Someone like you: a Christmas story

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Twas the night of our first date and all through the house 

My room mates were swirling

Dressing me in red velvet and that sexy black blouse.

My Man – Van Morrison – on the stereo, “Someone Like You” – painting the air

with sweet dreams of this man and a Christmas affair?

He arrived on the dot with a bouquet of mistletoe

and a lovely bottle of chilled Veuve Cliquot.

Mr Poetry and Writers, studied my bookshelf while

I cracked open the bubbly- he stared, nodding, and smiled:

“Wow, Didion! Wow, Welty, Uris, Allende, Raymond Carver, too! Theres Connelly, Coelho, Gaiman, – says a lot about you- an “over -Cheever.”

And that was the beginning of a happy Christmas

and very good night!

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 Final Trio

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JDate: Please release me, let me go!

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JDate: The Jewish dating site – like flypaper – but worse – won’t let you leave the site.

The Yoga Babes – a group of San Francisco women (mostly 50+, mostly single, lively and opinionated) were trying to be kind. They all agreed: JDate is impossible – and not in a good way.

They said the Jewish dating site was like the stickiest flypaper.

 Beware the hassle of JDATE

Madison, said last May, she thought it might be fun to try JDATE. She made up a fake name, a fake birthdate, put in fictional height/ weight/ city and put it on her online-dating-specific Gmail account. She didn’t post a photograph or write a word about herself and got distracted. And she forgot about it.

 A week later, there were 34 e-mails from the company with “Perfect Matches.” Oy!

 Put off by the avalanche of attention based on nothing, she deleted all the e-mails.

 And then it began- her experience in the eight rings of hell of Jdate. Not a rocket scientist, but a biologist at Genentech, she thought it would be a cinch to cease and desist.

“Oh, no you don’t!” says JDate. “You’re not leaving the party.” Every day, more emails.

 After deleting the e-mails, she checked Terms of Service- which put her right back to e-mails; there is no Customer Service to contact, there is no Membership contact, everything feeds right back to the exact same page which is a dead-end and coerces the less informed to sign up or put up. 

 Nightmare on JDate Street

 You can spend hours Googling “How to quit JDate” – the nefarious dating site has covered those bases- there is no exit. You can’t get there from here.imagesign

 Gator20081017A Steady Diet Of Spam – Madison dunned every email – and dubbed it Spam…

Tenacious an tedious JDate finally disappeared into the depths…

Tell me your Online Dating at 50 Story: page.larkin@gmail.com

 

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What do women want? What do men want? The answers…

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Dave Barry, world renowned author of over 30 books, lecturer, leading philosopher of our time,  recently summarized the difference between men and women. His erudite observation says it all:

“Women want to be loved, to be listened to, to be desired, to be respected, to be needed, to be trusted, and sometimes, just to be held.

What Men Want: Tickets for the World Series.”

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“You can only be young once. But you can always be immature”
Dave Barry

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

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The king of first dates- from no mojo to: put me in, coach

Women Wearing Colorful Bathing Caps
Kevin got so good at ‘coffee dates’ that he knew exactly at which coffee house to meet – in which ZIP code. He liked The Depot in Mill Valley, Peet’s on Fourth Street in Berkeley, Rigolo in Laurel Village, and Cafe Verde in Corte Madera

He steered clear from Blue Bottle Coffee – it took too long for one cup to be brewed and twice what he wanted to pay for a cup of coffee.

Eventually, he developed a default to any ‘La Boulange’ in San Francisco. He was getting so successful at first dates, on weekends he booked a three dates in one day. However, nothing “panned out.” He was coming up empty…Kevin would meet anyone ( any age, any city) for coffee. He was lacking discernment and was like the steel ball in a pinball machine – bouncing off the walls – no direction – no goals – no vision. He had been away from the Dating Game for so long – he was clueless.coffee-mugs-datte_180

You Need a Coach? Who are you going to call?

Two of Kevin’s friends suggest he give me a call – to see if we could work together. In light of his egregious dating record – could we improve his dating chances? What are the odds?

Within a week of our first meeting, Kevin changed dating sites, improved and updated his online photos (NOTE: No Selfies. Ever.) We spent awhile talking about what made him happy, where he liked to go, his favorite movies, books, plays, teams, sports, heroes. Together we created an online dating profile that complimented and captured his true sweet self.

We looked at his “dating clothes” and threw out a few dated, old shirts and donated every pair of sweat pants in his closet. (No sweat pants. Ever) The faded and frayed Izod sweaters – not cool – had to go. Kevin was ready, willing and able to invest in cool pair of jeans- and toss the funky old saggy, baggy pants of yore.

In no time, his closet was purged, polished and updated. We made an appointmnet at Jackson Place Salon with Liz for a real haircut – the SuperCuts look wasnt making it.

Kevin wears “readers”- many of us do. However, that Ben Franklin look with glasses perched on the end of your nose? Not a good look – in this century.   “Readers in San Rafael” has hundreds of pairs of cool, hip, fun – we tossed the Captain Kangaroo specs and got hip in under $20 and in 20 minutes.

