Random Awkwardness.....

I experience episodes of random awkwardness on a near-daily basis.

The people that bring the climate of R-A upon me aren't being malicious or intentionally hurtful, they are just doing what people do in the course of everyday conversation. Even so, sometimes I just wish people would zip it.

R-A usually pops up in a random conversation between me and people I deal with at work, or at a store, restaurant or some place where I am buying something or getting a service.

Thursday, I went to the dentist. After getting my pearlie's shined I was at the receptionist's desk making my next appointment when one of the tech's walked up. She smiled her usual cheery smile and asked me her usual cheery question "How's married life?" Ouch and hellloooo Random Awkwardness !! The ladies in the office just kind of looked up wide-eyed, as they had already heard about Gregory's death from the myriad of my family members that use the same dentist. I took a deep breath and told her what had happened, and embarrassed, she mumbled I'm sorry and left out of there like her ass was on fire. I wasn't mad, and she had no need to be embarassed because she didn't know and was just being nice. But it sure made everyone feel the wrath of R-A.

The same day I stopped at a restaurant that I had been avoiding because it was one of our regular haunts, but I was missing it and thought that maybe it was time to go back. I figured the turnover rate had been pretty high before so there was no way the same people we knew would be there. Wrong. Immediately upon sitting down I was asked " Hey, where's your husband?"
I managed to quell the urge to jump up and flee long enough to push out, "Oh, he's out of town." (Not a total lie.) Then I ordered myself a nice stiff drink. Cheers baby.

I also have to stop the sick bitch that lives inside me who carries around a little teeny urn full of his ashes in my purse and resist the urge to whip them out and boom " He's right here !! At least part of him anyway, and judging from the size of this container it's probably his big toe or something." I have unfortunately bestowed that act on several unsuspecting fellow bloggers, I mean there are pictures and everything. I'd like to go ahead and apologize for that now. I blame the drugs.


See the difference?? With some people, R-A requires the truth be delivered as bluntly and harshly as the drop of a guillotine blade. With others, you can dance around it as you would a pile of horse droppings in the middle of the fairgrounds.

I've experienced a bit of R-A in the past, but it was oh so different. When I was getting a divorce from my first husband, people would ask where he was or how he was or whatever and I would instantly stifle my breaking grin and blurt out - "We're getting divorced !!" while trying to hide the glee in my voice and attempting to keep from doing a little happy soft-shoe right there in front of them.

This time, obviously it's not even the same. I can't just say "Oh he died unexpectedly and it tore out my heart and changed me forever and it was all I could do not to follow him into the crematorium and everyday it's a struggle to get out of bed and act like a normal person and breathe and not drink myself into a stupor every night because that's the only way I can really sleep and I type a lot of run-on sentences in my blog posts but really I don't care anymore because my best friend is dead and frankly I just don't give a shit about proper punctuation but I'm really good at faking it and pretending that your question doesn't feel like a knife going into my heart. "

I damn sure wish I could answer it that way sometimes though. But it probably wouldn't earn me alot of friends. Probably get me to the secret floor in the hospital basement pretty quick-like, actually.

But I can't. So I don't.

Oh sure, with people I will have to see again, and some people who aren't close but I feel comfortable with, when they say something I grit my teeth, turn off my emotions and put on my brave face and tell them in a carefully rehearsed and memorized statement what happened. Then I wait for the inevitable condolences and other things that follow. And then I thank them and walk away.

The guy at Auto Zone who tells me my husband can probably put the wiper blades I just purchased on my Jeep?

The lady at Target who comments on how beautiful my rings and jewelry are and that I'm a lucky girl and my husband must have good taste?

And the lady at Publix in the deli that always tells me to tell that crazy chatty husband of mine hi?

And all the other carriers of R-A ?

To them, I say "ha-ha" or "will do" or "Thanks" while making low gurgling noises and extracting myself from their space as quickly as possible without pulling my hair out and running away screaming.

I seem to be getting better at telling people what happened though. I try to think of what G would always say - "it is what it is."

Maybe one day I'll actually be able to tell everyone the truth.

My husband's dead and he's never coming back.

He'll never sit with me at some empty restaurant in the middle of a weekday and talk about stuff that only matters to us while we plan our next adventure or even our next nap.

He'll never again tell me he's got me something shiny because I'm his sunshine.

He'll never change the wiper blades on my jeep or quiz the deli lady about whether their prosciutto is as good as what we could get in Philly.

He'll never tell me he loves me again or ask me not to go to work that day so I could hang out with him.

But every day, he somehow gives me the strength I need to make it through the next second, the next minute, and the next hour that string together to form the long days without him.

