December 26, 2011 § 27 Comments

Smug-Unmarried here, I have to say it was a great day yesterday.  Except for a cracking headache again (must be the latte deprivation) which I zapped eventually with more Paracetamol Extra, we all had a lovely time.  Ate too much (I do so dislike people who don’t, on Christmas Day; it’s not human to be restrained on Christmas Day; any restrainers in the face of turkey and all the business, and Christmas pudding, must have the tightest of arses, that’s what I say).  Went on a brisk family walk.  I don’t do walks, much, if I can help it, but the one on Christmas Day is essential.  A sort of penance for all the goose fat and presents.  We played the names in the hat game and at 9pm, my mum and I shooed everyone else out of the telly room (because they were sniffy)  to, ahhhh, bliss out in front of dare I say it Downton. I am deeply ashamed because it is patent pap, of course, but I loved every minute of it.   Luckily the shame was lost on my ex-husband, who had never heard of it.  A worldly fellow, what high-brow planet has he been on, one might wonder?  I didn’t ask.  I just told him that the Christmas special was the televisual equivalent of sitting down to polish off a whole box of Lindor chocolates to oneself.

Oh, and that scene at the end, when Matthew and Lady Mary finally get it together, and he kneels down in the snow to propose to her?  Tell me 12 million, or however many, fellow plankton and, indeed, non-plankton – hearts didn’t miss a bit of a beat, or was it just me?

Shameful, indeed, as the whole thing was glorified bollocks, or just outright bloody bollocks, but wonderful bollocks at that, and occasionally… after all the shit I’ve been through and it was Christmas day, and I had asked my ex-husband to stay, so I felt I deserved a little light Lindor indulgence of the emotional sort, no?

All in all, I went to bed with a smile on my face and hoping that my very own Matthew Crawley, ho hum, may put in an appearance sometime before 25 December next year?

I doubt it very much, but hope is the thing.  To live in silly, sugary but irresistible Downton-type hope.

Well, at least for a day.


§ 27 Responses to Smug-Unmarried

  • Barry says:

    Lost me …Telly on christmas Day ..philistine . I read avidly …but your Ex wasn’t moved to move on you …shame .

    Onto the the next choco fix then .

  • EmGee says:

    Glad to hear the holiday cheer is hanging on. Smug Unmarried – at first I thought we were in for another rant…

  • Lydia says:

    May be I’m making progress if you accept that some people can be perfectly happy and men and women don’t necessarily need a sexual partner never mind a live in spouse to achieve the state known as happiness. Perhaps my work is done….

    Certainly if we analyse the brain chemicals which cause balanced happiness a walk will raise your beta endorphins (so will sex and that’s more fun of course.. although not for all; I know someone whose now ex wife always said she’d prefer a walk to sex – part of their incompatibility I suppose).

    We skied all day and indeed today was the same. We have never had better conditions. There may well be attractive Frenchmen all over but I don’t mix children/men nor work and men so they will have to wait.

  • AJ says:

    P, you are so right. I also absolutely loved the ending to Downton Abbey and although it is glorified bollocks, I couldn’t help but feel a slight heart tug too. it would be so great to find our own version of Matthew Crawley in 2012 wouldn’t it

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear AJ, Yes, indeed, though I imagine that by morning, I shall be back in touch with my reality: no Matthew Crawley for me. But I hope there’ll be one for you! Px

      • AJ says:

        Yes I fear you are right, cold light of dawn and all that! However, I shall remain be hopeful for us both (all).. the internet dating thing is going well so far.. I am meeting up with someone for a coffee on Thursday.. Don’t go buying a hat just yet though!! x

      • The Plankton says:

        Let us know how it goes…? Good luck. px

  • june says:

    Guess plankton we can all suspend our planktoness at christmas, i think i did. .

    I spent a lovely christmas day with good friends, and also boxing day with others, i do feel sad for planktons who have no friends. Sad indeed if you have little family as i dont and those i do have dont bother. Lydia may be happy with it, but i certainly wouldnt be.

    Lets hope we all find what we looking for in 2012, as you say P hope is all we have.

  • Bambi says:

    P, i’ll murder you – I haven’t seen Downton for a while – and now you have ruined the totally unpredictable 🙂 ending!

    But I will forgive you, since you were being so good about ex-hubby; and I am glad you had a good day. I did too – different, but good.

