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, September 23, 2012

Stepfordville for Old People

Back in the 70s there was a movie named The Stepford Wives. It was a science fiction thriller about a woman who came to suspect the submissive housewives in her new idyllic neighborhood were robots created by their husbands. As she watched the new arrivals in town change from independent-minded women to mindless housewives she became increasingly alarmed and started an investigation. But by the end of the movie sadly she, too, becomes a docile, robotic wife gliding through the supermarket. In 2004 there was a remake of the movie followed by several spin-offs including The Revenge of the Stepford Wives and The Stepford Husbands, but that first one will forever be my favorite.

Last week I was reminded of that movie as I toured a place I have since dubbed Stepfordville for Old People. I had signed up for a free trip to the zoo and a free gourmet lunch through the senior hall. It was sponsored by the marketing department of Stepfordville and before the zoo and lunch their marketing director took us around their 36 acre facility. It was the kind of place where you bought one of their 200 apartments and as your health declines they move you down the line---first to an assisted living unit on campus, next to their nursing home section and finally they finish you off in a Hospice unit. It was a beautiful place and they had everything you could ever want: a pool, beauty shop, grocery store, bank, gym, golf league, card clubs, dog walkers, investment broker, an on-site 24/7 minister, doctor and nurse, a formal restaurant and a causal café, walking trails, woodworking shop, arts and crafts room, deer, quilting club, classes, maid service, library, underground heated garage, real estate people to sell your house and a moving service to get you settled into the place. It was …well, just a little too perfect and what few residents we saw along the tour looked like they were plants in a TV commercial for Stepfordville. Everyone was so happy, so perfect dressed in their old people preppie outfits.

I did a lot of thinking about Stepfordville in the coming days wondering if I could be happy in a place like that and I decided there was something creepy about the place. Maybe I watch too many movies. Maybe my imagination works overtime. I'm not sure why the place gave me bad vibes, but I do know one thing: Stepfordville would be a great location for another Stepford spin-off. And their sun tanned marketing director, all decked out in his Armani suit and tie and GQ shoes would make the perfect villain.

Stepfordville sponsors other free trips about town. They say you can go on as many as you want and while the others are getting escorting around their campus you don’t have to go along if you’ve already done the tour a time or two. You can stay in their library and read a book. Oh, sure, that’s probably where they have the secret door to the laboratory where they turn you into a robot then get you to sign over all your money. So let it be known if I disappear someday go look for me walking around the grounds of that perfectly perfect old people’s community. And no matter how many times I tell you I’m really, really, really happy there. DON’T BELIEVE ME! ©




  1. Well, that's just spooky as the dickens!!!!!

  2. Ya, someone has the same sense of 'spooky' humor as I do! LOL I should have saved this entry for Halloween.