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?



§ 31 Responses to Generic Plankton Story That Isn’t All That Helpful

  • Bambi says:

    The people who tell you these stories watch too many movies/read too much romantic fiction/make them up, meaning to be helpful.

    Sorry. The Plankton blog is safe, if it depends on a story like this to end it…. 🙂

    • DAN says:

      Mabe so bambi but isn’t it nice to dream?

      Dreams and hopes are all that help some people to get out of bed each morning and deal with every day life.

      Just look at the film “Pretty woman”!
      Are you trying to tell me you dont feel that feel good factor every time you watch it?

      I know i do and i’ve seen the bloody thing at least thirty times, and cant wait ’till it comes up for viewing again.

      Everybody has their own fix for dealing and coping with their pridicament
      or situation that they have to deal with, day in and day out.

      So lets give them all a little hope that yes ,their is a light at the end of the tunnel, and yes, even for plankton.


  • AJ says:

    And even if it’s true, that ‘Chloe & Co’ do find happiness again, then lovely, great! but to be honest, I just don’t want to know, all it does it make me feel even more wretched about myself…

  • june says:

    i laughed when i read this because it rang so true. people are always telling me those klnd of stories plankton and like you i am fed up with them.

    you must stay on the dating website you wont meet anyone if you dont, well im not bloody meeting anyone worth meeting anyway. at my age no-one under 60 wants me, and quite frankly most men over 60 i dont want, most look ancient and if dont seem to have prehistoric ideas about women, my 98 year old dad who died last year had much more up to date attitudes, thats probably why im such a bolshie person, thats how he brought me up, i wasnt taught to be a wimpish women. another problem is im a city person, i like city things but most men of ,my age dont,they want to .llve on the coast or in the country. get someone younger i should be so lucky, 55 is cut off date for most men.

    so no i dont think ill be meeting anyone soon either, unless i become a different person, which is not very likely,im me, take me or leave me but i sure aint changing just to get a man.

    keep them coming, they ring so true and are so funny.

    • Chris says:

      Well, there you go, dinosaurs could not adapt to changing conditions and guess what, they became extinct !! If you cannot change and adapt just stay alone, simples !!

  • Sarah says:

    Well please don’t just bugger off without giving us the happy ending first. We’re not psychic and you might just have gone down with flu.


    Us men lack the confidence too you know. I am wondering about giving up on the whole find a suitable partner routine. Have been through the mill in regard to relationships and now I question the whole merits of being in one or trying to find a suitable lady with whom to start one. I guess part of the issues are the desire , hope and expectation that I will find someone and that it will go the distance as I am fed up starting over. But then when I look at some of the other leaps of faith I took in regard to other things I guess going into a new relationship is a leap of faith too.

  • Thank you for today’s missive. (Well, thanks for the other days’ missives too, but thank you especially for today’s)

    Men (or at least me) are offered similar anecdotes. How helpful.

    Meanwhile, I demonstrate my quiche and salad-making skills, practice my manners, polish my wit and pray that some female somewhere will want *me* and not that smarmy Banker sort that they invariably end up with.

  • stormwind says:

    I think they don’t just tell you these stories, Plankton, they tell each other, and any and everyone who’ll listen. It’s not just a plankton story, it’s also an “I don’t have to feel bad about dumping my partner of 25 years for a teenage typist/brainless body builder, because there’s someone else round the corner for them, too, and everyone ends up blissfully happy in the end” story. It’s a story that circulates over and over because everyone wants to believe it, even though they know in their heart of hearts that these “happy endings all round” are the exception rather than the rule. There are lots of stories that circulate because people want to believe them, and not because they are actually true, election manifestos being a prime example.

    On the encouraging side, it’s fairly common for the “plankton” to find another partner, and the one who ran off with the teenage typist to find things don’t work out quite as rosy as they imagined and end up as “plankton” themselves! I’ve seen a few of those, too!

    • DAN says:

      Well said stormwind.

      And i think if ever the situation arrises that plankton does find that special person that she is looking for(which i hope she does), i think everybody would agree that i think we have found another wise and intelligent plankton in you to keep this blog going!