    Perhaps Lydia will let those who might be interested know where all the waiting Frenchmen are…. Plus ça change plus c’est la même chose…

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Bambi, Many apologies! But I hope you had kind of guessed anyway, as I had? I am very sorry. Px

      • Bambi says:

        Giggle. Was just rising you, P – and being completely frivolous, as you know. Even though I wasn’t following the series religiously, I had seen (and enjoyed) enough to know that it was always going to be M & M at the end. Always thought they should have given him a different surname, though….. I mean, ‘Crawley’??? (made me think of ‘creepy crawly’ – a term we used as children to describe insects that scared us…). LOVED Lady Mary’s speaking voice – and I indulged in eyebrow envy over her beautifully sculpted pair….
        No idea where the series is at in Ireland right now (I’m in Oz – Hi Lizzie!), but suspect in same boat as Lizzie and/or AMJ – as in, behind! Maybe I’ll catch the snow scene yet….ooooooh…..)

        Anyway, P, you are forgiven. Just this once, mind…

    • EmGee says:

      Bambi, I know your tongue is firmly in cheek, but I hadn’t heard of this program when Ms P originally posted about it, but as these things happen, I stumbled over it on a Public TV channel here in the US. It’s available streaming online, and I watched the first 2 1/4 episodes into the wee hours of this morning.

      Sometimes getting lost in the drama of a sappy romance is just the thing. I suspect that it was no accident that reference to Anthony Trollope was written into the script. 🙂 OF COURSE it has to end with Mary and Matthew together, the brandy sauce on my plum pudding! And calorie free to boot!

      Thanks for your guilty confession, Plankton! ❤

      • Bambi says:

        I’ll be in the US next year, EmGee – might catch it then! Glad you found and enjoyed it. Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures are best…

        Rosie, I’m not sure what your personal circumstances are (age, location, previously married, never married, relationships, no relationships, recently ‘single’ etc), but, a good few years ago now, I spent a whole day, shortly after Christmas day, in bed, staring at the ceiling, no music or food (unheard of for me!) wondering what was the point of it all… Good and kind friends came to the rescue and dug me out of the hole that time; thereafter, there were several more similar times when I felt the same – that overwhelming need for a ‘special’ person in my life – and the seeming pointlessness of it all without one. the Christmas season was always the worst. In the last few years, that has changed, through my own hard work and with the help of family and friends – and maybe a little bit of luck.(Still single, mind you, just it no longer defines me or my life). Your post brought me back to that time and made me want to offer you consolation (if only I could) – and a great big hug. No platitudes, no condescending advice – just the virtual support of one of the many who has been there, who is not there right now, as it happens, but who is ever cognisant that there is no guarantee that I will not return there. So, sending you that hug and, more importantly, hoping that Mr. Crawley pitches up for you at the party on New year’s eve! (By the way – I LOVE cava – one can never drink too much of it 🙂 )

        Ps. Am aware that I still need to reply to a query from MissM (or was it MissBates?) – haven’t forgotten!

  • Lizzie from Oz says:

    Yup Downton Abbey is a big hit here too – but we are well behind you and still waiting for Series No2. Escapism in the extreme. Of the female kind.

  • AMJ says:

    Shit! We haven’t had the downton xmas special here yet – god knows when we’ll get it, probably the middle of June. Thanks for the spoiler, hopefully by the time our shithouse TV network gets it on special I will have forgotten the ending.
    And I don’t feel at all guilty for loving it, I think it’s absolutely glorious.

  • rosie says:

    I watched Downton for the first time on Christmas Day and wish I’d watched the series now. I think I was put off by it being on a Sunday evening, when most TV is of the Heartbeat-esque unwatchable shite variety.

    Glad you had a good day, P. Here was another one thinking something might come to pass between you and the ex hubby!

    I managed to have a not-too-awful time myself, even though the food in the restaurant we went to was rubbish and my dull brother in law – who I’m now convinced has a massive chip on his shoulder as the only time he ever opens his mouth is to make snide comments – was even duller than usual.

    On Boxing Day we went to an uncle’s house, which is always full of cheerful bustle and I played charades and drank too much cava.

    I’m now back in my one-bed flat wondering how much longer I can go on like this: one minute surrounded by people, conversation, animals, ie the stuff of life, the next looking at four fucking walls with nary a whiff of proper human interaction on the horizon until Year’s Eve. Then again I should be grateful for small mercies: this year I’ll be spending it at a party, unlike the last, when I was at my parents house in bed by 10pm and wishing there was a button that said ‘press to die’.

