Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

Welcome to my World---Woman, widow. senior citizen seeking to live out my days with a sense of whimsy as I search for inner peace and friendships. Jeez, that sounds like a profile on a dating app and I have zero interest in them, having lost my soul mate of 42 years. Life was good until it wasn't when my husband had a massive stroke and I spent the next 12 1/2 years as his caregiver. This blog has documented the pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties and finally, moving past it all. And now I’m ready for a new start, in a new location---a continuum care campus in West Michigan, U.S.A. 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. (Just remember I'm looking through my prism which may or may not be the full story.) Stick around, read a while. I'm sure we'll have things in common. Your comments are welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Wrist Watches and Classy Salesman

 

Before the pandemic I could just walk into the jewelry store to get fresh batteries put in watches---that is after looking into their security camera, pressing a button and after I’ve passed their look-and-see test. Yup, old woman not carrying a Glock 43 and an empty duffle bag, she can come in. The place is near my house and is a fancy-schmancy store that sells high-end stuff and probably has over a hundred Rolexes on display and a couple dozen Audermars Piguits. I don’t have high end watches in need of batteries but I do/did have watches I don’t want scratched by someone who just started working at K-Mart or wherever else you can buy batteries and get them installed. I’m down to the last two watches from my husband’s collection that are going on e-Bay. They are vintage Mickey Mouse watches that’ll I’ll probably get shy of $250 each. $500 wouldn’t cover a faction of the taxes on most of the watches they sell at Fancy Schmancy's.

For the first time, because of the pandemic, I had to leave the battery-needy watches, get a claim ticket and I’ll pick them up next week instead of waiting for them like I’ve done in the past. Fine by me. The place makes me nervous because it’s been hit by armed, daytime robbers at least five times since I’ve been living near-by. Maybe the owners don’t mind having a gun aimed point-blank at their heads but I’m not wanting to pee my pants that way. If I’m going to pee my pants in public---not saying I want to or ever have---I’d rather it to be because I am laughing uncontrollably.

Yes, I know other lesser quality jewelry stores will change batteries but this place also buys gold and when I dropped the watches off I sold them the last of my husband’s gold coin collection. He didn’t have many gold pieces to begin with---five-six, I lost track---but it feels good to have them gone. It did, however, give me pause thinking the world is going to become a dystopian and maybe I should have kept them to sew in the lining of that last coat I’ll own when I’m wandering around the bleak landscape that was once America, former home of free and brave. Can you tell, post-apocalypse books have been catching my interest since the pandemic? 

A therapist could probably explain my new attraction to books like that but all I know is there is something comforting about knowing life will go on even if Trump causes a nuclear disaster or a world-wide depression starts picking us off one-by-one as we die waiting in soup lines. In the end I decided that gold coins would not be the commodity that a dystopic world would trade in…it will be cell phone batteries. Everywhere I go people have cell phones attached to their ears. No more polite conversations between strangers. We back up when they come into our six foot bubble and talk into our cell phones like they're going to save us from real-time human interactions because they do. Dating in 2020 must be a bitch. “When this pandemic is over I’m going to remove your mask slow and easy and kiss you hard and fast.” Or as author Keri Beevis said in a meme, "If the conona-19 virus doesn't take you out, can I?"

Ohmygod, I need to lighten up the post and I think I’ll do that by explaining the canning jar full of watches up above. That pint of watch faces---27 in all---is practically every watch I’ve ever owned since my first one in the '50s. Unlike my husband’s watches mine were mostly cheap, throw-a-ways and I had planned to group them up in three logical lots to sell on e-Bay but many had bands that were so old they were literally falling apart. So I took a page out a fellow blogger’s playbook and stuffed the watch faces in a jar. Thanks to Dawn, at the Bohemian Valhalia I now have five jars full of pared down collections: one quart jar has a 100 wooden nickels, another is full of buttons and I have plans to fill up a two quart, wide mouth jar with Cracker Jack toys. I just have to get past the fact that it took me years to sort and date all those plastic and metal toys before I’m ready to undo it all to gain a smaller footprint to display them. I’ve already filled a two quart jar up with bits and pieces my husband and I picked up out West on what I consider the happiest day of my life, but I’m pretty sure I’ve shared that story already.  

