Single Payer Dates: a new healthy plan

pexels-photo-226722.jpeg  2018 and belt buckles are being tightened.

And boy, are those belts snug.

Do you have a New Year’s Resolution to spend less, cutback on the frivolous and adhere to a budget? Join the club. What’s the first thing to go under the knife? Online dating companies are feeling the pinch and the cuts. As singles buckle down and tighten their collective belts, they are looking for love in all the cheap places. Free online dating sites like Craigslist and OkCupid are thriving.

If you’ve lost your job or have been down-and-outsized, how does your social life survive on a budget? Usually, the first things to go are the extraneous expenses: shoe shines, haircuts, movies, manicures, movies and massages. As you scan your credit card bill, that glaring online dating site charge stares you down. Bring out the hatchet? Word on the street is that people are abandoning online dating sites and saving $30-$60 each month. You do the math. The free sites really are more popular than ever and people are getting more creative.

It’s high time to get out of high water

George, the bon vivant, got into real high water when he blissfully frequented pricey SF restaurants: Quince, Spruce, Waterbar, and Saison.When his job got downsized, his wallet flattened. He decided to change his monetary modus operandi. An innovative guy, he has taken the New Year to a whole new level. His goal is to find 20 Marin restaurants where dinner is $10- $15 (beverages extra) With tons of restaurants – in San Rafael alone –  he has myriad choices,  and his work is  cut out for him.

Ronnie, aka Prince Dates a Lot, wrote that he is now on a severe dating budget. He cancelled his account at and stopped dabbling in “themed dating and dining groups.”  Disenchanted, he calls them Table For Too Much and It’s a Whole Lot More than a Free Lunch. Ronnie is spearheading a potluck dinner movement in his apartment complex called, Dinner for Eight at Six.  He also cut the cord with Cable-TV. Good-bye HBO, Showtime and Bravo. Hello PBS. His sole source for movies is the public library and he’s big on free 30 days on It could be worse.

Money can’t buy you love

For some, the heydays of dining at Le Garage, Aqua, D’Angelos and Buckeye are on hold. Seeking out intimate and inexpensive cafes is now more cost efffective and alluring. The concept of Dutch Treat and Single Payer Dates takes a little getting used to for some. Ben Franklin was right on about the penny saved concept. The art is not making money, but keeping it for a rainy day. Get your umbrella ready.

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First Date: Invoke the right to remain silent?

IMG_1208There you are, perched on a bar stool, dressed to impress, meeting Mike B.(56, spiritual-not-religious, sports fan and mystery lover) from Oakland, for the first time.


You met on OKCupid – his photos were okay, his comments were cute and quirky and he had a certain jene se quois. He said he was passionate about sports and cars. You exchanged four flirty emails before he said, “Let’s meet.” You suggested talking on the phone and he disappeared for a couple of days. He re-appeared and sent his phone number with a    “I dare you to call me.”

With more points in the “quirky” than cute column – you act on his dare and call him.

Strange Phone Calls are huge red flags

Mike answers the phone, mumbles ‘hello,’ asks how you are then asks for your address. You deftly side-step that one with a laugh, and and he asks where you work, you say, “I’ll tell you when I see you.” You naively think, “A man who asks questions, how refreshing.”

He suggests meeting at The No Name Bar. It sounds novel and mysterious and you agree. (Note: novel and mysterious belong in a bookstore not a bar.)

Do you have right to remain silent? You betcha!

 The first date lesson: When a man starts asking you for your address and where you work and how much money you make, start pulling your purse towards you; when he asks what you are tipping the scales at, reach for your keys; and if he even dares to ask your “True age,” continue with ‘Your right to remain silent’- refuse to dignify the questions and bolt, baby, bolt.

There is no need to remain sweet or charming; Say goodnight, Gracie.

As a Rule: you (Tell a Friend) told a good friend where you were going, who you were meeting and at what time. Upon departure, call your contact person and let them know you are leaving – details later. Leave.

