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 22, 2019

Money Pit May Continues and my POMS Movie Review


I’ve already written about Money Pit May when I blogged about the checks I wrote for the veterinarian ($452.42) and a half season of grass cutting ($365.00) and to that I can now add $600.00 to have a tree cut down and a dozen trash saplings removed and the roots ground up. The city also inspected my irrigation system and decided my overflow value wasn’t high enough---it took them 18 years of inspections to decide that?---and the replacement will happen later this week to the tune of $250.00 or face hefty fines. It’s a good thing Money Pit May comes on the heels of April Refund Month. 

All that was in addition to the normal cost of keeping up a house, car, the dog and myself. And did I mention that I went a little wonky buying stuff when the president put tariffs on goods made in China, knowing the prices are going up 25% sooner rather than later? I can’t live without socks and underwear that fit right and won't give me pressure hives, and the kind I like are hard enough to find without two governments having a pissing contest. If I still wore nylon stockings I’d probably be stockpiling them as well. During the Korean War my mom started hoarding nylon stockings because of the silk stockings shortage she went through during WWII. I still have an unopened pair of nylons tucked away in my sock drawer. They don’t take up much room and the memories they invoke are bittersweet.

I also bought an extra solar powered phone charger because all electronics---especially battery related---are going up too. I don’t shop Walmart but they’ve already announced their tariff-driven price increases. I blame my mom for my scared-of-the-trade-war purchases because for decades after WWII she was still making me take zippers and buttons off clothing that were destine for the rag bag. She made a lot of our clothing during the war but finding ways to fastened them was tough, thus the wrap front dresses that were popular for home sewers like her. She even made herself and me two piece bathing suits with a tie front tops. The whole point of this and the previous paragraph is point out that the concept of impeding shortages due to embargoes or other things beyond my control is ingrained deep in my personality.

Speaking of shortages, fun has been is short supply this past month but I tried to put an end to that this week with mixed results. I had plans to go to lunch and to see the movie ‘Poms’ with my Gathering Girls pals. But for the first time in the two plus years since we started going out twice a month all but two of us was absent. One friend was out of town, another was having oral surgery, three were sick and another couldn’t make the time. And so it starts, the beginning of the end to happy little group. The other woman who was left---who I had lunch with before seeing the movie---was new to our group two weeks ago so we were practically strangers. I thought lunch would be awkward but we managed to keep a good conversation going as we compared life experiences. She’s a widow two years out and is at the point where she’s recently sold her house, moved to a condo and it trying to pull her new life together. In widow circles, this stage is often said to be harder than the first year. Everything that needs doing when a spouse dies is done, the raw grief is gone and you have the rest of your life ahead of you to reinvent.

The ‘POMS’ movie was based on a true story and the synopsis for the film at Rotten Tomatoes reads, “POMS is an uplifting comedy about Martha (played by Diane Keaton), a woman who moves into a retirement community and starts a cheerleading squad with her fellow residents, Sheryl (Jacki Weaver), Olive (Pam Grier) and Alice (Rhea Perlman), proving that it's never too late to follow your dreams.” They gave the film a two-star rating but they’re notoriously low on ratings of any film that features mostly senior actors. I didn’t expect more than a few laughs from the movie and a kick-in-the butt reminder to make the most of my time and energy so I was not disappointed nor was my "movie mate." The most memorable line: “Look death in the face and tell it to go to hell!” 

The New York Times reviewer was less kind than Rotten Tomatoes when she wrote: “The combined ages of the cheerleaders in “POMS” is well over 500 years, but the movie’s jokes feel even older. An uncomfortable blend of sickness and silliness, this dancing-past-the-graveyard comedy suggests that the many travails of aging can be endured if you only gather enough friends and surrender enough dignity.” Really? Young people can hang out with friends and act less than dignified and that’s okay, but it’s not ‘age appropriate’ if you're in your 70s or 80s? I wanted to know how old that (snobby) reviewer was and I found out she’s 67 which explains a lot---she’s afraid of getting old. Well join the club, lady! The alternative sucks so you might as well gather up your friends and be silly while you still have them. ©


22 comments:

  1. Hopefully the money pit period is over for a while! I'm guessing Kaitlin and Torben will be facing huge vet bills with Zoe. If she gets better it will be worth it.

    I agree with you, why is it cool for youngsters to act silly but we old folks can't? Good for the people who made the movie!

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    1. Zoe's bill will be horrendous, I think. She's got a lot of people pulling for her.

      That reviewer really got me. They make so few movies for senior citizens, why bad-mouth them with her 'bitch' voice?

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  2. Sometimes I feel as though I'm living in an alternative universe. I've never heard of POMS. Equating starting a cheerleading squad with following one's dreams seems a little odd to me, but the truth is that I was jealous of the cheerleaders in junior high and high school, so my response to a movie like POMS probably is colored by all that.

    I have seen more and more negative comments about old people generally of late. If they ever give sixteen-year-olds the vote, we're toast, sister. There are cultures that honor the wisdom and experience of their elders, but this isn't one of them, I fear.

