Smidgen’s Email

September 6, 2011 § 15 Comments

I am not going to pretend that the email which came through at 18.53 yesterday evening was a riot of romance.

It was pragmatic, more, referring to a work arrangement that had been made weeks ago, though it did sign off, “See you soon, Love S”, which is marginally more promising than Best Wishes, I guess, but with the emphasis very realistically on the marginally.

One of my wise and loyal commentators advised me not to respond till today – for which sincere thanks; incidentally, are you a man or woman? – and I did think about this for a long time and my old self would know that the suggestion was spot on.  In fact, my old self would have thought it conservative, because in the past I would have left it three days before replying.  But on reflection I decided my old self had done me precious few favours in my youth and perhaps I should begin a new, more honest approach: to respond when it suited me ie. a few hours after I got his email, in the same way I wouldn’t hesitate to reply to a family member or friend at a convenient time to myself regardless of the impression it was or wasn’t making on the recipient.  Cool games take time and are – radical thinking for me – perhaps not so essential, perhaps the luxury of callow youth?  I don’t have time – months and months to be cool as I did in my twenties.  Age beckons.  Also, I don’t want to play games; not only time-consuming, they are also exhausting and tedious and anyway not guaranteed to work.  Once, someone told me I must write only to please myself because then I could be sure of pleasing at least one person.  If I tried to please a varied, anonymous and amorphous audience, I would be bound to fail.  So true.  The same with plankton romance (or lack of it?!)  I want to be myself or the resulting (we hope!) relationship would be based on falsehood.  Anyway, I am too weary to pretend to be something other.  The best and most honest relationships in my life have been with those with whom I have been myself.  If people ring/text/email me, I can no longer be arsed to answer with cool delay or silence.

So it was, against Redbookish’s sound advice, I replied to Smidgen’s email when it suited me (supper over; children in bed), last night, and with equally friendly pragmatism.

This morning brought its reward.   I woke to another from him promising to try to call me today.

We shall see.  The phone remains dormant thus far but he is busily back at work and, right now, doubtless having lunch.

Progress of sorts all the same.

Naturally, I shall report back later today or tonight if I hear anything.

I am not exactly sitting with my finger hovering above the green button but, all the same, every darn thing remotely crossable is bullishly crossed; all the more so because Janey has heard fuck all from Long Shot.


§ 15 Responses to Smidgen’s Email

  • I just want to say that I love your blog. I read it everyday. Charlotte.

  • Anya. says:

    Hi P. Older Single Mum here. I am thrilled you are being yourself, Have been testing my new beau with exactly that,when being really vulnerable coz shitty ex husband doing his thing. The results have been surprising, impressive and a big fat relief. Best of luck, girl!

  • the.baker says:


    As a bloke, I’m often left confused by how quickly one should respond to an email or text from a woman. I’ve been brought up to be polite, which would indicate a fairly swift response , but so many people advise ” don’t come across as too keen” that it remains a puzzle!

    • Lydia says:

      I don’t go in for any of that stuff at all. If I like a man I say so. I have replied to about 10 emails from one person in the last hour whilst I also did the family supermarket order. I’m not into all this conventional dating leave days between calls etc. I just couldn’t be bothered.

      I wouldn’t read too much into the end of his email. Try sexing it up a bit if you want a quick rely although the one i mention above there is none of that but still 10 in an hour or may be I should count in case it is fewer but certainly a lot which is nice.

  • Sarah says:

    I’m totally with you on the playing games thing. Total waste of time and a potential source of anxiety. When you get to our age I think, you have more idea about what feels right, and to follow your instinct. Glad Smidgen came up tops and replied in a timely fashion too. Nice not to be disappointed.

  • MissM says:

    Well the parable of the old man, the boy and the donkey has not been around for no reason. The moral being that it is not possible to please everyone, and in trying you will probably lose everything as well as not pleasing anyone, even yourself. At the end of the day you are the one person you absolutely have to live with, so do the things that you are most pleased with, and let everyone else do the same in their own life. Shakespeare had it also when he wrote “to thine own self be true”.

