Alive, if not exactly kicking…

November 15, 2013 § 402 Comments

I have been remiss, very remiss.  Haven’t been reporting from the frontline of plankton-hood because there’s been sweet FA to report, except for hearing about all the women who have been joining my ranks, or continue to try to stem their individual tide precisely in order not to do so.

The old friend, as I think I may have mentioned, hooked up with a multi-millionairess, quite ten minutes after separating from his wife.

The amazing friend Janey is throwing yet another singles’ dinner – 4th in 5 years, far as I remember, and there may well have been others, without me.  I must be a hard nut to crack, her most impossible client, in the sense that I am still here, planking away; but she keeps trying, and the trying alone is enough for me.  It means everything to me that someone’s bothering (so few do, and I am in love with those friends who make that supreme and kindly effort); success would almost be a side issue.  What I have come to accept of late is that I am enjoying the benefits of planktonhood more than I have in the past.  Realisation that it is not all bad; and acceptance.  Course, I have known that all along, but I’m not fighting it any more.  In fact, I am thinking the answer – flying in the face of popular opinion – is to be MORE picky, not less so.  This old “so what first attracted you to multimillionairess Gina?” friend, lives bloody miles away in a far-flung county and loves his dogs and multi-millionairesses and probably gets excited by phrases in the colour supplements such as “luxury travel goods” which leave me colder than a witch’s tit.  If all that shit is his bag, I would be bending backwards like a fucking limbo dancer to have the honour of being with him, I think.  Ach!  Don’t need it.

Met another man the other night.  Really lovely.  Seemed modest, gentle, clever, got the joke.  I repeat, got the joke!  That’s more the sort of person, I thought.  Not that I am going to do anything about it.  Call me a reactionary, but that’s his job.  He knows where to find me.  Like my ex-husband who never courted higher-paying, commercial work but wasn’t averse if it courted him.  I won’t be averse but I am not planning on angling.  Can’t be arsed.  Don’t want it so much, or maybe I have just given up.  Either way, not angling is fine with me.

I’m having a nice time, managing my kids, seeing my family and friends; working, not enough (not enough of it about), but a bit, to keep the spirits high and the bank balance a degree or two off destitution.  That’s all that matters.  Especially as I read news of the Philippines which utterly flails one, and since one friend has told me all the gory details of her beloved husband’s chemotherapy (the stuff you never hear about; don’t ask), I think all the more, that that is all that really matters: family, friends, supper together.

Spent the day watching a child in a match and enjoying the craic on the sidelines and then went to visit my sister and my niece and went on to the supper where I met Modest Man, with old friends, seven of us round the table, eating, and laughing.  Drove home listening to whoopingly-loud music and thought, with days like that I want to live for ever.

They don’t come round much, such days, but when they do everything, briefly, seems OK.

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§ 402 Responses to Alive, if not exactly kicking…

  • Ellen says:

    Oddly enough, I know a multi-millionairess, recently divorced, and looking for another partner, who got together with a friend from 30 years ago, an old boyfriend from university days, after re-igniting their friendship on Facebook. He has since left his wife for her…within the last few months, I think.

    I wonder if it could be the same multi-millionairess? If so, you were never in with a chance, because he was already taken by the time he left his wife, as so often happens.

    • The Plankton says:

      Could be the very same. I am never in with a chance, but least of all up against multi-millionairesses. Pxx

      • Ellen says:

        Yes, you ARE in with a chance – it happened for me, against all the odds, and it can happen for you.

        But I just meant if it is the same couple, they were having an affair (long distance, he lives in a far away county, like your friend) for quite some time before he left his wife. But I doubt he is is advertising that information, so of course you would have thought he might actually be available… not fair.

      • The Plankton says:

        Different one. Multi-millionairesses aren’t planktons, obv. So there’s a solution to my problems: multi-millions. Alas, they have proved rather elusive so far. pxx

      • Lydia says:

        There is an answer for your daughters of course – help them pick lucrative careers. Far to many people don’t think that matters particularly for girls and pick careers where their earnings are so low no man wants them, particularly men already stung by having to pay out to the first wife. Feminism is the key to things working out for most women.

      • Muriel says:

        Lydia
        Couldn’t agree more! Life is a whole lot better if you’re in good financial shape. “Cinderella” and “Pretty Woman” are fairy stories people!

  • Jill says:

    SO pleased to see you back, P. And sounding very positive and pleased with life – I couldn’t agree more with you about what is really important, family, friends, health, kindness. (I was in Boots waiting for a prescription yesterday evening, and there were two youngish mothers with sub-year old babies in pushchairs, both of whom were wailing piteously and heart-rendingly. After fully ten minutes of observing these women ignoring their tired and possibly hungry children while they examined nail varnishes, I was so incensed that I could have made a very big scene. Unfortunately I had just spent two hours being tortured by a dentist, so I was bereft of speech (4 injections). How I wanted to tell them how lucky they were to have their children and that their behaviour was shameful, interfering old bag that I am…..) Next time I bloody well will say something……can’t do much, except donate some ££, to help a child in the Philipines but can try to make things better for one nearer to home.

  • Bonnie says:

    Hurrah, you’re back! So missed your mordant wit and frankness. I agree about not *being seen* to do anything about Modest Man, but surely a casual inquiry amongst these old and loving dinner friends might be an option? If only to be open to the possibility further dinners that will include MM?

    I’m beginning to think that having a nice time, in just the way you put it, really is all that matters.

  • Eve says:

    As you said Ms Plankton, there are certain times that all seems right with the world.

    Perhaps we should chuck our standards and just go for it — jump in the sack with the next caring, thoughtful guy that we find appealing. Safe sex of course. Instead of waiting, wondering, wasting a lot of time.

    Then, afterwards, try to avoid the self-loathing if it turns out to be nothing but a one time thing. At least we got something out of it.

    I think more real relationships begin this way than we realize.

    Thoughts?

    • Jill says:

      Tempting though your suggested plan of action might be, Eve, now that I have reached my advanced age (!), I am utterly convinced that “real relationships” cannot exist without a basis of friendship and mutual respect. Surely a bit of waiting and wondering is not a waste of time if it results in more than a “one time thing”, or, Heaven forfend, “self-loathing”? (Oh dear, is that very old-fashioned of me…?!)

    • The Plankton says:

      Yes, could work. But not for the sake of going to bed with someone is it great to go to bed with any old person who happens to present themselves. Better if a certain amount of discernment prevails, or maybe not, but that’s my setting. Doesn’t need to be anybody else’s… Pxx

  • Jamie says:

    P – went to a funeral last week and read this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote on the order of service:

    To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

    Seems to sum up your admirable philosophy.

  • Fi says:

    Hurrah P. Congratulations.
    So pleased you are at the exact point where you can have a happy life if you don’t meet someone, or have a happy life if you do. And by getting on with your life and getting out an about enjoying yourself anyway, you are more likely to bump into someone, and being content as you are, along with being comfortable with yourself, you are more likely to be attractive to the right person for you too. But if not, then life is still good.

  • Shai says:

    Hey lovely lady.. missed your updates. Guess ur going thru a lull before and after a storm. Life is all you say and more, if only we can remain objective. and really I dont think millions help planktons !! It mainly attracts freeloaders in transit to PYT’s.

  • Claudia says:

    Yes, truly great to have you back – you’ve created something of a community here, a planktonista tribe. But how about that book of yours then? Please do press on with it. It’s at least as important as a new man – maybe even more?

  • Amanda says:

    Totally agree….who needs the hassle of men when you have good-for-the-soul days like that! Recent tragedies have again reminded us that life is far too short and precious to spend it unhappy. Rejoice in what we have now!! And rock on!!! Xxx

    • So we’re not needed anymore?

      • steve says:

        Looks that way :(

      • Steve, I’ve tried to arouse the interest of Ms. Plankon- I gave up back in 2011, I realized that she’s not terribly interested in me (understatement)- However, just because she’s not interested in me, does not necessarily mean that she won’t want you- Worth a try perhaps….

      • Muriel says:

        Scott
        Don’t confuse “need” with “want”. Personally I’d run like my hair was on fire from a man who “needed” me, but a man who wants me is definitely worth considering. You can always tell the difference.
        Also how on earth would P be interested in you, you have never met, and almost certainly never will.

      • The Plankton says:

        Thank you, Muriel. Pxx

      • Muriel says:

        Are there no women where you live?

      • Muriel says:

        You always say they don’t return your calls, but perhaps you should ponder why that is? Are you asking the wrong women? Have you any female friends who can give you honest advice?

      • Oh Muriel, there are millions of women in New York City- Just can’t find one (1) who will actually return my telephone calls or emails, with anything more than a blatantly fabricated excuse of some version of “… really like you as a friend, but am just simply too busy for a relationship these day, nothing personal, you understand…”

    • The Plankton says:

      Am rocking! (If you can call being in my pyjamas at 8pm and in bed with one of my teenagers watching Homeland rocking. I hardly think so but it feels merry enough in the absence of romantic anything.) Pxx

    • nalcolm says:

      Exactly. who needs men? Men have been accustomed into hearing how useless we are, how predictable we all are, how we are so influenced by sex. We are all just idiots.
      It must be very a conflicting experience to despise the very same thing you desire so much.
      Go nuts,You deserve it.

  • june says:

    Often wondered where you were P,thought possibly you had met man of your dreams, but see like rest of us you havent and are still plodding on with hope if not much else.

    I think this time of year is worse if by yourself gets dark at 4 if not earlier and of course we have the delights of Christmas to look forward to,lol.

    As you say the Phillipines tragedy puts stuff in prospective. Guess we should all be grateful for what we have,.An old schoolfriend of mine recently went to a funeral of an ex classmate who happens to be her sister in laws brother. She met several old classmates at this and one on his own asked for my phone no, i didnt fancy this guy when at school and not on seeing him in following years, I now no longer live where he does, my friend didnt think id want to know and no i dont. Your getting more choosey rings true, Anyone is not for me, and lonely as i get i,m not going to change that.I was touched today by a good friend of mine who normally emails me in most days we meet every couple weeks, rang cause she was worried hadnt heard, my emails have been iffy, and the friend whos delightful dog i sit, got phone call, my phone had slipped out in my bag and phoned her, They were both concerned, so maybe you rtight P, if you cant find right person , friendship matters more and being without them would be much worse.Sure we will still all have our down days im sure i will but sometimes you have to out things in perspective.

  • EmGee says:

    Fingers crossed that this timeJaney’s party yields a twinkle or 2, at least.

  • Lydia says:

    That is what I was saying all along. Happiness does not flow from being owned or kept (or even penetrated) by a man. It is a mental condition which does not necessarily have a connection to those things about balance of brain chemicals.

  • Tim Baker says:

    Well, I’m a 52 year old guy, so maybe I’m out of place, but in my experience it always seems to be the guy that has to pass muster, not the girl…

  • bookishnyc says:

    Hope the guy who Gets the Joke resurfaces in your life (he sounds quite the nicest man you’ve mentioned here in ages), although I quite agree that “angling” is exhausting and usually fruitless. I’m glad you’re feeling relatively content these days.

  • Peggy says:

    Yay you’re back. What you write certainly strikes a chord. Having bade ‘shagger’ farewell and deciding to reconcile myself to either nada or ‘someone with promise’ I’ve been astounded on a couple of counts.
    1: I feel fabulously relaxed, in control and loved(!) weird but true
    2: I have a big circle of platonic male friends courting friendship (which if I weren’t doing this on a phone would be underlined and italicised)

    Now it’s point 2 that is of interest here as I think it speaks to the need to invest in all the quality aspects of a relationship before large quantities of rampant nooky. Now, if I were to extrapolate that further, I ask myself the question why it’s taken me nigh on 30 years of ballsed up relationships to realise this simple fact. I conclude in this moment of early evening retrospection it goes all the way back to the first tragic relationship where as a late teen you attempt friendship, which doesn’t really compete in the wake of raging hormones. So we adopt a pattern of bonk bonk bonketty bonk into marriages etc. it’s only now our hormones are less shouty and our self respect has a louder voice that we have the refound self confidence to try a different more mature approach. I wonder if there’s ever been any relationship research undertaken to correlate early years relationship fuckups with a repetitive pattern of relationship fuckups. Now we are on the whole all parents maybe we should add to our already overly long list of parental responsibilies the need to ensure our offspring have a positive first experience of lurve. Blimey, need a fag and a glass of something to ponder that one x

  • Elle says:

    Plankton, glad you’re back. Would that multi-millionairess who bagged your friend happen to be LYDIA? Come on Lydia, tell us everything!

    • Lydia says:

      I’m not a multi milionnairess on any stretch of the imagination. Just earn more than most men which seems to please those who have had to shell a lot out to a non earning pin money housewife type to took them to the cleaners on the first divorce.

      I think the key is in being relaxed about things and happy single as much as with someone. Kelly Hoppen writing in today’s Stella magazine – Sunday Telegraph says it was only when she decided to be happy sngle she ended up meeting her current boyfriend and they now spend all their time together including with his 11 year old child. Mind you she is financially sound and has a career too. Perhaps we are finding our way to the answer – feminism. If women pick well paid careers and do not rely on men for money happiness can be theirs.

      • EmGee says:

        Right on, Lydia!, and everyone who is willing to admit that having a bit of money makes sailing through life much smoother. I am not saying that people who are stretched financially are necessarily looking for someone who can fill the money gap, rather that being comfortable financially means you can afford to do things and get out in the world, meet interesting people and do interesting things that definitely fill the loneliness gap.

        How much is enough, depends on the individual. Even though I’d love to take a European vacation, just having enough to go to a nearby city for a weekend and go to a museum, is leaves me plenty satisfied, and I don’t yearn constantly for something that is out of reach.

        Being needy, whether it is materially and/or emotionally, is usually toxic for relationships.

      • The Plankton says:

        No good being “entirely happy” in oneself, if there are no fucking men who are suddenly going to be attracted to this “entirely happy in myself” me because they’ve all been snapped up by women miraculously poised to pounce just at the optimum moment and a whole deal quicker off the mark than me. Pxx

    • The Plankton says:

      Er, no, but he obviously missed a trick there, what with Lydia and her private island. Pxx

      • Lydia says:

        Someone’s made an offer. In fact he’s a divorcee but doesn’t live on my continent and I think he’s a bit cross with women at the moment (his wife ditched him – most divorces in the UK contrary to what this column always suggests are women leaving their men; men tend only to go when the wife pushes them out or occasionally because they are hopelessly in love with someone else who will have them). So I will not pursue him.
        I am taking a slight break from men until the New Year as am quite busy (and happy).
        I still think it comes down to your marriage. Mine was so awful that every day I wake up thinking it’s some kind of Heaven/nirvana that I am there alone and he isn’t there – that is ten years on from the divorce. Every ay is Christmas in a sense because he isn’t there whether I currently have a boyfriend or not. On the other hand if the love of your life ditches you for someone else then that must feel totally different.

        We had to meet at my daughter’s wedding for the first time really in 10 years. I was pleased it all went okay.

  • Muriel says:

    I am so pleased for you!
    You’ve only got one life and pining after the one thing missing isn’t a good way to live it.
    And yes be picky. Life is also too short to be spent with someone who doesn’t interest you or doesn’t value you.
    But there are options and possibilities for you, and there will be more, never doubt that, the only question is are they acceptable to you?

    • The Plankton says:

      Well quite. And the answer so far is no. Alas, but true. Pxx

      • Peggy says:

        Oh, so I’m not alone in my ivory tower.
        There’s a town in Italy beginning with G (can’t remember exactly what it’s called but it’s name is of no consequence) it has dozens of towers, a sort of medieval pissing competition. He who had the greatest wealth had the largest tower.
        This blog is similar, we’re all sitting atop our great big towers of frustration determined that our predicament is greater than the next persons, attempting to find a good match, only we forgot to build a bloody stair to get down.
        Do we reconcile to remain lofty and stuck, paraglide to the bottom (inevitably getting a bit bruised in the descent) …. Or is the third way to find a bloody hero with a tall ladder prepared to fetch us down. ‘Shagger’ is a fireman he had a ladder – ho hum shame he couldn’t keep his pole clean tho

      • EmGee says:

        :-D Peggy, go with #4, and grow out your hair like Rapunzel!

  • James B says:

    A lovely post.

  • Annie P says:

    So pleased to hear you talking of contentment and the value of things aleady in your life, we can so easily take these things for granted when all we can see is ourselves as a single person and our need to put that ‘right’!

    I am in much the same position and do vere from contentment to the occasional ‘I’ll just try Match.com or Encounters or Soulmates etc one more time’. And I just have tried Encounters again because someone messaged me and I paid up for a month’s subscription because he seemed nice, only to be snubbed! Paranoia can set in if one isn’t careful and you can find yourself feeling much less than eligible.

