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, May 30, 2020

Mr. Rogers, Sex, Racism and Aliens from Outer Space


Here I am again staring at a blank computer screen and wondering what I’m going to write about. At times like this do I call on Stephen King or Fred Rogers for inspiration? Mr. King, when people ask him how to write, he answers, “One word at a time” which seems like he blowing them off but, really, he’s not. You can’t write if all you do is think about writing. He goes on to explain that the Great Wall of China was built one brick at a time and you can see it from space. So what’s a little blog post between friends? I can do this! The trick is to figure out the right words to use in the right order and Mr. King keeps that secret close to his vest. 

I mentioned Fred Rogers  as inspiration for blog fodder because too often since the pandemic started I’ve been thinking about of one of his songs, hoping it would conjure up a magical spell or fantasy that will set my world right again.

“What do you do with the mad that you feel
When you feel so mad you could bite?
When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong...
And nothing you do seems very right?

“What do you do? Do you punch a bag?
Do you pound some clay or some dough?
Do you round up friends for a game of tag?
Or see how fast you go?”

I’m obviously too old to bite or punch although some old people have been known to revert back to those childhood habits but I’m not going there if I can help it. “Pound some dough” though is thought-provoking considering that so many people have taken up baking during the pandemic that it’s caused a shortage of flour nation-wide. Did we learn that trick for coping with stress in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood so long ago that we’d forgotten why kneeing dough helps calm our minds? Or is it something more primal inside us? I always found baking bread to be meditative and it didn’t hurt that making artisan breads was one of the few things I was actually good at doing in a kitchen.

Speaking of kitchens I’ll tell you a secret; I kind of wish now that my husband and I tried sex in the kitchen. (It’s all those stupid romance books I’ve been reading that’s making me type this confession.) I’m not sure if it’s a generational thing that we never did it the kitchen or we just didn’t think of it but whatever the reason that ship has sailed without me. Even if I was still interested, there aren’t men in my peer age group who could lift me up to sit on the edge of countertop so we could---shall we say---line up our ‘baking equipment’ and that might be the least of an old dude’s problems. Egads, I need a Clorox Disinfecting Wipe to get that image out of my head! Funny thing about fantasies, though, I’m always young, fun and sassy in mine. And just in case you're wondering---and who doesn't---"wham-bam thank you ma’am" is literally defined as a sexual encounter conducted quickly. It's been around since the 1950s and it was made popular by Dean Martin.

Tip for the day: We can’t play tag with our friends during social distancing because being tagged “it” could cause us to get us sick and die, and if you’re black you also can’t run as fast as you can without chancing getting killed for #runningwhileblack. There’s a list of 100 Things Not to do While Black online with links back to stories of everyday things people of color have done that caused a white person to call the police---too many of which resulted in unjustified killings. Black kids as young as seven have been shot by the police for doing normal kid stuff. And it doesn’t matter what kind of neighborhood you’re in. A former White House aid under Obama was moving into an Upper West Side Manhattan apartment and someone called 911 to report he was burglarizing the place. Some people say that racism has gotten worse since Obama became president, that he somehow caused a wider divide and I used say, "No" his getting elected just brought the racism out in the open. Then I heard Will Smith squash both those ideas on the Stephen Colbert show when he said, “Racism Is Not Getting Worse. It's Getting Filmed." Yup, the popularly of cell phones is just documenting what’s been there all along.

I've gotta end this blog post someplace and if I was writing fiction I’d have a mass invasion of purple aliens coming to earth in peace with a Covid-19 vaccinate and a way to mindwipe bigotry out of existence. And while we wait for that to happen, let's all pledge to stay safe from the virus and to not rush to judgement regarding those who are protesting in the streets (before the White Supremacists and anarchists entered the fray and turn the protests into riots). Sure, it's bad, it's shocking, it's tragic, it's terrifying and the lawlessness needs to end, but try to remember that when activists like Colin Kaepernick took a silence knee at sporting events to draw attention to the types of things that sparked this recent violence, few people listened. Let's hope something or someone can find a middle ground in between these two extreme ways of reacting to the same social injustices so that more people will demand systemic changes. God help us if we can't.  #blacklivesmatter! ©

Wham Bam...one of the things I didn't know when I was a teenager

35 comments:

  1. Is "line up our ‘baking equipment’" what the kids are saying these days? Made me laugh out loud on that one. I admire your ability to craft a good sentence. Sorry you missed the opportunity but you've turned your 'baking' loss into a blog post so a victory of sorts.

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    1. Nope, I made up the euphemism up all by myself. But I'm reading a book that has me thinking in terms of euphemisms because the entire book is one silly euphemism after another.

