New Chapters: The grumpy old man vs the liberated woman?

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Max was none too happy when his wife of 28 years moved out, divorced him and started having, “The time of her life.”

He was left with the rambling old house, an incontinent dog and early retirement -all were more frightening, than exhilarating.

A CPA for 29.7 years, Max had carefully planned out – well everything: his retirement, buying a Recreational Vehicle, selling the house, living in campgrounds and beaches for a year before moving to Arizona – the land of perpetual sunshine, golf and hammock time. It was his dream.

His Ex developed an aversion to living in a “trailer,” camping, and the sun. She loathed golf and thought hammocks were a waste of time.

She became a vegetarian, started taking poetry workshops and watercolor classes, spin classes and attending lectures at the local junior college and the JCC.

The more he eased into retirement modus operandi- she geared up for a richer, more active life. She wanted to invent something, to write poetry, appear at Book Passages, and be to a star of the slam poetry group. She volunteered at film festivals and art shows and thought perhaps she should make a film. Why not?

hopeMax grew more bored by the day. He never imagined himself being single. Was he lonely or bored – or both? He hoped his Ex would come back.

Taking a page from his younger, bachelor-neighbor with the parade of women arriving at his house each month, Max decided to sign up for online dating.

Two of his golf buddies, divorced and hovering around 50, were dabbling in dating and encouraged him heartily. Why not? If nothing else, Max is thorough. He did his due diligence and believing ‘You get what you pay for,’ he skipped all the “free sites” and decided to try a month eHarmony for $70.00. He had half-watched the upbeat dating TV ads with the Orville Redenbacher character touting the company’s high success rate for years. Why not?

His sister-in-law in Ohio encouraged him. She urged him to date women his own age. He didn’t tell her that he was having none of that. Like a new car, he was going for the younger, faster, sleeker model than his old wife.

He even debated about leasing a Tesla. One of his clients had leased one and he looked really cool.

One friend told him to get rid of the old man jeans, the baggy sweaters, the sweats and the T-shirts with funny logos. Off to Tommy Bahama’s- The Outlet- for shirts, and slacks. Ta-da! The “New” Max.

The Biggest Mistake – The Selfie in the Mirror

Every picture Max had – was of his ex-wife and him: photos in Hawaii, at restaurants, at parties with friends. There were no good, recent – in the last ten years – photos of him to put up online. Resourceful, he pointed his camera at the mirror and took 15 photos. Two words: Not Good.

Nothing says “loser” like a Selfie in the Mirror Shot

 If you don’t have a friend – to take your photo with your smart phone – ask a neighbor, a dog walker, your gardener to snap five photos. Choose one.

 Fortunately, Max had to return one shirt to the Tommy Bahama store – and he sheepishly asked the sales clerk to take a photo of him. Smart girl, she took ten photos of Max – all around the store, and three were good. Bingo. He was ready to sign on and get in the game. And, he did!

Look out world, here comes Max!

Once a grump – always a grump?

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Tinder – is the night in Marin?

photo_2787_20070814I swiped right and Tinder is the Night? or Night mare?

You know – you want to do it. You want to try it.

Tinder: All the kids were doing it. Why not you?

Originally, Tinder was dubbed: Hook-Up 101  Swipe left – Not so Much – Swipe Right…Right now/ or later?

How can 50 million kids be wrong? One recent article identifies Tinder Users (TU’s) as close to 50 million people with the average user spending 90 minutes a day hiding, seeking, swiping, and hoping.

I’m on Tinder Hooks? Now What?

How does Tinder work? Sign up with your Facebook account for a level of identity verification. No, your Tinder account will not your broadcast to your Facebook friends. However be it true/flattering or not, your age and photos are scooped off of Facebook.

Tinder then matches you to other TU’s in your age range and your vicinity. Like magic, six photos of TU’s appear who match your  age /location.

Right Swipe that person’s photo to indicate interest, or Go Left if – not so much.

Now, if that cute Right Swipe of yours also swiped you Right, then, bingo! You are a match and are free to talk.

imagesswmimYou ought to be in pictures?

Fact: Your really can’t tell how tall or short a person is with snapshot…

It’s also hard to tell how “skinny or stout” your Right Swipe is until you see them up close and personal. You, the toned, climbing wall diva, is probably not going to fall for “cute and pudgy.”

In the beginning, Tinder was all about college kids – not well versed in the Golden Rule, and etiquette – but wildly pressed by peer pressure- so there was a whole lot of hurt feelings masked with a dash of  ‘cavalier.’ So much rejection – so little time.

sad-manWho said, Tinder is a popularity contest on steroids?

