Thrifter’s remorse 

I found a great armchair and a really nice 4 shelf bookcase at the thrift store yesterday. Both on sale and combined would cost me less than forty bucks.

There was one catch– I didn’t have a way to haul them. Even if I bought them the store has a 30 minute pick up policy. I had no way of getting these things out of there, not in 30 minutes. I called my sister only to find out her SUV was in the shop, she had the little sedan, same size as mine.

So I went back this morning. My sister’s (different sister) boyfriend said he would haul them for me. When I got there I saw my chair bundled into the trunk of another car. Big letdown. I  went inside and saw the bookcase was gone too, huge letdown.  I experienced thrifter’s remorse, not buying that thing you really wanted and figured it would still be there when you came back, only to find it’s gone.

Ironically I went looking for a dresser, something small, something cheap and not too ugly and found the chair and bookcase instead. And I left without any of them.

Since today was a holiday every thrift store had sales, the stores were packed and there was nothing left. I checked, I hit 4 more stores. I think I might have found a small dresser at a thrift 2nd hand store that charges a little more but offers layaway.

I’m trying to furnish my room, it’s a slow process. My clothes and a few other things are in there but it doesn’t feel like mine yet. I have been here for a year, I did not think I would still be here, that this was a pit stop til I found my own cheesy little apartment.

I am grateful my pets and I have a home, that there are no neighbors above or below us, that we have a backyard and I don’t have a mortgage payment, thanks to my aunt. And when my sister moves in with her boyfriend it will be mine, or I’ll have possession at least.

It isn’t what I expected and frankly not what I wanted. This time last year I was still trying to find a job in Seattle and move. To be honest I would rather be in Seattle. I’d be alone but it would be in a better more interesting place.

I am living down the block from the house where I grew up and next door to my aunt Donnie’s old house. I am back where I started from. Right now it seems likely I’ll spend the rest of my life here and that’s darned depressing.

Not that being a widow is expected to be fun but I hoped to literally and figuratively be further along the road. I hadn’t really imagined what the future would be like, the present is still weird and I’m still getting used to it. Yet I saw myself somewhere different, new. Not this, I thought I’d have a life. Maybe it is expecting too much, maybe too soon.

I imagined myself living alone, a quiet simple life and that’s what I have. I also imagined myself having friends, people to hang out with, talk to and that I enjoyed being around. I imagined myself going out to dinner or to movies, plays, even going to someone’s house to watch hockey games on TV. My fantasy friends have cable. I didn’t see myself climbing rocks, going to bars or anything dangerous, just a good but dull life. While I haven’t done the dangerous stuff I haven’t done the other stuff and I’m a little disappointed. Again, maybe I’m expecting too much or too soon.

I still do things and go places on my own. I wish there was a service like tinder for finding friends. I have tried meetup but that hasn’t worked.  I am awkward and shy. I haven’t met any people I feel like getting to know and none have been interested in me either. Most are younger than me, about my son’s age. I tried the parish book club but all the women in that group are older, by about 10-20 years and it feels like I’m hanging out with my friend’s moms, I have to be careful what I say and be polite, mind my manners. I’m too old for one group and too young for another. It’s no wonder I am alone and it’s likely I’ll remain this way.

The books I’ve read about being a widow advise me to join groups, extend myself to other people and tell family and friends I want to go out and have a social life. The books do not say how long it takes for this to work or that it will work. They don’t account for introverted widows without those networks. I feel like I’m failing at being a successful widow.

I’m comfortable talking about Jerry. Little things I remember about what he said and did, his personality, it doesn’t bother me to talk about him or tell people about who he was. Yet no one asks or is interested, it’s easier to pretend he didn’t exist.

I’ve thought about joining a widow’s support group, if one exists around here, but I’m afraid it will be like the parish book club. Older women I don’t have anything in common with other than we had husbands who died.

This will subside, I suppose.  A lot of women are alone and deal with it, I guess I will too. Maybe I will become comfortable with my situation over time. Maybe I expected too much to have changed in two years. I want to have a life but don’t know how to make one.


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