Suspended Animation

August 14, 2012 § 64 Comments

From yesterday’s Times:-

It seems a state of suspended animation prevails.  This is due to so many summer factors, but primarily the school holidays (no head space to think too much) and the Olympics.  I was bored stiff by the whole notion of the Olympics.  I snootily told the children I may be prevailed upon to watch Bolt in the 100m final, but that was the sum 9.36 seconds I was prepared to give it. When friends were banging on about their ticket struggles, I felt all smug that at least that wasn’t my struggle.

Well, more fool me.  It soon dawned that my children and I were badly missing out.  We had to make do with being glued to the telly, watching sports I never knew existed (Glistening Otter Volleyball?), cheering whilst on the privacy of our sofa as opposed to en masse.  But all the hoopla meant for magnificent deflection.  Days went by holed up at home with barely a nod to my planktonhood status.  I did harbour vague thoughts of, if only I had trained my lardy arse off every single day from sparrows till the witching hour for years without end, only stopping to eat the most carefully calibrated diet known to Science and to sleep special sleep then I, too, give or take a little time travel, might have been proclaiming that life was amazing and joining in the wild Olympian denouement.  But I expect you didn’t have to be a plankton to think that.  That must surely have crossed every middle-aged person’s mind, even the fully-paired up ones as well.

Anyway, the Olympics meant for pretty efficient and even joyful distraction for a couple of weeks.  Now I am resorting to the more usual summer stalwart of going abroad for a week.  This is a rare treat, and I am looking forward to that feeling that Abroad often bestows, of time out of time.  The way being out of one’s normal existence – I hestitate to say humdrum, because there is much about my humdrum which I relish – which throws one, gloriously, fleetingly, into being someone else.  Well, almost.  In my case, this means dispensing with comfort zone clothes and non-thinking food and all my well-trammelled thoughts and neuroses.  It means sloughing off for a few days the veils of one’s reality, and freeing up the mind and body to new experiences and conversations and dreams.  One knows it is all short-lived and a plankton is a plankton in exotic parts just as much as at home, but usual business is delicately suspended and I can fantasise about being, if not a golden Olympian, then at least a flip-flop and sunglasses version of my normal self.

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§ 64 Responses to Suspended Animation

  • Lydia says:

    Have a good holiday. I took the children away for a week and it was the best holiday ever, which is amazing. I htink that is because there were no rows, no dissension, no disharmony. You see you don’t need a man to be happy although men are fun and I’m sure I will always either have one or one in the offing.

    (I certainly would have to be paid a large sum to watch any sport whether Olympian or otherwise. However I recognise how much pleasure many others have had from it).

  • Emgee says:

    Paired up, or not, what I wouldn’t give for a trip abroad. Beating the heat right now would be a bonus.

  • Emgee says:

    Oops, forgot to subscribe to this post (not automatic with the Android browser).

  • kathy says:

    you have to stop focussing on being a Plankton

    • Steve 2 says:

      Didn’t a wise person once say that you are what you define yourself as being?
      I’d agree that you have to stop seeing yourself as plankton before you can stop being one

      • fi says:

             
        “Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
        Watch your words, for they become actions.
        Watch your actions, for they become habits.
        Watch your habits, for they become character.
        Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

    • The Plankton says:

      Sure, but sometimes easier said than done. Pxx

  • Elle says:

    I wonder what the late Helen Gurley Brown would say about the plankton state. May she rest in peace, but I am rather irked by all the eulogic articles praising her for telling women that we could have it all. As we say in Ireland, I hate to speak ill of the dead, but I think that HGB is partly responsible for some of us being plankton. Women thought they could have it all but decades later it is MEN who are having it all. Indeed, men are arguably having more than what they had in the 1950s/1960s when HGB aired her philosophy. Back then they didn’t have so many available women and were thus more likely to stay with their wives instead of getting divorced. Or waiting until they had a new woman before getting divorced.

    Life wasn’t so easy for women in bad marriages then as they hadn’t the option of earning their own living, but I think that women were valued more in those days (apart from in the workplace) and people worked harder at their marriages.

