Surprise Twinkle

March 27, 2012 § 41 Comments

From yesterday’s Times.  Apologies, I think I wrote this before Date with Surprise Twinkle (3 March), so I have rather fucked up my order of things but have no time today to write something from scratch.  Forgive me:-

Last week was full of surprises, but the latest and perhaps most surprising of all is that the man I met at a work dinner a few weeks ago not only emailed me, but after a few days of puzzling silence following my response, did in the end email me again (to give him his due, quite quickly).  Perhaps I was just being impatient and pessimistic and am less cursed than I thought.  We have now exchanged several emails and he has invited me on a date.  I am being cool about it – well, cool enough – because I would get it in the neck from my friends if I wasn’t, but I have to admit I am also delighted and excited.  Grant me that!

More achieved in under three weeks since meeting Surprise Twinkle than in over six months after meeting Long Shot.  The signs are good but I am very much keeping any undue excitement in check.  A plankton, so used to disappointment and despair and more, knows that the business of protecting herself, though dreary, is crucial.

I have made two pledges to myself.  I am not going in for games.  I am too old, and there is not enough time to piss about with any of that tedious malarkey.  Let games be the province of the young.  So my correspondence with ST has been short, friendly, to the point.  To his question, How about meeting up on Friday?, rather than monkeying about and trying to be the blase bitch that I am not, I replied simply that, yes, that would be lovely.  I am going, here, for straight-forward or broke.  If he doesn’t like straight-forward, then I am not the woman for him.  He is younger than me and inordinately handsome and clever, so perhaps I am playing a high-risk strategy.  There again, there is nothing strategic about the decision to be myself for once, in this dire dating game.  I was myself when I met my (now ex-)husband and, OK, it didn’t work out long-term but, oh, the relief, after years of trying to be someone I wasn’t in a bid to win men over.  Instant honesty and no bullshit.  A lot to be said for it, and no coincidence, I believe, that he and I remain friends.

So, openness (within reason, of course; I do know there are limits!) is the way forward with ST, surely.  After all, the night I met him, it never occurred to me for a moment that he would be interested in me, so I was entirely myself.

And that was the woman he emailed out of the blue, just like that.

Wish me luck.

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§ 41 Responses to Surprise Twinkle

  • RS says:

    And there you are P. You were yourself and obviously the right sort of man will respond to that.

    LS was never right, despite the spinning and hoping and making excuses and well-meaning friends.

    ST may not be right in the long run – it’s one date that hasn’t even happened and very early days of course – but as you say, more accomplished with him in a short time than in a much longer time with LS.

  • MissM says:

    Being yourself sounds like the most sensible policy every time. After all you want someone to love you for who you are, and no one can do that if the real you is being hidden behind an act. I don’t think anyone can keep up an act for a lifetime, and I am not sure why anyone would want to.

    Funny little thing I read once on the net on why the divorce rate is so high: Women marry a man hoping the he will change, and he doesn’t. Men marry a woman hoping the she wont change, and she does.

  • rosie says:

    Here’s to being yourself. I used to get so nervous around men, I could barely speak. How I wish I could have my 48-year-old head in my 21-year-old body. But who doesn’t?

    Roll on Friday! When you said in the ‘not tempting fate’ thread that things had been put on hold I thought he’d baled out on you. Phew.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks, Rosie. In fact, I have got my postings in a bit of a chronological muddle, and we have had the “date”, if that is what it was. And now I am waiting. More anon, but slightly waiting to see how – if? – things pan out over the next week or two before tempting fate. Today, it’s not looking so good. Px

      • Dawn says:

        “If that is what it was?” That doesn’t bode well. I hope things are more positive than that.

      • Elle says:

        I know it’s a bummer when somebody doesn’t contact you again but look on the bright side, he sought you out, you went out, hopefully had fun and even if it doesn’t happen again you’ll have happy memories of it.

      • The Plankton says:

        Yes, indeed. Thank you, Elle. Pxx

  • Barry says:

    Avec grande pleasure P …Bonne Chance …et souvienne mon poste d’hier !

    Bis xxx

  • Elle says:

    Good luck for Friday. If it doesn’t work out long term at least you know that a man of ST’s calibre asked you out and didn’t play games about it.

    Perhaps the men who play games and have over-inflated opinions of themselves only do so to hide a deep-seated inadequacy. They want to make a woman feel just as bad about herself as they do about themselves.

  • Erin says:

    Good luck Dear P – you deserve this!