He gives me the will to fight through the random awkwardness, to be proud to be his wife, and to know that one day , in some way either decreed by a higher power or otherwise, I will find myself seeing his smile and folding myself into his strong embrace again.

Keep bringing it babes, 'cause I won't let the R-A keep me down.


hunibuni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hunibuni said...

I understand this all to well, except I call it "the stoopid people syndrome." This is where the "Heartless Bitch" t-shirt comes it to play.

Sheila said...

Oh yes - my friend RA.

I like to employ the "just smile and wave, boys...smile and wave" tactic for those situations as much as possible.

Kim said...

I like the "smile and wave" theory.... think I'll have to use it myself if that's ok !

metalmom said...

For some reason, the day you introduced me to Greg, I didn't feel awkward. I was touched by the love that you still held so dear.

The R-A is a fact of life. It's not just you. It's like being congratulated on your pregnancy...when you're only fat. Or the "Hey how come you don't play football anymore?" and the answer is "Because I lost my leg in that car accident last year" (Yes, I've done that one myself)
Everyone will do it and everyone will be on the receiving end. Smile and walk on is a good thing to do.

HEATHER said...

No words, just a ((HUG)) and to let you know that you are in my daily prayers.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand this to the extent that you do at all but I do understand RA fully these days.

I hope that eventually this pain lessens, if only just a little.

TexasRaceLady said...

Keep kicking R-A in the ass, Kim.

I know that moments well, also. They do get easier to handle over time.

You are on the road to healing. Just look at these R-A moments as speed bumps in that road -- they rattle you for a moment, then they are gone.

Hang in there, girlfriend. You are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.


sybil law said...

Ugh. RA is a major suck.
Hope it gets a tiny bit easier for you. But I gotta say, the blogger meeting didn't bug me at all. I found it refreshing.

Bill Bradford said...

I've run into this too - to avoid it, I've avoided going to places like restaraunts where we were regulars together. I still find myself saying "we" all the time, even four months later.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

It's hard. I only understand (barely) in a completely different way, but still get the RA. Both of my parents died within 14 months of each other. I was the executor of both wills. I had to return library books of my dad's and explain he wouldn't be checking out any more books and a myriad of other painful reminders. I think the worst thing is people who want *details*. Ugh.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

You know, I cam across so many cases of random awkwardness when I was infertile and people would ask the whole "When are you having kids" question. Ugh. Or "Are you pregnant yet?" And I would usually just look at them pointedly and walk away. Sometimes, I think that's enough.

I'm sorry you're having to deal with that. Ish.

LOVIN7 said...

BABY steps, Cozzie-small baby steps. You ARE getting there-don't let the speed-bumps derail you. I could've been in your situation with the explanations, but mine would've been more difficult if my hubby had ended his life by choice like he's talked about. Luckily he accepted help after threats from me, and should be better soon ((HUGS))

Karl said...

Lots of R.A. for me, too. I've come to embrace it a little more than I used to. Like you said, most of the time it comes out of people's niceness, and nothing nasty. I don't mind that so much.

What sucks is when people AVOID you when you're down. (Yes, I see the irony here, bear with me.) When they don't know what to say to you - because, really? what IS there to say? - so they just say NOTHING. they avoid being with you, looking you in the eyes.

I don't know about you, but for me, all I need is simple acknowledgment. A nod, a "hey, what's up?", a "Sorry life sucks right now." Then we don't have to talk about "IT" at all after that, I'm okay with that.

Just don't shun me because you think my sadness is catching.

Sorry again for any confusion, babe. When I'm in a bad headspace, I have on The Blinders. Love you.

gorillabuns said...

i'm really good at blurting out stuff when most inappropriate. especially when people are, "how many kids to you have?" My answer? "the alive ones or dead ones?"

i'm a total mood killer.

so sorry for everything you are going through.

Lynda said...

I say just keep doing what makes you feel comfortable. And I didn't see a problem with the tiny urn either. Gregory was a part of your life and always will be.

Bubblewench said...

I loved meeting Greg! And I love that you always keep him with you. I didn't feel any RA when I met you... sorry for the peeps that give you that. I know it's hard enough already.

BeautifulWreck said...

I could have so written this.

Sometimes for kicks when people ask "How is your brother?" I say "Great last time I checked, resting peacefully." and then they say "So what is he up to these days?" and I answer "About six feet under."

And then when they ask about my mom, I get really creative. or my Paupy - I tell them that she is Jesus' hairdresser.

Sometimes I like to stun people. I figure laughter is better than buckets of tears.