The End of the World

December 12, 2012 § 91 Comments

I have been crap, for which apologies.  My Times column didn’t come out on Monday for lack of space, so I failed to post yesterday.

For the past few days I have been doing nothing else, it seems (Christmas shopping?  As yet, not one present listed let alone bought), other than listening to my friends on the subject of their shit and/or sexless marriages.  The latest story – a husband conducting an affair while his wife, who was under the impression she was very happily married, was undergoing chemotherapy.  The layers of deceit and lies make filo pastry look one-dimensional.  I felt so blown out and haunted by the details, and the way this remarkably wonderful woman reached out to me, that I wanted to curl up into a ball and give up now.  This story alone was enough, but coming on top of all the others (so many, I have even written a list, and I am not kidding!) in the past few weeks, I felt – feel – all hope is spent.  To the point I even look at young people, with all their hopes and dreams, and think what poor, deluded creatures they be.  Doom is heading their way, just as it was always heading ours.

Oddly, though, in the face of all this horror, horror, horror, I am not feeling suicidal.  I love winter, I love Christmas, and I don’t believe, as Mrs Standard Bearer’s ten year old daughter heard, that the world is going to end in nine days’ time (even if the Today programme this morning, with its reports about North Korea’s nuclear testing, did its level to persuade me).  Nor am I feeling in any way smug because I am the Plankton, that my so-called “smug married” friends – though none is actually smug – are having a bad time of it.  It is very much in my interests that they should be having a wonderful time because it is that which gives me hope.  When they are not, deep gloom about the state of human beings and the world tends to prevail, even if not at this actual moment because I have a large latte in hand and Slightly Younger Twinkle is coming to tea.

Still, all credit and elbow and what-have-you to the Standard-Bearers and their ilk, of which there are, alas, precious few.  Thank God for their existence for their existence spells, All is in fact Not Quite Lost.

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§ 91 Responses to The End of the World

  • Barry says:

    The layers of deceit and lies make filo pastry look one-dimensional.

    Worth the wait for this phrase alone P …merci .xx

  • MissBates says:

    I can “relate,” Plankton. If I may take your brilliant filo pastry analogy and run with it, I am daily served with a veritable gourmet assortment of Misery Baklava in my practice as a divorce lawyer. It really is what pushed me towards making the decision to “retire” from the active pursuit of a relationship. My surrender didn’t impact my life at all, as I had no Twinkles, Young or otherwise, before I gave up, and I have none now. I just no longer agonize over it. I, too, love winter (I grew up in a cold climate, and still prefer it to the ghastly heat of summer in NY), and I have a lovely, albeit entirely Twinkle-less, Christmas and New Year lined up, including a visit to friends in England.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, and thank you for providing this forum for those of us at the bottom of the food chain.

  • Lydia says:

    Plenty of women commit adultery too and get involved in deceit. The other way round the stellar awful example is that US politican – Edwards? who carried on with an aide whilst his wife was dying of cancer. Perhaps they just need some physical comfort in the face of all the horror of it but it is not justifiable,.She and he met when they were law students. She found out and 2 years later she died.

    If you were an optimist like I am surely hearing how miserable friends are in marriage proves that being single is the best route to happiness?

  • anniebub says:

    So glad you are not suicidal, in spite of all the devalued relationships which abound. Am seriously beginning to doubt the premise of matrimony as an institution, seeing so much dross going on. Is it just asking too much of us mere mortals, and was it designed really to subject women, (originally)? This, even though I have clocked up nearly 30 years. Is not the easiest option by a long way. Sometimes entered into, as in my case, in the first flush of youth – the one you refer to in your article, which sadly, you feel is invevitably doomed – and which must, without doubt, alter, adapt, compromise, become disillusioned, be salvaged, nurtured again, and settled for if it has a hope of surviving. While one’s heart continues to beat passionately. What I meant to say was, please read my blog, which I told you about before, on the subject of what is good about Christmas. Will not name it here, unless you cannot remember it, as do not want to muscle in on your scene. But was written from the heart 36 hours ago… xx

  • James B says:

    As middle age approaches or envelopes us, we can all see our own mortality very clearly indeed. Having been married for 25 years now I can tell you that it is not an easy nor, in my opinion, a very natural thing to persist with.

    But, I have witnessed many middle-aged men and women striking out on their own in the hope of more fulfilling relationships only to find themselves stranded in a lonely, uncertain and often bitter half-life. So many of the previously damaged marriages I have seen have grown back together again – differently but nonetheless back together more closely over time.

