Peter (60) is a self-proclaimed man-about-town and bachelor.
He is on the lookout for San Francisco widows (live alone) from Pacific Heights, St. Francis Wood or Nob Hill. Women must be 65 or older. He professes that he loves older women. He has one suit, a navy blue blazer, a pair of gray slacks and a few vintage Countess Mara neckties from Goodwill.
On a first date, he wears one of his two uniforms, sports a fake Movado watch and has last month’s Economist or Wall Street Journal tucked under his arm.
Peter, no slouch, has studied etiquette, is charming, and makes a very good first impression. He presents himself as an entrepreneur and a bon vivant. He can dance around all incisive questions and flatter a woman until she blushes and believes the subtle stream of compliments coming her way.
He’s the kind of man who kisses a woman’s hand and gazes into her eyes. He alludes to romantic trips to Paris, Turks and Caicos, moonlight, massages and Dom Perignon.
Clever boy that he is, he has a well thought out, tightly scripted autobiography – with references to prepping, a short-lived Ivy League education, travel, fame and acclaim. Naturally, he reports he is retired and merely managing his money.
To Tell the Truth?
Peter lives with four roommates in the Sunset District. He calls himself an entrepreneur (which translates to “lightly employed”) and darn, he forgets his wallet quite frequently.
He gushes well-rehearsed apologies – followed up by more compliments. An accomplished house painter; you can find Peter on a ladder with a brush in hand when he’s not wooing his most recent target.
Some women see through the carefully crafted persona, the thin veil of charm and ask hard questions and dismiss Peter – others succumb to his charms, for a while.
On the Web: Black Widow?
Channel, 55, seeks out men who are 70 to 80, widowed, lonely, not adroit at online dating, and live in the right zip code. She has her own well-honed algorithm.
She has been trawling Seniors Meet, JDate, Match.com, Craigslist, Sugar Daddy, and MillionaireMatch the last 10 years.
Vivacious and flirtatious, she has dated dozens of men once or twice; others she has been with for months. Recently, she came very close to marrying a man 25 years her senior. He was 80, from Burlingame, a retired executive with real estate holdings all over the Peninsula and a condo in Maui. After much ‘encouragement’ from Channel, he bought her a four-carat ring from Tiffanys. As fate would have it, shortly thereafter, he had a stroke and a heart attack and, bam! He was gone. Just as quickly, his three daughters closed ranks, labeled Channel a ‘gold digger’ and slammed the door in her face.
That little hiccup didn’t slow Channel down. She was out and about days later. She sold the ring, picked up a knock-off at Macy’s, picked up a new St John Knit, and now passes herself off as “a recent widow.”
She has her eye on the glitzy San Francisco retirement community, the San Francisco Towers, and The Sequoias as two hot potential places to meet her new man.
“Was ever book containing such vile matter
So fairly bound? O, that deceit should dwell
In such a gorgeous palace!”
How do you protect yourself from scoundrels and sneaks?
Talk on the phone – a lot- before you commit to meeting anyone.
What to Take on a First Date:
2. Cell phone
3. Money for a taxi
5. Phone number of ‘contact’ person’
There are certain logical guidelines for an initial meeting. Always trust your intuition. You know when something is not right. Don’t bring valuables. It’s a coffee date – not show and tell. (Leave the jewelry and credit cards at home)
If you are feeling strangely uncomfortable with the person –not just nervous- excuse yourself. It happens. If you feel compelled to provide an explanation, say you have to make a phone call, have to move your car, or meet a friend or get to work.
Buyer Beware – Always.