Thursday, December 22, 2011

Entry #54 - The Ghosts of Boyfriends Past, Present, and Gay

Dear Diary,

Christmas - A time for reflection....and overeating

    Oh Christmastime, you sly wench! You snuck up on me yet again!

It is difficult to believe that almost a year has gone by since "Diary of a Spinster Aunt - Yuletide Edition".  I have a bit of a soft spot for that particular entry as it was the first to be written as a blog, as opposed to the earlier entries which were originally written and posted as Facebook notes.  The first entry of all time was the one-line-plus-photo "Crumble and Nelly", which was written and posted to Facebook on August 12th 2010, less than three weeks after my relationship fell apart and I moved in with Vanessa and Scott. I can't even say exactly what made me post it, but my best guess is that it was probably a combination of the following:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Entry #53 - "Still Bitter, More Baggage"

Dear Diary,

It may seem, at first read, like there is a lot of crying in this entry. I feel that I should point out that while I am a somewhat lachrymose individual, this entry does span you can spread out the crying a little in your mind. Average it out. Find the mean, maybe the median, a little mode perhaps? It probably won't make me seem any less pathetic or self-pitying, but it will make my grade nine math teacher, Mr.Carmody, really proud. That, or you could take a shot for each time I cry and get really good and drunk. Your choice!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Entry #52 - Spintermission

Dear Diary,
    Laziest. Spinster. Ever. There is no excuse for my prolonged absence, other than overwhelming, all consuming laziness. There was a brief period of time that I was working seven days a week, but that was only until mid-October. I apologize to all four of my readers (even you, Mom), especially if you had momentarily wondered if/worried that I had finally died alone and been eaten by my cat, Gus (in accordance with the prophecy).

Here is how I have been spending my time:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Entry #51 - Navigating the Spinsternet

Dear Diary,
     Ahh the internets; a series of tubes and wires that continues to both enlighten and befuddle me. Back in April I wrote an entry called "Spinster on the Googs", which was all about the various statistics I have access to that pertain to this blog. I thought it was time to re-visit that topic, both in the interest of posterity and for the simple fact that (for some reason I do not understand) Vanessa liked that entry the best...and, since I seem to live with Vanessa and her husband for at least 8 weeks every year, I feel it is in my best interest to keep her happy! Here we go!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Entry #50 - Spinster Miscellany

Dear Diary,
     Here we are at 50 entries! It's the Diary of a Spinster Aunt Golden Jubilee, The Spinster Quinquagenary, The Semi-Centennial of Solitude!  Whatever you want to call it, I can't really decide whether I am really proud or really depressed. Perhaps a little of column A and a little of column B. God only know what my emotional health will look like at entry #500.
    In honour of the 50th entry I have collected together some spinster miscellany from the last year; a group of things that on their own are a little quirky, but when collected together are a fail-proof recipe for a lifetime of spinsterhood. I hope it brings you happiness in the way that only schadenfreude can...

Spinster Mii
   When my friend Megan is in town I often go up island and stay with her family for a night. Megan has the kindest, loveliest parents on the planet. Somehow, almost every time I go up there her dad makes us fancy blended alcoholic beverages which he serves us on the deck, and her mom manages to serve 6 homemade meals in a span of 24 hours; often including (but not limited to) steak, shrimp and avocado croissantwiches, fancy coffee drinks, fruit tarts, and homemade waffles. It goes without saying that I always experience a serious case of the "Yes Pleases" while I'm there and probably gain about 5lbs in one day. It's not just the food either, I have been told by Megan that some people have left her house only to find that her dad has washed their car for them. If that's not hospitality I don't know what is.  
On one visit, Megan and I were challenged by her parents to a Wii Sport showdown. Full of good food and lime margaritas we readily accepted the challenge. Megan's dad insisted that I needed my own personalized Mii and that he would gladly design one for me. I watched in horror as my Mii took shape. It was the most miserable, pinched-faced, stereo-typically spinsterly Mii I had ever seen; and this without her dad having any idea that I consider myself to be one. So, one day in the not so distant future, when counselor Pat asks me "how I think men perceive me", I'm going to whip out the above picture and say "Like this...".

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Entry #49 - Spinster Sports Extravaganza

Dear Diary, 
       In an effort to work on our physical fitness and in order to take advantage of the brief and intermittent summer that exists in Victoria, my spinsters-in-training and I decided to take advantage of a sunny day by heading to the park for some Spinster Sports. We set out just after high noon, raquets and bocce balls in hand. For the occasion we all donned our best work out gear. Most of us wore shorts, a couple of us wore running shoes, one of us wore flip flops, and in the case of one Spinster's Apprentice *cough* Heather*cough* beige snake print Ann Klein loafers were deemed suitable. One thing we had in common was this: no lulu lemons or other "sexy workout wear" was worn. The closest thing to sexy was Heather's hot pink shorts, and perhaps Alex's "Hot Flashes" cat t-shirt. Aside from that it was all cut-off elasticated waistband shorts that may or may not have belonged to Alex's grandma, the notorious "workout geese" gym t-shirt, knee high socks, pink sequined visors, and side pony tails. 

Spinster Tennis
        First up on the roster was tennis. As we approached the tennis courts from across the field, we could see that two men were already playing on one of the two courts. This was fine with us as we all wanted to play together anyway. The opportunity to play "doubles" after being perpetually single was simply too good to pass up. The closer we got to the courts the more the two men started to look over in our direction. I'm sure we must have looked breathtaking; I am quite confident that as we walked toward them (four astride with tennis gear in hand) that everything became slow motion and Dreamweaver started playing out of nowhere. The sexual magnetism we emitted was so strong that as  soon as we entered the tennis courts and began warming up and applying SPF 50 the two men vacated the premises immediately, you know, to prevent themselves from ravaging us.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Entry #48 - Spinster Wedding Attendance

It is my belief that every wedding should have a spinster in attendance. If possible, there should also be someone who is too loud, someone who dresses inappropriately, someone who drinks too much, and someone who sings even though they lack talent. If you are smart like my friend Rebecca Reba*, you save yourself time and money and roll all these requirements into one guest; in this case, me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Entry #47 - Subterranean Spinster

