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, February 3, 2016

The Devil Made me do it and Other Stuff



Monday was a Red Letter day for Levi. He got a long overdue walk followed by an afternoon at the doggie foo-foo beautify parlor where he was greeted by a giant-but-gentle pit bull. She belongs to the owner of the shop so she’s always there to offer a butt sniff to the clients---human and canine alike. It’s a busy shop with five groomers, a shampoo person and someone manning check ins and outs. Levi’s groomer is a guy in his mid-forties, he’s the Schnauzer specialist and owner of the shop. Levi loves him and that feeling is mutual but from my point of view, a forty-eight dollar haircut and a bath ought to come with a heavy dose of love. There are cheaper places around but I’d rather save money somewhere else like skipping professional pedicures. I don’t have the patience, lately, to have someone play with my toes or to listen to a random woman in the next chair spend ten minutes deciding on the color polish she wants. Just pick one, already! Of course, no one had better say the same to me about taking forever to find the exact shade of gray I want in an oriental rug for my bathroom. That’s different, says the widow who has suspended doing “girlie-girl” stuff until further notice.

I don’t mean to imply that my widowhood has anything to do with my lack of enthusiasm for girlie-girl prep-time. It doesn’t. My newest theory (read that as newest excuse) is there should be only one primped-and-pampered person per household and Levi gets that title here on Widowhood Street and judging by Levi’s excitement greeting the groomer it’s clear he thinks his beauty routine is worth every penny. Now, if pedicures came with a heavy dose of sweet-talk, kisses and petting from a hunky guy I’d probably break the one-per-household rule and hop right into a pedicure tub with the same enthusiasm that Levi shows when we pull up in front of the foo-foo beauty parlor. Did I mention the groomer calls me ‘Honey’? I don’t know why. It doesn’t sound patronizing coming from his lips. It’s not because he doesn’t remember my name; he also calls me ‘Jeanie’ which I find endearing because so many people called me that when I was growing up.

On Groundhog’s Day I attended a Mexican Fiesta/luncheon at the senior hall. It was different than our normal luncheons. This one was sponsored and planned by a local senior living facility and they spared no expense. They brought in truly great food and virgin margaritas and for entertainment they hired a three piece band from the local Council for Cultural Exchange. They played calypso/ Caribbean Music---but not modern versions. It was the historical beats and rhythms the African slaves brought with them to the Caribbean that got mixed with the instruments used by the indigenous people. It was a repetitive and “happy” beat meant to keep the slaves working at a good pace. The trio made up a “song” on the fly from three words said by an audience member to demonstrate how it was done on the sugar cane plantations. The songs of that era had just a few words repeated over and over again so that they required no thinking and evoked no longings. There was a dance demonstration of how the slaves were allowed to celebrate at the end of the work day. I’ve seen that dance somewhere before and it does look like a celebration but I never would have guessed its origins. 

I was in a mischievous mood at the luncheon so I mentioned that I stayed up late the night before to watch the Iowa Caucus coverage. That’s all it took for several of the ladies at the table to spit nails and venom at Hillary. And that's all it took for someone else to declare Ted Cruz will be the next president and for several others to argue that Bernie is too old to hold the office. It amused the heck out of me that at a table full of old people Bernie, at 74, was deemed too old. “Why would anyone want to vote for an old man like that?” someone asked. ” I wanted to answer, “Ask someone under thirty. That’s his demographic” but I behaved myself and sat there with my sociologist’s hat firmly in place, not saying a single word after confessing to why I was sleep deprived. Observe and record but don’t become part of the study. Ah, I’m good at doing that. It was fascinating that one of the nicest ladies I know from the senior hall and one of the nastiest ladies were both animated in their hatred of Hillary, trying to out do each other with their tales of Hillary’s wows and Bill’s hoes. I knew before I brought up the topic of politics that a discussion could turn out like it did. I live in a tomato red state in a crimson red county but, like I said, I was in a “mood” to be a lightning rod, hoping to get the sparks I got. It was my way of celebrating the way the 2016 Iowa Caucus turned out. ©



24 comments:

  1. LOL You were the silent minority at that political round table. Funny how different our certainties are, about 'the way things should be' and 'the way things are'. Let's just say I breathed a sigh of relief about one of the following: the groundhog not seeing his shadow, and the results of the Iowa Caucus.

    Levi's groomer must be pretty special for you to not bristle being called "Honey". Levi must feel a foot taller and a year younger after his spa treatment.

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    1. I hope the groundhog is right! I saw a funny thing on Facebook about how we'll take a weather forecast from groundhog but deny climate change from scientists. Made me laugh.

