Breath Abated

December 2, 2011 § 86 Comments

A second long email arrived sooner than expected and all I can say is yesterday’s post was entirely pertinent.  For all those of you who have expressed a keen and kindly interest in the outcome of my dealings with Long Shot, none of us could have guessed that one so definitive would have presented itself so swiftly.

And what an outcome.

And how fucking depressing is it and how fucking depressed am I.

Do not misunderstand me: the email was friendly enough and polite, but I am afraid the prose which, under a different guise ie. in published form, had a while ago rendered me so utterly charmed and intrigued, in this latest email revealed a level of self-absorption and lack of engagement which had a powerfully dulling effect on the reader.  As I read, I thought, this isn’t a dialogue, it is diary-like, and seemingly written by a person who is somewhere quite prominent on the kind of spectrum which gauges a person’s want of a relationship with human emotion, specifically empathy.  There was such a vivid absence of it that at first I thought it was the Big Brush-Off, but it wasn’t in fact that at all.  I realised I had no business taking it personally.  Even my very nebulous self-esteem could see it wasn’t me, it is just how he is.  It had all the markings of a fellow who has spent too long in the far-off confinement of his own company and has lost the wherewithal for engagement with a correspondent, for engagement with others in general.  I have to admit I found it a deeply deflating read indeed, because it was ALL about him, and from a very inward perspective too.  Not one question.  Not a smidgen (!) of humour.  No lightness of touch.  No sense of time.  No generosity of spirit.  Rather self-serving and defensive.  I get more feedback and merriment of exchange with my accountant, whom I have known on the telephone and by email for many years, but whom I have never actually met.  I ask after his holidays and children and he asks after my children (I don’t much do holidays).  We compare notes on the perils of parenting and we laugh.  But with LS, no such glimmer.

It is not, I promise you, a simple case of he’s just not that into you.  It is a case of he’s just not that into anybody.  But himself. The fascinating thing is, he wouldn’t have had a clue.  He probably saw it as a friendly missive to a distant relation whom he liked and might see again sometime.  No notion of any normal person’s reading of the damned thing.

I showed it to Charlotte and Janey.  We all so wanted to find between the lines something but they separately shook their heads and agreed that the email offered quite nothing.  Charlotte extended sincere apologies and just said, no, this won’t do.  We could so clearly see that he would drive any woman involved with him round the bend, and that I could do better than that (though right now, I am not so sure I will ever be with any man ever again, even one who does me the disservice of sending me round the bend).  Janey had always known him to be a person not quite like other people – inscrutable and somewhat distant, emotionally as well as geographically – and although she had felt a certain disquiet about him perhaps not being an ideal candidate, she had hoped otherwise, that he might actually resemble the romantic figure that cut a dash in his published prose.  Alas, this email strongly indicated why he was a bachelor and said it all, really.  A very close member of my family – aged thirty – felt quite differently.  She said that the very fact the email was so long said something, and she wasn’t remotely put off and pleaded with me not to be either.  I love her and she is beyond clever and adorable, but she is young, optimistic and wrong.  I really love her, only I am tending to trust my own instinct and wise old birds Janey and Charlotte on this one.  I’m not sure I can even be bothered to respond to him.  Perhaps a one-liner to his twenty-liner, just politely to prove that I received his ego-ramblings and that I am in fact alive; if he’s interested enough to wish to know.  But not sure, honestly, if I can be arsed.

So, anyway, where does that leave us?

Undeterred, the indefatigable Janey said she is going to a vast party this weekend and will be doing so entirely clad in her private detective’s gear because she is now on a mission to find out what the hell happened to the wonderful man who, at her house, so sexily asked for my number a year or so ago but never called, she suspected because he was still too raw after a horrid divorce.  If anyone, Janey is going to be my saviour, but even darling she cannot perform miracles.  It is astonishingly lovely to know that someone gives such a fuck on my behalf and though there is no hope, now, at all, the very fact that Janey is keeping going on my behalf is enough to keep the pulse going, I guess.

I have led myself up a very silly and perilous path but I suppose it is better that I know now rather than further along it when he would be bound to send me over the edge of the cliff.

But where does it leave me?  Specifically now?  Well, I am at the circus still (cf. yesterday’s post).  The crowd has departed.  There is a black cannon ball in my stomach pressing down on my further-flung guts.

It is not so much that Long Shot is now a spent cartridge – although that is of course disappointing in the extreme – it is the fact that I have been on my own for some years, another anniversary of the breakdown of my marriage looms, and I am all-too still a Reject (NB. the capital letter is no typo).  For months and years there has been furious activity on my part (and a few beacon-others on my behalf) struggling against all odds to keep hope alive, and for what?  It is at best exhausting, at worst devastating.   Yesterday’s blow means I am now lying on my back like the lonely arsehole to whom I referred in Tightrope Time.  No safety net, prone on the cold and hostile ground of the vast tent, just sharp sawdust and elephant shit beneath and all around me; faded leotard torn; broken neck and back; motionless, staring up at the starless canvas, not a single fucking twinkle, and fancying nothing, but oblivion.

