Suddenly Single… Minded

Welcome to the Wild and Whimsical World of Internet Dating

Brilliant riposte: Dear Page Larkin- dating dilemmas

Caution!

Suddenly Single... Minded


Dear Page Larkin,

When Kath and I started dating, ((she’s 65, I’m 70) she was romantic and spontaneous. Four years later, she is less available. My job is the resason: we only see each other on weekends due to distance and driving. She claims she’s tired of the driving. I call the 18 miles from my house to her apartment “Our 18-mile Hallway.” She used to think that was romantic. Now, she wants to move into my house. I cherish my man-cave and don’t wish a full-time roommate.

Henry VIII

Dear Henry VIII

Dude, Fish or cut bait. Kath’s lack of luster may be in direct proportion to your unwillingness to take it up a notch. I imagine, at 65 she may be planning for the future and thinking your interest is waning with your dead end weekend-only arrangements.

Peace, Page

Dear Page,

I met a great guy online…

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Dating 101: Sex degrees of separation?

Playing Dating Monopoly?

Are you about to jump into the Internet Dating world? Feeling dizzy with the wide variety and vast number of choices of Online Dating services? Are they unique, stand alone entities, or possibly owned by the same Goliath Internet giant?

Dating neophyte, Sally said she envisioned Match.com to be a huge building, filled with employees who were romantics at heart, just like Cupid.

She imagined a sea of matchmakers, glued to the their computers, fatefully creating dates for life. She knew somewhere she had a perfect match, a twin: a non smoking, dog loving, petite, Gemini, middle child, NASCAR fan, rock climbing, New York Times puzzle lover.   

Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus.

However, Sally, there is no such thing as a real computer based Cupid.

Who’s your daddy?

If you were to do a search for top Internet dating companies you might be amazed to learn that dating sites: Match, Chemistry, Singleparentmeet, Blackpeoplemeet, Seniorpeoplemeet, Bbpeoplemeet, Loveandseek, all have the same parent company. They are all integral parts the Internet giant IAC owned by that ‘king of the media world’, IAC CEO Barry Diller.

What the heck is an IAC, you ask? George Orwell’s 1984 pales by comparison.Internet Giant, IAC is in your business and in multiple facets of your life. IAC owns Ask.com, Dictionary, Citysearch, EVite.com, Urbanspoon, Vimeo, Hotwire, Lending Tree, and Excite, Expedia, and Ticketmaster, plus a host of other sites.

No need to go dystopian about this, but, do take note. A lot of notes.

Baddoo and Bad News:The Russians are Meddling: Who owns Tinder? Bumble?

Badoo, founded in 2006 …launched in 2009 (3 years before Tinder), is headquartered in London with an office in Moscow.

Today it employs 300 developers, 80 of whom are women, who run Badoo and also provide support to Huggle, Chappy and Bumble.

The Russian Cupid, Andreev says his  biggest business, flagship Badoo,  launched a facial recognition feature in late 2017.

The feature allows users to upload an image of a person they like and find other Badoo users who look similar. “People really love it,” Andreev said.

Andreev refuses to share revenue figures for Badoo, but said the publicly traded IAC  operates online dating sites including OkCupid and Tinder, was a good comparison.

IAC which has a $12.2 billion market cap, reported $1.3 billion in revenue for 2017.

The Russian states, “We are smaller, but we are still a pretty big player.”

My love affair with Billy Collins

photo_1074_20060214dotttBilly Collins boarded my plane.

I was seated in 17C. He sat alone in 14C.

If my posture was both correct and very erect, I could see him. I could see his head and fractions of his body.

Two of his all-time very best Poetry books, “Flying Around the Room” and “Nine Horses” were in my carry-on bag. I was just reading the poems in “The Art of Drowning” last week. Did I conjure him up? Was he traveling alone? What was he reading? Could we do lunch?

I saw him dive into his carry-on and pull out massive Bose headphones. No subtle message there. If ever there was an object that screamed, “Do not talk to me,” its the “Big Boys Bose” headphones.

Craning my neck, I saw a small fraction of his head, shoulder and arm. I casually stretched to gain a better vantage and decided my bag could actually live in an overhead bin, for a while, thus providing me an excuse to stand up and move closer to Billy Collins.

Nonchalantly, I rose  – happily discovering that my bin was filled to the max – which would allow me to move, oh, so close, to Billy. A great mental debate ensued, “To hi or not to hi.”

