that she's putting me in an awkward position and to leave me out of it.
I mean, how would she like it if I walked up to her daughter and said, "Kid, I don't like the way your mom talks to people; would you tell her to back off? Oh, but that didn't come from me"?
Option 3: Play completely dumb.
"Gee, Leona, if there's a problem with people talking too long, maybe you could talk to [the club coordinator who I think is the friend who brought her in] about establishing a moderator for each meeting, and maybe the group should propose and agree on some rules."
Option 4: Tell her she is "off base" and immature for singling out one person and then not having the huevos to tell that person directly that she has a problem with that person.
After which I would declare, "I quit!" because I don't have time for passing notes in the schoolyard.
Our next meeting is not until the end of August, but here's the most fabulous twist ever:
My mom volunteered to host it.
I guess Leona would just want her to stay in the kitchen where she belongs, then.