I Don’t Know Why I Am Telling You This; Just Am

February 19, 2012 § 53 Comments

Yesterday a friend told me about a pretty, blonde but perhaps not enormously interesting friend of hers who had the life.  Clever, successful husband, children, beautiful apartment in central London, blah, blah, blah.  Husband left her for someone else.  She had one or two boyfriends afterwards with whom things didn’t work out, and is now living in the middle of fucking nowhere with a man who, according to my friend, has horizontal teeth and is so bloody boring, one would be embarrassed to call him a friend, let alone a lover.

My Japanese friend rang me this morning to tell me more about her friend whom I mentioned a while back who goes to concerts alone and picks up men in the bar in the intervals.

“Let me tell you,” my friend said, “I don’t understand her.  Can you help me to?  This is someone who will only drink the best champagne and wear the most luxurious clothes, but she settles for Macdonalds men?!”  [I love my friend’s turn of phrase.  Macdonalds Men!  Marvellous!  I can so picture them].

This friend of my friend sounds like a spoilt pain in the arse but I put my friend straight.   I said it is inordinately simple. Her friend may be into luxury and be an unspeakable snob re champagne and dizzyingly expensive designer frocks bollocks, but she is still a plankton and plankton, like beggars, cannot afford to be choosers.

§ 53 Responses to I Don’t Know Why I Am Telling You This; Just Am

  • AnonW says:

    What you said about McDonald’s men got me thiking.

    I’m a coeliac and for that reason, I can’t drink beer except in a few iconic establishments. I also can’t eat junk food. Would you believe even McDonalds coffee isn’t gluten-free? How do they do that? I thought coffee was just coffee, water, milk and a few flavourings you add yourself.

    So I would never go out with a McDonalds lady either, unless off course it was her surname and she had decent teeth, good dress and food sense.

    On the other hand if she had a food allergy, she would be easy to lunch properly, as we’d probably like the same sort of restaurants. i.e. ones that understood food.

  • Joe says:

    Of course, there may be a flip side:

    Perhaps some of the allegedly interesting, self-important and well-preserved, stuck-up women are perceived to the average man as being nothing more than “Burger King Bimbos”.

  • EmGee says:

    Huh, I am once again in some gray area – I don’t care much for a “MacDonald’s Man” (dull and boring), but I was married to a man who had champagne tastes on a beer budget, and he was never happy unless he was spending, and even then, the best was never good enough. I barely have to nickels to rub together, and my boyfriend less, but we eat well (he’s making us breakfast smoothies this AM) and we do interesting things together within our meager budget.

    Perhaps the friend who picks up men in bars finds available men in her social strata dull, and by ‘slumming it’, she finds adventurous men who like a taste of the good life now and then, so frequent these high end bars. Doesn’t sound all that bad.

  • Margaux says:

    Ah but is the concert goer ‘partner hunting’ or just having sexual adventures?
    ( Maybe Macdonalds does it for her? )

  • MissBates says:

    Too true, and a recent vignette illustrating that point:

    A friend of mine here in NYC, about 60 years old, still very pretty, elegant, successful, very “Park Avenue,” blahblahblah (you can fill in the rest), has recently decided to return to the dating world a few years after a crushing divorce. An old acquaintance of hers suggested she be in touch with “X,” a man who lives in the Washington D.C. area, is of suitable age, a “retired” lawyer, very cultured, gentlemanly, etc. My friend gave permission for her phone # to be given to X, who was coming to NYC the following weekend. He called her, and arrangements were made to meet for coffee. She then Googled him, only to discover immediately that he had served a three-year Federal prison sentence for fraud in the mid-1990s, that his ex-wife has been chasing him for alimony and child support arrears, and that he seems to have been getting by on various penny-ante “business” schemes ever since his release. Coffee date cancelled. When my friend then contacted her old acquaintance to tell her what she’d discovered about X’s background, and that perhaps the acquaintance shouldn’t be setting him up on blind dates with unsuspecting women, the acquaintance blithely informed her that oh yes, she ALREADY KNEW about X’s criminal conviction, subsequent disbarment, and so forth, but figured my friend would “overlook” it, the implication being that “hey, honey, who are YOU to be so picky?”

    My friend has been dining out on this story for weeks, and we’ve all had a good laugh, but . . . sigh. It’s actually not that funny.

