Desperation Vibe My Arse
July 29, 2011 § 28 Comments
Can we talk about the vibe of desperation?
Some people have suggested that the striped shirt (cf. yesterday’s Married Man) fell for me precisely because I wasn’t thinking of him remotely in terms of romance so was completely myself. The logical thing is to examine how I – and other planktons – behave, conversely, with men that we are interested in. Perhaps with them I – we? – give out an off-putting vibe of desperation?
What is the vibe of desperation?
Hard to define, but crucial. As I sit here, I am not sure, I am just plucking ideas out of the air, but I would guess when people talk about it they might be referring to a number of different things, or a combination of this number of different things. A tangible example might be, say, drinking too much and becoming too full-on as a result. Another might be dressing in such a way as might prompt people to look at the too-much flesh and think, too unsubtle, too much information, too old. Exaggerated body language is obviously a third.
More subtle desperation might manifest itself in the guise of debilitating shyness or an air that is defensive and/or brusque and which would seem to say, Why the hell do you think I’d be remotely interested in you, even while she is feeling quite the opposite?
It could be an anxious facial expression that hints of a certain yearning and neediness? Maybe nervousness in conversation, a fear – and subsequent avoidance of – subjects that could be too close to the bone? Or, quite possibly, the reverse: a bullish insistence on various topics, and a certain lack of dignity, perhaps even vulgarity, about things – sex being an obvious example – that in the given context might do better to remain more on the back burner?
I don’t know, I bet there are a million things, but I cannot think of them all off the top of my head. I’m sure you can, I am sure you get my drift. Whatever it is, it is that the pathetic, embarrassing, desperate plankton is getting it just plain wrong.
But the fact of the matter is, the whole the notion of the “desperation vibe” is utterly unimaginative, unjust and inaccurate. I would go further. To my way of thinking, it is nigh-on complete bullshit.
Planktons for all their quiet wistfulness – OK, desperation – come in an infinite number of shapes and sizes, of course, and behave and react to people in an infinite number of ways. I am convinced that this “desperation vibe” is, largely, a myth and a conspiracy, one with which to beat all planktons down, to keep them in their place at the bottom of the food chain, and to make them feel even more of a failure, more frightened and full of self-loathing and low self-esteem than they might already feel.
Most of us planktons are not desperate on a day to day basis. We conduct normal working, family, and social lives. We rarely moan and we laugh just as little or often as anybody else. Only occasionally do we crawl into a hole (which in my case might mean feeling a bit sorry for myself and taking to my bed for an hour), but once every blue moon and no more than most. The majority of us, when we meet an available man, carry on as we would with anyone else, we don’t instantly morph into Venus Fly Catchers or flick some switch inside us which means a light bulb suddenly pulsates above our heads denoting Desperation. We just get on with the conversation, maybe flirt a bit, maybe not. We might vaguely think that perhaps it’s not a great idea to moan on about our circumstances, but moaning on to anyone about anything, be they an available man or not, is never a good idea. We might make some discrete reference to our marital status or put out some tiny signal or other, but most of us don’t actually or metaphorically plead with a stranger to marry us next Tuesday.
Kind people, casting round for some explanation for our misfortune, like to say that maybe it seems as though we are “giving off the wrong vibe” (translation: “wrong” equals “desperate”). This they do in order to help us feel that the fault is not in us but in what we are unconsciously “giving off”. The cruel say we give off this vibe as strongly as people with Trimethylaminuria give off the smell of rotten fish, and they treat us with all due lack of understanding, sympathy and respect.
As I say, I don’t think the Desperation Vibe is nearly as common as people make out. I own that it probably exists but think of it – perhaps controversially – as I think of many so-called wheat or dairy intolerances. A lot of people kid themselves they have these as a way of disguising the fact they are on a weight-loss diet or to make them seem more interesting. Only very few people genuinely suffer from them.
So it is with the DV. There may arguably be a tiny minority of planktons who are unfortunate enough to give it off, this problematical stench, but, for the main part, it is a figment of other people’s imagination, just another stick with which to beat us and make us feel inadequate and failures and bad about ourselves. These people’s very mention of the DV means they view our situation as entirely our own fault, one that has nothing to do with the fact that we are currently just down on our luck and in any event men would rather have someone who was taut.