On Saturday I went to Washington DC to participate in the women’s march (don’t worry this really isn’t a political post). Being with so many women working towards a common goal fill me with a sense of belonging that I don’t often feel as a spinster.
Marching was a transformative experience for me. I hate crowds but I felt very safe — women saying excuse me for bumping into you, reminding each other to watch out for curbs and pylons that were difficult to see in the crowd — it made me realize that the times I thought the most safe most loved in the mood and had the most meaningful experiences have all been almost exclusively in groups of women.
I come from a large family with lots of female cousins. My happiest memories with them or of sitting at kitchen table or at launchers at barbecues celebrating first communion’s and graduations. This network of women in my family taught me to care for babies and for old people, how to care for the grieving and the dying, and how to get in a fight and then make up afterwards.
In college, I was in a sorority (no not like that kind of sorority girl) which again taught me what a determined group of women can accomplish. The times we worked together on recruitment drive, a charity event, or a project taught me to listen to new ideas, be open to criticism of my own ideas, and when to fight for what I believe in and went to let something go.
During the March I was excited to realize that I was feeling the same sense of the fulfillment and purpose as I have with other groups of women. It reminded me that while my main reasons for marching were reproductive rights and healthcare, other women were marching for assault survivors, or equal pay, or Black Lives Matter, or climate change, and that even though we all had our pet concerns, we were all literally marching in the same direction.
For those women who thought they didn’t need the march, that’s ok. We marched for you, too.
As I embark on this new journey, I thought I should find some role models for myself. They may not have been spinsters for their whole lives, but they embody the attitude I want to start cultivating. Here they are in no particular order.
The first spinster role model, from Little Women. All Jo wants to do is read, write, and not have to get dressed up for parties. She’s always up for an adventure, rescues whoever needs rescuing, and is smart as a whip and isn’t afraid to make sure you know it. Plus Katherine Hepburn and Winona Ryder plays her in the movie, which is automatically super cool. Either is fine to play me in my upcoming biopic.
How many apples does she plan on eating?
Patty and Selma Bouvier
They like to smoke and watch MacGyver. They travel all over the world. They have an iguana named Jub Jub. And they definitely don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone else thinks of them.
Everywhere she goes people get murdered. But the point is she goes places. She’s constantly visiting old school friends, neices, cousins, and the garbageman’s daughters college roommate. Sticking her nose into every mystery. Generally being a pain in the ass. This is definitely the kind of old broad I want to be.
Do not invite this woman to come visit you.
Liz is basically me at work. Takes it super seriously and very personally, but still feels like she’s making it up as she goes along. She also has a boss that’s WAY richer than her, which again, lots in common. Liz is possibly more focused on snacking and eating than I am, and I go to funerals mainly for the lunch afterwards.
I’m thinking of getting this as a tattoo.
Finally, O is #spinstergoals. Also the only actual person on the list. Everything about her is awesome. She’s got a boyfriend who makes way less than her, she wants to stay home and just be cozy in her $300 pajamas, and she gets to tell people what they should read. This is my dream life!
Me too, sister. Me too.
So there you have it, my spinster role models. Add some more suggestions in the comments!
I have no idea what I’m doing.
That’s pretty much the story of my life. I’m in my early (ahem) forties and single. Lately, I’ve decided that that’s probably going to be a permanent state of affairs, and I’m ok with that. Mostly. Usually.
So, I’ve decided to embrace my spinsterhood and be the most awesome, the most adventurous, the most hilarious spinster I can be. And that’s where the post title comes from — Lady Edith from Downton Abbey, Patron Saint of Spinsters everywhere. After she’s left at the altar, she gets her ass up for breakfast and faces the world.
I’m getting up for breakfast. How do you like your eggs?