Thursday, May 26, 2011

Excuses to Get Any Widow Out of Unwanted Memorial Day Events

Anyone else feel like Memorial Day is kind of the season opener for family events that you’re expected to go to...that you’d really rather skip?

I’ve determined that there are really two family seasons during the year:  Winter and Summer.  Winter...’cause we have to deal with Christmas, Hanukkah, and holidays that should make us feel grateful but really make us feel like we want to run over an innocent by-stander in the grocery store parking lot (we’re aiming for the turkey, but the person who’s holding it just gets in the way).  And summer because it’s a time for baseball games, picnics, and beer drinking with the neighbors in the driveway. 

None of those things are as much fun without a partner involved.

It seems like during these two seasons, the expectations of the people around us don’t help either.  If you lost your spouse in February, I’m guessing that most of your support system is about ready for you to come out of your widow shell and join them at the next family bar-b-que.  And bring a bag of chips while you’re at it.

Don’t’re not alone.  It was the same for all of the people who lost their spouses in last fall.  By the end of November their families were calling and asking if they could make the cornbread dressing for Thanksgiving. 

Since they hadn’t heard from you in awhile, they assumed you must be bored.

I see a lot of comments from newly widowed folks who are worried about offending their supporters by declining invitations to events that they really don’t want to go to.  I’m assuming it’s more of the newly widowed people because those of us who have been hanging out in the Widdahood for a long time...well...we could really give a crap.

Since I see you all worrying about this, I feel that it’s my duty to assist you in coming up with a list of possible excuses that you can use when faced with an event you would rather not go to.  I consider this list a public service and am therefore providing it free of charge.

  1. My kid just threw up everywhere.  (Now...this one is a no-brainer.  It’s about time those kids came in handy.  And don’t make the mistake of saying that they have a cough or a sore throat...because those die-hard entertainers will just tell you to bring them along.  Nope.  There has to be something gross and uncontrollable coming out of your kid.)
  1. My dog just threw up everywhere and the vet told me that I can’t leave him alone.  But I promise to come over and clean your carpets on Tuesday. (The only thing that could trump a puking child is a puking pet.  Letting your host know that your dog cannot be away from you while you figure out this mysterious illness is sure to win you a pass from the event.)
  1. This is the anniversary of when my spouse and I ______ and I think I need to celebrate in my own way.  (Now, you can fill in the blank however you would like, but the more uncomfortable the event the better.  Here are some suggestions:  consummated our relationship, had our first “swinging” experience, ate chili cheese dogs at the fair and had duel adverse reactions.  C’mon.  You’ve become a walking conversation stopper since your spouse died.  Surely you can think of something that will stop them in their tracks.)
  1. Since hamburgers were my spouse’s favorite food, I’ve decided that I can’t eat anything with a bun or anything that can possibly be put on a bun.  It’s just too painful for me.
  1. My therapist told me that it’s not good for my mental health to be around lit charcoal (if anything that will keep them guessing about what in the hell is the matter with you).
  1. I’m waiting for the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes to get here.  It’s amazing how I’ve burned through all of this life insurance!
  1. To commemorate the day, I have decided to wear American flags placed on my body in strategic places.  Are there going to be children at your party?
  1. I can’t wait!  Can I bring my bagpipes?  You wouldn’t believe how good I’ve gotten after just 2 lessons!!!
  1. I would, but my grief support group is meeting that day.  Hey!  I have an idea!  Why don’t I bring them all with me? 

And the number one reason you can give for not partaking in the Memorial Day festivities you’ve been invited to....


Have a good weekend everyone.  Love ya.

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© Catherine Tidd 2011

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! My husband died last month and since we were a military family we have been away from our home state for years and now that my husband "isn't in the Army" my family thinks that I have nothing else to do this summer other than come "home" and be smothered by them. Which means a weekend long family reunion with my mom's 5 sisters, 1 brother, and a gazillion cousins and their children. So I'm going.......but to see my grandma and grandpa, who are wonderful. Instead of camping on my grandparents' land with everyone else I am staying at a near by camp ground with my 2 yr old daughter. She'll keep me busy with a ton of excuses to get the hell out of there and you have provided me with a small arsenal of reasons to leave.