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Archive for the tag “Bad First Dates”

The First Date: the coffee date “Hey, look me over”

You’ve seen them at coffee shops, restaurants, and Starbucks. You can tell.

 She walks in, looking around for a complete stranger. She glances at the faces of every male in the room – seriously hoping her first date-guy looks like the photo he posted online.

When the ‘closest facsimile’ waves her over to his table, with a broad smile, she cautiously walks over to join him. She is still walking on thin ice and treading lightly. You notice they both have fake and cautious smiles plastered on their faces, half nervous, half curious.

Sticker Shock

Both are quickly adjusting to the “First-Meeting Sticker Shock.” Their minds are racing like a deck of shuffling cards.

Best-case inner dialogue could be: “Phew. Wow. What a relief! Looks exactly like the photo,” or worst-case scenario, both parties -with frozen smiles and minds racing with thoughts like: “What was I thinking? What a mistake. OMG. How can I get out of this? How long do I have to stay? Check please. Please.”

It’s a Dance…

You have to admire people who take the plunge, who get out there and do the dating dance. Somedays it’s like a waltz – other times it’s the Twist…or a jitterbug- fast and frenetic. When two hearts and minds collide and match – that’s the best.

For every couple grimacing through the awkward stages of meeting somebody for coffee for the first time, there are hundreds of us sitting at home pretending to be satisfied with watching TV with a cat, cruising the free dating sites… and all that other single, solitary, alone stuff.

Bravo to the brave of heart
who wear their hearts on their sleeves and get out there and make the effort to meet somebody new. 

Gold Stars and Gold Medals all around for the brave and the few. It’s a New Day – a New Year Why not put your single, big toe into the Dating Game?


Remember: Today is the first day of the rest of your social life. Get out there and have fun.

Cheer Up, Binkie. Get inspired Put these on Post-it notes:

” When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.” François de la Rochefoucauld

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss

“By persistently remaining single, a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation.” – Oscar Wilde


“If you are single there is always one thing you should take out with you on a Saturday night… your friends.” – Sex in the City


Don’t Do This: Lousy First Dates

canoe-63457__340What not to do on your First Date:

Fact: You are still being Checked Out and are Checking Out Your Date from head to toe. Avoid suggesting a horrible, terrible, no good, First Date like these:

No Skydiving

No PaintBall

No Rocky Horror Picture Show

No Dumpster Diving


No Zombie Camp


No Duck Hunting with Buddies on Date #1

No Introducing First Date to Your Kids


No Gator Hunting.

Yes to Baseball Games, Hikes, Strolls, Sharing a meal, Going to Comedy.14522922_10206753619191288_4179986392809610747_n


One of the worst dates? Ever.


We had agreed to meet at a place with “ambience and parking.”

I scored a parking place in front– arriving a few minutes early. We decided on trendy, watering-hole downtown. Perched on a barstool, I waited. Twenty minutes later, a tall, gray-haired man walked in. He didn’t resemble any of the photos I had seen online. However, he was 6’2 and was walking towards me, smiling.   He said, “Dear, you look just like your photo.”

I thought, “You don’t look a thing like yours. Dear.” He made no apology for being late.

He was wearing a tweed jacket-probably from the 80’s that might have fit him then -not now. Chalk it up to: “Needs help.”

He suggested we move to the table in the small garden in the back. We we’re seated in a lovely area far removed from the bar. The waiter dropped off our drinks and we didn’t see him again.

How we went from where did you go to school -where do you live to his cholesterol, resting heart rate, daily exercise regime, and insomnia, I’ll never know.


On the dating profile, he indicated a passion for water sports, rowing, hiking and literature.

What he divulged was that his rowing took place in his living room-on a machine looking at the water. He was a big Danielle Steele fan. His hikes were to and from the grocery store.

It didn’t take much to decipher we have very little in common.

He displayed a great interest in my former husband.

Generally, my response is “That’s history.” And I move on.

However, Mr. Old Tweed Jacket was like a dog with a bone inquiring about my past. Which made him even less attractive. I suggested we get the check and call it a day. With no waiter insight, he suggested we simply walk out and not pay.

Then, I really knew I was with a loser.

On the way out, he went to the men’s room; I paid the bill.

And I said “Good luck.” (That’s what women say when they have no intention of ever seeing the guy again) He indicated he like to “do this again.”

Ha! Not in this lifetime.

I smiled, walked to my car, and drove off. Dodged that bullet.



Burning Man is too hot for me! Don’t make me go!


Tribes, trysts and tribulations of seven days in the desert?

