Capitulation

May 1, 2012 § 194 Comments

From yesterday’s Times:-

It feels like a nail down a blackboard to admit this, but I bloody capitulated, didn’t I, and contacted Surprise Twinkle.

It’s not in the DNA to do such a thing, but I am old, time is short, it’s not a crime, and the breeziness of my tone hardly constituted stalking.  I sent the message several days after our afternoon “date” when meeting up again had been happily discussed.  After the “date”, I had sent a thank you text because he had paid for the lunch and cinema tickets.  It is uncool to say thank you and I should have restrained any natural manners and instead gone for entitled and brazen silence like a successful girl would have done.  So, failure at the first fence.  He replied, rather damning our afternoon, in my book, with formal politeness and faint praise.

I was laid pathetically low by the fact that his reply hadn’t suggested a next meeting.  There was a context – a domestic vacuum and various troubles unrelated to ST – and I didn’t sleep or eat for ten days and went down to 7 stone 10.  (Not a good look at my age; stomach like a deflated balloon).  Lay about in a teenage heap reading novels and feeling a certain self-conscious, garret-like desolation. If I didn’t compose 100 texts in my mind, I composed 200.  Then less than a week after the “date”, I finally ate something more substantial than a cup of coffee and clarity came to me.  I thought, Bugger it, and winged off beautiful composition no. 201.

Even an episode of Homeland couldn’t deflect me from the resounding silence which hurled back at me for several hours by way of torturous response.  But then the eventual PING! came, so full of promise… and in reality so utterly wanting.  Every syllable laid like a perfectly formed turd and imbued with a thanks but no thanks; a don’t call me, I’ll call you; a have a nice life, but not with me anywhere near.  Of course, he didn’t put it quite like that – he is cleverer and kind of kinder – but he might as well have done for all the couched transparency of the message.  His square inch of text was novel-full of rejection.

In the context – vacuum, other troubles – I was crushed, mortified, wretched, but I know the context is but an excuse.  I would have been, even without it, all those things.  Friends say press the Delete button in my head.  Of course.  Nothing else for it.  But I cannot help remaining haunted by the mystery.  Did a polite thank you and a text really comprise such a Weapon of Mass Destruction?  Or was it just me?

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§ 194 Responses to Capitulation

  • Dawn says:

    I don’t think this happily discussing a second meeting actually means anything. I think it’s the modern equivalent of, “I’ll call you.” it seems the thing to say at the time (because, “Not on your bloody LIFE!” would be rude) but there is no real intent behind the words. Sorry you got let down again. It really is no fun.

    • SteveH says:

      Agree Dawn.

      On every date I’ve been on, one or both mutters about “another date” at the end.

      And usually , one or both don’t mean it!

      It’s just the English fear of being direct and hurting someone’s feelings.

      • alwaysl8ylike says:

        Is it really an English thing to fear directness? I always thought the Brits were rather blunt, with a touch of sarcasm thrown in for good measure. A lot of people fear being direct. To me it speaks of cowardly character. Ms. Plankton you sound lovely and I really don’t think your courteous ending was any reason he didn’t want to see you again. He probably thinks he can catch a younger one.

      • The Plankton says:

        He is not English, in fact, but yes, you are probably right, though I am tending to think he has some kind of problem which, because I don’t know him well, I cannot identify. And I don’t mean a problem just because he wasn’t interested in me! More, a hesitation born of a fear of intimacy or perhaps gay or…who knows what? Something odd about him, I realised. Onwards and upwards! Pxx

      • EmGee says:

        I don’t think being evasive is a cultural thing, more like simply pervasive these days. Also one of the roots of the word Sarcasm means ‘to tear flesh’.

        There’s an old saying, “Say what you mean,
        mean what you say,
        but don’t say it mean’

        And why do we get such a thrill out of causing other people pain? We’ve all been on the receiving end and know how painful it is, yet we just as gleefully torment others.

      • alwaysl8ylike says:

        EmGee, I loved that saying! I didn’t mean the use of sarcasm in a flesh tearing way, (not trying to insult Brits) but more of a cynical humor type of way, I quite enjoy conversing with the Brits I know. Our company has an office in London, so we’re chatting with them all the time, and it’s lovely. I would say that chap had a hesitation born of being too beta, basically not ‘manly’ enough for our Ms. P.

    • The Plankton says:

      Quite! Anyway, thank you. Pxx

  • Nat says:

    ouch. To the nth degree,I feel your pain.

  • Jill says:

    Sadly, I have to agree with Dawn, but I still found your post wince-making, P, as I would have done exactly as you did, and my reaction to the rejection – however kindly phrased – would have mirrored yours. I would so love to have something clever and morale-boosting to say to you, but only the tired old cliches come to mind.

    I do think that one of the problems of our modern technological age is that rejection is far easier to “execute”, whether positively by using a remote form of communication like a text or an email, or by the withholding of such forms of communication. It’s cowardly not to do the deed face to face or voice to voice, but you could try viewing it as being an excellent indicator that the man just isn’t worthy of you..

    To my mind, NOT hearing is worse than being told, however impersonally the telling is done. So I think that you were absolutely correct in making contact with ST (foolish man) – it would have been more painful if you had sat on your hands and been left wondering what the heck was going on – or not – for an unspecified amount of time.

    Please don’t be disheartened, althogh I know only too well that it is difficult not to be. Frankly I feel sorry for poor old ST – just look what a treasure he let slip through his fingers……..

    Jill

    • The Plankton says:

      Ah, Jill, that is a lovely thing to say and you know what? Sometimes I feel like the shit on his shoe and no wonder, and other times I think More Fool Him (but not very often!). Prob at a ratio of about 99:1 But it’s nice that you have expressed the 1! Pxx

  • John says:

    You really do deserve better.

  • Barry says:

    That must have been SO hard to write , and I appreciate you having the courage to share your awful experience . I am at a loss as to why he just didn’t say “Good bye” if that was how he felt, it really is so callous to play with another persons’ emotions like this.
    You HAVE to put this episode into your file marked :
    ” Bastards I have met , and ready yourself for Life again.
    I am sure thousands of readers are hurting with you this morning, and wish you a speedy recovery from your trauma .

    Bis

  • Elle says:

    Plankton, I feel your pain, but at least you had a few dates with him. I’m on POF and having very little luck. I’ve had numerous invitations for coffee but when I accept I hear nothing back.

    I suppose I’m lucky to get that far because most of them mysteriously stop mailing me. I would have thought I was averagely attractive but then most middle-aged single men don’t want averagely attractive women their age, they want supermodel types and can get them too.

    At this stage if I have an encounter with somebody, no matter how brief, I am grateful. Grateful that they wanted me for a little while, even an hour or two. I don’t expect anything now.

    I can’t offer any advice except to lower your expectations and be thankful even for the smallest things. That dulls the pain a little for me.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you. Funnily enough, Elle, as I walked past my cafe early this morning I thought, I am lucky I have my latte to look forward to later today and then I thought, It’s good to see I have my expectations under control as I’d call that pretty modest, wouldn’t you? I obviously let them out of the bag when I had dates with ST. And now they are back where they belong. Pxx

      • Elle says:

        I don’t know if you’re being ironic or serious but yes, it seems that middle-aged women aren’t allowed to have expectations of any sort unless we want them to be dashed. I don’t know if men mean to be cruel or to hurt us, but a little kindness and courtesy wouldn’t go amiss.

  • Margaux says:

    Yes, his loss. Totally! Bo*&ocks to him!

  • Bienchen says:

    Plankton, that sucks big time. I am sad to hear that this has got so much under your skin. Please look after yourself, someone more deserving must be along eventually.

  • marriednotsmug says:

    Can totally empathise with you on this one P. Reminds me of a guy I met around Millenium time, saw him for a few weeks and he was very keen then suddenly went cold on me. A fuckwit of the highest order.

  • rosie says:

    I think I’m going to cry. Sorry, P. x

  • SteveH says:

    “It is uncool to say thank you” . No it absolutely isn’t. It is a)good manners and b)Lets someone know that you had enjoyed the date.

    Cool ?? Didn’t we abandon that concept at the age of 23!!

    You were also spot on to send a text requesting clarification.

    On neither point were you wrong.

    The agonising point is that he didn’t want to take things furthur(more fool him). That hurts(i’ve been there)
    Bu that had nothing to do with what you did post-date.

    • Elle says:

      SteveH,

      Good manners never go out of style but unfortunately the rules of the contemporary dating game don’t include good manners. I have recently returned to an online dating site after an absence of 2 years and cannot believe the decline in courtesy. It seems to be the norm to treat people with the height of disrespect and rudeness. Not only do people ignore polite, well crafted messages but they sometimes reply with verbal abuse.

      I haven’t dated somebody face-to-face for a long time, but by Plankton’s accounts, the rudeness and disrespect seems to be endemic in non-internet dating as well.

      I can only comment from a female point of view – it would seem that middle-aged men have such a choice of women at their fingertips that they can afford to be as rude and hurtful as they like. However, I wonder do men have the same experiences.

      What has happened to good manners and treating people as you would like to be treated yourself?

      • SteveH says:

        Persoanl abuse is just incredibly rude.

        I agree that it is easier with dating sites to be impersonal.

        When I first joined a dating site, I was upset when emails weren’t acknowledged. But having received some emails made me realise it IS pretty hard to craft something that doesn’t sound exactly what it is – a rejection

        Perhaps “Thank you for your email but you’re not quite whatt I’m looking for” might do it.

        Anyone think of better?

