Supper for Nineteen; Let’s Do the Maths

December 11, 2011 § 28 Comments

Last night must have been something of a record.  Nineteen people squeezed round hired tables for a cosy, relaxed, wonderful kitchen supper.  Let’s do the maths.  That =  9 couples + 1.   Me.

Mind you, I had a fantastic time, really fantastic, as they were all good friends and the hostess had pushed the boat out so far over the horizon (four courses including two puddings; loads of booze; crackers; the works) that it didn’t matter.  This friend started this tradition a year ago of Christmassy supper with mates at her house and so there were several jokes about how last year I had brought a mystery man.  The Snowman.  What happened to him, a few asked.  I told them I had seen him off, which was half true.  (Cf. the Snowman posts).  A funny friend who is always on the telly wondered about my sex life.  He said that either way the answer would be pleasing: if I was getting lots, that’d be great; if not, as a married man, he could feel a certain schadenfreude.  He didn’t mean it unkindly, and I was able to bat him off  with a laugh and without giving anything away.

As I left at one o’clock this morning or whatever time it was, the hostess gave me a big hug, was incredibly sweet and complimentary about how I was looking, and said she hoped that next year I would be bringing a lovely man in my life.

I fear it may be a serious case of Groundhog Day, but I intend to keep the faith and jolly hope so too.


§ 28 Responses to Supper for Nineteen; Let’s Do the Maths

  • Steve 2 says:

    Ms P, it all sounds wonderful but wholly ineffective. If you seriously want to find someone to have a relationship with, STOP with the batting people off when they enquire about your sex life. The question was asked for a reason. Maybe not consciously but you are closing doors on opportunities by not admitting to your friends that you are on the market. How many males that are potentially looking for a woman like you, did that one friend now not talk to about a wonderful, erudite, charming woman he knows who is available? The answer – all of his friends. Get with the program, stop being shy, tell everyone who asks that you are looking. Find a funny way to do it but stop avoiding the opportunities.
    Remember men are mostly simple things, unlikely to act unless prompted. You never know who might open the door to your future happiness.

    • MissBates says:

      I think Steve2 has a point. Although I readily acknowledge that the likelihood is slim-to-none that the man who teased you about your love life actually KNOWS any prospective candidates, it can’t hurt to let everyone from friends to your cleaner to the man at the corner newsstand know that you are looking. Vaguely humiliating? Yes. Exhausting? God knows, yes. But as you’re not quite ready for internet dating — not that I’m faulting you there {{shudder}} — you have to spread the word somehow.

  • june says:

    Plankton interesting you should say this, i have been thinking along these lines myself. i feel i have been beating myself up too much about being alone. Like you had a more social weekend than usual with good friends involved. At out meal which was coupled up friends, without partners 2 other planktons. both quite choosey planktons ;like me,one my age and one younger. Friends were saying you must compromise to have a relationship , lots and i realised i cant, thats always been my problem, i just cant, thats why ive ended up alone
    and now if im honest, i dont want to live with anyone permanently. Perhaps once i could have but not now, and where am i going to find someone who wants what i want, if i could find anyone who would measure up to my high standards which i doubt..Yesterday had the joys of a live performance of a very good entertainer, with a good friend and her stepdaugter, after a few hassles that went well, At least i have friends as you have, many dont.

    It will be hard,so if i cry ill cry alone and can always have a rant on here, can i not,with all of us other planktons with high standards, who dont seem to be able to compromise either, and if most of us are honest, we have to admit it.

    I will not know be spending chistmas day alone, kind and caring friend is not going to relations now,they are coming to her, so ive been invited round, which is nice. There should be another plankton i know there too,well she has teenage kids but no partner, shes choosey too! , so will be ok.

    My new year resolution plankton is to be more positive, i m sure i wont always live up to it, but if you keep this blog going, i am sure that will help me and our fellow planktons a great deal, here people understand,most of our friends think they have compromised why cant we.

  • Barry says:

    Nice warming blog today P …. read the two replies above for a real insight into social interaction , The writers are , like most of your readers , touched and interested in your Life and Times, and especially your self imposed restrictions .

  • Brigitte says:

    I was out last night, too, at my lab’s company Christmas party. Mostly women dancing together, so 4 of us women left to go dance at the corporate party next door which had better music and more men. During the second number, a young and attractive guy joined us to dance. Much too young for me, but it still stung when he started talking only to the other three girls (two in their 20’s and the other 40 but looks 35). We were all attractive and well dressed, but I was the only one not in a short dress. That and my less-than-taught facial skin probably had ‘middle-aged’ written all over it. I didn’t think my skin was that noticeable in a darkened room, so I’m hoping it was just my (sexy) ankle-length skirt that didn’t interest him (I don’t have shapely legs), so it did sting a bit when he payed no attention to me. After looking at his back for a solid minute, I smiled and waved them bye as I exited the dance floor and went back to my own party. How humiliating.

    • maria says:

      Brigitte, I know exactly what you mean, that’s why I don’t put myself in that kind of situation; I don’t have what it takes anymore (probably never had). One thing I know for sure, men (all men) always prefer younger women, and if you’re not young anymore you might as well crawl into a dark cave and die.