Advice for Suddenly Single ladies who are hesitant to try out Tinder? Try it. You might like it. Please  be smart about who you meet and where. Always speak on the phone before meeting.

 Daytime date?   Tell your BFF friends where your are going  and who your are meeting. Can’t hurt. In Marin, Nadia likes The Melting Pot in Larkspur – perfect location, ambiance, lighting, noise level for a first meeting. Henry wows them at D’Angelo in Mill Valley. In San Francisco, Ronne likes Artesano in Laurel Village – free parking, great coffee, best Brownie con caramel- to share- in the City and a  good wine selection. Close to the Bridge.

Keep a very open mind and chances are, you’re not the only woman who was matched with ‘’that guy.’ And Vice Versa.

Tinder is a Hot-or-Not app …Good Luck, out there.15DATING1-master675

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First Date with a nonstop talker?

images-38Thank you, Kaylene K of Sausalito, who sends in this:

“My eHarmony First Date Story”

OR: He’s just not that into you- but, finds himself fascinating.

Our First Date: By the end of one of the most entertaining evenings of my life, my mouth hurt from smiling too much. I had an amazing meal. I’ve been in the presence of a loquacious, comedic star, shining bright; and I’d been the best audience he had known. (We split the tab)

His total lack of interest in my life doused any embers and interest in him.

As we walked out of the sublime restaurant into the whipping winds and fog of summer in Sausalito, he did say, “Kathy, you are so private. You didn’t tell me about yourself.”

I fluttered with a tiny speck of hope, and then he lapsed into another long story about his own fabulous self. His brother… His father…

C’est fini!

Thank heaven we lived in polar opposite sides of town. We agreed to separate cabs and nodded – “Lovely evening,” and big air-kisses, with an unspoken “We are so not a match. Buh bye!”

The final blessing – to alleviate any guilt or awkwardness- was when

Mr. I Love to Hear Myself Talk said, “Good night, Maureen!”

And we were off!

frog-1One Must Air-Kiss a Few of these….in the marathon of merriment. Ribit.

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Mr. Easter Bunny, bring me a sweetheart


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Dear Easter Bunny,

Skip the chocolate drops, the Pink Peeps and the pastel jellybeans.

 This year, cancel the marshmallow eggs and the yummy bonbons from See’s, Godiva and TCHO.

 Bring me a man.

You get around. You know the score: 1.5 zillion single men and women in the United States are online- all hovering over their computer screens Match-ing, being Tinder, seeking Chemistry and Harmony. It is not all sweetness and light, Mr. Peter Cottontail.

couple-437987__180Mr. Rabbit, I need sugar.

No, not that white stuff and certainly not the high-fructose-corn-syrup stuff, either.  I want real sugar, sweetheart.

I asked Mr. Sandman to bring me a dream.

eggs-672460__180Didn’t happen.

I even asked Santa Claus (when it was a real Silent Night) to bring a bouquet of mistletoe and put Mr. McDreamy under my tree… And what did I get? Veritable coal is my stocking. Ouch!

eggs-669237__180Recently, I met one man, he was mad as a March hare. Last week, I met another guy, a bike rider – actually – Harley-Davidson /Hells Angels caliber with a gleaming, chrome dome (no hare.)

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All I want for Easter is …

So, Mr. Easter Bunny, skip the chocolates and bring me a sweetheart.

Love and kisses,

Miss Marry Marin

aka    Amazing Grace

hare-285470__180You are Amazing, Grace! Thanks for sharing your your “love letter” to

Peter Cottontail. I bet those cute guys on Match.com will love it.

Love,  Page

 

 

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Uh oh, the ladies are leaving – big online dating Exodus

dead-44155__180Massive Exit: Girls 50+ say the playing field is not level.

 Exit Sign

There are approximately 2.5 million people in enrolled in online dating sites like Match.com, eHarmony, OKCupid, Tinder, Plenty of Fish, Chemistry, and Christian singles.com.

The dating sites are made up of 52 % men and 48% women. What are the odds? Who are the odds?

To tell the truth

Fact: More men lie about height and age than women. Women tend to erase a few pounds. Go figure…

More men set their sights on dating a younger companion. Ladies, generally tend to “Date their decade.” Truth be told, a lot of guys-all gaga with this new suddenly single chapter admit to thinking “This time around (post divorce and long marriage) I’m gonna get me a babe!” Really, Fred Mertz?

 Thou doth protest too much

Men over 50: aiming to appear youthful and virile, drown their online dating profiles in verbs.

