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, October 18, 2017

From Boredom to our Laugh-Fest

Just click along to another blog if you don’t want to hear a bored widow wailing about stupid things that she has no right to be wailing about in the first place. That’s what happened when I hadn’t talked to another human in several days and it didn’t have to be that way. I have both a landline and a cell phone that I could have used to chat with someone plus a car in the garage that could have taken me to some people populated place when I got tired of being alone with no one but the TV to get fat, sassy and nasty with. Not that I’m ever nasty with people but I’ve been known to use a few nasty words when I talk back to the TV news pundits.

Since I got my new landline phone with the ‘block caller’ button I don’t get nearly as many junk calls as I used to get every night between five and seven. I did get one yesterday from a guy who wanted to warn me that my computer was being taken over by hackers. He said he was from Microsoft and was calling to help me fix the breach. I took great delight in saying, “Oh, no, that’s terrible! Please tell me what to do!” and then I pressed the ‘block caller’ button to disconnect the jerk. It’s hard to believe that people still fall for that scam, but apparently enough people do so they keep trying to find those suckers in the haystack.

Monday I got up at the crack of dawn if dawn came at 7:30. I hate getting up with an alarm clock but I had places to go and fun to have with my posse of Gathering Girls. The seven of us had plans to meet for an early lunch at a popular bar slash restaurant. They have a lunch menu that offers ten things for $5.50 each. Such a deal. The acoustics in the place were so bad I hope never to cross over their threshold again. But I would have loved the place if I was young and slightly buzzed at happy hour. The place was noisy and filled to the rafters with grey-haired old women and a few working class guys who had me thinking about the Village People singing Y.M.C.A. "Young man, there's no need to feel down. I said young man..." At one point we Gathering Girls were attempting to discuss a thrift store that unbeknownst to me is named ‘Y.E.S.S.’ and it was like the old Abbott and Costello baseball nicknames’ skit, “Who’s on first.” “No, Y.E.S.S. is closed today.” “Which is it…yes, or no?” “Africa’s Child is open, Y.E.S.S. is closed.” I was confused until I actually saw the thrift store sign a half hour later.

At the first of several thrift stores we went to after lunch, three of us put our purses in one shopping cart and it was like keeping track of the president’s nuclear codes football. “You’re in charge of the cart now.” “I’m taking charge of the cart.” “Where’s the cart?” “I thought you had the cart.” “I thought you did!” You can’t be too careful wandering around a place where a hundred dollar bill could probably buy out the entire glassware and china departments. Slight exaggeration. It might take closer to ninety dollars.

After leaving the last thrift store three of us stopped at the Guy Land Cafeteria for dessert and we laughed so hard two of us were ready to burst and the third Gathering Girl wasn’t far behind. It all started when lady number three shared that she goes to Bible Study every week because, she said, “I like the stories.” Then she leaned as if to share a succulent secret and in a voice barely above a whisper she said, “Sometimes I have doubts. Do you believe in the Immaculate Conception? I mean I’m just not sure… We’re supposed to believe everything in the Bible is true.” I leaned in and replied, “I don’t care if it's in the Bible it takes a man to make a baby!” Then I babbled on, as the other two laughed, about how back then they didn’t understand how a lot of natural things work, "why the sun comes up every day, how babies are made," etc. Lady number two chimed in, “We think we know the sun will come up every day but we really don’t know that for sure” which led to a remark about Trump blowing up the world. Yadda, Yadda and a lot of laughter later we noticed the man in the next booth had slid over in his seat so he could eavesdrop better. He probably wanted to point out that today a virgin could---with the help of modern science or a turkey baster---have a baby without having sex. It was one of the funniest, gut-splitting and most fun conversations I’ve had in a long time and I wish I could have recorded it to savor later.

Unbelievable, isn’t it, after me trying so hard for so long to find friends after my husband died, that I finally have some. Making new friends is not easy at any age but in widowhood it’s probably the hardest, and maybe that’s because so many of us have lost our best and longest standing friendships when our spouses died---that one person we could truly be our unguarded selves around. At least that’s my Truth to take or reject. ©

34 comments:

  1. For a bit you sound like me ... and I'm not a widow, I don't think it's a prerequisite. 95% of the time, it's by my choice though.
    Your 'gang' sounds like a hoot!
    How's your painting coming along? You never show any pictures.

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    1. I have painted an afternoon here and there but noting serious or finished. I'm one of these people who will paint over the same canvas a couple of times before i'm happy enough to show it to anyone. This winter I've promise myself to get into more seriously when I have more time on my hands.

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  2. Jean, I loved this post. This sounds like a wonderful day of laughs. We all need these don't we? It is difficult at any age to make friends and if Rick were to go first I would be in a puddle for months/years. So the fact that you put one foot in front of the other each day is such a good thing for you as well as me. Believe it or not you are a role model. One I hope to not have to mirror anytime soon however, you have opened my eyes to women like yourself and I now tend to find them and reach out. I mean, who doesn't need friends in life at all ages. I know I do. I can be a friend even if I have an ole coot hanging around my house. :-) That is how I met Lorrie but more often than not no one wants to play with me since I have a spouse. Sad to me, I couldn't be friends with "mommies" because I didn't have kids and now I can't be friends with a widower because my husband still lives. Our world is funny isn't it?

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    1. Gosh, you're said so many nice things, I hope you can see the blush on my reply fonts. I seriously hope you don't join the widow's club either. But if reading my blog can help married women appreciate what they still have and don't sweat the little, petty things all marriages have, I'm happy about that.

