Letters: Mr Right? How does he treat his parents?

Dear Laurel,

You have given me great advice in the past, thank you.

I have a new boyfriend who is all good things: Ivy League education-a great job – lots of fun to be with -has a fabulous flat.

We’ve been together for a year. He has met my family and they like him a lot. I’ve never met his parents -they live on the east coast. His mother’s has been ill for a month or two and he is not been back to visit her. Today, I found out that she is very, very ill, perhaps at death’s door. He is somewhat cavalier and in denial. (If this was my parent- I would be there in a heartbeat.) I mentioned I would go back east with him. His dad said the mother is in  hospice. He thinks, perhaps, next week he will fly back. This self-centered, new development has colored my thinking, respect, and interest in Johnny. Am I being overly sensitive?

Betty in Burlingame 

Dear Betty,

I’m sorry to hear that the man that you are in love with shows so little interest in his family. Yes, you are right: his behavior speaks volumes. Any human being ( much less a son!) who fails to show up for a parent in hospice should give you pause. Rethink this one, Betty. There are red flags everywhere.




Ms Grove,

I’m a fan-and read your blog all the time. I am 35, divorced/ single, and was really enjoying this new dating life until the Pandemic started. Out of the blue, a  guy I dated two years ago, reached out to me. At the time I found him “Just Okay.” We really didn’t have any chemistry – just went to a few plays and concerts together.

I am bored to tears- and I’m thinking maybe I’ll go out with him… What do you think?


Dear Heidi,

I totally understand your boredom and frustration – join the club! Pandemic has put a kabosh on “easy romance.”

I would think twice about reconnecting with somebody who you found less than desirable –  just to kill boredom. It’s not fair to him or you. However, Think about just talking on phone- don’t text!  You want to hear his voice, inflection, the innuendo… In these times of pandemic, you also really want to know that he’s healthy… Whereas “What’s your sign?” used to be an ice breaker.. now the new query is “Have you been tested?” Good luck.      Love, Laurel


I am a Quitter of Twitter…

When I was eight, I published my first newspaper. I sold every copy!

My parents bought all three copies.

I carefully printed pithy stories about my older brothers, our dog and my mean Second grade teacher.

I used a Ticonderoga pencil #2 and a Big Chief Tablet.

I have been writing – often and passionately – ever since.

A star was born

I am famous for grocery lists, newsletters, Letters to the Editor and for my Dating at 50  bit for The New York Times “Modern Love.”

I know my limits…

I’ve never met a writing challenge I couldn’t resist: Sonnet of the week, Haiku of the Day, Limericks for St Patrick’s Day, The Month Python Christmas Carols redux…

My love affair with Twitter started a year ago.

A friend suggested my business as a personal assistant would shoot into the sales stratosphere with a daily infusion of Twitter.

With guarded optimism, fueled by the mantra “everyone else is doing it”, I took the first step and clicked the magic green box: Get Started Join. Voila! I was in the game and all I had to do was start my English major engine and commence with copy.

Like a virtual virgin, I stumbled and stuttered. Reminiscent of a first date: it was slow and awkward. I vacillated between gushing sentences and a haiku-severe short style. Eventually, I hit my stride. I entered the shallow end of the Twitter pool and made tiny waves – twaves? Each day I would punch in a pithy prose describing my various gigs with my vast assortment of clients:

Hired Michael Angelo wannaba be to paint Sister’s chapel at Mercy convent. Not a masterpiece, but was hired to get entire building power washed. Really cleaning up.

Heroine and Heroin?

Before I knew it, I was Tweeting all day long.

People loved me! My followers multiplied – I spent, nay – wasted hours cultivating and contributing. I was hooked.

I will spare you the sordid details of detox,Twitter sobriety and kicking the habit.

All this to say- I’ve got a Writing Program and

Serenity Prayer – well over 140 characters= and, dude, I don’t Tweet.

Good Nightie! Good look…

It Happened One Nightie

Summer nights are quite balmy here in the South Bay. The upcoming Indian summer promises to be a warpath of high temps and scalding sunshine. After being a fog friendly San Francisco Girl these past 20 years – I’m adjusting to the new climate and dramatic wardrobe differences. Even my sleeping attire has changed.

I’d forsaken my classic uniform: the flannel Lanz nightie months ago – and have been on a quest for the coolest (every pun intended) sleeping attire. From gowns, loungewear, men’s-style cotton pajamas to my birthday suit. I’ve been hot on the trail of locating the perfect sleepwear.

Baby doll pajamas were the rage in high school – and oh, baby, I am no longer that ‘doll’.   Next. I don’t have enough foot traffic and company to warrant the purchase of a luxurious Peignoir set and as far as I’m concerned, Victoria can’t keep a Secret. Next.


I was recently at that popular chain of French Dept Stores: Target.  I was hoping to economically replace the very cool $70.00 Hobie sunglasses I’d lost, for a stylish $30.00 pair of sunglasses and I could lose and not care about.

While strolling the aisles I happened to notice men’s, colored T-shirts: “Greatly Reduced.” Aha! A sleeping shirt! And a major bargain…I found an XL Kelly green shirt for a mere $1.98. What a deal!

