Suddenly Single… Minded

Welcome to the Wild and Whimsical World of Internet Dating

Part 3: Roger: Stop the dating: I want to get off!

cropped-sequoia-close-treeee.jpgOur suddenly-single,  friend, Roger, was fried.

He had so many failed and botched first dates, he was despondent.

His neighbor, Tim, (single, 36, Pixar leader) belonged to a “Men’s Group” and invited Roger to join the guys for day in the woods. Bored to distraction, he agreed. Tim had babbled something about ‘The wisdom of the male collective.’

Tim knocked on Roger’s door at 6 AM on Saturday and they drove to a forest somewhere in Contra Costa County.

About 50 men of varying ages, stages, looks and attire had gathered for the daylong retreat in a huge, open meadow framed by a dense forest. Roger had attended a dozen retreats regarding torts, sexual discrimination, patents and copyright, and never a “Hug Mother Earth free-for-all”

One gang of men was in the woods fashioning something that looked like huge Teepee, constructed with fallen branches. Lunch would be served there, later on.

Another pocket of guys was sitting around a campfire smoking, laughing and drinking coffee.Some guys were playing a raucous game of touch football.  A handful of big, burly men – Hulk Hogan types- a few were wearing Davy Crockett hats- were setting up Horse Shoes and  Tug-of-war-play stations.


There was a wild array of costumes and crazy hats-  like Halloween on steroids- punctuated all day with men giving one another a lot of bear hugs and high-fives.

During the course of the day, Roger had been hugged, back -slapped, and high-fived by about 40, friendly, total strangers  In his whole, entire life he had never hugged 40 men.

He spent a couple hours sitting around a fire with ‘The Old Guys.” They were about his age- all had gray hair and beards. They wore variations of faded flannel shirts, crummy old jeans and big boots. Perhaps they were all lumberjacks.

Turned out, one guy was a senior engineer at Livermore Labs, next to him was a radiologist from UCSF, there was a limo driver, a painter, and a lawyer. Obviously, had been close friends for many years. Somehow the topic of Roger’s divorce and dating debacles came up. The guys shook their heads, agreeing that life was a bitch and there was nothing like the love of a good woman.

Go Paleo, young man

All agreed that Roger should sever all Internet connections and go Paleo: meet women the old-fashioned way (me: man – you: woman – let’s dance around a campfire.) Roger chuckled.

The guy in the red plaid said, “At Safeway, go out of your way to help a woman bag her groceries.” He said, “You can tell more about a woman looking at her groceries then you can on an entire online dating profile.”  The next guy said, “Go to church. That’s where they are. Women like Unity church, Unitarian, and Wicca. Dude, just sit across from a woman and smile. Chicks dig that.”

The last guy introduced himself as “Dirt Claude,” also an attorney (with a very strong ambulance chaser vibe.) He told Roger to say “Hey” to every pretty woman on the street. He said, ‘Try it for a day.” Roger knew full well he would look like an idiot on Montgomery Street, at noon, greeting every woman – in the floods of ladies who scurry down that chaotic street at lunchtime. Given his recent success- he might try it…

After lunch, followed by more touch football, walks in the woods, singing some raucous songs – a little James Taylor and Van Morrison throw in for color – the men started to fulfill the “Leave no trace rule” and were packing up and were leaving.   More bear hugs, secret handshakes, and high-fives. This was the most authentic, male camaraderie Roger had experienced in years- maybe decades.

He and Tim stopped in at Pyramid Ale House in Berkeley and Roger smiled, nodded and said, “Hey” to eight women. Newly inspired, he was on a roll. Blue Skies ahead.


Dilapidated window




Just Divorced: Dating like it was 1977

sad-manDating at 60…after a 35 year hiatus (aka marriage)

Roger (62, newly divorced -suddenly single) was very excited to go on his first date. His last ‘first-date’ was 35 years earlier. Then came marriage, the baby carriage and bam! Three decades later: the divorce. He was now a self-professed ‘swinging single’…did they still call it that?

His new matchmaker of choice, sent him a bevy of beauties they labeled as “Perfect matches.” Each woman looked young, seemed energetic and possibly good company.  All the women were 10-20 years his junior. He went to great lengths to align himself to a “newer model.”

He was feeling confident. He got bought designer jeans, pulled his old leather jacket out, threw away his Grandpa sweaters and got a couple new shirts at Ross. He was looking good -not a buff jock; he was fit – kind of. And he was witty- yes, he was clever. His married hiking buddies said he would “score” and they wanted the details.