Grant me, today of all days, a Big Top of self-pity.

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§ 86 Responses to Breath Abated

  • Twinkletoes says:

    Oh nooooooooooooooo! Sending a big huge hug to you, P.

    Maybe it is worth writing back, in the same vein as he has written to you, and see what response that gets? I think that’s what I’d be inclined to do, though at the same time not holding out any further hope.

    Have a wallow, then pick yourself and dust yourself off, as the song goes. Take a big deep breath and say “oh fuck it”.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you so much. Maybe I’ll write when i can get any movement back in my fingers? xx

      • TwinkleToes says:

        Sorry, P, you’ve lost me there. Why do you not have movement in your fingers? Or am I missing something and being dumb? xx

      • The Plankton says:

        Not at all; just spinning out the by now rather worn metaphor for all it’s worth (nothing else to spin), ie. lying on my back with a broken neck and spine, unable to move. Though I hope people actually in that situation won’t find my analogy distasteful and offensive. Px

  • Jane says:

    Awww Sweetie! sad news. You are allowed to be down and feel crap and as if no one will ever be in your life again, as well as beating yourself up and wondering ‘what was I bloody well thinking’ I don’t believe you will be on your own for ever, you’ve got too much about you. The only thing I will say is instead of letting this floor you, get back up, get the gloves back on and be determined to get out there and leave no stone unturned until you find the man, that is, without a shadow, out there. When you are feeling less shitty of course. xxx

  • rosie says:

    Oh no, that’s a complete bummer but all respect to you for writing so eloquently about it. I’d be writhing on the floor with a bottle of vodka, unable to do anything but howl at the moon. At least you’ve had a lucky escape, like you say. Small consolation but LS sounds a pompous prick. x

  • Elle says:

    Sorry to hear about LS but his self-absorption was pretty apparent from the start. I know that we plankton are great for clutching at straws and don’t blame you one bit for this. The hope buoys you along for a while and keeps you away from grim reality. Then when the hope is snatched away and reality hits…I really sympathise with you because I am familiar with the misery myself.

    I thought you could have given Smidgen more of a chance, was he really all that reticent? Unfortunately most single men seem to have a number of women on the hob, and they circulate them mercilessless from burner to burner before eventually burning them out as soon as something new and fresh arrives on the horizon.

    I can only give you one word of advice – chocolate. Make sure it’s the good kind too.

    • The Plankton says:

      I love that advice and thank you. My particular downfall is a milk chocolate bar from M&S with salted caramel. When I get up from my motionless heap, I shall go out and stockpile it. Px

  • Sarah says:

    OH NO, what an arsehole! We were building up such hopes for LS and he’s done nothing but scatter them to the wind. What an idiot.

    Poor you, Plankton, I’m so sorry for this disappointment. Wallow away, eat chocolate, get a bit drunk, take to your bed and watch trash on tv. It helps.

    Shame we can’t all get together and take you out to the pub and toast LS’s head on a plate (erm, not literally…).

  • Elle says:

    Posh chocolate is the best. Make sure it’s at least 30% cocoa solids. The German supermarkets do surprisingly nice chocolate. It tastes better so you eat less of it and you don’t get as fat as you would if you ate a mountain load of brown coloured vegetable fat with 2% cocoa solids.

  • zoe says:

    It is sad, P. But not altogether unexpected. You are not a Reject. You are clearly the one doing the rejecting. The combined one-two of Smidgen rapidly followed by LS should should make it perfectly clear that the reasons there are No Men is because of the choices you – we – are making. The men are rejected for using words you find unaesthetic (gusset man) or for failing to take the risk of social embarrassment you yourself are unwilling to take (Smidgen) or for no “lightness of touch” in email prose (LS). Other contributors to this blog reject their men because they can’t spell or because they walk with their feet at an angle or because they have less money.

    The reason middle-aged men aren’t hand-wringing about the lack of women is not because they are making hay with young babes, it’s because they are frankly less selective.

    Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoy your blog, which you generously share with us all each day. But, ultimately, I think we should recognise that we do mature women no favours by this cod poor-me-bottom-of-the-slag-heap-ism. It is time to recognise it for the lie that it is.

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Zoe, Thank you for this and I am glad you are enjoying the blog, but I cannot entirely agree with you. I haven’t rejected Smidgen or LS because I hadn’t ever even got as far as a point where there was anything to reject! I have simply given up the ghost with them both because I felt that the almost-nothing I sort of had with both of them was on a high-road to nowhere. If either of them had given me even a molecule more encouragement, I would have leapt at the chance. But it was just not forthcoming so it’s back to oblivion. And maybe chocolate. Px

    • Steve H ( as there seems to be another Steve) says:

      Zoe – you have it spot on. We all have things that irritate us but if you’re going to reject someone over how many exclamation marks they use, you’d better be damn perfect yourself!!!!

  • Dawn says:

    In a word, ARSE! Both the exclamation and the man.

    But you tried. That is all any of us can do.