    • The Plankton says:

      Well, thank you, SteveH. That’s helpful. Pxx

  • june says:

    O poor dear P, feel your pain love ive been there too as i think we all have, but we planktons clutch at straws dont we, as do unplanktons in wrong relationships,especially when they hit “that age” as Elle says and realise men want only young nubile girls, however grotty they are, and they are stuck with what they have or nothing. Ive friends in that position.

    The one i pinned my hopes on last year through POF was not as polite as yours,when i dared to text him as i hadnt heard, and told me in no uncertain terms, we talked ok, but he wanted “a lover”and obviously i wasnt that “lover”, very direct and hurtful, but he had seemed so nice and caring when we were messaging. Like you i found it very deflating and upsetting but this is men for you,i dont think they ever think they have a sell by date, like women, and whatever people say sadly they dont seem too.

    Yes Elle have to agree re POF, do you think anyone meets anyone on there, the only nice sounding man ive had contact me recently lives a good distance away, too far for a relatiionship in my opinion , he likes where he lives and i like where i do, there is no future in it, but we still message and he says if in my area, will look me up but thats it.

  • Lo says:

    Down with mixed messages and game playing! I feel your pain and can still recall how crushed I was when this happened to me.

    I went on a few dates with this chap and he had sent me a message saying things were going well with us and that he was happy we were ‘on the same page’. Less than 24 hours later he sent another message saying he didn’t want to see me again. Clearly we were no longer on the same page, in fact I think he picked up a different book. I too was left wondering what I had done wrong.

    A few weeks later I dated someone else a few times, we had not spoken about how things were going so there were no expectations. he sent me a polite message saying he didn’t see things going any further between us. This rejection was so much easier to take, he was polite and honest, there were no games or mixed messages.

    • Elle says:

      Lo, perhaps this chap was dating a number of women (very common) and sent you the “same page” message thinking you were somebody else. Then he realised his error and sent you the “wrong page” message. I only hope that he initially sent the “wrong page” message to the person he liked and scuppered his chances!

      It’s hilarious, men are juggling so many women at once they often send the wrong messages to the wrong women. It’s happened me numerous times on POF. They make no apologies for it either! It’s like “ok, you’re last on my list, not fourth, but so what, this IS a dating site and I CAN see 20 women at once if I like!”

      • Lo says:

        Thanks Elle, never thought about it that way. Hopefully he was on the receiving end of his own mixed message
        nonsense!

    • The Plankton says:

      Down with mixed messages and game-playing indeed! Thanks for this. Pxx

  • rosie says:

    In my experience, if this kind of thing happens to men they fall to pieces and/or denounce all womankind as bitches.

    • Elle says:

      Rosie, perhaps it is the men who denounce womankind as b*tches who treat us so badly. It gives me a sort of vicarious comfort that the men who are hurting us are hurting more themselves, and that’s why they’re so horrible.

  • MissBates says:

    Let me join the chorus of other commenters who are saying you did nothing wrong in contacting him in the manner in which you did. A “thank you” text and a short message a week later hardly constitute stalking behavior requiring him to seek an order of protection against you, although the resounding silence from him for a week after you thanked him would have been enough of an answer for me.

    Of course this is a rejection that you would have shrugged off if you were ten or fifteen years younger. Yes, you would have been disappointed, maybe even shed a few tears, but you certainly wouldn’t have been so utterly crushed as you apparently were in the wake of this brush-off. One of the principal horrors of what passes for middle-aged “dating” is the ever-present thought that this might be one’s Last Chance. It imbues rather casual initial getting-to-know-you interactions with a significance out of all rational proportion. I have every confidence that you didn’t give off the slightest whiff of desperation, but the problem is that men KNOW we’re f*cking desperate. We don’t need to go all “Fatal Attraction” on them for them to realize this.

    • Elle says:

      That’s a good point, Miss Bates. Our age alone signals our desperation and maybe frightens men off. I have often been chatted up by guys in their 40s who initially think I’m in my early 30s, then when I tell them my real age (40) they back off. It isn’t because they all want children, but because they know I’m on my last chance and won’t be willing to mess around.

      • MissBates says:

        Hi Elle — I have never wanted children, so from that perspective I was fortunate in that I never felt the pressure of the biological clock. I know several women who like me are childfree by choice and thus were NOT desperate for a man with whom to start a family back when we were in our late 30s/early 40s with our fertility plummeting every day. Rather, our desperation at this point (I am older than you are, having turned 50 last year) stems from the increasing certainty that we are going to be alone for the rest of our lives. As I’ve admitted before in these comments to P’s blog, I have for this reason opted out of the whole damn thing. I’m exhausted, de-moralized, and despite my sadness at the situation, my tolerance for being treated shabbily at this point in my life is nil, but that is pretty much all that’s on offer. I envy and applaud those of you who have the energy and optimism to continue trying.

      • Elle says:

        Miss Bates, I only ever wanted children if I found the right man at the right man. I didn’t so it’s no big deal for me now. I don’t think it matters if a woman of 40 wants children or not, once you’re over 40 men automatically think you’re desperate and treat you as such. They KNOW that they are probably your last chance and naturally enough that scares them.

      • MissBates says:

        Elle: Exactly.

    • The Plankton says:

      I totally agree! Pxx

    • kathypan says:

      I agree. I am almost 43. Men have greater choice than us, they don’t have to choose someone in their own age bracket, they can date a 25 yr old. His silence to me just *sounds* like he doesn;t care either way. and that is because he is spoiled for choice.

  • Brigitte says:

    I have no words of wisdom for you P. Just empathy. Until you click with someone, searching is hell on earth. The hard part is finding an available chap that is right for you and vise versa, like a needle in a haystack. I’m finding little annoyances about my new guy Steve that have me wondering if he is right for me. I am learning to “pick my battles” and only bring up those things that I feel indicate some lack of thoughtfulness or courtesy. He has never been married and unlike my last bf who was separated, had not been ‘trained’ in the niceties of being half of a couple. I wasn’t planning on doing any training, but I will not ‘put up and shut up’ as I have in past relationships.

    • Elle says:

      Brigitte, I saw you and your new bf on your facebook page, he looks lovely. I’d keep him even if he trailed jocks and socks on the bedroom floor, ate pizza and drank beer in the living room and constantly burped and farted! 🙂

      So what if he isn’t perfect and hasn’t been married before. If he had been married before he might (1) be forever comparing you to his ex or going on about his ex or (2) be widowed and be forever mourning his ex-wife.

      Be thankful for what you’ve got. Relationships take WORK. I have dated guys I wasn’t physically attracted to just to see if the attraction would grow in time (it didn’t). You have one hot guy there, hang in there. If you can’t then I guarantee you he will be snapped up in milliseconds and you will regret letting him go.

      • Brigitte says:

        Thanks, Elle. He is quite a catch. We have much in common and many similar values. We are quite relieved that neither one has to deal with an ex or children. It’s quite rare to find middle aged people without one or the other. When you don’t have either, it’s hard to deal with when you meet someone.
        Thank you for checking us out.

    • Elle says:

      Oh, and I’d also overlook him stinking out the bathroom after a feed of curry and guinness! 🙂

    • alwaysl8ylike says:

      Well miss Brigitte, if you won’t put up and shut up you will invariably end up alone, as you should for being such an entitled ingrate. It never ceases to amaze me how a female’s rationalization hamster can twist reality. Unless you are 35 and gorgeous, here’s a newsflash: YOU’RE RUNNING OUT OF OPTIONS! I’m sure your new fella has a list a mile long of all your annoying behaviors but is putting up and shutting up. Miss plankton, don’t lose heart, that guy simply couldn’t see himself getting naked with you. Not much one can fix about that. Plankton I’m afraid has the right attitude and with patience will find a worthy yet imperfect specimen.

      • Redbookish says:

        @alwaysl8ylike: I guess you think you’re funny, but you’re actually quite rude: your screen name is ironic, I presume?

      • Elle says:

        I actually have a suspicion that Plankton’s guy couldn’t see himself getting naked with ANY woman. I could be wrong but I have pretty good gaydar. I’m not sure if it works online though.

      • Brigitte says:

        Holy Crap, alwaysl8ylike! All I am saying is that there are many things I can live with (‘picking my battles’), but there are things I cannot support like thoughtlessness, discourtesy and rudeness. I am slowly finding out things about my new guy as he is no doubt finding out about me. How bad these behaviours are is to be seen. In a good relationship there is communication. I have asked Steve if there are things I do that annoy him. No doubt it’s too early and he’s not comfortable telling me. I just hope he does tell me before it drives him away. I am doing the same, waiting to see how bad some of his behaviours are.
        You have read me wrong, alwaysl8ylike. I suspect you follow The Private Man. Only an immature and shallow woman would put up with that crap. A quality woman (even a desperate plankton) would avoid a Red Pill man like the plague. Give me a Blue Pill man anyday. Those are the ones that are genuine and settle down with a decent woman.

      • alwaysl8ylike says:

        I’m sorry Brigitte if I came across as harsh, but in your original post you said this: “I’m finding little annoyances about my new guy Steve” Little annoyances like burping, farting, etc.(or please define) are not things that should make you question a relationship. Later on you say that it’s lack of courtesy and rudeness. Well lack of courtesy and rudeness aren’t ‘little annoyances’, those are pretty big character issues. Saying that you are questioning the relationship over ‘little annoyances’ makes you sound like an entitled princess.

        And yes I read privateman, what of it? You need to read What Women Never Hear at WordPress. google it. And Dr. Laura (whom I can’t stand) wrote a book called ‘The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands’. That is another good one for you to read.

