It hurts. We would know seeing how we’ve been turned down oh, at least 25 times by the entire editorial staff of Esquire. “We” are a pair of former luxury lifestyle magazine editors and we’re about as girly as it gets: We both store our Kate Somerville and Peter Thomas Roth products in the fridge; prance around in frilly skirts and sundresses, and log way too much time in the spa sauna. But strangely, for whatever reason (daddy issues?) we get all sorts of turned on by stories about cigars, fast-cars, and two-button suits.
We both grew up stealing our father’s Esquires, precociously studying the pages like some sort of foreign portal into our future husbands’ worlds. In our minds, the publication is like the Bible of the babe. And we wanted (still want) in. No, like, literally. We want to be actually on the pages for their entire subscriber base to see.
Look, just like that whiskey, these girls come with an Esquire stamp of approval. What career groupie wants to watch the show from the nosebleeds?
Since we’re not quite lingerie models or Spanish pop tarts, we figured the best route was with our witty, borderline brilliant prose.
So it began.
There was this gem:
Camping has never ranked highly among haute hobbies, and the last time either of us attempted to rough it in the great outdoors was a high school field trip that involved sneaking into the boy’s cabin.
Nevertheless, we’d like to swap our patent heels for L.L. Bean boots, channel our inner Lewis + Clark for Esquire and find out what goes on in the mind of the rarest of species: the urban woodsman.
You’ve met him: he’s scruffy, wears flannel, and smells roughly like a Pine-Sol bottle. Yet, as fashion editors, we’re less than versed in his rogue modes. We think spending a day in their habitat – tent and all – will help us gain an appreciation for who this stud is, while offering insight into a new trend: urban camping.
Andrea Kasprzak + Megan Baldwin
We did, however, manage to get this on-trend story picked up and turned into a two-month feature in Men’s Journal. Still, it was no Esquire. It was like the editorial equivalent of sleeping with the class president while day dreaming of fantasy boning the homecoming king.
It took us some time to recover from the sting, but eventually we followed up with this one:
“Are you really going to wear that?”
How many times has a woman asked you to tuck in your shirt, change your jeans or shave your beard? And it’s not just aesthetic adjustments. Everywhere are the telltale signs of change-the-channel male acquiescence to the female credo that a mate is something to be molded into shape.
So if it starts with the shirt, it doesn’t end until you’ve agreed that a Maltipoo is a lot more practical than a Labrador. But, if the majority of women are amateur editors, we are the professionals. So we’re volunteering to see what happens when the tables are turned and men are allowed to do the editing.
We want to know what guys think they want, what they wish they could tell their girlfriends.
We’ll write about our experiences for Esquire in a column called “Designing Women.”
Andrea Kasprzak and Megan Baldwin
So, we waited a bit before cooking this one up:
After spending the bulk of our 20s immersed in a deadline-driven culture, being impatient has become a virtue. And although we’ve done an impressive job securing bylines, reality TV show contracts and other good-on paper items, our success (even if mentally taxing) haven’t satisfied in that physically drained, pass-out-on-the-pillow sort of way.
So we want to take a walk on the other side and learn what it’s like to put your blood, sweat and maybe even a few tears into something.
For our first test we want to learn to surf. The ultimate lesson in going with the flow, we want to spend a weekend moonlighting as authentic surf bums. Yes, we’ll fall on our faces and probably get totally thrashed, but in the process we might also gain an appreciation for what’s it’s like to be along for the ride — the thrill and the exhaustion.
All the best,
Andrea Kasprzak and Megan Baldwin
No response. Shocker! This babe was playing hard to get! We must need a more direct approach: the fan mail section.
We are writing for about the 50th time (okay maybe about 4th or 5th) because for the past three years, your editorial staff has been playing hard to get. Sure, our attempts might have seemed grandiose, narcissistic even. Yet, we feel misunderstood: it’s not professional advancement we’re after, it is true love.
We were trying to use your pulpy pulpit to further our life goal of finding our perfect male specimen (naturally a subscriber of yours.) Our hope — be it through assignments to explore uncharted lands, camp in urban environs or whatever else we’ve sent Peter — was that our soul mate would be wooed by our prose (and the accompanying 8 X 10s) and stirred to seek us out.
Alas, with our days in the twenty something demographic dwindling, we were hoping you might re-print this letter in your venerable fan mail section.
MEB + ARK
Still… nothing! Undeterred, last week we crafted one final (well, let’s be serious, probably not) letter. It was direct and gentle on the crazy. Our goal: to cover the Pitchfork festival. We’re going anyway, so it seemed logical to turn our lady reunion into a working trip.
OMG it’s been awhile, right?
Undeterred by your continued efforts to play hard to get, we’re back.
But don’t worry. This time, we don’t want Hearst to pay us to camp out
in a park or become surf bums (though that would be sort of ideal) —
we just want to cover Pitchfork.
At approximately 3 pm PETER C. MARTIN wrote back.
Thanks for the pitch. I don’t think is something we’d really do in the magazine, but I did forward it on to our web editor. I’m not sure if they’re planning on covering Pitchfork, but if they are, and if this is something that might fit, I’m sure they’ll be in touch.
It wasn’t quite what we wanted, but it was a response. We think he really likes us. The lesson here, guys: the squeaky wheel gets rejected, or at least responded to. So go after your babes without shame. The worst they can say is no thanks, I don’t think this is something we’d really do. Or maybe they’ll get drunk, say yes, and you’ll be the best sex they’ve ever had. What do you have to lose? Your ego might get a few bumps and bruises, but if you actually end up with what you want, won’t it be worth it.
We love you, Peter.