She thought she was glorious

Helen started wearing  glasses in second grade. In fifth grade, she had to get braces- on her teeth for four years. She whined her hair was the color of dishwater. In high school, her complextion took a turn for the worse and she battled acne.

By the time she was ready for college, she could not wait to escape her tiny town and start a new life- far away. Her grades were stellar, her SAT was almost perfect; she scored big time with a passel of generous scholarships.

At first she thought Michigan, no Duke, then decided Stanford would be perfect. When Harvard sought her out, she was seduced and decided to go Crimson.

The summer before college, she returned to the summer camp she had first attended as a girl and later became a counselor. That summer, Trixie Travis from  Southern California  was the Pottery Counselor. She had long blond hair, really cute clothes and a bushel of make up and hair products. And, she loved to share.

Who know if Trixie was planning a pygmalion- but every other day,  Helen had a makeover du jour. Frequently,  the two senior counselors claimed they need something from town: chalk, balloons, art supplies. They ran a token errand and made a b-line to the Hair and Cosmetic area of the mega store.

Helen opened her wallet, and Trixie showed her how to spend money on more cosmetics, hair color, product and “cute clothes.” By the end of the summer, people looked twce – no one really recognized Helen. She went from vapid to va-va-voom!


Helen’s best buddy, Andy, told her she looked glorious. It was then and there she decided to change her name.  Goodbye to Helen and hello to G L O R I A.


Daily Prompt: Glorious

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Dating 101: Is he vain and impulsive? Run

Exit Sign

Dear Page Larkin,

I recently met a man online; his photo was taken from afar and was a little grainy. Let’s call him John Miller. Apparently, he is very wealthy, has homes in a number of places. His kids are married and all work for him.

He is much older (70) and bragged loud and often about his accomplishments. I figured he was insecure ( flaccid?)

We met once at a dive bar – he said he had to be “discreet.” It was dark – he called it romantic – I called it creepy. I instantly noticed his

  • Impulsivity,
  • Extreme present focus
  • Levels of narcissism, (every sentence was “a brag”)
  • Lack of trust i(n the waitress, the bartender, me)
  • And, a whole lot of paranoia.

What do you think? Run or Remain?

Wanna B Wed

Dear Wanna B Wed,

I feel I have a “duty to warn” about any dangers he poses because of his psychological make-up. The characteristics you note are enough to get a man impeached, much less tossed off the island. Put on your Nike’s: Run – don’t walk. He is trouble.


Page Larkin

garden party 2017 003Bragging about yourself violates norms of modesty and politeness – and if you were really competent, your work would speak for itself.

Adam Grant


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Make America…

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Dating 101: How to read a Profile


Expect a little “To Tell the Truth, ” a bit of  “I’ve Got a Secret”  and some “Dark Shadows”

Reading Dating Profiles on,, or Plenty of Fish can be confusing.  As you wade through a minefield of clichés and brags, you wonder how to decipher this barrage of data. Is there some kind of code? Where do you get a romance Rosetta stone?

The answer? Read between the lines and take it all with a grain of salt.

Due diligence and deciphering? Yes, that too, Binkie!

Steven D. wrote that he ‘hailed from the Citrus Belt of California’  (Orange County, Republican). He reads the New Yorker and legal stuff (lawyer).

He “loves debating” (argumentative) and says his two kids are his best friends (uh-oh.)    He says he’s “tired of restaurants” (cheap) and prefers TV dinners on the couch (yawn)     In his profile photo, taken from afar,  Steven D. commits a grave error by wearing the egregious hat and sunglasses (Hiding what?  Bad hair, no hair, squinty eyes, tattoos). More red flags.

To Tell the Truth

Margo C writes that she ‘Likes Jenga and Scrabble (Couch Potato Girl) and her cats. She says she  “a big woman, with a big heart and big fun.” No mystery there; her candid photograph indicates the same. Give her credit: she is honest and to the point.

‘Walter Mitty Mike’ should be a Fiction Writer.

Despite his friend’s protestations, Tommy writes that he is “A doctor with three North Bay offices; he collects old cars, has a place in the mountains, and  a pied-a-terre in the City, in addition, he collects French wines.”

His best friends will tell you, actually, the Veterinarian business is slow, so Tommy works three days a week all over Petaluma and Novato; he drives a great old truck; has a Rambler and a Corvair; and he has a big tent, in the summer, above Truckee. His place in the City? He camps out with a buddy in a studio apartment in SOMA, where the two like to party and paint the town beige. Tommy likes a good story and tells one — after another.