        Blue Pill/Red Pill, who farking cares? Conscientiousness and Self Control are the two main personality traits that lead to relationship success. Hookingupsmart gives some advice on how to screen for those traits:

        -Attention Span: Is the person focused in general and attentive to you?
        -Delayed Gratification: Is the person self-indulgent or patient and willing to work with you toward a goal?
        -Planning: Avoid people who ‘wing it’ or are overly spontaneous.
        -Achievement: Does the person ‘get things done’ Do they finish what they start?

        Everybody is rude, and lacks courtesy at times. Even you. It’s not a LTR killer.

      • Brigitte says:

        alwaysl8ylike, my new guy suffers from 3 of the negative traits on the list: short attention span, self indulgent, and he definitely ‘wings it’ and never plans anything we do. I agree that concientiousness and self control are important in a relationship. He seems to be lacking in both. He has other qualities I haven’t seen in many boyfriends like showing me affection, contacting me every day by phone or email, and showing pleasure at seeing me. But he’s not concientious and this is something that is best learned growing up. Time will tell as to whether I can be with him in a LTR. Neither one of us wants to marry or live with someone, so if I enjoy being with him, that may be enough.

      • alwaysl8ylike says:

        Chances are Brigitte that if you both want to live separately, you will find a way to make it work out. My very close friend has a LTR with a professional gent who is 10 years her junior, (49/59) and he lives on his own, and so does she. They’ve been together for 6 years now, and are quite happy with the arrangement. I think having your expectations match what the other person is capable of providing is the key… Living with someone is a whole new ball of wax…and sometimes not a nice one. Good luck!

    • maria says:

      Brigitte, I don’t mean to be a spoilsport here, but why has he never been married before? I mean, considering his age, maybe there’s something wrong with him.

      • Elle says:

        Maria, it isn’t fair to suggest there could be something wrong with somebody just because they haven’t been married by a certain age. Many women here including myself haven’t been married. I was joking about the Guinness and curry bathroom by the way but the guy is hot. You wouldn’t kick him out of the bed for eating crisps.

      • Brigitte says:

        Maria, he never married because he never wanted children or the domestic life marriage entails. He did have a child out of wedlock at 21. I never married for the same reasons. It could be that some of his annoying behaviours are also to blame (and ditto for me, perhaps). This is what I may be slowly discovering about him. One advantage at this point is that I am not looking to marry him or live with him. I may be able to overlook most or all of his behaviours (depending on how serious they are) and still be in a serious LTR with him. As long as he treats me well and is courteous.

      • Margaux says:

        I’ve never married either Maria – mainly because I didn’t want to give up my freedom lightly and didn’t want children…does that mean there’s something wrong with me ??? ( and yes I have been asked!)
        Why is being married the be all and end all to judge people by?

      • lulu says:

        As other posters have said, to think there might be something wrong with someone because they’ve never been married is narrow-minded. I’ve never been married but that certainly doesn’t mean I’m not ‘marriage material’ or couldn’t hack it in a committed, long-term relationship. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with me. In fact, I have had several long-term relationships and two live-in relationships but wouldn’t have walked down the aisle for any of them. Being married and/or having kids should not been seen as a benchmark of acceptability. It is just an alternative way of life, often one we have little control over, being that ‘chance’ plays a large part in who we meet, etc, and which road we end up travelling down.

      • maria says:

        Margaux and Lulu, there’s nothing wrong with being single and having never been married. I, myself, have never been married either, mainly because I’m a hardened feminist and I won’t put up with any crap and I’ve never wanted any children.
        But I think men in general are different from women; whereas most women will wait for the one and won’t commit to the first man that comes along, men ( at least, those I know) will easily commit to the first woman they feel attracted to and that they feel will make a good partner. That’s all, I didn’t mean to offend anyone.

        (please excuse any grammar or misspelling mistakes, I’m not a native speaker)

      • lulu says:

        Maria – thanks for clearing that up, and your spelling and grammar is better than a lot of native English speakers so well done you.
        I too am somewhat of a feminist, so like you am unwilling to put up with a lot of the crap from men that I have had to put up with in the past. Hence being currently single.
        I wasn’t offended by your comment at all, just fed up with having to make excuses to society in general for not having had kids or being married. Life as a single woman in a society where most women are married and/or mothers is tough as you know.
        A knee-jerk reaction, that’s all, not an offended one!

  • Geoffrey says:

    Brigitte

    I am not sure that searching is “hell on earth”. Maybe this is a male thing, but I am enjoying finding out who likes what I have to offer. I have had some unexpected rejections (abrupt terminations are not confined to men!) – the trick is not to take it too personally. Someone out there is perfect for you and will appreciate all you have to offer – and only by putting oneself out there will you find them. Good luck P!

    Gx

    • Elle says:

      Geoffrey, no offence, but it’s easy for you to say that as a man because you have more options than women your age. For you searching is part of the journey, a game even, but for an equivalent woman searching is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. If that needle disappears when you think you’ve found it you go through hell.

      It’s isn’t as simple as just putting yourself out there for women. Even so I do hope that P finds someone that appreciates her.

      • Redbookish says:

        >> but it’s easy for you to say that as a man because you have more options than women your age. <<

        Well, quite. I've pretty much given up (I'm 52, and most people do a double-take when I say my age as I genuinely pass for early 40s). I have a nice life, and so that will have to do.

  • Redbookish says:

    Oh Ms P.! Many commiserations and vodka and cyberhugs from me. I feel your pain, as they say. It’s a combination of hope and delight and fun and then having to protect oneself from feeling too much (WHEN did that become a crime, will someone forward me the memo?) and being disappointed. And then beating oneself up for being stupid, and — gosh – daring to feel some sort of pleasure in another person’s company and thinking there’s a spark of some sort.

    But you’re not stupid or a stalker — you behaved like a nice human being. I had a similar sort of experience, although we had rather more contact than you had, but after 6 weeks, well, nothing much.

    What is it with these men? Are they so scared of feeling or so disconnected from their emotions?

    Arrrrrgh

  • Lydia says:

    Sometimes people want each other and sometimes not. It’s not a big deal. I saw someone for a second time last week (who said quite a lot of rather nice things which meant he was very keen). I am not sure. I had the second dinner (I paid by the way) and then a few days later said I just wasn’t feeling the right chemistry. I don’t think I led him on by having two dinners not one. I am sure he is disappointed but that’s how it goes. I had dinner with someone else last week and rejected him and he was pretty nice about this.

    This is just what happens when you meet people – sometimes one of you wants the other more. Sometimes it just takes time. Sometimes someone is very keen on someone else at the time and at another time they aren’t.

    I called someone this weekend who had been interested a while back and we’d spoken but then he’d let it lapse. He then explained why – because he was very into someone else – laughing as I type – you do not seduce sometime like I am by going on about the one you just split up with. I’m sure she was very nice but I don’t need to know the full details. By the she made him pay too much, would send him out to buy dinner party food and he always paid, for everything – he was fed up. Even though I’m known for my munifience perhaps I don’t think you seduce women who earn reasonable sums by saying your last girl friend didn’t pay… no matter.. the conversation progressed. His very first call he reminded me had not gone well as he’d spoken a lot about his ex wife. I am not sure he was doing much better this time and hardly asked me a single question….

    So I wasn’t feeling here was someone sympatische and understanding so it ended up rather combative. He seemed to hvae felt too much domestic fell upon him – you don’t seduce high earning femniists like I am by moaning that your wife made you do too much at home. So close is he to their boy that they’re about to send him away to boarding school.. we certainly didn’t end up whispering sweet nothings. I didn’t think he was kind.

    Nice dinner with the man with a disability though and that didn’t put me off but the rest of him did. No matter. Men are wonderful and there are lots of them.
    Have fun

    • Lizzie says:

      Lydia – self-absorbed, much?

    • maria says:

      Lydia, never mind the bullies and continue posting, I rather enjoy your comments.

      • RS says:

        I agree, Maria. I like alternate views and I find her comments refreshing, different from the norm, and quite entertaining. Sometimes inadvertently, I’m sure.

      • Lydia says:

        Thanks. I don’t really understand it but in 2012 I seem to have met more men than ever and yet I had turned 50. You would think that might mean fewer men, but not so.

        I had a rest from them last week, ended everything with all of them and sought no more, so no dinners last week. Quite a interesting one contacted me last night but I don’t like his face. Looks do matter. I’m going to speak to him on Monday. I think, he’s a bit old as well, although when I said would you date someone 13 years older than you are (ie in her 70s) he rather nicely said his last live in was 73, sexy, pretty, fun, lovely which I thought was rather nice.. until he said the last girl was 38..although she doesn’t last long and his profile says he avoids gold diggers. Those who have suffered at the hands of women who want a meal ticket (ie at least 20% of women in my estimation) get drawn to me like moths to a flame.. but then they realise the implciations.

        If someone works and has children rather than is unemployed and sitting at their feet in abject devotion whilst they wait for the next necklace to be bought,,,,. then she isn’t at your beck and call. If you’re retired and she’;s not then she cannot spend 3 months in Spain, 2 in Dubai getting more and more bored without any purpose in life. Those men who think they want women who work sometimes find the reality doesn’t suit them. Difficult decision for them. If they go too young she wants babies which they’ve usually done enough of. If she’s their age (in most cases) they think she’s too old. if she’s younger she often wants the meal ticket.

        (Sorry about the appalling typos above. I could hardly understand what I wrote at times when I just read it again now).

