Purple Agas

November 23, 2011 § 87 Comments

Yesterday , one of my best friends, Mrs Standard Bearer, said she had seen a bunch of girlfriends who were all, every single one of them, complaining about their husbands.  I know some of these women.  They may be comfortably off and secure and have shiny, new-range coloured Agas in their operating-theatre kitchens, but none of them is very happily married.  Mrs SB has had a number of struggles recently – an illness in the family, the death of a beloved pet, career upheavals, a radical need to downsize, school issues, a kitchen far from swanky-surgical, you name it – but through all of it she and her husband have remained a team, steadfast, and happier than any couple I know.  She is the least smug person this side of the Equator and radiates with a beauty and tranquility and confidence which comes from the type of happy marriage that just jolly well is the happy ever after.  All the trials the couple are facing are upsetting and difficult, but Mr and Mrs SB are a team, and they are soldiering through them together with humour and an indominitable spirit.  You only have to look at them to know that gold-digging and poppy seeds are not the way forward by any measure; to know that the biblical stuff which washed over you during enforced church services and RS lessons as a child, about wealth and needles and camels and all that bollocks, ain’t remotely bollocks in fact, and that a man who ploughs his furrow or sows his wheat seeds (as opposed to wild oats) or scythes the land, or whatever it is that impoverished but noble men of faith and hope and charity are supposed to do, are worth a thousand times the entitled, portly rich man who could afford a thousand purple-spotted Agas for his grabby but unfulfilled wife though wouldn’t know how to thread a needle (“woman’s work”) let alone push a camel through the eye of one if you were to prick him with a whole haberdashery of the wretched things.

For days now I have done nothing.  It has been evenings in and going nowhere and it frightens me because I am so aware of time passing without anyone, let alone my very own Mr Standard Bearer.  The mind and body are just about holding up, but they are wasted on just me.  As the loathsome expression goes, I’ve got stuff to give.  Well, I give it to my kids, I suppose, I give them love (the whole time and lots of it) and I give them what for (only occasionally, but just enough to make sure they grow up into decent human beings).  But once they’ve gone, and the body has turned to trifle, what is the outlet to be?

It didn’t work out with Smidgen (of which more on Tuesday), so for now it is being and nothingness, and that feels like shit.


§ 87 Responses to Purple Agas

  • Aggie says:

    Planx (if i may be so bold), I am very sorry, and sad that you are sad. Pse accept a huge virtual hug from me.

  • FairOne says:

    Dear Ms P, What can anyone say? You have heard all the good advice before, and offering it again won’t help. It reminds me of when I went on an arduous bushwalk and was at the weeping stage from being way out of fitness and having the wrong gear, and a well meaning friend kept saying encouraging things like “you’re almost there” – it was not helpful, just irritating! So be it. We feel for you and understand.

  • Back again ‘cos I never can resist the call of an Aga! The irony is that many men who happen by your blog are probably impotently in love with you because of your irresistible way with words. They just don’t know who you are. I can’t tell you how much I admire your style. Wit and intelligence radiate from your syntax and the only comfort that I can suggest is that those qualities will live on long after bits start dropping off you so you’ve a better chance than younger, dimmer characters of soaring to the top of the food chain before you’re 80. In the meantime, another, more malicious comfort is that you are right: I can hardly think of a single friend who is content with her husband.

  • So sad to read the final parting shot ….your rant is fully justified! Another virtual hug…(I shaved this morning,don’t panic 🙂 )

  • Chris says:

    You know, you speak of purple agas and , I don’t know, huge kitchens and all that other….stuff. Look, the average salary in this country is about £26000. 60% of the working population earn this or less. Then there are the people who don’t work, whose numbers now swell daily. So, what do you want ? If you are so aspirational as to demand a man who earns more than the national average salary you have just removed literally millions of men from your potential dating pool. Sometimes I feel that western women are living in the world pre 2008, when house prices let rip, credit was easy and the money flowed like water. Those days are gone and the money has gone east. The pool of financially eligible men can do nothing but shrink in this country in the coming years. I am sorry for making such a dry contribution but this is the real world in which we all have to try and forge relationships

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Chris, With all due respect, I think you have totally and wholly missed the point of my post. It was saying PRECISELY the opposite of what you have so dryly but also so erroneously gleaned from it. I am NOT remotely interested in rich men who can afford purple Agas! You should know me better by now than to make such mistakes. Read it again. What I want is a good man, a man, forsooth! and not a rich one. Best wishes, Plank

      • Chris says:

        Whoops sorry. I must confess to only skimming what you wrote. Perhaps I was thinking more of some of the people who regularly leave comment on your site. The Planktonites as I like to think of them. Some of them do rather stray from your central manifesto, rather like Marxists stray from the polemic set down by Marx himself.

  • MissBates says:

    I’m so sorry Smidgen was a disappointment. And please do moan on, in the spirit of “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to….”

    Mrs. Standard Bearer is to be envied indeed; she is far better off than Mrs. Purple Aga (probably married to a hedge fund manager or something of that ilk, who in my not-inconsiderable experience of representing said hedge fund managers is almost certainly cheating on her). Just thought I’d try to brighten your day with a little schadenfreude. :-/

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks again, Miss Bates. Nothing wrong with a little schadenfreude from time to time. And I can tell you, a good moan to you kind and sympathetic lot does make it all feel a bit better. Px

    • T Lover says:

      Is this what you are really trying to convey: I am a successful lawyer who represents hedge funds?

