Sad Spinsterhood

At 24, I am feeling rather spinsterish. As you can see, most of my friends are either married, taken, gay…or all three.

Crazy Cat Lady, here I come, I keep thinking. Almost immediately adding, Of course, I’d actually have dogs—I’m allergic to cats. Though I am not yet a Cat Lady, I am already crazy.

I’m at a dinner party with my best college friend and my best gay friend and their significant others. Jeani is rattling off the details of her white wedding while clutching her fiancé, Nate. I’ve tuned them out because, as a bridesmaid in their wedding I’ve heard it a million times, been updated constantly by email, and stalked down for fittings and catering appointments. I smile and nod at all the right places, a happy smile plastered on my face. Eric oohs and ahhs over Jeani’s plans while darting surreptitious glances at his partner to see his reaction. When Jeani and Nate begin to discuss the possibility of “little ones,” I down my glass of wine. I don’t even like wine. It makes my head spin a little bit, but at this point that’s the lesser of two evils.

At 24, I am feeling rather spinsterish. Most of my friends are either married, taken, gay, or all three. My few single friends are still acting out, documenting their performances on their Myspace or Facebook profiles, which will surely one day result in termination from their jobs. I find comfort staying in on a Saturday night curled up with the occasional good book and my occasionally bad dog Dewey—the only man I can count on. I have no desire to get wasted, climb tables, and gyrate til I puke. Nor am I interested in another blind date.

Since when is 24 old? I wonder petulantly as I drive home. Mom was married at 24. I answer myself. Ah, Mom. She and I have had many a talk about my love life, or current lack thereof. It makes her nervous that I’m comfortable doing things alone. I’m fairly certain she believes that showing my independence is the equivalent of lighting a citronella candle that keeps love from buzzing around and biting me.

Slamming the door to our house shut, I’m prepared for the barrage of questions from my nosy mother. I open my mouth to speak, but no words actually make it out. Instead, I’m left agog, my brow furrowing in a silent accusation.

“What?! They’re for Nena!” My mother exclaims defensively as she stares adoringly at the Lilliputian high tops meant for her “adopted” grand-daughter’s tiny feet.

The day she started buying baby clothes for her young co-worker’s daughter, I knew she was done playing off the fact that I am not yet a baby-making bride. As her oldest daughter, my biological clock is ticking the loudest. And, it’s quite obvious she’s tired of waiting.

I can’t blame Mom entirely; although, before her adoption of Nena I had never heard my own clock ticking. Now, at a certain time of the month—not “that time of the month,” but just before it—my “guydar” kicks in. I begin unconsciously checking for wedding rings in every eligible man I see. I am captivated by the drooling, mewling lumps, longing for one of my own. I’ve just recently realized that these feelings kick in when I’m ovulating—when it’s physically possible for my body to conceive a child. My body is literally crying out for impregnation.

First my friends, then my mother, and now my own body. What gives? It’s as if all the planets have aligned to transmit an ultimatum just for me:

Lauren Shaw, Make your choice: Marriage and Babies or Sad Spinsterhood!


I refuse to make my choice just yet; although, my clock ticks a little louder each month. Mom will just have to keep practicing on her adopted granddaughter. And I’ll have to stand in yet another wedding. But I’m pretty sure that someday soon, I will shed my stigma of sad spinsterhood. I plan to bore the hell out of everyone with endless details of my wedding and/or pregnancy. Payback’s a bitch. I will demand that my mother return her adopted grandchild, so that she can spoil her real one. What can I say? I’m a bitch, too. And my clock’s nerve-grating ticking will quiet down to a soft hum.


Then again, I could just end up growing old alone and unbothered. I would only be responsible for my dogs, and the most strenuous activity on my “to do list” would be dressing them up for our weekly tea parties. Let’s be honest, some days sad spinsterhood sounds more fun.


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