Confessions of a Spinster

10/18/2014 The Lady 5 Comments

Dear Readers, 
This semester of grad school has it out for me. Believe me, I would not abandon you for any less worthy cause than my own education and career. I expect next semester to be less busy (hopefully), but even so who can say whether my dating life will be fruitful or barren. 

With that mindless conjecturing behind us, I wanted to share a little something I wrote for a creative writing class recently. It revolves around that rather brutish date I went on with Ben several weeks ago, but provides many details I brushed past in my haste to vent. I hope it provides some entertainment until I can return in order to update you regarding a certain Counselor who is constant in only his inconsistency. 

I believe I may have become a spinster as early as age twenty. The ages between sixteen and nineteen had been years of relative plenty with regards to my dating life, but once I reached age twenty, it was as if I had prematurely lost my bloom and I face my years of famine, which have the potential to be perpetual. 

Ben tightened his arm around my waist as I more than reluctantly put my arm around his shoulders to keep myself from flying off the golf cart as we hurtled (breakneck speeds of 10 or 15 miles per hour) around the bends in the path that encircled the golf course. Ben's boss had deemed it a worthy endeavor to weigh down the golf cart with as many of his employees as he could in order to take a small excursion to the fishing pond on the outskirts of the golf course. As luck would have it, I was the one left without a seat and thus was forced to take up residence on the lap of my date who I was already more than fed up with by this point in the afternoon. “Now hold on tight,” Ben's boss winked at me which prompted Ben to clutch me closer and myself to pray that I would in fact fall off the cart. 

I hurled myself from the golf cart before it came to a complete stop beside a man-made pond of questionable purity. The others of our group quickly commandeered the fishing poles which left Ben and I to either watch their unsuccessful fishing endeavors (please, no) or to amuse ourselves on the playground nearby (childish but acceptable). I stationed myself on a swing while Ben asked me to watch his exceedingly poor attempts at parkour. Ben took a running start at a vertical climbing wall and immediately bounced off it lacking sufficient upper body strength to heave himself over the structure. I rolled my eyes dramatically as he jumped from bars to slides in a sloppy, solitary game of the-ground-is-lava.

Out of breath from his games and failing to elicit admiration from myself, Ben suggested that he teach me how to fish as most of the others had abandoned their poles by the pond’s edge. I consented to the proposal not because I had any desire to experience such a display of male egoism, but rather because I would have paid him to cease his sad parkour routine. Ben grabbed at a hot pink fishing pole, baited it with some sticky neon substance unrecognizable to me as anything I would have considered to be bait for fish (then again I know absolutely nothing about fishing), and led me to a more secluded side of the small pond. He then proceeded to explain how to cast the line into the water, and then demonstrated. And by demonstrated I mean that he pulled his arm back and swung the pole towards the water and not a thing happened. The line didn’t budge. I suppressed a malevolent giggle as he repeated the process, again to no avail. Ben cursed the pole and its girlish color which was surely the cause of the problem, then pulled out a pocket knife and explained to me exactly how he was going to fix the line. To his surprise and consternation, his pocket knife tactics had been futile. By this point I had stationed myself on a rock reveling in the spectacle. Ben grumbled and went to retrieve a new fishing pole. Having returned with a pole of a more manly hue, he talked me through the same process of how to cast. This time the line did do its proper job, but it was the fisherman who was lacking as the line never reached the water, but rather become hopelessly entangled in a nearby tree. He finally gave up on extricating the mess of line from the tree’s clutches and once again his handy pocket knife made an appearance. What he did not give up however, was the fishing lesson. Once more he sauntered off for the third fishing pole. I can now give Ben credit for getting the line into the water. Third time is indeed a charm.

By the time he had gotten around to fishing pole number three, the horde had clambered back onto the golf cart, leaving Ben and I alone at the pond. Which was worse? Staying to watch the fishing or reliving the disagreeable moments on the golf cart? I would have chosen the golf cart if it meant that Ben would be taking me home. But now that Ben had his line in the water, he decided that it was the opportune time for some riveting small talk.

“I’m excited for the semester to begin,” he said over his shoulder at me as I was still occupying my space on the rock.

