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, May 29, 2019

From Memorial Day to the Bachelorette Season 15


A few years ago I wrote a Memorial Day post and in it I said, “From personal experience I know that raw grief dissipates over time, but a tiny piece of my heart also goes back to grief from time to time in the form of wistfulness for what might have been.” I’ve been feeling a lot of wistfulness the past few months and I can’t decide if t comes from watching too many Hallmark Movies or if I’m watching them because I’m wistful. I miss love! I miss eye contact and hugs and the kind of conversations that happen without words because you’ve known the other person so long you can read each other like books. Your gestures, your body language, and the way your eyes turn different colors when you are happy or mad or sad. You can’t fool someone who has known and loved you for years. Sure, Hallmark Movies are formula driven but one could argue that actually falling in love and maintaining that love for years, is formula driven, too.

Speaking of formula TV, let’s talk about the new season 15 of the Bachelorette with Hannah, the former Miss Alabama. She started out with 30 guys to pick from and on the second show she had them in speedos walking a pageant runway. Do women these days really pick out their life partners by the size of their packages? In her case, it might be true. She sure has been doing a shocking amount of the full-body making out for so early in the show. I have a love/hate relationship with the Bachelorette and Bachelor franchises. They and American Idol are the only reality TV shows I watch and every year I say I’m not getting caught up in the “B” shows. But half the time, I still do. Maybe I'm pretending I get to pick from the 30 guys and, trust me, this season I wouldn’t have ANY trouble knocking 8-10 out of the running because of their “careers.” What is a ‘car bid spotter’ for example or a ‘roller boy’? The ‘pro-surfer’ plus the unemployed guys would be out the door by the second rose ceremony as well as the guy who just professed that he’s "already falling in love" with Hannah and “you can trust me.” 

If I was to wake up tomorrow young and beautiful like Hannah and was in her place, I’d make quick work of that show. It would have ended already because I’d pick 28 year old Tyler G., a psychology graduate student working towards getting his PhD in psychology to become a clinical psychologist. He has a side business in Dream Therapy Analysis and you know how much I like my dreams. All these guys have profiles on the Network’s fan page and his reads: “Tyler G. is a very laid-back guy with a go-with-the-flow kind of attitude. He avoids clubs at all costs and would much rather spend time reading, going to Soul Cycle or relaxing on his boat. Tyler considers himself a modern romantic and is looking for his equal match, who he says is a confident girl that isn't afraid to lay it all out on the table and is one that can make him laugh.”

But Hannah eliminated him this week, on the third show, because behind the scenes he was accused on a message board by a high school girlfriend of being "extremely misogynist" which just goes to show I make bad decisions based on first impressions and/or in this age of social media teenagers can never outgrow their past miss-behaviors. Hannah, however, kept the psycho-stalker last night when she threw Tyler to the curb. Go figure. There’s always a psycho-stalker type on these shows. A woman or man who cuts into other people’s time and who stirs up trouble because psycho-stalker can’t play fair in the sandbox. Am I invested in this waste-of-time show or what? And it's only week three!

I would argue that show (and Hallmark Movies) are not really a waste of my time. It’s a mindless diversion from watching too many political shows. It’s an opportunity once a week to throw popcorn at the TV screen (which the dog cleans up) and to remember what it was like on the dating scene before I met my husband. Not that the show is anything like clubbing was back in the ‘60s but reading the body language of these guys and trying to figure out if they are handing Hannah a line or if the producers are manipulating everything, or not, keeps me watching. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in communications, she’s not stupid but Hannah sure seems too shallow at times. Her platform for her year as Miss Alabama was to “advocate for those suffering from depression and anxiety, something she battled with during her teenage years.” I once dated three guys at the same time and that filled me with anxiety and she’s trying to ‘date 30 guys at once? Nothing like jumping feet first into an active volcano.