  • Margaux says:

    Hi, P – forgive me being nosey but if you wrote this piece before your blog piece ‘Date with Surprise Twinkle’ on March 21st and then on Friday March 23rd you said you couldn’t write anymore about it but he was lovely etc …..that seems to me that you had the date last Friday and are now waiting to see what happens next? ?

    We are all on tenterhooks ofcourse ! 🙂

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks, Margaux. I am all of a muddle about this, what I did and wrote when – that makes me sound as though I have lost my marbles, but I haven’t really! – but promise to elaborate more in due course. Px

  • EmGee says:

    Out of order or not, I am happy to have a fresh post to read!

  • AMJ says:

    Did you find out how he got your contact details, P? I love the idea of him having to ask a friend for your number or email address or whatever, or google you. Anything that indicates some extra effort was employed is just delicious to contemplate.

  • Brigitte says:

    Yes P., good luck on Friday.

    For those of you who are interested, my 50 yr old hunk from the senior site turned out to be a scammer (usually they work out of Nigeria). Apparantly, “David” was stuck in the UK with his son with insufficient funds for the flight back to Canada. Would I send him $550, please, please. No.

    This poor guy’s picture of him with his children was probably stolen from Facebook or such. Scammers tend to use the names of actual people so that victims can verify that they exist when you google them. I googled him and found him in the little town that was mentioned on the dating site. I contacted the real David via a geneolgy website and told him pics of he and his children were being used by scammers on dating sites. I posted his pics on my Facebook page and invited him to check them out. I’m also hoping he will check out the pics of me and, if available, be interested (??). Can’t blame a girl for tyring. Most likely the real David is not the hunk in the pics, but it’s worth a try. It’s been two days and no contact from him, so my little ploy probably won’t work.

    I’m seeing Steve from the same dating site for a second date. He’s a decent and a nice enough looking guy, but not my type. I’m determined to give him a fair shake and hope that my feelings will grow. But like Privateman says, we all want our “vaginas to tingle” when we meet a man. So true. “David” did this in spades.

    • The Plankton says:

      Jesus, Brigitte. This is an awful story. I am so sorry, but thank you very much for flagging it up here. Pxx

      • Brigitte says:

        Hope this won’t discourage you, P. It was quite a let down to find out my ‘ideal man’ was a hoax. The scammers are very good at making you feel very special (“You’re so pretty”, “I’m beginning to fall in love with you”). It’s all a bit over the top, but you get caught up in it, esp. if you’re hungry for love. It’s feels a bit like a break-up when you find out the truth.

        You may not encounter one of these scammers. I hope you won’t.

      • MissM says:

        I’ve not had the sort of scammer that you just had Brigitte, but I have had the sort of guy for whom it is all a game. So I think I might know a little of how you feel since that type of man sure knows just what to say to make a person feel special. The whole “I am beginning to fall in love with you” and “these feelings are different to any I’ve had for anyone else” etc etc. Even when it is a bit over the top and your brain is telling you so, your soul wants to hear that sort of thing so very, very much that you end up falling for it. Then, when you find out you were just one of many rather than “the One” as he had you believe, I swear it truly does hurt all the more because it was so very good at the time, even though it was never real.

    • june says:

      yes Brigitte,

      I had a few of these actually on facebook, mostly they said based in states, but i was suspicious straight away, as one told me he desperately wanted “a mom for his daughter and why didnt i want him”. I was once on that Zoosk date site connected to facebook, think thats where they got me from. Blocked them straight away. I have read of intelligent, sensible women being taken in by them and in one case the women lost her home. You cant believe it can you, i get lonely as we planktons do,god knows, this week has not been good, but i never lose my sense of caution do you.Sad how being lonely can lead people to such despair.

  • Brigitte says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and invite you all to check him out on my facebook page (it’s temporary and I made it Public). It’s a quick page I assembled. There’s no private info and I don’t mind being exposed on this plankton site.

    http://www.facebook.com/
    You will need to be registered (free). I’m under Brigitte Lord in Ottawa. Enjoy!

    • MissM says:

      Heavens “David” did look exactly like a male model, isn’t it dreadful when the saying “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is” turns out to be correct.

      Good for you in going to the trouble of searching out the poor real man whose photo is being abused in this way, although I would have no idea what he could do about it. Once anything is on the net we do rather lose control of it.

      Dreadful people those scammers, they have no morals at all and they get away with it because so many people are just too embarrassed to ever own up to having been swindled in such a way.

