Suddenly Single… Minded

Welcome to the Wild and Whimsical World of Internet Dating

Two kinds of men online? Are you a wolf or a puppy?

photo_1102_20060215Online dating-  there are two kinds of guys: The first guy is of the candy store mentality: Booya! Life is a buffet. Let me put you in my little black book – I’ll call ya!

We’ll call him Phil Anderer.

Then there is the more patient, sincere guy – more of a one relationship at a time – sweet and attentive; women call him Prince Charming.

Or: One Date at a Timephoto_1021_20060206

Eventually, Roger- the 62 year old, suddenly-single dating neophyte – was dating,

Sally was a “perfect match’ and he was enjoying her company and movies, music, exploring San Francisco and the companionship.

His buddy, Bid Daddy ( aka Mike B from law school days) invited him to join a Marin men’s group. It was an intense knot of over-achievers, trust fund boys, and a few strikingly handsome metro-sexuals (who would later espouse the need for facials, eyebrow-shaping, and a wardrobe of eyeglass) who talked about their feelings and treating women-all women (wives, lovers, trysts,) with respect.

Big Daddy- a self-appointed coach- took Roger by the hand and guided him. He readily shared his well-honed philosophy on life, love, community, and the basic human need for a variety of sexual partners. He reminded his conservative pal, that after 30 years with the same woman, it was time to make up for lost time. Life was a buffet – he encouraged his Roger to dive in. Big Daddy would show him the way.

Although very enamored with Sally, whom he had been happily dating for weeks – he was taken with the idea of a lazy Susan of sexual partners.

Meanwhile, back at the commune

Big Daddy’s unusual living arrangement had Roger imagining a Bob, Ted, Carol, and Alice scenario: bed hopping, one-night stands and casual trysts.  Roger thought it sounded delicious. They did a walk-through of the property. Roger was impressed by the organic vegetable garden, the meditation rooms, the vast hot tub, fire pits near the  deck, a sauna for 10, and a  remarkable, sunken living room with wall-to-wall mattresses. Big Daddy called it the “Party Room.” There were solar panels on every building and lots of hugs and kisses as Roger met ‘The Crew. Everyone hugged and kissed. Nice.

Like a Black Lab, panting with excitement, Roger wanted to know where to sign up.

And so it began…

Being an ethical man – in all fairness, Roger felt like he had to share his new lifestyle opportunity with Sally.

In a perfect world, she would be part of his harem.

He would break the news that night after dinner.

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Roger likes Sally: a real date

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Roger* met Sally  (hovering around 50, single, newly divorced)  in line at Safeway.

They chatted amiably as they waited– impetuously, she suggested meeting for coffee. It was perfect: relaxed and comfortable. Next, they planned a casual walk around the lake. The conversation flowed easily – they had a lot in common.

Buoyed by success, he asked her to go on a real date that Saturday night – her call. She readily agreed and opted for dinner and dancing at a place she knew in Berkeley. Deal!

It had been over 35 years since his last grown up date and he was nervous and excited.

Roger had not been alone with a single woman in her home – in decades. She greeted him with a slightly lingering hug. Their mutual interest was palpable. They went to dinner before dancing in Berkeley. She was a much better dancer than Roger- his repertoire of two dance steps did not cut it, so she led, and he followed, beautifully.

The last dance – a slow dance -he led and glided around the dance floor, noting there was an inordinate amount of smiling, laughing and holding one another close.

Consensus: it was a perfect evening. She was attractive, good company and she liked him – she really liked him. They planned on dinner and a movie the next week. He had a feeling it was the beginning of something special. They saw each other every weekend that month. Roger was dating!

In a blaze of glory, he closed down his account at Match.com.

kids_-7*Our pal, Roger (62, newly divorced) had been failing miserably at Dating 2014. He mumbled, bumbled and babbled. He fancied himself to be Fred Astaire – dashing- and he was more of a Fred Flintstone- daunting.

 

Can a guy 60 and suddenly-single get a date with a “normal” woman?

photo_842_20060115scaleRoger the dating neophyte: and a tale of two coaches

 Our pal, Roger (62, newly divorced) had been failing miserably at Dating 2014. He mumbled, bumbled and babbled. He fancied himself to be Fred Astaire – dashing- and he was more of a Fred Flintstone- daunting.