  • Lydia says:

    I think a lot of the problems some plankton find are encapsulted in today’s post. (a) some women are too fussy and youi can be very happy in tbhe back of beyond – that preson has found someone she likes. She’s boring or not very bright and neither is he and they match. Plankton pair off with plankton

    Second example is just a bit snobbish.
    Although actually gosh very very very few men go to concerts. I rarely go although I make music every day because they are very expensive. It will only be a certain portion of a certain class who will be at concerts at all. They are luxuty plenty of us cannot easily afford but we’re still happy even if entretainment is something free instead like singing at the piano or having sex or whatever so I very very much doubt you would find a Macdonalds man at a concert. You might find a bearded middle class scientist who is not sexually attractive but he will probably be fairly cultured and rich enough to go to a concert.

    Woman piocking up men at concerts – why not? Why says there is one right path to personal happijness which is being married? For many it is not./ Nirvana is being single. It might even be being single and chaste or it might be being single and having a lot of lovers. There are many ways to skin a cat and there are many routes to happiness.

    • Elle says:

      Not all concerts attract bearded middle class scientists. Perhaps this lady goes to death metal concerts to pick up younger bearded, tattooed, hairy men with piercing in strategic areas. Sounds good to me!

    • Jo says:

      Lydia. Could you proof read your entries sometimes, before you post them. They can be very hard to follow at times! Spelling, punctuation and sense wise…(And you a writer an’ all…).

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    Before I left for my half term week off I wrote to my dating website man. Got back yesterday, nothing from him. I wrote again to say I am now back etc. Nothing back from him, and I can see on the site that he has been online today.
    I was surprised to find this actually makes me a little sad – I had been trying to play it cool.
    The fact that I received a contact request from someone who at first seemed like a good match, but then looked more likely to be a conman did not help.
    I contacted someone who looks like a reasonable match, and fairly local, and got a reply back which left me unimpressed. Gives nothing away and is written in poor English. I have given him the benefit of doubt as he may be Spanish (since he claims to speak Spanish).

  • John says:

    Love the “McDonald’s Man” and gets my imagination juices flowing – “Next Lady” or even a “Topshop Lady” but could be a “Poundland Lady”?

  • J says:

    Taking the two parts of today’s post in order, what I would say is this.

    The first woman, the “pretty blonde”, who is “not enormously interesting”. How does one define “not enormously interesting”? “Not interesting” to whom? It strikes me as a little unkind for one woman to describe another woman in this way, P. She has had two or three boyfriends since the end of her marriage, so obviously someone is finding her “interesting”. Who knows what makes a person interesting? That is surely a subjective thing.

    I don’t think that it matters either that she is living “in the middle of ******* nowhere”; since when has a woman’s merit been based on where she lives? I meet people who live in all sorts of places; some of them live in Chelsea; some of them live in some of the most deprived areas of the South-East. I don’t set a higher value on the ones who live in Chelsea. Where someone lives really isn’t relevant.

    I find myself thinking that this woman is probably quite lucky. So, another woman thinks her partner has horizontal teeth and is boring; does this matter? He may be a really kind, decent man – certainly sounds more decent than her ex-husband – and great company for her. Doesn’t matter about the dentistry at all; some of the most awful men I have met had fabulous teeth …

    Can’t say that is reflects well on you, P, that you say that “one would be embarrassed to call him a friend …”. Let’s not judge each other as human beings based on superficial things; life’s quite hard enough.

    Moving on, in the second example, I see no reason why a woman shouldn’t meet men at concerts in the bar during the interval, although I am not sure what is meant by “picks up”. On the odd occasion when I go to a concert, I often get a drink during the interval and chat to other people at the bar; sometimes I chat to men, but I’m not trying to “pick them up”; I just regard it as an opportunity to be social. It’s actually a nice and safe way to meet men; I’ve reached a point now where if I were to go to a concert and chat to interesting men during the interval, I would come home afterwards thinking that I had had a great evening. I’m not expecting to date these guys; that isn’t why I chat to them; it’s just good to chat to people with whom you have something in common ie that you are all watching the same performance and can talk about it without needing any kind of icebreaker.

    Lastly, this concept of “McDonalds Men”. What is a “McDonalds Man”? I don’t think it is someone who eats at McDonalds, although I did think that at first! (Most people drop into McD’s now and then, I reckon – I do, sometimes; it can be a great breakfast on a cold, grey wet London day or a welcome cappuccino on a dark winter’s afternoon, when I am driving).