Dear Diary,
   I have neglected you for too long, and it shames me deeply. I'm sure my prolonged absence led you to believe that I had died alone and been eaten by my cat run off with some attractive and charming suitor. I am deeply depressed delighted to report that this is not the case and that I am still as spinsterly as ever!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Entry #46 - Spinster in Paradise

Dear Diary,
When you are a spinster, you are sometimes obligated, in the interest of propriety, to escort your younger, more desirable friends on vacation. This is how I came to find myself sitting in a golf cart in the middle of a parking lot; sweating through my SPF 50 sunscreen while wearing a striped floral romper, pink sequin visor, and an expression of perpetual sardonicism.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Entry #45 - Spinster at the Homestead


Dear Diary,
    This week I returned to the old homestead to visit my family, and in particular, my expatriate sister and her two adorable children. I have mentioned my sister Amy many, many times before. She is the super buff one (with the handsome husband a two beautiful children) who literally lives the American dream in Texas. This week she brought my niece and nephew up to the Great White North for a visit with the Canadian relations. Thus, my sister, brother, and I were all at home together for the first time in a long time. Here are some highlights:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Entry #44 - Synonyms for "Burden"

Dear Diary,
    I am sorry I have neglected you. Moving out of spinster mansion sapped me not only of my time and energy, but I am also now without Gus and my twin sized bed. This may seem a poor excuse for not writing, Diary, but I am very much a Spinster of habit and find it off-putting when I cannot write in my usual place. Currently I am sitting at a desk in front of an imac, when usually I write whilst reclining in my twin sized bed with my laptop on my gut and Gus on my legs, tea to my right and Smart Pop to my left. Long story short, it took me a while to pull it together.

I have returned to the place where Diary of a Spinster Aunt was born; the place where I ate crumble straight from the baking dish, read the circulars while drinking gin in the bathtub, and generally made a burden of myself for numerous weeks until Kim returned to Victoria and we moved into Spinster Mansion. That place is S&V's house.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Entry #42 - Spinster Couture

Dear Diary,
    I have always considered myself to be a fashionista of sorts. I first became aware of my keen eye for fashion in grade four. For most of that year I wore the same outfit; floral leggings, an over sized red sweatshirt that had a huge happy face on the front and said "Don't Worry Be Happy", pushed-down coloured socks, and a side pony with a scrunchy. I looked good. This was also the year I got bangs thanks to the boy I had a crush on telling me I had a "Klingon" forehead. I will concede that he did have a point, it is more of a fivehead than a forehead, but he didn't have to point that out to me. To this day I still feel a little self conscious every time Star Trek is on, which is awkward as I totally have a thing for Captain Jean Luc Picard; he can "make it so" any time he wants to, if you know what I'm sayin'. WINK!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Entry #41 - Mansion on the Market

Dear Diary,
   With Kim's departure for Scotland and my gregarious house guests back to Vancouver, leaving only the cat and Kim's unfinished portrait of "Birth of a Spinster" to keep me company, I must confess, the view from where I sit has been rather grey. I initially meant this figuratively (and as a salute to Pride & Prejudice), but the view from my window literally just got worse when I looked up to see my ex-boyfriend's car in the turn lane at the intersection below. If you have never loudly booed someone and shaken your fist at them from a safe distance (while wearing ugly pyjamas, a side ponytail, and writing about your life of lonely spinsterhood), I highly recommend it, very therapeutic.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Entry #40 - Spinster Forlorn

Dear Diary,
   At the advice of "Counselor Pat", my wise, fashionable, and sage-like life counselor, I shall face my grief here and now, in a head-on and timely fashion; this is apparently "healthier" than bottling it up for later when it will be released in a cataclysmic and borderline criminally-insane fashion.

Kimmy is gone. There, I said it. My beloved hetero-life-partner-in-spinsterhood has packed her bags and set off on a grand adventure. Where does a young spinster go in this big wide world in order to seek her fortune, you ask? After numerous highland themed romance novels (see Entry#23 - Spinster Scholars), the answer is simple: Scotland. The home of haggis, tartan, and Robert Burns, among other things. Upon reflection, I realized it is me who laid the foundation for this decision. Way back in 2006 I gave Kim my copy of "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon, and now, five years and six more "Outlander" novels later, her mind is still consumed with men in kilts and rolling in the heather...but I digress.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Entry #39 - Spinster Fitness

Dear Diary,
I've been working on my fitness for about two months now, and I must say that I have seen limited results. This may be because I often follow up a trip to the gym by sitting on the kitchen floor and eating chocolate, but I can't say for sure.
My older sister, Amy, is a fitness machine.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Entry #38 - Easter Tidings

Signs of Spinsterhood #3

Dear Diary,

In honour of the forthcoming Easter holiday and by popular demand (popular = Vanessa), I decided to dig up some of my old Easter-themed rants from my pre-spinster era. Your eyes do not deceive you, nor is it a typo, I said "rants" plural; thus we have come to the third "sign of spinsterhood": ranting and raving like a senior citizen.

I do not believe that having a brain, an opinion, and a backbone leads to spinsterhood, not at all. When I say that ranting, raving, and complaining is a signpost on the road to spinsterdom you have to keep in mind that it is all about content, frequency, and delivery.

The content is asinine a large percentage of the time: Nothing I complain about will ever be seen on the news or written about in the New York Times. My complaints, tirades, and "meowing" (actual words of an ex-boyfriend) are almost exclusively about pointless, ridiculous things. I am sort of like a senior citizen in a retirement home who complains just for something to do and, very likely, to hear the sound of my own voice.  "It's too sunny!"

The frequency must be high: I don't think a day goes by when I don't come across something that really grinds my gears and some poor person who has to hear about it. When you are a spinster, most days are -multi-complaint days.

