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

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Busy Week, Book Club and May-December Romances


This week has been a ballbuster if I had balls to bust. What a curious word ‘ballbuster’ is and after looking it up I’ve been ‘educated up’ on the fact that I don’t need balls or to be talking to anyone with them to be a ballbuster. The word has been around since the 1940s, a U.S. slang for “a person who is relentlessly aggressive, intimidating, or domineering” according to the Merriam Webster online dictionary and backed up by my yellowed and falling apart paperback dictionary of slangs and euphemisms. That book is an old-timers version of the online urban dictionary and I love it. I just checked at Amazon to see if it’s still in print. Jeez, I can get another used paperback for a mere $59.00! Time to get the Scotch Tape out and do some damage control. Wow, did I get off topic. Where was I and what was I planning to write about?

Oh, ya, it’s been a relentlessly busy week with too many activity, too many days in a row for my old bones. I’m worn out! Monday it was a movie followed by a LONG dessert date that I already wrote about a few days ago. Tuesday was the dog’s beauty spa day when I do a lot of errands while I wait for him to put a $50 dent in my checking account. One errand took me to Lowes. I had to get screws and a piece of wood to replace a handrail on my deck and I found a newbie worker to cut the rail for me. “I do this kind of thing for my grandma all the time,” the young guy told me. He was so new he didn’t even have a tape measure on him and after he searched in vain for something to measure with, I loaned him mine. I’ve been carrying that six foot tape in my purse so long the business it advertises had a four digit phone number. Tuesday I also screwed down some boards on my deck that had become trip hazards. Wednesday I went to recycling and to a Red Hat Society tea followed by a quick stop at the grocery store. 

And then came Thursday, the day of my first meeting with my new, monthly book club. The book under discussion was The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald. In my opinion it’s one of those ‘palate cleaning’ fluffy books best read after a meatier book that taxed your brain. I made the mistake of reading it the first week that I got it and it wasn’t too fresh on my mind by the time book club rolled around, so I was nervous about jumping into the discussion. I wanted to make a good, first impression and you only get one chance to do that.

There was a character in the book who was the town Church Lady who was having an affair with a bi-sexual guy half her age but I wasn’t going to touch that topic in my first discussion with the club because in my old book group that topic probably would have prompted a few comments on the 'evils' of homosexuality. But just between you and me May-December romances are not my cup of tea when it’s the woman who is just a few years off from being a pedophile. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. He was in his early 20s and she was in her mid-40s but the affair was still planted firming in the land of yucky-dos as far as I was concerned. Is it sexist to accept the May-December thing if the guy is the older one smooching all over a younger woman, but not the other way around? One of the Readers Guide Questions that comes in the back of the book asks, “Why did they feel the need to hide their affair?” Are you kidding me? Small town, pillar in the church, May-December affair then throw in the bi-sexual element and that's a lot of red meat for any gossip mill. There’s a young guy who is often in the community room when we have our Red Hat Society teas. He’s like a puppy we adopted and we feed him whenever we have snacks. He’s a tall, dark and handsome cutie-pie who flirts with us all for free cake and ice cream but I can’t in a hundred years picture any of us having hot sex with the guy.

Surprise, surprise…when a question came up at book club about which character in the story do you most identify with, five ladies---one after another---said they wish they could have been the woman having an affair with the younger guy. God, we laughed so hard! For once, I was not the most liberal woman in the room and that felt great. One woman over-shared that she hadn’t had sex in 37 years and wasn’t sure she’d know how to do it anymore but others assured her it was like riding a bike and it would come back to her. Even though no one rated the book very high, the discussion was lively, funny, fun and clearly my brand of humor is going to fit right in with this group. Everyone laughed when I said, “If you ever have your grandson drop you off to book club, you’d better keep a close eye on him.”

