I’m pretty fucking amazing, if I might say so myself. I’m highly intelligent, I’m pretty, I’m witty, I own my own property, I have a good job, I sing, I’m sociable, I’m engaging, I’m opinionated, and I’m full of love. This is why I fucking hate having the widow label and a dead wife because I know it taints me as a romantic prospect. If I was in my 50s, heck, maybe even in my 40s, some people might be down with it and it wouldn’t be so shocking. But to my peers, I’m damaged goods. I’ve had the dream wedding that they envision having with someone else for the first time. I’ve experienced the excitement of exchanging on a first home. I’ve had joint bank accounts. Our children were going to be James, Helena and Elizabeth. My Amex shows my title as “Mrs”.
Last week, I arranged to go on a date with Tinder Girl #4. She’s been the best so far – educated with a degree in psychology from a good university, super fit and femme, volunteers her time to teach children to read, well travelled and extremely funny over text message. Just what I want. She called me her dream girl. #YESIAMPLEASEMARRYME. As we sat on our respective sofas texting to and fro during the British political party leaders’ debate (gameshow) a fortnight ago, I was super impressed that she actually bases her political affiliation on substance rather than the speaking skills of the leader. I am a floater voter, although we are in great agreement that Nigel Farage is an absolutely knobend.
All going well with the regular texting. Date in the diary. I’m looking forward to it. She’s looking forward to it. I text her the day before to ask what time she finishes work and what sort of area is convenient for her. Courteous, non? But I receive no reply. Utter radio silence. I follow up several hours later with a witty but chasing message of “if you can, please let me know if I need to be fretting right now about what to wear tomorrow“. I think that’s a pretty good but not overly desperate chaser. Still no response. It had all been going so well. I guess she’s not up for it. I was miffed at not having to shave my legs.
The next morning, I wake up and shave my legs anyway just in case she contacts me half way through the day to apologise for losing her phone/being in hospital/grandma dying. I put on two coats of Diorshow mascara. I opt for the figure hugging but still demure Whistles silk day dress. Nothing still. Then I logon to my LinkedIn account at work. Turns out she’d looked at my profile a few days before. I should’ve guessed that as a clever girl with enough background info on me (university, age, first name, city I live in and an idea of my industry) she’d Google stalk me. Alas, she did and found my LinkedIn profile, thus obtaining my last name. Another Google of my full name leads to newspaper articles reporting the suicide of my wife and how I had an “affair” after we got married. The other results are all to do with our wedding – superb pictures which document how glee filled the day was, and how wonderful we looked together and felt around one another. Just five months after those magazine worthy photos were taken and we exchanged vows, wife was dead. Fucking great. Tinder Girl #4 knows the truth and it wasn’t me who told her. I Google stalked her back. She’s even fitter than in her Tinder photos. She fundraises for charity. Her Tweets are about social justice. I want her but she definitely doesn’t want me.
I just wish I had the chance to make a real first impression. One where I’m judged for me, not by the press’ reporting of my life. Not even my life – just one day in my life. A very pivotal day, granted, but being a widow does not define me. I’m not some bat shit crazy, heartless bitch who drove my helpless, submissive wife to hang herself of an Autumn afternoon. I’m a good person to whom bad things have happened. Wife was a good person to whom bad things happened.
I’ll forever grieve my wife and I will always love her, but that doesn’t stop me loving another person completely and fully. In fact, I have such an appreciation of how precious life is, the benefits of positivity and the depth that love can have, that it makes me a fucking great potential wife. You can’t say that many women in their twenties have such emotional insight and intelligence, can you? I just wish other women in their twenties, especially eligible lesbians, would understand that and realise that I’m rather a catch, although a complex one.
I know I’m more sensitive than I should be about being stood up by Tinder Girl #4 but at the heart of this lies a very deep, deep wound from being rejected before. My wife rejected me, although not just me, by opting out of our marriage and leaving me with the horror filled final memory of her lifeless, cold, grey body on the laminate floor of the bedroom. I’m not just a widow. I’m a suicide widow.
Am I really damaged goods? This week, it feels like I am. I hate my wife for putting me in a position where others judge me without knowing the truth of my vibrancy, warmth and energy. I had a good shout at her the other night (this is why I can’t get a housemate) and wailed in a sobbing mess on the kitchen floor while the pasta boiled over on the hob. Just in case you haven’t got the gist of it yet, being a widow is fucking painful and I will never, ever say that this was “meant to be”, that it was “fate”, that this was “in God’s plan”. This was not the plan. IT WAS NOT THE PLAN.
Still, I pick myself up and move forward. So, you know what? People should date young widows because we possess strength like no others. I’m fucking superwoman.