What Would I Like for Christmas? Let’s Take A Wild Guess…

December 13, 2011 § 20 Comments

I saw the hostess who had asked four single men to her dinner (cf. Four Men at Once).  She says the gay one wasn’t gay in fact but nor was he anything else.  She’d known him for years, a very good, old friend, and she was sure he was “nothing”.  And the fourth one whom I didn’t meet, I didn’t meet because he never turned up.  Well, who would have guessed?

On Sunday night I had a much-needed night in.  Last night I went out to supper with about six other girlfriends and we had a very happy time.  Tonight I am going out with two of my oldest best friends, proper coffin-bearers.  We do this about once a year.  It’s been a tradition since we were teenagers (tell you about it another time; it’s to do with when we lost our virginity) and there’s nothing we don’t discuss.  We howl with laughter.  We will do even when we are in our graves.  Best night of the year.

Tomorrow night: supper with a couple.  The wife met her husband by going up to him at a festival where he was giving a talk and introducing herself.  It’s a great story.  Totally out of character, she rang his hotel, left a message and just prayed he wasn’t married or gay.  He rang back and the rest is history.  I wish I could do the same.  That nerve!  There again, she was quite a lot younger than I am now, an artist and an athlete and very beautiful.  I would never have forgiven her now husband and my old friend had he not taken that particular bull, as it were, by the horns.

On it goes, my merry social life – don’t worry, I am so counting my blessings that I even have such a thing! – and I love it, seeing my friends, but it gets me nowhere.

No man.  There is not one.  Not even a single twinkle.  And that’s sodding depressing because at least having someone to think about, even if it’s a useless fucking cause, is something.

I’d give every Christmas present I’d ever had or was ever going to have for a lovely, kind, funny, literate, straight-forward, fragrant, vaguely solvent …

Oh, fuck it, let’s not even go there.

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§ 20 Responses to What Would I Like for Christmas? Let’s Take A Wild Guess…

  • castoff says:

    Have been reading and enjoying your blog for a while now…..since I became a plankton in the summer at the age of 60. Was feeling – well not optimistic exactly, but slightly hopeful, that I might meet Someone Else, once the anger/depression/ shock etc. subsided. I now know better!!!! As June commented recently, those over 60 might as well give up hope altogether! I don’t have a mad social life, so will probably resort to the internet (not sure why you are so against it, P?) Have had a preliminary look at some sites, but only fancied the under 40s – fat chance of any of them fancying me!

    • june says:

      O dear castoff,if you are a choosey person, as it sounds like you are and are 60, i wouldnt bother with dating webaites. Like you i only ever fancy the 40s and 50s age groups and even with some of them i find myself thinking, how old, he looks much older. Sadly cougars are a bit of a myth.im not in bad shape for someone of my age, but we must be realistic.

      Now i have decided to stop beating myself up about lack of a man. Yes its hard to be alone but it was taking over my life, and i cant be doing with it anymore. A women of our age will have to double compromise to get a man, she must not bother what he looks like,how fat he is, where he lives,or how bloody boring he sounds with his coastal walks and dreary hobbies. I wont compromise so whats the point in ruining my life going on about it to people.I was becoming a bore.Can always rant on here about it. I am lucky i have good female friends, surprisingly most, apart from one or two, one who is a plankton with similar outlook, are considerably younger than me, and i never feel older than than them.. Actually went to a Peter Andre concert on saturday night with my 45 year old friend and her 15 year old stepdaughter,and i must say i thoroughly enjoyed it. I belong to a social group,if i feel my social life lacking, as friends are mostly coupled up, i can always go to their events.Think i feel better after making this decision, yes i will have lonely moments when i will wish desperately i had someone , then ll look on plenty fish and know why i havent! .

      • Jo says:

        Why not look on other sites? Guardian Soulmates for example? Yes, will no doubt garner stories as to why that was crap too. But ‘plenty of fish’ seems to be a total dead loss for everyone who mentions it. Whereas ‘G. Soulmates’ has had some great success amongst those I have known over the years..Yes. Yes. Not foolproof but worth a go. Do not generalise other sites by experiences on one. Specifically, plenty of fish. They’re not all the same.
        Can already hear the sound of mass stoning at this suggestion. But hey ho. Just thought I’d put it out here. For what it’s worth.

      • Fi says:

        I think its ok. I mean its full of folk who are weird, lack social skills, are just looking for brief sexual experiences etc, but we meet those in real life. It seems to me that people have unrealistic expectations of these sites. All they do in my opinion is provide you with access to a wide range of (hopefully) single people and its up to you from then on in. Just like life really.

  • Liz says:

    I think you are very lucky to have so many friends! At 40 I feel like I am at that age where almost everyone I know is busy with their marriages and children, and the social silence is deafening. I only have a few single friends left standing– like two or three– who can even relate to being single at this age, and only one of them lives in my same city.

  • “Success” and “failure” are funny entities- Sometimes in life if you expect yourself to be unsuccessful at a pursuit, you find you reach your expectation- I remember that when you wrote your first article in The Times back in the spring, one of your last sentences was you telling us something to the effect that … it will be a long time before you reveal your real name.