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  2. Beautifully Written Post my Friend, when you don't know what to Write I'm glad you begin, some of your best Work comes forth! I find that too, or at least my critique of what were my best Posts... which could be entirely subjective. *Ha ha ha* It's interesting which Posts resonate with Readers tho', which ones touch a Heart or a Nerve, indulge a Fantasy. The Visual of Old People having Sex in places that might require a 911 Call if things go sideways was hilarious, I must say. Explaining certain things to the Paramedics now might be humiliating in that you KNOW that would then be a Firehouse or Emergency Room Story worth telling! Making up a 'Story' of how the 'Accident' or 'Medical Emergency' happened, in order to Save Face... well, now THAT would require a fair bit of instant Imagination and Creativity! *Winks* Yes, Dino, I'm sure his Wham, Bam, Thank You Ma'am was worth the quick fling! I always had a soft spot for Dean Martin and since that was my Maiden Name, used to Imagine he could be a long lost Italian Relative, even tho' as far as I knew we had no Paison on the Family!? *LOL* Mister Rogers, what a Kind Soul he seemed to be, I think Kids connected to that and to his Messages in the way he Taught them. I want to try to do a Happy Post soon, since my Outrage Posts are exhausting, but at least expend the Energy. I had a person on FB get confrontational so I just dumped her Ass, better the Devils you know than the ones you don't. Some Toxic People clean up well in Public... and put on a good facade, a lot of those are now crumbling under Pressure and it's Interesting to SEE who they REALLY are! She was only an Event person I considered a casual acquaintance who sent me a Friend Request long ago so it was easy to just disengage permanently. *LOL* Bye Felicia! *Ha ha ha* I think some people are not even realizing their Ugly way of Being has finally been Exposed and costing them Socially... they seem rather oblivious and confused in fact... it's sad when Awareness isn't there at all. Keep Writing thru your rough patch, I LOVE coming to read your Posts!

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    1. I was so naive. I remember hearing my husband and his friends one time joking back and forth about "wham, bam thank you ma'am" and I didn't have a clue what was so funny. Of course, my naivety was also a source of humor for them.

      You keep writing too. You express so many things that I'm feeling that it actually helps me to know I'm not alone in my thoughts/anger/depression etc.

      I like to mixed up the tone of my posts too, but some get bumped with what I write about is time sensitive to what is going on in the world. Like this one I wrote yesterday and won I wrote the end of last week got bumped back in the queue.

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  3. I miss Mr. Rogers. Sadly Will Smith is right. This has been going on all along though most of us non-blacks were oblivious of the fact. The camera in the phone is making it all painfully clear. God help the mothers who have to fearfully send there black children into the world. Hopefully this time we can offer more than lip service.

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    1. Your hope is my hope. I saw the mayor of Atlanta on TV yesterday and boy was she powerful. She's black and has sons she fears for every time they leave the house. She lit into the rioters trashing the CNN building and gave a short history about Ted Turner's belief in the city when he first built there and how he supports the black community and has black reporters out telling their story. Saw a couple of mayor on TV and they were all more powerful than our president at trying to get the craziness to stop, at humanizing situations in their cities.

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  4. Sex in the kitchen is really not all that remarkable, except In The Moment. It's terrifically uncomfortable, unless you remain standing up.

    Ahem.

    "Riot is the language of the unheard," said Reverend Martin Luther King. That is the quote that really made me understand the aftermath of Mr. Floyd's murder. I am heartbroken that this is my country...every single day.

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    1. Good to know about the kitchen sex. I can remove that from my fantasy play list. LOL

      That King Jr. quote floating around deserves to be repeated here because you are so right. It does help us understand the aftermath of Social Injustices like Mr. Floyd's murder.

      For those who haven't seen the quote from one of Mr. King's speeches, here it is:

      "Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention."

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  5. I'm with Nance. The kitchen is uncomfortable. As is the proverbial rug in front of the fireplace unlss it's REALLY thick in my experience as well as any activity in the mile high club......and that was way too much information, so I'll head back to my own corner, lol.

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    1. Your 'way too much information' made me laugh out loud. Thanks for sharing it all because I'm still smiling.

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  6. Too funny reading the comments re: random experiences in odd places and the lack of comfort thereof. I won't detail places, but can verify that most random places aren't comfortable. And I'll leave it there. LOL.

    The Atlanta mayor is something to behold. We need more women leaders in this country. I took a writing class with two moms who were raising black sons a few years back and they were both struggling with 'the talk' and their fears for their sons once they reached their teens. No one should have to live in fear simply because of their skin color. And in addition to African-Americans, we now see the Orange One ramping up anti-Asian sentiment and ignoring the effects of his crazy ranting. November can't come fast enough.

    Meanwhile, I'm procrastinating packing boxes and should get back to it. It feels overwhelming today. I went to Goodwill to drop off 'stuff' the other day, and in front of me was a Jeep pulling a trailer. They got out, opened the door of the trailer and it was FULL. Yikes. I can't imagine where all these donations are going while they are in Goodwill quarantine. But I am glad they reopened in time for our move.

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    1. A lot of people didn't care that Goodwill was closed. They just kept piling stuff up to be exposed to the weather and it was all hauled away to the dump. I've been waiting to go because I figured they'd really be busy and I don't have a lot at this point in time. I just don't like it to mount up in my garage.