He considered himself tall (over 5’9 in Dansko clogs) and a pretty good dancer. He and his soon-to-be ex-wife  had a repertoire of two dances: one Fast (kind of The Twist meets The Jerk, with a dash of West Coast Swing – it had served him well for decades) and the Waltz. Women love men who dance – he had read that.

In the beginning…

Peet’s on Fourth Street in Berkeley is a haven for first dates. His buddy, John-divorced twice, had advised him to arrive early and score a table. Roger arrived in his new jeans, old leather jacket – excited, nervous and with dry mouth.

He wondered if he should have prepared a set of questions to ask Lidia (49, Albany, 5’4, runner, baker-biker chick.)  She arrived at the table smiling, introduced herself, gave Roger a hug and sat down. She was much prettier than her picture. She was wearing running shorts and a T-shirt. Roger was visibly nervous – her confidence, and attire and ease made him even more uncomfortable.

The opening question has asked every new client, “What brings you here?” popped out of his mouth and he almost fainted when he heard himself.

She laughed and he wasn’t sure if she was laughing at him or his stupid question. He faked a laugh – and said, “I sound like an attorney – sorry.” She was gracious, did not want to a cup a coffee, and actually, only had a few minutes- something came up – she had to go.

Within five minutes, he met a beautiful woman, who stayed long enough to say “Hello” and disappear forever. So this was “Dating 2014”

Three Strikes – Yer Out!

Roger had two more dates that week. He wasn’t quite as glib as he thought he was. He couldn’t stop talking and he was boring himself. Both dates ended with someone saying “Nice to meet you – good luck – good bye.”

One afternoon, he met a very attractive women-15 years his junior-in snug, low-cut, yoga clothes and his mouth went dry in his mind went blank. She seemed bored and also remembered another engagement and dashed off.

His last date was with a “Tiger Lilly”a petite blonde from Dogpatch. Her real name “Cyndi-with-an-i” was eager to meet at La Boulange on Polk Street. She barely resembled her online photograph – she, obviously, had gained considerable weight and age and reeked of cigarettes. After a few minutes of small talk – Roger nervously excused himself and claimed he had to pick up his kids (they were both on the East coast and over 25, actually.) He was ready to throw in the dating towel.

This dating thing was harder than he thought. He went to and bought four books in the Dating for Dummies vein and studied.



Next: How many “First Dates”  can a person suffer through?

Older men seek young women: Roger’s tale of whoa

happy womanRoger (Piedmont, 62, ready-to-retire-attorney) was bored.

Peggy Lee’s haunting song, “Is that all there is?”  had been his theme song for the past six years. Married to his college sweetheart for 34 years, the kids were launched, they had a house in the suburbs, a cabin at Tahoe and “Is that all there is, my friend?” burned a pattern in his brain.

Midlife Circus

At one point, he consulted with a family law attorney, and started plotting the divorce proceedings. He took his time. Two years later, he moved out of the family home to a high-rise in Emeryville. He furnished the new place with IKEA’s finest. He had been dreaming about his his dive into the alluring, singles only, dating pool. Another 60+-year-old man, chomping at the bit to date again – as he did often and well– several decades earlier.

 Roger had not been on a date in about 40 years. For half his life – he was a husband, a dad, ‘Uncle Rog’ to a handful of nephews and a dedicated son to a mother with dementia. He played a little table tennis, rode his bike on weekends, dabbled in Sudoku, relaxed in front of the TV watching sports. For fun, he went to Oakland A’s games. His kids teased him that his cooking repertoire consisted of eggs: scrambled, fried, or boiled and the rare omelet.

Like a lot of married men, he had peeked at ads had been intrigued by eHarmony television commercials. He decided upon Match. Dashing off an online dating profile would be effortless. He had been writing legal briefs forever and considered himself a clever man – he knew his way around Strunk and White’s.

He thought it might take up to three months to find his new playmate. In the meantime, he would enjoy dozens of dates with wanton women who would melt at his touch. He soldiered on.

He spent one Sunday afternoon selecting two good photographs, crafting his bio/profile, paid for the three-month plan and hit the “Send” button.

He had hallucinated about meeting a young nymphomaniac or middle-aged harlot – to revel in romance and sex all the time. Roger had frequent Walter Mitty thoughts of weekends spent horizontal – in bed, perfecting the Kama Sutra with one of his many new girl friends.


Let the party begin…

In no time, the company provided several “Perfect Matches.” Roger was giddy. It was like Christmas morning, but better.

