Last week I had an interesting experience at the gym. I walked into the senior exercise room before anyone else, something that rarely occurs as I’m usually charging in at the last moment. An older man followed. I’ve seen him before and I usually say ‘hi’ to him and anyone else as they arrive. I signed in first and he waited his turn.
Before class started he walked across the room and suddenly he was leaning over my shoulder whispering as I sat on my chair. I jerked forward.
“Do you know a Leon O’Connor from Watsonville?” he asked, his bill cap poking my forehead.
Startled, I replied, “No, I don’t but I’ve only lived here a short time.” Quickly I straightened my shoulders. He proceeded to give me a fast bio of his friend Leon. I nodded politely but felt creeped out!
Then I remembered that his wife had died about eighteen months ago. He mentioned it one day as he and I and others waited outside the room for our instructor to arrive. I said I was sorry for his loss and told him my husband had just passed the month before.
Now it’s been almost six months since Charles died. Was this man waiting an appropriate amount of time before handing me a pick-up line? Did he take the time to look at my signature on the sign-in sheet? How did he know my last name was O’Connor? Oh that’s right. My handwriting is very easy to read. I doubt most people pay attention to the list. They just scribble their names and then take their place in class.
Whew! Some of you have ‘warned’ me about men on the make. Am I being unfair? Maybe he was just trying to strike up a conversation around an acquaintance we might have shared––which we don’t so hopefully that will put an end to that.
And what about the guy in my neighborhood whose hair is as white as mine. He tells me whenever I run into him on my daily walk that I look ‘terrific’ or ‘fabulous’ or some other flattering adjective! His wife died two years ago.
Thanks, but no thanks, fellas. This is the first time in my entire existence that I’ve lived alone. I have complete freedom to come and go as I please and as the McDonald’s slogan goes: “I’m lovin it.” But I do miss that ‘safe’ feeling I had when I was married.
Such are the challenges of a widow–regardless of age!