  • rosie says:

    Lydia, whoever the hell you are, please PUT A SOCK IN IT!! In case you don’t know, you sound demented. If you really are demented, then apologies.

    • Elle says:

      Lydia, he expected his last girl friend to pay? What was he, a gigolo?

      • Lydia says:

        On this point about payment… he and the girl friend were dating. I would imagine they both earn about the same. So they were doing lots of things together ( not just a first date when you might well expect a man to pay although I always offer)… So 100% of the time for everything he was paying. Are you all saying that’s fine? The example he gave was they were having a dinner party at her house and she sent him out to buy all the food and expected him to pay for all of it.

        I am assuming most of you work and most of you may well earn what the men who take you out earn and therefore you would expect once the relationship got going you might be goiing halves or alternating who pays?

  • Isabel says:

    Reading your blog Plankton I see that you have a pretty fantastic life in London and I am so envious. You made a choice to live in the capital and can enjoy all the advantages on offer. Unfortunately, finding a man will be tough. I rarely go to London but when I do I am struck immediately by the number of wonderfully attractive, in fact stunning women there. I acknowledge that there are also plenty of ordinary ones but despite noticing their often excellent dress sense it is the good looking ones that catch my attention. The vast numbers of them is overwhelming! Great for men, and pretty great for young women too but I would imagine it’s almost impossible to find a man once you’re over 40, unless you move in certain circles and have real charisma. There is simply so much choice for men, why bother with an older woman? London men are ambitious and hardworking – they feel they deserve the best on offer and after a date or two will want to move on to better things if the opportunity presents itself.

    In my small northern town if you are attractive you stand out. I don’t mean to be unkind but the norm is plain and even an older woman is noticed if she is good looking. It is a gross generalisation but I feel that the men too are looking for something different, someone to love and spend time with rather than date once or twice. They are either of a more ‘solid’ disposition or lack the self belief to imagine they can move effortlessly from one woman to the next. I’m not advocating moving north (although people are friendlier they say) but you may find that away from frenetic and aspirational Londoners you would have a better chance of finding someone to love.

  • sophs says:

    It’s funny you should say that Isabel – I’d like to consider myself one of the good-looking Londoners but at 32 my mum is forever telling me to leave London after a string of dissapointments much like the one Plankton describes. However my job and friends are here so I wouldn’t want to leave to find myself somewhere else in the same predicament but with no friends! Also, I have plenty of fairly average looking acquaintances and colleagues who seem to be in happy relationships which would imply that geography perhaps isn’t the problem! x

  • So sorry you had a bad experience with SP. Sadly I think it is pretty standard. Can you come to the point where you just stop looking/ thinking about men and meeting the Right One? There is so much heartache otherwise, and I think it is much worse than being a love-lorn teen – because the next Right one is like finding a unicorn. At any age. Good luck x

  • rosie says:

    I lived in London for 20-odd years and now live in a big city in another part of the UK and can testify that it is exactly the same. ie shit.

  • Erin says:

    *sigh*…..I just don’t know where to start. To the ladies on POF – if you’re not having any luck there, please try other internet dating sites, Ones that charge a nominal monthly fee are for the most part going to weed out “players”.

    To the ladies who have given up – the way you feel about yourself will project out to whomever you are with. Who would you want to date, a woe is me sad sack who feels so dejected she must settle or lower her standards or a person with self confidence who treats early dating like it should be, getting to know someone with no expectations?

    To the dear Plankton…..as I have said before, you will not meet Mr. Right in this frame of mind. Changes must be made, time must be spent, patience is of great importance.

    None of you women on here are losers. There is a partner out there for all of you. You have to look at dating like a job, a goal, a hobby – anything you would invest a lot of time in. You must look at it realistically and not look at each and every man as a potential life partner after 1 or 2 dates. It takes a while to get to know someone. Do not allow yourself to get so emotionally invested in a person in the early days so that when it doesn’t work out, you are devastated. Finding out if you’re compatible is part of the process. Do not take it personally.

    I am also hearing some double standards here – the guy who was 30 but when he found out she was 40, wasn’t interested. Stick with your own age group. Why is it okay for you to want a younger man and then you are appalled when the man wants a younger woman? And not all men want a younger woman, I can assure you, When internet dating, you put in the age range of men you are looking for and the ones that want younger women are automatically excluded from your list. That is the beauty of it. You can tweak it to exclude smokers or drinkers or short men or tall men, whatever you want.

    To the women who think 40 is old – 40 is not old! This is the time when the 20 year marriages are breaking up and a lot more single people are available. The vast wasteland is in the 30s, when people are raising kids.

    I know I sound like an unsympathetic hard ass but beileve me, I have been in all the same situations and felt the same loneliness and heartache that you all have felt. I was a plankton from age 31 to 47, abandoned by my BF to raise my son alone, had to work my ass off as the sole provider with no child support. I had the mother of all pity parties and woe is me attitude for YEARS, debilitating loneliness, loss of hope – all the feelings that I am hearing on this blog – until one day it struck me that the only person who could change it all was me. You have to change your ATTITUDE. Woe is me is not going to get the man. Do not let past experiences hinder you from moving on. There is nothing wrong with you. There are always going to be people who hint or even talk about a second date, that you never hear from again for whatever reason. There are going to be those that you just don’t click with. When that happens, just remember that that person was not for you and move on.

    So I guess by virtue of hindsight:

    Find one or more Internet dating sites and join. Email lots of people. Answer their emails to you. Try to think outside your box a little when choosing your parameters on the site. Cosmetic things like facial hair or a few extra pounds are simply not deal breakers at this age. People have baggage at middle age and some are set in their ways. This is not a fairytale where everything magically falls into place. Expect to compromise and work for a healthy relationship. Remember there are fundamental differences between men and women that drive each other crazy at any age. Expect to have ups and downs. Be realistic.

    Date as many people as you can, and make time for this. I don’t care if fireworks blew you out of your chair the first date – DO NOT become emotionally invested and think white picket fence until the two of you have talked about being in an exclusive relationship and removing your profiles from the dating site. This is very important and probably the hardest thing to condition yourself to do, but it is vital for success and self esteem. Expect disappointments. They are going to happen. The guy you have terrific chemistry with might not feel the same about you, and vice versa. That is why you take it slow and get to know the person, and will not be devastated when it goes tits up. Also, by dating multiple people at the same time, you will not allow yourself to fixate on just one. Keep an open mind and don’t get discouraged. When something doesn’t work out, keep moving on down the road. There are new people joining the sites every day. Check your inbox daily. Check out the new singles. Don’t expect things to happen immediately. It could take months, or maybe longer. It only takes one right person to come along.

    I believe I am done here. It is heart wrenching to read. There are women on here that I know could find someone but whose low self esteem is debilitating them to be able to move ahead. Good men are not looking for a supermodel, they are looking for a good woman to spend the rest of their life with, who will be of an age that they can relate to the same life experiences, who will be kind and loving to their children and grandchildren (if they have any) and who will be a good companion. The men that want younger women and models are not the men you want anyway.

    Good luck to you lovely ladies. I hope each one of you finds what will make your life happy and fulfilled. You can do it.

    • MissBates says:

      Hi Erin — You make a lot of terrific points about dating, but just a word on behalf of those of us who have decided to “give up” on the relationship front. It’s a choice, and a valid one, and not necessarily just for “sad sacks.” There may be a point in my future when I change my mind, but for now it’s the right choice for ME to “opt out,” as I’ve put it. I feel better, I look better, I AM better than when I was still “in the market.” When I WAS dating, I was never one of those women who began planning the wedding the minute a guy asked me out, nor do I have any illusions about a “white picket fence” as you put it. (I just spent the morning in court representing a client in a vicious custody battle, and when I finish my lunch I’m going to turn to negotiating a not-very-pleasant prenuptial agreement for a rich male client, so I simply don’t believe in the “white picket fence” myth.) My self-esteem is fully intact; I “give in” to expressions of sadness here on this site and with my shrink and that’s it; I don’t project “oh woe is me” to all and sundry. If you were to meet me in real life, you might not like me, but [shades of Lydia here — sorry] you’d probably think I’m attractive, smart, funny, and successful, and not a “sad sack” at all.

      I also think it’s a destructive fallacy that “there is a partner out there for all of you,” because [harsh truth alert, ladies]: there isn’t, actually. A lot of people, including some reading this, are not going to end up with anyone, and their lives would be better spent trying to pursue what happiness IS available to them. Yeah, great, if someone materializes, all the better. But to spend your midlife years, while you’re still in possession of relatively good health and at least some disposable income, in hot pursuit of an illusory goal with an ever-diminishing chance of success…….not for me. Not now. Maybe not ever.

      • Redbookish says:

        What MissBates says. Most of the time, I’m great.I have men and women telling me I’m clever and glamorous (oh yes, the last was from a younger woman in my profession!) A tiny bit of the time, I vent.

        Just as, most of the time, parents love being parents, and love their kids. And a tiny bit of the time (although I suspect far more than they will *ever* say) parents like to imagine that they’d never sprogged …

    • Margaux says:

      You are not an unsympathetic hard ass Erin -your post was a fabulous dose of reality. Brilliant x

    • Brigitte says:

      Very nice, Erin.

    • SteveH says:

      Brilliant post Erin. Most sense I’ve read in a long time.

      And, although addressed to the women here, so much,if not all, is equally applicable to us men.