    The story about husbands of cancer patients is sadly a common one. Some men in particular, or so it seems to me, cannot really deal with the deadly combination of a sick partner and the concurrent reminder of their own limited life span. I bet this guy was having an affair before the illness in any case.

    In your case P, do not despair though. Many of your friends’ marriages will repair and regarding you – I strongly believe that when you do find your next serious relationship that it will be a good, solid worthwhile one. Why? Because you are choosy, intelligent, genuine and funny – and because you are now of an age where the relationship will be between adults who change less over time and who have in addition actively chosen to be together with each other.

    Happy shopping!

    • fi says:

      People stay when they’re too scared to take a chance on something new and possibly better. They’d rather stay in something they’re unhappy with than take a leap of faith and try something risky.

      • Ruthie says:

        Yes that’s true. I left a couple of relationships (before I had a child) but now I have a child I am just sticking it out for his sake and trying to buoy myself up with good friendships. ;{

      • Fi says:

        Ruthie – been there too. And it was hard when it ended and for a few years afterwards, probably just as hard as while it was going on, but I was always glad I’d done it. If your coping techiniques don’t work, or the pair of you don’t come back together again, then please know that you can make a different life for yourself even though it will be hard. I was always hard up for money for a number of years, and tired, but I never regretted it and it all worked out in the end. I think living a miserable life is soul destroying although I recognise that some people prefer that for all sort of reasons.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you for your optimism. It is lovely to hear, even if i don’t share it myself. Pxx

  • Chris says:

    Hey ho Planky, yet more man bashing I see. On a different tack biut still on the same man bashing theme there was an article in the good ol’ Daily Mail the other day, the gist of which was some woman bemoaning the fact she had a son and how he would grow up to be ‘a stupid, selfish man’. Nice lady, bet her son just loves having a mother with that attitude. Now, you might think this woman was a single mother, in which case there might be an iota of logic to her stance, but no, she is married……presumably to one of those ‘stupid, selfish men’ !! Like, what is it with modern women and their attitude toward men? If you only have a reductive attitude toward ,men fine, but LEAVE THEM ALONE, do not have relationships with a group of people you obviously despise. And don’t have such a reductive opinion of a son, no wonder some young guys have such an appalling attitude to women these days if they have to cope with mothers like that !!

    • RS says:

      I’m really REALLY trying to see where Plankton engaged in this supposed “man bashing”, Chris. Pointing out bad behaviour of one of her friends’ husbands? How is that a blanket “bash” of men? What that person is doing is appalling – if a woman were doing it it would be equally so. Are we not supposed to point out when people betray their spouses?

      As for the Daily Mail, more fool you for falling for their trolling. Their editors hold meetings where they spend the whole time trying to think up similar pieces they can commission, and I imagine the merriment and cackling when they sieze on a topic such as the one you mentioned, which is entirely designed to provoke outrage, pearl-clutching and thus more page views. You’ve been suckered.

      • Chris says:

        Hi RS….yeah I know what the Daily Mail is….bit of a comic really….but I just love the old tosh they come up with. I like to keep the battle of the sexes pretty frivolous and so this article just came in so handy to fascilitate my viewpoint. Aside from this, women with these appalling attitudes really to exist. And there is a lot of man bashing in UK……and frankly I find it quite boring now !!

    • The Plankton says:

      I do not have a reductive attitude to men. Many of my best friends, and all that, it’s only that quite a large number have it in them not to behave well, as do their female counterparts. Perhaps it’s just, being a woman, I see it more from a woman’s POV. pxx

  • Highlander says:

    Yes, the man is evil/stupid/unfaithful thing get’s tiresome after a while, especially when statistics do not bear it out. Men running off with 20 somethings on a grand scale at 45 is a myth. Both sexes are guilty of infidelity, women are just better at hiding it.

    As far as marriage goes, to me mine was as good as it gets until about the last six months of it, I’m grateful for the experience of being able to find someone who “had my back” and shared my nights for half of my life. It’s the end bits that make people forget the good parts.

    At midlife it’s more about the one that leaves, they have in lot of cases been looking for justification for going, dumping all the good bits, focusing on the bad, finding out a couple of years later they really didn’t have it so bad, but it’s now too late to stuff the genie back into the bottle.
    That’s one advantage of those that get left, unlike those that leave, they remember all the good bits and that none of this was their choice.

  • rosie says:

    “stranded in a lonely, uncertain and often bitter half-life”.

