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, January 23, 2021

The Lecture I Didn’t go to and Other Crazy Things

Jeez, it’s already Thursday and I haven’t thought about writing my Saturday post until now. It’s weird that I even have to rush to get the job done because for several months I’ve had two or three posts sitting in my scheduler at any given time. It takes me more than one sitting to write a post so I don’t like working this close to my self-imposed deadline because I can’t safely write and edit for errors in the same day and I always do my editing first thing in the mornings when my brain is still half asleep. When I have a draft ready to edit I also look for places that can be tweaked for better word choices, tenses that don’t match or places where I can insert a little humor, if appropriate for the topic. 

Now, on to what’s been going on in my life besides breathing easier now that our country got through inauguration day without any drama. I spent that day channel surfing between three channels from 8:00 AM to midnight starting with watching Trump’s departure and ending with the late night comic’s take on the day. They did not disappoint me. Nothing about the day disappointed me except maybe Garth Brooks singing of Amazing Grace. Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga both killed their songs and both looked so happy to be there that they couldn’t hide their living-the-dream Sparkle if they tried. But I hope security thought to look up Gaga’s massive red skirt. She could have hidden a couple rabid assassins under there.

On the personal news front, Monday was the day when those of us who belong to our local senior hall had to make RSVPs for February and March events, a process that I’ve often compared to the running of the bulls because their events---lectures, lunches and classes---have limited space and normally they record 1,500 to 1,700 RSVPs over a three day period. This month, however, I talked to someone who works on the committee that sends out the bi-monthly newsletters and she said since the pandemic closed the place down for a few months last spring people haven’t been renewing their memberships. We’re down from roughly 1,500 to 700 members. Shocked the heck out of me. The place will not survive the pandemic if they keep bleeding members who are trying to save a lousy $15 a year fee.

The newsletter had a lecture I was interested in going to and I had my RSVP ready for the 9:00 opening bell to ring in my head so I could send it. Only the first 114 emails received get a lecture confirmation, any requests after that go on a waiting list. At the last minute I asked myself, “Why do I want to put myself in contact with that many people during a pandemic just to hear a lecture about haunted lighthouses?” Even wearing a mask it wouldn’t be safe. So, another month will go by without me having any social life except for every two weeks I go to the grocery store. It's been months without me even talking to enough people each month to set up a foursome for a round of golf. Not that I play the game but I did take 18 lessons back during my Chameleon Days aka back in my dating days when I thought I needed to do every and any thing a guy I was dating liked to do. Tennis---I loved the cute little outfits but hated playing. Lesson taken, a waste of time. I never improved. Snow skiing I loved and I kept going long after the guy I took lesson for and I broke up only to give up skiing when my husband came into my life. Yup, I was a chameleon for nearly a decade. Thankfully I never dated a bank robber.

Back on topic: The senior hall’s speakers’ fees are paid for by sponsors our director ferrets out in the community. In exchange for the sponsorships, the sponsors get to set up a table in the back of the room to distribute information on services or goods that are targeted to our age bracket. They come with give-aways to lure you over to their tables like cloth shopping bags, coffee cups, flashlights, key chains, paper pads and pens, but my favorite give-away of all time is a telescoping back scratcher. Handiest damn thing I’ve ever owned. It even has a clip that makes it look like you’ve got an ink pen in your pocket. Before the pandemic I scored my third back scratcher. I keep one in the car, another by my computer and one by my bed. And in case you're wondering, yes, I bath regularly but my poor posture pinches some nerves that make me itch across the back of my shoulders and sometimes it drives me crazy. My best friend all through grade and high school was probably the tallest girl in class and her mom used to make her practice walking around with a book on her head to improve her posture, keep her from slouching. I did it with her a few times, both of us being too silly to keep the books on our heads. I should have kept trying. It worked for her…moms do know best.  ©

Twitter had fun with Gaga's ensemble, comparing it to a character's gown in The Hunger Games, the one who says, "May the odds be ever in your favor." The gold brooch, many said, looked like the mocking-jay pin in the movie although it was actually a giant, gold dove of peace with an olive branch in its beak. I can't remember the symbolism of the color contrast and military-like top, but she sure set the fashion world on fire. Others said her dress was creating its own six feet social distancing.

37 comments:

  1. I like the six foot distancing joke. 🙂. I didn’t watch the inauguration, no T.V.

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    1. I can't imagine living without a TV.

      Lady Gaga, Katie Perry and Jennifer Lopez's performance are all worth looking up on the internet. Perry's comes with the fireworks show that was awesome and from what I've read the weather conditions really added a special element to them.

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  2. You really did immerse yourself in Inauguration Day and I agree about Garth Brooks vs Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez. The two women did amazing jobs that really showed what wonderful voices they have that can be overshadowed by all the special effects, etc. that are part of their usual performances.

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    1. I sure did and I'm still happy that it went off without a hitch.

      I guess it's not fair to compare Brooks with Gaga and Lopez (or Perry later on at the fireworks). His genre of music doesn't snow off anyone's range and apparently his song was chosen to bring unity when he asked everyone to sing the last verse with him.

