Suddenly Single… Minded

Welcome to the Wild and Whimsical World of Internet Dating

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. 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:

Dating in 2015: a dream or nightmare?

guys i datesd
So I walked into the cocktail party at the DeYoung Museum

A man comes up to me and says, “ I’m 6’ tall, 185 pounds, spiritual not religious, income: I’ll tell you later. I like NASCAR, a cigar, hot dogs and pizza and boxing. I’ve seen American Sniper three times and I think Lady Gaga is a freak and that Arquette woman on the Oscars is a whack job. May buy you a drink? And what are you tipping the scales at, Tiny?


I climb the stairs to the African Mask Collection and a man approaches and says, “I’m average height, average build, love to snuggle and to shop at Victoria’s Secret.” (What? A cross-dresser?) He continues, “I live in Santa Rosa and I won’t drive more than 10 miles to meet the woman of my dreams -who, by the way, is ‘Barbie.’ How old are you?”


Some fancy dance work and a quick escape right, to the Portrait Gallery and another man advances and says, “Hello beautiful! Let’s skip the small talk: I’m Scorpio, very lonely, never married, no kids, live alone; I have a very, very, big, bike. Can I take you for a ride? I just finished “The da Vinci Code” ”and “50 Shades of Gray” is on my bedside table. Want to read it together? What’s your income?”

Hasta la vista, baby!

I exit down the hall, a quick left turn to the Hudson Valley Painters Gallery. I happened upon ‘Mr. Burlingame.’ He is my height, my age, big smile and twinkling eyes – introduces himself and says his interested in talking and eliminating the mindless chatter about astrology and  pets – if that was okay. And then he said, “Your picture doesn’t do you justice.” (A.k.a. The six sexiest words on

He proceeded to ask me questions about me and my life and he listened.

 We talked and walked right into the Chihuly Room and later found ourselves next to Wayne Thiebaud’s “The Gumballs” and ended up standing in front of the spectacular new Liz Fracchia painting.

The museum was about to close…and the party was not over.

 We have been together every day since.

photo_1186_20060227ace hearts


What’s your story? Tell me your dating story:

Eharmony outsources Profile Analysis – gives Fortune Cookie quips

EHARMSherry signed up with Eharmony, again. She had tried the dating service five years earlier – gave up with the slow as molasses protocol and the number of farmers and motorcyclists she was introduced to each day.

She raced through the 966 questions and waited for the slew of Prince Charmings to come her way.

Eharm compiled her answers and created “The Book of Sherry,” reputed to be an insightful analysis – she laughed hard and often at the Eharmony Fortune Cookie Wisdom. Who, in India, was writing this tripe?

She shared it with her SF Book Group, her fellow workers, some singles at church and and her Pilates pals – the wonderful Shelter Volunteers. They roared – you will, too.


 Topic #1: REACTIONS OTHERS MAY HAVE TOWARDS YOU:  EH writes about Sherry

For people with tenderhearted compassion, your responses to helping others may seem cold and unsympathetic.

Sherry. you look at a situation and see a ton of stuff that others don’t.  But, you prefer the eccentric and avant-garde to the same-old, same-old. You gather information from books, conversations and general observations    ( Really?)  your perspective is very colorful because of your curiosity too. You are Original, Quirky, and Out-of-touch. (Seriously?)

  • Sherry, you know that feeling when the world is in your palm, and nothing can go wrong?
  • Do you carry sunshine in a bag when it rains? ( What? Sunshine in a bag?!)
  • Do you ever lose control? Within all of us lie joy, fear, sadness, anger, shame and disgust.
  • But to what extent do we control these emotions, and to what extent do they control us?  Hey! Let’s take a look at your emotional range and your reactions to life’s ups and downs. You are:
  • Stable
  • Composed
  • Poised
  • Cold and Insensitive
  • Topic #2 -Your Personal Qualities: you are cold, insensitive, hollow.

Sherry, you’re unflappable and clear-headed in crisis and are consistently confident and secure.