While sorting through my box of old jewelry I came across a sterling silver ring that I remembered getting after seeing The King and I back in the ‘50s when I was a teenager. It’s stamped ‘Siam’ which is the country that was renamed ‘Thailand’ in 1939. I put it on and haven’t taken if off since. It’s got two fish on the front which, of course, I researched because that’s what I do for fun and I found out the fish symbolizes wealth, prosperity, strength and bravery. I forgot I was wearing it when I went into the jewelry store yesterday. Normally I haul out and wear the only good piece of jewelry I own---my wedding bands---when I go to the jewelry store because I want to look like have something of quality. The people who work there, however, are trained to treat everyone with equal respect and warmth whether you’re dressed in Woman Within clothes like me or high fashion designer duds. Wouldn’t it be nice if the whole world adopted that same attitude? We could have licked so many of our social ills by now if we did. ©

 

38 comments:

  1. Andy and I, 85 and 80, have one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel...we're not about to waste what little time we have left on worrying about things we have no control over.

    Big changes are bound to happen even if Trump doesn't get re-elected. Might he? Well, I read today that about one third of Latinos are for him, so who knows? My sister plans to vote for him, so we don't discuss politics.

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    1. I know far more people voting for him than Biden so I'm kind of resigned to fact that his brand of nasty personal interactions between people is becoming the norm for all of us. So I'm constantly looking for the dark humor to get by.

      You and Andy are lucky to still have each other and a good attitude about enjoying the little things that nature brings us daily.

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  2. Your ring has stirred a vague memory of some sort of jewelry I brought home from the NY World's Fair in 1964. Our high school band had gone there to play on the Plaza -- good times. Anyway: whatever I bought may well have been from Thailand; the decoration was very much the same, although the piece itself was a deep, cobalt blue. I suppose it was a necklace. Odd, how things disappear, even from memory, until something triggers that memory decades later.

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    1. I went to that same World's Fair and loved it.

      I know what you mean about forgetting things for decades and have something trigger that memory later. Happens to me all the time. There is still something lost with this ring that I keep hoping will come to me the more I wear it other than a crush on bawl-headed Yui Brynner.

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  3. Now it is amazing that I went with my family to that 1964 World's Fair too! I still have a scrapbook I made with the brochures from the different exhibits that we saw. We drove across the country in our old family station wagon. What a great adventure it was!

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    1. How fun! I still have some souvenirs as well, but been letting them go now.

      We drove from Michigan and my dad pulled a camper. I remember the police in New York pulling him over for going through a tunnel with the propane tank on the travel trailer. Cop was so MAD! We all loved the fair but couldn't get out of New York City fast enough. We were there long enough to take a couple of bus trips and see the typical tourist stops but the city gave me claustrophobia, hated the tall building and lack of a visa views.

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    2. P.S. Seeing the Michelangelo sculpture at the 1964 fair of the Madonna and Child (Pieta) was a huge influence on me, spent the next two semesters in college trying to carve marble. I can still remembering the chills I got seeing it revolve with lighting accenting every detail.

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    3. You were lucky to have a trailer - I remember us driving from motel to motel looking for the vacancy signs! And we kids would always cheer if the motel had an outdoor pool!

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    4. There was a huge camping park set up for fair goers and the tourist buses picked us up from there. I think we were at the park for 4 days but had planned to stay a week. We left early and went up towards Maine. Last family trip together so it was memorable.

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  4. I would love to know what apocalyptic books you've read. I’m drawn to those too. It gives me great comfort to know the earth will go on and become healthy and lush again and full of life, long after we are gone...it’s like our little experiment with intelligent life didn’t exactly work out. Seems to be on the downswing now with all the trump support out there. Sigh!