Someone has to tell him Ménage a Trois is not a French wine. And, that there is a time and place for everything.

‘I’m a Barbie’ writes her entire profile in uppercase letters.

Those in the know say, beware: possible anger issues here.  Barbie says she’s “spontaneous to a fault” (red flags flashing). This generally translates to disorganized, ditzy, and unpredictable. All are qualities some men might … cherish. Or not. Clever Barbie writes she is looking for a Ken doll with a Maserati…or Porsche… didn’t work out for her. Tsk.

There are a lot of stories in “The Dated City”

Remember: Honesty is the best policy and the truth will set you free — and help you avoid embarrassing situations. He will know it a minute that the cute  photo take ten years ago is a fake…She will know that your 5’6 height is not 5’10…what are you thinking? 

Give online dating a whirl, take it all with a shaker of salt,  and have fun out there.


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Personal Ads really work- see here:

Jade: 48, divorced, two kids launched, decided to start looking for her ‘Date for Life.’ No more speed dating or coffee dates and buddies – she wanted a relationship.

One small drawback

She lives in a very, very, small town nestled in the redwoods in Northern California. A writer and an English major who loves the Pacific Northwest and the Arts, she subscribes to the New York Review of Books. Last year – a little lonely and fuelled by one too many espressos- she decided try the NYRB Personal ads.

For months, she had been amused and intrigued by the ads and – in a C’est le guerre kind of mood – she crafted a succinct and attractive ad.

 $5.00 will buy you one word

She ponied up $150 for a well-crafted, 30-word ad and sat back. Who would respond? George in Brooklyn or  Thomas in New Haven? JohnE-Be-Good in San Francisco?

The ad ran for one week and produced one, single, beguiling response from ‘Rusty Rings.’

Stranger than fiction?  Quelle surprise: Rusty Rings lived 15 miles away! They met for the first time, they clicked, and have been together ever since. It happens.

Writing your Personal ads – avoid dangling your participles…

When you are paying a hefty $5 per word for a Personals Ad, one tends to choose their nouns carefully. On the other hand, if you are writing a Craigslist ad – free of charge – you might be a little less discreet about your word choice and message.

How much does that Love Letter cost?

Here are samples of two recent NYRB Personal Ads  (She wrote / He wrote)

Note: To be fair- both Ads are mildly edited for the sake of the singles.

COST: NYRB Personals – Hers: over $500.00

His: over $750.00

She writes:

Hello, darling: Me: sexy, sophisticated striking natural beauty and completely real at the same time. Adventurous, curious; artist, low-key humanitarian, trailblazer. Fun loving, athletic. Slender, lean, really cute…unassuming playful smile. Nature, outdoors-lover. Appreciator of beauty, creativity, spontaneity, delights in exploration, I am Spicey hot!  Love skiing, hiking, sailing, New England, photography, architecture. Great cook, great conversationalist …Crazy about making a difference, giving back… Seeking adventurous, verbal, secure, man, 45–59, values generosity, authenticity. Your pic gets mine. Your love gets mine

He writes:

Color me: TALL, SLIM, late 50s, City Boy—More Ryan Reynolds meets Ed Norton than Tom Cruise meets Vin Diesel. Educated at Harvard and New Haven… working with non-profits and on Wall Street. Passionate about music and even played (around) in Carnegie Hall; enjoy: hiking, biking, yoga, tennis, art, spicy gourmet food and wine, and black-tie dinners …reading, stimulating conversation and cooking…my spicy tastes range from punk to ballroom…Attracted to young slim figures and dynamic personalities, reading, stimulating conversation and cooking. Love to travel and have lived abroad.. Looking for LTR and kids with a woman 20 years my junior who is spiritual-yet-grounded. Please send letter and photo to: Box 007

What price love?

Both candidates have very long shopping lists of “Must have qualities” for their dream dates. Some would consider their Personal Ads somewhat ego-centric and vain – others might flock to such a well-spoken, confidant singles.

One would hope that Mr. Spiritual-but-grounded $750.00 Personal Ad – would find his 20 years younger, lithe, divorcee with kids. Sounds like he would be the ‘perfect daddy’ perhaps, a real sugar daddy.

Bon chance!

