All the Single Ladies

It’s been about a year since I read Kate Bolick’s book Spinster, and I’ve been revisiting her other work. The essay catalyst for the book:

Just in case the Atlantic decides to clear its archive:

When an American woman gives you a tour of her house, she leads you through all the rooms. Instead, this expat showed me her favorite window views: from her desk, from her (single) bed, from her reading chair. As I perched for a moment in each spot, trying her life on for size, I thought about the years I’d spent struggling against the four walls of my apartment, and I wondered what my mother’s life would have been like had she lived and divorced my father. A room of one’s own, for each of us. A place where single women can live and thrive as themselves.


But saying “I’m single and I want to be single forever” is just as boring as saying “I must find a husband.” These are just claims and wishes we make for ourselves, but we don’t know how we’ll change. We turn the corner and fall in love. We turn the corner and fall out of love.