Let The Joneses Keep Up With You

People who know themselves and are secure with themselves let the Joneses keep up with them.

Hola. ¿Qué tal? I had a conversation the other day with my neighbour and this article is a close transcription of that conversation as I remember it. My neighbour is a local teacher at the college/university level. I asked her how her classes were going. She said: Don’t even ask!! These students I have are so stupid!! What is wrong with people today? (That sounds like me). She continued: People are getting dumber. (Absolutely. That should not be noticias/news to anyone who’s been paying attention). Some people have already dropped out of my class and I expect many to fail. They can’t do the most basic assignments I ask them to do. (She was very worked up about it.)

Then we changed the subject and she was telling me about las chicas that she’d been dating lately. Ugh. That’s a story! She’s been meeting some “unique” (that’s being polite) females. She said: All I’m able to meet are shallow and superficial people. They’re not interested in me as a person. They’ve been asking me what kind of car I drive, what kind of home I have, what kind of job I have, they’ve asked me about my clothes, my shoes, where I get my hair cut, where I go shopping and where I shop for food, etc. They’re so concerned about my wealth or lack thereof, they’re materialistic, status-symbol-oriented and they’re so self-centered and self-entitled with their “it’s all about me, me, me, give me attention” way of thinking that they possess. (Oh, not good.) I said: Well, it does sound like you’re dating the wrong people. She said that las chicas she’s been dating have been so corporate-oriented, like the New San Francisco. There’s nothing alternative about them. She said one of them said to her, “I like being seen at corporate chain stores and luxury stores.” She felt like asking: Why? She said she didn’t know how to respond to that other than she was thinking to herself: But who at those stores knows you that it would matter to them that you’re there? As she said (and as I’ve written in the past), corporations are ruining this planet in case one hasn’t noticed (or chooses to live in denial about that), so whenever possible I don’t support corporations or corporate/big box chain stores of any kind. Personally, I support worker-owned cooperatives whenever possible. For those who don’t know, with worker-owned cooperatives la plata/the money stays in the community and the workers in the store own their own store and there’s no “employer,” “boss” or CEO. One of the many problems with corporate chain/big box stores is that they put small, independent stores and businesses out of business.

I asked her: Well, what do las chicas talk about mostly when you’re together? She said to me while raising her noise in the air, “Well Dahling, they’re all about luxuriating and luxury this and luxury that. It has to be about luxury Dahling.” She ended her little skit with a loud laughter outburst. Her skit was funny the way she did it.

She said: They’re so damn shallow and superficial. I asked her if she was able to get to know the person inside at all? She said, “Hell no, they don’t even know who they are themselves so how can they tell me who they are?!” (Valid point.) “There’s nothing there with these people I’ve been meeting. They’re empty and cold inside. I was thinking to myself: You mean, “lobotomised?” That’s how I describe them. She said: They don’t know who they are. Some of them act like they have at least two personalities. They act one way on one date and another way on the next date as if they’re two different people inside the same person. (Loca./Crazy.) She said: At the rate these dates have going, I only take about two dates with any of them and that’s a struggle. And half the time we’re together on a date they’re playing with their phone and focused on that and not even paying attention to me. I went to dinner with one of them and she was on her phone the entire time. I sat there staring at the walls, my plate, the other people in the restaurant and ate quietly while she spent the time texting and scrolling (Related: ZDNET – Smartphones are transforming society into a sea of stupid). She didn’t eat any of her dinner. Then when we were ready to leave (or at least I was), I asked her if she was going to get her dinner “to go,” she said “no, just throw it away.” I said with frustration: You’re throwing perfectly good food away? I asked the server to make her’s “to-go” and she got offended at that and said she didn’t want another date with me. I said: Fine. It’s mutual. You’ve spent this date with your phone. Then on another date my neighbour said she got so frustrated with una chica that she asked: What are you doing on your phone? Lining up the next date before you’re done with ours? (Oh, that’s good!) I asked her: How did she respond to that? She said: She didn’t say anything. I don’t think she ever heard me. That rude-assed bitch was too busy on her phone.

My neighbour concluded: I think I’ll just accept being single because this dating work is like having a second job without pay. It’s just too much damn work. I don’t have the time or patience for it considering the people out there.

