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Happy Thanksgiving!


“The family… a strange little band of characters trudging through life… inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.”

Erma Bombeck

fruits and flowers


“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”  EB

“Somewhere it is written that parents who are critical of other people’s children and publicly admit they can do better are asking for it. ” EB

Fort Collins Fall


“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received.

Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling.

Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”  Henry Van Dyke

Avoid Boring Dates….Have Sects in the City

coffee-mugs-datte_180Coming Up Empty? Not Another Coffee Date…

Avoid Dating De ja vu all over again?

Why Not  Have Sect in the City?

A great date in a church, temple or cathedral? What?! Are you kidding?!

Actually, no. Given that San Francisco is avant guard, cutting edge and diverse, it offers unique venues for chanting, singing, meditating, levitating and gravitating.

Here are the Top Five Places for a Not Holier Than Thou Date

Stained GlassGrace Cathedral, Evensong – Thursdays 5:15pm-6:00pm. It took the enthusiasm of a surgeon from Kansas, at a cocktail party in Seattle, to get me to attend Evensong at Grace on Nob Hill. He raved about the unique, meditative experience of sitting in the sanctuary at the Cathedral listening to the cherubic voices of the Cathedral’s Men and Boys choir. Divine.

imagesredddTrinity Episcopal Church, Taize- Wednesday nights 7:30pm: I defy you to find a more incredible experience in a San Francisco Church on a Wednesday evening. You’ve seen the impressive, massive red doors at Trinity. Prepare to be even more impressed. The hour-long experience involves chanting, prayer, readings (Rumi, the Bible, a wide variety) rapturous voices and exquisite, romantic candlelight. (“Cool spot for a hot date.”)

Glide Memorial Church, Sundays 9:00am and 11:00am You’ve probably been meaning to go to Glide for years – There is no time like the present. Go Sunday– arrive early (30 minutes) Prepare to scour area for parking. Then sing with the coolest choir, rock, and reverberate, pray. Cecil Williams is 85 and still rocking and preachin’

Congregation Eman-el, Stunningly beautiful Temple Emanu-El with a social and spiritual calendar that appeals to a vast cross- section of members and the rest of us. They have a dynamic rendition of a 20/30 Club, amazing lectures, yoga. Go, already.candle-11

Green Gulch Farm, Marin County, Nourish your mind, body, spirit. Green Gulch is a short drive from the City and a world away. A Buddhist practice center in Japanese Soto Zen tradition. Honey, they have bee keeping, retreats, lectures, mindfulness and nothingness. A sublime getaway destination. Make reservations.

Freestanding door in the woods

Mix it up – try something NEW – novel and inspired~~ I dare you

Dating Help? Don’t let your kids write your dating profile

ilove u_-9Peter signed up for an online dating site and wasn’t getting any action.

A CPA by trade – he was great with numbers; sales and self-promotion were never his strong suit. His 27 yr. old daughter, Hilary, told him she would write his online dating profile. She said knew exactly what women wanted to hear.

Peter (62, divorced, 5’8, a little heavy) has never met a football, baseball, basketball game on TV he didn’t like. Gyms bored him – he was a flighty bird watcher. He preferred Ping-Pong to tennis and croquet over golf. He was a semi-master gardener,  was the star of his California History book club, and trout fishing in Montana was a gift he gave himself. Once a year. He didn’t like to dance, going out to a fancy dinner seemed frivolous, movies were too loud, and he had packed on a few lbs. since his wife divorced him five yrs. earlier.

Not a problem! Hilary said she could make her dad a real Prince Charming.   And so she started penning pure fiction – she loved her dad and wanted him “to meet women.” First, she made him a widower. She thought older women (50+) were suckers for widowers. She knocked off five years and made her dad 57, and stated her Teddy bear dad was “athletic and toned.”