And now I’m wondering if I should take a second look at the guy that my Red Hat sisters feeds ice cream and cake to. Nah. Not a chance. Nope. Out of the question, no siree! Not for all the tea in China. Not on your life. When pigs fly. Fat chance. You can take it to the bank that I will not become a Mrs. Robinson to Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin in The Graduate. ©

Post script: Comments always welcome and encouraged but if you don't have the time or desire to leave one please consider checking a 'reaction' square or two directly below.

22 comments:

  1. Okay, so the employee at LOWE'S could not locate a TAPE MEASURE!? I feel like this is the craziest part of your whole post. What the hell? They have an entire WALL full of them. I don't care how new he was.

    But, more importantly, Jean...was he cute? Cute enough to go back? ;-)

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    1. I thought it was crazy, too. People who work at places like that always carry a tape measure. But to answer your question, he had a cute personality but physically he was not. Good grandson material.

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  2. I have a question Jean pertaining to that lady who hasn't had sex for such a long time, what type of bike was it, the boys bike or the girls bike? ha,ha,ha. Hey, I like cake & ice cream too but I also like the other part. LOL I'm really silly this morning. I just woke this way. Ha,ha,ha. Well now that I have given you a happy day, have a great day my friend. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. Hey, waking up in a silly mood is the best. Glad my post could add to that.

      Funny you should mention the bike. It took me the longest time to learn how to ride a bike when I was a kid. I remember one time my mom saying she was going to give it away if I didn't start riding the darn thing.

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  3. As for the ages in the book, I can see it working. That is pretty close to each gender's sexual peak. But--what on earth would you talk about after?

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    1. You bring up a very good point about gender sexual peaks. a woman was that much younger than a guy in a relationship I would think the pressure to stay looking young and acting would become an obsession and all young women would become a perceived threat.

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  4. Funny ... I can't picture you NOT speaking your opinion! AND ... that you are okay man/woman May Dec but not the other way around. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

    I'm also very shocked at how many women do NOT have sex! Really? Something is really wrong with me. I sure do miss Mr. Ralph.

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    1. Really? I write my opinions easily when sending them out to the blog world but I'm not outspoken in person. I don't like confrontations.

      You're assuming that not having sex is the same as not missing it. Don't you think that the five women---all widows---in book club who said they wish they were the character in the book were really saying they missed sex? That's the way I took it. Sleeping around isn't for everyone...not saying you but in GENERAL, sleeping around or going without are the only choices if you're not in a committed relationship. And since so many older guys date younger women, the pool for dating when you get to a certain age gets rather small. So I guess I just made a case for older women dating younger guys. LOL

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    2. Maybe talking doesn’t have to be CONFRONTATION ... maybe it’s just conversation?

      I was thinking MARRIED women in your group. I have several married women who do not have sex. Big difference. Glad I clarified.

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    3. In all the groups I'm in there maybe 10% that are married. I tend to forget married women exist in my age bracket. LOL But I'm glad you cleared that up. I was wondering if you had a friend with benefits on the side you weren't sharing in your blog. Many widows get propositioned with that idea.

      I live in a very conservative, religious area and there are a few topics you learn not to talk about in public unless you want to listen you're singing in the Choir so to speak or you want to Bible scriptures as a rebuttal. It's a little different/better now than when I was younger, but I spent my first 60 years being careful about sharing opinions that I knew didn't fit the normal where I live. Hard habit to break. Heck, I know a couple of women who can't even talk about sex, abortion, homosexuality or religion with their own daughters because their daughters are judgemental and preachy and don't respect their opinions. There is no talking to black/white thinkers without THEM becoming confrontational if you point out the grays in between.

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  5. I've been waiting all week to hear your thoughts on the election. I was sure you'd make your Saturday post about it. I always look forward to your political posts! This book club sounds great, so glad you found it. And yep, sorry but it is sexist to say it's ok for an older man to have a relationship with a younger woman but not the other way around. My own personal cut off is 12 years younger. And the answer to the commenter above on what you'd talk about: if it's just sex, you don't need to talk after and if it's deeper than that, you'll be surprised on what all you have to talk about, much like any relationship where you have common interests. Looking forward to Wednesday's post!