    I have a Long Shot of my own. Have long since given up all hope of him as relationship material, but he makes a useful ‘plus one’ for social occasions (of the no prospect of viable males kind).

    Virtual hugs, chocolate and a swig of wine from a fellow Reject (6 years standing).

  • Dawn says:

    Make that 16 years. 6? I wish. I fear I may be turning into a long shot myself. Solitude is not good for most of us.

  • Caz says:

    that’s quite tough plankton – having two flames extinguished in the space of a week. Believe me – trust your instinct on this one. I was in a relationship with someone totally self-absorbed for 7 yrs and it’s so scary to only be able to see it now. My life and achievments have blossomed since and I feel I can achieve anything.
    Line up lots of treats and be very busy over the next couple of weeks!
    Your writing is superlative – it’s like reading a juicy chapter of a blockbuster novel everyday and I hope you feel all the empathy and support coming your way from your followers x

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Caz, That is such a nice thing to say, though, pompous twat though I am, I do rather hope my prose is of a slightly higher standard than your average blockbuster? Maybe not. Anyway, Christmas coming up, lots lined up in the way of social events. If I can find the strength to go to one of them. It’s not looking good from down here. Next on my horizon, is this afternoon to take my kids to Tintin the movie. Maybe I can make eyes at the popcorn seller. Though he’s likely to be all of sixteen and a half. All best wishes, Px

  • Caz says:

    yes – prose on a different stratosphere!….which is what makes your blog such a riveting read for thinking women as you put into words what we often think but not all of us can express. Enjoy Tintin!

  • Chris says:

    LS is playing you. No, on second thoughts, you are playing yourself. I mean, you met this guy a year ago I think you say. Trust me, if he was remotely into you he would have done something about it ages ago. My guess, from what you have previously written, is that he has several women ‘ into ‘ him. Logically, whatever made you think you could be ‘ the one ‘ ?

  • Barry says:

    Merde ! Two day binge , well merited, sod these idiots ….pack the elephant and go huntin’ this Xmas P …you must trap soon, I feel it in my beard!!

    Thank you also for your prose…if it wasn’t real I could swear it was” Disc World” Plankton …..THUD !

  • MissBates says:

    Well, fuckety-bye to him then. I’m sorry you’ve had to sustain another disappointment so soon after the Smidgen incident. Or lack of incident, I suppose I should say. I have to laugh — bitterly, I admit — at the people here on this blog and in real life who say that we plankton are too picky and that we reject men too swiftly. To that, I say, “honey, I haven’t had a chance to reject someone in years!” And you, dear Plankton, didn’t get to the point with any of these sparkles, twinkles, whatever you’ve called them, to reject them, either.

    I do hope you’re still going to go to your dear friend’s house party over the Christmas holiday — you could use some cosseting. (Christ, I hope that’s not one of your hated words…..no….that’s “gusset.”)

  • Jamie says:

    It’s a riveting read for thinking men too. You will enjoy Tintin – there is an unforgettable moment when the chase scene through a N African town disturbs several pots of spices and an animated cloud of turmeric goes up in the sky. Just don’t get metaphorical and compare it to your romantic prospects…..

  • ex-pond-slime says:

    Commiserations, Plankton.

    I’ve been reading your blog since it started. You capture the woes of planktonhood brilliantly.

    All I can say is, don’t give up. I speak as one who was even lower on the food chain. If you are plankton, then I spent my first 50 years as the sludge on the bottom of the pond, not even worth a nibble. Then I finally met the right man, married him and have lived happily ever since.

    It hasn’t all been plain sailing. The pond depths are peaceful and pond-slime had it all her own way down there by herself. Your blog is a useful reminder of what it is really like out there in the lonely cold. Dear Husband doesn’t know he has your blog to thank for all the extra hugs of appreciation he has been receiving over the last few months.

    So thank you on his behalf as well as mine!

    • The Plankton says:

      A pleasure! I am glad the blog is making your marriage even better. And thank you for the optimism on my behalf. I need as much as I can get right now! px

    • MissM says:

      Oh how I loved your chosen name, ex-pond-slime, not even worthy of capitals! Then I read your tale, and it was even more wonderful. Best of all a happy ending! Perhaps there is hope for this never married generic plankton also, at the very least I will use your story to feed my tiny flame of hope and keep it alive a little longer.

      Do tell, if it is not a rude question, where you did eventually find your Dear Husband?

      • ex-pond-slime says:

        At a singles party. Oh joy, oh bliss, I never have to go to another party!

        Yes there is hope for you, there really is. But you have to keep getting out there and meeting new people. Other people have said it on here before, it is a numbers game. The numbers don’t favour the middle-aged woman, but there are lovely men among all the demoralising duds. I am wishing all the best for you.

  • Brigitte says:

    How I feel for you, P. I’m so sorry. Take a nice wallow in self pity. There’s nothing wrong with that and I think it is absolutely necessary.

