Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Being a Widow vs. a Divorcée


The concept of “playing the cards you are dealt” (vs. griping about the cards you got dealt) is something I was taught early on in life from my grandmother. Part of “playing the cards you are dealt” requires that you acknowledge the shortcomings of the cards in a particular situation without becoming a “Eeyore”, a Winnie The Pooh character I refer to most.

I met someone at an event I instantly admired in a way that awed, inspired and excited me all at once. She was a sharp moderator who facilitated an engaging round table discussion with two successful (and big name) entrepreneurs. She had gravitas in her voice and in her poise. Her confidence came from her intelligence and her experience, having played her cards the best she could in what I can only assume as not a hospitable environment for any woman with a deep need to contribute to her world, even though that world did not accept her as its citizen.

Later, I had the good fortune to interact with her in a social setting. As she spoke about her late husband, her colleague gasped, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t know he passed away!” to which she quickly clarified, “Oh, he’s not dead. He’s late. Always late. Very late.” As the rest of us took a moment to take in her pivoting the use of the word late, she said, “We’ve been divorced. I refer to my ex-husband as my late husband, because, well, he was always late, and do you know how people act when they think you are a widow? They offer you a ride. Divorced? They look at you as a failure.”

That’s how she played her cards without being an Eeyore.

Photo: Sculpture By The Sea festival (2015) in Aarhus, Denmark

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This entry was posted on September 19, 2015 by in Culture, Family, Management and tagged , .
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