Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bumps (Or Bumplets) Along the Widow's Road

It's the everyday annoyances that get you down, isn't it?

A couple of weeks ago I invited company for dinner. I decided to impress them with tomato basil soup, but somehow I couldn't get it right. So I zoomed over to La Madeleine and bought a jar of theirs. My guests wouldn't know the difference, I thought. I couldn't open the jar. Ran hot water over it, hit it with a knife, turned the lid with all my strength. When the guests arrived, one of them had to open the jar. So much for impressing them with my culinary skill. If only I'd had my husband around to open that jar.

Tuesday this week I wore a favorite necklace. That night when I got ready for bed I couldn't get it undone. I turned it to the front, tried it with my other hand. I spent twenty minutes unsuccessfully trying to open the clasp. Five years ago I'd have yelled, "Ralph!" and he would have unfastened it in a second. Sweat ran down my forehead. I was sure if I wore the necklace to bed, I'd either break it or choke myself in my sleep. Finally I put my clothes back on, went next door and rang the bell. The husband answered. Red-faced, I asked, "Would you mind unfastening this for me?" "Turn around," my neighbor instructed and, of course, just as Ralph would have done, he got it off immediately. "Hazards of living alone," I mumbled, thanked him and scurried back home. I love that necklace, but I will think twice before wearing it again.

Friday my phone stopped working. No dial tone, nada. I called AT&T...on my cell. They told me to unplug everything that was connected to AT&T. Fortunately, that was just my phones. It could have been my computer, my fax, my TV...heaven knows what else. They said to wait five minutes and plug them in again. Nothing happened. My blood pressure began to rise as I dialed back the phone company and they told me they'd be happy to come out...on Monday afternoon. Three days without phone service? I wanted to cry. Yes, I have a cell, but most people call on my land line and all it was doing was giving a busy signal. Besides, I could just imagine what the service charge would be. Monday afternoon also meant I would also have to cancel some speech therapy sessions to wait for the phone person. That was never a problem when I was married because Ralph officed at home and could arrange his schedule to be here when service people arrived. But we might not have needed a service call because Ralph could have fixed the problem in no time. In fact, eventually I fixed it myself, saving myself a good deal of time and money but. alas, not preventing myself from getting upset in the first place. What was wrong? The cat had knocked one of the receivers off the base just enough to cut off the phones but not enough for me to have noticed even when I was going around unplugging everything. Ralph would have found it immediately. It took me several hours.

Speaking of the cat, have you ever tried to give a cat a pill? Don't! Avoid it if you can. Unfortunately, Toby, my eight-year-old cat, is now on heart muscle medication. The pills are tiny and for the first few days I could hide them in a spoonful of baby food and he'd gobble them up. Now he's figured out there's something in the baby food so he eats around the pill and I have to fight with him to get it down him. I'm going to try crushing it and then putting it in the baby food. I only hope it works because he's stronger...and smarter than I am when it comes to medicine.

It's tiring and annoying to manage these inconveniences alone. I wish I could push a button and a "minor emergency person" would magically appear. Don't you other widows wish the same?



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