Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Is there a lighter side to widowhood?

Who was the Merry Widow? Is she a woman who was in a lousy relationship?

 I don't think so. I think she is in the recovery phase .

After the first year, after the flashbacks, and after you have settled down, I think there may be a somewhat lighter side to widowhood.

It's kind of like being a  college grad  with the trauma of finals, papers, and projects behind you. The whole world laid open before you. Just take what you want.Pick this, leave that. Do what you want. Now I suppose this probably applies to those of us without little ones at home. At any rate, this has been my experience.

I am in an "exploration" phase of life.

 I was really set on what I wanted from life, and then it blew up in my face like a trick cigar. I have taken to saying that God thinks I am too much woman for just one man, so it is the divine plan for me, in my maturity,  to experience the pleasures and attention of men. And I mean men, plural.  I did not date much as a teen, and into my 20's. It took me until my late 20's to have a serious boyfriend. Since I have been widowed, I have dated men from 38 - 70. They have all filled a purpose, and a niche in my life. The most age appropriate guys seemed easiest to be with. The others are there for me to "stretch" and see how life plays out. My mother called me a cougar. What does she call me when I date the 70 year old, kitten?

So now everyone is very PC, and we are partners. No more boyfriends. Not PC enough. Have to say the man I am partner. Very snooty sounding to me, but don't want to step on any toes. Monogamy has always been important to me, but not now. Honesty remains key. I let everyone know I am seeing more than one guy, and they are OK with that or gone. Exploration deserves some perks.

Of course, there is not always sex involved, and there is STD testing. One of my office mates said I was the only person she knew that would have a date that included blood testing. Yep, that's me. I walk the walk.

Life is open to me, and because I was in a healthy, good relationship, I see the world as good. I know the risks posed, but as a mature woman without kids at home, risk is somewhat ok. Staying completely safe gets me nothing. Just hiding to me. Remember the story about the widow who joined the Knife and Hatchet throwing club? Well, the lesson learned is to go where the boys are.

For me it has been online. What a treasure trove of humanity! How do you advertise to hundreds of millions of people? I think online is key. There are many, many social networking avenues. I picked two or three and went for it. It is easy to screen people on the internet. Just ask a few penetrating questions.
What are penetrating questions? OK, like what frightens you? What were your parents like?
Look for values. Ask about stories that reveal sticky situations and see which side of the coin they fall.
Mostly ask about difficult times. If someone has lost a family member/spouse/child/buddy/job/etc, ask how they managed. Did they get mad, act childish? Did they take the moral high ground? What was important? Did they care for a dying spouse? Did they do right by an ex? That is how they are going to treat you. If you see any red flags, move on. It's easy to do online.

Back to widowhood. It whitewashes everything. You get all kinds of deference, and ascend to a higher plane. Of course, many men assume you were left in the lap of luxury and have lots of cash.
If you are a divorcee, it is assumed you were difficult to live with, and finally drove your husband off, and are desperate for a meal ticket. I have been both, so I know. However, as a working woman, it was obvious I am my own meal ticket, and was not left with a dime.

Why am I talking about men? It always gets back to this, because in the end life is better shared.
All of the pieces in the puzzle seem to come together when there is someone else. So I sit with my puzzle pieces on the floor, looking at them over and over trying to get something to match. Its a new game for me, that I have played before. This time I have the confidence that I can take my time to choose my direction and all will be well. Whether the man comes first, or the direction, no matter. Life is life, and this is my silver lining.

Until next time................


  1. You have such a great attitude. I wish you the best wherever this particular journey takes you.

  2. That's the point, my life is like a salad, some of this some of that, together it is recognizable, but individual parts are difficult to say what they are.