One Plankton, Two Jamborees

December 19, 2011 § 51 Comments

Two jamborees yesterday, one at lunch time – eighty people – and one in the evening – sixty or so.  Charlotte said she was only going to be at the evening one for twenty minutes as she was knackered and didn’t have my stamina.  I don’t have my stamina.  But I am not married so the difference is, I have to find it, otherwise people will give me shit and say I have no right to complain, it’s all my own fault, and they’ll get at me along the lines of, “Well, of course you’re never going to find a husband, you moaning pain in the hole, if you stay in all the time and never make the bloody effort.”  So it is, I am the personification of effort.  I am effort writ large.  My first, middle and surname is fricking Effort.  I am Effort in an outsize fucking Father Christmas suit.

To that end, I have been going out all the fucking time, days and nights, more days and more nights, on the trot.  At yesterday’s lovely lunch, I spoke to a man whom I had commissioned months ago to go in for a little light match-making for me, to no avail.  His wife said he was bloody useless and when he’d tried to match make her sister, he’d come up with a gnome.  He asked me again what my criteria were.  I thought, don’t get me started.  Then I thought again.  Kind, I said.

“Five or ten million?” he laughed.  I told him I was no gold digger and merely solvent would be a fine thing.  Though if he had anyone in mind…?  Joke.  He didn’t.  No joke.

At the evening thing, there were whole vistas of friends, all married.  The one who had given the dinner with four single men a week or two ago was there.  She hollered at me, “You must come and meet this couple!  They’ve got a single, male friend, hurrah!”  She tugged me over to them and introduced me as someone who might like to meet their SMF (or SFAR, as the case may be?)  I was so embarrassed I went the colour of the festive fruit cordial and immediately changed the subject to the first thing that came to mind: schools!  ANYTHING not to prostrate my humiliation in front of these strangers.  Luckily, they were happy to talk about schools for hours and hours, in fact I had coincidentally hit upon their chosen topic and on we rode onto and into and all the way around the subject till I was blue in the face with talking and hearing about the relative merits of X school versus Y, and little Josie and tiny Tootie in one or the other.  We never did get onto their priceless SFAR.

In fact, I had an extremely warm and merry time because 101 friends were there – well, slight exaggeration, I think there were only sixty guests altogether, but I knew and am very fond of most of them.  Food and drink came round in tsunamis of plenty and generosity, born by smiling children (my heavenly hosts have hosts of kids, all roped in and charming).  I ate like a plankton pig and teased and giggled and bantered (as teenagers will insist) with dumplings of mates.

One flattering fellow voted my shoes the best of the whole evening, which was marvellously consoling for all the gip they had been giving me two nights running, turning me into a walking wounded of Downton proportions.  It was nearly midnight when I took my limping leave of all the friendly, happy couples; inconspicuously changed into my flats in the hall; and let myself out of the large front door into the midnight frost, feeling every bit as flat as my responsible shoes, only flatter.


§ 51 Responses to One Plankton, Two Jamborees

  • Aggie says:

    Aw Planx, that is rubbish! Sometimes i feel as if you are doing it for the rest of us, so we don’t have to face the struggle and disappointment ourselves. The day you score, i’ll have to get off my arse.

  • Fi says:

    I don’t KNOW 60 people, let alone be fond of them. And that includes family, friends and work colleagues.

  • Elle says:

    You’re right to get out as much as you can but as long as you’re enjoying it. There’s no shame in taking it easy for one or two nights to recharge your batteries. Put it this way, would you rather spend time with your children or people who bore the pants off you?

    It’s all very well to be brave but you’re less likely to attract anyone positive when you’re tired. It’s good that you’re popular and have lots of friends but sometimes you need a night to yourself with a dishy actor DVD and a bottle of wine.

  • june says:

    You do know an awful lot of people plankton and as you say if you dont get out have no chance of meeting anyone. So true, trouble is as you say you rarely meet anyone at all but you always think maybe, just maybe.

