Mighty Life List
Oct 4 2010

On Mourning

Me: The office is an amazing deal.
it even has a widow
and a window

Sarah: hahaha

me: the widow is kind of a pain

Sarah: she came with the place

me: you have to ignore her sobbing

Sarah: she just wanders around, muttering, pulling on her hankie

me: that’s why it’s such a deal
i find it helps me with my writing

Sarah: but she stares out the window a lot which is annoying
no one likes a window hog

me: I’m like, “You. Are. Blocking. My. Light.”

Sarah: and she’s like

me: Ugggh.
What are you gonna say to that. It’s like, “OK! Your window. Bitch.”

37 Responses to “On Mourning”

  • dooce Says:

    I can’t believe you’d make fun of a widow. I happen to know one, and she only looks out the window occasionally.

    I’m so disappointed.

  • Kat Says:

    I’m with dooce. Awfully insensitive to make fun of widows.

    Did you know that 38.7% of widows don’t even have windows?!

    God, Maggie. Do your research.

  • Elsa Says:

    As a sort-of-widow who has spent a long year comforting my newly widowed sister, this punched me pretty hard in the gut.

    I get it — for the lucky people who haven’t watched their partners die, “widow” seems like an outdated word and an outdated concept. But we don’t all walk around in long black skirts waiting wistfully for George to come back from the war. Lots of us work alongside you, stand behind you in line at the post office, and — usually — laugh at your japery.

    But not today.

  • Sarah Brown Says:

    Ha, I forgot this! I’m so glad you didn’t!

  • Shannon Says:

    31 year old widow here. Not funny… maybe if there were some sort of context, but probably not.

  • Meg Says:

    God Maggie. The internet is a serious serious place and not a place for JOKES. It’s not nice to joke about things. Real things. Thinks that exist not on the internet. Mispronunciations, even. Don’t joke about those things on the internet because the internet is not for jokes.

    Now. Can I haz a cheezburger? Thanks.

    PS New office! Yay!

  • Jo L Says:

    I LOL’d reading this. In the middle of a very quiet computer lab..

  • Sarah Says:

    Um…not really funny and pretty darn insensitive.

  • Window Says:

    Maggie, windows are real. I am one. I don’t like the widows blocking the light from seeing you. Usually you are funny, but today not so much. And get some new Windex, would you? The smears are unflattering.

  • Sarah Says:

    Completely unrelated, but because of the juxtaposition of the ads to the right I thought someone finally invented strawberry shortcake scented febreeze! Damn.

  • Willow Says:

    I’m a willow. I thought this post was supposed to be about me. I’m disappointed and feel like weeping.

  • Allytigator Says:

    I’m thinking this is one of those “you had to be there” vignettes which loses something in the retelling.

  • Amanda Says:

    This is only funny if you can’t relate to widowhood.

  • Elsa Says:

    Of course, I’m not trying to silence your joke, Maggie — nor should I or anyone else have the right to.

    As a usually-avid Might Girl reader who had a strong emotional reaction, I thought it appropriate to share my feeling and give you some context for it.

  • Elsa Says:


    Come to think of it, “might girl” sounds more like me most of the time.

  • bymarg Says:

    I was widowed at 34. My 10th wedding anniversary would have been Oct. 14. Sorry, but I still can’t laugh about being a widow, even if other people can.

  • Supa Dupa Fresh Says:

    Marcel Duchamp made the joke about Fresh Widow fairly well a while back. It’s only funny because in his case, he knew he was hurting people. He also knew what was similar about widows and windows. It has nothing to do with new offices.

    I respect you, but I really do wish all widows were weepy and Victorian as (I think) I hear in the background of your story.

    In real life, a widow is a woman whose husband has died. Happens to lots of women about your age, some of us with little kids. Some of us have kids your kids’ ages. No fun atall, none atall.

    I suppose I should be grateful you’re not scared of us by that proximity and similarity. Most people are.

    We’re just kind of touchy about being invisible, so.

    I am one of those widows who CAN usually laugh at the jokes (4 years out and remarried), but this wasn’t funny anyway.

    But hey, yanno, congrats on all the advertising, I’m pretty excited about that Febreze. Nah, maybe I’ll just open a widow.