    Indeed, women have always worked, be it in the home or in the case of working class women, outside the home. Unfortunately the only women’s “work” that HGB seemed to value was work outside the home which was subject to taxation. Women have benefitted from equial pay and being able to work outside the home, but the exchequer has also benefited hugely from this. So why is childcare so expensive and children almost a luxury these days?
    Even though two partners earn now as opposed to just one in the past, the price of a house now is a larger multiple of the double income than it was of a single income in the past.

    I also think that it is ironic that single childless women are castigated more than ever these days despite the Cosmo and having it all era.

    We plankton have been sold a pig in a poke and sacrificed to the impossible dream of having it all. The late HGB was instrumental in this but I’m sure loneliness, childlessness and eternal singlehood isn’t what she intended for so many women.

    • Chris says:

      Wht a lot of people tend to forget is that Browns philosophy was focused on being a man pleaser. Don’t believe me ? Check it out, and remeber this woman stayed in shape forever. I think her message got lost in translation.

      • fi says:

        I know. I’ve got one of her books – signed by her actually – bought at a car boot in scotland for 10p. Can’t remember what its called but I thought she was all about working hard and pleasing your man.

  • Elle says:

    Sorry for going off topic, I hope you’re having a nice holiday P.

  • Scott Benowitz says:

    Yes, I watched some of the sporting events from London on television here too over the course of these past 2 weeks…

    I enjoyed the suspense, the tension building towards the CLIMAX moment, and then the subsequent release…..

    • Steve 2 says:

      Scott, you’re going all E.L.James.

      • Oh my GOSH !! I didn’t even realize when I wrote that how that ends up reading …. …..

        Turns out, 100 years ago, Freud had said that sometimes we write or say things without fully realizing what they might mean…..

        I guess, this upcoming weekend, I could go for some whoopie…. …..

  • kathy says:

    having it all is a myth. Women are judged no matter what they do

    Just moments ago i had a workman here with a tow truck to pick up some broken down machinery that some tree loppers were using in my property yesterday. He asked me if i was the only one home (meaning wheres your husband as i need some help moving this thing). I said i was teh only one here

    Heard him on the phone to some other bloke and he was like “yes well the lady of the house… blah blah, no theres no one elese here)

    assuming that because i am a home owner i MUST have a husband.

  • rosie says:

    Couldn’t agree more, P! I’ve always liked watching the gymnastics but beyond that, I was totally underwhelmed by the thought of the Olympics. Watched the opening ceremony thinking that would be it and I was hooked from then on. What a terrific two weeks, like someone had been pumping prozac into the water supply. Felt quite bereft when it was all over. But I also seem to have developed a ridiculous crush on Usain Bolt so it’s probably just as well.

  • Scott Benowitz says:

    And then the next day, watching the coverage of the next series of athletic events… THE EXCITEMENT ALL OVER AGAIN !!!

    The suspense, the tension building towards the climax moment, and then the subsequent release again….

    – – – – — – – – — – – – – – – – –

    Look, it’s been a couple of years now for me too… : (

  • For me the excitement of watching the Summer 2012 XXX Olympiad was not just about seeing who could reach the finish line first- For me the appeal was watching the grace and the style with which the various athletes from all over the entire planet moved their bodies- so very gracefully… I enjoyed watching them thrust their bodies forwards during the diving and the weightlifting events, I liked watching how they’d suddenly pull their bodies backwards during the boxing, the fencing and the synchronized swimming events… the jumping up and down and up and in and out and up and down and in and out and up and down during the basketball, the volleyball and the gymnastics events- I liked watching them insert their fingers into the rings and into the grips of the pommel horse during the gymnastics…. and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the athletes caress the surfaces of the basketballs, the volleyballs and the handball events- their touch, so delicate and yet concurrently so forceful, aiming towards their targets so accurately with such precision…. GOAL !!! …. SCORE !!!! HOLE IN ONE !!!

