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Archive for the tag “book clubs”

Psst! I Can Read You Like a Book

student-2052868__340Merrilyn K found herself Suddenly Single- again and penned the following missive: 

Dear Page Larkin,

I blame Book Clubs.

Legions of women across America gather – supposedly, to discuss the finer points of grammar, irony, character development, and  plot vs. protagonist.

Allow me to divulge our dirty little secret: Women’s Book Blubs are really a covert way to analyze, dissect and discuss men.

Very few clubs will “fess up” to this nefarious charge.  Thinly-veiled as passionate about reading, only the few brave book club members will divulge – most book clubs are all about an underlying desire to. talk about men, husbands, boyfriends, lovers, dating, sex, and myriad books on the same subject.

Our group formed years ago and raced through The Da Vinci Code – who didn’t?  We started with the loftiest of goals to read great literature and share erudite observations-to seek symbolism and nuance, and of course,  to mine books for irony.

And, then inspired by Bitsy, our resident Suddenly Single-Again  bon vivant – we began to dabble in uncharted waters: we gladly immersed ourselves into the world of  “Chick  Lit.”


After a frothy diet of light and airy, with some Philip Roth thrown in for color and culture, we decided to change horses mid-stream.

Let’s just say – We Evolved

Our new liberated  venue was to meet to discuss the Best Places to kiss in Paris and London…and San Francisco.

The next meeting we quickly nailed Napa, Chicago and New York City.

Our next foray into Reading and Writing was for the  8 of us to co-author a Bodice Ripper Note:  We are not your mother’s book club, or the Jane Austen Book Club….Look for our book on Oprah. Someday.

Merrilyn and the Promiscuous Pens of Palo Alto



Any WOMAN  who says she has one life to live must not know how to read a MAN.  ~


A good    MAN /BOOK    should leave you… slightly exhausted at the end.  You live several lives while reading HIM.  ~ Merry Malaprop



The shocking truth about women and book clubs


What really happens in Book Clubs?

Do you really think we talk about irony and plot?

Legions of women across America gather monthly, supposedly to discuss the finer points of irony, character development, and plot vs. protagonist. Fortified by gallons of Green tea and petite cookies, they tackle the Classics, bestsellers and the selections from the New York Times Review of Books. From the outside, it appears to be an intellectual diversion.

However, here is a dirty little secret: many book clubs are really a covert way to analyze, dissect, and discuss men. Very few clubs will admit to this nefarious charge. Many groups, thinly veiled as passionate about reading, are really all about an underlying desire to talk about men, husbands, boyfriends, lovers, dating, sex, and books on the same subject.

Revelations – Not Just a Book in the Bible

A well-known book group in the Marina district, formed 15 years ago, were devotees of Balzac, Joyce, Goethe, Keats, Flaubert, Yeats and Ibsen. In 2005 they stumbled upon, and raced through the Da Vinci Code –  who didn’t? That was the beginning of the end. Once they tasted the sweet ambrosia of run-away bestsellers, all lofty goals to read great literature and share erudite observations were fini compleat.

En masse, they began to crave and seek out books of a lesser plot. Instant hedonists, they began to dabble in uncharted waters: and did a canon ball into the wide, wacky world of “Chick Lit.” In no time,  the three very prolific and real queens of Chick Lit,  Marian KeyesSophie Kinsella and Helen Fielding of Bridget Jones fame were elevated to the group’s Literary Royalty and Beach reading books became de rigueur. The once stuffy book group became literary libertines.

Tryst – Like We Did Last Summer

After a steady, frothy diet of light and airy books, the happy hedonists evolved. They began to research  and write about steamy, sexy, destinations and the best places to conduct romantic interludes. They quickly nailed San Francisco, Maui, London, Paris, and New York City.  San Francisco was nominated their Most Romantic City.  The so-called book group’s next foray is a joint effort of co-authoring a risqué ‘bodice ripper’ They are not your mother’s book club or the Jane Austen book club.  However, they are currently looking for a publisher. Stay tuned.

Here’s to the ladies who lunch

and bravo to the broads who tap out steamy fantasy for your secret reading enjoyment.

Reading is a means of thinking with another person’s mind; it forces you to stretch your own.” Charles Scribner

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Romance, writing, dining and dating

They all agreed: they wished they had a boyfriend like Calvin Trillin, the prolific writer, humorist, and dedicated husband.

This spring, the San Francisco Lit Bit Book Club  selected “Alice” as their theme and they read, “A Town Like Alice” a classic by Nevil Shute, Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and Trillin’s book, a sweet love-letter to his wife, “About Alice.”

Calvin (Bud)Trillin and Alice met at a smart party

of kindred spirits in New York City and fell in love.

They got married, had kids, and almost had a full happily-ever-after life until cancer reared it’s ugly head and did a happiness-interruptus.



Love me like Calvin loves Alice  

The ten members of the club swooned over the sweet and funny valentine the book developed into. They all wanted to be in that same relationship where their beau, partner or husband would be so smitten with them that he would write a book extolling their finest virtues.

fireworks celebration 2Who wouldn’t want to have a Calvin Trillin in their lives? Famed writer for the New Yorker, columnist for the Nation– and bonus: Trillin also has a reputation the all-time, most clever, and funniest food writer.

They ‘devoured’  his hysterical book, “Alice, Let’s Eat.”
His satirical books about food and romance inspired the Lit Bit group  (comprised of 3 divorcees, 2 widows and 3 not married yet)  group to plan a ‘singles party.’

Three of Bud’s hilarious books on eating: American Fried, Alice, Let’s Eat, and Third Helpings – were compiled in 1994 into a single volume called The Tummy Trilogy.

Celebrating Romance

The women were unanimous: they would plan a fun party held at a perfect restaurant. It would be a ‘smart party’ and they would only invite interesting people.
One Caveat: each woman had to bring a member of the opposite sex. The invitee had to be single and available and had to be a person they knew would enjoy the event and fit in well. No grumps. No grouse.lUUnN7VGSoWZ3noefeH7_Baker Beach-12

The big debate was deciding at which restaurant to throw the party?  In honor of Trillin’s food penchant, they tried to decide  Piccco in Larkspur? Lark Creek Steak at Westfield Center? Or Sea Salt in Berkeley?

The group happily travelled to Marin to dine at Picco – and enjoyed a marvelous meal, fun and stimulating company. Success. The best part: the group decided to develop a Dine-around-date- around social group. Let’s Eat!

There is no sincerer love than the love of food.

George Bernard Shaw

San Francisco Dating@50 Examiner, Page Larkin, welcomes your feedback, questions and queries at

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