Chalk this one up to “Failed to notice the plethora of red flags,” and next time don’t be in a rush to have a date and accept the fact that “mysterious and quirky” at this age don’t bode well.

You never have answer uncomfortable questions…from a date…or a policeman, Binkie.


The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

Mark Twain


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Veto Valentine’s Day? The Un-Valentine’s Day Party


Twenty  ‘Single’  people met at Poggio’s in Sausalito to celebrate Un-Valentine’s Day.

They came by ferry, by foot, by car and by bus to join the other ‘First Responders’ to this column’s E-vite to candidly comment and jump on the band wagon for the subliminal movement to Veto Valentines Day.

10 men and 10  women All were single and “over 50″  and had submitted their clever and candid observations,“My Anti-Valentine’s Viewpoint” in 50 words, or less.


Hilarious first, then Sweet/bittersweet aptly summarizes the 20 Valentine short stories, jokes and observations e-mailed to this column.

Dennis D. sent in a witty limerick about love, ladies, and a layaway plan.

Michele A. penned a comical story about her blind date with a Robin Williams type. Rusty recited a sweet poem he wrote in eighth grade about his broken heart.

Each Un-Valentine’s Day romantic refugee was given a small black heart to pin on their sleeve.

photo_4426_20071211cherries-2Next, they were given a personalized name tag. 

The “creative” name tags had a two-word summary of their ‘Hearty’ story. There was Prints Charming, Fowl Weather, Tis Better 2, Knot Sweet, and the Lyin’ in Winter.                                                                                                 

Note to File: The  name tags acted as an icebreaker and a pretty successful flirting catalyst.   As everyone shared their story, the laughter became somewhat heightened. (Read: Raucous) The party was ushered to a more private area in the restaurant.

Later, some people broke off and walked to Tommy’s Wok or Ondines for a smaller soirées.

The consensus was that “The First Annual  Un-Valentine’s Day Celebration” was a great un-holiday and worth un-doing again.

Happy Hearts all around.

If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?
— Lily Tomlin

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The party girls: 49-er’s turning 50

Happy Birthday to the “49-ers!”

Suddenly Single in Marin

The 49-ers: The Birthday Girls

Life is Short: Their Top Ten List

The remarkable “49-ers”  a  group of San Francisco girls – default to laughing, sharing, and supporting one another. 30 years ago they were new at the dating game- and here they go again – a few of them back in the “dating saddle” again.

The gang of friends from college – ten women who met when they were girls and gracefully blossomed into women ~ partied hearty this weekend.

They were turning 50 and wanted to kick up their heels. The self-appointed scribe of the group, Mitzi, sent in a recap of the ladies weekend.

Through the decades, the friends have been through the highest highs and the lowest lows.

Mitzi indicated, at times, life was like heaven (weddings, babies, careers, white picket fences, celebrations) and hell, (teenagers, parents dying, and making ex-husbands).

The 49-er’s gather annually to celebrate…

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Mill Valley Open Studio 2/10 – 332 Miller

Behind the Red Door on Miller AVE

GREAT Date Event


Laura Roebuck Mill Valley  Open Studio

Saturday, February 10 

332 Miller Ave

Mill Valley, CA

11:00 – 4:00


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Cool or Cold? First meeting opening lines that bomb


“Stanley Single” ( 47, Engineer, never married, lives in Richmond)  is convinced that the sillier the question, the more interested a woman will be. Really? He claims women love these “Openers.”

Here are his Top Five Most Clever Opening Lines

  1. What do you like best about being single?
  2. What is the wackiest gift you have ever received or gifted someone?
  3. Who was the first person you kissed?
  4. Do you stir your coffee clockwise or counter clockwise?
  5. What is your favorite part of your body and why?

Stanley saves the last ice-breaker question for special women. He thinks his last query is golden:

If you were an alien and you could abduct any person on earth, who would you abduct and why?

The Ladies in the “hood” don’t think Stanley is funny at all

Sorry, Stanley Single – your Top Five are dull, dead ends. Silly may work some days….however, goofy is not always the solution.



