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, July 13, 2016

Fashions, Hormones and Farmers Markets


I don’t know why it took me until the middle of July before going to the farmers market for the first time this summer. Where else can you pay $7.00 for four Lemon Dream cookies and feel good about it because all the proceeds go to charity or see people with their dogs impatiently waiting for them to pay for homemade beef jerky sticks or watch kettle corn being made next to a vendor selling goats cheese? I bought more cut flowers than healthy eatable’s but that’s okay. I gave up on having a Twiggy-like figure the first time I had the stomach flu and if you understand that statement, you probably came-of-age in the 1960s. Thunder-thighs that I was back in those days (and still am) I both hated and loved Twiggy for the impossible standard of anorexia induced beauty she set. Who didn’t want to look that skinning in a polyester knit A-line dress? Raise your hand. I really want to know.

On the way home from the farmers market the prime country radio station was playing a song by Billy Currington and I was smitten with his ability to tell a sweet, boy-meets-girl story. If I had a pinky’s worth of musical talent I’d try my hand at writing songs but I spent so many years trying to learn how to flesh out my written thoughts that it would be difficult to condense my words down to the just the important ones to carry a story along. But mostly songs like Billy’s Good Directions have me reminiscing about what it felt like to experience sexual attraction like I did back in my husband hunting days when I wore A-line dresses and go-go boots. I can’t even remember the last time that actually happened. Even George Clooney and Matthew McConaughey have lost their power to make my heart skip a beat. Raise your hand if they still have power over your hormones. I really want to know.

“I was sittin' there sellin' turnips on a flatbed truck
Crunchin' on a pork rind when she pulled up
She had to be thinkin' this is where rednecks come from
She had Hollywood written on her license plate
She was lost and lookin' for the interstate
Needin' directions, and I was the man for the job.

“I told her way up yonder past the caution light
There's a little country store with an old Coke sign
You gotta stop in and ask Miss Bell for some of her sweet tea
Then a left will take you to the interstate
But a right will bring you right back here to me.”

It’s not hard to guess that after a few more verses Billy Currington wrote the girl “of his dreams” coming back to the flatbed truck with the last line of the song saying, “Thank God for good directions...and turnip greens.”

Recently I went to a fashion trunk show. Yes, you read that right. Me, the woman who’d gladly live in a bathrobe all day long if society wouldn’t judge that as an indicator of poor mental health or senior depression. But it’s true; I’ve gone from the A-line dresses of my best fashion plate years to a look that says if-my-breasts-and-tushie-are-covered-up-good-enough. I didn’t actually sign up for this trunk show. An acquaintance was offering the ticket to anyone who was available on short notice. I spoke up with no more forethought than I had the afternoon open.

I’d been to a couple of trunk shows in my past but this one was different. It was a like Tupperware party for what they called ‘investment pieces’---blouses, jackets and gauze vests one supposedly can wear for decades. They were all bright, floral and geometric prints that---to me---were so memorable I’d have trouble wearing them two seasons, no matter how many different basic, solid colors you can wear underneath. They also showed a line of ‘investment’ bling. “A woman should never leave the house without her bling” and if you bought into their spiel you’d be stacking bracelets up your arm like cord wood on an Amish farm. They talked about earrings and keeping them in scale but I stopped listening when they brought out the chunky hubcaps "for our bigger gals" that would elongate even a young person’s earlobes under their weight. Flabby, Golda Meir earlobes makes a person look older than gray hair and I fear them more than liver spots and arthritic knuckles. I did have fun at the trunk show, though, resisting the temptation to laugh in all the wrong places. Raise your hand if keeping up with fashion still matters to you. I really want to know.  ©

25 comments:

  1. Once I graduated from high school (where we had to wear skirts...that law changed the year I graduated), I have spent most of the rest of my life in jeans. Most of my youth was in blue jeans and blue shirts. Some years ago I moved to black jeans and coordinating black shirts! That is the extend of my fashion sense! I love color and working with color in fabric, but not on me!
    Not that long ago, I read an interview with Twiggy and she claimed (I'm not sure I believe her) that she was always incredibly skinny and and had trouble gaining weight. If it is true, it is interesting,because she set a generation of girls not liking their bodies because of its natural fat. The older I get (and as I get older, I use that phrase more and more!) the more I realize how effective corporations and companies are at manipulating our thinking. Such power they had that we all thought we should be tall and thin!
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. All my pants and purses are black. I'll wear jewel colors on the top but may add a print scarf. That's pretty much my uniform. But I must admit when I go to the senior hall lunches I'm one of the very few out of 115 who wears black in the summer. Many of these ladies are wearing good quality clothing from their working-in-offices years but some are still into shopping.

