About Last Night…

February 25, 2012 § 50 Comments

Oh, I fear there is almost nothing to report.

Smidgen and I had a very jolly drink and I thought, this is good, we are friends, something occurred in both our minds at some level at some stage, but that has now gone and we can get on with the business of focusing on our mutual project and being friends.  Nothing more or less than I had hoped for.  Honestly.  When later, another colleague said I was looking fab and what was the occasion, I told him, laughing, it was on account of his friend that I had got dressed up.  I felt that confident in my romantic indifference that a little light banter along those lines didn’t even feel risky.  Now we can just carry on, business as usual, no awkwardness or complications or mixed messages or dodgy dignity.

Phew!

Meanwhile, I was pleased to get Long Shot’s email yesterday but it did not play any havoc with my stomach.  I am simply replying to him in the spirit of replying to a friend who’s been away and is now in town and whom it would be good to see.  No more, no less.

I am after all, I think, a grown-up.

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§ 50 Responses to About Last Night…

  • Lydia says:

    Sounds more relaxed (except the dressing up). Smidgen the one you don’t want?

    I am reading Rachel Cusk’s new book about her divorce. It is too short. Her book about becoming a mother was longer and better. This one she is having to be too careful about her ex husband’s privacy but it still might be worth some people who have been through divorce reading.

    I also feel terribly let down by her in it. As someone who believes in equal rights for men and women under the law and fairness at home, I find it unfortunate that she regards the children as “hers” and given she let her husband abandon a legal career to be at least in part a house husband that she then does not seem able to accept that that therefore means similarly fairness on divorce. All interesting issues. I’ve not finished it yet.

    It does also make me realise how much less money those who choose to write for money end up with even if successful than other careers women should pick and I am not sure everyone is properly advised of that as a teenager. She has even had to take in a lodger.

    • Joules says:

      Lydia
      Perhaps you had better add science to that list of careers that women should avoid if they want to make loads of money – I also have a lodger. He does make up for it by parading around the house with no shirt on and being 25 and a climber that is a sight to behold.
      I would still rather be a scientist than anything else – it is almost a calling.

      • fi says:

        Lydia is ALWAYS going on about money, as though that is the most important thing in life. I think it’s important to have some, yes, or rather it’s crap not to have enough, but money is a means to an end not an end in itself. Having more money doesn’t make you a superior person. Time and again Lydia seems to congratulate herself for having had the luck to know what sort of career she wanted, been able to do it, for that career to be a high earning one, and for her to get fulfilment from it. And that is luck which Lydia should not be so self congratulatory about. Plenty of other people have followed the same path and not been happy when they got there.

      • Oxonian says:

        What oft was thought, but ne’er so well express’d, Fi

      • Steve says:

        Think Fi is being a bit unfair on Lydia. She doesn’t always go on about money. She sometimes changes tack….and decides to mention her own desert island 🙂

      • fi says:

        @Steve :D.

      • Lydia says:

        It’s one of my themes, that’s true but let us not forget 4 in 5 women end up with a man who has more money and countless men if they’re honest will say if they earned £1m a year they would have much less trouble finding women. We live in this culture. Money is our equivalent of the largest penis gourd warn by the most admired villager with the biggest hurt.

        I am happy because I eat a good diet and get a lot of sleep. I am not happy because I earn enough to fund my divorce costs. I am happy because I have a lot of children and people in my life whom I love (and I accept you can generally only afford that if you’re very poor on benefits or rather well off in the UK but it’s a tenuous link), not because of money.

        I have worked with scientists of a commercial bent (not quite Dyson but similar) and many do make money if they want to.

        Also I do not accept I earn reasonable amounts because of luck. I work much harder than most people and I deliberately chose work which is paid fairly well which most people could not do. We can all clean houses and mind babies so it’s minimum wage work. It’s just common sense.

        Ms Cusk may have invented the financial issues in her latest book. I cannot know that. It was very sad she resented the fact she might pay to her husband and have to share his children with him. Perhaps we need a test before we marry to see if the person really does have true views of equality before we marry them.

