Spooky moments: the school dance

Please don’t drag me down Memory Lane.

It’s my least favorite street.

Spooky nightmares, sinister and mysterious activities twisting and frugging.

One had to adapt to strange rites like the Hully Gully and Hitch Hike.

Everyone feared holding up the wall – like a wall flower – and the greatest fear of all was The Monster Mash.


Knights in  in White Satin and Boys in White Socks


And the banned played on…


Before it burned down the first time, San Francisco’s Cliff House, perched above the roiling Pacific Ocean, was a haven for wild and obstreperous events.

Some called it “Wicked fun” while others -were aghast at the rumors of drinking, gambling, and lewd and loose women making whoopee. 

People spoke in hushed tones about the cadre of young, wealthy, sons of San Francisco society who frequented the back rooms. These roues – frisky and carefree – reveled in partaking in all things banned at their respective clubs downtown.

No one knew if it was a Flood, a Fair or the Hopkins boy who started the fight, which knocked over the huge table that fell into the roaring fire and started the conflagration.


She fell hard…



Ralph was a dashing, carefree, handsome man. He drove a hot car, wore great clothes, and loved to drive to Marin County for romantic dinners, drinks, and long walks along the water.

They met online, had coffee the next day, she was instantly smitten. He had impeccable manners and was smart and funny. During their coffee date,  he reached across the table and held her hand. She melted.

While they had only dated for two months, Glenda was over the moon in love. 

She thought Ralph was capricious and charismatic and a complete anomaly- nothing like the “boys’ she had dated.

On their first date, he wisked her away to Sausalito for dinner. He had a beautiful bouquet of flowers in the car. He brought a bottle of wine to the restaurant and after the date, asked if he might kiss her.  That was a 30-minute kiss. He open the car door for her, and Glenda floated back to her apartment. And so it began.

He called her twice a day – he worked weekends – so they went to dinner mid-week. Her friends were dying to meet “Mr Right” however, his busy work schedule precluded any weekend dinner parties, brunch dates or luncheons. Glenda was happy to comply with his quirky schedule.

And then it happened. Glenda’s best friend, Tiffany, was getting married and there were a slew of parties, events and gatherings. Glenda told Ralph about the parties in and round the City – and he apologized – he was sorry – work was so busy- he couldn’t make any of the events.  Glenda hadn’t even told him about the mid week wine tasting at Rigolo and the private party at Spruce for three couples. He simply graciously-  bowed out of everything.  They went back to her apartment and it was, his dictum, “Discussion closed.” He couldn’t spend the night – ever – work was just too busy. 

There was a tiny crack in his chivalrous facade. At one time, Glenda thought “googling the guy” was crass and invasive. That night, she spent an hour with Google. She was inventive and persistent. And, then very angry.

It seems, Ralph had been deliberately ambiguous – she called it “flirty” and thought he was playing hard to get. Nope. He was a married man who lived in South San Francisco. He had kids. He was a bona fide lair and a cheat.

She told that much when he called the next morning.

C’est fini.

Always: Google the Guy or the Girl.








Sister, we need to talk


Putting on Your Big Girl Pants

(As always, the people/places/things have been changed to protect the innocent.)

Dear Laurel,

I’m a small Asian girl and I am just learning how to drink. Can you help me?

I went to trendy place on Market St where the drinks are delicious! They switch up their menu every so often, but every single alcohol-infused mixology-inspired cocktail was “refreshing.”

You can barely taste the alcohol but it’s packed with sneaky alcohol deliciousness.

I am now very assertive about getting my drink

Since I am a small Asian girl- I tend to disappear in the crowd.

And when the tall business-looking men and women come barging through to get themselves a drink – I get pushed- I am now  assertive.

You’ll also be “encouraged” to stand and watch the bartenders create their so-called masterpieces, but once you get your drink and pay, being a small Asian girl, I know, you should really move along so other people can get what they need after a long day at work.

Do you have any ideas how to get along in bars?

Ko Ko

Dear Ko Ko,

Thank you for reaching out. Yes, entering the wild and wooly world of Happy Hour can be daunting. The very first thing I would suggest is to erase and delete “small Asian girl” from your vocabulary. Please.   Generally, when you order a drink, one does not aspire to discover “sneaky alcohol deliciousness.” Ko Ko, you might want to slow down and go to a wine tasting – a beer tasting – a scotch tasting and get to know a little about  what you true tastes are. Have fun. Step and ask for what you want.


P.S. When it come to worrying about “moving along” in line – remember the famous Medford, Oregon City Motto: Grow a Pear.



Original Sin vs Original Fun?

“Originality is nothing but judicious imitation.
The most original writers borrowed one from another.”


They said Original Sin was a hand-me-down.

Seems like Eve was very hungry in the Garden of Eden

She thought she had signed up for the Garden of Eating…She  was not a Vegan or a Vegetarian – she was a very hungry carnivore.

The infamous Slithery Snake came along and – long story short: there was a ruby red, organic, Honey Crisp Apple  dangling before her and she bit.

Bam! Lightening and thunder! And, Eve  may have raised a little cane…

(oddly, enough another one was in her future.)

And so it came to be – All of Eve’s children and grandchildren and all God’s chillins  would-be born with Original Sin.

All because of an apple.

And, that, children, is where the phrase,

“How do  you like them apples?” came about.



I dodged a bullet


 He promised me…

That he would behave, be cordial, polite and refrain from saying anything offensive. 

I had suffered through far too many embarrassing situations where he, Mr. Bravado, bragged, boasted and was a show off.

It turns out, my friends told me they found him to be quite “entertaining.” I knew they were laughing at him behind his back. He usually picked up the tab- that’s what they liked about him.

On our first date, we waltzed around Nob Hill; dinner at the Stanford Court, Champagne and dancing at the Top of the Mark, nightcaps at the Fairmont. On our second date, he brought me a gift- a beautiful gold bracelet from Cartier. Rings and things and followed.

By the sixth date, I had decided to cut bait. Although he promised, his brash and bawdy behavior continued. Escaping from this egotist became a necessity.

 He wanted to dine at Season- one of San Francisco’s most expensive restaurants.                  I suggested we have a drink in the lobby bar at the St. Francis (with the long line of taxis waiting right outside.) It was siting in that public place, the Lobby Bar, over a glass of High Rock Ranch Sirah, that I returned the gifts to him and told him  that we were not meant to be. Mr. Bravado doesn’t take “no” for an answer.

It took 30-minutes for me to get away. When I returned home, flowers were waiting at my doorstep and a parade of phone messages followed. At first, his messages were sweet, they became more threatening. And finally, he stopped calling. 

I dodged a bullet.