      I've been going to the groomer for 15 years and he knows me so it doesn't feel patronizing like it would from a waitress or person in a medical office. Thinking about it, I don't think he means the you're-old-honey but rather the you're-sweet-honey. LOL He's also the only guy who has ever called me that.

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  2. The US elections are interesting this time, but not in a good way, I find. I don't think much of any of the candidates. Happy to see Trump get his comeuppance. Hillary too stale, untrustworthy and egocentric - and I don't think much of electing someone because of their gender. Cruz seems oily, wily and again untrustworthy. Jeb - no way I'd want a third helping of the Bush family. And these slingshots are from someone who has a very cursory look at the news nowadays. I think I'm ready for the grave and I'm *years* younger than Sanders - cannot understand anyone at that age wanting to take on the POTUS job.

    Great post. Nice to see you cheerful again. (I've been mopey myself so I may be reflecting my mood on to you.)

    I completely agree about hunting for that elusive shade of grey, and at the same time wandering why someone can't decide fast on a nailpolish color - I do that all the time.

    Libby

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    1. This election cycle is going to be a nail biter all the way and is far from boring. But I like it better when there is a smaller field of well qualified people running so we know we can sleep at night no matter who gets elected. Hopefully, some will drop out after N.H.

      While I don't get why anyone our age (Sanders and mine) wants to work that hard, brainpower and wisdom wise I think we're in our prime. But the VP pick would have to be a young and savvy person and he can't make the mistake McCain made picking an unknown. E. Warren might make a winning ticket.

      I am cheerful again. I never stay down very long.

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  3. PS- I'm looking at dresses (my husband liked me in them, rather than pants, which I preferred), and wandering why I'm hanging on to them-he'll never see me in them again, plus the colors/styles all wrong for me now. Yet,my hands hesitate to throw them away, sigh.

    Libby

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    1. I completely understand that dilemma as do many widows, I'm sure. Maybe you could do it in baby steps...thin the dresses down to just a few favorites and donate the rest or pack them up to decide to donate later? It doesn't have to be an all or nothing decision. I have what I call a memory outfit from every decade of my life starting in my 20s and I keep all six together at the end of the closet rod and they all have a story to tell.

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  4. Funny! I consider pedicures a necessary part of life now. It's harder for me to get close enough to do a good job and when the podiatrist recommended them ... I was sold! I bring my own nail polish ... that way the brush hasn't touched someone's fungal toes ... and I can touch up if necessary.

    Politics. It's interesting to listen this year. You and I are light years apart in our choices. she better not win (purposely used lower case ....) I could not bring myself to vote for a known liar.

    We used to hold Sunday Suppers to discuss issues (not people) so we could share the research. Oregon has LOTS of things to choose every year. I miss that!

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    1. I have a hard time doing my own pedicures, too, and may have to go back to professional one but last year I got a fungus from getting one and had to see the foot doctor to get medication and spend lots of months curing it. I couldn't use polish in the meantime but they wanted to charge the same as without using it and that was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. Two bucks off would have made me happy. If I go back I will bring my own tools and polish so I don't pick up another fungus but you can get them from the tubs, too, just like in a public shower stall.

      You would have loved the Hillary bashing at the luncheon. LOL

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    2. I bring ALL my own items for pedicure. My place has disposable liners and they wear plastic gloves. Gotta be SAFE for sure. I often spread lotion or coconut oil then seal my feet with vaseline and sleep in sox. Love those soft soft feet.

      Kinda hope Bernie gets in despite his age.

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    3. I've never seen the disposable liners or plastic gloves. I guess if I go again I should call around and ask questions.

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  5. Pardon my ignorance but what was there to celebrate about Iowa? If it was the lack of a trump victory, I think Cruz is even more scary or just as scary. Or was it the virtual tie in the Democrats race? I am pleased that Bernie has managed to challenge someone who thought she was going to sail into position but I am also concerned that they need to pull together a united front in order to win. Or should I have pressed delete for this comment so that we leave politics for elsewhere?
    Regards
    Leze

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    1. You got it. I loved the virtual tie for the Democrats and that Trump couldn't gloat about winning the first true test of his popularity. I agree about Cruz but I have no doubt he'll get stopped on super Tuesday if not before. Whether Bernie or Hillary wins the Democratic primary the loser will work hard for the winner and the united front will come together quickly...they aren't that far apart and they've run clean campaigns. The Republicans, they are a hot mess this time---no way to predict what will happen. I just know what I don't want to happen.

      I'm really glad you didn't press delete. I don't bring up politics often in the blog but when I do, I'm prepared for anything. LOL I spend a lot of time on a political site debating this stuff with other political junkies and it's nice to stick my finger up into the winds of the 'normal' world once in a while.