      Sorry, sorry if I am wrong but either way perhaps you could explain the route by which you reach the conclusion that they are probably hedge fund managers and that being so they are probably cheating?

      I assume that this is another go at men because you are talking of the husbands or is it that female hedge fund managers are likely to cheat as well?

      And who are these hedge fund managers cheating with? Women? And are there any statistical probabilities as to whether these women are married too?

      • MissBates says:

        No, “T Lover,” you’ve missed my point entirely. Lighten up.

      • Elle says:

        It’s good to be au fait with statistical probabilities if you’re a hedge fund manager.

      • T Lover says:

        Thank you Miss Bates, I must be very slow but I don’t think you have answered my questions.

        Having spent the last years of my marriage miserably wondering where my wife was at night (often with friends I had never heard of) it gets right up my nose when correspondents suggest it is always the men who cheat.

  • Elle says:

    Plankton, so sorry things didn’t work out with Smidgen. It may not be much consolation now but you didn’t seem that keen anyway. Even so, when you’re trying to make the most of small omega things and even they don’t work out it can be far more disappointing than when the bigger alpha things don’t work out. You go to the bother of lowering your expectations and the person concerned isn’t even willing to meet you half way! This may not be the case with Smidgen but you’re not alone here. All of your fellow planktons are with you today.

    Never mind Mrs Standard Bearer’s girlfriends. I can assure you if planktons like you or I offered to take their unsatisfactory husbands off their hands they’d refuse the offer point blank and handcuff themselves to the blokes. After all they have husbands, if not happy marriages and people like that value “marriage” more than “happy”! I think planktonhood is better myself.

    Be good to yourself.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you, Elle, wise words indeed and much appreciated. Px

    • Jo says:

      God. I’m with you on this one Elle. What the hell is this ‘husband and/or marriage above all else. No matter what the quality’? It’s like being in Jane Austen territory again. Or pre- sixties put up and shut up as long as you have a man, territory. What is the plankton world and simple life’s joys coming to?

      • Elle says:

        I don’t know. What has happened to the feisty attitude of a few decades ago when women wouldn’t tolerate bad behaviour from men? I remember dancing around when I was little to Aretha Frankin’s “Sisters are doing it for themselves”. I couldn’t imagine that song making it into the charts now.

        These days all we see is women taking their men back for cheating and other misdemeanours. Said women are usually clad in vertiginous crippling shoes, a dress whose hem skims orange matchstick legs, clings to hipbones and a ribcage totally at variance with the two orange silicone balloons on top. Top that with a frozen heavily made up orange face framed by hair extensions that trail down to the silicone balloons.

        These days these women tend to carry a designer clad child on their hip like a fashion accessory. Other children trailing behind are optional but the more the merrier. I guess the children are a distraction from the shenanigans of their men and makes them look credible while their men are away earning megabucks and having affairs on the side. Of course these women all have “careers” as fashion designers or interior designers even though they never set foot in Central St Martins or any other art school.

        In the meantime any woman over 30 who is independent, self-supporting but single is seen as pathetic and desperate because she hasn’t got a man.

        Progress indeed. Women have been tangoed!

      • EmGee says:

        Based on a lot of the reader responses to this blog, I am beginning to realize that many who are the most self pitying believe that what they see sensationalized in the press as universal truths, particularly actions by certain 1%ers who have nothing to spend their money on but feeding their vanity.

        The real world is much more mundane, and no, life isn’t ‘fair’, but that is only true for those of you sitting at home keeping score. Put the scorecard down, go outside, and get some fresh air.

  • Amanda says:

    I have just happened upon your blog and although I am lucky enough to be happily married to a very non Purple Aga-buying type (we just spent the money we’d saved to do up the kitchen on a 25 year old VW camper van) my best friend is single, and sad, because she’d like a nice husband and babies. She’s beautiful (I am not just saying that as women do about their friends; she looks like Thandie Newton), intelligent, independent and a good person, but all the men she meets seem to be dicks. It’s a cliche but good men are hard to find. She would be envious of you for having kids.

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Amanda, Thank you for this. Please do tell your friend about the blog, if you don’t think she’d be offended. I hope the content is such that she would be more pleased than offended, to find some fellow voices. And, yes, I am incredibly lucky to have my children. If it wasn’t for them then…well… Best wishes, Plankton

  • Steve says:

    Sorry to hear that thing didn’t work out with Smidgen.

    From what you wrote previously, I was hoping that he might be a real contender. Certainly more than Long Shot whose communication “style” makes Trappist Monks look Gobby!

  • joules says:

    Dear Plankton

    So sorry that things did not work out with the Smidge – he would have been lucky to have you! You are very lucky to have your children and hopefully they realise that they are very lucky to have you as well. And in addition to all your friends physically around you, you also have us in the interweb. Consider yourself hugged from me too – six foot of former rower built like a brick sh&*house.

