Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Not All That Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas

So, I'm sitting here thinking about this blog and wondering how I can write it without incriminating the widows and widower I was fortunate enough to go to Vegas with.  We laughed, we cried, and sometimes we did both at the same time.  And even though what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, I think one thing we couldn't leave there was the joy we discovered in each other, new friendships, and the hope that we found in this new life we're all trying to create.

I've seen it happen before because it happens on every trip.  People are nervous about taking that leap, traveling for a weekend to meet people they don't know.  But the truth is, it's always special.  This is the third time I've done it and it's the third time that sometime during the first night together, I hear a "click" - and the friendships are sealed.

The reason why is simple.  It's because the people who take a chance on a weekend with strangers are actively looking for the same things - happiness, some sense of normal in the crazy world of widowhood, and a reason to laugh.  And when they get together...that's where they find all three.

This group, however, passed "happiness" around the middle of the day on Saturday and stepped into downright giddiness by dinner on Saturday night.  I'm not entirely sure what did it, but I think it had something to do with the limo driver who implied that the one lone widower in our group of ten killed off our spouses so that he could have all nine women to himself.  

This was then topped when we realized that the limo we were riding in had an enormous advertisement for a strip club across the back and the disappointed looks on the faces of the people standing outside our restaurant when they realized that the limo was not, in fact, filled with strippers.

But nine women and one man who then looked like a pimp.

It has been determined that the Vegas trip should be an annual thing, so I'll need to get to work on that at some point.  But for those of you who are thinking about coming next time, you need to be brought up to speed on the Widda Getaway:  Las Vegas terminology.

This is code for "there is a person over there who shouldn't be wearing that."  We had to come up with this word because the first time one of us stared at someone, mouth agape in shock, nine other heads whipped around to see what the person was looking at.  "Peaches" must be said in order to let everyone know that something should be looked at one at a time so as not to be too obvious and, subsequently, get our asses kicked by the offender.

Now, I've been to Vegas before, but I always seem to forget about all of the walking required.  This isn't just about the size of the hotels, but also the route you have to take to get to each one.  In other words...you can't get from point A to point B without hitting at least points D, G, U, and ZWe even hit a walking detour which had us going back into the hotel we had just worked our way to get out of, making us all feel like rats in a maze.  LET.  US.  OUT.  We need to see sunshine or at least get to a casino that simulates it.

A Rub for Good Luck
This is not a new concept - we didn't invent it.  But apparently, according to one attendee, luck has a better way of rubbing off on someone if they don't know the rubbing is coming.  In fact, it works best if the lucky person is in mid-sentence with another person and the unlucky person runs up and rubs up against the the lucky one.  This spontaneous rubbing can be a shock at first.  But hey.  We're all friends, right?  I mean we've known each other for 24 hours!

Widda Pimp
Okay, so we really didn't go there to make a little extra cash.  But when you see one man walking down the street with nine women...what do you think?  Frankly, I don't know why more men don't sign up for these trips.  Really...the odds are in your favor.

Hot Flashes 
One night, after looking at the gentleman who accompanied us on this trip, I noticed he was sweating a little and it was determined by the group that hot flashes are indeed communicable.  The book following this trip will be titled Hot Flashes Are Contagious:  Nine Widows and a Widda Pimp.  Look for it at a store near you.  

Right now, someone out there is really offended that I just typed that word.  But it's not what you think.  Upon arrival, one attendee's mother sent her a text wishing her luck with the sluts (aka, slots).  Damn that autocorrect.

Crazy terminology aside, as Sunday came and everyone packed to leave, one person said, "This weekend changed my life.  I'm going back home with a new confidence."  And whether it was confidence, joy, a new level of understanding, or just fun memories of a weekend spent with strangers who are now friends...we all left with something.

And this time it wasn't a hangover or a spouse we just met earlier in the weekend.

Click here for more information about the upcoming Spa Weekend in Colorado.  Join us if you can!

Widow Chick (aka, Catherine Tidd) is the owner of www.theWiddahood.com and the author of the upcoming memoir Confessions of a Mediocre Widow (Jan. 2014).  She is also a writer for The Denver Post's Mile High Mamas and a contributor to several books on grief and renewal.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Connecting the Dots

I'm always looking for the answer.

Not just any answer.

The answer.

When I got married, I read articles and listened to friends, thinking that somehow if I listened enough to everyone I would find the answer that no one else had and have the relationship that everyone envied.

When my kids were born I wanted to know how to raise them perfectly.  And so I pumped my friends for information, hoping that if I learned enough I could make child-rearing painless.

When my husband died, I looked to other widows and hoped that one person would give me the answer - the blueprint for the rest of my life and how it was supposed to go.

And when I started writing, I looked to other writers, hoping that they would give me the keys to the kingdom and tell me how.  Just how. 

For so long, I've been trying to connect the dots...trying to make a bigger picture I couldn't see.  I guess I thought that if I paid attention, read, went to workshops, and followed others...they would show me which way to go.

And while that knowledge is helpful, I'm starting to learn one big truth.

That while others might help me connect the dots, the picture is mine to create.

Widow Chick (aka, Catherine Tidd) is the owner of www.theWiddahood.com and the author of the upcoming memoir Confessions of a Mediocre Widow (Jan. 2014).  She is also a writer for The Denver Post's Mile High Mamas and a contributor to several books on grief and renewal.