I am Spinster. Hear me Roar.


I’ll admit it.

I’m a bit behind the times.  Over breakfast the other morning, I tried to blame it on living for a year in Haiti—a veritable Outback when it comes to popular culture here in the US.  (We often didn’t have electricity, let alone a television.)

But Sara (my partner) says that’s no excuse–that’s not the case—that if Haiti were to blame she, too, wouldn’t know who on “Dancing with the Starsrides horses for a hobby.  (Hell, does anybody besides Sara know that?)

Over that same breakfast (out, at an actual restaurant), I also told Sara that I’d lived in Haiti so long, I’d almost forgotten I could leave the house–like for fun.

You see, when we lived in Port-au-Prince the year after a massive earthquake pretty much wiped out the city, things were politically unstable and semi-unsafe—at least to the degree that we had two armed guards posted at our house around the clock.

Jean-Jean, my favorite guard, just inside our gate

Technically, I was not supposed to leave the house alone and, certainly, not on foot.  When we traveled by car, we were instructed to drive with the windows up, doors locked, and seat belts on—making it more difficult to be pulled from the car in the event of an attempted kidnapping.   (To read my post about this click here.)

My point to Sara is this:

I was stuck at home a lot.  At the very least, staying home became a habit.  And now that we’re back home in the US, I tend to forget that getting out can be, of all things, kind of fun.

Sara insists, however, that I’ve always been this way—that Haiti has nothing to do with my ongoing, sticking-close-to-home habit—and that I’m only getting worse.

Admittedly, I’m a home-body.  I’m happy inhabiting my house.  I’m a nester—a snuggle-down-and-read-a-book kind of person—not so much a paint-the-town-purple, you-go-girl kind of gal.

Basically, I’m boring.

I’ll admit it.  I’m getting old.

And gray.

I’m what I insisted I would never be–an actual old maid—forgetting my own nephew’s names, not hearing quite as well, reading glasses, a must–that is, if applying lipstick to the lips and not the nose remains an option.   (Surely an old maid can retain an ever-so-slim trace of vanity.)

Old age has surprisingly caught up with me.  But, how did I get here?  It’s like I went to bed and woke up embodying the spinster stereotype–widening waist and spreading hips.

(Actually, I don’t know how this whole old-maid-thing works in an age of gay marriage.  But since I live in a state where marrying my partner is still not a legal option—since I’ve never been married, have no children—unless dogs count—and am fast approaching 50, I think I fit the bill.)

Like many, I played the Old Maid game when I was a kid, but I never dreamt I’d actually become one. 

Maybe on some unconscious level I love the irony of matching pairs in a game whose focus is the aging woman left alone.  I don’t know.

I may not be Susan Boyle—a woman of a certain age—amazing voice—never kissed—but the more I think about it, the more I meditate on my fast-approaching status as a geriatric—AARP card and all—the more I realize I’m becoming (Sara not withstanding) stark-ravingly, maddeningly “old maid.”

So, step back younger women.

I am spinster.  Hear me roar.

How do you notice yourself aging?  Does it surprise you? 

40 thoughts on “I am Spinster. Hear me Roar.

  1. Some of the most interesting women I have ever met have been “old maids”. I had a wonderful aunt who never married and she has been an inspiration to me all my life with her acheivements and her attitude to life. Roar away. I can hear you.


    • I’m thinking “yes,” as well. Why is that I think you qualify? You have a man and a man child, and yet you are, indeed, the epitomy of spinster–you have all the quirk required and then some! And we love you for it, Tori!


  2. Never been a fan of the words “spinster” or “old maid”. Always make me think of mean old ladies who live in scary houses and are horrible to little children. I’m sure the terms were thought up by men – who call themselves “bachelors” regardless of their ages. The word “bachelor” just conjures up a much more positive image . . . like George Clooney, for example! 😉


    • Yes, I couldn’t agree more. “Spinster” and “Old Maid” have huge negative connotations. And I love what you say about “bachelors” having thought up the term. My point, ultimately, is that we should redefine and reenvision the term and in owning it/taking it back we can make it work for us–rather than against it. It may not be possible to rehabilitate the term, but I’m going to put forth a roaring effort.


    • Wow, Charlie. I clicked over to youtube and before I saw the video on weight-lifting, I saw one on hospice care with pets. Both are wonderful. Fitness, indeed, changes and enriches lives. And pets are the icing on the cake. The video on pets made me cry. So sweet. Thanks, my friend!


    • I love the name of your blog–Not Quite Old! And, yes, spinster should mean “old lady with attitude”–“big attitude!” It could even mean “not quite old lady with attitude.” Ha, ha!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I definitely want to check out your blog! It sounds fun. Hope you’ll come back soon. It was great having you————————–


  3. While I am not an “old maid” I have been thinking a lot about what I want to be as I get older. See my post today for some of the craziness in my brain.

    Enjoy spinsterhood and live it large Kathy!


    • I will definitely read your post today, Lisa. I always love to watch people as they envision a new future for themselves–and even more so if it’s that of a friend! I will, indeed, live my spinsterhood large! Hope you are well, my friend!