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – — –

    Okay, it’s been quite a while for me- My last girlfriend decided to break up with me on the afternoon of Sun. Feb. 14th, 2010 (I know, v-day, how romantic)… since then, I’ve not even once been able to get a living breathing woman to return a phone call, a voicemail message or an email…. 2 and a half years now may make me a relative newcomer to p’tonhood compared to some of you, I suppose, though …. …… ?

    • kathy says:

      but you can never be a Plankton. There is no male equivalent for the word “Spinster”. As a single man you are probably envied by a lot of men who are “tied to teh ball and chain”

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        If women NEVER return my telephone calls, voicemail messages and emails, then what am I?

      • fi says:

        Scott, I’m afraid if its true as a lot of women commenting here assert – that all single middle aged men have their pick of desperate women – then it means that there must be something very very wrong with you. 🙂

        However, I don’t think its true.

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        Born in May of 1972, presently 5′ 10″, weighing 170 lbs….

        Hey- calm down now ladies…. there’s 24 hours in a day, which is plenty of time for me to respond to each of you….

      • fi says:

        170 lbs? That’s a bit rotund 🙂

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        For Europeans, yes- Here, believe it or not, I’m average weight for a male my age…

      • Emgee says:

        For the record, a spinster is a woman beyond childbearing age who has never been married, and presumably, never had sex. Very few, if any, people here fit that archaic description.

        And why do people insist on separating the sexes even when we suffer the same condition? A man can be a plankton as much as any woman. I agree with fi, I don’t think eligible middle aged men have women crawling all over them, unless they meet the criteria of having some combination of wealth,extreme good looks, and/or celebrity.

      • Emgee says:

        Sorry, the typing field on my tablet didn’t allow me to complete my thought, which was that the wealth/celebriy/looks thing applies to women as well as men.

        It may appear that men have the advantage, but there are cultural factors at work.

      • fi says:

        I quite like calling myself a spinster – its such an archaic word and conjures up images of shrivelled unwanted old hags that I don’t identify with that I find it quite entertaining.

      • EmGee says:

        “Scott wants a girlfriend not a prostitute though..he’s just pretending <3"
        Well, in that case, he doing it wrong. 😉

      • fi says:

        EmGee- I know. I’m maybe wrong. My feeling is that he’s not that experienced with women but tries to pretend he is but gives himself away by frequently demonstrating a lack of understanding of women. Where’s Paolo? He’d know as he’s pretty astute and we haven’t heard from him for a while.

      • Mistress Pompous says:

        Scott,

        I used to have a neighbour who was a science Professor at UMIST. Bright? Very.

        At a dinner party he cracked a joke along these lines: what do women have in common with concrete? He thought it was hilarious. Everyone else cringed, including his wife. I won’t give the punchline because it was not funny. It was pathetic. If the silence could have talked it would have said what a prat.

        Like picking up “cumplicity”.

        If, Scott, you think that sort of talk is the way forward in your love life , think again. I didn’t enjoy reading this string of comments one bit. Sorry.

      • fi says:

        That’s why I think Scott lacks experience though. He doesn’t realise that sort of stuff repels women.

    • maria says:

      Scott, you’re a perv.

      • maria says:

        Sorry Scott, for my last comment, but you sound a little desperate and fixated only on sex. Maybe that’s why they don’t return your phone calls, voice mails, etc.

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        I thought that was the entire point of this site… none of us are gettin’ any at all these days….

      • maria says:

        I think you got it all wrong, then. I (and I’m sure all women on this site) could get some quite easily, actually, but that’s not what I’m after. I ( and again all the women on this site) am after a loving long term relantionship, sex is only a tiny little part of it. Most of all, we want companionship, cumplicity, someone to talk and go out with and at the end of it all, a bit of sex. But hey, maybe it’s different for men.

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        I can “get it” too, but women all seem to want to talk about “commitment”… YUK !!!

      • fi says:

        Really, Scott, really? 🙂 Try http://dannyfrom504.wordpress.com/ for tips – he seems pretty successful with the Laydeez. And he’s only 5ft 4 and bald. 🙂

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        “cumplicity” ?

        Read Freud?

      • fi says:

        Scott, you’re a perv.