    After last weekends festivities this one was decidedly flat. I was planning to go to my social group do on saturday evening, but it was raining, so i couldnt walk there and did not feel like wasting money on taxi, it didnt seem worth it. Not the attitude to meet someone i know but there are few eligible men in the social group,any that are, are soon snapped up by the younger women!

    I suppose only joy is wont have to spend christmas day alone, kind and caring friend has invited me to hers, she is married, with nice husband,and small daughter,is having brothers family round and another plankton friend whom i also know.

    Was talking on phone to another plankton i know tonight,shes lives 30 miles away from me she has been on anti depressants, suffering from depression, she says its hard,shes about my age,prefers younger men, but like me says impossible they dont want over 60s. Why do so many women in 60s not like men of their own age i wonder, to me they seem so old compared with lots of women of same age. My father born just before the great war was more “new man” in his attitudes than men in 60s, i used to laugh and tell him he was a new man before new men were invented, but he was. My friends all used to wish they had a dad like mine,he made me like i am i guess. I dont think i could live with some of the men in their 60s you get on websites, or they with me.

  • Barry says:

    Loved that last phrase…such a brilliant let down…excellent xx

  • Lizzie from Oz says:

    That’s exactly it !!! “….as flat as my responsible shoes, only flatter. ” this is exactly what I meant by the “emotionally -plunging moment” (my comment last post) that hits us every now and then. Only your turn of phrase, Plankton, is so much better than mine.

    • The Plankton says:

      Well, that’s very kind of you. I am not sure it is any better, it’s just that, posting every day, I maybe writing more voluminously! Px

    • MissM says:

      I don’t know Lizzie, I like your phrase too and I’m rather inclined to think of them as two separate feelings. I have most certainly had what is best described as emotionally-plunging moments, as you put it. Those times when I have become painfully conscious of time running out and the likelihood of being alone for the rest of my life, it did feel like my soul was falling into a very deep hole. Not unlike the falling in nightmares where one is equally as powerless to save oneself. The flatter than responsible shoes feeling occurs after having arrived at the bottom of the hole.

  • MissBates says:

    Oh Jesus the EFFORT. You have summed up my experiences in this regard in your usual pithy-but-elegant manner, Plankton.

    I have decided to ignore the witterings of my friends and take the rest of this holiday social season off (other than parties at which my attendance is required because of work). While it is true that I will meet no one by staying home on my couch, I wouldn’t meet anyone by going out six nights a week between now and New Year’s, either, if the last decade is anything to go by. So, I’m going to sit here comfortably, wearing neither high heels nor mascara, and wait this holiday season out. I’ll be nothing if not rested, come January.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you, MissBates. Not sure about pithy and elegant, but I try! Px

    • MissM says:

      Indeed Miss Bates, all the damn effort would not be bad if there were some reward for it. I am leaning towards giving up more and more each day. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, and my current methods are not working, and I am also without new ideas, I may as well stay home and be comfortable.

      • MissBates says:

        Hi Miss M: Exactly. 😦

        Serious tip from one who HAS given up: Before doing so, get yourself some good anti-depressants. It will ease the transition.

  • T Lover says:

    You seemingly have a social life, family, and intellect from the top draw.

    But publicly moan and whinge for a living.

    I smell something but can’t spot the bull.

  • rosie says:

    I haven’t been to one single jamboree this year (and being self employed puts paid to the office Christmas party, thank god) and can’t say I feel like I’ve missed out on anything. Not looking forward to Christmas Day itself though: me, dad, sis, brother-in-law (the Dullest Man in the World – it’s official) and my niece and nephew, who thankfully save the day. I don’t know how long it will be, because it must surely come, before they ask why Auntie always comes to every social function on her own, which will be the final twist of the knife.

  • Margaux says:

    *Springs to defence of Plankton*
    T Lover – you’ve missed the point entirely….

    • T Lover says:


      Have I? What point? Spell it out.

      I don’t enjoy the comments or find much of what is said amusing – unhappy and sad, if anything.

      Sometimes, the attitude and mindset of some of the women borders on the pathetic.