    You are spot on once again in that games are time consuming, tedious and not guaranteed to work. Best left to teenagers who have way too much time on their hands. The best relationships are indeed the ones based on honesty. There is no fun in being with someone you cannot relax and be yourself with. If someone doesn’t like you for who you are, then let them go find someone else.

    I guess we will wait and see if Smidgen eventually notices a good thing when he sees it. If not, his loss and I am certain someone deserving will eventuate. It is a bit like winning the lottery but you do have a few tickets, and that ups your chances. Plus you have the good wishes from all your fans heading your way.

  • the.baker says:

    Another thing puzzling me while I’m at it….

    I wrote eleven emails last week to women on a well known dating site. I’m in my mid 40’s and would like (but am not insistant on) having kids, so I was writing to people in 36-41 bracket.

    Only 3 bothered to read my profile and I had a grand total of 0 emails in return.

    I know I’m maybe talking about the Bridget Jones generation rather than the plankton one, but the “Bridget gen” don’t seem to be keen on people a few years above them.

    Fo the record, I love in London,run a small business and am presentable
    ( tall and reasonably fit). I’ve also dated “Plankton women”(not a phrase I like using) and have really liked some of them them although they haven’t been the same ones that liked me 😉

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned – as a bloke if you haven’t got kids , contemplating stepping into a stepparent role can be pretty scary!.

    • Sarah says:

      Don’t be put off. You’ll probably have to contact tens of women. What does your email say? If you try and make it a wee bit funny you’ll probably attract a higher response rate. If you can say something funny (but nice) about something in their profile you’ll be doing even better.

      Don’t make it too long either.

      • the.baker says:

        You’re right, it IS a numbers game.

        What’s in a typical email? Three or so paragraphs mentioning what interests/values we would appear to have in common plus a dash of humour..

        Back to the drawing board!

        One interesting thing…many of these “Bridgets” had put the upper age limit that they’d consider at 45 , which kind of nails the myth that women at that age are gagging to go out with people 10 or 15 years older than them.

      • Erin says:

        I met my husband on I am also a step-parent to 2 wonderful adult girls of whom I had to wait till they got of legal age to meet because of their mentally unstable mother. I know you would like to have your own kids, but realistically, women in the age group you are looking at that are single probably have at least one marriage and some children under their belt, and starting over with a baby at that age could be daunting. It might behoove you to broaden your range at least up to your age – you might be missing out on a gem of a woman in her mid to late 40s.

        I don’t want to seem negative since I am a glass half full type person but looking for love at this age (and I was in my late 40s too, when I met my husband), you are probably not going to find someone with all the ingredients on your wanted list. If you can think outside the box a little, you might be surprised at what pops up. As for the women who don’t bother to reply, cross them off your list and move on. If someone can’t even muster a quick email to say thanks but not interested, their manners are lacking, which makes you think what else is lacking. Good luck to you! Don’t get discouraged with online dating. I still think it is the best place to meet a wide range of available people. And don’t spend a lot of time emailing. Get out on those dates so you can really get a feel for someone. There is nothing worse than emailing someone for a few weeks and finally meeting and knowing right away the chemistry is not there.

        Sorry, Ms. Plankton, for hijacking your post! My best friend and I always exclaim that finding love shouldn’t be this hard : (

      • Sarah says:

        No, keep it short. Write one paragraph saying what it is in her profile which caught your eye.

    • MissM says:

      You are correct, the idea that women are just queuing up to partner with men older than they are is indeed a myth. When you do see an older man with a young woman it is almost invariably the case that the man is in possession of a great deal of money and if that ran out she would be gone in a flash. It is a matter of bartering, she barters her youthful physique for his superior finances.

      Since women these days are no longer dependent on a man for financial support they are on the whole more interested in partnering with a man who is their contemporary. Consider how appealing the thought is for you of pairing up with a woman much older than yourself and it is quite possibly equally unappealing for a woman to pair with a man who is significantly older.

      Especially given that you are not insistent on having children try women close to your age. It doesn’t mean you have to become a stepfather as quite a few women have chosen to be child free these days. Good luck.

  • the.baker says:

    Thanks Sarah, MissM,Erin and Lydia for your wise counsel – appreciate it!

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