Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Fear

“Valancy did not mind so much being an old maid. After all, she thought, being an old maid couldn’t possibly be as dreadful as being married to an Uncle Wellington or an Uncle Benjamin, or even an Uncle Herbert. What hurt her was that she had never had a chance to be anything but an old maid. No man had ever desired her.”

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

I do not fear being an old maid as such……what I fear is the type of old maid I will be. I had dinner today with a fellow old maid—A spinster of 40 odd years who last year generously let me stay at her place as I looked for permanent housing. F.O.M. has many wonderful qualities, not the least of which is her generosity in letting a perfect stranger, me, stay in her house for a couple of months. She is however, a bit socially awkward, which might be why she is still single. Conversations are like listening to a severely scratched CD or watching a scratched DVD. You can get the main story line, but you end up missing key parts. The names of people she casually tosses about…..are you supposed to know who they are? She makes allusions to places, people, and events that you are never heard of before. While you end up understanding the general point, you don’t feel enriched by the experience. In the end, she is the type of person that you befriend out of pity more than kinship. How awful!

That is my fear. I do not want to be the crazy single lady that people befriend out of pity or out of “service.” I do not want my thoughts, feelings and statements to be discredited due to perceived instability. I fear that the automatic response whether spoken or hearing of my single state will be “well, that makes sense. I can understand why no one has married her.”

I want my life to still have value and substance despite my age and my marriage state. Too bad you can’t choose how people view you. If so, I would choose to be seen as incredibly free, hip woman who is vibrant, and smart. And yes, even quirky.

So Lord, if it be thy will that I follow out the rest of days as an un-married female, is it too much to ask that I be a funky-cool un-married female? One that can travel to exotic places and wear great big dangly earrings and clothing which respectable married women just wouldn’t wear?


yola said...

"I would choose to be seen as incredibly free, hip woman who is vibrant, and smart. And yes, even quirky."

Oh but darling, you are, you are! Please have no doubts about that! I would also add to that list: generous, sympathetic, witty, talented and imaginative, and by all means a culinary wonder woman!

If perhaps people have to look more carefully in the hedgerow to find them, but we know they're there and how lovely and wonderful they are.

Nemesis said...

This, too, is my fear. I worry that people will look at me and think, "Of course she's not married. She's obviously a strident feminist." Because yeah . . . sad to say we've all met those dear ladies in their 40s and thought, "Riiiiight."


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