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Put the brakes on speed dating workshops?

High atop a hill in beautiful San Francisco, a new Dating Workshop was slated to “To rival all others.”

The attendees were nestled all tight in their seats with visions of horizontal happiness dancing in their heads.

Mica Glassworthy was the guest speaker and the topic was “Speed Dating for those stuck in First Gear”
Mica was tall, lithe, dressed in silver from head to toe – very Prada, Hermes, Manola Blahnik…her carefully coiffed hair was remarkable – and all the women were remarking…
The large bustling audience was comprised of  women over 50 who were ‘game’ to try something new. That was the tag line on all the flyers and in the email blast: Try something new.

I had been ready to try something new for a long time. At the time, my maiden voyagae of three months on Internet dating had been a roller coaster ride – with very high highs and some lonely lows. Quelle bummer.

Ms Bored Stiff sat next to me and heaved a huge sigh. She looked at me and in an accusatory tone, head her tilted, said, “What are you doing here?” I laughed – and told her, “Research. I’m trying something new.”
She shook her head and said, “Where are all the fat girls? This room is crawling with Bay Club-Rats. Look at this crowd.”

I looked around – granted, a number of the women looked like “Wind Tunnel 101′ – thats code for “Face lifted” and way too many G’s.”

Mica was well spoken, elegant and dry. She had multiple lists of statistics on dating at 50; dating in San Francisco; second marriages and success rates. Her hand outs were accepted by the attendees and we promplty placed them in our hand bags.

As our expert droned on, the natives grew increasingly restless. Glances were exchanged, eyes were rolled and heads were shaking. We were not there for a symposium- we wanted answers, tips, clues, websites.

The Inmates Take over the Workshop

The attendees later agreed, the only list we wanted was a list of Hot Spots in San Francisco to meet men. We exchanged stories on our nightmare dates.

Truthfully, Mica lost control of the workshop and the ladies did what women do best : we talk – we share – we inform.

Okay, so I did  a wee bit more sharing than most.

See Here: Phobias and Fear of Dating

and Three’s a Crowd;

New Faces on



Dating: Swan Dive or Belly Flop?


MerryKay really wanted to fall in love again.

She signed up for Plenty of Fish, OKCupid and Craigslist Singles.

No Luck: Zip, zero, nada. She said she  had been kissing a lot of frogs and wanteded to meet her Prince Charming.

She admits she made the big mistake of hiring a so-called “Matchmaker” and went on three dates with totally incompatible men in three months and lost the $3000 she paid, upfront. Big Mistake, Binkie.

Tired of failure, she decided to try a new tact. She signed up for Speed Dating at a downtown hotel. Like a Girl Scout, (Prepared) she had five questions to ask the men across the table:

1. Tell me about your best friend.
2. Tell me about you very worst job.
3. What was your very first car?
4. What was your best job?
5. Tell me about your family and where you grew up.

One guy said she sounded like a cop, another laughed at her and told her to “Relax.” The third guy got up and walked away. Defeated and dejected she crumpled the list and just smiled when the next man sat down. He took out his list of questions and interviewed her.

She had good answers. She was “on”  and thought she was rocking it.

He was lost and adrift after he posed the queries and just sat there looking at his hands…finally, the bell rang and she could escape.

She hurried away from Speed Dating. Never to return. Next!

Free Range Stock Summer is Oover Tubes


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

Speed Dating: the Baptism by Fire Pt 2

alarm clock

Putting the brakes on Speed Dating   (Cont’d)

Due to the paucity of men, (eight no-shows, indeed) six women were invited to belly-up to the bar for free Blueberry Martinis, the speed dating drink de rigueur. The six women would be blended into the musical- chair game every six minutes.

Char and I were the lucky ones.  We were seated, and two dozen men would sit across from us.  Frick said we just might meet our soul mate or playmate that night.

There was a heightened sense of anticipation and a cacophony of throat clearing, giggling, and pronounced sighs.  As if choreographed, each woman grabbed for her drink and took a sip. It looked like “the wave.”

Do the math?  How did that work?   

I was quickly thinking of a good opening line as I sat on the cold, hard, metal folding-chair. I looked across the room at the three youngest girls; they look like identical sorority sisters.  They were either very well rehearsed or naturals.  Their body language screamed  ‘Pick Me!’ and, ‘I am so ready, willing and able.’  I may have looked that delightfully desperate 20 years ago, too. I can’t remember.  Another blessing of age.

I met 24 men that night – whom I might never have met in my entire lifetime.  It was right out of that Frank Sinatra song:  I met a “Prince, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king…”  Really, the last guy’s name was King.