And, Bravo to the singles who – every day – put it out there- who take a chance for romance.











via Daily Prompt: Spicy

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Single Once Again…a short story…

Just say Hello…

Dont play hard to get

Sari was a PE Major in college.

After graduation, she thrashed about looking for a career and her dad got her a job as a “Go-Fer” in one of his pal’s offices. Sari quickly ascertained that being a polite, shrinking violet got her nowhere – but if she upped her game and bulldozed a few colleagues she got noticed.

Years of being bold and bulldozing and, bam, she was playing with the big guys.

Women stepped clear and avoided Sari at all costs. Her reputation for character slaughter, viscious moves and outright lying got her noticed.

It was surreal.

Her famous dad called her from home to say a few people in high places had noticed her and a job opening was coming about. It paid well and she would be noticed. Finally.

Minutes later,  she was called by a secretary at the White House.

At 5pm, a limo picked her up. At 6pm she met a team of  White House staff who grilled her.

Appropriately, she snarled, snipped, was caustic and lied with a straight face and aplomb.

She got the job.

She cannot get a date.





Suddenly Single in Marin

This wonderful account: From Annie S  via the e-mail bag

Dear Page Larkin,

We met in Mill Valley at the Depot in 2010

He was an espresso. I was a double latte.

We each sat at our individual little tables soaking up the rare December sun. Each sipping coffee, our faces to the sun.  Puccini ‘s Tosca was playing in the background.

I had just written the last gigantic check to my divorce attorney and the ink was finally dry. A long sordid  chapter in my life was over.

I was elated, shocked and relieved. I knew I should be surrounded by friends sipping Veuve Cliquot champagne.

But, this felt right. I had a huge wave of relief wash over me, followed by a burst of happiness.

I remember it felt  like a 1000 watt light bulb ignited…I was drenched in cliches and epiphanies. And it wasn’t the caffeine.

You know…

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City Fun Date Ideas: Name that location

guys i datesd






Summertime and the living is easy!

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Sleeping – Sex and the Single Girls

photo_10108_20090419roseAre you in the mood for love: sleep or sex? Can you have it all?


Women are generally pre-disposed to comfort; we have a penchant for sensual fabrics: lofty, light, down comforters and pillows- lots and lots of pillows.

While we may not count sheep – we count threads. If a sheet doesn’t have a 300+ thread count and isn’t 100% Egyptian cotton – you will hear a rousing, “Next!”

There is also a love for coverlets, quilts and duvets, throw, blankets – we aspire to layers of ultimate softness and Warm Things

“Warmth, all designed to cocoon one into the sweetest of dreams.”

It is no mystery: Women love fresh flowers, fresh sheets, candlelight, music, mystery, massage, merriment… 

What is a Buzzkill?

A True Romantic Buzzkill is an unmade bed, scratchy sheets, “not-fresh” sheets, that cat in the corner staring, hard pillows, water beds, bunk beds, pictures of old sweethearts on the wall, any and all traces of old girl-friends /Ex’s. 


Pillow Talk?  Caution: Amazon Prime – a joke or pillow Scam Sham?  Really,  who would buy a pillow for $11,000? So far, no one. Is this a loss leader? Hype? A Scam or a sham? Go figure.  Go ahead, look and gasp: Chooty & Co Luxe Polyester Throw Pillow $11,000

 Get Down, Get DownFact: Pacific Coast makes the best pillows and pillow beds. See Here

Finally: Lose Sleep over this Scam or Sham?   Ogallala Comfort Company 76-In x 80-In 800-Fill White Goose Hypo-Down Comforter, King  is $3400.00. Really?



Sex – What say you?

Sex is emotion in motion.     Mae West

Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.     Marilyn Monroe

 A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after.     Gloria Steinem

In my sex fantasy, nobody ever loves me for my mind.     Nora Ephron

Sex is… perfectly natural. It’s something that’s pleasurable. It’s enjoyable and it enhances a relationship. So why don’t we learn as much as we can about it and become comfortable with ourselves as sexual human beings because we are all sexual?     Sue Johanson

Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk — real straight talk about souls, for life is holy and every moment is precious.     Jack Kerouac

The way you make love is the way God will be with you.     Rumi

I like threesomes with two women, not because I’m a cynical sexual predator. Oh no! But because I’m a romantic. I’m looking for “The One.” And I’ll find her more quickly if I audition two at a time.     Russell Brand

Sex is more exciting on the screen and between the pages than between the sheets.      Andy Warhol

I’m a heroine addict. I need to have sex with women who have saved someone’s life.   Mitch Hedberg

For Great Sex Advice-  Look for  books by Isadora Alman – once the High Priestess of Sex Advice in San Francisco – she was a risqué, tell it like it is – or should be –  Dr Ruth  before Dr Ruth.


