Surprise Latest on Long Shot

January 27, 2012 § 54 Comments

Well, seems I have been disingenuous but, I swear, unwittingly so.

Yesterday I said there wasn’t even the faintest twinkle in the ether, and there wasn’t, and I am not saying there is now, but in the evening, of course when I was least expecting it (I wasn’t expecting it at all), rushing around like a blue-arsed fly, I did receive an email from Long Shot.  Quite 13 days after I sent him mine.

He is in a place where internet connection is supremely sporadic but is returning to the UK in a week or two.  His expression in this latest cyber-despatch, I decided, was more old-fashioned than emotionless.  A man who has been away from society for a long time.  A man who keeps his own company.   He was friendly and said he will ring or email me when he arrives.

I was pleased with myself because I wasn’t particularly excited and yet I allowed the missive to qualify, along with my daily latte and the theatre tonight, as one of my many Reasons to Be Cheerful, but it is by no means the main one.

Also, I am not going to be agonising about whether to send a reply, when to do so, or what to write.  I will send one – politeness apart from anything else, and a certain curiosity – but I will do so when it suits me and, as is my nature, I might even make it quite long and hopefully quite funny – or not, as the case may be.  Precisely how the mood takes me at the time.  There will be no contortions over its composition.  I shall be writing it not with a cool, games-y voice, but in a voice which is entirely spontaneous and my own – like this blog, in fact – and he can take it or leave it and, at this stage, I’m not terribly bothered.  I intend on being natural me, not some cool me which is completely unnatural, and which is a construct, and gets me nowhere.  He’ll either like it or he won’t, but that’s the same with the fake cool persona: he’ll either like it or he wont (I can’t second-guess which). Only if he likes the fraudulent me, and I like him , then I would have a heck of a job trying to maintain the cool for more than an hour or two let alone into any friendship or relationship that might develop.  No, best to be entirely myself.  No more different-kind-of-woman bollocks.

See what happens.  If anything.  Might be nice if something did, but there again, might not.  He may turn out to be a sweetheart.  Or an arsehole.  I’ll decide.

Wew, a few months of listening to you lot, have I evolved!


§ 54 Responses to Surprise Latest on Long Shot

  • Redbookish says:

    Hope all’s well with you and you find the right things to say and do! Good luck (oh, and keep writing!)

  • Steve H says:


    By the way, have sent you an email.

  • Jude says:

    Much as I enjoy and follow your blog avidly (its my ‘go to’ on a daily basis) I’m really loving this new positive, cheerful, sod-em-all Plankton. Whatever might or might not come out of this latest communication from LS it sounds like you’re moving up the evolutionary chain. Well done!

  • Elle says:

    I’m glad that Long Shot replied and cheered you up. However, if you were in your teens, twenties or early thirties I’d tell you to forget this man as he is probably a waste of time. I do understand that it’s different once you hit 35 and every nano-particle of hope is precious. My advice is to take Long Shot’s response as a reply to your email and nothing more.

    A while back you described a man you met at a party. It wasn’t Long Shot but at the time you said that this man travelled a lot and spent much of his time in hotel rooms. I think this had affected his ability to interact with the human race. War zones and the like are probably tougher and have an even more profound effect on the ability to communicate. I would argue that people who choose such destinations already have communication problems, brilliant as they may be, and prefer their own company. Such people are most likely not relationship material.

    Men who travel a lot as part of their work sometimes visit escorts. It isn’t nice, but it’s reality. That’s the way that some men take care of their needs and when every day could be your last there’s a huge temptation to take risks and life life to the full.

    Re Long Shot:

    “He is in a place where internet connection is supremely sporadic but is returning to the UK in a week or two.”

    A week or two, or three, or four, or five???

    “A man who has been away from society for a long time. A man who keeps his own company.”

    After a relationship failed, Dorothy Parker famously said “Serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard”. Don’t do that P, no matter how bleak things look. Even though I think the internet is dodgy at best, I really think you shouldn’t give up on it. Especially now Long Shot has replied. Do everything you can to keep thoughts of him from preventing you moving forward.

