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

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Time for Fun and a Reality Check



 
St. Patrick’s Day came and went with the usual stories on the local news---green beer at the bars, green cakes in the bakeries, the churches that were servicing up corn beef and cabbage dinners at their fund-raisers. Yadda, yadda yadda. My husband got practically giddy on St. Patrick’s Day. He loved his Irish heritage and it’s funny that I didn’t even know that I’m one quarter Irish until this past winter when I did my genealogy. All those years when he’d haul out his green t-shirt with the “proud to be Irish” logo on it, I could have worn a matching one. Well, at least I could have had green underwear or something to pay homage to those Irish genes that reside alongside my Italian (1/2) and English (1/4) roots. 

The senior hall had their St. Patrick’s Day luncheon this week and you know me, I had to go. It’s such cheap entertainment. Six dollars for dinner, a floor show and people watching 109 souls all wearing green plastic beads and sporting green tongues from eating the contents of the candy cups that lined the tables. If you had the luck of the Irish at your back---which I didn’t on Tuesday---you could even win of one of the fifteen loaves of Irish soda bread they handed out for door prizes.

The floor show was comprised of a fiddle player and a singer/guitar player who did all Irish, Celtic and Gaelic music. If you can picture a big guy with a silly grin and salt and pepper hair that reached to the middle of his back, the top layer of which was tied back into a low ponytail, that was the singer. He also had a long mustache, twinkling dark eyes, a peg leg and he wore a traditional, eight yard tartan kilt and horsehair Gaelic sporran. When the senior hall director introduced the guy in the kilt she said she wanted to talk to his wife because he needed some lessons on how to bend over while wearing a dress. He did it while setting up his equipment and he exposed his whole backside. What fun we had! Mr. Kilt Wearer would stop often in the middle of a song to explain the ancient lyrics or define what certain Gaelic words meant. The two of them got everyone clapping or singing a few times and more than once they’d stop mid-song and back it up because they liked a particular verse (or screwed it up) and “wanted to sing it again.” Crazy, silly stuff like that kept us all laughing. I was lucky enough to find a seat surrounded by six ladies who I know well enough to carry on easy conversations with and that was the frosting on my afternoon cake.

I did find one disagreeable woman at my luncheon table. She’s known for knitting her way through every event she attends at the senior hall which, Tuesday, sparked a conversation about knitting and crocheting projects several of us had worked on over the winter. I made the comment that I’ve tried many times over my life to learn how to crochet and I just can’t do it and I blamed it on being left-handed. She’s says, “That’s a royal crock of bull! I’m left-handed and I learned how to do it.” I responded, “I even took a class last year and it didn’t stick any longer than it did when I was a teenager trying to learn from my mother.” “Bull!” she says again, “you’re not trying hard enough.” I didn’t want to get into a fight with a total stranger so I didn’t get snippy back at Ms. Disagreeable and I’m glad I didn’t. As the afternoon progressed I realized that she didn’t have a good thing to say about anything, including the very entertaining singer and his side-kick fiddle player. I hope I never grow up to be like her. Does she ever listen to herself, ever see herself in the mirror? Of course, not. She’s too busy knitting to see herself through the eyes of those around her.

Change of Topic---well, sort of: My niece came back north from spending the winter in Florida and we had a long conversation on the phone in which I told her I’d be very proud to call her and his sister my daughters. They’ve both turned into such great women, raised good kids and are such a pleasure to be around. She said, “Then we’ll have to come up with a new term like niece-daughters.” It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as sister-wife but I love the idea. I have the young friend I call the-son-I-wish-had so I’m going to start introducing my nieces this way: “This is my niece, the daughter I wish I had.” After talking with my oldest niece I texted my other niece and informed her of her new title and she texted back, “Very cool!” I love my family and I just wanted to give them as much space in this post as I gave to Ms. Disagreeable. But I still wish someone or something would give Ms. Disagreeable a reality check that would penetrate her narrow mind with this message: Cheerful, loving people trump the disagreeable naysayers of the world and they always will. Nana nana nana. ©

11 comments:

  1. Ms. Disagreeable is one of those toxic people I've talked about. They do nothing but be miserable and would do most anything to pull you down to as miserable as she is or worse. Bless her heart.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Toxic is a good term for her. Everyone else around her and I were having a fabulous time. Thanks for the comment.