A passionate fan for well over a decade – I owned a copy of every one of his books and gave a copy of Litany to every recent boyfriend. I’d seen Billy, in-person, in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Plus, I had his books in my carry-on. Kismet. I was an A-1, authentic devotee. We both wrote poetry. We both used the word “perfervid” fervently. I had once memorized his poem on memory loss and our writing group did a whole session on his poem “Consolation.

While I gathered courage and feigned nonchalance, a voluptuous redhead in black leather pants and high heel boots, swaggered her way down the aisle

and slipped in next to my Billy Collins.

I watched – pretending not to be staring– as he removed his Big Bose and started conversing with the hussy. I could feel myself bristling and slowly turning into Kathy Bates in Misery. I imagine the people sitting next to me thought I  was acting like a pop-up prairie dog.

Hey! If I’d gotten this close to Billy – what would it take to invoke Michael Chabon? I’d both read the book and shopped on Telegraph Avenue; had seen the movie Wonder Boys, I was cavalier and liked clay. Okay, so that was a stretch.

Dejected and rejected, for the next hour I listened to Lyle Lovett and I buried my head in Sun magazine.

Once (okay, twice) I sat very  tall and looked – they were quaffing and chatting.

There was no consolation.

Well, actually,  I did have that lovely book of poems by my new very favorite poet,  David Whyte… Everything is Waiting for You.

Billy

Hey! May 7- National Love Letter Day- prepare to swoon

Roses are Red, Violets are blue – write me a Love letter…

Suddenly Single... Minded

There are no rules: Love letters can written on parchment, on brown paper bags,

on the backs of airline tickets, sale receipts, on a post-it note or a linen handkerchief…

You can write a love letter to a beau, a friend, a child, a relative…
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National Love Letter Day: John Steinbeck’s Most Romantic Letter about Love

Hailed as: The 2018 Most Romantic Love Letter 

John Steinbeck’s 1958 letter to his son, about Love, will make you swoon.This beautiful, whole-hearted letter to his  teenage son, Thom – is in response to the boy who declares his love for a girl named Susan. The sweet and tender words of wisdom are to be cherished.

New York November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First — if you are in love — that’s…

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Are you New to “The Not Married Now” Club?

redwoods528_nHold on!

 Every day there are tons of new members in the Not Married Now Club.

We walk out of the courtroom glazed, delighted, defeated, feeling numb or ecstatic and newly appointed: divorced.

Some of us throw a party – replete with champagne and pizza – or darts and beer.

Others take to their beds, and watch a full season Westworld, Billions, Superstore or Nurse Jackie…Unforgotten or  on HBO or Netflix, barely paying attention.

Some are already enmeshed in a new relationship and seek sex, refuge and understanding.

Whatever your state (grace, confusion, ire, relief) take the proper amount of processing time.

When you are ready, gently remove and discard the shroud around your heart.

It may take awhile. Or not.

Next, shred the mountains of documents and go outside.

 IMG_0346Go Outside:

 Watch the sunrise, take a walk,  join humanity in your new identity as Single: Suddenly Single not married now. Free at last.

Feeling odd and out of sorts or splendid?

 

Take your time to return to a social whirlwind or even  to a small gust of activity.

Even though 50% of us have walked through the valley of divorce, like snowflakes, no two are alike.

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My friend once confided that her neighbor was going to the exact same divorce scenario as I had endured. Really?

She pleaded for me to consult with her neighbor. I reluctantly agreed – we spoke on the phone-indeed, there were a striking number of similarities.

Girls, we aim to please  – it is what we do. (Oprah calls it as the disease to please) I agreed to meet Jaquie for coffee.

She had six months of divorce filings, co-parenting and attorney meetings under her belt. Evidently, I was considered “An Expert Witness” with years worth of E-Ticket divorce-land experience.

Snowflakes

She came to the coffee shop with her boyfriend, Clive, whose picture I had just seen on Match.com.

He stayed just a minute, said he was, “Going to pop out and go shopping.” Yes, he did shop around.

Jaquie and I fell into an easy conversation as similar as we were – we were worlds apart.

She’s been married for 9.75 years and her father-in-law was a multi-millionaire. He had invented Post-it notes or glue 0r something very significant.

She reported she had huge financial resources and that she might go back to school and become a pastry chef. She and Clive had been together for three months and she was quite smitten.                

(I checked later that day, Clive was alive and looking on Match.com) Red flag, sweetheart!

The more we spoke, the quicker the similarities evaporated …our differences expanded like those skinny sponges -simply add water and, bingo. You don’t even recognize the original flat concept.

