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 29, 2018

Wrapping up 2018 with Shock and Awe



It’s unusual for Michigan to get all the rain we’re getting now instead of snow in December. It’s also unusual for our Broad-Winged Hawks to hang around this long; they should be well on their way to South America by now but today one of these 14” to 19” birds sat not six feet from my window, on my deck railing eyeballing the ground below my seed cake feeder. I think he was looking to make dinner out of the next small bird that came along. Not wanting to watch the carnage that I sensed was coming I decided it was a good time to run errands. 

The first stop I needed to make was at Pak-Mail to drop off the pet crate I bought for Levi that turned out to be too big. Amazon sure makes returns easy. I printed the label they generated and by the time I got back home I had an e-mail waiting for me from Amazon saying that $79.99 had been refunded to my credit card, and they only deducted $10 off what I originally paid to cover the return shipping. How the heck do they know I didn’t ship them back a box of rocks or an old, worn out crate? At that point in time all Amazon really knew was I slapped the label they generated onto a box and took it to Pak-Mail. They didn’t even weigh or measure it. I was shocked that a company as big as Amazon still trusts society do the right thing and that made me feel good.

The next stop was at Chow Hound to get some pill pockets for Levi. I’m pretty sure I could get the pills down the dog without the pill pocket/treats but who else do I have to spoil except the dust bunnies and I spoil them by letting them live under my bed. I planned my next stop to be at vet’s office to pick up Levi's prescription but I was so close to the Guy Land Cafeteria that I could hear it calling my name and I wondered why because when I first got there, people-watching was as boring as monitoring a shelf of empty canning jars. But it soon picked up when a young woman in skin-tight, capris length yoga pants and a tee-shirt tied just below her breasts came in, her whole midriff showing---35 degrees outside and no winter jacket. She put a baby on the bench seat of a booth across the aisle from a table of six old guys and she bent over to change the baby’s diaper. I was wondering if I was ever that physically fit and trim and the guys were probably wondering what ever they wonder when a woman’s ass is presented in a place where they couldn’t ignore it if they tried. A sense of awe was on a few of their faces.

It was clear she wasn’t wearing underwear, not even that ‘dental floss’ that passes for thongs and her pants came with a patch pocket on her thigh for a cell phone and she was using the pocket for its intended purpose. Can’t young people do an hour’s yoga class without being connected? If I was being charitable I might concede she could have been using the phone to play a guided meditation app. But at the moment I was being surly and thinking if the phone was set on vibrate, and she got a call, her pants were so tight she’s probably get an unintended thrill. And why that doesn't happen just walking around with her "camel toe" showing in the front is a mystery.

My brother and two of his guy friends have been taking Pilates classes for a couple of years and they got a new instructor who is making them want to quit. The problem? She’s been harassing them to get “proper clothing” for classes; they’ve been wearing loose fitting jogging clothes. He says all the women in class wear yoga pants but until I saw this young woman I didn’t understand why the guys were resisting. The day my older brother starts prancing about in yoga leggings is the day I’ll be able to pay him back for all the teasing I took from him growing up.

After lunch I stopped at a grocery store I’m not fond of but I go there when I don’t need many things because it’s small and easy to get in and out of in a hurry. Michigan is due to change back to winter soon and I wanted to pick up some stuff for New Year’s Eve in case I have to stay put until after 2019 arrives. Ms. Yoga-Butt-in-Our-Faces had me feeling guilty about putting ice cream in my shopping cart so I picked up a tray of mixed veggies and vegetable dip too, knowing it would put a hex on ice cream calories. I haven’t bought ice cream since last summer even though it’s my favorite food group so I didn’t feel too guilty about wanting to ring in the New Year with Ben and Jerry’s. Should I choose to munch on the vegetables instead I know I can count on Levi to beg for the cauliflower and I'll gladly hand it over. My niece gave me a bottle Red Moscato for Christmas and I may use it to toast in the New Year...if I don’t make wine floats out of it first. I’ve never done that before but, heck, what better night of the year to do something wild and crazy. ©    