    I know that feeling, especially at this time of year. Just want to go to sleep and wake up on Jan 2. You’d think they’d have invented an Anti-Christmas pill by now.

    P, hope you enjoy your evening and the rest of the festive season with SYT. A planet-sized black hole this end!

    And Chris, maybe you should just stop reading the Daily Mail.

  • P, I may have a young twinkle of my very own. 9 years younger *giggles*. I’ll keep you posted ;)

    • Chris says:

      Rosie…..how cpuld I give up the Mail? I asm addicted to their rubbish…..and I would have to miss out on the wonderful ramblings of Liz Jones, a Goddess among Planktons I believe !!!

      • Elle says:

        Chris, I bet you’re “Anthony, no longer in Sheffield” who posts sexist comments in the Mail! :-) Yes, I read it too for entertainment and ridiculous articles on how cellulite on a woman’s wrists are a dead giveaway that she’s over 40 and past it or other similar rubbish.

      • Fi says:

        Yes! I’ve read ‘Anthony, no longer in Sheffield’ too :)
        He’s a twat

    • The Plankton says:

      I COMMAND you to keep me posted!!! Pxx

  • EmGee says:

    P, very sorry to hear your friend is both ill, and that the person who one would assume would be her main support, has in fact taken the selfish route and chosen to kick her when she’s down. I am not surprised however, having been married to someone who flew into a panic when I caught a cold, as if having to take to bed and recover from illness was a form of ‘cheating’ on him. Upon discovering this ugly trait, I lived in fear of ever coming down with any sort of debilitating illness.

    For every one like that though, there is one would give his/her life in exchange for their mate’s, if they possibly could. The rest of us fall somewhere in between.

    I am glad James B’s compassionate post came before the histrionic hyperbole of Chris. I also recommend either taking anything published in the Daily Fail with many grains of salt, or ignore it all together.

  • june says:

    Ah the joys of christmas again, i agree id like to hibernate til 2nd jan, and its all over. Why the hell is it supposed to be so wonderful, People often have to spend it with relatives they would rather not, why, why cant they spend it with friends they choose, much better. I suppose being an only child from a very small family i never kn ew these big family christmases so ive never missed it. Its always seemed a non event to me.

    As a single person i dont like it, people when they go on about it never think of those who dont have a family or one they get on with. Its one big myth, yet every year the myth goes on. I quite enjoy having meal and drinks out with friends but i choose to do that, if i had a family id have to spend it with them or god forbId a partners family so there are some advantages to being a single only child. Lonely yes without that special person and if i did meet him,. no family christmasses id insist.!

    Glad P twinkle still about. a bright spark of hope for us all in these dark days.

  • Scott Benowitz says:

    @ Ms. P- Let someone in your family watch your kids for few days- Hop on one of the budget airlines, take a Mediterranean extended weekend- Cyprus, Malta, the south of France, Portugal, Israel, Italy, Greece, Spain, Morocco, Egypt, wherever- Orange, Virgin, Ryanair, Israir, Aer Lingus, etc.- they’re all offering cheap Dec. 2012- Jan. 2013 Mediterranean getaway specials now- I’ve looked into my spherical quartz orb while burning scented candles and incense, and I foresaw the possible beginning of the end of p’tonhood for you….

    If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not on it, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life….

  • Scott Benowitz says:

    Well, now that I don’t have a girlfriend, or any dates, and women never return any of my phone calls and emails, except for the occasional “I’m too busy but maybe sometime next year…,” I’ve been doing a lot of reading…

    Mostly I’m reading American authors, and what few U.K. based authors I’ve read, I don’t think I’ve ever read anything of yours- I still have absolutely no idea who you are, and quite possible I never will, but with both the fiction as well as the non fiction that I’ve read from the U.K., the language style does not match what I keep seeing here on your blogsite- (don’t worry, if I ever do figure out who you are, I won’t tell anyone) ….

  • Scott Benowitz says:

    Of all the blogsites on all the servers in all the world, I had to stumble across yours… Ah well, here’s looking at you kid, whoever and whatever you are…. Happy ’13…. if the world does not end next Fri., that is ….

  • rosie says:

    Chris, I agree with RS, you’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for the Daily Mail’s ‘tosh’ but then what else would you expect from your average Daily Mail reader.

    • Chris says:

      Now now, Rosie, don’t be twitter and bisted !! But hey, guess what, you have given me an opportjunity to expose you to yet more of their marvellous tosh. This last Thursday in the femail section their had some wman wittering on about her ‘ flirty faux pas at the Christmas party and why it’s hell to be 48, alone and desperate’. You should read this stuff, it is real mainstream plankton. Apparentrly her last significant other was a banker ( yawn, how original !!), now she is in her 40’s no man will give her a second glance blah blah blah. Believe me, by not allowing the good ol’ Daily Whale to intrude on yer life yer really are missing out on some super whiney Plankton action !!