    My guy at the gym is similar to LS in that he has never asked me anything about myself since we’ve started talking in July. I seem to do most of the talking (but I don’t talk for too long – self respect and all that). Even though I bloody well know he may never ask me out once he is available (his relationship is on the rocks, or should I believe that?), I still enjoy talking to him and his brother. They are pleasant enough and seem to find me attractive, so I’ll wallow in their admiration for now. It’s a way for me to practise talking to men.

    You are lucky that you have so many and good friends. At least you have a bloody chance at being introduced.

    I wish you the best.

  • Liz says:

    I almost replied to your post yesterday about Long Shot but didn’t want to be a “downer.”

    I haven’t read all your prior posts about him, but I’ve gotten the impression he has been a combination of charm and mysterious inconsistency. In my experience, this is red flag behavior in an adult male. It almost means he is hiding something– he is either already involved with someone or has some form of mental illness.

    Thrice I have encountered this behavior. In the first case, the man had a charming media personality but was hiding a narcissistic personality disorder behind it. He simply was unable to relate to people intimately in any kind of sane way, despite a winning, charming personality on TV. In the second case, the man was engaged to someone else and was a serious womanizer. In the third case, the man was incredibly sweet but seriously depressed, to the point of utter debilitation.

    I have grown incredibly suspicious of any dating behavior that is anything less than forthright and dependable, especially if the man in question is cute and charming.

  • Liz says:

    Oh and, I haven’t been in a serious relationship, one that lasted more than two to three months, in eleven years, despite having been on hundreds of dates. This will be the eleventh year in a row that I haven’t had a boyfriend during the holidays. This year I decided to stop waiting for “Santa Claus” and just realize that it was never going to happen for me (I’m now in my early forties). Sad indeed but actually “giving up” has felt much better than expectantly waiting for “it” to happen. I’m pretty much accepting that I’ll never get married or have kids, despite being attractive, well-employed, well-educated, etc.

    I forgot to add another example to my post above– there was a fourth man who sent me one charming email after another but who would never commit to a date. Finally I forced an actual date and we began going out. On the first date, we had a lovely, lovely time, but at the end of the date, while walking me to my car, he mentioned that he was thinking about joining a singles group! On every one of our dates thereafter, which were all great fun with lots of chemistry, he would say at least one thing that made it clear he didn’t want a committed relationship. After three months I broke it off because I simply couldn’t take his commitmentphobia any longer. Once again, I should have taken strange behavior– his initial reluctance to propose a date– as a warning sign.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks for this, Liz. Your four examples are so chilling but true. Keep in touch. Px

      • TwinkleToes says:

        Liz, I’m in the same situation as you and empathise. I’ve also found it easier to have no expections of having a relationship whatsoever. This will be my tenth single Christmas in a row.

        The year before that, I met a man at a party on the 15th of December. A bit of a whirlwind romance ensued. We spent Christmas Day with friends of his. Then he dumped me on the 29th. I was left feeling that it had all been a facade so that he wasn’t single at Christmas, and once I had served my purpose, I was discarded like an unwanted puppy.

  • AJ says:

    I’m so sad to hear that news P, self-absorbed wanker indeed… I too had the same blow last week, after wondering whether my “LS” was interested or not, turns out he isn’t, so I know how you’re feeling.

    Do you suppose though, for a tiny moment, LS simply didn’t know what sort of questions to ask you and so rambled on about himself because he felt he needed to say “something”..

    Chin up missus. Eat the damned chocolate, pick yourself up (when you can) dust yourself off and carry on being you x

  • Housewife83 says:

    Booo. I’m sorry he turned out to be such a let down. I was hoping he was going to turn out to be quirky and fun.

    In some ways I suppose it’s a lucky escape, at least you know now before you invest any more in him. I know that doesn’t offer much in the way of solace though.

    Being able to screen out the boring, self centred, dull ones was one of the reasons I loved internet dating. It’s amazing what you can read between the lines isn’t it.

    I hope the weekend brings you better things.

  • rosie says:

    Oh god, why do we bother. I wish with all my heart I could just say ‘fuck it’, enough of this shit but when the alternative is a yawning black hole stretching into the great big ever after, I just can’t.

    This will be the 13th (or is it 14th or 15th?) year I’ve spent Christmas as a singleton and it just makes me feel so sad and such a fucking loser. There’s nothing wrong with me (beyond the odd ishoo or two and who the hell hasn’t got any of those?), ffs, but I feel I may as well be the Creature From the Black Lagoon.

    • MissM says:

      So true Rosie, giving up sounds so peaceful and relaxing, then one realises that it means being alone forever and the anxiety sets in again.

      If I were to live the average life expectancy of a woman, that means I would have more than forty years of aloneness to endure. Being alone at the end of life, as in the cases when a much loved husband has died before the wife, is just so different to being alone when one still has so much living to do. I believe the key element in good living is having a partner to share life’s ups and downs, someone to do nice things for, someone to be supportive of and get support from in return, and to share things with. As problems are halved when they are shared, I feel pleasures are doubled when they too can be shared.

