My father was born on June 27, 1903. He had some super interesting catch phrases. As children, my brothers and I did what most children do when their parents ramble on: we ignored him. However, as adults, it seems we didn’t totally ignore him as I have caught myself, and my brothers, slipping into the occasional employment of his more colorful bits of vernacular – like the title for this first post. Time for me to “shit or get off the pot.” Charming bit of wit there, don’t you think? But Ed, that was my dad, would be pleased. I’m finally “getting off the pot” after talking about, and thinking about, and then stalling, and then talking more about, this blog for quite some time.
So, it’s a Tuesday afternoon and I have spent the better part of my waking hours reading the WordPress boards and still haven’t a clue what I am doing but am jumping in anyway. I can figure it out as I go and should anyone actually read any of this, I’m certain you’ll help me along the way.
“The W-Card” – what that heck is that? Excellent question. I made it up. It’s the card I pull when all else fails and I really need to get something done or a reduced price or a freebie or …. yes, I went there. When you are a widow, especially a not-so-old one, people take pity on you. Big time.
This is especially true of mature men. I have a theory that it is some primal instinct initially developed to protect the women-folk after the hunter-gatherer was eaten by some roaming feral beast. The surviving cavemen would return from the hunt, tell the newly widowed the bad news, then gather round to make sure she was taken care of and the children of their fallen brother would survive. Of course, if the women didn’t survive the children would be left to the men to raise and Lord knows they wouldn’t want that so they had to make sure the women were ok. Just a theory.
Anyway, after my husband died, there were many evenings when I would come home from work only to find all these men doing “stuff” around the house. Seriously. I live out in the country where pickup trucks rule the road. Except when someone’s husband dies and then they line up in the widow’s driveway taking care of everything from lawns to home repairs to, well, you-name-it, they do it. That’s when I discovered the power of the “W-Card.”
I didn’t need to use the card right after Joe, my husband, died as I was so fortunate to have that pickup-lined driveway. As time moved on, however, so did the pickup trucks. But the “stuff” I needed to get done didn’t go away so, W-Card was born. From municipal inspectors to hardware store veterans to restaurant and retail establishments …. You have your Platinum card? HA! Child’s play — I have the W-Card! “The ace in the hole”(another Ed phrase).
The W-Card cannot be used recklessly. One cannot go running around exclaiming one’s widowhood status or wearing a big W on her t-shirt and expect to get the attention of the Card. The Card demands discretion and circumspect treatment. One must quietly, with the gentility possessed by the most well-heeled Southern Belle, insert the word “widow” discretely into the conversation. It’s magical. Skies open up. Angels sing. Your wish is granted. Your task is accomplished. Your sink is drained.
Now, there are many people who might disdain, or even condemn, this sort of potentially scurrilous behavior. To these people I say, “pshaw.” Walk a mile in my shoes and THEN, maybe, go all judgmental. Until then, give me a break. I’m not knocking over convenient stores. I’m just using my sad, pitiful widow status to get through this next phase of my life. It’s worked for the past two years. It’s worked pretty darned well. It has shed some light in some pretty dark holes. I’ll tell you more about it later. That is my purpose here.