She started with “I love to laugh” and collapsed into a barrel of clichés about her dear old dad…which she considered cool and clever. Clever at 27  (unmarried, with kids) is different from hot at 60.  She copied and pasted the best lines from 10 really handsome 60–something bachelors she saw online:

  • “There is so much more to say but I prefer to meet, see if there is a real spark of chemistry and go from there.”
  • Here is not the place to go into intimate wishes or preferences; most of us want pretty much the same thing. The snow is a biggie for me; if you voted GOP recently, or watch FOX TV, do not RSVP.

photo_16951_20100307hot car

She tied the whole package up with a big red bow: A dozen Free Range Stock photographs of somebody else’s home in Tahoe, snow covered mountains, a fireplace, a picture of a bottle of Veuve Cliquot, a Chocolate Lab, candles and a Maserati.

She pushed the “Send” button and a new Peter was introduced to the women of Northern California.

You Got Some ‘Splainin’ to Do

In a matter of two days, Peter had 15 “likes” on each the photo of the Tahoe home and the red Maserati. Ten women sent flirty notes about warming up in front of a fireplace or Champagne was their “beverage of choice.” A handful of women were widowers – and wanted to meet him, a widow. A few inquiries came in about skiing together and perhaps hot tubbing? And, what was his beautiful dog’s name?

At first blush, (and he did blush) Peter was flattered by all the attention. Then, he panicked. He didn’t know how to respond to these attractive women. He called his daughter and that night she flirted back to each inquiry. He was pleased. Relieved.

That night, in a fit of insomnia, Peter had an epiphany – there was no way he could bluff his way through meeting any of the women who contacted him! The Truth online will really set you free…

He went to the dating website and erased every trace of himself. He deleted, quit, expunged, removed all photos and officially quit the site.  Tomorrow was a new day.

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” Buddha

Dating 101: Winking, Blinking, Kissing on the first date

perfect match__180

This week brings questions about Online Dating at 50+ and all that winking, blinking and getting along.

Send your “Single at 50” queries to

 Dear Page Larkin

I am 56, divorced for six years, and trying  online dating. I did everything you said (posted three recent photos, wrote my short and sweet profile, and enrolled in two different dating sites- OkCupid and Eharmony) and all I get are “winks.”

You said winks at the lowest form of communication. You’re right! Please  Tell men everywhere women hate winks. Don’t send me a stupid icon without a single word. My advice: just write one lousy sentence There, I feel better!

Linda in Las Vegas

Dear Linda in Las Vegas,

Thanks for voicing the opinion of many of us. Every week, I get tweets, texts, and lengthy e-mails echoing your same sentiment. Point well taken.

Peace and love, Page

 Hey, Page

I met a wonderful guy on Eharmony two months ago. He posted a photo of himself wearing a lampshade. Who can resist a photo like that? We skipped tedious questionnaires and spoke on the phone. Before our date, I Googled him and found him to be “as advertised.” We met at the Ferry Building, walked around for an hour and took the Sausalito ferry. We had lunch, split the bill; we walked and talked. He hugged and kissed me goodbye and I never heard from him again. I e-mailed him once, no response. Was it me?

Down and Out in Burlingame

Hey Down and out in Burlingame,

No,  it wasn’t you. You failed to mention if there was chemistry, heat, or mutual attraction. Good Manners dictate that a person thank the other for the date.  There is an unwritten “law” that – after a first date- two people make plans for future date or bow out, with a polite “It was nice meeting you, we are not at match.” You dodged a bullet. Truth be told: He is just not that into you. Say, “Next!”

Peace and love, Page

Hey, Larkin,

I sent out 25 e-mails on and not one woman responded. My message was cute and flirty and I thought it was really good. What’s up with women today? Is everyone stuck up?

Wonky in Woodside 

Hey Ronnie in the Marina

Remember: spell check is your best friend. Take the time to write a message that is coherent, interesting, and logical. Sometimes our efforts to be clever and sarcastic can be misconstrued. Try, try again.

Peace and love, Page

Dear Page,

My feelings are hurt. I enthusiastically signed up for the seven-day free trial. No one writes back to me! I am a Georgia peach: 56, 5’6. athletic, smart, cute and fun to be with. I sent out 15 “winks” to all the cutest guys within 50-miles of Atlanta. Not one man responded. Help!

