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Brave enough for a first date?

photo_856_20060117two coffeeYou’ve seen them at the Boulange, Peet’s and Starbucks. You can tell: first date.

She walks in, looking around for a complete stranger. She glances at the face of every male in the room – seriously hoping her first date-guy looks like the photo he posted online.

When the ‘closest facsimile’ waves her over to his table, with a broad smile, she cautiously walks over to join him. She is still walking on thin ice and treading lightly. You notice they both have fake and cautious smiles plastered on their faces, half nervous, half curious.

Both are quickly adjusting to the “First-Meeting Sticker Shock.” Their minds are racing like a deck of shuffling cards.

Best-case inner dialogue could be: “Phew. Wow. What a relief! They look exactly like the photo”.

Or worst-case scenario, both parties -with frozen smiles and minds racing with thoughts like: “What was I thinking? What a mistake. OMG. How can I get out of this? How long do I have to stay? Check please.”

alarm clockAt worst, you wasted 30 minutes…try, try, again.

Next time: ask more questions; exchange a couple more emails; talk on the phone.

Yes, skip texting – speak to the person before actually meeting. There is no obligation to meet anyone. anytime.

It’s a Dance

You have to admire people who take the plunge, who get out there and do the dating dance. Some days, it’s like a waltz – other times it’s the Twist…or a jitterbug- fast and frenetic. When two hearts and minds collide and match – that’s the best.

Writing Profiles in Courage?

For every couple grimacing through the awkward stages of meeting somebody for coffee for the first time, there are hundreds of us sitting at home pretending to be satisfied with watching TV with a cat, surfing the web and all that other single, solitary, alone stuff.

Bravo to the brave of heart who wear their hearts on their sleeves and get out there and make the effort to meet somebody new. Gold Medals all around for the brave and the few. It’s a brave new world?

Why not put your single big toe into the Dating Game?

Today is the first day of the rest of your social life. Get out there and have fun.

Put these on Post-it notes:

“When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.” François de la Rochefoucauld

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.

You’re on your own.

And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss

Occupy What? Meeting the Fokkers on Thanksgiving?

Turkey:  Rhymes with dysfunction

Do you dare bring a date home for Thanksgiving -to meet the family?

Imagine the smell of the turkey roasting in the oven and the sight of luscious pumpkin pies and plump mincemeat pies sitting on the buffet. Cubes of yellow butter melting on mounds of steaming mashed potatoes. The dining room aglow with orange votive candles and a massive centerpiece of fall colored chrysanthemums gracing the table.

Dishes piled with green beans and sweet carrot soufflé, bowls of ruby red cranberries, and pomegranates and tangerines all crowded on the kitchen counter. A veritable food festival with friends and family –and, some ‘strangers in the night’.

Steve in Houston revealed he is ‘blessed’ with an Aunt Can’t Edit, who blurts unseemly comments and slightly embarrasses the entire family in one fell swooping comment.

Cherie in Seattle writes last year she was graced with, “A cast of cousins straight out of Central Casting, Seven Dwarves style: Grumpy, Dopey, Snarky, Chatty, Smokey, Sneezey, and Boozy.”

Okay, kids, so Thanksgiving will never be a Norman Rockwell painting. Granted, for many of us it will be more like “The Scream” Each year we are fortunate to gather, gobble and go. Count your blessings. Bring your current sweetheart home to meet the family? Tomes have been written about courage and bravery – you decide: will this exposure to your kin  be a coup de grace or a potential triumph? Good luck.


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

Oh, Happy Day
Last year, six of us volunteered at three different soup kitchens and were turned away. There were too many volunteers. That’s what I’m talking about.

The Mad Dash of the Holidays is Here
I refuse to count the daze. This year I’m going to float down the stream of Christmas consciousness and revel in friends, fun, simplicity and sanity. All aboard.

