Last week was my cousin’s wedding. My much younger than me cousin’s wedding.
I am by far the oldest single cousin in my decent sized extended family. In fact, the only other singles of marriageable age are my two sisters who are 4 and 8 years younger than me. Everyone else is married and most with children. So I am the reigning queen singleton of my family.
Now, it is important to note that I am not unhappy or jealous of my cousin or bitter about my life. All I am saying–and I hope most of you can understand this–it was vital that I didn’t look or come across as the sad single spinster at the wedding reception. I know most people don’t view me that way and I am generally not sensitive about it but there is just something about these kind of occasions that make me a little bit more aware of being single.
People don’t mean to but they say awkward or condescending things. “Just you wait!” and “You’re turn is next!” are common phrases I hear. It can be funny. Sometimes sad. (But mostly funny.) I was once told in an elevator at work “yup. you’re pretty. you’ll get married.” For the record, I didn’t ask (obviously it was a guy). But it makes me wonder…is that really all it takes? And if so, should I take my lack of a date this weekend or husband for that matter to mean that I am not cute enough? I don’t think so. But I digress, the wedding…
So I wondered what I could do to handle the event. I thought of bringing my hottest guy friend as a date/fake boyfriend but in the end I decided that would be too complicated. At the next family function I would have to stage a fake break up, pretend to be sad, answer questions about our relationship and dissect what went wrong. Way too much trouble. Plus, worst case scenario someone would find out and then I would feel like a sad geek on TV who has to pay their cousin to go to prom with them. In the end I decided it would be better to just go with my sisters.
So I went. I mean really, I was being foolish about the whole spinster thing. No one REALLY thinks that. I am confident working girl. I am independent and travel and can shop when I want and have a career. People think I am cool. Obviously. I walked down the reception line, the bride looked stunning and happy. I gave her a hug and the first thing she says is this: “how is the knitting?” (giggle)
“Um, fine.” (think fast…when did you talk to her about your knitting?) I assumed I must have mentioned something, shrugged it off, told her congratulations and moved on down the line.
Next up, her married, pregnant sister…”hey, how was your knitting thing?”
her sister-in-law…”So you are really into knitting?”
And her mother (my Aunt)…”have fun knitting?” (What??!?)
I was dying. I love my knitting. I do. I just couldn’t understand how everyone learned about my traditionally spinster-like hobby on the very night I was supposed to be the anti-spinster. It wasn’t fair. It took one more comment before I had to ask, how does everyone know about the knitting? Turns out, I missed the wedding shower because of the Estes trip. So my youngest sister told everyone that we were at a knitting convention.
A knitting convention.
Well now, besides the fact that it sounds fun to me, to the ignorant mind I know how lame that sounds. My illusion shattered, there was no way I could play cool jet-setting single anymore. I guess it is time I publicly embrace my knitting passion despite it’s implied stereotype (good thing I am not a cat person).
For the record, next time I am just bringing the fake boyfriend.
The following 19 comments were originally left at blogspirit:
Hmmm… so not only is she single, she also knits. What an interesting way for the family to allude to your marital status without using the word “boyfriend” or “husband.” And since you’re labeled a “spinster” should you learn to spin? Interesting dilema. 😉
I know I feel silly telling non knitters that I go to Maryland Wool & Sheep festival the first time. Now they ask me if I’ve gone and how it was….
i know exactly how you feel. i avoided my younger-than-me second cousin’s wedding for similar reasons.
oh well. i’m sure you had a much better time at the “knitting convention” than you would have at the wedding shower. showers are only fun for the couple getting married. and maybe not even for them.
haha! But you know, for Utah, you ARE an old spinster, but we still like you 😉
I’m sorry I told everyone you were at a knitting convention! At the time I didn’t realize it was knitting FESTIVAL — which sounds much more hip to people who don’t understand your craft. (Now that I think about it, the word covention does invoke feelings of “Star Trek” and boys with bottleneck glasses and creepy chuckles. Yikes! Sorry ’bout that.)
I will have you know, though, that I told countless people you and Kara were “hip knitters” and proceeded to list off the cool things you’ve done. So whilst it sounds like I’m the mean sister who ratted you out, the truth is (from one singleton to another) I was simply explaining to the group why you weren’t at the shower!
Phew. It feels good to get that off my chest. I don’t want your knitting friends to think I’m not supportive! 🙂
Love you, babe.
