Ch.237 Night Out with the Guys

Ch.237 Night Out with the Guys

Jan. 2024

          Like many widowers, I hesitate to go many places alone where most people go as couples: restaurants, theaters, vacation journeys, etc. So, when I noticed an ad for a production of The Importance of Being Earnest,” one of my favorite plays, I asked myself who might be interested in going with me. I thought of a couple male friends, and then a couple female friends, and then family. I chose family, the least daunting alternative. I texted Jenny and Joshua, asking if they and their partners would be interested. It developed that only Jeff (Jenny’s husband) and Joshua could attend; Jenny needed some alone time and Patty was working.

          Off we went. The performance was a little disappointing, we agreed. Instead of the actual play, which takes little time, the performance was lengthened by adding a character named Oscar Wilde (the actual author). However, I did enjoy going out and especially having guy time with Jeff and Joshua.

          But here is what struck me the most. Looking around, I saw dozens of couples come into the theater, find their seats, and ever so casually sit next to each other. I wondered if any of them realized how fortunate they are to have a living partner with whom to share their life; someone with whom they could discuss the play later that evening before they went to bed; someone who they already knew what that person would think about the play before they even spoke. Until Pat developed Lewy Body Dementia, I seldom was grateful in that manner. By the time I did recognize the gift of partnership, I had already begun to lose it.

          I have made a conscious choice to appreciate watching other couples being couples. It’s that or envy, feeling angry at their happiness and wanting bad things to happen to them so they’d be lonely like me. Watching other couples reminds me to be grateful for the 57 years Pat and I shared. To recall things we did together, trips we took, working together, sleeping together, waking to the comfort of having someone at my side.

          I just glanced up and noticed two pictures of Venice Pat took on our visit there (We were invited to train military counselors at a NATO base nearby). I wonder, if I received that invitation now, if I would go there alone?