The Callousness of Luck

September 28, 2011 § 30 Comments

Such were the fascinatingly, wildly differing views as to whether I should text Long Shot – both from commentators and friends – that I found myself completely at sea (a plankton’s natural habitat, after all).

In the end, I didn’t – which doesn’t mean I won’t, I may yet give in, but on balance, today, I feel it is better not to.  These are my reasons:

1. It goes against my DNA to pursue a man so overtly (as opposed to madly spinning – cf yesterday’s post – out of their line of vision).

2. My pragmatic friends say that he should be contacting me; no way me him.  It’s too soon.  At least give him a chance to do the contacting.

3. He is by all accounts wonderful but complicated.  Do I need complication?  Have I the energy for it, attractive though he is?

If I give in over the next few days, these will be my reasons:

1. A simple text with a pretext can hardly be construed as stalky pursuit.

2.Who is to say my DNA is right?

3. Nothing ventured, and all that.

4. He is a man, I hear, in need of a nudge.

It was my cousin who said that I need a man who wants me, not who needs to be pursued by me, marketing myself that I am good news.  He needs to see it for himself and do something about it; act of his own volition.  Anything less than that, she says, I should officially be, Not Interested.  She is so way off being the type who ever goes in for such drivel as, “Because you’re worth it,” and I think it was because of this that I found her argument for doing nothing so convincing.

There again, Janey and her husband, who know LS, and another friend who has it on authority from his sister-in-law, ALL say he is a special case because he is so hopeless in these matters so I must initiate the correspondence.  And another very old male friend who is tremendous when it comes to matters of the heart had heard from his wife about my dilemma and stopped me in the street to tell me to damn well text.  This is what they urged me yesterday.  When I started writing this, I was in my cousin’s camp (she doesn’t know LS).  And now, as I write, I can see the light of  Janey (and her husband’s) infinite wisdom, so by lunch time will doubtless have done the deed and texted (the wording will take me a good hour to craft till it is pitch perfect, even if I only use a minimal number of characters).

The truth is, there is no wrong or right.  I know a woman who scarily stalked a man in an extreme parody of what I was brought up not to do, and got him.  I know a man who told me he had been stalked by a (beautiful) woman but he found the stalking so unsettling he ran a mile.  I think it is all down to luck.  Pursue a man and he’ll either love it or he’ll hate it.  Depends on the man, and you.  Don’t pursue him and he’ll either pursue you himself, or never even think of it and barely be aware of your existence.  He could be turned on – or off – by pursuit, or lack of pursuit, just as he could be turned on or off by someone who is tall rather than short, or serious rather than funny, or vice versa.  He either fancies you or he doesn’t; possibly he doesn’t know he does fancy you but that’s a whole ‘nother territory that is quite beyond my capability.

The only way I could be sure of doing the right thing would be by setting up camp inside his head and reading his mind.  Can’t do that, alas, so remain completely clueless.

So it is, whatever I decide, it’s down to sheer luck.  And luck is so capricious and blithe and unforgiving. So callous about towards what and on whom it deigns to beam its sparkly light.  It is luck if he did fancy me, or if he is unsure whether he did or not, then whether or not I got it “right” the other night and/or get it “right” from here on in.  Luck and only luck. (“Right” in this case I guess means having inspired him enough when I met him, or am now inspiring him enough with a text or email – or without one? – to gain his attention enough to be lasting and potentially able to morph into passion and lasting love…tra la!).


I know, I know, me too, I shouldn’t think about it all nearly so much.  Either text or not, but put up and shut up, especially as it is all in the end and either way just luck.

You are all at perfect liberty to tell me to fuck off.