The delivery must be cutting and indignant: Finding something ridiculous to complain about and then delivering it in an angry and indignant fashion is kind of my specialty. Does that make me a harpy? Possibly, let's check:
Affirmative. It would appear that it does indeed make me a harpy, and we all know that men want nothing more than to find themselves a sassy, redheaded harpy. You know what most men want? A fan club of thoughtless clappers. <----OH! I just caught myself complaining! *dictated into smart phone* "April 20th, 10:05 am, complaint #1 - Content: bitter and unnecessarily mean, Frequency: first of the day, which is impressive considering I have yet to speak to anyone, Delivery: cutting, indignant, and harpy-like. A fine specimen"

Let's get on with the Easter fun! When I say Easter I mean chocolate rabbits, coloured eggs, hot cross buns, and a stat holiday. The whole crucifixion/resurrection thing is such a downer.

Finally, also ironically and appropriately, there is this post from March of 2008.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Entry #37 - Spinster on the Googs

Dear Diary,
The magic of the Internet provides me with all kinds of fun and fanciful information. Here on the old Blogger, for instance, I have access to the "stats" page. The "stats" page, in case you didn't know, is where the Internet elves magically keep track of all the interesting statistical information that pertains to this blog.  Here are some of the things the elves have discovered for me recently...
This week people in 10 different countries looked at this blog, including 1 person in Peru, 2 people in India, and 2 people in Finland. I'm pretty sure there was actually only 1 person from India and 1 from Finland, and the second viewing was to show their respective Finnish and Peruvian friends how weird Canadian women are.

The most popular posts so far have been "Spinster Abroad" (parts 1 & 2), followed closely by "Bachelor Uncle Sojourn". I am not a statistician, but I'm pretty sure this proves a few things:
- I am far more interesting when drinking mojitos.
- Making fun of ugly swimwear never goes out of style.
- Muumuus ARE hilarious.
- Heather and Vanessa are both lovely, classy ladies who both draw a much larger audience than I do.
- My brother is a charming, dapper, and handsome fellow who draws a much larger audience than I do.

I have 31 followers and I would hug each and every one of them if I could.

Since it was created on Christmas day 2010, this blog has been viewed 7,860 times. At least half of those are my mom, 3 are my ex-boyfriends' current girlfriends making fun of me (and justifiably so, considering I refer to them all collectively as "Poor Man's Hannahs"), and at least 1000 are me banging at the computer like an angry monkey --> "WHAT!??? WHY IS THE FONT BLACK?!? NO ONE CAN READ THAT! BLARGH!!!!"

My mom is my biggest fan and comments on every entry without me asking her to, which I think lends a certain authenticity to my spinsterhood claim.

Perhaps the greatest find ever, though, is the "keyword search" seen in the above screenshot. The Internet elves keep track, you see, (with tiny clipboards) of exactly what people searched in google that resulted with them viewing this blog. Long story short, someone somewhere in the world searched "Spinster Vintage Porn" and ended up on this blog. This is perhaps the first time I have been  baffled, mildly disgusted, and proud all at the same time. Call me, Spinster Vintage Porn Surfer, Call me.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Entry #36 - Gold, Frankincense, & Purr

Dear Diary,
      Aside from the obvious (beauty, charm, intelligence, and quite possibly, laziness) what does a redheaded spinster have in common with Cleopatra and Helen of Troy? The answer, of course, is a propensity to be showered with rare gifts.
Like the three wise men flocking to the manger, people have been presenting me with rare and wondrous items. I like to tell myself that I'm more like Jesus and less like an angry volcano god that must be appeased, but I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, so Baby Jesus may have cornered the market on gold, frankincense & myrrh, but when it comes to spinster finery I have received the cream of the crop. Rare gifts I have received include but are not limited to:

Kitty Cross Stitch: Four panels of hand-stitched hilarity. Does it hang on the wall? Does one display it on a flat surface? Am I to take up cross stitching so I can create kitty-themed coasters to fill up these little squares? I don't know! What I do know is that I feel happy every time I look at it. Thanks, Sinéad!

Twin Cat Trays: The amazing thing about the twin cat trays, other than the fact that they proudly proclaim to be 100% Melamine, is that they are identical YET they were gifted to the spinster household from two completely different people; One from Kim's friend Rob, and the other from my co-worker Alice. What are the odds?! One tray holds our antique rosebud cream and sugar set, the other is on display in the living room where everyone can fully appreciate the two adorable kittens surrounded by daisies and butterflies. Thanks to "Ashdene of Australia" for producing more than one of these, and for making them dishwasher safe.

Spinster Slogan T: There isn't a cat in sight, yet this is one spinsteriffic t-shirt. It reads: "Love: I guess I'm just not wired that way". It's funny (and ever so slightly painful) because it's true! Thanks to MH for this sassy article of clothing.

Pink Porcelain Kitty Bank: Never have I longed for a mantelpiece more than when I received this work of art. Pink Kitty is ever so cleverly designed to look like she's peering inquisitively over the edge of a surface, just like a real kitty! AND she's a Kitty bank! For now she, and her adorable pink neck ribbon, will have to settle for peering over the bookshelf as Spinster Mansion lacks a fireplace. One day though, Pink Kitty, you will gaze majestically over the edge of a grand mantelpiece, as God and nature intended.  Thanks to all my beloved bit*#es for this treasure and for the many jokes about pu**y that followed.

Majestic Brass Bearded Unicorn: He's majestic. He's brass. He is bearded. He's a flipping unicorn. The Brass Bearded Unicorn has graced the bookshelf of Spinster Mansion for many months. It is not a gift that I have received, but rather one that I await giving. BBU will finally be bestowed upon my sister in spinsterhood, Sara P, when she flies in from Edmonton to pick him up in May; while in Victoria she may also visit her mom and her friends, but mostly the trip is to claim custody of BBU, obviously.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Entry #35 - White Wicker and Courtesans

Dear Diary,
     Month eight of spinsterdom is upon me and my conviction to die alone and be eaten by my cats is stronger than ever; conveniently, so is the general aversion the male population has toward me.
For about a week I considered switching from spinster to courtesan for a while, you know, to spice things up. In a eureka moment akin to Matt Damon solving complex mathematical equations in Good Will Hunting, I convinced myself of the following:
Subtracting expectations of commitment and conversation + working on my fitness (Kim's my witness) = assured success.
I was so convinced of my success that I even brainstormed a couple new names for the old blog: "Diary of a Casually Coveted Courtesan" was my personal favourite, although "Journal of a Part Time Paramour" wasn't bad either.
As it turns out, however, my Good Will Hunting moment was more of A Beautiful Mind moment; heavy on the delusion, easy on the reality. Lucky for me, much like olives, wine, and blue cheese, I have acquired a taste for and an appreciation of the many and varied rebuffs I have been on  the receiving end of; and let me tell you, this was a particularly fine vintage - Mwah! I begrudgingly respect it. Consider me put in my place!     

