( Spinster Goose.)
Ann Friedman told me I could use her full, real name. She’s a 29 year old magazine editor who lives in Los Angeles.
How did you arrive at the decision to not get married? How firm are you in this decision?
This is going to be kind of rambly, but… I’ve never really wanted to get married. For lots of reasons. I want to invest in more than one personal relationship in my life, and feel that marriage encourages a super insular support system. It is designed so that one person is your everything, or almost-everything. I don’t feel that’s healthy or sustainable, and it’s not something I want. I do see myself having serious relationships throughout my life, and am not opposed to being in a lifelong relationship if it happens to work out. But I do not aspire to marriage or a lifelong monogamous romantic relationship. I believe that, from a perspective of the state, government should allow every adult to pick their “point person.” For many people this would be a spouse, but in essence it would normalize non-coupledom. I could choose a close friend, and not worry that my parents would be my default decision-makers in the event I am sick or incapacitated. Gay marriage would no longer be an issue. The list of reasons goes on and on.
Where did you get your thoughts about marriage?
I was raised in a very conservative Catholic home, where marriage was seen as something not only to aspire to, but almost inevitable. My opinions on the subject were probably created out of general rebellion to that upbringing. And, later, my feminist beliefs. With a healthy dose of independence and other personality traits that make it a poor fit for me, I believe.
What do you say to folks who ask you when you’re getting married?
I don’t plan on ever getting married.
Why do you think there’s such a stigma against women who aren’t married/choose not to be married? How do you think this stigma has affected you?
People don’t believe I’m telling the truth. Or they think I am somehow damaged an unable to form meaningful, lasting relationships. (This is false! I have tons of loving people in my life, who I’ve known for years and years, and have had several long term serious relationships.)
What are your feelings on the word “spinster”?
I want to reclaim it, like “bitch,” until it carries the same connotation as “bachelor”: free, fun, independent, loving life.