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

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Storm of Confusion

Back in 1967 a book came out titled Coffee, Tea or Me. It was about the escapades of two airline stewardesses and it was originally published as a memoir, but about ten years ago it was revealed that the book was actually a work of fiction. It had a ghost writer and the publishing company just hired a couple of stewardesses to go around on a book tour and do interviews posing as co-authors. I don’t even remember if I read the book but I sure do remember that title because some of the girls I ran around with back then used to jokingly say it while serving coffee at a service sorority I was in at the time.

Fast forward to yesterday when I spent two hours manning a refreshment table at the senior hall. After repeatedly saying, “What can I get you? We have coffee, tea and water” I was absolutely shocked when out of the blue the words, “We have coffee, tea or me” came rolling off my tongue. It was embarrassing, of course, but I laughed it off. That didn’t stop those words from popping out two more times! I was mortified and thankfully half the people in ear shot were hard of hearing and probably thought they miss-heard what I said. Needless to say, it will be awhile before I volunteer for that job again! I did have a revelation, though. People now and in the past who want to be friendly (or flirty) at a refreshment table all come up with the same opening line: “Did you girls make all these cookies?” And yesterday we replied: “We sure did, we stayed up all night.” Back in the ‘60s, though, we actually did stay up half the night baking.

As I recall “coffee, tea or me” was a great pick-up line back in its day. It was a flirtatious code for if-you-ask-me-out-on-date-I’ll-go. Those were the good old days when girls were still half way coy and boys didn’t shout about your body parts as they passed by in a car. “Nice rack!” “Bodelicious butt!” And they wonder why old people get flaky as we age. We have decade’s worth of memories that merge with our present day adventures to form a perfect storm of confusion. Now, when guys in my peer group say, “Did you girls bake all these cookies?” I am left wondering: 1) if they can’t tell store bought from the real thing; 2) they can tell, but they think cookie humor is clever; or 3) they still flirt 1960's style. Just as long as they don’t say something like: “Your rack has fallen below your waistline” I guess it’s all good.

The lecture/slide show I was serving refreshments at featured a father/son team of photographers from up state who had spent every Tuesday for a year going around Michigan photographing nature. Those Tuesday trips resulted in a 400 page, eight pound book that sold for $95.00. I could not believe how many of those books they sold after their breath-taking slide show ended---dozens of them. There will be a lot of cat food sandwiches serviced in my neighborhood between now and Social Security check deposit day. But I found it mildly amusing that a few of the elderly people in the crowd had to ask for a “carry-out service” to get their books to their cars. Lord, I hope that’s not me in ten years but after today, when I had to ask the grocery cashier not to pack my reusable canvas bags so heavy, I'm not so sure I will be lifting any coffee table books in my future. ©


  1. I remember the phrase and used it a couple of times--to my then husband. I'd probably use the phrase more now, LOL. I was thinking about my "rack" just this afternoon, when I caught a glimpse of my profile in a glass door. GEEZ LOUISE!! There has to be something that would keep those puppies at the correct height. No? Shucks!!

  2. Oh, how you make me laugh.

    Some how I missed the revelation about the stewardesses being hired to promote the book, but I remember that phrase very well.