Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Buh-Bye, Triggering Book

I am not quite a hoarder, but I like to hang on to things. Inexplicable things, like the assembly instructions for furniture long since assembled (a meta moment discovered when I found the extra hardware and assembly instructions for a filing cabinet in a file IN said filing cabinet), those little notepads that you get from various charities that have about 24 sheets to them, every single address label ever sent, coupons for things I don't even buy, business cards that have long since (if they ever had it) lost their usefulness, spent candles I can't bear to throw out because there's still a tiny bit of wax in it and/or the container is pretty.

Some things I keep for sentimental value or because they have memories that make me laugh, like every card Bryce has ever given me, some notes on pieces of envelopes from early in our relationship (or frankly, last week), every notebook I've ever written in (an old notebook tells a hell of a story! Amazing what you remember from old to-do lists), a business card from, no joke, an Australian Elvis impersonator who hit on me while in the JetBlue terminal, flight delayed after visiting friends in NYC during my first month or so of dating Bryce, every card a student has ever given me, dried (dusty) spray roses from a rare Bryce bouquet sitting in a bowl.

In the midst of the healing purge post-childfree-resolution-decision, I've gotten better at throwing out or recycling or donating things like the spent candles, clothing that no longer fits me (some things I held onto forever, but I think if the time comes when that stuff fits me again I'll go on a clothing spree, or hell will freeze over, one of the two), assembly booklets for old furniture that will clearly fit through our doors, old catalogs and PEOPLE magazines, and books I don't need to hang onto anymore.

That's the hard one, the books. Except for one I found in a pile of books in my bedside table, Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. That one I am donating, because it's been five years since I set it aside and I honestly don't think I'll pick it up again.




It's funny, because I loved A Discovery of Witches. I thought it was compelling, and romantic, and historical, and supernatural...all good things. And then, the second book came out.

It was all going great until the main character got pregnant, and she time traveled while six weeks pregnant, despite all the (apparent) risks of time traveling in such a condition, and, I don't think this is a spoiler because it's in the first 10th of the book, EVERYTHING IS FINE. At least to the part where I quit reading.

You see, I was reading it while on futile bed rest for my own pregnancy, which I LOST at six weeks and change, despite having the good sense not to time travel.

It seemed so hideously unfair that here I was, diligently lying on the (old) couch with a pillow beneath my butt to try to stop something unstoppable, having done all the things I was supposed to do, having drank all the wheatgrass juice and eaten all the pineapple core and avoided raising my heart rate too much and giving up hot baths and Friday margaritas for months before...and still MY little nugget was gone and this fictional lady's fictional pregnancy sustained TIME TRAVEL to the 1600s where "MEDICAL CARE" consisted of LEECHES and RAZORBLADES.

It filled me with fury.

So it's a little weird that I hung onto it for so long, thinking maybe I'd finish it when everything panned out for us. I bet it's good, I bet I'm missing out.

But it's going in the library donation pile, in all its pristine hardcover glory. Feckless time traveling wench. So unfair. I don't feel bad at all for letting this one go in the purge.

9 comments:

  1. I'm laughing as this is one hell of a book review. If I was the author, it would be a moment of sheer horror realizing how terribly insensitive I had been combined with losing an avid reader combined with one hell of a reason to donate said book. Yes to the donation pile. May there be a sense of release.

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    1. Ha! Seriously. I feel like sometimes though authors are like, "That worked for my story though, I can't be sensitive to EVERYONE" -- but hopefully not. It's in the donation tub! Byeeeeeee!

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  2. I completely understand your feelings about this book, and I'm really hoping you can toss the book and feel good doing it!

    I have never been able to read Kate Atkinson's Behind the Scenes at the Museum because the first chapter is titled Conception (when I was finding that conception was not such an easy state to find) and the first words are "I exist!" - words that are apparently uttered only moments after orgasm (good grief!), and it irritated me beyond belief, so I couldn't read more than a few pages. I always thought maybe I'd go back to the book - especially as friends have loved it - but I have since found that Kate Atkinson irritates me in other books too, so I'm giving up any guilt at not being able to read the book.

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    1. Oh, brother. "I exist!" Um, not QUITE yet, you don't. That is irritating! I LOVED Case Histories, and have Life After Life but haven't read it yet. I say give up the guilt though -- I started following the advice I give my students, most of them reluctant readers (which I am decidedly not), that if you really aren't enjoying a book and you've given it a good go, DROP IT and find something more to your liking. Life is too short and there are WAAYYYY too many good books out there to waste time on something you don't enjoy. I am getting pretty good at not feeling guilty about book abandonment lately!

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  3. Hahaha. I read a discovery of witches years ago. I finished it but it wasn't a favourite (I think I found the plot too convoluted: the time travel thing was overplayed). It actually became the book I used to press leaves. Never read the sequel, sounds like it isn't worth it anyway. I'll stick to Diana Gabaldon for time travel fiction. Infertility and loss are important themes in her books and much more knowingly handled. Well, there is time travelling while pregnant in one case but it's presented as a terrible risky last ditch attempt at survival, not a jaunt to another epoch. Good luck with your tidying up.

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    1. That is too funny! I really liked the first book, but the second one ruined it all for me (just from the first 10th!). That's too funny that it's your leaf-pressing book, perfect size for it! I've never read Diana Gabaldon, she's Outlander, right? I appreciate a knowingly handled infertility/loss plot or subplot. I'll check them out!

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  4. I could have written your first paragraph, lol.

    I was going to ask if you'd send the book to me, but after reading your review of the first 10th, and how similar our situations were (except I never quite made it to pregnancy, despite wheatgrass and a no time-travel policy), I changed my mind on that.

    Let it go, let it go!

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    1. I'm always willing to send books along, but this one's probably a skip. It's rare for me to never come back to a book I started and got mad at (although lately I am embracing the "there's too many books and too little time to keep reading ones I'm definitely not enjoying!" philosophy). It's gone! Into the tub at least. Purging is a multi-step event for me. :)

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  5. I don't give up on too many books, but I was reading a supernatural thriller, full of sinister evil spirits, etc., called "A Dry Spell" by Susie Maloney the day I went for my fateful ultrasound & discovered there was no longer a heartbeat. :( I knew there was something amiss (the dr couldn't find a heartbeat & sent me up to ultrasound) & I sat there in the waiting room reading the same stupid paragraph over & over, with a growing feeling of dread. I never did finish the book; I just couldn't. And I don't really believe in ghosts & such, but I couldn't shake the feeling that the evil from the book had somehow come to rest on me. I hadn't thought about this in eons & I don't think I've ever blogged about it, but this post brought the memory back!

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