National Old Maids Day

Published June 4, 2015 by Maryanne

maryanne & art2005 – Still single in my early 40s, the modern old maid!

Today is National Old Maids Day.

Old Maid refers to an older, childless woman who was never married. For sure I thought I was headed towards spinsterhood (and happily so) until I met the love of my life at age 42. (Now pushing 52, we’ve been happily married three years and together nine!)

Thank God the world wised up and realizes that women are worth so much more than a ring on their finger and banging out kids. Some of us (me!) were late bloomers and didn’t even realize our potential until later in life. In the above photo I’m selling art in Union Square. I didn’t even realize I had that talent in me until I temporarily baby sat a 9-year-old girl!

Then in the summer of 2008 I started my own business ( which was at first a variety of things, now honed to my greatest loves: writing/journalism, ghost writing/book editing and public speaking.

As a young working woman in the 1980s, life was a little more difficult. There was severe pressure to get married. Everyone was expected to be paired up like Noah’s Ark. And, yeah, while love is the greatest quest for all, I wanted even more in life. I wanted it ALL! I wanted someone who not only adored me, but respected my dreams and aspirations.

I worked very good jobs in the 1980s, at corporate businesses. But that’s not where my head was at. My desire to be creative and make money doing so outweighed any desire to marry and breed. So once I was able to be a full time writer, that’s when I was able to fully concentrate on love and being with someone good for me.

In my recent book “Love Cats” ( I address the “old maid” issue via my character Janey.

Janey starts out as a smart character who wants a guy with substance. Though when she meets one, her insecurities get the best of her and she subconsciously does everything she could to kill the relationship. Though the difference between me and her is that while creative success is what drove me, Janey doesn’t need any kind of success as she’s already a wealthy trust fund and she’s simply driven by her own selfishness.

Whatever motivates us to stay single (work, fear, waiting for the right one, etc.) I think it’s super cool that in these modern times women are viewed as so much more and we no longer have to live in “shame” because we aren’t hooked up.

I tell everyone who asks my advice, to wait. Wait until you meet that one of a kind soul mate who rocks your world. There is no need to settle. Nor was there a need to settle 30 years ago either, we just took more shit from people for not settling. I’ve avoided certain relatives for years because they were more interested in who I was dating and how serious it was. Not my career, not my interests, not my dreams or desires. Just who I was dating and if marriage was in the cards.

I dreaded those horrible questions, yet stuck to my guns and never settled.

Mind you, when I say “never settled” while I did date a ton of jerks, I also dated some really cool guys — just not right for ME. I am still friends with some of these guys and my husband likes them too. We are so blessed that we have such an honest relationship with each other. And his ex-girlfriend’s brother is my favorite of all his friends! And that’s another cool blog for a later date, how trust is the most beautiful thing in a relationship.

But back to Janey …

In “Love Cats” Janey’s live-in maid, Lucia refers to her as an “old lady” for not having a ring on her finger — and she’s not even 25 yet! But that’s how it was in the 1980s. So much pressure for a young girl trying to find herself. Too much noise from the peanut gallery. Urgh!

It’s so cool that it’s acceptable today for women to live at home longer, concentrate on their careers, and not even marry at all if they don’t want to. Even though I’m married, I can sigh with relief that there is no pressure on me to bear children and raise a family. My husband and I are perfectly fine with our little love cat, Derick. Life is so good when you don’t have the rest of the world throwing their desires in YOUR face. We’re so blessed to exist in a live and let live time. Let’s keep it that way!

We’ve come a long way baby!



6 comments on “National Old Maids Day

  • And some cultures are worse than others. My Big Fat Greek Wedding brought this to life on the screen. I do believe that there is that one special person waiting, but we must get past many hard lessons to be learned before they appear.

    • Ah, yes! I never saw that movie but remember the part about Marissa Tomei’s clock going “tick tick tick.” It was hilarious. Sad that some people put a time frame on children when you can always adopt. (Hell, if I wanted kids I’d rather adopt so I’m not out of commission for nine months!) 🙂

  • Maryanne, I was excited by today’s post and shared a bit of my view about it on my FB page emphasing to my friends how that stigma , Old Maid is long past. My, how things have changed, thank goodness. Hurray for you for waiting to find your soulmate & marrying him. I saw a quote once it read, “It is better to be lonely alone than lonely with someone.” Wise words . Especially, liked your answer to another blog concerning children. Adoption, yes and Kudos to all the girls who are single Moms. Yay for Pro Life. I was a bit hard on the men in my post, Maybe it was because I have a 14 year old granddaughter and a daughter that I am very protective of and my past expiriences with relationships. I was a product of the 60’s, where there were many stigmas attached to a single girl traveling, living alone, not being married after finishing college, raising a child alone, etc.
    Conclusion : We have come a long WAY !!!!!

    • Thanks so much for your awesome comments, Sandra! I tried friending you on Face Book, but it would only allow me to “follow.” You can friend me and I’ll accept. I have two accounts, just use the one that’s Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta (don’t use the one that says “Author” — that’s just the one I use to navigate my communities).

  • Holy bat, yes. I actually always have been dreaming of getting a family and probably was trying too hard to find ‘that guy’, recently realized I probably might never find that one to have a family with but after a while I’m fine with that, I have so many things in my life that I like and I am the ‘aunt/nanny/whatever’ who takes care of friends children of any age so here we go! what will happen will happen.
    awesome and very inspiring (thoughtwise) post!

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