“When it rains, it pours” is an idiom meaning a whole lot of things are going wrong in your life all at the same time. I wonder if there is an idiom for a whole lot of good things happening at the same time. That’s the way I feel about the fact that after sitting “on the bench” for most of the winter there are six get-out-of-the-house outings penciled in my planner for this first week in February, a week without a major ice or snow storm in the weather forecast. (We've got a mini storm going on right now.)
Granted an appointment to take the dog to the groomers wasn’t very exciting but that was my Monday outing. Since he had to be dropped off at noon and picked back up at 4:00 I took the time in between to take my closet-purging bags to Goodwill. They’d been sitting in my garage long enough to give me second thoughts and more than once I was digging in those bags, wondering if I made good purging decisions. I did.
Among the things dropped off was a pair of brand new snowmobile boots in their original box with the tags still in place. I found them in a forgotten corner of the coat closet and I tried them on, thinking I could use them when I shovel snow. Guess what, I’ve gotten so old/weak since they were purchased that I couldn’t pick my feet up to walk with those heavy boots on. It felt like they were nailed to the floor---the boots, not my feet. And to think I used to traipse around in the middle of snowy nights, wearing heavy boots like that and holding a flashlight for Don while he repaired broken cutting edges and fluid lines on snowplows. He had so much equipment that something always needed fixing during blizzards. Sometimes when I look back on my life I wonder if all that stuff happened to someone else. Does that ever happened to you? Without a life-partner to ask, “Do you remember the time when….” I seem to have lost some validation.
After Goodwill I decided to go to the Breakfast Only Café where I knew I could strike up a conversation with others sitting at the counter. But I forgot it was Monday, the only day they are closed. So I went to a cafeteria style restaurant near-by. I picked a table near four thirty-something guys where I thought eavesdropping might be interesting. (Don’t judge me. Plenty of people had eavesdropped on Don and me over the years and if they inserted an appropriate comment with a “Sorry, I couldn’t help hearing” they often got invited into the conversation.) Can you believe it, these four guys spent 5-6 minutes talking about hairstyles they used to have, wish they had and hope they never get. One guy went so far as to pull a photo off the internet to show his companions! They sounded like a bunch of little girls. I cannot imagine my macho-man husband ever having a conversation like that. Times are changing.
After they left the restaurant, an old guy sat down at a table adjoining mine and over the half wall separating us he struck up a conversation. That’s when I realized that there were twelve tables with people dining alone and I was the only woman in old geezer-land! If I was in the market for a man, that place would be a prime hunting ground and I’d be eating there every morning, noon and night. I’m not in the market and I hate saying this because it makes me sound like a cougar but if I were in the market, old men have no sex appeal.
Don never lost his sex appeal as he aged but then again I’m not so sure that many/most widows don’t wear extra heavy, corrective rose colored glasses when we think about our spouses. When we no longer get annoyed by their petty guy things---burping on purpose to get a rise out of us or socks left next to the hamper---it’s easier to keep building that ‘dead husband pedestal’ higher and higher. Don wasn’t perfect but in my warped widow’s mind there are few guys, if any, in my peer age group who could compete with him in the Department of Homeland Sex Appeal, and it’s a little scary to have that train of thought traveling through my head. It makes me wonder if someday an old dude will be sit down at a near-by table, a train whistle will blow in my head and suddenly he’ll have sex appeal where before, he didn’t. Will this mighty tree in the forest fall and shout, “Oh, shit!” on the way down and the next thing you know I’d be on my way to Las Vegas for an Elvis-themed wedding with an old geezer who thinks I’ll make a good caregiver should he have a heart attack on our Viagra spiced honeymoon? Or worse yet, I’ll be on my way to Las Vegas with a young con-artist with a sexy smile who mistakenly marked this widow as a good cash cow. Good grief, with all that on the list of possibilities, I need to stay out of the Guy-Land Cafeteria!
The old guy at lunch was nice but the conversation was vanilla pudding. “Nice day isn’t it,” he said in his opening volley.
“It sure is,” I replied. “It’s been a while since we’ve seen the sun.”
“Do you live around here?” he asked
No, I felt like saying to that ancient line, I just flew in from Dallas to have lunch in this fine establishment. Out loud I replied: “I live on the other side of the river.” Five minutes of chit-chat later, I put my coat on and as I walked off I lied and told the guy, “It was nice talking to you.” I wondered if he was disappointed that I didn’t get myself another cup of coffee to prolong the chance encounter. If the conversation had been chocolate or pistachio pudding I might have. Thank goodness he didn’t ask for my phone number. Years ago when a guy would ask that question I usually gave out the number to the weather station's recorded forecast. I don’t think they’ve had a forecast line in ages. Now, you just google it if you want to know what’s coming. Do you ever wish we could google our futures? If we could, I wonder if I’d really want to know. ©