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, September 13, 2017

Cool Guys and Uppity Women



Poor planning on my part left me with an hour and a half to kill in between getting a haircut and The Gathering (for people looking for friends) at the senior hall. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I found myself sitting outside at Starbucks drinking a pumpkin spice latte, eating a bacon, Gouda and egg sandwich and doing my best imitation of a wanna-be writer. My notebook and pen were almost salivating at the prospect of describing a gentleman in his late forties sitting near-by. He was wearing sandals, the palest pink shorts I’ve ever seen---probably once white that had clandestine affair in the washing machine with a red sock---and he paired the shorts with a lavender and blue plaid shirt. His long blonde hair was tucked behind his ears, his sunglasses were perched on the top of his head as he read a hardcover book and sipped on his blended drink. Two girls next to me were talking office politics and I listened for awhile but not so intently that I missed it when lean and lanky Mr. Cool Guy finally closed his book and walked by me. He smiled. I smiled back. It was like being served dessert. As he walked toward his car, in my mind I could hear Travis Tritt singing: 

And it's a great day to be alive
I know the sun's still shining
When I close my eyes
There's some hard times in the neighborhood
But why can't every day be just this good

While I was still basking in the aftermath of Mr. Cool Guy’s smile, my nephew’s mother-in-law stopped her Ford next to the railing of Starbucks’ patio and yelled out, “Hi, Jean!” I felt like I’d been caught with my hand in the proverbial cookie jar. Darn it! I wanted to keep thinking about the guy who was self-confident enough to wear pink shorts and carry a hardcover book around in public. I go to Starbucks all the time but that was the first time I’ve ever sat outside and I’d do it more often if I thought “dessert” came with it every time. Was he one of those guys who smiles at everyone or did he instinctively know I was writing about him? If only we had been from the same generation, we could have been a good match. He likes to read. I like to write and I sure could use a proofreader in my life plus I wear enough red clothing that I always have a full load of reds for the washer. No colors and whites have ever accidentally done the hokey-pokey in a batch of my laundry. I’ll put that in my profile should I ever decide to join one of those online dating sites for seniors.

Saturday was another perfect weather day and I had the pleasure of going to an Art in the Park show and having lunch with two of my Gathering Girls friends. It was a juried event with 35 artists showing their pottery, jewelry and visual arts along the river in my adopted hometown. As we looked around a booth with ceramics I picked up a fancy gadget and asked the artist, “Okay, what is it?” and he replied, “A wine bottle stopper.” “Ah, no wonder I didn’t recognize it,” I said, "I don’t drink.” A stranger standing near-by put her hand on my arm and in a tone usually reserved for comforting newly minted widows she said, “I’m so sorry to hear that.” I started laughing and she started apologizing for her sense of humor. I love art shows. They draw some interesting people like the guy who excitedly announced, "Siri is talking in my pocket!" Apparently, she/his phone was answering questions he'd been asking his companion.

At another booth I accidentally insulted an artist...or maybe it was the other way around? I'm not sure. She had a half dozen 3' x 5' canvases (minus their stretchers) hanging on a clothesline. They reminded me of some canvas floor cloths I used to make and that I’ve seen before at art shows. (Canvas floor cloths have been around since colony days, they're the forerunner to linoleum and they come back around from time to time in the decorative arts world.) After the artist in the park told us that her canvases were ready for framing---not!---I asked her if she’s ever turned them into floor cloths. “My dear, these canvases sell for $600! You wouldn’t want to walk on them.”

Her uppity tone made me want to be snippy back at her, but I said, “Floor cloths are protected with layers and layers of varnish.” And I bit my tongue to keep from saying any more. How did she know I wasn't a rich bitch who wouldn't think twice about walking on a $600 throw rug? First rule of sales: don't judge what's in a customer's bank account. I also wanted to point out that I've seen canvas floor cloths go for higher than $600 and that her impressionistic swans were overpriced. But I’m basically a nice person who would no more say that out loud than I would have told Mr. Cool Guy that his smile made me want to shout out, “It’s a great day to be alive!” But I do worry about the day when the filter in my brain wears out and my all thoughts come rolling down my tongue, randomly flattering or insulting strangers in my wake. ©


 
Link to Kathy Cooper's site: Modern Floor Cloth Artist

27 comments:

  1. A friend of mine mother makes floor clothes that are to die for. And she sells them for more than $600 sometimes. I have a 100% wool rug that was more than $600 so why do I put that on the floor with this uppity womans logic? Oh, people can be so full of themselves can't they?