        There is a very good list of 20 questions which was in the Times lsat year from a Jewish rabbi which he gives to couples before marriage to answer. I think whether you are atheist or religious there should be pre marriage classes or at least questionnaires. I am certainly going to ensure my children know the answers to questions of their potential spouse before they commit to that person on a raft of issues. Much more important than the nature of the piece of cloth you drape around you up the aisle.

    • The Plankton says:

      I am very keen to read it although she and I have a parting of the ways in as much as I believe very strongly that it is vital not to write about one’s own marriage, divorce or children. As this blog shows, I am happy to write whatever warts and all drivel about myself I fancy, but invading the privacy of others is a no-no. I hope I am not a hypocrite in this, though there have probably been times when I have broken my own rules. Px

    • The Plankton says:

      I have even to take in a lodger or, at least I have to financially but I can’t. House too small. Unless you are JK, you can forget writing as a means of getting rich. All my (published, well-respected) writer friends are broke.

      • zoe says:

        Yes, quite, P. No one I know has made any proper money out of writing. And the situation is made worse because these they don’t even command respect. When they launched their – seemingly promising -careers, they didn’t go into it for the money, but there was an expectation that good work would be valued and accorded some status. But sadly, 25 years on, what they encounter is a society of Lydia-like values and attitudes. Rather than a noble calling, writing is just seen as a dumb career choice.

    • RS says:

      I agree with you Lydia re: Cusk’s claim on the children and her attitude about what her husband’s entitled to. I haven’t read the book, just the excerpt that was in the Guardian, but I was quite shocked. Equality means just that.

      • Lydia says:

        Sadly there is not much to it in my view than the excertps I have read in the various papers (and I have have the whole book). She writes very well and it’s certainly worth buying. Rachel Cusk’s use of language in describing some of the issues on a divorce is as every very good. i was just disappointed it was such a short book and I felt a bit disjointed and a bit too many descriptions of Greek myths wound into it in a way that didn’t work for me.

        My values and attitudes are no worse than anyone’s. I sing, I think,. I read,.Ii even wrote 30 books. I might practise a profession but I have a rounded life of which the arts do play a part. However I have to feed my children so I cannot just sit there staring into space thinking about the meaning of life all day or fiddling around with paint.

      • EmGee says:

        “…so I cannot just sit there staring into space thinking about the meaning of life all day or fiddling around with paint.”

        Hey! I resemble that remark! 🙂

        It’s a dirty job, but somebody must do it, so everyone else can get on with their lives 😉

  • Joules says:

    P – at least you enjoyed going out and always nice to dress up for any occasion. And the sun is shining down here so it might be with you too. Spring is in the air and anything is possible.
    I am going to do my best to have a great weekend – might even get out into the garden and do some chopping and digging. Nothing to make you feel more like spring is just around the corner.

    • fi says:

      Its raining in scotland – is it ever anything else? Although I’ve joined that meetup thing that folk were going on about here a while back and off for my first walk today. And P – now you’re friends with S, make sure you get added on to his guest list for things, and add him to yours and maybe you’ll meet more blokes through him.

      • Joules says:

        Fi – think I will look up the meet up thing – might have better luck than with the internet dating. I did my PhD at Glasgow Uni – know about the rain. And that most Scots don’t let it stop them having a good time.

        I second the idea of getting on S’s guest list. That does assume he has a social life of course but worth a try.

      • The Plankton says:

        Not much of one, I own, but he has already asked me out again for a drink with another (female) mutual friend of ours, so that will be jolly. x

      • The Plankton says:

        Will do, Fi, and thank you. Hope the sun comes out in Scotland soon. xx

    • The Plankton says:

      Sun here, too, Joules, and I have just got round to sending an email to LS, so who knows what life may or may not bring. More sun, with any luck. xx

    • zoe says:

      Hi Joules, I mentioned our exchange from a few days ago to my theoretical physicist friend, and now he’s curious about YOU. I said some nice things about your posts, but couldn’t pass on much besides, and told him he’d have to ask you himself. He asked me to pass on his email: spmwl at hotmail dot com …Well. Why not? Fantastically random, I know. But somehow very NOW. And also in the spirit of P’s fondness for friendly matchmaking…I won’t mention the strapping 25 year old lodger… 🙂

      • fi says:

        Joules – go for it. Take a chance and see where it leads you…..