He was excited at the sight of so many pretty women ages 35 to 55. He decided early on he would date a younger, thinner, sexier woman than his wife. He mused women 35 to 40- maybe 50, would be perfect. He had visions of lingering and lingerie, going to the Symphony, French 75’s at Absinthe, seduction. And oysters.

Oh, no: no mojo

 It turns out he was eager, yet grossly ill prepared for Dating 2014. His old, “Do you come here often? What’s your sign? and “Can I buy you a drink?” were antediluvian.

He decided to go slow and send out a few “winks” to a half dozen girls. He sometimes slipped and called women “girls.”  Nada. No response. He tried again with a friendly one-liner. Three of the women who responded – exchanged emails with “Roger-Doger” and later each suggested a first- meeting-hike. A hike? Was that the new dating ritual? How about meeting for a martini at Trader Vic’s, Vanessi’s or Paoli’s?

(All of his old watering holes had dried up a long time ago.)

A hike meant Roger had to get some new shoes… his old grubby, running shoes –were gross…perhaps a trip to REI to get cool shoes and walking shorts. Wait. His legs were snow white – he couldn’t wear shorts – the glare would blind his date. He needed a dating wardrobe…

Here we go again – Dating at 60…Roger’s Story.

                                   Tomorrow:                             Chapter TWO…No Mojo?


How to score a Second Date – Top 10 Reasons

photo_cards1172_20060225Top 10 Reasons a Second Date is in the Cards

So many First Dates implode within the first 10 minutes- yours won’t if:

1. You both look exactly like the current pictures you posted.

2. You both listed accurate Height and Weight and Age  – cool!

3. He arrives by foot, car, bus, train, bike… not a Harley.

4. He holds the door open for you, walks into the cafe after you. Manners- he has them – you appreciate them.

5. You both match! – they, too read books, attends same events you do – or is open to trying new activities.

6. During the entire date you never hear, or bore anyone with, an Ex-Bashing Story

7. You both laugh – a lot. This is huge.

8. You both read a) newspapers b) blogs c) books d) best sellers e) cereal boxes f) some of the above

9. You each have an amusing Internet dating story.

10. You both had fun and were relaxed and are looking forward to the next date.


2014: Sex and the suddenly single girl?

Remember the exciting, best-seller Sex and the Single Girl?


The 1962  risqué bestseller changed the way women thought about the chase and being chaste.

Helen Gurley Brown, Cosmopolitan magazine editor, wrote the avant-garde book that instantly climbed and stayed at flying off bookshelves status.

The racy book, renown to be suggestive – in a good way- was a frothy concoction. Women in 29 countries devoured it.

Mundane copies of Good Housekeeping, Redbook and Seventeen magazines were kicked to the curb, as women basked in the sexy secrets and revolutionary advice for the 60’s. At the time, Sex and the Single Girl was considered provocative- required reading.

(Some of us secretly smuggled our mother’s copy off the nightstand and got an instant education.)

The 1960’s model citizens: June Cleaver, Donna Reed and Marlo Thomas types were “out” and the gossamer gowned Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” was “in.”

heart baba

Then and Now:
The Cosmopolitan magazine of that era was innovative and suggestive. Today’s version of the magazine is a poor little paltry ‘zine’ and a far cry from Cosmo back in the day. Today’s version is a blend of National Enquirer, True Confessions and “I was a teenage mutant nymph-oh”.

Prolific author, Gail Sheehy, famous for her best seller, Passages, later wrote Sex and the Seasoned Woman, touting the benefits of sex and the single, married, or widowed woman over 50. She cites happy stories of women 50 and 60+ happily and successfully dating men 10 and 20 years younger. The consensus?  Everyone lives happily ever and more relaxed. Is this the end? Honey, we’ve only just begun.

Blame it on the Babes in Yoga

Today more women, 50+,  are lithe, supple and sexy as a result of yoga. Yoga is that personal panacea that addresses both mind and body. Legions say no other endeavor can compete for multiple level results. Women don’t do yoga for the cute outfits, the brightly colored mats and matching bags or the Sigg water bottles; it’s all about energy, strength and focus.

Secret Bonus: clarity, agility and yoga buns. Namaste.

Suddenly Single

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The missing link: the missing email

Balloons in Sky

You may have been have been “Lost in Space”

…and didn’t even know it.

It happens. In the wide, wonderful, world of e-mail, every once in awhile that very special pivotal electronic message gets lost in “Ether Space.”

