Cousin’s Call

July 3, 2012 § 31 Comments

Yesterday I took an urgent call from my cousin who said, in the light of a recent conversation with me about speed being the essence when it comes to an available man, I must hasten to her party because one of her friends had just broken up with his wife.  While I liked the spirit of her entreaty – a rare understanding by a married person that a plankton hasn’t got the luxury of procrastination – I also recognised that, put like that, there is something of the ambulance-chaser about the idea of targeting a fellow practically before the division of the DVDs.  I was unable to go to the party anyway, but even if I had, I shouldn’t have liked to have been introduced to the poor man quite so soon with any such targeting in mind.  Perhaps that is my problem: a certain delicacy in these matters when up against some women who have no delicacy at all and are happy to beat a path to a man’s door even as he is throwing the dust on the actual coffin of his just-late wife or the metaphorical coffin of his dead marriage.  Indeed, even if he is happily married and there isn’t any death in sight.

A call to ruthlessness is perhaps in order and yet I cannot see it somehow.  I am not ruthless and, even if I tried, my heart would never really be in it.  But that is what it takes, I fear.  Ergo, maybe I am destined to be alone?

§ 31 Responses to Cousin’s Call

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    Yep – same as me.

  • Aphra says:

    Hi Plankton

    Your post made me think of something I’d heard from a friend recently. An acquaintance’s female boss had died after a short illness and in less than two years she had married the widower. Yes, some people are there at the right time and don’t hang about. Makes it harder for those who’d hesitate to go there so quickly… And she’s in her fifties!

    PS Love all your posts – whatever the subject.

    • The Plankton says:

      That’s a lovely thing to write about my posts; thank you very much. I am delighted. As for moving in there quickly, from what I hear, I’d say two years was quite sedate. Some barely wait till the breath has left the dead wife’s body! I bet we can all think of even swifter examples. pxx

      • Frank says:

        I once read about a guy who goes to funerals so he can meet freshly widowed women. I’m 45, single and hating it, but I’d rather be alone that that kind of person. Life is about choices and they’re not always pretty… but I choose to be able to face myself at the end of the day – and if I must do that alone, then so be it.

      • The Plankton says:

        I agree. Hence my views about not going anywhere near married men. Pxx

  • MissBates says:

    Have noted from afar the article that appeared in the British press a couple of weeks ago about “predatory women” and the resulting backlash. I must say most of the women I know in my/our situation (and we are legion, at least in NYC) aren’t particularly predatory — to the contrary, we’re utterly resigned to being alone. Most of us have pretty active social lives, albeit not within married circles, because (largely unjustly) we simply are not invited to dinner parties and other events w/ couples for fear that we will jump the married men. This always amuses me and makes me think, “Honey, if I was interested in someone else’s paunchy suburban husband, I could start an affair with him at the office. I wouldn’t need to go to your dinner party to do so. But I’m NOT interested, so calm down.” No, back in the days before I completely gave up, I would have liked to have been invited to go to such events just: (a) on the off-chance I might have enjoyed myself, had a drink and nice meal, maybe had a laugh or an interesting conversation; and (b) because perhaps one of the very-married people there might have had a SINGLE brother/coworker/cousin/neighbor. And yes, I’m aware that such a possibility was always extremely remote at best. Thus, I stopped even entertaining that possibility at least a decade ago. I now socialize with those who are willing to include me as I am — i.e., other single women, gay men, and the occasional married woman who will have lunch/go shopping with me (but almost never invite me to her home).

  • Jane says:

    To be honest, P, what is most likely to happen now is that he will meet someone of his own age very quickly, who will be immensely understanding and supportive as he goes through the trials of separation and divorce.

    Once he is divorced, everything is done and dusted and he is feeling much better and more confident, he will then become a magnet for other women, very likely women who are quite a lot younger and the woman who saw him through the difficult times will be offloaded.

  • Scott Benowitz says:

    @ Ms. Plankton- Don’t go into the finance industry….

  • Lydia says:

    I am put off if they are in the throes of divorce as they tend not to stick with their rebound person or want to play the field having been limited to one wife/husband for 20 years but certainly some people male and female don’t want gaps between marriages and quickly rush to the next person.

    It doesn’t really matter. There are tons of people around for all of us. I am calling one at 8 although I think he’s a bit fat.

  • EmGee says:

    Well, there is a time for delicacy, and a time to be a little pro active? You are not the sort to go into safari mode when a potentially available man is within reach, but it doesn’t hurt to meet a single guy, ever.

    On the other hand, it was kind of your cousin to think of you, but as fate would have it, you couldn’t make it to the party anyway. Forcing situations is never a good idea, imo.

    • The Plankton says:

      I agree. I had to go to something else I couldn’t get out of that night and anyway my cousin said there was a chance he mightn’t have been able to make it himself. Probably too busy canoodling with a new 19 year old girlfriend…! Pxx

  • James B says:

    In most areas of life, being timely, taking advantage of opportunities as they come up is of critical importance. In business this is certainly the case (in sport too) and I think that in the world of dating the same applies. This may seem in bad taste to the reticent British, but in my opinion, the meek will not inherit the earth, only the portions for one at their local Sainsburys.

