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, December 22, 2018

The Men in My Life


Monday was the dog’s appointment at the groomers. He was sixth in line with the schnauzer specialist and it wasn’t even noon. Glen says Levi has the best temperament of any schnauzer he’s ever met. I used to worry that I’d bring the wrong dog home sometime---that breed all looks alike---but the older he gets, the more I think that might not be such a bad thing. Puppies and old dogs spend more time at the vets. Glen says the salivary gland issue Levi has is common in the breed and to expect it to happen on the other side of his mouth as well. He says to rub a little Bag Balm on the area every day and that will help keep the gland open. One of the jobs my husband had growing up was to milk the family cows morning and night and they used Bag Balm on cow udder ouchies and he swore by it for healing and softening rough hands. It’s amazing that I’ve had that product in the house for nearly a half a century and I’m still hearing about new uses for it.

While the dog was enjoying his spa day I had errands to run---get the car washed, go to the post office, go the candy store and have lunch at the Guy Land Cafeteria. I forgot how busy everything gets so close to Christmas. The first carwash I went to had twenty plus cars in line so I went to another where I was fifth in the queue. I hate that second carwash but I hate waiting in line even more. At the post office I was also fifth in line with ten holiday-jolly people behind me and the window wasn’t going to open for another ten minutes. I try to avoid the post office this time of the year but I had my two 23 & Me DNA kits to mail and I wanted to get them to their lab before all the people getting kits for Christmas come flooding in. Registering that 23 & Me health kit took FOREVER. If you don’t want to answer a bunch of questions about your health history, don’t get one. If you plan on living a life of crime, skip both the health and the ancestry kits.

I also had thirty-something Christmas cards to mail that I could have dropped in the outside box but then I would have missed seeing the woman sitting on the post office floor boxing up her gifts in priority boxes and the others in line not prepared for the task at hand. Who waits until they are standing in line before putting addresses on their Christmas cards? My cards included a one page, typed letter and the first paragraph read: “Dear Family and Friends, I’ve been writing Christmas letters for many years and I’ll bet a few people wonder why I keep doing them when even sending Christmas cards is falling out of fashion. The answer is simple, it really is but I forgot what I was going to say so there you go.” The letter went on in this silly manner and ended with, “As you can see, I’ve been keeping myself busy since my second __th birthday and now if I could only remember why I keep writing Christmas letters you might not be inclined to start a rumor about me losing a few too many marbles in aging my head. Wishing you a holiday season full of whatever makes you feel well loved and happy.” 

The candy store was so busy I couldn’t find a place to park so I decided I could do without buying the little boxes I usually hand out like---well, like candy---whenever the situation moves me to do so. At the Starbucks window, on a table along with my tip, in line at the Dollar store, to the Salvation Army bell ringer, etc., etc. This place makes all their own, pricey chocolates and you can get tiny gold boxes that hold one perfect truffle. So this year, another long-standing Christmas tradition bites the dust here on Widowhood Lane. I didn't even bring the wreath for the front door up from the basement.

At lunch an old guy two tables away was either staring at me or sleeping with his eyes open or dead. I couldn’t decide which. He was a grumpy looking man in a flannel shirt and an Elks Club hat with an untouched coffee cup sitting in front of him. He creeped me out and I tried looking anywhere but straight ahead at him. Off to the right was a guy in a pink tie who was a fine piece of eye candy who came dangerously close to making me remember what it was like to be horny. To my left was a roly-poly guy chewing on a plastic straw and using it like a tooth pick to clean his teeth. I was fascinated that anyone could do that. 

At one point the guy with the straw threw it on his plate, then picked it back up and licked ketchup off it before sticking the unchewed end back in him mouth. While it was on his plate he was an animated talker and telling a story that required him to pretend he was peeling bills off a stack of money. I didn’t have my hearing aids in so I could make up my own version of what he was telling his co-worker and I was writing in my notebook as fast as I could about the lap dance he was probably getting. Grossing myself out on that story, I glanced over at Mr. Pink Tie. Except for the blond hair, he still looked just like Princess Charming and so out of place surrounded by men like the dead-eyed guy and Mr. Roly-Poly who was dressed in Carhartt bib-overalls. Those overalls and his wind-whipped complexion pegged Roly-Poly as a man who works outdoors in the winter. Finally, these men in my life left. Sighing my disappointment, I closed my notebook. Thank goodness for the Guy Land Cafeteria. It's the best people watching place in my kingdom. ©

P.S. Lest you think I'm vain about my age, my actual Christmas letter did have that blank filled in on the copies I mailed. I've been blogging on the internet for almost two decades in one place or another and from the start I've had a rule about making it too easy for bot crawlers to find my the exact date and place of birth and other information that can be abused.

29 comments:

  1. Levi is as good as his owner. You are great with him and he loves you for it.
    Jean, have a Merry Christmas my lovely friend. I wish I could be there and give you a big hug for Christmas but that would be impossible so all I can say is I'll be in thought Christmas morning. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. Levi and I thank you for the compliments and the virtual hug. I'm going to have the best Christmas I've had in a long time. Merry Christmas to you and Mary Lou!

