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, December 9, 2020

Earlobes and other things that make me feel Old


I woke up this morning hating me earlobes. It’s like they grew overnight! All my life I’ve liked my earlobes. They were perfect for post earrings and at one time I owned 225 pair. Nothing expensive but in the year after I got my ears pierced my car automatically turned into a department store’s parking lot on the way home from work and buying ear adornments became an obsession. I was at the pinnacle of my man hunting days and it was the only time in my life when I was a fashionista. Mid-twenties, first full time job and, yes, I was THAT girl who got hung up on my newly discovered femininity---having spent time at a gym in the year before acquiring girl curves that came with a flat tummy and a tight butt. I still have an outfit from that era of my life. Size Skinny Mini for my 5’ foot 7 ½” frame, I wish I had a photo of me wearing those white pants with its red and white stripped, sleeveless tunic top that were both trimmed in black because there is no way on this side of reality that I’ll ever be able to fit back into that outfit. Just looking at it hanging in the closet gives me a jolt of pleasure, though, remembering how kick-ass fine I felt in that outfit. Most of the earrings I bought back in that era were auctioned off in a couple of lots of 25 pair two summers ago but I kept the red and white dangling (sugar-sized) cubes I wore with that outfit.

I have always hated old people’s earlobes, the kind that are like flabby disks. I can even remember as a toddler sitting on someone’s lap and playing with the man’s “elephant ears” and being scolded for saying “Dumbo?” Until yesterday the only part of my body that still looked young, perfect and perky were my earlobes. What happened seemingly overnight? I’d never, ever considering having plastic surgery to bob my ears but if there’s a cream you can use to “tighten them back up” again I’d dig deep into my pocketbook to buy it. Which gives me an idea. I wonder if hemorrhoid cream would work. Models used to use that around their eyes before cosmetic companies started compounding ingredients they could charge hundreds of dollar for to do away with wrinkles. Big sigh here. My earlobes aren’t wrinkled, they’re just droopy like an old man’s balls. And I’ll bet those droopy balls make men feel just as bad as I do about my earlobes.

I’ve been working on downsizing/reorganizing my jewelry this week which is probably why I’ve been eyeballing my earlobes more. The goal was to empty out my dad’s old, oak tool box (shown in the top photo) that I used for a jewelry box for many years and make it all fit in the new gray box below. I also had jewelry in a couple of other places, too, and I wanted it all together. Having my jewelry so accessible in that old box after I move didn’t feel smart and I wanted to ‘shop’ that box around the family to see if anyone wants it before selling it. If none of Dad’s descendants wants it, those old boxes can easily sell for over $400. Surprisingly, my new gray jewelry box, and a plastic one about the same size, held so much jewelry that I had very little left over to donate to Goodwill. I did find 10-12 things that I sold for its gold content. My husband apparently never read the memo about me preferring silver over gold. Time to let go of what I didn't like in the first place.

I should purge more jewelry than I did because I don’t really wear that stuff anymore but like those red and white dangling cubes it makes me smile and remember what it was like to be younger when I cared about getting dressed up. And who knows, once I move to the CCC where they’ll be a long list of events and activities I can take part in I just might take an interest in my appearances again. Wouldn’t that shock my system if I gave up some of my sweats in lieu of real clothes. With a gym right across the hall plus having to walk the dog around the campus maybe I’ll even start losing weight and fit into my Skinny Mini outfit from my clubbing days. Don’t hold your breath on that one unless, God forbid, I pair that exercise with getting cancer. That’s not going to happen, though, I type with a smugness that just invites the universe to smack me down. But seriously, have you ever contemplated how you’re going to die? What will actually get you in the end? I have and it will have something to do with my lungs or over dosing on chronic hives meds or a fall where I can’t get up and die of exposure or dehydration while the dog goes off to his idea of heaven on earth---peeing on every leaf, tree and rock until someone finds Levi wandering around and reads one of his six tags to help get him back home. Ya, even the dog has too much jewelry. Which leads me to ask a question: Why hasn’t it become a fad to pierce our dog and cat’s ears? No one could call it animal cruelty since we do it to ourselves and they do it to farm animals to ID them with a numbers.  ©

 

This box is only 10"x7"x7" but between it and the plastic box below it holds all the jewelry laid out in the other photo below that came out of the oak tool box and other places around the house. evidentially, I want it downsized to just one box.

Below is all the jewelry I had in the house that surprisingly fit in the two boxes above.

Post Note: Remember the antique bank safe I wrote about in a recent post? I found the combination under one of the linings in my oak jewelry box. Back in 2002 when I wanted to sell that safe I turned heaven and earth over trying to find that combination. I had emptied it out before losing the combination, so I wasn't worried about that aspect but I could have gotten more for the safe if I had a way to open it. A guy who bought it collected those old safes and he knew how to crack them. There isn't a thing in the world that someone doesn't collect.