 He likes to run, jump, jog, hike, climb, camp, spelunk, swing, hit, paddle, row, lift, toss, throw, thump, thwack, bounce and batter and he fishes in Montana and Mexico, sails, explores, plays tennis (both clay and table.) He skis, and he hoists himself by his own petard. It is exhausting to read a profile front-loaded with verbs.

 Nary is a word is written about intellectual, spiritual, or mind-body pursuits. These things are said to be to B-O-R-I-N-G – according to the six men interviewed for this column.

 Pretty women – a classic example After speaking to a dozen women, 50+, the one cogent take away from the Ladies- Who -Were-Leaving – was that of the men they were interested in, all were aspiring to date women 5- 10 years younger than themselves -a  new meaning for “passover.”

Carolyn, 61, retired, homeowner with a cabin Tahoe, yoga devotee and a century bike rider, lives in the Marina.

She is very pretty, accomplished, kind, and has a life rich with multiple interests, numerous friends, three great, adult, kids who are on their own and adore her and she knows no financial restraints.

She said she tried four different dating sites and came up empty each time.   Granted, she had  parameters. She wasn’t willing to drive more than an hour to meet somebody; she preferred to meet somebody with an education that matched hers; she had no interest in dating a recent widow or a person who was never married. Those are things that were important to her. What gives?

She felt adamant that if she listed her age as 59 she would have gotten a lot more attention, however, she wasn’t willing to start a relationship with a lie. She threw in the towel and is telling all her friends and acquaintances to keep an eye peeled for a Man of Interest for her. Smart move.

beach_locusts_7_8colMimi in So Florida lamented the fact that she is surrounded by seniors and snowbirds- and flocks of Canadians who come “for the season.” She felt certain that going online would be the key to success to romance. Not so much. She was just about to quit online dating and decided to stretch her geographical boundaries- and stated she was willing to date outside of Florida. In one week, she met Ricky in Alabama- also retired. He had been a produce manager at Publix, was a dedicated and kind grandfather, a good dancer, and available. They have been together three years.

 

The take away? Don’t give up too soon…. online dating is a numbers game. Don’t wink or send a canned greeting- respond to every person who sends you a note of any length- embrace the Golden rule- and have fun out there!

Wooden foot bridge in the woods.

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The first six dates are… easy does it?

Men are like the bubbles in champagne: they disappear?

Sylvie, resident Internet Dating Diva, said the men she dated were like bubbles in a glass of champagne. That sounded poetic until she revealed, after six dates most guys evaporated and disappeared. She admitted the ‘disappearing act’ sometimes  happened before the sixth date. 

“Bewitched, bothered and bewildered” aka  the  “Dating at 50 Group”

 Eight, suddenly single, women from various parts of Marin – all about the same age (Perpetually 39) were invited to Sylvie’s home and a convivial focus group was created.

The First Meeting/Party: Keeping with a theme: Sex in the City for Girls Over 50, pretty pink Cosmopolitans were served. Fact: Give a single woman two Cosmos and you had better be ready to take notes.

There was a tsunami of thoughts and beliefs about being Single at 50 and   the fast and fleeting dating in 2015.   

Mae West said, “I only have ‘Yes’ men around me. Who needs ‘No’ men?”

Let them eat cake

Alexis, 39 for a decade, another self-proclaimed dating expert said, “On line dating is like a buffet. Single people push their trays down the buffet line and randomly pick and choose each other.” She continued, “Initially, it’s totally intoxicating. Eventually, you learn what’s healthy for your body and mind. Sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad, boy”.                                                                        
The group ran with the obvious “Dessert and Desert” metaphors.

let_them_eat cake_7Sylvie concluded with an observation that Match.com, and other costly on-line cupids, perpetuate a ‘Candy store mentality.’ If at first you don’t meet Mr.or Ms Right-Now, wait another day and they will send you twenty-four brand new perfect matches. 

imageschampagenR.I.C.E. – the new staple in dating at 50?

Following the food-chain-of-thought, the women agreed upon the four most important qualities they were looking for  “You’ve got to have RICE! You know: Respect, Integrity, Chemistry, and Energy, that’s the ticket!” After raucous agreement and applause, the women proposed a toast to the New Year, one filled with romance and RICE.

Happy New Year.

“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.” Bette Davis

fireworks celebration 2

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The top 10 places in Marin County to meet women

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Where do you go to meet women in Marin County? Everywhere…

Demographics, darling… It’s all about demographics. 

Take a look: there are more Single Women – per capita- than single men in Marin County.

