Today I got word that Yahoo Contributor Network is closing in a month and all the content I wrote for them---32 pieces---is reverting back to me. YCN owned the rights and I got paid according to the number of clicks each article received. A few of those 32 pieces were actually entries into their contests and below is one of them. It was written in 2007 for a writing contest on how you met your spouse. Over the next month may be moving 4-5 other pieces over here. So please indulge me if they don't relate to my post-widowhood life....
My 'When Harry Met Sally' Story
If my life in the late 1960s had its own theme song it would have been
ALFIE. When I close my eyes I can almost see a younger version of myself
running around with my arms spread wide open, long flowing skirts
giving me grace, and with a voice coming out of me that sounds like
Dionne Warwick singing: "What's it all about, Alfie? Is it just for the
moment we live?" I see myself leaping and strutting around a city park
belting out line after line. "Are we meant to take more than we give or
are we meant to be kind?" I see the orchestra of Burt Bacharach running
along behind me, trying to keep up with the pace that I set while still
playing their instruments. Those piano movers are really working up a
sweat. "As sure as I believe there's a heaven above, Alfie, I know
there's something much more, something even non-believers can believe
in. I believe in love, Alfie."
That's the Walt Disney version.
During my "what's-it-all-about" era I was actually a dating machine,
searching for love and the meaning of life in all the wrong places. It's
funny how the passing of time can make you forget a thing like that
about yourself. I've been looking at old diaries today and when read
1969 I was actually shocked to see that so many guys' names had filled
up page after page. Ten of them! All those guys were trading places back
and forth as if they were race horses going around and around on a
track. First one guy would be my favorite, then another. Break ups and
makes ups and near-fist fights. One guy even turned out to be an
undercover cop working on a case involving a shirt-tail friend of mine.
As I read those diary entries I couldn't believe I was reading about my
own life. I wanted to break out the popcorn and get a score card.
My power dating era was winding down by March of 1970 when Don entered
the pages of my diaries. We met at a bowling alley that had an adjacent
pub with live music and dancing. It was the local hunting ground for singles. I was
on a lady's league on Friday nights and when Don and I met it was far
from love at first sight---at least not for me. Oh, Don was good looking
enough to curl a girl's toes and lord knows conversation never lagged
when he was around. But I met him along with a friend of his who looked
like he shared the same gene pool as Tom Jones. He even had the same
weighty voice in an era when Tom Jones was red hot on the charts. Of
course I wanted the other guy, not Don.
For the next six months I
dated them of both frequently, on different nights of course, but the
three of us often found ourselves hanging out together on Fridays after
bowling. All that time Don kept telling me that his friend was a
one-night stand and if I went out him again, he (Don) would stop asking
me out. The friend did turn out to be an irresponsible loser, but Don
turned out to be a liar because in spite the fact that I kept dating his
friend, he hung right in there date for date. I couldn't quite figure
these two guys out. I was guessing they had some kind of contest or bet
going, so I didn't trust either one of them. Finally six months out, the
log jam broke when Mr. T.J.-Look-a-Like started dating a woman he later
married. It was in that same time frame when Don first declared that he
loved me and wanted us to get married. It took us thirty-one years and a
severe stroke for us to follow up on that idea. And in those thirty-one
years we spent more time together than most married people do.
It's weird how your memory can play tricks on you. Before I cracked open
my old diaries today I had already written the story of how Don and I
met. I couldn't believe how far off from the truth that first draft was.
I had to scrap it and start all over. I'd completely forgotten about my
marathon dating in 1969 and about the triangle dating thing we had
going for the six months after Don, his friend and I all met. I had
given that whole period the Walt Disney,
Off and on
all afternoon I was reading to Don from the pages of my diaries and I
told him that I wish I could figure out how I could hold on to these
books until twenty minutes before I die when I'd like to burn them.
Every ten years or so I get them out and give myself a good laugh. It's
also cathartic to watch yourself grow in spirit and wisdom over the
years as you turn those yellowed pages. Don and I remembered another
afternoon years ago when we sat reading and laughing over my old
diaries. We stopped laughing, though, when we came across an entry about
a chance meeting on cruise night at a local drive-in restaurant, circa
1958. We're 99% sure it was us and our two best friends I had written
about who passed jokes back and forth while sitting on the hoods of our
cars. (How many other Ron, Don, Nancy and Jean combinations could there have been in my hometown back then?) So, I guess you could say that we've actually got two "When Harry
Met Sally" stories to tell. ©
Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!
Welcome to my World---Woman, widow. senior citizen seeking to live out my days with a sense of whimsy as I search for inner peace and friendships. Jeez, that sounds like a profile on a dating app and I have zero interest in them, having lost my soul mate of 42 years. Life was good until it wasn't when my husband had a massive stroke and I spent the next 12 1/2 years as his caregiver. This blog has documented the pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties and finally, moving past it all. And now I’m ready for a new start, in a new location---a continuum care campus in West Michigan, U.S.A. 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. (Just remember I'm looking through my prism which may or may not be the full story.) Stick around, read a while. I'm sure we'll have things in common. Your comments are welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean