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When Mel handed over my chicklitty assignment, I have to admit I wasn't looking forward to it. Who the hell wants to take a break from reading non-fiction tome after non-fiction tome about German history? But marriage is about compromise and I actually quickly got into Emilia's world. In the end, Ayelet Waldman won me over, even if she was writing about feelings and girlie stuff.
Throughout the novel, Emilia feels she was drawn to her husband, Jack, through the concept of bashert – that it was a magical connection or fate that had drawn them together. Do you believe in love at first sight? Do you believe there is one soul mate for each of us?
I believe very strongly in bashert, but, to get all Talmudical for a second, I don't think that is the same as love at first sight. Let's face it. Most people have an impossible time distinguishing between love at first sight and lust at first sight. As for us guys -- it's all the same to us. Love. Lust. Whatever. Your place or mine? (Thinks: Damn, you're hot.) She says yes. (Thinks: God, I love you.) Same dif.
More seriously, I believe Mel and I are bashert, but it was an accumulation of knowledge to realize this rather than a bolt of lightning (she might disagree). Trusting that, for me, made a lot of the shit we went though with IF tolerable, because I trusted we would get through it as a couple. While being with my bashert couldn't guarantee "happily ever after" at least I knew I wouldn't be alone.
Emilia debates participating in the Walk to Remember and questions whether grief counseling or support groups really help when confronted with tragedy. What are your feelings about counseling and support groups? Do you feel that they have some merit?
We went to a support group run by our IF clinic once. It made us feel a little less alone, and I probably wish we had done so earlier. The person who ran the group was sorta useless, but the other people in it all had similar stories and I think were happy to learn from someone else in the flesh that they weren't nuts for keeping an African fertility statue in the bedroom for good luck. It helped us cope with the on-going crisis of infertility. I am a bit more suspect of the worth of such things for coping with "tragedy." Tragedies are in many ways singular events and unless you're a party to the specific tragedy there are more limits to the extent that others can help you.
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