Posts tagged ‘Modern Christian Spinster’
February 14, 2010
Everybody loved me growing up. That’s how it was. We may have been five girls and five girls was too many; we may have been poor compared to the millionaires next door, but where love was concerned, we had an embarrassment of wealth.
My sisters loved me, and so did my teachers and Sunday School teachers. My grandparents did, too, and my dad—he loved us, all five of us, to pieces. That’s what he used to say all the time, in different ways, of course. Sometimes, he said it while imposing rules (no TV on school nights). Sometimes he said it by taking us on some very creative adventures (for breakfast, to Jones Beach, at sunrise, for example. He kept a frying pan in the trunk of the car. We’d find an isolated sand dune; he’d build a fire and make eggs and bacon. After we finished, he scoured the pan with sand and threw it back in the trunk. Read more
November 28, 2009
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
October 21, 2009
Dear Fellow Spinster:
There is a lot wrong with the world today, but I have an antidote that has so far escaped mainstream media attention: more modesty. Sneer if you like! Modesty — or prudery — has been too long out of fashion. And while we’re extolling the virtues of the financial and economic variety, let me make a bold suggestion: we should be wiser in our estimation of Love and stricter in our demands upon it. Or, as Jack Hubbell, a beloved teacher of mine, once said, “it is not important whether or not you are loved, but whether or not you are loving.”
Strange thought! What does that mean, exactly? What is this thing called, Love? And why, despite the ever widening acceptability of activities not-long-ago-deemed scandaloso, is everyone acting as if they have been shortchanged? Isn’t it about time that we elevated the discussion to something a bit more joyful and exalted?
That is what I am proposing: a modern-day prudery for women and men, one that enables us to stop cheapening ourselves until we no longer have anything to hide—whatever it is. I bring to this my own little secrets: a history of mischief, Latin Lovers, motorcycles and—until recently—five years of teaching Sunday School. My parents and one sister are deceased; I don’t have kids, a spouse, or job; I dream constantly about movie stars and politicians. I am, in other words, a modern-day spinster, always curious about the world and frequently cranky about what it offers as explanations and role models. That is what The Modern Christian Spinster’s Guide to Love in the 21st Century is about: things deemed proper and things deemed not and why it all matters. Welcome and please try and behave yourselves!