You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Being dumped from a book club

One the one hand, you feel sorry for the clueless guy who gets dumped.

I mean, he’s nice enough. And things may work out for him some day, assuming he ever discovers which direction is up.

On the other hand, you have to hold him in contempt because, really, how can you be so clueless?

Well, I’m your expert witness — the clueless man who got dumped.

I deserved it.

And the only shred of self-respect I can come up with is that this time I got dumped not by one woman but by, like, six or seven at the same time.

Like any self-respecting man, I blame a lot of this on my wife.

Despite ample reason, she has for 37 years stolidly refused to dump me.

Not once in all our years together has the 24-hour locksmith service made a house call on us.

I’m not saying she doesn’t have the number saved on her cell phone or that she hasn’t dialed it a time or two. I’m just saying my keys have always worked not only in the front and back door, but in the structure I’ve identified in my federal emergency shelter plan: the garage.

And because she hasn’t dumped me, my skin has grown unmanly thin.

So, let’s start with the questions.

What was I thinking when I got into an otherwise all women’s book club?

Why did I stay in it despite my own reservations when I was invited that I simply didn’t belong?

Why did I ignore all those beer commercials God sent to me that mocked book clubs and their unmanliness?

I mean, since ESPN began broadcasting, has there really been any need for a man to read?

I sometimes think I’d have been saved if they’d only told the truth in the commercials about low testosterone. Sure, they mention low energy and decreased sexual drive. But none ever mention what must be a third key symptom — an increased libido for literature.

Oh, the shame.

No matter. It wouldn’t have made any difference.

As many a grandma and grandpa have said, there’s no cure for stupid.

And so the day of reckoning arrived when the charming chirp of “you’ve got mail,” a reminder of a chick flick if there ever was one, announced the arrival of my Dear Tom email.

To give the club members credit, they chose the right dumper. More likely, the right dumper volunteered herself.

The email told me that the meeting I’d missed had been “cathartic.”

The word often means purging or cleansing.

In this sense, I’m confident that the meeting had been purging or cleansing in that the women in the group felt freer without my presence to discuss not only the book but the realities of life from a woman’s point of view.

And, Tom — oh, clueless, Tom — isn’t that a big part of a woman’s book group?

Isn’t that what you allowed yourself to remain truly clueless about — the thing that made your dumpability index soar?

Well, yes and yes.

But I couldn’t help considering the medical meaning from the term cathartic springs.

In that sense, cathartic means “evacuating the bowels, a purgative.”

It truly means being dumped.

I’m fine, though, thanks for asking.

As is the case with most men who have been dumped, either for cluelessness or crimes against humanity, I managed to muster a little masculinity. Henceforward, I will describe the day I was dumped as the day I made six or seven women happier than they’d been in a very long time.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Springfield students tackle invasive plants, other community projects
Springfield students tackle invasive plants, other community projects

A Springfield school helped cut down an invasive plant species in the city as part of a day of service. Honeysuckle is considered a threatening plant said LeAnn Castillo, the Executive Director of National Trails Parks and Recreation District to local wildflowers and plants. The plant was introduced to the United States as an ornamental plant for gardens...
Katharine the great white shark lurking in waters off central Florida coast
Katharine the great white shark lurking in waters off central Florida coast

  Katharine, the great white shark, has surfaced again in Florida waters, this time pinging off the coast just north of Port St. Lucie. Katharine, who has been swimming up the east coast of Florida since January, started her northward trek parallel to Lake Worth on January 13. In the months that have followed, she has moved up the coast as far...
OPINION: What boxing taught me about life

You may not know that Dayton has a rich history of boxing, including bouts by Muhammad Ali, Jack Dempsey and other boxing greats. Joe Louis knocked out Biff Bennett during an exhibition match at Memorial Hall in 1935. Nowadays, “Knockout Dayton” and “Fight Night” are two of the current local boxing matches. Both support good...
COMMENTARY: Immigration the link between French, American elections

In case you’ve been confused by the last few days of punditry, let me say outright that France is not America. For example, we recently concluded a presidential election in the United States in which many argued that it was imperative to smash the “final glass ceiling” by electing a female president. One doesn’t hear that kind...
COMMENTARY: Did President Trump help Bill O’Reilly’s case or sink it?

Fans of Bill O’Reilly are predictably upset that Fox News has pulled the plug on his popular show, “The O’Reilly Factor.” But take heart, folks. Bill O’Reilly isn’t really gone. You can hear his spirit in the Oval Office. “Personally, I think he shouldn’t have settled,” said President Donald Trump...
More Stories