Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Odd Goods

When I lived in Fort Worth a couple of people, (mostly women, I admit) asked me if it was true that there were something like 4 to 6 men for every woman in Alaska. I told them this Alaskan saying: "The odds are good, but the goods are odd." This is so true!

I've got to say this: most people come up to Alaska to get away from 'civilization', rules and 'normal'. Many of those who've made their homes up here can come across as just plain WEIRD. This is my home, too, so I guess I have to include myself in this... We've got a lot of what I've always called "granola's" and what Jake calls "PBS Subscriber's", (which I kind of take exception to since my family's always been a PBS Subscriber... Hmmm, wonder if that makes us granolas...)

These are the "I take my bath on Fridays when I come in to town to buy my groceries, do my laundry and eat out at Lucy's Bar & Grille" types... The "I've got two dogs and they go everywhere with me" types. The "I haven't had my hair cut in 5 years" types. Half the women have dreads and most of the men have scraggly beards. They've got STRONG opinions about hunting- either they are totally against it, think it's evil & are vegetarians; or they hunt with a bow & arrow, & eat moose, caribou and rabbit every day. Most are here for the 'Alaskan experience'. Most live in cabins without water or electricity.

Cabins in the paper are advertised as 'wood heat/no water', and people rent them! Can you believe that??!! I'm still shocked that people will choose to live without water... On purpose. In fact, they pay money to live without water. We had to live without water in Kotzebue 'cuz our pipes would freeze around September & October and they wouldn't melt until March-ish... I would never CHOOSE to do that again.

Many, many Fairbanksans take their dogs everywhere they go and most of the dogs up here are big. We're talking Huskies and Samoyeds... When I lived in Fort Worth & Seattle I kind of got used to not having to circle around pickups for fear of a big dog biting you... In parking lots up here I avoid pick-up truck beds just as a matter of practice.

As it's getting chillier and chillier I'm seeing more and more coats and hats at Fred Meyer's. I dread the loss of Autumn. As it gets colder (0 and the minus temps) we all start looking like bears awoken from hibernation and lumbering around in search of sustenance. The cold kind of makes us crotchety, too.

Anyway, yup, it's true. There still are more men than women up here. If you've got a thing for the hairy unwashed and living life on the edge of civilization, Alaska's probably for you. I know of at least one guy who was advertizing for a wife in New York newspapers. I'm sure there are others. But remember, the goods are kinda odd...

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