    I do have to say that the longer I am on my own the less inclined I am to really worry about wanting another man in my life. I am just getting to the end game regarding severing all financial ties with my ex-partner in which I am taking on the mortgage (and paying him his share of equity) and he has taken half our shared possesions – just so Chris knows that I am not some kind of gold digger.

    And from now on I will buy myself the things I need/want in life – so if I want a purple aga I will buy one (though interestingly enough it appears the ex-partner has an aga – colour unknown – in his new house with his new partner – he had to make sure that everyone at work knew about it – we work at the same place). Also I do not really want an aga, though a hob with a wok burner would come in handy next time I am trying to burn down the kitchen with one of my stir fries.

    Have to say that even though he took almost all the furniture out of the living room, sitting in it feels like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I do feel free. I suppose freedom has a cost – right now I am willing to pay it – though of course as planktons we realise that we probably have no choice but to pay it.

    Take care Ms P.

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Joules, Thank you so much for this. Your support is invaluable and thanks for saying Smidgen would have been lucky to have me. I guess he didn’t think so! Best wishes, Px

  • EmGee says:

    In spite of several pleasant dates lately, my heart still seems linked to my ex bf, who has become more attentive again of late. He hasn’t any prospects to speak of and his outlook is grim, yet;
    Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait pas.
    (the heart has it reasons that reason doesn’t understand.)

    My commiserations regarding Smidge, it is okay to feel out of sorts after a disappointment, but soon something or someone else will be lifting your spirits again, I promise. Please accept yet another big hug from across the pond. Hang in there, Ms P!

  • Margaux says:

    A word from the optimist here. Are you sure it didn’t work out with Smidgen? If you want him ( do you want him?) – then once again I would say play the long game. I can’t believe it’s as cut and dried as maybe you think …?

    Please accept another virtual hug – wrapped up with ‘tomorrow is another day’ optimism ….(and sod the aga smugs!)

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you for this, Margaux. I think it really isn’t a goer, I fear. I will relate the whole story over the course of next week and see what you think. The fuck of it is: HE WAS MY BACK UP! It’s not looking good, eh? Very best wishes, Px

  • TwinkleToes says:

    Ms P, I’d also like to send you a big hug, from another non-Aga-wanting woman.

  • june says:

    Poor plankton,think we all sympathize, as these feelings affect us all. I think when one has social invitations it does take off the planktoness a bit, i always feel better when i have a few social events to look forward too. I personally dont like christmas, it seems to emphasise my plankton staus, even more, people have already started asking,what are you doing for christmas! . I never had big family christmases, im an only child so i never liked it. I wonder how the rest of us planktons feel about it, would be interested to hear.

    I am not sure if one can always say that coupled up people with money are not happy and those without are not, I have well off coupled up friends who are happy and not well off ones who are not. Think it depends if with right or wrong person and whether with them for right reasons.

    Chris i really dont know where you get the idea all planktons on here, are gold diggers. Wanting someone who is solvent, ie.with a place of their own to live and income is a bit different to wanting someone rolling in money. I have had friends who lost their homes,one had to go bankrupt, because of getting involved with an insolvent man. I certainly would not want that, nor would any woman, none of us want to end up homeless.

    Hope you will soon be feeling a bit more positive plankton, its an up and down status isnt it. Only those who experience it know what its like.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks, June. All the support on here, I couldn’t but feel a bit better. Px

    • Mezzanine says:

      Hi June

      Christmas is, for me, meaningless. I’m divorced, childless and an only child. Child, ha! I’m a 52 year old plankton. I like the time off but the lovey doveyness of Christmas leaves me cold. However, I could think differently if I was coupled up! Hey ho, there you go.

      • june says:


        I too am a only child, even older than you, parents dead, little family and i dont like christmas either, Its funny i never did, i had lovely parents but because they came from very small families too,we never had those big family christmases,and we used to go out every year to a hotel for christmas lunch, surrounded by large family groups. It used to quite depress my mum shed say look at all these people they have families to spend christmas with. My dad would say, at least we all love each other,and what can we do, weve just got each other. When my mum died ,my dad and i just went out on our own.. Now hes gone its just me so i dont expect much from christmas, i might get an invite from friends, i have good ones, but you have to consider they have partners and possiby go to their families.

        Maybe a partner would make it better, however i have a friend estranged from her family and with a partner not right for her, and she hates christmas to, so it doesent always make it better.

    • T Lover says:

      Mezzanine, it is not just women in this miserable Christmas pit.

      It is bloody awful being on your own at Christmas and Easter but is your situation worse than that of many men?

      I have two children both newly married. The bloke on his own comes a distant third over Christmas behind their mother and their new in laws.

      Better to be completely on your own? Or to be on your own and feeling rejected by your children?

      Either way, chin up.

      • Mezzanine says:

        Hi T Lover

        No my situation is no more worse than anyone else on their own. I am able to emphasise with you and the many others in the same predicament. Sometimes I just feel the need to have a moan, just like Ms P. No harm meant. I try and project a happy demeanour but I feel it inside and sometimes it has to come out – as a moan, especially as I have to listen to smug married friends bang on about how they are going to spend Christmas. But hey, that’s life and I get it. I hope that things work out well for you this Christmas. Believe me, I really do.