Keep your divorce to yourself

Good friends may inquire about your divorce.  There is no reason to bore them with the details. So, hire a therapist. Level with your therapist.  Take a spinning class –  do all kinds of catharsis, but don’t bore your friends and family. 

Welcome to The Club

  And know: when you walk into the store, the library, or post office, 50% of the people in line are also divorced… and that group at Starbucks, and that class you are taking? Yep, truth be told:  50%.

Carpe  diem, darlin.

image001And learn the ropes of Internet Dating at the next

“Page Larkin- Get Your Dating Mojo Moving” Workship

page.larkin@gmail.com

 

Is San Francisco friendly? City Slickers or slackers?

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Hey, San Francisco! I say: Play Hard and Work Soft

In my small rural hometown, I noticed most people say ‘Hello,’ and ‘Good morning,’ and ‘Hi’, as they get to work and play in the morning.

Eye contact is involved. People wave and nod to one another. Men and women- alike – hold the door for one another. You hear, “thanks” a lot.    I think there’s more hand-holding in that small town, per capita, than there is in all of San Francisco.

This more convivial behavior is not Amish, Quaker or Mormon. It’s just another mindset. Maybe it’s a throwback to the 50’s. Granted, it  is very Mid-West.

I’m told in San Francisco there’s more emphasis placed on Career Success, than (sit down, drink optional)   Relationship Success.* What’s up with that?

 Why is merely “being friendly” so foreign in San Francisco?

After a week of this time-travel-world, I recently returned to the City.  As my luggage came off the carousel, I was forced back onto the merry-go-round of San Francisco, where we go so fast, we miss meeting one another. Have we forgotten how to say, “Excuse me?”

We’ve all got a blog, we’re Linkedn and were on Facebook, Matchme.com or Eharmony. We belong to social clubs ~ of some sort… and still it is like two ships passing in the aisle at Trader Joe’s?

Did you ever think that just as you’re going out the side door of the store- with exactly the same carefully selected food items in your recyclable bag- that I’m about to buy the same items? And, I too, will walk out, alone, with my recyclable bag?

Revolving doors?

Did we both just work out, see the same film, and go out to dinner with single friends? What are the chances we ski, hike, ride, walk, stroll, or spelunk in the exact same location at different times?

Whether it’s a merry-go-round or teeter-totter – it is a bizarre time to be at the Singles Playground.    

I’ll go out on a limb – unless the ground rules change to involve more social interaction-  like simple  “Hey,” Hello,” Hi,”  and “Good morning,”  

we will all be living single solitary parallel lives – so close – and, yet so far away.

     I say play hard – work soft.

*Article  by Dr Tom Lewis – UCSF

Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.

Mother Teresa

 

Hipsters, Nudies, Puppy Love questions

Hey, Page Larkin,
My first boyfriend watched Portlandia and turned into a wannabe hipster. He got a new knit cap and grew a scruffy beard. He got into beekeeping, knitting, farming on the rooftop of his apartment building and drove all the way to Berkeley to buy a typewriter. He used to be a jock and a fun guy. I ditched him.

My current boyfriend went a workshop on body awareness in Marin and now walks around in the nude. We have windows – lots and lots of windows. What should I do? He is brainwashed and naked alot.
Portero Window Washer

Dear Window /Widow
You can buy Tarzan a robe, PJ bottoms, boxers or a loincloth. Good luck.
Page

Dear Page,
The man I love doesn’t have the greatest table manners. He is soup slurper….rivulsets of soup run down his chin. I once intimated he might want to do ‘elbows off the table’ and he said his mother and first two wives had failed in instructing him and to give up. What shall I do with the guy who slurps everything?
Emily Post

Dear Emily Post.
Choose your battles. There’s plenty of evidence that people with limited social skills and manners excel at life. Set an example. Weigh out the importance – how much do you love him and how much does he bug you? He does have a sloppy track record.
Page

Dear Page,
I fell head over heels with Peggy before I realized her dog, Fluffy, was her #1 love. The dog gets more attention than a candy dish on Halloween.The dog sleeps with her. He rides in her lap in the car! She will not listen to any of my comments regarding the canine. I am ready to call it quits.
Not Feline It

Dear Not Feline it,
Interestingly, you spent more time complaining about the dog than praising your girlfriend. Obviously, the K9 is a big point of contention. Have a serious conversation with her. Tell her how you feel. Decide whether the dog is a dealbreaker. There you go.
Page

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Send your Love and Relationship Questions to page.larkin@gmail.com

Rivulet
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Whisper a poem in my ear and I’ll follow you anywhere

Do you have time for Rhyme? April is National Poetry Month

Poetically speaking, April is actually the coolest, not the cruelest month.

