Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words and in the wild, wonderful, world of online dating – you must put your best photo forward.
Here are the worst of the day:
Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words and in the wild, wonderful, world of online dating – you must put your best photo forward.
Here are the worst of the day:
Ted confided he hadn’t been on a date in a very long time.
His Match.com account was filled with the cobwebs of inactivity. He tried Tinder and didn’t get swiped or swept away. Out of the blue, Kiki K.of SF reached out to him and started a dialogue. They exchanged a few emails – she was new in town, lost – didnt know where the cool bars and godd restaurants were. She wondered if he could help. Could he? Oh, yeah!
She invited him over to her apartment – and aplogized in advance, she was moving and things and were topsy turvey. She lived in the Haight. Well, he thought, perhaps in the better part…He arrived and drove around for awhile before a small sliver of parking appeared. After “helloes” she explained she was nervous- had some anxiety issues. He thought “Who doesn’t?” After she “tidied up” they sat her cafe table, each chair was covered with clothing, a stack papers, a bag of kitty litter…
He noticed Kiki ( 50-ish, slim, dressed in black, no make up, no jewelry) didn’t ask him any questions. She gushed tell-tale information, clues galore – and Ted was so enchanted to be in a conversation with a pretty woman he wasn’t really listening She readily offered her life in San Francisco has been a bomb. She wasn’t happy. She did “some binge drinking” and – so slim – wasn’t eating. Huge, neon, red flags were waving all around the room with each disclosure. Ted didn’t want to see them. Her long list of things she hated was not too off-putting; who didn’t like loud neighbors, traffic, landlords?
However, when Kiki disclosed what she did to “all of the above,” he took note. She left cat poop at her neighbors front door. She wrote hate letters to the apartment owner, she spray painted the garage.
Ted was growing uncomfortable. This was more of a therapy appointment than a date.
Kiki asked him for a ride to the DMV in Daly City. He knew the SF DMV was mere blocks away and mentioned it. She grew agitated and said the people there were all morons.
A lightening bolt of reality finally hit Ted and he knew it was time to escape. Fast. A lousy liar, he looked at his watch and said he had to move his car. She said, “I will come with!” and Ted nervously said, “No. I had better go. There is something I have to do.” He got up quickly, walked towards to door, mumbled “Nice-to-meet-you-good luck-with-everything-have-a-nice-day.” He did the run-walk-run and didn’t listen to whatever she was screaming at him.
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 Cuban cigar, hot dogs and pizza and boxing. I’ve seen American Sniper three times and I think Lady Gaga is a freak and I like the guy in the White Housee. May buy you a drink? And, tell me: 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 20 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 Match.com)
He proceeded to ask me questions about me and my life and he listened.
The museum was about to close…and the party was not over.
We have been together every day since.
What’s your story? Tell me your dating story: firstname.lastname@example.org
Satuday night, my new guy showed up with a bottle of chilled Procesco, Mel Brooks’ “History of the World” and two bags of popcorn – one with sea salt and a brown sugar melange, a bag of M&M’s and, admittedly, an impressive fruit tray. And more chocolate. TCHO. He calls me and sends sweet greeting cards every week….I just am not sure about him. What shall I do?
Bossy Pants Petaluma
Dear Bossy Pants Petaluma
Don’t spend another minute thinking about this: send ME his number, thanks! A million girls would love to be wooed by a guy that clever and cute and sweet. Get Woke, girlfriend.
I am 55, divorced, no kids, employed and know I am the perfect date – dozens of women have told me that. My problem is so many gals just want one date, one meal, one bottle of wine and they disappear. They don’t respond to emails, text or calls. What am I doing wrong?
Dear Clarke, You do sound like a great date – what you neglect to mention is the conversation, the general feeling, and the level of mutual attraction. Are you both enjoying the meal, is conversation flowing, are you in agreement in most topics, are you both smiling or squirming during the date? These are all clues to the success of the date. Take Note. Good luck.
Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others.
It went viral – The World’s Shortest Fairy Tale – was all over the Internet.
Bitter or Better?
Hey, Let’s try that again…
“Once upon a time”… a man asked a woman, to marry him.
The woman said, “No. No thank you.”
… and for a while she lived pretty -happily-ever-after…
She went shopping, hiking, went to movies and volunteered at Casa de los Madres and Onebrick…she danced, frequented museums, book readings, drank really great wine, always had a clean house, did yoga three times a week; cooked quinoa, tofu, brownies and triple chocolate chip cookies when she felt like it; she did whatever she wanted, never argued, didn’t get fat, traveled more, had many friends, compatriots, pals, and buddies …
She entertained, went to lectures, bowled, she played and prayed – as needed. She never watched sports ( except the SF Giants, the World Series, the Super Bowl, The Warriors, and Wimbledon) She never wore itchy, cheap lingerie; she had high self-esteem, never cried or yelled…she looked fabulous in sweat pants, designer jeans and Little Black Dresses and was pleasant all the time.
She learned that she was missing an important component…she craved and pined for someone to partner with, establish a connection – a union – a much more than mere friendship person.
She Wanted a Prince of a Man:
A perfect partner-in-crime, and play, in plans, to grow old with … And she opened her heart and her eyes and developed a more worldly view. She was always one to share and play well with others…
When, lo and behold: she met a friend. A BoyFriend – and they clicked- they were a Match, they had Chemistry and Harmony… they got along.
He was fun and funny, and sweet and thoughtful. They really enjoyed each other’s company. She had her Date for Life!
They were in love and Friends for Life. They planned, played, and lived happily ever after.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
“Page Larkin- Get Your Dating Mojo Moving” Workship
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.
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?
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.
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.
Send your Love and Relationship Questions to email@example.com
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!
Billy Collins, the highly esteemed, favorite among English majors everywhere, Poet Laureate,blithely explains teaching poetry to students in his poem entitled, “Poetry 101”
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
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
San Francisco Dating@50 Examiner, Page Larkin, welcomes your feedback, questions and queries at firstname.lastname@example.org