      I am not the only one who feels relationships are important, studies are continually publishing results that show loving relationships trump wealth, and in some cases even health, when it comes to an individual’s happiness and well being.

      • The Plankton says:

        Hear, hear to this whole comment, MissM! Px

      • june says:

        Hear hear Miss M and Rosie. I am contemplating my 4th christmas by myself, one i did still have my lovely dad but he was in care. God knows how i will cope with it. . All my friends will going to family or partners families, two have said if at home id be invited, i know its true, but it doesent help me deal does it. Even my single elderly male neighbour no kids , deaf as a post,but a nice man is going to his brothers in London, other 2 plankton neighbours going to friends or family. I am dreading christmas day and ev en thinking about it makes me want to weep. I could have gone to the singles group lunch at a hotel, but they drink far more than me to hide their planktoness and i couldnt face it, i dont want to go down that road, and walking back, through a christmas day city, past people homes,who do have someone was too awful to con template, as i returned to my flat, without even the neighbours i know best there .

        I agree about looking into that nothingness of a black void, cause deep down you know you wont meet anyone, certainly not on websites, our friend Fi, who has always given me a hard time for my comments on them, agrees now what a nightmere they are. The latest man appeared today would like to meet me,61, with 9 kids! 2 grown up by his first wife, 7 by his second, 6 still live with from 3 upwards, and he looked grotty, dear god no thanks,think ill pass on that one.Its hopeless really.

        Have two events next weekend, the girls night out with 7 girlfriends, meal and whatever, then a concert, Peter Andre no less. Yes i know, i can hear people saying, has she no culture, is she a pleb, no, i do go to opera too, varied tastes thats me.My friend who does not want to become a plankton wanted to go so i thought what the hell, try anything once. So thats next weeked covered. i will enjoy myself, these are dear close friends i enjoy myself with. And ive a couple lunches coming up. Its christmas itself that i dread and i cant think next year ill have met someone cause i know i wont, unless i am prepared to lower my standards more than i could ever contemplate, and even then maybe not.

  • terracotta says:

    Oh dear Plankton – sorry your hopes have come crashing down – at least there might be some consolation in that you didnt blatantly serve yourself up on a silver platter with an apple clenched between your jaws and a sprig of parsley – and acted with seemly restraint in your responses to LS. On the plus side you have completely cured me of my Mumsnet addiction – you write so well, you have many good friends in real life, you write for The Times, you have children and such a following on here because you write so well and that is constant – you being a good writer is dependent on nobody. Who really cares about Jane Austen’s beau’s or lack thereof? It’s not nonstop circus even if you are with someone there are plateaus, boring bits, dull bits, bits you wished you were alone again. Is your accountant still married? He sounds just the ticket if you can communicate with him without overthinking.

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Terracotta, Thank you about my writing. That means a LOT, it really does. As for my accountant: I am open to accountants, don’t anyone get me wrong, but he is happily married with 4 kids and lives across the sea! Alas, I think not… Px

  • june says:

    Poor plankton, still maybe deep down you really didnt believe he was the one, but hope springs eternal and its hard to face up to the truth. But at least you have faced up to it, unlke many women, you are not chasing a dream. My comiserations with you, i guess that means the christmas meeting will not come to pass. Wallow in your self pity, dont worry about it. We planktons always seem to be expected to show this happy face to the world, are all great actors , and sometimes it is too damm hard.

    Interesting fact i read yesterday,the only age group where divorces are going up is mine, the over 60s, they interviewed some of the women and it made me feel a lot better about my myself. Recently i have been thinking perhaps i am too choosey rejecting men on websites as too old, some of comments on here have made me think , and i should accept the fact thats all i can get,even though i just dont fancy men of my age. But no it seems their wives are rejecting them as too old, say they have let themselves go.are boring,have one foot in grave etc so why the hell should we over 60 planktons want them. I do hope though these divorcees are not under the impression there will be younger men wanting them, or more exciting older men, cause they will be sadly disappointed. Possibly plankton your blog may be having a few more contributors,when they realise that hubby was very typical of the average over 60 man and men in 40s and 50s want even younger women than that,certainly not females over 60, however well preserved, youthful and lively. Also the single life may be great at 30, but in a coupled up, older world it isnt so great and being on your own with no-one is not good,however many friends you have. I am used to it as are many of the women on here and look how hard most of us find it.

    • MissM says:

      Whenever I hear of any woman who leaves her partner, even those who are not yet sixty, I have two thoughts. One is: does she already have another man lined up? (Some do, I can’t find one man so I have no idea how others manage to find two.) The other is: I hope she is prepared to be alone for the rest of her life.

      I wonder if anyone has done statistics of what happens to women who are single at 40 and over, not the snapshot variety of what percentage there are at any given point, but what percentage ever find a relationship again as opposed to remaining alone until the end of life. I heard once that if a woman had never married by 40, her chances of ever marrying were less than that of being killed by terrorist action, and I don’t think the chance of being killed by terrorist action is all that high.

      • june says:

        Good grief Miss M what cheerful thoughts for a friday night, but i think lots of truth in what you say.