    My children are older than yours, I think, and I am also adjusting to the ‘empty nest’. But, actually I AM adjusting. It’s just an empty space which needs to be filled with interesting things and I am doing that.

    Regarding the feminist discussion and earning lots of money so that you can remain independent and attract men who like a woman with money. I really don ‘t think that is the answer. My observation is that it is the ‘helpless female’ who gets the man, because he can then play the big I AM. Unfortunately (or maybe not) that would never be me because I am too independent and would never allow myself to be that helpless female. Maybe I am playing it all wrong :-)

    But I am pretty content most of the time. Just had a promotion at work, got great friends and colleagues, my children are happy and doing well. I really am incredibly fortunate. I just have to keep reminding myself of that when the going gets tough.

    Keep blogging!

    Annie x

    • EmGee says:

      My observation is it is only the needy PYT’s that get the big I AM man, although I know plenty of men who stay with insufferable women because they feel obligated to take care of them (and a few women in the same boat).

      Anyone with a kind heart wants to do things for the person they care about, so sometimes you have to let them if they want to, even though you could do it yourself, possibly better and/or with less fuss. It’s all about letting people have their dignity, and also not so black and white an issue as being independent all the time or helpless all the time.

      A friend once told me, “sometimes you just have to let him be the guy”.

      I don’t think I would like to be around someone who does nice things to make himself look good, rather than out of kindness, either.

    • Peggy says:

      Being fabulous (ie funny intelligent financial independent/wealthy stunning caring emotially intelligent) sucks. I was told this weekend that “you [for that read I] are out of my league” truth is I probably am but it matters not a jot to me. Most men are scaredy cats.

      • Gary says:

        You forgot “Modest”

      • Lydia says:

        It’s not as bad as that. I don';t have wealth to flaunt just a pretty high income and big house/island and ability to fund or did fund 5 lots of school fees. Many men do want a successful wife – they want to show off that power couple thing rather than the blonde younger bimbo thing because if you have clever male friends as a man then you will just be laughed at if you go for the dull thick woman of no brain who is very pretty. She will bore your friend. So I really have not found men not wanting clever successful women.

        Just hunt in the right pool

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks, Annie. I will keep blogging. I get in and out of the habit. Pxx

  • Lindy says:

    Peggy: San Gimignano x

    • Peggy says:

      Gary, no I didn’t forget it, it just doesn’t apply. Spent too many years being it, now I call a spade a spade.

      • Gary says:

        Good for you with your new dictum of “calling a spade a spade”.

        There can be no other reason other than men are scaredy cats to account for your single status..

        After all , you are “fabulous, funny, intelligent, financial independent/wealthy, stunning, caring, emotially intelligent”

        It’s a mystery why there isn’t a queue a mile long of prospective suitors…

        * I think “emotionally intelligent” may be a stretch judging by the other self-penned adjectives.

        ** Have you been on the Lydia pills again?

      • Peggy says:

        Actually Gary it’s a dilemma of quality vs. quantity. I’d rather one good man vs. a queue of embittered old has beens with nerves far too close to the surface

    • Peggy says:

      Thanks Lindy

  • rantywoman says:

    After you finish Homeland, you should watch Enlightened! I loved it. A little piece on middle-aged dating:

    • Muriel says:

      ( ( ( silent scream ) ) ). !!
      Is this an Atlantic cultural divide ?
      Because the thought of ever saying something like that to man, makes me feel ill..nausea..difficulty breathing.. but hyperventilating..gives me an uncontrollable urge to roll up into a ball and cover my ears…
      Is it just me?

      • Muriel says:

        To say in a voice hoarse with emotion, face twisted with grief and terror..”I am really, really old, and I have been shat upon by many, nay hundreds and hundred of heartless nasty bastards, and because I am really really old (as I may have mentioned) I can’t bear it anymore!!!”
        Throw in a few wild stares and lips writhing in pain… That will send em running for cover.

      • Fi says:

        It isn’t just you. I feel ashamed of being a woman just watching it. This is the stuff of nightmares and is why sane women like us get tarred with the same loopy brush. <>
        I wish you hadn’t posted as I probably wouldn’t have watched otherwise and now I can’t get the image out of my head. GET SOME SELF RESPECT WOMAN

      • steve says:

        Is that what she said? I just watched that video and I didn’t hear any of that….

    • Peggy says:

      This is painfully accurate but rather makes me want to watch the series. Thx

    • EmGee says:

      The sentiment may be accurate, but the delivery is pathetic.

      Having never watched the show, and only having this clip to go by, I see a man who, by his inability to look her in the eye, indicates that his intentions are dishonest and he also appears to be incapable of being in a healthy relationship, therefore her response is correct. It is also overly melodramatic, and typical soap opera stuff.

      Do people really think the melodramatic scenes they see depicted on television are real, and that is how we should be reacting to situations in real life?

      • Fi says:

        i think it boils down to cultural divide as Muriel mentioned. Most people I know would stick needles in their eyes rather than be this emotionally incontinent. The impression I get is that Americans will quite happily speak about all sorts of stuff that should really be repressed and locked away. Maybe it’s just me but a bit of repression is, I think, quite healthy. By all means examine oneself and one’s motivations, but do it privately. Or is that just me????

      • EmGee says:

        As an American, your response confuses me, Fi. It sounds like you are saying that she should not confront him and just go to bed with him, and examine her feelings and motivations about the relationship in private?

        And I think it bears repeating that what American characters say and do on tv and the movies is not the way most of us express ourselves in real life. So unless you have very many close American friends irl, who you interact with on a daily basis and can confirm that this is how we all do indeed behave, please disabuse yourself of that notion.

        I have yet to to meet anyone from the UK whose character is anything near the extreme I see on your tv programs.

      • Muriel says:

        EmGee
        No she should not either confront him or go to bed with him. She should observe him closely (isn’t that what dating is for?) and then decide. Pleading for him not to be a bastard is a rubbish strategy; if he is a bastard he will tell her any old rubbish and be a bastard anyway; and if he isn’t I would guess that he would find it very alarming. She’s presenting herself as a hopeless victim, throwing himself on his mercy. If that’s your view of relationships you’d be better spending some time alone and growing a backbone.
        I don’t think Americans talk (quite) like that irl but the fact that they would
        actually want to watch something so icky on their telly – that’s the odd bit, to me.

      • EmGee says:

        Ah Muriel, I see your point. I don’t see her as being confrontational (melodramatic, yes definitely), but simply telling him why she doesn’t want to to sleep with him, which is awkward, but honest. I think there would be fewer people in Scott and Malcolm’s position of confused lotharios, if only people were more straightforward about coming out and saying so, rather than simply not returning phone calls, or coming up with excuses like “I just washed my hair” so they don’t have to go out with this person again.

        Then again, I saw a woman turning a man down, and you all saw a woman implying that if he would change, or tell her what she wants to hear, she’ll reconsider, so maybe I need to watch it again. (not sure I have the stomach for it)

        “but the fact that they would
        actually want to watch something so icky on their telly – that’s the odd bit, to me.”
        I have watched Green Wing and Book Group* episodes recently via Hulu, and found both to be kind of ‘icky’. On the other hand, I had never even heard of Enlightened until rantywoman posted that clip, so I am not sure where that places me in the spectrum of ‘ickiness’.
        *seems like the creator/star of that show had to import her icky Americanism to Scotland to be seen.

      • Fi says:

        Everything Muriel has just said which she said much much better than me.

      • zoe says:

        @EmGee “I saw a woman turning a man down”. Really? I had the impression she was just about to jump in the sack with him. Rantywoman, help us out, what happens next?

      • Muriel says:

        Zoe
        That’s what I thought too. If she was just saying no, why all the drama?

      • EmGee says:

        I watched the clip again, and it’s ambiguous, I still like to think she is turning him down, but it’s melodrama, so it could go the other way (sexual urges always trumping intuition). So what is it, Rantywoman?

      • rantywoman says:

        Wasn’t sure where I could “re-enter” the conversation here, but I think you all have it all wrong! Tyler (the man) is incredibly lonely and shy, and Eileen (the woman) is the same, but has been through a lot of therapy and so is direct with him. Do I think this would work with most men? No. Do I think the chances of people finding each other at middle-age are slim to none? Yes. But this was a bit of hope, I guess. The show is many things– a dark comedy about modern-day life but also quite sincere. It’s unlike other things on television so I can’t capture it all in this little box, although I connected to some reviews below. Here is a little more explanation…

      • zoe says:

        But, rantywoman. do they sleep together?

      • rantywoman says:

        I can’t seem to reply directly to Zoe, but yes, they end up sleeping together and having a lovely relationship. Although perhaps I should have forced you to watch the show in order to find out!

    • The Plankton says:

      What’s the main premise of Enlightened? I’ve never even come across it? Pxx

    • Muriel says:

      Scott,
      It’s just another vacuous narcissistic style blogger spending hours preening and taking selfies. If she really wants to repel men why would she need to have so many clothes, and change them so often, and constantly publish photos of herself on the interweb. Gah.

      • Dunno- Muriel- men’s secret: Most of us don’t really notice what women are wearing most of the time- Unless you’re wearing something that’s impossible not to notice, such as day-glo fluorescent swirls painted onto your shirt, pants, hat or shoes, we’re probably not going to notice at all…

    • Muriel says:

      Rito Scott hi vis clothing it is, as I generally seem to be invisible to the opposite sex, (with the exception of married exes and bosses etc)
      I’ve spent nine days in a work event, actively participating. There were usually about 9 people there. However, the chair repeatedly called me by the wrong name, attributed things I’d said to other people, and had to be reminded to allow me to participate when it was my turn.
      I must be like the Silence out of Dr Who, instantly forgettable. :(

      • Lydia says:

        I just finished chairing for a few days which was the opposite. I always wear a bright jacket so I stand out and I was the one with ultimate power over who spoke and when and could chip in at will which is rather good. (And I spent a lot of time checking everyone’s names so I didn’t make the mistake your chair did).

      • If it makes you feel any better, almost nobody anywhere seems to remember my name most of the time- I’ve been “Steve,” “Stan,” “Sky,” “Oscar,” “Star” and “Seth” a lot, but astoundingly few people ever call me “Scott”

  • Shai says:

    @rantywomen…sad part being dialoges r fine..if it were a pouty PYT mouthing them..visualise it !! response wld hv been…’owwww poor darling’…similar scene in any setting be it corporate or social more or less will be equally pathetic…its all abt the obvious disgust many younger people have towards age and olderlooks !! need to call my plastic doc !!

    • Muriel says:

      Shai
      Perhaps there’s some truth in what you say, but also I feel that as you grow older , hopefully you grow in strength of character and personality? I did on occasion make terrible scenes (shudder) with men, as a young woman, but I like to think I wouldn’t go there now .

      • Shai says:

        @Murel absolutely no plankton with an oz of selfrespect would go that path.. what purpose does it serve ? what is use of character strength …etc.. etc ..if so much validation for self is needed !!

  • Don’t know about anyone else, but me personally I don’t believe everything that I read all the time, and I choose not to believe this one:

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/article3928226.ece

    If this article is true, this is bad news for men…. and for women too…. not looking good for any of us if this article is true….

    • Lydia says:

      I’m afraid it’s true for many. it’s why the planet over men have to pay for sex either through keeping a woman or else hiring one for sex. It’s called the sex deficit.
      It always means if you are very into sex as a woman my age is it easier not harder to get men despite what the plankton column suggests. In a sense it is all in the sex. If you';re up for that, good at it, like it, prioritise it the world is your oyster as an older woman looking for a man as so many of your contemporaries don’t really want any sex at all and virtually all men do want it.

      • Exactly- I just need to meet the ones who ARE looking for it….

      • mel says:

        absolutly spot on, lydia.
        i’m out of the game now but i’d still be up for an arrangement where both parties benifit in some way but i’d never pay for it to a professional.
        couldnt look myself in the shaving mirror if i did .

    • Fi says:

      Why is it bad news for women? If they’d rather watch tv then that’s a good thing I would have thought as TVs are easily come by

  • mel says:

    give over scott, we need Lydia on here not attending to your needs , breath of fresh air and a slightly different female perspective i’d say.

    • Fi says:

      I could stand in for Lydia- make sure your daughters go into a career that pays loads of money so they aren’t financially dependent on a man as they hate that, particularly housewives; get lots of sleep, don’t drink alcohol, eat a paleo diet, find a hobby you enjoy preferably involving playing an instrument and get lots of fresh air and exercise and don’t have caffeine; there are loads of men out there who want loads of sex although some are fat and disabled; and ….er…..that’s it I think.

      • mel says:

        did you mean stand in for Lydia with scott ?

      • Fi says:

        I meant I can stand in for Lydia here while she scarpers off with Scott.
        Lydia does talk a lot of sense a lot of the time, albeit in a mad way

      • Lydia says:

        Pretty good summary, but I am afraid NY is too far. Scott will have to be disappointed…. I do fly via NY when I go to the island in Panama but only because that’s the cheapest route and I can’t leave the air port terminal so I think we’re doomed.

  • T Lover says:

    Bah Humbug.

    The 25th of December is coming round – again.

    It was only five minutes since last Christmas.

    Decisions. Shall I go to the GF’s sister’s place and enjoy the company of the GF’s grumpy, unpleasant and rather smelly stepfather? Worse will have to drive so no getting sloshed for me.

    Or shall I go to Scotland and carry on with the decorating?

    Or shall I have my usual routine, stay at home, four hour walk, watch a good film, eat more than I should and get smashed and have a smoke? (this is the five star option).

    And will Rosie take up the Christmas invitation? (unlikely – highly – is that a pork pie floating past the window?).

    Choices two and three and possibility as it were four will go down like a lead balloon. Not just with her but with her sister and family.

    My mate says don’t be churlish, do the right thing. Bah Humbug.

    • Muriel says:

      Christmas is a pain in the bum, no doubt about it, and a source of ill will, festering resentment and family fueds. It is a mark of true character if you can get through it without any of the above. Grin and bear it, go to your inlaws and be polite, then kick back with the wine, film, and smoke.

      • T Lover says:

        I used to loathe being on my own at Christmas. When I split for the first time from wife two the thought that the children were at family parties and not with me was hard to take. I arranged to have the children on Christmas day night (after nine months of separation) to be told at 8.00 pm that they were running late and the wife had changed her mind. Cow.

        I now quite enjoy it. My mixture of exercise and drunken debauchery. And the family worm has turned. The children enjoyed the company of their cousins and their parents. I didn’t. I don’t care for my brother in law and his wife.

        As my boy has matured he can see why I don’t like my brother in law and his missus. He doesn’t like them for the same reasons and is now very scathing about the situation. In other words, he now finds bits of Christmas a chore too.

        I feel sorry for those who are lonely at Christmas. A neighbour in the Borders announced last week she was spending the day in bed with a bottle of Champagne. Widow in her 70s, no children. A brother 400 miles away in Devon. No other family.

        Round here, I think many people are kind when it comes to it. If they see you are on your own they will invite you for a Christmas meal but perhaps it is different if you live in the city, I don’t know.

      • EmGee says:

        Several years ago when my husband and I were back in the midwest visiting my parents and sibs for Xmas, my brother’s in-laws invited us all to their Xmas dinner. Then, before dessert, insisted we join them and bear witness to *their* gift exchange, and every gift had to be given it’s due and passed around to be admired before the next one was opened. It was agonizingly dull and went on for hours.

      • Glad that I’m a devout and practicing Pastafarian- We only celebrate one (1) holiday each year, every Sept. 19th, we all celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day… HyaaaaAAaaaaaarrRRrrrrrgh thar mayties !!!

      • T Lover says:

        Oh no it’s not dull.

        The kids used to love foraging under the tree and handing out presents one by one.

        I admit as each one was opened in turn it was not handed round.

        There was no point in my case as dad was only given underpants, socks or liquorice allsorts.

        There was one year when the little sods bought me a leopard-skin thong. I can see their faces as the whole family waited for me to open the wrapping.

        It did eventually come in handy because it was the only thing I could wear after my hernia operation. My Doctor said the resulting (massive) enlargement and discolouration of my wedding gear was known in the trade as a “ten day purple”. He thought it was amusing. Ha bloody ha. Advice. Wear close fitting underpants. The thong was all I had.

      • EmGee says:

        No it isn’t dull if it’s your family and you are part of the goings-on, but we were literally spectators neither receiving, nor giving gifts of our own, just watching them open their presents, and we barely knew any of them, save my sister in law and her parents.

