Friday, November 26, 2010

Dancing With Poor Widow Me

“I wish we had danced more” was one of the last “we” things Jimmy ever said to me. One of the first “I” things I did after he died was to take dancing lessons. Until recently that didn’t occur to me as odd. I hadn’t actually put it together.

Dancing is so wonderfully romantic and sexy.   For a long time when I heard a ballad, any song that could be slow danced to I pictured and actually felt myself dancing to it with Jimmy. 

A few days ago I saw the episode of “Glee” where the widow and widower on the show get married.  As I watched them dance at their wedding I glided along with them in my mind.  In my fantasy, I'm fabulous but in real life even after dancing lessons I'm klutzier than Elaine in Seinfeld.

Still, I felt swooped up and dizzy with the anticipation of falling in love and being swept away in a faceless man’s arms. Does ‘faceless’ mean I’m no longer reaching out to Jimmy? I think so and I think this is good.

If I put myself out there maybe one of these days I’ll be stepping on somebody’s toes again.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rain Check Please!

After the funeral I wanted to be left alone. The suffocating hugs and tears and the “Call me. I’ll bring over a bagel. I’ll scoop it out for you” was kind, but irritating. There was no pleasing me. Bring Jimmy back. That’s all I wanted.

I wish today, four and a half years later, I could cash in on the services offered then. “Rain check, please!” should have been my mantra. Sympathy ought to be like a postdated check or a gift certificate with no expiration date.

At the beginning we’re just too foggy to appreciate being the center of attention. We’re like the bride and groom at a wedding except no groom is involved and it’s not a joyous occasion. Strike that stupid analogy.

A reasonable analogy might be “youth is wasted on the young.” Weepy widows can snap our fingers and like Domino Pizza there’s a knock at the door within thirty minutes. Talk about being too good to last.

Part of me, apparently, the self absorbed part, was aware that I only had a year before I’d wear out friends and family with demands to butter my toast and help me off with my boots. I knew my ‘special time’ was up when at 16 months my daughter Jackie called me and I sounded down and she asked, “What’s wrong?”

If only I wasn’t self conscious and embarrassed to break down in front of people I might have milked it through to the 18 month mark. It’s exhausting to put on strong face giving people the impression “Oh, she’s okay. She’s more than okay. She’s remarkable.”

Being stoic comes more naturally to me than publically sobbing and carrying on “Oh, why did he leave me? Why? Why? Why?” I left the drama to my private time. I suffered in silence; hence, I missed out on many a home cooked meal, a free movie or two and possibly even a Broadway show.

Sometimes these days I feel cheated and want to scream “Do over!” That’s insane so I keep it to myself which is the difference with actually being insane and not being insane, I think.

Regardless, I can’t change who I am. I put on a happy face which 'happiness experts' suggest may have helped me become happy.

Anyway, that's how I roll. I love saying “That’s how I roll” because I’m not that cool and it makes me feel I might be just a teeny bit.

Rain Check, please!