 His neighbor, the 30-something, quasi Prince of Nerds – offered to be his “coach.” Tim had a good heart and no clue about dating over 50+, ethics or the real world. His advice to embellish the truth and “lie” didn’t work for Roger. Thanks to Tim, Roger was caught ‘faking it’ about books, movies, and popular TV shows. One woman called him “a misogynist and a misanthrope” for liking the book, Gone Girl. He quickly deleted the book from his dating profile “Likes.”

 Oblivious to “What Women Want,” You’re Fired, Tim.

 Looks like, Roger’s young dating coach read one issue of Men’s Magazine too many and was full of visions of a sex partner dressed as French Maid, who wanted Peppermint Schnapps slurped from belly buttons and desired to be ravaged in a dressing room at Victoria’s Secret and or a bank vault. Buh-bye, Timbo,

 Roger was ready to throw in the towel, when he met a woman- in a very long line at Safeway. They chatted – clicked and she asked him out! They met for coffee later that afternoon. She was about his age, his height, funny and sexy – newly single, too. Plus, she liked him. That was a first. They made plans for a walk-not-a-hike. He hated hiking. He was on Cloud 9.

 Spelling Game tiles spell out Help MeThat same week, Roger ran into Mike B, an old friend from law school.

After failing the Bar twice, Mike B. had moved to Marin and dropped out of sight. The two spent an hour over coffee, catching up. Roger shared the news of his divorce and his haunting mantra, “Is That All There Is?” He touched upon his colossal dating-failure rate.

Mike B listened. He mentioned an evolved, men’s group in Marin. They emphasized authenticity, masculinity, and empowerment. Although the dues were hefty- the exercises on integrity and love were “inspiring.” Mike B encouraged Roger to join. He offered to “coach” Roger through the next chapter. He added that he had been living in a unique house in Novato – an authentic living experience, once called “a commune.” It was where men and women shared and explored life, partners and lifestyles.

Roger was only half-listening;- he felt good about running into his old pal- who, too, had a spare tire, thinning hair and a really calm vibe. He could learn something from Mike B-who mentioned a lot of people now called him, ‘Big Daddy.”

The best news: he had a real date to go dancing with Sally from Safeway- who was actually friendly. Things were looking up.

 

Tomorrow: Roger goes on a real  date.ilove u_-9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dating 101: Six San Francisco hot spots

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Chances are – if you are reading this- you are suddenly single and on the look out for interesting, new places to try in San Francisco. The City is famous for provocative people, fabulous food, and eclectic venues.

Six Super Spots for great dates in San Francisco

  1. Feeling Brazen? Brazenhead Restaurant, the intimate Marina hideaway, boasts ambiance, amazing menus – divine specials – a lively bar. Great bartenders. The perfect first dinner date spot
  2. Friendliest bookstore in San Francisco? Bird and Beckett -in the hip and lively Glen Park district. Check out their literary and jazz joint schedule. Check Out: October 11: JAZZ CLUB hosted by Grant Levin Starts: 8:00 pm Ends: 10:30 pm
  3. Feeling Spooky? Dying to see a haunted house? Now is the time for all good ghouls and boos to sign up for the Ghost Hunt walking tour. It’s fun, it’s a scream, and it’s spooky. Six nights a week at 7 PM Price: $20. An excellent tour of lower Pacific Heights. Jim Fassbinder, the guide is brilliant and witty and very scary.
  4. imagesYou’ll Haight it  after a primo dinner with tapas and Caribbean small plates at Cha-Cha-Cha dance over to The Tornado in the Haight. Famous for 50 beers on draft. Their Oh, Happy Hour starts at 11:30 am and goes until 6:00 pm. Come on, come on, get happy.
  5. Best Jazz in San Francisco? San Francisco Jazz Center is mecca. Star-filled shows with the likes of Ahmad Jamal, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Pedrito Martinez, David Sanborn & Bob James. The world-class Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival is a do-not-miss-event. Get tickets now.
  6. Friday Night in the Park? See: the de Young Museum at GGP– “Friday Night Events” Get thee to the Party… From 5pm until 8:45pm it’s a party with a no-host bar, great music, and a modicum of the best ever art…

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PS: Friday, October 10: Litquake STARTS- Fleet Week  sails- with San Francisco Bay polka dotted with boats floating and deafening Blue Angels buzzing overhead (Shake, rattle,roll on Saturday 3pm-4pm) and the Mill Valley Film Festival is a SRO event – with some tickets available. What is not to like?photo_1963_20060920

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  • San Francisco Dating@50 Examiner, Page Larkin, welcomes your feedback, questions and queries at Page.Larkin@gmail.com.

