January 9, 2012 § 69 Comments
Last night, after cosying up with my children in front of Sherlock – an excellent tonic, if ever there was one, the cosying even more so than Benedict Cumberbatch – I indulged in a long telephone conversation with a beloved immediate member of my family who lives abroad.
She is a few years older than me and single, but she is not a plankton because that is not how she views herself. She has men aplenty interested in her, always has, because she is wonderful. But, the funny thing about her – by her own admission – is that she is the opposite to me (even though we are so closely related), in as much as she craves the solitude between them. Never for very long, mind, but she does need it, like oxygen. But then a new person always comes along, relieves her of it for a while, and that’s great, until the desire for autonomy and privacy again arises. I think she knows at all times that she has the prospect to change it whenever she likes, and perhaps that is the crucial difference. I could, but something is obviously missing in me, alas, and I don’t.
I think the difference is the fact that she has no problem attracting men in the first place, and that bestows a definite confidence and – I hesitate to use the word because I don’t like it and I am not sure it’s anyway entirely accurate in this context; too strong – power. I am not saying her situation is perfect, and she would never be so smug or complacent as to suggest anything as much, but I think her shoes may be more comfortable than mine. What I loathe about my state – and I suspect many plankton feel the same – is the powerlessness, or what feels like powerlessness. If a person wishes to better her situation re work, education, family dynamics, learning a language or what have you – she can in almost every respect – with dedication, ambition, hard work, confidence etc – but whatever a plankton does to find a companion is so often fraught with failure and humiliation. The success rate is on a par with winning the Euromillions, despite all her efforts. No wonder so many of us give up the ghost.
I guess that is what I am moaning about today. It is a better day today, by a long shot (ha! ha! Irony! Where he?) than yesterday. The turbulence has been and gone. In its place: wistfulness.
I am putting off the smiling and waving promised yesterday just a little while longer. Wistfulness is a warmer, closer, gentler companion, so familiar. Smiling and Waving are friends, too, but rather frenetic ones, and I am not in the mood to cavort with them again quite yet.