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, August 9, 2015

Politics, Lady Parts and Renaissance Fairs



 
As a person who love politics and blogging, after the first debate in this year’s election cycle it’s been hard to keep these two areas of my life separate. But I try to do it because my “blog branding”---I hate term, but it fits---is that of an older widow navigating her way alone after spending decades in a world built for two. People who come here don’t expect to read an old lady Monday morning quarterbacking and dissecting the line-up of Republican candidates who graced the stage last Thursday. So I sat on my hands the last few days but the itch to cross my self-imposed line started and obviously I couldn’t resist scratching it. I promise to be brief.

After watching the early bird and prime time debates, the follow-up analysis afterward on two cable channels and following Trump’s Twitter volleys late into the night, I just have to ask: Why he is polling so high? Really, the man as much as said FOX moderator Megyn Kelly was mean to him because she was having her period! In his Don Lemon interview post-debate he actually said the words, “She had blood coming out of her eyes. She had blood coming out of her---whatever.” My mouth literally dropped up and in that moment I wanted to paraphrase a Taylor Swift’s song: “All you're ever going be is mean. Why do you have to be so mean?” Then I laughed. From now on I no longer have a vagina, I have a “whatever.” The Donald was just being himself---crude and rude and living proof that money can’t buy class.

Election time was always fun when my husband was alive. We both enjoyed watching, reading and discussing all things related to politics. I miss that. Who am I kidding? That’s not all I miss. This past week has been especially void of human contact. And wouldn’t you know it, Saturday when I went to the grocery store and I looked forward to have a “conversation” with the cashier only to discover I got in the line of a deaf mute cashier who couldn’t say a single word. My store hires a lot of handicapped people so I wasn’t surprised to find him checking out my groceries but I was surprised that he wasn’t wearing a tag that said something like the card my husband carried: “Hello, I have a language disorder that prevents me from speaking but I can understand everything you are saying.” I spend six years of my life observing group and individual speech classes at a language disorders clinic and I recognized the cashier’s language disorder right off but I worried that others would think he was being rude or “moody” and in turn they wouldn't be nice to him. It actually gave me a chill to see the look in his eyes when the transaction ended and he gave me the “thank you stare”. Once you’ve seen that earnest, begging-for-understanding look you don’t forget it. As a widow, you can think you’ve move on but there is always something pulling you back into Tear Zone City.

Neighbors on both side of me have been gone the past two weeks. The younger couple are probably on their honeymoon and the family with two small children on my other side went to an out-of-state Renaissance Fair. They are deeply into all things medieval and she has the hair to prove it---it’s down past her butt. He takes part in jousting tournaments and they have costumes for various stations of medieval life. Often on Mondays in the summer you’ll see an oval shaped, white tent drying in the sun before they pack it back up again for the next fair somewhere around the state.

There was a time in my life when I would have loved taking part in my neighbor's passion-hobby. It involves so many crafts including knitting, tatting, sewing, weaving, cooking over an open fire and even blacksmithing and other guy things involving leather and chain-mail. In the winters they are busy planning and organizing events. I have never understood people who don’t have a passion-hobby. With so many interesting things in the world to do, collect or take part in, it shouldn’t be that hard to find something you love---be it politics, boating, handwork, collecting objects, jousting or collecting visits to state capitals. The latter was a goal of my oldest niece that she and her husband accomplished in their travels a few years back. That being said, my passion-hobby of politics is a mixed bag this election year with my other half gone. And the debate just made me miss him more. ©

20 comments:

  1. When I want decent liberal commentary from older women I visit Margaret and Helen. I'd love to talk to them in person. http://margaretandhelen.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're still around? I used to follow them. Thanks for the reminder, Dean. I'm going there right now.

      Delete
  2. How about another blog ... Crabby old widow politics? There's a blog for anything you could be interested in! I think FOX did a horrible slanted job in asking "questions" and "moderating". Just my opinion. First debate I've ever watched ... if they are at all similar, it's the last.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're not all the same. But this one had such a huge field of candidates that basically, it was all about giving them each a sound bit to use afterward and narrowing the field. When they get down to the serious, regulation debates where each candidate answers the same questions and each is given more time, they get better, more useful. I liked this one to the Hungry Games of Politics. I've never seen another like it and I've watched ever single one they first started televised presidential debates.

      As for FOX being slanted, they have always been slanted but its viewers are not used to them being slanted against a Republican. It's clear FOX owner Rupert Murdock wants Trump out of the race. And, in my opinion, with good reason.

      No, I wouldn't do a political blog, too time consuming and sometimes I like to drop out of following the news, then I drop back in. I'm satisfied just going to the political debate sites. |However, once in a while I do wonder how my friends, like you, in the blog world see things and it's fun to compare. Thanks for sharing your opinions.

