Suddenly Single… Minded

Welcome to the Wild and Whimsical World of Internet Dating

Are you playing with matches? Want to?


You’ve got a friend – let’s share

Every June, Chi-Chi and Rick plan an elaborate gathering in a San Francisco art studio where every single person (in their 50-60’s) must bring another single friend and introduce them to other  like-minded single, open, curious, partygoers.

All attendees donate a small bag of food for the SF Food Bank.

Best-case scenario: New friends introduce friends - who in turn develop into  “really good” friends. Doesn’t that sound civilized and simple?

Showing up is 80% of the fun

All you have to do is show up – with an open mind and be willing to meet new people. How hard is that – and, isn’t it rather 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.


Union Square: Three Perfect Places to Break up

Good Places to break up in San Francisco: Union Square

Let’s say you’ve been seeing one another for a month or two – maybe three. It’s been fun – and, yet those quirky, little idiosyncrasies keep raising their ugly little heads: they talk too much; he licks his fingers after every meal; she can’t put her iPhone down, ever; they are so cute, so rich and also the worst driver in the world and you have been in three fender benders together and your neck hurts – not from necking; they drink/smoke/whine too much. Way.  And the list goes on…

You know it is inevitable when “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” plays in the recesses of your mind when your are together. It’s time to say good-bye. So, where is a good, centrally located, place to set them free?

Here are three places on Union Square that are ideal for easy access and departure, totally non-committal ambience for calling it quits.

Macy’s Basement: The Cellar: Ben and Jerry’s   Arrive early and score a table. Choose your flavor and your departure plan carefully. The busy Cellar at Macy’s lends itself to abbreviated meetings. Pick up a cup or a cone– and soft serve one over the net. Be thoughtful kind and concise. C’est fini. Choose from: Hazed and Confused? Half Baked? Chocolate Therapy? Yes, the flavors names are rife with innuendo.

Emperor Rulli:  Atop the Union Square Garage. Arrive in time to procure a table outside. This lively, hot spot has enough distractions and noises to avoid any awkward silences. All things awkward will be inhaled by the cries of seagulls and cable car bells. Order a thimble of espresso.

Lori’s Diner: A classic diner with all the trimmings- brightly lit, lively, noisy, usually quick service, and superb location for MUNI, BART, Sutter Stockton Garage. It has a friendly vibe, which is a good thing.



Note to Reader:  If you happen to be in North Beach – Gino and Carlo’s Bar is the perfect dive bar for calling it quits.  You could give birth at GnC’s and no one would notice. Die hard customers – stare into their beers, navels or bark like seals at the TV when March Madness, world series, boxing, bowling, or the kizzle dazzle of curling is on. You will be invisible. City Lights Bookstore is a quick jaunt. Pick up copy of Howl.




Bonus: Three Union Square Places Not to Break Up- Avoid at all Costs:

The Rotunda Restaurant at Neiman Marcus- is quite possibly the worst place on Union Square to break up with someone. It is a classic Ladies-Who-Lunch mecca. When a man enters the restaurant- all heads turn- with a “What’s he doing here?” kind of an snarky inquiry. Think Clare Boothe Luce’s The Women

Ix-Nay Blue Bottle: notoriously, too slow, too expensive, too suggestive: “They must really like me to treat me to Blue Bottle Coffee.”

The Burger Bar: No. Buying a $20 hamburger and a $10 milkshake will not assuage or wipe the slate clean. Fuggedaboutit

The Lobby at the St. Francis Hotel – Meeting “Under the Clock” at the St. Francis was a rendezvous site for decades.  Flash forward to 2015 and the hotel doesn’t want you lingering in the lobby – they want you eating, drinking, checking in. Hence, the tiny little benches are not conducive for much of anything.


SEE:  A Parable: Where Not and How Not to Break Up – Nob Hill- San Francisco Version



Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.” Paulo Coelho



Where not to break up: San Francisco

golden-gate-bridge-534614__180He broke up with her at the Big Four Restaurant

at the Huntington Hotel – a big mistake.

Beaus and Errors

She knew things were a little rocky – he was a somewhat aloof – and had not returned her texts in a timely fashion. He was frequently busy. However, she had high hopes that they would become a rock solid “couple.” He suggested meeting at the Big Four,  an elegant Nob Hill restaurant. “Yay!” she thought,  “How romantic!”