 

Meet me at midnight to marvel at the moon

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“Meet me at midnight to marvel at the moon…”

Hot Date: The email came this morning at 0800 

Moon, Spoon, Swoon and very opportune, right?

 Wednesday morning, Oct. 8, 2014

Glorious moon-shine kicks off starting at tonight at  9:14 PM

… the Lunar lovely-moon will slip into Earth’s shadow and voila!

A full lunar eclipse for your magical viewing pleasure.

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An old wives tales states that if write the name of your true love on a piece of white paper and kiss a the paper once -

under the light of the Lunar eclipse – you will be wed within one year…

To be clear, this happens after midnight tonight (Tuesday)

The romantic, Super Moon turns the color of a valentine…they say the edge of the Moon will start to turn pink- then red.

It’s a date, Romeo! I’ll be dressed in moonlight.

Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.”
Allen Ginsberg

Finale? Roger gets a dating coach – truth flies out the window

photo_9876_20090327His neighbor and new buddy, Tim, agreed to take a look at Roger’s Match.com profile and “Cool it up a bit.”

Tim (36, divorced after a “practice marriage,” was an Emeryville condo rat and Pixar savant) offered to be Roger’s “Dating coach.” His advice: “Throw caution to the wind and lie about everything.”

 A rose by any other name…

Roger thought his name would be a huge attraction- all of his heroes were named Roger: Roger Maris, Roger Daltrey, Roger Ebert, and Roger Moore…However, he was getting as much attention from young, hot, sexy women as Mr. Rogers.

Tim suggested Roger come off more like a rogue or a rascal. He knew for a fact, women prefer “bad boys. Roger- a babe magnet and a Playboy? It could happen…

As he read Roger’s” Online Bio” Tim’s reaction was “Whoa, my friend, this stuff has got a true ‘Dead cat bounce.’ No wonder you’re not going anywhere with the ladies.”

Tim’s mantra was, “If it first you don’t succeed: lie, lie, lie.

The guys went out for a couple of beers at the Missouri Lounge –Roger cringed- a seedy bar and rough-and-tumble guys lined up at the bar– he should have suggested Trader Vic’s. In no time, his coach came up with “Roger’s Rules of Dating”

  1. Choose “Spiritual not religious.” Despite the fact that Roger had taught Sunday school for 10 years – Tim said “Ix-nay on the bible stuff.”
  2. No walks on the beach allowed. Even though Roger had a strong affinity for walking on the beaches of Hawaii, Tahiti, Lake Tahoe- Tim advised him it was way too cliché.
  3. Reading material? Go Cliff Notes. The Dating Coach Advice: Go to the New York Times bestseller list and pick a book- any book-and list under “Last Book Read.” Bonus: the bestseller, “Gone Girl” had just been made into a movie – Roger didn’t even have to read the book!
  4. Must Love San Francisco Giants: Erase and delete any affinity for the Oakland A’s. It is mandatory that you are a San Francisco Giants fan.
  5. Tell them what they want to hear: Tim had watched his own mother (67) as she explored online dating. His last “tip” was: “You’re playing to an audience. Women your age avoid any couch potato who admits to like watching sports on TV, (including tennis, golf, football, baseball, basketball) all their ex-husbands did that and they generally loathe and detest TV sports. They would rather go for a run, see a movie, work out, take a class, and teach a class or read a book. Roger was advised: Those are all “the new things” you like to do, too.

“I am single, hip, cool – hear me roar”

 Roger updated, enhanced and improved his profile. No more “Walks on the beach” for this Romantic Rascal with a penchant for the San Francisco Giants and, his new favorite book, “Gone Girl.”

Refining his results – He studied his new assortment of “mutual matches”, and “reverse matches. ” He did a few keyword searches. He was cooking with fire. Look out!

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Roger’s Next Three Fortune Cookies Read:

  •  Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha
  •  It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense. Mark Twain
  •  Tell me I’m clever, Tell me I’m kind, Tell me I’m talented, Tell me I’m cute, Tell me I’m sensitive, Graceful and wise, Tell me I’m perfect – But tell me the truth.” Shel Silverstein
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Top 9 Reasons to go to Marin this weekend

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Top 10 reasons to go to Marin this Weekend

 

1. Hardly, Strictly, a parking place in or near Golden Gate Park – as a result of the 750,000 Bluegrass fans who blanket the City. Flee!

2. Beach Party: The weather is going to be a stunner -and a great day to hit one of the numerous beaches in Marin – Go, North!