Then I wandered by the vast Lingerie department.  I perused the voluptuous racks of sleeping attire. I felt like Goldilocks – this one’s too hot; this one too small; this one too gaudy- what were they thinking?  And, then I spied a nightie that was just right! It was a stunning leopard print, spaghetti straps, shortie, nightie – which might double as a cocktail dress, (perhaps worn over black cigarette pants, heels, dangling earrings). For Under $25.00

Whimsically, I bought it. What the heck? I could always return it.

When I got home, I tried it on. Whoa – good nightie!


Have you ever looked in the mirror – and been so impressed with what you saw, you thought:  “Where’s the party? I need to be seen.” 

Me, either – but, that’s exactly what crossed my mind.


Later that night, I put on the soft, green T-shirt and I realized I looked like a big shamrock. I pulled off the ‘tent’ and put on my sexy, pretty, leopard print and decided: Life is short. You can look like a schlump when you’re 90.  Now is the time to be sexy, fun, and cool. 

San Jose Singles – love to be in love?

Match.com  sez “San Jose is not a city of flings.”

San Jose ranks #1 in the Bay Area for Serious Singles looking for long-term relationships.

Across the nation, it ranks #4 in the top 10 cities with the most Serious Daters and #1 on the list of “singles looking for love.”

For some, Love in 90 Days is a Bible. The esteemed author, Dr Kirschner, is dating guru with a plethora of great dating advice and techniques. ( See: book, blog, podcast, telesemniars…)

Even Mother Teresa says ” Love is a fruit in season at all times.”

Looking for love in all the wrong places…yoga, knitting classes, painting classes – are great places to meet women. Men, not so much.

Yeah, men love Beer, Brews, Pubs…Do you want to meet in brew pub?

Try Singles Hiking, Golf, Wine Tasting Events, Rock Climbing classes, Cycling events, Coed Sports teams…

If you are going to dabble online: Have a good friend assist with photos, you unique screen name and all the “copy” you have to provide to attract a mate.

Hot Tips: Get off the couch and out of the house. Don’t waste time on a dead-end relationship.

Notice the red flags and move on.   Whoever asks, pays.




So Many Books, So Little Time

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man has shards of wisdom scattered throughout. Stroll down the aisles of your library and pick up three or four dating books.  (Dating for Dummies is really a treasure trove.)

As is, the classic : He is Just Not That Into You 

The best selling dating how-to-book, The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right is a lark and a laugh and is peppered with some pretty good ideas for dating at 50.


Don’t waste time on a dead-end relationship. Notice the red flags and move on. 



Dates bombing at the bar? Think: coffee

cocktail-995574__180Are you playing Hide and Seek with First Dates?

Is he interested  and available and then- Bam! He disappears? 

Pssst: We call these guys Rude Dudes. And, advise you to avoid them at all costs,

Mimi B. lives in Millbrae ad considers herself a pretty, smart, successful woman. She had several boyfriends in college. She dated the love-of-her-life for two years before he broke up with her  and married someone else, a year later. She had dabbled on Match and jumped over to Bumble

She enjoyed a flood of attention and met tons of guys who were “Fine, not great.” Next. She got swept up with Tinder. Mimi B regales her friends with Tinder stories- some have been great- others laughbable and some very disappointing. Then she hit her stride.

She laughed she could teach a class on weeding out dead end dates and the all-talk-no-action boys.

Have you ever been Stood Up? How many times?  More than once? Twice? More?


Date night: You are dressed up, looking good, excited to meet the man you have been swiping texting thinking dreaming about…No dummy you, you text him to confirm the 9 pm drinks/date at the HaRa. Crickets. Tapping your foot – your mind races thinking of myriad excuses…another?

A Three Way With Ben and Jerry Sounds Good?

Scoop: Try a simple coffee date…meet your dates in daylight.

Keep it Simple. Cocktails on Date #2.


This is not a lecture…just well-reseached data on dating.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Winston Churchill



Hiding behind the mask: a first date

photo of women wearing masks
Time to Take off the Mask
Dating 101: Great Advice
Step into the Light 
“Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone,
and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson

Laurel Grove Loves...

Date_oneJohnny and Jane met online. Perhaps she went a little fast. She will readily admit to not “Reading all the words.” She skims, looks at pictures of men served up on the online dating sites and gets excited.

She pushes the “Send” Button way too soon.

Johnny is a CPA named “John,” during the day. He works for a pretty famous company – and has been with this Fortune 400 company for over 2o years.

After 6:oo pm, the necktie and Hush Puppies disappear. John does a metamorphosis  and, bingo! he is Johnny. He posted photos of himself in leathers, near his bike, with a helmet, mostly not.

Women either love it or loathe it. Jane like that Johnny rode a bike, liked adventure, and wanted to join  a Club for couples who ride. He was cute – hiding behind the mask of sunglasses.

What the heck, she responded to his, “Hi…

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Sleeping far from the maddening crowd?


In the sleep hygiene class, Marta-  who bragged about being awake every night for months shared that she and her husband had gone to Lake Tahoe for a week and that she slept like a baby.  The teacher commented that often times the change of environment is conducive to sleep. The class was abuzz ( read: mildly hysterical)  with numerous ideas about going away for a good nights sleep.