      • T Lover says:


        Why are there so many unhappy people on their own?

        Why – if you want to – you can’t find a bloke and I can’t find a woman?

      • Mezzanine says:

        Hi T Lover

        In response to your reply on why so many people are so unhappy and alone and why can’t we get suitable partners, my answer is: I don’t know. Are people too fussy; has this throw away society we live in made us hard hearted – not able to give a person a second chance if the first impressions don’t hit the mark? I don’t know. I wish I had an answer. It’s very sad. It makes me sad but life goes on and I’m still looking for answers which is good, because that means I haven’t given up – yet!

        There is a fantastic book (I love anything to do with WW1 & WW2) by Virginia Nicholson entitled Singled Out. It revolves around WW1 and how two million women survived without men after the war. Now I’m not, in any way, shape or form, saying that we should do without men but this fantastic book (IMO) made me think and made me grateful that we are where we are in 2011. There are fantastic single (divorced or widowed) men out there but…again IMO, the bar has been raised because of what the media or other sources force down your throat about how one should look, act and wear. In other words if you are any less than perfect in every way then you are not given a second chance. I can confidently say this because I have done internet dating and this is the feedback I get from the men I have met. Hey ho! That can work both ways, I have to say lol

        It doesn’t put me off. I’m still looking. I’m hopeful. There’s always hope ‘cos, lets face it, without hope, there’s nothing. I’ve absolutely no doubt that you will find ‘the one’ one day. I just can’t tell you when that day will come.

      • T Lover says:

        In the face of a storm of advice I tried internet dating.

        Naïve, I innocently tried it. Total disaster. Full of barking women, “Lydias” who trawl for men. Lonely women who just want something to do when they are a loose end, or just want the thrill of being chased by as many men as possible. Liars about their age, children, drinking/smoking habits. Women with no social potty training.

        Provocatively: according to the BBC this am, Britain now has one of Europe’s fattest female populations. Yuk. I laugh when I read comment after comment about pot bellied men.

        There has been a bonus: some really funny stories.

        I have now come to wonder if, as I get older, if it would be better to accept it ain’t going to happen and try again in the next stage of my life. If, of course, the pull of the female is still inside me. Who knows?

      • MissM says:

        On the subject of why so many are unhappily alone yet finding it difficult to meet someone, I truly think it is just that later in life we are all dispersed throughout the country. Just think of university or college and such, young people all collected in one place, all either single, or soon to be single again, all roughly the same age. How easy to meet someone you like the look of and perhaps form a relationship with. That is how most of the married folk I know met.

        If you haven’t got it sorted by the time your job takes you somewhere else where there may be no single people around, you can very easily end up being single forever. SInce then it is down to pure random chance of somehow running into someone who is available and floats your boat which can be rather like winning the lottery.

        That is my opinion of it anyway, for what it is worth. There is simply not one place after university/college where all the singles of the same age gather in one place order to do the same thing and then randomly meet one another.

      • T Lover says:

        MissM, spot on except …….

        In middle age you have an experience of life. More set in your ways. You know the sort of person you get on with. The pool shrinks.

        Speaking as a bloke, you may not want to take on another youngish family – perhaps that is a personal view, but I would be very wary.

        Single women without children can be a complete pain. Not all but in my experience a good proportion.

        Single for a reason? Divorced for a reason. Yours truly would not, tempramentally, be a great catch. Needs the right sort to pair with.

        Not easy.

        Anyway, I think I have spouted far too much and had better shut up.

    • Brigitte says:

      Hi June,

      I, too, am an only child and have never liked Christmas much even though I always got lots of gifts as a child. I have been saying for decades that I wouldn’t mind if Christmas came every 10 years. I think Christmas is geared towards large families. The only child is alone with her parents and if the extended family is there (aunts, uncles, cousins), I suspect it’s nowhere near as nice as it would be with siblings. Then again, there are the recurring family troubles that seem inevitable at this time in large families. Not sure which is worse: loneliness or fighting?


      • june says:


        As an only child do you find people think you should be better at being on your own than other people, to me they seem to, do they think all only children natural loners, because i can assure them we are not. I think we can cope with it better maybe as we didnt have siblings and as ive said like you i think christmas is designed for families, not only children,even when my parents alive i found it lonely, but of course they both came from very small families,with just one sibling each. My maternal gran was one of 9 as was my grandad but, get this, she got on with only one sister,hated large families and in just after the 1st world war england when people still having large families only had two, and discouraged my mum and her sister from having more than one or two children. So possibly i was brought up with not thinking big families a great idea,its ingrained in me.

  • Mezzanine says:

    Hey Ms P, another vitual hug from me. Oh I do admire your way with words. Have you ever thought about setting up a virtual workshop to offload your considerable knowledge on the English language? I’d join. As for the aga slaves, I hope they know how to use them! Be a bit of a waste if they didn’t know how to turn them on and cook…but they look good. I’m with you. Give me a good man any day over an inflated wage packet.

