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.


§ 11 Responses to Spinning

  • zambesigirl says:

    This is quite the best blog I have seen in a while. it has so many elements in its favour.

    And yes, I think most women have, at one time or another, indulged in spinning. Call it compulsion or obsession, there’s just no escaping it once the idea of love has been planted.

    ‘Til next time…

  • I skipped this article in Mon. 09/26 Times after I saw the headline-

    The frontpage was filled with articles about David Cameron, Ed Milliband and Barack Obama, and I thought that I’d read enough spin for one morning…

  • DAN says:

    plankton, all the emails currently being sent to me from this site are all currently very, very, long blank pages !

    Is there a reason for this, as no other emails are effected this way ?

    This includes your daily post and any replys to it ! ALL !


  • june says:

    Well guess all we planktons do spin a bit,but sometimes do you think it worth it.

    Those of us who have to resort to internet dating as we have absolutely no other way of meeting men, do lots of spinning.Personally i hate internet dating, its clinical you have little chance of ever meeting anyone you would be attracted to, especially if wrong side 55 and a woman,so you tend to spin an awful lot. I read today of a new site, where some woman was giving a glowing account of how she had met the man of her dreams on it, turned out he lived long way from her,and she had to move to be with him.! No there is no way ever i would leave the city i love and my friends for any man,however gorgeous he seemed, this is 2011 who would. , So we continue to spin,you seem to have more irons in fire than me plankton, so maybe your spinning days will soon be over!

  • Dawn says:

    You have no idea how relieved I am to find out that I am no the only person who does this.

    No man has to fear me for it, however, for it all stays firmly wrapped up inside mine own little brain.

  • plumgrape says:

    Yes, this is a good post, Plankton. I agree. It is honest and I commend you on your efforts and spinning. I am reminded of the Chinese acrobats who spin plates, and what a marvellous job they do indeed.
    I remember myself, throwing a party at my mothers home one time for about 20 people I met on a course I attended at Sussex U, and only one person showed! Boy did that teach me an interesting and costly lesson and certainly “I am alright, Jack” was one part of the lessons!
    Well done, keep talking. Be brave.
    Why be afraid to say who you are and even give out your email address or perhaps Plankton is it! Tell us your name is Plankton or Mrs. Plankton or your maiden name you have decided to go back to since your marriage break up. My friend I loved profoundly went back again to her husband even though he was supposedly an ex; moreover his world (he is in essence a French farmer) is very different to mine own and now I fear love springs eternal amoungst the rocks!

  • Leftatforty says:

    Thank you P. I thought I was the only one doing this at my age and thought that I was going crazy. Spinning is quite sad…

  • Lydia says:

    I take huge execption to the first sentence though. We are not all the lowest form of pond life. Not “all” women do that spinning thing. It’s for those without a life, who are so unoccupied by their work and families they can like idle teengers obssess about their love life. Many many of us of both genders don’t do it.

    Don’t tar us all with the same brush. Plenty of us are well above the lower reaches of the water, in fact flying very high above it.

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