The dictionary defines a Bachelorette as a young unmarried woman who lives alone, an adult female or a bachelor girl. The rather unpleasant and harsh sounding word,spinster, according to the dictionary refers to an unmarried woman, typically an older woman beyond the usual age for marriage.
I am fortunate to interact with many a happy bachelorette not exactly pining for male attention.And I wonder why there’s not more of them in literature.
Even the most progressive and open- minded of parents tend to get uneasy at the sight of their happily aging daughter who refuses to ‘settle down’. One such happy young female approaching thirty wrote a letter to her father. She said that for all these years her wonderful,adoring father and her supportive mom had taken pride in her ability to stand up for herself, find her own way,run a business, manage a job, excel at art, speak her mind and in general be a woman of substance. She complains of how she is unable to comprehend their sudden haste to get her married now. She reminds her dad of his pet name for her ‘Sher ka bacha, the child of lion’ asking him to let her be and lose his peace of mind over her.
Fervent calls from the ‘concerned and caring’ in the extended family, the news of their peers becoming granddads and grandmoms, their own concerns as to who will look after her once we are gone etc must be gnawing at the heart of her parents..
Available literature about unmarried woman is not very uplifting either. W.H.Auden’s unhappy spinster who succumbed to sarcoma creates a rather scary picture. In most evening soaps on the television, there is the villainous unmarried sister who cannot tolerate the joy of companionship in her family.There’s a seldom an unmarried woman who lived happily in popular imagery unless she’s Mary Poppins. But, of course, she could fly!
While a bachelor status can work in your favour in the society, the spinster status can make you worthy of distrust, unwanted curiosity, unsolicited advice and what not?
Marriage does not make many happy, yet married people rush to thrust it as a compulsion upon young people who think differently.
Ironic, to say the least!