      I've watch Perry's "Fireworks" video a couple of times now and it gives me chills. I can't imagine what it would have been like to actually be there.

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  3. I guess I'm just shocked that there's a place where senior events are open in any way. I did not watch the evening concert but I'm not a fan of KP for reasons other than her voice. Live Gaga but thought Jlo was the voice of the day.

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    1. The events at the senior hall have been drastically scaled back since the pandemic, even after they reopened many things like exercise classes were moved outside for social distancing back then. The Christmas party that used to be huge---300+ --- was canceled. With this newsletter they've resumed luncheons, lectures, book club, some art classes, the movie & lunch club and the cards playing groups but they aren't taking money for the RSVPs yet in case they have to cancel at the last minute which is a reversal to their usual requirement of money due in two weeks.

      I have warmed up to Perry when she was on American Idol, never liked Gaga until resent years when she started showing off her range and dressing a little less outrageously. JLo has such a cute personality. Who doesn't like her?

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  4. I loved the visual of Lady Gaga--a favourite of the LGBTQ population--being handed her gold microphone by Pence, homophobe extraordinaire.

    Of all the vocal acts, I liked John Legend's number at the Lincoln Memorial the best. That man can sing anything and make it stellar.

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    1. I missed the part where ti as Mike Pence handing off the gold microphone to Gaga! How funny!

      I love John, too.

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  5. I enjoyed the inauguration, but my favorite was Amanda Gorman, the poet laureate. Such a bright articulate girl. She will go far. And of course there was Bernie and all the memes that have followed are hilarious!

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    1. Amanda is getting her dues now aplenty and well deserved. I hope Bernie is enjoying the meme as much as everyone else it, it's all in good fun which is a refreshing change.

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  6. I didn't watch a bit of the inauguration or the festivities, mostly because I was at work during the day, and I figured I could pick up anything that seemed of special interest later on YouTube. I did get a kick out of the conversation among the three ex-presidents,and of course Bernie and his mittens was great. The memes that have come from that were some of the best humor I've seen online in quite a while. Here's a link to some of them.

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    1. Thanks for the link. I have been enjoying the Bernie Mania too. And I always love it what the x-presidents get together. You can tell their warmth with each other is genuine event though this time they had to social distance.

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  7. I thought it was a lovely day! I felt so glad and relieved and grateful! Here we go now...
    Wishing you peace and love!

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    1. Relieved and grateful are great words to describe the way I felt too.

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  8. I'm surprised your senior center is even holding events with hundreds of people who are the most vulnerable. Think you were smart to bail.
    I saw the inauguration in bits in pieces. The best part for me was seeing Airforce One heading for Florida. Big sigh of relief.
    I like how Joe has dived right in. Think we have a long way to ge but we are finally in good hands.

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    1. It's been hit and miss since last March. Mostly miss. They plan and advertise events then if the governor says no gatherings over a certain number of people then they cancel stuff closer to the date. They did a lot of social distancing classes outside from March to October and did a lot of walking tours, trying to keeps going. But the menu of activities available have been cut significantly down.

      I liked that going off to Florida part too and laughed through 45's speech, especially how the world will no longer respect us with Joe in office.

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  9. Hahaha. I love the 6' distancing comment. Maybe I'll try something like that next time I go somewhere!

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  10. It's been so enjoyable to just BREATHE without looking over one's shoulder for a new disaster. I still don't go inside ANYWHERE especially since Covid is predicted to get worse before it gets better. I bet you can find a youtube of haunted lighthouses ... I know we have one in Oregon!

    It's just so nice to be able to SMILE while reading the news or Facebook. Thanks again for great blogging. Now to think about what I can do for tomorrow!

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    1. YouTube is great but you can't people watch there like you can at a live lecture. I love them but I'll bet I'll never get to another one the rest of my life.

      And I felt so relaxed today that I didn't turn on the TV or radio all day. Still haven't. No need to see what disaster might have happened...

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  11. I wonder if the Seniors place could offer some online zoom meetings - yes I know they've a bugbear but it would at least have you able to touch base with some others without having to worry about social distancing or masks.
    I think that they should continue to at least have the yearly fees, otherwise they will definitely go under, and it will be harder when life is a bit more normal to get back a/there building and b/members.

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    1. You know what, that's a great idea. I will drop an email to the director. She's always looking for idea to add content to the senior hall activities. Thanks! We just put in overhead cameras for cooking and art classes and I could see how they could be adapted to Zoom.

      Our senior hall was the best one around. Our summer bus trips that went all over the state and attracted people from adjoining counties. I will continue to pay my fee.

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  12. Congratulations on the successful switch over to new management! It was so nice to laugh along with all the gently-humoured Bernie memes instead of whatever stupidity Trump & Co. had gotten up to since last time I checked. I managed to catch Lady Gaga’s performance and wow! What a set of pipes! And that dress - yes, perfect for social distancing...LOL!

    Deb

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    1. It was a great day! I love that we're rejoining the world again!