“Yeah, why is that?” I replied as I tore at a stem of grass.

“All the new freshman girls are coming.” I paused mid-tear at my prized grass stem and gave his back my most disgusted look.

“You don’t think you’re a bit too old for freshman girls?”

“Naw, freshman girls are pretty easy to get.” The urge to shove him headlong into the pond was staggering. But he had the keys to the car and if I ever wanted to return home, such physical violence might not have been the best option.

“And that’s the problem with all the men here,” I said with a curt laugh, “they’re only into the young, hot eighteen-year-olds. Anyone above the age of twenty-two doesn’t stand a chance because no man wants a mature, educated woman.” Not that I was in anyway hurt that I was not the object of his desire. I think I might have thrown myself into the pond if that was the case.

“Oh, no, we men like older women like you because you have a career and can be our sugar-mamas and put us through the rest of our schooling.”
The date could not have possibly ended too soon. Ben dropped me off at my apartment without making a move to let me out of the car or to actually take me to my door. He just announced that he would text me if he got bored while I slammed the car door in his face.

Men are often boys in sheep’s clothing, and when a girl becomes a woman of a certain age, she is no longer content with such false pretenses. Mary Shelley once penned, “Oh! Be men, or be more than men.” I have never been a greater fan of this statement until recently. “Condemning” myself to spinsterhood is a delicate thing. It is not so much a necessity of situation as it is an utter disdain for the lack of real men in this world. It is not comprised so much of me having “lost my bloom” or my youthful excitement and naivete, but that I have become more worldly wise. My mother calls it cynical, but I call it realistic.

However, like I said, my spinsterhood is a delicate thing. I cannot entirely give up on the notion of marriage partly because of my duty as a young Mormon woman to rest all my hopes and dreams on an eternal family. Another part of me cringes at the thought of disappointing my mother and being pitied by my entire hometown.

I do not condemn marriage in the slightest. On the contrary, I view it as a wonderful and sacred institution. But as wonderful as the marriage ideal may be, I just wish to rest in peace with my spinsterhood.

As far as I can tell, marriage is not anywhere on my radar. I do not know the will of God and thus I cannot pray specifically to be relieved from spinsterhood. I have become a more comfortable spinster, content with solitude and the single life. I do not see any reason why I should be any less content than the wives and mothers who are my own age. I do not have a life to be pitied. Thus far, spinsterhood has afforded me remarkable tranquility, and I am relatively unmarred by the male sex. Their absence in my life is often a great relief because their presence often brings naught but dissatisfaction.

I am intent upon reveling in my spinsterhood until some man can prove to me that he is in fact a man worth sacrificing my spinsterhood to.

Con Amor, 
The Lady

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Anonymous said...

Dear Lady,

Your post is full of so much truth. I was just lamenting to my mother that once I turned 20 I was no longer asked out. I hate that at only 22 we are often considered washed up and old. Isn't it a benefit that we've had some life experience? Apparently not. Boys can unknowingly be cruel just as Ben's statements proved.

Thank you for sharing your story, it's sadly comforting to know that I'm not the only one in this situation. I wish you all the best and luck in finding a real man worth dating.

Perpetually single said...

The whole 18 yr old thing drives me nuts. The guy who broke my heart last winter complained that dating was hard because of the missionary age change. What was I, chopped liver? Plenty of girls around! I'm also 24 and potentially pursuing grad school but I'm an awesome independent woman dang it. i often feel in limbo because I'm not married but not in school nor am I an RM. I felt like a spinster all of college. Although I think it took me this long to really feel ready and accepting of marriage instead of scared or anxious.

Strangely though I've managed 2 dates in a week this month after a 6-month drought. Not complaining!

Anonymous said...

Oh Ben, you fool. But who would want you to be with him anyway right?! Sorry you had to sit on his lap on that horrible ride, but I think that watching and laughing at his fishing skills, or lack thereof, as well as him bouncing off things in his attempts at parkour almost, almost, make up for it! HAHAHAHAHA

Anonymous said...

I think it is funny that guys have these opinions of girls when they are in fact 23 or older themselves. I felt exactly the same way you are feeling while at BYU and being 23.

I am intensely curious about what's going on with the Bluestocking.