  • zoe says:

    It’s interesting every now and then to catch up with Private Man and his friends. This is the latest little gem from one of the crowd:

    The Rise Of The Mini-Relationship
    By Roosh

    When Bang first came out, a lot of guys told me they were buying it in order to get a girlfriend. They saw game as a short term adjustment in order to land the girl they wanted for eventual marriage. Their main complaint of the book was that it didn’t have enough relationship advice.

    Fast forward to today and I don’t get nearly as many emails from guys expressing their desire for girlfriends or marriage. In the past, game used to be seen as a means to an end, but I see a shift where now game is the end. Many guys just want to fuck a lot of women for an extended period of time. They seek more to imitate rock stars than stable family men.

    The main reason for this shift is that there is little incentive for men to choose monogamy, which used to be a requirement for regular sex. But now women are volunteering to be in harems. Players only need to send a terse text message with improper grammar to get women to come over for sex.

    It’s actually less energy intensive to maintain a harem of two or three girls than a real relationship with one girl who expects much more from a boyfriend than—as one American girl put it to me—a “consistent hookup.” Compare that to my experience in Ukraine, where acquiring pussy was labor intensive and one-night stands were tough. I quickly got into a relationship, not because I was retiring from the game, but to maintain the consistent sex frequency I desired. I made a decision based on local market forces that had nothing to do with any change in my character or goals.

    Feminism has done an amazing job of turning pussy into a commodity, not unlike internet bandwidth. I remember it used to cost me $10 per gigabyte over ten years ago to host a web site, but now it’s just a few cents. If a company today offered a hosting plan at 2002 prices, they would go out of business. Today you have many women pricing their pussy at 1960 levels when the current market value—in the form of a man’s cost per notch—is approaching $0. Too many girls are giving it away for free because it has become free.

    The market has a strange way of setting the correct price and then dictating efficient behavior for all participants, which in today’s terms come in the form of men avoiding relationships in favor of casual, no-effort sex. Those who artificially inflate the value of pussy (beta males and white knights) will unfortunately not be able to obtain it at true value pricing. They are the losers who purchase garbage IPO stock at the peak after Goldman Sachs already cashed in its profit.

    You’ll find real men increasingly use women for sex and light companionship for short time periods, between one to six months. When the cost of renting (of being the consistent hookup) becomes too high, and the woman demands that the man purchase her pussy in the form of a commitment, he will discard her and enter another mini-relationship. The player will only purchase the pussy when renting becomes too difficult, like happened to me in Ukraine, but even that was self-limiting as over time I became more knowledgeable of the local market.

    The guy who overpays via marriage thinks that the inflated payment more than compensates for his need to have children or not to be alone, but since his purchase is a downpayment for what is a depreciating asset, he will find it necessary to move very large sums of money, in the form of his time and labor, into maintaining the initial purchase that can’t possibly hold its value. It’s not unlike buying a house at the top of a bubble.

    Relationships have more to do with economics than love. If the price of your current pussy fluctuates out of your favor, turn in your rental to get a different pussy that gives more value. Have fun with your current pussy: go on a little trip with her, snuggle with her after stretching her out, let her cook for you, and then when maintenance costs rise, toss her aside for a newer model. America today is a renters market. As a matter of fact, I see a lot of used models in good condition coming onto the showroom floor right now.

    • fi says:

      These blogs are quite interesting I think – not just PMs but others that can be reached through his pages. They do contain a lot of information for a woman on what men find attractive in a woman (feminity – and that supports my experience) and some like M3’s recent post on Incel are genuinely enlightening. But I’ve had to stop reading them because of the commentators who seem to be a bunch of unpleasant unsuccessful (on the whole) misogynists. Even the ones who say they have girlfriends or wives don’t seem to have much regard for women, and the aim is always to increase a man’s access to sex – whether in one relationship or just getting through as mAny women as possible. I found the drip drip effect of their negativity towards women was begining to corrode the good relationships that I have had with the men in my life as I found myself questioning the extent to which the commentators are really just expressing commonly held male views of women, just expressed more bluntly. They create, or at least exacerbate, an ‘us’ and ‘them’ situation I think.

