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

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Judgmental Bees in my Bonnet!



I am turning into a judgmental old lady who needs to quit reading other widow’s blogs before I lose my head and leave comments I'll regret. Case in point: A widow in my age bracket is desperately lonely and wants to find another man but she insists that any friendship she enters into must be with a man who is likewise marriage minded. Why? Because her religious beliefs prevent her from spending time with someone just for companionship. Jeez, Louise, there’s full range of social interactions one can enjoy that doesn’t include shacking up for illicit sex! Silly me, I thought sex outside of marriage was the only part of dating or hanging out together that a church would frown upon. Lunch at MacDonald's? How many Hail Mary’s would that earn a widow? And how does that work out if a guy should ask this widow out on a date for the first time? Does she say, “I don’t know if I can accept your offer, are you interested in getting married soon?” That too-eager-to-get-married mindset scared off the guys when we were eighteen, I would imagine it would get the same reaction at seventy.

The truth is, we senior citizens have a whole different set of issues involved with joining our lives together in marriage than young people do. Young people don’t generally come into a marriage owning paid-off houses, having pension plans and investment portfolios or have children and grandchildren standing in the wings who you’d like to see get the fruits of your life’s work when you die. Young people aren’t rooted in homes they’ve lived in for decades or have to worry about becoming caregivers soon after saying, “I do.” And they don’t have children who might worry that you’re handing over your entire estate to a person they don’t know or trust. Sure, a good lawyer can safe-guard against most of those things, but how many people sign a prenup when they marry late in life? I've seen one too many farms that had been in a family for generations end up in the hands of the second spouse’s kids to know that trust isn't enough. Get it in writing!

Those kinds of what-ifs drive me to distraction and the bees start buzzing around inside my bonnet. It also drives me crazy that another widow I've known half my life gives her kids ten to fifteen thousand dollars at a whack yet she counts pennies and does without necessities because she’s afraid she’s going to run out of money. “Stop giving away the money meant for you to live on!” I tell her. “If there’s any left over when you die, then they can have it.” To which she replies, “You don’t have children so you don’t understand.” I understand that one of her daughters has a beautiful hardwood floor thanks to her mom’s ‘donation’ while the mom doesn’t have enough money in her wallet to pay for her prescriptions.

In another blog I read recently, the “other woman” in a love triangle was complaining because the widow to the man she was having the affair with isn’t changing her last name back to her maiden name now that he's dead. They’d been married for over two decades and even if he was a bag of cheating crap they had kids together, for crying out loud. If the widow wants to keep or ditch a surname, that’s her choice. How do people come up with things to resent like that? And get this, the “other woman” wants to change her last name to match the dead guy’s. I guess the tattoo she got to commemorate his passing wasn’t enough. Make me a promise. If my values and sense of logic and fair-play ever sink this low, just book me as a guest on the Jerry Springer Show because that’s where I’d belong. And while I’m standing on my judgmental soap box, ladies, I don’t care what excuse a guy gives you for not leaving his wife, it’s just an EXCUSE. It’s called having his cake and eating it too. 

There, I’ve said my piece. The bees that have been buzzing around my head has left my bonnet. Got any bees in your bonnet to share? Please don’t let me think I’m the only judgmental old lady on earth! ©

15 comments:

  1. I think we all have our opinions about things no matter what age we are. I'm with you though...who cares. It's their life. My favorite saying is 'it's their monkey and their circus'. Not mine. Saves me a lot of grief.

    I can't imagine having another man. I don't think I've the energy. I've a few really good gal pals and that would do for me. Girl days rock.

    Have a fabulous day and I'm glad you got rid of that pesky bee. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's their monkey, their circus is so true but too often that ringmaster comes to others on the pretext they want advice. But what they really want is validation for what they are doing and I have trouble giving that to them if I think it's time to put the monkeys back in their cages. I don't like to make waves either so I end up hiding the bees under my bonnet until I can't take it anymore and then I write a post about it. LOL

      Delete
  2. Yeah, I am judgmental about a lot of things older women (mostly widows) do. Some have more money than they have brains. Some are such enablers they put themselves at risk. Some are searching for that Fountain of Youth You can get a boob job, a face lift and a tummy tuck and look 50, but your insides are old and rotting away. LOL. At our age, I am not ready to be a care-taker for some old man--I don't care how much money he might spend on me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you, Judy. There's a lot I don't understand about the process of accepting ourselves as we age.

      Delete
  3. Yeah, I'm judgmental also. Anyone that says they are only looking for certain types/religion/marriagable will never meet the most interesting persons, including me. I refuse to countenance anyone set in their ways.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know the "certain types and religions" Litmus Test well, growing up where I did and still live. It's still influences my life.

      Delete
  4. I hear you. How ridiculous that woman is about the widow giving up her name. I've had this name for over 45 years, and it's the same name my son and grandchildren have. I think I've earned the right to keep it no matter what some half-baked bimbo thinks. Sheesh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheesh is right! Even divorced people who'd been married that long don't generally give up their married surnames. I couldn't get that out of my head.

      Delete
  5. My mother liked to give away money to children and grandchildren after she was widowed. I think part of it was the power of having control over the money. Since she was living on social security plus about $250 a month of pension money from my father's workplace, I worried that she was giving away money she needed. But the fact is that, after a lifetime of scrimping, she was feeling quite affluent. I finally decided to stop worrying about it and just be prepared to help her out if she needed it later. (She wasn't doing without basic necessities to give money away, though.)
    The issue of accepting our age is such a fraught one; just about everything in our culture says that younger is better. When I had to undergo chemotherapy at age 50, I went to the fancy wig shop that specialized in cancer patients and told the guy that I wanted a wig that would look as much like my own hair (which was salt and pepper at the time) as possible. "But why," he asked, "when I could make you look like Marilyn Monroe?" "But I won't look like Marilyn Monroe," I replied, "I'll just look like a pathetic fifty-year-old trying to look like Marilyn Monroe!" -Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My friend gave away a great deal of money in her first year of widowhood because "she didn't feel right not sharing it with her kids." She never handled money when her husband was alive and was shocked at how much he left but she also had no idea how much it costs to live either. I know what you mean about not being able to talk someone out of doing something like giving away money if they have their minds made up.

      Crazy guy at the wig shop. I would think the more you look like yourself in the mirror the less often you'd be reminded of the chemotherapy and cancor.

      Delete
    2. Make that cancer, not cancor.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Good Sunday afternoon reply!!!!! LOL

      Delete