Three Dates

October 4, 2011 § 15 Comments

Yesterday’s Times column:-


So, for years, you go in for all this spinning, whipping up the prospect of a man out of almost nothing, and you do not land a single date – and I mean not a single one – until, suddenly, in the space of a week you have three dates with three different men, some of them plates you have been spinning for weeks, others who have stepped in out of the blue, from nowhere.


It is going to sound almost indecent to list them.  Three dates in three years, had they all come at intervals, would have been respectable, but the fact they have all come at once would seem as if I were a plankton in clover.  But you must understand the context which has been, frankly, for too long now, Gobi blinking Desert.  I’ve been waiting for the bus for an age and, typical, now they’ve all come at once.  A week ago, it was a restaurant with an older man of means.  Then a man who had been hoving in and out of view for months, suddenly asked me out for an illicit weekday afternoon cup of coffee, which we spun out in a cafe very agreeably for hours on end.  A few nights ago, I went to an occasion and met a man I’d never met but had already fallen for over his elegant prose.  He was everything I had cracked him up to be.


Each one of these three has his plus points, and the composite would make for the perfect man.  Into the mix would be clever, literary, funny, business-savvy, conventional-yet-unconventional, lives nearby, lives far away, homes here and abroad, my age, older, and so on.  But I don’t see myself as spoilt for choice.  None of them is wholly suitable in himself, for a variety of reasons.  And of course it is the least suitable and most complicated of the three whom I have singled out as the one for me.  He is a bachelor not just with baggage, but with excess baggage.  He has other women – doubtless each and every one of them younger, thinner, more attractive and talented than me – crossing continents to get a piece of him (history doesn’t relate whether or not they ever succeed, but the law of averages alas dicates…).  He is inscrutable and elusive and a long shot.  But as we sat in a crowded room, he shone the light on me, and as we talked and talked we discovered so much mutual ground – humour, friends, interests – so the rest of the room and further groupies besides, and all the complications, seemed to fall away for a lucky, lovely hour.


And ever since, the Plankton has become a fluster of utter foolishness, spinning and dreaming, when much would be solved if I were to fall for either one of the other two, neither a picnic, but each an infinitely safer bet than Long Shot, aka Excess Bloody Baggage.


§ 15 Responses to Three Dates

  • Paula says:

    Have you still not tx LS? The longer you wait the harder it gets, as you probably know only too well. Go for it for fecks sake, you have absolutely nothing to loose (pride does not come into it!). If he is the one you like the most, what are you waiting for? And stuff all the remarks from folk who say the guy has to be the one to get in touch first. From all accounts he does not sound like the type of guy who does this. On another note, bloody typical, 3 dates all at once. It happened to me some time back, hadn’t been out with a guy for ages and then boom, 3 asked me out within the space of a week.
    Thank you for such a great blog, so much rings true.

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Paula, Thank you for this. No, I still haven’t texted LS but I am hoping that my excellent pretext for doing so will be confirmed this week and then I won’t hesitate. I promise to let you know. Very best, Plankton

  • John, a gentle man. says:

    Dear Plankton, You complained when you had no men, “poor me, no one loves me” You complain when you are spinning three of them at the same time, “But I don’t see myself as spoilt for choice. None of them is wholly suitable in himself ” Please try to be consistent lady, you are letting your sex down.

    • t lover says:


      Finding a woman has been, for me, mission impossible despite (immodestly) half a brain, a decent education and a few bob.

      Pals tell me things to console me when I am having a male moan – yet another gripe – about an internet introduction to a woman who has lied about her home circumstances, age, drinking habits et al. The usual is the old cliché: women don’t think like blokes.

      Despite my age and experience of life the penny had never dropped. But this blog is the living proof that women really are a calculating bunch of out and out schemers.

      Reading the female take on one woman’s quest to trap a man of the right status and social background has made me feel so much better about myself. The flood of covenly advice about how to make the mission successful. It is them, not me. Why have I been beating myself up?

      I now understand why an ordinary feller (no matter how nice and kind he might be) finds it well nigh an impossibility to find an equally decent woman. Does such a thing exist?

      • Mezzanine says:

        Yes we do exist. Please don’t tar us all with the same threadbare brush.

        Note to Ms P – I get you even though you don’t like cats! :0(

      • EmGee says:

        t lover,

        there are decent people out there, but most find it hard to be honest with themselves, let alone to someone else, so they try to advertise themselves as what they think someone wants them to be, not how they really are.

        As you have discovered, It is a hard thing for anyone to pull off for any length of time.

      • DAN says:

        T LOVER, you just said it all in one mouthful !

        Totally agree !


      • Chris says:

        Ah my boy, you have learned. Remember that no matter what women say they pretty much perceive nice men to be weak and consequently often hold them in contempt. I have met a fair few planktons and my take on them is keep it mentally hard, sharp and witty. Be quick on yer feet and nimble with yer tongue. When you meet a NICE woman, that is the time to commit, if that is what YOU want. That would be someone ordinary without the weight of relationship criteria the plankton of the species seem to carry.