It’s the Netherworld, that 10th Ring of Hell where, just like socks, e-mails go missing.

 What? Me, worry?

And, yes it has happened to you. You just didn’t realize it. What you thought was a rejection or a rebuff, in reality, may have simply been a “Triple E, an Ether Evaporated E-mail”.

Cell phone free-Doug wrote Cherry a beautifully crafted, romantic poem of epic proportions in response to her invitation for a weekend in the Wine Country. For two days, she patiently perched near her computer waiting for this response. Nada. Zilch. Zero response.

Cherry sadly concluded Doug was ‘Not that into her.’ Th longer she ruminated- the more she thought – heh! perhaps he was a bit of cur… and  then…she concluded: “What a jerk. Next.”

Upon return from the weekend of swimming, wine tasting, tennis, chess, and charades with her friends, she checked her emails.

There she finally discovered the most eloquent, poetic, e-mail from Doug accepting her invitation. Unfortunately, the long awaited e-mail was lost in the far recesses of Ether Space for several days before surfacing. It happens.


Merrygail tells the story of meeting “the most wonderful man from Santa Fe” while waiting for a plane at Denver International. Due to “weather” and delayed flights, they spent 4 hours chatting, having coffee and being totally mesmerized with one another. They exchanged business cards and e-mail addrsses and reluctantly boarded planes to their respective homes.

She  knew she had met her soul mate. And then, she never heard from him again. She sent three        e-mails in three weeks and never heard a word back from her “potential soul mate.” Chalking it up to a “C’est la vie” event – she went on. Disappointed.

One year to the month later, she was in line at the MOMA and ‘Santa Fe guy’ walked up -looked at Merrygail and point blank asked “Why didn’t you respond to my e-mails?” She asked him the same question.

Lost in Space…She is now Married Merrygail and living a happily ever after life

There is a new saying, “When in doubt: don’t Rescind the invitation, Resend”.


Dating 101: 2 dates – 2 stories

sad-manEveryone has a first date horror story and

there are myriad ‘love at first sight’ stories, too.


His New Year’s resolution was to try online dating.

#1. Freshly divorced, he crafted a profile, signed up and within one hour she contacted him. They spoke on the phone for an hour and clicked.

He invited her to meet him at the San Francisco’s famed Absinthe for drinks.

He recognized her immediately, she smiled broadly as she walked towards him.

He stood up when she approached and kissed her on the cheek. They both ordered the signature cocktail: French 75’s – Champagne, gin and Brandied cherries. The tempting pomme frites followed. Next, a dozen oysters on the half shell.

Conversation flowed easily. They decided to stay for dinner. They have been inseparable ever since. That was over two years ago. It happens.


#2. Mary Elin (newly single, 54, City Girl) got her courage up – and studied Craigslist Bay Area Single Men 50 looking for Single Women 50.

Over the course of a few nights, she spent hours scouring the ads – some men seemed interesting – some were bizarre and others not remotely of interest.

Then, Cal, the artist, caught her eye. He wrote well – seemed smart and funny and she sent him an email. That evening, he wrote back. The note was engaging and light-hearted. They exchanged four emails before he suggested they speak on the phone and he sent his Berkeley phone number.

Fortified by the email exchange, she called him and they fell into easy conversation. He mentioned he had an art show at a local café and his passion was painting. Cool. They spoke on the phone for quite some time before she said, “Let’s meet for coffee.” He agreed to meet at famous singles meeting spot, Peet’s on Fourth Street in Berkeley. A date!

Mary Elin went back to re-read Cal’s write up and inspect his photograph. The grainy photo was taken from afar – he was her height. He looked fine.

The next day, she drove to Berkeley, arrived early, bought a cup of coffee and scored two seats outside. And, then she waited. Every single man that walked by caught her attention. She knew Cal was tall with dark hair. A little after 11AM, a man in faded, baggy jeans, a baseball hat and sunglasses approached her table.   He asked, “Are you waiting for someone?” It took her a minute to realize this was her date.

Her first thought was, “Is this Candid Camera?”

The smiling man standing across from her was wearing tattered clothing, dirty, old running shoes, and a stained, denim jacket. He had a two-day stubble- or a really bad five o’clock shadow, and stringy hair. He didn’t really look like his picture, did he? She had a preconceived image of a much more attractive man.

Cal sat down and started talking. Mary Elin remained stunned by his appearance. She couldn’t help but notice how down-and-out he looked. Was she being hypercritical and shallow?