Next time just wear a gorgeous lace shawl fashionablely drapped over your shoulders. They’ll oooh and aaah and will fall at your feet to worship your ability.
It WAS kind of a knitting convention, though, right? And I’m totally, 100% positive that it was more fun than a wedding shower would have been (gag — I hate wedding showers). Definitely, you should come out of the closet with this knitting thing. Some people will be annoying about it, but that’s life. And most people will think it’s okay. Maybe a little idiosyncratic, but okay and maybe sometimes interesting. Maybe you could be… um, the HOT single knitting cousin? Does that work for you?
Don’t do the fake bf thing. Seriously. Way complicated.
Oh Erin! You are SO NOT A SPINSTER! You get to do so many fun and exciting things! I so envy the time you and Kara have to go off and go to Estes and be the cool sisters with such a wonderful talent! I don’t know if I would necissarily go back to being single if I had the chance, but at the same time… there are defiantely days I wish I were not married or a mom. So I guess the grass is always greener, eh? Enjoy the time you have to really develop your talent, because when you time does come and your little one frogs your project that you FINALLY have going after several failed attempts….. oh you blood boils!
And I was there when Brianna was telling everybody and I will vouch for the fact that she didn’t make it sound like you were doing something lame! Having had the knowledge of where you were going before hand I was quite jealous, actually that you had a very good excuse not to be there.
Believe me, I know I am not a spinster–it was just a funny experience that was just so classic. But thanks for the kind words Cass.
And Bri…I know you didn’t make it sound lame. I know you got our back girl. Now if you would only start knitting too…
hm, I have to say I’ve never thought of knitting spinsterly. I always considered myself somewhat of a female McGyver, I can cook from scratch, make clothes out of fabric and yarn, and if I was ever dropped on an island with other non-creative folks, I’m sure I could kick their butts with my skills. 😉
Take it from an even OLDER spinster librarian lady who can’t knit one little bit….you get to MAKE your own socks and you don’t have to pick up some dude’s socks from off of the floor ’cause he won’t put them in the hamper.
You’re not jealous or bitter? Way to be. I wish I was.
How come people say that it’s perfectly normal for a five-year-old to have an imaginary friend, but when you’re twenty-eight, all of a sudden it’s psychosis? Coz I could really use an imaginary girlfriend.
Bring a fake gay boyfriend! Then you can have fun trashing the bad wedding fashion with him. *wink* And I totally relate to everything you said, I’m single too and I’ve been having, well, issues with it lately. It’s awful how you can be fine with it for a long time and then some little thing will make you flip out.
Isn’t it funny how “knitter” has so many stereotypes? Only old grannies, singletons, young hip Hollywood stars, mid-lifers, cute guys and Mommies knit. Funny how all the stereotypes of a knitter fits just about everyone!
If I had the choice to go to a knitting convention or a wedding shower, you would so see me at the knitting convention! Show me the FIBER! : )
The term Spinster is such a strangely loaded word now. It used to be a spinster was a woman who had been trained with a marketable skill-spinning. She didn’t NEED to get married, she had the ability to take care of herself. I think jelousy influenced the “modern” meaning more than anything.
How can you possibly be a spinster? To my knowledge, you don’t spin, and anyway, nowadays we use a different term for people who spin: NERDS. (j/k)
i know a little about how you feel, the first thing my grandfather says to me when he rings every week is, “any news?” and i am not quite 23! like ‘catching’ a man is the supreme goal of all women- puh-lease!
thing is- and i find the need to say this to myself often- we can do whatever we like; stay single, knit, spin, whatever, we don’t need anyone’s approval or support, the main thing is that you yourself are happy and everyone else can just get ____ (insert word of choice). x
I always planned on being a single schoolteacher and was totally cool with the idea of doing what I wanted when I wanted. Kind of selfish of me maybe, but it worked. Life throws us plenty of elbows, though, and things don’t turn out as we planned. (I got married at 19–“spinster” idea down the drain. 🙂 ) My best friend is 31 and unmarried, and we’ve had many, many conversations along the lines of what you’ve discussed. You just go and be you and everyone else be darned! 🙂
Oh, snap. That’s terrible, if in a funny and totally ridiculous way!
For the record, my niece- Yes, NIECE- just got engaged. It hurt, just a bit.