Shedding Myself in a Very Poor Light

September 4, 2011 § 12 Comments

A few months ago one or two folk mentioned a possible contender for my affections.  This might seem to belie my theory that no one except Janey (cf. yesterday’s post) ever goes in for match-making, except that it doesn’t because no one ever did match-make me with him.  They spoke about it and it didn’t happen.  I never met him.

Last night I heard that a friend who has been a fellow plankton for some time but kind of not because she’s a ball-breaker, is going out with him.

This is not going to shed me in a good light one bit but I will risk complete honesty (the fuel of this blog, after all) and tell you what I am really thinking: the unsayable, my by-word. I admit I feel at best ambivalence about the news.  I am both happy for her, genuinely, but also feeling strangely put out.  Not because I wanted to be with him – I have been told by everyone anyway that he is way too straight for me, the implication being that they don’t see me with someone who is conventional (not sure how to take that, but choose to be flattered), and they are possibly right – more because for months and months she had been loudly declaring from the roof-tops the wonders of being single and telling anyone who would listen how happy she was about it and, in my book, protesting just a tad too much.  Kind of annoying, then, that’s she with someone again so soon, no?

Now, there will be some who say, how can you be so effing mean-spirited?  (And they would be right).  With friends like you…etc. (They might have a point.  Oh dear, but I am not usually like this, I swear).  And besides, can’t you see a link between her loving/being happy in herself and finding someone while you don’t, blah, blah, blah…

Well, on this second point, I say, fuck that.  You know my views on this one.  Ok, I will concede a grudging, “kind of” but no more than that.  My main reaction is, give me a break.

And congratulations to my friend.  Of course.

§ 12 Responses to Shedding Myself in a Very Poor Light

  • Sarah says:

    If you’ve ever watched ‘House’ you’ll know that people always lie (about certain things).

    I had a friend who swore blind she wouldn’t go out with a guy she didn’t fancy. Not only did she start going out with a guy she previously declared she didn’t fancy, but she also went the whole hog and married him.

    People lie, but they also, often, don’t know what they want. It’s only when what they think they don’t want presents itself favourably that they realise that’s exactly what they want. They look an idiot to others, but they often don’t realise it. Convincing yourself (or lying) of the rationality of your behaviour is also par for the course.

  • Mezzanine says:

    That’s you being human Plankton and if we are honest with ourselves and others, that’s how we feel when something like this happens. We may not air our feelings or we may….but I think lots of us feel the same way. I know I have. I don’t think the problem is what you are thinking but how you/we deal with it. Your thoughts in more detail on this would be interesting.

    I’m going on my travels soon (long overdue holiday) and I am gonna miss this blog soooo much. Glad I found it :0)

    • The Plankton says:

      This is a thoughtful and lovely comment, Mezzanine, and thank you. Much appreciated. Enjoy your holiday, and catch up with us on your return. I’ll still be here! Best wishes, Plankton

  • june says:

    Yes plankton do know how you feel here, have had same feelings myself.

    Its same as when friends have relationship problems and you are sympathetic, but deep down a little bit of you thinks ah well having a relationship not that great, perhaps better to be on own, and somehow you feel quite pleased to not have all that trauma.

    People i think often state how happy they are to be single to hide fact they are not happy know i have in the -past, now im at the well someone would be quite nice but on my terms, i dont want to .;live with anyone all time which is true i dont, that seems a lot more truthful as thats how i feel. Also think friends more sympathetic as not being a loner by nature they know you are not really content to be alone so much, and are just lying to yourself.

  • Lydia says:

    It is only natural. Two men I rejected who then both remarried I think felt jealous (briefly until I reminded myself their new wives had only got what I never wanted).

    Conventional is fine; I don’t see anything wrong with conventional men. In fact it’s the no abode, no visible means of support, spur of the moment probably on drugs kind who would least fit into my conventional middle class life,. which just shows there is someone for everyone.

    As for the friend having said she was happy single men ilke happy women. If you whinge all the time you don’t attract anyone. It works the other way round too.If you’re a glass half full person then you might indeed be happy single (as I am) but could also be happy with the right man or woman.

