I dropped the widowbomb on Tinder Girl #4 / Future Wife on Friday. It was fucking terrifying, my brain and mouth were hungover, but it wasn’t a complete disaster. No heaving sobbing or anything.
My last girlfriend knew my late wife and the whole grizzly truth so I had no need to fret over coming out as a widow and her running a mile. Instead, I had to deal with her insane and I mean INSANE jealousy and ridiculous demands – never refer to her as “woman”, remove all couple photos from the house (I only have three), remove wedding photos from the office (wtf?), vow never to wear my wedding rings, and not make a big deal out of significant dates etc. She basically tried to pressure me into saying that I loved her more than I loved my late wife. I did love her, actually. I loved her a lot but she couldn’t love me for me – I come as a package. I come with a dead wife who I’ll always be in love with and miss. She couldn’t deal. She needed to deal, at least to an extent. Out she went. I accept now she was a rebound and I was simply not ready to have someone in my life. Live and learn – at least the sex was phenomenal and a wonderful distraction from my agonising grief and ache for human touch.
Now, I find myself in a position where I really like a girl. Like REALLY like HER for her, not the idea of someone. She’s brilliant. Four slow dates, meetings of the best friends and one drunken sexy time in and I knew I was getting closer to the moment of having to come out to her and dropping the widowbomb. This prospect of rejection is a million times scarier than coming out as a lesbian (read here). At least if I’m discriminated against for being gay, I’m protected by the law in the UK and people would say, “God what a homophobe. That’s unacceptable.” But with widowhood, being discriminated against for having a dead wife is met with a “well, it’s understandable”. I’ve written before about why people should date young widows (click here). I genuinely now believe that my widowhood, despite its complications, is an asset and a badge of honour. I’m fucking superwoman.
Still, didn’t stop me from bricking it when I realised Future Wife was on the verge of googling me and finding out the details from some knobend coroner’s court reporters. Having had drunken sex and getting the train to work together (sign of progression to the next stage, right? We’ll be engaged within a month), I knew I was going to reveal all. I decided I would at the next face to face.
Except, I had a full panic stations and had to tell her over the phone with no prepared script. She was demanding to know my last name. I’ve known hers since before we even went on our first date (I’m queen of the Google stalk) and she officially “revealed” it to me the other because I had to post tickets to her office for my gig. So, tbh, she was entitled to a reciprocation. After I declined to tell her mine for about the fifth time, she said “what the holy fuck? You don’t get my surname, my house and my bed in the space of 24 hours and I get nothing.” I decided to tell her that there was something I needed to talk to her about but that it was better saved for a face to face discussion. Of course, this sounds ominous. I then said I was scared she’d google stalk me, but in a jokey way. Then I promised her I don’t have a criminal record. Then I realised, FUCK I’VE JUST PLANTED THE GOOGLING IDEA IN HER HEAD. She knows where I work so, to be honest, I’m amazed it hadn’t occurred to her to do her research before. But at that exact moment, it was make or break so I called her up. She was one more search away from finding out about wife.
EC: Hi. I’m sorry I sounded ominous.
FW: I’ve been naughty. I googled you.
EC: what have you found so far?
FW: I’ve found your video about xxx on your company website.
EC: ok. and what else?
FW: oh you’re paused in a really awkward frame and your chin looks deformed but now I know your surname, haha!
EC: Well, I need to tell you something. I was going to tell you soon but I wanted you to get to know me for me and not pre-judge me.
FW: Oh God, this doesn’t sound good.
EC: errr. Well, you know how we had that conversation about lying by omission? You probably don’t remember, but I do, because I’ve technically been lying by omission. The thing is, I used to be married.
FW: Oh, ok.
EC: …and she died. I’m an obscenely young widow.
FW: Oh my God, I’m so sorry. You poor thing.
EC: Thank you. it’s been royally shit but the thing is, I’m actually loads of fun and not defined by it – I hope you see that.
FW: You poor thing.
EC: It was a couple of years ago. Honestly, I’m really fun.
FW: Oh my God that’s so recent
[fuck, does timescale matter? I hope she doesn’t think I’m not ready because I am. I should tell her I’ve had a rebound girlfriend and shagged several women already. No. Wait. Don’t do that]
EC: And err, if you google me, you’ll find out lots of stuff so I might as well tell you that she killed herself and I found her. And all my wedding pictures are online because we looked amazing.