Ashley at Tara

Dear Ashley at Tara,

Good for you for getting out there and trying. Let’s recalibrate: erase all thoughts of “winking” at men. (See above) It’s a lost cause looked down upon by thousands.

First, create a short introduction linking you to an attractive man: “I enjoyed reading your profile; especially the comment about… We both like… Please read my profile and if anything resonates, please get back to me. Thanks.“  Or, write a simple  Comment on one of their photographs…

“Manners on” are a source of much consternation amongst men and women.

The First Rule of online Dating: Respond to all notes, quotes, lines,  queries with at least: “Thanks for contacting me…good luck in your pursuits”

Good luck, Page



Bachelor for life meets a Dating Diva in the Tenderloin?

sad-manBobby, 56, forgot to get married.

He rock climbs, canoes, swims, kayaks, trout fishes, plays tennis, rides horses, works out and trains for triathlons. His condo looks like a miniature REI store. A true world traveler-he’s done the Big Swim in Istanbul, has run around the pyramids in Egypt, hiked Manchu Picchu, the list goes on.

The glaring fact is that he did all of this solo- all by himself. Sometimes, he might run into a buddy. He has a lot of “buddies.” Bobby has returned home alone, after most of his great adventures. Every once in a while, he will have a girlfriend, for a time.

Sure, in all those years, he dated a number of women- none of them were long-lasting. Some women accused him of being obsessed with sports and afraid of commitment. He routinely shook his head and shrugged it off and blamed them.

His two best friends, Tommy and Jimmy – (notice they all have little boys names) are married-with-kids living in the suburbs. He is “Uncle Bobby,” the perpetual bachelor.


Gina used to have her best friend, Bitsy, come over to scroll through the hundreds eligible men on the dating sites. She had been married and then divorced a decade later. She enjoyed being single and embraced “the hunt.”

Quickly, she became a very proficient online dater. She could easily read between the lines of a dating profile (needy, playboy, arrogant, drinker, argumentative, moody, couch potato.) She was prescient. Her girlfriends, and strangers, called upon her for dating tips and counseling

She was “dating like mad” for three years before she and Kevin met. Love at first sight, eventually, they blissfully moved in together for a happily ever after.

Head over heels in love with Kevin, she put those dynamic dating skills away. The two lived together for two years before Kevin left – three weeks before Christmas- to be with “the love of his life” the very young barista, Megann, from Starbucks.

Merry Blinking christs

After days of being shell-shocked- and doing the whole Kubler Ross – stages of depression-Gina eventually dusted herself off, dressed herself up and elected to go to church on Christmas Day. She’d heard about the famous Glide Memorial Christmas event for decades- and decided to ground herself in rapturous singing and lively people. She knew better than to drive to the Uber busy church and walked the two-dozen blocks.


Meanwhile, Bobby had nothing to do on Christmas morning… no one invited him to a brunch, a lunch, a party, soirée. He had nothing. For the heck of it, he decided to check out Glide Memorial. He was going to hop on his very special Specialized bike and realized: probably not a good idea to park his expensive bike in the hood.

So he walked from the Marina.

Shortly before 10 AM, Gina and Bobby were the only two people walking down the street- she was half a block ahead of him dressed in a forest green wool coat, black boots, and an oversized red scarf. She caught his attention, walking briskly, hands in her pockets. On a whim, he decided to pick up the pace- and check her out.

Gina could hear somebody behind her approaching. Newcomers called it “The Trendy Loin,” but to her it was still the Tenderloin and still a very sketchy neighborhood.

She turned around and saw a handsome looking man coming towards her – and debated for a split-second whether not to say “Merry Christmas.” Was he a mugger or churchgoer? She figured he was a stalker and walked even faster – trying to appear nonchalant.

