Final Flush of Parties, then Plankton Slump

December 24, 2011 § 43 Comments

Well, phew.  The parties are over.  I shouldn’t say that, but it’s been something of a marathon.  I know, I know, I am very lucky to have been asked to so many in the first place.  And I did enjoy them.  But now thank fuck I can slump.

Yesterday I did some last minute shopping and spent money I don’t have but that is an occupational Christmas hazard, surely.  I drank coffee at my local cafe and my headache finally fucked off.   Took its time.  I decided that my two days without my usual latte are what caused the cracking headache in the first place.

I went to Charlotte’s house for tea with her and her family, plus Mr and Mrs Standard Bearer and theirs.  Of all the parties I have been to, that was the best.  The nine of us sat cosily in their Christmassy house and laughed till we were nearly sick and it was the most uplifting hour and a half I have had in weeks with some of my favourite people in life.  One of my blessings is that Charlotte and her heavenly husband live so close to me, a five minute walk. That is a blessing I can exploit on a daily basis (sometimes I fear he might think I am taking up permanent residence!).

Onto a drinks with sausages thingummy.  Middle-aged couples cheerfully getting pissed and teenagers too, but them on a special Christmas charm offensive bringing round delicious smoked salmon sandwiches and somehow filling the space like yetis.  A wonderful sectarianism going on between two worlds rubbing together in a house which manages to glow warmly despite, perhaps because of it.  The festive indulgence of one generation to another.  I love all that stuff. No men available, natch, but didn’t matter. Good friends and fun as a thing in itself.

On to a rather formal birthday dinner party of about fourteen.  The single man had a face the colour of stewed Victoria plums and marmalade cat-coloured eyelashes.  He was very sweet, but admitted to a complex about how thick he was which didn’t augur supremely well, admittedly.  He had gone to a good school but had left after O’levels because he was so unlikely to make the grade.  This had bothered the poor fellow ever since.  He was so straight I could have used him to measure my kitchen cupboards.  Sometimes I am taken with straight.  Sometimes straight is inordinately reassuring.  I liked him because you couldn’t not.  That sort of disarming honesty.  But I fear I would defy a woman to fancy him.

I sat next to my completely charming host of whom I am very fond.  He said some of his ghastly neighbours only ever want to talk about the economy and he did not.   I have had my fair share of conversations about the economy myself over the past few weeks and am rather Eurozoned out, so I told him that even if he did, with me, the conversation might be rather exhausted.   Instead we merrily got down to the nitty-gritty, which I adore, and talked about the very edges of human emotion, namely grief and sexual jealousy.  Shakespeare, Zola et al.  We went right into it.  I love it when that happens.  I forget myself.  Good, cracking conversation obliterates my tedious status for a while.

The plankton opposite me later said over the cheese that she was so used to being on her own, the scary thing for her was the idea of ever giving up the aloneness, the selfishness.

Me?  I do so not wish to get to that point.  Fucking hell no.  There are some benefits to being on one’s own, I agree, but the thought of being scared about being with someone again scares the shit out of me.  But maybe not as much as being without someone for ever?  Whole different league, Baby.  Though after so much society these past few weeks, and not a single twinkle, oh so fucking likely.


§ 43 Responses to Final Flush of Parties, then Plankton Slump

  • Margaux says:

    Lovely heartwarming Xmas Eve read, thank you, P.

    Smiling at your description of the poor chap with a stewed face. I wonder if any of us ever see ourselves clearly…we are so governed by our limiting self beliefs.

    I had that same conversation about aloneness last night with a gay single 40 something friend. He and I both have that fear that we are too happily ensconced in our living alone ( but still very social) lives that the thought of actually making space for someone else is terrifying.

    For me the perfect partnership would be a ‘living apart together’ relationship – someone you can share all the good bits with but leave enough space for ‘me time’.

    Christmas is nearly upon us – so may I wish you and all my fellow commentators a fabulous festive and happy time..and may Santa bring us all whatever we desire …x

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks, Margaux and Happy Christmas to you too, Px

    • EmGee says:

      You know Margeaux, that ‘living apart together’ is the thing for me too, at this point, (not that I cannot make space for another: I have most unexpectedly, and explicably, let my ex bf back in for the duration), but one needs a room of one’s own, so to speak, and it is so damnably easy to get swallowed up in another’s life, if one doesn’t hold tightly to one’s own identity. I think that may be one reason why otherwise nice, charming, seemingly not SFAR plankton have a rough time. We can be invisible like cellophane wrapped around other peoples’ lives. 😦

      It happened to me in my unhappy marriage to the point where I couldn’t break free, and I have spent the last couple years since putting a solid foundation under ‘me’.

  • Twinkletoes says:

    Another cracking piece, P! I can just picture the man with a face the colour of Victorian plums. And being so straight you could measure your kitchen cupboards with him, fabulous description! 🙂

    I’ve long since got used to being on my own. It doesn’t bother me much any more, not even on Christmas Day. But I don’t think I’ve got so selfish that I couldn’t get used to having someone else around, if ever he came along. Not holding my breath for that to happen, but it might one day.