      That is at lest until you find that special person that your looking for.

      PS… Found the caps lock button.


  • Paul says:

    ..really made me smile today, sooo true, keep up the good work, guess we’re not on the verge of losing you quite yet, but when it happens be sure to let us know in advance.

  • stormwind says:

    Thank you, Dan – glad you found the caps lock! 🙂
    Though I don’t think anyone could replace the true, original Plankton – one of a kind!

    I guess it can happen for anyone at any time –

    Maybe even you, Dan!

  • Bambi says:

    I’m willing to “give up (my) fortune to marry”……!!???? I reckon it’s her hair, not her fortune, that has swung the Civil Servant…..

    Love it, Stormwind. And yes, of course “original is best”, but you would make a damn good first sub. Meanwhile Plankton is doing a great job – she gets us going – you keep us going!

    Dan, well done you….. but now you need to relocate the caps lock and dip in and out of it a little….. Back in the last century, before texting took over the English language, the first person singular used to take a capital letter. Maybe I am just an old-fashioned kinda gal…..

  • Redbookish says:

    My theory about the people that tell these stories is that somewhere, deep down, they are nervous at what your status threatens to them. We are a reminder about how easy it is to become “abnormal” in a world/society/culture that is so heavily heavily heavily biased towards the heterosexual air bond. We make then nervous and they can’t cope with that.

    And I don’t mean ‘nervous’ as in ‘steal their husbands’ nervous. We challenge their whole world view.

    When I get that, even from dear friends, I challenge them: “Give me the name of a single, available (not single-for-a-reason) sane, straight man of our acquaintance.” Generally, at that point, they laugh & change the subject.

    Oh dear, I’m not sure hat reading your blog is good for me. I thought I was over all this … but you pin it down so well.

  • EmGee says:

    I thought I had one of those seemingly magical relationships, which lasted all of 3 months – then one of his exes started texting him mercilessly and it rattled him so, he cut our relationship off abruptly. Funnily, he still has the same feelings for me, calls me at least weekly, takes me out to dinner, and attends to me when we see each other socially, but he is just so terrified that he could be hurt again, and doesn’t want to chance it. I sympathise with Rory; how many leaps of faith will end in the bottom of the ravine, before one makes it to the other side?

    Then again, ‘if the only common denominator in your failed relationships is you’, perhaps one should examine oneself a little more honestly.

    I’m not looking for wedded bliss, or even have him move in with me (or vice versa), but I do miss the companionship we shared, that the Plankton so skillfully addressed last week. My life goes on with him or without him, and it is up to me to make of that what I will.

  • Lydia says:

    (a) Loads of married people hate it. Plenty oare abused by their partners. Many others hate them. I was at Manchester Air port sitting near a long married couple. Every word used, every gesture radiated hate, dislike and I thought wow – poor you to be in that relationship and lucky me. Of course they never let on as they’re “smug marrieds” so weed out say 50% and may be another 20|% who are very happy but are having their cake and eating it – men and women having it at home and on the side.

    (b) Yes divorced people find new partners but 60% of second marriages where there are children fail. So you can do as I do (I’m a glass half full person, master/mistress of the universe type rather than plankton…) and think gosh – isn’t my family so lucky I haven’t remarried since I divorced, what a huge gift I have given them thereby….

    (c) There are loads of single men around. Every day a new one contacts me and I mean that literally. I spoke to one this afternoon for example. There just isn’t a shortage at all. So you decide how discriminating you want to be but if someone really wants someone then there are people out there.

    • T Lover says:

      I promised myself I would neither read nor rise to this blog again. Hear that bang? My wig (which is circumnavigating the room) just broke the sound barrier.

      “There are loads of single men around. Every day a new one contacts me and I mean that literally”

      Thank you for that Lydia, now would you pad out the observation?

      Swans mate for life, rabbits don’t. Where do you fall? Nature or nurture?

      One man a day. 365 a year. Dodgy stats but if there are only a hundred internet Lydias each one disappointing a bloke a day you (and the sisters) are doing a wonderful PR job for internet dating. Surpised men are cynical? Some really are very sensitive and lack confidence. Ever thought you might be doing real damage?