53 comments:

  1. Earlobes! LOL Nora Ephron wrote a book entitled "I Feel Bad About My Neck." It was really a book of essays, but the first essay was about how much she hated her neck, and how women's necks are the first thing to go. Is it true that our ears and noses are the only things that continue to grow throughout out lives? And here I thought it was my stomach. I could write a book about stomach fat.
    I'm not much for jewelry, but I do remember collecting a few earrings after I got my ears pierced.
    You've had so much to downsize. Really, my hat's off to you. What an overwhelming job that would be to me. You are going to love your new place. No excuse not to go to the gym. Weight lifting is great for people our age - as long as you don't overdo it.

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    1. I did strength training at the YMCA with a personal trainer a couple of summers ago and screwed up an an old elbow surgery. I won't be doing in weight lifting because now I have an 8 pound limit on lifting anything above my waist. But I'll enjoy the other machines.

      That book sounds really fun.

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    2. Nora Ephron was a treasure, and I loved that essay! So honest.

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  2. Now you are going to make me go look at my ear lobes. Gee thanks:)) Interesting about the safe combination. Sounds like the guy who bought it preferred that it had to be cracked rather than easy.

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    1. He didn't do it in front of me but he sounded like it was going to be a piece of cake.

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  3. Wowie! You sure have a lot of jewelry:) I don't have half as much jewelry as you do but you know what? I would guess that most of the jewelry I do have was worn only once. For jewelry, I usually wear only earrings and my rings, and ... most of the time, the same ones. I've never noticed people's ear lobes but now I may take a look at them. ha!

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    1. Before the pandemic I would at least wear earrings but now with glasses, a mask and hearing aids it's just too much stuff to keep track of. I could easily get through the rest of my life with just 6-7 pieces of my go-to jewelry but I figure I can downsize again at some point.

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  4. I noticed my ears getting wrinkled so I put my wrinkle cream on my face and lobes and by God it helps. Not dropping yet but that is a concern to me with a short haircut. I may have to grow my hair long - oh no!
    My dog already has a chip implanted inside with her ID, so no ear piercings for her! :-)

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    1. Levi is chipped too. But think how many more pairs of earrings companies could sell if dog jewelry became fashionable. I hope you know I'm kidding.

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  5. This had me chuckling all the way through! In spite of the earlobes and extra pounds and all the rest, you are STILL kick-ass fine: confident, intelligent, passionate, and funny as hell. (..." an old man's balls...LOL LOL)

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    1. I have another post coming up next week about purging my walk-in closet. Took me DAYS!!!! Not sure if it's funny but it sure gave me a lot of material to blog about.

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  6. I am not big on wearing jewelry except earrings. And now I don't wear them because of mask going off and on. Thank you for pointing out that I am getting Dumbo earlobes!!!

    I kept so much jewelry just for sentimental reasons. Things I wear a lot are hanging in my closet with clear pockets. The expensive stuff is in a jewelry box, sitting on a shelf.

    Memories ...

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    1. I looked at those back of the door jewelry hangers with clear pockets. That would have been great in my working day. But the whole idea, now, is to get it out of sight from sticky hands. I'm at the point in my life where things can change in a heart beat and I'd have personal aids coming and going. Plus I'm imagining more company in an apartment building than what I'm used to.

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    2. I don't think stick fingers would go through your clothes! Put a coat over it. Might be safer than hiding a box or two. OR ... get a safe!

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    3. My sister-in-law had home heath care workers and nurses coming in and out for years. You'd be surprised at the things that came up missing or they were caught red-handed taking. Even hams out of the freezer. If someone is helping you dress every day, they go in your closets. If they help with meals or groceries, they go through your cabinets, if they help you shop, stuff for themselves gets chargers on your card. I'll have a 2 drawer, locking filing cabinet for truly private or valuable things and it even has a fire proof section.

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  7. I haven't worn jewelry in years, and Andy and I have given up on mirrors...they lie, we don't look anything like they pretend to show.

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  8. I love looking at jewelry at the store and at estate sales. I rarely buy it because I don't wear much. I usually only wear a few different pieces most of the time!

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    1. I have a fair amount of antique jewelry in there...lots of poodle pins and some Mexican silver that I got a estate sales or antique malls. I haven't bought anything new in decades.

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  9. I don't wear a single bit of jewelry, and I purged my jewelry boxes ages ago. I don't even wear my wedding ring! I find it all uncomfortable. I used to wear jewelry, and the one thing I still have is about 20 sterling silver bracelets, all different designs. I'll probably see if my granddaughters want them.

