So, I haven't experienced that I want to rip your head off for no good reason except for the fact that "I'm a widow and your not" feeling until today...
Travel in general is hard, travel alone is a little tough, but traveling all by your lonesome as a widow just down right sucks. Well, let me rephrase that, because I love to travel it's the flight and the the airport that make it hard for me. The airplane and airport is like a cespool of seemingly happy couples of all ages and fresh young families embarking on holiday getaways. It's a blatant reminder of what I no longer posess— a future with my husband that includes children, anniversaries, travel plans, wrinkles, retirement... I could go on and on.
So back to my I feel like ripping your head off moment. I boarded my flight early this morning. The flight was oversold so there was a sea of people trying to get situated in their way too small airplane seats. I get to my row only to discover that a man is sitting in my seat and he swears it's his. That's ok because I didn't really want the middle seat any way. So the flight attendant verifies that I'm correct, but I tell him its fine I'll sit somewhere else. Score, he finds me an isle seat and I get all comfy and settled in. Just when I think the flight might be ok after all a woman appears out of nowhere and asks me to move so she can sit with her husband. She tells me if I move out of the exit row ( which has way more leg room) that oh, I can recline, like I give a crap about reclining. I felt like she was just so condescending to me. I understand wanting to sit with your husband I probably would have asked the same if Elliott was alive, but he's dead— and at that moment I really didn't need a reminder that I was the single girl who should give up her seat to the snobby married lady. Of course I pleasantly gave it up and moved, but not without my blood boiling. I realize that this is irrational to have been so angry but I've been through a lot and I deserve to have my little moment of irrationality.
There was a time when I really enjoyed going to the airport and boarding a plane. I mean it's never a blast or anything but traveling with El was always so nice. Somehow it always made me feel like an adult to be with my hubby boarding a plane and being excited to get away from home for a while. It was so nice to be able to just cuddle up and lean into him when I was squished into the sardine box they call seats. Now I always leave the plane cramped and stiff from trying so hard to stay in my own personal space or from leaning away from people who don't get the concept of personal space. El was always such the gentleman too, carrying the heaviest bags. He would always tell me it looked bad if the girl was carrying all the stuff. Good thing I bought new luggage with four nice wheels so I can manage by myself.
There are just so many reminders everywhere I go. I'm sitting in the Seattle airport right now on a six hour layover. Living in Alaska we almost always have to come through the Seattle airport so it's inevitable to not run into a bunch of stuff that reminds me of the trips when El and I passed through here. I remember every shop and book store we browsed to help pass the time. I remember where we sat in the food court, what he ate, what I ate, the coffee we ordered, everything. It hurts to be here, to be anywhere without him. It doesn't help that there's a song playing right now with lyrics like "i miss you and I want you and I need you but I can't have you." How ironic.
To pass some time I got a manicure, I know it's crazy to get a manicure at the airport but I have a lot of time to kill. Anyway I still refuse to take off my wedding ring. When the manicurist saw it she said "oh are you in engaged?" "No I'm a widow I just don't want to take my ring off." It was the first time someone asked about my ring since El was killed. It was a little surreal, at my age I look more like a newlywed than a widow,oh how I wish that were the case. But I'm a widow and I had a beautiful marriage and an absolutely out of this world amazing husband. That's what that ring represents and I can't bear to take it off.