Thursday, June 11, 2009

A word about spinsterhood

A long time ago, on this blog, I mentioned that I am a spinster, a "woman past the age of marriage", I do believe is how Websters defines it. When I used to tell the taxistas I was soltera, they would be shocked (or fake it, who knows, but it's not really culturally normal to have never been married by the time your in your 40s down there). I will quantify this by saying I have shacked up a couple of times, and it's not like I never get any action, but I like my life, and I don't think there is anything wrong with having never married.

I was engaged once, but honestly, when the subject came up about me either keeping my last name or making it like a middle name (hyphen-free), it pretty much was a deal-breaker. I'm all for tradition, but for God's sake, what was he looking for? A wife? Or me? We didn't break up because of that, but it has obviously stuck with me, so I imagine it bothered me enough to help along with the break up decision.

This evening I was at a jewelry party at Nicky's house, and we were laughing about how ridiculously conservative a couple of us are, and I (being the only single one there, and most definitely the only one who had never actually been married) mentioned that I have a whole structure of routines that I go through in the morning when I get myself ready to face the world. I wear the same jewelry every day, though I alternate between two necklaces (apparently I thought you should know this...), but, I explained, I can do that, because I'm a spinster.

I might as well have cursed. The reaction of these women was like I said a nasty word. Of course I laughed it off, like, come on, I didn't say the "C" word.. and then Christine proceeded to tell me a story about a friend of hers that also had never married and is in her mid-50s. She said, in a normal toned voice, "Suzy is also a spinster (the "spinster" part being completely whispered in my ear) and she's just loves her life!" Like I'm worried about this?

Sometimes I think when people find out I never dropped the hammer that I am bummed out about it or something. Or that I am just waiting, like any good spinster, crocheted afghan over my lap, for my knight in shining armour to knock on my door and take me away from all this. I'm not. I don't have children so my money is my own; if I don't want to clean the kitchen or vacuum, I just don't; if I run out of chonies and am still too lazy to do laundry I can run to the mall and get more. I have no obligations besides those I have to myself, and I am a pretty reasonable customer.

Do I want a man around? Sure, sometimes I do. I mean, I hate taking out the trash and always have, I can't kill spiders or bugs, and I tend to not change lightbulbs right away when they burn out. I have "needs" but I'm doing all right for the most part in that department. But nobody gives me shit for leaving my shoes all the hell over the place, and nobody gets irritated with the fact that I have to have the TV on to fall asleep, or that I like to listen to Barry Manilow now and again. If I don't want to shower on a Sunday, I don't have to impress anyone (and really, I was like that when I was shacked up too, so that isn't really a check on the single-side, it's just pretty much what you get with me). So having a man around would be good for a lot of reasons, I know, but there is an awful lot to be said for living life on your own terms.

So the next time you meet a woman who is older than 38 and has never taken the plunge, don't feel sorry for her. And don't be afraid to throw that spinster thing around. It's really not as bad as it sounds.

4 Comments:

At 11:19 AM, June 12, 2009, Anonymous Melissa said...

You pretty much articulated all of the things I miss about being single...but the overarching theme is the autonomy that comes from not being married.

I miss that terribly! While I love my husband, part of me finds it hard to believe that I will be paired with him forever. I often read blogs about how happy happy joy joy people are about cozy evenings in with the hubby and the kids...but that seems so much less fulfilling to me than the thought of a cozy night in with some girlfriends and several bottles of wine. And married ladies with kids so often seem to think that those who don't have that deserve pity. Yucky yuckity yuck...This next statement might get me the equivalent of a shanking, but I'll say it: there is nothing more nauseating than the smugness of a married lady with kids who thinks that everybody should want what they have.

 
At 11:42 AM, June 12, 2009, Anonymous Kim S said...

Amen sister!! 39 and never married with no kids and no regrets! I suppose because we both have cats this makes us look like even worse spinsters...lol.

 
At 12:23 PM, June 12, 2009, Blogger Rosas Clan in Tulum said...

I would totally agree with Melissa. Love the marriage thing but there are a lot of things I miss. Besides, we have to have enough of each other so we have the ladies to go and bitch to about the situation we all deal with.

I hope all is well spinster! talk to you soon.

 
At 6:23 AM, June 13, 2009, Blogger JJ said...

All this is why I don't think "spinster" should be spoken like a bad word. Melissa, I fully agree with your final statement. I have never wanted kids, and though there are moments (usually when the hormones are particularly raging) that I think that life - married, kids, house in the 'burbs - is the way it "should have been", those moments are few and brief. I have freedom, something a soccer mom will never fully enjoy again. Freedom is good.

 

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