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    1. It's scary that young people are blaming Baby Boomers for everything wrong with our world. Granted, there's a lot wrong but each new generation has their own challenges and we didn't purposely create theirs.

      I never wanted to be a cheerleader, but there really is a group of seniors who go to cheerleading competitions with younger people, so the movie wasn't far-fetched in that regard. It's not the best senior movie I've seen but that NYT reviewer wasn't critical of the film's production but rather the premise that older should act a certain way and having silly fun is not one of them.

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  3. I think some movie critics forget that sometimes, movies are for escapism.

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  4. Spoke to my mother on Monday. Since Dad has passed I try to check in with her. She went to the movies for the first time in 35 yrs and this is what she saw. I felt bad that this was her first movie but did not say so. I asked if she liked it. She said it was cute and light and that was all she needed. So it was good for her. It also shocked her how expensive it was to go to the movies, popcorn and pop being more than admission. She made me laugh. I don't think I'd pay to see this movie but I will watch it when I can. sometimes escapism is all I need and want!

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    1. Tell her to find out if the theater has a day of the week when they have senior rates. Some of them around here are half off on Tuesdays. She's such a recent widow, I see this movie being good for her.

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  5. I bet that reviewer didn't act silly when young either! Takes all kinds. Sorry about your surprise bills. They are what concerns me about going back to home ownership.

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    1. I never thought about that regarding the reviewer. There are people who never let their hair down, so to speak. Me, I like 'silly.'

      I'll need a new roof soon, too. That is the mother of all home ownership bills. Condos have their issues, too. One of my friends has a wet floor in her spare bedroom from a leak at the neighbor's condo and they can't get it fixed/resolved because they are arguing who is at fault between the two condo owners and the condo manager.

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  6. I just saw the movie The Book Club. It follows the same idea somewhat - 4 much older women who read the 50 Shades of Gray book in their Book Club, and decide to charge up their own sex lives. I saw some pretty mediocre reviews but ... you know... I laughed right out loud when I saw it. Many times. Great fun! I will check out Poms when it hits Netflix or Amazon Prime.

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    1. Poms and The Book Club come from the same studio. I saw them both and thought Book Club was a touch better but it still made me laugh.

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  7. Unexpected expenses sure do come in bunches don't they? Hope you have hit the last and can refill the till.
    Don't think it is my age for I loved the Golden Girls when I was in my 50's so I probably would like Poms. Will have to wait for DVD though.

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    1. I hope to start my summer ebaying soon. That will help my checkbook.

      The golden girls is still on late night TV. They still hold up.

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  8. Well gosh. Maybe the Gathering Girls will get well and maybe you will need to invite a new face. Or two. The WLLO Village has a coffee once a month, a lunch once a month and a happy hour once a month. I've only been to one but had a great time. Now that I know it's first Monday, second Tuesday, third Thursday ... I can put them on calendar in advance.

    I think I'm going to have to go to the movies! You always make it seem so fun! I'll start with myself ... to see if I can sit through the whole thing ... then invite a friend! At the cheapo matinee!

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    1. Early on we agreed to hold it at 7-8 people because if you get more you don't talk as a group...you break up into only talking to those sitting right next to you. I can always go back to the senior hall and get more active again, if our little Gathering Girls falls apart.

      I can't bring myself to see a movie by myself, but I do enjoy the big screen more than watching movies on TV. You could start a movie and lunch club where you live. The one at our senior hall always has 15-16 people go each month.

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  9. Those unexpected bills are killers. I need to get Buddy's teeth cleaned and I nearly fell over when I got a quote. I knew it was expensive but you would think it was major surgery. Well, its got to be done so that's my next major expenditure.

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    1. Those teeth cleanings are killers, especially if our dogs needs to be pulled or there are gum issues to be treated like Levi had two years in a row

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  10. I watched Boynton Beach Club on Amazon the other night. I liked it well enough but not as much the Book Club, which I thought was pretty funny! I'm still in my fifties so I don't know what that reviewer's problem was. I want to think that I'll still have fun when (if) I get older! She sounds like a grumpy, nose in the air person to me. Check out The Boynton Beach Club if you want something light to watch some evening.

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    1. I just looked up the synopsis to that movie and it looks fun. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  11. I think you're spot on about prices and the trade war. I think I should get a new fridge but they're pricey to begin with and I'm worried it won't fit through my door or in the space above, which would require seriously more work and expenditure than I'm in for right now. It's always something. It's worked for 24 years. Hopefully it will work till there is a new administration.

    I've thought about POMS. Not first on my list but glad to know someone has seen it, liked it. Thanks for the review!

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    1. Use to be able to repair those old refrigerators, not sure anyone knows how anymore.

      All the appliances in my house plus my furnace and A/C are 18 years old so I'm sweating them going out during the trade war. Like you said, those kinds of things are already pricey. But price isn't my main concern...it's shortages.

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