Monday, October 1, 2018

"Spinster Stories" Hosted by Heather Meyer at Strike Theater

I was at the dentist today for a quick repair of a chipped filling. While waiting for the novocaine to take effect, the hygienist was making small talk. She went through the usual topics - travel, work, weekend plans. Then she got to this topic. "Do you have children?" "No." "Are you married, significant other?" "No." "So it's just you then, huh?" Yes, it's just me. But it's not really just me. I was reassured last night that there are many "spinsters" like me who are single for a variety of reasons, and contrary to popular belief we're not all lonely damaged people. We can be just as happy and well-adjusted and fulfilled as "the marrieds," maybe even moreso. Six such people shared their experiences at Strike Theater in Northeast Minneapolis in an evening of storytelling called "Spinster Stories." Sadly, this was the final of two shows and there are no more scheduled (at the moment). But check out Strike's schedule for more storytelling, sketch comedy, and improv performances, including their one-year anniversary celebration this weekend!

The evening was hosted by the very funny Heather Meyer, who actually registered the event on The Knot (a wedding planning website) and had a table for gifts. Because why don't single people get to throw a party where everyone brings you a gift?! She started off the evening by with a little history of the word "spinster," and actually read an entire book as research. And because she loves games, between the stories she asked trivia questions and read notes from the audience about people they're so glad they are no longer with (yikes!). Along with her five guests, she told a story that related to her spinster status. I was expecting an evening of comedy, and while there were many laughs, there were also many sober, serious, poignant moments. I was touched by how each one of the storytellers was so real and vulnerable, sharing intimate and often painful parts of their lives. That's the beauty of storytelling.

Single people's stories are as varied as married people's. Heather told us how when she was 16 she bought very fancy $15 diamond-ish earrings for her future wedding (and she still has them!). Lauren Anderson was funny as usual but also vulnerable, sharing her scars and being proud of surviving them. Katie Moen told us about leaving her fiance whom she'd been with for ten years, right before her sister's wedding so she had to answer many awkward questions from friends and family. Lara Brown shared the painful experience of dealing with her on-again-off-again boyfriend's disappearance, with a tragic conclusion. Ryan Nelson (a male spinster, or minster), who never fails to crack me up even when being serious, compared "the one that got away" to climbing a mountain in Montana. Lastly, Jenn Schaal got us laughing again with her stories of single life, standing at the microphone with her dog in a backpack. Thanks to these six spinsters for sharing their stories, their pain, their hope, and their laughter.

If you haven't been to Strike Theater in their first year of existence, I recommend paying a visit your Northeast home for storytelling, sketch comedy, and improv. They have shows most weekend nights for a reasonable price, with free easy street parking, and a bar! They also offer classes if you'd like to try your hand at the funny.

the answer is: spinster