28 comments:

  1. I tend to doubt that Amazon still trusts society (or ever did). It’s more likely that they are willing to write off all their loses because they are so big!
    I hope you have a pleasant celebration of the New Year and I hope that Democrats can restore sanity to the country in 2019. Let’s hope.
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. That's probably true. The last return I made to a smaller company really irritated me. They sent me me a part that was different than on their website and they wanted me to send photos before they'd print a return label. Then it took them 4 weeks and several emails to issue a refund after I knew they'd received it back. They took out half of what I paid for shipping and a restocking fee on a part they sent by mistake. It was only $10 to begin with so I didn't fight it but because of that experience I was dreading how this return would turn out.

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  2. I have a problem with anyone who changes a baby's diaper in an eating area, no matter what he/she wears. Ugh.
    Happy New Year, Jean!

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    1. That irritated me as well. I've been to this place a thousand times and I can't tell you if it has a baby changing station in the bathroom. Happy New Year back at you and Leze above.

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  3. I think Amazon would recharge your card if anyone sent back a box of rocks. :) I've had to return a couple of things recently and had the same experience and appreciate it as well.

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    1. I buy a lot of stuff with Amazon Prime but this was my first experience returning anything. What a pleasant surprise. Thanks for letting me know this is common for the company.

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  4. I haven't had to return anything to Amazon but once when what they had shipped me got lost, they immediately sent another. Both arrived within a day of eachother. I notified them and they were so pleased with my honesty they only charged me for the one.

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    1. I feel guilty sometimes buying from Amazon instead of local stores but it's so handy. They have such a good business model, they do deserve loyalty and especially while Mr. Trump is hassling them using the post office. Stupid man doesn't understand they are HELPING the post office. All big companies like eBay and Amazon get special rates. UPS gives them too.

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  5. Amazon returns are super easy and many are FREE. Just look when you order for the note that indicates "free returns". I have a friend who will ONLY buy items that she can return for free if she need to (clothing, etc.) I've even had Amazon tell me to "just keep it" when I've wanted to return an item....I heard the re-stock expense is more to them than the item is worth! They refund the money to my card and I keep the item to donate or re-gift! Win. Win.

    Yoga pants. I've been practicing at the same studio for over 10 years and have seen tight, baggy, and everything in between. No shaming and no cajoling for a certain type of clothing. My friend the Master Level pilates instructor offered that often the alignment is easier to see and better for assisting the client if the instructor can see what one's limbs are actually doing. So much gets hidden and lost in baggy clothing, which is why many people with imperfect bodies feel more comfortable in the baggy stuff but if the intention is to get help with alignment and doing the exercises properly, it helps to be able to see one's body.

    Also, the gal in the cafeteria sounds like she wears her "outfit" as an ego statement rather than as a functional decision. No one needs their midriff exposed in public, in winter, without it being a call for attention. My opinion. But there is NO season when I'd reveal my midriff, where I hold every ounce of ice cream I've ever eaten in my entire life. Bon Appetite, Jean! Happy New Year!

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    1. Wayfair as a similar policy about keeping things instead of returning but doing eBay I understand how quickly shipping adds up and having to have a whole department to deal with returns has got to cost a lot.

      That makes sense on why my brother's new instructor is being a hard-ass about the jogging clothes but these guys are nearly 80 and why drive them out of a class they otherwise enjoyed.

      I think you're right about Yoga Lady with the bare midriff making a fashion statement and it said, "Boy do I have a great body! Did you notice?"

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  6. hmmmm, wine floats. Ben & Jerry are the only men I'd leave Rick for,then add wine and I'm in lady!!! Now, men in yoga pants is all kinds of wrong. I've seen these guys in their skin tight top and pants riding their bikes, when they get off the bike they look ridiculous. what does it matter what they wear? It is about working out.
    And lastly, bathrooms are for changing diapers!