The good news is, while my pride may have been momentarily damaged, the cat plate collection is in mint condition. This month includes the addition of a new plate! Hooray!

 At first the idea of finding a new plate to compete with the likes of "Frisky Business", "Who's the fairest of them all?", or "Gone Fishin'" seemed an impossible task. Also, I was almost certain that I had purchased every last cat plate the city of Victoria had to offer. Imagine my delight when I came across this month's beauty, "Rainy Day Friends". As described on the back of the plate, along with the edition number, is the following description: "The mischief and magic of kittens at play is captured in this series of limited edition porcelain plates"...perfect.
What captured my eye on this particular piece was the amazing early 90's colour scheme. Nothing says "put me on a white wicker shelf" quite like a pastel blue and pastel purple background. When you add to this the cherry blossoms, raindrops, and adorable black and white kitten admiring his own reflection the result is 100% purrfection.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Entry #34 - Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bore

Dear Diary,
      In contrast to what people might believe, I love weddings. That's right, I, Hannah, dedicated spinster and connoisseur of rejection, love nothing more than attending ceremonies dedicated to successful relationships.

I know what you're're thinking to yourself that a spinster attending a wedding is sort of like someone who struggles with infertility attending a baby shower; a little sad, awkward, and perhaps slightly masochistic.  To which I SAY...possibly. Yet, celebrating love is always in fashion in my mind; that and I NEVER turn down an opportunity to wear a party dress. Ever.

I have been a bridesmaid/maid-of-honour at three weddings and I'm not going to lie, I did a super job. As you can see in the pictures above I am consistently serene and extremely photogenic. I never embarrass myself by laughing at inappropriate times and I always make heartwarming speeches that contain no sarcasm whatsoever. I would certainly never consider taking brazen advantage of the fact that there are men in sailor uniforms at your wedding, nor will the zipper on my dress break at the last second requiring the photographer to sew the dress closed on my body (foreshadowing?).

Long story short, I am always a bridesmaid, but never a bore.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Entry #33 - Lion Cut

Dear Diary,
    The love of my life finally got a haircut. That's right, Augustus George Carlin, my beloved cat companion of three years is now sporting a jaunty "Lion Cut" - and let me tell you, it is spectacular. A big spinster shout out to Sally from "West Coast Sassy Cats" who brought her grooming gear to Spinster Mansion for the big haircut. It took the two of us plus a complex series of cat maneuvers, but we got the job done. We could have created  a whole new cat from all the fur that was shaved off - it was a "yes sir, yes sir, three bags full" kind of situation.
Now, Gus is no longer obscenely fluffy and he should have way less hairballs than before. Also, he looks like he's wearing leg warmers and his head looks about three times too big for his body. Every time he walks in the room we must resist the urge to laugh, lest we hurt his cat feelings.

On a serious note, Sally is a truly amazing cat groomer, she is like the cat whisperer. She gets the Spinster Seal of Approval.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Entry #32 - Mystery Solving for Lush Spinsters

Signs of Spinsterhood #2 - because looking back, it was kind of obvious we'd end up alone.
Back in our university days, the first time Kim and I were room mates, we discovered that one of our great pleasures in life was to open a bottle (or two) of wine, bake enough frozen store-bought appetizers to supply a family reunion, and solve a mystery. That’s right, solve a mystery. Perhaps you thought Nancy Drew was limited strictly to books, and that those books were only of interest to nerdy girls aged 12 and under. You thought wrong. To those spinsters and tween girls who are interested, Nancy Drew games for the PC are available for only $19.99 a mystery.
Back in the day, Kim and I used to gather in the den (which was actually a closet with the door taken off), glass of wine in hand, plate of appetizers overflowing, and settle in for some good mystery solving. Kim would be in charge of the mouse and I would sit cross-legged in the “Co-Captain” chair. There are two levels of difficulty available to choose from on this particular game, "junior detective" or "senior detective". One hundred percent of the time, we chose "junior detective", aka child level, because let's be honest, two drunk spinsters need not add any more frustration their lives. In addition, sometimes "junior detective" is so challenging that we are often forced to cheat.  Cheating and child level aside, we would play for hours; often until we were drunk and the thought of eating another sausage roll, mushroom puff, or mini spanikopita made us want to vomit. Good times.

At the time, we knew it was a little odd that we enjoyed this activity so much, but didn’t think much of what it might mean - we just chalked it up to “redheaded quirkiness” . We certainly did not peg it as a “Sign of Spinsterhood”, which in hindsight it most certainly that glaringly obvious toupée kind of way.

Back to present day. In honour of days gone by, we recently downloaded and solved “Nancy Drew - Shadow at the Water’s Edge”. It was not exactly the same as playing in the den at the “Captain’s Walk” (that was the name of our old apartment building). In Spinster Mansion there is no den, so we played at Kim’s computer in the living room. Kim was still in charge of the mouse and I still had my co-captain chair. We traded the wine for tea and the pastry-rich appetizers for pickles and an entire tray of corn bread. I wore my pink “business suit” almost every night, and Gus even came to help us out at one point. Long story short, we took what was already a very spinsterly activity, and really took it to the next level.

Just as a warning, "Shadow at the Water's Edge" was a pretty scary one, we had  to close our eyes on a few different occasions. Also, we killed Nancy at least three times.