In a short period of time, Kevin looked younger, hipper, healthier. He admitted he felt better – and better-looking.

His updated, improved online profile was much more alluring and interesting. After a little soul-searching- his “verbs” went from a couch potato motif  to more dynamic.

Tomorrow: Meanwhile, back at the computer: dating homework

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How to ruin a relationship in two easy lessons

photo_1074_20060214dotttRandall (62, single for decades,semi-retired)  in San Anselmo was smitten

An online dating regular- he switched back and forth between Match.com, eHarmony and Our Time.

He had met his share of Barbie dolls, Not-all-that’s, ravenous beauties with sky-high IQs – or not- who were just not that into him. He stopped keeping track.

Truthfully

He admits, he blew it a number of times. Early on, he was a little bit snarky, picky and delusional. At 60 (the new 50) he considered himself “a real catch.” His sisters, his daughter, and Mrs. Populaces, his 84-year-old neighbor, all told him so and he drank the Kool-Aid.

He went through women with a cavalier, “I can do better.” For the first few years, his mantra was, “Next!”

 Anticipation

And then he met Candice (45-ish, CEO, divorced twice, no kids, once a competitive skier.) She had a high-powered job and drove a shiny, new Tesla. Her home in Sleepy Hollow had been featured in both Sunset and Dwell magazines.

She was very attractive, dressed impeccably and had a second house in Vail. Her calendar was busy. Initially, she made time for Randall. He fell hard and fast. She was entertained and mildly impressed.

He was good-looking, dressed well, had excellent manners, and a terrific dancer. He quoted the New York Times a lot. In time she thought he was shallow and vain.

He rarely asked her a question.

 He reminded her of those smarmy prep school boys.  She thought, any man on the West Coast who was over 50 and who asked, “Where did you prep?” was terribly insecure.

You’re so Vain

Wanting to appear magnanimous, Randall warned her that his family came first – he thought certainly she would be impressed by this allegiance to hearth and home. Next, with bravado, he mentioned there was a grandchild due. In her mind, that made him just another distraction with less availability.

The Right Thing To Do 

So, Candice let Randall go.

And it took Randall along time to realize the folly of his ways.

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Olive Kitteridge: I’m just wild about Henry and Henry is wild about…

I’m just wild about Henry and Henry is wild about:

Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and was a worldwide Book Club favorite. It flew off the bookstore shelves and became a “You have to read this” book.

 Both men and women loved the complicated, taciturn, Maine-iac, Olive. The book’s characters and the unique construct of the story (could each chapter stand alone?) intrigued readers.

Last month, HBO released the two-part series, Olive Kitteridge, with the off-the charts-talented, Frances McDormand as Olive  the twisted character you, initially, love to hate.

Henry, Thou Swell 

Olive is married to the world’s most wonderful husband, Henry, played by Richard Jenkins. Henry is sweet, thoughtful, kind, patient, understanding and generous…while Olive is caustic, ill tempered and abrupt. Nevertheless, Henry stands by her side.

Richard.Jenkins_Henry Ask any book club, yoga group, prayer group, Zumba babes – heck, ask any women in line at Safeway and mention ‘Henry and Olive’ and expect a gush of praise and a swoon over dear-darling-Henry.

Boys, take a page from Henry – not nominated for saint – but, note that women of all ages, are gaga over the devoted, dreamy, kind, sweet, Henry. What’s up with that?

Read the book.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/books/review/Thomas-t.html

http://www.enotes.com/topics/olive-kitteridge

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See: Richard Jenkins: Flirting with Disaster and see Frances McDormand in Almost Famous on Netflix 

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Does anyone remember the music?

The BoomBoom Generation:

Does anyone remember the music?

We are the BoomBoom Generation -the stuff  of Pulitzer Prize books by David Halberstam and Tom Brokow.

We are easily defined by the music we listened to on our transistor radios and stereos. We bought records by Aretha, Marvin Gaye, Credence, Four Tops, Temptations, Animals, Airplane, Beach Boys, Beatles, Dylan, Donovan, Doors, Stones, Who, Jimmy Hendrix, the Dead, Pete Seeger, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Peter Paul and Mary and the Four Seasons. We loved the Eagles, Elvis, BeeGees, Boston, Queen and Don McLean.

 

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We lived through the Summer of Love and wore flowers in our hair and puka shells around our necks. We imagined we were ‘born to be wild’ and “Appointment TV”  was watching American Bandstand every day after school. What did “I would give it a 10, but I can’t dance to it” really mean?

Dick Clark was the man who brought heart throbs like Paul Anka, Bobby Darin, Fabian, Jim Croce, The Byrds to us. Chubby Checker twisted, Diana Ross grooved, Patsy Cline, the Four Tops  all appeared in our living rooms.

Many of us learned the “Twist” the “Mashed Potatoes” and the “Hitchhiker” while watching American Bandstand.television-set

The languid 1950’s ushered in the advent of national television, while Holiday Inns and McDonalds were mushrooming up nation wide. We were learning about Cuba, Castro, Sputnik, the H-Bomb, Elvis, and something called, “the Pill”. The 1960’s were another story.