      • Fi says:

        yep that’s what I meant – Muriel said you should go to your in laws. I’m saying they aren’t your in laws simply your on again off again girlfriend’s relatives so you really have no familial obligation to spend christmas with them.

    • Fi says:

      but these aren’t your in-laws are they? they are the relatives of your on/off girlfriend

      • T Lover says:

        Fiona, I’m lost. Put a light on.

      • T Lover says:

        This Christmas I have a choice between the girlfriend’s sister/brother in-law, the Borders or Jack Jones. No in laws. Never again will there be in-laws

      • Fi says:

        or rather this is where I should have put my comment “they aren’t your in laws simply your on again off again girlfriend’s relatives so you really have no familial obligation to spend christmas with them.”

    • Lydia says:

      I take all 5 children skiing and also this year my daughter’s now husband. It means the children are exercising all day long. No one is stuck inside drinking and the family is not stuffed together in strange conditions having to be with each other all day long. It works really well. The children only want a fixed sum of money so no presents although I am happy to give presents if they prefer. My parents have sadly now died. The children’s father has chosen to be virtually totally absent from their lives over the last 10 years more fool him so we don’t have any dispute over who goes where. We’re very lucky although part of that luck has been my wise career choices and hard work over the last 30 years of a fairly successful career, something we need to ensure our children do consider when deciding what jobs to do. Too many women go into low paid work and careers. It can have a huge impact on your life.

      • T Lover says:

        Might I ask personal questions?

        What factors lead to your former husband’s decision to be “virtually totally absent” and what does “virtually totally absent” mean?

        And what do you do to try to encourage him to change his mind?

        And do you think it is a good thing if children are brought up without contact with their Father?

      • EmGee says:

        Who is going to clean the suite at your skiing chateau, prepare the hot chocolate, take away the trash, and rake the beach on your private island (among the limitless other menial chores that are probably accomplished without your even noticing), if everyone ‘chooses’ to go into high paid work and careers? A 1%er’s nightmare, I know, but I just thought I’d take the bait and toss that “the way the real world really works” fun fact out there.

      • Fi says:

        I don’t evaluate how successful my life is by using how much money I earn/have as a criteria.
        Funnily enough the best things in life really don’t cost much

      • Fi says:

        Sorry that was in response to Lydia who gives the impression that the only measure is how much money you earn.

      • Lydia says:

        TLover, it’s fascinating isn’t it? So many men are denied contact with their children by their ex wives and yet so many women want their man to have the children and he won’t and both sides find the other hard to understand or even wonder if it actually exists. Well it does in our case.
        I can’t of course read his mind so this is just my view.

        “Might I ask personal questions?” Yes

        “What factors lead to your former husband’s decision to be “virtually totally absent” and what does “virtually totally absent” mean?”
        Originally he said he’d kill himself if I divorced him, Then that he would go abroad and we’d never see him. As it was he bought a house with his divorce settlement from me about 5 minutes from here. He has never once talked about access or contact or residence which is amazingly weird after 20 years together and 5 children, isn’t it? I think the older children and I feel more sorry for him than anything else. I think he need help but that’s his choice not to seek it.

        I suppose he thought well I am taking most of her money and am not legally obliged to support any of the children (he earns less) so what can I do to hurt her? Withdraw my help with the children (youngest 2 were 4 at the time.
        Or he thought I am such a useless person they will all be better off without me.
        Or he thought I cannot be bothered – let’s just have more free time (although he work very very hard so it’s not as if he is lounging around).

        What is almost totally absent? Never had the children to stay once one night even in 10 years. Never contact the older 3 in ten years. He just turned up the weekend after the divorce to take the twins out for 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon and he has kept turning up since although not regularly and with no discussion and these days it is more often not than not at all and since one of them get on line when he was about 6 or 7 every single communication has been with that child, not with me. He used to take the youngest (not the oldest) to stay with his parents once a year for 1 or 2 nights. Nowadays I pay for all 5 to go by train to visit his parents. I book the tickets, pay, persuade them go – it’s hundreds of miles away and I am not sure if anyone appreciates that but I want to ensure his parents do not suffer for this and we had all his relatives at my daughter’s wedding this year and I met him for the first time in 10 years too so at least he turned up at that. So that’s totally absent. idiot.

        “And what do you do to try to encourage him to change his mind?”
        Well he won’t take my calls and he will never reply to an email. What I have always done is encourage the children to keep in touch. We invited him to all family occasions such as chidlren’s graduations but he did not even reply (except he did come to my daughter’s wedding this year which is just as well as otherwise al his family whom we invited would have been very hurt). If you have any ideas as to what else I can do let me know. I think girl friend is a good way in and I think the reason a few of the children have had a birthday card (no presents for most of them of ocurse for 10 years) is because she has bought it and filled it in this year. I don’t understand why any woman would want to date a man who chooses not to see his children.

        “And do you think it is a good thing if children are brought up without contact with their Father?” Do I have a choice? They skype email him see him as much as they like. I was open to 50% residence when we divorced. He chooses just about zero. I know men who love and are very keen to be with their children will think that I am lying but it is not so. In fact had he been okay I would have stayed married. We are divorced because of his conduct, temper, what he said and did. He did not want the divorce.

        I would like to know his reasons too. Most of us who love our children want to be with them. At the wedding he was clearly very unhappy (and in my view he needs help) and I was pleased he was able to come but he seemed no better. I didn’t see this although it’s on the official photos but he thrust confetti in her face – everyone came over to speak to me about it, her sister said I should throw him out there and then but what would that have done for his family and ageing parents? and it was a few seconds which soon passed. Poor him.

  • Fi says:

    Go to scotland and have the walk, film, get smashed and smoke. then decorate on boxing day.

    • T Lover says:

      When I split from my first wife I could have spent the first Christmas with my Mother (then a widow, now dead) and my Brother.

      They were both in a strop because they liked her (the first wife) and her parents and until then the two sides of the family (including the first wife’s lesbian sister and her girlfriend – who my Brother used to letch over – so did I) all used to spend the holiday together.

      Mother was able to conveniently overlook the fact that the wife was not only living with someone else, she was up the duff. It was nevertheless all my fault.

      So rather than play my customary role – whipping boy – I decided to spend Christmas staining the floor of my new but temporary home instead.

      I hired a sander and got stuck in. The Mormons called. I don’t know the difference between a Jehovah’s witness and a Mormon so they could have been the other lot. Anyway it was great entertainment – I do not know who was the more surprised to meet the other on Christmas Day.

      It’s an unhappy business splitting up. People are so tactless and unkind aren’t they? And “friends” take sides, so sensitive souls like T Lover get a terrible emotional battering. I didn’t expect me own ma to take the wife’s side but la di da, so she did.

      Anyway, Christmas. Fi, as usual you are rock solid right but if I spend the day in polite conversation, hair neatly parted, helping her Mother in and out of the car it would save a lot of in the bank earache. It is nice though, having a couple of days to yourself. Time yet to have a row leading to a sulk in the Borders.

      I think Rosie is ignoring her Christmas invitations – don’t you?

      What are you doing on Boxing Day? Could you reach the decorating bits I can’t?

      • Fi says:

        Well if you are spending Christmas with her then you have to be nice and do it in good spirit as it’s not going to help anybody if you go along and make it clear that you’re there on sufferance. However as you know i think you don’t mind a bit of earache as you appear to prefer that to being on your own/not having a girlfriend.
        I will spend Christmas day with my parents/brother/his new partner and a number of children. My kids are elsewhere. Boxing day – I don’t know but as I have a large circle of spinster friends I think I might suggest doing something spinsterish.

      • T- The Mormons believe in the writing of Joseph Smith, their world headquarters offices are located out west in Utah. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the writings of Charles Taze Russell and Joseph Franklin Rutherford, their world headquarters office is located here in Brooklyn, New York- two different fundamentalist ideologies, which have at least one thing in common- Their religions create a very sexually repressive environment- unlike us, many of them hardly ever engage in sexual intercourse ON PURPOSE….

      • Lydia says:

        And if you joint the FLDS (fundamentalist mormons, not the normal ones) you get THREE wives all to yourself and in fact you don’t get properly to heaven unless you have three. They then have problem with what to do with all the surplus boys in their teens though. I have yet to a find a religion which gives me three husbands. Perhaps I should found my own.

        Very sexist business this religion lark, designed by men for men.

      • Lydia- There’s a very interesting show which just started airing on The Learning Channel recently entitled “Breaking The Faith,” which is about people who escape from the FLDS community in Colorado City, Arizona- It’s amazing how eager Americans are to point out just how backward some regions in North Africa and the Middle East are, culturally, politically and socially, and then you see footage of Colorado City, Arizona and you realize that we’re in NO position to be calling ANYBODY else anywhere in the world culturally, politically or socially stuck centuries in the past here…

      • T Lover says:

        Is it true that 30% of the female population (presumably 30% of the women of an age at which you might expect otherwise) are not interested in “sex”?

        Now, I quite fancy the idea of two or three wives.

        If I had two they could nag one another and leave me alone. If three, two could bitch about the third – women ganging up to moan about a particular female is a well known way of keeping a ruck of females happy.

        If one was a big un (wife that is) I wouldn’t need the expense of an electric blanket – and she could keep the sun off in the summer.

        Sounds pretty good to me.

        And if one or more were in the 30% that were not interested in sex category that would be fine too. At the moment it is 100% in my house.

        And as for this Henry Halls about men being at the back of these arrangements – that’s because men are so much more practical than women.

  • Think “propinquity” here people….

    The word for 2014 for us all shall be “propinquity” !!!

    May 2014 bring us all propinquity, “some,” and an end to p’tonhood for us !!!!

  • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

    @TLover, but you might get 3 women from the 30% that aren’t interested… :o)

    • T Lover says:

      IS,ND,

      Well, imagine that you, a woman, weren’t interested in sex but you were (an example) a widow with no family to speak of would it be so bad to be involved in a three way relationship?

      Does being in a marriage/relationship have to involve sex?

      • Jill says:

        My ex husband would certainly say that a marriage had to involve sex, T L, but he somewhat kiboshed that between the two of us by having that sex with someone else’s wife. The reason my marriage failed -ultimately – was that I was not prepared to have ANY other woman in my marriage, let alone TWO others….!

        I am reminded of a very sweet Pakistani boy who was at school with my sons, and told me one day when he was staying with us that he was going to be a Hindu, like his mother, until he grew up, because he did not like the idea of fasting during Ramadan, but he thought he would become a Muslim, like his father, then, so that he could have four wives. (He was about seven when he told me this!)

      • EmGee says:

        A relationship doesn’t need to involve sex, but it does need to involve mutual respect.

        A three-way implies a sexual relationship between all three members. I think what you are after is a relationship with one woman that includes sex, but she doesn’t otherwise have to lift a finger, and a female housemate who lives only to clean up after everyone else as well have a secure income so as not to be a drag on the household finances. Preferably co-dependent and highly narcissistic with a nasty temper. Either one of them, or both.

      • T Lover says:

        Turning it round I would not be happy if I was one of two blokes in an under the same roof relationship with one woman.

        EmGee, I think your reaction is a bit OTT because there must be lots of situations in which three people would be happy to share the same home, the sort of thing that falls short of three in a bed but a bit more than university friends sharing a flat.

        I have had this thing for a while about a sort of friends and relatives commune instead of an old folks home. The two topics are related. Off the wall relationships for mutual benefit.

        Must go have not eaten yet and am away paint stripping tomorrow. But this (old) Les Dawson joke always makes me smile: the wife has run off with the man next door. I do miss him.

      • I for one think that we should ask Alexander George Thynn, Marquess Of Bath for his input regarding this particular subject

      • EmGee says:

        T, I don’t think people sharing a place and taking care of each other once their offspring have left is anything new. Check this out:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Together_(2011_film)

        I guess my confusion arose from the connotations of your term ‘three way relationship’. I am pretty sure couples with a spare room and in need extra money might rent it out, or hire a live in maid, or have a single friend who is lonely or in need of a place to live. Not sure how one would go about befriending a complete stranger and asking them in.

      • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

        TL, who says I’m a woman?

      • Lydia says:

        Well TL says he would not be happy to be one of two men in a house sharing one women and that is typical of most men and yet men the planet over have more than one woman and sometimes 3 wives. They just want to have their cake and eat it but don’t want the boot to be on the other foot.
        I shall have no alternative but to found my own cult where the women have 3 husbands, one for sex/his looks, one for cleaning and childcare and one for his brain.

      • Fi says:

        Yay Lydia. I’d join. As women are so much harder to please than men I think there is merit in splitting our requirements over a number of men actually. They’d be happier as they’d only be expected to deliver on one front instead of three, and we’d be happier as we would be more likely to get our needs met. Win win I’d say

      • T Lover says:

        EmGee, I slept in this morning, must have been tired, am meandering, can’t think straight, but there must be some middle ground between a married relationship and friends living together.

        And as for you I’m Single Not Desperate. Woman? Man? Surprised Scott hasn’t volunteered to find out.

        Yes, I might get two from the 30% but I might get two from the 70% – what a nightmare. Mind, there are plenty of bi girls about who would be delighted to have a three way relationship with a gorgeous hunk like me. What was that? You are laughing. I’m not that bad. OK I have a wart on the end of my nose. So?

        Fi, can I suggest a cold shower? Oh my, what a lucky escape I had, you really are a demanding woman.

        Sirena. If you are 45 how come he thought you were 35? And why was he surprised? Woman inevitably knock decades off their age.

        Jill, Dr T Lover here. Not sure how to put this but you seem to be on a much more even keel. Some don’t care about the wandering husband/wife but what a miserable existence. In my case wondering where she was when I was at work, or away fishing. It’s debilitating not being able to trust your spouse.

      • Fi says:

        I was out last night with friends for dinner and one of them (50+) was telling us all about a new man she had been seeing (50+) and she appears to be all loved up. I have to say it is just as tedious listening to a woman taking every opportunity to drop her boyfriend’s name into conversation and turn every conversational topic to a boyfriend related anecdote as it was when i was 17, but once again it disproves the constant assertion that nobody wants older women.

      • EmGee says:

        Fie, Fi! You should be happy for her, not jealous. The shine will wear off soon enough, and he will no longer be the center of her attention.

      • Fi says:

        i suppose when i said ‘friend’ I meant ‘acquaintance’ so it wasn’t jealousy. It really was just boredom. Maybe i just can’t remember what it’s like to be so enthusiastic about a man, but i suspect I would have been as bored if the topic was a job/child/hobby.

    • Lydia says:

      All these groups do not give the women the right to say no (as indeed was English law within my lifetime). So you give continuous consent to sex by marrying and they article the Bible and Koran say so. and they bring up their daughters to accept this.
      There certainly is a sex deficit – more men want sex than women on the whole so men often pay for it on the planet in various ways (either you pay for her to stay – wife or you pay for her to leave – prostitute).

  • Sirena says:

    Met a man my age (45), we chat, he’s into me, then asks how old I am. He makes a big deal about how young I look, can’t believe I’m actually 45 and thought I was 35. He goes on about this for a bit. Says he’ll call me over the weekend to go to lunch. Crickets.
    I’m pretty sure my age turned him off. Gutless to just disappear like that. Part of me feels bad, part of me says he’s shallow and not my cup of tea for it. I never felt more comfortable in my own skin than I do at this age. The kinks are smoothed out. I know I would be able to love a man better than when I was 20, and love who he is instead of just how he makes me feel. Somewhere, to some elusive man, this matters. Not my numbers.

  • Sirena says:

    TLover,

    He assumed on his own that I was younger than I am. He asked me out BEFORE he asked my age. I didn’t knock decades off but was upfront about my age when he asked me. His surprise was from his own incorrect assumption that I was 35. I don’t lie about my age.

    • Lydia says:

      Yes and I’ve never lied about my age but one man I actually went out with originally said he was 50, the his email had 54 in so I said ah you’r 54|? He agreed. After a few months I saw he was 17 years older than I am! Another one originally said he was my age. Before we met as he’d been telling all about his companies I could check his age and he was not my age at all but also 17 years older. We still met but were too different as he was winding life down into retirement and I was like anyone 17 years younger than he is (and he isn’t visually attractive either which is a problem – if you don’t fancy someone whatever your gender no point in going ahead.) So in other words I have never lied ever about my age (and men should avoid women who do) and men have lied to me about it.

      • I was born in 1972- I’m 41. I wore a homemade jellyfish costume at my 40th birthday party last year, I assembled it myself from an umbrella and Christmas tree decorative lights….

      • T Lover says:

        I lied about my age – when ‘internet dating’ – because, first, women lied and, second, were obsessive about age so the only solution was to join them.

        I am not sure if I ever reached 100 before I gave up but I certainly got to 99.

