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

Friday, December 5, 2014

Twerking and Other Things...



My Red Hat Society chapter, this week, packed holiday decorated bags full of goodies for 48 residents in the nursing home we adopted ten years ago. Hand cream, lip gloss, pads of paper, pens, chocolate, Kleenex, bookmarks, gripper socks, cookies, Christmas ornaments and candy canes along with  greeting cards. Just passing 48 cards around the table to sign took forever, but we talked as we work and we got our gift project done without needing our sleeping bags.

They say the turnover of residents at the home is so great that only a few have been there as long as we’ve been doing our ‘do-good’ project. Looking around the table as we worked, I couldn’t help wondering which lady will be the first in our group to live there---getting rather than packing our goodie bags. One Red Hatter has breast cancer, another carries an oxygen tank and a few others have major health issues I can’t name. We’re not much younger than the people in the nursing home and as much as I hate this ‘do good’ reminder of the future that could be mine, I’m happy there are a few in our group who gleefully keep it going. If I was in a nursing home I’d like to get one of those holiday bags on Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and Halloween. I’d probably be “that one” who tries to steal a second bag and gets caught every time. Maybe I should start practicing how to be sneaky so I can perfect my technique before I need it?

I read a comment on another blog, As Time Goes By, saying that attitudes about aging falls in two categories: Denial and Fear and I thought, it’s easy to figure out where I stand. I’m certainly not in denial about growing older. But fear? I can’t exactly say I fear it so much as I regret it has to happen. If anything I fear it happening before I’ve made my mark on the world. People with children have something important to leave behind. People who were educators, inventors, gifted entertainers or artists have a body of work to leave behind. But if I’m going to leave anything important behind I’d better start creating it. Hey, I’ll bet I’ve already set a world record for starting the most sentences with “and” and “but.” That used to be such a big no-no when I was first learning how to write. Maybe it still is but I can’t seem to get through a blog without doing it. I tell myself it’s because a personal blog should be more like we talk than when we write formal articles or fiction. So I excuse myself and isn’t it clever how I managed to divert this paragraph from the topic of fearing the aging process to talking about writing styles? Damn, I’m good. (Please insert a laugh tract in here if my wildest dream comes true and this blog entry goes viral.)

Another frequent commenter on the same blog mentioned above asks: “Is there a store that specializes in stereotypical clothes for the elderly?” And he goes on to make an excellent point about how we people of a certain age stereotype ourselves by the way we dress. He’s right, of course, but after so many years of trying to keep up with the fashion trends coming out of Paris (or K-mart) I think we get to a point where we realize that we are more than our wardrobes. Not to mention keeping up gets too darn expensive and for what purpose? I don't wear out clothes like I used to do when I worked. And can you image an eighty year old with declining agility and shaky legs having a skirt so short that you’d think she’s twerking every time she picks something off the floor or bends over to tie her shoes?

I, for one, also don’t want to show off my varicose veins and cellulite in the name of keeping up with fashion trends. Ya, I know, young people would probably have that stuff surgically removed but aren’t we old duffers more cerebral than that? That’s my excuse for my lumpy, “colorful” thighs and I’m sticking to it. It’s also laughable to think we could even keep dressing in the current fashion trends. I don’t have the boobs or butt anymore to look like Kim Kardashian or the Pirelli calendar girls who were obviously dressed some place where there's a fabric shortage. And I don’t know any woman in my peer group who hasn’t seen her boobs and butt drop like a bird with an arrow in its heart. (Jeez, that's the kind of simile that comes from reading The Hunger Games trilogy back-to-back. Where is my book of Robert Frost poetry when I need it for inspiration?” Boobs and butts that drop like lead balloons makes more sense.)

The bottom line: Many/most elderly people have learned how to not take ourselves so seriously. We’ve finally figured out that we can, indeed, follow the beat of a different drummer and the sky doesn’t fall---and that includes our fashion (or lack of fashion) choices. On the other hand, if we want to follow Mr. Normal and Mrs. Average down the street, we old people know that's perfectly okay too. But please, no twerking should be allowed for anyone over the age of---heck!---if I were King of the world I would ban it completely! ©

10 comments:

  1. I'm going to think all day trying to decide if I'm in denial or - wait - what was the other choice again?

    Smiles, bee
    xoxo

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    1. Bee, you're on the go so much neither denial or fear is ever going to catch up to you.

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  2. I'm not in denial or fear. Aging is what it is. The alternative is well...death. Just going to enjoy what time I have.

    I agree with the twerking.. it should be banned completely.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

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    1. Yeah, I have an ally in my war against twerking! LOL

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  3. I was in denial, than I was in fear, now...I'm in acceptance and it is a lot less stressful. Just think, we had never heard the term Twerk a year ago and now..it will probably be one of the new words in the Oxford Dictionary for 2014.

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    1. Isn't it interesting how new words keep getting 'invented' or redefined. What made me think of it when i wrote this blog was a little clip I heard on TV about Miley Cyrus out clubbing wearing nothing on top but a pair of pasties. If she were my daughter I'd I would be so ashamed of her conduct and I'm never been a prude. Either I'm turning into one or she is seriously crossing over the line with her twerking and pasties.

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  4. You got me. I had to look up 'twerk'.

    Jean, you made your mark in the life of a very important man. 'Course that was then and this is now, and making an imprint in the here and now may or may not add up to a legacy. What do you want to leave behind?

    Put me in the fear category about aging, starting as a teenager. One can say I've been planning and protecting my most vulnerable asset - me, since then, starting a savings plan that buffers me now. I hope money takes care of the practical issues. Besides that, I wholeheartedly believe loving is the greatest hedge against aging poorly. This said...by a gal who's struggling to keep the lid on her grousing, who may let the **** fly as her Christmas present to herself.

    BTW. I do twerk and have no plans to stop. IN the privacy of my living room :-)

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    1. You crack me up. You know what happens when you twerk in your living room....sooner or later you're going to want to show off your skills in public. LOL

      To me, leaving your mark has to last beyond your grave. Just loving Don doesn't meet that standard. I'd like to create a piece/s of art or book/s that would last many years after I'm gone. I did do an oil painting of my brother with his grandson that my niece has hanging in her house that I think will still be around in 100 years. It's very good if I do say so myself and even if you didn't know them, the painting speaks of love---done at the peak of my talent.

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  5. So funny! And as always totally relatable -- every word. I'm grateful for the mark you are making in the present. :)

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    1. Thank you! I think you and I have the same sense of humor and I am happy when people like you understand me.

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