    “He was friendly and said he will ring or email me when he arrives.”

    Whenever that is. Will it be in this millenium or if you are a believer in reincarnation, in this lifetime?

    Again, if you were in your teens, twenties or early thirties I would tell you to forget Long Shot and have him as a casual acquaintance at best whenever he does make an appearance, like a blue moon.

    • Lydia says:

      There’s a lot of truth above. I often get contacted by men who have been working abroad a lot and are coming back here. They tend to have no roots, stability, often not much money either,.sometimes fat from allt hose dinners abroad or cultureless as they’ve lived in sexist hell holes like Dubai where women and foreigners are treated like dirt.

      Also usually people can be in touch if they really want to but of course he might be back and get really into you and that might be it. Keep all possibilities open. Enjoy the fun of the process itself and then the outcome may not matter.

    • EmGee says:

      Re: Elle. NO ONE is a ‘waste of time’ in my book.

      I think Ms P, that you have had a sensible reaction, and I just knew you’d get a reply since you’d expressed exasperation. 😉 While LS may be sporadic, it seems he may be ‘steady’. Not one to pin one’s hopes on, but maybe a slow burner.

      This missive doesn’t even seem to demand a reply as he said he would get in touch with you when he’s in town, so indeed, take you time!

  • Lizzie from Oz says:

    I would say that evolving from listening to us lot would be inevitable – everyone has a different opinion or take on things – and sometimes when we are heavily invested in the outcome of a certain situation – it is very easy to look at the approach with a blinkered view. The best advice would be from your immediate – do NOT have such a high stake in the outcome – the outcome really doesn’t matter – at worst, he will just be a friend! At best, something else!
    And DO NOT abandon this blog!! How about a completely different topic every now and then – something relevant to the simplicities and idiocracies of our everyday lives?

  • Jo says:

    Oh my goodness. Deep breath in… Breathe out slowly… I’m talking to myself here!
    Right. First of all I said that this would happen. You have taken it well.
    I am going to retract what I said before. Which was if/when it did, not to go there again. In my opinion.
    I’ve changed my mind. I’m glad there is to be no agonising over it for eons. No taking it to friends and communally dissecting and constructing a – too long thought out – reply. As you say, no contortions. Just you yourself. Natural you.That’s all you need. But do make it clear that you ARE interested in meeting him. Indeed.Tell him that that is what you would like to do. Remember. Too subtle and it melts into gossamer, is not picked up, disappears into thin air and hey ho, the same old merry – go – round. On and on and on.. The man may need a much clearer message. (Don’t take that as ‘not being cool’. Just bloody do it.).
    But one more thing P. If he contacts you by email, ask him for his number and call him up. SPEAK to him. Arrange to MEET.
    Enough already…..
    As for ‘ not being terribly bothered’? You’ve reacted well I’ll grant you that. (Hark at me Ms blinkin’ pompous.).
    All I’ve got to say to that is…’yeah. Right’.
    At the moment it’s good dearest P. Get on with it! X

  • Jo says:

    Apologies P. I do believe you about not being terribly bothered. I’ve just read your comment above, about not putting it on. Sorry.
    I also think his long spells away, out of contact often, on his own. Back for……How long? Would a relationship with someone like this be something you would wish? Could handle?
    This has to be it, finally, for LS. Speak. Meet. Get it done. See where you are then.
    After he contacts you. No more bloody emails. Face to face. That’s it.
    Nothing else will do.

  • Sarah says:

    Gosh I suppose I’ll have to modify my mantra of Down with LS. We’re not quite at LS4P yet, maybe Wait and LSee…?

    Anyway, good to know he’s not down and out, but probably just one of those hopeless men (we all know the sort…).

