Tuesday, October 30, 2007

BBBT--Happiness Sold Seperately

This Book Tour round is Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston. I really enjoyed this book. I had listened to it on audio book previously and would find myself laughing aloud at the gym and then when I read it this time around I was still laughing at moments. I was pleased that it didn't necessarily turn out to be the Happy, romantic tale that could have been written on the subject. I don't usually read books more than once but for some reason this one has pulled me in and I'm thinking I might pick it up again.

In the beginning of Chapter 4, Elinor finds it difficult to look at a newborn and its mother in the seat next to her. She says she isn't so much sad that she can't have a baby of her own but that she can't give her husband a child. Do you find your infertility more painful because of your desire to experience pregnancy and childbirth or because of your desire to see your spouse as a father?

I would have to say that it has more to due with the desire to see DH as a dad then the actual pregnant part of it. I never really wanted to get pregnant until I wanted to have "his" child. Adoption had always been the prominent choice in my head until that moment that some natural desire came over me to procreate with my husband. It doesn't really make it any easier but as I continue to remind myself that the goal is to parent, not necessarily be pregnant, the pain seems to lessen until the next person gets pregnant most likely.

I feel like the author was trying to show all sides of these complicated relationships, wanting you to sympathize with Elinor, Ted, Gina and Toby. Did you find yourself able to sympathize, or at least not dislike, all of these characters?

Definitely, even though Ted's behavior was out of line, I still found myself wanting his marriage to ride out the difficult times. Toby, well, I liked him. Winston definitely portrayed a confused 10 year old and one that is a bit offbeat at the same time. Gina and Elinor seemed to be polar opposites and they were both interesting in their unique way.

Elinor's thought on page 47 really struck me: "When Elinor was paying attention to her career, she should have been paying attention to her biological clock. When she was paying attention to her biological clock, she should have been paying attention to her husband." It made me wonder: Am I paying attention now to the things I should be paying attention to now? Are you?

No, I don't think I am paying attention to what I should be. I should be focusing on losing weight, exercising, and getting involved in the community. Yet, I am paralyzed in all ways to do anything about any of it. I let work overrun my schedule so that I don't have time to work out or to volunteer. I run out of the house without preplanning my food for the road. So, no, I am not paying attention to what I should be paying attention to and my dh gets the backlash of anger based on the disappointment from not doing what I know I should be doing instead of what I am doing. I have to focus on my health though... If I don't, pregnancy will never be an option and I won't live as long as I could.

Elinor takes up laundry and Ted works on the hutch. What new hobbies did you pick up or abandon during treatments?

I wish... I have some hobby items stored away that never get worked on. I have a gym membership that is rarely used. I wish that those activities would take the mind into a different direction. I will say that I have immersed myself in books and movies though at times when the angst has been too great to do much else.

How did you feel about Toby? Do you think he manipulated the situation too much? Was it strange to you that Ted was willing to be a father figure to Toby, but did not want to talk about adoption with Elinor?

I thought that Toby was a typical 10 year old that was a bit out of the mainstream. He got tossed into a situation that he didn't want to be in. He was feeling rejection from his father and step mom since they basically kicked him out and sent him to live with Gina, who he did not really like. Toby didn't seem to really like anything about his mother or her life. I think that part of it was typical preteen behavior but part of it was that he thought she could do better and he was grabbing at that with Ted. He knew that even though Ted was married he was the best choice that Gina had made in dating over the past several attempts.

With the exception of the mall scene for the Tutoring interview, I really didn't feel that he was manipulating anything. I think that any kid, who really wanted better for both himself and his mom, probably would have done the same.

I really didn't find it too odd that Ted was willing to be a mentor to Toby and wasn't all that thrilled with the thought of adoption. The process of adoption is very invasive just like other fertility treatments. Tutoring and mentoring Toby was just something that could fill time and would keep him close to Gina, who I think in the end, he was really in love with even though he still loved Elinor.

Intrigued by the idea of a book tour? Jump on in for the next one. Sign up at Stirrup Queens for the next tour discussing The Handmaid's Tale All you need is a book and a blog!


Pamela Jeanne said...

I very much related to your answer to the question about wanting to have you DH's child. When you're married to a really wonderful, smart, funny, kind, caring man, it's evitable to feel that way, isn't it?

deanna said...

I think you're right about Ted's connection to Toby being very different from adoption. Toby was present, and accessible. Being with Toby didn't involve inviting strangers to examine his life, and swimming through stress and paperwork. The two of them already had established a connection and Toby clearly admired him. In those ways, Toby was an existent source of joy, versus the mystery and challange of an adopted child. I can totally see why Ted was willing to mentor, but not adopt.

Fertilize Me said...

Interesting take on the Ted/Toby scenario - cool responses

Waiting Amy said...

I found the Toby/Ted relationship interesting. I think you are very right about their relationship being very different than what Ted's experience would have been with adoption. But I found it a little hard to like Toby. I know he acted in a way that reflected his upbringing, but I still struggled with his inappropriateness.

Samantha said...

"I continue to remind myself that the goal is to parent, not necessarily be pregnant"--I need to remind myself of that more often!

That's very interesting insight on Ted's relationship to Toby. I think it was a lot easier for him to be involved with Toby because there was no judgment involved or hoops to jump through. Their relationship evolved naturally.

Ms. Planner said...

I loved your honesty when you discussed the things you wish you were focusing on. Personally, I sometimes feel that I've let IF become the cornerstone of my existence and I abhor that I let it be so. I really wish you all the best on your quest for fitness and health.

Mommy Someday said...

Thanks for sharing! I am a new reader to your blog :-).

Carrie said...

I agree with your wanting to see your husband as a father. I'm so sure mine would be such a good dad and I can't not try to make it happen, even although he said he's fine with that.

Thanks for your answers. I hope you manage to do the things you want to in your life ;-)

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

"I should be focusing on losing weight, exercising, and getting involved in the community. Yet, I am paralyzed in all ways to do anything about any of it." I couldn't agree more. It's so hard being frozen with IF and it sucks!

Thanks for sharing! :)

Lori said...

Good thoughts. I agreed with your view of Toby.

I wonder if Ted's ability to bond with Toby would have opened him up more to the idea of adoption.

The Dunn Family said...

Your answers were great and very honest. Thanks for sharing.

The Town Criers said...

This thought: "losing weight, exercising, and getting involved in the community" struck a huge chord with me. I had been thinking all day about things I should be doing. And I hadn't thought about exercise, but that is top of my list on things falling to the wayside. And it does affect you down the line... Sigh. How to build more hours into the day or budget my time better.

Me said...

I was not thrilled with this book. It actually made me sad. Like the worst fears of an infertile coming true kind of thing...