        When reading this article yesterday that was the very thought that struck me, do these women have any idea of what planktoness will be like. One, older than me, said i have the ideas of a much younger women,i like fashion, shopping, going out with the girls, younger friends, going to theatre etc. My thoughts were, i also have attitudes of a much younger women, think lots of us baby boomers have, and a fat lot of good its done me. I was talking to a friend the other day, she is happily coupled up herself, about a mutual friend of ours, this friend is divorced, mid 40s,teenage kids,and the friend said this women thinks will be alone for ever, and shes an attractive women. And of course theres my mid 40s friend who is totally terrified of her partner leaving her and becoming a plankton as she feels she would never get anyone else, shes attractive too, and they are not at all compatiable, but i can understand how she feels.

        I think Miss M i would say to any older women and when i say older i mean 40 plus, think seriously if you decide to divorce your husband or leave your partner, just because hes boring, because as you say unless you are prepared to face a lonely future, maybe you should have second thoughts. Once again you and i are thinking along the same lines,

    • Fi says:

      This is something I never thought I’d ever hear myself saying but I agree with June’s earlier comments on internet dating. Having been on POF for 2 weeks, and having received well over 200 emails from men in that time, I can confirm that well over half of them are fat, thick or uneducated and the majority simply got in touch -“hi babe how r u?” because they were surfing for women to have sex with according to their profile. Of the ones that I corresponded with 100 percent asked me to meet them to have sex although some hid that until several emails in or we spoke on the phone. Tossers the lot of them!!

      • Fi says:

        Example interjection in the middle of an telephone conversation – “how do you feel about being on all fours with my c**k in your mouth.?”. Bring on spinsterhoood.

      • Twinkletoes says:

        Oh Fi, I’m so sorry that was your experience of internet dating, and yet at the same time, it is reassuring that I’m not the only one to have endured emails from such tossers! Yes, tossers the lot of them, as my best friend also said to me only the other day.

        I’ll hazard a guess that you live nowhere near me, yet we have had the same experience. So what does that say about the men of Britain?

        Seriously, I despair. Think I’ll book my place in Shady Oaks now. I will probably have more fun in there chatting with the other ladies.

      • Fi says:

        Its like the chicken and egg question. Do only tossers go on POF? Or does POF allow men to reveal their hidden tossiness? I suspect the latter because of the sheer number. I am so angry with them all (including my male friends who obviously hide their tossiness extremely well) that its just as well I haven’t had weapons training as I have menopausal hormones.

      • june says:

        Thank you Fi , and as i know you are younger, how the hell do you think it is for the over 60s. I am of the opinion many of these men must be the ones rejected by their wives, in the over 60s divorce senario i recently mentioned. The wives said men were boring, had let themselves go and had one foot in grave, thats why they didnt want them anymore. Well nor do i.

        I was looking at POF with a friend in her 40s the other day,she has lots of problems recently and been out of action for a while, but is now back and looking on the site, she has pretty high standards too. I have to say at least some of them looked good,whereas in the late 50s/60s range, that is a very rare sight indeed, but some looked amazingly ancient, years older than many of my 40s female friends. I am wondering where this men wear better than women thing comes from, because i havent noticed it, the opposite i would say.

        My own experience with POF has not been good,that was where i met the man, who seemed lovely on emails, gave me false hopes, ok he was quite a bit younger but said it didnt matter as i looked younger,and actually we looked same age. When we met, we seemed to get on,he didnt text back, when i did,he informed me we talked ok, but he wanted “a lover”, sex had never been discussed so how the hell i was supposed to know this, i dont know. People supposedly meet people on them,well they must have very low standards and thanks for confirming what id thought.Ill forgive you your previous comments. im quite outspoken to, and surely this site is where we can say thinks we wouldnt say to our friends even.

      • june says:

        FI, just looked at another website im on,dont pay but just keeping looking can see if anyone contacts, latest man wants to meet me, 61, grotty looking but get this 9 kids!2 by his first wife, 7 by his second, 6 still living with him from 3 upwards! As you can imagine i passed on this. Dear god did he seriously think a 64 year old women who states she was an only child would consider wanting to meet him. Words fail me.

  • Actually, Ms. Plankton, not that this will make you feel any better, but I do have to admit that I do really admire your honesty as well as your eloquence here- When guys find out that a woman is not interested in them, the typical behavior is to retreat into our mancaves, drink a 12 pack of cold beers, smoke up half a bag of hooch, watch dvd’s or play video games, and call up our other male friends on the phone, converse and try to convince ourselves that it really does not bother us at all…

    (Once again, you’ll just have to trust me on this one here…)

  • Lizzie from Oz says:

    Oh Plankton, what a let-down! Chocolate, ice-cream, biscuits, cakes. I am thinking the Vicar of Dilby-ish behaviour is now in order. xxxooo

  • Jane Ferguson says:

    Liked MissM’s statistics about being more likely to be killed by a terrorist bomb than marry at 40+. I lived in Belfast right through the Troubles – saw plenty of action – and finally married at 53 (v happily). So I can also relate to ex-pond-slime very well!