      Good luck with Steve. I did once have a man for whom my feelings grew despite an initial lack of interest on my part. I doubt that would have happened had he not been so persistent and determined to pursue me, since having someone desire you so ardently is rather attractive in itself. Unfortunately some while after I had fallen for him he decided to go pursue someone else, perhaps because by then the thrill of the chase had worn off. May your Steve work out rather a lot better than that.

      • Brigitte says:

        Thanks MissM. I do hope to develop feelings for Steve. I have a good and relaxed time with him,so that’s a good start. I make considerably more money than he does and he saw that in my profile. Not sure if I will feel the need to go dutch most of the time, which I find rather unappealing. Once the relationship is established I’d rather take turns (whomever plans the date is the one who pays). I’d rather be with someone for whom money is not an issue and I provide the home cooked meals, he pays for most outings, I pay for some. And he drives an old clunker. This is something middle-aged women have to adapt to. Often men our age have been drained financially by alimony and/or child support. Middle aged women are more likely to have stayed with the same company for many years (26 years in my case) and therefore have stability. It has been observed that men are less loyal and change employers more often and are more likely to be downsized (last one hired, first one fired).

      • Elle says:

        Brigitte, what’s wrong with going dutch? I nearly always do it on dates. Realistically we cannot expect men to “treat” us and take care of us. We’re grown ups and we earn our own money.

        If Steve earns less than you why not great him

      • Elle says:

        Brigitte, what’s wrong with going dutch? I nearly always do it on dates. Realistically we cannot expect men to “treat” us and take care of us. We’re grown ups and we earn our own money.

        If Steve earns less than you why not treat him? You don’t have to do it all the time but do it discreetly. If he does treat you on occasion the treat may be modest by your standards but if it’s heartfelt it doesn’t matter.

      • EmGee says:

        @ Brigitte, re: Steve

        Things like financial status aren’t an issue unless someone makes it an issue. I think it is a healthy sign that you 2 discuss who pays and when. Pretending that things are otherwise only leads to discord later on.
        You seem level headed Brigitte, and if he takes you to a place he can afford, even though you can afford better, you will still enjoy the date just as much. I had to have a friend remind me once that ‘sometimes you have to let the man be the man, when I wanted to help pay for something because I knew he couldn’t afford it. However, if you both agree beforehand to go Dutch, or like you said, who ever asks the other out, pays, then it’s all good.

        I hope Steve works out for you.

      • Brigitte says:

        Elle, I understand going dutch at the beginning before there’s a relationship, I just find it unappealing once we’re a couple. I’ll just have to adapt. I certainly have the means to go dutch and treat, it’s just not attractive to me on an ongoing basis. Maybe he’ll surprise me and be quite insistent on paying most times. He’s a building manager and lives rent free, so the income he stated on the dating site doesn’t look so bad in that case.

    • Elle says:

      If it looks too good to be true then it probably is. I have to say those dating sites can be soul destroying. I joined POF recently and got a lot of interest from 20 somethings. I wasn’t seeking 20 somethings!

      Since I blocked cougar hunters from contacting me I’ve had very little contact from anyone else. One man emailed me twice and put a different location on his profile each time – Limerick and Boston! I’ve been added as a favourite by several men but none respond when I email them. What’s the idea of this, do they want a shortcut to my profile to drool over my picture? If so they’ve little to drool over. POF is boring, timeconsuming and so far, pointless.

      I can see how scammers have rich pickings on those sites. Put it this way, scammers probably put more thought into their bait profiles than the average man puts into his profile.

      Surely there is a way of “locking” photos on a website the way they can’t be copied or downloaded by scammers and the digital information gets scrambled if somebody does attempt to copy them?

      Good luck with the other potential.

      • Brigitte says:

        I also noticed the attention to detail in ‘David’s’ proflle. He was well rounded with a good balance of acitivity and down time and I told him so when I replied to his message. Some scammer profiles are a compilation of profiles copied from other dating sites. It’s a real copy and paste job where everything is assembled like a puzzle (picture, name, place of residence, profile). You end up with the ideal man or woman that normally would be one in a million.

        Before I knew I was dealing with a scammer, I sent him several photos of myself. Hopefully they will never be used to lure men into a scam. Usually they use photos of models, but occasionally, to keep it realistic, they will use photos of more believable people.

        My dating website does not protect photos from being copied, but some websites disable the option to “save picture as” when you right-click on a photo. I will see if I can protect my Facebook photos.

