Since I’ve moved back from Italy, career has gone from unemployed, stacking candles at Planet Weavers in the Castro never believing there would be another tech boom, re-starting a Web 1.0 company, hacking password protected files from the hard drives of former Enron Employees for an Enron trial, and now having once again a successful tech career.
Since moving back from Italy 6 years ago I haven’t had a girlfriend. This sort of thing makes me shrug. This blog post is my meditation on being single. I asked around. I’m not the only guy in Silicon Valley who has been single for this long, and it’s not that I haven’t been dating or not putting myself out there.
As a coder, I make more than the median salary in San Francisco. There are men who are poorer than me and less intelligent than me that have girlfriends. There are some coders who make twice that which along with exercised stock options make them millionaires. Attraction (at least the kind worth having) should have nothing to do with money.
The kind of woman that has so graciously, kindly and flirtingly said yes to a date with me works in tech, knows a lot of the people that I work with, and is absolutely cute. I think what initially draws such a woman to me is how I handle myself in a lot of situations: calm, cool, collected. She also likes the fact that I have a reputation for discretion.
Yet, I have had a lot of frustrations in dating women in the tech industry. Something is not working out. I would really like to date someone with a lot of similar work interests because I am passionate about my work. But for one reason or another it just doesn’t work out. This has forced me outside of the box. My ideal date now is with a Starbucks Barrista with a degree in either philosophy or literature – definitely something humanities oriented.
- Unlike other women higher in the social strata your ambitions are not enough for a woman in the industry. Most women in tech see you as a lottery ticket and expect you to daytrade your way up to 7 figures and beyond. Your Starbucks barrista would be more than happy with your 5 figures and ecstatic about 6.
- Your Starbucks barrista with her liberal education gives her – duh? – liberal sensibilities. A lot of women in tech that are recruiters, marketers and designers read Cosmo and its ilk. These are magazines dedicated to the manipulation of straight men by women. This is not to say men aren’t guilty of this, too. They are, and the book, “The Game,” is the choicest example of this. My point is that I haven’t run into folks with degrees in liberal arts that are great manipulators like say the Enron folks or GW & company.
- You probably won’t have a chance with a cutie coder. Cutie coders get hit on all the time and are totally smarter than you and smarter than you think. Unless you’ve got the skills of Cal Henderson, forget it. Cutie coders are the buyer; you’re just the seller.
- Still not giving up? If you go to any tech party, the guys who really have a shot are the CEOs. It’s as if women divide men into 1st class and 2nd class citizens. Guess which class citizen a CEO is.
- The hard earned money of your Starbucks barrista is “worth more” because when she buys you a present it means more to her, it’s a bigger deal.
- A Starbucks barrista is trying to figure out her way out of her job. She has her own ambitions, and these are probably more modest than your cutie techie’s ambitions. You might even be able to bankroll one of her projects.
- Most Web 2.0 kids met on-line. You can tell your grandkids, how you manned-up and asked her out using this technology called face-to-face IRL. You certainly won’t be penciling yourself in her pbwiki page.
- She’ll be grateful that you fixed her computer.
- The techie cutie has some idea of your lived experience, including the occasional drudgerie of it. For the Starbucks barrista everything you do is awesome and new.
- She’ll round you out. Her liberal education gives her a mind that sees there’s more to life than just money, materialism and its shallow pleasures, that there’s a higher world of ideas and delights.
- If things do end, she will leave you better than she found you.
- After the break up, you won’t have to read about who she’s hooking up with now in Vallywag.