The Merry-Go-Round of Men…  was mildly entertaining. I should have been paid as the shill who calmed and entertained these guys.  We parted as buddies and friends, one by one, until Peter.

I hadn’t noticed Peter. He must have come in late. As he sat across from me, smiling. I noticed he was study in corduroy.  He wore a forest green shirt with pleated corduroy trousers, and a corduroy jacket. He had a rust colored beard and jade green eyes. 

Peter was different;  he gave off an aura- seriously, this guy emanated calm and peace or something.  Me, the geisha, simply stared and smiled. The first thing he said was, “I have been watching you all night.”  

“Me?” the quick-thinking,  Queen of Clever quipped.

Our six minutes evaporated. They flew by and, in my book,  we were “a match.”  I remember locking eyes and the two of us talked, nonstop, about myriad things. Then the bell rang.  He stood up, took my hand and said, “We will see one another again.” I was in a fog of bliss.

There are some people who suck the air out of the room.  That’s a bad thing. And,there are others who infuse the air with chi or calm or peace. That’s what this Peter guy did. It was strange and wonderful, at the same time

A blur of men sat before me and I was cordial, polite and every six minutes I nonchalantly looked over to see with whom Peter was talking.

Awhile later I saw Peter sitting in front of Char. She looked dreamy-eyed. That’s the expression she gets when she is ga-ga over a man. I had to look – when the 6 minutes was up, Char remained ga-ga, Peter did not take her hand. He moved on and looked over at me. More fog, more bliss.

When three bells chimed, we all knew the musical- chairs event called Speed Dating had come to a screeching halt.   I met a couple dozen men – not totally a Clint Eastwood movie: the Good the Bad and the Ugly – but kind of:  ‘no’ – ‘no way’- and ‘which way are you going?’.

Frick and Frack- applauded our efforts and encouraged all of us to enroll in  various forms of alternative speed dating, dining, drinking and dancing.

I’d done my whirling-dervish dating.

Despite my efforts to appear nonchalant, I was ecstatic to see Peter standing near the cloak-room. Char was busy talking with someone else. Peter and I laughed about speed dating and then exchanged business cards.

We made plans to go on a slow date.


Quick – Stop Me if I Speed Date

Putting the brakes on Speed Dating

Part One

My best friend, Char, took me to a speed-dating event at a Unitarian church.  The irony was not lost on me.  Things moved way too fast.  We arrived promptly at 6 p.m.

The happy hour lasted a mere 15 minutes.  That should have been my first clue.  Two very identical blonde facilitators, Leah and Lisa, or Frick  and Frack, in little black cocktail dresses and too much lip-gloss, were very upbeat, well rehearsed, and acted like cruise directors.

The rules were so reminiscent of Catholic school. I almost bailed: boys on one side, girls on the other. Every day the nuns in Catholic grammar school gave the same instructions. I blame it on the boss in Roma. But, that’s another story of biblical proportions.

After the divide and conquer directives, the two cruise directors did a stand up-pep talk-sales pitch all rolled into one. They quipped about what happened at the SpeedDating event the night before and their utterly amazing romance success rate.  Right, sure.

Blonde A. rattled off staggering statistics about couples meeting in Speed Dating. Her mantra seemed to be “do the math”.

So I did. Furtively looking around the room, I noticed everybody was doing the same.  I could do the math- I counted: there were 24 men and 30 women.

What are the odds?

On the boys side of the room, there about ten guys around 40-something and the other half of the guys looked like they lived in the neighborhood of 50-something.

Blonde B. pulled out an over-sized foam core board with stick figures.  She summarized the chart, a la Vanna White, noting the more single people you meet, the more you will date and the quicker you will live happily ever after.  Deftly she moved the stick figures to and fro, very much resembling a shell game.

Already defeated:  30 girls and 24 boys ‘odds’

Naturally, I had already started analyzing the competition.  We were certainly a cross-section of society.  However, there was a clear line of demarcation.  There were women in the uniform little-black-dress, and all others in tight slacks, very high heels with plunging V-neck blouses.  Had all of dating fashion been reduced to a mere two outfits?  Once again, I felt under-whelmed and under ready.

Next, with even more feigned enthusiasm, Frick and Frack launched into “the rules.” 

Our speed dating guidelines were a cleverly disguised way to explain we would be playing musical chairs with cocktails. After being seated, we would endure, or enjoy, six-minute interludes with each partner.  Women remained seated and men changed chairs.  We were instructed to be polite and honest.  It sure sounded like Catholic school: say two Hail Mary’s and call me in the morning.

to be cont’d: Tomorrow:Speed Dating: the Baptism by Fire ~ Pt 2

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