The Top 10 Places to Meet Women in Marin:

1. Film Festivals – There are more film festivals, per-capita, in Marin than any other county in California.  Just being at a film festival  is a natural way to encounter a kindred spirit. The Mill Valley Film Festival is the best! In addition to great parties, easy access, stellar movies – there are happy people everywhere…Note: 76% of the volunteers are women.

Best technique: Nonchalantly comment on a genre, director, star, long line, paucity of tickets. It all starts with a smile and a question… “Do you know…”  fill in the blank and start a conversation. Lights, camera, action!

2. Trader Joe’s: on Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m… (and Monday, Tuesday…) Again, engage with a smile and opening line.  Ask a question (i.e. “Excuse me, which do you prefer? Hey, do you know how to select good  apples?”  wine? bread? soap?)

Paradise Market/Tiburon is like a sorority at 5:30 ish. The aisles are crawling with women. Il Fornaio/Corte Madera at 4pm – this where women gather.

(Yes, Virginia, every Whole Foods in Marin falls into same category for great place to pick up…)

3. Lectures – at Book Passages: one of the hottest ticket in Marin County for a parade of amazing authors (Bryan Burroughs, Richard Price, Dennis Lehane, Rick Smolan with Martin Cruz Smith were just there was there SRO– outstanding) grace the small stage. Have a glass of wine and check it out.

Free  Special Events  usually attract SRO (Standing Room Only) crowds. SEE ALSO: Marin Arts Center, Marin Osher JCC, the Mill Valley Library, Falkirk, San Domenico, etc

4. Volunteer: at the Big Event: the  Mill Valley Film FestivalLITQUAKE, the Labor Day Sausalito Art Festival, any Wine Tasting events, Sierra Club, the Human Race, Writer’s Conferences. Bonus: When You volunteer, you get to attend the venue for free and mingle with the attendees. Remember: the Volunteer Party is a “Do not miss.”

5. Yoga classes:  Hands down this has to be the best place to meet women, odds are generally 10 women to 1 guy… and women have a soft spot in their hearts (or soles ) for a guy who happens to wander into a yoga class. Do a little research and find Beginner classes and start there.

You’ll thank me. Despite popular Marin Myths- there are not yoga studios on every street corner: Due diligence required.

6. Bookstores – Hey, it’s where we hang out. Note: 76% of all books are sold to Single Women. You do the math. Again: Smile and Ask a Question  (i.e “Is this author any good?)  See: Copperfields in San Rafael.

7. Cupcake stores, sweet bakeries: (think Sprinkles of the famed Oprah Best-Pick genre). Okay, sweetie, so we indulge. Sit down, have a cup of coffee and engage. Best question to ask “Which is your favorite?” or “I want to buy my mom a treat- what you suggest?”unnamed

8.The Book Depot is mecca…or Peet’s at Corte Madera Shopping Center where ‘the elite meet’ before Apple Store Appointments and classes. The Apple Store is teeming with people looking for answers…Join the teem…

9. Wine Shops (VintageWine/Spirits, Marin Bev Outlet, Mill Valley Market, etc ) Aren’t we all looking for the same thing? A decent Pinot noir and a bon soir? Flirt, already.

10. On the Street…at The Rafael Theater- famous for great films, Members Nights, Free Films for the Public. This famous Marin landmark rocks and has a half dozen great Pre-and Post Movie-date cafes, restaurants, ice cream shops within 30 steps…

Shhh…here is a  big secret: Women in Marin Love Men Who Dance

It’s not really a secret: from the lines in the loo, to the buffet, and the midnight dessert run, women all heartily agreed; men who dance are a lot more fun and a lot more interesting.

The Take Away: Gentlemen start your lessons: Take beginner lessons, have fun and practice, practice, practice.

Three Local Hot Spots for dancing

Where else in Marin County?


AT: ICB Sausalito, on the mountain – on the Sunshine Trail – in the elevator, at the Chalk Drawing in San Rafael;  Sausalito’s Seahorse Dance Party with a $5 cover charge…walking into the store, in the well lit, safe, busy, parking lot, on the bus, after the movie, at Muir Beach, at Sports Basement, at church, Steep Ravine, Rulli….at dim sum, at Rancho Nicasio, classes at College of Marin, dog walking… at Safeway, at any one of the numerous farmer’s market, Best Buy…at the library….in the waiting room…

Try Meetup.com for walking~ strolling~hiking, sailing, book club groups, quaffing, photography groups in your zip code.

 

Every single day – there are multiple opportunities to simply say: Hi, Hey, Hello…

And the best line ever:  “Have we met? “ (really – the best line ever scripted).