    • alwaysl8ylike says:

      Oh Erin, what a well thought out and articulate reply. So many good points here; they should be printed up and posted on every single person’s mirror in the morning. I find your writing rather poetic, and admire your vernacular. Such amazing common sense presented so artfully! Yeah ok Miss Bates, it’s a choice. You can chirp on about that till the cows come home, but it’s most likely a choice foisted upon you because of lack of certain success in the dating arena. At least you’ve learned to stop doing something that wasn’t producing the desired result….kudos.

      • MissBates says:

        I suppose I could have kept at it, “alwaysl8ylike” — but why? I wasn’t meeting any interesting men. And I make no bones about the fact that if I had met anyone I thought worthwhile, I would still be in the game. The “choice” I made was that it was preferable to be alone than to put up with the buillsh*t. I never said it was my FIRST choice, which OF COURSE would be to be with an intelligent, age-appropriate man of similar values. (Notice I haven’t said devastatingly handsome, or a millionnaire, or anything else so foolish.) But I really don’t want to crawl into bed with a 75-year-old (which is what I seem to attract despite being “only” 50 myself), nor am I interested in becoming someone’s meal ticket (the only men MY age who are interested in me are eyeing my financial statement). So the CHOICE I made was for some personal dignity. If you find that to be “chirping” on — so be it.

      • alwaysl8ylike says:

        Sorry MissBates, it’s just that Erin presented such great blueprint for taking care of oneself and seeking happiness, I found your critical response seemed defensive and catty. I’m sorry I’m not trying to pick on you or anyone else, you’re obviously very intelligent and doing your best, and I do like some of the points you’ve presented. My first choice would be to also be in a relationship with someone of similar values etc, but I would also take Erin’s advice very seriously if I wasn’t finding success. I would hope that at our age (I’m 45) that we wouldn’t be so shallow as to even consider ‘devastatingly handsome’ as realistic criteria. In my experience, any male age 55 or younger who is still considered devastatingly handsome is a narcissist or definitely hunting younger juicier prey.

      • Elle says:

        So any half decent 55 year olds are hunting younger, juicier prey (read under 40). Always l8ylike, you sound exactly like the depressing demon that sometimes screams back at me from the mirror and tells me I’m not worthy and all I’m fit for is staying in bed and eating myself into a torpor because nobody could possibly love me. It says don’t bother exercising because there’s no point, nobody’s going to want you thin or fat no matter how good you can make yourself look. If being healthy is a benefit of being thin what’s the point in being healthy when you couldn’t possibly find anybody else to share it with. Except a 70 or 80 something MRSA infested curmudgeon who’s doing you a favour because he could get a much younger Asian hottie on a mail order bride website.

        But you’re not. Always l8dylike, you’re the sadistic anima of a man who more than likely inhabits theprivateman website. The female shadow side of a bitter man who hates women, and you target middle-aged women because we’re an easy target. If you’re a runner you inadvertently help female runners run faster because they’re probably trying to get away from you!

      • alwaysl8ylike says:

        Sheesh Elle, no I’m not saying all your fit for is staying in bed and eating yourself into oblivion. I’m encouraging people to get out into nature, walk, be healthy, and find enjoyment in life whether partnered up or not. You silly git, I am a middle aged woman, I’m 45, and I occasionally read theprivateman, so what??! It’s not a crime to see what the enemy is thinking is it? I have 5 almost adult sons, so I read lots of game blogs. Heartiste at the Chateau provides me with the most entertaining train rides home from the city you can imagine lol. I exercise and run because I can when my asthmatic lungs allow me to. It keeps me sane, and healthy. You should try it.

      • alwaysl8ylike says:

        Yes I do know the difference between your and you’re. It was a typo.

    • RS says:

      Thank you Erin. Lots of wisdom in your comments.

    • The Plankton says:

      I didn’t manage to read this yesterday so perhaps you have already gone and I am too late, but thank you for this, Erin, and for your other comments too, and all best wishes. Pxx

    • Lydia says:

      Erin, how very very wise.
      I also would say many many people are very happy single I am happy single or with a man and genuinely if I never remarry that’s fine too although I would imagine I would always have boyfriends.

      “Good men are not looking for a supermodel, they are looking for a good woman to spend the rest of their life with, who will be of an age that they can relate to the same life experiences, who will be kind and loving to their children and grandchildren (if they have any) and who will be a good companion. The men that want younger women and models are not the men you want anyway.”

      Absolutely, loads and loads of them, most of them. Men are just people elike we are. They want someone who will be kind to their children. In fact the one I recently had two dates with said part from looks and IQ (he’s very very clever and that’s his top requirement), he liked my profile because it said I was kind. I think I am although I doubt anyone can construe that from my posts on here of course.

      I quite like the game, the conversation (the chat as my daughter might term it), the getting to know lots of people, the staying friends with lots of men too. I’ve loved that (and the sex etc). Even if no marriage has resulted the taking part in the process is itself wonderful.

  • rosie says:

    Erin, some of us, including me, have done dating sites to death and just have not got the mental brute force required to go there again.

    • Elle says:

      Hear hear.

    • june says:

      so true Rosie, im sorry dont care what anyone says most women over 50 will not get anyone on a dating website, unless they are prepared to travel miles or are very unchoosey and prepared to accept anything, i dont care what anyone says, its true.

  • Jill says:

    Wise words, Erin.

    Jill

  • thirtysomething says:

    Good advice, Erin. Except that, based on Plankton’s blogs, I get the sense that she doesn’t suffer from a self-esteem problem. It sounds to me like she’s an attractive woman for her age, has lots of wonderful friends and above all, has a good head on her shoulders. But for some reason she isn’t successful with men, even though they’re the ones asking her out in the first instance. So there’s not necessarily advice she should heed, unless she is unconsciously giving off a vibe that scares away men (but what is it?). Otherwise I’d imagine she is just incredibly frustrated bc there’s nothing further she can/should do.

    • alwaysl8ylike says:

      Is Ms Plankton of normal bodyweight? Excessive weight is the number one attraction killer to men. It’s the number one complaint they have towards us as well. No one wants to sleep with a fatty….sorry. ‘Attractive’ is not really attractive anymore if it’s 20lbs or more overweight.

      • Elle says:

        Ms Plankton is 7 stone 10 (that’s about 108 lbs in Americanese). Hardly overweight, more like the weight Hollywood stars aspire to for an appearance on the red carpet.

      • The Plankton says:

        Alas, I am not any more! Not since I stopped my OTT obsessing about ST. I’ve probably put on a stone since! My friend Angela tells me Yog is the thing everyone is eating to get thin. It sounds good. Rather better than nil-cal noodles I heard about the other day which apparently taste like shit. Pxx

      • The Plankton says:

        FYI, I am average height and a UK size 8 and – when obsessing about useless twinkles and the appetite fails – occasionally 6. Px

      • alwaysl8ylike says:

        Sorry to be crass, but I was just trying to rule that out. Yes America is disgustingly obese. It’s shocking. You sound like a perfectly normal size Ms.P.

    • The Plankton says:

      THANK YOU, thirtysomething! Pxx

  • DaisyDee says:

    P – I read your post with tears in my eyes. Oh so sad. Talk about I feel your pain.
    I finally screwed my courage to the fixing place and joined another online agency a couple of weeks ago. So far only one contact. Very different from when I tried this in my forties when you could expect several messages a week. Anyway we had a very good conversation on the phone with promises to meet but he lives some distance away and due to work commitments I will be out of the country for a short while. Who knows if he will still be there when I get back? (see post the ripeness of pears). I hate that I feel red raw with vulnerability. There’s hope which refuses to be squashed, gut churning fear and oh the endless bloody spinning and I haven’t even met him yet! After so many Twinkle-free years I have no inner resources left so I fully understand why a lot of us here have chosen to opt out completely.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks for this DaisyDee, and best of luck with the contact. I hope it works out for you despite the fact you have to go away. Please keep us posted. Pxx

  • EmGee says:

    How disappointing to hear that you’ve been disappointed again!

    I too, am flabbergasted at the rampant discourtesy and cowardice from all parties these days. Mixed messages syaing you do when you don’t (and hoping the issue will just disappear?), and apparently being direct these days means to be as rude and hurtful as possible, doing the recipient the favor of ‘toughening them up’, I guess. 😦

    It is heartening to hear from readers of both sexes that you did nothing wrong at any time, and it is his loss. And Geoffrey’s right, try not to take the rejections too much to heart.

    I only wish that when am feeling rejected, my body’s response would be to eat less, not more!

    • alwaysl8ylike says:

      Take up power walking. Not strolling. Walking as fast as you possibly can. It will lift your depression and allow you to eat more than 500 cals a day. Once I turned 45 I swear my body could gain weight with 1000 calories a day. Very very depressing.

      • Elle says:

        Did you get your thyroid checked? Because it sounds like you might have a problem.

      • RS says:

        Elle – in more ways than one 😉

      • alwaysl8ylike says:

        Yes I’ve had the thyroid checked a number of times. In evolutionary biology terms, it’s called….wait for it—- AGING. And it’s how society survived when still hunting and gathering. The old people looked after the kiddies, and didn’t need to eat much, so the kids would stay healthy. While the young adults were out presumably hunting the next meal. I accept it, and I run and hike to stay within a normal weight range. And stay away from my beloved wine.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you, EmGee. If it’s any consolation, I’ve put all the weight back on, plus more! pxx

  • june says:

    I think it all boils to down to fact that as miss bates says some of us will never meet anyone,whatever we do.,

    It isnt just london where its hard for older women to meet anyone isobel, as rosie says, i live in a very pleasant friendly southern city, and its practically impossible to meet anyone here at my age, i do belong to a social group but to be honest it is full of women lots of 55 plus ones, few men who belong, are only interested in the younger women or are so unfanciable you wouldnt want to go there,i rarely bother to go anymore. As for putting yourself about, how exac tly does a older women do that and where, you dont refuse invitations when you get them, its not getting many thats the problem.

