Take A Leaf from the Book of an Albatross

November 6, 2011 § 7 Comments

I don’t watch much telly but I happened upon the second half of the sainted Attenborough’s Frozen Planet a few nights ago.  And there were two albatrosses literally necking – stroking and smoothing each other’s necks with their necks and beaks.  I thought, blimey, these two are more affectionate with each other than a pair of snogging teenagers in the high street of a Saturday night.  People are only ever like this to each other at the end of meringue-y movies. And I fell to wondering if your average homo sapien was ever able to show such tender joy in the company of his partner when he’s at home?

Then I thought, perhaps we human beings need to take a few leaves?  Attenborough’s cooing commentary explained that these birds are more faithful and loyal to each other than any other creatures in the animal kingdom and stay together for fifty years.  Can I have heard that right?  Does an albatross even live for fifty years?  But it almost doesn’t matter because it’s such a lovely thought.  I am sure there is the odd disadvantage to being an albatross – life a bit draughty; no Tesco Local – but, boy, do they make up for it on the relationship front.  They obviously know something we don’t.  Those albatrosses (or, as with plankton, is the plural albatross?) are getting more affection than the Plankton can remember engendering from a member of the opposite sex in a very long time.

Occasionally I’ve considered how agreeable it would be to be able to fly, but things must have come to a tragic plankton pass because I never thought I would wind up envying the romantic life of a goddamn bird.

§ 7 Responses to Take A Leaf from the Book of an Albatross

  • Erin says:

    Cheer up, P. When you find yourself envying the romantic life of the albatross, think of the romantic life of the praying mantis, where she bites the head off her lover after sex : )

    Have you emailed/texted/called Smidgen yet? You know we are going to badger you until you do.

    • The Plankton says:

      Well, Erin, I thank you for your persistence and, between you and me, he did email (prompted by a mutual friend who said I was in need of some support regarding our mutual project), and I am in fact seeing him tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes. Px

      • Erin says:

        Yay! Hopefully he will get the hint without you having to be too blatant about it. I have read, however, that men (by their own admission) are not good at getting our hints so you may have to be a little bold. In any event, good luck with your date and hope you have a great time!

  • Joules says:

    Albatross can live for 50 years. And they really do spend a lot of their lives at sea flying. Not sure how much of it is together with their mate.

    A beautiful and amazing bird. I have heard that Attenborough made this series in part to help with missing his wife who had passed away – does anyone know if that is true?

    Makes his commentary even more poignant.

  • june says:

    I have often watched such programes Plankton and thought in a similar way but of course unlike us humans there is nothng else to do in their lives but have sex, breed an d eat, our lives are so much more complex. Do you think they have single albatrosses,or do they all mate, certainly no divorce.!, As a single person watching these nature prigramnes i have often wondered this are there any unmated birds and animals do you think,and wonder what the hell happens to them. Bloody hell plankton not only therapy, but musing on nature too!.

  • EmGee says:

    As romantic as the notion is, it doesn’t do to anthropomorphise any animal’s’ behavior too much, imo.

  • plumgrape says:

    I think firstly, both partners to a relationship must both each independently be affectionate. They must choose and feel consciously to be in this genuinely loving and affectionate relationship each one with the other. This is not for an agreement or a deal. It must be understood, desired and felt appropriate each individual consciously and independently for themselves and each other. It is far too easy to be put off by inappropriate comments made by third parties. See how paparazzi pursue celebrities for comments on spouses in new marriages for which the best response I have heard is: “No comment: Marriage is a relationship between two people”!
    The affectionate and truely loving relationship must be something that is individually determined and individually consciously decided. Too many do not come to this realisation or were not the beneficiary of a loving or loving parents.They must genuinely love, fancy and want to be for each other, volunteerism electing not to be distracted by others, so they must fancy, love and respect one another also. They can not be misled or misguided by others or by such things as snide remarks or lip service. No shallow fantasies need apply, but genuinely have a desire to “work” together and then be happy one with one another. No nagging ladies! Doesn’t the Albatross sometimes allude to a millstone?
    From Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”:
    At length did cross an Albatross,
    Through the fog it came;
    As it had been a Christian soul,
    We hailed it in God’s name.
    Seek and ye shall find, Plankton, Ask and it shall be given. Everything comes to he who waits and then reap as you sew. Good luck.
    I am not sure I entirely agree with Erin.

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