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

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Yuck Factor and Propositions

Right in the middle of a conversation about politics a recently divorced guy told me that if we don’t use “it” we’re going to lose it and therefore we should think about exchanging "sexual favors.” Oh, goodie. The widow gets her first proposition! Well, isn’t that special and especially coming from a guy old enough to have six great-grandchildren. I wish there was a ‘delete’ key on other people’s tongues that we could use to stop them from saying stuff like that. But we don’t and now that the words are out there my esteem for the guy sunk down to the Yuck Factor along with another guy’s who, shortly after Don’s stroke, turned into a first class predator. That guy tried to buy Don’s collectibles before we even knew if he’d live or die. One of the signs he wanted I recently sold on eBay for over five hundred dollars and he had offered me twenty bucks a sign to get “the worrisome stuff off my hands.” I didn’t have ‘stupid’ written on my forehead back then---nor do I now. I wanted to tell him my hands would throw them in the trash before selling them to a predator like him. I was as shocked by his proposition as I was by the one I got a few days ago. YUCK! Yuck, yuck! Where is my Purell sanitizer? I want to wash my ears out and pretend I didn’t hear what I heard. Don’t guys realize that once you proposition someone like that it has the power to ruin long-running friendships?

Thinking about these two guys today made me feel lonely, lonely for the kind of person I married. Not that I’m looking but are all the good guys in the world just a fond memory? As soon as I typed that last sentence I realized how unfair that question is to the male population. I know lots of good guys---my niece’s husbands who are both salt-of-the-earth types, my brother-in-law who is kindness personified, an ex-neighbor who helped us so much in Don’s post-stroke years, and my nephew just to name a few of the good guys in my life. I shouldn’t take the good guys for granted and dwell on the predators, I know that, but they reminded me of how different Don was from the predators. Once Don and I went to a garage sale of a recent widow, for example, and he took one look at the prices she had marked her husband’s tools and he told her that she needed to close her doors and get someone who knew tools to help her mark the stuff. She had specialized die maker’s tools marked twenty-five cents each that even used sold for $50 to $100 each back in those days. No predatory instincts in Don. He could have bought them all and resold the tools to the apprentices he worked with and made a tidy little sum. I could name a dozen examples of Don going out of his way to be kind to older widow ladies. My dad was like that, too.

Some would say we have to forgive something like a proposition. After all, not all widows would classify a proposition the same way that I’m doing. Some might even find the idea of trading “sexual favors” no strings or emotions attached to have a great deal of appeal. That’s a question all widows will eventually have to ponder and decide for themselves because as sure as the sun rises and sets it will probably happen to each and every one of us. But let it be known if it ever happens to me again that filter in our brains that keeps us from blurting out our first thoughts is going to be on vacation and I’m going to say: “Oh yuck, yuck, YUCK! Sex without love isn’t for old people like us.”  ©


  1. Allow me to commiserate: "YUUUUCKKK!!!"

    Except for the stories about Don. Hey, you found yourself a gem. You had him. You hold him in your heart, still, and always. I just adore the story about him advising the widow about the tools. You carry that with you, too, out here in this yucky world.

  2. Thanks! Don really was a good guy.

    That guy I wrote about above will forever be be linked to the word 'yuck' in my book.

  3. Perhaps this is a great story to tell other guys, and watch their reactions. That'll tell you a lot. There are givers and takers, and this guy popped himself into one of these categories. YUCK!!!

    In the meantime, people like Don are attracted to you and vice versa, because like follows like.

  4. Thanks, GoWiththeFlow. I just feel sad that I lost someone who I used to enjoy talking politics with. I won't be able to do that now without wondering when the other shoe is going to drop.

  5. Sigh...truly good guys are hard to find. My husband and dad were like that, too. Even as an adult, I'd show up at my parents house to hang out, and while my mom and I were chatting, by dad would disappear with my car, and come home back with new tires, oil changed, etc. And it wasn't just because I was his daughter. He was just a kind man. I am glad to hear you were blessed with this kind of guy, too. Though it makes for such a tough act to follow, and big hole in our lives. As for the sleezy proposition, I am trying hard not to laugh, but the way you tell it, the way you see things always has me laughing. We need to come up with a witty comeback you could use to defend yourself from sleazeballs...

  6. We have to laugh at things like sleazy propositions. It's the best revenge we have in this world. But if you come up with a witty comeback, be sure to share it. ;)

  7. The late, great sociologist Jessie Bernard argued that, because women are supposed to marry men who are superior to them in some way (income, education, height, etc.), who is left at the end of the pairing off is the "cream of the crop" women and the "bottom of the barrel" men. Sounds like you've been encountering some of those bottom of the barrel types. :-) -Jean

  8. Interesting theory. It's not hard to figure out why the guy is divorced, is it. :)