Something told him to call out to her, and he did. He said, “Excuse me. Good morning. Merry Christmas, are you going to Glide? May walk with you?” Gina stopped, turned around looked at him and thought “What the heck?” At least he was a well-dressed mugger…

That is exactly how Gina and Bob* met on Christmas Day five years ago-and they have been together ever since.

 (She gently suggested he might want to quit “Bobby” and become Bob, and he did…he made a few changes and was happier for it.)



“GLIDE is the heart and soul of San Francisco.

On December 4, 2014, The GLIDE Annual Holiday Festival will be a fantastic celebration at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. The event benefits Mo’s Kitchen, the heart and soul behind GLIDE’s Daily Meals Program which serves up nearly a million free meals each year to San Francisco’s poor and hungry residents, and all GLIDE programs”.


A wet red christmas ball






Matchmaker: Let’s get friendly and share….each other, honey

photo_3295_20070911I’ve got a friend, who has a friend… who you should meet.

Chas has a glorious garden in Santa Cruz that will take your breath away.
The explosions of brightly colored wild flowers, mixed with towering sunflowers, lavender, Sage, mountains of Cecile Brunner climbing roses are all reminiscent of a wild English garden. There are white bee houses polka dotting the far reaches of his huge backyard. In the summer, the fruit trees are heavy with ruby colored cherries and purple plums.
He is a busy guy; a volunteer fireman, an abstract painter, he composts and best of all: he recycles- his friends. He is ‘romantically inclined’ and a self-proclaimed “matchmaker”.

Take my girlfriend, please

The story goes: after Chas broke up with Sylvie- they had a torrid, yet going nowhere romance, he had a GE moment. It dawned on him, his friend Dale and Sylvie would be the perfect couple. Both were very interested in Modern Art, collecting wine, running half marathons, Persian cats, and volunteering. A few weeks after their peaceful separation, Michael-the-matchmaker, introduced the two. Years later he officiated at their garden wedding, in his glorious backyard.

photo_10108_20090419roseGot Eros? Need a beau?

Even in high school and college, Chas  pulled the same Cupid like stunts. Lori was The Prom Queen and he was The Jock who lettered in three sports. They were destined to be a couple, right? Nope, they were solely platonic- no spark, no chemistry – just mutual friendship. He introduced Lori to his football buddy, Bill.

Both were going off to Cal in the fall and, as fate would have it: they were together 30 years. Chas has been married to his best friend, Ellen, forever and she supports his desire to get couples connected – the old-fashioned way.

You’ve got a friend – let’s share

Every June, Deborah and Rick plan an elaborate gathering in a San Francisco art studio where every single person (in their 50’s) must bring a friend and introduce them to a like-minded single, open, curious, partygoers. All attendees donate a bag of food for the SF Food Bank.

Best-case scenario: new friends introduce friends – who in turn introduce friends. Civilized and simple.

All you have to do is show up – with an open mind and be willing to meet new people. Isn’t it romantic?

There should be a Craigslist category entitled “You should meet my Ex- I like him/ her you will, too”

Who do you know? Are you willing to  you play matchmaker?

Give it a whirl.


San Francisco Dating@50 Examiner, Page Larkin, welcomes your feedback, questions and queries at . Don’t miss a single Page Larkin column- click the Subscribe button at the top of the page.

Dating 101: pay attention to those Red Flags

Snow covered road closed sign

 See the Stop Signs and the big red flags -waving in the wind?  Pay attention to ‘The Clues”

Henry and Crystal met online. She sent a quick note saying how entertaining she found his profile. He wrote back a very complimentary note- citing a couple of things the two had in common- and suggested she call him or send an e-mail.

Crystal was attracted to him because of his interest in jazz and Cuban music, his travels, his love of poetry, and they both liked to the same movies.

He was a recent widow, which gave her pause. She knew no one gets over the death of a spouse in a year.  He might be fragile and maybe not ready for dating. She decided to talk to him on the phone and check him out.