Little did she know…

She walked into the chi chi,  glamorous, hotel atop Nob Hill. The doorman was cordial with a dash of gallant. The front desk clerks greeted her warmly.

The charming maître d’ escorted to the table where he was seated. He stood up as she approached. She was on cloud nine, thinking what a romantic, chic location for a rendezvous.

He was having tea and there was a small plate of pastries for them to share.

She ordered Earl Grey and while it was being prepared, he gently launched into a highly scripted, “ I like you. You are such a great person. It’s not you it’s me – I need some space – don’t take this personally- you deserve better- it’s me not you- I think we should call it quits.”

She was aghast. She was sitting in the luxurious green leather banquette with a man with a great deal of potential and means, and he was “letting her go.” Tears welled up in her eyes, she couldn’t believe he was breaking up with her in this tony public place; the waiters, like butterflies, attending to their every need. Her brain couldn’t grasp the breaking up concept.

Couples break up at Starbucks – the true scum of the earth break up over the phone. Couples celebrate in the lap of luxury. If there is one thing she learned in law school, lo, those many years ago, it was the art of debate.

She dabbed at her eyes to avoid the whole mascara-raccoon look, and tried every angle she could to get him to give her another chance. She would do anything. Her pleas and flirting fell on deaf ears. She brought up the big guns- and cited all the fun dates they have enjoyed, the burning chemistry, and the potential bliss they could share.

He, a true gentleman and a little out of touch, allowed this to go on for three hours. Another big mistake.


The Take Away: Never breakup in a private club or in a glamorous or romantic restaurant. Set your ‘quiet timer’ for 30 minutes. Be gracious, succinct and compassionate. Thank them for coming, pay the bill and walk out together – light hug – best wishes- go your separate ways. C’est fini.


Tomorrow: Top Five Great Places in San Francisco: to Break Up Union Square

Kiss me, I’m Irish

Mary St Patrick'sDay

March 17th – the day everyone wants to be Irish

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were held as early as 1737 in Boston.

The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York was March 17, 1763.

They say the Irish are a creative contention, with ready wit, a quick retort, good humor and good fellowship.  As a rule, Irish women are especially unique and gifted.


“I think Irish women are strong as horses, incredibly loyal

and for the most part, funny, witty, bright and optimistic in the face of devastating reality.”

Fionnula Flanagan


“May those who love us, love us; and those who don’t love us,

may God turn their hearts;

and if He doesn’t turn their hearts,

may he turn their ankles so we’ll know them by their limping.”

A Classic Irish Blessing


The Irish bars on Geary Blvd and Clement Street promise to be packed, SRO, really loud and very festive.

Natives know: the real Mecca for Irish dancing, Irish beer and blarney is Molloy’s famous Irish pub in Colma.   Sure now, the wanna be Irish will weave in and out of the bars SOMA and on Geary Boulevard.

The real true green, hard-core, passionate, Irish will be throwing a few back at Molloy’s. And, of course,  Harrington’s and the Irish Cultural Center.

Wear green, have fun, take a cab, and remember, wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be with you. Slainte.


50 Shades of Green on St Patrick’s Day?


St Patrick’s Day – Growing up Green

A world of shamrocks, shillelaghs, Guinness and Blarney

In second grade, at the St. Patrick’s Day Talent Show, Philip Kirk recited a poem he wrote weaving in the surnames of everyone in our class. He cleverly used all 55 names and finished with a flourish that now seems more James Joyce than eight-year-old boy.

In grammar school I walked to class with the Murphys, the Donovans, and the Sullivans. I ate lunch with two Maureens, two Colleen’s, Mary Kate, Mary Ellen, and Mary Margaret.

On our street we had Burns, Burkes, Brennans, Callaghans, Monaghans, and the Falk families. The milkman was Mr. Walsh and the grocer was Mr. Kelly.

At our high school reunion, 50% of us had become collapsed Catholics. 60% of us were English majors; everybody had memories and memoirs. Mary Elizabeth Moriarty, once a nun, kicked the habit and married an ex-Jesuit. They had one son at Notre Dame and another at Georgetown. Whereas few of us would be called good dancers, many of us know 12-Steps.

