New Twinkle

March 20, 2012 § 44 Comments

From yesterday’s Times (and because I wrote this last week, there will be a New Twinkle update tomorrow):-

Two surprises arose from the work dinner I was invited to recently by a relation of mine.  First was the offer by an old married man to meet up for a cup of coffee, and second was a business card pressed into my palm by a charming fellow who suggested I might do some work for him. I emailed as promised and have not heard from him since. Stupid of me to suppose for a moment that I might.  Then, a few days ago, a third surprise: completely out of the blue, I received a text from another of the guests at the dinner (I don’t know how he got my number).  He was handsome, in his thirties or early forties.  At the time, I thought he might have been gay but rumour had it he has – or had? – a girlfriend in Stockholm.

His was a simple, flattering text telling me that he had enjoyed meeting me and that he hoped to do so again soon.  I texted back the following day saying likewise.  Not a peep since.

Am I cursed?  I wrote to Long Shot after our date to say thank you, what a pleasure.  Nothing.  I emailed the charming man about work who had asked me to email him.  Nothing.  Following a friendly feeler text, I responded to someone I barely know who I made laugh at dinner but never dreamed of hearing from because he was gay/had a girlfriend/too young/couldn’t possibly be interested in me.  In all three cases it was just good manners.  Showing an interest in them, sure – for romance or employment – by the very fact I responded at all.  But each communication was brief, dignified, restrained, friendly, polite.  They could hardly have been described as stalking and yet with each email or text, I seem to have sent the recipient packing.

Sometimes I think if I were a rude bitch I would have men eating out of my hand.  I know one such woman.  She is an operator.  Hard.  Out for what she can get, the richer the better.  She has men running after her.  Such turnover as I can only marvel at.  Presumably she wouldn’t have thanked Long Shot for taking her out to dinner, just expected him to contact her and ask her out again.  Had she needed work, she would have waited for the man who offered it to track her down, rather than sending an email to him.  She would have responded to the handsome young man’s text wanting to see her again with silence.  I imagine.  Till each one of these sops capitulated and contacted her again, and again.

I yearn to be that rude.  And that successful.  And not so darn nice.  Nice gets you absolutely fucking nowhere.


§ 44 Responses to New Twinkle

  • Jane says:

    How I feel for you P.! I also don’t understand all this game playing, is that even what it is? I have thought this to death and wonder if we place too much store by our contact with other people. It would seem that others throw out a random text/e.mail or even conversation and then think nothing more of it and when I say nothing, I mean a big fat zero, nada, zilch. Is it just a modern ailment? everything is throwaway, instantly forgettable in a ‘oh well, there’ll be another one along in a minute’ style. The burger generation, instant cheap gratification that offers no real sustenance.
    This to me is anathema, if I have made an effort to speak to someone, e-mail them or text them, I expect a response, because I am interested in them and want to maintain the contact. I feel sometimes like a rare, quaint throwback to another era, what to do? I won’t be joining the fast food set anytime soon, so I suppose I will just continue to be frustrated and disappointed.

  • LOTLWC says:

    yep, I don’t know why, but what we think is rude makes men come running. I have found that if I don’t reply to a text or email, they boomerang.Not always immediately, but if they were even remotely interested, they follow up.It’s the challenge.It’s a game, and it sucks.Thing is, I don’t think they even realise it’s a game.It just is.And it’s hard to play when you actually LIKE the dude.sigh.

  • Catherine says:

    Yes I thought of trying to master the art of rudeness, and to a degree I think my daughter already has! Perhaps we are the last sliver of an earnest generation – not always rushing off, still contemplating when everyone else has rolled on, still thinking about punctuation instead of relying on auto-correction or whatever it’s called. Still expecting manners and kindness in reasonable doses.

    Yes I tried rudeness for a while and it’s quite a rewarding game. But a game. Once when I was caught up with work I was unintentionally rude and this produced joyful if tricky results.

    But you know I hear this the world over – planktons unite! – the guy texted, you reply, he disappears.. Laws of nature. xx

  • H says:

    Look P, if you had been rude and then not received a reply you would have blamed yourself for being rude.

    Do you really want the sort of man who wants rude?

    Stop beating yourself up about it. Be yourself and just accept what comes or doesn’t ….sod’s law says you’ll score.

