The Case of the Closely Clutched Casseroles

Jan 23

“Widows are the most hated women in New York.”

What? No, really! I read that in the Times a short time after I became a widow, 7 years ago, and I am still fuming. Is this a case of holding a grudge far too long, or am I merely being realistic?

I, as you probably have guessed, choose the latter. There is an image, which has not changed in those 7 years, of the widows of New York. According to this misogynistic view, these innocent-looking women rush to the barely cold bodies of wives foolish enough to die and leave behind a (gasp) eligible man, who is destined to fall into their casseroled clutches.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I don’t know from casseroles, except those tuna-fish things I’ve read about at the hair dressers. Unless you count lasagna, I have never made a casserole in my life and don’t plan to do so any time soon. Well, there is that chicken dish with potatoes and sausage. But that’s not exactly a casserole.

Anyway, you get my point. Widows in this wonderful town are purported to be the great predators, reading the obituaries and ready to pounce. And many men are aware of this and act as if they are the greatest prizes in the land, a cross between George Clooney and George Soros. (Is he still even alive?) Guys, I love you, and many of you are really cute and nice to have around, but some of you are only prizes in your own minds.  (“You think who you are,” as the saying goes.) And you don’t come close to deserving the women you scorn. Sorry, but it’s true.

What Love Got to do With It?

Several women have told me stories of men becoming skittish around them when they were just looking for someone to talk to. Or, in my case, simply wanting to continue a conversation after a class about Impressionism. We were happily chatting away about Toulouse-Lautrec, or Cezanne, or the best place to get pizza, and since I got the . . . impression . . . that he knew something about art, I suggested we go for a coffee some time. He replied that he was gay. Okay. I love a non sequitur as much as the next person, but since I already knew his sexual preference, I asked him if that precluded him from drinking coffee. Or having a slice of pizza.

OTOH: What’s Wrong with Love?

Other women, widowed, divorced, or simply single, have told me that they were nonplussed when something like this happened to them, and were made to feel foolish. Okay, I’m sure that some of them were wondering if indeed there was a there there, which therefore might lead to something more than a caffeine fix, but what’s wrong with that? It certainly doesn’t make them sharks circling the waters for prey, but just acting like normal human beings, consciously or unconsciously, looking for love.

Men have been approaching women for eons to see if there was any interest, but suddenly the reverse is frauaght with danger? And these women weren’t even wielding casseroles!

Well! What I propose (and don’t get cute and take that literally) is a march of casserole-carrying widows on Fifth Avenue, where we, unlike a certain ex-prez we could name, would get arrested and make news. At least in the tabloids. We might get a chance to tell our side of the story, to help adjust our image as beasts of prey with only one agenda.

My dance card is filled at this time, but I’d join the march out of solidarity with my sisters.

Widows of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your tuna fish.

Case Closed.


  1. I declare lasagna is an official casserole. Of course do not attempt to snag an Italian man with it. They will only eat their mother’s lasagna. Sigh

    • Ruth Lapin /

      Lasagna is absolutely not a casserole. By definition, a casserole has to taste bad.

      • So if all casseroles have a bad taste, then how are all these women luring men with them? Answer: they’re not.
        This article was expletive deleted, and if it wasn’t the Times, I would have cancelled my subscription.

        • Lucille /

          As a former widow (I am now remarried) I am livid about articles such as the one you mention. In my experience men are MUCH more needy and can’t stand to be alone for 10 minutes much less wait for someone to bring them a casserole.
          Loved the l blog though. We do have to keep a sense of humor about these things.

          • Right on, Lucille.
            We can never lose our sense of humor

    • Look on the bright side, Diana: you have other ways (ahem) to attract a man, and then, when you do, you get to enjoy The Only Good Lasagna in the World without having to cook a single noodle!!

  2. Nancy L. /

    I’m glad you relaunched your blog. These posts are great. You’re making me laugh!

    • Hi, Nancy
      Yes, I’m glad I’m back too, and I love the sound of laughter.

  3. Good one. I loved “Stubble Is Trouble” and shared it on FB.

    • I’m so glad you looked at a previous post. They’re all new to you if you haven’t read them before. I myself had forgotten this one and enjoyed reading it again! So thanks.

  4. Louis Venezia /

    I must take offense! Do you mean I am not a cross between George Clooney and George Soros and I am not a “prize”? Since my wife will definitely outlive me, I guess I will never be on the receiving end of the widower hunters’ casseroles. Darn!

  5. Relationship are important. That said, I do think each generation create new norms. I think we call some of those memes now. I hope my grandkids reach my age and laugh at some of the blog posts about life I’ve posted. Long live these posts for the future to read.

    • Wonder what will take the place of casseroles. And who will be wielding them?

  6. Your blog is great fun.
    Sign me up.

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