They chatted amiably and she agreed to walk with him around the shopping area. At one point, he mentioned he needed to get something out of his car, across the street. His car was actually a dilapidated, really dirty, old van. That was the coup de grace.

She had done a quick analysis of the situation knew full well they were not match.

Dramatically, she looked at her watch and told him she had to go. She said she was happy to meet him – she wished him well and gently said, “Cal, I don’t think we are a match. Good luck.”

 The takeaway? Understand, it is not shallow to scrutinize the photographs on the dating site. Look at the pictures and ask a lot of questions – not like the HR Department- friendly, inquisitive questions.

And, Google the guy or girl – always. You must do your homework, boys and girls

Spelling Game tiles spell out Help Me




Gone missing: Love


I’m ready for my Last Tango in Halifax, Mr Demille

Lights, Camera, Romance:

The BBC’s ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ has women everywhere swooning.


  Romance, hope, and optimism are in the air and we are taking in large gulps of same.

The Yoga Babes of  San Francisco unanimously dubbed  Tango/ Halifax with Derek Jacobi  and Anne Reid as “Must See TV.”

They  comment: “Every single (divorced or widowed…) woman we know would love to fall in love with a tender, devoted “Alan,”

he is endearing, playful and kind.”




Certainly, the BBC series touches upon the lives of Alan and Celia’s adult children and grandchildren – but the spot-light and the real story is the love story of two people falling in love -after a 60 year intermission.


ilove u_-9

“Tango in Halifax stars Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid as widowed septuagenarians, Alan and Celia, childhood sweethearts who have been apart for 60 years. Re-united via a social networking site, they meet, fall in love and plan to marry. Reid and Jacobi enjoyed having the chance to play out a love story between older people that was not ageist or stereotyped



Season Two … in the wings: Season 2
… the six-part series returns as Alan and Celia continue to negotiate family baggage to plan a life together.

Having come so close to losing each other forever thanks to Alan’s near fatal heart attack, he and Celia decide to have a romantic secret wedding as soon as possible. 




Get off the couch and get back in the – social – saddle

Here are Five Easy Ways
to get ‘Back in the Dating Saddle’  …and ride off into sunset 

  1. You’re not alone.   There are 20+ million singles back in the dating game. Like you, many singles are bored playing Solitaire and are ready to play a rousing game of Hearts. Get out of the house and join a walking, hiking, biking, rowing, kayaking, birding, debate, tennis, ping-pong, or spelunking club. See for hundreds of organizations in your zip code.
  2. Adopt and embrace the C’est la vie Attitude.  You know, life is short and why waste time? Refrain from perching over a phone waiting for it to ring or checking your emails 10 times a day. Your mother was right: “Go outside and play.” It’s up to you – perform the ‘due diligence’ and find out where the action is…
  3. Be Brave   So you are ready to start dating again? Want to get back in the Dating Saddle? There will always be a Greek chorus of friends and family urging you to get back on the horse.  If you have images of a sweet pony ride dancing in your head, be prepared. The 2014 foray in dating is more like the electronic bull you remember from that John Travolta movie, Urban Cowboy.   Best advice: “Better buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.”  Get in the game and enjoy the new adventures in the unique and novel Date World 2014
  4. Volunteer - check out The Sausalito Art Festival LaborDay Weekend for a very fun time – and check out sporting events, wines tastings, the Presidio, Litquake or theMill Valley Film Festival Festival- all are worthwhile and fun. See San Francisco’s two very popular organizations: St Anthony’ and Onebrick opportunities. Check Craigslist for volunteer listings – do a good deed and meet new people. Volunteers are love in motion.
  5. Your Mother was wrong: Do talk to strangers. Everyday. It’s okay, and heartily recommended that you look them in the eye, smile and say “hi” to five strangers – every single day.” Have fun in the New Year. Start now.

It’s a well-known fact: Dating at 50 is a lot more fun than dating at 20. Think about it: you are more interesting, smarter,  sexier and have way better life’s stories. And, you don’t have to ask your mom to borrow the car. Come on in, the water is delicious.


Note: Women Love Men Who Dance

It’s not a secret: from the Dogpatch to Daly City, the Marina to Mission Street: women all heartily agreed: men who dance are a lot more fun and a lot more interesting.

The Take Away: Gentlemen start your lessons: Take beginner dance lessons, have fun and practice, practice, practice.

Three Local Hot Spots for dancing

Go out in the world and work like money doesn’t matter,   Sing as if no one is listening,    Love as if you have never been hurt, and Dance as if no one is watching”


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