      That's interesting what Twiggy said. True or not the fashion industry wanted that look for many decades, didn't they. I blame them more than Twiggy for the impossible standards they set.

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  2. Don't know if I would even entertain the idea of shopping for the same clothes as my friends and neighbors. It's a rather big event when I buy clothes and it had become a necessity. If I still fit into my old-time 'little black dress' Of course, I would be a little more open to fashion.

    Not many men make my heart skip anymore. They have grown older, the same as I, and thanks for the media - have turned into the worst sort. (Lechers, wife beaters, druggies and drunks)

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    1. My little black dress is red and I haven't been able to wear it since the '70s. But I still keep it for the memories. LOL

      I just read an article about Tom Selleck, who I used to have a crush on decades ago, and he seems to be a good family man without a scandal in his background. But he's a Republican and I'm a flaming liberal. It's the Jets and Sharks all over again. (For you young ones, that a West Side Story reference.) LOL

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  3. I've been an adult all my life. Never was exposed to the things you describe. Apparently I missed a lot. I have good intentions to wear bold, bright, flamboyant, clothing but always come home from shopping with the same styles I've worn for years, just different fabrics and prints. My uniform these days is black pants, spring, summer, fall, and winter.

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    1. I didn't meet my husband until I was 28 and I suppose that did make a difference.

      At least you go shopping. I hate shopping for clothes.

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  4. I WAS Twiggy in High School, before it became fashionable to be so thin. Matthew McConaughey, still does it for me. I could not care less about clothes! Never have. My Momma made sure I was dressed well. After I got married, I lived in maternity clothes for the first 4 years, at which time, my Twiggy shape turned more into a Golda Meir shape! Didn't get my ears pierced until I was 40 and have never worm long, heavy, dangley earrings. Now, I'm gray haired and thin again--with flab under my arms and chicken-like legs, which I try to keep covered at all times! HAH!

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    1. I've seen photos of some of your suit dresses that were really stylish and still classic. I would love them if I had the figure to wear stuff like that again.

      I like Matthew's personality better now than his looks.

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  5. No. Fashion has never mattered to me. I only recognize a few designers' names and only for other reasons. In Oregon, I wear mostly black with a hit of color in accessories or vest. Since my 30's, I have black shoes and black purses.

    In Maui I wear mostly white with a hit of color .... scarf, hat, jewelry. My day to day outfits for around the house are monochromatic Maui "sweats" ... capris and v-neck t-shirt, 100% cotton. I have about 12 sets (some are just for yard work or painting or cleaning).

    After 12 years of not having to think about what to wear (Catholic school), I kinda like having my uniform!

    IF I shop for clothes, I try them on at home. HATE trying on clothes!!!

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    1. Interesting observation about the side "benefit" of wearing Catholic school uniforms. I would have thought it would be the opposite.

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  6. You're quite the poet - a poem with a repeat refrain! Execellent!

    My elder brother called me saddle-thighs at school. Plus I'm short. So, I'll leave the rest to your imagination. Twiggy I was/am NOT.

    I admire beauty, be it female or male. But beauty is skin deep. Never was into swooning over a visage.

    Not interested in dressing - the one who might have appreciated is long gone, and who else cares?!

    My down-in-the-dump moods is somewhat due to a colleague I bumped into recently. Her husband passed away recently. They'd been separated a long time, so she thought, what's the big deal? She was surprised by the emotions released, at the what-ifs and why-nots. Then her mother died, to add to the emotions. I sympathised. But it brought my own emotions to the surface and I thought, I can't deal with this. I don't want to get involved. I don't care how selfish that is. ~ Libby

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    1. When I first read this I thought I'd published my Saturday blog early by mistake because I've been trying to write about wanting to be selfish and not get involved in a situation like you with your colleague. I'm glad you shared that!

      "I admire beauty, be it female or male." I like that and I do too...like an art form. But only natural beauty that hasn't been surgically enhanced.