  • AMJ says:

    Bravo, you! You’ve developed the enviable skill of recognising way early when someone is a schmuck, and the even more enviable skill of heeding the ensuing alarm bells. Well done! I can only echo all the calls for chocolate – and plenty of the grape – for what I hope will be a very short lived mourning period.

  • plumgrape says:

    It’s shocking really. A diatribe could be just a reflection of a mood, a day and a time. I think I might put my money on something else.
    I wished a woman would send me such a missive. I think the practice is more to say nothing or ignore anything done as for example, say nothing after an electronic birthday card is sent. So what would I do? Write again. Pour out profuse, glad and happy tidings. Enquire directly about LS’s other relationships with persons known and unknown? Talk about lonliness, about how you aspire to the lierary fest and how you would appreciate a sterling man to respect, look up to and inspire you with “know how” to attend with you such important public events as “consultant”, to appropriately purvey, studiously, all arm in arm!
    If LS is always alone, he is probably in books. I spent the better part of 10 years in seclusion with distance learning and the Open University to the point where I could hardly speak or hold together a normal conversation and was afraid to commit myself to an english sentence let alone what one of your contributors described as uttering, what was it, I gasp, a “throw away” comment!
    How many hot babes do you think I managed to corral in those academic tomes and on that budget I had to live with and on? How many women could I treat to expected imbibes for any solace, understanding or conversation alone, comfort need not apply. I scarcely went out. A lot of books can be stultifying eg Newton’s Principia or some Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology and this believe me, can kill any semblance of normality or inclination to socialise or appear “normal”. I digress, maybe even a telephone call to chat might ROCK his world. What a woman might call? Surely Nooooooo!
    PS Plankton, please dare share your exchanges. We want to read the hard core crafted texts “per se”. You could consider or adopt what Yahoo calls: “The Other Inbox”, for hard core Planktonites only who scrutinize between the lines: Blog 2: Secret for Core readers only. Go on Plankton. Get lively! Make sure get up and go hasn’t got up and gone. We love you. I am sure that we are some of your very best friends now. With love

  • EmGee says:

    Not sure I am ready to let LS disappear over the horizon, perhaps because I was a bit surprised that you are only now discovering that he is self absorbed?

    On the other hand, there are more suitors just over that same horizon, coming your way, I am sure of it! In the meantime, enjoy the chocolates!

  • T Lover says:

    There is a correspondent called “Aggie”. You seem to know Aggie. A true darling, a sweetheart plus plus plus. Reading between the lines a biggish wig in the written media?

    This lady made a curious comment a week or two back something about turning shit into shite – a comment greeted with customary warmth. A glow that does reach not acerbic backwoodsmen.

    Forgive me. How much of what you write is romantic fiction and how much is fact?

    This is what you wrote in September:

    “I took a fantastic friend who was brilliant and made sure I met this lovely (very distant) member of my family, and that I sat and talked to him for a long time whilst nobody else could get anywhere near him.
    What can I say? He was precisely as I imagined and did not disappoint.
    He is my age, very clever, very funny, very interesting, something of a church mouse (which has never bothered me before and isn’t going to start now), chaotic, charming, a million mutual friends…”

    Puzzled.

    • The Plankton says:

      No need to be puzzled. I am writing this blog in real time so it follows the real and strange ebbs and flows of fact and opinion and the ups and downs of emotion in real time, probably like nothing ever before the internet existed and made it possible. I react to things as they happen and change, and I am human and honest, so my mind and opinion changes with time and circumstance. Real life! It’s really very simple. Best wishes, Plankton

      • T Lover says:

        Your blog – rather the responses – .tickles me.

        However, I remain puzzled (and sceptical) despite your explanation and generosity. I did not expect my torpedo to be published.

        One eMail has overturned an in-person impression? The opinion of all those relatives and friends in common?

        How can someone become a “wanker” , “arse” or smuck on the back of one eMail?

        Amazing how some are prepared to accept the written word at face value and then make an instant judgment about someone they have never met

        PS. Was just about to press the go button when I noticed that “Lydia” has made the same point albeit from a slightly different angle.

  • Lydia says:

    You can’t damn someone by his written word. Go to see him. Speak to him. Tell him you’re very keen – you have to be very very explicit with men sometimes for them to understand you.
    Don’t just say he’s no good because he wrote about himself. He spent a lot of time and effort writing it so he must be reasonably interested in you.

    See many more men. I saw another last night. You keep trying and have a good time and see them as real people with deficiencies and advantages like lots of us and if it doesn’t work at least you’;ve had a nice dinner but don’t make it so important or full of angst. Life is fun, Life in your 40s and 50s can be a heap of fun even if (in fact often because) you’re single.

    I think this is more all about state of mind, seratonin levels in the brain and how to feel content and mellow with life and why some of us are and others aren’t than anything to do with finding a man. Last night’s might well be available as I felt no attraction although objectively he would be wonderful for many.

