Saturday, August 28, 2010

Everyone Else Says Stupid Stuff to Us. Why Shouldn't We Return the Favor?

We all go through those times when we feel the most single. Some days it’s not so bad. On other days, you feel like if your body could support its own electrical current you would like to just display a neon sign that says, “SINGLE. Gotta a problem with that?”

School started last week and for my kids and I never feel more single than at school events. I’ve gotten over feeling like the 3rd wheel with all of my friends. Dating…been there, done that. But at school…you know people are wondering why you’re the only person showing up to things, no ring, and usually looking so frazzled that people wonder if they should contact the front desk about you.

Now, I’m not so self-important that I think that everything revolves around me. I’m just so nosy and gossipy that when I see other people look like that, I wonder what their story is. So I just assume everyone else is wondering the same thing.

For me, nothing says “single” more than my daughter’s preschool. There, I have to sign her in every morning on her own personal sign up sheet. When I flip through the book to find our paper, I notice the names of all of the couples at the top of each child’s paper. ‘Cause the truth is…even if you’re divorced, both parents’ names are at the top of the sheet. When you’re in the situation I’m in it’s just you. One. Alone. Single.

(If you really want to know the difference between divorced and widowed…take a look at that book.)

Now, no one is ever nosy enough to actually ask me why I’m the only name on that sheet. And sometimes I’m helpful enough to just come out and explain it.

But I’ve gotten a little more ballsy in my aging widowness. And there’s a big part of me that’s just itching to make up some random story as to why I’m the only parent listed on the page.

“Well, you know? One day he was a lawyer and the next I got a postcard from clown school. I know! Shocked the hell out of me too!”


“I told him that if he didn’t start cleaning the bathrooms, I would just pretend he doesn’t exist. We’ll see if he makes the sheet next year.”


“Don’t tell anyone, but I suspected he was having an affair with the woman who reads our gas meter. For some reason the police keep digging up my backyard. But I’m not saying a word.”

I know you guys think I’m crazy…that’s nothing new. But come on. Aren’t you even a little bit tempted to make up something more exciting than what happened? I mean, the people around us have been shocking us for years with their own stupid comments. Isn’t it our turn to get a little revenge?

I’ll tell you something else.

The fact that my daughter actually attends a religious preschool kind of makes it even more tempting.


  1. I'm with you Catherine, the amount of times I've heard "How come an attractive, successful woman like you is single?". So you tell them you were married but he passed, then they have the gall to say it's "2 years you should be remarried", like I should change the men in my life like my fingernail polish. I am then extremely tempted to tell a story of my husband's suicide in a dark humour, Quentin Tarantino kind of way.

  2. I like the comment: "I told him that if he didn’t start cleaning the bathrooms, I would just pretend he doesn’t exist. We’ll see if he makes the sheet next year" the best. Maybe when everything is not so raw (only 4 months), I'll use this one, replacing 'cleaning the bathroom' with 'replacing the toilet paper roll'.

  3. "(If you really want to know the difference between divorced and widowed…take a look at that book.)"

    Only have had a few wonderful exchange daughters but this comment got me.

  4. Wow, I just found you through Hello Grief, which I came across on FB. I haven't read your whole story yet but man..... I too, am 34, I too, lost my husband at 31, I too HAD 3 kids. I am now remarried and have another baby. But boy, reading this is sounds as though I wrote it. Looking forward to getting to "know" you a little more. God bless you! ~Rhonda

  5. You could always just put George Clooney as the other parent. That would leave them really wondering.

  6. Another widow sent me your link and I was working on going through all your postings...then my laptop crashed and so gee, my life story...I'm behind again! I'm so glad I found you. You say exactly what I'm thinking and when I saw this post I actually said out loud HAL-LAY-LOO-YA!! (Can't spell...just read it like it sounds.) Thank you for making this site so I know I'm not alone & if I'm not normal, then it's okay because that means you aren't either because we think alike!