      • Joules says:

        @ Zoe Ok – once I finish the discussion for this scientific paper I am writing I will email him tonight – bolstered up with a couple of glasses of red wine. Thank you for being so generous. Theoretical physicist brain is a scary and wonderous thing – hope I am up to it.

        Darling lodger has had to go off suddenly this afternoon to support friend whose brother died in an accident – at 24. Life is too short. All the more reason for me to email your physicist.

      • The Plankton says:

        Hey, Joules, that is so the spirit. Grab life by the balls when it has so unexpectedly presented itself, via Zoe. Excellent! Please let us know how your correspondence pans out. Best of luck. Pxx

      • Joules says:

        Zoe – little email done. Now to bed, purchance to dream. More likely just to sleep with the two glasses of red wine ensuring that.

      • Lizzie says:

        Good luck Joules! x

      • zoe says:

        @Joiules. Gosh..beginning to feel responsible…

  • I gotta know, Ms. Plankton, I gotta know- What thoughts were going through your mind shortly before you met up with “Smidgen” last night?

    Were you thinking to yourself, “…Probably nothing will result from this beyond another evening out on the town?” Were you thinking to yourself, “Ah hah, the start of my next relationship may now finally be no more a than a few hours away, and this is a very real possibility, if not even a probability?”

    I gotta know…

    “Nothing more or less than I had hoped for…” : (

    • The Plankton says:

      Neither of the above. Instead, I’m going out for a drink with someone with whom it was vaguely awkward once, it still could be, but probably won’t be as he is now just a friend.

  • Barry says:

    You progress …….the Force is Strong now …… You may yet leave the Dark Side Obi Plankton Wan ….We, the Public , wait and watch .

    xxx your post made my day P !

  • EmGee says:

    What a great post! I think the outcome says a lot about your attitude going in. And you’re asked out again, adults only. 🙂

    Nothing against doing things with the kids, but one of your laments in the past was being asked out only for family oriented events. So progress, yes?

    There was a time when people dressed a little better just to go out shopping, or when traveling. I am not sure I miss those days, but when going out among your peers, it boosts self esteem to dress up, even if just a little extra, especially if people notice, it doesn’t have to be reserved only for special dates.

  • thirtysomething says:

    I think that since Lydia has been branded by Plankton’s online community as being self congratulatory, money obsessed, vain and whatever else, everyone seems to pick on her no matter what she posts. Fair enough to call her out if she writes something outrageous, as she does sometimes do, but today’s post was fine.

    • fi says:

      I think its gentle teasing really but ok taking on board what you say

    • EmGee says:

      I rarely respond to to Lydia, but I personally find in her musings, and usually in the same post, half good analysis, and half out of touch with most people’s reality. I was right there with her in the reply at the top of the page, until the last paragraph.

      As an artist, and one who is not quite making a living at it, I understand the call of the muse and the compulsion to follow, when every good sense tells me that life would be so much easier if I just conformed, and got (and kept) a ‘real job’. Lots of people don’t get that, and I am sure it is mystery to them why someone would want to struggle so. To be honest, it’s a bit of a mystery to me too, but still I do it. 🙂

      Anyway, I think Lydia is at the opposite end of the spectrum from me, and that’s okay.

      • Joules says:

        Yes – I agree. Half of the time what Lydia says I agree with; and then she just goes and spoils it all. And in fact I think that having a lodger is a good use of my assets – one of which is a house that is larger than I need just for me. And with no children it is nice to have a young person around I guess. And I spend quite a bit of time convincing young women in science to stay there and have a career in it – they will never get rich or have an island but they can have a decent life. Anyway – need to draft a little email.

    • AMJ says:

      Well said, thirtysomething,couldn’t agree more. Regardless of people’s intentions it comes across to an observer as a nasty form of social darwinism. I hate to see people picked on, and it’s why I rarely comment here.