    • The Plankton says:

      I think that’s right: hopeless in as far as women are concerned because of long times spent away and happy in his own company. Doesn’t make him a bad person. Let’s just, as you say, Wait and See. xx

  • Chris says:

    Ah, your Nemesis returns. And for all the contrived coolness of your tone, your heart I tyhink is all aflutter. This is evident from….oh well, you know wnat I mean. Good luck but remeber, LS always seems to bring you up….then take you down.

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Chris, I promise you he hasn’t brought me up unduly this time. I really am no more excited by or pleased with the email than I am with any email that is friendly. Otherwise it honestly is business as usual. x

  • Jo says:

    That’s the spirit P. Thank goodness.

  • Jo says:

    Whatever the story is with LS. You’re right. He’s not a bad man. Or unpleasant or disparaging.
    There’s something about him that seems to have his head in the clouds.
    I don’t know. It’s all speculation in the end isn’t it? You’ll find out soon enough.

  • Man says:

    Dear P

    You have changed but need to change a little more.

    This is because a husband, like happiness, is best found as a by-product of a process rather than something that is pursued in its own right. The process is a life lived with interest and enjoyment, where you can put in what you want to, rather than what you feel you have to.

    Internet dating with the objective of finding a husband is a terrible idea for you. Instead, use this blog of yours as the means of finding a date or three. And if the dates go well see if the relationship can develop over time into something more. You have a number of male readers that have read all your posts, feel that they know you, and would like to meet you – do some due diligence (or have one of your amazing friends do so on your behalf) and meet those who are suitable.

    Many of your readers have given you a suggestion to join a club, climb a mountain, do a lecture course. Advice of the “join this club” variety is only helpful if by so joining you can derive enjoyment such that you put a lot of yourself into the club and then meet people with similar interests. It then works for the reasons given above.

    You have demonstrated your ability, interest and desire to keep on blogging no matter what other circumstances may derail you. This is what has earned you such a loyal following, and I am convinced can help you to find, as a by-product, someone that you will want to develop a relationship with.

    The really important things in life, like who we marry, in which country we live and the work we do, often depend on which way the wind was blowing when we walked out of a doorway one day. Luck matters more than planning, but we make our luck by working hard at what we enjoy, and demonstrating that interest and ability to others. Meeting the right person then becomes an obvious consequence of something else.

    You have done more than enough on this blog to use it to find someone. With him you will need, in time, to share the issues you have with diet and body image and what lead to the end of your first marriage.

    This may seem to be a strange post but think about it and you will find the suggesting to be blindingly obvious!

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.


    • Lydia says:

      Put these words by Man on your metaphorical fridge as they are some of the wisest words on there and I could have written them.

      “This is because a husband, like happiness, is best found as a by-product of a process rather than something that is pursued in its own right. The process is a life lived with interest and enjoyment, where you can put in what you want to, rather than what you feel you have to.”

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Man, This is not a strange comment. It makes a great deal of sense. Wise advice indeed and thank you for going to the trouble to write it. I shall definitely think about it. Best wises, Px

  • fi says:

    You don’t have to make any plans or commitments. Why not just continue corresponding with him, and/or meet him, get to know each other and see where things go themselves? And continue doing whatever you were going to do anyway (hopefully internet dating) and see where that goes. What’s likely is that as you get to know LS and other people you’ll get to know whether they are right for you.

  • Jo says:

    Quite right Fi.
    Man. Internet dating with the objective of finding a husband is not just a terrible idea for P. It is a terrible idea for anybody. Which is why, you’ll find, it has never been suggested here.
    What you will find is that internet dating – maybe – has been suggested here for exactly the reasons the rest of your paragraph talks about! You say, ‘instead, use this blog of yours…………something more’.
    For ‘blog’, read ‘internet’. That’s all we have suggested. Nothing about a husband. So it is NOT a ‘terrible’ idea.

    • Man says:

      Dear Jo

      Thank you for your message.

      You may not have suggested Internet dating sites as a way for P to find a man but many others have. To me, there is a world of difference between P responding to contact made from someone who has read her blog for months versus responding to a contact made from someone simply trawling for an entry on POF.