      I've run into the opposite situation in my travels---that it's the married woman who don't want to pal around with single widows for fear those woman are after their husbands. Not going to happen. Ya, it is a funny world we live in.

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  3. Jean :

    I so wish you lived close by & had liked me enough to be your friend and go out with me. I do have family & friends but no friends like I used to have in college & school where you spend all your time talking with them. I guess I need to grow up. I so enjoy your gathering girls group

    Asha

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    1. Asha, I would hang out with you if we lived close by. I don't think it's at all unusual that you haven't had any close friends since college. I really didn't have them either when my husband was alive because he was my best friend and all our other friends were couple friends. And sadly, they often fall apart after a spouse dies.

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  4. This is such a Joyful Post! I love that you are loving life with these ladies.

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    1. It's taken some work to form our little group but maybe because we have grown together slowly it will grow deeper. At least that's my hope.

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  5. What a great day for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love laughing so hard it makes tears and hurts my stomach. It's been ever so long since that has happened.

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    1. The stomach hurting kind of laughter truly is the best, isn't it.

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  6. What a great day! So glad you have developed a great group of nearby friends! :)

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    1. Thanks. I wish I could live that day over again. LOL

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  7. Love those days when the wrinkles added are all laugh lines. My support group has such a fun time that strangers often come up to our table and say "You all are just having too much fun." Is there even such a thing as too much fun? So glad you have such a fun group also. Keep enjoying.

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    1. I've experienced that happening, not sure with who or where but I remember people saying that. Heck, I've even said it to strangers. Good natured laughter is good for the soul.

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  8. Great post Jean! I'm glad you wrote about it---it was such a fun day! We have a great group to laugh with and everyone is kind to each other---so nice to have in this challenging world. I think we'll all be friends for a long time--I hope so anyway.
    BL

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    1. It was the kind of fun that had me still on a high the next day. We'll probably all be friends as long as one or two of us still have driver licenses. LOL

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    2. I didn't think about that but probably true. Although, we could still get on our computers or phones. :)

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  9. You're my role model too! Because of you and your blog, I venture out of the house more! Thank you!

    Very happy that you're having fun, and enjoying yourself - long may that continue. ~ Libby

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    1. It takes courage sometimes, doesn't it, to venture out of our comfort zones.

      Unfortunately for me, the snow will be coming soon which will keep me at home more than is healthy for a widow. I wish I could figure out how to set up group phone calls...I can't even think of what they are called to google it.

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    2. Jean :

      If you have smart phone you can do google hangout with your friends online by downloading google hangout & google calender app on your smartphone & once you post event on your google calender & invite all your friends to join you at that time, you guys can all join in google hangout & do your video group chat for free. drains battery fast though but quite good feature, or another easy option is to download whatsapp messanger which also allows group messaging & easy to stay in touch with friends

      Asha


      Asha

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    3. Great tip, Asha! Most of us Gathering Girls do have smartphones and I think the others might be as motivated as me to stay connected to the group in the winter when we can't get out. I will check it out.

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  10. 'Conference calls'.

    You'll figure it out! Libby

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    1. Thank you!!!! I could not think of that for all the tea in China. I'm thinking they might be fun to try with the Gathering Girls come winter time.

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  11. You have gathered a great group of friends with these ladies, I am so happy to read of your adventures with them.

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    1. Thanks, it's almost as much fun to write about our adventures as it is taking part in them.

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  12. LOL, I think your group was confusing the immaculate conception with the virgin birth. The Immaculate Conception is that Mary was conceived and born without the stain of original sin on her soul. Regarding the virgin birth, I was thinking the same thing, that maybe that had some early version of donor sperm and the turkey baster. Of course, to believe in the immaculate conception, you'd first have to believe in original sin! These comments are probably too irreverent for some tastes; blame it on 17 years (kindergarten through college) of Catholic school. ;-) -Jean

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    1. That's what made it so funny. None of us knew the Bible well enough to be discussing it but we all had the same level of irreverent that none of offended anyone. But what you're saying might explain why this blog entry doesn't have as many comments as others I've written. LOL

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    2. What a wonderful entry! While I still have my husband his early dementia leaves me often talking to myself. :-)

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    3. Thanks! Having been a long time caregiver, I know exactly what you mean.

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  13. Glad you could have such good laughs together — probably added more time to your lives! I get confused with original sin as guess it was taking a bite from the forbidden apple. So what did we have a few generations ago — Johnny Appleseed traveling through so many states planting apple seeds for trees to tempt us all with more apples. Then we got those heath specialists telling us, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” What do you and the Gathering Girls think about whether or not we should eat apples?

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  14. I'm really glad your group is developing as it is, and that you're enjoying it so much. Your comments about the group of working guys singing "YMCA" cracked me up -- but you'll never guess why. I came across an entomologist who studies peacock spiders in Australian and New Zealand. There's nothing quite like... well, you'll see!

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    1. That's really funny and the first time I've ever enjoyed watching spiders without going "YUCK!" But no, kidding, I never would have guessed a spider could be so colorful. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. I copied and pasted your "nuclear code football" purse paragraph to my BFF cuz we laugh about purse issues all the time. I am sooooooo happy you've found your Priestess Tribe. LOL

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    1. Yes, that's want it is, isn't it: A Priestess Tribe. Purse issues have been with me forever. I couldn't trust my husband to keep an eye on it and now I'm finding the same thing with forgetful friends. We were practically the only people in the place so they weren't in much danger...only in my mind. LOL

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