    Can I take this opportunity to wish you and all who comment on here a good Christmas. Yes, even Lydia! Ho Ho Ho!

  • AJ says:

    Jesus P, where do you get the energy? Shopping, tea, drinks and then a a dinner party all in one day, no wonder you had an everlasting headache. Having said that, I’ve been enjoying following you from ‘do to ‘do’.

    Glad you can now rest up. Here’s hoping you and all other planktons have a fab Christmas. Here’s to 2012.

    AJ x

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear AJ, I am not sure where the energy comes from. The desire to find somebody? Thanks for your comment. Happy Christmas. Px

    • Lydia says:

      I think more time sleeping, thinking, working and other stuff and not parties tends to make most people feel better and more able to find a partner but we are just at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of socialising I think and I suspect my youngest children are younger which has an impact on “free time” too.

      I hope you all have a good Christmas (.. she says looking out at a scene from a postcard, almost, of really deep snow on all the buildings around us in the French Alps. There are 10 massive icicles hanging down outside our window but I won’t set out the “10 sexual uses of an icicle” or Plankton will censor me)

      • Elle says:

        10 sexual uses of an kicks? Lydia you are either very kinky or very desperate. It’s always the quiet ones we have to watch so I suspect it’s the former. My Finnish friends swear by birch beatings, steaming saunas followed by rolling in the snow (all naked) so I hope you’re having a very merry Christmas in your winter wonderland.

      • Elle says:

        Sorry, I meant icicle, not kicks.

      • Lydia says:

        Thanks E. I have not made any novel use of the icicles as I’m en famille in the Alps. It was though just about the best CHristmas ever and I think that;’s rather lovely that that can be so without a man although I have nothing against men. I quite like them and they may even have ideas as to what to do with random icicles. IT always seems a bit of a waste whether I’m with the children or for work in a luxury hotel in a room without a man. I have skied in such perfect conditions as today – absolutely no clouds, sun, no queues very good snow.

        Whatever the Finns do in saunas there was none of that here either. I went down alone. The children had already told me the signs said no nudity.

        Observing other couples at the hotel you just think wow how lovely that I’m single and I’m not Mrs Fat with grumpy husband and child who seems like that spoilt one in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book. It probably goes back to whether people had happy marriage or not. If yours wasn’t as mine wasn’t then every day without him is a Christmas day which can hardly be surpassed and most other men seem lovely.

        In instead you loved a Mr Wonderful who then ditched you and whom you still love you tend to take an opposite view when single.

        Happy Christmas to everyone

  • A very Happy Christmas P , thank you for an “Interesting” voyage , thus far , and”Nil carberundum desperatum” as we used to say at my previous place of employment . xxx

  • rosie says:

    Scared of giving up the aloneness? Jeez, that is scary, or maybe she’s just given up altogether and it’s her way coping. Hope she has a happy Christmas whoever she is.

    And I raise a glass to Lydia, who is right now probably shoving some hapless weardy beard novice skier with empty pockets (ie less than a billion in the bank) a weight problem and a regional accent over the top of a black run.

    Happy Christmas everyone!

    • Lydia says:

      I’m much more mediocre than I always suggest and I prefer easy runs.

      I did avoid a rather fat man whom I fear had a regional accent (and a 3 year old) in the steam room. I went in the sauna instead. I couldn’t stand the paunch, never mind the wife. I am not really in man mood when away with the children and the one I quite like (not here) has an imminent death to cope with I often attract those with extreme problems because I am sort of solving coping person but it gets a bit tedious. Married man I know (not in the biblical. sense) has broken off with his long term mistress. I am not sure what the correct etiquette is in that sort of situation. She’s distraught of course but what did she expect?

      • Jo says:

        Lydia. You avoided a rather fat man who….God forbid ‘ I fear had a regional accent’?!!!
        ‘Had a regional accent’? Beyond the pale obviously….

      • ToneDeafSinger says:

        … whom I fear had a regional accent…????? Quite apart from Jo’s comment below… this is not English.

  • Elle says:

    Plankton, I admire your stamina and fighting spirit for partying on despite everything. That’s something that we do very well in Ireland. I don’t think the average middle-aged man could keep up with you so consider a toyboy in the New Year. They don’t always stick around long but they’re fun while they last.

    Have a great Christmas, thanks for keeping us fellow plankton going with your blog and I hope 2012 brings you the best of everything.

  • EmGee says:

    “Good friends and fun as a thing in itself.” Yes it is! Merry Christmas Plankton, and Good Tidings in the husband dept (as long as the blog doesn’t come to a screeching halt).

