So, Saturday night was my first Meetup with the Houston Widows and Widowers group. At a local Mexican chain-restaurant. A good excuse to have an alcoholic drink and snarf down some tortilla chips. Ninfa’s has a good red sauce, and their green sauce (guess it is probably tomatilla sauce) is great!
Seventeen (out of membership of 50-plus members) had signed up for this one. Believe that we ended up with a total of only 10.
Unfortunately, I chose tne wrong end of the table to plop down at. Sat and listened and listened and listened, as one widow merrily rattled on, oblivious to the fact that she was completely monopolizing the time and conversation. To listen to her: theirs had been the perfect marriage, they were so compatible, they had so many likes and dislikes that they shared, etc. And I gotta tell you that she was not a new widow – which some of us at this dinner were – nor was this her first Meetup with this group. We can post our impressions of the Meetup online, and another widow remarked: “The girl next to me didn't really let alot of us share things about our life and our grief. In fact, I didn't talk much about my grief at all.” And that was not the first comment about (I am sure) this same blabbermouth. From a previous meeting, I read: “One person often dominated the conversation, but maybe they needed to.” Oh, please. Once, maybe she was happy to have someone to share with. Twice, you are a pain in the ass. You are NOT the only one with loss and pain. She lost her husband two years ago. And there were women there with very VERY recent losses. I wasn’t sure that I would return to another Meetup.
However, I was able to make a bit of conversation with D, the woman seated to my left, and with J, the woman seated across the table from her. D asked, “Do you have dreams anymore?” and I paused, thinking that she meant those dreams that occur while you sleep (and which I rarely remember, although I guess I do have them). Then she explained that she was talking about plans, ideas, future things you might do. And I realized (and answered the same), “No, I don’t.” And she concurred with me on that.
When Greg died, the idea of fun, retirement plans, future trips, etc., died with him. The joy or potential for joy seemed to die, too. We had hopes, ideas, dreams. Wanted to go back to Europe, since our one and only visit there back in 1996 had been so much fun. Thought we could drive to various places in the U.S., visiting friends and acquaintances along the way. And now? Now I guess it’s either go alone (hoo boy – what great fun that would be), travel with another woman (my friends are all paired off), or live vicariously through another’s dreams and travels. Damn. Damn, damn, damn. The dreams go… and they are replaced with loneliness, lots of “to do’s” that you can’t share with anyone else, meals eaten alone, and too many tears that you shed behind closed doors.
What a crappy sorority that I didn’t want to join. But did. And can’t opt out of.