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Yes! New improved Shortest Fairy Tale


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.

photo_1ben918_20060901Yawn. All that got old.

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 to hold hands with, to wake -up -with-in-the morning, to kiss good night and wish ‘sweet dreams’ to every night for the rest of her life. ilove u_-9

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.

The Beginning.

Deckchairs with view of lake


Going out on a ReDate?

The ReDate…also referred to as a Déjà vu date is a new dating phenomenon             and everyone is doing it.

Well, not everybody – however, a casual poll conducted this week indicates 85% of those queried would seriously consider   ReDating  a person they once dated…
Dusting off your little black book and reconnecting with people you’ve dated in the past, is now deemed both smart and comfortable, as well as a ‘no-brainer’ and a ‘second chance at love’.

Webster might define a ReDate as “An engagement to go out socially, again, with a person from your past, as in: someone you dated – previously. Second chance.”

Everyone knows there are myriad reasons dating couples break up, split up, detach, disappear, and slip away. There are a million stories in the dated city.   The concept of a ReDate introduces the benefit of already knowing a person and realizing, perhaps you were to rash, at first blush. If at first you don’t succeed, ReDate.

George  has been called a ‘Perpetual Bachelor’ and a bon vivant… His iMac, Little Black Book and Rolodex are filled with a plethora of names of women he has dated in the past.  He has been a man-about-town for a decade. Or two.  He said, “ReDating is like a romantic breakthrough where you realize you may have passed up a potential love-of-your life, by mistake, and you want to connect, again. ReDate.”

It has been said, loudly and often, that scrolling through pages of pictures and profiles on the Online Dating Sites is like a stroll through a never-ending buffet line ~ too much fluff – a whole lotta jello, empty carbs and empty suits, loads of sweets with not enough content, depth or reality.    The problem: there is such a wide assortment, it stultifies.

Both men and women get overwhelmed, minds get muddled, hearts go thump in the night. Right? Mistakes are made ~ and we all think about the one who got away.

The answer: ReDate. Give it a try, again.

Yes, age is a many splintered thing. So?

 Dear Page Larkin,

Maybe if I were less jaded and less consumed with self fulfillment-  I would be married.  Again. However, too many years in the Faust lane and I remain single. I am 39;  and have been for over a decade. I like the Jack Benny aging philosophy: “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

I’ve been single so long that flannel nightgowns occupy more space in my lingerie drawer than silky things from Victoria’s Secret.

 It’s come to that. A good friend  recently told me my “Come hither look” now looks like: “What do you want?”  

Okay, so I am a little cynical.

I guess I make a good audience, because ‘Mr. Me- it’s all about me’  tends to always call back and ask me out. Dull times three.

That old Frank Sinatra song, “That’s life... I’ve been a prince, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king”  kind of sums it up… at age 50+ most of us have been through many incarnations: single, married, parent, your parent’s caregiver, new career Path finder, explorer, and Suddenly Single again.

I am a Party of one…with reservations.  I’m looking for: walking, talking, reading, laughing, listening, smiling and showing for an interest for marathons in hand holding, beach walking, picnic pursuits…My idea of a triathlon would be to try a new Claret, and hiking to a new picnic site, a leisurely bike ride and getting along swimmingly. That’s me!

Love, Babs of Healdsburg


Where are all the guys?

Inspired by the Invitation: Tini, Melanie, Helen, Mary and Dixie put on thier party dresses and heels and headed to the Singles Party in Marin County at the hotel.

 The Senior Singles Party promotion promised a rousing  50/50 Male and Female Mix

As the women entered the hotel, they saw dozens of women – all dressed up and ready to party – a large registration area and bouquets of red, heart-shaped  balloons. There was not a man to be seen. Checking watches, they concluded they were not too early and wondered about the male component.

Minutes later, four men strangled in – a sea of Tommy Bahama shirts and kakhi pants. The appeared to know the organizers and put on their name tags and smiles. Then they mingled. Shills or Singles?

30 Single Women showed up that Sunday afternoon and only a Dozen Men.             The ladies were entertained by the more aggressive femme fatales who went after the men like there was no tomorrow. There were no cat fights…however, there was some jockeying for position and Trump-like pushes to the front of the line.

Not amused, not happy: The five ladies insisted upon refunds on the spot and wandered over to the San Rafael Civic Center Farmer’s Market where, every Sunday is party.

Page Larkin Consults: We met for a two-hour session on “Men and Dating at 50, 60, and 70?”

In additon to candor, there was much laughter and a swell of renewed interest in Meeting a Few Good Men.

They are on the look out…stay tuned for results.