The hot topic around the table at the sublime Zuni Cafe 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 – Just Do it

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.

Remember: poems are meant to be slow and leisurely, read aloud and read more than once.

Why wait until April? Now is the time to pick up a book of poems, choose a poet – whether it’s Ogden Nash (Candy Is dandy; But liquor Is quicker) or W.H. Auden, or local poet laureate: Kay Ryan or T.S. Eliot Keats, or Billy Collins. Find a slim volume of poems and revel in the language. Listen to: Poetic License: 100 Poems 100 Performers. Fabulous!

Poetry 101

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


Here 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. William Wordsworth “The Daffodils”

8. W.H Auden’s “Funeral Blues”

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

10.Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “The Day is Done”

April is Poetry Month: Read them, recite them, revel in poetry.

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

i-like-youicon-great

Robert Frost 

 Birches

WHEN I see birches bend to left and right
Across the line of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them              5
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells       10
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed       15
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.       20
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
(Now am I free to be poetical?)
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows—       25
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father’s trees
By riding them down over and over again       30
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away       35
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,       40
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.

So was I once myself a swinger of birches;
And so I dream of going back to be.
It’s when I’m weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood       45
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig’s having lashed across it open.
I’d like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.       50
May no fate wilfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,       55
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.       60

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

2014: Sex and the suddenly single girl?

Sex and the Single Girls…

Suddenly Single... Minded

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

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

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

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

Mundane copies of Good Housekeeping, Redbook and Seventeen magazines were kicked to the curb, as women basked in the sexy secrets and revolutionary advice for the 60’s.

At the time, Sex and the Single Girl was considered provocative- required reading.

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

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

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Happy Easter! Sweet times in San Francisco


Get ready for a Sweet Easter Celebration

A happy Easter conjures up images of colored eggs, chocolate bunnies, buffets,

bountiful Easter baskets, tulips and lovely Gin fizzes, right?

San Francisco has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to gourmet Easter treats.

 

Five Classic San Francisco Sites for Easter’s perfect preparations:

1. Varoom. Start the day with a cup of the best coffee in San Francisco: Tou choose: Peet’s, Philz or Blue Bottle Coffee.

2. Got Candy? San Francisco’s premiere candy store, aptly named, The Candy Store on Vallejo at Polk Street will dazzle you with the finest selection of yummiest candies “… one-of-a-kind boutique features walls lined with old-fashioned candy jars, shelves stocked with the finest confections from around the world, and nostalgic treats you probably haven’t seen in years.”

Yum

Yum

 

3. Fruit Heaven – Berries, melons, citrus, mangoes, 22nd and Irving Produce– best quality and bargain produce in all of San Francisco. Parking is pain – and, it’s worth it.

4. Best bakery in San Francisco? Bakery Tartin located at 600 Guerrero Street. You’ll think you time- traveled to Paris –Tartin has a perfectly sublime selection of the highest quality pastries. Marvel over the Chocolate Soufflé Cake, the Frangipane Tart, the utterly divine croissant or frangipane croissant, perhaps a double pain au chocolat or the tres yummy morning buns. I dare you try one croissant.

5.Confused by chocolate? Do you die for Godiva? Or really love Recchiuti? Perhaps you prefer San Francisco’s classic, plump chocolate eggs from the all-time favorite: See’s. Or, do you go for TCHO? Love truffles? XOX Truffles are rich, delicate, and filled with 27 flavors and totally addictive. Sweetly perched on Columbus Avenue across from the City’s stellar Graffeo Coffee.

If you are feeling a little famished after all that Saturday shopping? Get in line, there is always one, at Ella’s for the Best Brunch in San Francisco located at 500 Presidio/Arguello.


Remember, The Wise Words of the Easter Bunny:

* Don’t put all of your chocolate eggs in one basket.

* Walk softly and carry a big carrot.

* There’s no such thing as too much candy.

* Some bunny loves you: cute little tail attracts a lot of attention.

* Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.

* Let all your happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.

* Keep your paws off other people’s jellybeans.

* The grass is always greener in someone else’s basket.

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Page Larkin, welcomes your feedback, questions and queries at Page.larkin@gmail.com

 

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