    Indeed if your brain chemicals are simply set to happy, high seratonin levels, good beta endorphines etc etc then you are likely to be happy whatever and vice versa if they aren’t.

    And as Sarah says some people don’t know what they want until they see it. The man they often end up with might be nothing like the one they had sketched out on paper as what they think they need.

  • EmGee says:

    I was very happily single for quite awhile until last September, and not even looking, when Mr Right (at the right moment) introduced himself and I found myself in the-best-relayshunship-evar. When it was over, I was heart broken. Until I met him, I had forgotten all of the things that make being in a happy relationship feel so good. When he was gone, I wanted him back, and in the feel so good phase, plz thx.

    So I don’t think your friend was being dishonest about being content being single, but as Lydia pointed out, perhaps part of her attractiveness was being as happy as she was on her own. Honestly when I hear about what my attached friends will put up with (but not do anything about), I am grateful to be single and living on my own.

  • MissM says:

    I can see you point of view Plankton, there are two people, one who wants a man and one who says she is perfectly happy to not have one, then when there is a man available he goes to the one who was happy without him. Not unlike giving a house to someone who has a home already and leaving the person on the street still homeless. A very poor and simplistic analogy I admit, but it demonstrates why we see it as unfair. It is the unfairness that niggles, and humans are extremely good at noticing something we perceive as unfair.

    Count me in on being sick of the being happy with oneself etc speech too, people do like to trot that one out as though we’d never heard it before. Yes and water is wet and the sky looks blue, we know. But by throwing out the be happy with yourself speech people are just making the single person out to be defective somehow, the person to blame as solely responsible for their situation, rather than considering the many outside contributing factors that do exist. Put someone in the middle of a desert and it wont matter how happy they are in their own skin they are not going to find a partner where there is no one.

    You had it when you said your friend was perhaps “protesting too
    much”. Quite likely she was doing her best to convince herself that being single really was just fine, as much as she was telling others. I have done that myself in the past. It did nothing by way of helping me find someone, and in the end I find that sort of deceit takes up way too much energy. Personally I am more comfortable just being honest with myself and everyone else.

    Complete honesty is what makes this blog such a joy to read. Sugar coated pieces of fluff with sunshine and roses views have no where near as much to offer. Thank you Plankton once again.

  • Sarah Cable says:

    Plankton- this is all so sad- and negative.

    Why can you not simply forget about finding a man and be happy with your life?

    It shouldn’t be a case of hiding your desperation- it should be a case of not having any!

    Women your/our age who have met men have done so by enjoying life to the full, being approachable, and keeping an open mind.

    I think your approach is like trying to outrun your own shadow.

  • Lynda House says:

    I have been single for 5 years now because I don’t want a man enough to make the necessary compromises. I have settled for a dog! I may decide at some point that I do want a relationship enough to want to pay the price.

    I am the object of pity and bewilderment of all my attached friends. One in particular, who a year ago found a man on her very first venture into internet dating, is always saying how lucky she was to find someone so quickly.

    I could not resist commenting that it was not luck, but desperation and determination to grab the first man who came along and make it work. A bit like Cinderella’s ugly sisters – they saw the glass slipper and they were going to make it fit even if they had to lose a few toes in order to do so!

    My friend is now spending every weekend making cider, chutney, tending to bees, fishing on cold river banks – all his hobbies – just to hang in there and make it work. Until I want or need a man so desperately that I am prepared to fit in with his life for whatever benefits there may be, then plankton I will remain!!

    When I was younger I made all the compromises and had a relationship whenever I decided I wanted one. Now I am setting the bar higher and no man has managed to jump it. Perhaps we planktons are all setting the bar too high and therefore excluding ourselves from relationships.

    • MissMalbec says:

      @Lynda House – I so agree with your comments. Just because someone has a pulse and can fog a mirror does make him an immediate relationship candidate.

  • MissMalbec says:

    Darn typo. Meant to say “does NOT make…”

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