All names have been changed to protect the Suddenly Single.



Oh, boy! There are boys in San Francisco Uh oh!



Person connecting and sharing using social media networks

San Francisco: No Country for Old Men?

Fact: Floods of People of Color are exiting San Francisco at an alarming rate.

Fact: Scores of men from TagFut are moving to the City to pay $3000+ rents.

Run! TAGFUT* is here!

 (*Twitter, Apple, Google, Facebook, Uber, Tesla)

Who are these men coming to San Francisco in droves ? Could this be like the 1848 Gold Rush where the streets of San Francisco were lined with randy, party loving, dancing, prancing men with gold in their pockets?

Er, not so much.  The gold in their pockets, yes.

The sad story about the population of locals evaporating and explosion of TagFut Males Techies (Single, Asian/ White, under 35)  moving in-  creates ire.

Millennials who grew up in San Francisco resent the fact that they cannot rent in their City,  that their  favorite bars, restaurants, and cafés are taken over by these pseudo-hipsters who have a lot more dinero than they do. And, the girls aren’t happy either!


 Sure, there is a  trickle of  female techies-  who bemoan the fact  that these nerdy guys with a whole lotta money, don’t know from flirting and are totally lacking in social savvy.  Hence, their predilection for Yelping every restaurant, bar  and cleaners in San Francisco.  A  girls got to do, what a girls got a do.

Yelp couldn’t be happier.

The best analysis of the Travesty Techies taking over the city is found here See: Priceonomics


Where do you find a manly man? An intelligent guy with some humor, wit, panache and manners? Looking for a great guy who is both kind and sensitive enough to be able to ‘read’ you and smart enough to ‘get’ you? It is part luck and part serendipity.

Be open and you could meet the love of your life. It happens

Catch his eye – catch his heart: Look up, look around, smile more, say ‘hey’ more often. Just do it: sign up for  a free 7-day trial on an online Dating site. Get off the couch, push away from the computer and go outside and play.


“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”      

Thomas Paine


The Top 10 Places to Meet Men in San Francisco

Where does a woman in San Francisco go to meet great guys?imagesgiants

My dear, generally speaking, single men are not hanging out at the yarn store, yoga classes, cooking classes or at a spirituality weekend.

Remember the Bikini-beach-boy-meets-girl movie “Where the Boys Are”? It doesn’t require a GPS, compass or a map to locate ‘A few great men’ in San Francisco.

Here are the Top Ten Places to Meet Men:

1. AT&T Park– We’re talking the San Francisco Giants here.

Giants Baseball Games – There are more single men at one Giants game than all of Union Street on any four Friday nights combined. You do the math. Baseball is bigger, better and more entertaining than, even, Brad Pitt. At a Giants game you get a whole team (25 men on a team – 9 on the field). These athletes are all at the top of their game, literally. In addition, you get shopping for T-shirts, accessories, hats, granted, Orange / Black is the complete color palette. There is a Jumbo-tron for even more sensory overload- exciting music, food and drink everywhere and a totally convivial atmosphere. What’s not to like?

2. REI – Guys are into verbs.

They run, jump, jog, hike, climb, camp, spelunk, swing, hit, paddle, row, lift, toss, throw, thump, thwack, bounce and batter…You get the idea. And what better store to buy all those handy objects to do verbs with but, REI.

REI is the ultimate sporting goods store. Also see: Sports Basement and Sports Authority.

The strategy, ladies, is to ask questions. Generally, guys who are at a sporting goods store generally know from table tennis and fly rods and avalanche transceivers. Care about a carabiner? You’ll learn ‘quickdraw’ has nothing to do with guns and that information on the Seven Simple Machines you learned in sixth grade may come in handy ( pulley, lever, wedge, etc.) If you want to know the difference between tents and tense –ask.

3. Wine Tasting Events – See The Pacific Sun, the Pink Section and for great updates on the 4-1-1- for Wine Events. We are so lucky to live in Northern California and to have Napa and Sonoma mere miles away. Wine can be a pleasure, a hobby, a passion and a necessity. Well known fact: Single men flock to wine tasting

Fort Mason has Pinot Noir Days and the Tapas Society Wine Event coming up… Remember in college you asked every guy you met “What’s your major?” Now the query of the age is: “What’s your favorite wine?”

4. Dog Walking – Crissy Field, Fort Funston, Stern Grove: I know a woman who borrowed her neighbor’s Black Lab to use as a prop when she walked through North Beach, and that’s how she met her beau. Yes, a new meaning to ‘Attention getting devices’. Dogs – not just man’s best friend, anymore.