      • fi says:

        Echoing Maria – “Sorry Scott, for my last comment, but you sound a little desperate and fixated only on sex. Maybe that’s why they don’t return your phone calls, voice mails, etc.”

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        So, Maria writes it and it’s just a mere typo…. I notice it and I’ve got my mind in the sewer?

      • fi says:

        Yes. You probably snigger when you buy chicken breasts. 🙂

      • maria says:

        “cumplicity” ? Read Freud?”

        I’m sorry, I meant complicity. I’m not a native speaker. I didn’t get the Freud part, though (does it have anything to do with cum?)

      • maria says:

        “you probably snigger when you buy chicken breasts” 😀

        Fi, have you noticed who’s back to the blog?

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        Yup- that’s me- There was a photo of a cliffside nesting colony of Peruvian Boobies (s. variegata) on display in the annual Wildlife Photographer Of The Year exhibit at the Natural History Museum this year…. [giggle] khmph [giggle] get it? BOOBIES !!! (giggle, giggle)

      • fi says:

        Scott – you may pretend you’re joking, but we know you aren’t. Do you watch re-runs of Benny Hill? Think you’d like him!!

      • maria says:

        I loved Benny Hill.

      • EmGee says:

        Scott: “I can “get it” too, but women all seem to want to talk about “commitment”… YUK !!!”

        I knew a guy whose only relationships were with prostitutes for that very reason. For the short amount of time he was with one, he got what he wanted, they acted like they cared, and sometimes he even took whoever out for a drink afterwards. Sounds like the kind of situation that would suit you to a T. Sort of like eating out; someone prepares your meal, someone serves you, everyone is polite and acts like you are the most important person in the world, and once you pay, you can walk away.

        You are right, most women want some kind of commitment. But I am not sure what your whingeing about, it isn’t like there isn’t a simple solution to your problem.

      • fi says:

        Scott wants a girlfriend not a prostitute though..he’s just pretending ❤

  • PY says:

    After two and half years, pretty desperate , I’d say.

    How about ‘Amoebae’ as a collective noun for us males – unicellular , loves plankton, with a single large tubular pseudopod

  • James B says:

    It seems to me, that the easiest way to meet women, Scott, is to already know them. It’s a bit circular, I know. What I am trying to say though is that, providing you are reasonably attractive, interesting and have good personal hygiene, that familiarity breeds attraction. So, I guess within your social group there will be a few decent women around, even as friends of friends. Once you met have them a few times, I bet attraction will follow in some cases.

    I guess over 40, you need to show some signs of financial independence but most good women are not fixated on money, they just want a guy with some direction in life who is not falling apart financially. The other thing is that women, in my experience tend to find men more attractive when they have been vetted (‘tested’) by other females. This means that you will have more luck if women see you with other women. Especially ones that they know (a little).

    Apart from that, just be friendly and patient and get out there. I can see you have a sense of humour, so smile and listen and I am sure you will find the girl of your dreams. Unless all you want is a one night stand …

    Have fun!

    • fi says:

      I think too if you listen to what they’re saying and let them see you’re paying attention, that’s enormously attractive but NO SEX innuendoes. It really puts women off. If you leave women thinking all you want is to have sex with them, and anyone will do, you will turn them off.

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        And if you leave them thinking that you DON’T want to have sex with them, they’ll think that you’re uninterested, and it won’t happen that way either…. basically it’s a question of do you want to end up not having sex because you attempted to make it known that you do want to, or do you want to end up not having sex because you did not make it clear that you do want to….

      • fi says:

        Scott. Has anybody commented favourably on what you’ve said? Has anybody commented negatively? There you are.

  • James B says:

    In my experience, Scott, if you let a woman know that you find her attractive and interesting and also at some point communicate your availability (i.e. that you are no longer in a relationship at present) then she will KNOW you are sexually interested. The real issue is whether ALL you want in sex. If that is the case then you had better be great looking, well dressed, be extremely fit and toned and go hunting for near drunken females in the correct hormonal state. Personally if I were you I would just find a nice lady and get to know her over a few dates and then sex will follow.

  • James B says:

    oops I should have written “all you want IS sex …”

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