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, August 25, 2013

The Project

In recent weeks I’ve become obsessed with my skin. My face is full of lines and wrinkles and suffers from years of neglect. So what’s the problem, you’re thinking, two out of three of those things are age appropriate, aren’t it? Well, yes, they are however my mom had skin like a porcelain doll when she was my age and I’m bemoaning the fact that mine isn’t. Apparently flawless and fair English skin skips haphazardly through the generations. My famous Colonial era ancestor---whose portrait hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.---plus several great-aunts, my mother and one of my nieces are all skin twins. Why not me? I share the same gene pool. It isn’t fair.

One day I was in the facial products isle of the store when I spotted what is essentially a power sander for your face and after seeing a second brand of the same type of tool I decided it must be the latest and greatest gadget designed to take dollars away from wrinkly old people like me. What the heck, I thought, it’s never too late to start caring about your skin. So I bought a face sander. The second time I used it I got too much water on the disposal pad and some of the micro-derma abrasion in the pad dripped into my eye. Let me tell you, it hurt almost as much as the time I Crazy-Glued my eye shut. But I was undeterred. The next time I used the mini power tool on my forehead I got smart and held a washcloth along my eyebrows to catch any drips.

I am in week two of my of skincare project and I can see a difference but not enough difference to make some old dude at the senior hall want to eye-hump me from across a room. That’s a joke. Old dudes can’t see that far for one thing, and for another I just heard that term for the first time a few days ago and I’ve been wanting to use ‘eye-humping’ in a sentence every since. It makes me laugh---maybe because ‘hump’ was my late husband’s favorite euphemism for sex. Besides, at the senior center there are ten plus women for every guy so if I actually did want to get eye-humped I’d have to stand in line. There are some beautiful, slim trim and well-put-together women in my peer group. Although I must say some of their conversations are lacking. For example the last time I was there some of the women at my table were talking about jewelry brands until my eyes crossed and I wanted to scream, “Who really gives a flying fig!” Apparently the answer to that question is at least four out of  the 109 women who were in the hall that day.

The box my power sander came in---it’s actually called a micodermabrasion system---makes many claims about reducing pores and age spots leading to smoother, firmer skin with less wrinkles and a luminous glow. All that for twenty-one bucks. What’s not to love about that prospect coming true in six to eight weeks? But with my luck and enthusiasm for the product I’ll probably end up sanding all my facial features off and no one will recognize me without my nose and high cheek bones. I’ll keep you posted.

Fall is approaching. I hate that. Do I want to see my first gaggle of geese heading south? No! Do I want to see frost on the pumpkins or radiant colors in the trees or any of the other sights that inspire poets to form pretty sentences on paper? Hell, No! I want time to stand still, to stop its march across my life. I want. I want. I want. Do people ever quit wanting what we can’t have? I suppose, though, if we were predisposed to never want change mankind never would have invented hand tools or the wheel and I’d be in a cave right now drawing on the walls while waiting for the mud mask on my face to dry. What? Even cave women must have wanted to look good. Why else do you think they invented the comb and leather thongs? ©

“You don't stop laughing when you grow old,
you grow old when you stop laughing.”
George Bernard Shaw

Painting above:  Old Woman at the Mirror by Bernado Strozzi


  1. Eye-humping--I do so love that, I must find a way to use it in my every day conversation! Whenever my husband came home from work and declared"It's hump day!" I'd reply, "I have a headache!" Let me know how that little power tool works and the brand--I can't afford a facial with all the good stuff to take off the bad stuff, so---I would try it for sure.

  2. The "power sander" I bought was by Neutrogena and the brand I didn't buy was---I think---by Olay. If you get one be sure to price the replacement pads because that's where they really make their money. I've seen these systems go for over a $100 though.

    The eye-humping phase was used in a movie I was watching. Two guys were in a bar and one said to the other: "You've been eye-humping that girl all night. Why don't you go talk to her?" Glad you found it as amusing as I do.

  3. Ah ha ha! That IS a funny term!!! And we've all seen it taking place.

    Thank you for writing so often. I just love reading your blog. And the fact that you respond to all your comments. How do you have time for the Senior Center at all??? Thank you also for your advice to write a blog myself. It IS therapeutic! I have been changing names to protect the innocent, but I think I may go back and use real names. This is my real life!!

    It's called The Awkward Widow at http://awkwardwidow.blogspot.com/

  4. Welcome to the blog, world, AwkwardWidow! I just wish you didn't have such a compelling reason to start one. I just finished reading all your entries and I know you are going to find it therapeutic to have a place record all those 'widow thoughts' you don't know what to do with.

  5. Jean, You are too funny. The face sander sounds painful is it (apart, that is, from getting debris in your eyes)? Even if it doesn't make you look 29 again, it might have conversational possibilities; the next time someone begins a boring conversation about jewelry, you could shift the discussion to skin care products :-). -Jean

  6. Actually, it's not painful at all (except for getting in your eyes). It really makes your face feel super clean.

    I'll remember this blog topic the next time a conversation about jewelry comes up. Thanks for the suggestion. LOL