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, December 6, 2017

Wickedly Funny Widows at a Christmas Party



I should know better than to order a holiday sweater online. I did it in plenty of time, had it been the right size when it arrived in the mail but it was so big it looked more like a Christmas dress. The quality was good and the cuteness factor was right up there with the best of them, so I returned it for an exchange. Big mistake. I should have returned it for credit and ordered another one only smaller. It would have come in the mail in time for my parties. Can you believe it, I’ve got five on my calendar this year! The first one was this week with my group of Gathering Girls. Next up is a UAW party followed by a Red Hat Society party, a book club party and the most important of all, my family party the Saturday before Christmas. The sweater will probably get here in time for the last party, but since I plan on living another year I’ll have a Christmas theme sweater to wear in 2018. It will be my very first holiday themed sweater. 

The Gathering Girls party was at the condo of a lady who henceforth be will be known as H.P. Planning a party in a group that’s never had one before was tricky and when we couldn’t agree on a menu we decided that since H.P. volunteered to host the party, she’d get to decide. Her house, her rules. When she announced her menu, I jumped in (too quickly) to volunteer to bring a dessert. Little did I know that two of us would get a pass from bringing a dish and instead would be assigned to help serve and clean up in the kitchen. I do those two things far better than I cook or bake. But I’ve gotta say I love the concept of letting a couple of party attenders opt out from bringing something. The holidays can get overwhelming and if not having to bring a dish to pass takes the pressure off someone, it could make a difference. And surprisingly, it felt good not to be constantly looking for ways to jump up and be helpful to the host. I was the dessert lady, not the coffee-tea-or-let-me-take-your-plate lady.

I call myself a ‘food assembler’ not a cook so for my dessert I dug up recipes for mini tarts and I bought a backup Oreo Ice Cream Roll dessert just in case my tarts didn’t turn out well. I made chocolate cordials, Italian almond orange and lemon curd tarts. The morning of the party I was torn over bringing the tarts or the backup dessert so I brought them both but only the tarts got served. My lack of kitchen confidence is officially out of the closet with my gal pals. Still, they all had glowing things to say about how the tarts tasted and looked and to the best of my knowledge they didn’t send anyone to the hospital the next day. 

H.P.’s tree was the prettiest one I’ve seen in ages; it was thickly covered with ornaments and birds from all over the world and our party was timed perfectly because when she takes her tree down she’s going to divide her tree decorations up to give away. So it was her very last tree. The luncheon table was decked out in fine linens and china and it sat in a lovely room with an oriental inspired decor`. After coffee was served, we opened gifts. We each brought a ten dollar “consumable” gift to exchange and one woman gave Christmas postage stamps. How cleaver was that! We tried to play a game where you get to steal gifts from each other but none of us could remember how it went. And not a single one of us thought about googling gift exchange games. If there had been millennials in the room their cell phones would have come out and a quick draw contest would have taken place to see who could come up with the information first.

Then we got to joking about becoming a modern day version of the Golden Girls and all of us moving in together. H.P. had enough room, but like planning the party menu we couldn’t decide on which of us most closely aligns with which characters on the TV sitcom. None of us wanted to be lusty, southern belle Blanche Devereaux so I might have been the one who suggested the two youngest would have to duke it out because they’re the only ones in the group who can still turn a few male heads. As per our Modus Operandi laughter filled the air and after the only Trump supporter in our group had to leave to go pick up her grand kids from school, we got around to irreverently solving the world’s problems. Once again, we found ourselves trying to decide which ladies among us would make the best leaders in Washington---after we kicked the whole bunch there to the curb. I called dibs Mitch McConnell’s job in the senate. No one stepped up to the plate wanting to be the president so I was drafting a bill in my head that would allow us to do a nationwide talent search for another No Drama Obama type president. Our three branches of government would never be the same if we wickedly funny widows were in charge. ©

20 comments:

  1. It sounds like a wonderful party! Beautiful home, Xmas decorations, and great company - you did well.

    I think you did well to be a dessert-provider, rather than helper since you could sit back and relax. I suspect I'd have done the same as you ie make something, get a backup, and then taken both! (PS It saves you having to consume the extra calories.) ~ Libby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish it had worked out that way...leaving the back up dessert behind for the host, but we all took our extra stuff home with us. It still amazes me that we all have such an easy time talking with one another.