    I think that this is a pejorative phrase and meant to suggest with a certain degree of contempt something about the men in question which goes above and beyond the question of where they stop for a snack. It suggests that your friend thinks that this other woman is “settling” for men whom she, your friend, considers to be beyond the pale. I will say again what I said about the other example. If the woman with the expensive tastes in clothes and champagne is finding happiness in the company of certain men, who are we to judge? The dreadful subtext which lies underneath this part of your post is that your friend is suggesting that this woman is enjoying the company of men who don’t buy and perhaps can’t afford expensive champagne and clothes and are therefore worthy of being called “McDonalds Men” and that you are buying into this idea, which is a real pity.

    You say that you have told your friend that the explanation is that the woman concerned is plankton and that plankton cannot afford to be choosers. But who are we to say that she has not chosen well? She may have chosen the company of men who are not into luxury goods but they might actually be really nice, decent guys. If they are treating her well, then I would say more power to her elbow. Never equate someone who splashes out money on luxury goods with decency, P. Here in London, I know a fair few guys with money to splash around; I also have some close friends who work with homeless people and addicts and get paid very little while doing a very difficult job. Are any of these guys a real catch? Oh yes. Very definitely. The second lot. Really decent, caring guys. The flash ones? Good time guys – when life has just turned round and bittten you, you won’t see them for dust.

    I’m a ‘Plankton’. Fully qualified. Given the choice between “Luxury Goods” guy and one of these “McDonalds” guys, I think I would choose the latter, though. He might just turn out to be perfect.

    Remember that line from The Merchant of Venice – “All that glisters is not gold”.

    • The Plankton says:

      It wasn’t me who said I would be embarrassed to call him a friend. I did not pass judgement as I have never met the man! I am simply a reporter in this post. I am in haste, but just to add, I am into neither luxury goods nor Macdonalds. I was merely passing on what I heard today and yesterday, for the hell of it, to widen a teeny jot our collective understanding of human nature, but it wasn’t in the spirit of needing to be taken too seriously. px

    • Dickie Hart says:

      You stinker J !

      You have just said everything I was thinking and about to say….and I dont have the flu.

      P, I don’t wish to flame, but really…. “is now living in the middle of fucking nowhere ” presumably you mean St Johns Wood or Highgate ? God help anyone outside the M25, poor buggers all look like Wurzel Gummidge I guess.

      I’m sure you’re too arrogant to want my sympathy P so why not try a piece of advice instead. Forget about looking for a man, its only an accessory your looking for anyway, just make do with the latest handbag. Try going and doing a bit of volunteer work, doesn’t have to be with the lower orders, just try getting away from your comfort zone and then you might become a bit happier. Oh … just dont go south of the river….Injun territory.

      Why I have lurked around this blog I dont know. Perhaps it’s because I’m fascinated by women and this is like being a fly on the wall in the girls locker room. Just as I begin to think what an embittered bunch of shits your generation seems to be along come people like J or Fi (and others) to restore my faith.

      There – I said I dont wish to flame and have fallen into the trap – I apologise – of course you are going to bang on about planktonhood – that’s what the fucking blog is about. Just shows why you should all avoid grumpy old men – far worse than no man at all…..and even George Clooney will get old and grumpy one day. Shit happens. Shall I press send………………………….

      • The Plankton says:

        Dear Dickie, Thank you for this. I don’t think you know me very well if you think I am into handbags. I couldn’t give a fuck about handbags and find ones that cost more than about fifty quid absolute tops, obscene. In fact, accessories don’t enter my life in any shape or form: jewelry (I have one pair of earrings I have worn day and night for twenty years, and one ring which belonged to my grandmother), bags, none of that shit, (though I admit to a watch, given to me in 1995, and which cost about as much as a hardback novel) and the thought of a man as an accessory is an obscene a notion to me as a gazillion pound handbag. No, Dickie, you picked the wrong woman to target about being spoilt, I am afraid. Px Ps. Where do you think I live, incidentally? And by the middle of nowhere, I meant literally in the middle of fucking nowhere, not in NW8, but up a remote fucking mountain. I think that counts as the middle of fucking nowhere.

      • Dickie Hart says:

        Dearest P

        There’s no reply to respond to you below, does that mean that’s the end of the discussion?

        Oh well you’re the boss….just didn’t put you down as chicken.

