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Chap. 2, The McSpinster’s Guide to Love

November 28, 2009

Vickery Eckhoff

I was born under a curse, the kind you find in fairytales. It goes like this: First my parents had a girl. Then, two years later, they had another girl. The next baby — was a girl. After her came another baby — a girl. And then my mother, Adelaide, Wellesley girl, did something very unusual for her, not being Catholic: she threw away her diaphragm. Two years later, I came along, on a hot August day, a Friday, at 4 pm.

This was the day that my dad had an epiphany. “Honey,” he said, taking me out of my mother’s arms right there in the Glen Cove hospital, “This one’s mine.”

He named me Vickery. Vickery Ames. It was a strange name, to be sure. “Like Hickory Dickory?” people like to tease. “Yeah,” I always answer, “something like that.” Read more

Chap. 1, The McSpinster’s Guide to Love

November 21, 2009

Vickery Eckhoff

Dear Fellow Spinster:

Here’s a little tale, not about how George and Laura Bush invited me to take an outdoor shower  (more on that later) but a real story, the one I’ve been building into a memoir for the last three years: about how a tall blond WASP, Latino-lover and one-time girlfriend to a mountain-climbing, motorcycle-riding Italian photographer became an ex-girlfriend,  a solitary Sunday School teacher and librarian in a Christian Science Reading Room, of all places. From Latino-loving biker chick to head librarian. How does that happen?

I have come up with seven possible explanations for this strange trajectory into spinsterhood: varnish, the US Navy, the Sons of Hercules,  Cosmopolitan, horses, being raised in a religion most people find weirdly suspect,  and John Gotti.  Read more

Meet Ouchy

November 11, 2009

Vickery Eckhoff


photo: Galina Arlov

Dear Fellow Spinster:

What does “the premier provider of adult clown services” have to do with the Stupak amendment in the health care bill—and why should you care?

Before I answer that, a caveat. Ouchy the Clown and I aren’t “friends.” I don’t use his services or contribute to how he makes a living. How does he do that? Besides being a DJ and doing “straight razor shaving,” he offers this rather unusual service to clients. Are you ready?

“I am a trained, certified meeting facilitator. Oh, and I am a clown. Did ya miss that part? I specialize in:

  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Conflict resolution
  • Organizational development”

Ouchy, whose tagline is “Happy to Beat You,” is well aware of the irony. ” Sure, it’s weird to have a clown facilitator,” his web site admits, “but you’ve seen stranger things, I’m sure.” Read more

Male Spinsters, Benvenuti!

November 7, 2009

Vickery Eckhoff

foto fabrizio Dear Luvs2Cuddle:

Thank you for writing. No, I’ve never heard of a male spinster, though why not? There are many unmarried men of gentle family like you past the common age for marrying and unlikely to marry. There may be even more of them than the female variety. Perhaps the dictionary definition should be revised to include pioneers like you. Congratulations, dude, on breaking the lace ceiling, and welcome to the club!

I’m sure you’ve tried Match. I did. I think I was viewed something like eight thousand times. Oh, I was popular with young guys and old guys, alright,  but particularly atheists. I think there’s a correlation between atheists and looking for love online. It’s amazing how many there are, many expressing such personal virtues as “loves to laugh” and “extremely open-minded” at the same time that their “religious views” articulate a particular hostility toward people of faith. Hello! I did go out with a couple and sure enough, all they wanted to do is argue about Jesus! Read more