Smelling Like Book Club

Monday Musings by Melinda M.

That’s what my girls tell me when I come home from a night out with either my book club girlfriends or my other group of girlfriends – I’ll call them my birthday club girlfriends. I’ll come home, walk quietly into their rooms to kiss them goodnight, and they as they wrap their arms around my neck, they inhale and say, “Mommy, you smell like book club.” Huh? What does “book club” smell like?

Well I guess it smells like laughter, love, probably wine, relaxation and good health. And today, when I sat down to write this blog, I saw this article in my inbox that confirmed all of that – the importance of friendships to our longevity and quality of life.

What it says is all so true – that as we go through phases it’s difficult to stay in touch with all the friends in your life. It’s even difficult just to do it with the friends you have now given the demands you have now. I wish I could see or talk to them as often as I’d like, like when you’re in college or a teenager. But they are with me almost on a cellular level, influencing my emotions and sometimes decisions since each of them have been with me at influential moments in my life.

Best friend from HI, lives in MI, met me in Chicago with my NJ cousin, stage left

On a trip back east last month, I was so excited to reunite with different friend groups – six of my childhood friends, three of my college friends, two of my summer camp friends and even my one Sunday school friend, which is hilarious given that I didn’t grow up religiously and that I only went there for two years. We calculated that it had been between 25-30 YEARS since we had seen each other. Holy crap. It was an amazing week with all of them. We reminisced some, caught up on our lives some more and moved our friendship forward a bunch. I bet I smelled like a whole lotta book club that week!

And after that week, I was able to spend time with the one person who’s always been in my life, though we haven’t always been friends: my sister. Now that I’m a grown up, I turn to her with highs and lows that I’m not sure I can burden others with and that’s the result of her patience with me and work from both of us.

My sister, as Tahitian mom to her niece

Although it may sound like I’m trying to justify going out and having a good time, I hope I’m showing my girls the importance of making time for friends, of going out and having fun, of cultivating relationships – much in the same way many of us model our careers to our children. And if they haven’t learned it yet, I’m more than happy to continue showing them for years and years to come!





  1. Love this….you are doing such a great job of modeling a beautiful life, full of fun, love, friendships and service to your girls!


  2. Aloha Melinda! Enjoyed making a first connection with you at the CoOP Gym yesterday. Thinking maybe we could create a Living Hilo Style Group CoOP Gym membership which could be accessed by anyone who is a registered member of the Living Hilo Style? The only group membership we have done to date, is with the East Hawaii Independent Physicians Association, Medical Residency Program and Walk with the Doc. Would be fun to figure out how to make it work well for all involved…cooperatively!


  3. What a beautiful post and message! It made me cry before I even got to our photo, which really made my heart swell! The fact that your girls will have an aroma-memory that signals what fun and friendship smells like is awesome. My mom always smelled very special when she and Dad were going out on a date (rare and exciting). I think that was the smell of hairspray and make-up, but I can still conjure up that fun feeling–they were going to have fun and we were going to have a babysitter!!! And stay up late! : )
    I wish I could easily access the photo of you and me from our rendezvous in Nebraska when we were laughing so hard at Spam-a-lot. Our faces are a bit distorted from the belly laughing, but it really exhibits what being with you is so often like! Great for the heart and a work out for my cheeks! Even though we live so far apart that a visit MUST include plane fare and hotel stays, it’s always an investment worth making!
    Did you link to the article you are referring to? I’d love to read it. I am a true believer in these connections of friendship and community and I see so many examples of those ties getting loosened as people get too busy to tend to them. Who has time to plan community events that help us know our neighbors? It’s such a great reminder to MAKE TIME for friends and to help our spouses to make that time, too. It’s tough. But man, what’s more important than lifelong friendship?! Great article, Melinda!


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