    Meaning, that reasistically, you were sort of expecting that it would take you a long time to find your next boyfriend… meaning that your were seemingly half expecting yourself to fail for a while in your pursuits…

  • Good one, whoever designed the wordpress logo…. I wonder if any of the writers for Charlie’s Angels (either the television show from the mid 1970’s or the 21st century movie remakes) ever see this site…

  • MissBates says:

    I often experience the same feelings of futility about the social round. (Said social round having not produced a viable romantic interest in more than a decade, after all . . . ) But what is a plankton to do — refuse invitations, and then sit at home wallowing in loneliness? I am fairly selective about what invitations I accept (I have a very high-pressure job and so have to be self-protective about my down time), but even then I find myself saying, “ugh, what’s the point?” about much of what I do attend. I adore my friends, but as often as not I’d rather be curled up at home reading a book or watching a movie. As my shrink said to me not long ago when I was reporting, fairly glumly, about having had a busy social week, “all these things [concerts, theater, dinners] just feel like time-killers to you, don’t they?” Yes, they do.

  • AJ says:

    I used to love Christmas, the mad build-up, the day itself and the aftermath, everyone going for a walk in the afternoon to walk off the enormous meal we eaten 2 hours prior.

    But now, I try my very hardest to be bright and breezy but it somehow doesn’t materialise. My 2 daughters will be off with their father and his partner (his turn this year) so I don’t feel like celebrating anything..

    I do the usual festive social rounds but always feel on the periphery. Friends have invited me round for Chistmas day, but feel it’s because they just feel sorry for me, however pathetic and self-pitying that sounds. All I see when shopping is “couples”, agghhh!!

    Like you P and other fellow planktons here, I have A LOT to be thankful for, my children and friends are consant saviours but I can’t help but feel sad and lonely this time of year. Can never wait for Spring to peep out from the winter blankets, longer, sunnier and warmer days, gives me hope.

    Fellow planktons here have given me the confidence to try online dating, so I joined up a week ago! So.. you never know, 2012 may be better than 2011 from a twinkle/smidgen/long shot point of view. Maybe we should all do it and compare notes!!! x

  • EmGee says:

    I’ve let my ex bf stay with me because he got unexpectedly evicted from his place, and it’s been nice having him around for company, especially during this time of year. However, it is occurs to me that this is going to complicate my social life. Like MissBates, I do prefer being curled up on the sofa most nights, on the other hand I don’t want to pull myself out of circulation completely…

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    Your first paragraph, Plankton, reminds me of something that happened to me years ago… I was invited to someone’s 40th; I did not know the woman well but she is one of the local “group of mums”. She told me she wanted to introduce me to a friend of hers who she thought I would get on really well with. I was curious enough to go and in fact on the same evening I had been invited to another birthday but stuck with the 40th. On the evening the friend I was supposed to get on so well with was conspicuous for his absence. The party was not so bad as I knew several people there, though not really my style (too crowded, too much milling around with glasses and I don’t even drink). A few days later in thanking S. for inviting me I mentioned I had not managed to work out which was her friend and she replied… he had cancelled at the last moment (but she never told me…).
    Plankton, your hostess comments do not quite stack up… if the 4th single man did nto show up why did she tell you she was seating you between two single men? She must have known one was not single… but never mind, it’s not worth pursuing.
    But you do have a lively social life Plankton – I don’t go out as much as you, partly because of my daughter, partly because I’m too exhausted most of the time…

  • Lydia says:

    It always reads to me like the first stages of hell all that night after night socialising. I’m not sure I could actually inflict my absence on my children but perhaps yours are with their father quite a bit or they are older or may be it’s just I like to be home. We have a constant round of school stuff at this time of year, plus work really hots up, not quite worked all night a few times but almost there (not that that’s ideal).

    As I was born with some kind of Pollyanna gene I can wake up and say – gosh it’s just as well I don’t have a man this week because I wouldn’t have time for him and instead of having to bother over giving him enough time I can just do these other things, lucky me…

    Anyway it’s just simply untrue. There are men around. Someone has sent me a special birthday email thing which I haven’t even had time to read. I haven’t really thought about any this week but had I wanted to I could have done. I don’t think the over 60s need to worry that they won’t find anyone either. There’s always someone either (a) younger than you are but wants your money or (b) older than you are an grateful to have a spring chicken only 60 year old or even someone of 60. They don’t all want women who want their babies.

    • Twinkletoes says:

      “I don’t think the over 60s need to worry that they won’t find anyone either. There’s always someone either (a) younger than you are but wants your money…”

      How insulting is that?

      I’ve met a few of those though, and I’m not 60 yet. They didn’t get anywhere near me or my money. I’m never going to be that desperate for a man that I’ll be willing to pay a sponger.

    • june says:

      Lydia you dont think over 60s will have to worry ” as someone younger might want you for your money,” well i havent got any money, so that lets me out. Ive a flat, mortgaged and a small company pension, plus my state one but thats enough to keep me only, certainly not a man as well. As for someone older, well i dont know about anyone else but i dont want a much older man, who is possibly infirm, i couldnt look after my very nice and pleasant dad,im sure i dont want to do it for any other man.

  • Geoffrey says:

    P – I am sure the irony of your column being bumped by the Times in favour of a double page spread about step families won’t have escaped you! As ever you were far more entertaining. My prediction is that your writing will find you a man in 2012….. Gx

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    I have a suggestion about how to retrieve past entries. Somewhere in the text (at the end) type the day’s date. Yes I know there is a date under the title but the search facility does not work with that. It needs to be in the text. I for example started following this blog on 6th July (although I then was away for 3 weeks during which I missed it); if the date was in the text I could now search: 2nd July 2011. 3rd July 2011. Etc. I would be sure to read them all in this way.

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