      Did you take your writing class at one of the local colleges? I took an Ollie writing class about 5 years ago and would like to find another writing class. i did one through a Meet Up group but it fell apart.

      Totally agree with you about the mayor of Atlanta and November with fingers crossed.

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    2. Yes, the Goodwill pile was huge outside the doors, but they had multiple employees working the drive through and directing people.

      That particular workshop was at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival which is really a wonderful experience BTW. All levels of writers from all walks of life. People who love reading, writing, and talking about it. :-) The entire program was cancelled this summer, but I'm sure it will resume as soon as it's safe. Also, there are some good writing workshops at the Dominican Center in town that you might check out. Again, nothing in person right now, but worth checking out.


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    3. I have a friend who is a closet author and she takes all the classing within a 100 mile radius and she would agree with you about the Dominicans. Wish I could get her to blot but she thinks it lessens her chances of getting published for real.

      An no the second comment. There are Dominican Centers all over the place.

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    4. I have thought of blogging, but I fear not having any ideas after about two weeks. LOL. You are braver than I am.

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    5. Not braver, just need more brain exercise than most people to keep my dyslexia at bay.

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  7. There's a mindset among many humans that can't be comfortable in the world unless there's someone or something to be afraid of or blame. Unfortunately the riots and vandalism that occur around protests serve to justify those beliefs. Violence is never the answer. History indicates there may not be an answer. Doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying to make it better.

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    1. You are probably right. Some people seem to also need to feel superior to others.

      I'm still in shock that we're having riots and violence in 30 cities and during a world pandemic to boot.

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  8. Ha ha ha! I think we bloggers should pick a day and blog about sex! How old were you the first time? Where? And now, some of us can add the last time! Circle of life. and think of all the spam we would generate! Just so glad I discovered your blog ... I learn something, I'm happy about something and I'm challenged to do more.

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    1. Ohmygod, I seriously doubt I'd take part in that kind of quiz. I don't even do those Facebook quizzes because I think the Russian are gathering all the info. LOL But who knows, if you build it/write it first maybe they/we blogger will come.

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  9. Thank you for a chuckle and I needed it this morning

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    1. No problem, I aimed for balance this time...the tough and the silly.

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  10. I agree with the other commenters: you have to perform sex in the kitchen standing up. And why does no one speak of the rug burns from sex in front of the fireplace? Asking for a friend...šŸ˜‰

    Deb

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    1. You crack me up. Rug burns still can't beat getting poison ivy.

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  11. Beautiful post! Thank you for every word (from the hilarious to the dismay to the hopeful.)

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    1. Awww, thanks. I tried for balance to keep people reading to the end.

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  12. What fun, sex confessions from oldies. I don’t know how you can say that you don’t know what to write about, you’ve made this oldie laugh.

    I agree with so much you mention, I usually do. This can be such a nasty, unkind, bigoted world, those of us who can see it need to fight bigotry, racism, intolerance wherever we find it.

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    1. You got that right in your last paragraph! We can't sit back and let others speak up anymore and hope it's enough.

      Most of my blogs start out without me having a clue how they are going to end up or what topic will come to me. This was one of them. And I'm always glad if I can make someone laugh along the way.

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  13. Yes, I have had sex in the kitchen.In every room in the house, the garage, a hay loft in a barn, in the woods and in the back seat of a car.
    They were Wham Bam Thank You Mam quickies, but fun at the time. Unless at this advanced age, I am remembering something that I just imagined happened.

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    1. You had to put pull the Old Person Card at the end didn't you...LOL

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  14. Don't you wish you could bake it all away? God knows I try. So many thoughts -- I guess there were large protests in Lansing today. I'll have to watch the news and find out. Well, at least these re protests I could get behind for a change.

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    1. Most of the protests across the nation turned into riots...30 going at once was the last I heard and where I live there was a large one with lots of damage in the downtown area. Curfews in effect here and elsewhere tonight, trying to get ahead of more violence. It got so bad in D.C. they took the president to an underground bunker.

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    2. Update: There were protests in 75 U.S. cities according to the nightly news.

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  15. Let's hope some good will come out of this. Trump will use the protests to keep his base fired up, but maybe in spite of that...?

    One of my newsletters yesterday said,

    "Good morning. We tried and tried to find the words to capture how we’re feeling after a gut-wrenching weekend. 45 crumpled drafts later, we came up with three: Black lives matter.
    We are also taking action. Morning Brew will be donating $5,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that challenges racial injustice, works for criminal justice reform, and advocates for basic human rights. If you are able to join us, you can contribute right here."

    It had a link, but the EJI is easy to find. It makes me feel better to be able to do something constructive in addition to supporting good candidates.

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    1. I do think some good---maybe a lot of good will come from all that is going on but it's going to take a lot of time and a lot of hard work on everyone's part. 2020 will be a year few of us will forget.

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