Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm Not a Marine Biologist

Disclaimer: It is not my intention to offend anyone with this post, and I want to apologize in advance if I do. I certainly mean NO lack of respect to anyone, but I feel the need to be honest while posting in order for this blog to remain genuine.

Due to my recent widowhood, I’ve recently joined the ranks as a single mom. I’m just getting used to having mail come from the school, addressed only to me (not Mr. & Mrs.), and having all the bills only in my name now.

However, I do not feel very comfortable with this label because most people who didn’t know me before will automatically assume that I am divorced. I mean no disrespect to women who are divorced. I know many divorced women who I consider friends. However, I want there to be a way to distinguish myself as a widow and not a divorcée.

This is not because I think divorcées are failures or less of a person. But now, just like I don’t want anyone to think I am a divorcée, I don’t want anyone to think I am a Marine Biologist, either. When I present myself, I want to present myself as who I am...in my case, a widow who was in a wonderful marriage and misses her husband immensely, not someone who kicked their loser ex-husband to the curb (and we all know that some husbands do deserve to be kicked to the curb).

It is just that my husband was not one of them.

My mom told me many years ago that widows traditionally removed their wedding bands and moved their engagement rings to their right finger to signify that they are a widow. That is fine, but my problem with that is two-fold – first, I haven’t yet removed my wedding band. I just do not feel comfortable without it. (Let’s save that tidbit for whole other post). Second, it is such an old custom, I’m sure most people in my age group (and younger) wouldn’t have any clue what the engagement ring on the right hand even meant. Truthfully, I feel most people would just think that I got my right and left confused.

Introducing myself to people as a widow just doesn’t sit right, either. It would just make me look as though I am looking for sympathy. And a scarlet “W” just doesn’t match with all my clothing. So how do I distinguish myself from the divorcees? There doesn’t seem to be a clear answer to that question. Luckily, it isn’t pressing either, since as far as I’m concerned, my wedding band is still where it belongs – on my left ring finger where he placed it on our wedding day many years ago.

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