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    1. If I had granddaughters I'd be letting them pick out stuff to take home. I had fully intended to get rid of anything that wouldn't fit in that gray box but I was shocked at how much it held. I run hot and cold on wearing rings depending on how good my nails are looking. I've been trying to grow out a split nail for a could of two years.

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  10. What a great post! Ricky Gervais has quite a bit to say about testicles and gravity. Nothing escapes age and gravity. Nothing.

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    1. Isn't that the truth. I had a friend who stood on her head for 5-10 minutes a day thinking it would help with that gravity thing. LOL I'll be Ricky's take on the topic is quite funny. I'll have is if I can find a video.

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  11. My college roommate pierced my ears with a hatpin and a potato. Her Dad was a doctor so we felt she knew what she was doing! LOL! I discovered I have an allergy to nickel and so my ears were always getting infected when I tried to wear cheap earrings (and I had a lot of cheap earrings!) So I am not a jewelry person and don't wear jewelry now during COVID.
    I am NOT looking at my earlobes because I do NOT want to know if they are sagging! :)

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    1. Good plan there, Ellen, what you don't know can't hurt yuo. LOL

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  12. Ill have to look at my earlobes, but I wear jewelry all the time. even with a mask, it doesnt seem to bother me. I don't wear bracelets much, they interfere with the sewing and so on. But the leckaces and bracelets keep me going.

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    1. Taking a mask off tends to take my hearing aids with them, if I'm not careful, so I'm assuming they could get hooked on the back of earrings to. People don't look at each other much anymore either so I just don't bother with them.

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  13. I used to love wearing earings but recently I have trouble getting them in and my youngest daughter says I have wierd alimy earlobes and will not touch them.

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    1. I have the same problem! Don't remember that happening when I was younger.

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  14. Earlobes? Reallly? I just went in and had a look at mine, and I think They're ok. Maybe it's because I've never worn earrings -- at least, not regularly. I might put a pair on for a special dinner, or a funeral -- but not even then, necessarily. I have four pair that make up my entire earring wardrobe -- and they're all clip!

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    1. I have a friend who wears big, heavy earrings and boy does she have stretched out earlobes. I hate the way the look.

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  15. I bought an old wooden box from e-bay, back a few years ago. It is quite large and sits next to my chair and holds the cross stitch project I am working on. I love that box. I have many smaller old wooden boxes, some made by my great grandpa to hold tools and such. I have a box that Velvetta cheese came in back in the day, and one that contained pretty French soap--that was my great grandma's.
    I do love wooden boxes--the more beat up and scarred they are, the better--especially if they have writing inside.

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    1. I have a thing for wooden boxes too. Last summer I e-Bay five Velvetta cheese boxes. Those are really cool. I love old wooden tool boxes. I have a really cute one I'm keeping to use on my kitchen table to hold plants.

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  16. Earrings USED to be a passion of mine. In my youth, single, and my income was for me only...I bought earrings!! My goal was to have one pair for each day of the year. Ha. That went over like a fart in a windstorm when I married...just one month shy of my goal. Now I Gotta go check out my lobes.

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    1. You know, if you're going to fart, a windstorm would be my first choice of places to do it where it could be blamed on just about anyone. Just sayin'. LOL

      Earrings were cheap and cute when we were young and they were a new fad that attracted attention. Did you stay married to the guy? Inquiring minds want to know.

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    2. The proof is in the pudding. Giving up your earring goal for a happily ever after was a good trade off. LOL

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  17. You had me laughing so hard at Dumbo ears☺ I have a machinist's chest exactly like yours only it's missing the cover that covers the drawer fronts. Mine has tools in it.

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    1. I have the cover but it doesn't have the key. But if you know know the trick to releasing it, it's tricky to open.

      I was that kid who was always fascinated with peoples ears. Guess I haven't changed much since those days.

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  18. I’ve noticed the earlobe decline happening for a few years, and I avoid heavy earrings now so as not to hasten it further. I even bought some of those plastic supports to place at the back of my lobes should I wish to wear a heavier pair for a couple of hours (back when one could dress up and go out and mix with others, remember that time?!šŸ˜‰). When I see a pair of earrings for sale in a shop, the first thing I do is assess their weight. Unless they are feather-light, I won’t even consider them. And now with mask-wearing, there’s not much point to danglies either...another thing to get caught up in the mask along with the arms of my sunnies/readers. I just keep my studs in, for days and days on end.

