I am a SPINSTER apparently. Who knew?
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
I was in a committee meeting at church and we were talking about inviting others to be on our committee. During the meeting another woman with a few years on me, said, "We don't need anymore SPINSTERS like you, Christine."
Huh? What? Why are we so quick to label others?
There was so much vinegar in her tone and the statement that I didn't even need to rise up to defend my honor. The two male members of the committee that were sitting on either side of me jumped all over the statement she made. One said, "Whoa, nelly! That's not nice!" At the same time the other exclaimed in a very parental tone, "Ellen!" It was right out of a southern Hallmark movie! I felt a bit vindicated.
I responded with, "So moving on..." I acted like it wasn't even said.
I was taken back actually, but sadly not surprised. At the age of 50, and having never married, I know my lifestyle is judged by others. I know that many apply negative labels to me. Okay. Fine. Honestly, unlike criticism about my weight, on this topic I am unapologetic. I own my lifestyle choice to be single with a bit of pride.
If I so choose to have someone in my life I want to do so when the person and the situation are good for all concerned. Also, I choose to date not because I am expected to be a certain way, or fit into a cultural standard.
Well, I decided to reframe the word SPINSTER. Here is what I came up with.
S = Special
P = Precious
I = Independent
N = Nimble
S = Successful
T = Tough
E = Enough
R = Responsible
Why do we label (and let's be honest it is one) a single older man a bachelor and even name a TV show after the word? Because we just look at single men differently (even in this day and age) than we do single women. Yet the female term, Spinster, is considered negative. So much so the TV show is called Bachelorette, not the Spinster.
What does this have to do with being healthy? I think a lot.
When you are losing weight you need support, not people tearing you down with labels. And on social media we are very quick to rip on others for being outside the norm. I am not sure why. Maybe there is a documented scientific reason somewhere. But, it is damaging and words can be hurtful. I have been called fat, lazy, super-size, wide and gluttonous by total strangers. I had a hard time with those and it made me want to hide and be ashamed. But I go to the grocery store, sit in the restaurant, and walk on the hike and bike trail anyway.
So, I am reframing the words used by others to shame me into compliance. I will surround myself with positive people who are confident in themselves enough to accept others as they are right now, no judgement or labels. We need a bit more acceptance in general right now, I think.
Side note: I love my church family. I do also love the woman who said this to me and am working on completely forgiving her. Sometimes I need to step back, take things a bit less personal and realize that when people do things like that it is more about what is going on with them. I have been a member of this church for about 12 years and drive many miles out of my way to attend there. This incident was very out of the ordinary.