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To the thousands of members of my weekly email newsletter who share their stories and comments, I thank you.

A special tribute goes to Teresa and Rosa, Dana Point, California, my loyal Tutor and Spunky’s Deli employees for 23 years, who made it possible for me to leave the deli in their hands while I took time off to write and work on this book.

To my siblings—Bill, Pam, and Christine—for your love and caring.

And lastly, I’m deeply grateful to my partner Greta of 12 years, who kept encouraging me to finish the book and helped with her sage advice and keen editing eye.


This book is dedicated to my mom, Frances Pardee Blake, a remarkable person, who lived alone in her home in Santa Rosa, California, until she passed at age 98 1/2.

She knew better than any person featured in the stories in this book about being single. She was orphaned at age seven. She became widowed in 1966, when Dad died at age 59. For 43 years she lived on her own. She could have remarried, but instead chose to remain independent and relish the times she spent with her children: Bill, Pam, Chris and me.

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