That weekend, Patsy the insomniac stockbroker from San Francisco, checked into the beautiful Anza Hotel in downtown San Jose. She arrived with her meditation tapes, iPod, sleeping pills, eye mask, Sleepy-bye Tea and lavender spray. She said the linens on the king- size bed were pure luxury; the air conditioner hummed quietly, an ambient noise and she slept from 11 PM to 7 AM without a hitch. She woke up refreshed and happy and couldn’t wait to do that again! A perfect night sleep had alluded her for years. 

Patsy’s soon-to-be fiancé, George, lived in a beautiful condo in San Francisco on Nob Hill. Each evening he strapped on his elephantine CPAP machine and slept like a baby. The cacophony of street noises on Nob Hill kept Patsy awake – so, she rarely spent the night there. George got a little grumpy and threw small tantrum about where they were going to sleep each weekend. She has been so sleep deprived for so many years – her passion for sleep almost outweighed her interest in George. True.  It had come to that.

The tantrum gave her a new perspective on old George; and the sublime good night’s sleep give her a new goal – to re-create the hotel suite – down to the most infinite detail. Sweet dreams.

pexels-photo-306534.jpegThe couple is taking a break. They agreed to speak in two weeks and decide to go forward or not. 






via Daily Prompt: Tantrum

San Jose Dating: Fright or Flight?

First, there were the Boys in the Dorm. Zero.


Then, the Socially Awkward Boys at Google:pexels-photo-981096.jpeg

So, you try Tinder...Bumble…Plenty of Fish and then Match.com


Madison tells the story of her friend, Zoe, coming to visit from Kansas City.   Zoe was thrilled to be in California and couldn’t wait to party with “cool Silicon Valley guys.” Madison opined that was an oxymoron. She claimed the boys in The Valley were just like High School or big  Private Party sex orgy jerks (see: Vanity Fair)  

Zoe suggested having a party in the apartment Rec Room and to put up signs and balloons. Madison rolled her eyes and said that was “way too Mid West.” Not one to take “No” to party planning – Zoe was full steam ahead and placed Party Invites on various bulletin boards around the huge apartment complex and encouraged  Madison to text all her friends. Let’s party!


Tomorrow: Party like it was 1950

Green when it comes to dating?

herd of cattle in daytime

Henry and Jeff are twins, 52, single again and looking for new wives.  One brother is divorced and the other is a widow of long standing. The brothers run the family ranch near Gilroy and recently sold hundred-plus acres to a Google majordomo. They made a ton of money- and are beginning to downsize and re-think Life 101.

To say they’re laughing all the way to the bank only begins to describe their glee.   On a whim, Jeff decided to get a grip on Dating 2018. He had heard about a famous blonde San Francisco matchmaker. She and her mother advertise their services in slick, glitzy magazines. His curiousity was piqued. Jeff may be in ranching – he is no hayseed. A Stanford grad – Henry attended college 20 miles away at Santa Clara University – both men are savvy and a little shy in the female department.

The twins share a wonderful childhood friend, MarieK. She quickly voted down the Tres cher City Slicker Matchmakers and nominated herself the conduit for dating and meeting new single women. The men were curious about Tinder and MarieK. quickly steered them away – and urged them to take it slow and easy. In one day, she had both men signed up for Match.com.

She took the photos, wrote the profiles and helped with the byzantine questions. In no time, women from all over the Unites States reached out to the men. They were aghast and  tickled by the landslide of attention. To say it was a feeding frenzy is no lie.

Their dating guru advised them to delete all women from Alabama, Arkansas and Alaska. Nigeria, too. Frankly, she said out-of-state dates are too much trouble and rarely develop. So, the men are sifting through winks, notes, IM’s and getting a grasp.

Next week: An Update on the Dating Twins.






He was hiding behind photos of his dog?

We were both amused by the guy on Eharmony who posted photos of his dog. Many photos of his pet – none of himself.

Lynne invited me over ot look at her recent “Interested” guys online. She is visiting her parents in Saratoga and needed a break.

She says she had been exchanging emails with a guy who claims to be close to the Oval Office and insisted he must  be discreet. He signed his first note “Hogan,”

which seemed odd. Hogans Heroes?  His notes to Lynne ( no phone calls, no text messages, yet) were upbeat and newsy. He dropped little Washington gossip quips.

Lynne works for a huge law firm in our Nation’s Capital – and never reveals that information until she knows a person for awhile.  For all Hogan knew, she was a writer. However, he dropped /bragged several clues regarding himself: love of Ole Miss and of beautiful Arkansas were folded into an email Week Number Two.

Google the guy – oh, my!

As clever as Hogan tried to be…the gift size clues he dropped allowed Lynne to “Out” him lickety split. She had her pals back in DC scope him out and she Googled the ever-livin’ life out of his “clues.”

He worked on two failed campigns and was not employed at the time. He had been “let go” a lot of people.

Lynne slipped away;  quickly blocked his emails and went about her merry dating life.

What were they thinking?