I said: Yes, it’s very tough. She said she thinks in major part it’s because of what San Francisco has become. And I agree with her. She blames this on the (what I call) the new Corporatist, Conservative, Lobotomised Techie San Francisco. She said in frustration: It’s so difficult to meet people who are not like that these days especially the way this city has changed. I didn’t even ask them about it, but some of these females made sure I knew what kind of car they drive. They made a point of me knowing that. I don’t care what they drive or if they drive. I don’t care that they drive some big, black, status-symbol SUV. I said: Oh those, the ones that look sort of like a hearse. She laughed and said: Yes, those. (Pause). Yeah, you’re right, they do sort of look like a hearse don’t they? LOL. I said: Yeah, all they’re missing is that little metal squiggly thing on the sides that you see on the hearse parked outside of funeral homes. We both laughed. She said: That’s appropriate then because the people I’ve been dating are basically dead zombies inside so they’re certainly driving the right vehicle. I said: Sí claro. Yes, the Land of Living Dead. Indeed. Chau.—el barrio rosa


The Conservatives Love the New San Francisco

Who’s responsible for the new San Francisco?

Status Ubiquitous Vehicle Drivers Supersize their Gasoline Bills in San Francisco

Overpriced San Francisco

Rainbow Grocery Cooperative: “A New Era.”

The Techies Class Warfare

The Tech Surveillance-State Industrial Complex

The Techie-Asses in San Francisco

The Techie Trash

Do you walk out into traffic without looking?

It’s like cool like to like be stupid like in like the US

A Slave to their Screens

How smartphones steal fleeting moments of life

Have we all become a bunch of anxious, depressed, sleep-deprived irritable stress-heads?

8 comments on “Let The Joneses Keep Up With You

  1. FluffytheMainecoon

    My one regret is that for one reason or another I was never able to visit the San Francisco that I heard so much about over many years. Now it’s too late.

  2. D8

    The black SUVs that resemble a hearse. I know the ones you’re talking about.

    Oh the irony. It’s so ironic how SF used to mock and hate on both LA and Manhattan and now SF has become just like LA with its car culture and shallow-superficial people who are more into “The Oscars” and keeping up with the Joneses than something alternative the way it used to be here, into feeding corporations, and the mayor’s working on making SF as over-crowded as Manhattan with bougi techies.

    My neighbor says the mayor’s trying to erase our long-standing Gay Mecca reputation and replace it with the Tech Mecca reputation which as we all know means mainly heterosexual, young, caucausian people. That describes the majority of tech people right there. To quote something you said, “there goes the neighborhood.”

  3. María


    “She didn’t eat any of her dinner. Then when we were ready to leave (or at least I was), I asked her if she was going to get her dinner “to go,” she said “no, just throw it away.” I said with frustration: You’re throwing perfectly good food away? I asked the server to make her’s “to-go” and she got offended at that and said she didn’t want another date with me. I said: Fine. It’s mutual.”

    Good for your friend. I can’t stand it when people waste food. I’ve seen that where I live. I was waiting for a friend to pick me up outside of a restaurant which has tables outside and I watched this guy eat a few bites of what he had on his plate. His plate was piled high with food. My friend got caught in traffic and was late so I watched that guy sit there for about 25 minutes. He finally asked for the check and that whole plate of food went back to the kitchen uneaten to be thrown away. Outrageous. He didn’t get it to go, which he could have done and given it to a hungry homeless person who would have appreciated it. People waste so much food.

    I wish your friend well if she continues dating. Sounds like she’ll need it!


  4. FormerSanFranciscan

    As a former resident, I’m just glad that I got to live in and experience SF before it changed so drastically and I have those fond memories. I know from reading your blog that the conservatives are giddy over how the city has changed in their favor. I have to say when I lived there I didn’t know any “Keeping Up with the Joneses” type people and the type of people this article is about. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to know any of the people that this article is about excluding your neighbor. She sounds more like my type of person. It also sounds like there’s nothing that can be done about the changes taking place in SF.


    1. rosa_barrio Post author

      Hola FormerSanFranciscan,

      “It also sounds like there’s nothing that can be done about the changes taking place in SF.”

      There is nothing that can be done about it. You’re absolutely correct. Even though I write about it from time-to-time and express my opinion, I’m resigned to the changes—it will be interesting to see just how far they go in ruining this city—as there’s nothing that I or anyone else can do about it because The Establishment doesn’t care what I think (or others with my view). They only care what their greedy corporate (techie) owners/greedy developer friends think in advancing their Techie Class Warfare agenda. I’m also resigned to the stupidphone addiction. There’s nothing that one can do about that either. The sheeple are going to be addicted to their toys (these phones) whether I and others like it or not. That addiction is not going to go away any time soon. Some of us had wondered about that because the sheeple have such a short attention span and we thought that they would quickly tire of being glued to these toys day and night and tire of typing with their thumbs on these Orwellian-named “social media networks” along with the major spying factor. But most people don’t seem to give a fuck that they’re being spied on either. Most people don’t seem to care about much of anything that matters.

