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

Friday, March 1, 2013

Dating, Dreaming and Firemen

I’m a person with a high tolerance for being alone but I’m so sick of my own company right now I’d like to scream. The snow was keeping me trapped in a cycle of shoveling and more shoveling broken up with periods of sleep and playing on the computer. I’m bored! And I’m seeing Don more frequently in my dreams again. Last night I was back in high school cuddling with a guy while watching a football game and Don was off selling peanuts to the other people in the bleachers. I hate football and I haven’t thought of the kid I was cuddling with in fifty plus years. He was nothing special to me back in those days, not a boyfriend or crush or even close. He was just a kid who grew up sitting behind me all though grade school and he got in trouble more than once for dipping the ends of my pigtails in his ink well. I suppose the dream has something to do with an essay I’d been working on about widows falling in love again. But I’ve been working on my taxes, too, so why wasn’t I dreaming about dating my accountant? Now there’s a macho guy worth having an imaginary cuddle-fest with while the whole world is watching. The widow is out on a date with a handsome, young guy! Bets are flying back in forth in the bleachers as people try to decide if he’s a grandson or a paid escort.

One of my sister-in-laws asked me if I’d like to fall in love again which is why I was trying to write about the concept. She was widowed a few years before me and she thinks it would be nice to have to a man to go out to restaurants with and I told her guys in our age bracket are only looking for good cooks and caregivers. “Someone would have to take us both as a matched set,” I told her, “to get both of those qualities.” It was a toss-away comment but if I was going to be truthful, I’d say the whole idea of dating again makes me sick to my stomach. And I hate the taste of Pepto-Bismol. Call it a selfish attitude but after years of being a caregiver I’m still worn out from the responsibilities that come with love, and I feel like a bear coming out of hibernation in the spring, still sleepy and looking around for what to do next. Love again? I'd rather have a bar of dark chocolate, but thanks for asking.

Besides, senior citizen dating sucks! During the years after we took my dad’s car keys away, I had to chauffeur him and his girlfriend of ten years around on dates. Their dating destinations were dictated by which fast food joints had the best coupons in the Sunday paper or which town near-by was having a VFW or lodge dinner or a sale on all-bran cereal. And who wants to go dancing at 10:00 in the morning? Apparently a lot of people do because that’s when they hold senior dances at a near-by fire department. When Don was still alive I couldn’t get us up and out of the house early enough to check those dances out. Now that I don’t have that excuse, I’m still thinking it’s too freaky early in the morning to polka or line dance or whatever it is they do down there. The band is made up of firemen and if they get a call, they’re out the door and you’re left dancing to a jukebox…or so I’m told. I suppose I should go see for myself for no other reason than I’d get a few images of hunky firemen stuck in my brain. Who knows, that might make for some sweet dreams at night. Jeez, I’m starting to sound like a cougar and I’m not even a cat person!

Before anyone else says it first, I know that not everyone in the septuagenarian and octogenarian sets go on dull dates like my dad and his friend did. I guess it means something that I don’t want to acknowledge my older brother and his lady friend would need tracking devices implanted if we wanted to keep up with their love life. They are literally all over the U.S. and Canada. It probably means I’m not bored or lonely enough yet---Yet? Gag me with a spoon!---I'm not going to roll the dice and gamble on another human being changing my life as I know it. It probably also means I’ve said everything I’ve got to say on the subject of falling in love again and it’s time to shovel some more of that relentless snow! Spring, where are you? ©

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