Two Parties, Not One Husband

November 18, 2011 § 23 Comments

Two parties in the last week or so.  I never fucking meet people at parties, well, I do, but always married people or women, always women, or weirdos.  For days, before the first, I wrestled with my conscience.  To go or not to go?  In the end, I decided the effort and expense (petrol, babysitting etc) far outweighed the chances of finding a husband and I just wanted to be at home cosily with my kids.  Frankly, just couldn’t be arsed.  Charlotte went.  It was fucking miles away.  She confirmed that it was fun but that I had been right: there were no husbands.  Phew.  Right call.

The second one in the heart of the greatest city in the world promised to be glamorous and extremely well-populated.  Right on both counts.  Luckily I had a coffin-bearer (what my oldest gang of girlfriends call each other; ie. we’ve been through so much together, we are all in it together for the long haul) to come with me to help navigate, park, and protect.  The party was being given by another coffin-bearer, so all the coffin-bearers were there, out to support her.  We didn’t really know a lot of the hostess’s guests because a lot of them hailed from her professional life.   Apart from the coffin-bearers I saw very few familiar faces and it was not an occasion for introductions.  Danny, an acquaintance from a 100 years ago, talked to me with politeness but his boredom was palpable.  When we parted I said maybe we would see each other in another twenty years, and he laughed not unkindly but as if to say, I don’t really care either way.  Alison told me she had heard I had got divorced since she last saw me and how sorry she was and remembered a car journey with my husband and myself and how drop-dead talented and beautiful he was (that made me feel smug, shallow cow that I am, till I remembered that he is no longer my husband so the glory no longer reflects on me) and how she recalls thinking that he would have been a “number”.  On the whole, though, I talked to the coffin-bearers.  I can talk to them any time and don’t really need to move mountains (make endless complicated school run arrangements, get babysitters in place, drive, park, spend, etc) to do so.

Still, on balance it was probably better to have gone than not to have done.  Not gone just to show my face, because if I hadn’t shown it, no one would have even noticed, much less given a fuck.  But just to know myself that I had made the effort.  In the days I used to go running, the best bit about the run was the shower afterwards.  I fucking hated running.  Then, one miraculous day, I thought, hey, why not forget the run and cut straight to the shower?  Haven’t run a step since.  Marvellous!  Still loving the daily showers and so happy to have thrown away my running shoes, (and am thinner besides!?).  But it’s not quite the same with parties.  You kind of have to go to get any reward.  Charlotte says for every ten you go to, there may be one nice person you meet at the end of it.  Not sure the odds are even that good, but I guess I don’t think it’d be altogether wise to throw away my party shoes.  Not just yet.


§ 23 Responses to Two Parties, Not One Husband

  • Supermother says:

    I think that was the right choice of party. Also do to those you enjoy and enjoy them. Life does not have to be some huge daily hunt for a man. I am sure you enjoy other aspects of it.

    Okay, let us analyse it. Why was Danny bored? Many men will not be bored if they think there might ultimately be sex in it but perhaps Danny isn’t up for that or married or whatever.

    So why else? Perhaps he and plankton just have different subject they are interested in.

    if someone’s bored, move on to someone who won’t be or go home early if you are bored. Life is too short to waste if if you’re not getting something out of something.

    If you enjoy the party per se, great, go to it. If you tend not to like them when you’re there why go? Sometimes it’s good to force yourself to do things. We had a sort of photoshoot thing here yesterday which I nearly cancelled but it ended up being quite an intriguing exercise although it made me realise even more how much I have gained in my life by not spending 45 minutes doing make up. The moral wrongness of women or men who spend hours on their appearance coupled with the time they lose.. silly them. I doubt they find partners more easily either.

    • Elle says:

      If you doubt whether someone who makes an effort with their appearance finds it easier to get a person then you must be one of the rare lucky people who didn’t have to go to much effort to find a partner. Good for you, but it is foolhardy to be smug and complacent.

      I have been propositioned by many attached men who say to me that their partners have let themselves go and they like that I take care of myself.

      I would never entertain such shallow philanderers, but if I were to win the dating lottery and find a partner at this late stage I would do everything possible to remain attractive for him. There is too much temptation out there for men, coupled up women cannot afford to be smug or complacent. I refuse philanderers but not every woman does.

  • EmGee says:

    Coffin bearers…, perfect. 🙂

  • Jane says:

    Never fails to amaze me that people are so tactless, or just plain cruel! This Alison person deserves a stamp on the instep with a well aimed stiletto (by accident of course) P. It is not ok for people to be unkind to you, you may think that as you are merely plankton, then anyone can say what they want..they damned well can’t, and you should let them know that! Danny sounds like a pain too, why bother speaking to someone who is patently rude! You say it wasn’t an occasion for introductions, it was a party…..what prevented you from speaking to people who were not already part of your gang? Granted it may have taken a bit of bravery, but if you don’t get in there and have a bash, you’ll never know?

  • Sarah says:

    I fucking hate running too. The last time I ran it was for a charity event back in 1999 with my (now ex-)h and toddler son (in a push chair) and we ran 3 miles together. He got huffy about me being there and said I held him up (competitive to the last!). This was after the event, so there I was all pumped up with endorphins and feeling good about a) doing some exercise; b) doing it as a family, and c) for a good cause, and he completely ruined the whole event by basically telling me he wished I hadn’t been there. Charming!

    I never meet people at parties either. Or I do to say a jaunty hello to, a chat about the sushi we’re in line for or some other fascinating topic, and then, sushi in hand go our separate ways. I used to mind when I had no DB because it made me realise what an impossible task it was finding a man at a party.