      • maria says:

        From my experience, Private Man and other blogs like it only express more bluntly what most men really think about women.
        And Fi, I love your comments on Private Man, I always rate them as “groovy”.

      • fi says:

        Maria, that’s brilliant!!! I always wondered who on that site stopped me being marked the crappiest score. Not the men anyway. :)

    • EmGee says:

      I read the first couple of paragraphs of Zoe’s private man post, and quickly realized it was a time wasting rehash of the same old same old.

      People continue to believe that sex = love. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sex is an activity participated in between 2 people whether they love each other, hope the other will love them if they consent, or they just want sex.

      The men in the article have simply given up on looking for a long term relationship, but still want the pleasure and intimacy (however brief) that a fling delivers. Just like some woman here have also given up hope of a lasting relationship. It’s just that everyone has individual meeds that they try to meet in whatever way they can.

      I now plenty of men who are not in relationship, but they aren’t all prowling around looking for a quick lay.

      I get the feeling that the umbrage taken on both sides here is simply argument for argument’s sake.

      • EmGee says:

        Not sure how this post ended up in the middle, as I had posted at the bottom of the page. Just wanted to mention it, so no one thinks it is directed at anyone in particular.

      • EmGee says:

        Urgh, just reread my post above, sorry for the typos. I was temporarily using a rickety keyboard, and hadn’t had enough coffee yet this morning to properly proofread it.

        I menat to type women, not woman, and know, not now in the next to last paragraph.

  • Chris says:

    Interesting. I always thought thagt western femenism was always ablout the commodification of female sexuality. For a while that worked and then men, being nowhere near as ‘thick’ as feminist mythology pretends them to be, figured it all lout. Apparently the percentage of women seeking wedlock in America is rising while the percentage of men seeking a state of wedded bliss is falling, the gap being roughly a ten point negative spread against female desire in this regard. This is not surprising, for given the current state of the west vis a vis marital legisltion the cards are stacked against any man who marries.Why risk losing all you worked for through a biased court system when the wife decides to dump you on a whim? Remember most divorces in Britain are initiated by women. So what do intelligent men do? Simple, never get into a position where you can be divorced. And that is where we are today. Nice, ain’t it?

  • rosie says:

    When a male friend doesn’t tell me, only half jokingly, that women are ‘right to hate men'; when women over 30 can be serial monogamists or avail themselves of at least three (or even just ONE, goddammit!) willing accomplices to save them from yet another Saturday night out with married friends or in front of the box on their own; when women haters like Chris stop crowing about the ‘failure’ of feminism as if it were some form of revenge (for what, exactly?); when funny, intelligent women spend most of their thirties and practically the whole of their forties involuntarily alone and when funny, intelligent and, no doubt, very attractive, women such as P don’t feel compelled to write blogs such as this out of sheer frustration. THAT’s when I’ll believe we’ve achieved some sort of parity.

    • Chris says:

      Hi Rosie………I am not a woman hater…..I like women a lot…..I have sisters and daughters that I revere. But I do think that the women in some western countries are going down a developmental culdesac. Where do you get the idea from that women over a certain age are unattractive to men? My partner is just over 3 years younger than me. She was about 44 when I met her many years ago. We are still together and quite happy. But she does not come from a western background. At the same time she is neither subservkiant or a pushover. One of the problems I have with western feminism is that when a man dares to express a point of view a woman does not agree with, he is instantly and mindlessly labelled a ‘woman hater’. So when women casually describe men in superficially derogatory terms like ‘fat, middle aged, balding, stupid, losers’, are they then man haters?

      • fi says:

        I don’t think age makes a woman unattractive to men either. I am 51 and I can honestly say that I still get opportunities. The pool of available men is smaller but last weekend I was flirted with and was asked out by my nieces boyfriend’s brother, did go on a date mid week with a man my own age and then the following evening had a flirt with a man my age who was actually the only one I am interested in and would like to see go somewhere – don’t know if it will though. Saturday evening I was out with 2 of them at a thrid’s birthday party, and I’m taking the third for lunch and to the cinema today. I think middle aged men want someone they find sexually attractive but they aren’t driven by that as the main motivator. It seems to me what they want is someone who is nice to them and isn’t unpleasant. My god if I wanted to I could have affairs with married men so easily – all it requires me to do is give them the respect and attention that their wives often fail to do.

      • Elle says:

        There is a lot to be said for women from certain non-Western backgrounds. We could learn a lot from them. Their approach is gentle, subtle but in the long run very firm. There’s a lot to be said for an iron fist in a velvet glove.