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    2. That's it? Vote because she has run a "clean"campaign? Never mind the past five or ten years? Oh my goodness! Travelgate. Whitewater. Benghazi. Wiping her hard drive. Cattle futures insider trading. I think she gets an "F" for truthfulness ....

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    3. Obviously we'll have to agree to disagree on Hillary. I believe if there was any real evidence of all the wrong doing they investigate her for, they'd have found it and charged her in a court of law.

      We do agree on Bernie. I don't think he's too old for the job but I don't think he's electable in the general election.

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  6. Oh you nasty girl! I too like Sociology tests and often do the same thing you did--just to sit back and hear all the comments. Personally, I like Marco Rubio. I don't think Bernie is too old, but I think he thinks too much like a "commie"--er-rr, I mean Socialist. HAH.

    I have never had a pedicure, nor a manicure for that matter. They seem awfully expensive to me, but I did spring for an extra $15.00 to get my eyebrows trimmed and arched today, along with a hair cut. YOWZA!!

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    1. Rubio took a lot of people by surprised in Iowa, didn't he. I wish more of the under card Republicans would drop out so they could have a more normal primary. I like John Kasich from that bunch, even Rand Paul. Paul's out already and I'll John will be after NH, I'm guessing.

      I've only had one manicure in my life and didn't like it at all, seemed like too much money for something I could for myself. I can do a decent French Manicure and my nails grow like weeds.

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  7. Just noticed - 500th blog post - congratulations!

    Libby (apologies if this comment is duplicated 'cos of system fault)

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    1. Thank you Libby, I just noticed that myself yesterday and will mention it in my next blog entry. Mind boggling!

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  8. I laughed out loud at your description of Levi's grooming and his groomer.

    I've had a few pedicures and manicures, but it isn't my normal thing. I have a friend who loves them and I go with her occasionally. I do understand the pedicure. About ten years ago, my sister - nine years older - told me that older people often go for professional pedicures. "Really?" Ten years later, I get it. I still do my own, but it isn't as easy as it once was.

    Politics is so nerve-wracking now. It produces the same nail-biting anxiety for me that watching a big game does for some others, but there's so much more at stake. If the Republicans win, a lot of what Obama did will be rolled back. And Trump? Is that really possible? We live in a purple state, but our county is fire engine-red. The old fire engines that used to be red as can be. Ha! They are that yellow-green color now, aren't they? Remember when they researched it and learned that yellow was easier for people to see than red. I liked the red.

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    1. Me too on the nerve-wracking anxiety. That's a good analogy with watching a sports game only with more serious stakes.

      In addition to worrying about rolling back what Obama has achieved---especially in world diplomacy---I am really concerned who will be appointing our next Supreme Court Judges. We have a lot of them sitting on the court who are getting up there in age.

      I saw one of those yellow-green firetrucks yesterday and I wondered why it wasn't red. Now I'm curious if I just wasn't paying attention lately or if we still have mostly red ones around.

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  9. Re politics, Barack Obama being elected in 2008 was the most genuinely inspiring event - I was glued to the TV for the inauguration event, in awe of Americans who could elect 1) an African-American and 2) foreign sounding "B.. O..". This in the land of Uncle Tom's Cabin and where just a few decades ago, BO would have been whipped and called "Boy" for even venturing into a small town club. It was a most uplifting moment - truly, only in the USA! (Tho' Michelle O. dress when she came on the stage looked like a butcher come straight from the slaughter house). I listened to BO's debates in 2012 because I was so impressed. (Such a change from Bush Jr). No such interest this time, however.

    We never discuss politics (and other subjects such as abortion) in the office for a very sound reason - too many strong emotions. But it sure is great to exchange views in the ether where I don't feel I may have to duck my head.

    Libby

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    1. Libby, I agree with you about Obama---except for the part about Michelle's dress. I liked the yellow coat dress she wore when Barack was sworn in but not the red and black thing she wore later in the day. That one was weird. (Maybe that's the slaughter house one you're talking about. LOL) I still think he's been a good president under extremely difficult circumstances... the banking crisis at the beginning of his term, for one thing, could have sent us into a deep depression like in the '20s if not handled the way he handled it. Was our country ready for a black president? That's for history to judge but I'm still impressed by his strength of character, his composure and his family. He's put up with a lot of crap that other presidents didn't have to deal with.

      At a place where I worked during the 70s we weren't allowed to talk politics but religion and abortion were daily topics and I never put in my two-cents worth because I was the only liberal in a sea of ultra-conservatives. But on my off time I stuffed envelopes for causes I believed in and none of my co-workers ever knew it.

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  10. Congratulations on the staying power -- both in your own discipline and in readers (like me) valuing your writing -- represented by 500 posts. -Jean

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