Caveat emptor: Beware the flashy, fancy, fake


The con man with je ne se quois

 He borrowed the dog, the car, and the book. He wore a fake Rolex and carried a broken Mont Blanc pen. The only thing that belonged to him was the toupee.

Harry must’ve been a prop master in the theater in another lifetime. He had accumulated enough stuff to have it appear that he was successful. He heartily acted the part and began to believe it himself.

His neighbor agreed to allow him to walk her “chick bait” chocolate Labrador retriever, Kisses. Around 11 AM each day, Harry strolls around the Book Depot and downtown Mill Valley with Kisses- the world’s friendliest dog.

Although he is not a prolific reader, he knows enough about cause and effect and to always carry a New York Times bestseller with him. The library book (never read, always carried) is strategically placed, on the table, bar, or counter for all to see- next to his iPhone 6 and his Mont Blanc pen.

Dress For Success

The sky blue cashmere sweater  tied around his shoulders – appearing rakish – perfectly planned, as well as the deferred maintenance look of old money: tasseled loafers with no socks. Only on the foggiest days he has a Burberry raincoat – two sizes too small- over his arm. He does ‘forget’ his wallet – on occasion. His meager pension and Social Security coupled with the money he gets for writing fake Yelp reviews covers his tight budget. He often jokes that he forgot his wallet and  “depended on the kindness of strangers.”

The con man with je ne se quois

The self-elected mayor of Mill Valley, he goes ‘out to dinner’ out five nights a week. Somewhere in his dating career he had set a goal of having three dates a week. At one time, he rotated between D’Angelo’s, Bungalow44 and the Buckeye Roadhouse.

When money got very tight, he develops a penchant for any Happy Hour and grazing at the free hors’d oeuvres trough.

Cyndie was the most recent innocent victim. She swooned when she saw the 1967 Jaguar XKE. She didn’t know his friend, parked his car at Harry’s house whenever he traveled.

Initially, she fell for the whole package. What’s not to like about a friendly guy with a Jaguar and a smiling chocolate Lab?

Harry was seated outside at the Balboa Cafe a chick magnet if there ever was one- the bestseller book on the tabletop, Kisses at his feet. Single women, inevitably, lean down to pet the beautiful dog.

Chat, chat, flirt, flirt turns into “Join me for coffee” with a little bit of notice my book, my Mont Blanc pen, my iPhone. Not my very expensive toupee.

 Smitten and bitten

Cyndie was a hook, line and sinker smitten until she started asking questions and looking closer. It took one coffee date and a long walk to penetrate the veneer of this very well-rehearsed charlatan. She dodged a hoax.

 The Dating 101 Take away lesson – if it looks too good to be true – start asking the tough questions. Yes, it is polite – and very smart-to ask questions.

Asking few well-placed questions, “How do you like the book? What’s it about Is she your dog? How long have you had the car? Are you the original owner? Where do you work? For how long?…”

Binkie, open up a real dialogue and the truth shall set you free.sad man

Please tell me your Dating 101 Story:


<a href=””>The Great Pretender</a>

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