      • malcolm says:

        “There is a lot to be said for women from certain non-Western backgrounds. We could learn a lot from them. Their approach is gentle, subtle but in the long run very firm. There’s a lot to be said for an iron fist in a velvet glove.”

        I totally agree with this. There seems to be a sneering dismissive attitude about such women, and the words “submissive” and “meek” come up quite a bit, as an attempt to make men who are interested in such women feel ashamed of their interest, as if they are neanderthal bullies who want a barefoot and pregnant wife or girlfriend. If you have ever had an Eastern European girlfriend and had an argument with her, the first thing you’d realize is that they are not meek or submissive at all, in fact they can be frighteningly firm.

        It’s just that they have a different view of relationships. We have very short attention spans in the West, and when things are unpleasant we focus on ourselves and all the wrongs that are done to us. We then start backpedalling away from commitments and feel perfectly justified in doing so, as that seems to be the acceptable way these days.

        I think the non-western people see us as somewhat frivilous and child-like in that regard, and the women will concede a few things to their men in exchange for heightened loyalty and stability. Might not always work, but they will quite aggresively manage a relationship, which I think suits a lot of western fellows just fine, because we often do need help in that respect. These women are not pushovers at all.

      • RS says:

        Chris, you need to realize what feminism is. It is simply the belief that women should have the same rights to make choices about their lives as men do. If you have daughters and sisters and you don’t want them to be held back by societal rules about what is acceptable for women as far as education, career, life – then you are (shock! horror!) a feminist.

        The “man-hating” you are so fond of referring to is not feminism. Stop lumping them together.

  • James B says:

    Not all men are misogynists of course. In fact I believe that maybe 80% of men are well-rounded males with balanced experience and views of women by the time middle age is reached. The problem is that so many of the remaining single ones are indeed slightly suspect.

  • rosie says:

    I hate to say it, James, but in my experience it’s the 80 per cent who are the ‘suspect’ ones. A decent bloke who you fancy as well is as rare as hens’ teeth at this stage in life, if not all the stages that have gone before!

  • rosie says:

    And Chris, you are straight out of central casting.

    • Chris says:

      ‘And Chris, you are straight out of central casting’……what the hell does that mean?…..actually probably nothing, just another vacuous comment from someone frankly going nowhere. Still, at least you didn’t call me a ‘loser’, the last linguistic resort for women attempting to degrade men. And now I shall go back to watching Strictly Come Dancing where one encounters rather more elegance and charm than will EVER be found on this blog !!

      • Jo says:

        Why are you here then? And indeed persist on being here if it’s so awful?

      • Lizzie says:

        I’m with you Chris. I think when you and James are leaving logical and informative comments on this blog, a response in the form of an attack does nothing but widen the gender divide.
        It is just an opinion. But there is truth in what you say. Women would be greatly benefited in absorbing the point of view, and being the wiser for it.

      • fi says:

        Hear hear. I don’t see why we can’t respect each other’s point of view whether we agree with it or not. I like hearing what the men have to say. Their contribution is attacked unless it supports the female perspective.

  • Jo says:

    No that’s not what I meant.
    Whether it be male or female I find it baffling that one person’s viewpoint (example the Daily Mail woman who didn’t want sons, or the story of ‘the flirty faux pas’ by a woman at her Christmas party or a woman ‘not from a western background’) should be taken as that of the whole of Western womankind, as Chris is wont to do. (Read through the history of his comments.).
    If a woman posted the same examples and comments as Chris historically has done, then he would deem them ‘men bashing’.
    Often – Lizzie – his responses are indeed in ‘the form of an attack’.
    James’ comments are always logical and informative. And certainly doesn’t ‘widen the gender divide’. Certainly not in the same category as Chris. Inmho.
    Read them both…..

  • Jo says:

    ‘And now I shall go back to watching Strictly Come Dancing where one encounters rather more elegance and charm than will EVER be found on this blog’.
    A ‘logical and informative comment’? A ‘respectful point of view’?
    ‘A contribution that is attacked because it doesn’t support the female perspective’?
    Ok then…(!)

  • Jo says:

    I think you’ll both find if you read through all of my comments on this blog that I have always respected ‘each other’s points of view’ and not simply ‘responded in the form of an attack’.
    But hey ho….