        It did work to an extent. The whole thing was a farce so what the hell.

      • T- In January after you disassemble your Christmas tree, don’t put the colored flashing led lights away- Take an old umbrella, some neon fluorescent glow sticks and some clear 3M packing tape, tape the Christmas tree lights and the glow sticks to your umbrella- It’s part of the ceremony, commemorating what may sadly turn into yet another year of p’tonhood for us….

  • T Lover says:

    Scott, no Christmas tree in my house, I’m afraid. And never will be until children stay for Christmas -which, given the fact that my wife has a Christmas hold on my boy and his wife and my daughter hasn’t spoken to me for five years and three months, is pretty unlikely.

    What a miserable old git I have become.

    The answer to the question: Why has your daughter not spoken for five and a bit years is that her head is so far up my missus it is impossible to hear what she says. Hey ho.

    • zoe says:

      Your daughter not talking to you AND your ex-wife not talking to you AND your mother taking against you? I have to say it has always baffled me how quick some commentators are to blame your current relationship woes on the imagined psychopathology of your on-off again girlfriend. Occam’s razor and all that.

      • Fi says:

        Yes. That information casts a different light on things.

      • T Lover says:

        My Mother died 23 years ago. My father died when I was 20 – you’ve got your facts wrong.

        As for the Missus you have, if I may say so, also jumped to the wrong conclusion. I have been married twice. I have no problem with the first, in fact I will probably be seeing her with her new husband on Sunday evening.

        I do have a big problem with the second. I caught her messing around thirteen years ago – she went on the pill, I had had the chop – and I spent the next eight wondering where she was if, for example, she would not pick up her ‘phone. Not very nice.

        And after we finally split (staying out all night -with a friend from work of course) I was told by a neighbour her car had been regularly at a spot two miles away , in other words she had been at it again for some time.

        I admit I have a real problem with that sort of cheating and I really don’t want to have anything to do with her.

        I have had the odd olive branch waved in my direction but as I have (not diplomatically) pointed out to the bloke she was seeing to, he has screwed my both wife and my family and as far as I am concerned the pair of them can go and swivel.

        My daughter will come round. I was at a concert last weekend with my lad and his wife and will be seeing them for a drink on Friday. It is pretty obvious from the things they say that the daughter’s attitude is changing. We’ll see.

        Oh, and by the way, it is true. I am nuts. Completely so they say.

      • zoe says:

        Well, that puts an altogether different complexion on things, Tlover! Sorry. That clearly should have read: “Your daughter not talking to you AND your estranged wife not talking to you AND your mother siding with your first wife. I have to say it has always baffled me how quick some commentators are to blame your current relationship woes on the imagined psychopathology of your on-off again girlfriend. Occam’s razor and all that.” Better?

  • T Lover says:

    Zoe, thank you. I feel like that dog – the one that has been hit by a stone, knows it hurt but does not know where it came from.

    I guessed psychopathology and got it sort of right and sort of wrong. Occam, I was lost so used Wikepedia.

    No it’s not better. My Mother came round and ended all contact with my first wife. It might put a bit of flesh on the bones were I to tell you my Mother refused to visit my second wife in hospital because she thought my boy had been conceived out of wedlock. Hers was not always an objective point of view.

    And if you think I want to keep my second wife and her boyfriend as best friends you are living in La La Land.

    Etc.

    I suppose that if I parade my dirty washing on a public blog I have to expect a part informed reaction like yours. Maybe you are actually saying there are two sides to every coin. I agree.

    • Lydia says:

      As you can see from my very long post above TL and I are at opposite ends of the spectrum – he is a father who wants to see more of his children and I am a mother who would adore my chidlren’s father to have them even for one night a year and he chooses not to. he has never in 10 years asked to see them at Christmas and apart from the younger two and then only if he remembers to hand them money he does not even bother to give them a present at Christmas. Indeed when we were divorcing he wanted an extra £200k which he got which supposedly was to ensure he could take the children on the kind of holidays we could afford when he was married to me so it is particularly strange that money is not being used for that purpose.

      So I find it interesting to speak to men like TL to find out how these breaches in relationships between children and father occur.

      • T Lover says:

        Well, every time I have been asked by a woman to explain I am greeted by disbelief or the usual chestnut: I am the adult it is up to me to forgive, show the way, make the effort etc. So with reluctance.

        My wife did not work until the youngest was 14. Then only part time. We lived in the sticks. Just ferrying the kids round was a biggish operation. I worked an hour’s drive from work and was often up early and back late(ish).

        Weekends were often spent slaving in the garden. Just doing the grass takes a day. So, she, the wife, spent a lot more time with my Daughter than I did. We got to a stage at which the Daughter was doing her D of Edinburgh at which my Daughter did not even want me to take her to the weekly meetings. It had to be her Mother.

        But the real problem (it sounds trivial but wasn’t) was that my Wife and her Mother would let my daughter do what she wanted. Her Grandmother’s mantra was: let her learn by her own mistakes. My Daughter would take off to stay with her Grandmother if things got hot at home. My position was continually undermined. If Dad said no Mother and Grandmother would say don’t take any notice.

        Add to that my Daughter is a romancer. A classic was the day she told her Mother I had hit her. A total, total lie. Daughter stood behind her Mother and pulled faces. She lies to get her own way or to please her Mother – show what an sh one t I am. That pleases her Mother as she can justify our split and conveniently overlook her serial infidelity.

        Occasionally, I drop post (for her Mother) at my Daughter’s house because it is convenient when passing to shove the odd stray letter through the daughter’s letterbox.

        I did it last four weeks ago. I then get a formal letter from my wife to say I was not to do it again. I ask why. According to my daughter I hung about outside the house – a sort of harassment inferred.

        The episode had a silver lining because it caught my daughter in another lie. I had had someone else to drop the letter off – I was not even there. The fact she had been caught out was for me, an away goal because others (like her Brother) are now seeing what she is like.

        My stance has therefore been: we live a mile and a half apart. If you want to make an effort to sort things out, the door will always be open but the ball is in your court.

        I could list incident after daughter incident but I am sure many a bosom would droop. I would be heaped with another shed load of psycho-babble and jumping to wrong conclusions. And I have already said too much. Occam’s razor rightly turns on the known knowns.

        So, I get on with my life. I don’t have the constant upset my Daughter has brought. She gets on with hers. She has a decent job in the theatre. I know through my boy that she would like to make up but she is like me – stubborn. If I do the chasing she will have been right all along or she will tell her Mother she has said she does not want to see me. Up yours girl.

        So there you are.

      • So is there any possible future for TL + Lydia ??

        Just a thought …

      • Lydia says:

        Anything is possible but I suspect TL will assume any woman whose ex chooses not to see his children is lying and I fear he has been rather hurt by women or feels he has been rather than delights in and adores them.

      • T Lover says:

        Scott, put your wooden spoon away.

        Lydia, I love women. Finding the right one is the hard part.

    • Peggy says:

      TL – for what it’s worth I was that daughter many years ago. Dad and I were totally estranged for about 15 years. Then when 7 months pregnant I offered the white flag (sort of .. It was still barbed) anyway we had a blazing blazing row, said all the things we wanted and needed to and are now close.

      It’s attention seeking but in a really backward and immature way. For my part I just wanted my Dad to be proud of me but his backward stiff upper British lip rendered him incapable of ever displaying it.

      • T Lover says:

        Peggy, thank you. Every now and then someone tells a similar story. Were you here I would give you a squeeze.

        I have a loony theory about the mess. My wife was adopted. She is the most secretive person. I know she tried via the Catholic Rescue Society to make contact with her Mother but beyond that I am in the dark.

        The theory is that because of her rejection and separation from her natural Mother she is addicted to affection and is obsessive about holding the relationship with our children. So, when I spend a lot of time at work, she sees other blokes. Now she cannot bear the thought I might take the children from her. So my daughter gets the heat.

        She is mad. Why would I want to do that? Why would I want a wife who shags around?

        The daughter situation is impossible. When the wife found out about the fact I had a girlfriend she turned up at my home. Twice. With my daughter. To harrass me. My own daughter. Who lies about her own Father.

        So when you wonder about why it is hard to get a bloke think of me.

  • Peggy says:

    Ahh TL, I’d squeeze you back. But as I said, these things are often born out of insecurities and are a clumsy way of generating affirmation. From what I can gather you wife ‘has issues’ but instead of facing up to them and dealing with them she’s passing them onto your daughter; that way she gets the affirmation she requires (albeit from a junior) which makes her feel validated. Trouble is, the daughter then takes these traits with her wherever she goes. Unless of course she is tremendously bright and introspective, in which case at some stage she’ll have a long hard look at herself and the commonalities across her relationships and then pour herself a stiff drink and give herself a stern talking to. Thereafter you’ll get a shitty letter, have a blazing blazing row and thereafter you can both begin to build some bridges. It might take 15 years or so though😕

    • T Lover says:

      Insecurities. That’s probably why I bare my family backside on a public blog. That’s why I think that if I drop dead then she’ll regret it.

      The pressure is being heaped on in some ways because every time my boy and his wife come for a meal, go to the theatre, whatever (we are going to Scotland together this weekend) she must wonder why her brother (and his wife) and I get on but she doesn’t. She has no reason left to justify the way she has behaved.

      Thank you for everything you have said, appreciated.

      • Peggy says:

        Kids need daddies (breathing vs. sauce) girls especially, but they’re awkward kantankerous mares. She’ll get there eventually. I holiday regularly near Inverness Scotland’s awesome, lap it up and hhaave a good season x

      • T Lover says:

        Three memories of Inverness. My first flight was to Inverness. Twin engined Otter. Low and slow over the Highlands. Hostess – Les Dawson in a kilt. Second, there was a car hire company called “Reliable Wrecks”. Third the girl in the next office has a desk photo of her boyfriend sitting on a steel fence by a river. Came out of Sainsbury’s(?), Inverness, a couple of years ago. Something familiar about it. That photograph.

        I don’t know about my Daughter. I try to shut my mind to it. If it had been the other way round I would have made rock solid certain she saw her Mother but it suits the Wife to keep things as they are. My lad’s wife says my her MIL pulls a face if they say they are seeing me.

        It puts me off women with children. I am not easy going but I bet there are a lot of other blokes who don’t want children hassle the second time round. Of the women I “met” via the internet – met in person – only one had children. The children were an excuse for her husband to wind her up. Couldn’t be bothered with aggro.

        Anyways, thank you. Peggy. Lots of people don’t understand how these situations come about and assume it is me. Nice to know I am not on my own.

  • Peggy says:

    Not all mothers are nuts! Once all the court bollocks was over my ex and I made a pact to be civilised with each other. Although officially he has one nights access every fortnight he has keys to my house and can pick them up from school, bring them home, cook their tea and settle them for bed whenever he wants. He has them for 3-4 weeks holiday a year and he and I are now on friend terms. There are things about him which serve to remind me why we couldn’t carry on together but so long as we don’t live under the same roof we’re good. He comes to the kids plays and recitals and stands in for me on the rare occasions when I physically can’t be in two places at one time. We are a team for the kids. AND not all mother’s conversations revolve around what previous little sod#1 or #2 do, eat, produce in the toilet etc. message being…. Don’t limit your options.

    • Peggy says:

      Oh; as for Inverness, wouldn’t know about the supermarkets etc; the friends I stay with have Cookie and Ghillies for all that stuff. We hang out on the estate swimming in the loch, fishing, walking and shooting plus helping the foresters with the plantation. But we do go to the games each year. Kushtie huh 😉

    • T Lover says:

      I could not be so “civilised”.

      When I separated from my first wife we carried on working together – which was a bit awkward when she was well pregnant – by her new husband I should add.

      The second is different. There is something about her I have come to dislike with a passion. The children are now independent adults.so there is no need to liaise/co-operate about children.

      I see wife two several times a week. I used to think she was sex on legs. I now find her repulsive.

  • Lydia says:

    It’s always worth trying to fix people up. I remember fondly the friend who fixed a whole dinner party around getting me off with a psychiatrist (my family are mostly psychiatrists so not a bad thought). Sadly he hardly spoke and according to my brother after who by chance vaguely knows him, he is known for having the social skills of a newt. I also did not find him visually attractive. I still enjoyed the dinner and was grateful to the friend even when they all engineered it so that this man could drive me to the tube station afterwards.

  • Peggy says:

    Now then Ms. P. another months absence? Can we please have your deliciously wry take on “’tis the season to be jolly”. Which jolly are you:
    1: …. good, but wishing you could be bad
    2: …. cold
    3: …. jolly
    4: …. stressed
    5: …. pissed off
    6: …. (and here’s hoping) contended and happy?

  • Ms. Plankton clearly does not have any interest in ever meeting me, and it’s quite clear that neither do Fi, Pi, Elle, Rosie, Miss M., Miss Bates, bookishinnyc, Emgee, Jill, June, Joule or Kathy, and I see now that most recently Lydia and Peggy have expressed notably similar disinterest (that’s why I keep my jellyfish costume)….

    Little Brown Bird offered to engage a transatlantic skype virtual e-tea conference with me earlier this year, and then we’d see what would come from that (no pun meant), but by the time I activated a skype account, she’d stopped writing into Ms. Plankton’s blogsite…

    Anyhoo, I’ll be traveling to London 6½ months from now, in July of 2014- I’m out of ideas, I don’t want to have to sign up for one of these types of websites- http://www.maritalaffair.co.uk , but as an absolute LAST resort, I will if I have to- Beyond shaking hands, I’ve not touched a woman’s body since 2010, and I fear that what’s left of my brain will explode directly out through my ears if I don’t soon….

    • Peggy says:

      Scott, I would say keep your pecker up but I don’t want to incite the inevitable explosion; but you do make me laugh – you randy old goat you😄

      • can we please avoid use of the word “explosion” in reference to any parts of the male anatomy? starts to hurt after the first couple of years of lack of use….

    • Lydia says:

      I ruled you out because you’re in the USA and I want to die in my current house and work here in London under I die in about 30 or 40 years so it didn’t seem possible.

      And I do get emails from men abroad who “will be in London” on business on XYZ date and you just know what they want – some free sex they don’t have to pay for and you’d never see them again. So I reject them

      Do you have hair? Are you obese?

      • Google, bing or yahoo me- There are 3 people named “Scott Benowitz” who live in the U.S.- I’m NOT the one who owns a restaurant in Long Island, and I’m NOT the one who owns a mining and excavating equipment company in Montana- (That’s actually a distant cousin of mine who somehow managed to botch up my credit rating a few years ago)- All other “Scott Benowitz'” you’ll find in the U.S. will be me …

  • T Lover says:

    Upset is perhaps the wrong word but it does upset me to see the banter drying up.

    I hope everyone who comments is well.

    Don’t know what else to say – all tongue tied.

  • maria says:

    Merry Chrismtas, everybody and a great New Year!

  • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

    And Happy Christmas to everyone from me too.

    It’s my 7th one all alone. I ain’t bovvered though :-) There are far worse things in life. This is just another day.

    T Lover, I agree that it is sad to see the banter drying up. I’ve read this blog right from the beginning. I haven’t always contributed because often others have said what I would say – and I can’t remember for the life of me what I used to call myself, hence the new moniker. It would be a shame to see the blog disappear altogether because I sort of feel like I know some of the people.

    I just dipped my toe back into the internet dating waters a few weeks ago. It’s been another waste of time. All the nice men with manners and the ability to write a coherent message appear not to live anywhere near me. Oh well.

    • T Lover says:

      It’s a statistic I don’t want to get right but I think this is the eighth on my own. I have come to enjoy it and don’t take up Christmas dinner invites.

      The worst thing was – as I have droned on about before – the kids. Knowing she had them with the rest of her family and I was alone. But the worm has turned. My not speaking daughter is away. My Son has gone to his In-Laws for the whole week. And I bet she doesn’t like that.

      So, checked the fireplaces but – it’s probably the windy weather – Santa hasn’t made it.

      Long, deep, boiling hot bath. Verdi full blast (bet you could hear it), crumpets for breakfast, shirt, silk tie. Properly dressed for four hours round South Head and Cracken with the dog.

      Mussels and a glass of white for lunch.

      Mega Havana. Book.

      Leg of lamb -rare – for supper. Bottle of champagne and a glass of red.

      Fat, bloated pig in muck. Being lonely is being frightened of life. Two fingers to that.

      Internet dating. Nightmare. Don’t worry. The world is full of numpties most of whom seem to populate dating sites.

      The best prospects I had all lived south of Birmingham. Miles away. But if the right one is miles away, so what? The right one might make you happy for the rest of your life.