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    Some months ago I had a conversation with a long-lost and found again school mate, a woman who recently took her (second) degree in psychology. I said I wondered if my ex husband had Asperger Syndrome and she surprised me by saying he could of course be a narcissist. She told me narcissism is extremely widespread especially among men. Suddenly lots of things fell into place. I just wonder if LS is a narcissist. Obviously I don’t know him but his being self-absorbed, interested in himself only, is a bad sign. My marriage was hell on earth Plankton – short of physical abuse I would say it was a very abusive marriage in many ways, and I knew full well – as someone else mentioned – that if I left him (I kicked him out 4 years ago) the odds were I’d be on my own for the rest of my life. I have joined two dating websites but nobody replies to my e-mails and/or winks and I have had no dates. And yet I do not feel half as lonely as I did during my pathetic excuse for a marriage. All I want to say is that being with someone who loves himself over and above everybody else is slow, soul destroying torture. I don’t know whether you should give him another chance as some people have said or just forget it – I have developed a thick skin against “humiliations” these days – but if he is a narcissist my heartfelt advice is to steer clear… Best wishes!

    • Dawn says:

      TDS, were you married to my ex-husband? Yours is the best description of how my marriage felt to me. My daughters still struggle with their father’s self-absorbed, adolescent behaviour. It is soul- and confidence-destroying indeed.

    • EmGee says:

      Asberger’s vs Narcissism vs simple enlightened self interest. Unless one is familiar with Asberger’s, I suppose it is easy to point to someone who is self absorbed and say; “Asberger’s”, when in fact, people afflicted with it are not necessarily lacking in compassion or empathy, but simply lack the neural pathways to properly express or process their feelings. Being high functioning autistic, people with Asberger’s also display physical gestures and body language distinct to that condition.

      As far as Narcissism vs simple enlightened self interest goes, in my opinion, anyone who is successful, got there because they do have a degree of narcissism inherent in their personality. Iirc, LS is a successful, possibly even well known writer. People who get to that level in their careers, naturally like to talk about themselves, and -to different degrees- are attention grabbers, otherwise they probably wouldn’t be as successful or well known. A classic case in point are celebrities who are constantly doing things to get their names in the press, even though they vilify that same press for talking about them.

      Maybe LS wrote to the Plankton talking about himself because he thought she would be interested in who he is, what he is doing, etc, because she has shown an interest. Is this conceit? Yes, but if he didn’t have it in good measure, no matter how brilliant his writing, he would be writing the next great novel in oblivion among the rest of the masses.

      This is where really getting to know someone before dropping them on scant evidence is so very important. I do hope that they are thrown together at Xmas, just so Ms P can report back her findings. This doesn’t mean she shouldn’t still be looking for someone else in the meantime.

      My caveat here, is that we are not privy to the contents of LS’s last email, and it is possible that he is indeed, as ‘bad as all that’. Sorry for speaking of you Ms P, in the third person, but I didn’t know how else to do it and include all of your devotees in the discussion (Me, among us).

      • The Plankton says:

        Thanks, EmGee, and don’t worry in the least about the 3rd person. I don’t mind at all. Incidentally, I am not going to be spending the Christmas holiday under BF’s roof with LS. LS isn’t coming as he has commitments elsewhere (he didn’t even know I was going, so I do at least know he’s not not coming because I am going to be there. Great! Px

      • EmGee says:

        Too bad about LS not coming, and I completely sympathize with ‘I do at least know he’s not not coming because I am going to be there…”. because I go there myself if there is any possibility to blame myself for outcomes. 😦

  • rosie says:

    Lydia, if life is ‘such fun’ with or without a man why are you serial dating?

  • Jo says:

    Oh dear P. I so feel for you. What a bloody disappointment. You write so marvellously, but you must feel even more shitty than you have described. I know I would. I am so sorry that you feel like this and hope you will wallow in the goodwill you have received here, bolstered by vat -fuls of the best chocolate. No platitudes here nor crystal balls, but big hugs, commiserations and hopes that there are better times (and men) ahead.x
    P.S. I know the internet is not for you (yet). But as I have said on this site before, it hasn’t been easy but I know several planktons who, over the years have indeed met some wonderful men with whom they have forged great and long lasting relationships. Yes. Really. None of them were people who therefore ‘must have very low standards’ as one commentator on your blog writes about those who have met someone on the internet. Quite the contrary. This is just misleading and insulting to those women.
    I am not saying this with any unpleasantness.
    But being kind and not nasty about other people, works in all ways… Especially when hitherto expressed so vehemently in relation to being nice about others.

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Jo, Thank you for this. Indeed, I am spoilt by the goodwill here. It’s making me feel much better. Re the internet: you are right, it isn’t for me yet and especially since so many commentators have been having less than flattering things to say about some sites. The whole idea makes my heart sink, but let’s wait and see. Px

  • Jo says:

    Obviously meant to write ‘I know several planktons………long lasting relationships……On the internet’.
    Typing blip. Sorry.

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