  • Jo says:

    Btw Chris. Please proof check your grammar and spelliing. Can be difficult to understand. Not a dig, just saying…

    • Chris says:

      Hi Jo,…..yeah, I know, loads of typos in what I write…..don’t have the time to waste checking it. For example, writing this during Graham Norton, Girls aloud on soon, don’t think they have Plankton issues !! I think you may find some of my comments mildly provocative. I hope so, because that is what they are meant to be. Women in the west have become quite pompous. I think if Jane Austin were writing today she would be aiming her waspish darts at the pomposity of women, not men. For today women are wont to inform all that they are superior to men in every way, much as men did in Victorian times. It is quite acceptable for women to call men fat, middle aged, stipid, bald etc. quite openly. Supposing a woman were to be described as a flat chested, pot bellied old hag in the press……there would be palpable outrage. But is is open season on men. So when a guy like me stands and apes a little of what the ladies dish out…..bam bam bam he must be shot down and there must be no informed debate…….very PC. Right Girls Aloud on now….must dash !!

  • Jo says:

    Or indeed ‘spelling’.
    Proof checked on my part!

  • James B says:

    Isn’t the point here that generalisations are probably not as useful nor as accurate at we might hope (or fear)? Mind you that in itself is a generalisation.

    Is ANYONE happy with their relationship status? People in love for the first 2 years seem happy (often). But the rest of us? Seems to me that the married ones (or long term relationship members) bitch about their partners to their friends while the single ones moan about their dates or the lack of dates. There maybe three states actually. 1. “In Love” – which is a form a chemically-induced denial if the psychologists are to be believed 2. “Loneliness” – self evident really or 3. “Ongoing tolerance/boredom/relationship compromise. Take your pick…

    No, I am not that cynical really but sometimes it does look like that. Now, where’s my dog gone. I need a hug!

    • Fi says:

      I know plenty of people who are happy even though they are married. 2 couples in particular spring to mind who I’ve known since before they married 25+ years ago STILL really enjoy each other’s company. I think there are more categories 4. love – shared interests, shared history, appreciation of and reliance on each other and liking your partner and 5. Happy single – general contentment with where your life is and emotional fulfillment from friends and family.

      • James B says:

        Thanks Fi. I agree and thank goodness for those two categories! The shared interest thing is rare but shouldn’t be should it?

      • fi says:

        Well..I only know the women did this because they told me, I don’t know if the men did too…but my mum (happily married 53yrs) and the 2 women in these relationships adopted one or two of the men’s interests (rugby, cricket, hillwalking) and eventually by working hard at it, they began to enjoy them for their own sake. Voila! Shared interests.
        I know all the tricks. Shame I’m too lazy to do them. :D

    • Chris says:

      Thing is James, we live in a capitalist society and capitalism thrives by creating disatisfaction with what you have combined with a constant desire to ‘upgrade’. With the falling away of traditional structures and sanctions around relationships, ‘churning’ of partners has become the norm, wityh people constantly in search of ‘the one’. This has been sold to us as a’liberating’ concept but in reality leads to untold amounts of hurt, misery, ennui and loneliness

  • rosie says:

    I’d trade in 15 years of bone-crunching loneliness, interspersed here and there with the odd fly-by-night twinkle, for ‘ongoing tolerance/boredom/relationship compromise’ anyday.

    This weekend I had an ill-advised and completely unexpected fling with an ex who was in town for work and who I’ve kept in touch with loosely down the years. Ill advised a) because I don’t fancy him anymore (but women can grow beer goggles too!) and b) because I knew it would stir up yearnings, not for him, but for that much missed ‘connection’. And sure enough, it has, and I now feel ten times worse than I did before, if that’s even possible. And it’s Christmas.

  • rosie says:

    “With the falling away of traditional structures and sanctions around relationships, ‘churning’ of partners has become the norm, wityh people constantly in search of ‘the one’. This has been sold to us as a’liberating’ concept but in reality leads to untold amounts of hurt, misery, ennui and loneliness.”

    Chris, I find myself in the strange position of agreeing with you. But only partly. Women my age (I’m 49) and thereabouts are very much a guinea-pig generation. Our mothers, the vast majority of them anyway, were married off by the age of 25 and panicking horribly if they weren’t. But we were told that we could ‘have it all’. That we could forge ahead with our glittering careers until the age of 35, when Mr Right would magically appear out of thin air, we would run off and have babies with him, pick up the career where we left off and we’d all live happily ever after. As we all now know, that was a load of old nonsense and has led to untold numbers of women, like myself, suffering the misery and loneliness you mention.

    In the meantime – and this is where I disagree – men have been able to carry on pretty much as before and, dare I say it, haven’t caught up. But who really expected them to when the notion of equality (it was still legal to pay women less than men for doing the same job until 1970) has been around for the mere blink of an eye?