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  2. She wouldn't get it even if you said it to her face. I dislike people that bring their knitting OR crocheting to functions. Can't they just sit and relax and enjoy? I think you are correct--that crocheting left-hand would be difficult, but then again, my left-handed step-monster was a lefty and crocheted all the time--another Ms. Disagreeable. HAH.

    Love the title for your nieces. I have racked my brain for what I could call young people that are like grand children to me. Think of something, Okay?

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    1. When I was growing up, I saw lots of ladies at functions knitting or crocheting but was a different time when if you wanted to dress your kids in nice sweaters, you made them. I think it's kind of rude in today's culture. I would never do it.

      With today's left handed videos instructions on You-Tube I "got it" a little easier than when I was young. Dyslexia was a bigger issue with me then than and my brain just couldn't convert the instructions. It bugged me to be told I didn't try hard enough because for two weeks straight the winter before this last one I practiced crocheting every night but never got beyond making a big circle. I finally gave up because I can knit almost anything.

      How about honorary-grandson or honorary-granddaughter as in it would be an honor if he or she was that closely related to you? "This is my honorary-grandson so-and-so" has a good ring.

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  3. Ms. Disagreeable needs that book about self-knowledge that you wrote about the other day. Too bad you didn't have it in your purse. Methinks she needs it more than you.

    I know how you feel about your nieces. I love my brother's son so much. He's the sweetest guy. I always tell my brother what a good job he did.

    I love hearing about your senior hall events. St. Patrick's day went unnoticed at our house.

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    1. Without going into details that aren't mine to tell, my nieces and nephew had a hard childhood and it amazes me that they turned out so well. At least one of them credits my parents for that. They are just so special! Great parents like your brother need to hear what you tell him. It can't be easy to stay the course for the number of years it takes to form another little human being into a great person.

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  4. I, too, am left handed, and I do know how to crochet. I don't remember when I learned but we did have classes in school all those years ago (when the boys were doing woodworking and we were learning how to sew and knit). I haven't crocheted in a long time (there are only so many hours in the day) so I can't really remember but I think I crochet with my right hand. I write with my left hand but I do a lot of other tasks with my right hand.
    I have so many memories of teachers in elementary school disciplining us kids for squiggling and squirming in our chairs and telling us to sit with our hands folded on our desks. And here I am all these years later and I know, if I want to listen to something intensely or concentrate on something on the radio, I will get out my pencils or pens to doodle while listening. Because I now understand that I am a much better listener if my hands are engaged. And I wish that the teachers understood that about us kids...we would have been better listeners if they didn't take everything away from us and force us to sit still. Many of us are much more engaged if we have more than one sense occupied, It's true of a lot of people who say they listen to something on the radio while driving and can remember exactly where they were at the time they heard a certain program! So I wonder if these knitters and crocheters are engaging their minds through their active hands without even realizing it (or perhaps they are just being obnoxious!)
    Regards Leze

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    1. Have you tried Zentangle? It's mindful doodling. I took a class and it's lots of fun and very relaxing. There are plenty of resources online to learn it.

      You sound like you're ambidextrous. I'm sure not but I sure heard you about teachers we had in grade school years ago! I had my papers taped to desks and got hit with a ruler when I tried to write for not "doing it" right.

      Ms. Disagreeable gives all her final projects to organizations that collect for the poor, so she has something good inside. It just doesn't show on the outside. I do think there are people who just can't sit still if their hands aren't busy. I have a little bit of that inside. I have to multitask when I watch TV or I feel like I'm wasting time.

      Music and art or writing go together so well! Make creativity sore.

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  5. Too bad for Ms. Disagreeable. Many people who are ADD or OCD have to be doing something while sitting/listening. Just like some people can work with music on and I prefer silence.

    But there is no excuse for always being negative. That's just rude.

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    1. It's funny but sometimes I like working to silence and sometimes I like working with the TV on and a YouTube video going at the same time. Just depends on my mood.

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