      • Fi says:

        What happened to Christmas at your on again off again girlfriend’s family that you were reluctant to go to? Didn’t you go in the end?
        I’m fine thanks – just watching Chicken Run and rubbing expensive unguents into my face before heading off to meet up with the rest of my family for dinner

      • T Lover says:

        It’s like this.

        No idea why. She had a face Monday morning. It is probably my insensitivity. I went to work. She went shopping. We both call to see a bloke who used to work for me – now on his own. Split a bottle of wine. Then a drop of Scotch. She drives home. Says I’m drunk. Errr, 80% guilty. OK I fell asleep in the car. Then she never stops. Surround sound earache. Me to her. Ok, I’m staying at home. Got back yesterday. She had packed. Gone. House keys on kitchen table.

        At 6.22 this morning. First text. Happy Christmas. Remember she will always love me. But by by. Second text: I am so selfish. I deliberately engineered a row as an excuse not to go. Last text (which I have ignored) if I really wanted her I would jump in the car and drive immediately to her Sister’s place. 120 miles. Emotional blackmail. She now thinks my name is Dr Who and I have a Tardis.

        Women.

        Anything else you want to know?

        PS. I would rather be here but I would have gone to please her.

  • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

    T Lover, you get invites to Christmas Lunch? I don’t even get those now, though I understand that times are hard and people can’t always afford another mouth to feed.

    I like the sound of your day. It’s chucking down it down here now and I can’t be arsed to go walking round my local nature reserve in the rain and ankle-deep mud. Maybe tomorrow.

  • Lydia says:

    Try Tinder. We are in the French Alps skiing for Christmas in a rather nice hotel with my 5 children and y daughter’s husband (they married this year) and one daughter is on Tinder and regaling us with who is out there. She was joking about copying what her friend does in London – inviting several men at the same time to the same place to check them all out although it got quite complicated in London when her friend was drunk and needed my daughter to help her work out which man was which. There seem to be no shortages of men on Tinder.

    Happy CHristmast to everyone. It is my first ski holiday with a room entirely of my own and it feels like paradise actually rather than wishing a man were here. It’ s so peaceful and easy and perfect. Bliss.

  • MissBates says:

    I’m at home in NYC for once, playing hostess/tour guide to my divorced sister and her two sullen teenagers as well as my mother. (Tree at Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum, Statue of Liberty, Natural History Museum, The Magic Flute, a Broadway show — exhausting, and not sure they appreciate any of it.) Then at the end of the week comes MY holiday — I head off to London for a few nights in a fab hotel, then to friends in the country for New Year’s. Then another year of planktonhood awaits — but I’m trying not to think of that now.

    Merry Christmas, everyone…

    • emgee says:

      T, you should be takiing all this down, you ciuld make a fortune off a soqp opera based on your gf.

      My family Xmas was Sunday because my brother had to get back to Omaha, aqpart from stockings, just the five yr old had presents. Just as well it was early, since my mom and I have been under the weather since. Today we are making pretzels and having dinner with my sister and her husband. I am quite satisfied with a low key holiday, no drama for me, please.

      Merry Christmas, or however, or whatever you are all celebratin, to all!

      • Fi says:

        I have to say that recently, like the last couple of weeks, I’ve started to feel that there is something missing…..that no matter how much fun I have out with my friends, it really would be nice to have someone to come home to.

      • T Lover says:

        Oh Fiona, darling, you don’t mean ……..me?

      • Jill says:

        Thank you, T Lover, for asking the question that I have been aching to ask….who ARE you Lydia? (Apart from being “English Rose” in the comment sections of The Times – e.g. following an insufferable article about infidelity on 14th December.)

        Yes pleeeeeease, Lydia – put me out of my misery, banish my bewilderment, and make T L smile!

        Happy New Year everyone. :D

      • T Lover says:

        EmGee,

        I love you.

        Unfortunately, the common denominator, all these pantomimes, is me.

        Miss Bates,

        Your problem is simply solved. Buy a round in the Besom. I stayed for three weeks in the Waldorf. It is a soul-less London ….. think real people not high flying NY lawyers.

      • maria says:

        Fi, you should take T Lover. You’re a great gal and so much nicer than his girlfriend. He has this sarcastic sense of humour you seem to appreciate and he’s much saner than Scott.

      • T Lover says:

        Maria, cheeky madam – typical woman. One: Fiona is taller than me, a midget. Either I would have to stand on a box or she would have to stand in a hole. Two: this is not a cattle market. Three: I resent the suggestion of sanity. Only a loon would be commenting on a girlie blog.

      • Fi says:

        Thanks Maria for your kind thoughts. :)

      • MissBates says:

        T Lover: “Besom”? Had to look it up (not a term used in the U.S.), but if what you are suggesting is that I devote my life to good works I note that I need to support myself for the rest of my life, and although I do volunteer for a couple of charities, chucking the legal career is not really an option. Having said that, I’ve never been much interested in “high flying lawyers” in my personal life (too much like work, thank you very much).

        The Waldorf? Not what it once was, sadly. Next time try The Mark or The Lowell.

      • T Lover says:

        Miss Bates,

        It’s all subjective I know, each to their own, but if I had a choice between a posh London Hotel and a drink in the Besom, it would be a one pony race.

        Some soul-less London pretentious rip off versus toasting your backside against the fire in the Besom bar. One winner.

        I have the attention span of a goldfish. If I had to put up with the mind numbing tedium of a divorce lawyer’s life – I would seriously think about an overdose.

        Perhaps if you were out of that environment, all those pleased with themselves fighting to get to the top back stabbing Attorneys, you might stumble into the sort of relationship you tell us you want.

        A story to illustrate. When I was working on my new house I used to stay in a pub. I had a choice between a posh B and B (antique furniture, home produced food) or a scruffy pub (karaoke keeping you awake, a screw that sticks up through the carpet in the bathroom and makes you jump) but chose the scruffy.

        Why, because the B and B is run by an unpleasant couple whose object in life is to make money. Whereas the staff in the pub are nice and take the Mickey – great banter over breakfast.

        So when I fell asleep in the fishing hut (I would make my evening meals in the hut) two of the bar staff came looking because I hadn’t appeared and drove me back.

        Isn’t that what real life is all about? Should be about?

  • zoe says:

    It would be rather nice if people gave a quick round up as 2013 draws to a close – a plankton round robin. Curious to know how y’all are doing.

    The reappearance of my young doctor over the summer put an early end to my brief return to internet dating in 2013. The rekindled romance lasted until six weeks ago, when a row after a night out put it back out to grass (again).

    A few days ago, I had the curious and unwelcome experience of coming across his profile on the internet dating site I use. To see him marketing himself in this way was almost unbearable. It was a particular shock because he had always hated the fact that we had met on the internet, which for him had been a brief experiment he vowed he would never repeat.

    It has altogether unsettled me.

    Happy New Year, peeps.

    • Fi says:

      i’m a bit depressed and unsettled too. I’m going to meet my first husband soon at my daughter’s wedding and I guess I have always regretted that in my youthfulness I didn’t make more of an effort to sort out problems. I guess I was very immature and assumed that someone better would come along and of course nobody that I subsequently met ever matched up to him. Anyway it is all very unsettling as really once a month or so over the last 20 years I’ve thought of him and now we are going to meet. In fairy tales of course we would see each other and that would be it – we would get back together. In real life though it will be a very difficult day when I will once again regret what I did and then come home alone and that will be that. And I’ll go back to thinking of him once a month or so.

      • Lydia says:

        Fi for the first time since our divorce 10 years ago I met my ex husband at my daugher’s wedding this year. In my case it was very interesting as it confirmed the rightness in getting divorced.It was relevatory although I felt sorry for him. So in your case also it might help rather than hinder.

      • Fi says:

        Thanks for that. Certainly hope so as regret isn’t a good thing. :)

      • Muriel says:

        Fi
        I am sorry you feel that way, but it sounds like you have husband #1 on a pedestal. I had boyfriend #1 (together 3 years) on a pedestal for 25 years – I’d treated him badly, but he was the only one who really understood me, so intelligent, – and now so wealthy, haha. Was he The One? When I was in therapy I said some of this to the therapist and he had some interesting comments about how when we are younger we are simpler creatures. Then recently we got drunk together and he groped me. Was flattered but that was it. Not a flicker of anything else. Your ex is not all that. None of them are. Don’t get all misty eyed and regretful.

      • Fi says:

        Well Muriel, I bet you’re right. Thanks for that bit of useful advice – you and Lydia are both wise women

    • T Lover says:

      Zoe, don’t think like that. There must be more to the story than the bit you are giving away but if it ain’t going to be it ain’t going to be so don’t let it wind you up.

    • Lydia says:

      If you broke up then it will not matter if he is out there looking. Just try not to think about it.
      My 2013 was good but then I’m happy whether I have a man or not so I think I’m different from a lot of people on here.
      It will be the same in 2014. I think 2013 was almost my happiest year ever as I have got the divorce debt (bit pay off to husband) well under £1m now and the youngest children are getting easier and work was a good balance of not too busy and not too quiet. A few things went wrong but nothing disastrous and I’m sure 2014 will be good too. I complete on another small acquisition on 1st (small publishing business) so the first part of the year may be fairly busy with that but nothing too onerous.

      May be I am happier than some others as my aims are often financial and career orientated so all my eggs are not in the dating basket for happiness but spread around in a range of areas in what I hope is a rounded life.

    • T Lover says:

      And Fi, I think you are holding a bit back too.

      I was ditched for another bloke by my first ever girlfriend. I was an usher at her wedding. We lost touch for a while but we met up again after her divorce and my first separation. She has re-married. She lives on the western side of the Lakes so meeting is not logistically easy.

      I was nearby in August. We (me, her and her hubby) met for a drink.

      Anyway, the point is, when I meet my first wife I could never fancy her. I find my second repulsive. And my first girlfriend is so middle aged and has no sense of humour. None. Time has changed us all. Only your correspondent, T Lover, remains a thing of beauty and a boy forever.

      And the girlfriend. If I could think of an excuse she would believe, you would be welcome to visit. The problem is me. Not her. Mind, I might not need an excuse. The texts have stopped.

      My boy sent a text yesterday. You OK Dad? What’s worse than a male chauvinist pig? A woman who won’t do as she’s told.

    • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

      Zoe, you poor love, that must have been a horrible sickening thing for you to see. I send my utmost empathy.

      I had a similar thing happen to me many years back. The only difference was that I had been seeing the man for 10 or 12 weeks and thought that he’d removed his profile from the dating site on which we’d met. As had I. It turned out he had reinstated his profile, put a profile on four other dating sites and was chatting to women on all of them. It did my self-esteem no end of good to find out that way.

      Lydia’s life may be rounded, but her personality isn’t – there’s no compassion for a start. Ah, but I’m feeding the troll and I really shouldn’t.

  • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

    Out of curiosity, I googled Tinder. This is the first review I’ve read, which confirms that I am, indeed, single but not desperate!

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/spectator-life/spectator-life-columnists/harry-cole/9085261/yes-no-yes/

  • Muriel says:

    If we are doing a rollcall, I’m still planking on. I’m involved with someone I like but it isn’t going to work. I need to cut him off, yesterday. That’s not negativity, that’s a certainty. I’ve been thinking about on line dating but squawk I am chicken, not to mention rather fat after Christmas overindulgence. On the plus side I have gone cold turkey on the anti-Ds, a week before Xmas and contrary to doctors orders which were to taper off very gradually. So far so good apart from little brain zaps now and then, and a “whooshing” sensation, sometimes I can hear it too. I am avoiding driving.

  • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

    Muriel, may I ask how long you were on the anti-D’s? I found them easy to just stop a few years ago, but I’d only been on them for a few weeks and they had actually made me feel worse.

    And don’t worry about being fat after Christmas – there are all sizes on the dating sites.

    • Muriel says:

      ISND
      I was on them for 8 months – and back on again though at a lower dose. Cold turkey wasn’t such a great idea, after all, as it turned out. I’m going to scale it down slowly.

      • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

        Muriel, I think that’s wise. I’m sure you’ll get off them if you want to. All the best.

  • py says:

    Roll call time .

    Yet another fruitless wait for the invite to the infamous ‘Plankton Christmas Party ‘ at the Waitrose cold-cuts counter on Oxford St . I presume it was another belter. The Head Girl needs to get her act together on postings or more will drift away .

    So here I am , mid fifties , sound of mind and body, sitting atop a south west London hill, listening to the latest gale howling around the house. Having spent Christmas skiing with my sons, I have managed to avoid most of the Yuletide familial angst, which is the usual fate of the separated parent. My body clock may be still in the Styrian Alps but my thoughts are with Schumacher- “there for the grace of God …”.

    As for 2013 , a good year on the whole with work rapidly recovering after torrid times and this has had to be the focus. Some good adventures, without which I get easily bored. Travels to foreign lands, joyous races and trips afloat , numerous theatre visits , new friends made and new experiences (including the Chelsea Flower Show ), wining&dining, even occasional couplings with significant others. All very ‘adult’ in the relationship game – living 8000 miles apart, in either direction, is not exactly convenient ….. but, whilst I have discovered the beauty of Skype, I remain unattached. ‘Plankton fodder’ , if you like.

    Why is that? The perpetual problem remains of where to meet age appropriate, single , women with whom I share a mutual chemistry and variety of interests. Suspending the online dating account , admittedly, did not help but perhaps this is a subliminal response . We have accepted here that both men and women become so independent in their ways, as they age alone, that they become unwilling to compromise that hard won singularity. To a certain extent, this is the first generation with that mutual opt out. Perhaps distant and occasional but respectful lovers is the practical and mutually acceptable response . The ‘Swiss Army Knife’ approach to dating – even though in truth we may be staunchly monogamous, we each have a selection of useful blades ( sharp or otherwise ) for the appropriate occasion. I don’t see that Tinder is the answer – it may be great for the loins but it can not be good for the soul.

    Having just visited the aged parents, I’m doubting that polyamorous relationships are the modern answer to a very modern and increasing problem – even though life is presenting me with few opportunities or alternatives. There they are, after almost 60 years of marriage, fiercely independent and caring for each other through their dotage. Still able to laugh at it all despite their crumbling bodies. I come away feeling inadequate, almost jealous but proud that their relationship has weathered all of the storms that life has thrown at them , not least the respective turmoil of their sons lives.

    Sadly, more marriages have failed or long negotiated exits have been finally executed and documented. But, hooray, their is hope for you all yet. Fresh options have therefore become available. Crikey, even the ex has finally got a new fella – long may it last as the world is a happier place, (although those around her have to adjust to a new set of dynamics).

    Enough of my ramblings from a very windy Wimbers . I wish you all a happy New Year and, hopefully, a rampantly co-joined 2014 .

    • Muriel says:

      There’s an upper age limit of 50 on Tinder anyway. I’d qualify, just, but don’t like the idea of being a “last chance salooner”.

    • Jill says:

      You are not alone, PY – my invitation didn’t arrive either…or perhaps Ms P’s lengthy silence means that she is otherwise occupied, and the partay was binned as a result….?

      Glad tidings that you have returned from the snowy slopes unscathed, and would that Michael Schumacher had had equally good fortune. There but for the grace of God. Let us hope for a miracle.

      As to my 2013 – on reflection, it has probably been the most momentous of my life in terms of milestones, but as I sit (alone but not lonely) in my cosy new house in Dorset, I feel very contented, and fortunate. It amuses me that I am living my life in reverse, as it were, in that I am doing the dating now that I should perhaps have done in my youth, had I not met and married my ex husband at such a young age. I have to report that I have found internet dating a very positive experience, and I have met and made some very good friends. No lovers yet, but that is because I am very discerning (!) What does amaze me is the almost total lack of “eligible” males in everyday life (and by “eligible” I most emphatically do not mean those who are already attached, however keen they might be to pretend otherwise.)

      The ex spent Christmas with his not-so-new woman and her family, and I spent it surrounded by my sons and the extended family, They are all delighted that I have found a new home, and I gave my two younger sons their own keys to the new house for Christmas, so they also now feel they have a new home too, despite being elsewhere for much of the time.

      Now that I am a grandmother myself, I often think fondly of my own much-loved grandmother, who qualified as a doctor just before the outbreak of the Great War. My project for 2014 is to set down in words an account of her life and work and see if I can turn her story into a worthy tribute to her. Perhaps a new career beckons for me…..?

      Best wishes to everyone for 2014.

      • Fi says:

        That sounds excellent, I’m really pleased for you. Settled, optimistic and making plans for the future. :)

      • Jill says:

        Thank you Fi, and I hope the same for you too, plus continuing good health.

