Friday, May 21, 2010

So It Has Been Awhile Since This Happened

Last week one of my favorite bloggers, Pioneer Woman, visited Orlando.
Unfortunately, no one could come with me.
Mr. X was sick.
Holly was out of town.
My mom, who would have loved to meet her and visited me the week prior, does not live close by.
And most of my other friends have jobs and/or are not fans.
Most of the time I am completely fine to do things alone.
Most of the time I even like doing things alone.
But last Wednesday, I did not want to go to this book signing alone.
I wanted someone to go with me.
I knew a million other people would be there and they would all be in pairs or groups.
I almost decided to stay home.  But I went anyway armed with her cookbook and my camera.
And I was right, I think I saw one other person alone.

Then I saw some familiar faces.
That should have been a good thing.
Except one of the familiar faces hates me.  I initially met her on a wedding planning site.  Then on discussion board site, called, she blamed me for some pretty terrible things.
None of which I did by the way.  Like widows have the time or the will to do half the crap she claimed.
Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.
I did not want to see her.
She pretended not to see me.
Good. But it frazzled me.
People I met wedding planning, who I am not real friends with, scare me.

The other familiar face was somewhat friendly.
I also met her while wedding planning.
We had met in person at some bridal events.
I saw her last about a month before the accident.
We were at one of those paint your own pottery places with past brides and to be brides.
Everyone made gifts for their hubbies or about their hubbies for themselves.
I made a huge plate that said "The Jimenezes est. February 23, 2008". It is high up in a cabinet now.
She made a spoon holder for her kitchen.
She also knew "what" had happened.
She was standing in the row in front of me.
She eventually turned around "I know your face I think."
"Yes, I am Star." Like I am celebrity or something.
"Yeah! I am Cindy."
I did not feel like talking.  At all.  I did not feel like stumbling through the conversation. I did not feel like taking the energy to make her feel better.  I did not feel like catching up on the almost two years since we saw each other last.  I am sure her life is just grand in married bliss.
The awkwardness was all over her face.
She asked if I was alone.
"Yep." Alone in a crowd of probably 500 people who were all happily talking about their wonderful lives and husbands and kids and how happy they were to be able to see Pioneer Woman.
Eventually she turned back around and started chit chatting with her friend.

Later some other group of ladies started chatting with me.
I had been overhearing part of the conversation and I could help but laugh at some of the jokes one girl was telling.  She was very humorous.
They also asked, "Are you here alone?" with a bit of a shocked tone.
I tried to explain at least to the complete strangers.
Probably because they did not know my other story.

Eventually I made it up to the front to meet Ree aka Pioneer Woman.
I was so excited to meet her.  I had been waiting for almost three hours.
But as I went to talk to her I started to feel shaky.
I fought back tears and stumbled through a few words with her.
I verbally vomited how my husband had died and how she was inspiring to me.
She took a picture with me. Patted my hand. Told me life does go on.
And I was on my way...

I felt so... I do not even know the words.
Beyond alone.
And embarrassed.

I hate public meltdowns.
Meltdowns at home or with friends. Fine.
But public ones?  Ugh.
I will never get used to them.


mellehcimb said...

My first two months of grief were all public meltdown. (Or was it three? Definitely the first two.) No walls. No filter. Told story, burst into tears. Amazingly, at 6 months, I can talk about it without the instant tears, but still find myself blurting about it to perfect strangers. Like at the mall the other day, buying clothes. "Yes, they're all black. I don't want to wear any other color cause I'm grieving."

Thanks for sharing.
I love your blog.

Crash Course Widow said...

The hard part about outings like that in the first and second year is that we so want to go and we so want to be able to pretend for a while that we are still normal, just like everyone else in the line...but in the end, they often just make us feel worse. I'm so sorry you got stuck going alone. It's small consolation, but it's always possible that the meltdown would have happened even with someone else there. The discomfort waiting in line probably would have been gone (or at least lessened) with the proverbial wingman, but I wouldn't have been surprised if the meltdown with PW still happened and caught you off-guard. But it still sucks that it happened...and as embarrassing as I know you (and I) found public meltdowns, be sure to still pat yourself on the back that you went. That's huge, particularly for going by yourself.

It will get easier over time, Star. I promise. That doesn't mean there won't still be inopportune or embarrassing meltdowns in public, but the paranoia will lessen over time.

Hugs, my friend.... xoxo