The Day after Thanksgiving and all through the house,

not a creature was shopping- all were watching football, talking, laughing, reading, washing dishes – a meditation- walking, riding bikes, going to see Harry Potter, or RED- and avoiding getting mauled at any mall. Double  dare you to Buy Nothing

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

Top 10 reasons he is going to ask you out again

First and Foremost







 Top Ten Reasons Date #2 is a given…

1. You look exactly like your photographs and he says, “Your pictures don’t do you justice.”

2. You offered to pay half – you are obviously thoughtful and evolved.

3. You laughed – with each other – a lot. Comfort level established.

4. You both had one drink – hey, first date.

5. They are as tall or taller than you (this may/may not matter)

6.You felt comfortable and at ease with each other

7. You have things in common: similar taste in sports, books, food, movies, dogs, skydiving, etc

8 You both have had ‘challenges’ in life and survived nicely.

9. You each have an “amusing” Internet dating story. And can laugh about it.

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

“Women desire men’s desire of them” Freud

San Francisco Date Night – Bridge and Tunnelers

guys i datesd
They’re Coming!

Over the bridges and through the tunnels…

They come, seduced by the Siren’s song of concerts, bright lights, the ice rink in Union Square, comedy clubs, theater, and a galaxy of two and three star restaurants. They leave the predictability and the vast free parking lots of the suburbs and head for the bright lights and sophistication of the City.

Uniformly Unique

She is brushed, buffed and shiny. Women of an age wear the classic Eileen Fisher uniform. Big price tag, clean lines, sensual fabrics; add the requisite, chunky, expensive necklace. It’s the au courant uniform of choice. A designer handbag, the size of a small suitcase, is the result of a ubiquitous knock-off purse party or the real deal. He wears the guy’s uniform: a Tommy Bahamas shirt, Tony Soprano – like slacks and Italian tasseled-loafers. Swathed in layers of wool coats, scarves, and gloves, they brace themselves.

There goes the neighborhood

The $6 Golden Gate Bridge / $5 Bay Bridge entrance fee to the City is only the beginning (ka-ching! sound of cash register ringing). Parking meters ($.25 buys two minutes) inhale quarters. Parking lots ($16 for three hours) and free valet parking ($20 service charge) are deemed highway robbery. So they pull their lips over their teeth with that faux grin and start counting. Is it worth it?

Who knew the hot, haute, hot new restaurant was in the unpredictable Tenderloin? And, the theater, too? They had to wade through a battalion of beggars. They were perplexed and chagrined to see doorways filled with men, in sleeping bags, asleep on piles of cardboard.

At Cafe de la Depressing, the lentil soup was $9. When did entrees skyrocket to $30? A trendy Thai (Got cha now?) restaurant charges $8 for a cup of imported red rice. Pricey rice? In Rice a Roni land? One drink at the hotel lobby bar was $16. Theater tickets? Priceless, because they refuse to admit what they paid for them. It was a play about a goat.

Home again, home again

The Bridge and Tunnelers are torn. Can they admit a trip to San Francisco was tedious, depressing and exorbitant? They found the restaurants too rich for their blood. The streets were dirty and a small army of homeless was sleeping in doorways. Parking was a nightmare and getting out of the jam-packed garage felt like Sisyphus – going nowhere fast.

As they pulled into their own garages, the Over the Bridge through the Tunnelers are relieved and relaxed to be home and they wonder: what ever to happened to San Francisco?

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

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Dating at 50 – Book of the Month selection- quick step to love

Moon.. spoon …June

Instant gratification and romance in 90 days? Yes!

On your mark, get your calendar out, get set for your autumn romance.

The best selling book, “Love in 90 Days,says 13 lucky weeks is all you need to meet the man of your dreams.

The much talked about, how- to- book, continues to fly off the shelves of bookstores …and a copy seems to be on the coffee tables and reference material for many of my friends.

Author Dr.Diana Kirschner, a true calendar girl, urges you to block out the next 90 days to successfully find your soul mate and true North. Her book is filled with myriad goal setting exercises, affirmations, techniques and tips for women to attract their heart mate.

Are you a Studfinder?

The author gives a whole new meaning to a ‘stud finder’ as she advises looking for “Studs” (seriously terrifically utterly desirable dudes) and avoiding ‘Duds’ (definitely unworkable dudes).