5. Andronico’s/Mollie Stones – Mondays and Friday night – 6pm – 9pm.Mollie Stones and Andronico’s are teeming with single men. Women tend to shop on Saturdays and Wednesdays – and men tend to shop on Friday/Monday (Yes, Binkie, this applies to Trader Joe’s, Rainbow and Whole Foods).

6. California Academy of Sciences – Thursday Nights at the Academy –No other place on place on Earth has a planetarium, an amazing natural history museum, an incredible aquarium and a 4-story rain forest under one roof. The Academy is breathtaking, dazzling and awe-inspiring.

Look For Top 10 Places to Meet Men Part Two

Mae West said, “It is better to be looked over than overlooked.”

I heartily nominate her for Patron Saint of Keen Observations and Irreverence. Odds are, she would tell you to get off the couch and out of the house in order to meet your playmate, soul mate or new best friend.

Michael Rodman – Artist

Hey, Santa! 200 words ladies like

Santa Baby,

we need to talk.

Listen to this: reports indicate, every day, women say 1000 more words than male counterparts.

We can talk about this, if you like.

Men are way less loquacious – and they talk less, too

A random poll recently conducted at Curves, a nail salon, an OB-Gyn office and a leading yoga studio revealed:


Top 200 Words that Women Would Most Like to Hear Are:

1. Merry Christmas, the  little blue box is for you.

2. You are beautiful; those jeans make you look so thin and sexy.

3. How was your day? You’re brilliant. Hugs.

4. Here, darling, a couple of credit cards. Take them – go on a shopping spree. You deserve it. Macy’s  is having a huge sale.

5. Can I draw you a bath? Let me wrap all the presents.

6. Of course, I’d love to watch a chick flick on the couch with you. ‘You’ve Got Mail’ or “Serendipity”?

7. Forget the 49’ers. Let’s go walk at the beach.

8. I just called to say ‘I love you.’ Did you find the flowers I left on the doorstep?

9. You’re the greatest. Babe, sit down, watch your Soaps, I taped them for you; I’ll do the dishes.

10. I’ve got mistletoe! You and me? Away in the manger?

11. Hark! Do you hear what I hear? The kids are asleep.

12. You’re an incredible woman (wife, mother, best friend) I missed you and vacuumed the house.

Listen, women may tend to be loquacious, voluble and talkative; we have a lot to say.

A savvy Santa is perceptive and sage.

Spice up your life with the Top 200 Words Women Want to Hear.

Summer Reading: Marry whom? Him? Why not Settle?

Settle down.

The red-hot book,

Marry Him, The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough

has been flying out of bookstores since it was published – causing a stir and consternation.

Author Lori Gottlieb is a controversial marketing genius.        

First, there was the well-timed flurry of Valentine’s Day book promotions, appearances on myriad television talk shows, guest column slots, and a drag- out marketing campaign, which catapulted the author into the SEO stratosphere.

Called “wise and daring” and “brutally honest,” Marry Him is a surefire bestseller because of the controversy it leaves in its wake. It all started in February 2008, when Gottlieb wrote ‘the article’ for The Atlantic.

The scathing piece, the basis for the book, was considered by many as caustic, heartless and derisive. Nothing like an effective literary attention getting device to garner great ratings.

Best Marketing Ploy for Book Sales: Controversy. Granted, women have strong and heartfelt beliefs about:

1) Marriage

2) Marrying beneath oneself (what does that  even mean?) and

3) Perhaps – choosing to remain single.

The topics are very personal and scalding hot. Does Marry Him instruct us to discard our standards, ideals, and our precious Top 10 Qualities List?

Do we merely ‘settle’ for the next guy, with a pulse, who darkens our doorstep?  I think not. But, men and women need to be open –  way open – 24 -hours a day open.

photo_7840_20081106(1)love small

I Could Have Been a Contender

Bo Derek was a “10” in the 1970’s…  Perhaps you were, too… in the 70’s.

You do the math– numbers change…bodies change and attitudes do, too. Now we are more mature, evolved, and we evaluate people less superficially- don’t we? No, Binkie, you cannot know in the first  3-minutes of a coffee date if the guy is “a keeper,” slow down and smell the coffee.

Gottlieb makes a sobering point in the  magazine article about women and all the various “dating things” we do wrong.

Many of us were raised on stories about Cinderella, Prince Charming, Wolf Ranges, white picket fences and Volvos. Some of us bought into the fairy tale and elevated ourselves high atop lofty (lonely)  princess pedestals.

Sky high, self esteem puts one just beyond the reach of really great guys. Whoops! Time to climb down, sister,  Get real, and be open.

