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How To Be a Modern-Day Spinster

Ladies, in the great tradition of under-served, marginalized and downtrodden people, we need to reclaim a certain word that defines and labels us as "less than". The word I am referring to is "Spinster". We have been called many things throughout the years: "Old Maids", "Career Girls", "Maiden Aunts", and most recently, and appallingly, "Sex & The City Girls". None of these terms encompass what we are, what we can be if we mobilize. If the gay population took back "faggot" and "queer", and the black population took back "nigga'", then why can't we take back "Spinster" and make it our own, define it our way? I say we can.

Many of the terms in the past have suggested a preference for mullets, comfortable shoes, and the Indigo Girls, if you know what I mean. Nothing against our lesbian sisters, but it does both groups a disservice to be lumped together by people who can't be bothered consider the idea that a woman might be enthusiastically heterosexual and just chose not to get married. Because, let's face it, if we wanted to be married, we would be. We could have elected to put up with a porn addiction or a pee fetish or a cheating boyfriend and married the asshole. We could have lowered our standards, picked a china pattern and done the deed. We opted for a different path. It's not because we are focusing on our careers, have daddy issues or any of that bullshit. We just don't want to be married.

I'm sorry, divorcees, you cannot join our ranks. You chose to take the plunge, however ill-advised it may have been, and therefore no longer qualify, but you have our full support. If you have decided to abstain from dating and all the perks and downfalls thereof, you are more than welcome to call yourself a Spinster, but I urge you to get back out there, if only for the stories you will have to tell. It's a new world, ladies; become a part of it.

To be a good Spinster you should live alone, if possible, because you need to be able to be alone in comfort. The cliché about lonely and alone is very true; they are different and you need to decide which you are. You can have pets (cats, dogs, anything with fur), but no more than 2 of anything and 3 total. Anything more than that, you become creepy animal lady and your house smells like a pet store. If you do get a dog, it should be a bigger dog – at least 15 lbs. Nothing Paris Hilton would coo over should be allowed in your house. No lizards, snakes, or birds. Fish are okay, but they should be completely decorative and un-named; simply a hobby.

You can't live in a scary neighborhood. No rundown apartment buildings with a convenient meth lab one floor down, nowhere that you are afraid to walk home, mostly drunk, at 2 a.m. Your furniture can be a little ratty with aspirations towards bohemian, but you need to throw out all furniture that your parents gave you. A couch from the Seventies is not an antique. Only one thing in your house can have a $100 slipcover on it to mask a large bong-water stain from college. At least some of the furniture should be pre-assembled, not the kind where you sit for four hours on the floor with a screw driver struggling to put bolt G into the bottom right hole on panel C while reading directions translated by an angry Swede into broken English.

Most importantly, Spinsters-in-Training, you need to be hot. Not hot like Pam Andersen hot or Angelina Jolie hot, but the hottest you you can be. Avoid plastic surgery, as it smacks of desperation; instead, invest in attractive, age-appropriate clothing, a great haircut (not the same one every time!) and fucking awesome shoes. Shoes will always fit, even if you gain 10 lbs. or lose 15. They will make you feel sexy and cool. You don't need $500 Jimmy Choos. Just find some that are hot and that you feel good in. They don't need to be uncomfortable, just stylish.

It's great if you are all about inner beauty and wear men's polo shirts and no make-up. Good for you. Just know that no one else is about inner beauty.

It does matter what you look like. It's great if you are all about inner beauty and wear men's polo shirts and no make-up. Good for you. Just know that no one else is about inner beauty. We ("we" being the whole world) are about outer beauty. If you have chosen to be single, you are already cool, and secure, and interesting enough on the inside. Pluck your eyebrows already. Throw on a hot pair of jeans and be cool everywhere.

Spinsters aren't bar flies. You can have a hangout, where the bartender knows you, but only one, maybe two nights a week may be spent there. You must branch out and have a good working knowledge of the bars in your area, from the diviest to the swankiest. Don't be afraid of dive bars, but consider them the most professional of drinking places in the world. A dive is where you go if your plan is be grievously over-served on a drink with no more than two ingredients. There are no rules about drinks other than to consider, "Has Jagermeister really been good to you in the past?"

A few sacrifices may need to be made on your way to becoming a modern Spinster. Assess your current group of friends. Have any of them ever uttered any version of the following phrases? "Don't worry, you're so pretty; you'll meet someone some day," or "I just don't know how you stay so strong. I would be lost without [insert boyfriend/husband name here]." These people, usually women, are not your friends. They are spectators, watching your life, trying to make themselves feel better by comparison. Fuck them. Seriously, return all their stuff and break-up with them immediately. Remind yourself, if necessary, that you are lucky not to have a guy like [insert boyfriend/husband name here] because he came on to you at the last Christmas party while your friend was passed out in the spare bedroom. What a guy.

A pitfall that Spinsters are prone to is the tendency to become Fruit Flies or Fag Hags. Gay men are fabulous. They are good friends, excellent drinking buddies, wonderful dancers, and they always have the best pills. Remember that as a Spinster, you must have balance. You should have women friends, straight male friends (it's ok if they are exes or you slept with them before, just make sure you aren't jealous of their girlfriends/wives) and not spend any majority of your time with gay men, mostly because gay men will not get you laid. Eyes on the prize, ladies: sex, freedom, and happiness.

Spinsters can date anyone and sleep with them as well. Be safe and remember: no one is going to take care of you but you, so don't sacrifice your freedom on any terms but your own. You don't need to compromise. That's fine for other women, but not for Spinsters. Remember to support your Spinster sisters and revel in the wonderful life that you have chosen and created for yourself.

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