      • Muriel says:

        Jill – that’s great you’re so positive! I hope your next year is even better.
        I’m glad you’re positive about Internet dating, I’d like to have a go in 2014 if only to improve my social life and get out a bit more.
        The last few years have been filled with matrimonial angst of one sort or another, it was so draining and painful, I avoided socialising almost completely.

      • Jill says:

        I know exactly what you mean, Muriel, when you speak of matrimonial angst. But it is indeed like a tunnel, and if you can spot a glimmer of light at the end of it (sorry, it’s late and that’s a bit trite, if true….), you can get through it.

        And a bit of good cheer to see in the new year…..Good old Amazon sent me a list of the books they are recommending for 2014 today and I was hugely amused to see that a certain Jeffrey Archer has one coming out in the spring entitled “Be Careful What You Wish For” – ironic or what?! Thought I would send it to the ex :lol:

  • py says:

    So, even ‘Tinder’ is ageist . You learn something new that you’re too aged for every day. What’s the equivalent for those who want to grow old disgracefully ?

    Surely , here is another marketing bolt-on for Saga – a GPS based hook up site for those over 50 . They could call it ‘Pfizer’ or some such.

    I once found a bright pink, discarded, golf tee marked on one side for the ‘Viagra Golf Society’. On t’other it had the motto ‘ Always up but never in the hole’.

  • Lydia says:

    I don’t they’d be asking for birth certificates and Tinder which I had mentioned above which my daughter was using is only one of many many options. People can meet on Tinder or similar sites and not just it all be about sex of course.

    There are lots of possibilities. As most men want sex and plenty of women don’t that means those few older women who do want it have a massive advantage. Perhaps the route to a happy second marriage for some older women is testosterone injections or sex therapy. Read more erotica and porn may be and obviously for both men and women stay thin, not fat.

    • zoe says:

      I sometimes find myself wondering where Lydia has come from or what her lineage is. I can’t believe she’s natural-born English. I think it possibly Germany, Austria or one of the East European former Soviet block countries. Lydia?

      Hurrah for PY! Great round-up. Even I with my scepticism about the elevation of the search for the long term relationship had similar observations when I visited my parents this Xmas.

      • Fi says:

        Agree re Lydia. And also with py

      • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

        Another country? I think Lydia’s on another planet! Planet Lydia perhaps ;-)

      • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

        And the thing about testosterone injections for women, is that they would probably cause hair loss and even baldness, so men would be even less likely to find them attractive then. Win, win. Er, not.

      • T Lover says:

        Could I ask “Lydia” if he/she/they would come clean.

        “Lydia” has had three distinctive writing styles and two identities – the other was something Rose?

        The latest style involves interaction. Long responses whilst on holiday in a far away hotel with five children and a son in law.

        And her divorce debt. Now down to under a million ten years after the separation. And an island where? Panama?

        All this makes me giggle. Who is/are the person (s) known as Lydia? What does he/she/they really do?

        Brighten a dull day and come clean.

      • Fi says:

        She’s probably someone like Nicola Horlick :)

      • T Lover says:

        Come on Lydia, let’s have the inside track. Make me smile.

      • maria says:

        I think Lydia is funny. Whether or not she’s making all that stuff up (the island, the dating, the money…) I don’t care. Her posts are very entertaining and she does have a very different point of vue of planktonhood from most people on this site.

  • T Lover says:

    Well, an increasingly positive year is about to end negatively.

    I can’t reach a deal with the wife who, I think, is being plain stupid.

    I had a look at “Encounters” yesterday evening and was immediately depressed.

    Spoke to the girl from the south west – the younger woman who has corresponded without meeting for two years. She is barking.

    My move to the Borders is stalling because the renovation work is never ending and I am beginning to feel down – the thought of those 450 mile round trips in the dark and cold.

    Had two last minute New Year invitations, now the original plans are in bits. One is to a birthday party. I feel obligated to show my face but don’t want to go. The other was to a concert. Ditto. Can’t be bothered.

    Must get out of this downward cycle. Not good.

    • Joules says:

      Happy New Year to everyone. Just back from a month in the states. Highlight was a road trip around Nebraska with my mum, seeing people I had not seen for years.

      Now back home in Dorset, looking forward to trying to sleep sometime. I have tried various remedies for jet-lag but find that it is just better to ride it out. Avoided new year’s eve celebrations, the last thing I need is any alcohol.

      Roll call – 2013, good in work front, home fine, relationships non-existent. There are a few that show interest but I can always think of a reason not to. And there is the examples of my two sisters, both walking on egg shells at times to keep the hubby happy. I have never been very good at walking on egg shells. Hence my current situation.

      Looking forward to 2014. Wondering if we are ever going to hear from Ms P again. Waiting for Jill’s book to come out. You go girl.

      • Lydia says:

        Happy New Year. If you want to avoid the egg shells thing you can always simply not move the man in, just see him for 2 or 3 meetings, dates a week and perhaps have the best of all worlds.

    • Lydia says:

      I think you just need a more positive mind set – perhaps eat better, sleep a lot more, no alcohol – avoid all the depressant things like that and look on the bright side. If you just feel obligated to show a face why on earth go? I wouldn’t.

      • Fi says:

        i was out tonight and got bored and just came home before the bells. A shocking thing to do in Scotland. That’s what’s great about being old – you can just do what you want instead of feeling obligated to do something you don’t. So in lieu of everyone else to say it to…Happy New Year folks.

      • Muriel says:

        Well I’m having a quiet night in too. Gay friend was supposed to be having his usual Hogmanay party, but came down with a kidney infection. Another friend and I arranged to go out, but she is now unwell too. Gropy boss was hanging about my office and suggested we go for one. No. Just no. Then other friends invited me up to theirs, but my ex was already installed, and anyway I’d now lost all interest in the whole idea of going out and had a hot bath and a cup of tea instead. Exciting stuff.

      • Muriel says:

        But happy new year everyone!

      • Fi says:

        i always find something depressing about New Year to be honest – a time for reflection rather than celebrating and all that enforced jollity is frankly exhausting. anyway oily Jools Holland has just slithered on screen. :)

      • T Lover says:

        Miserable git. Happy New Year to you too. Just in from birthday. Large Scotch. Dog. Bah.

      • T Lover says:

        Sorry, I only saw Fiona’s message. Miserable gits.

  • maria says:

    Happy New Year all planktons! Here’s hoping that 2014 will be better and we’ll hear from Mrs. P again!

  • Lydia says:

    Happy New Year to everyone. Today I completed on a small acquisition to my slightly growing publishing arm… which sounds more grandiose than it is and runs alongside my main career so quite a bit to do on that but it’s welcome.

    I also went back on a dating website as someone there wished me Happy Christmas and I cannot cope with the volume of men. I think I might decide to meet none of them actually as I’m not in the mood this month.

    • T Lover says:

      I ought to nail my hands to the desk rather than respond to this fantasy, Lydia. You must be laughing your Y fronts off at the thought I am rising to the bait.

      One of several things about internet dating that wound me up were ego trip, time wasting women.

      One that still makes me laugh was the text message I got which read: When internet dating be sure to ask for more than one photograph.

      Underneath was a photograph of a large naked bosom. But as you scrolled you saw those lovely breasts in fact it belonged to a fat middle aged man with a moustache.

      Now , can I ask you a question? Why did that text photograph remind me of you? You been having testosterone injections again?

      • Fi says:

        Women do have testosterone, and hrt often contains it

      • Muriel says:

        Well t lover, why don’t you set you set yourself up a profile as a woman, and see what an absolute load of bollocks you get. I’ve just logged a profile and have immediately got about a million pishy contacts from guys who are clearly bored and have nothing better to do and have little intention of actually, you know, meeting up. I’m already thinking regretfully of the pile of laundry, the unread books, and all the other bazillion better ways I could have spent the last hour.
        Bah

      • T Lover says:

        Fi, HRT? Husband Replacement Therapy?

  • T Lover says:

    Oh Muriel, I started internet dating thinking it wouldn’t take five minutes to find a woman. After all I am gorgeous (a lie) intelligent (a lie) good natured (a lie) had a sense of humour (a lie).

    Somewhere a bloke who thinks like you, fits your bill, sex on legs, is looking for you. The problem is easy. Finding that man and not getting hurt when looking.

    You’ll be OK. When I tried some of the free sites you wouldn’t believe some of the slappers who got in touch.

    • Muriel says:

      I’ve got a date for Sunday. He did actually read my profile and comment intelligently, and in correct English. However he seems to be very tall, which I find alarming. We are going for a walk. A long one, up a mountain.
      Crikey

    • Muriel says:

      What marks out a slapper anyway.? Presumably, you mean by that a sexually loose woman. Were they putting up naughty pics, or suggestive profiles?

      • T Lover says:

        I am a real innocent about these things, so don’t laugh.

        I think there is a dating language code. So “likes fun” means enjoys sex.

        Slapper? I meant rough.

      • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

        That reminds me of when I first tried internet dating. One man had on his profile that he “liked having fun, both indoors and outdoors”. Being a bit green at that time, I had no idea what he meant, which made the statement all the more confusing. When the penny eventually dropped, I had a good laugh to myself.

        I often see men’s profiles saying they like having fun or they are just looking for fun. When I looked at some of the women’s profiles recently, not one of them mentioned fun. Not one.

        Muriel, I will be rooting for you on Sunday!

      • Muriel says:

        T lover,
        I don’t worry too much about photos but I think it’s weird if they don’t post any…that means either lazy, married or hideous. Or all three. ISND – I was aware of the “fun” thing, and have had a few messages from some “fun-loving” guys. Erk. I don’t think there will be any of that kind of “fun” going on up a Scottish mountain in January! Hopefully some amusing conversation.

      • T Lover says:

        Muriel,

        There are lots of reasons why you might not show a photograph. Eg you are a teacher and do not want pupils to read about you.

        You have to keep an open mind.

        The woman I have been seeing is older than the age range I had looked for in my profile and she showed no picture.

        She is the most intelligent and entertaining person I had any dating contact with. Natural blonde former actress, OK, getting a bit jaded round the edges nowadays but if I had thought no picture no go I would have made a big mistake.

        My Secretary keeps telling me how attractive her best friend is – she also has a well paid job. She used Match. I must admit this woman is quite attractive, maybe not my type.

        She has apparently ended up with an overweight somewhat older bloke my Secretary describes as “the nicest person”. Contrast her husband who was a serial adulterer. She has peace of mind.

        And my guess is that you have had a bit of a battering. A bit fragile? Well if my guess is right do not take internet dating to heart because if you do you will end up well and truly bruised. It is a numbers game. The right one is there somewhere.

        So keep an open mind, don’t turn blokes away too quickly and don’t worry about the knocks.

      • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

        The other phrase that puts me off when I see it on a profile is “everything still works”. Do I really need to know that?

        I’ve had my profile viewed by a man who is the image of Uncle Albert in Only Fools and Horses. When I saw his occupation was Market Trader, I’m afraid I laughed out loud rather a lot.

  • Lydia says:

    You might not put up a picture because if any of us go on google images and search an image that will often take you to the photograph used by that person posting it in all other contexts – women’s institute, BDSM club, local church and their company website for example so in other words pictures these days are not anonymous. If you put one up that may involve disclosing your whole identity.

  • Muriel says:

    T lover ,
    With no photo , and given that she was older than your preferred age range, how did you end up with your GF?
    I seem to have been wasting an inordinate amount of time on the dating website . I am bored and discouraged already . I keep thinking about all the better ways I could be spending my time.

    • T Lover says:

      I don’t know Muriel. I can’t remember. Have just ‘phoned to ask and she said I sent her a message. I thought she had contacted me.

      It is a bit of a mystery but I think I had done a search for woman in my local area and had come across a smashing looking older woman just down the road. She had a “private”` photograph. So I think I widened the search parameters and included women without photographs but I can’t explain why I went as far afield as London.

      Anyway, her profile just chimed. We spoke. We chimed. She sent me pictures by eMail (not of her) and when we eventually met it was only after seeing one grainy picture taken with her husband. She is a widow.

      Now, it is a long way from perfect in both directions ( I haven’t seen her since before Christmas) but the point is if I hadn’t widened my horizons we would never have met.

  • Shai says:

    Im having mixed feelings with my internet dating.. having got 2000+ hits and 550+ likes and hundreds of msgs.. after chatting with a dozen i finally went for 2 dates each with 2 guys… the guy who said he was 57 was actually 64 !! and while he did look good for his age… and i was melting by the 2nd most romantic date in fancy club.. his insistance on pushing his tongue eekkedd me out !!!! the 2nd 49 my age knight of my forever dreams seems to msg only late night !!! both are msg their great love (sic) but im cheesed off with both and have been pretending to hv cold & cough to keep them at arms length till i decide who to choose .. ok bed :) !!! so what do my dear planctonites suggest ?

    • maria says:

      Shai, choose the younger one. French kissing with a 64 year old… yuck!!

      • justanotherman says:

        How old are you Maria? Care to comment on what an 18 year old might think of French kissing you ?

      • Shai says:

        oh im sorry dear Maria.. addressed my reply to wrong person.. thanks ur advise is perfect.. french kissing by seniors should be left out till ATLEAST you are a couple plzzzz….

      • maria says:

        justanotherman,

        I’m old (51) but I’m not interested in French kissing men so much older than me (or much younger, for that matter). This may come as a shock to you, but most women are not sexually attracted to much older men (unless they’re loaded, of course).

      • justanotherman says:

        No Maria , it certainly doesn’t come as a surprise to me. Saying “unless they are loaded” kinda sums things up. A bit like a guy saying his not interested in a 51 year old unless she has big tits and goes like a train I guess.

      • maria says:

        justanotherman,

        If big tits and going like a train is your thing, go for it. Each his own, I guess.

      • Muriel says:

        Yes indeed. The Equality Act doesn’t apply to relationships and there is no dating ombudsman.

      • Lou Smorrals says:

        I think you both miss the point , but no matter

      • justanotherman says:

        You took the words out of my mouth Lou

    • T Lover says:

      “having got 2000+ hits and 550+ likes and hundreds of msgs”

      Lydia lite without the psvchiatrists?

      • Shai says:

        @ T Lover facts really.. the un-usual response is due to lack of ‘available’ free bed & breakfast options which come with a somewhat respectable label in my part of the world !!!!

    • T Lover says:

      Muriel, how important is sex in your relationships?

      I ask because it is obvious that my Secretary has not and does not have any interest in sex. She tells me how she gets tugs from time to time shen she goes out but is just not interested. When we talk about her mariage breakdown it is also obvious that her husband has no interest in finding another woman either.

      It seems odd to me. But my Secretary says when her parents split her Father found another woman but her Mother shut up shop. My Mother was a widow at 49. She seemed to lose all interest in men/sex altogether.

  • Shai says:

    @ Mureil yes thx.. i agree.. but how do i get my knight not to settle into a free bed & breakfast mode !!!! and the thought of missing all those free fancy dinners is making me really sad… dont mistake.. im on a diet.. but jst the vision of me all dressed up there .. sign !!!! and how did ur walk go… beats me why you should go for free walk dates… we are well past our teens !!! if the guy cant do better.. he should stay home !!

    • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

      Shai, it seems a simple decision to me. A man who has lied about his age tried to stick his tongue down your throat on the second date and you didn’t like it. He doesn’t sound very respectful to me, so why would you be deliberating over whether to see him again?

      Muriel, we need to know how the date went, please?

      TLover, the menopause does that to women, as does having an underactive thyroid, which is also common in women of menopausal age. A double whammy, no pun intended.

      • Muriel says:

        Hi All
        The date on Sun did not happen. He got cold feet , oh I mean called off due to bad weather. I supposed to go for a drink Thursday. To be honest I have lost what little romantic interest I had in him, and am really looking at it as just a drink in a pub round the corner.
        I have also had a LOT of messages etc (not as many as Shai though). I am not by any stretch of the imagination particularly glam. The standard however is not high. No pic or info. Live far away. Say they’re 50 and look 70. Probably are 75. Sleazy (block block block). Illiterate. I would be happy with one good one. I was chatting to one intelligent, attractive & solvent guy, but have started to realize he’s obsessed with his ex and possibly insane.
        Still some possibles though.
        T lover, yes it still matters to me though the ADs have taken a toll in that regard.

      • T Lover says:

        Muriel,

        On the BBC web site this am.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25410883

      • T Lover says:

        I’m single,

        Why do they call it the menopause?

        Something else women blame on men?

        The menopause affects some women in that way. Not all.

        And should Muriel be dabbling in on-line dating whilst trying to stave off depression with chemicals? My answer would be “no”.

        I have a girlfriend (friend who is a girl) who takes uppers from time to time and who, putting it midly, was wild if she took uppers and drink.