  • Zambesigirl says:

    P, I’m liking the way you roll lately and wish you well. x

  • DAN says:

    HI PLANKTON,
    Sorry, that i haven’t been around for a while, met someone and decided to give it a go against my major principles or judgment which proved correct in the end.
    Met a very special person and really enjoyed everything that we done together.
    She looked like and even acted in so many ways like my previous wife !
    To all intense and purposes she could have passed off as my previous wife .
    Intelligent, witty, funny and a heart of gold .
    But alas wasen’t to be .
    So i ended it, more so to save her any further pain of a breakup .
    Something was missing . That look, that glance that you knew so well after being with someone for 28 years is unmistakeable.
    I am crying here tonite for the pain i have just caused to this very special and beautiful woman, and will remember her for the rest of my life on this earth.
    If i haden’t met my wife this would have been a real situation and could have turned out to be something very , very special !
    But would not have been fair to this very special person to carry on this facade .
    All this done was to reinforce my mindframe that my wife was indeed not alone my wife but my soulmate , freind and lover .
    Nobody will ever replace her !
    So i guess i am back where i started.
    Fucked up !
    Wont be doing this again and will resign myself to a life in solitude.
    Will more than lightley end up being and dying on my own to save family and very close freinds the hardship of having to listen to my shit until the very end !

    Sorry to here about smidgeon .
    You plankton above all people know how i feel about him .
    Like me , i think he is a very special person that would be so good for you right now.
    But at least ye’re still freinds and who knows what might happen yet ?

    I wish you well .

    DAN.

    • The Plankton says:

      Dan, I am rushing out of the door, but just wanted to say I am glad you’ve commented again and thank you very much for this. I am sorry it didn’t work out for you with the woman you were seeing. Thanks also for your words about Smidgen. Best wishes, Px

    • Lizzie says:

      Dan, sorry but your post sounds delusional to me. How on earth could you expect someone to replace and become exactly the same persona as your wife?
      Why would you cast such a harsh judgement on this “very special and beautiful woman, who you will remember for the rest of your life on this earth”?? And then cast her aside?

      • DAN says:

        sorry lizzie and unpaidhookerwithaheartofgold , but had to give it a go and see could i actually get my head around where i was, and if it was possible to move on !
        I would never, ever hurt or intimidate anyone intentionally !
        I had already explained this to this beautiful woman before we set out on this journey.
        I would only have ended up ruining her life looking and searching for something that would never be there,caused her pain and anguish for which she does not deserve.
        We will remain freinds for the rest of our lives and in fact after writing to this blog late last nite we talked by phone for nearly 2 hours.
        She understood from the outset that there was a huge possibility that it would end up going nowhere and is fine with that .
        In her own words ” i wish i could find a man that would adore me the way you adore your ex-wife.
        As i have already stated, i wont be inflicting my presence on any other person from now on , but those that i do, will do so only through freindship.
        I had to find out if was possible to get over my ex-wife or at least give it a try .
        But now i know ! Nobody will ever replace her .
        When i made those vows on that alter all those years ago ” till death do us part ” i really meant them and will love this ex-wife of mine until the end of time !
        And so it will be !

        Thanks Emgee for your continued support. Really appreciate it !

        DAN.

    • EmGee says:

      Dan, I think you made the right decision. It must be hard to lose someone you had such a strong connection to, but I do hope you find someone, some day, who may not measure up to your wife, but who you are comfortable with. You don’t seem to want to be alone, so don’t give up!

      • Lizzie says:

        Ok Dan – thanks for that. I understand now, so thank you for the explanation.
        SO relieved that you are still going to be friends….

  • DAN says:

    PS.
    Just as a note for anybody reading this blog that is happily married or heading in that direction .
    Never take that special person in your life for granted.
    Talk to them and ask is there anything that you as an individual can do to make the relationship better ?
    When and if you took those vows all those years ago, did you really mean them, and if you did, put that little bit of extra effort in to make the
    situation work !
    When you pick that special person that you originally want to spend the rest of your life with, the chances of you finding somebody remotely near what you already had, but just took for granted are non existent .
    Talk and work to make the situation better !
    You have no idea how bad things are going to get when you decide to give up on a special relationship.
    If it’s bad, it’s bad , then yes get the fuck out of there !
    But if it was good, it may be repairable !
    Just saying,
    DAN.

    • Unpaidhookerwithaheartofgold says:

      Dan! What is this? Having been the recipient of this type of treatment, I agree yes, be alone and don’t inflict yourself on any more special and beautiful women with hearts of gold until you have sorted yourself out. It was som demeaning to be strung along in a sham like that.

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