Well, Diary, now that this mystery is solved I guess it's back to the age old mystery -and I'm not talking about how they get the caramel in the Caramilk bar, no no. That was rather unmysterious and lacklustre. I'm talking about why it is that men have been more commited to finding the remote than to me . You know, that old chestnut.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Entry #31 - Spinster Birthday Bonanza

Dear Diary,
In a historical romance novel, when the lead female character is cast as a "spinster", she is almost always 28 years old. In the mind of historical romance writers, this is the age when spinsterhood is comfortably established, almost all hope for romance and suitors is abandoned, and a small bedroom has been set up in the parents’ or a married sibling’s home. Well Diary, guess who is now working on decade 2.8? The answer would be THIS spinster, and I consider this the first year of the “Prime of my Spinsterhood“. I am still debating with myself whether to call it "Decade 2.8" or "One-Score-Year-and-Eight". Decade 2.8 has a very modern feel to it, but One-Score-Year-and-Eight is kind of sexy in that Abraham Lincoln kind of way.
How does a modern-day spinster celebrate her birthday? So glad you asked. We do not celebrate with other spinsters exclusively, no no. All spinsters must have a mix of friends, including fellow spinsters and those who are non-spinsters. The non-spinsters are the people who will likely, but not necessarily, go on to have children in the future; children that I will baby-sit and force lipstick smooches upon, probably while they choke on the scent of my floral-and-musk perfume. But I digress. Back to the party.
When I asked myself what I wanted to do for my birthday the first thing that popped into my mind was - “EAT FOOD!” When I asked myself what I liked to eat best, the answer of course was…cheese! That's right, it all started with a platter of cheese. Then we added multiple bottles of wine, a fancy hotel room, a whole bunch of ladies, party dresses, cupcakes, 90’s Night, and one GB (Gay Boyfriend)*.
Then, there was getting ready for the party…

It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a whole team of people to help this spinster get gussied up. At one point I had two people with curling irons in my hair while I drank a glass of wine and sang along loudly to whatever Heather decided to play for us . Clearly wearing my own clothing was not an option, spinster formal wear is appropriate only for cruise ships and other people’s wedding receptions (think sequins and/or awkward vintage). Luckily for me, I have stylish and attractive friends with inclinations toward fashion. The lovely Enisa Hot (stylist, photographer, and general beautifier extraordinaire) brought from Vancouver the most perfect spinster-chic dress imaginable for me to wear, one covered in PEARLS.

It was a magical evening, I was given not one but TWO cat puzzles and a whole series of First Nations themed historical romance novels, a genre I have never read before. I was both offended and aroused by the somewhat racist cover art. We even managed to take a photo of a few of us in our party dresses in the classic Disney “Cinderella Pose”…even though Prince-not-so-Charming sometimes runs off with an average step-hipster in the end. More wine!

* My Gay Boyfriend, Bryan, needs an entire diary entry dedicated to him. All I will say here, is that a GB is a GREAT thing to have.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Entry #30 - "30 Rock" takes on Spinsterhood

Dear Diary,
I finally got to watch the "30 Rock" episode about spinsterhood (It's Never Too Late for Now (S5E15)), and let me tell you, it was jaw-droppingly accurate. Here are some choice quotes from this gem of an episode, and below them, the true to life comparison of this real-life spinster.

Liz Lemon: "I took the money I was saving for my honeymoon and I bought a cemetery plot. "
Spinster Aunt: "I took the money I was saving for my honeymoon and went to Cabowaii " (see "Spinster Aunt Abroad")

Liz Lemon: "My fanny pack is in my office in my mini-fridge... I like my tampons to be cold."
Spinster Aunt: "Oh my God, Liz Lemon just outspinstered me!"
Liz Lemon: "I've had three chances: Floyd then Carol, and I was once in an elevator with Tom Brokaw! and I blew all 3 . . . Opportunities!"
Spinster Aunt: "I've had three chances: ***** then ****, and I once got a ride home from Cory Monteith! and I blew all 3 . . ..Opportunities!"

Here's hoping that my friends band togther for my birthday and get me a "swiss prostitute Martha Stewart recommended".

Go watch it!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Entry #29 - Subarctic Spinster

Diary of a Spinster Aunt - Entry #29: Subarctic Spinster

Dear Diary,
       Another cold snap in Victoria has once again sent spinster mansion straight back into the last glacial era. I thought that after caulking some of the windows earlier this winter that at least some heat would remain in the house, but much like my belief at age twelve that I would be married with a house and two children by twenty-eight, I was very much mistaken.
      The bathroom is what we call the "epicentre of frigidity"; going in there, especially early in the morning after the door has been closed all night, is akin to using an outhouse in Nunavut. The window in there doesn't actually close, so I have shoved a shirt in the gap between the window and the frame. This is about as helpful as using scotch tape to fix a leak in a waterbed.
    If life were more like a historical romance novel, Kim and I would have a blazing hearth to sit in front of while we do our needle point/read aloud to one another/put ribbons on bonnets. However, living in modern and seriously unromantic times, Kim and I must settle for sitting in front of the oven after we've baked something.

Well Diary, I think I'll sit and watch the icicles melt for a while. There are some real doozies outside the living room window.

*A special spinster shout-out to my brother, Adam, the bachelor uncle, for supplying me with my "Green Heat Boyfriend". I spoon with it every evening, and for once, I get to be the big spoon.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Entry #28 - Albino Avocado

