Thursday, December 4, 2008

"Congratulations"

On Tuesday I had to get my car worked on - oil change and brakes done.
Not a huge deal.
The wonderful thing about my car is that it does not have to have the oil changed except for about once a year.
The bad thing is a lot has happened since the last time I had my oil changed.

When I came into the service area, I saw my maiden name up on the board.
"Oh hey, I need to change my info."
When he brought my information up on the screen, I saw that almost all my information was wrong. My address from three years ago was still there as well as my really old cell phone number.
The service guy cheerfully helped me change everything.
And then it happened.
Being the really nice guy he is, he says "Congratulations on your marriage!" with a huge smile on his face.
Hmm, what do I do? Do I tell him "thanks" and just keep going?
No of course not, because that would have just been easy and clean. No, no, can't do that.
"Actually, I'm a widow now. My husband was killed in a car accident."
Poor guy.
His face actually contorted to some thought like "Oh sh!t". The poor guy wanted to just eat his words. I felt horrible for him.
After he gave me the estimate for my brakes, I told him not to worry about that. He didn't know. No one knows what to say or how to act. He seemed relieved.

I have several thoughts and feelings about this.

First, this really sucks. I am still getting congratulations for my marriage. I was only married nine months ago. Nine months!! Although it seems like a lifetime ago now considering the rest of 2008 went.

Second, my wedding gift registry is even still active.
My registry will go on longer than my marriage. How effing sad is that! Its great for those looking to get me a gift. I have deleted the "Roger" items. I guess I might as well use it. But it sucks that we did not even make it to the point where our registry expired before we did. I still get emails about it and things in the mail. Ugh.

Third, I am still changing my name. Not even that process is complete. And yet, the man I changed it for is gone. And according to the IRS and other government things, I'm single. And some paper work does give the option of widow. But this is just wrong. Not even my passport is completely changed.

Fourth, I'm single and not by choice. I've heard of people not even making it to the year point. I've heard of people who made it to the year point but hated their spouse by that point. I went into marriage knowing that I wasn't going to be like those people. Divorce wasn't an option for us.
Yet, here I am. Single. Alone. While those other people, flippantly went into marriage or are in bad relationships. I was in a great relationship. Yes, Roger was not perfect but we were perfect for each other. This is so unfair.

So unfair...

1 comment:

Crash Course Widow said...

It was probably 18 mos., or as much as 2 years, before I finally felt able to control what I called my "verbal vomit"--the need I had to tell everyone the blunt truth that my husband had died, even when it would have been easier to just smile tightly, keep my mouth shut, and not make the other person uncomfortable.

But I needed the recognition, dammit. The validation, the mirrored reflection from the other person that I was an unwitting participant in a horror, that it really was as awful as I thought. And, in hindsight, I also needed all those times saying "my husband died," over and over and over again, for it to finally sink in that this really did happen, that he really was dead and not just on a trip, at work, an asshole who left me for another woman, etc. etc.

If it's any help, I think most (almost all?) widows share this compulsion to "tell the truth," to tell people who never asked that our spouse is dead. It might feel weird, but it's normal, apparently....