§ 30 Responses to The Callousness of Luck

  • Patrese says:

    My advice would be ‘lighten up’!! It sounds like you think your only 2 options are black and white, whereas of course there are infinite shades of grey. Start at the lightest shade and see what develops…

  • Anya. says:

    What happened to being yourself, Plankton? And your being brave, honest and bold? Texting does not constitute pursuing nor, as you rightly point out, stalking. It can be construed as good manners. Have you got the energy for all this bloody thinking? Let alone the time? Move it on, girl…

  • Rory from Dublin says:

    You complain that as a woman of a certain age you are invisible to women yet you won’t text Long Shot so that you show up on his radar. How can any man know you are single if you won’t send a signal! We also live in the modern world and it is perfectly acceptable for a lady to phone up a man and ask him for dinner. Being a woman you have guile-you could always phone him on the basis of seeking his advice about something thus you achieve the two things-you are on his radar and he thinks you value his opinion. Men can’t help themselves when it comes to helping a lady and this is guaranteed to get you a return phone call as he goes off to research you particular made up difficulty-he will then follow up this call the next day with another one to see if you are OK and then you can tell him everything is perfect, thank you so much and how can I ever thank you and he will say Ah it’s nothing and you can say you have been brilliant, can I take yo to lunch/bake you a cake/fuck your brains out/etc/etc. Mission accomplished!

  • Rory from Dublin says:

    Sorry-typo error-Should read : You complain that as a woman of a certain age you are invisible to men yet you won’t text Long Shot so that you show up on his radar!.

  • Bambi says:

    Um….how about just tossing a coin….? 🙂

  • Penny says:

    Plankton, seems like you have asked a lot of people about this, as well as writing about it. I dont think it helps, probably confuses you even more with what to do (to text or not to text). Over analysising makes a mountain out of a molehill. Your right, keep busy, stop talking about it and writing about it, and the answer will come. IF you do text its not a bad thing at all, so no worries. You can’t lose anything by it. Good luck.

  • Redbookish says:

    I would never tell you to eff off. I know exactly where you’re coming from.

    And have you ever seen that internet meme about what’s in women’s brains?

    Here’s one version:

    I tend to think the bit of men’s brains that goes “D’oh?” (or “Doh” depending how one transliterates Homer Simpson) is the most telling. Most blokes seem to have little idea of the intricacies of interactions and relationships. It’s either (depending on how bitter & unwanted I’m feeling) sweetly engaging naïvete or deliberate “learned helplessness” to avoid responsibility.

    I think a lot of habitually single men sometimes might winder why & how they are alone, but if they actually realise this, they don’t quite know why or what to do. Mostly, I suspect, they don’t notice it. Although I do wonder what they do about/for sex. *That’s* the great unspoken secret, isn’t it?

    Good luck whatever you do. Great blog — you articulate the things I know & feel, although as you’ve seen, it can make others very uncomfortable. Because of course, you’re suggesting that it’s not always *our* (ie planktons’) fault that we’re single. There are bigger forces at play. But it’s a consolatory fantasy to others that the situation of many attractive, worthy women is their own doing, not down to the sexism and ageism of our society.

  • anniebub says:

    Two things you said. One your friend who said he is the kind of man who needs a nudge. Listen to her. Secondly, you need to get inside his head. Best way to do this is to text him. Do it. You have nothing to lose. After all in the current state of play you think it is likely he will not text you. So no change. If you text him the likelihood is he will reply. So that is a step forward. You will know then if he wants to play. I use the word play intentionally. With the idea of spinning in mind. The key is to engage in banter first with no other agenda. Obviously there is. But key is for him not to feel threatened by wiles of woman… Good luck. Would quite like to know what you say…

  • Thomas M. says:

    >alas, so remain completely clueless.


  • DAN says:

    Plankton, way too heavy and mixed up gargle for this time of the morning !

    Just text or email him, and get it over with !

    He’ll either respond or he wont .

    Either way at least you’ll know .


  • Patricia says:

    So, it’s in the lap of The Gods is it? If that’s so, then do nothing, leave it to Them, They’ll sort it out. NO! It’s in your lap P – or could be.

