August 13, 2008
Ms. Marian Frank
The Arizona Republic
One of the angels who flitter around and fuss over me and generally look after my well-being forwarded your memo about the job opening you have for a lifestyle columnist for Arizona Living.
After reading the memo very carefully, I have decided to seek this position. I freely admit that I am an unconventional choice for this position in the sense that I am a man and you are looking for someone to write about “issues, trends and experiences that appeal to women 40-49 years old.’’
The conventional candidate, I realize, would be a female in that age range.
Well, there is nothing this side of Sweden I can do about that.
While I am not a female, I have lots of experience with females. My own mother was a female, in fact.
I was once married to a female and if I ever marry again, I intend to marry another female, most likely in the very 40-49 age group you are seeking to serve (I am 49).
I have a sister who is a female. Also, I am a father to a 16-year-old female, which I realize is almost like a sub-species at that bewildering age.
Many of my best friends are females.
Aside from my extensive experience with females, I believe I possess other qualities that suit me for the job.
During my tenure as Metro Columnist at the East Valley Tribune, I found that my
columns had great appeal among women, even though I did not necessarily tailor my subject matter to this demographic.
Women seem to like my writing style, which I would describe as warm, personal, funny and unpretentious (is it pretentious to consider yourself unpretentious, I wonder?)
Modesty aside, I have a singular talent for relating to people on an intimate, emotional level. Women readers especially value that quality, I’ve come to realize.
Male readers generally are fact-driven. A guy wants to know an athlete’s stats. Women, again speaking in general terms, are more interested in how the athlete treats his mama. Men want spreadsheets. Women want stories. That plays to my strength; I am a story-teller.
I also think I have a pretty good feel for what women in the 40-49 are all about. Most are well-established in their careers and homes. Their children are older and they are beginning to wonder if it is possible to have grandchildren without the unflattering necessity of actually being a grandma.
Women in this age group generally have a well-defined sense of identity. Unlike their younger peers, they seem to possess a healthier balance between their personal interests (health, aging, retirement, etc.) and more universal concerns (community, charity, the environment, “Dancing With The Stars.’’)
They read more, are more discriminate in their choices and more certain of their convictions. They have been around the block; you can’t fool them.
I admire women in this age group. They are smart, interesting people.
I would like to write for them.
I am pretty sure they would like that, too.
Thanks for your consideration.
P.S. Your memo mentioned that you are looking for a mix of Anna Quindlan, Ellen Goodman and Dave Barry. The voices in my head were all excited to hear there are jobs out there for schizophrenics!