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Seven hot summer date ideas


You may have to cross a bridge and enter a rainbow tunnel – to have fun- but the options are numerous

1. Best Place to Have a Cocktail at the Beach in San Francisco: The Riptide – eclectic and funky and fun- claims to have the best staff, best juke box or you could hit The Beach Chalet across the street from Ocean Beach.

2. Best Place to Laugh in the Dark: Just want to laugh? Get tickets to see a movie: Wonder Woman…Dunkirk…The Emoji Movie is for kids…

3. Best Place for Stargazing: Get thee to one of the Bay Area’s most spectacular sights: Mount Tamalpais – in addition to stargazing – there is hiking, biking, picnic areas, birdwatching, camping,     (See Below)

4. Is That Some Kind of a Record? Many Fog free- hours can easily be whiled away going through the stacks of CDs, vinyl and DVDs at the veritable treasure trove, Amoeba Records on Haight Street. While in the hood, necessary stops might include The Alembic – and the hot, haute, restaurant Cha,Cha,Cha.

5. Best Place to Feel Breathless- Gilroy’s famed Garlic Festival will cure all that ails you.  Is garlic is your Midsummer Night-mare? Shakespeare warned: “Most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath.” So, skip the stinky bulb and frolic at many fun-filled events at the very popular, crowded, festival. No, not a breath of fresh air, but so much fun. Yes, Virginia, Garlic Ice cream.

6. Best Place to Nibble, Nosh, and Dine Around – Got truck? Sample all at the delicious foods at anyone of the dozens of Off the Grid Dining events (in Novato, North Beach,Serramonte, Burlingame, Cupertino, etc)

7. Best Place for Kite-Boarding is Crissy Field – and in San Mateo Coyote Point. Both locales are great for watching or participating. Like standup? How do they do that? See: Standup Paddle Board  Cruise scenic Richardson Bay in Marin County.


Wooden foot bridge in the woods.


The Fabulous Mount Tamalpais

Facilities and Activities
Hiking and Bicycle Trails: More than 50 miles of hiking trails are within the park and connect to a larger, 200 mile long trail system. Friends of Mt. Tam provides hike suggestions and hike schedules on their website.
Road bikers are challenged by the infamous seven sisters and the twisting road to the top while mountain bikers can enjoy the Coast View and Dias Ridge multi-use trails as well as park fire trails.
Be aware of park regulations when visiting!

The Bootjack Picnic Area has tables, stoves, piped drinking water and flush toilets.

The East Peak Summit features a Visitor Center and the Gravity Car Barn, a small museum of railroad history (open on weekends only). Picnic tables and a fully accessible restroom are also available.

The Mountain Theater (AKA The Cushing Memorial Theater) was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The natural-stone amphitheater seats 3,750 people and features the Mountain Play each spring, produced every year since 1913. In the summer, monthly astronomy programs are held in the theater, free to the public.

Walk-in camping is available first come, first served at Pantoll and Bootjack. For reservations at Steep Ravine cabins or campsites, or the Alice Eastwood and Frank Valley group camps, visit Reserve America.

For more information about the park and activities in the park led by Friends of Mt. Tam, visit

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Hot New Company: Fat Nannies LLC

Dear Page Larkin,

I’m dating the greatest guy who is very cool on every level. He has one fatal flaw: his job.  He owns his business and is a self-professed “Domestic Placement Specialist.”

Chad’s company is making money hand over fist. He just bought a Cherries-in-the-Snow Red 2008 Jaguar.  He was bored with the Tesla. He has a house in Aptos and Tahoe

Here’s the Deal, my single friends are offended by the name of his company: Fat Nannies.

He hires young women from England and Ireland who are professionally trained and great with kids. In additon to impressive CV’s, his primary (unspoken) employment pre-requisites are  the women should be plump, with bad teeth and big hearts.

My married friends think he is a genius.    Should I tell him what I think?

No Marry Poppins

Dear No Marry Poppins

Did he ask you what you think? It’s really none of your business. Yes, your friends are entitled to their opinions. Put business aside and enjoy “The greatest guy.” Bravo to him for filling a need.

Peace and love,

Page Larkin


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