      The blog (truth or fiction) sparks the comments. I follow it because it helps to explain why I (sound like a Geordie – why I) in middle age find it hard to find a woman and makes me believe it is not entirely my fault it is just as much them.

      Anyway, my point. There is a later comment from “Penny” (who innocently has picked up the same vibe) which reads:

      “Has to be said, I dont think I’ve ever known anyone that goes to as many parties as you do! its never ending!”

      I was trying to say that if I had the social life family this blogger claims to have (plus the family and obvious intellect) I would be a very happy chappy and not spending a big slice of every day whingeing for Britain.

      And unkindly, it does not add up somehow.

      • The Plankton says:

        Unkindly, if you don’t believe it, why are you still reading it? Best, Plankton

      • Fi says:

        We don’t all come across as unhappy and sad do we?

      • T Lover says:

        Whether I believe it or not is irrelevant. I don’t care if the lily is being well and truly gilded.

        In the shortest of shorts, I have explained why I read the blog – the comments in particular – in the fourth paragraph of my reply. You have skimmed what I said.

        The blog has helped me to understand and makes me feel better about myself. I feel for some of the correspondents, The unhappiness, the pit in which some seem to have found themselves.

        Selfishly, it makes me think things could be far worse and bluntly – I repeat – I wonder what the hell have you got to moan about.

        Let me ask a question. In this hand I hold your social life, family and intellect. In the other your Mr Perfect. Not literally – you know what I mean. Choose a hand.

        I understand that this sort of blunt comment might not draw a “darling T Lover, you are a sweetie” response. It is, however, an honest response.

      • T Lover says:



        But even those with a superficially positive outlook – for example women who say they find man after man using an internet dating site – must be pretty damaged. What a way to live. Trawling the internet for strangers to flirt with.

        Wash my mouth out. Second thoughts, I’m talking rubbish, it is me that’s the sad one, fancy making comments on a girlie blog. How sad is that?

        Happy Christmas.

      • Fi says:

        I think internet dating is a pragmatic solution to the problem of not being in a position to meet anyone – a 21st century version of lonely hearts ads. I can’t agree with your statement that women who are doing it are ‘damaged’ and would be interested to know what you mean by that, and what alternative routes you think women and men can use to meet each other.

      • T Lover says:


        The specific point I was trying to make was that there are one or two commentators who claim to go through (and even meet in the flesh) droves of men. What an unhappy way to spend your time.

        Your analysis of internet dating in general is simplistic.

        You hear of people meeting dozens of men/women the length and breadth of the country but getting nowhere. Men who send nude photographs. Men “meeting” a woman and find they have been corresponding with a man. The hurt when you build up your hopes, this is the one but she turns out to be a lying disappointment. People who turn up for the big meeting, see the “date”and leg it before even shaking hands.

        If the object is casual friendship or simply sex, well, perhaps you have a point but as a tool to put one man with one woman for the rest of their natural the success rate is notoriously low for the middle aged.

        It’s tough game but if you are already fragile (relationship broken, feeling rejected) it can make you feel dreadful. Keep it at the end of a sharp stick until your armour is up to the job.

        I could go on, boy can I go on, but leave it like this: I tried it, for me it was a horrid jungle. Didn’t work.

  • MissBates says:

    Hi Rosie: That moment came for me five or six years ago, when, at some family holiday get-together or another, one of my nephews (then age 4 or threabouts) loudly demanded to know “where is your uncle?” Initially no one knew what he meant, until he inartfully explained that “Aunt X comes with Uncle Y” and “Aunt A is with Uncle B” and so forth. To him, you see, aunts and uncles come in matched sets, and I, therefore, was obviously incomplete. I can still hear the faint ripple of strained laughter. Excruciating.

    On a brighter note, I have since attained favorite aunt status with this young charmer (and his sister, my only niece) by virtue of the fact that I live in New York and lead what to them seems like a rather exotic existence. As there are no “uncles” in the offing and unlikely ever to be, I do my best to cultivate the “Auntie Mame” image.