  • John, a gentle man. says:

    OOps, there go those goalposts, on the move again! Or is it just that the Plankton is evolving at a meteoric rate? From invisible, unlovely, unloved, unlovable, to ‘spinning’, five men, all in the space of ten weeks. I only hope that you meet Mr Right in the next month, before I depart on my next adventure, chrome cobalt hip, arthritic joints, failing body, et al. lol

  • Margaux says:

    Text and be damned Plankton. Women always have to initiate these things one way or another in my experience. I hung around my ex for 6 months – putting myself in his orbit, being chatty, engineering seating placement in pubs and social gatherings. He just thought I was being ‘friendly’ although he liked me. In the end, I literally had to pounce on him in an alleyway.
    At least, if you do, it will stop you torturing yourself one way or the other!

  • MissBates says:

    Just do it, darling.

  • John, a gentle man. says:

    Dear Margaux, do you think he was a bit slow, a bit thick, or just did not see you as a ‘partner’ ie. he did not fancy you until you shoved the plate under his nose, at which point he would have thought why turn down the chance of a ‘sure thing’. In truth, subtle signals are of no use if the man is not looking out for them.

  • Joules says:

    Text him already -). If you believe in democracy the texters have it.

  • Geoffrey says:

    When I was young and single (way before texting, emailing and Facebook were invented) I fell head over heels with a colleague at work. When I finally plucked up courage to declare my feelings (risking a lot of embarrassment as we worked together) she said that she would have been keen 6 months previously when she and her boyfriend were going through a bad period but they had now patched things up. 20 years on she is still (not particularly happily) married to him. Moral of the story – carpe diem – someone has to gently cross the line and admit some interest!

  • John, a gentle man. says:

    Gently, softly, subtly, quietly, such important adverbs in the female Plankton’s repertoire, and, for the man, ‘of a certain age’ ; Aware, alert, attentive, perceptive, receptive, sentient, would be adjectives that would not go amiss.

  • Jo says:

    Lots of advice/thoughts/opinions from cousin/friend and husband/readers etc etc….So many views.So much wrangle.All well-meaning but serve to confuse.
    What is your INSTINCT?
    Therein lies the truth.
    Good luck P.
    (For what it’s worth,I would send the simplest of texts.’Want to meet for a coffee?’).
    But ignore my view too.Your INSTINCT is ALL.

  • Lydia says:

    Anyone with so much time they can think about all this in so much detail probably needs to adopt triplets or take on a second job.

    It feels at times not like an adult. People I know and meet say what they think. If you like someone regardless of gender you say so. If you don’t want to see them you don’t call. It’s terribly simple with no “don’t call”, wait to be chased. I would always play it that way. If i want a man, I say so. If I don’t I make it clear.

    If you want him (he is the adulterer who is too soon out of one relationship to form another so is likely only to hurt you but you’re so desperate you’d put up with it?) have him. I’m sure he’;d be there for the taking if you fixed it right, turned up where he would be, wore the right clothes etc etc.

  • Fi0na says:

    What delicious irony that this well known author does not know the agony/ecstasy being trotted out here in a public forum. Better than reviews. We are interested Long Shot.

  • Dawn says:

    Yeah. Ask for help with something.

    Or make it simple like, “That was fun the other night. Wanna go for a coffee?”

    One text does not a stalker make.

  • Men are often oblivious to our signals, so he’s likely to need some sort of a nudge…er, text. Yet there is a line between sending the first text and being the pursuer… If you were to pursue a man, you’d never feel secure once you’d caught him. Rather, you’d ask yourself, “Does he truly love me? Or is he here because I convinced him?” And then, concluding the latter, you’d spend your time and energy trying to keep him convinced.

    Send the first text…but then slowly step backward and side to side. You are leading the dance, but he’s moving toward you. He’s doing the pursuing, but you’re guiding the relationship and therefore confident.

    • kidrock says:

      If a man is genuinely interested he will get in touch (no matter what it takes). If he doesn’t then i urge you to move on because, lets face it – you aren’t getting any younger.

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