  • DaBuni Says:

    Actually, a lot of folks say that widows are blocking their light. It can be as simple as when we walk into the room, others silence their laughter. We didn’t block your light baby, your fear and insecurity stole it from you. You are frightened because we are close to your age. You are insecure because in the blink of an eye, you could be one of us.
    In truth, because of your hushed whispers and long face, you’re blocking my light bitch.

  • Kate Says:

    I seriously doubt that Maggie is scared of or unkind to widows. She’s clearly poking fun at herself and her spelling error and the word she used hit a little close to home for some people. I’ve read this twice now and don’t in any way see it as her making light of someone’s loss.

  • Minnow Says:

    I’m a minnow who’s also a bad reader. For a second I thought this post was about me, and my heart leapt, but then I looked again and it sank. Thanks for ruining my day and tiny short life, Maggie Mason, you insensitive hater.

  • Wodiw Says:

    I’m Wodiw, the Norse goddess of horseshoes, and I thought this post was about me. It turns out it’s not, and it’s also pretty funny.

  • little bird Says:

    @kate, yeah, but not everything needs to be shared with an audience, and people who “take things the wrong way” aren’t necessarily at fault or overly sensitive. it seems careless, at the very least.

  • Kate Says:

    The only thing careless about this was Maggie missing a keystroke. Yeesh.

  • S.S. Minnow Says:

    Anyone looking for me?

  • NIck The Greek Says:

    I think this post is funny and do not believe it to be insensitive. When being amused by this, we are not making fun of widows, we are laughing in the face of death, and this I believe is all you can do when thinking about death.

  • Erin Says:

    As a widow whose husband DID die in the war and WILL never see his son, I’d have to say YOU’RE the bitch for being so insensitive in this post.

    Yes, I have a sense of humor. Yes, I know you are just poking fun at yourself for a typo. It’s just horribly thoughtless and I can’t imagine ever making fun of this situation.

    Then again, I guess it’s easy for someone who doesn’t understand. I hope you never do.

  • Heather Says:

    @Kate: You can’t see anything in this post that makes light of a war widow’s loss? Anything at all? Really?

    “OK! Your window. Bitch.”


  • Patsy Says:

    And @Heather, you can’t see anything funny in the idea that an office would come with a resident widow, and that the landlord would reflect this fact in the price? It’s the setting of the office for rent that elevates the scenario to the absurd, and that’s what Maggie and Sarah are rolling with.

  • Heather Says:

    “you can’t see anything funny in the idea that an office would come with a resident widow”

    Not really, no. But hey, that’s just me. And apparently a lot of other readers. And, you know, widows.

  • Kimberly Says:

    Yes, best to avoid all subjects, since someone will always take offense. Look, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who has NOT lost someone. Unfortunately, it’s sort of part of being human. Thank God for humor. Otherwise, we’d all be curled up in a corner. Sometimes you just need to take things at face value and not assume there is malevolent intent underneath.

  • Kate Says:

    Now a resident orphan, that’d be funny.

  • Heather Says:

    ‘Thank God for humor’

    Amen to that! Too bad the joke wasn’t funny. Oh well.

  • Patsy Says:

    If memory serves, isn’t Maggie’s mom a widow? Aside from the fact that she was running with a typo that made a situation seem ridiculous, she clearly knows what that pain looks like. So if she wants to laugh about it, why can’t she?

  • little bird Says:

    @kate: people are allowed to have whatever feelings and reactions they have! that mine are different than yours doesn’t make them absurd or inappropriate.

  • Kate Says:

    @little bird, flip that right back around and I think we’re settled here. I very sincerely wish you well.

  • Corinne Noel † Says:

    Wow, it’s a tough room in here…the air is thick and serious…I came here to laugh…maybe if I open a…window…the laughter can come back in :)Until then, I’ll stand over here with this nice lady :D

  • Marian Says:

    okay, I can see that this would offend actual widows. but on the other hand, this is the old Maggie I miss! it’s funny! and she’s not trying to be Oprah and solve the world’s problems while taking pictures of herself in stylish outfits!

    Please, more of this! but maybe not about widows if it makes people sad.