    Oh and fyi Lydia, your comments are now extremely boring. And mad – the insane, not the funny – variety. Quite telling, unless I’ve missed it, that you haven’t offered an explanation as to your identity, despite so many people questioning it. For someone who no doubt went to a veryvery expensive (apologies to MissBates for plagiarising) private school, if you’re a native speaker your grasp of English is pretty suspect too.

    For those of us who need a little bit more out of life than going for a brisk walk may 2012 bring us all our very own Matthew Crawleys! I nearly resisted the temptation to be cynical there and say ‘yeah, right’ but didn’t quite manage it.

    • MissM says:

      Well said Rosie. I can so relate to thinking a “press to die” button at times would be very handy. For those who can’t relate to that, think yourselves very lucky, it is not something I’d wish on anyone.

      If anyone really is having such a wonderful time being single, I really think they should be out there busily being so blissfully happy in their single state that they are not even contemplating finding a partner, let alone finding the time to repeatedly tell everyone else how happy they are. Someone who needs to tell me over and over and over again how happy they are eventually runs the risk of sounding like they doth protest too much.

      Yeah count me in as preferring sex to a walk, so still in need of a man, thanks. Life is just ever so very much better in every aspect for me when I have a partner than it is when I am alone. Note I did say “for me” as I in no way assume everyone is like me. Some people like olives, some do not, we are all different. Just because some people are truly okay with living life solo it doesn’t mean it is not possible that there are others who really are only truly fulfilled if they can share their life with another.

      Here’s hoping that all of us who fall into the latter category will find 2012 will be kinder than previous years and bring us the luck we need to find someone.

  • MissM says:

    I’ve seen season two of Downton Abbey and just watched the Christmas special, yes I am in Oz also. Since I can’t help but read so much about Downton from various written media, which do happen to be available worldwide, that I have no intention of being left behind in having seen it. Apparently broadcasters haven’t yet worked out that not all the people in other parts of the world are prepared to wait six months or more for them to get around to showing something that has been broadcast elsewhere. I admit that they were prompt with the Doctor Who special at least, which just proves there is no real reason for the delay of these things.

    I agree with Bambi on the eyebrow envy, but oh to be so thin and young and beautiful in general. However Anna and Mr Bates would have to be my favourite Downton couple, and I still keep hoping poor Lady Edith will get someone good. The sister who has the good looks gets the prince while the plain sister gets passed over, that is rather a lot like the real world. Since it is a fantasy anyway, give Edith someone even better than Matthew please.

    Better still would be for real life to just give me someone, not a Matthew Crawley, but someone I can love that will love me back. It really doesn’t seem like such and unreasonable thing to wish for, just one person to be able to pair up with. *sigh*

  • rosie says:

    Hi Bambi, thanks for your message, it’s much appreciated and helps to know you’re not alone, even if it’s only for five minutes. Sorry to hear you’ve been there too, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone… well I would, but that’s another story.

    I’m 48, never married, have lived with someone and have no kids by choice. I’ve been single, barring the odd crap relationship, since I was 34. The last ‘proper’ one finished when I was 43 after an on/off year and a half. I knew it was doomed from the beginning (he was quite a bit younger than me for a start) but I fancied the pants off him and by the time I realised he changed his women like he changes his socks I was well and truly hooked. He has tried repeatedly to get in touch since dumping me and each time I’ve ignored him, which is karma of sorts, though he’s now shacked up with some high-flying woman in her late 20s so no prizes for guessing who’s laughing.

    When it comes to ‘good and kind friends’ I have got them, thank god. Others fecked off once they got a bloke, even those I’ve known for a long time. It wasn’t an outright dropped-like-a-hot-potato casting off, more a drip drip of ever decreasing emails, calls and invites until I got so sick of doing all the running that I gave up.

    Over the years I’ve done internet dating (and book clubs, walking clubs, social events, cinema groups… you name it I’ve done it) like a demented thing and couldn’t go there again if someone held a sawn-off shotgun to my head. Barring one ‘normal’ date, when I was so nervous (the shock of the new!) I got shitfaced and behaved like a loon I had a more or less straight run of waifs, strays, married men, tightwads, churchgoers who failed to mention god on their profile and everything in between.