      • Lydia says:

        There are some of us whose lives are just too busy happy and full to scheme or plan or fuss like this. Someone yesterday said I say what I think and it’s true. If I like someone I say so. If not I kindly make that clear. Not all of us have time in our lives with busy jobs and children to fuss so much over various men.

        I think it’s good for men and women to read each other’s views however. I know a lot of men and they seem to confide in me for some reason and a lot of women do underestimate the power of sex, underwear, high heels, sexuality. I am not saying that is all that counts but it’s part of the process for a lot of men.

        Tips of tlover – be nice, flatter, be kind but firm. One that comes up a lot for me is men who talk only about themselves. Women (and indeed men) like to think the other persn is interested in them so ask her about herself. I am sick of conversations where only I ask questions and he has nothing to say – presumably because he is as thick as a plank or just totally self centred. Now he may well not be that but it will appear like that unless he does ask incisive questions.

      • Redbookish says:

        T Lover, perhaps you’d get on better if you didn’t think about 51% of the human race as “a calculating bunch of out and out schemers” setting out to “trap” a man? We are all human beings, getting on as best we can.

  • EmGee says:

    I know there has been a dry spell before this sudden onslaught of what, 3 men, is it? Imo, this is just the beginning, so keep casting about. It is too soon to start deciding which one to keep and which ones to throw back. You are far from being spoilt for choice with only 3.

    Once again, our savage socialization comes into play, where it is perceived as ‘unfair’ for a woman to be indecisive about who she prefers, and nobody want the reputation as a ‘tease’ or worse. Bah.

  • Geoffrey says:

    I don’t think you are letting your sex down at all Plankton! This dilemma reminds me of my youth – when all the girls I fancied didn’t want kindness, security and the like. They seemed to be only attracted to the hard bastards who messed them around, because they represented true authentic emotions, and an element of risk. Isn’t that the attraction of LS?

  • DAN says:

    After this post plankton ,you’ve really explained what your all about, which in my eyes covers what most members of the opposite sex are looking for !


    And again the excuses as to why one person is more suitable than the other, and again you’ve gone for the one that is out there , day in day out, with no intention of ever settling down !

    Too much money, lots of dates with younger women, have money, will travel .

    Where do you really see this ending ?

    I can see it , but then again i’m looking in !

    Sometimes its just safer and better to look at the straight and sensible alternative, and the adage ” im just not into you” may change if you lose the higher elevation of person that you seem to be attracted to .

    I’m not saying to go out with any ould gobshite , but at the risk of repeating myself, come back to ground , and again i will say,


  • Count your blessings…

    If you want to meet someone then it’s not a bad idea to enroll in a course, and while you’re at it, it might feel comforting to you these days to purchase a dog or a cat….

    Just kidding….

  • T. Lover. says:

    Fuse lit, can I complain about that comment (kidding or not) and that the get/don’t get a cat/dog diatribes posted by our blogger (followed by the usual flood of dogmatic nonsense) which go right up my funnel?

    Having a cat, a dog, whatever is like a marriage – a relationship in which both parties depend on each other, derive pleasure from one another and (because the cat/dog side of the bargain has no say in the deal, unless you count crapping in the house as having a say) needs to be weighed up carefully and selflessly by the human.

    I live alone bar three horses, chickens and one dog.
    When the family were here there were also two cats. She liked cats and both arrived without a discussion. Both were duly neutered – also without a discussion, with me or the cats.

    Cat one was a working cat, recruited to deter the rodents that come with horse and chicken food. Both spent the nights out being cats. Killing birds and small animals. Illogically, I would cheer if the victim was a rat but why do we own millions of these monsters that kill garden birds? Revoltingly they even play with the live victim.

    The first cat hated the wife and would scratch her at any opportunity. One astute cat. But he loved the boy and he loved the cat. The lad could have picked it up by the tail. Cat two was the daughter’s. She would dress it up. It followed her wherever.

    The dog is a working dog, bright and useful, it has a purpose in life which she enjoys to the extent that she will shake with excitement when she sees the gun. And a babe magnet, you would be amazed. And a social ticket because there are loads of working dog clubs with members across the social rainbow.

    Upside: these pets have provided buckets of pleasure and we have been able to let them be cats or dogs. I HAVE to exercise every day and the dog is able to snooze under the desk at work. No allergies or asthma in this house. The list is a long.

    Downside: I have a dog problem when I want to go out. Many hotels won’t let me take a dog although in the main hotels that don’t welcome dogs are not hotels I would like to patronise. The dog is a real tie.

    The point I am laboriously trying to reach is this: Every situation is different. There is no black or white. My life suits a dog. I am happy. The dog is happy.

    However, I would run a mile from a woman with a designer dog (or cat) unhappily imprisoned alone in an urban flat (complete with eau de cat litter) – not for me.

    My real point is that if you have a happy dog (or even grudgingly a cat) you are likely to be a happy, considerate balanced person. The converse is also true.

    This is not to include those who would like a pet but who selflessly say no because it would not be fair on the animal.

    Amen. Almost. The blogger’s point was different and right for her.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Three Dates at The Plankton.


%d bloggers like this: