Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Butterfly Exhibits, Exhibitionists and Facebook

 
One of my young relatives likes to post comments about her workplace on Facebook. And yesterday I found my hypocritical side while reading one of them. As I read it I was thinking that she could get herself in trouble by letting her co-workers have access to her train-of-thought and then it hit me. Why you damn fool! I admonished myself, your blog is a hundred times more detailed than her two or three daily lines! What makes me think my blog can’t get me into the same kinds of trouble I’m worried about her getting into? Just because I’m older doesn’t mean I can’t inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings or throw down the gauntlet to a war of words I hadn’t intended to do. I may be older but that doesn’t automatically make me any wiser when I write for public consumption.

Like her, I used to be a hard worker with long hours and when I think back to the diaries I kept back when I was her age they are filled with those few moments during my days when my co-workers and I would have a little unauthorized fun behind the boss’ back. And whine about long hours and hard work? I did that too. Whine about my boss? Ditto. So I’m putting myself in the penalty box for forgetting that hypocrisy isn’t a flattering look for an old broad like me to wear.

Monday I went to a showing of 40 prints and drawings done by sculptors. Many of these art pieces were the preliminary drawings to the sculptures residing outside in the park. (See the photo above. It's a huge place covering many acres.) The show was held in a gallery near the annual Butterflies in Bloom exhibit that I’ve been going to since Don passed away, to honor all my April sadiversaries. I didn’t know what to expect since I had over-heard a couple of women talking about how the drawings should not have been shown in public, let alone in conjunction with an exhibit that draws so many children into the sculpture park. “Why, one of the drawings had a woman contorted in such a way that her ‘ya-ya’ was showing!” I had a pretty good idea what her ‘ya-ya’ was but I was visualizing a scene in an episode of Sex and the City---the one where Charlotte poses for an artist who was doing a series of vagina paintings. The gallery opening in Sex and the City was full of huge canvases of bigger than life, primary colored vaginas hanging all over the walls and the Sex and the City girls were trying to figure out which one was Charlotte’s.  

As I wandered the gallery at the sculpture park I kept wondering if the “offensive drawing” had been taken down. Most of the nudes I was seeing were quickie sketches, abstracts or light studies and far from titillating or in-your-face obscene---in my arty-farty opinion. Then I found it, a pencil drawing and it made me laugh right out loud at its understated presence. If I hadn’t been looking for a ‘ya-ya’---don’t you love that crazy euphemism---I would have missed it. 

After the seeing the prints and drawing I spent an hour in the conservatory with the butterflies. I had worn a red blouse that seemed to please the Common Morpho which are anything but common with their iridescent blue, flashing wings. They have a three inch wing spread and as soon as I walking into the tropical setting, several Common Morphos set their flight paths towards me and within a foot from landing on my blouse they saw the error of their ways and pulled upward, away from the “flower” that wasn’t. Around and around the conservatory they’d go, always reacting the same way to my blouse when they came near. I was a Common Morpho magnet the whole time I was there. If you happened to see my last year’s post about the Common Morpho you might recall I have a special bond with this subspecies of butterflies. In my twisted widow’s mind I associate them with Don’s spirit soaring. This year, it was like they were saying to me, “You’re back! We missed you!” I miss you, too, Don. It's good to see you so foot loose and fancy free from the broken body of your last twelve years on earth.  ©


8 comments:

  1. There IS a difference between a written diary that is kept in your bedroom and writing such words on FB--for the boss to see if they wanted to check out her page. My Mother loved Monarch butterflies--we traveled to Pt. Pelee Ontario to see them gather before their migration to Mexico. The summer after she died, I was out in the garden and a Monarch landed on my shoulder. I sort of brushed it away and it came back--I turned and said, "Mother, is that you?" The same thing has happened to my sister too, so we think---perhaps? My BFF died in March. She had a thing for Lady-Bugs. She was so looking forward to her grand daughter's wedding that summer. While the photographer was taking pre-wedding pictures of the bride, a Lady-Bug lit on her veil. The photographer went to brush it away and they all yelled, "NO! It's grandma! We knew she wouldn't miss this wedding!" Who knows? Huh?

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    1. What a wonderful story about the lady bug! I hope the photographer got a picture of it on the veil.

      I know there is a difference between a diary and Facebook but the point was I trying to make is that if they had had Facebook back when I was young, I wouldn't have been any different than the kids are today....over sharing.

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  2. Oversharing. Hmmm. TMI is one thing - in person or online - and using people as props in a story - in person or online - is another. Garbage in - garbage out. Words have such power to sting or to comfort. I have used Facebook and blogging and comments as an underhanded way to get at someone and as an opportunity to love. I can tell you which I prefer reading. Your comments about the Common Morpho, your red shirt, and fancy-free Don come from the heart, and this is why I return, again and again, to your blog.

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    1. As much as I write there are a lot of things I won't write about on Facebook. I never write about politics, religion, my feelings or other people on Facebook. I much prefer to reading blogs written by people I don't know than Facebook postings of people I do know. Isn't that strange....

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  3. Love your butterfly story. I will have to remember to wear a red or purple shirt next time I go to the butterfly house at the botanical gardens near me. I think a lot of butterflies love purple, too. I can just see you with the butterflies zooming around you.

    I've thought about a relative or friend finding my blog. I don't advertise that I have one, but someone could find it. It would never be my intention to hurt anyone, but I'm sure I've written a few things, especially when I'm trying to be witty or funny, that could rub someone the wrong way. It's hard to write about your day or week or life without offending someone, or they could remember something differently than I do. People can have different perceptions of the same event. I do know what you mean about FB. I always think that's generational. Young people are not as concerned with privacy as we are, but you make a good point about our blogs. Still, I'm glad my DIL is conservative with the info she puts on FB. I wouldn't want to read about their last disagreement on FB. Discretion is key on FB because everyone you know sees it.

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    1. Discretion is a lost art on Facebook. It also drives me crazy when younger family members post from their vacation spots. They might as well take an ad out that no one is at home, come rob me. Part of my fears of doing that probably comes from me living in the city and getting the public service stuff from the police departments and them all living in the country where they feel safe from crime.

      You're right about wit and humor in blogs can rub some people the wrong way. Humor is hard to pull off because there are so many levels of humor and we don't all laugh at the same things.

      My blog is not a secret from any of my friends and family but with few exceptions none of them come here to read. What could an old lady have to say that would be of interest? LOL


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  4. Love reading this blog and yes we are putting a lot out there when we do this!! But it means so much to hear what other widows have gone through, and are going through. The sharing is comforting so thank you.
    Also love the butterflies. For me, it's the birds - Mike so loved all birds, rescued them, had chickens, lots of wild turkeys as friends, owls were his beloved. I see him in them often.

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    1. Thank you for commenting! I love the two way "conversations" that occasional happen on blogs.

      My husband loved birds, too. We have that in common. Nothing is sweeter than seeing a big, he-man type be protective of something as small as a bird with a broken wing.

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