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    1. I know exactly what you mean by the apocalyptic books giving you comfort. I'm picking my way through this list: https://reedsy.com/discovery/blog/dystopian-novels There used to be a TV series called 'the last ship' that I liked too. The next book on my want list is Forstchen's 'One Second After' and I'd love to get my hands of Stephen King's 'The Stand.'

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  5. Oh yes...I read The Stand ...Stephen King ..years ago. Also one called The Last Gasp...a movie On the Beach with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner.
    Thanks

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    1. I'v heard it said by-so called literary experts that 'The Stand' is by far his best novel.

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  6. The Last Gasp link

    https://www.fantasticfiction.com/h/trevor-hoyle/last-gasp.htm

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  7. I really like that ring and can see why you still wear it. I enjoy apocalyptic books also as long as they aren't in the Mad Max vein. I like more survival and less violence.

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    1. It's a comfortable ring, too that adjusts when your fingers are change in the heat.

      Agreed, it's the survival of challenges far worst that we're facing in our daily lives that makes those books comforting to me. The will to survive no matter what...

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  8. I am still not able to read a book! I really miss that and maybe I need therapy. I loved Stephen King until Pet Cemetery.

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    1. Your live has changed so much since the days when you could enjoy reading. I'm sure having active boys around doesn't help with concentration.

      I don't like most of King's books but I admire him as a writer. I've read his non-fiction on writing so many times I'm wearing it out.

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  9. Love your ring and the story behind it! I have things that need to go to the battery place too... but they'll wait awhile longer. Sounds like you need to arm up before you go!

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    1. I hate that I don't have the finger dexterity to change my own batteries anymore.

      I think the metal detectors would go off and a 911 call would launch if I tried to arm up to go into that jewelry store. LOL

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  10. I live in the here and now and can't be botherred about things I have no control over.

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  11. That sounds like the jewelry store where I used to get my watch batteries for my "good" watch. Unfortunately, they, too, despite the locked door-type entry were robbed I learned when police explored our yard 'cause the crook apparently came over our wall, and I had been home that afternoon though saw nothing.

    I'm not into reading apocalyptic books, especially now, since seems like that's the kind of world in which we may be too close to occupying. I have a conglomeration of types unread or partially started but seem to be out of the mood to resume any -- maybe next week.

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    1. That's scary to think the robbers where in your yard. Those who hit this store once took their car over a retainer wall for a 30 foot drop to someone's yard when they were running from the police, got catch.

      I think it's weird to read apocalyptic books now too but some of the others just don't keep me reading.

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  12. Oh my! I had a brief crush on Yul Brynner, bald head and all, after seeing him in "Westworld." I got over it pretty quickly, though. I like my men with hair.

    The only thing I have a jar of is buttons. And I use them in my various knitting projects and, of course, for repairs of existing clothes.

    Dystopian novels are not my thing, in general. I did love The Stand, back when I was a Stephen King fan. After he wrote Misery, he kind of lost me.

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    1. Me too on the bald heads although Dewayne Johnson could change my mind, but with him it's all about his personality that attracts me.

      I loved the movie, "Misery" and I've never read "The Stand" but it's classified at a dystopia theme.

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  13. Interesting discussion. I actually love bald men - lol. There was a NYT article about Stanley Tucci (I think he's divine) that said he might be the first sexy bald man since Yul Brenner. I promptly wrote them defending Ed Harris (another of my heartthrob choices in his younger years) and had my letter to the editor printed in the paper. I saved it, as I don't expect to ever be printed there again. Ha!

    I have a bunch of watches that need batteries, but since I'm not wearing most of them, I haven't taken the time to get them. I suppose I should...maybe I could sell some of them, but might want to make sure they still work. I find I wear the same few on the days I'm not wearing my Apple watch. But most days I need the Apple watch to nudge me into standing and moving more. I am quite unmotivated lately.

    As for dystopian novels, I am reading things that are less heavy and frightening, since life is that way now IMO. But I did enjoy (maybe that's not the right word) Station Eleven, and it was set in Michigan! Stephen King scares the heck out of me. I read one of his books and it creeped me out so much I haven't read another - except his book on writing, which is great.

