Bigfoot, Jackalope and single Truckee women
August 5, 2004
If you’re a single guy in Truckee, you’ve definitely noticed it.If you’re a single girl – or even if you’re in a relationship – you may have noticed it when guys ask you to set them up with your girlfriends, or they disregard the wedding ring you’re wearing and hit on you anyway.It’s a scenario that exists in mountain towns all over the country and Truckee isn’t any different. It’s a situation that leaves single guys in town feeling frustrated and single girls feeling overwhelmed: There just aren’t that many girls in Truckee.Perceptions of the guy-to-girl ratio in Truckee vary wildly. Angie Cerrito, a bartender at the Tourist Club in downtown Truckee (who has a boyfriend), said she thought there must be 12 single guys for every single girl who walks into her bar. At the time, all of her patrons agreed that it was bad in town, including Trig Paxton, who jokingly said that maybe it was the lack of parking that was to blame for the shortage of women in Truckee. Once focused on the lack of available women, however, Paxton blamed the winters: “It’s the snow. The winter just kills the girls here, it really does.”Many of the guys interviewed echoed that sentiment, arguing that men are more likely to be attracted to the mountain lifestyle and all the skiing, snowboarding and outdoor activities that the Truckee area affords.That means Truckee is a regular smorgasbord for women. “The fact of the matter is there are so many rad guys that live around here,” Paxton said. “There are a lot of really cool guys, a lot of open ones, so girls just bounce around. They bounce because there are too many options.”That phenomenon has led to a saying among Truckee men, including Jerome Broge, a Wednesday-night patron of the Pastime Club in downtown Truckee, “She’s not your girlfriend; it’s just your turn.”Literally, this was almost always the first thing out of every single guy’s mouth when the subject of the male-to-female ratio in Truckee was broached. Possibly for good reason.According to numbers drawn from the 2000 Census (www.census.gov), for every 100 single women between the ages of 20 and 44 in the Town of Truckee there were 158 single men in the same age range. And restricting the age range to 20-34 year-olds made it even worse: 183 single men for every 100 single women.Those numbers didn’t surprise Lucía Zegarra – who, sorry guys, is married – at all. She says the competition between Truckee men for the few single women in town is like tigers fighting over meat.”If a girl wants to find a guy, come up to Truckee. But if a guy wants to find a girl, go somewhere else,” she advised.
“It’s horrible,” she added, speaking about her own experiences going out in town. “I try to wear my [wedding] ring as much as possible, but guys say ‘I can work with that.'”Lucía says that her guy friends are constantly asking her to set them up with her single girlfriends, which can be difficult, she said, because the girls in Truckee have learned that they can be very picky when it comes to dating.”Wherever you go in town you’re always going to have a guy [paying attention to you], so you put more value in yourself. Which actually makes the girls in town more special – like a pearl,” she said. And while many guys in town might argue that finding a good single girl in Truckee is akin to searching for that elusive oyster with the pearl inside, Pati Murray, a single mother who bartends part-time at the Pastime Club, argued that the overabundance of men doesn’t necessarily mean that the guys in Truckee are dating material.”There are a lot of men up here, but I don’t think they’re the type of men who are the traditional dating type of guys,” she said. “They’re either young guys who come up to board, and they just party their butts off and board, or they’re older guys with their second home who are from the Bay Area. There aren’t really any of the mid-range guys that have a career.”Murray claims that the high guy-to-girl ratio has led some of the guys to take the wrong approach to meeting Truckee women.”I think because there are more guys, they’re a little more aggressive in the wrong way. If there’s one girl, they think ‘I’m going to try to get in there.’ And that’s not going to work. I don’t like that,” she said.”For me it’s just not comfortable. To get hit on right away. It’s too much. It’s overwhelming. A guy might be a great guy, but you’ll never know because he just came on too strong.”Both Murray and Zegarra suggest that single guys in Truckee who are looking to meet single girls would do well to get out of the bar scene and try some unexplored avenues for meeting people. So where are the women? Try dance classes, business mixers, volunteer opportunities and even yoga class.”No guys go to yoga to look for chicks,” Zegarra said, even though there are a lot of single women who take those classes. Uneven ratio not unique to TruckeeGuys who are out there looking for that special someone can at least take heart in the fact that in other mountain towns around the country, the situation is similar – if not worse.
In Aspen, Colo. the ratio of single guys to single girls between the ages of 20 and 34 is 161 guys per 100 girls. And in Vail, Colo. the ratio in that age range is even worse: almost 200 single guys per 100 single women.Andrew Mikus, a Vail resident, said he could sympathize with the plight of Truckee men.”All the time people are talking about how awful it is. How they can’t find a girl to go out with, that they aren’t dating. It’s a bad situation all the way around,” Mikus said.He agreed with the conventional wisdom around Truckee that it is the mountain environment that is to blame for the lack of women. “There are definitely more guys here, and the reason is the type of people these towns attract. There are many more guys who want to go kayaking or rafting or hiking and camping and mountain biking than girls. I think that’s what happens; the mountains draw people like that and it’s mostly males.”Tim Kurnos of Aspen, however, disagreed that the male-heavy ratio put a damper on the dating scene. “Aspen has got a lot of girls. There’s no other ski town like this,” Kurnos said. “There’s no shortage of girls and there’s no shortage of hot ones either.”And while Kurnos didn’t notice a lack of women in Aspen, he did admit that the area attracts a lot of women from other countries Australians, New Zelanders, English and Scots, which help make up for the scarcity of local women.Are things getting better?Overall, many of the Truckee men who have lived here for more than 10 years said that the guy-to-girl ratio has gotten a lot better than it used to be. And while it’s still not easy to meet a single girl in Truckee, it may not be as bad as Cottonwood bartenders Spencer Cruttenden and Dave Kirk Mossman-Fichter’s favorite saying:”Girls are like parking spaces,” Cruttenden said, “all the good ones are taken.””So you might as well just double-park,” Mossman-Fichter added .
Sidebar:Advice for single guys and girls from people who ought to know your friendly bartenders:Pati of the Pastime Club: She said guys need to be aware that the women who live in the mountains are different in ways – they’re a little bit stronger, a little bit heartier, but still feminine. So don’t come up with cheesy lines. She said just ask “What’s up?” or “How was your day like?” “I’m a person,” Pati said. “just kind of talk to me. Don’t try to flatter me into bed.”Her advice for single women looking for a good guy: Try to go meet guys in situations other than a bar scene.Angie of the Tourist Club:”Most likely where you’ll meet somebody is probably at the bar, of course. Just buy the woman lots of shots.”Dino of the Pastime Club:”When she’s up there dancing on the pole, don’t jump up and dance with her.”Dave of Cottonwood: He said guys in Truckee need to stop complaining about the ratio and go out and actually look for girls. “They’re out there,” he said, “you just have to know where to look.”