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, October 17, 2018

Everything that is Old is New Again



It’s one of those mornings when the thoughts in my head are as hard to nab and put down in writing as bobbing for apples in a tub of water at a Halloween party. As the game goes, you try to pick an apple up with your teeth but the apples keep slipping away and you get your face wet trying, to the delight of everyone watching. No one is watching me try to come up with a cohesive topic to write about but if someone were here, they’d snicker and poke fun of how many stall tactics I’ve been taking to the whole write-a-blog-entry-or-die-trying thing I’ve set forth to do today.

I learned during one of my stalling side trips that in recent years the game of apple bobbing has come under fire for being “unsanitary and it could lead to blindness.” Sounds ridiculous to me, given the fact bobbing for apples has been around since the Romans invaded Britain in AD years. If it were true, billions of kids and young adults would have been asking for white canes and Seeing Eye dogs for Christmas. I suppose it could happen but I prefer to believe it’s a rumor started by the makers of an iPhone app that takes apple bobbing to a place I don’t care to go. Everything that is old is new again.

After getting sidetracked googling apple bobbing, I tried to remember if I’ve ever played the game with an old friend I had lunch with this week. Nope, the Halloween party for adults I’m thinking of was with a different group, a group for singles sponsored by the YMCA, a group I joined in my twenties when I was in hot pursuit of husband material. But the old friend I had lunch with was part of a package deal I got when Don came into my life---three guys who met in high school and who stayed close their entire lives. Since Don died, Gary and I have been getting together spring and fall, meeting half way between where we both live. And we talk on the phone whenever the political world heats up and we want to bitch to another member of the choir. This year was special for him because we met at a bar/restaurant the three amigos hung around in their school days. It burned down last year and was recently reopened. Brand new, but with enough nods to its history to make the hometown people happy to see it back. Everything that is old is new again. Ever notice how many times we can say that as we age? 

Letty Cottin Pogrebi, founding editor of Ms. Magazine and co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus once wrote, “We need old friends to help us grow old and new friends to help us stay young.” I don’t know about the staying young part but forming new friendships does add value to one’s life. And in that pursuit I met with my Gathering Girls pals on Monday at the Guy Land Cafeteria. This past summer we’ve been meeting at different places and while that was nice, so many places now days have such poor acoustics that carrying on a conversation is a challenge. I just ran into an article that said the new decorating trend in restaurants of high ceilings and hard surfaces has resulted in the number one complaint of diners being “noisy” and a couple of new apps have been created to measure the decibel levels in restaurants so it can be posted in reviews. People talk at 60 decibels and anything over 70 in public places causes you to raise your voice. If they keep developing more and more apps for this and that, will phones have to grow in size again? How many apps can those little buggers hold before they'll squeal like greased piglets in a county fair game? 

After lunch I was pulling one of my hearing aids out and pulling it in my change purse, something I often have to when I go to the movies. One of my Gathering Girls pals and I went to see A Star is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Everything that is old is new again. I remember going to an earlier remake of this movie---this is the fourth one---with Barbara Streisand and Chris Christopherson in the leading roles but as I sat in the theater this time I couldn’t recall how the story line was going to end, so I was as shocked as any newbie to the theater. As I sat listening to Lady Gaga sing the finale---God, can that girl sing---it struck me that the song she was singing will become a classic. Spoiler Alert: It’s a perfect anthem for anyone who has lost someone they loved. ©

“Wish I could, I could've said goodbye
I would've said what I wanted to
Maybe even cried for you
If I knew it would be the last time
I would've broke my heart in two
Tryin' to save a part of you…”

All of the film’s music was written by Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper and Lukas Nelson (Willie Nelson’s son). Such a powerful trio of talent! If you’re as interested in Nelson’s contributions to the film as I was, you can find an article about it here.

 

26 comments:

  1. When I read your first paragraph about bobbing for apples, I thought about how they've sidelined it because of germs. It seems like there's always somebody somewhere who's staying awake nights worrying that somebody somewhere is having fun.

    I hate restaurants like that. I can't hear when the background noise is too loud. It takes away from the enjoyment of a meal with a friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that the truth! Innocent fun must be stopped at all costs.

      I wear hearing aids and they pick up all the background noises in places with high ceilings and I can't help but think it's got to double their heating and cooling bills.

      I see you were up late, I had trouble sleeping last night too.

      Delete
  2. You know Jean, I was going to talk about bobbing for apples but all I can think about is that song from lady Gaga. Wow, very powerful. I told Mary Lou that we are going to have to see that movie.
    Now about bobbing for apples, I have never bobbed for an apple in my entire life. The only way way to get sick is for the water to be toilet water.
    It's great that you and Gary get together once in awhile. A friend that I grew up with, was in his wedding party eventually moved to Alberta. I saw his mother one day and told her if Mike was to visit, have him give me a call. Well he did, we got together, him, his wife and me and we had a tremendous day. After we left one thing we said was when he comes back to visit remember to call me so that we can see each other again. I can't wait. See ya Jean.

