Life Imitates Apatow
Faux-slackers have all the fun: I find your article ["Slacker Guys and Striver Girls," Nov. 14] very difficult to believe. I feel you definitely have things a little backwards. I agree that men and women have switched roles in a certain sense, and I agree that some women may have White Knight syndrome. But I also sense that promiscuity, a traditionally male trait, has definitely become much stronger in women in recent years. So I have to argue that girls have lots of love for slackers.
If you frequent any bar in the Mission and people-watch, you will realize it is the guy who hasn't showered, wearing a dirty V-neck, tight black ripped pants, and dirty Converses who is getting laid. The dirtier and more like a loser you look, the more coke you do in the bathroom, the more into yourself and your cellphone and not into a woman you are, the more women paw at you in this town.
It's no wonder that all the yuppies in the city are going to extremes to be as hipster as possible, walking their fixed-gear bikes (that they don't know how to ride) and toting iPhones, gauged earrings, and Chrome bags on their telecommute to Starbucks for their six-figure jobs. Why? Didn't you know? Dirty is the new cologne and beards are the new clean-shave, just like pink is the new black. Grimy is the new GQ. Even the strivers don't want to look like strivers.
Slackers might not be cool in the suburbanite Marina district where the Porsche-chasing, cocaine-sniffing, gold-digging strivers you speak of live, but in real San Francisco it's another story. It's the sweet, romantic, hardworking, nice guys in school or with jobs who get the short end of the stick over the slackers anytime, whether they tote an iPhone and a fixie or a bong and a skateboard.
Slackers vs. strivers, AARP division: I enjoyed Mary Spicuzza's article immensely. Though it focused mainly on younger twenty- and thirtysomething women, I think it relates very well to women "of a certain age," many of whom are divorced or widowed.
I am 60-ish and find that it's a phenomenon that resounds with me and my peers. The elements of being self-sufficient, the perception (or reality) of there being fewer available men, and the reality of there being a scarcity of active, fun-loving men with whom you'll have a good time drive some of us to seek out and settle for [slacker] men. And, as you describe so well, the tradeoff is all the hair-tearing-out frustration that goes with being with a guy who doesn't pull his own weight. So, for many of us, the woman pulls the plug, as I did after four years. I hadn't realized that the issue was so prevalent with younger women as well.
A reformed slacker responds, wistfully: Reading your article about slacker boyfriends and striver girlfriends really put things into perspective for me. I am a 26-year-old San Francisco transplant from the Central Valley. During my late teens and early twenties, I was a late bloomer compared to most. I didn't know what I wanted to do or who I was, so I did nothing. I did have one thing going for me, though: a girlfriend who was in love with me and was attending Santa Clara University. She was well on her way to eventually getting her master's degree at UC Santa Barbara, and she eventually transferred there.
During our relationship I went from mediocre job to unemployment to part-time courses at the local community college. You've probably heard my story a million times. When she moved to Santa Barbara to work on her master's, things fell apart. I was the "bad boy" and "work-in-progress" that got her through her undergrad years. We were in love, but ultimately she decided that she was just wasting her time.
I appreciate this piece you wrote. Some of it stung. Luckily, I'm on the right track now. I just wish she knew that I am not the perpetual slacker that she thought I was — she won't even return my e-mails after all these years.
2-Stroking in Secret
And the cycle of rage continues: I am not a member of the Creatures of the Loin, nor do I know any members, nor do I own a moped. That being said, I have to ask you: Why did you publish Lauren Smiley's absurd, immature piece ["The Angry Moped Gangs of San Francisco," Sucka Free City, Nov. 7]?
Lauren "dares to penetrate the inner circles of post-track-bike hipsters." Who is she, the spiritual love child of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, but too influenced by her subscription to Us Weekly?
The Creatures want to stay on the D.L., for reasons that make perfect sense. Yet Lauren feels some need to spend her time as a journalist doing a piece that sounds like a cross between a tabloid story and a tirade from the newspaper staff at the local middle school.
SF Weekly is a great paper. Stop printing crap.