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    1. I've got a few letters-to-the-editor in print papers that I've saved over the years. Kind of fun, aren't that.

      Since smart watches came on the market, I never change watches anymore and I'm only keeping one old one to wear. It's a Fossil sundial that that actually needs the sun to tell the time. But then you also need a compass to make sure you're aiming your watch in the right direction. My husband and I both had them to wear on days when we'd drive up along Lake Michigan.

      I have 'Station Eleven' on my Kindle to read someday!

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  14. Your Canning Jar Display looks Awesome, you must Photograph the Cracker Jack Toy filled one sometime too! The smaller Footprint you'll get used to, especially when it consolidates a Display so interesting that it would have been a shame to get rid of it to save Space. I laughed so hard about Pandemic Dating and could tell you're also reading Romance Novels a lot too, hot steamy ones removing Masks slow and easy and kissing hard and fast! *LMAOROTF!* I only say that since Princess T is at the threshold of Puberty and asked me how Pandemic Dating is gonna 'Work' from Six Feet apart... and I says, just the way I want it to be for you so that I'm not potentially raising Great-Grandkids one day! We both laughed heartily but I was only mildly kidding! *Winks* After all, there is that very Good Looking Blue Eyed Hispanic Boy in her Spanish Class she is infatuated with and they've become 'Good Friends'... oh Lord, I'm not ready for her to be 'Good Friends' with a Boy whose not Gay! *Bwahahahaha!* I may solicit Gay Timmy to be her full time Chaperone around any Straight Boy, well, until I'm Dead anyway or she's over 30! *Ha ha ha* I used to Work at a High End Jeweler when I was in late Teens, early 20's, before I merged into Banking. It gave me a good handle on The Good Stuff and how to recognize the Real Deal from crap.

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    1. You crack me up about your granddaughter dating. I guess even a pandemic can't stop hormones from running. My mom used to read romances---Victorian and Regency. She's probably die of embarrassment to read some of the modern military/romance stuff I've been reading. Truly, some of those sex scenes go on so long that they get boring and I skip to the danger/adventure parts. The point is I do think in terms of romance books, always looking for a story line.

      Knowing how to tell the read stuff from the fake gold and silver has been a handy skill in your vendor pursuits. I don't have it.

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  15. re: canning jars display feature - I've an online contact who wanted to keep memories of beaches she went to (this is NZ, so we have plenty of coastline) but she is limited in space, an small RV. So she found a tall but thin jar type - had some shelves built to fit them and has her rows of "sand jars" to remind her.. Why I'm saying this, maybe a way for you display in your next abode. Yes, you won't see every thing individually but you could take a jar down and sift/the memories on a regular basis

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    1. I love your online friend's collection of beach sand idea!

      I have some jars of sea shells that I keep in a small book case my dad made for me when I was a kid. Although the idea of having things in jars is new to me I love the fact that you can display things without a lot of dusting to maintain them.

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  16. Pretty ring. That's creepy about the jewelry store getting robed several times. I always think that 7Eleven employees should get hazardous pay.

    I think The Stand was one of King's best books. I liked Thinner, too. I didn't read Misery, but oh my! Kathy Bates was something in the movie.

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  17. I used to have to go in 7-eleven during the night when I plowed snow. The creeped me out too.

    I need to read The Stand! Just borrowed mill Biden's book, heard that's good.

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  18. That ring is amazing. I'm trying to clean out one closet and I just kind of froze up with piles all over the floor. You are doing a great job. Keep at it.

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    1. Downsizing does get overwhelming. I vacillate between feeling guilty for having so much to wishing I could make it all go away to wishing I could keep it all.

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  19. My dark apocalyptic fantasies are mostly related to climate change -- imagining a world in which people compete for less and less inhabitable territory and arable land.

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    1. Homeland Security used to say this is a real threat to people around the globe...that was back before climate change became a "hoax".

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