      • june says:

        Ah Elle the joys of POF. I dont know how old you are but if over 50ish you wont get many. Ive hardly had any since last summer, well any that id want anyway, Last summer i had one who sounded really nice, he was younger, we got on, his mother was even born in same village as me, so i knew members of his family, and a great aunt was once married to my mums cousin. We chatted for a while, i felt at last, ive met someone on a date site thats ok but he did seem a bit reluctant to meet,but finally agreed. No he wasnt a scammer, what he said was all true, we chatted, had a drink at a wine bar, i thought we got on, although he didnt seem quite the same as online. We parted,didnt hear from him,so i texted him, i got a text back saying we talked ok but he wanted a “lover” so basically was looking for sex, and something i said must have made him realise i wasnt up for instant sex, as i told him in my not very polite reply. . I know certain friends of mine thought i was wrong to send this text, at my age and lonely i should have said ok if thats what you want, fine, but im afraid i do want to know someone bit better, there was no “wow” factor but i would have seen him again, but after that no thanks, perhaps he “just wasnt into me”.

        The only ones ive had since on POF that were ok, lived much too far away. I chatted to one really nice sounding man, but he was bout 80 miles away,hes no desire to relocate or me, so seemed pointless, but we do still chat sometimes, he says if he comes my way will look me up.

    • EmGee says:

      Checked out “David’s” album and indeed, half looked posed, and I am not even convinced they are all pictures of the same man. God knows where the scammer got the pictures, but taken with the fact that ‘David’ was asking for money – well that doesn’t make any sense – has his pool of friends and acquaintances so dried up that he has to go on a dating site, get someone interested, and after an exchange or two ask for money? Doesn’t even make for a B rate movie.

      Thanks for going to the trouble of making up a fb page and trying to contact this guy. I would imagine the pictures are from an album on a professional images site though, where one can obtain royalty free images for commercial (or dubious) uses.

      • Brigitte says:

        I also wasn’t sure if the hockey pic was of him or the one of him drinking out of a melon. The one with the little girl on his shoulders is much older but it looks like him. The one with the boy hanging off his back is a little older but it looks like him. And the one with the bike also looks like him. The variety of photos made me think they may not be from a modeling website, but rather from a Facebook type site of a man and his family. Although the one of him with the sunglasses hanging from his neck (the first photo) looks like a catalogue pose.

      • EmGee says:

        I expect the photos with the kids are stock too, from a site like Corbis – same David, different, unrelated kids – they look like they could be used in a life insurance advert.

        One of the most controversial things about facebook, is that any image you put there belongs to them, and they don’t care if people take them or not. Iirc, they still hold the rights to any image for 30 days (or some set period of time like that) even after you delete it. Facebook is not your friend.

        In fact, maybe “David” (the image source, not the guy whose personal info they used), is professional model and those pics are on his facebook page to serve as a portfolio. How easy is that? LinkedIn is another site where models looking for work might have photos.

        There is a website called http://www.tineye.com/ which does reverse image searches (results can be mixed for obvious reasons), but you may find out the source, or at least whether these are stock photos used elsewhere, if you do a search for the image urls off the dating website.

        Such a sleuth, ain’t I? 😎

  • Brigitte says:

    Thanks, EmGee. Zero results for all pics. But like they say, they may not yet have scanned the authentic website with his images, be it Facebook, LinkedIn, or otherwise.

    • Brigitte says:

      I have a feeling these are pictures from a genuine guy on a dating website who also got caught up in a dating scam. Like me, he sent several pics of himself to a good looking (female) prospect and the scammers are now using his pics. I imagine it’s always a bonus for them when they get a bunch of pics of a good looking man or woman.

      • MissM says:

        Heh, in a way it is a relief to know my pictures are not so attractive as to be wanted for such nefarious purposes in the first place, because all this would make me even more reluctant than I now am to put my image out on the net.

        As for fb, I agree it is not your friend, and I don’t have an account, I had to go via a real friend’s account to see Brigitte’s page. I have sometimes thought I should set up an information free account just for occasions like this one, where I’d simply like to see something that is there.

  • Catherine says:

    Lovely but disarming post. Makes me think I have to redefine what ‘being myself’ means. I think my self image is muddled right now, and I’ve become scornful after committing to the wrong person for the wrong reasons in the recent past. I feel a lot of edginess and don’t want it to show, fragility in truckloads, the undying wish to be understood. I hardly dare put myself out there.

    Good luck to you, you sound so calm xx

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