      Secret US spy program snoops on citizens’ smartphones with aeroplanes, claims report

      Secret ‘BADASS’ Intelligence Program Spied on Smartphones

      I can’t think of anything on the internet that would make me want to be a slave to a phone the way these stupidphone addicts are slaves to their phones. In part, I think the “happy chemicals” dopamine rush that people get from these studidphones is what causes the intense addiction, which from what I and others see is stronger than the addiction to any drug known to humans (related: Screen time releases ‘happy chemicals’ in the brain. But if you told them that, they wouldn’t care about that either.

      I and mis amigos are seeing an increase in motorists who are paralysed with their stupidphone. They turn their car around, put their vehicle in reverse (back up lights come on) and then freeze. They then sit there and sit there and sit there with the back up lights still on and the motor running. You have no idea what they’re doing. The driver is oblivious. When I cautiously pass them I see that they’re glued to their phone. That happened to me the other night. I rode my bike to see mi amigo. Up ahead, I saw a car pull into this garage area to turn around, they backed up halfway into the street and then became paralysed with their backup lights on. They sat there and sat there. I then went to the other side of the street and got on the sidewalk for my safety to pass them. When I looked over at the driver I saw that she was on her stupidphone. When I came back 2 hours later, that vehicle was still sitting there with their back up lights on in the same place and the driver was still hunched over on their phone with the motor running all that time. And we’re seeing more and more of that here. Ugh. Gracias for your comment. Chau.

  5. SF-Resident

    The experience of the local teacher is interesting.

    Aren’t these STUPIDphones (as this site appropriately calls them) a form of “keeping up with the joneses?”

    1. rosa_barrio Post author

      Hola SF-Resident: I think that’s the case with many people. Mi amigo sees that at his gym. One person will pull his stupidphone out of his pocket to “take a hit” for his addiction, and then mi amigo watches as a stupidphone “wave” spreads over the gym with nearly everyone in the gym immediately after that reaching in their pocket for their stupidphone to “keep up (with the Joneses).” He’s seen that “wave” over the gym many times. These stupidphones are not cheap and the expenses that go along with them so I think with many people the idea of “being seen” on one (Keeping Up With The Joneses) is—for some reason—important to them. More people are using them while driving. Yesterday I read a headline about three people who were killed by a motorist because the driver was on FB at the time of the accident according to their phone records.

      My psychologist amigo says that he’s seeing more phone-related problems among his clients. I told him I thought it was curious that we don’t hear much more about phone-related medical conditions. He thinks that’s because the medical field is being hush-hushed about it so as to not appear to be critical of the Sacrosanct Tech Surveillance-State Industrial Complex, and also because many people in the medical field are just as addicted to these stupidphones as anyone else, if not more so. He also told me he’s seeing more and more relationships being destroyed or disrupted because of people’s stupidphone addiction. I asked him for some examples of that and he said: One person feeling their partner is more into their phone than him/her which brings a lot of resentment. The addict will say, “oh I’m sorry” (for being on their phone) but then the person continues doing it so clearly they’re not sorry. Also, there’s the addiction to searching sex profiles and cheating on one’s partner. And thirdly, people having to interrupt sex to check their stupidphone. So yes, as Alejandro wrote it’s becoming more and more of a problem, but I suspect most people don’t care because like the strongest drug addiction, the addiction is what’s important to them. Gracias to you and Alejandro for your comments. Chau.

  6. Alejandro

    Hooooooola, interesting story and funny the way it was told but I know it’s not a funny situation. A friend of mine had a similar experience with a guy he had a first date with. My friend put it this way that he went on a day with “a guy and his phone.” These phones are really becoming a problem. People can’t put them down long enough to have a date with someone that THEY invited on a date. My friend got up and left the guy sitting in this restaurant fucking with his phone. Words were exchanged. He told the guy when you’re ready to have a date with me and not your phone let me know although on second thought forget you ever met me. My friend was sorry he wasted 1.5 hours of his evening.

Fin. The End.