    Cruisin Paul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've bobbed for apples quite a few times, mostly as a teenager. I think kids now would rather have spook house on Halloween. I really hate that holiday and what it's evolved in in the last decade with the walking dead parades and all the adults who dress up to trick or treat with their kids.

      It really is great to see old friends who've moved away. Now that our parent generations have died off, I don't see my childhood best friend anymore. Enough your friend while you can.

      That song builds and builds, doesn't it. When it ended in the movie, the lights came on and no one moved or said a word for the longest while. Very powerful song.

      Delete
  3. I have bobbed for apples and lived to tell about it.
    I didn't really like the original Star Is Born with Judy Garland, so I probably wouldn't like this one.
    Why does the world have to take everything that was fun, back in the day, and now put a non-fun label on it. I was once the "victim" of a Snipe Hunt. I suppose now I could sue all those kids for harassment? After all, they left me with my two stones to click together and a bag to catch the Snipe, all alone in a dark cornfield.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the music in this version of a Star is Born but for reasons I can't articulate I liked the B.S. and C.C. movie better.

      Snipe Hunts were a popular thing around here, too. I never got the two stones to click together, feel cheated. No wonder I never caught a snipe. LOL

      Delete
  4. Sleep has been jumbled at this house also! The planets must be misaligned.

    With two little guys in the house, we decorate for every holiday. Mr 7 turns 8 on the 28th. But boys are so gruesome! šŸ™„

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last night I got four hours of sleep!

      I used to decorate, at the very least, my front door but I don't anymore. Having kids around does make it more fun.

      Delete
    2. I can't believe that Mr. 7 is turning 8!

      Delete
  5. How on earth could it make you blind? Oh well, don't think I ever even caught a cold from bobbing. How nice that you manage to keep that old friend in your life. Really doesn't take much effort does it but too often we let them slide from our lives. Keep it going.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eye infections from the water, some sites actually suggest you used bottled water if you're going to bob. Crazy isn't it.

      Ya, it is nice because we can tell stories about stuff we've all done over the years. Letting things slide with relationships is SO easy to do, isn't it. I have to actually schedule phone calls to people I want to touch bases with a couple of times a year.

      Delete
  6. I have never bobbed for apples can you believe it? I was at parties as a kid where this was done but did not partake. But blindness? A sharp apple? So to my question on my blog, didn't you think that she looks better in the film than as her Gaga self? Or was that just me? I never saw the 1st one, but I saw the 2nd with Garland and as I said i didn't care for James Mason in the role, I love the Streisand and Kristofferson one so much that I was afraid I'd hate this one. But I did not!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blindness from getting an infection from the water.

      I did think Lady Gaga looks better as a natural person without all the make up, unnatural hair colors and costumes she uses to detract from people seeing the real her. I think she has a deep inferiority complex about body/face image. She's really cute in the photo above and others where she's natural.

      I think I liked the music in this version better than the Streisand version but it's been a long time since I've heard the B.S. and C.C. version. Worth the price of going, that's for sure.

      Delete
  7. Wow, that song. My love passed away 10 years ago next month and listening to this song made me realize I was too young at 45 (and probably now at 55) to have shut myself off from love, especially out of fear of going through it all again. I know he wouldn't have wanted me to. This made all the "feels" come out. Not sure I could watch the movie in a theater without breaking down at the end. I don't remember bobbing for apples but I do remember when we would play a game where each person put an apple in the crook of their neck and had to pass it to the next person without using their hands. I never liked that game, too up close and personal for me, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember that game but I don't remember if I ever actually played it.

      You were a young widow! One of my gathering girls pals was younger still with little kids to raise and she's my age now. She'd dated a couple of guys seriously but just couldn't get herself to move forward in the relationships. I was so impressed with the artistry in this song and the way Lady Gaga preformed it, so easy to relate to because it expresses universal widowhood feelings. It was serendipity you heard the song so close to your sadiversary.

      Delete
  8. I checked out the synopsis for the film, and thought: there's nothing new under the sun. I've seen a few with the same theme. No, the film doesn't interest me.

    The kids keep me current. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have got a smart phone, laptop, etc!

    PS: Sometimes I have problems in commenting. I feel guilty reading, and not contributing, even if it's just a one-line response - but system often too smart for me. ~ Libby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I didn't have to add the "prove you're human" part to posting a comment because I think that out-smarts more than just you, Libby. But it keeps me from having to wade through a ton of spam.

      I think sometimes we like to see remakes just to see how they did change it. There are some old black and whites I wish they'd do again. I hate watching black and white films but they did a lot of good stories back in those days.

      Delete
  9. I'm over all these remakes on television and in film. I was unaware that they were doing all new music in this new "Star" version. While Kris Kristofferson's vocals and music overall do nothing for me, Streisand is tough to beat.