      Delete
  3. Worse debate I have ever seen. Although the one at 5:30 wasn't too bad. I think Trump is getting high poll numbers because he is saying things and ranting like a lot of people in this country. Many are mad about a lot of things. I have never liked him and still don't and never will. He is an arrogant asshole if I ever saw one! HOWEVER--I did get to learn more Rubio and Kasich and Walker. Of course, I love the class of Dr. Carson, but he has no governing experience. Don't worry, Trump won't be there in the end, but he is causing a lot of problems now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are probably right about why he polls so high but I don't see that changing if the other candidates can't get any traction. They are burning up their resources while Trump's latest round of insult keeps grabbing all the attention away from the others. I could live with a Rubio or Kasich or even Christie presidency and I thought Carson had a good personalty but too little experience and a Seven Day Adventist, Creationist can't get elected. I think he's actually running for a Surgeon General appointment. We were seeing a lot people running for cabinet posts on that stage rather than a long-shot presidency. In my opinion. LOL

      Delete
  4. I am usually never interested in politics, but you have to admit because of asshole like trump lot of people are getting interested in watching this debates even though you never get straight forward answer from this politicians. I feel trump is in this race just to create publicity for his television show, he is in this to get free publicity for his show. he is businessman after all, getting all free airtime without paying advertising bucks so its all free publicity for him

    Asha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, of course, about getting people interested in politics and I hope about the rest. Trump has been talking about running for president for 3 decades and always when he wanted publicity for his books and TV shows. But this time seems different to me, like he's mad about being made fun of by the media and other politicians in recent years and he's doing a payback to derail them. He's very vindictive. When his Birther vendetta against the president caused him to be the butt of joke at the Annual Correspondents Dinner is when I think his anger started.

      Delete
  5. A beehive interest has been shown Jean as long as commenters keep it respectful. Being a Canadian, I must be careful on what I say but I will say this, Trump though crass, is telling the people what they have been feeling for a long time. The other politician for years will say things just to get peoples votes and after getting elected will do the exact opposite will hurt the people themselves. I've noticed that FOX network tries to destroy whomever they don't like. I worry about my neighbors across the river, the USA and all the lovely people who work hard and only what a true life for themselves and their families. I pray that in the end, truth ways out for all.
    Have a beautiful Monday Jean and enjoy your day. See ya my friend.

    Cruisin Paul
    ( Across the Detroit River from Amherstburg Ontario, Canada )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a lot of respect for what Canadians have to say about what goes on in this country. I think you can be more objective, since you don't have a horse in the race.

      Trump definitely has tapped into an anger that people have had about our politicians, but I don't he's the right person to run our country. I worry about us, too, and I think the passing of Citizens United that allows unlimited funding from corporations and special interest groups to go to politicians was the beginning of the downfall. Fortunately, there are a couple of candidates vowing to work to overturn that law and maybe with Trump openly admitting to buy political favors on the debate stage the other day, Republicans will get behind that movement to overturn Citizens United.

      Thanks for chiming in, Paul!

      Delete
  6. My son went through a Renaissance phase in his teens. He was a history buff, and he liked that period. We went to a local Renaissance festival with him in the early nineties. Many people were in costume, and you could tell that a lot of attention was given.

    Loss of contact with others, whether it be conversation or touch, has to be one of the most difficult losses for us as we age or lose spouses. I briefly met a lady in Marshall's one day. I'd say she was in her eighties. We struck up a conversation and talked for about fifteen minutes. She told me about each of her kids, her grandchildren, etc. But the thing she complained about most was the "fancy" cell phone her kids had given her. She asked me, "And do you know why they gave it to me? So they could text me instead of call me."

    I don't know what to say about Trump. He cannot stop himself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My experience with learning to text is it really does increase the amount of contact I get from my nieces and nephew. We can carry on text exchanges for a half hour while they are doing other things like waiting in an office or texting with others. One time I was texting with all three at the same time but they didn't know it! Sure, I'd rather have a phone call BUT I understand why sometimes when they just want to make a quick common they don't want to get involved in what might turn out to be a long phone call. I do the same thing for the same reason.

      I know what to say about Trump. He is just being the same guy he's always been. He has no filter in his brain.

      Delete
    2. I find that to be true about texting. My kids are more likely to send a photo or a little note than block out time for a half-hour conversation. I believe that I'm a scintillating conversationalist, but they may not agree. :)

      Nope. No filter.

      Delete
  7. We have a governor in Maine who has a similar background, style and politics to Trump. His supporters tend to be people who feel that government has trampled on their liberties (their privileges?) and who are angry about it. They see his crass style as "speaking truth to power." Personally, I think you can speak truth without being crude and insulting -- but reasoned discourse seems to be less appealing to the angry. -Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand the anger, after all the gridlock we've had in D.C. in recent years, but I'm with you that |"speaking truth" does not have to be so crude and insulting.

      I heard something today that is comforting. In many states to get on the ballet, you have to have boots on the ground gathering signatures and Trump does not have a the ground game going to do that, and he's running out of time. It won't matter what he polls if he can't make the deadlines. And many states have 'sore loser' laws that would keep him from going Independent if he lost in another party's primary.

      Delete
  8. Interesting point of view. I tend to stay away fro politics, less stressful for me. Greetings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are 100% right that politics can get stressful and that's when it's time to back away and take a long break. I have many friends and family who don't know what side of the political aisle I usually side with and that's a good thing. There's a right and wrong time to talk politics.

      Delete
  9. I am drawn to and repulsed by politics lately. I watched the "debate" with increasing shock and awe and embarrassment and concern. I am a Democrat and a Liberal, but I long for a moderate, common-sense Republican to represent those whose views often differ from mine and for someone who wouldn't be totally appalling should they become President.

    I can't even comment on Trump's performance except to say I want to think he is a joke, but when the populace agrees with him and puts him first in the polls, I fear for our country.

    I am an optimist and a believer that the "good" will win out -- that we really can have a less divisive, angry, polarized political process and move forward together -- but not this election cycle again, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too. The ideal is to have a candidate from both sides who, if either was elected, you wouldn't fear for the country. Trump would make me fear. I know people are mad about the gridlock in D.C. and so am I. I just hope it that doesn't translate to into giving us a president who is as thinned skinned and lacking as Trump.

      Delete