Diary of a Spinster Aunt: Entry #28 - Albino Avocado

Dear Diary,
More than once, after partaking in a delicious avocado, I have been struck by the strange desire to plant the giant seed found inside. Not being one to deny myself any of my odd or capricious notions, I have often followed through with the planting said seeds. What can I say? I like to get my nurture on, and until I acquire the standard “Five Cat Combo” of a true spinster I will have to settle for the nurturing of some trees that will not bear fruit for 20 years.
The most famous of my avocado children lived more than five years, grew to over four feet tall, and upon its untimely death caused me to experience the kind of grief that is usually reserved for the death of a human being; So deep was my despair that the dry and dead avocado carcass stayed in the planter for more than a year due to my refusal to actually acknowledge its death.
My dad, aware of how deeply the “avocado incident” had affected me, kindly brought me an avocado plant he had grown himself to replace my “lost child”. Encouraged by the robustness of this plant, I planted another seed a few months ago. When it started to sprout I thought it looked a little different than my previous plants, but didn’t think much of it. As it developed further, I couldn’t ignore that this avocado definitely had pale pink/white leaves. I consulted the googles and discovered that I had, by some crazy miracle, grown myself one Albino Avocado.
I immediately name it “Darren”, after the smartest, funniest, and coincidentally, the only person with albinism with whom I am acquainted. I fall in love with Darren’s pale beauty an cherish his uniqueness among plants. I belatedly realize that Darren (the plant, not the human) lacks chlorophyll and will thus be unable to photosynthesize…a botanical death sentence!
You can imagine, Diary, that after the earlier “avocado incident” my initial reaction to the certain death of my plant was one of panic and despair. I scoured the internet for a cure, only to discover that shy of me becoming an aroborist and learning how to graft trees together, Darren was pretty much doomed. After staring at Darren in a forlorn manner for a few minutes, I decided that all I could do was keep on caring for my pale little friend and enjoy his loveliness until the nutrition from his seed runs out. I will allow him to wilt with dignity and then I will compost him.
I’ve had Darren for four months now, and he is finally starting to fade. Knowing he wasn’t long for this earth, I have taken time every day to admire him and have talked to him affectionately even more than is normal for a crazy spinster.
Beauty is fleeting I suppose, as I was reminded earlier today by looking at pictures of myself from 2004.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Diary of a Spinster Aunt: Spinster Abroad - Part Deux

Dear Diary,
   I feel confident in declaring the Hawaii portion of "Cabowaii 2011" a success. If this vacation were the talent portion of a beauty pageant, I would have just nailed my baton twirling routine.

- Departure: Our flight to Honolulu leaves at 8am, so I am forced to wake up at O'Dark thirty in order to make it to the airport in time. In the line up for check-in I spot my landlord and the owner of Spinster Mansion, Wally, in line with his wife. I guess Wally must have a mason jar marked "Heating Bill Spinster Mansion Hawaii Fund". Enjoy spending my money on macadamia nuts you bastard!
- Shuttle of Eternity: In true spinster fashion, Vanessa and I are the very last people on the shuttle bus to Honolulu. I assure her that while she may be frustrated and over air-conditioned, I have become accustomed to the sensation of being "the last piece of luggage on the carousel".
- The Queen Kapiolani: Our room on floor ten has a giant wet spot on the carpet and an appropriately musty smell to match. Vanessa demands a new room. Up to floor sixteen we go.

- MUUMUUS: I am overwhelmed by the quantity of muumuus. Muumuus in every shape, colour, and size. However, it is when we discover T&L Muumuu factory that I am finally struck dumb. It is Muumuu HEAVEN.

-Down Time: Vanessa and I (and later Heather when she joined us) recline on our respective beds and watch Anderson Cooper on CNN. This is a special treat for two reasons - First, neither of us has cable at home, and second, it is a truth universally acknowledged that you can`t "punch the handsome off Anderson Cooper".

-Hula La - In an unfortunate turn of events, while breakfasting in a small coffee shop one morning, we are forced to watch shirtless Polynesian men dance.  As you can see in the picture, they were not in good shape at all. My jaw did not slacken at the sight of their bronzed bodies moving in time with the music.  I most certainly had no wish to rub sun lotion on the one with the beautiful smile, nor was a primal urge awoken with in me when they started slapping their bodies and chanting during a traditional Aotearoa dance. In no way did they inspire us to immediately go and purchase tickets to the Polynesian Cultural Centre, from whence they came.

Lounging - I lounge and read romance novels both in my Hawaiian print kaftan and in my one-piece bathing suit . I manage to look enormously pregnant doing both. I vow to lay off the macadamia nuts. I eat more macadamia nuts.

Pancakes -  Vanessa and I decide that we should eat some macadamia nut pancakes while in Hawaii. We order one order of pancakes and a fruit parfait. What arrives is the biggest plate of pancakes I have EVER SEEN. People stop and stare, children cry, somewhere nearby a record cuts out. Vanessa and I sit in shocked silence for at least a minute. In the end we eat about half of one giant pancake. There are still two and a half pancakes left. I go on a tirade about obesity in America. I then take the rest of the pancakes to go and eat most of them over the next few days.

Spinster Dialogue - Heather and I continue on with our Mexican born tradition of speaking in quotes from Pride & Prejudice and Disney. Here is an example:
``Is there an ABC near by?``
``I think there's one just around the river bend``
(we counted 31, apparently there are 40)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Diary of a Spinster Aunt - Spinster Abroad

Dear Diary,
    One of the many benefits of spinsterhood is the ability to travel on a whim. On New Year's Eve I received a call from my beloved "Spinster's Apprentice", Heather (equally as magical as a sorcerer's apprentice, only with more cats). After a brief conversation we came to the conclusion that Valentine's Day, along with much of the time leading up to it, should be spent abroad. From planning to execution, here's how it went:

I try to rationalize going to Boca Raton so I can buy a sequined golf cap and terry cloth track suit. You know, to blend in with the locals. I realize quite quickly that Heather, at only 23 years of age and still a spinster's apprentice, may not be ready for such full-force spinsterdom. So, I settle by taking the letters from "Boca" and scrabbling them up to make "Cabo". Problem solved. Me-hi-co it is.

Heather brings up the idea of going to Hawaii as well. Drawn to the birthplace of the muumuu like Frodo to the ring, I immediately accept.

We change the name of the Vacation to "Cabowaii".

Stand-by travel forces us to go to Calgary at the last minute in order to get to Cabo on time. I only have ballet flats or flip flops for shoes. It's minus twenty. After "letting ourselves into" Heather's sister's house (she was in Hawaii) we spend a night helping ourselves to tea and crackers. Thanks, Kristy!

We finally make it to Cabo. The customs line up is sizable. We share the earbuds to my ipod so we can listen to Disney songs while we wait. This ingenious idea was based on Heather's airtight logic that "it makes lining up in Disneyworld more fun". We proceed to have more fun than everyone else. "A whole new wooooorrrrrllllddd!"

