I’m a single woman, no children. Been that way all my life. Over the years I’ve gotten lots of questions from curious people as to why this is so. I’m not a troll (so I’m told), and I have a reasonably pleasant personality, so lots of people don’t understand how this could be. That I’m okay (actually, happy) about this is really befuddling to more than just a few people. So, a little over a year ago, I started a blog, The Spinsterlicious Life, my musings about the realities and joys of being single and child-free.
So the good news is that The Spinsterlicious Life is starting to pop. In the last couple of months I’ve received lots of publicity, from a two-page spread in Woman’s Day magazine to a feature in the Lifestyle section on MSN.com to an interview on KABC Talk Radio, and I’ve been picked up by lots of online sites. It’s been fantastic.
The less-than-good news is that with more publicity has come a weakening of my safe place. When I was writing just for my own blog and this site, I had interesting and reasoned dialogues with my readers. We were agreeable, even when we disagreed. I thought, “This blogging thing is nice. What a great way to hear and learn from other smart people!”
But as my exposure has broadened, it has brought out what I lovingly call the Crazies. It’s probably not nice for me to call people crazy, though I do think a few of them might be. Others are just rude. I am fascinated by that. What is it that makes them want to speak so impolitely to someone they don’t know, someone who has done nothing to them?
Part of me thinks it’s the new louder, in-your-face, “I’ll-take-you-down” culture so expertly supported by reality TV. You’re nobody unless you’re putting people down, telling people off, putting them in their place. But here’s another, more provocative, thought: They are uncomfortable that I’ve stepped out of my “place” with my Spinsterlicious “you can be single and happy” message. Upsetting the status quo makes some people nervous . . . possibly even makes them question their own choices, and so they feel as if I’m stirring up trouble. So in order to keep me down, keep me quiet, keep me in my place, they need to paint me as “other.” Surprisingly, the hecklers appear to include nearly as many women as men.
I’m called “selfish” and “cat lady” (I have no cats) so often that I’ve grown bored with those. I want to respond by asking for something more original.
Here are some of the responses “Spinsterlicious” has attracted, reproduced exactly as written.
Sounds like you don’t want to hear the truth. You are selfish, period.
Some chick with 14 cats wrote this article.
A lot of them think I’m angry, delusional, and feel sorry for my sad life. I really wonder, though, if they’re not secretly envying me. I have a pretty good life; they’re upset by a woman they don’t even know. I think I win.
You are missing out on life.
Yes we are all imperfect, but there’s a unique type of imperfection with “hope to die” singles over 40. I think you are all pretty much delusional. Big Mama said that there is a lid for every pot. You guys are not capable of give and take. You refuse to share. It’s your way or the highway. Sorry, but you are wrong and you are not enjoying life to the fullest. Your life looks like a response to this corrupt and sin-sick society we live in. It sound like this…nobody loves me…men are pigs…I will walk this life alone. BOO WHOO! What a wimp.
Lots of people invoke God. Clearly I’m going to hell. I usually wonder: When did saying mean things to people you don’t know became godly? But I know that would start a whole ‘nother firestorm that I’m not really interested in getting into.
You are going against God’s order and will rot in hell.
I’m called a slut a lot.
It’s just a euphemism for being sexually promiscuous.
It’s better to marry than to burn, you cannot live as a fornicator without the paying the price of eternally being separated from GOD. Ask yourself Is it worth that to live a single sinful life now.
Funnily enough, I don’t mind the “slut” thing, so maybe I really am going to hell.
And a 14-year-old said this the other day:
You have ugly feet
At least I hope it was a 14-year-old.
So now, as I embark on the process of getting my Spinsterlicious Life book published, I’ll be stepping even further away from what was the safe harbor of the readers of my blog and this site, with their respectful tone and civil discourse. I’ll be stepping out into the broader public arena, with everything that means. I’m anticipating that most people will still be smart and interesting and respectful as they share their different points of view, but I know there will also be more of those who dislike my message and take pleasure in telling me so in the most unfriendly way.
It’s funny, because I’m not wounded by these insulting comments. Those people don’t know me, so they can’t hurt me. Some of their remarks are actually funny, though I don’t think they’re meant to be.
I am surprised, though. What is it about my being pleased with my no-husband-no-kids life that troubles them so darn much? I’m just one chick out here trying to live a good life. And hoping that women in a similar place are doing the same.