Generic Plankton Story That Isn’t All That Helpful
August 9, 2011 § 31 Comments
Everyone has a plankton story and everyone, it seems, likes to tell their plankton story to me.
It is always the same and it goes like this.
“I have a really lovely friend called Chloe, beautiful, funny, intelligent, great wife, mother, fantastic at her job. She was married to Jack for twenty-five years and they had three/four/five (delete where applicable) kids. Everyone thought they were great together and they were. She adored him and everyone thought he adored her, he certainly gave a very good impression of it, but then he suddenly fucked off with his secretary/a waitress he met in a cocktail bar/an Eastern European prostitute/his wife’s teenage cousin/you name it, any younger woman (delete where applicable). Jack married the woman and now has three more kids under four. Chloe was 46 at the time of the break-up and absolutely devastated. She was on her own for about five years, just making her way through each day, somehow. In tears some of the time, but picked herself up, dusted herself off. So brave! Held it all together for the sake of the kids. But she didn’t go out much at first, and only slowly began to get her confidence back. She thought of online dating but couldn’t really face it. When she went out with friends, she was amazing and tried hard to be back to her old self, but her confidence had taken such a hard knock she never quite returned to the Chloe I know. She was asked to her university reunion/a concert with her godmother/the theatre with three married couples/her nephew’s sports day/some big work dinner. She really didn’t want to go. In fact, she almost didn’t but she forced herself, dreading it. She didn’t feel like she was able to make much of an effort and felt she had nothing to offer, and left the house with a very heavy heart. But when she was there, she suddenly bumped into Dominic, a man she hadn’t seen since before she got married, an old friend/boyfriend/colleague. He had never been married/just got divorced/been a widower for about six years and was ready to move on. They swapped numbers and met up again and are now completely and utterly in love. They have got married and she is so happy now, it’s amazing to see her, it just radiates off her wherever she goes. And him. They are amazing. Like teenagers all over again! She says she can’t believe how good life can be. She never knew it could be this good.”
I hear this story, or a version thereof, what, every other day? No, perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Once a week.
I think people tell it to me in a spirit of kindness. To give me hope. To illustrate the fact that it always happens when you are Least Expecting It. The fact that Chloe was not feeling particularly good about herself rather flies in the face of the other platitude which you know I hate: You Have to Love Yourself Before Someone Can Fall In Love With You. But we’ll overlook that.
I hereby make a promise to you all: if what happened to Chloe and Co. ever happens to me, I will stop writing this blog forthwith.
So it is, you shall continue to receive my daily missives from here till – when?