      Lady Gaga sang opera with---his name escapes me---but a very famous opera guy and boy did she ever hold her own. Her range is astonishing.

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  13. Well, I'm Impressed you put so much effort into the Creation of your Posts, I always Wing it because my Focus wouldn't be sufficient to do more than that. *LOL* As it is, I've decided to keep Purging Archived Posts Weekly now rather than wait a full Year to dump a bunch of them. How's that for Living in the Moment and to Hell with the Past and not looking back? *Winks* Gaga always makes a Statement with Fashion and Showmanship, I think that's why she's enjoyed such widespread popularity. She kinda reminds me of a Young Madonna that way, staying relevant and different than the herd of Entertainers that just blend into each other... Yawn. As for skipping things, I've done that a lot since February 2020 and only just now begin to accept the challenge of attending anything during the Pandemic, but cautiously. There can be no crowds, no lines, no contact, well... it's kinda like Socializing in the New Way we just have to and feel like we're still Social Creatures, Right? I did get to talk to my Designer Friends at the Event from Six Feet away from one another and Masked... and attended Two Days now, Princess T and The Man attended this 2nd time and enjoyed the whole Day being out of the House for a change. Being cooped up could make you stir crazy, especially those of us why are Hyper and/or Bipolar as Hell... we're already pretty high strung and close to the Edge. *LOL*

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  14. You're so prolific when it comes to writing and I'm impressed by that. I'm also jealous that you don't get attached to what you write and can purge stuff so easily. I still have stuff I wrote when I was a kid. (It reminds me how far I've come.)

    I have the perfect house for living through a pandemic. I can see out all sides of the house. Windows with views everywhere so I don't feel cooped up. I'm going to miss that. When I was caregiving I called it my gilded cage. You get out far more often than I do...retail therapy, restaurants, the mall to walk...none of which I do, you dare devil!

    It's kind of sad that artists as talented as Gaga have to be so fashion outrageous to get noticed. Society in general seems to be producing more talent or maybe because we're in the internet era that we just see more of the talented people who've always been there? Everyone wants their 15 minutes n the spotlight.

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    1. Now every Entertainer has to 'Brand' themselves in a Unique way to stand out from the Crowd, those who are Masterful at it can do well even if Talent is marginal. In her case she has a set of Pipes on her so is the Whole Package and dares to be different without apology, I respect that a lot in anyone. Yes, I am a Daredevil, sometimes to my own detriment I might add, but sometimes it works out... I've not been known to be timid about much. *LOL* As for Caregiving Diaries, it took many Years to get to where we could enjoy some Quality of Life blended with Extreme Caregiving and rehabilitating everyone to be functional as they were able to be. It took tenacity and wasn't for the faint of Heart, that's for sure, we had to be very unconventional to pull it off... I'm one not to be told something isn't possible... because then I have to prove that statement Wrong! *winks*

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    2. When I was working on a caregivers support site in the stroke community my byline was "Caregiving is not for sissies." You and I both got baptized by fire into that role, didn't we.

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  15. Saw highlights of the inaugurztion om telly because it was everywhere but I really didn't care much about it.

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  16. They're right about Gaga's dress being a social distancing ensemble! I wonder how many people stepped on it that day? I was worried she'd snag it on whatever Kamala almost took a header on coming down those steps. Loved the late night folks after inauguration -- some real gems there!

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    1. Kamala's heels drive me crazy---those pointy toes are right out of the 1960s and look so uncomfortable. She always wears the same style heels and lace up tennis shoes. Love the latter and I hate that I'm talking fashion when we just elected the FIRST WOMAN V-P! lol

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  17. I had the TV on in the background for several hours while I wrestled with my tax return. It was all quite moving and hopeful. If only things were allowed to change now but Republicans don’t seem to have any interest in the the wellbeing of the country.

    I am staying away from people for three weeks until after I receive my vaccine shot which may be quite soon now. Even then I will be wary of mingling.

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    1. Yes, just getting rid of Trump is just the beginning. We have to restore confidence in science, the media and work to governing with compromises again. Too many Republican law makers are still too fearful of Trump's supporters to standup for what is right for the country. I'm hoping that will change over the next 6 months as more and more of Trump's corruption is brought out in the open.

      Are your vaccine's over there a one shot or two shots? We have both over here but we don't get a choice which one we get.

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  18. I'm amazed that your Senior Hall is still doing in-person programming. Everything at our Senior College has been online since last March. This week, I started taking a six-week course where we watch a TED talk together each week and then discuss it. (There are about twenty of us in the class, which is about the maximum for good online discussion.) One advantage about the remote classes is that anyone from any of the 17 Senior College programs in the state can sign up for classes at any of the others, which means I get to know people I wouldn't have met otherwise. I do hope we'll be able to get back into the real classroom next fall.

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    1. They were really scaled down for most of last year to things they could do outside, spread apart---exercise classes, book club and walking tours. With this newsletter they added back the monthly lectures and luncheons but ended up canceling the lecture since I wrote this so no one got to go.

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