 We arrive at our hotel only to discover that "All Inclusive" actually means "Drinks Inclusive". I momentarily consider the protein and vitamin content of a piña colada, then defer to Heather's logic of changing hotels. After much ado, we relocate to a much superior hotel which is more appropriately populated with people born between 1930 and 1950.

We settle into a steady routine of drinking mojitos and eating everything. By day one we know which bar tender makes the best mojitos, his name is Humberto.

We follow the basic tenets of spinster swimwear:
-one piece only, no bikinis
-"eye catching" print, preferably reminiscent of a prior decade.
- a swimdress is preferable, the more like a Russian figure skater the better.
- an inappropriate plunge is always appropriate
- ruching

In the evenings, Heather and I relax in our separate queen sized beds and I read aloud to her from my historical romance novels. Some of our favourite spinster quotes are:
-"She wasn't a girl, after all. She was in her eight and twentieth year, well past the age of orange blossoms and spring weddings". (That reminds me diary, I must put pen to cat-themed stationary and send out the invites for my birthday next month. My 28th birthday).
-"Unlike many spinsters, she had not been made to feel a burden or out of place"
-"There must be something. Something you dream about when you should be listening to the old lady sitting next to you droning on about cats".
-"It could have been worse, Jasper thought. She could've been going to see...hmm. Actually, there weren't to many things worse than an elderly maiden aunt".

Heather gets lost in downtown Cabo for multiple hours one night. I am fairly certain she has been kidnapped or murdered. Turns out she found a hammock somewhere and watched The Davinci Code with Spanish subtitles.

Well, Diary, after a one day turn around, I'm off to Hawaii tomorrow. Rest assured that my Hawaiian print kaftan is already packed.

PS favourite Heather quote of the trip:  "I've had worse things in my mouth"

Friday, January 28, 2011

Entry #27 - Tri-Colour Foam

Diary of a Spinster Aunt - Entry #27

Dear Diary,
Every few times I fill up the gas tank on my Hyundai Accent, I can’t help but spring the extra ten dollars for the carwash. Living in a 100-year-old apartment means that it would be (and by “would be” I mean “I am assuming it would be”) time consuming and inconvenient to wash my car by hand. In addition, I am lazy and find manual labour distasteful, but I digress. Even if I loved manual labour, I would still take my car through the automatic carwash, and I’ll tell you why. The touchless car wash on the “Supreme” setting, for I will accept no less, takes around four minutes, give or take. I have a play list of beloved spinster classics loaded up on my ipod that all have this runtime. It brings me a lot of happiness to scroll through the play list while I pump my gas and pick a number that I can then belt out at the top of my lungs while my car is being washed. In addition to not making anyone’s ears bleed, the privacy of the carwash also allows full-flail car dancing, and opportunity rarely afforded in regular traffic due to the standard-engine of my car. My go-to songs include, but are not limited to:

“We Belong” Pat Benetar
“Eastern Boys and Western Girls” - Pet Shop Boys
“Islands in the Stream” - Dolly Parton
“Living Inside Myself” - Gino Vanelli
“Beauty and the Beast” - the Celine Dion version, obviously, no offence to Angela Lansbury.
“I want more” - Little Mermaid. Not long enough, but worth the sacrifice.
“Heard it from a friend” - REO Speedwagon
“Hungry Eyes” from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack
“Don’t Cha (wish your girlfriend was hot like me)” - Pussycat Dolls, because spinsters appreciate irony too.

My number one choice used to be Celine Dion’s “Where does my heart beat now”, not only because belting out Celine requires concentration and extra volume, but also because the car wash is the only place I can really connect with my inner French-Canadian by gesturing wildly. Celine, however, has recently been dethroned by the Top Gun classic “Take my breath away”. It is almost a perfect match for the carwash time, and in addition, the tri-colour foam coats the outside of the Accent just in time for me to give it my all during that tricky mid-song key change.

“Haunted by the notion, somewhere there’s a love in flaaaammmmmeeeees

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Entry #26 - Frisky Business

Diary of a Spinster Aunt: Entry #26
Dear Diary,
    The cat plate collection, much like a majestic Red Cedar, grows more impressive and more captivating the larger it gets; and just like a Red Cedar gains one ring for every year of life, I seem to be gaining one cat plate for every month of Spinsterdom.
My most recent acquisition is an exceptionally fancy plate featuring numerous adorable little fluffballs getting into all kids of mischief! I guess that's why this plate is called "Litter Rascals", which is from the  "Frisky Business" collection. See what they did there? "Little Rascals" and "Risky Business" are both well known movies, and they just changed them ever so slightly to include more feline words like "frisky" and "litter". Hilarious! What will those clever people at the Bradford Exchange think of next!?

Also, I was very excited to find the matching mug to the glorious "Maine Coon" plate. Not only does it have the same handsome Maine Coon cat on it, but it also has a darling little ball of pink yarn on the back!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Entry #25 - Spinstervention

Diary of a Spinster Aunt - Entry #25

Dear Diary,
If there were a show called “Spinstervention”, where family and friends showed up at my apartment and took away my cat plates and romance novels and then forced me to sign up for Lavalife, there would probably be a portion of that show where everyone is interviewed about my “problem”. When asked if my descent into spinsterdom was a surprise, I feel that each and every person would have to reply “well…there were signs…”
You see, Diary, even when I was in a relationship, there were hints that my true calling was somewhat more…matronly.
In a new feature I like to call “Signs of Spinsterhood”, I reflect back on things from my past that could be thought of as precursors to female bachelordom. I feel that this may, in the future, be studied in great detail by sociologists and psychologists.