    I must say I hate this time of year. From now until spring I tend to hibernate. I’m bored and sad. Give me the light nights any day. The only respite is the Christmas holidays when I get just over a week off and I can wind down. I get where you are coming from when you say that you feel time is ticking by but that is something you cannot control so don’t sweat the small stuff. You are in a really good and enviable position whereby you have a lot of great friends who you can call upon. That, to me, is a BIG bonus. Wish I could say the same…but that’s another story. Please don’t think I’m telling you to count your blessing, I have too much respect for you to do that. Carry on blogging Ms P – best blog by far :0)

    • The Plankton says:

      Best blog so far? Well, thank you. Not sure I am with you, as it was rather moany. But I appreciate the sentiment. Thank you for it and the hug. I am spoilt for hugs today. With all best wishes, Px

      • Mezzanine says:

        Sorry Ms P. I didn’t articulate my thoughts very well. Put it down to a gruelling day. Your blog site is the best by far. All your blogs are tip top. Moan away Ms P. I get you and how you think and moaning is good therapy.

      • The Plankton says:

        What can I say but thank you again? Px

      • Brigitte says:


        Yes, people expect me to be better on my own. I have always been good alone, not easily bored and don’t expect to be entertained by others. Stereotypically, I am somewhat of a loner, but do enjoy going out. I have always lived alone. Tried with a boyfriend for a month and couldn’t do it. Frankly, I think I’ve finally had enough of being always on my own. Although I still want to live alone, I want a steady companion with whom I can spend time at my place or his.

        Just like your maternal gran didn’t like large families, I wouldn’t have chosen to repeat my situation with only one child; I would have had 2 or 3 had I wanted any at all. When I was a child, our first house (a mobile home) had bunk beds in my bedroom. I used to imagine that I had a brother or sister that had been given up for adoption or had died at birth. Although I never truly longed for a sibling in my younger years, I do now that I have a heavy heart and wish to unload it. I have a very good friend that listens to me, but she cannot relate since she has been married/divorced and recoupled within a few months.


    • june says:


      How sad you seem to have few friends. In spite of being an only child,parents dead and a plankton i have many good friends. As said actual christmas holidays may be difficult as most of my friends partnered up and may be going to partners families and only two plankton friends i have going away,one to mums,one to friends. But without my friends as a plankton i could not cope, its sad you dont seem to have any, Send you my comiserations on that, and it makes me appreciate mine,i know they care, even though as mostly coupled up they have other calls on their time.

  • T Lover says:

    Advance apologies for the language but shit happens.

    Who has a perfect life?

    Is there such a thing as a perfect life without the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? Unable to appreciate the good things in life without the downs.

    And how dull would that be?

    Some lives are better than others. But no life is perfect. It is cathartic to moan about one’s lot (and who would want anyone to be really unhappy) but think of those who just want enough to get by and have no-one, no-one at all.

    Are they not the people who really need all these hugs and a bit of sympathy?

  • “For days now I have done nothing. It has been evenings in and going nowhere and it frightens me because I am so aware of time passing without anyone, let alone my very own Mr Standard Bearer. The mind and body are just about holding up, but they are wasted on just me… so for now it is being and nothingness, and that feels like shit.”

    I will now reiterate my same comment from this past Mon. 11/21, although I highly doubt that you take most of your readers’ suggestions seriously, or at least not mine- If you attend even one (1) meeting at one of those high IQ groups (such as Mensa, or one of the other smaller comparable groups), I strongly suspect that you’ll discover that you have more in common with some of those mad genius nutcase types than you may at first think….

    And if you are wondering, then no, I am probably not nearly smart enough to be elligible for membership into one of those myself, but I AM definitely smart enough to recongize others who are (meaning in this cse, you, Ms. Plankton)…

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks, Scott, but I can assure you my IQ is about as low as it’s possible to be. In IQ terms, I am special needs. I wouldn’t be allowed to mop the floor at Mensa HQ. Best wishes, Plankton

      • I am willling to believe that in sexual terms, you are, well, to be blunt…. “special.”
        I do want to point out to you at this point here that I only know this about you because you write about this every morning in this column here, otherwise neither myself nor any other guy in the world would know this about you.

        And yes, you are still the fifth website that I look up each morning- I first look through the world news stories on The Times online, then BBC News website, RTE News website, then CBC News (Canadian Broadcast Company) website and then I go to read Ms. Plankton’s latest blog entry about your continuing quest for your new boyfriend.

        However, in terms of IQ, your writing style and your use of language here on some of your daily blog entries actually indicates that you are probably someone of extremely high intelligence- Once again, I was half kidding and concurrently half serious- No, you are probably not in the top 2 percent of the world that Mensa and comparable groups require for membership, but there are quite a few people in this world who are of extremely high intelligence and whom don’t even know it…. And I’m starting to think that you just may be one of them….