      • The Plankton says:

        Oh? Oh, Lord, no I didn’t deliberately end the discussion. You may know, I am crap with technology. Has it let us down? Try responding to this one? Let me know if it doesn’t work again. Apologies. Pxx

      • The Plankton says:

        PS. I hope I am not a chicken.

      • joules says:

        Dear P – Been following a long time and have seen no evidence of chicken-like behaviour. Not sure why men are destined to be old and grumpty but it appears to be the case.

      • The Plankton says:

        Thank you, Joules. xx

  • J says:

    That’s OK, I’ve got flu and am sitting on my own in Pret so am probably in a bit of a misery groove at the moment, which influenced my reply! jx

  • zoe says:

    In my 20s I found myself – the precise circumstances and details of which I can no longer recall – completely penniless in Paris. I was actually hungry. I finally managed to scrape together just enough money to go into a McDonald’s and buy myself a cheeseburger. I have had my fair share of swanky dinners in my life, but nothing ever tasted as good – before or since – as that Big Mac.

    • AnonW says:

      We’re all driven by powerful instincts; hunger, thirst, sex, getting into a comfortable hole (bed or sleeping bag), loneliness, fame and success

  • AnonW says:

    Sorry, if you objected MIss Bates, but I don’t visit anything your side of the pond these days, as being a coeliac there, is like being a vegetarian in Argentina or France. I also don’t visit any country with the death penalty, unless they’re paying me a large amount of money.

    • MsHaversham to be says:

      New York (where she’s from) doesn’t have the death penalty. It’s a state choice.

      • AnonW says:

        I know it’s a state choice, but I did say country. One of my sons is a very high level human rights lawyer, who has defended some at Guantanemo, so I have other reasons as well. Take the case of Christopher Tappin and the Natwest Three. We wouldn’t have those latter problems, except that Blair had found a new way to pleasure Bush and his right-wing friends.

      • MissM says:

        I’m pretty sure no one in the US notices if you don’t visit Anon W, nor are they likely to care about the reasons why you choose to not do so.

      • Lydia says:

        Most of us in the UK are very very unhappy about G Bay, the US death penality and in particular the US/UK extradition treaty and i hope are working on changing those things. In fact plenty of women do . I think it’s behoves women of all ages to fight for what is right and far too many get far too involved simply in a domestic sphere interested only in the heart and their domestic concerns as if they were a Saudi wife incarcerated in the home.

    • paolo says:

      Hey, thanks for ruining this blog with your clueless politics, you self-righteous twit.

      (Not that it should matter what I or anyone else on this blog thinks about the great political issues of the day, but, as far as I’m concerned, if your son is defending detainees at Guantanamo, then HE’s the one with blood on his hands.)

      • Spineless Idiot says:


        “self righteous twit”, “self righteous twit”. Can’t you think of a better insult than that? Something really rude to lighten an otherwise dull day.

        I won’t ask you about principles – a subject that is obviously beyond you.

  • MsHaversham to be says:

    AnonW- if you know it’s a state choice then surely you know the absurdity of refusing to visit New York or all the many other states that don’t have the death penalty. Your comment shows a fundamental lack of understanding as to USA politics, economics and legal systems. The vast majority of decisions in those areas are made at state not federal level. States guard their independence rigorously (hence the civil war). As such it would be wiser to
    refuse to visit Texas or Louisianna as opposed to a Democrat state like NY. You also cant castigate Ms Bates for what Texas et al do. Your comment to Ms Bates was uncalled for; exactly how did the fealty penalty come up?

    As to Guantanamo- that’s in Cuba. Your son’s views shouldn’t influence yours. You’d also do well to remember that a lot of detainees are there for a reason. Just like those on death row.

    If human rights concerns you so much, stop using forms of transport with a combustion engine. All the oil used by them comes from Arab countries which all have the death penalty and treat women like filth (second class citizens actually need citizenship to be treated as such).

    • Elle says:

      Indeed, and add most goods manufactured in the Far East to this list.

    • Spineless Idiot says:


      What a simplistic view of the world you have. What a delight to be so naive and innocent.

      Love the way you justify Guantanamo – some are there for a reason so so we will abandon all that is right in a free democracy.

      Then – in the posts which follow and after braying on (and on and on) about world politics – you have the nerve to tell AnonW to parade his political views elsewhere.