  • fi says:

    “His was a simple, flattering text telling me that he had enjoyed meeting me and that he hoped to do so again soon.  I texted back the following day saying likewise.  Not a peep since.”
    Sorry P, this is blunt talking here that I’m crap at dressing up.
    Maybe you’re attaching too much romantic significance to a simple text that you should maybe just take at face value. Maybe it is exactly what it says on the tin ie He DID enjoy meeting you. Or maybe he’s busy and will get in touch when he’s less busy. Sometimes things just are as presented and not as you wish them to be. Men are pretty straightforward and if he’s interested he’ll be in touch. If he doesn’t, then he isn’t. I think that if you just spread yourself about a bit more among new people you wouldn’t attach so much disproportionate significance to any encounter you currently have with new men. Life is a lot easier when you accept things as they are instead of attaching significance to the insignificant, spinning and speculating away, getting all worked up then crashing when things don’t match your expectations which were entirely constructed in your own head because of how you wanted things to turn out.

    • The Plankton says:

      Very fair point, and thanks, but I’ll let you into a secret. He has been in touch a few times since I wrote that piece, and we are meeting up after all. Update tomorrow. px

      • Erin says:

        Oh yay! Cannot wait to hear all about it! Long Shot who?

      • fi says:

        That’s great. Looking forward to hearing about it?

      • Lizzie says:

        Am I the only person on here who wonders if potential twinkles ever read The Times, and, even worse, then track down this blog?
        Just wondering because there would be no surer reason to disappear into the horizon than being discussed at length by all of us.

      • The Plankton says:

        Fair point. Whilst always totally honest, I take quite some trouble to disguise and fudge details that could give anything away. Pxx

      • Catherine says:

        !!! hope all goes well

      • The Plankton says:

        Thank you. I am NOT going to be nervous. I am NOT! xx

      • ex-pond-slime says:

        Great news P! Aren’t you glad you didn’t try to play the bitch – never a good idea, and it just wouldn’t be you. Hoping for the best for you.

        Well put, Fi and as usual I agree with you.

        “Men are pretty straightforward and if he’s interested he’ll be in touch.” Excitingly, it seems that he has been in touch so hopefully he is interested.

        But as you say, there was nothing to be gained during the interim by spinning. With the right mental attitude, plankton in such circumstances could just enjoy the compliment of the original text, and spare themselves the angst of analysing the subsequent (and happily in this case temporary) silence. Easier said than done I know, but working on developing that attitude would be very worthwhile.

        On a related point from earlier posts – I find myself moved to defend LS. I only have the reported events to interpret and don’t know anything about the man, but what the heck, that hasn’t stopped plenty of other posters from judging him. I personally think that if a person goes on a date and decides that s/he doesn’t want to pursue any relationship further, then maintaining a discreet silence is not rude, it is simply the kindest thing to do. I’ve had a couple of experiences of the alternative, and I would much have preferred silence!

        Case 1: internet date. I found him quite attractive but it seemed pretty clear that he wasn’t interested in me and we parted politely and non-committally. Silence for a while and I shrugged it off and moved on, then he contacted me and asked me out to dinner. So then I figured he was interested, talked myself into being very interested, and when we had settled into the main course and I was babbling like an idiot about things we might potentially have in common, he cut in to tell me that he wasn’t interested. So why the dinner? He thought it was the polite thing to do. I have never had a delicious dinner that became so hard to eat!

        Case 2: similar up to the non-committal parting, but followed up by an email. Excitement of opening email, rapidly followed by self-esteem nosediving as I read a list of all the ways in which I was not suitable for him.

        In both cases, I thanked them for trying to be polite and said that in future if they didn’t want to see their date again, they should just let it be and their date would get the message. I wonder if they took my advice and have left a trail of women accusing them of rudeness, diagnosing Asperger’s ….

      • The Plankton says:

        Thank you and, no, I wouldn’t make it as a bitch. As for Case 1 and 2: absolutely incredible, awful, but all too common, I fear. Onwards and upwards! Pxx

      • fi says:

        EPS – yes!! I love the idea of them completely oblivious (and thinking they’re doing the right thing )to all the disgruntled women who are mad at not hearing anything . 🙂

      • EmGee says:

        @ex pond-slime:
        I can’t imagine a more uncomfortable meal, and I am sure gent thought he was being kind, in a condescending sort of way. As for listmania man, what was the point, unless, once again, maybe he thought he was doing the next guy a favor by pointing out things you could change.