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What time is it? High Nunes

 Always in a Rush…

The call him “Devil Nunes” in the Valley – where he grew up…a farm boy, 

he went to Junior College – Got an Ag Degree at Cal Poly –

…he is famous for inadvertently released classified information



The LA Times writes ..

Nunes, who was a member of Trump’s transition team, stepped away from the House Russia investigation last spring because of an ethics investigation into whether he had inadvertently released classified information after he rushed to tell the White House about FISA wiretapping he learned about as a part of the investigation.

Nunes came under intense criticism and subsequently admitted he had received the information at the White House, saying that it was the only safe place to look at the classified material.

‘Culture’ is a finite segment of the meaningless infinity of the world process, a segment on which human beings confer meaning and significance.

Max Weber


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Does your wife know you are a loser?

Lacking even a modicum of civility

 45 was said to have fired FBI McCabe and in the most unpresidential, guache, uncouth, fashion posed this pointed and pointless question.

Think: Pot/Kettle Black 






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We called them Dirty Old Men

In college, we called those older guys in bars Dirty old Men.

We used the same term, when working in San Francisco in the Financial District. We were on the look out for boys our ages and frequently, older men would come on to us. Yuck. One of our friends, Lindy, called the old codgers (30 and older) Free Drinks – as in, “Look, here comes Free Drinks.” As a rule, we avoided DOM’s

When Happy Hour is Two Drinks for the Price of One – we concluded you don’t need free – drinks from those old guys – our dad’s ages.  Many of the old guys at Happy Hour were having a couple of martinis or tumblers of Scotch and were out the door to catch BART. Some were on the prey.

Recently, at the infamous dive bar, the  Silver Peso in Larkspur I watched a dyed hair, comb-over, man about 65 , with the gold chains and open-shirt, seated across from a much younger woman. She could have been his daughter. Daddy Big Bucks had a $100 bill in his hand that he was displaying. He was nursing a beer, she was sipping Cosmopolitans. I don’t know what he was selling…but, she was buying. The C-note got the girl’s attention. Betty, the bee-hive-hair-do cocktail waitress was in on it and delivering fresh drinks.

And in the other corner was an inebriated woman in her 50’s – if a day- all over a kid in his 20’s, like a cheap suit. He was entertained – as were most of the people gawking at somebody’s mother being a Cougar.


It is a zoo out there…remember:

It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.

Warren Buffett



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Is fishing for the love of your life a numbers game?

Is Catch and Release the winning modus operandi 
at the Dating Coy Pond

Jake is an avid fly fisherman with a handful of favorite rivers in Patagonia and Helena. His Montana license plate reads: Carp D um. A big proponent of Catch and Release, He also has a unique approach to on line dating. He knows his way around a fluke and a sole,  knows when to angle and when to perch.  A connoisseur, Jake now professes to know from koi and coy.

With a half dozen years under his belt as a suddenly-single-again male, he has developed some interesting dating techniques. Based on the old ‘catch and release’ philosophy, he meets, greets, calls, emails and connects with a wide range of women on two different dating services on line. He is a ‘reel’ guy with an innate curiosity and openness.

Crunching Numbers

Jake is not a coy kind of guy – far from it. A CPA,  by training, he calls online dating “The Numbers Game” Like the patient fisherman he is, he throws a few lines in the water every week and sees what transpires.

You have to love his well-modulated and persistent approach. He recently reported that he had hung up his metaphorical fishing rod and was dating the love of his life – (a mermaid, in his eyes) and he is the happiest he has been in years.

His big brotherly advice, “On line dating is a numbers game. Don’t be coy – don’t be shy – make the first move.” Would you call that ‘reel allure’?

Want Success On

Every day, like clock work,  select 5  people to be “Your Favorite” – this is the equivalent of putting a line in the water.

Every Wednesday send out 5 one-line emails “Your profile caught my attention. Take a look at mine. We should talk.”

Try it.

Do you wahoo or are you a grouper? What is your best line? Best angle? Tell me about it

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

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