    I hope you see Mr.Cool Guy again. He and his pink shorts. That is a confident man for sure. I haven't heard Travis is forever - thanks!

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    1. I think what ticked me off the most is being treated like I was from the backwoods and didn't know anything about art when it was she who didn't know anything about floor cloths. She was full of herself.

      Mr. Cool Guy will live in my memory but I'll be looking for him when I go back.

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  2. Replies
    1. I work at it and sometimes I get there sometimes I don't.

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  3. Good to hear you talk about dessert. Sorry that your nephew's mother-in-law messed with your daydream.

    I think some people wallpaper paste floor rugs on their apartment walls, so they can remove them when they move. I think it was you getting the insult. Seems to me a lot of people used to make 'rugs' that way. Some people just have too much of an estimation of value on their crafts.

    I'm worried about my mouth too, it's hard reining in my thoughts some days - and getting harder.

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    1. Reining in my mouth gets harder every year.

      Thank you. I thought I was being insulted, too, but I wasn't really sure. The floor cloth link I put in this blog entry has some of Kathy Cooper's rugs shown on walls. I can see why they'd work well for apartments.

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  4. Those cool guy moments can make a day can't they? A smile has quite a shelf life.
    Feel sorry for the lady with the attitude. Her day won't get better.

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    1. Smiles do have a long shelf life, whether you're getting one or giving it.

      I'm not sorry for the lady's attitude. It gave me something to blog about. There's an upside to everything.

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  5. You should have looked at Miss Know-It-All and said "Well, aren't you just too Cha-Cha for words!", turned and walked away! Don't you just hate snobs????

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    1. I always come up with great come-backs the next day. That one would have been a good one. LOL

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  6. Oh my gosh, I loved your DESSERT story! LOL LOL

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    1. He really was cool, daydream-worthy for sure.

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  7. Jean you could have thrown Miss Uppity off of her game by saying something like, "I'm sorry darling, are you having a bad day or is that you are a B#*@H all of the time?", I know that's not nice but it would be funny.

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    1. LOL It's fun barnstorming the perfect comeback to Miss Uppity. I think you win the prize.

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  8. Today's blog is a good one! I appreciate your writing
    and thank you.

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  9. If you had been in my Creative Writing class, I would have stood and applauded for your sentence "It was like being served dessert" during our conference time.

    The whole description of the encounter and your sentiments was absolutely terrific. Still smiling.

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    1. You will appreciate---I think---how I agonized over using an adjective in front of dessert. I went back and forth for a full day. "Free dessert", "warm dessert" or "gooey dessert." In the end I applied the 'less is more' rule and I think it was the right decision.

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  10. I never eases to amaze me that all the replies and nasty thoughts I have in my head, never make it past my tongue. While the smile is plastered all over my face and the words in my mind race on. Sometimes, after I hang up the phone or get back in my car, I let those thoughts out and have a one-sided conversation with the person . LOL

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    1. One of the best parts about blogging is we get to compare things like this and find out we're "normal" in the thoughts the filter in our brains don't let us say and in having one-sided conversations. LOL

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  11. I enjoyed the post (as usual!), and loved the dessert (agree with your comment above that "..less is more").

    Just have to add that the opening reference to "the Gathering" immediately brought to mind a Stephen King image (I do know of your Gathering Girls group). ~ Libby

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    1. Ohmygosh, The Children of the Corn! I will never think of my gathering girls in the same way. LOL

      I always enjoy your comments, Libby, and really appreciate that you sign your name.

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  12. I loved this post so much. It's fun and funny and well written. I wish you could have snapped a photo of Dessert Guy and shared with us. :) Boo to the snooty artist.

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    1. If only all days could be that good, writing would be easy. He looked like a professor type and he oozed quiet confidence and I find that combination sexy.

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  13. Well, when I read about Mr. Cool Guy, I couldn't help remembering a classic from "Saffire The Uppity Blues Women."
    I have a feeling you might enjoy this.

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    1. "Too much butt for one pair of jeans." That was great! Thanks for the link.

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    2. I first came across them when a friend who was fighting cancer passed on Bald Headed Blues to me. Since then, that song's gone around cancer centers throughout the country. It's absolutely great.

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