  • Brigitte says:

    “I am Effort in an outsize fucking Father Christmas suit.”

    Love it.

  • rosie says:

    @MissBates I’m lucky enough to go on regular-ish overseas work jollies and the niece and nephew get a nice present every time so am hoping that will keep them quiet. For now. And if it doesn’t I’ll just invent some hunk in a faraway land who’s pining for me!

  • Penny says:

    Plankton, Has to be said, I dont think I’ve ever known anyone that goes to as many parties as you do! its never ending! There must be a man for you somewhere at these social evenings. Consider yourself very lucky you have such a social life. I wish I did. Much as I have some nice friends, its nothing in comparison.

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Penny, Yes, I make it my business to have a good social life. Work hard, play hard seems to me to be a sensible motto, even though I am a plankton. Otherwise there is no hope at all. Px

  • rosie says:

    Yep, keep on keeping on, P! What else can you bastard well do? Another one here on the ‘happy’ pills, although I’d advise not going there (not the ones I’m on anyway) if you want any more pleasure from down below, even if it is self administered. Which right now appeals to me about as much as a date with a lardarse freakazoid Channel 5 exhibit.

  • rosie says:

    Fi, for one who is so desperate not to come across as ‘unhappy and sad’ why are you asking the question of a middle-aged male who sounds like a sad, sorry fuckwit?

  • rosie says:

    Which thinking about it probably means I’ve just answered my own question.

    • Fi says:

      Because I think he’s right. Collectively, we DO come across as a bunch of sorry, sad,pathetic individuals. And bitter, angry, resentful and envious sometimes. I’d really rather get a bloke’s perspective on things than more of the women’s to be honest as we already know them eg june will tell us there’s no hope once you’re 60 and internet dating doesn’t work, Lydia will tell us how rich, popular and lucky she is, and assorted other women will moan about how there are no men anywhere. I WANT to hear different viewpoints and so welcome his.

    • T Lover says:

      I looked for a definition of “Fuckwit”. Great fun.

      Speaking as an out an out male “Fuckwit” I would run a mile from a pill popping (you I think), embittered woman who uses that language to describe someone she has never met and knows nothing about.

      Finding it hard to find a bloke? That’s (male) Fuckwits for you. Keep up the “self administration”.

      • T Lover says:


        I would like to apologise for my last comment.

        It was not very nice.

        I am sorry. Please accept my apologies.

  • rosie says:

    See, I don’t think we come across as a sad, sorry, pathetic bunch. There will always be individuals that you don’t agree with or have anything in common with but that’s life and there’s a wide enough diversity of opinion on here to be able to get something from it, surely? If not and if I felt tainted by association, which you seem to, I’d just take myself off somewhere else.

    I welcome different viewpoints too but I’d rather get them from someone who doesn’t sound as sad and bitter as those he’s accusing of same.

    • Fi says:

      Rosie. I am getting tired of your insults towards anyone who doesn’t happen to think the same as you. Its bullying and nasty. Why should I “take myself of somewhere else”. How about you get your dosage increased?

      • T Lover says:

        I am sorry if I have sparked all this personal nonsense.

        Suggestion: why not blame me?

        That’s what women normally do – take it out on the nearest bloke!

  • rosie says:

    haha, pot, kettle and black is all I’ll say.

    • Fi says:

      I don’t think so Rosie. I don’t call people Fuckwits and suggest they go away. I’m not on medication as I don’t need any. And I positively welcome assorted viewpoints to contribute to this debate.

      • T Lover says:

        Fi, Rosie,

        I am sorry, I can’t keep on saying sorry, but I am and I really don’t want to see this personal grief – I feel I have caused it.

        I don’t want this personalised ping pong to carry on, it makes me feel dreadful.

      • Fi says:

        T lover. Yes you have and you SHOULD. Feel dreadful. 😉
        Not really – you know what we women are like!!

  • rosie says:

    fi, I don’t agree that you ‘positively welcome assorted viewpoints’ but we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    T Lover, apology accepted – no offence taken actually – and sorry I called you a ‘fuckwit’.

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