It occurred to me this week, as I stretched my mind awkwardly to a place it had never gone before, that as a widow and full-time working mummy, and probably for the first time in my life, I have almost no single male friends (well, in Sydney anyway). And for someone who has such an inappropriate sense of humour and perhaps a little more testosterone than most ladies do, I’ve got to say that it feels a little weird.
Of course I have lovely male friends who are married or the partners of my female friends, and the many inspiring men that I work with, but for all that they are in my life, they are not the ones I can call to see a movie, share a ridiculously inappropriate joke with, or ask to come help me fix something that I have NO idea how to tackle. And let’s be honest: if I asked your husband out for dinner, independent of you, because I felt like hanging out with a dude, it would seem a little odd, right?
It feels a self-indulgent thing to whine about when there are so many special people in my life, but somehow very necessary to bring attention to because I never imagined myself here. I never envisioned that I’d be still walking around with a heavy heart and the ever-present conundrum of how to be solely responsible for my two delicious little cubs, and that I would now have to not only deal with what it means to be a widow, but so too the less compassionate status of ‘single female.’ And whilst this post may be brushing up against ‘poor me’ territory, it is more about acknowledging this bizarre and unexpected place that I, and I imagine so many others, find myself at.
However, given my absolute commitment to manifesting the aspects of my life that have me feel whole, I decided to consciously get out there and make new male friends, regardless of how utterly challenging the prospect seemed.
So a little while back, I attempted to set up a play date for my son after ‘the guys’ had shared a great time skating, but I found out pretty quickly that we all have different rules about what is and isn’t appropriate once you have transitioned from the ’how sad, she lost her husband’ widow to the predatory ‘black’ widow, which I hadn’t realised but apparently, whilst very much unspoken, has an ever-so-clear date of transition.
I’ll just also add here, with my less consciously aware hat on and at the risk of throwing an emotional grenade into your living room, I do wonder why it is that widowers (men who have sadly lost their wives) are consistently treated with compassion and the perspective that holds them in a place of being utterly trustworthy in the role of platonic relationships with the opposite sex. And yet as a widow, it seems there is a specific time where, without realising it, you transition from the victim into the deviant on the prowl.
Anyway, after my attempt to organize the skate date, I received a ranting call from an apparently NOT happily divorced woman, which was delivered so loudly that I actually had to hold the phone away from my ear, and which would have filled a cursing jar with enough change to buy dinner for two! I won’t relay the entire rather one-sided conversation, but it went something like this:
‘You****ing ______ – - – - -!!!!. Go find your own —— to – - – -!!!!************** you —-*****!!!!!! —- you ***!!!!!!!
Whilst this poor frantic woman shrieked at me, I had a tremendous reality check happen: in the very apparent sadness, anger and fury that circled this existing relationship, I was reminded once again of how just lucky I am to be living the life I do and that despite the way I have been viewing this current chapter that has me feeling a little friend and companionless, I am very much here for a reason.
And no sooner had I put the phone down, almost only a few seconds after the irate call had ended, little Indi tapped me on the shoulder in her joyful little way and said.
‘Mummy…when can we have a new daddy? And can I call him dada, cause I really like that and my friend calls her dad that?’
However, as children often do in that very present way they exist, living life moment to moment, it was with a quick shake of her curls and a spring in her step that she bounced as quickly out of her thoughts as she had momentarily bounced in.
So whilst this piece is more pondering than poetic or inspiring, it is a post that attempts to bring awareness to this rather awkward stage that you, I or we may find ourselves at. Where out of the blue and unexpectedly, we have found ourselves hurdled back into the school of life, where the playground is far from co-ed!
So dear community, in my commitment to share the ups and downs, the living, learning and loving of my life, I leave you with my favourite quote of the moment, which was sent to me by my own coach, the wonderful John Dashfield, after enduring another 60 minutes of me whining self-indulgently about a bunch of negative thoughts that I have been choosing to contextualise my life with.
“In my experience, we don’t make thoughts appear, they just appear. One day, I noticed that their appearance just wasn’t personal. Noticing that really makes it simpler to inquire….
…Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do….
I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality.”