A funny thing happens now when I go to professional meetings and see dozens and dozens of people from all over the country who are long-time acquaintances. They avoid me. To be clear, they didn’t used to avoid me, but now that I’m a widow, talking to me makes people feel awkward and perhaps a little sad. You can tell a part of them is thinking they are so glad it was my spouse and not their own. And also, they really don’t know what to say. So I see them seeing me and trying really hard not to make eye contact.
I get it. I really do. And it’s okay.
So, like tonight in San Francisco, I went out on my own to avoid imposing my sad, widow self on my uncomfortable acquaintances. I don’t mind being on my own. I often prefer it. Tonight I met a man who is the photography editor for a major news outlet. He bought me a beer, and we talked for about an hour. At one point he said to me, “Wow, you are so interesting,” and I thought, “Isn’t that the best compliment ever?” So maybe being left to my own devices isn’t so bad after all.