      • Shai says:

        Yea thx.. your right.. he is a bit slezy.. but rich and totally smitten.. earning him some browny points.. but im letting hin go and plan to focus on my younger knight… lets see where it leads me …

  • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

    Men-o-pause or menstruation-pause?

    I’ve never blamed it on men.

    My viewings over the last six weeks on one site are 243. The smokers in amongst that number can’t contact me. Around 30 have made contact, but as Muriel says the literacy, amongst other things, is often lacking.

    • T Lover says:

      The menopause was a bad joke. Sorry.

      • Muriel says:

        T lover,
        I have mild depression and anxiety which has been fairly successfully treated with an SSRI. I do not present any kind of risk to society and am not on “uppers” whatever they are.
        Also it is rude to talk about me in the third person.
        Latest message was from a topless young man who had put in the age section that he was 51, but explained that he was really 31 but wanted to meet women 40 to 60. Actually he looked like he could have been 25. Bleurghh. Block block block

      • Muriel says:

        Also it’s my decision whether I should or should not date.

      • T Lover says:

        Muriel,

        I used to “meet” these women, think this is definitely the one, be excited to mint balls, only to then be let down. eg one who took my number, said she was coming my way, gave me a date and time but never called.

        Encouraging starts only then to be ignored and left with a feeling of rejection.

        Sometimes lots of attention from women who turned out to have a screw loose. I had one call whilst I was driving back from Scotland one Saturday evening to accuse me in a very threatening way of looking for a another woman. I had spoken to the accuser but we had never met. She then went on to pester me after I had told her that she was not to call me again

        As you say it is your call but If you are already low I would leave internet dating alone.

        On a lighter note, one girl told me about a younger man who openly said he was into swapping clothes with older women.

        Chin up, Muriel, don’t be down.

      • Muriel says:

        Yes I can see you might need a hide like a rhinoceros. I don’t actually feel down, though, merely getting somewhat bored by it. All these genuine down to earth guys. Yawn.

      • zoe says:

        Muriel, I think you should give the younger guy a chance. It won’t be a yawn, whatever. :-)

      • Muriel says:

        I might be willing to consider a younger man, but I did not fancy this one at all.

      • zoe says:

        Ah. Well that is somewhat pertinent. Shame. I’m all for mixing it up a bit….

      • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

        T Lover, I’ve been approached by men who are cross-dressers, showing photos of them dressed as women on their profiles. One of their aims is often that we would go shopping together for women’s clothes. Since they are invariably 6ft+ and I’m petite, I can’t begin to imagine what we would look like walking along the street together.

      • T Lover says:

        I’m Single,

        I guess it would be a bit like me and Fi.

        I’m now off as fast as I can because a bit of rotten fruit will be coming my way any minute.

      • Muriel says:

        T lover
        You commented about ONE woman who got angry and aggressive with you. After 8 days I have got SIX men on my block list because when I politely stated I was not interested (citing a non hurtful reason why) and wishing them luck, they got angry and aggressive.

      • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

        I’ve found it’s best not to give them a reason. Just say you’re not interested and leave it at that. If they still get snotty, report them if you can.

      • T Lover says:

        Muriel,

        Listen to Uncle T.

        When I was internetting it I was continually wound up by girls whose profiles looked good, exchanged email only to find they stopped for some unknown reason. For a bloke (if you really are genuine) it’s like being kicked n the nuts.

        So remember there may be decent fellas out there you might be hurting. Blokes who find dating very difficut.

        Turning it round the object for you (I assume) is to find Mr Right not to spend your waking hours in conflict with rejected applicants.

        So use your female nouse and find a way through. A way to find the ones you might be interested in without attracting the ones you aren’t.

        I’m off mow to look for a profile called “Muriel”.

  • Well, it is in fact a new year- I say that I’ll try once per year now…

    @ Ms. Plankton- Would you like for me to send you my cell phone # ?

  • graceville says:

    Hello everyone

    Haven’t posted for about a million years, but thought I’d put my two cents worth in on this issue of internet dating and folk getting upset when you say “no”. I’ve been doing the whole on-line thing for a long time, with not much success, but I do make it a policy to reply to anyone who contacts me, even if it’s just to say a polite “no”. I always write the same thing and have had lots of positive responses in return, from guys saying “that’s the nicest let down I’ve ever had!” and “thanks; really appreciate the reply. All the best to you too!” and similar. So, here’s what I say:

    Dear XYZ

    Thanks for your email and the compliments; it’s always nice when someone takes the time to make contact.

    XYZ, I’m not going to take things further, but I do very much hope that happiness and the elusive “Ms Right” are both waiting just around the corner for you.

    All the best to you –

    Kindly,
    Ms X

    The whole experience of trying to meet people over the internet is soul-destroying to say the least, but I just figure that there are heaps of people just like me out there, just hoping that they might strike it lucky. OK, they mightn’t be the most literate of men who contact me, and maybe they could be a bit more subtle at times, but I just try to be polite in return. I often think of that old saying “kindness is ALWAYS in our power, even when fondness is not in our hearts”.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts for what they’re worth!

    • T Lover says:

      Worth a lot. Over here manners/kindness seem to be a thing of the past

      But what I don’t understand is: all these girls with hundreds of hits/messages/prospects, torrents of men every day.

      So, why is it the women who attract all the men and not the other ways about.

      Men in biblical numbers but not one decent one amongst them?

      Why can’t you find……..one?

      Could it be it is not a man you need rather the attention?

      • Lydia says:

        Everytime TL writes (but no other men on this blog) it contains some kind of comment against women as if he really hates them. It is not the way to seduce us. Tell us we’re wonderful and they will come flocking to them.

        The reason men email women on line more than vice versa is because of sexist upbringings which teach people men ask out and women choose whether to accept or reject or because more men on line just want sex so they have to keep asking in order to get it.

      • T Lover says:

        “Everytime TL writes (but no other men on this blog) it contains some kind of comment against women as if he really hates them. It is not the way to seduce us. Tell us we’re wonderful and they will come flocking”

        So the plan is: I lie, say you are wonderful, I get my leg over.

        Imagine for a moment I don’t want to get my leg over flocks of women – my guess is you are a bloke taking the Mickey and I certainly don’t want to get my leg over some hairy arsed bloke – where do we go from here?

      • zoe says:

        Believe it or not tlover some men do love women. They don’t need to lie. Lydia is quite right: these are the men who are successful with women.

      • Muriel says:

        Exactly Zoe.

      • T Lover says:

        Come on, Lydia, come clean.

        “Lydia” has undergone two signicant style changes and one name change.

        I bet if I knew the truth behind “Lydia” it would make me laugh all weekend.

  • “Propinquity” people, think “propinquity”- It’s 2014, this is a new year, this year, let’s all try to maintain a positive outlook and let’s try to think “propinquity”…

    • Peggy says:

      Internet dating is a highly profitable commercial business. Many if the profiles are made up. Personally I stuck my toe in once, was very scientific about not being swayed by pictures but by profiles and found, of those who could spell AND punctuate correctly, a selection pool of (sorry there’s no other word for it) tossers; pretentious ones at that. It’s a bit like twitter/fb/Instagram etc. everyone competing to talk up their hum drum boring lonely little lives with one or two exaggerated ‘hobbies'; swimming with sharks on an all inclusive holiday 2 years ago does not make a hobby. Also, if you live in the arse end of no where as I do there’s the geographical element to consider. Unless you find a Scott or a Lydia (perhaps they are the same person ?) who can commission a helicopter or private jet to woo you, you travel for an hour to nearest big town, have an uncomfortable cup of coffee and then drive home feeling let down.
      My answer is to promote local pubs, proper unpretentious pubs where people laugh drink and groups mix, it’s the old fashioned way but far more fun, and cheaper.

      As a suggestion why don’t we planktonites set a date, some named regional venues and have one massive blind date. We go to our nearest named venue, bearing a small discrete pot of fish food which is placed on the table and we all hook up (forgive the fish pun)

  • py says:

    Peggy , well done for taking a positive approach locally (wherever the arse end of nowhere may be) and suggesting some action for the Plankton Pool.

    A meet up in the John Lewis foodhall on Oxford St was debated a year or so ago but a lot of chat, few takers and nobody bold enough to step out from behind their screen based existence (save for the odd error on the photos).

    Let’s see what the consensus is . In the meantime , the gym beckons as the excesses of the Christmas break are tackled.

    • Peggy says:

      Arse end if nowhere = depths of shropshire/welsh marches. I’m a refugee from London parachuted in to broaden the gene pool. I then kicked him out but can’t quite extricate my heirs.

      • Peggy says:

        General question (directed mainly to the gents) when men find themselves with very significantly younger women (20 years or more their junior) do the have a pang of shame?

      • Fi says:

        Can’t imagine it. What is there to feel ashamed about? But I imagine they know that the woman wouldn’t be with them if they were skint. But then that’s actually ok too as I wouldn’t be with a bloke who was fat.

      • Peggy says:

        Glad you said that. Thanks

      • Lou Smorrals says:

        No pangs of shame at all Peggy, both situations (strangely in rapid succession ) have been instigated by them not me.

        Pangs of puzzlement mostly , neither had great financial advantage and have therefore changed my perceptions of it just being guys with fat wallets. I now feel it wrong to make those judgements and insulting to the woman although I would willingly accept its the case in many couples … but then its also the case in couples the same age.

        Fi, I understand what you are saying but skint guys dont normally attract women of any age.

        I also think that its a generational thing, I recently had a girl young enough to be my granddaughter flirting outrageously – I know both of us knew it was just that and laughed but I still think it is something that would never have happened in my youth. Then again , what do I know I was never a young woman in my youth.

      • Fi says:

        It takes all sorts to make a world.
        To be honest while I don’t understand how women can find much older man attractive but I accept some do. Most women however want a bloke round about their own age with similar life experiences/interests/aims.
        Old men/young women is something that particularly upsets single older women though because they see themselves being overlooked by the men their age. But it is what it is.

      • Lou Smorrals says:

        The ironic thing is up until a much younger one started to flirt with me I always preferred older women , maybe because like you I made certain assumptions.

        The only thing I’m finding now is that some, not all, of my older female friends seem to be loosing interest in sex , which I presume is part of the menopause …. or maybe their not keen on older men either :) . I would say that neither I nor the girls would entertain a permanent relationship , but I guess its something new for them as well as myself and fun for all of us.

        Don’t forget the corollary of single / older women being upset by old men / young women is is single older men being upset by rich men / all women. Anyway , as you say it takes all sorts.

      • Fi says:

        Maybe as you say the single younger women aren’t looking for a permanent relationship with an older man and so are simply having fun until they settle down. Older women I think a lot of the time do want to settle down, and if their pool of available men is hijacked by the younger women then they aren’t going to be happy about it.

      • Muriel says:

        Lets not be too negative.
        I had a nice date yesterday, long lunch walk and a drive. He is no “dream boat” but was likable and made me laugh. Also he is keen.

      • Doc says:

        “when men find themselves with very significantly younger women do they have a pang of shame?”

        Nope. Regularly date women 30+ years younger and I just enjoy. :) Of course, when I was in my early and mid-teens I dated women almost 30 years my senior, so it’s only fair that these days I’m dating women that much younger than I am.

        Of course, it’s just for fun – no strings attached, which is how I like it. When they start to introduce me to their social circles – it’s time to head in the opposite direction, lest they turn up preggers.

      • EmGee says:

        That last sentence made no sense, Doc. I hope you aren’t a medical doctor, because that isn’t exactly how it works…

      • Fi says:

        Lucky lucky laydeeZ. I hope they’re grateful!

      • Jill says:

        Good retort, Fi….:lol:

      • Jill says:

        Ooops, emoticon didn’t work – trying again :lol:

      • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

        EmGee and Fi, hilarious! Thank you for making me laugh out loud :lol:

    • Jill says:

      Well, if no one else is bold/brave enough to step up to the place, I will….but I’m not sure what sort of venue would, or indeed could,appeal widely enough. It seems to me that to be geographically even-handed, a meeting would have to be organised somewhere well north of the Watford Gap, and that doesn’t take into account all the plankton on the other side of the Atlantic. (Speaking of whom, James B, where are you? – I miss your wisdom and sense of fair play…..)

      • Jill says:

        …step up to the PLATE, I meant…and this comment was in response to PY’s allusion to last year’s ineffectual plans for a plankton swimathon in John Lewis, but it has somehow gone astray.

      • T Lover says:

        Why don’t you try a step at a time – a Skype call?

      • T Lover says:

        Jill, the suggestion of a group type Skype call seems to have dropped like a lead balloon. Meeting without some foreplay – like a group Skype call – is a big ask given the distances between us.

        The blog – well it is more than two months since the last post and the comments have dried up. Might be wrong but the signs are not good.

        A month or two ago I would have said that was a shame but we do seem to have been travelling the same ground and become, well, a bit jaded..

        I am glad I took part. I can see I had the same anxieties to wrestle with that you faced when you started to comment and Muriel seems to have now. For me it has been helpful to read about the trials of others.

        The shame is that (I am incurably nosey) I will never find out what others look like and do for a living. Nor will this group pen pal type relationship go any further. Some of the commentators seem to be interesting characters – just a chance they might have become friends.

        So here is another suggestion. If, perhaps when the weather warms up a touch, anyone who has commented would like to meet at my place in the Borders they would be very welcome. Free accomodation for a few in a nice part of the country.

        I’m going to regret that offer aren’t I?

      • Muriel says:

        Party at t lovers!
        Are you really going to publish your address on the interweb, I have a vision of planktons converging upon your residence from every direction, like the scene in Father Ted when Eoin McLove comes to stay on Craggy Isle, and all the infatuated old ladies besiege the house with their tributes of jumper/cakes

      • Jill says:

        Sorry, T Lover – I was not ignoring you but I have recently moved for the second time in six months – permanently this time – and am surrounded by boxes and bags galore with a heck of a lot less space to put away their contents. My new home has taken over my life temporarily, and I haven’t been this “nesty” since I was last pregnant!

        I wasn’t aware that such an animal as a conference/group Skype call even existed but am glad to know that it does. And I agree with you that the John Lewis food hall idea is a non-starter for anyone living outside the M25. I am told that Waitrose is a fertile ground for singles to “find” each other, though, so I am overjoyed that a new store will shortly be opening in the town to which I have just moved!

        My instinct about trying to effect a plankton convention, whether in the internet/telephonic ether or by organising a pilgrimage to the Borders, is that this blog fulfils a specific purpose as a means of venting some angst and discussing the trials and tribulations of a single life. Its very anonimity is what makes it work. Just because those who contribute are all to a greater or lesser degree in the same waterborne conveyance – whether a canoe or a luxury yacht! – does not mean that there would be any potential for another type of relationship. (IMO – please do challenge me on that, anyone….!)

      • T Lover says:

        It was a dumb suggestion wasn’t it?

        The place in Scotland is 15 miles from the east coast mainline station at Berwick. An hour from Edinburgh airport. An hour and a half from the west coast line at Carlisle.

        No, I won’t put the address on the ‘net but you could arrange a get together with a degree of security by setting up a hotmail account and, well, there must be some semi private way of communicating.

        I know the food hall idea was suggested tongue in cheek but the thought of going to London for an evening meeting in a supermarket – just impractical.

        And if anyone (based abroad?) wanted to stay. Free accommodation.

        I don’t have to be there. If you women wanted a get together I could just leave a key.

      • T Lover says:

        Cheers, Jill.

        I am not sure what happened but I didn’t see your response (to me) before I wrote mine. Probably need glasses.

        This blog has gave me a lift and made me understand man/woman relationships a little more. I must have had a sheltered life.

        However, my offer and your comment have made me wonder why after all this time I am still getting involved. I have been scratching my head at the reaction to the latest flurry of posts. Some commentators seem to have a quasi personal relationship with the Blogger.

        Neither do I understand why some want an imaginary, one sided, on line friendship with an anonymous stranger. A girl I used to work with talks about celebrities she follows on Twitter as though people she has never met lived next door.

        Perhaps you are right, the spice is in virtual interaction rather than personal, face to face relationships.

  • terracotta says:

    Has The Original Plankton actually left this site now – if so, I wish she’d at least come back and say so. Maybe she is just keeping it going as a security blanket in case the latest beau comes to nowt – but I hope it means she has finally met someone great. Please just let us know!

    • Jill says:

      Yes, please do, Ms P. I have also been wondering about your long silence (two months now), and hoping that it means you are happily loved-up.

    • Peggy says:

      Actually it was a 20 year old chap jumping a 46 year old woman. I think my inner cougar has escaped. Feel no shame as he made the move but wondered if perhaps I should …. That’s all 😳

      • PY says:

        Ooh , Peggy ! You little minx (as against cougar). Debauchery alive and well in the A.E.O.N – very pleased to hear it . What’s good for the gander …….