Dear Page Larkin

Karyn and I met on Cinco de Mayo.  By June 1, we both ecstatically quit and we are totally in love and 100% committed.     There is one small problem: she wants me to go to Burning Man. I’m 45 and I don’t do dust, deserts, or costume or crowds. Help!

San Francisco Frank

Dear San Francisco Frank,

Is this deal breaker or a relationship hurdle? There are myriad websites on prep, packing, planning, playing and staying at the La Playa. For thousands of people, Burning Man is Mecca – for, you and many others, it could be hell. You obviously already know: no way.


sand dunes

50,000 People Can’t be Wrong, Right?


Weather Report: Burning Man Cancelled for one day

Nevada’s Black Rock Desert reopened 6 a.m. Tuesday after it was postponed on its opening day



  Burning Man  located at Black Rock Desert  –   a thoroughly flat, prehistoric lakebed, composed of a hardpan alkali – daytime temps often exceed 100ºF and the humidity is way low.

There’s that. Yes, the week-long event has a reputation for the bizarre (birthday suits, nipple piecing, bacchanalia) and thousands of fans go to Burning Man- every year-  to play in the Playa, to frolic and admire the art. Aficionados know it takes a village to pull off this multi-faceted event. No, this isn’t a romantic spa weekend.

Doing Everything Together?

One relationship myth is that couples must do everything together.

This might have been the case- say, when you were 20. However, by the time you hit the big 4-0, you begin to appreciate your own space, downtime, private time, as well as  robust romantic relationship time. Talk to Karyn – express your support for her, your concerns and lack of interest. Tell her how you feel, Frank….and

Be happy that Rain Dance you did  worked – Burning Man was postponed…

(and, Tuesday,  the gates are open and the party commences)


Going Tribal

Steve Jones, famed San Francisco Bay Guardian writer – is a Burning Man savant. He made the rounds with his Chiclets teeth and sparkling blue eyes – promoting his  book all about Burning Man- the history and hysteria – entitled, The Tribes of Burning Man – check it out.

NET YEAR: If your heart-throb is passionate about Burning Man – the least you can do is come up to speed about the event.

Show her you care – enough to research, revel and cheer her on.  


Page Larkin


“So I took off all my clothes and got into the shower with a man I’d never met before. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made”. She Said – Burning Man 1999

Don’t miss a single Page Larkin column — click the Subscribe button at the top of the page. San Francisco Dating@50 Examiner, Page Larkin, welcomes your feedback, questions and queries at

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Critical: Trust your gut – first date nightmares

A warning sign for the publicJohn and Marsha   Nightmare #1

After a handful of e-mails and phone calls, John invited Marsha over to his house for coffee and to meet his rescue dogs.  On a whim, she agreed. Upon arrival, she found John’s house was a mess.  There were piles of clutter in the driveway, on the front steps, and the lawn. The barking dogs jumped up on Marsha while John laughed off their enthusiasm.  He eventually locked the howling hounds in the garage. The dogs had tramped in dirt and leaves into the house.  Dog food pebbles were scattered over the kitchen floor.  The house smelled like wet dogs.  Marsha was gone in 20 minutes.  She kicked herself for not asking more questions before driving the distance to John’s house. Next.

sad manClay and Janelle   Nightmare #2

Clay (62, twice divorced, poet, limo driver)  suggested he and Janelle (56, divorced, case-manger, painter, skier) skip the proverbial ‘First date -Coffee date’ and go out to dinner together.  Impulsively, she agreed. Janelle states she usually knows within 30-minutes if a first date is going to work out.  She dropped her standard coffee-date-protocol and met Clay at The House of Prime Rib.

He was tall, a bit heavier than his photo and gregarious. He suggested martinis to start the meal and she deferred to Pellegrino water.  They talked for a while before the massive menus arrived. Clay said he had his eyes on a Fred Flintstones slab of beef and encouraged her to do the same.  She politely reminded him she was a vegetarian.  She grew more uncomfortable as he became more garrulous and loud.  The waiter asked if they would like to order additional drinks before ordering their entrées and Clay said, “Absolutely!”

Straw +camel +back = broken

Janelle looked across the table and said, “Clay, I’m sorry this doesn’t feel right. I trust my instincts, and I’m going to go. Don’t get up, please. I’m going to grab a cab.  Goodbye and good luck.”

He did get up, and was a profusion of apologies.  She continued walking out of the bustling restaurant. She kicked herself for not following her gut.

A dinner date is always going to be a minimum of 60 minutes.  She’d made a mistake and didn’t spend enough time talking before meeting for the date. Lesson learned: trust your gut.

Think about it, do you want to sit across from a total stranger who “seemed nice on the phone”- or someone you know you have some concrete things in common with and who has potential?

“There is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance”     Albert Einstein

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