3. The Mill Valley Film Festivalrated one of the nation’s finest Film Festivals by all of Marin and  the Mark Fishkin Guidebook. Celebrating 37 years- with a small galaxy of stars, including – Hillary – The Other One- Swank who flew in from Paris last night for the Opening Party – looking tres glam in a low-cut gown. She stars in The Homesman with Tommy Lee Jones.

4. The Ferries – Take the Ferry over to Sausalito: Rent one of Mike’s Bikes (bring your own GPS – the maps provide stink) Spend the day walking the shoping-dining-drinking-streets, explore the colorful neighborhood of eclectic houseboats…walk over to the Dipsea Cafe…

5. Bike Around -The most recent accident involving a Spandex Rider hitting and injuring a small child on Bothin Trail has inspired a “Share Tho Road” campaign. Bikers are reminded  To Share The Road – at every turn- by wakers, strollers, skaters…Learn to Share.

 

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6. Sweetwater – Okay, so no Jules Broussard…of your youth -however, Wonderbread is playing Saturday night at 8 pm.

7. Mount Tam – hands downs, Mount Tamalpais is the most breathtaking mountain in the Bay Area, it is a veritable gold-mine of fun things to do see and try…”picnicking, mountain and road cycling, horseback riding, and hang-gliding with over 100 miles of trails and fire roads. . Marin Municipal Water District maintains several reservoirs on the north slopes of Mount Tamalpais, including Alpine Lake, Kent Lake, Bon Tempe Lake, Phoenix Lake, and Lake Lagunitas.”

8. LITQUAKE  in Marin? – Next Saturday, October 10, LITQUAKE moves across the Golden Gate Bride to San Rafael for a day of readings and writing and fun. Check it out.

9. The Farmer’s Market on Sunday at the San Rafael Civic Center – is one the biggest social events in Marin County – every week. And! They have an incredible line up of the best organic produce stands in Northern California.

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OurTime.com – Makes 62 the new 82 – marketing debacle

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Marketing 101: Online Dating sites can be a laugh a minute, a guffaw, an eye-roll and a cacophony of OMG’s.

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The Marketing Department for OurTime.com must have concluded it would be “cute” to have a “hip daughter” help her feeble, doddering dad with their dating website.

The poor old guy is 62, for heaven’s sake…what with the walker, the glasses on a chain, the Mr. Rogers sweaters, the slippers he shuffles around in and all that confusion with them new fangled-computers…

     The daughter writes: “A Crash Course in Online Dating for the Technically Challenged

 According to the latest headlines, boomers are hitting dating sites in record numbers looking for love. I didn’t need a newspaper article to figure this out because my 62-year-old father is living proof of the trend.

While my Dad is quite adept at checking his stocks or uncovering research about his latest ailment, he seems to have a mental block when it comes to online dating. He can’t quite ever remember how to locate his favorite matchmaking site! …add changes to his personal profile or make adjustments to his preference settings.     And! When “instant messages” from “saucy fifty plus women” pop up on his screen… This is where my Internet skills and years of being single come into the picture. You see, I have become a ‘personal help desk to support to my Dad and all his cronies in their quest for love online…”

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Lordy, lordy, thank you! You’re right!  Those pesky text messages- IM’s and- those dastardly emails – can easily confuse ‘cronies’ and members of The BoomBoom Generation (50-70 yrs. old)

Oh! Wait!

According to Apple Computer, (they make those confusing computer machines) across the board, the average age of the iPad owner is 50.

And, those complicated, challenging iPhones (with numbers after them like iPhone 6 – what’s up with that?) listen to this: more members of the BoomBoom Generation buy iPhones than any other age group. Perhaps they buy them for the “Timer” to remind them to take their meds and naps…

For OurTime to patronize 60 year olds – indicates they are very much out of touch with dating demographics.  I would venture to say, OurTime has offended and alienated legions of ‘saucy’ and ‘hold the sauce’ singles ages 50, 60, 70.

OurTime – kissing cousin to Match.com, Chemistry.com. Tinder, OkCupid, HowAboutWe,  and 22 other well-known dating sites (all owned by IAC and Barry Diller) should know better. Online dating is a 2.2 billion dollar business – who knew that?

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Who says you can’t skewer facts for a sexier story?

And look out, Cronies, for those “saucy” 50+ women!  They can be a huge threat…

and,  “Saucy”…who uses that word?

 

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Tell me about it! page.larking@gmail.com 

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.

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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.

 

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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, Match.com 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 of the closet, 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 Amazon.com and bought four books in the Dating for Dummies vein and studied.

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

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