    Men do not, by and large, realise their scarcity in mid-life. This is because when they were courting in their 20’s it was the females that had the upper hand. If you let a freshly de-coupled middle aged man out on the town for a few months he will suddenly develop a view of himself as a valuable object of desire and will start playing the field.

    So my advice? Go get ’em while they are ripe and green and falling from the tree. And make sure the man knows you are interested too (if indeed you are). Men do not understand subtle communicative implications from women. We just don’t know what is going on in your heads. If you like us, tell us. Say, “Look, it may seem forward, but I like you, I think we could have something here that could be fun and interesting – here’s my number. Call me”. That’s what we idiots want to hear. If we don’t like it, it is only because we don’t find the woman attractive. Sad but true.

    So, go see if that poor man is worthy of your quite obvious genius. He could be a great fit for you. Or not. BUT HOW WILL YOU KNOW IF YOU DON’T TRY????? Go get him Ms P!

    • Steve says:

      Well said James. Subtle hints don’t work. Forget reading between the lines and say what you want!!

    • The Plankton says:

      Well, thank you very much, James, not least for your amazing reference to my “quite obvious genius”. I would beg to differ considerably, but the compliment is still lovely to receive. As for going to get said man, I don’t think so. My cousin’s gone away and I don’t imagine I was quick enough off the mark. Not this one. But I am seeing, of all people, Long Shot (!!!) tonight (don’t worry, no ideas there) and the Philanderer exceedingly soon. So I am happily occupied for the moment. Pxx

  • PY says:

    Dear Plankton
    Just to reaffirm what the previous two guys have said , we men are simply no good at reading over subtle approaches , second guessing a woman’s intentions or reading minds . It just goes to prove that God was either imperfect or had a deeply flawed sense of humour.
    It is July 4th – Independence Day – and the tenth anniversary of my decree nisi . The irony didn’t escape me. Within a month of ‘the news’ , the school gate mafia were closing in – ” I have a friend . She’s awfully nice – works for the BBC !”
    No thanks – wounds needed to be licked for quite a while, as neither a wanted nor warranted scenario and young children to think of. As other correspondents have commented there are unhappy parties on both sides of the fence.
    But, more importantly, I have been off the air for a while – what happened with the date with destiny and the Philanderer ? Have I missed the de-briefing ?

    • Jill says:

      Now, look here, Paul, you simply must make an effort to keep up….just joking! P has posted another article, called LS, Again, and – quick update for you – Long Shot has reappeared making more vague protestations about getting in touch. Telephone Number, it appears, has “hooked up witha divorcee of substantial means” which puts paid to him, at least temporarily, and the Big Date with Destiny i.e. that with the Philanderer is pending very shortly. The de-brief should be vairy eenteresing, n’est-ce pas?

      • PY says:

        Thank-you, Jill, for the update – have been bobbing on the briney again in sunnier climes. Bit crisp around the edges.
        Sounds like a cross between The Archers and Sex in the City . But, from today’s Times, it also sounds as though Dear P. has side-stepped The Philanderer and lucked out on the de-briefing.

      • EmGee says:

        Oooh, a teaser! Can’t wait for tomorrow’s blog post from Ms P!

  • Becca says:

    Can’t see how there can be anything wrong with a bit of delicacy. Why do people want to rush into something if their spouse has died or they have been divorced? It’s just plastering over the cracks as quickly as poss. Beats me. Enjoy your posts. Especially liked the one about appreciating the little things, totally agree, I look forward to my coffee every single day and reading the news.
    Seems like I have just ‘found’ someone after a long time being single, I have some reservations, but am really hoping it will work out, as it seems so hard to find anyone.

  • EmGee says:

    “Why do people want to rush into something if their spouse has died or they have been divorced?”
    Having been widowed unexpectedly, and from a miserable marriage to boot, I certainly wasn’t looking for any sort of relationship 6 months after, but I got swept off my feet by a charming, caring sweetheart of a man. So you never know, it just takes the right person.

  • Becca says:

    EmGee, somehow if it’s been a miserable marriage, then it’s different, you def deserve the right person asap! I make too many sweeping generalisations!

  • PY says:

    Absolutely, EmGee

    I might be misinterpreting Ms P’s euphemism in today’s posting but judge for yourself tomorrow. It is also slightly safer on this chapter of the blog – far too many handbags flying for my liking on the LS update.

    Must be this weather getting people particularly ratty – cabin fever ?

  • Jill says:

    I think you may well be right, Paul. The miserable summer seems to be causing angst in even the most mild-mannered and cheerful of my acquaintances and friends. Perhaps we are all suffering from RID (rain induced depression) as opposed to SAD (seasonal affective depression)? Except of course those of us who have been bobbing around on the briny in sunnier climes, getting a bit “crisp” at the edges (?!)

  • PY says:

    Thans for your concern , Jill , but can still boast an appropriate tide mark.

    As for RID, spotted a chap hobbling on the Tube this morning. With few cuckooes around I thought of writing into the Times too enquire if this is the first sighting of Trenchfoot this summer .

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