Bitter Plankton

July 2, 2012 § 27 Comments

I met a woman at a party to whom I didn’t take, I must admit.  She seemed bitter and cross and lacking in warmth.  She moaned about men, the lack thereof, and the impossibility of finding one, anywhere.  After two or three decades on her own, she said, she was now “indifferent.”  I thought, indifferent is allowed, but Bitter is a less good look and her self-confessed indifference is actually more than that.  I can see a time when I might become indifferent, as a defense, and that’s allowed, but properly bitter is unbecoming.  Oh, I can do bitter with the best of them, and have done so on this blog a great deal, I am sure, but as an out and out disposition, it is not a great way to be.  That woman was off-putting, even to a fellow plankton.  I thought, I hope I am not like that and never become so.

The next day I learned a little bit more about her.  She was beautiful in her youth and had many admirers but was jilted at the altar and has never had a good relationship since, nor children.  I thought, I have been hasty in my judgement.  No wonder she is bitter.  Every right.  There must be few humiliations more horrific in the lexicon of human humiliations than being jilted at the altar.  The experience has obviously ruined her life.

But what is so unjust is that bitter is still not a good look.

Note to self: whatever life throws at me, and it has thrown a lot, better to steer clear of Bitter.


§ 27 Responses to Bitter Plankton

  • Jill says:

    Well said, P. But I have not detected bitterness per se in your posts – sadness, yes, a smidgen of resignation perhaps, but your positive nature and optimism shine through whatever life throws at you. You WILL triumph, be sure of that. Somewhere out there your significant other is waiting patiently…..x (and one for everyone else who contributes in a positive and concerned way on this site, I trust.)

    • The Plankton says:

      Well, Jill, thank you so much. It’s the gloomiest day imaginable, and I feel somewhat low, but I have just ordered a pair of sunglasses. Got to be a sign of something optimistic in me, somewhere, eh? Pxx

  • Elle says:

    Indeed. All the more reason to date philanderers and have a giggle!

    Seriously, this poor woman got a raw deal. I think that in these supposedly enlightened times being jilted at the altar would be equally traumatic.

  • rosie says:

    Poor cow, jilting someone at the altar should be made an arrestable offence. But, no, whatever crap life throws at you bitterness is never a good look.

    I’m reminded of certain friends who’ve become hostile and accusing because they couldn’t find a man. It just makes you want to avoid them.

  • Lydia says:

    Always avoid negative people. They just drain you.

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    Oh well, Miss Havisham docet. 😦
    Bitter has my sympathy but I don’t want to meet her.
    Recently I met a man through a dating website (once, for coffee). He e-mailed that he wanted to see me again but only after a certain date because he was busy until then. Although I had my suspicions it was not implausible as he claimed to be just finishing a PGCE.
    After that – silence.

  • @ Ms. Plankton- If you see this woman again, if you want, you can tell her that she is welcomed to write to me (same email address that I use to login to your blogsite here)- I won’t jilt her…. I promise….

  • Sarah says:

    Being jilted at the alter is one tough piece of shit to deal with. Sounds like that poor woman didn’t get any professional help dealing with it either, hence bitterness.

  • june says:

    As you say P bitterness not good,i guess it is something we planktons maybe on occasions find ourselves heading towards, i know i have, but then we think stop, no dont go there,it is not a good look and you could so easily end up alone and friendless and that is not somewhere anyone wants to go, much worse than just being a plankton. I know i dont and i think from what i have ascertained from most of us regulars on here none of us do and ever would, you definitely not P, anymore than me. It isnt in our nature, and it is a very sad sight.Yes you are right noone likes that kind of person, shades of poor Miss Haversham,i think as ive said b efore your column helps us all avoid that, something for which we are all grateful. We can all say why me of course i often do, im a kind, caring person, why does it not happen,that special person, but to become bitter about it, would make our situations 10 times worse and i think then any faint chance we might have of it ever happening would disappear for ever.

  • MissBates says:

    My prevailing emotion about the whole thing is sadness, although that’s not to say that bitterness hasn’t crept in from time to time. However, and this is crucial, the bitterness has to stay deeply hidden in all social situations, and to emerge only in the presence of one’s closest friend or one’s shrink, or wept/screamed out into one’s pillow. I feel sorry for Ms. Left at the Altar but, as you say, bitterness is not a good look and seems to have led to no one even wanting to talk to her, much less date her, move in with her, marry her….

  • Emgee says:

    There prbably isn’t a person on earth who hasn’t had an exxperience that left a bitter taste in their mouth, but to nurture it, and carry it with you your whole life? I know a lot of people with a permanent, negativeoutlook on life.

    When you tell them to try having a positive pov on life, the usual response is something like, “I have nothing to be positive about (or look forward to, or be grateful for, etc).

    And then they wonder why male and female alike avoid them. A self fulfilling prophecy if ever there was one.

    No one has a sunny disposition 24/7, but one’s life shouldn’t be all gloom and doom either.

  • Leslie M says:

    I think that it is entirely someone’s choice whether being jilted at the altar is going to ruin her life 30 years later. If she is bitter, it is because she chooses to be so.

  • rosie says:

    That’s a bit harsh, Leslie. There but for the grace of god and all that. I don’t think anyone can ‘choose’ to be a certain way, otherwise the world would be full of smiley happy people, and it quite clearly isn’t.

  • James B says:

    It is interesting that this lady was “Beautiful in her youth”. It is a terrible thing but I find that many beautiful females (and men) do not really have to try very hard to attract mates and therefore do not really develop their personalities in the way the rest of us have to, simply in order to get on in life. When the beauty fades, the sense of entitlement often remains and inevitably develops into a sort of confused bitterness if life has not gone as well as planned. The curse of being too good looking …

  • Twinkletoes says:

    James B, as a stunning beauty in my younger years I can totally identify with your post. When my beauty started to fade, and I couldn’t see it myself, I was very confused as to why men no longer chased me.

    But then I did gradually wake up to what was really looking at me in the mirror, also becoming aware of the nubile 20-somethings that were being chased by the 50-something men I was hoping to attract myself. Oh dear, I hope I’m not sounding bitter… 😉

    P.S. My personality was always as developed as the rest of my, um, attributes.

  • mike wilcox says:

    I would think being left at the alter would be hard to take, but finding out that the one you were with for 20+years is leaving for someone else is a lot worse…

  • Thin-Skinned Future Geezer Yankee says:

    Some are blessed with beauty.

    Others are blessed with hope and optimism.

    I fear that those spoiled with greater beauty in during their youth suffer more when it wilts. Read this sadness in the faces of the desperation of the formerly gorgeous celebrities whose main capital has evaporated.

    One of my favourite little quotes,
    “At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.” – George Orwell

    Perhaps bitterness and chronic pessimism can’t be helped just as one can’t will his broken self to be whole and beautiful.

    However if you can manage it, a real smile and good posture don’t cost too much – which taken together with a good night’s sleep – these take off more years than a few grand at the plastic surgeon’s.

    This gentleman behind the keyboard struggles to remember in the moments of dullest melancholy not to take it all too seriously. If I view it all as a silly game, I find more courage just to play and to make the inevitable mistakes while having fun with it.

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