    Also its my experience paid dating agencies are very little better than POF for the mature female,ive had very little success with them. The Sarah Beeny site, looks the best but i made enquiries of that and was told they mostly deal with 25 to 45 age group, that made me think 45, after that it is true then, the sell by date thing,wonder if a man would have got same answer.doubt it, or i d have to think about long distance dating, so thats a nono. Sticking to your own age group sounds fine, but im afraid i find men of my age too old appearence wise and mentally for me., except for the odd exception and they mostly have partners already. I feel lots of available men on websites have been jettisoned by their wives for that reason, theyare too old for them, why would i want them..

    • Margaux says:

      sigh ………………………….

    • alwaysl8ylike says:

      You might find an active older gent in a walking or running or hiking club. I hiked up a mountain last summer and I met a 77 year old who was kicking my 44 year old ass up and down that mountain. (near Banff Canada) I was shocked and when we were all done, he was washing off in a nearby stream, I approached him to congratulate him on his exceptional physical prowess. I wasn’t really ‘attracted’ to him per se, but I tell ya, If I was single, I sure would have asked him for his number so we could go on a hike together. He was bright and quick witted, and obviously in good shape. That’s my strategy if I end up single again. I’ve also met some amazing men in my running club. Some of the most amazing are in their 70s!!! Running Boston Marathons etc. I can’t even run a marathon, never mind Boston. Think about it.

      • Elle says:

        He was 77 and he kicked your 44 year old ass! Good for him, but I definitely think you have a metabolic problem now. Get yourself to an endocrinologist fast.

      • The Plankton says:

        I ran the London marathon – got me nowhere – and direct you to an early post called Go on a Course Why Don’t You?

      • alwaysl8ylike says:

        Wow kudos P, kudos to you for running the London marathon. I’ll look for the post. It would appear that the only thing left to fall in to place is for the stars to line up and have you meet a nice fella at the right time. I honestly can’t think of any reason or vibe you are giving off to turn off men. Thanks for your blog, I enjoy reading it, (as a fellow plankton) and applaud your courage. Please forgive me for any offense I may have caused, it certainly wasn’t intentional.

      • The Plankton says:

        I don’t think you’ve caused offense, far as I can remember. Thanks for this. pxx

  • Lizzie says:

    Erin makes a lot of good points, but I wouldn’t mind betting that the majority, if not all the women who contribute to this blog possess a certain persona when out and about living the daily grind. And that persona would be: lively, interesting, interactive, cheerful, academic, presentable (at the very least!), friend-filled and busy – workwise and socially.

    This blog is just a small cosy place to expose our innermost disheartened feelings. Just a small percentage of the whole picture. There is nowhere else to do it. It is a safe haven which saves us from burdening anyone else with a collective ‘moan-fest’.

    Which is exactly what Plankton has done here. Just let us have that.

    • EmGee says:

      Right on Lizzie! Finding this blog saved my long suffering friends from having to listen to me, even though they don’t know it. They just think I was (and am still sometimes, since my bf is around only intermittently) incredibly brave and strong to get along so well by myself and keep such a positive outlook! 8)

    • MissM says:

      Exactly Lizzie, perfectly said, and I so want to keep this a safe place for each and every one of us to vent our miseries because it is the only place where we can do that. To anyone who thinks that means we do nothing but moan in all other parts of our lives I would suggest that perhaps that may be true for some, I don’t know, but for others being able to let off steam here is precisely how we can keep positive throughout the rest of our lives.

  • EmGee says:

    Hmmm, the 8) was supposed to be a 😎 , wordpress let me down!

  • MissM says:

    It is rather difficult to find accurate figures, but the highest numbers I could find for women who are unmarried at forty going on to get married later was only 40%. Some other statistics suggest it is more like 20%. But even at 40% that means not even the majority of us will find someone. Online dating is indeed hell on earth, and something even its advocates admit takes huge amounts of hard work, hard work makes sense only if there will be some result at the end, and statistically that is not likely. It makes much more sense to put that enormous effort into some other aspect of life that is less likely to end in failure.

    Or in other words, I think playing the lottery is fine as long as it is only your disposable income buying the tickets, because while someone does win, many more people lose.

    Oddly enough whenever I read MissBates’ posts they always impart a feeling of serenity and calm which I find quite alluring. Repeatedly having to find the strength to get up after being knocked down yet again, or summon up some acting skills in order to behave as though dating is ‘fun’, or any of the other aspects that require so much bloody effort, is just so tiring. Particularly when there is no reward. How much nicer it must be to relax and just… be.

  • He wasn’t the right one for you P. Better luck next time.

  • Geoffrey says:

    Erin is so right. If you get fixated about the stats and ratios then you go into this process with the wrong attitude. If you click with the right person it won’t have mattered what the ratios are.

    I have been on a couple of dating sites for 3 months and despite being presentable (I think), solvent, baggage-lite and generally optimistic have not exactly been inundated! And when I approach women on those sites they generally play very hard to get.

    Sure, work primarily on having a full and interesting life so that you have something to talk about when you do date. But I agree with Erin – this has to be worked on, like anything else in life.

    G

    • Brigitte says:

      What kind of dating sites, Geoffrey? You might find the sites for middle aged people have fewer women that will play hard to get. Younger women can afford to do that, but not older women. By the way, 45 is considered ‘senior’ by many sites, so check out the senior/mature/silver sites.

  • Geoffrey says:

    I am 50 and am on OK Cupid and Guardian Soulmates – both of which have plenty of middle aged women. And I am only interested in women who don’t want more children which rules out a lot of people under 45.

  • T Lover says:

    So many points of view.

    I like a slim girl.

    I know a number of not married/no kids/no long term relationship women and have been out with a couple since my missus left. Both were a pain in the backside. Perhaps it is the same with men? Don’t know how to compromise, everything has to be their own way.

    I know three forty plus never married blokes. One has a problem with relationships (with women) and has had counselling. One seems normal enough and at the drop of the hat will give copious advice about never touch a forty plus, no kids woman and the third seems normal but has been involved with Opus Dei and, well….. I do wonder.

    An admission: having lived alone for three years since the missus left I now find another woman/ person in the house difficult. Constantly having to turn off lights. Kettle always filled to the top. Tea for the five thousand?

    If you get to forty and live on your own it must be a big commitment to take on an older woman plus bambinos.

    Plenty of Fish/OKCupid. Cor blimey. What to say. I started to register for OKC and stopped part way through. It was enough, however, to trigger some of the free services such as this week’s new entrants. Intrigued to see that I was given the details of bi-sexual women which, for me was a novelty but not helpful if you want to mate for life.

    POF. Put up an advert for a couple of weeks and was bombarded by “unsuitable” women whose common attributes included one: they were plain. Very. In fact it would have been hard to find plainer women, women whose looks could sink a ship. Two: they were slow.

    Now before anyone starts throwing rotten fruit my way, none of this is to say that all women using either of those sites are bi-sexual, plug ugly and thick, I am sure nothing could be further from the truth. I am not sure what the expression might be – I must just have been a crone magnet.

    • Elle says:

      T Lover, you have my sympathy but being slow is a definite advantage on POF. I have encountered the same attribute in the men. Most have an over-inflated opinion of themselves, few have a sense of humour and even fewer understand irony. Being slow enables people to endure the tedium that is POF. Anyone of normal intelligence goes mad within a number of weeks, has to leave to regain sanity and may or may not try POF again.

    • EmGee says:

      It stands to reason that the plain, thick, and ugly (and you can define those in many ways) are going to make up the majority on dating sites, because they are the least likely types to be partnered. It’s why you have to wade through so many and put forth so much effort to weed out the ones who don’t suit.

      I dated a never married, no kids, guy before my last marriage, and he was a pain, just like the women you dated. I started running into him again in the last year or so, and the relationship he was in when we reconnected ended shortly after, and he’s still single.

      I too find it a bit difficult having someone else around, even though my time alone was barely more than a year. He could do a little better at picking up after himself, but readily does dishes, picks up things for me in the city I cannot get here, and pretty much any other little chore I ask of him, as long as I don’t pile on too much at once. Also he spends half his week here and half 3 hours away, give or take depending on work.

      He’s sworn off marriage and commitment, which is fine with me. That isn’t to say he’s off chasing other women, just doesn’t like feeling ‘tied down’ as he has a lot of things yet he wants to do in his life, his ‘bucket list’ as it were.

  • alwaysl8ylike says:

    OMG T Lover your post made me laugh out loud. ‘plug ugly’ that’s a riot! Imma keep reading this blog just for the wonderful English, that we just don’t hear in Canada.

    Two words, KEEP SLIM!!! No one likes a fatty, not men, not women. Try to lose any excess weight over 20 pounds, that’s 2 stone for you Brits. All these women here saying how attractive and lively and interesting and intelligent they are, forget that men are visual, and if you’re a chubster, forget it! You will only attract omega losers.

    Lose the weight by power walking and eating less!! YES it’s unfair! I hate it that when I was young I could eat 2500 cals a day and maintain my weight. Then at age 35 it was around 1700. At age 40 it was 1500, and now at age 45 I swear it’s 1000 or less JUST TO MAINTAIN MY WEIGHT. I’m 155lbs and 5’7″, so I’m within 10lbs of my goal weight. I run like a maniac, training for a half marathon, and yet that last 10 lbs is not coming off because I can’t handle eating 1000 cals a day. It’s a natural process of aging, and eventually I’ll have to embrace it cuz it only gets worse as you get older.

