Wednesday, September 2, 2009


My fellow widow blogger, Supa, recently wrote an entry about some of the issues about suddenly being unmarried and a parent.
One day I was married.
The next day I was unmarried.
I was not a parent.
We did not really have a chance to even take on that adventure.
And most days I am okay if not slightly relieved at that fact.
Other days I am sad that I do not have any DNA evidence that Roger ever existed in my life.
No one to look up at me and for me to see Roger staring back at me.

People used to ask me if I felt different after we got married.
And my answer was always an enthusiastic yes.
I definitely felt different.
Even though we lived together before marriage, I felt very different.
I felt like I had a teammate.
I could relax because I was not alone.
Someone who had made a vow to always be that teammate (death do us part).
As someone who is a very independent person, I finally had someone I could truly depend on.
Not that I did not feel like Roger was not my teammate before we were married.
But until that ring was on his finger, he could have walked away.
He could have said "Sorry, can't do this" on a piece of paper and left me [and this did happen to me in a previous relationship and I wonder why I have issues].
But once we were married, I could relax.
He really was going to be there for me.
He wore prove on his left finger.
He made a promise.
Now that promise sits in a wooden box.

And nothing reminds me of my unmarriedness more than house maintenance, home projects, or car troubles.
And on the first day of a new month, the month I have been living for the past four and a half weeks, I was deeply reminded that I am no longer married.
No longer part of a team.
Stupid car troubles.
My car has been very reliable for the past four years.
I have wholeheartedly recommended this car to many people.
And I still do really (at least until I see the bill for these repairs).
But yesterday when the heat gauge started to go into no man's land, I started to panic.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
Not now.
Not today.
Not to me.

A phone call to the dealership even furthered my isolation from Roger.
"You should tow it in immediately."
"I have class tomorrow. I do not have any other car or way to get around."
What I was thinking and wanted to say: "If my husband was still alive, he could help me but since he is dead I cannot just do things like this. I have to work out all kinds of logistics to get this done. And I am jobless at the moment."
I lost my teammate.
I lost my male counterpart who knows what to do in these kinds of situations.
I lost my husband.

Now, not to discount Mr. X at all.
He has been great with the whole car situation.
But it is not the same.
He is going to tote me around the next couple of days and has been checking up on me when I go from point A to point B.
He knows a bit about cars so he has given me a few tips.
But it is not the same.
It is so not the same.
I cannot really explain how it is different between a dedicated boyfriend and a husband, but it is.
It just is.

Maybe it is Mr. X does not have to do this things.
He is doing things, which is great and I am grateful.
I really am.
And not that husbands have to do whatever their wives want but there is a bit of obligation to help out the wife.
To take care of her and she to take care of him.
There is a priority given to the wife.
There is not really a priority to a girlfriend.
I actually feel guilty having Mr. X help me so much.
For taking time to help me and give up some of his own time.

So as I stressed about this stupid car trouble last night, I started to cry (and now unfortunately).
Why did Roger have to leave me alone?
Just as I was getting used to not being alone.
To not being so independent.
And to actually letting someone else help me without feeling guilty, he left.

My unmarriedness is amplified in times like this.
Like when a raccoon started invading my yard (and still does).
Like when I had to learn how to use a drill.
Like when I had to get my tires rotated myself the first time.
Like when I have to budget money.
Like when I have to make decisions about a landscaper.
And there is not a damn thing I can do about it.
Like Supa said in her post, I did not choose this.
I am not a divorcee (thankfully).
I am a widow.
Single because of someone else's choices.


Mars Girl said...

Girl... you're talking to my heart! I TOTALLY have been where you're at. It was especially hard for me because I was still living with my parents when I started dating my husband. We got married and that was really my first time alone in the "real world" (except for living on campus in college, which hardly counts). But I wasn't alone -- I had my team mate to help me learn about stuff. Additionally, he was much better at handling things like broken cars, phone calls to billing companies or other business stuff that comes with a house, and fixing things around the house. When he died, I had to take on some of these things and it was completely overwhelming. And I still struggle with asking people to help me when I'm in a bind (such as a car out of commission when all I have is my one vehicle). It's like you know you have to put other people out of their way to help you and they have no obligation to do so; whereas, with a husband, it's only natural that he would help (as I would help him if the situation were reversed). It's not putting anyone else out.

One of my scariest unmarried moments was when I had an accident on my bicycle and I was knocked completely unconscious. I woke up in an ambulance (so one of my neighbors had seen me fall). And I realized that I could have not only been seriously hurt in that accident, but that since I was at the time living 1,500 miles from my family and friends, no one would have known to miss me. I could have been in a coma or something and no one would think to look for me... Additionally, when they released me at the hospital after checking me out (had a concussion), I had no one to drive me home. Home!! The simple thing of someone to drive me from the hospital... I ended up having to call a coworker whose phone number I *just happened* to have on my cell phone. Fortunately, she only lived a block from my house. But I did call her at 12am on a week night!

What would I have done if I hadnt had that coworker's number? I guess now in retrospect, I would have called a cab or something. How sad. Leaving a hospital in a cab. With no one to check up on me in the middle of the night, to ask me if I remembered my name (which is what you have to do for people with a concussion). No one to help me out the next day when I had a headache and had to gimp around the house...

Unmarriedness, after you've been married and enjoyed the benefit of a team, is really, really hard.

Roads said...

Great post.

And I'm sorry, but for a bloke like me, there's a wonderfully astute and humorous side to it, as well. I just love how you examine the differences between the married obligation that befell Roger, and the warm boyfriend's consideration that Mr X so kindly shows.

It's different for girls -- that was Joe Jackson, I think. And I never really believed it. But maybe it's true, after all -- especially when it comes to broken down cars...