Our heroes include James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. And, of course, Billy Collins.

Corned Beef on Wry

Although we didn’t appreciate it at the time, we were lucky to have the Sisters of Mercy as teachers.

Sisters Suzanne, Sister Brian and Sister Elise were the brightest of the bright; women of great vision, energy and humor. Thank you, sister.

With a flurry of funny cards, emails, texts, and phone calls, we salute St. Patrick’s Day and our proud Green- before our time- heritage.

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were held as early as 1737 in Boston.

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York was 1763.

They say the Irish are a creative contention, with ready wit, a quick retort, good humor and good fellowship.

Celebrate the day everyone wants to be Irish. Slainte.

“May those who love us, love us; and those who don’t love us, may God turn their hearts; and if He doesn’t turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles so we’ll know them by their limping.”

Irish Blessing

The 2 ‘Worst of the Week’ dating sites?

Two Online Dating Sites to Avoid

The “Two Worst of the Week” dating sites.

One is so bad – you have to laugh, the second is all about fabulous, world-wide, glamorous traveling for free. No, really.

Caveat Emptor: Scams, swindles, hustles, and grifters are very prevalent among online dating sites.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

A cursory glance at the MillionaireMatch (MM) website tells all.

Claiming to be the place:  Where all the pro pro-athletes, rich – yet- busy – doctors and all the  very successful CEOs go for…” Romance and Relationship and it is  “... easy for the millionaires, whose busy lifestyle leaves little time to meet people conventionally, to find ideal partners online.” Who knew? 

Just How Much is a Million Dollars in 2015?

For the record- A Millionaire on MM is defined by anyone making approximately, about, around $150,000. Or less.

And, yes, for $39 a month, anyone can join. If you are curious about the company, background, history, affiliations of MM, you will have to dig very, very, deep to find any information. MM has gone to great lengths to cover up any tracks or facts. Google that.

FAQ’s: You can’t make this stuff up

Here is a great example of the website’s pretty bizarre information:

Q. Where do my membership fees go?

A. Thank you for your interest in our company.
We strive to make the best Millionaire dating site available and are always trying to find ways to improve the site without additional cost to the members.

 There are other dating sites that offer free memberships, however, there are many expenditures involved in running a wholesome Millionaire site.

We encounter more obstacles than most websites due to content. Gold membership fees are necessary to maintaining site quality. …
You may be surprised to know that all the funds generated from is what maintains (Really?)

Quelle Surprise!

MM dating tips: The rich are different from you and me.

Free Advice for Millionaires who are posting profiles (NOTE: unedited)
1.    Don’t post pictures of your many recreational vehicles
2.    Don’t post photos with surrounding environment
3.    Don’t post shirtless photo of yourself
4.    Don’t put up unclassy pictures that show off all of your “goods”
5.    Don’t send dirty pictures to the person you are talking to

One would certainly hate to appear “unclassy” in such esteemed company.

If you’re worried about your MillionaireMatch online dating profile  photos- no problem: MM supplies these tips (unedited)

1.      A Glamour Shot is the kiss of death
2.      An Average Photo Is Better Than None
3.       A picture is worth a thousand words
4.      Always update and use current photos on dating site
5.      Attraction and honesty are big components
6.      Be a LADY in your pictures, not all men want a sexy “bunny”
7.      Be cautious of posting pictures of your children online
8.      Be sure the pictures represent who you really are
9.     be who you are on your photos

Sure, tips 8 and 9  are probably too esoteric for most, but it’s good to know not all men want “a sexy bunny.”

Finally, From the MM Forum, an informal chat room, “Millionaire Popular Katie,” shares these keen observations:

“A squishy, huggable MM man who knows the stuff I do has asked me to help him get his book published. I can do that for friends because I’m an illustrator & a pretty good writer! But I was thinking:  There must be an enormous pool of talent out there that we all could network with as well as flirt!  Me … I’m a really good illustrator, fine artist, writer/editor & speaker on a variety of topics.

 Oh, Katie, methinks it will be a cold night in Nigeria before another squishy, huggable, millionaire networks with a fine artist like you.

