Whyfore Plankton? Whyfore Wives?
December 29, 2011 § 148 Comments
The definition of plankton, as we all know, is a woman over thirty-five in want of a man. I am wondering if perhaps I have always been one, or was destined to become one ever since my conception. I think this because so many of the fears and hopes I feel now are so familiar to those I felt before I became a wife. I feel I am back in a bleak box with my name on it and which always remained there awaiting me, even when I was married. A rightful box. Perhaps I am just one of life’s plankton.
There again, I am not so sure. So much of it is down to luck or, rather, bad luck. There are so many different types of women who are plankton, for an infinite number of reasons. Of course, some bring it on themselves; others – the majority, I like to think – don’t, it just happens to them, out of their control.
I can come up with examples of plenty of seriously beautiful women who made some bad choices, and who have ended up unmarried despite their unleashed wish to find a husband. I know of several in their late thirties or early forties who had hundreds of men in love with them, hitting on them all over the shop, and they always held off from accepting any proposal because they kept thinking that something “better” might come along. And their moment passes. Their “erotic capital”, if one insists, fades, and no longer holds quite the sway it once did. I observe women who want money and status, hit thirty and become panic-striken, and by forty are frantic. There is an element of choice in this type of planktonhood and it is one for which few people have much sympathy, except me. I feel a lot of sympathy for all types of plankton because it is never as black and white as it may appear. But, having said that, there is often a great deal less choice about divorce, and none about widowhood. And there are many, many more grey areas in between.
I can think of any number of women who were either attracted to (or were targeted by) the wrong kind of men, or for whom timing did not work in their favour (that’s a very common one), or whose lovers let them down or disappointed them in a myriad of different ways and / or were procrastinators or commitment-phobes; of women who were “too” fussy, “too” demanding, “too” co-dependent, “too” needy, “too” spoilt , “too” sweet, “too” hard-working, “too” lazy, “too” fat, “too” thin, “too” door-matty or just plain “too”. This list of reasons why women end up alone for years or for ever is infinite. Their fault, only partly their fault, or not their fault at all. But the fact of planktonhood remains…
But the fact also remains that many of the women in relationships are all or some of these things too. Of course they are. But timing and luck or indolence or fear or any other number of factors mean that their particular coin manages to fall at heads instead of tails. They are not better than us plankton, or worse. They are just in the right place at the right time, or with a man who loves them despite everything or because everything, or he is a man who can’t be arsed to do anything about calling time. There are many “good” people who are alone; many “bad” who aren’t. And vice versa. (I can think of many examples of both). In fact, quite often, it is the stalker and the bitch who win out. Many a plankton has said to me, as indeed I have said myself, “Perhaps I’d have had better luck had I been a bitch!” (Wew! This is a controversial theme I could run with for a very long time. I’ll leave it for another day, though).
So, back to the main theme: I do often think it is pure chance. Depressed times, I wonder, what is the matter with me? What’s so great about her? More positive days, I suppose that the truth is we all perchance come into luck and/or bad luck; we all make our luck and/or bad luck, and it’s just a question of who has what at any given time. There is nothing superior about the woman in an ongoing relationship (even if the occasional she may think so) and nothing for her to feel complacent about (though there will always be some who do, though they’d better watch out because luck is a supremely fickle commodity). Conversely, there is nothing inferior about the woman not in a relationship, even if she feels it much of the time.
Now, there is something you may have thought the Original Plankton would never say! Boy, Love, you’ve changed your tune, you might well tell me. And you’d be right. I change my mind about this all the time. Can never quite decide.
Tomorrow, silly old cow that I am, I may argue completely the opposite. There again, it is my party and I’ll be contrary if I want to.