After having been a widow for three years, I have discovered that I am really still married. Damn, I hope I don't turn into some weird Texas version of Queen Victoria, here! It seems as if Jim has been gone for a really, really long time, but that's it...just gone. Not "dead and gone," not "long gone," not "good and gone"...just gone. Out of sight, occasionally out of mind; gone.
Having recently passed on an opportunity to dip a toe into the Senior Dating Pool (SDP, for short), I have been thinking about the reasons the idea didn't appeal to me. Apart from the fact that I didn't seem to have much in common with the man in question, he had one overwhelming trait that precluded any sort of close communication--a total lack of being Jim.
Any change of plan can be a problem for me; it takes me a while to shift gears and catch up. If I'm all set to go somewhere, and the expedition gets cancelled, I am resentful. That's kind of the way I feel about my marriage. I was supposed to be happy, damnit! I was supposed to be secure, protected from the twin demons of loneliness and poverty for the rest of my life. I am still angry that the plan changed. Angry with Jim, and with life in general. And, increasingly, angry with myself for my total lack of resilience. You'd think that, after all this time, I'd be willing to accept my changed circumstances.
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
Compared with most of the world, I have a good life. My kids like me, my grandchildren are a lot of fun, I have no one I need to answer to, and nobody is hogging the covers or snoring in my bed. I have work I enjoy, good friends, and the coolest hobby in the world. Many people I know don't have nearly that much, and they don't spend hours angsting over what they lack.
I am an old fool. Not only that, I am a cantankerous old fool.