    This is directed at men and women. This is also why I would search hiking/running clubs to find potential partners if I became single. Maybe you should try that T Lover…

    • MissBates says:

      I’m 5″4, 115 pounds (U.S. size 4), and pretty enough to have paid part of my way through college and law school modeling petite-size clothing. Despite having maintained my weight and a reasonable amount of my looks, I still became invisible once I passed my early 40s or thereabouts. There is no magic — slim or not.

      • june says:

        Agree Miss Bates, ive never been more than a size 8,im a 6 now english size,dress well, and although not beautiful am certainly not ugly, you know regular features, nice teeth, few wrinkles, good skin, etc. but ive been invisible to men for years, As you say no magic, i know fat plain women who get them.

    • Elle says:

      alwaysl8ylike, please go to a doctor. If you have a thyroid disorder the medication will enable you to keep up with 77 year old men and it will make the marathon training much easier. Your thinking will be clearer as well.

    • RS says:

      There seems to be a slight (maybe not so slight) weight obsession here. I hate to see the comments being hijacked into a discussion about weight/size. Believe me, everyone here is intelligent enough to know that eating less and moving more will result in some degree of weightloss.

      For the record, I am about 15 lbs (or roughly 2 stone) over what I’d like to be. It hasn’t hurt me in the slightest where men are concerned, but then again it’s distributed in the areas that men seem to like.

      And my experience with online dating has been (once I learned to wade through the dross) pretty decent. I’ve had contact from some wonderful, sharp, educated, good-looking, interesting, sexy men.

    • EmGee says:

      I’m about the same height and weight as you are alwaysl8ylike, 49, but probably not as toned. My achilles heel is getting down in the dumps late at night and thinking, “fark it, I’m gonna eat, it isn’t like anybody cares how I look anyway…” I was very thin up to my early 30s, about 115-120 lbs and 5′ 8″. Enviable, but I just didn’t know it!

      Then lifestyle changes hit: marriage, sedentary job, metabolism changes, and an emotionally abusive spouse who thought negative reinforcement was ‘good’ for me. I’m not bad looking comparatively speaking, but oh, sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock and have the self knowledge then that I have now.

      Funny you should mention walking – I have been doing that, particularly on days when I haven’t gotten a lot of exercise. Then again, today I put in a 13 hour day, then had to come home and put a few things in order before fixing myself dinner and relaxing.

      I too, like food too much to stick to a 1000 cal diet, but I do tend toward nutritious and fresh food, as does my bf.

      If my thyroid is messed up, that’s too bad, but I am just your average, under-insured American for whom a visit to the physician is roll of the dice. Had a biopsy on a cyst in my jaw after having a wisdom tooth pulled last year by an oral surgeon. Insurance refused to cover it because it was ‘dental’ (oral surgeon, cyst, jaw, really?), and I was stuck with a $400 bill I couldn’t afford on top of paying to have the tooth pulled. So i guess I’ll just have to embrace becoming a fatty. I turn 50 in October, and I dread to find out how high they jack up my health insurance. I will probably be uninsured after October.

      Fark it, I am going to go eat something.

  • alwaysl8ylike says:

    Ok fair enough, but at least you aren’t ruling yourself even more out ofthe running by being overweight… I was also cute and pretty when I was younger, and now defintely find myself invisible to the opposite sex in my mid 40s despite being normal weight. I joined a run group and learned to do distance running. I’m training for a half then eventually a full marathon. I find that this keeps me sane, keeps me off antidepressants, and allows me to eat more than 1000cals a day. Plus I meet lots of other athletically minded adults including quite a few over the age of 55, and into their late 70s. We aren’t so motivated by the athletic pursuit as we are with the health and wellness aspect of running. And the camaradarie helps us endure the dreariest winters you can imagine (I WISH we had UK winters) For people who say they can’t run there’s always power walking. And hiking.

    • Elle says:

      Dreary winters? I thought you had snow in Canada, and skiing!

      • RS says:

        Dreary winters are on the coast, where Vancouver’s got a similar climate to the UK, and things get wet and dark albeit relatively warm. I think a better word for winter in most of the rest of the country would just be LONG (and sometimes brutal). As in lasting for 5 months and going down to minus 30 at times. It definitely wears on a person!

      • Elle says:

        Ugh. RS, I remember our geography teacher telling us that the west coast of Canada has a similarly depressing climate to Ireland. I’d rather have the 5 months of winter and the sub-zero temperatures than interminable grey skies drizzling like pus.

      • RS says:

        Ah but Elle the summers on the west coast of Canada are absolutely amazing. Sunny, warm – mid 20s average – not too hot, not humid… and generally lovely Springs, lots of blossoms, etc. plus stunning scenery. Makes up for a bit of rain in winter, and no need to plug one’s car in just so it’ll start in the morning or months of driving on a layer of ice! 😉
        To each his own.

      • Elle says:

        In Ireland we get the dreary, wet drizzle all year round. Cold wet misery for about 8 months of the year and the rest of the year tepid wet misery. We might get 2 weeks of dry sunny weather in Spring and in early Autumn but apart from that the weather stinks here. It’s like being buried alive.

    • Margaux says:

      Alwaysl8 – while I respect your evangelical zeal about weight – Plankton in Chief is a mere 7stone 10 and whenever weight has been raised here on the blog – it would appear that the majority do not have a ‘weight issue’. I appreciate that this is a bigger concern in North America but we Brits haven’t quite reached the fat epidemic that appears to be a problem in the US and Canada.
      Admittedly it is a growing concern here but on my regular trips to the States it would seem that we don’t quite compare yet.

      Agree with you about exercise being a natural anti depressant though.

    • Jane says:

      I agree with you always18ylike about exercise keeping you sane. I don’t need to lose weight but whenever a relationship has broken down, I vigorously get into running and swimming – not only do these exercises clear my head of any negative thoughts I had regarding a relationship going downhill but the feel good factor I get from exercising is immense making me progress into meeting and going out with men again far more easily than if I had wallowed in depression. Running and swimming have definitely been my saviour on more than one occasion.

    • T Lover says:

      I have noticed recently (as I drive home to the homestead in the hills) that nowadays there are far more women out a jogging than men.

      It’s quite entertaining to see all the different shapes and sizes perambulating the pavements.

      Some so earnest in the latest gear. Some breathless and on the large side suffering as they are overtaken by the elderly breezing along with Zimmer frames.

      Those for whom you feel the pain:- those who need a good support bra.

      Power to every last one. A gold star for making the effort.

  • RS says:

    I’m very late to say to P how disappointed I was to read this post.

    Never think that you were wrong in showing good manners.

    I know how crushing it can be when one’s hopes are dashed… all of it described here is very familiar to me. But ultimately this man was not right for you.

  • mary says:

    Forgive me, I haven’t read all the comments through. But I must say I’m kind of surprised that no one’s had the same reaction I did on reading your post. And that is “He’s just not that into you”, move on. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been where you are, and I’ve reacted in the same way. But when I heard those words on a SATC episode (they even made it into a book!), it was a revelation. How much pain and suffering I could have saved myself if I’d just thought ah well, chalk it up, move on. I know – easier said than done. But in the grand scheme of things that can happen to you in your life – probably a small one. It hurts, it feels like rejection of you personally, it was rude, it was the end of all that promise – all of that. But at the end of the day, all you can change is how you react to it.
    I don’t mean to be harsh, sorry. It’s just hard to see you going through this. It’s a jungle out there! When it’s right, it will be easy. There will be no games playing. You will know exactly where you stand and you’ll feel good about it – not hanging on every morsel he decides to throw your way.

  • kathypan says:

    Ms Plankton, I read your blog from time to time, and from one Plankton to another (im almost 43), i get the general feeling that the guys can smell your desperation. I can smell it from here! and i am in Australia! I am almost at the point where I have just given up on men, and i don’t mean that in a flippant teenage angst way, i mean Really. Given .Up

    I don’ think that you should give up as such, but just back down a bit, honestly…

    • The Plankton says:

      WIll do. Thanks. pxx

    • Elle says:

      kathypan, I think that hitting 40 is what makes women appear desperate. We can be thin, sexy, beautiful, charismatic and successful, but it doesn’t matter because we’re judged on our age. Our perceived value starts to fall at 30 and then nosedives at 40 into a crash and burn, rather like an unfortunate plane I saw crash at an airshow when I was a teenager.

      • kathypan says:

        beautifully put. Its true. I remember when i was 39 i was a lot more popular on dating sites than i am now at 43. Men seem to be afraid of us, and the “cougar ” term doesnt help.

        There was one guy on a dating site who was 41 and he said he didnt want any cougars over 40. Hello, he was 41 himself!!!!

  • Lindy says:

    What a lot of chat about body weight! Boring and I’m not sure how relevant, but at least get it right! RS, 151b is not two stone, it’s one. Alwaysl8ylike, 20 lb is not two stone either: ‘we Brits’ can manage to work it out accurately if we’re sufficiently interested! As for P, 7 stone 10 (even allowing for her having a few issues around food – like most of us women in the Western world) is not her normal weight: she has made it quite clear that her weight has dropped below eight stone (that’s around 112 lbs to you Canadians LOL) as a direct result of her misery re ST. She’s obviously gorgeous – and thin – so isn’t all this talk that ‘no man likes a chubster’ a tad simplistic?! Just saying…..!