  4. Funny you should ask these questions at a time when I’m asking myself the same questions while looking in the mirror.
    I have been moaning and complaining all day today to anyone who would listen (that would mean Huz with an amused grin on his face)
    Being wheezy and out of breath is very aging. I have tons of gray hair now, which I have been reluctantly hiding by dyeing. I don’t think the chemicals are good for my hair because I notice it thinning, and if there’s anything that reminds you that you’re getting older, it’s thinning hair.
    My eyes feel like they’re getting droopier, they don’t feel fresh and sparkly anymore. I’m getting freckles across my cheeks and open pores. Ugh.
    Oh, and I have a cat. And I stay at home A LOT.
    But one thing I refuse to do is allow myself to widen, and to that end I work out at a gym, which feels great. I can see myself being a fit woman as I enter my 40’s in a year and 3 months….


    • Gosh, when I think back 10 years, I remember being fit and cute and so much of what I no longer am. I’ve had gray hair for ages, and up until now I dyed it. I think what’s happening to me now is that there’s too much to fight against in an effort to keep myself looking young. In fact, up until a year ago I was faithful to working out–religiously. I know that exercise is a huge part of the key. I probably need to kick myself in the butt and get moving. I did lift weights today–though–so that’s good. I admire your committment to the gym. Don’t ever stop exercising.


  5. My job keeps me out in the open and around people ALL THE TIME, but left to my own devices, I’m quite the hermit. I love spending time alone and indoors, even though my present circumstances don’t often allow for either. Can I be an Aspiring Old Maid? 😉


  6. I’m a home-body as well, Kathy. I’m over 55 and live in a seniors complex, although I think I’m the youngest one here yet. The oldest is 91. They are lovely people. We have a party room where we have monthly birthday celebrations. Staying single is a preference that I likely won’t change, ever. Maybe I’ve joined the old maid club, but I’m attending the inaugural meeting of Vibrant Women next week to learn how to become vibrant (hehe). That was one lesson I missed.


      • Gee, thanks Kathy. I’ll take the compliment with no buts about it. And I agree with what Territerri said about you in her comment.
        We never give ourselves enough credit. I think it’s part of the human condition.


      • Amen! We don’t, do we? So the very least we can do is give one another credit. Maybe that’s one of the things I love most about blogging. Writing about how I feel and realizing from reading other blogs and comments left on my blog, that I’m not alone. We’re all part of the same grand adventure.


  7. Kathy, you are FAR from being a spinster, an old maid, or boring! You are one of the most interesting, engaging and fun people I’ve met in this blogging world and you have fascinating stories to tell.

    Like you, I tend to be a homebody whenever the option is available. But I don’t think that makes us old or boring. We just know what we like and we’re comfortable with it! 🙂

    And how do I notice my age? When I see the chance to sneak into bed and call it a night by 8:30/9:00 and I go for it… I know I’m getting old.


    • I do the same thing, Terri! Going to bed early is like the ultimate luxury! Seriously, crawling in bed with a good book is the best!

      I’m glad you think I’m interesting. I’m afraid I’m beginning to lose my edge. Too many months home in the US, and I’m feeling like a bore. We need to hit the road and have some more adventure before old age catches up with us. Ha, Ha!


  8. Kathy, you are far from boring! And while I hardly qualify for a maid of any age, I refuse to be a “normal” “old lady”. Nearing 50 myself, I’ve thought a bit about how I wanted to approach “being old” and I’ve decided I’m just flat not going to play that game. I’ve had gray hair since my 20’s and have been dying it since I hit 30 (and 50% gray!). I turned 40 a week after my brother’s wife and she actually tried to console me … huh? Apparently she was depressed over hitting 40 and could not understand why I wasn’t. I told her “I don’t look 40, I don’t act 40, and I don’t feel 40 so why should I accept someone elses definition of 40?” Foreign concept to her I guess … anyway, I’m just not going to be “old”. Darling Daughter and I still are mistaken for sisters when we are out together so I guess it’s working. And when time finally does catch up with me? I still won’t accept society’s terms. I plan on being an obnoxious crone for a long time. 😉


  9. I cannot answer the question regarding which contestant on DWTS rides horses for a hobby. That’s how out of touch I am. Worse yet, I don’t care. I will not win any up-to-date pop culture categories in Trivial Pursuit.

    I’m a home-body too. Perhaps I’m a spinster in a married woman’s body? Whatever the case, I am driven by power surges (hot flashes) and am celebrating my transition into cronehood. Like Dragonfae, I refuse to be old.


    • I know, I know. Maybe not, but sometimes I feel that way–pretty intensely–aware of just how boring I am most of the time–these days especially. Admittedly, I’ve not lived most of the past two years like an old maid. Maybe I just feel really boring right now.


  10. Hilarious Kathy! I tell you, I never really used to worry or mind about aging until the last year or two. I think it is having children and now approaching 40 (only 2 months to go) that is really freaking me out. I’m getting old yet feel trapped inside a 20 year old mind! My body creaks and hurts but I still run. My tummy hangs over my jeans, although I work out all the time. My wrinkles are showing….yet if I wear sunglasses I can manage 1 out of 20 to get carded. I feel tired all the time. My son is up to my arm pit in height. Yet….hey isn’t 40 the new 30?! Got to keep moving!


    • Glad you thought this one was funny. Aging is hard to deal with. I didn’t really feel like I had to deal with it until I was closer to my mid-forties, but, gosh, now the pace of having to face it has accelerated–big time!

      We will keep moving, indeed. I try to remind myself that 50 is the new 40, as well!


  11. I think I am classified as a divorcee??? But I really feel like a spinster – I think spinster sounds nicer, it as some positive movement associated to the word… SPIN – it sounds way more fun 🙂


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