Marry Him is smart summer reading. You want to get attention on the beach or by the pool? Walk around with this  book – see what happens.

You’ll see: the book is rife with very cogent points; chances are you’ll open your eyes, blink, and shake your head in disbelief. And, in total agreement.

All I know: Life is all about compromise, and at this stage of the game (50-something) we know that compromise is the panacea of life.

The best relationships are all about give and take. Right?

Remember: Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. And he knows it. woman

Are you striking out with every date?

photo_6303_20080612gloveWho is on first? What’s on second, and I Don’t Know is on third.

Abbott and Costello’s rapid-fire baseball comedy bit: Who’s on First? is a perfect metaphor for the dating game. In romance and in baseball there are wins, losses, slumps, night games and home runs.


After you’ve connected with someone online, expect: The Formula. This is where you  each exchange three e-mails, followed by a phone call. A few phone calls, generally 2.5, (one message left on answering machine) may be followed by a text message or one more email. Then it happens: the line drive, maybe a double play: the coffee shop quickie where you size up one another.

Some first daters bring a mental yardstick and quickly assess the other person. Hank is a classic measurer-upper. An engineer by profession, Hank was used to the facts, just the facts ma’am. From the moment he shook hands with a woman he had romanced on the phone and via e-mail, he was calculating. It took quite a few dates and many calculations before Hank realized the ‘Velveteen Rabbit’ was a better fit for him than a Playboy bunny. Quality start.


Debbie D. has a different modus operandi. At least twice a week, the  staff at Pacific Catch restaurant in the Sunset District watches her meet different men for coffee. The dating diva has it down to a science. Debbie meets a man online, exchanges emails and eventually, 2.5 phone calls later, agrees to a public meeting. She casually suggests the place near her home:  Pacific Catch – note: irony. The two agree upon a time. She arrives 10 minutes early, wearing her uniform: a revealing black lululemon yoga outfit. She carries props: a copy of the New Yorker, her purse and cell phone.

She says she knows within three minutes if the man is a ‘keeper.’ She said if he looks like his picture, measures up to the height he claims, carries on a conversation, she’s interested. The coffee date could be 10 minutes or an hour, depending. Once a serious speedy-serial-dater, Debbie has slowed down and admits to be looking for a man who is “kind, open, available and geographically desirable.’ It works for her. Home run.



Some singles are looking for a goal and a scoring position. Others, shy at first, balk or throw a few fastballs. There is a wide spectrum of dating styles.

You get to decide what works for you. Perhaps the fast and furious Jdate  is your style; Plenty of Fish ( the popular free dating site) may be your price range. The giant, user-friendly might be the right fit.

Time to get in the dating game? Unless you are in the game, you’ll always be wondering: Who’s on first, and what’s on second? Get in the game. Batter up!

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

Don’t miss a single Page Larkin column- click the Subscribe button at the top of the page, and voila!

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Brooklyn men more sensitive than San Francisco? No, actually Buffalo boys win

Breaking News: the most sensitive men in America don’t live in San Francisco,

Napa, Marin, or Berkeley.

According to Barry Diller’s media mega-giant, IAC,  the phenomenally successful social empire with a thumb on the pulse of America, the most sensitive men in America do not live in San Francisco, they live in West Hollywood. Really?

No, truth be told- all the good ones – according to the most recent studies done by (headed up by Dr. Helen Fisher- famed Canadian anthropologist and dating guru) live elsewhere.

Define Sensitive?

According to sensitive means: readily or excessively affected by external agencies or influences…having acute mental or emotional sensibility; aware of and responsive to the feelings of others.

2012 Top 10 Cities for Sensitive Men

1.            Pompano Beach, Florida

2.            Roanoke, Virginia

3.          West Hollywood, California

4.            Nashville, Tennessee

5.          Buffalo, New York 

6.            Sarasota, Florida

7.            Greenville, South Carolina

8.            Wilmington, North Carolina

9.            Indianapolis, Indiana

10.       Staten Island, New York

Sorry, Brooklyn- the male population of Staten Island and Buffalo (really?) are considered far more sensitive than all the very hip and trendy male denizens in Brooklyn. Imagine.

Where the Real Sensitive Boys Are

Men in San Francisco are sensitive. They meditate, sweat their prayers, chant at Taize, drink green tea, read Thich Nhat Hanh, thousands attended EST- decades ago, they wear pastels, read poetry, write poetry, cry at movies, hug a lot,  belong to men’s groups, open doors for ladies while cheering for the SF Giants and are very a-cute.

Sarasota, you gotta be kidding.

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