Since Adam and Eve and that pesky snake,  there have been romantic and seductive schemes, plots and plans levied by both sexes. It has to be challenging to come up with new ideas. Enter Dr Diane. Some may take special umbrage at a few of the exercises, like the novel suggestion to date three different men at one time.

Three men at once?  Seriously? I call this a ‘manage a trois.’    Managing to date three men, concurrently, sounds vaguely like juggling babies: you must be very discreet, delicate and focused. Then you say, “What was I thinking?”

Advice: Take it all with a grain of salt…and a shot to Tequila?

Be forewarned: this compendium of counseling has more buzzwords than a month of Dr Phil shows. However, Dr. Diana is no Dr. Phil, thank heaven she is not another Dr. Laura.

Kirshner is a lot more fun, creative and  “Love in 90 Days” is replete with pages of heart-filled ideas and exercises. Hey, you’ve got 90 days – go for it!

“Women desire men’s desire of them.” Freud

Part two: Top 10 places to meet men in San Francisco


Looking for a few good men…

Mae West said: “It is better to be looked over than overlooked.”

It is harvest time. Odds are, Mae West would tell you to push away from the computer, get off the couch and out of the house in order to meet your playmate, soul mate or new best friend.

The Top 10 Places to Meet Men in the City – Part Two

6. California Academy of Sciences Thursday Nights at the Academy –No other place on Earth has a planetarium, an amazing natural history museum, an incredible aquarium and a 4-story rain forest under one roof. The Academy is breathtaking, dazzling and awe-inspiring. For a mere $12 on Thursday nights from 6pm -10pm, come join in on the music, activities and one of the best events anywhere in the City. ( Across the yard…The DeYoung Museum has Friday night events, too)

7. Join a Club that is of interest to you, and they will follow. Suggestions? Sierra Club, a biking clubs, a writer’s group,  a hiking group, book clubs, film groups. Check out Urban Diversion. Go to, which has vast, long lists of social groups to join from: Arts and Entertainment to Zydeco.

Bronze buddah in the park

8.Volunteer at Special Events- There is no dearth of opportunities to volunteer in and around the City. For instance: the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival. Don’t miss Litquake, San Francisco’s most literary party -an October happening. Lend a hand at  St. Anthony’s, or any number of Wine Tasting Events, Sierra Club hikes, the Human Race, various Writer’s Conferences. The big bonus here is that when you volunteer you get to attend the venue for free and mingle with the attendees. More altruistic? One Brick has myriad volunteer opportunities and ‘provides support to local non-profit and community organizations by creating a unique, social and flexible volunteer environment.”

9. To Gym or Not Gym – that is the question. A casual poll among friends, and a few strangers leaving 24 Hour Fitness, indicates no one admits to going to a gym to meet someone. My friend, Shawn, says the Universal Sign for ‘do not talk to me’ is ears stuffed with earphones. She says she takes the high road (or the Hi road) and says ‘hey’ to every man in the gym wearing earphones. She candidly reports, that despite the noisy naysayers, the gym is the best place to meet men.

10. Hardware Stores- Some men are real ‘Week End Warriors’ and they frequently go to worship at the altars of Home Depot, Lowe’s and Brownie’s Hardware. Men love saws, drills, bits, tool belts and workbenches. This is the very best place to start your home improvement project and to ask questions. If you want a guy to carry a ‘torch’ for you or get a ‘quick grip’ and be a ‘fan’, hit a hardware store.polar_0612

Top Ten Romantic Places to Kiss in San Francisco

The Top 10 Romantic Places

in San Francisco

Everyone knows the San Francisco is the consummate romantic Mecca and there are dozens of romantic places to buss/smooch/osculate and kiss

The Top 10? After much research ~ I can heartily attest:

1. The Top of the Stairs at Broadway and Lyon – the view, alone, will take your breath away. It’s a secret place, off the beaten track and and it inspires romance.

2. Under the Clock of the Ferry Building

The Golden Ghetto ~ on Saturday mornings ~ the sight of the famous Farmer’s Market. See the aubergine and tangerine, enjoy quaffing champagne, or sample at the Caviar Bar, select divine picnic items, revel in the sweet smells of butter, sugar and cinnamon wafting from the numerous bakeries, indulge in a Blue Bottle coffee…enjoy the towers of stunningly beautiful fresh flowers, and gaze at the Cowgirl Creamery cheeses…walk along the water …Everything is pretty darn seductive and suggestive. Can you say: An Affair to Remember?

