Possibly the ugliest word ever invented. You can’t help but spit it out. I hate the word. We need to come up with something better. Something less prickly.
Kate Bolick has a new book out called “Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own” all about how a woman can be happy and fulfilled without a man or children in her life. Good for her. I hope she’ll make a happy life for herself and do all the things she wants to. Angela Epstein wrote about her new book in The Telegraph last week and her alarm for the rise in “smug spinsters'”. She said that it made her “even prouder than ever to be married” and how she would hate the thought of her daughter becoming a “near Miss”.
All I have to say on the matter is that I find the whole discussion about “smug marrieds”, “smug singles” and now “smug spinsters” very, very depressing. I suppose it’s a good thing for people in all situations to shout from the roof tops about how fabulous it is to be attached, not attached, gay, straight, in love, not in love…but honestly, why can’t we all just stop trying to label everyone and/or ourselves? Being married is not easy. Neither is being single. Mrs Epstein writes “every time I see a so-called smug spinster aimlessly wandering around a party, I realise that her fabled grass isn’t any greener – it’s just more grass.” Well, let me tell you, I have been to many a party on my own and I certainly don’t wander around aimlessly. I talk to my friends. It has taken me a very long time to get to a place where I don’t feel as if something is missing, but I have chosen to only go to parties if I am with my friends and yes, thankfully a lot of them are still happily married. To suggest that if you turn up to a party on your own you are wandering about “aimlessly” is frankly mean spirited. So next time you see a single person wandering around the party aimlessly, perhaps you should think about talking to them? Including them in you conversation? Making them feel a little less alone?
I really despair sometimes. Why can’t we all muddle along together, supporting each other with our choices and stop blaming everyone for being smug? You never know what’s around the corner in life and to throw judgements or announce that your sort of life is much better than the next person’s is beyond foolish.