      Delete
  2. What a fun party. Wish I'd been there. I can't believe you have five parties this holiday season. I would eat my way through from beginning to end. :) I bet your tarts were delicious. I always make baked beans to take to my brother's house for Thanksgiving because he loves them, but I also made a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting this year. There were so many desserts at the dessert table that only a few slices of my cake were eaten. I decided that I will take an appetizer next year: a cheese/fruit/nuts/crackers platter or crab dip/spread. That crowd would probably go for the crab dip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At family parties it's easier to decide what to bring because we know each other's tastes and signature dishes. We always had baked beans at parties when I was growing up but they have fallen out of fashion on that the millennials are doing more of the cooking. At your next party probably no one will bring dessert because this year you had too many. LOL

      Delete
  3. I've been trying to remember if I've ever had a Christmas sweater. I don't think I have. I surely would have remembered it if one had been lurking around. My mother was a great fan, so I've purchased plenty of them, but didn't keep any after she left for that big party in the sky. Some I offered to women in her knitting group, and they were thrilled.

    I'm looking forward to our Native Plant Society party this year. It's our first year as a group, so our first party. It's potluck, of course, but the big attraction is going to be a table full of donated, unwrapped gifts. There will be a random drawing by ticket, and the person whose number is called gets to go choose. The good stuff will go first, of course, but it's also true that one person's treasure is another's trash gift, so there's that. I'm contributing two jars of beautyberry jelly (made by a woman in Florida -- I don't do such things), a book on orchids, and envelopes of basketflower seeds that I'm still in the process of cleaning. It was my first experience of seed gathering, and lots of fun. I suspect the party will be, too. It certainly sounds like yours was.

    I need to get my tree up one of these days, don't I? As my great-aunt Rilla said and as I love to repeat, "Tempus fidgets."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great idea for a gift exchange game. I hadn't realized until I googled the topic just how many ways where are to distribute gifts. I don't even know what beautyberry jelly is so I'd go for that. If given a choice, I usually go for the gift I brought, if given a choice. LOL Although having the consumable gift rule, I wouldn't do that. Every gift I've gotten with the Red Hats always ends up in the Goodwill Box and some of those ladies cheat and spent more than the $10 so some might get a far better gift than others.

      I'm not doing Christmas decorations this year. What would your great-aunt have to say about that? LOL

      That was a great thing to do with your mom's holiday sweaters. My mom used to make sweaters with designs knitted into them---cowboys and dancers, etc.---and that's one of the reasons why I liked the sweater I ordered. The decor wasn't just sewed on top, the polar bears where knitted into them.

      Delete
  4. That all sounds like fun! Good for you, making such a complicated dessert array. I'd have defaulted to bar cookies, probably, with pretty frosting or streusels. You really went for it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They may have looked complicated but they were REALLY easy but time consuming. I'm making tarts for my book club party, too, but only two different kinds.

      Delete
  5. OH what a lovely fun party. Your baking sounded perfect to me. (and you weren't given a list of foods not to use like dairy, meat, grains etc) You really have a busy social calendar Jean! Enjoy!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait to hear about your dinner with the vegans. LOL My next party up---this weekend---won't require I bring anything as they cater the whole thing and the food is always good. My kind of party.

      Delete
  6. Five parties? You go girl. How nice of the Trump supporter to leave so you could divvy up Washington. Anything you gals did would be an improvement. Might borrow that, "which golden girl are you", game for my luncheon tomorrow. Sounds fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was fun but it could be a little tricky in some groups if not everyone has a good sense of humor. Rose, Dorothy, Blanche and Sophia all have such strong, one-note character development and we humans are anything but one-notes so we can see a little of ourselves in each character.

      Delete
  7. What a party girl you are this year! And genuinely enthused about going! So far, I have just two although I may host one. We are 3 blocks from the river and the Christmas ships parade by on Saturday, Dec 16. And it is predicted to be good weather!

    Not having any decorations put up means you will enjoy others that much more! Hooray for YOU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'll see if I'm a party girl or if Mother Nature snows me out a few parties. For sure, I can go to the one coming up on Friday. After that, it will be a crap shoot. But I'm optimist this year.

      Delete
  8. Huge fun those Gathering Girls! I'm green with envy, and may try to start one up here.

    Your plans for Washington just may play themselves out in the next few years. If not yourselves, then many more women running for office could change the climate for better in DC. It's waaaay overdue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure your prediction for Washington will come true. Al Franken being pressured to resign by his colleagues is setting the stage for the Democrats being the party with the morale high ground in 2012.

      Delete
  9. What a great way to begin your party season. I had fun just reading about it, and I love the option of choosing to donate set up or clean up services rather than bringing a dish. -Jean P.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i was impressed with that idea too. It made a difference.

      Delete
  10. How I wish I had been there! You gals are a hoot! So happy for you, Jean. And I'm stealing that "food assembler" moniker. Me too...sort of. I'm more of a "Open the package and heat it up" cook. Healthy though...very healthy. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steal away. It really fits how I approach kitchen duties and bringing things to parties. I learned from my niece years ago that if you buy a deli item to add one ingredient to make it your own. Works like a charm.

      Delete