    A Very Merry to all of you other Plankton too! :Waves:

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear EmGee, I promise it isn’t looking like it’s going to be coming to any kind of halt, let alone screeching. Thank you for kind words, and Happy Christmas. Pxx

      • Lydia says:

        She can’t find a husband or the blog would stop and we couldn’t have that.,.. Of coures she might well be married with 3 husbands within a cult the reverse of the FLDS (FLDS believe men get to heaven only with at least 3 wives). I’ve been hunting for a cult where I would need 3 husbands to get through the celestial gates but not found one yet.
        I will have to found my own.

  • Grenglish says:

    Hello, I only recently discovered your blog but have followed every post since then. This is fast becoming one of my favourite blogs to read – I just love the way you write and tell your stories.
    This is my first comment and really only to say that I wish you a wonderful Christmas and do hope you find someone in 2012 who is everything you want and more.

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Grenglish, Thank you so much. I love it when people are moved to comment for the first time, and welcome. I am so glad you are enjoying the blog. Please do keep commenting along with so many of my regular commentators. Lovely to hear from you. Happy Christmas, All best wishes, Px

  • Josephine says:

    Wishing everyone on here, a Happy Christmas, & thanks to you Plankton, for your honesty & telling it like it is, Best Wishes

  • june says:

    Yes Plankton i sometimes feel like the person you met and like Margaux i feel an ideal relationship would be the having someone but living apart one, and coming together sometimes. I was discussing this with my plankton friend and neighbour the other day and she has been married twice, she agrees. I certainly couldnt have someone living in my small apartment with me. Perhaps 10 years ago i could have adjusted to it but i really think i am too used to being alone. Yes id like companionship,someone there to go out with, sex well yes in small does, but actually moving in with someone, no i dont think i could, id like to just have the best bits. Sounds selfish i know, but perhaps i am.

    I braved the POF disco, caught no fish, but didnt expect to,before i went, a friend texted me and said dont pick up any ……………chavs, naming the roughest area of our city. i said no chance, that desperate i will never be. I ran into a few people from the singles group i belong to and had a good dance, but the fish sadly were not to my taste, more coley than best salmon .Still was a night out to wear the high heels. Another good thing for me, friend who sent me the text, one who dreads being a plankton, invited me round boxing day.

    Happy christmas to all fellow planktons, lets hope we can keep the blog going in 2012, i have enjoyed it so much. By this time next year maybe many of us will be planktons no more, who knows, we live in hope, hope gang is all we have.

    • The Plankton says:

      Of course I will keep it going in 2012 and hope it will keep increasing the numbers of readers and commentators. I have no reason to stop any time soon, not even on the horizon! Happy Christmas to you too. Px

  • june says:

    Well P…….thats something to look forward to in 2012. We await with bated breath.

  • Brigitte says:

    P. and fellow planktons,

    Merry Christmas from Canada.

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    Happy Christmas everybody. I have just been on a recce of the 3 dating websites I am a member of. On one of those I have exactly 7 – I mean 7 – recommended partners – and I don’t know what they mean by recommended because one of them is keen to have children and I am not (48 y.o. and now diagnosed with arthritis…). I have not yet worked out how to find other people on this website…. I can only see the 7 recommended members… Oh, and I sent a half line Happy Christmas to the man who was writing to me everyday for 5 days but suddently stopped for no reason On the other two websites I have winked, put various men on favourites, and sent a few e-mails out… And now I have come out and do not really want to think about it any more just for tomorrow. I suppose I am a bit like some other people here, so used to being on my own that I am not really looking for a man at all costs… just one who can enhance the life I already have… Any way, truce on the man hunt front for tomorrow, have a happy Christmas everybody.

  • Jo says:

    47 mins past midnight and therefore officially Christmas day. Am finishing off pre- preparation for the roast goose later today. I.e. preparing the stuffing, giblet stock and bread sauce!
    P. Thank you for all the honesty, insight and soul bearing that you have shared with us all, thus far. Thank you to all fellow commentators for your open-heartedness, truth and bravery on here throughout 2011- from July onwards- I salute you all. Even ‘though we may all,at times have disagreed with each other’s views.
    I warmly wish you all ( yes, even you too ‘Lydia” whoever you are ),
    a Happy Christmas and a bountiful New Year. Whatever form that takes. x

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you, Jo. Happy Christmas and New Year to you too! Px

    • Lydia says:

      Thanks, Jo. I’m just the same as any other person except I seem to be more optimistic. My sister the arch pessimist says she will never be disappointed as she knows everything will alway be awful. I think I got her dose of optimism and mine.

  • I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog…..I wish you a restful Christmas and maybe 2012 will bring someone special into your life and if the stars are aligned, mine too 😉 x

  • Geoffrey says:

    Happy Christmas P – have a wonderful day with the family and thanks for so many wonderful turns of phrase and insights into your predicament.

    And may I award a couple of garlands of praise for Margaux and Miss Bates who have also provided great entertainment this year!

  • Mezzanine says:

    Merry Christmas Day to you Ms P and all of your followers. May 2012 bring us all everything we desire but most of all contentment. Here’s to 2012 and your excellent blog x

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