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"Futurestyle 79 offers a funny, off-the-cuff look at San Francisco's heyday."

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Writers and staff in front of the Future Style offices, San Francisco, CA, 1979. Photo by Daniel Sullivan

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Listen, Sugar

As an “award” winning author of romantic fiction, Cheryl-Lynn McAlister will answer letters from our readers to help them navigate through life and love at the end of the 70's...

Dear Cheryl-Lynn,

I understand that you are an advice writer for the love-forlorn. I am one of those people.

My boyfriend is a Scorpio and I am a Virgo. You can imagine the strife. He wants to be the first one to deflower me (we are not talking hippies here) but I want to save myself for my future husband.

I realize in this day and age, my perspective is quite old-fashioned. Did I mention he is in a band? And he wears a dark fringy vest that just stinks, because he doesn't wear deodorant.

You may indeed wonder what I see in him. It's those eyes, and when he sings, he looks (and sounds like) Jackson Browne.

How can I resist him, yet keep him interested? Should I suggest he get his "rocks off" (don't you hate that phrase?) with one of the groupies, or stay true to me?

I look forward to your advice.

Virgin Virgo

Dear Virgo,

Listen, Sugar...don't you worry about being old fashioned. Where's the harm in that? I'd be one of the last to tell any girl to give up the bread slices for free because really, the man isn't going to worry about buyin' the whole loaf while he's enjoying a free sandwich.

Your Scorpio boyfriend is just looking to use his stinger. He may look and sound like Jackson Browne but it sounds to me like the relationship is "Running On Empty".

And I know you love his dreamy eyes when you're watchin' him on the stage. But, remember: up close, he's just "The Pretender" in a stinky leather vest.

"Stay" true to yourself.


This next letter & Cheryl-Lynn's response were published in last month's Future Style. Cheryl-Lynn received a follow-up letter from "Ms. Williams" and so we're reprinting the original correspondence...

Dear Cheryl-Lynn,

My boyfriend of three years has decided that we have to break up because I support the ERA.

I told him that I had to support it; that it would enable me to make the same amount of money that he does (we work the same shifts) and that would mean MORE money for our family-to-be.

He claims to be a feminist in a man's body. But, this latest decision indicates to me that he is NOT really fully self-realized- in spite of his fondness for Listen To The Warm by Rod McKuen.

He says that if I drop my efforts to get the ERA approved we will have a happy life and we'll still live in equity. I am tempted. What would you advise? He did read Our Bodies, Ourselves in its entirety. And he has his own subscription to Ms. Magazine.

Waiting for a reply


Ms. Williams

Dear Ms. Williams,

Listen, Sugar... this man is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Just because he talks the talk he is far from ready to walk the walk. And while he may enjoy Listen To The Warm he won't really listen until he's about to feel the cold.

I want you to think long and hard about what he's asking you to do before you make your decision. Do you think our great grandma suffragettes would be proud of you if you "drop your efforts to get the ERA approved."?

I want you to take a look at ERA.

Now, look at what it spells backwards: ARE.

Do you know "who you ARE" and will you be happy with "who you ARE" if you give up your beliefs to become who he wants you to be? The ERA will give us equality and with that comes freedom to choose to give ourselves some "space" to find ourselves.

He's saying without the ERA you'll "live in equity."

Take a closer look at that phrase: IN EQUITY

And now remove the space between "in" and "equity": INEQUITY

It's amazing what a little space can do.


Dear Ms. McAlister:

Thank you for your quick response. His name is Billy. If you replace the "B" with an "S", you get his real nature. Amazing what "a little s'" will do.

I am taking your advice. My grandmother would be rolling over in her grave. Except that she was burnt up in a fire started by a grizzly bear. But, that's another tale.

You should write a column for a newspaper!

Newly single and proud of it. I just burned Listen To The Warm. Now, I'm looking for Jane Fonda's biography. And Gloria Steinem's. And I just slapped the neighbor who called me "baby" silly.

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