    But even on TV--shows like MacGyver, Magnum PI, Hawaii 5-0,--are coming back with different casts but the same characters and premises. Why? Do something different.

    I guess maybe they are trying to get all the Old Timers who don't stream shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or YouTubeTV to watch network and not figure out how to use Smart TVs. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's cheaper and easier to rework the old stuff than start from scratch. Not enough writing talent out there to fill all the new air time. Back in our day it was three channels, and not around the clock to fill. Now it's 100 channels 24/7. I don't stream shows. I suppose I should learn.... :)

      Delete
  10. Dear Jean, have to tell you that this posting was one of my favorites that I read this week. It's so full of new information for me. I love to learn and you gave me ideas to explore. So thank you. I think it's wonderful that you and an old friend call one another to talk politics. I do that with a friend of 41 years and we so fret and sometimes despair about what's happening in our country right now. Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm always glad to know when a post of mine inspires someone to ideas to explore. The blogging community is like that, we feed off one another, learning new and sometimes quirky stuff.

      Glad you've got a buddy to talk politics with too.

      Delete
  11. You may have had trouble getting started, but what great post you ended up with! I haven't thought about apple bobbing for years and never knew it was now considered a dangerous sport. I hate loud restaurants and it's one of the reasons I rarely go out anymore. I know how that makes me sound...reclusive and curmudgeonly. I've been wondering if I'm having hearing problems, but the truth is I hated loud places even when I was young. I hope that trend is winding down. I'm gonna get that decibel app! A friend of mine said she read a review of A Star Is Born where it was criticized for being too "old" for the messaging -- that a shy, retiring girl has to prodded and even embarrassed and harassed into performing and finding her voice. I haven't seen it and shockingly have never seen any of the previous 3 versions. But I love Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, so it's on my list for when it comes out streaming on Netflix.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think that's a fair criticism of the movie. She was preforming in a drag bar when Bradley's character first saw her. It didn't take a lot of prodding to get her on a bigger stage with him. She was shy about preforming her own songs at first, which I understand. Your own songs put your heart out there in a different way than performing other people's words. Do see it when you get a change. They were both great on screen.

      Delete
  12. I wonder if the whole water thing is just a matter of ignorance is bliss. So much more has been learned about germs, illness causes, plus new med issues as people move more freely around the world with new “bugs” and we carry to them — all sorts of germs/diseases/variations — not to mention how much more polluted our waters have become. I recently read about just one of several drinking water contaminants that wasn’t discovered ‘til 1990. Certainly true of mountain steams I used to drink from, but wouldn’t dream of doing so now lest someone had their waste emptying into the waters to name a few issues we were not aware of as people have expanded their living areas. There have been a lot more concerns, even in Michigan about city water since Flint, I’ve read about, but not highly publicized. We’ve had our issues in Calif., too — everywhere in U.S. We may not like it, or may want the old days (will never have that), but it’s a different world now.

    Am intrigued with wondering what it must be like living most of my life in one general area most of my life, seeing old classmates from grade school. My only living live long friend died a couple years ago. Was fun to remenisce though we hadn’t seen each other for 60years, were scattered about the country from each other, finally on opposite coasts. Even by husband’s buddies, as you described, lived half way across the country so letters and phone were all we had, except for rare visit, and continued after he died, but they’re gone now, too. Glad you can still enjoy your old friend.

    I agree about the pits of acoustics so many places. I’ve always disliked any sort of music other than instrumentals where people are gathering and talk as in restaurants. Also, either the vocalists voices are loud and interfere with talking, or they’re irritatingly muffled and can’t hear all the words.

    I have admired Lady Gaga ever since I heard her sing on Academy Awards and enjoy her with Tony Bennett as does a pretty good job with jazz. Her underarm tattoos are ugly, distracting, incompatible with armosphere she’s trying to create with traditional and jazz music I think, but then I’ve never been a fan of decorative body mutilation (though my ears are pierced — so am I a hypocrite? Ha). Haven’t seen the movie but will be curious to see it. Didn’t care for James Mason as the best actor for that role in original movie — didn’t care for Kris Kristofferson in his role either and as much as I enjoy Bradley Cooper I’m thinking he’s miscast, too. Don’t know why they do this with strong female singers — maybe so they won’t distract from them.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You bring up a great point about the water being different now than when we were kids. That never entered my mind and it should have since I live within two miles of a major water contamination site.

      Lady Gaga is a great musical talent but she's got to give up all the gimmicks, in my opinion, and just sing if she wants long-term staying power. I hate her tattoo too. I hate anyone's tattoos. LOL

      There wouldn't have been a remake of A Star is Born without Bradley Cooper. It was his baby since the conception. The basic story line for all four versions calls for a less talented singer than the female lead so she can soar to heights the male lead can't go talent-wise. I never really knew much about him or his past roles before this movie and I thought he was perfect in the part. I read a lot of background info on the movie and I'm impressed by what all he did to make this movie.

      Delete