3. The corner booth at The Grand Café (Geary and Taylor) It’s all about location, location, location. Sexy, seductive, alluring and private. Ambiance. Fabulous hors d’ oeuvres and great mixologists.images

4. The Make Out Room named appropriately, you don’t need another clue. Stimulating venues.

5. The Tonga Room At the Fairmont ~Nob Hill. Yum~ Drinks with tiny umbrellas – tropical atmosphere and It’s like the Tiki Room without the birds~ Nowhere else in San Francisco can you kiss in the rain forest.

6. Sweet – As you leave divine and sublime XOX truffles in North Beach- with a small box of San Francisco’s real “treat” ~The quality and richness of the 27 unforgettable tiny chocolate kisses – and yummy flavors are sure to entice~

7. Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco’s most majestic and remarkable shrine…originally created for the 1915 World’s Fair by the incredible visionary Bernard Maybeck …near the columns, under the statues of weeping women, at the lagoon or undulating grassy area.

8. Golden Gate Bridge, anytime of the day ~ must be midspan…even with the infamous summer fog and wind whipping about – The GGB is one of the City’s most romantic and frantic destinations.

9. The Pier – Crissy Field, the only pier pressure, you will find us from your gull-friends swooping overhead. 360 degree views …Crashing waves, frothy white caps, sometimes blue skies and a breathtaking skyline.

10. The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park the spun sugar palace, replica of Kew Gardens, is all good things: sultry- sexy and steamy. Bonus ~Beautiful flowers in abundance. A Must: Buss behind the begonias…

So, get on the buss~ Everyday is Valentine’s day in Romantic San Francisco~~~

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.”      Albert Einstein

Can we talk? Girls just want to have a chat…

 It’s a fact: women tend to be more glib and voluble.

Girls just want to have dialogue

For the time it takes to push your cart through the checkout at the grocery store, two women can share a succinct, lifetime of information.

A simple, “Love those shoes,” can launch a conversation covering shopping, kids, schools, sales, babysitters, therapists, recipes, divorce attorneys, events, and books. All this before checkout.

Dr Tom Lewis, the darling of San Francisco’s famed Fromm Institute, lecturer and co-author of the book, A General Theory of Love, said findings indicate women say 1000 more words, every day, than their male counterparts. We can talk about this, if you like.

The San Francisco 3-D Club

It started with three newly divorced women who were 50-ish, avid movie buffs who had coffee and dialogue once a week.  Over the next few years, their numbers increased and a monthly dinner meeting replaced the coffee date. When the group hit 20 members – the membership doors closed. Though many knocked, wanted to join and would “pay anything to join” the eclectic, energetic group said,  “No more girls allowed.”

Each quasi-clandestine meeting has an emcee, a film reviewer and a “Top 3-D List” compiled by the host. The “Top 3-D List” is made up of three things that are divine, decadent or benevolent. In addition to being film junkies, the group has altruistic bent and has quietly supported St. Anthony’s, OneBrick, Community Thrift and the Casa de las Madres, the Pachamama Alliance, and the Avon Breast Cancer walk.

While there are no dues and no don’ts, the group has a philosophy steering clear of the negative and emphasizing the positive. They are positively social and the Club has an unspoken, “Girlfriend, have I got a guy for you” component where sometimes members introduce their male friends and colleagues to other members.

As a result, some wedding bells have pealed and repealed.

Members who have re-married have their own private club- couples only.

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours
”    Swedish Proverb

San Francisco Party boy quits the dating game?

Mitch, the famed Party Boy, of six parties a week,

would glide into a room to a sea of handshakes and a cyclone of air kisses.  If you looked up the word bon vivant in the dictionary, Mitch’s picture would be there: a tall, dark, handsome party boy.

