Monday, October 24, 2011

Birth of a Spinster

Big news, Internet: Your beloved companion Katie Gill has finally begun her life as a spinster.

Some of you may have believed this day would not come so soon. You would have found me amongst your company. Here I thought I would be around 40 before everyone I knew was married and nestled. Fuck, at least 30. But no - such is not the way of central Pennsylvania.

Every day there's a new engagement announcement on Facebook from one of my beloved peers. (I use "beloved" liberally. Also "peers.") The announcement is without fail followed by a flurry of squeals and "congrats!!!" posts, as well as the obligatory "excited to be Mrs. ___ :)" status. Ugh. This is the curse of the townie - eventually the only people left in your hometown are the ones being trained to replace our parents. All the people with actual ambition move away, so for most of your college career you're stuck listening to certified girlfriends (TM) coo over how mature and wise they are, now that they've snuggled into the married life.

You get to hear about how, because you have a job, a rich social life consisting of many close female friends, your own intellectual pursuits, your own favorite bands/movies/books/magazines/chinese buffets, opinions on everything from female genital mutilation to prom dresses, and a taste for booze and the good times, you're "in a phase."

"Oh, I remember my wild phase!" they'll giggle, reminiscing about freshman year like it's been forty years instead of two semesters, "I was so crazy back then! Now I just settle in with him. It's amazing how much I've matured." Like it's some revered rite of passage to sit on your ass and witness the passage of time. Like they're SO RELIEVED that they've had the burdens of zestful living lifted from their weary shoulders.

Apparently being "mature" means living in some cozy fantasy of domesticity because you think its cute and lovey to play house and act like you're an old couple. Fun fact: some day you're going to actually be an old couple, and you're going to be like "holy shit, this blows. why did I think this was fun to pretend?" much the same way I feel when I look back on those days in kindergarten when I got super pumped to do "homework" because it made me feel like a grown up.

The characters on Sex and the City are always getting into these bitter clashes with married women and I never used to relate to it. I used to think "oh, that must be because they're 30 - by then I'll understand!" No, I understand now. Single women are totally spat on by society. It's like you've never really achieved anything until you get married. There's this idea that all the sensible, "down home" girls get married, while the frivolous rogues tinker away at empty pursuits like "financial security" and "personal fulfillment." Men tell their sons to look out for a modest, sweet, demure little lady to snag for a wife. It's supposed to be some sort of fucking honor if a guy wants to "bring you home to mom."

People act like there's some big dichotomy between Mary Anne and Ginger - the cutesy "girl-next-door" (a term that makes me retch as it is) vs. the big sexy famous movie star. The truth is, there is no ongoing inner struggle in the male psyche. Mary Anne just wins. Ginger has her own money and a career and opinions and also can get any guy she wants. Who the fuck wants that? Mary Anne is too naive and silly to even consider rejecting or contradicting her husband. Plus, she's so modest, she'll act like SHE'S the lucky one!

Guys don't want a Ginger. Sure, they want a hottie, but if she's TOO hot, (Yes, you can be too hot. Welcome to the patriarchy, where no one wins and everyone's forced to play!) other guys might try and steal her, OR she might develop this crazy intellectual infection called a "sense of self," which will allow her to realize that she is attractive and capable and other nonsense and may lead her down the treacherous path to a social life outside her man. Sure, they want a lady other people admire and swoon over, but they don't want a lady who is admired and swooned over (gasp) more than they themselves.

I think I might be deviating from my original purpose. Oops. Anyway, I'm sick of all these bitches in my graduating class getting married and settled. 1) Because they can't seem to be able to do so without stigmatizing the crazy old slutbags like me and 2) Because I wanted to be at least 25 before I became the old creep at the party. But I guess these are just yearnings for yesteryear, because everyone else has clamored aboard the Ark.