    One of the worst things about being on your own, apart from the involuntary celibacy and loneliness, is having to do every GOD DAMN THING yourself: the computer blows, you fix it or scrabble around looking for someone who can fix it; the stupid, fiddly little lightbulbs in the kitchen die and you can’t get them out of the bracket so you cook in a half light for the next however long; the council tax (why 25% off for single person households and not 50%?) is due but your bastard creditors haven’t paid up so there’s no money in your account and you lose an hour of your life explaining this to the dead-eyed drone on the other end of the phone; holidaying on your own or not at all because you just haven’t got the wherewithal; the sick panicky dread at the thought of another weekend looming with nothing to do and no one to do it with and, last but not least of course, the dreaded Christmas and New Year, which at this stage in life come round with such horrible regularity it feels like you’re living life in a speeded up film. I could go on but don’t want to put people to sleep and the bread knife’s only two yards away.

    I’m not given to paranoia although I sometimes wonder if people who see me trotting about my lonesome business don’t feel sorry for me – ‘oh, there she goes again, poor thing’. When I was a teenager there was a middle-aged woman living down the road and I’d see her trudging past the window every day, laden with plastic bags and looking for all the world like she was thinking, ‘there has to be more to life than this’. It made me want to cry and if I knew someone thought the same of me I’d die of shame and embarrassment.

    Even though I’m pretty resourceful (I’ve had to be!) I can feel myself grinding to grind to a halt after the sheer fucking effort of trying to fill over a decade’s worth of solitary living. It would test anyone’s metal, wouldn’t it? I’ve never come across one of these mythical creatures we keep being told are ’embracing’ singledom or who think having no one to talk to for days on end apart from shopkeepers and call centre workers is ’empowering’ (yuk yuk yuk) so I can only conclude they are talking bollocks.

    Anyway, I don’t want this to turn into my very own whinge/counselling session so will stop hijacking P’s blog.

    And if anyone’s still awake, thanks for reading!

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Rosie, Thank you for this. You haven’t hijacked my blog. You are welcome to comment at length if you want and need to! You have my support and that of many others I hope. Very best wishes, px

    • TwinkleToes says:

      Rosie, I read all the way through and it didn’t send me off to sleep, because I can identify with so much of what you wrote. Have a big hug from me x

    • MissM says:

      Dear Rosie, I am like TwinkleToes in that much of what you wrote is a description of how I feel also. Thank you for not making me feel quite so alone in experiencing the sheer effort and grind of living alone for year after year after year which is only made worse when the future seems to offer nothing to look forward to but the same solitary pointlessness. Thanks for being brave and sharing this with us, no doubt someone who is ’embracing sigledom’ will offer to be helpful by pointing out what sad and pathetic human failures we are because we react normally to a perfectly horrible situation that most of the rest of the population does their utmost to avoid having to endure. Big hugs to you from Australia.

    • EmGee says:

      Oh Bambi, I sympathize with your plight, but personally I find learning how to do basic maintenance like changing bulbs to be empowering (not a simple as it once was! I had to learn how to replace the bulb in my VW Jetta, gah! But I saved myself an $80 labor charge), and I have a friend whose husband wouldn’t know where to start! I was visiting once and needed a pair of pliers to frame a painting, and he was beside himself, not even sure he owned a pair.

      I always cringe when I see couples who divide their duties between ‘his’ and ‘hers’. Since my husband died, I have had to do a lot of home maintenance myself, and so glad I learned as much as I did while he was still alive to show me. I also learned how to do many things myself – men do not have a special string of DNA that make them more proficient at operating a power tool than anyone else.

      On the other hand, there is no ‘fixing’ the loneliness. I am still not sure of my sanity when I let my ex bf move in when he lost his place last month. I’ve been away most of the month and he’s been housesitting. After I get back from my family holiday tomorrow, we’ll see…. I already know, handsome and as charming as he is, he is SFAR. Then again, I have taken a vow of un-mtarimony too.

    • EmGee says:

      Rosie I meant! So sorry!

  • rosie says:

    Thanks P and everyone else, it’s good to have found somewhere I can get it off my chest as no bugger else is interested in listening to it!

    EmGee, I agree with you that ‘his and hers’ chores are too icky for words but these lightbulbs (I can change the normal ones) are not budging and I’d welcome a hand of whichever gender. I’ve got a friend coming round later so will get her on the case.

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