And, I hope you find your Millionaire!


A tropical resort at sunrise.

Tired of Air B and B?

Couch surfing got you down?

Now, you can travel for free!

Qualifier: Must be a beautiful person – Checkout Miss Travel

(Unedited ..From the website)

“If you are a beautiful person who wants to travel for free, just signup as a “Attractive Traveler”. Attractive Travelers are adventurous and open minded people who love to travel, but lacks the budget to do so. As such, you are looking to meet Generous members who are willing to pay for you to travel, or gift you frequent flyer miles which may be redeemed for free flights on all major airlines.”

You are asking, how could this possibly be a scam? It sounds so forthright, honest, on-the-up-and-up, right?  Could this be an Escort Service? So-called Generous Members pay, hmmm?

Come Fly with Me? or Up in the Air?

Some call it an escort service – others dub it “Mis-treated” and others call the nefarious site “Missed Travel.”

A quick look at the Attractive Travelers will give you a clear idea of  what is expected on this site.

Buyer Beware.  Buckle up and bon chance!


Check out: Poetry as a chick magnet

April is actually the coolest, not the cruelest, month-

Get ready for National Poetry Month

The hot topic in the very, very, long line at State Bird Provisions was how perfectly seductive it is to hear a man recite a poem. Consensus was, “Oh, yeah!” Wordsworth said, “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from a motion we collected in tranquility.” Voltaire called poetry, “Music of the soul”

Whatever You Call It – Why Wait Until April?

Whether you recite a poem, a haiku, a sonnet – whether it’s blank verse – or free verse, lyrical or satirical- women swoon over poetry. There’s something irresistible and alluring about having someone recite a poem to you.

Poems are meant to be slow and leisurely, read aloud and read more than once.

Now is the time – to pick up a book of poems, choose a poet – whether it’s by Neruda, Poe, DH Lawrence,  or W.H. Auden, or local poet laureate: Kay Ryan or T.S. Eliot Keats, or Billy Collins. Simply find a slim volume of poems and revel in the language.

Note:Poetic License- 100 Poems 100 Performers” the audio book – is romantic, breath-taking, and astounding. Check your library or local Indy Bookstore, for a copy.

Enroll in Poetry 101 today

Billy Collins, a highly esteemed favorite among English majors everywhere explains teaching poetry to students in his poem entitled, “Poetry 101”

photo_tuluips3296_20070911Here are the Top 10 Poems of the Day

1. Elizabeth Barrett Browning “How Do I Love thee? Let me count the ways”

2. Robert Burns, scalding red-hot love poem: “My Red, Red, Rose”

3. Emily Dickinson “I Cannot Live with You”

4. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 “Shall I Compare You to a Summer’s Day?”

5. Margaret Atwood “Variation on the Word Sleep“

6. Billy Collins “Litany”

7. Michael Ondaatje “The CinnamonPeeler”

8. Samuel M Johnson “Two Lovers Sat on a Park Bench” (see below)

9. Francis William Bourdillon “The Night has a Thousand Eyes”

10.Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “The Day is Done”

Read them, recite them, revel in poetry.

“Poetry is the shadow cast by out streetlight imaginations.”

Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Two Lovers Sat on a Park Bench   by Samuel M Johnson

The day with its cares and perplexities is ended and the night is now upon us. The night should be a time of peace and tranquility, a time to relax and be calm. We have need of a soothing story to banish the disturbing thoughts of the day, to set at rest our troubled minds, and put at ease our ruffled spirits.

And what sort of story shall we hear? Ah, it will be a familiar story, a story that is so very, very old, and yet it is so new.

It is the old, old story of love.

Two lovers sat on a park bench, with their bodies touching each other, holding hands in the moonlight.

There was silence between them. So profound was their love for each other, they needed no words to express it. And so they sat in silence, on a park bench, with their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight.

Finally she spoke. “Do you love me, John?” she asked.

“You know I love you, darling,” he replied. “I love you more than tongue can tell. You are the light of my life, my sun, moon and stars. You are my everything. Without you I have no reason for being.”

Again there was silence as the two lovers sat on a park bench, their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight.

Once more she spoke. “How much do you love me, John?” she asked.