  • Lizzie from Oz says:

    Oh Plankton ………. I have been spinning and spinning about Smidgen ……….. and I was wrong ?? A HUGE hug from the other side of the equator from me. One sentence just jumped from the page today – ‘The mind and body are just about holding up, but they are wasted on just me’. This resonates with so many of us I am sure, beautifully put, and it makes me wonder how many people out there (both genders) have a such a soul wrenching emotion as this one? I hope you keep Smidgen on as a friend, he makes you laugh, you can meet up for coffees and discuss work projects, hell you can even ring him – no big deal. And as to all the married aga owners – just remember it is also soul wrenching to be married to someone who doesn’t really know you, or for that matter, doesn’t even care that he doesn’t really know you………

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Lizzie, This is so sweet of you; thank you. I am glad something of what I wrote resonated with you. I like to think that that happens sometimes when I write. I am sure Smidgen and I will remain friends. I will write the whole story next week, when it has had time to filter through my mind. All best wishes to the other side of the equator, Px

  • Josephine says:

    Sorry to hear it didnt go as planned with Smigden, you dont think he may have sussed out your blogg, & the fact he was never really your first choice anyway, as I say just hang on it there, nobody knows whats around the corner

  • MissM says:

    That one phrase “I am so aware of time passing without anyone” is a feeling I frequently have and if I am not careful, it is one that will give me an anxiety attack (and anxiety is something I have never suffered from before). Lizzie is right, the thought of what we have going to waste on just us alone is a terribly common, soul wrenching emotion. I often think there is no point in my existing if no one wants what I have to offer.

    Your blog is so important to us ordinary plankton since here we can let out the thoughts we keep hidden from others, and discover that we are not alone in thinking them. As you know plankton are generally considered invisible and inconsequential in the world. Not only do people who are not plankton not understand, they tend to just wish we would shut up and go away and get happy, as if it were so simple. It is not just your children you are giving to, but us plankton out here in the wider world linked by the internet.

    Another HUGE hug from over here in Oz. Perhaps T Lover thinks only people who are in much worse straights deserve hugs but I disagree, hugs are a renewable resource, and should not be in short supply.

  • Lydia says:

    I have been waiting for 20 years for a free evening. Pass them this way.
    Perhaps the route to happiness is doubling one’s work load then?

    Anyway if it comforts plankton out there I met someone tonight whom I rejected. Actually I suppose he’s available to others. Got a few good points and doesn’t look too bad either. London. Single. Seems to want 40 somethings too because he’d had domsone younger and she wouldn’t start a second family with him (not that he apparently needs to have that) and wouldn’t marry as he was “too old” for her and he apparently in his 20s he had a few women over 40 and that worked well.

    So there we are someone specifically wanting the plankton age demographic. We had lots to say but no chemistry on my side for me.

    You have to keep trying. It’s like work. The difference between thesuccessful and unsuccessful one is often simply that the successful one who has as many failures as the other one just keep bouncing back with incredible optimism. Be that india rubber ball.

    I spoke to about 5 men last week and this was the only one I liked the sound of but I know there will be others. I like men. Most of my close friends have always been men and usually men who prefer women to men as friends too. It is all to play for and such fun in the process…well not 100%.. I had to fend off the attempted kiss.

  • Jo says:

    Dear P. No other words but so sorry about crushing (?) disappointment with Smidgen. Really thought he was a go-er and at the very least ( as you say ) a ‘back up’. Shit. Fuck. Bollocks. Sending, along with everyone else a big virtual hug.

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Jo, All those things indeed, and thank you. But, as you know, it was always LS that was top of my sights, so who knows? Perhaps it was all part of a bigger, nicer plan. Though I doubt it! Best wishes, Px

  • rosie says:

    Oh no, sorry to hear things didn’t take off with Smidgen but at least you’ve got that (him) out of the way now and don’t need to waste any more energy thinking about what might happen. Every cloud has a silver lining… so they keep saying.

  • DAN says:

    Plankton at least you are blessed in that you have your children to come home to, fill a lot of your time with both chores like homework,advice,enjoying with them the meal that you have cooked, taking them to where ever it is that they need to be, but more importantly conversation and their company !

    Unfortunatly a good few of us other planktons don’t have that very special luxury, and yes i do mean luxury as you will find out when they all leave the roost ,as my baby of the family left 3 years ago to go to college and graduated in wembly stadium yesterday.
    She will now be working in london with her sister as there are no jobs available here in ireland,

    When i was born my parents were in there late 30s and so haden’t a clue about the age or decade that i was born into and the life changes that technology and lifes progression were going to throw at them so quickly or fast , with the result that there was a huge gap or lack of understanding on there part to all this change and in so doing caused a kind of barrier between us.

    I swore i would never leave that happen to my children, would always be in tune with their thinking and way of life , and understanding everything got to do with there generation, to which i can still do and beyond even to this generation.It also kept my mind young .

    By the age of 24 years i had 3 children, and as they grew up could fully understand everything about them and vice versa.

    What i dident think of was that at the age of 50 years they would all be through college , quallified and working abroad and i would be in a house all alone after all the years of activity that went before !

    Plankton , to say you are blessed, really blessed is an understatement,
    as you will find out someday.

    A poet once wrote……….
    Your presence pervades the house.
    Even when you are away i find myself listening for you.
    I open every door, half expecting to find you there !
    I turn to speak and feel my heart die in the silence .
    You are in my mind and in my heart every second of every day .
    You are in the very air that i breathe !
    You are part of me and always will be until the end of time !

    …. and so it will be, forever !


    • Lydia says:

      Yes, we are so so blessed and lucky if we have children. Obviously some people hate children and many are child free and very happy for it but plenty of others are either (a) infertile (b) got to 40 and never met Mr or Mrs Right and perhaps will never have a family or (c) are a parent but the other parent denies them contact with it.