Here’s a little secret: A lot of  men might be happy with March Madness, Super Bowl, Sunday/Monday Night football  and the myriad sport shows that are on every day, on every channel…

However, girls?  Not so much. 

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Singles:  Get out there and play.  The true, real recipe  for success is to,

Once a day, – say “hi”  to ‘a new person.’

Photograph by FREE RANGE STOCK

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The real secret to Dating at 50+ Success?

happy woman

 What is the current, sexy, top secret to dating success?

Pssst: It doesn’t involve  diamonds, lavish gifts  or Champagne and flirty bon mots at Cavallo Point. Hot cars, high heels, or hefty portfolios are not the piece de’ resistance. Even the sculpted, varnished Barbie or Ken Doll Perfect, nip and tuck, make-over isn’t the key.

The passport to meeting the love of your life, or your newest friend, or your Date for Life is simple: Low Expectations.

couple-437987__180Blinded by fairy tales, unrealistic dreams, gently inflated egos and sky-high hopes for Prince Charming – or a really sexy Cinderella – Single and 50 people cruise by one another all  day long...

Get real.

Delete the:  “My Man Must over 6′, healthy, wealthy and wise” or “She Should Be: athletic, svelte, sexy, and able to change into a little black dress or jeans in the blink of an eye.”

Lower your expectations –  

Smile and  say “hi” to three single people today.

conn_hands

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Dating 101: How to begin a conversation? Ask a question?

red_door11“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” Voltaire

Will you please ask me a question?

This week, more Online Dating/Women have commented that men forget to ask questions. Conversation buzz-kill is neglecting to ask a question.

Shirley-u-Jest said she gets 3-4 emails each day from men who write dead-end quips like:

  • Cool profile.
  • I like skiing, too
  • You are beautiful.
  • We both like chocolate.

How would you respond? You are beautiful, too?

photo_856_20060117two coffee

Gentlemen, Start Your Questions

Guys, too much heavy lifting is required to respond to your comment:  “I read that book.” Which book? What did you think? Did you like it? Who is your favorite writer?

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge?

Granted, four words in a note are a hundred times better than a “Wink” or a canned greeting like ”Hello, Beautiful.”

 The Take Away: If you want a woman to talk to you – ask questions. If you have no interest in ever connecting- make a statement and she wont respond. C’est fini.


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There are four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love.     Lord Byron

 

There are four questions of value online: Where did you grow up    Where did you go to school? How long have you lived here?  What’s your favorite fun thing to do on a sunny Saturday?  Page Larkin

 

Check out the Proust Questionnaire and  The Top 20 Questions to Break the Ice

 

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Still Single: is Netflix your BFF?

photo_1650_20060608Are you tired of dinner for one? Are you in love with Netflix?

 Are you bored with hanging out with your pals dreaming about dates, dinner, candlelight and kisses?

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Just do it

That New Year’s Resolution to get “online” and enroll in one of the more esteemed online dating companies might take an hour of your time. Go ahead. (No, Binky, Adult Friend Finder is not the upper echelon.)

 Break the rules

When your profile is posted and you are up and running, you have to really get in the game.

Sitting back and waiting for a “Barbie” or a “Ken” doll to wink, blink, nod, or e-mail you may be painfully slow.   The sit -back -and -watch modus operandi has been known to be a dead-end and a waste of time and money.

Somewhere, someone dictated that it is inappropriate to scour the pictures and profiles at online dating sites on the weekend- evidently this is a red flag that you are not on a date! Shocking! Your presence would indicate you are actually home and on your laptop! Get over it. Break the rules and have fun. Keep it light.

The only rule for online dating

The single most important rule to pay attention to is to be courteous and polite.

Oh, and be sure to use spellcheck- your new best friend.

Oh! The other thing – if another single person contacts you – the burden is on you to respond (unless the individual is a true whack job, if so, simply ‘block’ that individual from your profile)  No lengthy essay is required- a simple one-liner expressing interest or not.

Don’t waste time

If you want just succeed in online dating- break the rules- reach out and touch someone- that is, every day: drop three people a one-line note. This is called “getting your mojo moving.”

Remember: It’s a numbers game and writing a one-sentence note: how hard is that?

Seriously, there are men-and women who believe a man has to be the first one to extend a greeting.

Fuhgeddaboutit.

Any man who is taken aback by woman approaching him first- is a dud. Move on.

Have fun out there, break the rules, make your own rules, and heartily embrace the Golden Rule – treat others the way you want to be treated.in

Onward and upward!

kite__20060611 

Let me know how that works for you:

pagelarkin@gmail.com

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