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

Monday, December 10, 2012

Shopping at the Widowhood Village Grocery Store

At the grocery store today an old guy was checking me out so I examined my shoes to see if I was dragging toilet paper from the bathroom where I’d just been. Nope. Maybe my hairdresser was right, I thought. Low lights in my hair really are old geezer magnets. Well, she didn’t exactly say that but she did say they make me look younger. But as quickly as that thought came and went I realized I was wearing a red sweatshirt to show union solidarity against our governor’s Right to Work legislation and so was my ‘admirer’ who, as it turned out, really wasn’t one at all. I smiled. He nodded back. And now we were union buddies who’d just exchanged the “secret handshake.” So much for flirtatiousness in the septuagenarian set. As I walked away, though, I decided it was much better to be admired for my political action participation than for my hairstyle.

Have you ever been shopping and spotted something that you knew would change your life if you could just take that item home? And, no, I’m not still talking about the bench-sitting guy at the front of the grocery store. I’m talking about a product. A new product---well, new to me at least. I’m talking about Weber Beer Can Chicken Seasoning for “grilling enthusiasts.” Oh, my! I don’t know why it was love at first sight. I don’t drink beer and I gave away my outdoor grill a month ago, but having a spice to give a “robust punch” to the chicken I rarely cook---well, like I said, I just knew my life would be perfect if that bottle of spices jumped into my shopping cart. Maybe it was the design of the cap that makes it easy for arthritic or clumsy hands to open that made me fall in love. I like good package designs. Whatever the reason, $1.89 for a few minutes of entertainment in a grocery aisle is pretty cheap.

Shopping is sure different without Don. I’ve had eleven months, now, to get used to shopping in the Widowhood Village grocery store compared to twelve years of shopping in Caregiverville. Anyone who’s done that knows you don’t have time to read labels and fall in love with products with handy little tops while shopping in Caregiverville. Nope. It was hurry up so I didn’t have leave Don too long at the front of the store, sitting in his wheelchair next to the bench were the man in red was perched today---the wife-waiting department. Don would drink Starbucks, people watch and thoroughly enjoy both and I’d have to get my shopping done before he needed a trip to the bathroom which he couldn’t do on his own. Flossie and Fred in the handicapped bathroom stall---if you don’t catch the dark humor in that reference you’ve never read The Bobbsey Twins in a Radio Play or The Bobbsey Twins in the Mystery Cave or any of the other 135 books in one of the longest running children’s series ever written.

Flossie and Fred Bobbsey and the other set of twins in the family, Bert and Nan, will go on forever. Too bad life doesn’t follow the same path as fiction. When Don and I was doing our Bobbsey Twins routine, though, one thing could have been written in stone. Don would have enjoyed seeing the guy on the wife-waiting bench checking me out. He would have thought that man had good taste no matter how gray and old I look. I miss being loved like that. ©


  1. Yeah....I miss that too! Great post!

  2. I think our spouses always have that image of us being the age at which they met us and we of them. So, I thought other women found my husband as attractive as I did. However, now that he's gone, I have started looking at men my age and thinking they all look so old! Which makes me wonder if those other women were looking at him and thinking he looked old too. I've started trying to picture what these "old guys" might have looked like when they were the age that I met my husband, hoping this might make them look a little more attractive to me. So far, it's not working out very well :)

  3. Donna, I think you're right about our spouses not really seeing us the way we've aged but rather how we looked when we met. I've even thought about writing a blog about that theme because, I too, have been checking out guys my own age and find them all so OLD looking. I have no interest in dating again. It's more a curiosity thing, trying to figure out why some widows jump right back into the game and others don't.

    Love your comments!