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    1. I can't get used to seeing guys with those skin tight biking clothes. I see them on the trails around here.

      Next time I go to the cafeteria I'm going to check to see if they have a baby station in the bathroom. I can't imagine them not. I still can't believe she did that.

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  7. I laughed at the thought of your brother and his friends in yoga togs. The closest I've seen are some of the guy bicyclists around here: the spandex crew. Honest to goodness, they do sometimes look as if their clothes have been painted on them. They must be effective for bike racers, though. They certainly aren't attractive.

    It's not just Amazon that can be customer friendly. I bought a lot of soaps, lotions and such as gifts from IndigoWild -- the Zum folks out of Kansas City. The box went walkabout, and with only a week until Christmas, I was panicked because I wanted to use some of the items for out of town gifts.

    When I called their customer service, there were no questions asked. The shipped out a duplicate of the entire order that afternoon, overnight. I couldn't believe it. And yes, two weeks later the errant shipment showed up. I called them, and asked them to bill again, as I didn't want to return the stuff; I love it, and use it all the time. All they said was, "Happy New Year!" and that was that. It still warms my heart to think of it.

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    1. Wow, that's sure a statement for good customer service!

      You'd laugh even more if you could have seen the look on my brother's face when he was telling me his Pilates story.

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  8. One of my Zumba (dance exercise) teachers always dressed very sexily with tops that showed off her augmented breasts. Her long blonde hair completed the picture. She was a sweet person but at her age (45ish) it seemed a bit over the top. We would always have guys at the gym who just "happened" to walk by during class so they could ogle her. We wanted to tell them "Put your eyeballs back in your head, son, and keep moving."

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    1. Fitness teachers are the worst at showing off their bodies. Whose to say I wouldn't be the same if I spent my life molding mine they way they do. I remember a guy at a stroke support site where I worked complaining because he worked at keeping his body perfect and he still had a stroke. "Shouldn't have happened to me!"

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  9. You are amazing ... you can find the fun in any day of the week! I had never heard of "camel toe" but got an instant visual. How CAN that be comfortable at all? UGH!

    We started using Amazon Prime in Maui ... FREE SHIPPING! Not everything but I would select that filter and choose accordingly. I have never enjoyed shopping (except groceries) so if the price is close, I prefer Amazon as I don't have to drive, find parking, shop, get back into car and return home to ask Jesse or Kate to lug it in. Easy Street!

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    1. I didn't know the 'camel toe' condition had a name until I went looking for a meme to go with this post and there are photos all over the place with that label. They've been a 'thing' long enough for the urban dictionary to include it.

      Free shipping to Maui, now that really is something!

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  10. I was behind a young woman in skin tight leggings and a waist coat at Costco a couple of days ago and wondered why it's become perfectly acceptable to dress that way in public. Made me feel oooolllllllddddd!

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    1. I know exactly what you mean about them making you feel old. Back in my youth exposing our knee caps was breaking the dress code and never pants, even in college. What gets me is when a woman dresses in skin tight leggings then gets mad if some guy stares at their body.

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  11. Jean, I've trying to read your blog but unfortunately all I see is the yoga pants at the beginning of the start of your blog. What you should done was put that picture at the end. At least giving me a chance to clearly read the blog. Now I'm going to have to read your blog again, and again and again to understand what you wrote. LOL See ya my friend.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. LOL Now we know how the guys at the cafeteria probably felt.

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  12. How can any old person not look at the "camel toe"?
    I could never wear Yoga pants. My incontinence pads would show!

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    1. I guess those of us who never heard it don't read the same types of literature that as you do. LOL Seriously, I thought I knew all the euphemism but that was new to me and it doesn't appear in my dictionary of slang so it must not have been in use in 1982 when the dictionary was compiled.
      Anyway, thanks for making me laugh.

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  13. Hah! People (and their behaviours) never cease to amaze me. Milady should probably consider a career in reality television or becoming an Instagram star.

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    1. Same to you! I hope we both have a great year ahead of us.

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