      (Dan we spaced ours out so I can be in year 28 of parenthood and still have chidlren at prep school. Some might see it as a long life sentence but I see it as a blessing and there is a real possibility I will have grandchidlren before the last child leaves, lucky me)

  • DAN says:

    Sorry plankton for fucking up your blog with my shit, but met the wife yesterday after 18 months and knew beforehand that all these emotions were going to pile back on board !
    Back where i was 18 months ago and not in a good place at the moment!
    Have to go through it all over again !
    Apologies to one and all !
    It won’t happen again. promise !
    Just needed somewhere to pour out the pain !


    • The Plankton says:

      No worries. Understand. Best Plank

    • MissM says:

      I was just thinking it was such a beautiful post and then you go and promise not to write such a one ever again!

      I am saddened that you feel the need to apologise for having shared unhappy feelings with us, I was under the impression that this is precisely the place for sharing the thoughts on being alone that we normally keep hidden from the outside world.

      I hope you can find yourself in a happier place soon. Virtual hugs for you too.

    • Lizzie from Oz says:

      Dan I was, too, thinking what a beautiful post, I thoroughly enjoyed it…… please do not promise to never write one like that again! I am sorry for your loss, it is terribly sad. I do hope that someone one day awakens your heart…… xx

    • Elle says:

      Well, did you bite the bullet and ask her if she would take you back? Like I said, you have nothing to lose. You don’t seem to be much good to yourself without her and you don’t seem to be moving on. Surely it would take less courage to ask her to take you back than it would to continue struggling on alone?

      • DAN says:

        Elle, unfortunatly not.
        I ‘m afraid i would never be able to trust her again after the affair she had. The doubt would always be there as to if ,or when it would happen again. The distrust would eventually probably eat away at us both and end up only making a bad situation worse, which would also only start effecting our children and cause devisions and side taking by them which is not there at present.
        I can understand in a way why it occurred with me not being there often enough etc.. but i’m afraid just can’t accept it !
        One love, one life and all that .

        i’m afraid i already done the washing , and most of the cooking (trained cheff among other things ) as well as bringing her home flowers on a regular basis out of the blue and not just on special occaisions .
        I’m athletic and muscular in structure, and can assure you there was never a question raised in relation to the bedroom department.
        But thanks for all the advice anyway.

        Thanks missM and Lizzy from oz for your comments !


      • T Lover says:

        Rule one. Do not write a comment whilst hungover. Rule two. do not presume to know what went on in another marriage – or in the immediate aftermath. Rule three. Giving marital advice is not within the ambit of this blog.

        Here goes. Dan, my boy, you are making some horrid mistakes. I arrived home at 8.00/9.00 six days a week when my children were growing up.

        Women have this thing about not paying them any attention. As the children got older the missus had more time on her hands – alone – and at one stage actually started saying I would never pay her any attention till someone else wanted her. She had an AGA. She had a cracking house but the package was not enough.

        Then I catch her out. She screwed my brains. I booted her. She made my life a misery. She knew she was wining the mind games. She used the kids. Dad never there Ma did everything = children welded to their mother.

        My business plummeted. I was a mess.

        But then I began to realise that I could do without the hassle. The tension went. Instead of rowing every day on the phone I found my dignity. I started to make a life for myself. The children started to want to see me and do you know what after a year apart I started to win the mind games.

        And then she got the idea that I was seeing someone else. And then the tables were completely changed. She starts chasing me.

        The important thing is this: keep your dignity despite the fact your head is being minced. The children pick up the new atmosphere. She cannot behave badly and upset you any more. You begin to feel right again.

        Sorry to go on but I know it is right. Shooting last week with a bloke who was asking me about my failed marriage. His father was the guilty party in his family. His mother never, never lets it drop even twenty years on. Father never said a word about what had gone wrong. Complete dignity. Now, the two brothers rarely see their mother.

        Mine ended ten years down the line. Ten unhappy years wondering where she was going. Where she was when she was not at home.

        Lesson: if you cannot forget the past and it is not going to be completely repaired. Stop beating yourself up and move on. You are the root of your own unhappiness.


      • DAN says:

        T LOVER,
        thanks for the advice. Will try, but its hard .cheers,


      • T Lover says:

        It is a lot easier than you think.

        Hopefully, she won’t understand why you have changed and will wonder what is going on. If she thinks you are bomb proof and there is nothing she can do to hurt you she has lost her principal weapon.

        Do everything with honour and any let any bad/awkward behaviour be totally on her part. Children are not stupid. They will start to see you are as a reasonable, decent, caring bloke. Never criticise her in front of the children.

        As the days go by you will feel better and better, stronger and stronger. Today, she knows she can jangle your brains at will – look at the state of you after quite a long separation.

        It’s tough if, like me, you wear your heart on your sleeve but it is worth it all round. No pain no gain.

        And remember if you are dumb enough to want another of these things called women you have no chance whilst the last one is so obviously filling your head.


      • EmGee says:

        “It’s tough if, like me, you wear your heart on your sleeve…”

        After reading your post about ‘winning’ the ugly divorce divorce sweepstakes over your wife, I can only conclude your heart must be cut from rusted armour.