Back to Memorial Day. It snuck up on me. The weather has been too cold to think about the beginning of summer which this holiday weekend usually signals. Or maybe that’s just an excuse for wanting to avoid going to the cemetery. I was there a month or two ago and it needs work, sod was taking over the stone. But I wasn’t exaggerating about feeling a lot of wistfulness and I’m not sure I want to pair that wistfulness with spending time digging up sod around Don’s grave marker. I’ll go but I want to do it on a nice, warm sunny day and if that warm day doesn’t come until July? I’ll probably not be able to find the darn stone! ©

26 comments:

  1. Ah Jean, the book; 'The Tao of Dating; The Smart Women's Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible' suggests dating 3 people at a time. Reasoning, when your are looking for a job you don't single thread applications. What I got out of the book was different. 'Would you date yourself?'

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    1. That's funny, I was way ahead of the times. The logic of that dating advice makes sense the logistics sure wasn't easy.

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  2. I know those shows are mindless entertainment, but I find them demeaning, and in the case of The Bachelor, especially to women. It's Social Darwinism on a small scale. Many of those so-called Reality Shows just appeal to a voyeuristic part of some people's nature. I wonder how much of it is scripted in all actuality.

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  3. The Bachelor is in its 23th season and the Bachelorette in its 15th. so they are doing something society clearly likes. Social Darwinism? You could be right. Voyeuristic, absolutely. Demeaning? Not to the cast members. They know what they are signing up for and most them are using the show for self-serving purposes which is part of the attraction---to figure how who and why. My sense is that the producers don't script what they actually say or do but they do manipulate the cast by putting certain individuals together on group dates who don't like each other or they put them in unnatural or uncomfortable situations like the speedo runway to bring out true personalities. These shows are popular on college campuses. They have viewing parties with drinking games and fan websites where people talk back and forth. It's all very "campy" like the Rocky Horror Picture Show only in a different genre and the 'costumes' show more skin.

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  4. First of all, I hate the Bachelorette and the Bachelor shows. I'm sorry, it's stupid to me. All these beautiful women and handsome men. It's not real. If they want to have a show about people, allow them to be the everyday people like me. I'm sorry, it just burns my butt.
    Wistfulness, you just miss Don and you are allowed to feel that why.You both had strong love. Jean, even though MaryLou is with me, I worry about the fact what would I do without her if I lost her. It hurts just thinking about it.
    Keep being that feeling. It's called LOVE. See you my friend.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. People either love the show or hate it. And some of us hate that we love it. LOL I find it rests my brain...clears it of the heavy stuff that keeps me up at night. I can only take so much worrying about real world issues.

      You've got MaryLou now and if anything happened to her, you'd try like heck to keep it together for your daughter and grandkids. We all do what we have to do, so try not to worry and just enjoy the here and now.

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  5. Yeh, sorry I’m not into either. Just seems like all that money could sure be better spent. I think I watched the first season as Kate was in high school so I kept her company (for some girl time)

    I do remember one couple getting a free million dollar wedding!!

    I’m going through a wistful period also. So very glad I have little boy hugs.

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    1. Don't be sorry. We are all different.

      But I don't think it's a fair criticism to say "all that money could be better spent." We could say that about a zillion shows. For example, and look at all the money spent of the franchises where robots fight super powers or movies where the main theme is how much stuff they can blow up. I wouldn't walk across the street to see one of those movies yet they entertain the masses and make a lot of money. None of the franchises would last if they didn't make more money for the industry than they spend and and that translates to a lot of jobs.

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  6. I watched one of those shows in the beginning but couldn't maintain interest. They are popular as the devil so they are definitely appealing to a lot of people. The guy you picked does seem like he should get second looks.

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    1. I usually watch faithfully until around week 6-7 then I drop off until the last two shows. Summer outside is more appealing.

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  7. I'm not following any reality shows right now but I enjoyed your review of the Bachelorette. My favorite was always Survivor because I admired their pluck and stamina. However, I did get tired of everyone running around in their underwear. If you knew you were going to an island and people from around the world would be watching you, wouldn't you put on a bathing suit under your clothes - in fact a couple of suits? I guess that is why we watch reality because it does give us that chance to throw popcorn at the TV and get outside of our own lives for a while.

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    1. My brother-in-law is really into Survivor. I've watched maybe three episodes and laughed at your 'underwear' comment. I wish I was young enough and trim enough that I could run around in my underwear. LOL

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  8. I've never watched either the Bachelor or the Bachelorette, but I do sometimes stream cooking competitions. I think you should take a chance and wait for a warm sunny day to go to the cemetery. Andy and I both agree there would be a huge hole in our life if the other dies. We're going to be cremated, but if there was a grave that needed tending no sense making the grief any worse by going on a dismal day. You need to pamper yourself right now.