    Whereas our mothers’ generation would have ended up on the streets if they’d left a bad marriage, women are now able to leave men, and, of course, some of them do. And men don’t like it. From the outset, they’ve been used to ruling the roost and they’re finding it hard to let go. If I’ve met one man who has it in for all of womankind because someone left him, even if it’s a decade previously, I’ve met a hundred. But however mistrustful or angry or jaded he is, a man who wants a woman, as long as he has a semblance of charm and wit (and quite often, even if he hasn’t) can go out and get one.

    Among the men of my present and past acquaintance, only one (he has a severe social anxiety disorder) is alone. The notion that any one of my ex boyfriends would have gone on to spend more than a decade on his own against his will is just laughable.

    Then of course, there’s good old-fashioned biology and the theory that men are hard-wired to be attracted to women of child-bearing age. And such women looking at the likes of me and thinking, ‘No way.’ Which leaves me very much at the bottom of the pond.

    Anyway, Happy Christmas, ho ho ho!

    • T Lover says:

      Rosie, please don’t be down. Your conclusion (about men being genetically programmed to chase women who are young enough to have children) is, in my personal experience, not universally true.

      These few months past I have had an on off (off at the moment) relationship with a woman who has no, and never will have, children. She is the oldest women I have ever had a relationship with. For me, the thought of bringing up another family puts me in a spin.

      On Sunday I spoke to a girl I “met” eighteen months ago through internet dating. We speak regularly, laugh and exchange eMail but have never met in the flesh.

      She is fifteen years younger than me. Insists the gap is not too great, that her sister’s husband is seventeen years older and so on. She is too young and she is. I keep telling her.

      I can only talk from my own standpoint but there it is.

      Your problem may be that you are upset and lost your confidence. Not the reality of your actual situation.

    • Chris says:

      Rosie…..yer right, in many respects women your age are a guinea pig generation. But did you ever really believe that ‘have it all’ rubbish that was foisted on you by Cosmo etc.? Nobody has ever had it all, except maybe for the very rich of both sexes, though I think the Rausings managed to prove that even billionaires can live in self inflicted hell. I mean, what you decsribe above is like a fairy tale that an 8 year old girl might believe. Do you think the men who toiled down the mines or the guys who spent all days putting wheels on Ford Cortinas at Dagenham ‘had it all’? Of course they did not !! But like you say women like you have many advantages over what their mothers had…..I can remember my mother going to apply for a mortgage and being told she had to have my fathers permission to do so…..ludicrous, especially as my father was spectacularly useless. S the answer is, I guess, life is never perfect and you have to make the best of what you have.

  • rosie says:

    Just to clarify, I’m talking about getting a partner, not a quick fling or one-night stand.

  • rosie says:

    Chris, if you knew anything about it, you’d know that ‘having it all’ was never about being stinking rich, it was about being able to have a family AND a career. Y’know, like men do. I never bought into the idea in the first place as I always thought it just meant ‘doing it all’, which, of course, it does. And beyond flicking through them in various waiting rooms and supermarket checkout queues, I’ve never bothered with the women’s magazines. I prefer newspapers and magazines with interesting stuff inside them. Y’know, like men do.

  • rosie says:

    T Lover, thanks for your concern. How different the world would be if all men insisted fifteen years younger was too young!

    • T Lover says:

      Chin up, Rosie.

      I am sure there are lots of blokes with the same mindset. You are just feeling sorry for yourself. Stop it.

  • rosie says:

    Er, I just thanked you for your concern but forget it. Jeez.

    • T Lover says:

      Rosie,

      I am completely lost. Whatever I have said which has touched a nerve – sorry.

      • zoe says:

        You crack me up TLover. Despite your chippiness, I can see you’re a decent man. But I suspect that what went wrong with that exchange will be evident to everyone except you.

      • T Lover says:

        Rosie,

        I tried to be nice twice. Sounds like a short poem – me, we. Anyway, you bit me for no reason I could get my head round.

        I apologised. The apology also seems to have fallen on stony ground.

        Perhaps, Rosie, you are of the prickly female variety. Forgive me, perhaps some of your woes are self inflicted?

      • T Lover says:

        Blimey, Zoe, now I am lost.

  • rosie says:

    Thanks, P, feel a bit better now, or should that be ‘better’. This one used to be – shock horror! – a proper relationship. It was so long ago now it hardly counts but oh, the easy familiarity and camaraderie and the feeling of actually being ALIVE. But you know what I mean. x

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