      Bravo, bravo cry the usual suspects huddled round in a small circle.

      Is now the menu: male makes innocuous comment. Strident women takes her turn in rotas to give poor male a slap. Rest of core clap. Something like that?

  • AnonW says:

    I can’t drive anymore and actually find it no handicap. Most of the buses where I live are hybrid and all the trains are electric. I agree with you totally about countries that don’t treat their women properly. I would also through in rights for widows, which in many countries are even more non-existent than those for women. I only use one plural for widows, as both sexes suffer a lot of the same problems. They just have different ways of coping, although a lot of both sexes cope in the same way.

    • MsHaversham to be says:

      Even hybrid buses use petrol and oil is to be found in the plastic you use. I’d worry more about those Arab countries than the ones that have the death penalty after a fair and proper trial.

      Again I’m not sure where the widow point came from.

      Let me be blunt- your comment to Ms Bates was snipey and uncalled for. If you’ve a drum to beat for a human rights/anti-death penalty/left wing tree hugging/ cause please do so on a political forum. This a site for plankton where we can be honest about our (invisible) state as opposed to presenting the mask we do in real life. So please, no politics.

      • Jo says:

        Bravo MsHaversham to be. All salient points, fantastically delivered.
        Anon W.
        Great sweeping generalisations of States, countries and human rights.
        With none of the detail or backup of MsH t b.
        Gross generalisation is boring..

      • MsHaversham to be says:

        Thank you Jo(seriously, compliments are like men around here!) although Ms M (as ever) said it far more succinctly than I.

        MissM- thank you for making me laugh on a dull Sunday evening (Call the midwife has finished and Desperate Housewives has yet to begin).

      • MissM says:

        You are most welcome Ms Haversham to be, glad I could make you laugh. Personally I thought yours the better post, but it is still nice that there is plenty of room for us all.

  • zoe says:

    I’m not getting into this. BAD idea. But “all salient points”? I resisted the temptation the first time round. But now you too, Jo? “As to Guantanamo- that’s in Cuba”. COME ON….YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS…! Sorry. I know I’m shouting, so I’ll shut up now, As MsH quite rightly says, this is not the blog or the place…

  • zoe says:

    Ah. Sorry. That’s what happens when I start shouting. More heat than light. MsH attacked AnonW for his attack on the US, which incorporated a swipe against Guantanamo, by pointing out that Guantanamo is in Cuba and not the US. Guantanamo was a cynical manoeuvre that enabled torture by circumventing the reach of US legal jurisdiction and the protections of the Geneva Convention. To dismiss AnonW’s criticism of the US on the basis that Guantanamo is not actually in the US is to mirror the shameful cynicism of the original sleight of hand. I have lived, studied and worked in the US and am a a great admirer of the principles and practice of open Government, which leaves us in the shade, but this episode remains a stain on its reputation around the world. But that’s it. I’m shutting up now. I’ll try and restrict myself to commenting on plankton and the virtues of the younger man…

    • MsHaversham to be says:

      You misunderstood my comment. I was pointing out that guantanamo is in Cuba which has a dire human rights record and executes people. Which makes a nonsense of the suggestion that one shouldn’t visit countries with the death penalty- AnonW’s son clearly did.

      To make exceptions means that one’s view of human rights and acceptability is transient, dependent upon circumstance.

      I obviously didn’t make that clear enough.

      Nonetheless, I’m still not sure where the swipe on the US has come from or why either you or AnonW think this is the place for such a discussion. I’m sure you will however agree that MsBates isn’t responsible for the death penalty or Guantanamo nor is it appropriate to make snipes on her.

      As to the acceptability of Guantanamo, there you and I will have to agree to disagree.

    • Jo says:

      Thanks for clarifying Zoe.
      I must say though that MsH’s comments (and my agreeing with them), were not introduced to this blog. They were a reply to Anon W’s – rather obtuse – words about ‘British and ‘colonials’ thereafter segueing into reasons for not visiting America! Nothing to do with this blog at all!
      And rather generalised to boot.
      As she said. You say and I say, how any of that found its way to this blog is a puzzle. Best left behind for the topic in hand. Or debated elsewhere.
      Night night all.

  • On theme…”One Mans’ meat is another Mans’ poison” it is so true , luckily for me !

    P.S. We Love to SLUM IT in McDos (as the French call it) , the patrons are the cabaret…including us .

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