"Omigod, he could be your Felipe!"
The fact that I've been hearing this from friends lately isn't as much a reflection of the state of my personal life as it is proof of the enduring universal resonance of Eat Pray Love.
Not too long ago we were the Sex and the City generation. We defined ourselves as Carries, Samanthas, Charlottes or Mirandas. If you were Carrie and someone asked you who was your Big, you knew exactly what that meant.
Today we've become the Eat Pray Love generation of thirty- to fortysomethings, all captivated with Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir of her year in Italy, India and Indonesia as a woman searching for everything. Which really means searching for that elusive combination of earthiness and spirituality that will keep our lives in balance.
And when your girlfriends ask you:
Is he your Felipe?
You know exactly what they mean.
My friend Amanda had been telling me to read the book for months, and when it finally arrived in Hijack City in the middle of last year, I snapped up a copy. I stayed up all night and even read by candlelight because there was a power cut, to finish it. The next day I hyped the book to every woman I knew, from my yoga instructor to my therapist, and ended up giving my copy away to a friend. It wasn't that the book was all that well-written, but it was heartfelt, humble and candid, the way the author was unafraid to bare her despair, share her hope and laugh at her own silliness.
There were a few questions that nagged at me after I'd put the book down. Why her marriage really ended (and Jezebel agrees), for one. The other thing that creeped me out was that she admitted getting off on Bill Clinton from time to time. I mean, hello?
"You're so Eat Pray Love!"
The thing is, finding my own Felipe was the last thing that came to my mind upon reading Eat Pray Love. My own version anyway would have been pitched as Eat Pray Love meets Betty Mahmoudy, as in Eat Pray and Get Us Out of Here! Seriously, what stuck in my head was that my own personal convictions were echoed by Elizabeth Gilbert's experience: that no matter what happens, all will be fine, we are blessed and we are loved. I swear.
"So is he your Felipe?"