    • ToneDeafSinger says:

      Brigitte I have been myself in a similar situation: I was in a wine bar chatting to this woman I knew slightly, much younger, slimmer and better looking. A youngish man eyed her up and made his move: he literally, physically pushed himself between the woman and myself – with his back to me. I considered politely patting his shoulder and asking whether he realised that he had interrupted my conversation with Girl and that I was sure he did not mean to be so rude. Like in the story of the woman who, objecting to people dropping litter, used to pat them and ask alound whether they realised they had “dropped one”. But then I just went and talked to someone else. However I have developed somewhat of a thick skin, as I have written elsewhere. This behaviour simply shows how rude men invariably are with anyone who they are not physically attracted to, in their pursuit of those to whom they are.

      • Brigitte says:


        He WAS rude! But, alas, I also think he wasn’t even aware of it. I think I might have cleared my throat and then deliberately looked around him to say “We’ll catch up another time.” to Girl and excused myself while giving him “the look”. However, that might have offended Girl and been more appropriate with a good friend.

        Last night, I felt like tapping the young male dancer on the back of the shoulder to remind him I was still dancing in the circle, but (maybe like you) thought ‘to what end?’. I didn’t want to ruin the fun for the other three and I was as good as invisible. I too have developed a thicker skin in the last year. Before October this would have sent me home very sad, not sobbing, but teary eyed.

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    Just a question: is there a way of going back to the beginning of the blog? I have only found a way of clicking one page back at a time,. but it takes too long… I’d love to read the beginning of the blog and also last Christmas’s entry on the Snowman which you mention above.

  • Geoffrey says:

    This posting reminds me of a humiliating experience when I was single first time round. I was at a wedding and was bussed off with all the other guests to the hotel to pick up our keys prior to the evening do. The hotel manager met us all in reception and gleefully held up several bunches of keys. “I have 8 doubles and one single”. Guess who had to own up to needing the single. There was quite a chorus of groans and laughter mixed together. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and die. Glad you had a good evening anyway dear P!

    • june says:

      Very rude Geoffrey, why do people want to humiliate others so. A friend said to me recently, you are single cause youve never met the right person. True. It isnt a crime, sometimes you feel that it is , and its others perception which makes you feel that way.

      • Fi says:

        But june you’d only feel humiliated in that situation if you felt it was humiliating to be single. And I’ve never felt that. I’ve always felt it was my choice and even when I’ve been looking but not meeting anyone I’ve assumed it was because I was choosy, or unlucky, or living or working in the wrong place, or I couldn’t get out because my kids were young etc etc. I’ve never felt humiliated and that there was something wrong with me. I really don’t understand why you’d think being single was a reason for humiliation, any more than being humiliated because say you have brown hair, or an o level in geography, or like cheese. Sorry but I just can’t get it. Is it because you think being single is humiliating because it means nobody wants you? Because that doesn’t make sense when you’re turning folk down. Or is it humiliating because nobody of the right ‘calibre’ wants you? I can’t quite get that either because I think some people gell and others don’t so if I didn’t gell then it wouldn’t bother me if they didn’t want me either. And if they didn’t gell with me, and I thought they did, I would conclude I was obviously mistaken. But I wouldn’t take it as a reflection on me and so again I wouldn’t feel humiliated.

    • ToneDeafSinger says:

      Ha ha, here’s one from me. I was on the South Bank in London and there was a free open air ballet performance but there was a limited number of seats. I was in the queue but it did not look likely I would get in, however the man at the bar said: I’ve got one seat left, anybody on their own? And I shouted: I’m on my own, i’m on my own! EVERYBODY turned and STARED. But I got the seat and enjoyed the show, and shook it off. As I say, I’ve been on my own for so long now, including during my 14 year long very lonely marriage, without ever even a date, that I have become rather thick skinned.

  • Lydia says:

    That’s extremely presumptuousof your hostess to assume you necessarily wanta man saying she hopes you’ll have one next year. Perhaps say back – Gosh, what an awful thought having seen how unhappy all these couples are. Being single in my 40s is the best thing ever (and it is for some of us by the way).

    On the leg point, other post above, just wear shorter skirts if you want to get that younger man but do you really wants omeone much younger? I don’t so that wouldn’t bother me at all, not that I dance anyway.

    On the question of whether you say you’re available, i went out with someone very nice from a work event for a bit and that came about because I slipped into conversation I was divorced and it transpired so was he and he walked me back to the station and then asked me out. i was thinking of him today when I was doing my Christmas cards but I left him off the list. Nice arms though….

  • Margaux says:

    Reading some of these posts, Eleanor Roosevelt’s great quote sprang to mind :

    “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”

    ‘Tis true you know…

  • june says:

    Think youve got me wrong here Geoffrey, i certainly dont feel humilated because im single, anything but. Its just that the idea of someone finding it necessary to even mention it is extremely rude and some people are not as thick skinned as you or i, and might find it humiliating. God no im not ashamed of being single,ive just never met the right person..

    Possibly as i orginally come from a small town, where everyone seemed to be in a couple and people not coupled up are much more socially isolated, although i am not ashamed of being single, i did find it more difficult than it would have been in a city. You didnt fit the mould, people often made you feel inferior, or certainly tried to.

    I have to say now living in the city where i worked for many years, it is easier to be single.
    people accept you more for what you are. In my small town,no single person would ever have been asked out with couples, here this year i was invited to my friends birthday meal.with partners and kids. When i commented on this to her she seemed amazed i should even mention it, she said well what difference does that make, you are my friend, i dont care a damm if you have a partner or not. That sums up the difference i think, whatever anyone says, small towns are awful for single people.

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