    Deb

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    1. I bought some of those disk too. They really help with heavier earrings, not that I wear them much anymore. But I'm so glad you chimed in so I know I'm not the only one in the Aging Earlobe Club. LOL

      Before the pandemic I would keep my better posts in for days on end too. Just don't want to chance them getting catch on a mask and losing one now. Been there done that with flying hearing aids coming off with a mask. It's so common my audiologist says they are doing a brisk business selling replacements.

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  19. I love earrings, and I have quite a collection, but nothing like yours! :-) With the mask wearing, I've given up on all but a simple pair of posts, because they just kept getting tangled in the ear loops. Another casualty of this damn pandemic. For now anyway.

    Interesting you should mention this, but I did notice a wrinkle on each of my earlobes a while back, and while they're not longer or drooping, I found that disconcerting. As well, I have a wrinkle or two under each of my eyebrows. I understand gravity and all, but honestly...that just seems unfair. We should have something that doesn't fail us over time. LOL.

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    1. If you don't want to scare yourself, don't ever google earlobe creases (wrinkles). There are actually medical studies about them and their connection to heart disease. Still up for debate, but the point THERE IS a debate going on. I noticed a crease in my earlobes last year and then at my last doctor's appointment he did an EKG and found I have developed an extra heartbeat.

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    2. I know! And who would even think to do a study trying to collate those two things!

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  20. I don't wear jewelry anymore. Not that I don't like it -- but I don't go anywhere! Maybe next year.

    I've never thought about ear lobes, one way or another!

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    1. When you're blogging during a pandemic you've got to find something to write about. LOL

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  21. I just finished reading a book on "elderhood" as a stage of life that mentioned that ears keep growing throughout our lives. I have a very small head and was always embarrassed as a teenager by what I saw as my too-big ears. It's been years since I was unhappy about the size of my ears, but I can probably look forward to feeling that way again before I'm done!

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    1. Isn't that an amazing bit of trivia about our earlobes continuing to grow through out our lives. I think the truly ugly stage doesn't happen until the mid-80s so I'm good for a little while. Maybe I'll have long hair by then. LOL

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  22. Levi's Six Tags and Old Men's Sagging Balls, well, it made me actually spill my Diet Soda all over my Computer Desk and Keyboard! *LMAOROTF* Yes, the cartilage in Ears and Nose don't keep growing as we Age but they do begin elongating and sagging, making them appear larger over Time. I had very tiny Earlobes so it will actually give me the appearance of having some over Time. I always wanted one of those tiny Button Noses like my Granddaughter Princess T has... instead I got the typical Native American Snout of my Dad's side of the Family... ah well, you can't have it all I guess. I have three of those Chests like your Dad's and Yes, they can command high prices on resale of them but I Love mine too much to part with them even tho' they were not Heirlooms from my own Family. I utilize them in my Art Studio to Organize Art Supplies. I Love Apothecary Cabinets with all their Drawers and Typeset Cabinets too for the same reasons, great Look, great Storage and they keep increasing in Value exponentially! I am a Jewelry Fiend... and I'll always have my Bling... and I accessorize the Hell out of my Wardrobe still! I think it's the Gypsy in me, Mom was the same, clear into her 80's she was Rocking it all as much as she ever did. She had a vast Earring Collection like you, she Collected the most unusual ones she could find, the most outrageous... she could wear big Jewelry and pull it off with confidence. She gave them all to the Prodigal Daughter and in turn she gave them to me coz she knew she'd lose it all and she didn't want Nanna's Nostalgic Heirlooms Lost or Stolen, so I'm the Keeper of them. They're not Pierced, since Mom didn't get her Ears Pierced until she was a Senior... so most of Mom's Collection from her Youth were clip ons and those hurt like Hell to wear, so she suffered much for Fashion in her Day! *LOL*

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    1. I truly love my dad's tool box, too, and that's why I'm giving it up. My niece is going to take it to keep for my dad's namesake....best way to keep it in the family. My niece only has one child and that child loves and understands antiques, too. If I took it to the CCC and they end up moving me to the memory care unit, my stuff could all end up going to strangers for a base rate to move it all out. Families would have limited time to do it themselves and since my family isn't as close as kids and grandkids I just don't know if they'd come do it or the place would hire it done.

      How women stood wearing those clip-ons I'll never know. My mom wore them but only when she went out. As soon as she'd be in the car to leave they came off.

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  23. It would be nice if there were exercises for our earlobes to get them cute and trim again. I keep quite a bit of jewelry partly because the pieces have a story behind them. Much of my jewelry my husband bought for me, so as a widow, they have sentimental value. Good for you for consolidating things, I do a bit of that too, right now I am pruning my book collection.

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    1. Pruning books was really painful for me. Jewelry is so small I could keep anything that I remotely felt like keeping.

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