      • T Lover says:


        I find it difficult to hide my emotions. Dan seems to be in the same boat. That’s what I meant by heart on sleeve.

        Either way you finding out your wife is playing away is not one of life’s most pleasant experiences – perhaps you disagree – especially when there are children at home.

        Once bitten twice shy.

      • EmGee says:

        T Lover,

        In the year my husband and I separated, he was carrying on with a 19 year old in another town which I didn’t know about. Also unbeknownst to me, all the while he plead poverty with me, he was spending his savings, his retirement, selling everything that was not nailed down (or in both our names), and conned me into signing a short term loan at 25% with our house as collateral, just to keep her hanging on. On the day he died, he texted her that he wanted to commit suicide. Her response was to ask if she could ‘have the rest of the money’.

        The financial mess he left me with leaves me with little or no possibility of ever retiring, let alone taking a vacation, or savoring anything but the simple joys of life.

        Are all men like this? No. Are all men to be treated like cads until they prove themselves good and gallant? Hardly. Should I judge you harshly because I was treated badly in the past? Not my style.

        I don’t need to walk a mile in anyone else’s shoes to know that no one has it easy, it’s all in the choices we make.

      • DAN says:

        Sorry for your troubles EmGee.
        You’ve obviously had it tough but are still holding onto your dignity !

        BIG HUG ! Keep the faith.
        Hopefully things will improve for you !


      • T Lover says:


        Welcome to T Lover’s problem page.

        I made a mess of my last response. Your comment went under my radar.

        You have to toughen up if you find your wife is screwing one of your friends in your home in your bed when you are at work. What a way to bring up a family.

        Dan is a mess and needs to get a grip. His story is mine.

        If you think I am hard nosed, sorry.

        Are all men like yours? Don’t be stupid. Of course not.

        Carry on working and live longer. Not all bad news!

      • EmGee says:

        ❤ to you both, Dan & T Lover

  • Lydia says:

    If Dan wants his wife back, ask her back. It may be there are 10 things she would want changed if she were to come back and they could be arranged – they might fairly standard things like he takes over all cleaning of the hosue and 010% of the washing and cooking. It could be that he doubles his income. It might be that he loses 4 stone and goes to the gym every day. It might be that he buys her flowers every week, they go to a sex therapist or that he sits down and listens to her for an hour a day without interruption or whatever ,… find out.
    Also if my children had all moved abroad I might see that as a chance to have an adventure.

    I was talking to someone where the mother in her 50s moves between the 4 children who have babies all over the planet, spends 3 months with one (helping in real and practical ways) then the next (apparently she was wanted to).

  • june says:


    Unlike you even now, i have no wish for siblings and to be honest if id ever had kids, id have had pnly had one. I see too many people who dont get on with their siblings and some who never see them, to think they are be all and end all, Daft i know but i always think if everyone was an only child, it would be better as if people had no families, they would have to recreate their own, great for us only children, we wouldnt feel alone and everyone could chose who they wanted to spend time with.

    As a child i never wanted siblings, the only mistake i think my mum made, which i wouldnt do, is she over protected me too much, she didnt think could ever have kids, so i was molycoddled and didnt mix much, our house was never full of my friends,in fact i didnt have many when a child,and was bullied at school and quite solitary. Now like you i dont like being solitary and love seeing friendsand going out,but im still quite choosey bout my friends.I joined a singles group, i go to the odd thing but i dont feel any real empathy with anyone there, not like the one or two friends i have from my younger days or my friends i worked with for years,and one or two people i met through them, sadly all these friends are coupled up, so obviously i dont see as much of them as id like, but i do seem to prefer coupled up friends, singles en masse all seem a bit sad and desperate, and seem to drink too much alcohol for the sake of it.i really would rather stay in on my own,than socialise with them.They are having a christmas day lunch out at a hotel,i was invited, they seemed amazed i said no, b ut i just didnt fancy a drunken lunch with a load of people i hardly know, id rather be at home alone. Still time for an invite from coupled up friends but probably not, they have partners families to go to etc. At least i have no dreaded in laws to pretend to be one big happy family, there are some compensations to being an only child plankton.

    • Brigitte says:

      I love chatting with you, June.

      I have 3 close female friends, all married. I have no single friends (the only single people I know are at work and they are not part of my circle). I see my married friends only when they are not busy with their husbands and children.
      Before I fell in love last year (to have it end when his wife took him back), I was like you and much prefered staying home alone than suffer the dating scene. For 10+ years, I was fine this way until I fell in love last year (for the first time at 47!). In an attempt to find love again, or at least a companion, I am suffering in singles groups at dinners and dances with strangers where we women end up chatting all night because the men are disappointing.
      Like P. I hate to miss too many occasions, no matter how dreadful, in case “the one” is there. How many times have I driven home from these outings with tears in my eyes and all I want is a companion, not necessarily a lifemate.

      • EmGee says:

        I know how you feel, Brigitte. I was perfectly happy to be alone and free of drama. chaos and abuse, until I met someone who reminded me that I could be valued and just being together was what mattered.

        Hope you find your “One”!

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