Divorced for a dozen years he was on the party circuit.  He was the party circuit. Jealously, his friends dubbed him, ‘Scout.’  In jest, women called him Casanova. Yes, there’s an ounce of truth in all jest. At one time in his life, Mitch was famously flirting or hot to trot; now, the only thing haute he was after was cuisine.

Give Up the Chase?

After years of the hunt – catch and release -and after one too many first dates – Mitch decided to throw in the towel. Not only did he throw in the towel, but also he laundered, folded, and put the towel away.

He did something none of his friends had done before: he gave up the chase. He reconciled to be a bachelor – forever.

He was lucky to have a plethora of female friends. There were women he went to movies with, women he hiked with, and a couple other women he went with to shows and dinner. In the grand scheme, there wasn’t one single woman to whom he was attracted.

Along Comes Sally

And then Mitch met met Sally. They noticed one another in line at a weekday matinee. Both were going to see “Of Gods and Men”There were only a handful people in the theater – and its the kind of movie you just have to talk about afterwards. After the movie credits, they walked out together and started talking.

They walked next door to Starbucks and discussed the movie, world politics, other favorite movies, books and life – for two hours. Mitch suggested they move their discussion few blocks away to Pesce on Polk Street And that was the beginning – a chance meeting – a year ago.

After a lousy experience on,  Eharmony and Craigslist, Sally had sworn off men. She had no intention of ever again playing the dating game. Then, when she least expected it, she met her date for life. It happens. 

Remember: Be open to new experiences. Talk to strangers- flirt early and flirt often.

Page Larkin, San Francisco author, dating coach and dating docent offers a 3-hour Inspired Dating Workshop

“Online Dating: Get Your Mojo Moving” in San Francisco

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

How Rude! Top 5 Dirty Dating Deeds


Whoa – there are way  too many  horror stories about rude online dating behavior.

Need to brush up on your etiquette?

 Page Larkin’s Five Online Dating Etiquette Tips:

1.) Respond, sil vous plait or, You talkin to me?

The biggest complaint heard from online daters is about the lack of response. Hey kids, here’s the rule: if somebody takes the time to drop you a polite note of interest – you have a responsibility to answer back.
(Note: If the message is wacky, bizarre or peculiar- or the person sending it appears to be all of the above, you need not reply- simply delete and move on.)
However, new dater, if you receive an email from someone – okay, maybe not your ideal mate – maybe not even close – but he or she took the time to write you a note. Your job? Write back. Not a tome – not a poem – a simple message along the lines of, “Thanks, we are not a match – good luck in your pursuits.”  That’s all. Simple and sweet.

2.) BehaveCan You Please Say Thank You?
The men have spoken and complain loudly some women barely utter a “thanks” after a date. Hello, ladies? Are you Ms Manners or missed manners?

3.) Hit-and-Run
Knowing full well that online dating is truly a numbers game, (See Catch and Release in the Coy pond) there are some who send out a dozen “winks” every day.

What is a wink? A wink is the lowest form of online social connection. It requires little time or effort.  It involves the wannabe dater to click a tiny icon, which sends a message to the recipient, indicating absolutely no effort made. How popular is a wink? Many online dating profiles start with, “No winks, please.” Translated: “Come on, and make the effort to write at least one cogent sentence.”

4.) Talk, Talk, Talk
Okay, so you are fascinating and you don’t mind telling everyone. One of the biggest buzz kills on a first date? The non-stop talker. It’s okay to be nervous. It’s okay to be chatty. It’s a mortal sin to blather on and neglect asking questions. Save the monologue for a Stand-Up routine.

5.) The Houdini Disappearing Act
So you‘ve exchanged a half-dozen emails – share many of the same “likes”, seem to have a little chemistry- and boom! They are gone. Not a word: text-email-nada. What’s up with that? Did their spouse find them playing on the computer – with you?

Are they players? Fakes? Voyeurs? Or just plain rude? If, at any juncture, the chemistry isn’t there – politely bow out of the conversation with a well meaning, “Thanks for the conversation, enjoyed it and wish you all the best.”

Yes, that’s a lot better than nothing.

Can’t we all just get along?

Be nice. According to Greater Good in Berkeley – being kind –(polite) – will make you happy.

Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politenessOtto Von Bismarck


sad man

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

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