Sign of Spinsterhood #1 Affinity for cruises

Kim and I spent around one month on cruise ships during 2008 and 2009. Cruising on its own is not an overtly spinsterly activity, however when you combine the following activities/choices you can pretty much guarantee yourself a gold medal in the Spinsterhood Olympics.
-Instead of a Caribbean cruise on Carnival, you choose a two-week Alaska cruise on Princess; and by two week Alaska cruise I mean that you find out that it’s cheaper to cruise back down than to fly back down so you simply book two cruises back to back and don’t get off the ship.
-You already own white loafers and sequined, animal-print, sling-back pumps along with nautical themed clothing.
-Getting your picture taken with Captain Sagani is the highlight of your cruise. Nay, your LIFE.
-You choose to leave your manfriend at home because you are fairly certain he’ll bring down your shuffle board average.
- You participate in pictionary, trivia, and a variety of other games. You win most of them and have key chains and tote bags to prove it.
-You choose to enjoy the splendour and majesty that is the Margerie glacier with a beverage in hand and from the comfort of the hot tub.
- Having your picture taken with ridiculous Alaskan themed mascots excites you. A lot.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Entry #24 - Spinster Scholars

Diary of a Spinster Aunt - Entry #24
Dear Diary,
The Goddess of Spinsterhood shines upon me! For many months now, Spinster Mansion has been sadly bookshelfless. When entering the living room I’m sure many people presumed they’d entered the study of a well-read scholar, for the books were piled high on every available surface. Upon closer inspection of course, they might wonder why a scholar would require so many romance novels. Upon even closer inspection, however, they would realize that every single novel is of the historical romance genre, and thus it would become clear: historical scholars. Obviously.
Anyway, I finally came across the perfect bookshelf; small enough to carry up the steep and uneven staircases leading up to the mansion without the aid of a man, and yet large enough to hold our rapidly expanding collection of literature. No longer will our assortment of fine quality fiction be strewn upon every surface. Instead, we can proudly display our shared penchants for nineteenth century men on our fancy, three-tiered, pressboard bookcase . Perhaps we can even split up the shelves according to our interests - Kim’s shelf will be filled with the novels containing tall, strapping, handsome, rugged highlanders in kilts; whereas mine will contain the stories featuring tall, strapping, handsome, yet cold and aloof English viscounts. Read into that what you will.
In the end though, in fiction and in life, we aren’t overly discerning. Are there bodices ripped off? We’ll take it!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Entry #23 - Leisure Wear Dilemma

Diary of a Spinster Aunt - Entry #23

Life is full of tough decisions, Diary. It seems that as of late many of my friends are making such tough decisions as princess or brilliant cut diamonds? White gold or platinum? Spring or Summer? Empire waisted dress or strapless dress? White or ivory?

The spinster lifestyle is full of equally tough decisions: Long-haired cats or short-haired cats? Kleenex with or without lotion? Musk or Floral? BBC Pride and Prejudice or Keira Knightly Pride and Prejudice? Highlander historical romance novel or Regency historical romance novel? No decision, however, has thrown us into such turmoil, no question sparked such heated debate as the age-old question every spinster must face: caftan or muumuu?
We spinsters do not take our leisure-wear lightly. When a large percentage of your time is spent lounging about the house, drinking tea and reading filthy romance novels, the question of appropriate attire becomes paramount. One evening I was admiring Kim’s new purple “housedress” and expressing an interest in acquiring one of my own when the discussion of caftan vs. muumuu arose. It became apparent quite quickly that our understanding of what defined a caftan versus a muumuu was somewhat ambiguous. We knew that a muumuu is originally Hawaiian and a caftan is middle eastern, but beyond that things were a little bit fuzzy. We “consulted the Googles via the interwebs” and concluded that the terms have become somewhat interchangeable in North American society. The interwebs also agrees that it is a truth universally acknowledged that both muumuus and caftans are heavily favoured by morbidly obese Americans…and now, by two red-headed Canadian spinsters.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Entry #22 - Bachelor Uncle Sojourn

Diary of a Spinster Aunt Entry #22

Dear Diary, I was lucky enough to have my younger brother, Adam, come and visit me here in Victoria for a day of Spinster Aunt & Bachelor Uncle fun. Adam and I share many things in common, such as:
-compulsive tea drinking
-talking in silly (and often inappropriate) voices
-wearing skinny jeans in size 27
-“handsome” features
-a shared understanding that our older sister Amy’s children are so disgustingly adorable that any children produced by us would look like Quasimodo in comparison.
-a deep and abiding love of Sara P (non-sexual on my part),  George Carlin (may he rest in peace), and manicures.
That's right, Diary, no one puts the Man in Manicure like my little brother. NO ONE. So, after a quick trip to the new Super Walmart to pick up cat litter for Gus and some new floral-scented laundry detergent for me(see Murder Basement Resolution), Adam and I headed over to the spa to see my sister-in-spinsterhood, Kate, for a Man-icure. Long story short, Diary, Adam now has the softest hands in the world and Kate has officially ordered the first commissioned piece from the Spinster Art Gallery. Kim hopes to have this next masterpiece completed by the end of January.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Entry #21 - Murder Basement Resolution

Diary of a Spinster Aunt - Entry #21
Dear Diary,
   Even though I have lived here at Spinster Mansion since September,  I have yet to use the laundry facilities provided within the building. As a matter of fact, I avoid the "Murder Basement" like men have avoided committing to me, with a steadfastness you can't help but admire begrudgingly.  I have been down there only one time in four months, and that was to drop off our rent money through the random slot in the unmarked door in the corner. The Murder Basement is as scary as it sounds, including steep neck-breaking stairs, bare bulbs with pull strings, uneven cement floors with pipes coming out, random stacks of paint cans (because according to our landlord Wally, paint fixes EVERYTHING), an unnecessary number of unlit corridors with sharp corners, and a door to the outside that is padlocked closed. Every time Kim goes down there, she prefaces her departure with "If I'm not back in ten minutes, call the police". If all these things aren't enough to make someone want to avoid going down there, there is also the fact that there is only one washer and one dryer for 14 apartments, so you often can't even use the machine or you have to touch someone else's laundry in order to free one up (sick). That being said, it is not fair to constantly drag my laundry to my friends' homes, thus, in 2011 I shall get a roll of loonies and a roll of quarters and I shall venture forth, down into the pit of despair, and do my laundry like a normal spinster.