      I agree that both POF and WordPress use the Internet as a communication tool but P has put a part of herself into her blog for another purpose and may find a man as a by-product. She is unable to put anything similar into a date-site listing and the purpose of the date-site is too direct to succeed for someone like P who has major reservations about it.

      I am not suggesting that Polonius was a model of behaviour that we all should follow but there was often a shrewdness in some of his advice:
      “And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,
      With windlasses, and with assays of bias,
      By indirections find directions out:”

      Try the oblique approach some time. No offence intended to you or anyone else with a different perspective.

      Yours sincerely


  • rosie says:

    Wahey! He’s obviously interested although I agree with Elle that he will probably lead you a merry dance if you let him. Then again, he might not, what do I know. Love that Dorothy Parker quote and so wish I had put it into practice at least once in my life. But if you’re into someone, you’re into them, and ain’t nothing you can do about it!

  • Caz says:

    …well done cool dude….way to go P xx

  • Empress says:

    I agree with Fi, enjoy it for whatever it turns out to be but make sure you continue to move forward.

  • Bienchen says:

    Hm, I think you have very aptly named him LS, nomen est omen and all that. My take is that he is probably “not much into you”. Let’s see what happens but as far as I am concerned I would want a man to be a bit more forthcoming and proactive. Good or poor internet connection aside, he could have (when he was finally able to connect) have been a lot more enthusiastic about getting in touch with you. I did not get that sense of importance from your post, so I would say, yes Long Shot is just that and NEXT!

  • My feeling is (and psychological research backs me up on this) if you were to ask Long Shot out and want to make a lasting impression and/or get him to like you you’ll have to do something beyond coffee and conversation. My feeling is is that LS would be bored by that. Instead you should create a novel experience with a hint of danger. For instance–why not go to a restaurant/coffeehouse in a high crime neighborhood? Or hiking? Bungee jumping? River rafting? I’ve read before that this adrenaline creates the groundwork for love. It’s better to have him thinking you’re completely nuts rather than boring. Just my 2 cents.

  • Zambesigirl says:

    A big resounding ‘yes’ to all of that. Irrespective if what happens with LS, your post sings, and ultimately, you can not go wrong being you. X

  • AB says:

    I just have to add a post script to my comment that planktons aren’t reading for a narrative arc or a happy ending. Obviously every empathetic civilised human being would be glad about a plankton’s ‘happy ending’. But a happy ending is just fiction, there’s no such thing in real life, as everyone who’s gone through a divorce probably  knows. Marriage isn’t a happy ending. A blog isn’t a Jane Austen novel. 
    But the follow up replies gave me a new found respect for someone who could expose their life and gracefully accept so much advice. It must be overwhelming to get 103 (well meaning) people commenting on your day and how you should live. How do you cope? Good luck, I’m sure it will make a great book. 

    • The Plankton says:

      You know, it is a bit overwhelming but in a nice way. I love all the comments because they are what make me feel it is worth all the effort. Thank you for the good luck. I need it! Px

  • rosie says:

    “For instance–why not go to a restaurant/coffeehouse in a high crime neighborhood?”

    I’m starting to think you live on another planet. First off Europe is some kind of socialist utopia and now high-crime neighbourhoods are full of restaurants and coffee houses. Maybe you should try opening a newspaper!

  • rosie says:


  • Jo says:

    sudafeduberralles said it P.

  • Margaux says:

    There you go…he was in the pending tray all the time ….dust him off if and when he rises to the top of the pile …:-)

    Excellent news, P !

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you, Margaux, that’s very sweet of you. I finally managed earlier this morning to send him back a very jolly email. Didn’t consult a single friend or agonise over it, just tossed it off and may or may not get a response. Happy either way because, even if he doesn’t reply, I at least have the satisfaction of knowing that my prose was larky and couldn’t have failed to raise a smile. Px

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