This is a submission for Friday Fictioneers, https://rochellewisoff.com/tag/friday-fictioneers/, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The story was prompted by the photo below, kindly provided by Janet Webb.
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Lonely No More
Althea looked at the objects in the window and sighed, before opening the pills and cheap wine.
In her younger days her tasteful display had attracted numerous suitors, all of them a cut above the losers who were drawn by the red lights or OMO packets that other women left on show while their husbands were away. Now no one disturbed her evenings.
She didn’t miss the money. The sex had been fun, though … sometimes.
Althea needed comfort. Life without that wasn’t worth living. She gulped down some wine then reached for the phone and downloaded the dating app.
In case anyone’s curious about the reference to OMO, this is a laundry product that’s been around for decades. It used to be said that some servicemen’s wives who were lonely while their husbands were away, would leave an OMO packet in a front window to give the message “Old Man Out”, indicating that they were ready to receive company. Some versions say OMO stood for “On My Own” or “Old Man Overseas”. I know that some service personnel and their spouses furiously challenge this scurrilous tale. I’m not claiming that it has any basis in fact, but my gran (a Navy wife) believed it and strongly disapproved of any woman who used OMO.