You may be solid as a rock, but you’re not as cold as stone. ( Huh? )

When life is good, you laugh with friends and share tender moments with those you’re closest to.

And when you’re sad or scared, you honor those feelings and then push past them. ( What?)

 theme park sideshow

The Grand Finale- Eharmony gets Freaky

The Final Blow from Eharmony: In conclusion

Some of your friends might think you’re emotionally cold, shallow and hollow – that you don’t care enough about their significant moments. This is true.

“Their significant moments…”

The kids in the American English as a Second Language at the EH OutSource campus may be cold as stone, filled with shame and disgust and are seeking sunshine in a bag…while Eharmony charges a whopping $70 for one month to explore and be verbally abused by unleashed, untrained, wanna be writers. 

Despite her effort to “report” her experience – no one at EH wanted to listen.

Sherry said, “Good bye” and jumped ship!


Exit Sign

Help! I forgot how to flirt with a woman

Chicks7How can I tell she is flirting with me?

Dear Page Larkin,

I used to be a really good flirt – a long time ago. I’ve lost all my “moves.” I haven’t been on a date in 25 years. I have no clue if a woman is “OK” with me –if she likes me- or if she is just tolerating me.  Help! How do I know if a woman is flirting back?  

Marina Man – Out of Touch  

Dear Marina Man ,

Welcome back to the Dating Game – as much as dating and flirting  has changed in 25 years – it remains the same. Remember these threes cues: Ask questions. Listen. Pay attention.  

If a woman is interested in you she will smile and make eye contact with you. She will laugh at your jokes. She might ask for help with something.

She may touch you on the arm; and, she may play with her hair or clothing or an object – all the while smiling at you.

Some flirtatious women will ask to see your hand – and will cleverly read your palm.

Yes, She may even whisper something in your ear. Or, she may give you compliment.   Listen. If she is interested in you she will say your name. And, you will return the compliment by saying her name, smiling at her, looking her in the eye.

After a date, if she is flirting and interested, she will always say that she would like to see you again.

That’s flirting! Jump in the water is fine.  



Tell me your Flirting fun or Failure story:

Be fearless on Valentine’s Day – say, Cupid made me do it!

 Valentine’s Day and being Suddenly Single

Are you Fresh out-of-the-box and Right off the shelf?

 A member of the Long-time-No-Date Club and confused about Valentine’s Day?

There are a lot of metaphors, similes, and code for people who are just back in The Dating Game. Sometimes, getting back into the swing of dating can be very daunting. You might have been a “Total 10″ way back when…and now feeling a fraction as foxy as you were – a long time ago. Buck up, Binkie, the best is yet to come.


Indeed, Dating in 2015 is faster and more complex than it was a decade – or two -ago. Gone are the days of blind dates, and getting ‘fixed up’ by your best friend. Henry Africa’s, the bevy of singles bars on Union Street and the Cadillac Bar have gone the way of dinosaurs. Your kids are filling the  seats at Perry’s, now. And, the halcyon days of courtship and being coy are as out-dated as hot pants and polyester.

What are you afraid of? Some Suddenly Singles are simply afraid to make a move?

There are multitudes of fears, frights and trepidations. There are even Dating phobias which are: ‘Irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain nouns’ (persons, places, things.)  For your information:

The Top 10 Common Fears Known to Single Men and Women

1. Isolophobia – fear of being alone
2. Athazagoraphobia- fear of being forgotten
3. Gamophobia – fear of marriage
4. Mageirocophobia – fear of cooking
5. Sexophobia – fear of the opposite sex
6. Gynophobia – fear of women
7. Hominophobia – fear of men
8. Clinophobia – fear of going to bed
9. Homilophobia – fear of sermons
10. Nyctophobia- fear of the dark or night

Franklin D Roosevelt said it best:
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts…”


Flirt Early – flirt often – Blame Cupid

Go on, make a move.  Get off the couch, push away from the computer, and go outside and play. What are you afraid of?   Face your fears and they disappear…like those tiny bubbles in a glass of champagne.