He answered: “How much do I love you? Count the stars in the sky. Measure the waters of the oceans with a teaspoon. Number the grains of sand on the seashore. Impossible, you say.

“Yes and it is just as impossible for me to say how much I love you.”

“My love for you is higher than the heavens, deeper than Hades, and broader than the earth. It has no limits, no bounds. Everything must have an ending except my love for you.”

There was more of silence as the two lovers sat on a park bench with their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight.

Once more her voice was heard. “Kiss me, John,” she implored.

And leaning over, he pressed his lips warmly to hers in fervent osculation.


Don’t need no stinkin’ pen pals on

lavender-456009__180The next email comes from Violette- an avid dater and a party girl; she loves to dance and flirt and play.           (She admits to being 39- a Jack Benny 39) and is actually hovering around 77 –  if you must ask.

Violette writes she is looking for romance, a romp, a frolic –  boyfriend for new adventures. She wants to “Dance, look at the stars, bathe in moonlight, chant at Taize, scale Mt Tam and revel in a sublime picnic involving Champagne and chocolate and make out.”

We created a well-crafted dating profile with cute pictures for Her name is ‘Party Fan Girl.’ She has been up and running for a month. She reports:photo_6760_20080814(2)rosesss

Dear Page Larkin,

You were right, a lot of men have written me notes…lots of notes – like a pen pal. He says, I say – all this back and forth fol-de-rol. I spent two weeks playing poem pong with a priest form Pacifica. What ever happened to “Hey! You’re cute… interesting…attractive – want to meet for a drink?”

I don’t want no stinkin’ pen pal. Tell the men in your classes to get off the stick and into the game. Women don’t want no stinkin’ pen pals – we want joie de vivre!

Love, Violette


Dear Violette

Well said, mon amis! The unwritten Dating 101 rule is: Exchange three emails – move it up a notch to a phone call – and another. Ask Questions. Get to know one another, and if there is chemistry and potential- suggest meeting for a walk or coffee…and, so it begins.

Have fun, Vi – you are an inspiration!

A  huge fan,


imagessalllyyy ddddd

The Dating at 50 Game: Risk! Trivial Pursuit, Solitaire or Sorry?

golden-gate-bridge-534614__180The following letter is from K.Sarah-Sarah- 57, divorcee, small business owner who reports back on her Suddenly Single/ experience:

To: Page Larkin – The Dating Queen

From: K.Sarah-Sarah– my first loves on

Once Upon a Time: when I ventured onto I asked my friends, Who will I be? What will I say? What will I find? Who will come to me? Will he be handsome? Will he be rich? Here’s what they said to me: Que sera, sera whatever will be will be. The future’s not yours to see, que sera sera.

I didn’t believe them…what did they know? They were married.

And so I wrote a pretty hot –a tiny bit enhanced- I Am Single Hear Me Roar kind of profile laced with innuendo, wit and charm.

I put on my best smile. I posted five (count them: 5) photographs. Divulged a few curious yet cogent facts about moi. I was warm and I was vulnerable. I might have dipped in the braggadocio bag a bit.

Like everyone else, I sat back and waited for responses. And, so it began. First a flood – like a feeding frenzy –Attencione! New Woman on the Island! 

I received winks and Im’s and dozens of emails: long and short and sweet and strange- from every type, size, age, weight, birth sign, religion.

I met a few men

Some came with a lotta baggage – a few with small carry-ons. Some were marvelous and wonderful – a few  were “separated”  and merely playing the field; Others had pre-conceived notions –some with a lot of “notions.” It was right out of Dickens: best of times – worst of times.

After six months and dozens of dates – with some lovely, interesting, yet dead end men – so not so great… I gave it a rest.

Here I am – just as pretty and witty a wry – still a Party of One with No reservations…well, a few.

Hey, the Big Takeaway:

The online dating games like Chemistry, JDate,Match, etc – like the game of life: a little Risk, a dash of Trivial Pursuit, some Sorry, Solitaire, bit of Small World and a lotta Twilight Struggle…

Que sera, sera. Whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to –  see ya!

 Love, K.Sarah Sarah

I’m still here (see Elaine Stritch)



Tell me your dating story:

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