        I fall in between silence and ‘having to know why’. If one knows by the end of the date, then think of a gentle way to say Good night & good luck, or email same later. listing differences is only one person’s opinion and may not even be correct, and it can be hard on the other person’s self esteem.

        I am glad you are ‘ex pond-slime’; those 2 are probably still out there looking for their perfect match.

  • Cindy says:

    Be proud of being polite and nice to people. After all didn’t our mothers always say “treat others how you want to be treated”. It is all too common that people are rude and impolite. I don’t think you would get any self-satisfaction by being like the majority.

    We should celebrate “niceness” more.

  • rosie says:

    Hear, hear, P! I think Anti-Niceness should be taught as a subject in schools and am currently in the process of making a list (I’ll get round to writing it down at some point) for my 10-year-old niece, to open when she’ older, entitled ‘Things I Wish I’d Known At Sixteen’, one bullet point of which is ‘don’t be too NICE, it will get you absolutely fucking nowhere!’

    Re the work thing, I’m self employed too and it never fails to astonish me just how rude some, if not most, people are. A case in point, last week I went to some ‘networking’ thing, usually hideous affairs that make me feel queasy but this one wasn’t too bad as the attendees were in industries similar to mine so at least we had something to talk about. I met a woman, we got chatting, and she insisted that we swap cards so she could pass my details on to someone who she was sure would be able to ‘get me some work’, so I duly emailed her the day after to say it was very nice to meet blah blah blah and hope to see her at the next one and … exactly sweet FA.

    I also met a man – a bish, bosh loadsa dosh type who worked in the music industry (that should have been a warning sign really) who took my card and said he’d be in touch, ostensibly about what I could do for him (not much) but all contacts are potential business, so they say. The next morning he rang while I was in the shower and left a message. He then rang about 10 minutes later while I was blow drying my hair and left another message. Ten or fifteen minutes after that he rang AGAIN, by which time I was getting seriously pissed off. I left it for about an hour and rang him back, whereupon he came out with some complete shite about how he’d got me mixed up with someone else (his messages asked for me specifically) and he could only vaguely remember meeting me. WTF? I can’t believe I didn’t just put the phone down there and then but I didn’t and, after tying himself in knots for a few minutes, said he’d ‘get one of the girls’ to email me. No prizes for guessing whether they did.

    He’s an extreme case and has probably lost the plot after shoving too much Colombian Marching Powder up his nose over the years and has obviously got some kind of control issues (wonder if he’d have done the same thing to a man?) but that kind of thing isn’t an isolated incident. Even some people I work for regularly piss around and don’t respond if they’re not interested. I mean, is a simple ‘thanks but no thanks’ really that difficult? Makes me want to scream!

    When it comes to men and romance, I have absolutely no idea, but I do know they go totally ape if the tables are turned.

  • Chris says:

    Bit off topic I suppose, but I haven’t been around for a while and I kinda wondered……..whatever happened to LS ?

  • Erin says:

    Texts and emails have really buggered up communication in the romance arena. Remember the “good old days” before all this technology explosion, when someone had to actually pick up the phone and call or leave a message? The written word is subject to so much interpretation. There are no fluctuations of voice, the softness of love, the hardness of anger (unless all caps of course), the nuances that when spoken, are much easier to interpret the meaning of. Also, it takes a lot more guts to pick up the phone and talk to someone you’re interested in.

    I have read where more and more, people are playing it safe by texting “I love you” or breaking off relationships by text message – things that obviously should be said face to face. Technology is certainly a double edged sword. It makes communication between people easier but it is also making it easier for people to be flippant and irresponsible about what they say to each other, and leaves things wide open for misinterpretation. Maybe a solution would be to encourage future twinkles to contact you by phone? Or take your email address off your business card? Or how about you pick up the phone as a reply to their text or email. At least you could then ascertain the tone of the conversation – flirty, businesslike – and put it in its proper perspective. Just a thought : )

  • rosie says:

    Quite. Didn’t Phil Collins divorce his wife by fax? What a weasel.

  • Steve says:

    Men like bitches. Women like bastards. If you don’t fall into one of those categories, you’re stuffed. T’was ever thus… 😦

  • rosie says:

    Oh, and good luck for tomorrow! I imagine that’s put at least one commentator’s nose out of joint.