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    1. My husband was cremated but he a!so wanted a grave site, something to prove he was here, I guess. LOL

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  9. I have never seen The Bachelor or the Bachelorette but I do watch the Hallmark Channel all the time and couldn't do without it!

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    1. I have seen some of those Hallmark Movies multiple times, I think, because I can multi-task with them---read, knit or work online. It's easy to drop in and out of what's going on.

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  10. You're right about Memorial Day -- it was early, for one thing -- as early as it can be. And then our weather is more like April than May, much less late May. That said, it's green out there.

    I'll get into periodic Hallmark movies. Especially the mystery ones and Christmas. And they ARE a diversion from politics. But the Bachelor shows are SO not my thing...

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  11. I like Hallmark mysteries, too.

    We've had so much rain, my grass is growing like crazy! Gone to seed twice already and that's not good because those seeds get in the bark beds and grow. It's only 60 out right now!

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  12. How did I miss this post?
    I wish I could hug you. This post made me sad. I don't want to live through this and I hope I don't have to. Can't we go together? :-)
    Go together in our sleep. Ah, now that would be lucky wouldn't it?
    I will never ever watch the bachelor or bachelorette. I do not care for Kelly Ripa but on this topic I agree 100%. So I can't respond to your bachelor thing but you sure made this guy sound good.
    If you find comfort in the Bachelor or Hallmark movies so be it. Get it where you can. It doesn't harm anyone. But I'll read before politics, hell I'd watch the game show network to avoid politics. So I get that too.

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    1. When we first moved into our (brand new) house there was a problem with the furnace venting and we did almost die together in our sleep. That was a weird thing to take in, how close we came.

      I'm drawn to politics and have to force myself to take breaks.

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  13. I refuse to watch political TV anymore (I do some reading but only british and German news on rare occasions). I now settle myself with a half an hour of evening news. I will become involved in being active as we get closer to the election. I would say that I simply do not understand the the attraction of almost every so called reality show (having said that I love the property brothers), and do think many of them are demaning to women. But then I watch and read lots of mindless drivel that involved detective type fiction from all lands.

    Wistfullness is to be expected, especially when you are living alone I expect.

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    1. I forget that programs like the Property Brothers and cooking shows are considered to be reality That TV. I used to be hooked on the Food Network and HGTV and I still catch a show from time to time. Nothing holds my interest more than a couple of years.

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  14. Had a friend who was on the first and original network Bachelor Show — don’t recall what the show was called then — The Bachelor?). Didn’t see the episode he was on as didn’t watch the show then or those now. Don't recall if he got picked. He was in entertainment business and considered being on the show as just an opportunity to add to his credits. I watched a few initial episodes when very first reality shows started just to see what they would be like and even these current ones. Guess I’m curious to see programming as always used to keep up until cable finally came into its own and so many shows. Overall I’m disappointed with what i see when I think of what TV can be but we all zone out with different shows I guess. Use to be involved with viewer letters so know TV shows trigger every view imaginable.

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    1. You were involved with viewer letters? That's really interesting.

      You'd have to have a healthy ego to go on those shows and I don't doubt most of them go on to add to their resume and/or the money. Some of them have become millionaire using the show for stepping stones. Some have even been in more than one season.

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  15. I've always wondered why anyone would try to pick a spouse through a process controlled by producers and ratings?? I gather almost everyone who tries out for these shows are out-of-work actors and actresses trying to make their big break. I watched The Bachelor one year, tuning in late in the season. I don't remember the names of any of the players, but it was the guy with the five-year-old son who couldn't decide between the last two women and after making his decision changed his mind and eventually married the other one. I remember the scene of him standing on the balcony of his fancy hotel crying because he had to make a decision that day and didn't feel ready. I thought, "What kind of parent makes a decision that will shape his child's whole future before he feels ready because some TV producer said he had to?!?" It couldn't manage that much willing suspension of disbelief, and I never watched the show again.

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    1. It's funny, I haven't seen an episode since I wrote this post which has happened before. I'll see the first 3-4 and then the last couple.

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