Without music, life would be an error.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Handpainted peace sign in dripping colors

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News: Black Friday has been cancelled – go outside and play


cropped-sgbay__20060705-3.jpgTop 10 Free Things to do in San Francisco

on Black Friday

Pink – the new Black-Friday. Is that all there is?

Americans have been whipped into a shopping lather with a recent tsunami of newspaper inserts and rabid radio and TV blitzes. Spend money now – while words like foreclosure, job loss, recession, recovery, crisis, cutbacks and budget are dancing in our heads?

Aggressive retailers are lighting the fires for conspicuous consumption and fanning the flames with a massive Black Friday media blitz. Conversely, there is a movement afoot called Buy Nothing Day, to put the brakes on spending and avoid the ill fated ‘shop until you drop’ malady.

Kermit was right; “It is hard being green.” Very few of us have ‘the green’ we used to have. We have much more lack than black, Friday. Go Pink.

Be ‘In the pink.” Listen to Pink Martini or Pink Floyd, watch ‘Pretty in Pink,” plant pink tulips.

Skip Black Friday.

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, fun, and eating and volunteering, and helping the less fortunate.

Here are Top Ten Fun Free Friday Things to do  Around SF

1. Span -Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge

2. Make a Fort – Explore the Presidio, Fort Point, Fort Mason, and Fort Baker

3. Click -take a photo journey to the Mission District and photograph the murals

4. Play – continue a day of play: jigsaw puzzles, charades, movie marathons, football…

5. Time travelDon’t Miss: at The Legion of Honor: The Copper Age Incredible Exhibit or The Downton Abbey/Houghton House Exhibit

6. Shift Gears- go for a bike ride, stroll, hike, backpack…

7. Merge -Movies have a “Movie night” with another friend’ watch all your old DVD’s; go to the library and get new ones…

8. Step it Up- Research the famous staircases and steps of San Francisco – Get the book – at the library and start with the first walk (Stairway Walks in San Francisco- Wilderness Press)

9. Pack – a picnic with some of those leftovers and hit the beach, forest, park and relax…

10. Purge - During the football marathon, clean out closets. Men’s clothing can be donated to “Out of the Closet” at California at Polk Street (free drop-off parking lot) Women’s clothing and accessories can go to the women’s shelter, Casa de las Madres, via the Community Thrift Store now on Mission St.

Avoid Black Friday – seek and you shall find some merry mistletoe. Place said item, the ‘Key to Kissing”, on your lapel, above your door, on your visor…you get the idea.

Happy hearty holidays.
Getting in the pink:” Picasso had his pink period and his blue period. I am in my blonde period right now.” Hugh Hefner

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Thanksgiving Dinner Rules – no Pajamas, no smart-phones at the table

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Thanksgiving House Rules 2014

Elbows off the Table…

No Pajamas – Pull on a Party Dress, a Pair of Slacks, Dockers, Denim…Hang your hoodie on the hook.

Everyone leaves their Cellphone, smartphone, iPhone Droid,  at the Door.

Think of one thing you are grateful for – and tell one other person.

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Take the time to say “hello” to everyone…or email – friends and family…

Say: Cheers and Danke, Grazie, Thanks, Merci, Gracias to the Host /Hostess who invited you … Help with Clean Up…images-26

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.” Henry VanDyke

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Frank comments from a single man and Sally S from Sausalito

cropped-sgbay__20060705-3.jpgHey Larkin,

It’s not all peaches and cream-this dating at 50-60+, sweetheart.

I’ve been on Match, eHarmony, OKCupid, and met a lot of women who have had a lot of work done on their faces-not their hearts. Some women I’ve met, cut to the chase and want to know how much money I make, if I own my house, and why I drive a truck.

Four words come to mind: none of your business.

Tell The Ladies: don’t interview the guy. Just go on a date and we can learn about each other in good time.

The little old winemaker in Napa

Hey, The little old winemaker in Napa,

You are right! It’s a dance-and we all need to be more gracious and less avaricious and aggressive.  For the Record: Women also complain about guys asking their height, weight, their income, and other personal questions on the very first date.

Four words come to mind…And, hey, Frank- I just have to say – your Cabernet and Pinot Noirs are phenomenal!

Peace and love,

Page Larkin

 

Dear Ms. Larkin,

I am a 75, healthy, happy, vibrant and energetic single woman. I teach yoga, hike two miles a day  and I really like men.  I have a bit of advice.

Tell men: The four things women don’t want to hear about on a first date:

  1.  Do not review your list of prescription drugs
  2.  Don’t bore me with your list of ailments, illnesses and allergies. And, I Don’t want to hear about any operations.
  3. Don’t talk about your divorce or colonoscopy; to me, they are the same.
  4. Do not brag about how handsome, wonderful, rich, sexual you used to be. That ship has sailed.

Thanks! I feel better.

Sally S. in Sausalito

Dear Sally,

Consider it done! thank you!

Peace and love,

Page Larkin

 Hey, Send me your questions or comments or queries Page.larkin@gmail.com

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