Here is the link to my today show segment-Watch and then Read: Some people using Firefox have had trouble opening it, so use another browser: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/35237013#35237013
Just last week I had submitted a question via the Today Show website (linked on Twitter) about relationships to submit to their panel of men. I submitted a question related to widowhood and dating and what they thought I should/shouldn’t say as I have found when you drop the “widow” bomb, most men run! This week I was chosen to ask my question live on the Today Show.
Chef Curtis Stone, comedian Rick Younger, TruTV’s Chuck Nice and author Andrew Trees were the panel of men answering relationship questions on yesterday’s Today Show segment with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford. Originally, I was supposed to Skype in my question, but through a series of technical difficulties, I called in my question during the last 15 minutes of the “guys tell all” segment.
My great boss allowed me to do this at work, and because of that, I wasn’t able to watch the segment until I got home last evening. In the meantime, I read over 200 responses from friends and strangers regarding the Today Show segment and their outrage. The general consensus from all of you were that the men were idiots, jerks, and that Kathie Lee is well…..a bitch. Trust me, that WAS the kindest term used for her, so I’m trying!
Last evening I sat down with my DVR and watched the entire show. I wanted to give the panel of men a chance-see how they had reacted to other relationship questions. When it got to mine, I just held my breath. As I posted on Twitter last night after viewing my segment: Chuck Nice is an asshole, and Kathie Lee Gifford needs to get off the vino. As for Curtis Stone, I felt he honestly tried to contribute with a thoughtful response. Andrew Trees was by far the most qualified expert, and he had NOTHING to say. But Rick Younger…Rick Younger’s combination of thoughtful words and facial expressions is what forgave all. The look of outrage and embaressment as he sat next to Chuck Nice laughing and making light of a very serious topic, especially when asked by Hoda “what if you’re wife died” was priceless. I wanted to high-five Younger and slap Nice. Slap Nice-how ironic. What was most inappropriate, probably even above Chuck Nice’s response, was Kathie Lee’s incessant laughing through the entire answer portion of my segment: COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE. For a woman who has been through plenty of scandal in her life, you’d think by this point she would have a bit of grace or even a touch of character. But frankly, all I can see is a possible drinking problem and a cold heart and way too much botox (I’m sure you all noticed how throughout the entire segment her wine glass was emptier…).
Let me clarify a few things: Yes, my new blog is thoughtfully named ‘Crazy Widow’, which also happens to be my Twitter name (@crazywidow). Sometimes I do actually wear a name badge that says CRAZYWIDOW, but I swear it is ONLY at Tweetups, and it only leaves the Tweetup when I forget it’s still attached to my shirt. With all those things in mind: I DO NOT WEAR A WIDOW BADGE. However, even if I did, I earned that badge. You don’t just lose a spouse and not earn that badge-it comes with the whole new life package deal. When I meet new people, I do not introduce myself as ‘Brenda, Widow’. I am simply, ‘Brenda’, who happens to BE a widow.
On my attempts at online dating in the past few months, I choose the category of ‘widow’. Because I am technically not single, or any of the other categories that are options. Just as someone who is divorced should select ‘divorced’ in that relationship status category, I choose ‘widow’. To not do so, would be a lie.
I have not had the luxury of just happenstance meeting someone out and about to date: I have NEVER actually done that to be quite honest. I guess I’m just not the ‘picker upper’. But if and when it does happen, if it comes up in conversation, I will not fail to share who I am, and who I am is Brenda. Who happens to be a widow. Not going to lie.
Baggage. Ahh, baggage. Do you hold a grudge against a former best friend? Do you go into your job each and every day and nearly want to kill your boss or co-workers? Have you had your heart broken? Do you have unresolved issues with your parents? Do you have character flaws that you wish you could change? Weight you want to lose? Yes to ANY or ALL of these and YOU dear people have baggage. Mine just happens to be a dead husband, which may trump your baggage, but so be it. It is what it is (as much as I HATE that saying!).
The fact is, and I always come back to this, widowhood sucks. It is not an easy task, and starting to date again at 15 months out isn’t easy. To share my dating woes, and ooooo here opens a can of worms, I have managed to go on dates with former wife beaters, the man who stood me up twice, and a talks-too-much italian who bored me to death but still wanted to “come in for coffee” to my apartment. Um, NO. Needless to say, internet dating has not done me well. If I thought dating 5 years ago was tough, well ladies and gentleman, today’s dating is excruciating.
When you drop the “widow” bomb, apparently you get made fun of for being a black widow, or drunken women can’t stop laughing at you. Either way, welcome to the widow dating world. A subject I have been a bit fearful to share with my blog brethren, but this Today Show segment has opened up a whole new can of worms for this crazy widow. And it won’t stop here.