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

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Widows in Songs and Political Unrest

 

Have you ever had a song come on the radio and it annoys the heck out of you every time you hear it? That’s the way I feel about That Summer sung by Garth Brooks. It tells the story of a teenage virgin who takes a summer job working on a widow’s farm. And you know what comes next. She needed to “feel the thunder” and therefore she teaches him all about sex, “her hands of leather, turning to velvet in a touch.” Yadda, yadda, yadda. The summer ends, he goes on his way but years later he can’t go by a wheat field without thinking about “that summer” and all the things the widow lady taught him. Bring on the violins and gag me with a spoon! First of all, if the sexes were reversed and it was a teenage girl being groomed as a sex toy for an older widower, we’d all want to prosecute the widower for a crime in 38 or 40 states. Two: I don’t like the stereotyping of widows as predatory creatures. Don’t we have enough baggage to carry around, given the fact that half the married women probably think we widows are after their man now that we don’t have one of our own? Do we need to have them start worrying about their sons as well?

If people are going to write songs about widows and widowers I much prefer Dave Matthews’ One More Day. It’s a song about a drunk in a bar bemoaning the fact that he’ll never get another day with his beloved Grace. This widower is singing, “You think of things impossible and the sun refuses to shine, I woke with you beside me, your cold hand lay in mine. Excuse me please, one more drink. Could you make it strong cause I don’t need to think.”  Ya, I guess I’m a sucker for a drunk who proclaims he no longer needs his heart and eyes because he can never again be with his lovely Grace. Can you believe it, my life is so mundane at the moment that I’m writing about country western songs?

And that’s not what I want to do. All week long I’ve been trying to find a topic to write about that borders on deep and profound. No such luck, I’m all out of deep thoughts and pretty words. Do you ever get in one of these moods where you think you should be able to dig deeper and find a grain of Universal Truth to expound on? My restless writing mood, I suspect, was initiated by the coming CNN ten part series on the 1960s, “the decade that changed everything” as their promos say. My life, like that of the nations was in such turmoil back then. I want to see the series but I’m not sure I really want to take all my sixties related skeletons out of the closet for closer examination. But on a broader spectrum, it will be good for younger people who didn’t live through the sixties and who think the world is falling apart now, to see it. We’ve lived through tough time before, stressful times and more good came out of the turbulence than bad. It just takes a long-range view to put things in prospective.

Take, for example, the people who point to the outrage over NBA owner Donald Sterling and rancher Clive Bundy’s racial slurs and say that’s a sign that "the liberal's political correctness agenda” has gone too far and, they say, that is threatening free speech. They also say racism is at an all-time high. I say it's just the opposite i.e. more and more people, now, have the freedom to speak up when they are offended by the likes of Sterling and Bundy and that’s evidence that racism in America is on the decline, not on the rise. It's like we've lanced a boil and all the poison is splitting out. When I was younger people would say something racist and no one had the guts to call that person out for those attitudes and that silence bred more of the same and gave permission for people to treat others of color with disrespect. Public scorn does not equate to being punished by the government, so therefore there it is no infringement on free speech. The Sterling's and Bundy's of the world are still free to say what they want BUT we should never forget that everyone else in America is equally free to condemn or agree with them. It hasn’t always been that way in my life time. Thank you, Archie Bunker's son-in-law for showing us the way to stand up to old-school racial slurs. It's been a long road we've all been on since those days.

Well, now I’ve done it. I’ve broken my rule about writing about politics or controversial topics in my blog. Unfortunately---or fortunately depending on your point of view---I’ll probably be tempted to do it a few more times as the CNN series on the sixties unfolds. I am a political junkie in another facet of my being, a facet I rarely show here or to family and friends. ©

8 comments:

  1. Let me think back--ah yes the '60's. It meant I had a 2 year old, a one year old and was expecting my third. It meant I was moving into a little 3 bedroom home--$6,400.00. and it was new. No one had ever peed in the toilet!! It meant I got to vote in my first Presidential Election and it meant being so terrified when I heard that Russian Missiles were aimed at me. It meant our income went up when my husband finished his apprenticeship at GM and became a Journeyman. We got FREE medical, dental, and vision insurance. We paid nothing for anything medical. It meant my Grandma died and we moved into her 9 room farmhouse. It meant shorter skirts, taking up golf and living the good life. It meant the Civil Rights movement and my cousin going to Alabama to march and coming home with marks still on his forehead where some Redneck had wrapped a chain around his head. Other than that--the '60's were a great time for me. and for that, I am glad.

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    1. Ya, yes, as a young newlywed and with a growing family you must have such good memories from the sixties. I was in college the first half and working full time the second half. For me, the sixties were not the best of times on a personal level and I'm not sure, if I want to revisit those memories.

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    2. Yes--I am thankful that I grew up and had my teen years in the '50's. My kids were too young to get involved in the angst of the '60's, but the oldest two did manage to become quite rebellious in the early 'to mid 70's. LOL My bad time was in the '80's. There's always some decade that stands out in our lives, isn't there?

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    3. I would agree we all have a decade of changes and bad memories that, looking back, were "the worst of times" and the political unrest of that time frame is usually not the main focus of our "lost decade." My '50s were good only because I was so naive to the world, then the '70s were fun followed by hard times in the '80s.

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  2. Deep and profound. I don't think that way. At all. I'm more of the average day-to-day optimistic philosopher. Not naive by any means, but so far I don't have any "hard decades" ... just one hard year. Thank goodness. You ladies are made of stronger stuff than me!!

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    1. Oh, I doubt that. We all have our strong points and weak side. We all just do what we have to do to survive and thrive from time to time.

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  3. Thanks for the tip about the series on the 1960s. I didn't know but I will look for it now. We are moving along on a number of these issues, especially race and same sex marriage. The younger generations aren't as preoccupied with what two people are doing in bed or the color of someone's skin. I like your analogy... "lanced a boil and all the poison is splitting out." I think that's about right. The people who hate the changes that are happening so rapidly are frightened or incensed. Either way, they don't like what they're seeing, and that's why we keep seeing these incidences bubble to the top. I like that you're throwing a little politics in the pot.

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    1. Bella, I agree with your views on why we're seeing the race and same sex marriage incidences bubbling to the top. I post a lot about politics on a political site designed for anonymous debate and few people in my off line life know where I stand on issues. I am a liberal living in an ultra conservative area where people think we liberals have horns growing on our heads. So I've grown up keeping my horns hidden. So blogging about them is a new growth spur for me.. LOL

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