September 27, 2011 § 11 Comments
Every woman who is single, young or old, goes in for spinning, and planktons are quite the past masters at it.
Spinning is a form of whipping up the prospect of a man out of almost nothing. To non-planktons it may seem a pathetic fallacy, and to an extent they are right. But, gosh, when you have bugger-all, you have no choice but to create something yourself, to rustle it up like those instinctive chefs do a magnificent dinner from grim leftovers in the fridge. So it is you extract the significance (in the glance, text, word, gesture) out of the insignificant; you manufacture emails that are not overtly romantic but nonetheless demand a reply of some sort (be it logistical, practical, work-related; Jesus, just contact!); you prompt conversations about the object of your interest or insist on feedback from your friends whenever they have seen or spoken to him; you get the more match-making-inclined amongst them to ask you both along to a drink, tea, supper, anything, damn it, and failing that (which is the case more often than not), in extremis, you concoct a reason to give a party with the sole purpose of asking him to it and then pray to God he can come. Call it what you will: spinning or scheming or female machinations or outright manipulation. Call it odd and sad and desperate and, if you are a man, flag it up as the very reason you so distrust women with their unspeakably spidery, witchy ways of setting out to ensnare some poor and innocent victim.
I own, we do do it for the sport of it – and I do not deny, there is much fun to be had in spinning. But we mainly do it because, if we are plankton, there ain’t nothing going to come to us without a little of our own pro-activity. And if that pro-activity involves a wile or two here and there, well so be it. Otherwise, quite nothing. Spinning is about the stoking of hope in the absence of bugger-all else, and with no help from other people because they don’t know a single soul or are all too busy playing I’m All Right Jack.
So, I have a few plates I am spinning in the air at the moment. One I have never met, which is, admittedly, only marginally promising, though I am working on it. A second, who looked promising for a while, has disappeared off the horizon, having only ever been a smidgen on it in the first place; call him Back-Burner. The third I am having a date with soon though he’s about twenty years wide of my age.
First four rules of spinning – indefatigable energy; several plates at once; unerringly open mind; hope, still, in the face of crashing disappointment.
PS. This is the column which appeared in yesterday’s Times. Tomorrow there will be updates on Poppy Seed and Smidgen, and whether or not a text was sent to LS… Meanwhile, thanks for all your – wildly differing – advice on the latter matter.