Sunday, May 15, 2011


One thing I never planned on is being alone. Sure, I’m not completely alone, I have my two teenage sons with me, but I don’t have Bobby here to make me part of a couple. So I’ve had to learn something that I never thought I would have to do: live alone.

This does not mean I’ve never lived alone before. I had my own apartment when I met him, and I was young, in my 20s and single, which was fun when I was that age. I met Bobby when I was 27. And as I've mentioned before...we were joined at the hip almost immediately.

So now I have something to learn. I recently read in a book of practical advice for widows that we need to learn to live alone and be comfortable with our alone-ness, no matter what we decide to do with our lives down the road. Some of the things she mentions in her book are going to museums, restaurants, shopping, comedy clubs, and the movies, and be comfortable with it. I thought about what I had read, and I decided that shopping or visiting a museum alone is not terrible. I’ve done both of these before, even when I was part of a couple. But dining alone? I cannot imagine dining alone!! And I’m not talking about getting a bite to eat at the food court in the mall...I’m sure we’ve all done that alone at one time or another. But she mentions in her book going to a nice restaurant and dining alone without a book or a newspaper! I wouldn’t know how to do that in a million years. A comedy club? I would be mortified to walk into a comedy club by myself. (Although I’m sure my alone-ness, if noticed, would be great fodder for the comedians). The movies? I could probably do that alone without any anxiety, although I don’t think it would be much fun to see a movie without having someone there with whom to make comments.

The author, though, was able to achieve this, so I’m thinking it’s probably a good idea to try. My sons would tell me, “Remember what Yoda said. There is no try, only do,” since I tend to pull this one on them from time to time when they say things like, “I’ll try to remember to pick wet towels up off the floor."

I’m not making any guarantees on the restaurant or comedy club, though.

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Song

I was lying in bed on Saturday night and I put the TV on, which I normally do when I want to fall asleep. I usually set the timer so that it would shut down while I'm asleep, but this time I forgot and I woke up to hear a song that I never heard before. I opened my eyes and a woman was singing a really great song.

It turns out it was an episode of Saturday Night Live, and they said the name of the singer, Ellie Goulding, who I had never heard of. I found a piece of scrap paper and a pen on my night stand and scribbled down her name because I didn't want to forget it, rolled over and went back to sleep.

This evening, I typed her name into a Google search, and found a video of her on YouTube singing the song that I heard the other night. I clicked on the link, and was enjoying the song, when all of a sudden it occurred to me...Bobby will never get to hear this song.

Frankly, I'm not even sure he would have liked the song - but the fact that he is not here to experience it with me sort of hit me like a ton of bricks. Throughout the past year, I've really taken notice of all the big things that we no longer can share - holidays, birthdays, the kids' milestones and accomplishments - but now this one little song makes me realize all the little things that he won't ever get to experience with me either.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Plan B...C...Z?

When I was in college, I used to wear a denim jacket with buttons all over it from various rock concerts I'd been to, along with my prominent "Born to Run" replica album cover button (yes, total Springsteen fan here) and various other buttons with clever sayings on them that I liked. One of those said, "I spend my life in Plan B."

I came across this button again in 90's, when Bobby and I were cleaning and purging, getting ready to move into our first house. He liked the button, too, and after that we often joked that we were living our lives in Plan B, while Plan A consisted of us being independently wealthy, perpetually thin (well, that was my Plan A...Bobby already was perpetually thin) and cruising the world on our yacht with servants, a cook and absolutely nothing to do all day but enjoy each other's company and a couple of margaritas every afternoon.

Well, becoming a widow was certainly not Plan B. It isn't Plan C, D or E, either. Truthfully, it's not even on the spectrum, but if I had to give it a letter, it would have to be Plan Z. I miss the life I had before, and in retrospect, it was much more Plan A then Plan B. I guess this is where that old Yiddish proverb comes from: Man makes plans, God laughs.