The phone call- easy and comfortable and lasted a half an hour. He seemed pleased to hear from her – and she wondered if he knew exactly which woman she was. His was gracious and easy to talk to. Up front, he mentioned his wife’s death and some illnesses he had experienced. He asked her if she’d like to go to lunch.

Coffee Date

Crystal decided a noncommittal coffee date would be better start. They agreed to meet two days later at the coffee shop downtown.

Henry’s picture online was vibrant and happy. The man who came to the coffee shop was a little hunched over and had a slight limp. He had sparkling blue eyes, was a little shy and polite.

After very the routine, small talk he asked her about her health. Really? She said she’d twisted her ankle on the hike a week ago, it was finally better. How was he? He then lapsed into a lengthy recap of recent maladies. The list was long. Boringly long. Buzz kill long. (red flag)

In the course of the conversation, he shared he had a bit of a mood disorder- he was sometimes depressed. (red flag) Little miss sunshine, Crystal asked if he tried any prescriptions to rectify the problem. He had tried one, it didn’t work and so he had given up. (red flag)Exit Sign

It didn’t take long for Crystal realized this was a dead end.

Her wise mother had once warned her about men who were looking for one of two things: a nurse or purse.  Initially, Crystal had scoffed the idea. And, that day she embraced it. She knew the energy level she was attracted to…and,this was not it.

She graciously thanked Henry for meeting her, and wished him all the luck in the world in finding “a perfect match.”


TIP: Ask more questions on that initial phone call.


A warning sign for the public







Dating 101: No Sunglasses and Hats allowed

hat and glases1 or: What’s wrong with this Picture?

New to Match or OkCupid and clueless about that all important photo?
Your online dating profile: what not to wear in those photographs

1.  Never ever post a picture of you wearing sunglasses and a hat. Ever.

  1. Do not post a picture of you in a group of six people. And, never post a picture of you standing next to someone more attractive than you.
  1. Nix the a pix with a person of the opposite sex who could be construed as a date. Conversely, a picture of you with your mother scores big points
  1. Do not post a picture of you 20 years ago-who cares -unless you look exactly the same. We call that “a miracle” or a great plastic surgery.
  1. Guys: Don’t waste your time posting a picture of you in a tuxedo – it’s like a costume. Everyone looks great in a tuxedo. Cut to the chase.


scott beale laughing squid

 The Funny Hat, glasses, costume – great For April Fools Day Parade – not for your dating profile.

Want to get a lot of positive attention with your online dating photograph?

Have a picture taken of you wearing a bright color.

  • 87% of all head shots are people in navy blue, black, brown or gray.
  • Wear a crisp white shirt  or a pastel colored top.
  • ( Note: Don’t post  the canned photograph from the company brochure)
  • A subtle – yet attractive- Primary Color or a neon accent: (a hot pink or lime green tie,  scarf,  an orange Giants T-shirt, or  an unusual necklace) is bound to get more attention than a black cashmere turtleneck.



This is not a cute picture by any stretch of the imagination. It is one rung below The Selfie in the Mirror

Have fun out there!

Dating 101: Don’t write a shopping list: My Perfect Mate Must Have

  • photo_1102_20060215He has been on for five years. He knows what he wants…


“Savvy Stanley” from Atherton has composed  “Top 13 Qualities” his Perfect Match Must Have:

  1. You must be emotionally warm, generous.
  2. You must be open, kind, intelligent, sexy, romantic, spontaneous,
  3. You are  available – no kids tugging at your heart, wallet, front door.
  4. You’ve resolved the key issues of your character and life. You’re easy, and emotionally wise and comfortable.
  5. You have a good sense of humor. You admire my wit.
  6. You have developed a successful career with meaning -which contributes to making the world a better place, and which elicits admiration from your colleagues, friends and family.
  7. You must be  financially solvent.
  8. You come from a happy home life, with parents who were happy and loved you.
  9. You’ve been married, know what it takes to make such a commitment work—and, even though it did not become a uccess- you know why your marriage didn’t work, you’ve recovered from its loss or celebrate your liberation.
  10. You’re clear-eyed, and emotionally wise and comfortable in your own skin and my arms
  11. You are not judgmental, depressed, on mind bending medication, in or recovering from any addiction.
  12. You find yourself laughing easily and often….and know when to stop
  13. You’re intelligent, intellectually curious and active, artful and voracious in ways that have meaning to me.