  • Aggie MacKenzie says:

    As my chief sub used to say to me in a former life, ‘making a shit out of a shite’ – ie reworking a done-to-death theme to keep subject matter fresh – is an art. You are the expert. All power to you.

  • Margaux says:

    You are right, P – one has to go to these things just so we don’t forget how to dress up and turn on the sparkle. Although the less I do it – the more of an effort it seems to require.

    Interesting what you say about it not being an occasion for introductions.
    How many parties actually are? It can be as hard trying to get chatting to people you don’t know at parties as anywhere else. And everyone dreads the Look- over- the- shoulder -for -someone -more -interesting syndrome.

    I found a way to solve being the single plankton at a party last time by volunteering to help take round trays of drinks and food. ( It was a stand up affair) Apart from looking like the overly glamoured up hired help, it did give me a chance to work the room. Still no prospects though…

  • MissBates says:

    I felt exhausted just reading this account of fruitless party-going. Yes, yes, yes. Have a good (party-less) weekend, Plankton.

  • june says:

    Love this coffin bearer thing plankton, what a great title,as my friends are mostly younger than me,sounds like something i could use, mind you my family all live so long, my dad was 98, i might outlive them.

    Parties, im never sure with parties, dont get asked to many proper parties, in fact in my city dont seem to be very many. The last proper party i went to was at my friends last news years eve, ive had meals out, meals round friends, girls nights out,etc, but no actual parties. Ive never been a great party person, i enjoyed new years eve, but many ive been to have been ratther flat and id wish i hadnt bothered, most of these were when i was younger and less confident than i am now, so possibly now i might enjoy them more, but dont get asked to many,sods law that, but like you my party shoes will stay at the ready.

  • I have another Dear Friend who uses the “Coffin Bearers” phrase …lovely sentiment, they are pure GOLD . I am not a party fiend either, but for the opposite reason…despite my beard,short sleeves and wedding ring…past and present , I always get hit on! Multiple hits even , perhaps it’s because I’m not trying ? I’m not a longtime reader P , but have you tried this tactic ?

    Another great read tho’ merci

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you. I have often thought about not trying ie. giving up, but that would mean crawling into a hole and might as well being dead, no? Px

      • MissBates says:

        Well as someone who HAS stopped trying, it does feel like you’re dead inside. It’s like seeing everything through a grey filter that dims every pleasure. Sure, there are little flickers of happiness — the joy that music sometimes brings me, for example, or the occasional time spent with my young niece and nephews. And you, of course, have your children. But it’s really a question of at what point you are ready to accept defeat and start living in a new, admittedly emotionally bleak landscape. For me, that time came a couple of years ago; for you, the time may never come. I’ll say this though: it’s very peaceful.

  • When you finally do succeed in finding a new boyfriend, are you going to tell him about this blogsite?

  • Redbookish says:

    Oh, wonderful post. It reads so well (but that could be the cava this end).

  • sevda says:

    Good post.

    I took up running this year and have been told by countless people I will grow to love. Only thing I love is the shower too. It’s helps keep weight down too but give me the shower any day.

  • rosie says:

    Oh god, the being dead thing… I still had hope at the relatively advanced age (in dating years anyway) of 38 but at as a geriatric 48 year old all that hope is gone. I have no idea what’s going to happen but I know for sure I can’t spend the next 15 years, as I have the past 15, living this fucking half life. I guess that means that if I pop my clogs I don’t care! There’s only so much trying, unfulfilled yearning and rejection a person can cope with. And to anyone who says that’s defeatist and I need to get a life (I’ve done more than most) let THEM try it.

    • fi says:

      I think if I really wanted someone (as opposed to quite liking someone) I would try internet dating. I still think I’ll bump into someone I find attractive enough to want to have sex with, which isn’t very likely. However as it doesn’t bother me very much I’m happy to let things happen or not. Should I get to the stage where I definitely am searching, the internet seems the best place to go as for a start there are loads of available people. It just seems too much like hard work right now.

    • MissM says:

      For what it is worth I know exactly how you feel Rosie, since it is how I feel also. Not a pleasant thing, the realisation that if you have not managed to get yourself a partner by 40 you are pretty much written off for the rest of your life, and that can be quite a few decades.

      My personal experience of internet dating is that it only makes me think I am better off alone than with any of the options available from there, and I really, really hate being alone. Other people’s results may vary. I figure it depends on the quality of the population where you live, and it seems mine is rather lack lustre. Too fussy I may be in that I want someone close to my age and literate, I never would have thought that was such a lot to ask.

      I’m with Miss Bates in having run out of the energy to keep fighting. Eventually when there is not the slightest reward one just has to run out of the energy to keep struggling. There is a difference in working hard to achieve a goal when the goal is achievable by effort versus a goal that can still elude you no matter how much effort you put in.

      To the people who are happy without a significant other, congratulations, however not everyone is the same. Sadly I am only truly content with an intimate partner in life no matter how much I might wish I was different.

  • Lydia says:

    I’m afraid this page is making me laugh. Why is everyone so miserable? Why isn’t life huge fun whether you have a man or not? I just put the phone down to one – mind you i didn’t want him. He’s free, single, 48, sane, in London. They are certainly out there.

    I don’t think it’s an emotionally bleak atmosphere to be single. I think it’s really really sad if people think that is so. I hope even in the retirement home I’ll be flirting.

  • rosie says:

    Lydia, you make me laugh but not in a good way.

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