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  2. Your post reads like a litany of my own Christmas Traditions Now Left Behind: cards, newsletter, little special candies to give away, decorations left unhung. Christmas will come anyway, as they say.

    Enjoy yours!

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    1. Writing a humorous Christmas letter is the only tradition I still have and for the past two years I've been thinking of quitting. But the people who get them seem to enjoy them a lot, so it's kind of an ego thing that I keep doing them.

      Christmas in my world is joyous this year! No snow means I'll get to see my family.

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  3. So glad you still do Christmas letters. I so enjoy the ones I get though they usually make me feel like a bit of a slacker as I read all the things others are doing. Quite an array of gents you had to entertain you.

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    1. I once wrote a Christmas letter where I highlighted one thing I did each of the 12 months...with things like we got an oil change, we got seven cardinal at our bird feeders. You'd never feel like a slacker reading my letters.

      I love the Guy Land Cafeteria, makes me feel like a real writer when I'm there spying on the array of interesting characters...that changes with the time of day, though starting with 5:00 with the guys on their way to work, then the retirees around 9:30 followed by the working class on their lunch hours. Mid afternoon brings more women and elderly couples and around dinner time it's young families.

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  4. Love your Snow White graphic. I'm stealing it for sure. Your mention of the Pink Tie eye candy guy made me laugh. Sometimes I too am surprised by my own reaction to young good looking guys and forget I'm old enough to be their grandmother. Guess there must still be some hormones floating around in me yet. :)

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    1. Glad someone else backed me up on the stray hormones thing occasional catching us by surprise. LoL

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  5. Walking/driving in a winter wonderland. I like how you make your own story after watching the guys. So fun!! And funny.

    Merry Christmas to you and to Levi!

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    1. Merry Christmas to you and your little family as well!

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  6. I still send out Christmas cards and letters to some. Some of these people I haven't seen in 30 years and it seems ridiculous. I think this year, I shall cull my address book and if I don't get a card, next year I don't send them a card. Stamps prices are, well, pricey.

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    1. I'm going to do the same thing...cut my list down to the size of a book of Christmas stamps.

      Have a good christmas, judy.

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  7. I enjoy your character studies and speculations.

    Been periodically cutting my greeting card list for some years in various ways. Recent years the list cuts itself as some recipients have inconsiderately died. This year I am deliberately sending "holiday" greetings to arrive after Christmas and before New Years -- thus recognizing all the different holidays celebrated and can note for each person whatever holiday is pertinent for them. Santa seems to be acceptable to all. Certainly a "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" written on their copy of my Christmas letter will be welcomed by many since I understand their desire to focus on Christmas as being associated with Jesus' birth and I don't discount that, but don't want to exclude all the others.

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    1. I do the same thing regarding cards---get a seasons greeting or Santa type card and write "Merry Christmas" on them. I have one religious cousin who is a sweetheart and I'll get her a religious card different than any others.

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  8. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone who comes to my blog to read. Writing gives me a sense of purpose and to have others read is the frosting on my cake.

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    1. I'm glad people write for me (among others) to read. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New year for us all.

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  9. Oh you entertain me so. :-) I love those descriptions of the men.

    Merry Christmas Jean. May you have a warm and happy holiday!

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    1. Thank you. I had plans for a great holiday but I woke up to a skating rink on my street. I'm hoping when I get to the main roads it will have been salted and good driving. Fingers crossed.

      You and Rick have a good holiday!

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  10. I do love me a good people-watch, even if it's second-hand. Don't ever stop. Merry Christmas, Jean!!!

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  11. Oh Jean, this post and so many others make me laugh, smile, nod in agreement, and recognition....all things a good blogger can do for an audience. Thanks for being here. Keep it up. Merry, Happy.

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    1. I wish you'd blog more often. All the things you said about my blog, I could say about yours...when you do post. But I get why you don't have enough time. Maybe in two year, finger crossed.

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  12. This makes me smile big! Ah, people watching!

    And I agree with those who said they are glad you still do a Christmas letter. I do too -- mine's mostly pics but still, it's connecting with people. And while it's OK on FB (and probably half the people who get it know that stuff) what I REALLY like is getting cards back and I'm a firm believer of "if you don't give you don't receive!" And a funny letter is the best. My cousin David is great at that! A total send up, which is probably a trait he picked up from his funny dad. A good tradition to maintain

    I hope you've had a lovely Christmas. I've been offline too many days and will have much to catch up but I do thank you for your visit over the holiday and all in this past year!

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    1. I struggle ever year with making my mailing list shorter. There are a dozen younger relatives on the list who I really want them to know me better that don't send cards but always remark about how much they enjoy my letters. I either have to cut them all or none.

      I did have a great holiday and I wrote about my mini trip. Thanks for asking.

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  13. I was in one of those lines at the Post Office the Saturday before Christmas. The line was long, but everyone was very jolly about it. I was feeling a bit embarrassed about my last-minute Christmas mailing until I saw all the people sitting on the floor, packing their gifts, addressing envelopes, etc., which made me feel as though I really had myself together!

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    1. My line at the post office was fun, too. Everyone was joking and kidding each other and once the window opened even the postal clerk was doing the same. Being there gave me a sense of Christmas it gave me.

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