Gorilla photo_2Dear Stanley,

A number of women “Copy and pasted” your Top 13 Must Have Qualities from your profile and have mailed them to other women, writers, columnists. Remember: Telephone, Telegraph, Tell  a Woman?  You’ve been “Outed,” dear one.

There were roars of laughter from the Yoga Babes in San Francisco – until they realized you were serious. Which led to that International Gagging Sign of insert finger in mouth feign choking.

Carpe Diem, darlin – Relax. And enjoy the ride. Coming to the party with a list – is a true buzzkill and precludes any spontaneity.

However, Barbie in Brisbane (“50- looks 30- Model, Divorced Thrice, has kids -t hey live in the back”) thinks you sound “Fabulous” and she would love to meet you. No, she didn’t read your profile – she thought your photograph was “cute” and liked the fact that you lived in Atherton. She really wants to meet you.

 Best of luck. Stanley- in your pursuit of mutual  happiness, companionship, honesty and total lack of control issues.


Page Larkin


Yes, Dear Reader…all the names have been changed to protect the egos of many…

Dating 101: Pick on someone your own age

lUUnN7VGSoWZ3noefeH7_Baker Beach-12Edward, the fancy-schmancy San Francisco restaurateur, learned early on to “Date his own decade.”

After his divorce, he reveled in the parade of twenty-thirty something models and aging debutantes who frequented his restaurant and Café.

They were superstar beauties, dressed impeccably and beautiful to look at. While they were gorgeous eye-candy, he found they were hard-pressed to talk world events; history was ‘last week’ they were missing any je ne sais quoi. Art, philosophy, and poetry- things he loved- were classes they all took in high school. Most had never heard of Schopenhauer or Proust – but were  fond of Madeleines. C’est fini.

“The Girls” loved his new Tesla and wanted to “Go for a ride.” Their requests reminded him of his daughters – 20 years earlier – begging to go for a ride in his sleek Mercedes. He knew youth was wasted on the young.

A Romantic at Heart- In Search of Lost Time

Edward dreamed of meeting a young Catherine Deneuve or a Juliette Binoche. However, truth be told, he, was a bit of a Gerard Depardieu- a little long in the tooth with a few (20) extra pounds. He had dedicated the last 15 years to his restaurants- his babies-which were up and running- attracting many of San Francisco’s luminaries and wannabes. He wouldn’t recognize a gym if it was across the street.

One night in April, five women arrived for a 6:30 PM reservation. The group was friendly and obviously, delighted to be at his restaurant. The one with a ready smile and the silver gray hair caught his eye, and he thought she might be flirting. He overheard her name, Eleanor.

The lively women added a certain joie de vivre to the room. He swept by three times to be close – pretending to fold a napkin, bringing them each an amusee bouche, and, really, to be seen. He smiled at Eleanor and she smiled back. He poured water for the table, always ending with Eleanor and lingering a short second. His wait-staff watched; they had never seen him act this way.

Flattered by his attention, at the dessert course, the women introduced themselves mentioning Eleanor was the only single woman at the table. They were all married, they added- emphasizing Eleanor was available. Not subtle, but sweet. Edward returned with a rainbow assortment of macaroons stacked high on a plate. He discretely handed Eleanor his card; he had written, “May I take you to lunch?” on the back. He circled his phone number.

A week later, buoyed by her friends, she called him. They went to lunch, which led to a walk, coffee, and dinner- many times. And so it goes. The two loved one another’s company, and five years later, they are still together.

He is now heart healthy- in every sense of the word. She still tells the story of meeting her Edward at a Girl’s Night Out.

 laissez le bon temps roulerfireworks celebration 2

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