        You asked whether we men felt shame at ‘pulling’ somebody 20 years younger . I’m afraid I don’t have the personal experience to answer that question. Despite a dozen divorced years in the field and plenty of opportunity, every party I have dated in that period has been age appropriate. I suppose I don’t feel that I have anything to prove nor do I want to make a fool of myself.

        What I do enjoy is mature conversation and company – that can, of course, be with somebody who is older than their years but it is more commonly found with those of a similar age group and experience.

        However , I equally enjoy the company of young people as it is invigorating . Two of my god daughters and one of my nieces came for lunch yesterday , having all stayed with me when they first arrived in London. If they choose to spend time with me, break bread or seek my counsel (or I their’s) then that really is life affirming .

        Many men have said the same on this site . We simply don’t accept the premis of the ‘Plankton’ ie women of a certain age do not become invisible nor do they fall off the cliff of sexual attraction . It is down to both sides of the equation to put in the effort , to keep the allure lamp smouldering and to try and make oneself visible .

      • Lydia says:

        I agree with PY and I have talked to a good few men about this. Of course all of us male or female might sometimes want someone very young and good looking but most of the men I’ve known want a friend too and someone they can talk to which tends to be someone about your own age. In my case 10 years either side of my age is fine although if they’ve retired and I will work for 20 or 30 more years that is a difficulty for me as I like men with career ambition and drive and plans and that tends to rule out many in their 60s.

        The bottom line for women who think no man wants them is to change their attitude and if they could get themselves a bit more interested in sex they would not find it at all hard to find a man.

      • Fi says:

        there’s nothing wrong with men being interested in younger women. And if they are successful in getting one then good for them. If women feel ignored by men their own age then maybe they should make more of an effort to make themselves attractive.

      • Lou Smorrals says:

        Peggy , I remember being 21 and having the hots for a 40 year old ( without success ) and also know a 40 year old female who has the hots for a 21 year old and seems to be getting a response.

        With the caveat that its only fun , and that’s probably all you want anyway , absolutely go for it. He would probably benefit from it at least as much as you and you have the opportunity to shape his attitude to women for the rest of his life.

        Just dont fall in love, if you feel you could its probably not a good idea to go there.

      • Lou Smorrals says:

        Fi,

        I hope this doesn’t sound trite, and with the anonymity of this blog why should it be, but my view is that a woman’s sexuality comes from within , and their attitude. I find there are women of all shapes, sizes and age I find attractive, some whom I spark with and some who I dont , sadly as far as I’m concerned.

        Largely if a woman feels she is sexy she will be sexy and if she doesn’t she wont. As I type this I can think of an exception to that but its largely the rule. Confidence and open mindedness also comes into it.

        For what its worth Fi ,and I hope you’ll accept it as a compliment and not condescension but you sound pretty attractive to me with your attitudes.

        Big tits help of course :)

        (Did I mention sense of humour ? )

      • Fi says:

        Lou – thanks very much and definitely accepted as a compliment ;)

      • T Lover says:

        Isn’t life funny?

        In the first part of my adult life I went for sexy and found out if a woman was a nice person after I had found out just how sexy she was.

        In episode two I looked for both nice and sexy from the start.

        Today, nice is more important than sexy. Sexy never lasts unless you are very lucky. And are highly sexed women ever faithfull?

        And what is “nice”? If you apply the “will the relationship stick?” test is it not the likes of Jill who can always see the best in people who would make a relationship work?

        BTW: I am not having a go at anyone else, Jill’s sense of optimism just shines through. Unlike me. A total cynic.

      • Lou Smorrals says:

        T Lover

        I agree, but have never found women who were not nice sexy anyway – just a pain in the arse.

        As to the question of fidelity and sexiness we will never know, because the apparent faithful ones could either be actually faithful or just successful in hiding their infidelity.

        That of course could raise a whole new discussion as to the importance or not of fidelity in either partner. I would argue it isn’t for all sorts of reasons. Or rather sexual fidelity isn’t important – there are all sorts of fidelity that are far more important. Again each to their own.

        It will be interesting to see if any females agree or whether I just get a load of flack .

      • Fi says:

        I do think it’s important but i agree there are other things that are more important which are often overlooked like say being kind and loyal to each other.

      • Lou Smorrals says:

        Ha – Loyalty is exactly what I was thinking about – I think criticising a partner to anyone else is far more unfaithful than having sex with someone else. Similarly I wouldn’t bother staying with someone who was unkind.

      • Jill says:

        I could not agree with you more, Lou – it makes me both sad and angry when I hear “another half” criticise or in other ways diminish their partner publicly. IMO even a mild ticking off should take place in private e.g. “Darling, I really do think that you’ve had enough to drink, don’t you?….”

        It was a side of the woman with whom my husband had his long-term affair that I loathed – she spoke so sneeringly to her then husband. Little did I realise that she had no more use for him and was on the look out for a replacement husband – mine….

        As for being unkind, I read somewhere this week that even if fondness (in a relationship, for instance) has disappeared, that is no reason for dispensing with kindness. (Hope I’m not quoting from something I read on this blog….! Having a senior moment… :D )

      • T Lover says:

        When I had been going out with this last girlfriend for about three or four months I made the mistake of asking her to a lunchtime pub crawl – a pal’s birthday.

        We went from pub to pub in the centre of Manchester, had a curry and ended up in Sam’s.

        By this time she was rocking. Playing the piano – on a high.

        In the next pub I went to the loo, came out to find her hanging round the neck of one of the blokes. I walked. Time to go home.

        Mr Smorals would have enjoyed watching had she been his girlfriend I didn’t. And her answer?

        She shouted at me saying I should have walked up to her and said: I think you’ve had enough.

        You can’t win can you?

  • Lindy says:

    At least have the courtesy to say ‘goodbye’!!

    • Lydia says:

      She might be busy or doing other things or this might depress her. In fact if you’re depressed and I think she was on pills for that if I remember rightly, then doing anything much is an effort, even for some getting out of bed.
      Anyway I hope all is well.
      Anyone dating do remember January is prime time. You rarely get as much interest as then as men and women make resolutions so get out there and get on with it.

      • @ Peggy- See- Here’s the proof- Lydia and I are clearly two (2) separate people, we are not one (1) person writing under two names- Lydia’s square patterned icon is lime- green in color, and mine is a dark blue- And Lydia uses British spellings, I write using the American version of our language…

  • maria says:

    That’s it. Mrs P has deserted us and for good this time.

    • Well maybe that’s actually a sign of good news- Perhaps she has finally lost her p’tonhood status and therefore feels that it would no longer be appropriate to comment about the life of a sexual plankton… Perhaps she now has a male partner, perhaps she is happily involved in a healthy relationship and she has a lot less free time on her hands?

  • A Plankta says:

    http://tribes.tribe.net/theplankta

    Check it out.

    Why Plankta ? Its the singular of Plankton

    Started this because it appears Ms P has disappeared and also got tired of scrolling down one long post on a tablet.

    Its not intended to replace Miss P but is a permanent site for those who wish to use it in addition to her wordpress site or should she fail to appear again.

    Play around with it and see what you think. Tribe.net is international although based in the USA and completely free. Sometimes its very slow to load, probably based on use in different time zones.

    If the concept works I’ll be pleased if it doesnt , it doesn’t

  • PY says:

    I am concerned .

    I am primarily concerned about the well being of Ms P. She may have met the beau of her dreams and been whisked off to Lydia’s island. She may equally have been hit by a truck – physically or mentally – and is in prolonged recovery.

    The demands of regularly maintaining a blog and bearing your soul to the digital diaspora must be taxing. It has struck me that only a few of this particular community of regular or irregular contributors (such as me) have voiced similar concerns. Many seem to have drifted off or are just keeping a weather eye, waiting for something to happen and maybe that is the way of the blogger, but I think I need closure. To simply know that the ‘Head Girl’ is OK and has moved on; been tied up with family concerns; is finally writing that novel or simply just got bored of us.

    As for TLover’s offer of a night in his bothy, well ladies, I’m sure you’ll form an orderly queue .

  • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

    My take on the disappearance of Ms P is that she is unwell. If she had good news to share, we would have heard from her by now. I wish her a speedy recovery.

    • Fi says:

      My take on it is that she is just getting on with doing stuff in her real life and bored with doing the blog but doesn’t know how to get out of it esp as she feels a sense of responsibility to her readers.

      • Muriel says:

        Yes I think Fi is right. The posts had been getting increasingly sporadic, she was drifting off. I don’t think there has been a calamity.

      • Jill says:

        I’m not so sure …..I think Ms P would have let us know if all was going well for her, so I veer (regrettably) towards the concern voiced by PY. And, similarly, I would like to know that she is okay or even okay-ish. Reassurance is definitely needed, please P.

  • I'm Single, Not Desperate says:

    Does anyone know someone at The Times who could make enquiries for us?

    • Fi says:

      She will be sitting at home, feet up eating cheese on (artisan) toast waiting for The Bridge to come on on bbc4 with a glass of Pinot Grigio by her side. There won’t be anything more to it than sheer boredom at having to write stuff here and wishing she had never started it. I bet.

  • Terracotta says:

    Yes it doesn’t take much effort to type ‘That’s All Folks’!

  • Claudia says:

    Oh, I don’t know. We are all free to look in or opt out as we choose and that surely must apply to P as well. But if this is good bye, thank you P for your marvellous blog – The Times is all the poorer without it. And maybe if some of those who comment here had said so at the time, they wouldn’t now be agonising about what to do next or where to meet up.

  • Lydia says:

    People could email the Times to ask for her column back

  • rosie says:

    My feeling is that P just hasn’t got the wherewithal to post anymore (I wouldn’t) if her situation is the same as it has been since she started the blog. That’s obviously conjecture but I hope she’s okay whatever.

  • Autumn says:

    I have set up a blog focusing on dating advice for middle-aged single women. It contains specific information that is not readily available elsewhere or well known to most single women.

    It was inspired by the recurring questions that come up on blogs like this, for which I think in many cases there are answers out there, but women just don’t know where to look for the answers:

    http://autumnrtl.wordpress.com/about/

    The Plankton readers are welcome to participate.

    • Muriel says:

      Autumn,
      If it’s more “Be Nice and Friendly (but not Desperate) and Dress Sexy”, then think I’ll pass, Ta very much. Yawn

      • Autumn says:

        Autumn,
        If it’s more “Be Nice and Friendly (but not Desperate) and Dress Sexy”, then think I’ll pass, Ta very much. Yawn

        I guess if you are seeking a man who daydreams about meeting an unattractive, lazy woman who dresses in ratty jeans, trainers, and a baggy sweatshirt, who is unfriendly, rude, and arrogant with an overly-inflated sense of her own importance but who is nonetheless very desperate for male sexual attention and affirmation…well then yes, my blog probably won’t appeal to you.

      • Fi says:

        But Muriel, you are such good value in a discussion. And to be honest, don’t you want to give us an update on your creepy boss? :)

      • Muriel says:

        Fi,
        He has been going on about taking early retirement, and acting like he already has retired (little interest in work) for the last year. But a month before hand he changed his mind. I had to pretend to be pleased. >:-( We even had to go out and celebrate his non- retirement. This time however I made my excuses and left early.
        In fact the others were not far behind, no-one wants to be alone and tipsy with his roaming pudgy paws.

      • Fi says:

        “alone and tipsy with his roaming pudgy paws”. Brilliant turn of phrase. :)
        You are extremely funny.

        I too have applied (again) for early retirement updated with a redundancy payment. I have decided that if I wait until I actually retire nobody except asda or B&Q will employ me but if I go while I am still young and perky (in a manner of speaking) I can do something different.

  • Autumn says:

    Oops…I left off something:

    “well then yes, my blog probably won’t appeal to you ;-)”

    • Muriel says:

      Autumn,
      Your blog does not contain “information” it contains your opinion, which is in fact no better than anyone else’s. You read a lot of posturing crap on the internet, and based on that you turn out more internet …stuff, which is full of startling insights like “dress nice!”. I’m sure no one ever thought of that one before… hence , yawn…

  • Autumn says:

    Your blog does not contain “information” it contains your opinion, which is in fact no better than anyone else’s.

    Men like feminine women….but that’s just my opinion.

    Men suffer from approach anxiety….but that’s just my opinion.

    Men think most single women today are very unfeminine in their ways and find this quite unappealing…for anything except a shag or FWB…but that’s just my opinion.

    Men don’t like sassy, snarky, sarcastic, overtly independent women…but that’s just my opinion.

    Men can’t figure out why so many single women bemoan the absence of a man in their life when they simultaneously seem to really despise masuculinity. They think it’s illogical….but that’s just my opinion.
    :-) :-) :-)

    • Muriel says:

      Men like this, men don’t like that …they’re all the same…..
      Just like all french people are sexy and wear berets, all black people like music and singing, all scots people wear tartan and drink whiskey etc etc.
      You no more have the authority to speak for all men than my neighbours cat does, and as I mentioned your opinions are not facts or information.

      • Muriel says:

        Kind of shallow and over simplistic too.
        There have been two men in my life that I really loved and who loved me back. In both cases we knew each other for a long time before we got together as a couple, so they had seen the best (worst) of me – sarcastic, scruffy etc.
        Less than that doesn’t really interest me, I don’t want any old bloke.

      • autumnn says:

        Muriel,

        There are always outliers and there is a spectrum, but the general principles apply to > 90% of men.

        There are a similar set of principles that apply to > 90% of women (things men find attractive) but that’s a different subject.

  • EmGee says:

    Autumn, your opinions are on the money about men, and I suppose if a woman is desperate enough to be in a relationship, then by all means she should twist herself up into an image of what she thinks men want.

    But what happens when she gets that man, and goes back to being herself? That is one of the biggest complaints that men have after getting into a relationship: she loses interest in his interests, starts complaining about his habits and friends, she’s ‘let herself go’, etc.

    Better advice would be to tell women to learn to love and accept themselves as they are, and if they can truly accomplish that, they’ll find that they don’t need a man so much as want one. Then they won’t be hounding after guys they think will make them look good in everyone else’s eyes, but will find one that makes them feel goodfor accepting them as they are. If, they still feel having a boyfriend is all that important.

    I will never be a small, petite, feminine woman with a pert nose, thin figure, and outgoing personality, nor have the time (and money) to spend at clothiers, hairdressers and nail salons to maintain that attractive image. Why would I want to pretend to be some stranger, no matter how desirable to the opposite sex at large? I don’t think I could carry on the charade for the rest of my life, either.

    Good to see someone’s picked up the torch, I am looking forward to hearing about your adventures at the bottom of the sexual food chain, when you have transformed yourself and joined the hunt. Tally Ho!

  • autumn says:

    But what happens when she gets that man, and goes back to being herself? That is one of the biggest complaints that men have after getting into a relationship: she loses interest in his interests, starts complaining about his habits and friends, she’s ‘let herself go’, etc.

    This isn’t about pretending you’re something you are not, like lying on a C.V. in order to get a job. It’s about learning how to best polish yourself in order to appeal to the market, whatever your age or appearance. This can include picking up new skills in addition to highlighting the ones you have. If a woman cannot find a job, she is well-advised to see whether her job search techniques, C.V., and interview skills could be improved before concluding the problem holding her back is always age discrimination and nothing else.

    Women marry hoping a man will change and men marry hoping she will not. The things you cite that men complain about are true, but they are all highly controllable, and centre around a woman’s behaviour. Male attraction triggers apply both before and after marriage and if a woman understands them she can improve her behaviour in a way that appeals to men without changing her fundamental personality. Unfortunately, most women don’t understand how this works, so they dismiss it out of hand but then can’t figure out why they are at the bottom of the food chain. In the old days it was referred to as “self-improvement.”

    Moreover, “I’m fine exactly as I am and don’t need to improve” sounds like too much self-love, not too little of it.

    I think the advice most single women get about dating is very bad advice. I thought some readers here might be interested in these other ideas but I’m not trying to force anyone to read my blog, just letting them know it exists in case this subject appeals to them since so many have been doing the same thing for years and it isn’t working.

  • Fi says:

    I’ve never tried to change myself actually – i am just what I am – but I suppose what I have changed is how I present myself. For example I now wear quite fitted clothes to show off my figure more. And what I have learned is how different men are from women and I understand them better. And lastly I’ve understood just how powerful women are and how much men want us – I see it all so clearly now reflected in real life. Most women think they should hang about hoping a man will zoom in on them and they don’t realise that they are the ones that do the picking from the pile of men in their vicinity.

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