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    1. Sorry to disappoint you. I thought everyone would be burned out over politics once it was over with. But the jackass in the White House didn't even give us a day before he started in with his lies and disrespectful rhetoric and firing Sessions. But over all I am pleased that the Democrats took the house and now have some checks over what he can do.

      Twelve years is a reasonable spread. I laughed out loud at your comment about not having to talk after sex if it's just sex, I don't remember Mrs. Robinson talking to Benjamin in The Graduate. Not to mention that even in a committed and loving relationship sometimes even then it's just about sex.

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  6. It sounds like this book club is a much better fit for you. Isn’t this the one that you mentioned you had gone to years ago?
    I really don’t read novels any longer and my old book club still gets together but not to discuss books as a main topic! We did have a few years of pleasant conversation about the books that we read but I don’t know that we care to read random selections any longer! For me, time is too short to spend time in a book unless I am reading it for a purpose!
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. Yes, I belonged to this group before my husband died and he got sick near the end and I couldn't leave him alone. Five of the original 11 are still in it. So I'll have to get to know the others. I can tell it's going to work out great.

      I like the idea of getting together for good conversations. Our library has a group like that.

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  7. No, don't you think you will -- but I'd love to read the blog posts if you did!

    Thanks for coming by the Gypsy! Love seeing you there.

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    1. Oh my gosh, if I ever run out of things to blog about I can see, now, what I'll have to do for 'inspiration', the sacrifice I'd have to make for the craft of writing. LOL

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  8. Hehehe! A delightful post. Glad you are back with your book club. It must be difficult for older women that still want sex but can't find a partner. Why not look to younger men?! As for me, I'm deliriously happy not to be a slave to those hormonal urges anymore. After all these years, I feel like ME again (pre-puberty me, that is...I thought I'd lost her). If you watch Big Mouth on Netflix, I really resonate with the Jessie character (who is horrified by how she changes mentally, while entering puberty) in that respect.

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    1. I'm really trying to resist getting Netflix but you and others keep making it harder and harder to do. Haven't seen Big Mouth but I remember the horrors of hormone shifts during menopause and puberty...not fun.

      As for missing sex (at any age) maybe that's why the romance genre books and movies are so popular? LOL

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  9. I think there’s an incestuous aspect to most, if not all May-December relationships whatever the sexes involved, including the same-sex ones and maybe even especially them, based on some I know very well.— even one of who came to that conclusion about themself and was troubled by it, I think. I had long before concluded that but never said as much, even when the person made that self-assessment to me later.

    Funny book club tale! Reminds me when I was in my sixties I was surprised to get hit on by some young guy, not unattractive, but not to me. I wasn’t sure if he thought I was a lady of the night or was attracted by my looks. Naturally, I preferred to believe the latter. Actually, I didn’t feel flattered, but was repelled, though I tried to be compassionate. I just looked at him and said, “Do you know I’m old enough to be your mother?” He never blinked an eye, but didn’t comment on my question either. This was in just a run-of-the-mill chain coffee shop I sometimes went to with friends and felt comfortable going to occasionally in the evening alone, too.

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    1. Interesting theory in your first paragraph. I know two May-December relationships and I could see that maybe applying to one of them, but not the other.

      Your coffee house story is funny. I actually did go out with a guy one who was six years younger than me but he had lied about his age and I thought he was only 2 years younger. When I found out he was only 17 I dropped him like a hot potato.

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  10. Funny! Your book club sounds like a fun bunch of readers. I actually do think it's sexist to accept older man/younger woman relationships but not the other way around. I think it says something about how we view older men (still sexy/vital/attractive and a good catch) and older women (used up/desperate/being taken advantage of, as if no younger person could really desire an older woman!) Glad you've got your old group back...your grandson comment cracked me up.

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    1. My absolute favorite person in the world has a May-December marriage---she's the younger one and they've been married a long time. So I have to accept those. LOL Her marriage is solid and after the first year it was easy to see they belong together.

      My new book club is a much better fit.

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