|Good advice for all of us spinsters.|
My little paperback dictionary defines “Spinster” simply as “an unmarried woman”. That’s an overly-simplified definition for a word that carries such stigma, so I prefer the more descriptive offerings that Word provides for synonyms: “Unattached”, “Bachelor”, and my personal favorite “Free”.
Spinsters today seem to gravitate towards the term “Cougar” when narrowing their entire essence into one word, but that also carries a lot of negative connotations. Based on my own observations, when I think of a cougar (in the non-feline sense of the word), I envision a woman at least a decade older than me dressed up like a woman at least a decade younger than me going out to a bar that I haven’t been to in at least a decade and wholeheartedly trying to bring home a man (boy) at least two decades younger than herself. Not one stitch of me fits that description.
Now that I’ve arrived at an age where people seem genuinely concerned about me simply because I’ve never been married and don’t seem to date all that much, I’m trying to decide what to do about that. How should I feel? Should I feel like a failure because I was never able to coerce some poor sap to marry me, or should I feel triumphant because I can plow through my middle years with complete freedom? Perhaps I should ponder the most relevant question for the here-and-now: Why is it so difficult for me just to find a date? Why is my companionship the least desirable alternative for every unmarried man in this huge metropolis (and beyond, even)? Naturally there is no simple answer, but I assure you I'll look for it.
While I’ve always been a social pariah, I’ve never tried to be one of those women who stands out from the crowd or represents the strong, independent feminist. I want to blend in, I really do! I don't want to be a spinster. I crave affection and company and love. I want to be a part of whatever everyone else is a part of, and – most importantly – I want to be able to talk to everyone else about the same stuff that they’re dealing with. Instead, I usually feel like an animal at the petting zoo, separated by a fence so they can observe me and touch me and talk about me to their friends, but not have to worry about being trapped in the life to which I’ve been confined. Neither exotic enough to live behind bars in San Diego nor quite appropriate to take home with them, but definitely interesting enough to throw rocks at to see how I'll react.
At the risk of disappointing the fans of the petting zoo, I can say with certainty that I won't be the most exciting creature in the pen. I won't yell or fight or otherwise draw attention to myself. But I will quietly analyze everything and then write about it… so follow me on this journey and you’ll see just what it’s like to be frozen in time, alone as a spinster (with a cat), in a world where everyone else pairs off (with a human) and moves forward together.