***The label “spinster” is meant to demean women who haven’t married, had children, and settled down by their mid/late-thirties.  I’m taking that word back.  To me the word “spinster” evokes the image of an independent, thoughtful woman who didn’t settle for less than she’s worth and didn’t acquiesce to society’s expectations. Welcome to The Spinster Chronicles.  Names have been changed to protect the innocent.***

2016-12-18. 5:16pm – After an afternoon spent in my pajamas binge-watching Netflix’s Versailles, all the while knitting to near paralysis, my stomach started a’rumbling. One quick text message to “Kent Adams” and I’m off to a chain restaurant, that we will call Shmapplebee’s . Dinner out is the perfect way to end the weekend; I don’t have to cook, and there isn’t a single dish to clean. Spinster Achievement Unlocked.

While in the middle of enjoying my chicken/shrimp combo (side of steamed broccoli), and conversation with Kent, young-woman giggling erupted from a booth in the corner.  Seems the server was trying out some new material on the table of college students to marginal acclaim. I ignored this as typical restaurant din, but Kent did not.  He stared at me for a long time, wincing in pain with each shrill chortle, his gaze blaming me for the whole situation. “That sound: make it stop. Why are they laughing, anyway? Not a single thing he’s said is funny.”

“Oh, they’re not genuinely laughing.  They're being polite,” I reply.  It should be said that Kent is missing a few key social graces, so it wasn't surprising to see a look of inquiry spread across his face. I expound, matter-of-factly, “Women are conditioned to laugh when a man makes a joke regardless of whether or not they actually found something funny.  It’s used to diffuse a situation and politely excuses one from continuing conversation or interplay without hurting the ego or coming off as a bitch.”

Never breaking his gaze he sat smacking his lips for what seemed like a solid minute. “Women are crazy,” he finally concluded.

“It’s not a matter of crazy, it’s a matter of youth. They’re young, Mr. Adams.  They have not yet gone through the crucible that ends with the bestowing of the resting bitch-face that renders you gloriously unapproachable. There's a huge ceremony involved.  Crepe paper streamers, sheet cake, the works.”

“Eat your broccoli, Bishop.”