    • RS says:

      Rosie from what I can tell people here are rooting for P and I don’t imagine her aim is to put her commentator’s noses out of joint. It’s the internet and people post different views. If P wants to censor comments and only include those of people who agree with her 100% that’s her decision.

      I’d really like to read the varied points of view in the comments without attacks on others, especially when they are unprovoked. Why bring up and gloat over people’s noses being (potentially) out of joint expecially when there’s no evidence that that’ll be the case?

      • The Plankton says:

        Comments are automatically approved. I almost never censor them, unless they are criminally offensive and the work of psychopathic trolls. Of the 1000s and 1000s of comments this blog has received over the months, I have perhaps trashed 4, or tops 6. Px

      • T Lover says:


        One commentator’s nose out of joint? Yes mine.

        Comments are automatically approved unless “criminally offensive AND the work of psychopathic trolls”.

        The emphasis on “and” is mine.

        Four of mine were binned.

        OK I admit it, she was right. They were the criminally offensive work of a psychopathic troll.

    • T Lover says:

      And ranked in worth somewhere below even the great George Sodom and Gomorrah or whatever his dumb name was – he wasn’t censored!

    • Margaux says:

      Rosie …………….*deep sigh*

  • EmGee says:

    H makes a good point: “if you had been rude and then not received a reply you would have blamed yourself for being rude.”
    But we already knew that. Who among us wouldn’t 2nd guess an unfavorable outcome?

    Glad to hear that ‘nice’ has won out though, score one for the home team!

    As for rude, I don’t get it either, although my experience is limited in any case. I guess when it comes to modern communication skills (or lack thereof) it all started for me a few years ago when, instead of saying ‘good bye’ to finish a phone conversation, people would just disconnect. I think the first few times it happened, I stared at my phone in disbelief. As for people ‘getting back to me’, 9 times out of 10, they don’t, and it doesn’t really matter why, it just is. I don’t waste any time wondering why, but am pleasantly surprised when they do respond back.

    As an artist, I get it all the time though; someone falls in love with a painting, takes my card, and I never hear from them again. Part of being an artist is learning to live with rejection, and since so much of my heart goes into my work, it may as well be a suitor rejecting me as a potential buyer. No matter how often it happens, there is still a pang that I am just not quite ‘good enough’.

    Is it any wonder so many artists seem to constantly seek compliments and validation?

  • Caz says:

    …it’s all scary but true. I find it really weird when a man says “thank you” when we have just been out or a drink.
    I think in a relationship there is always one who is keener than the other. I’ve been on both sides of the coin and in a way it’s liberating to not care if someone calls ….. beats all that angst and soul searching and checking e-mails at ungodly hours!

  • Lydia says:

    Caz is right that often there will be an imbalance and I don’t think it’s gender related. Thre are often men I don’t really want. I don’t play any games and I am not interested in men who do.

    I spoke to someone last night who was lovely (and doesn’t have herpes , or so he says, and isn’t married so that’s a step up on the last two) and I said so and he said so and we’re meeting tomorrow. I also cast off a Frenchman last night who is 65 and I felt despite homes in various countries not quite such a good fit and he presumptuosly said if I were his we’d be in NY for a week this year and 2 weeks at some place in Europe for a holiday. I suppsoe some women would see that as wow a bonus, a free holiday. Perhaps he uses it as a seduction tactic. They never earn more than I do anyway. If you earn your own money and have not that much time and children then someone assuming you would want to spend 3 weeks in their ancient company is a bit off- putting. He hasn’t replied.

    So let’s hope tomorrow is good.

  • rosie says:

    RS, you miss my point entirely but never mind.

    • RS says:

      I’d be happy if I were missing your point. I may not have been clear but I’m of the same mind as Margaux, Jo and Lizzie. Maybe we all misunderstood your meaning.

      • fi says:

        Rosie. Maybe you could just explain what it is about me that you dislike so much that you direct so many barbed comments my way. And then can we be done?

  • fiftynotout says:

    @ex Pond Slime, no totally disagree. I hate (with a passion) the dignified silence, if someone thinks they don’t want to see me I would like to hear their reasons (who knows maybe it’s something I am doing wrong that could be addressed). Who knows maybe I have OCD and can’t leave things alone, but I’d really rather, have the line drawn finally and irrevocably, than be left wondering exactly waht it was I did wrong or they didn’t like.

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