      And how much time to do spend attracting a man a day? Filtering through the possibles? Have you ever thought of devoting that time to family? Children? Friends?

      And and are you able to give an estimate of how many men you are going to attract to your glow before you find THE one?

      It begins:

      The maker at creation’s birth
      With living things had stocked the earth
      From elephants to bats and snails
      They all were good for all were males

      And ends:

      Degrees advanced till shade by shade
      To match all living things he’d made
      Females complete in all their parts
      Except (his clay gave out) the hearts
      No matter Satan cried with speed
      I’ll fetch the very hearts they need
      So flew away and soon brought back
      The number needed in a sack

      That night earth rang with sounds of strife
      Ten million males each had a wife
      That night sweet peace her pinions spread
      O’er hell – ten million devils dead

      Oh, how sexist. Oh, how true.

  • Mack says:

    I know plenty of eligible single guys in the 40-50 age bracket. Most without baggage and some who take good care of themselves (healthy lifestyle, gym, diet etc) all financial solvent. Hit me up and if ur nice then i might put in a good word for you.

    • AJ says:

      What does ‘Hit me up’ mean Mack??

    • Bambi says:

      Ooooh to be “nice”…..


    • Elle says:

      Seriously Mack or are you just teasing us? Well, you could be right. Some of those guys actually hit on me (lucky me) but lose interest fast once they find out I’m (shock horror) 44 instead of the nubile 28 or 34 they first thought I was. Youth to men over 40 isn’t a smooth face or a firm body, it’s a number! Younger men don’t mind so much, they’re more likely to take you for what you are.

      Maybe men over 40 fear their own mortality more than younger men, and a woman their own age (no matter how young looking) is a reminder of that mortality. In other words a mirror reflecting their own fears back to them. Meanwhile younger men don’t yet fear mortality, they still feel immortal, so an attractive older woman is exciting for them.

      • Bambi says:

        Elle, that is interesting. I have had exactly the same experience – younger men have been totally unfazed by my age (even seem to think it a plus), while men my age or older, thinking me to be 10 years or so younger, have been rattled when I tell them my age ….. I often wondered why….

  • Tea leaf says:

    The “happy ever after” ending is a load of shite… Makes Planktons feel even more of a failure, if someone is telling you this story it may well be to be kind/make you feel better/ be supportive, but in fact it’s laced with “yes, my friend Glorious Gloria/ Divine Davina has done sooo well,…..mmm shame you haven’t.”
    Its another one of those fucking stories that are full of shite….

  • Viking says:

    This has to be the best post yet! I have been a silent reader, enjoying every word. Thanks so much for helping me feel part of something- even as a sad single post divorce woman. It’s lovely to belong!!
    Sorry, don’t have anything more intelligent to add to the post….

    Happy holiday fellow plankton,
    Thank you xxx

  • Dear Plankton Lady,

    I am leaving a message for you on my own blog – Can’t see where to e mail you privately. Am enjoying yours, hope you enjoy mine! Email is on there. x

  • DAN says:

    Like i said before , a problem shared is a problem halved!
    Keep it going !


  • DAN says:

    June , dont give up yet!
    Shit happens but you learn to deal with it!


  • DAN says:

    Dont agree!

    We all know it has happened!

    your turn will come, dont worryk

    Have faith, and always keep the good side out!


  • toyman says:

    Lydia you are really up to date on all the stats………..

    60% do this, 20% do that………………

    Did you know 100% of men dislike a woman who seems to know everything about everything?

    We men “the weaker sex” tend to feel more secure if we believe that we serve some useful purpose other than being sperm banks………………

  • Carolyn says:

    I had coffee with an ex boyfriend (23 years ex!) … apparently he’d been doing speed for the previous 5 years! so, no, the dream doesnt exist!!

  • Carolyn says:

    Just had a thought …. maybe Chloe and Co aren’t really living the dream, ex husband has probably hauled her through family law court in a drawn out custody battle and the old friend/turned new lover probably has to pay hundreds of dollars in child support whilst at the same time also doing the rounds of family law court! ha, Im a cynical old plankton!

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