This week: wear red, buy some Hershey Kisses and give them away…send out a few Valentines ~ to every sweetheart, sweetie, crush, object of your flirtations

and say, “Cupid made me do it!”  



New member of the “Not Married Now” Club?

coffee-mugs-datte_180Every 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 of Last Tango in Halifax…Peaky Blinders, or ‘Breaking Bad’ on 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.


Go Outside:

Watch the sunrise, take a walk, to 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.


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.


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

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 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. She was on her own path. Ta ta!

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 the 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.fireweolslsls


Learn the ropes of Internet Dating at the next

“Page Larkin- Get Your Dating Mojo Moving” Workship

February 14th: the day that strikes fear in the hearts and minds of men


 Feeling Chicken?

Why do single men hide on Valentine’s Day?

Just try asking a single man to meet you for coffee on the day after February 13th and expect a flood of excuses. There is something about St Valentine’s Day that scares the bejesus out of single, unattached men.

Granted, retail stores started decorating with giant red hearts, Cupids, Heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and pushing Valentine’s Day on January 1.

Dating might be a little scary for some – the whole fear – thing and striking out.

 (“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” Babe Ruth)

 Carpe diem, dude

Meeting a person of the opposite sex for coffee, wine, champagne, or a stroll in Muir Woods or around Stow Lake does not a commitment make…Lighten up and seize the day. Every day.

One Man’s Story: Ethel met Fred online -

He was attracted to her Mae West wit and her affection for (and ownership of) ancient Volvos and Peugeots. Turns out, they both had once tried West Coast Swing, Speed Dating and Praying and Sweating in Sausalito  – both failed at all three and laughed about their experiences. They had chemistry, they had conversation and a lot in common. Ethel suggested meeting at The No Name Bar in Sausalito the following day- and Fred blathered and backed off so fast he almost fell off the floor…

He panicked. Being an American Male – once married and expected to provide Roses, Chocolates, Sweet Nothings every February 14th – he had a Pavlovian reaction.

What are you afraid of?

To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead. Bertrand Russell


“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”  Dale Carnegie

Psst! Are you afraid to make a move?

Every year, there are myriad reports about dating  fears, frights and trepidations. There are even dating phobias which are: irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain nouns (persons, places, things)

The Top 10 Common Fears Known to Single Men & Women

1. Isolophobia – fear of being alone
2. Athazagoraphobia- fear of being forgotten
3. Gamophobia – fear of marriage
4. Mageirocophobia – fear of cooking
5. Sexophobia – fear of the opposite sex
6. Gynophobia – fear of women
7. Hominophobia -fear of men
8. Clinophobia – fear of going to bed
9. Homilophobia – fear of sermons
10. Nyctophobia- fear of the dark or night

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts…”Franklin D Roosevelt 

Flirt Early – flirt often – Blame Cupid

Go on, make a move.  Get off the couch, push away from the computer, and go outside and play. What are you afraid of?  

Face your fears and they disappear like those tiny bubbles in a glass of champagne.

Whether your are 30 or 60 – Male or Female –  A Simple Solution: Send out  a few Valentines ~ to every sweetheart, sweetie, crush, object of your flirtations and say Cupid made me do it!  Cheers.

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Page Larkin San Francisco Examiner at 50

A ribald note From Auntie Mame of Marin: dating advice

Suddenly Single

(Auntie Mame of Marin is a funny, out-spoken-yet gracious old gal of 75. She paints, does yoga, explores the hills and trails of Mt Tam with a bunch of old friends – every Wednesday. Once a Sausalito fixture – Trident and Ondines- she has stories. She is a fabulous cook, a marvelous hostess and does not suffer fools gladly. She readily offers colorful tales and free advice)


Dear Boys and Girls

I remember, a long time ago, when the dating code was all about baseball. The ‘Next Day’ question was, “Did he get to first base or strike out?

How has it changed in 50 years?

Now, when my five girl friends get together for our monthly Whine and Roses Salon, on the pretense of discussing current events, we boldly go where no one we know has gone before. We throw off the manacles of polite society- forget that – we go for candid and candor. None of that tiptoeing around for us.