    • RS says:

      Yep, you’ll notice Lindy that I corrected my typo in the comment immediately after the one where I made the error.
      I agree that there’s been too much emphasis on weight here.

    • alwaysl8ylike says:

      I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to offend. I was obviously way wrong on wondering if Ms. P was overweight. A few pounds is nothing to worry about, but over 20 becomes a mental and physical problem. People don’t like fatties, and if you’re trying to partner up, you need to make an effort to change this if it is an issue and you hope to achieve success. For men and women.

  • rosie says:

    “It stands to reason that the plain, thick, and ugly (and you can define those in many ways) are going to make up the majority on dating sites, because they are the least likely types to be partnered”

    Not the women, though?

    Elle, I’m with you on the weather. I know it can’t stop you from feeling lonely or depressed but it can certainly lift your mood. Six months of freezing, driving rain and then summers that are just mild versions of winter is too much to bear.

    • EmGee says:

      “plain, thick, and ugly” isn’t gender specific, afaik.

      • T Lover says:

        EmGee,

        Of course it was gender specific.

        I was talking of the women I attracted using “Plenty of Fish” albeit for a matter of days.

        They were so bad one wondered if some of them actually were female.

        I have now retired from “internet dating” having located a woman who was looking for “Mr Perfect”.

        I am a bloke. It therefore follows naturally – as night follows day – that I am just that, perfect, (but with a capital “P” in my case) and we are now in tentative negotiations in an effort to find out whether she is good enough for me.

      • alwaysl8ylike says:

        Oh T Lover keep us posted on if she was good enough for Mr. Perfect!

  • Rubarbs says:

    You’re putting yourself out there and you’re not sitting around at home moping. Good for you! I’ve had many similar experiences, waiting and wondering if a man will ever call, and when I’ve contacted them they seem to run a mile.

    Nowadays I never ever call or text after a date and always let them make the first move. If I’ve had a good evening and would like to see them again I tell them I’ve had a lovely time and I’ve enjoyed their company, so at least they know that I’m interested (they need some encouragement). Then I go home and get on with my life and (try to) forget about them.

    Men are wired to pursue and get panicky if we pursue them. If they’re keen they’ll call, if they’re not they won’t. Simples!

  • mary says:

    Thanks for taking my comment so well – I was worried I may have offended! It’s just my two cents worth. It’s not a personal rejection of you – he hardly knows you. And vice versa. Don’t give him the power to unhinge you like this.

  • Jill says:

    Oh, T Lover (or should I call you Mr. Perfect?!) SO provocative and deliberately intended to cause an outraged flutter in this hen coop…..but I thank you for giving me such a good laugh on this grey and depressing morning. I really enjoy ironical humour, and if your current candidate proves less than satisfactory, I am sure that you will be deluged with eager ladies from this site who have also been hanging on your every word, wishing to seek your approval…….(?!)

    Jill

  • Jill says:

    Now I am disappointed, T Lover, having come to expect more bravado/banter from you……

    Jill

  • Minnow says:

    I was widowed at the age of 35 and moved swiftly into a self-imposed, 12-year long ‘planktonhood’, putting all my energy into providing for my children. Long story short – the children left home for university and I thought that I had left it too late to start afresh with someone new – that my lonely status was no longer self-imposed but one that I had slipped into due my increasing years and increasing invisibilty. But, very surprisingly and unexpectedly, I met someone and have been with him (happily) for over a year. 12 years of not one single date, not one single ‘twinkle’, left me feeling very nervous about embarking on a new relationship but it has been a great journey so far. Anyway, recounting my story is not the reason I feel the urge to post, I just thought I should introduce myself a little. My real reason for posting is T Lover – he is absolutely hilarious! His posts drip with irony! He is wonderfully drole! Why isn’t this intelligent, articulate, witty man being fought over by the clucking hens herein?

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you for this and welcome to the blog. May I ask how you met the person you are now with? pxx

      • Minnow says:

        Thank you for the welcome.

        The person I am with was an old acquaintance that I hadn’t seen for many years. I met him one day when I was out shopping – he came walking towards me with a mutual friend. We all went for coffee and he and I hit it off. He took my number and a few days later asked me for a date. I was enormously surprised that he was interested.

        I had had a very happy marriage to a man I met when I was only 18. He was my best friend and only lover and I was deeply traumatised by his death. I got on with my life in many ways and to the outsider seemed to be coping very well, but in reality I grieved and pined and yearned for my husband for many years. I think I aged more rapidly that I would have had I not been so bereft. I shut myself down where men were concerned, believing that that part of my life was over, and got on with a life that was rich in many other ways – close friends, interesting job, opportunities for study. But, so often, when I closed the door on the world, I felt lonely for male company, for the physical strength, the feeling of safety, the warmth and the comfort and reassurance it brings. I lost my confidence, seeing myself as an old widow that no-one would want. Looking back, I was far too young to opt out – but I functioned so well in other areas of my life, I felt there was no room for a new relationship. No amount of bereavement counselling could shift my negative view of myself. I simply did not expect to be found attractive and I felt no attraction. And then the last of my three my kids left home – confident and ready to take on the world – and something in me must have shifted because when I met the new man and sensed that he was interested I was overwhelmed by physical attraction and curiosity about this man who had been somewhere on the distant periphery of my life for so long. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep and could think of nothing else (thank god that has settled down – it was exhausting!) He, quite flatteringly, was astonished that I had remained on my own without a single date for so long and was delighted that I ‘chose’ him to bring me back to life. However, I do believe if I had met him a few years earlier nothing would have happened as I was probably giving off a ‘platonic only’ signal. And I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have picked up on any signals from him.

        After having lived like a nun for so many years I wouldn’t dream of pontificating on these matters but I do believe attitude counts (at least it did in my case). And then there’s luck – if I had walked along a different street that day I would not be in a new relationship with a lovely man who has his own story of why he was single – but I have rambled on too much already, and that story is not mine to tell!

      • The Plankton says:

        Not rambled on in the least bit. Fascinating and uplifting story and very much chimes with my idea that the greatest part of all this is to do with luck. One thing, if I might, how old were you were widowed and then when you bumped into this old friend and had coffee together? None of my business, just curious, and you don’t have to answer. Pxx

      • EmGee says:

        “…I do believe attitude counts (at least it did in my case). And then there’s luck…”

        Minnow, I do so agree with these sentiments!

      • Minnow says:

        I was 35 when I was widowed; my husband who was fit, strong and healthy, died after after a sudden, short illness. I bumped into the old friend 12 years later. The new relationship feels quite different – less intense, maybe. Simpler perhaps, as we’re not establishing careers and raising children. My husband and I were very close – almost as though, over the years, we had merged into one person, even though we had our separate interests. We knew each other very well and I felt complete when I was with him. Losing him was a tremendous blow. Now I feel complete when I am on my own and at times it has been hard to accommodate a new person in my life – even though I really want him there. But he has been incredibly understanding. And I try to understand what it is like for him. It must be hard to be in a relationship with someone who, while she loves him, also loves someone else. (When someone dies you don’t stop loving them – there is just nowhere for that love to go.) It must be hard to compete with memories which may, at times, be a bit rosy. But we are doing well so far. We take good care of each other – and being taken care of was something we both badly needed (he has had his own difficulties).

        I felt very excluded from a large part of society when I was on my own. I, who had not been on a date from I was 18, was intrigued by how people met and managed to get together. It all seemed so mysterious. Now it seems quite simple – right place, right time, and a bit of courage.

        All along, through the bleakest days of grief, I have had to remind myself that I am the lucky one – I am here. I got to see my children blossom into young adults. I get to experience middle-age and all that it brings – good and bad. My husband got none of that. In the midst of my sadness I found an appreciation of being alive that I probably didn’t have before (I hope I don’t sound sanctimonious – there were many, many times when I thought life was just a pile of crap!) I feel almost a sense of relief to be with someone again – but coping on my own and making my life fulfilling has given me a confidence I didn’t have when I was younger. I know I’ll be fine if I end up alone again. But, there is no doubt, life is more fun now than it has been in a very long time. Long may it continue.

        I won’t spout the usual, annoying cliches – ‘you never know what’s around the corner’ (a good thing too as what’s around the corner may well be horrific!), blah blah blah. You might meet someone and you might not. Life can be good either way – but, as I’ve recently rediscovered, it’s definitely better when you have someone with whom to share your minutiae. And I don’t feel remotely smug. – I was simply in the right place at the right time and I felt an uncharacteristic surge of courage (or hormones or something)!

      • The Plankton says:

        Minnow, thank you for this, and long may it last for you. Pxx

    • alwaysl8ylike says:

      I agree with you about T Lover! But I wish I knew what ‘drole’ meant. I’ll have to go look it up *grumble* Thanks for introducing yourself, you sound like an interesting person, with a good outlook on life!

      • Jill says:

        I can be of help with that small matter. Drole is the French spelling. As far as I am aware, (sorry, Minnow!), the English spellling is “droll”, meaning amusing in a quirky, unusual way.

      • Minnow says:

        Thanks for pointing that out, Jill. ‘Droll’ it will be from now on.

      • Minnow says:

        Thank-you alwaysl8ylike. Sometimes the good outlook depends on the way the wind is blowing.

  • Jill says:

    Well, Minnow, I did of course make that allusion to the fluttering in the hen coop induced by T Lover’s vulpine contributions, as well as the hilarity they provoked in me, so he obviously now has a fan club numbering at least two. And I agree with you – intelligent, articulate and witty – that combination certainly does it for me!

  • Minnow says:

    I’m in the fan club but I’m not in the queue!

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