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  7. Hmmm... I'm wondering if having work boat shoes, dress boat shoes, summer boat shoes and fall/winter boat shoes qualifies as fashion. That's pretty much it, for me, although I do order my work wardrobe from a place in Florida called Cottonseed that sells all-cotton resort clothing. For work, I stick with the camp shirts and capris, and love them. They're more durable than you'd think, even for someone who spends her days crawling around on a boat. Most of the time, they last for a whole year, and even longer. The dyes fade after a hundred washings and daily sun exposure, but I don't care about that.

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    1. You have the most interesting career/job. And yes, your shoe collection qualifies as fashion.

      I checked out the Cottonseed link. I would absolutely wear their stuff.

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  8. It was Twiggy's doe eyes that got to me, way back when. Just like those on the Japanese anime. Like a woman-child, in a state of arrested development.

    You went to a trunk show? Can't do it, no ma'am. My fashionista days are OVER. Only trunks I would go out of my way for would be the ones around tiny little male derrieres.

    I do still care about keeping my own thighs small, the waist curvy, the butt not too too droopy, the earlobes pretty and petite, the tresses shiny, but I have accepted that my chin has fused with my neck, and my eyelids now tuck neatly under my brow. Only head I want to turn is my own.

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    1. I honestly didn't see a single thing at the trunk show that I like or would wear. To me, 'investment pieces' need to black, gray or other basic solid colors---not prints. I hated their concept.

      I'd forgotten about Twiggy's doe eyes!

      As active as you are I'm sure you don't have to worry at all about losing your girlish figure. I think I'm going to need an eyelid lift one day. My eyelids are dangerously close to covering up my view.

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    2. I've a friend whose lids were drooping dangerously close to covering up her view. She got the little procedure to fix this. It's deemed medically necessary, so, was covered by Medicare, at least in her case. Made a wonderful difference!

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    3. I think that will happen in my future, too.

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  9. I don't know where to begin. Twiggy's eyelashes were bigger than her thighs. I found an old Seventeen magazine in my attic or basement. Can't remember which, but Twiggy graced the cover. I believe she was wearing her A-line dress. Ha.

    I didn't even make it through the first paragraph without stopping to google lemon dream cookies. Yummo!,

    I can wear clothes everyday but not my bra. I can't stand it. It only goes on when company is coming or I'm going out. I run for the bedroom when the doorbell rings. I'm very fast at getting myself presentable. Wouldn't want to frighten a little Girl Scout or a delivery man.

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    1. Those lemon dream cookies were to die for. They make cookies like none I've had anywhere with all fresh ingredients.

      My bra gets unhooked with the 5:00 news and my robe goes on when it gets dark,I figure no Girl Scouts or delivery men will come to the door after that. LOL

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  10. I've always primarily been interested in classic styles that look good on me and weather most fashions. High fashion has held no interest for me and I thought Twiggy was pathetic. I welcomed pant suits and other pant type combinations as I thoroughly disliked girdles, hose with or without seams and pantyhose most of all. I think of my Mother's day when women wore corsets -- how horrible!

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    1. Girdles and pantie hose were such a pain, weren't they!

      I hate it when people make fun of Hillary for wearing pantsuits all the time. They are so much more practical for busy women.

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  11. I'm not a fashion plate, by any means. I stopped wearing skirts 20 years ago, and I could care less about the latest fashions. But I love design (clothing, garden, interior decor, etc.), and I have a mild addiction to Project Runway (for the design challenges, not the silly "reality" show drama). I love well-made slacks and trousers in good-quality fabrics and with a nice top and jacket. Once I finally get my former study converted into a sewing room, I'm looking forward to sewing my own clothes again and having things that are better made and better fitting than I can find in stores. -Jean

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    1. I like Project Runway too but could never figure out why. :)

      I used to make all my own clothes from age 13 to 30. I even took tailoring classes and made my husband a sports coat that was amazing if I do say so myself. I don't think now I'd have a clue how to sew anymore (other than quilting). I'm going to love following your adventure with your sewing room conversion.

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    2. I have ended up at clothing parties or trunk shows on occasion and almost immediately berate myself for caving into a momentary impulse to give a crap about "fashion". I try to grin and bear it, buys something cheap and get out asap. I'm not into "fashion", but rather finding attractive enough clothing that fits. That said, any day of the week you will find me in yoga pants and a t-shirt or hoodie. Sometimes my mala is wrapped around my wrist and I might throw on a pair of silver hoop earrings, if I'm feeling ambitious.

      As for hormones: Brad Pitt almost always and Sam Heughen in his Jamie Fraser (Outlander) role, when his hair is long and beard scruffy. :)

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