And we quickly get down to basics, and put forth the un-ladylike, yet, very direct question: “Did you get any?”

Our brothers, uncles, cousins, buddies must’ve taught us the phrase and we cling to it like expensive Saran Wrap.

At 75, we don’t want to hear about the amusing little Petit Syrah they sipped or the brie they nibbled with sesame seed wafers.

Inquiring minds want to know and there is no pretense here. At this stage of the game, getting anything is a treat. So, the six of us are all ears (albeit some enhanced with tiny hearing aides).

Molly is our fearless leader and has always tested the waters well before the rest of us. Heck, she was on 15 years ago. She met Mitch online and the two of them, too proper and too shy to even post their photographs, fell in love with each other over salt-water taffy, Vivaldi’s Bolero and an affinity for Peter Max.

Their rapid and ribald romance lasted five years and the rest of us girls lived vicariously through their trips to the Santa Fe Opera, romps at Harbin Hot Springs, and weekends at the Fairmont on Nob Hill or the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Nigel.

Sadly, Mitch died way too young and Molly has always wished to replicate the storybook romance she had with Mitch. In time, she climbed right back on that horse and started active pursuit. Her active pursuit was fodder for many a raucous Whine and Roses Salon gatherings.

Molly talked me into going to a Speed Dating for those 50+ Plus last year. She explained to me that 50 Plus was not the speed limit, but merely an age demarcation.

My kids think it’s very funny that I admit to being a” Jack Benny 39.” They didn’t think it was funny that I actually dated a man 20 years my junior.  My motto is: “Life is short – I’m not – send the tall ones my way.”

My kids don’t think that’s funny either. I’ve never been a Betty Crocker mom.

Speed Dating at a Synagogue was a riot

Fueled by sangria and hubris, my bold sidekick, Molly, and I perched on our tin folding chairs. We each met 15 men on that cold and foggy July night. Of the 15, eight were very nice guys, each with a special something…”that only a mother could like,” quipped Rachel, our greatest wit and detractor.

We are all in the third act, as it were.

I’ve thrown away the list for: tall, dark, handsome, brain surgeon- and have re-worked and re-invented My Perfect Date should possess: Great sense of humor, be cordial, kind, clever, and a good listener. Stays awake after dinner.

So, our Speed Dating Experiment resulted in two or three dates with a couple of men- and hours of ribald discussion at our Salon. Both guys were good sports and slipped into the “Just a pal” slot.

Molly wanted me to join her next foray into Internet Dating Her idea? To put a bold ad on Craigslist. Her cousin, Martha, met the man of her dreams on Craig’s and was now happily living a life of Riley in Carmel.

Who were we to doubt?

Besides, there is safety in numbers and courage in every bottle of Pinot Noir.

Love, Auntie Mame of Marin1379402_605872199472972_240031918_n

Finding a date for life and changing the world – at the same time!

Handpainted peace sign in dripping colorsMy Top 10 Romance Tips sound just like Robert Reich’s latest missive on getting involved

Robert Reich, one of the smarter, coolest, sexiest men in California, offers cogent and cool insights on how to make a difference and make a friend, get involved and connect with kindred spirits. Perfecto!

 “Get Engaged” takes on a whole new meaning in this realm.

My very close Facebook Friend, Robert Reich, promotes terrific ways you can cease complaining and commence making changes: 

“So what do I do? Answer: Stop asking that question and get to work. Run for your local city council or school board. Get involved in a statewide campaign of someone you admire. Then a presidential campaign. Help raise the minimum wage in your city or state. Help get public funding for elections in your city or state. Organize, mobilize, energize others in your community to join Walmart workers, fast-food workers, and others for better wages and working conditions. Join Common Cause. Don’t be cynical. Be an activist. Make a ruckus. Make a difference.”

Make Love Not War

Whether you make a rumpus or a ruckus – you can get involved, MoveOn… and connect with Common Cause men and women who think like you…Embrace the idea. Push away from the computer, get off the couch and go outside and get engaged in making a ruckus – in a polite, civilized, fun, meaningful way…


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