Odds Are Gooood.

There’s an old saying about dating amongst the women in Alaska regarding the men of Alaska.

The odds are good, but the goods are odd.

It’s hard to find accurate history about its origins, but the rugged, rigorous, and outdoorsey lifestyle of the Last Frontier has always attracted… odd individuals, especially men. 

Odd is described as being “different from what is usual or expected; strange.”

And Alaska is definitely different!  

Because the 49th state is known for supplying jobs that bring oil workers, hunters, fishermen, forestry workers, and gold miners, there has always been an abundance of guys. Living life on the last frontier was not often a dream shared by women, and so the population has always been skewed in favor of men. And because of that, the few women that did come to town were rare, and competition fierce.

For a single gal in her early twenties, you’d think, then, that there would be countless options to chose from, as far as dating goes. Yet I continue to spend my nights alone (OK not “alone” because technically my cat sleeps with me, but you know what I mean), watching seemingly everyone around me in some sort of relationship.

Though there still remains this high population of men (which is slowly becoming equal to that of women because hey! we too like to be independent and live in the wild), it seems as if most of the men in my age group are either: married, engaged, already a father, or snatched up by the few single women remaining, like me.

It’s like every time a new guy comes to town (one who hasn’t been round in round in the local dating circle), not a week passes before he’s already shacking up with a girl before I’m even aware of his arrival. 

Girl, I haven’t even been a part of the local dating circle.

Not that I think I’m missing out (based on the few horror stories I’ve heard), but it’s a bummer for a girl like me who’s kinda thought her whole life that maybe... she’s man repellent.

I KNOW.  

How can I let such vicious thoughts consume me? 

What started as a self-pity joke in middle school has since become the ominous dictation of my current dating life and though I try to shake it, this little insecure part of me still believes that I do, in fact, repel men.

Repel might be a strong word at this point, but I do seem to either intimidate or scare men, or happen to be one of the unluckiest women in the world. All I know is that I’m starting to wonder if maybe... I’m the odd one here. 

Though the numbers tell me that men still outnumber women in the great state of Alaska, I can’t help but feel that the tides have now turned and it’s women who are now competing for men, and that I am now one of the “odd” ones vying for a mate.

Whatever the case may be, whether I’m odd or not, destined to be single in the rugged lands of the Last Frontier or not, I accept where I’m at and who I’m (not) with.

I know part of this craving to have a significant other has to do with my environment around me and the people who surround me, who just so happen to be in a time in their lives where having someone special is part of their path right now. Plus, it’s summer, and there’s summer romance and I’ve never experienced that before, so of course my hopeless romantic self starts to daydream.

My priority right now is following my dreams and pursuing the passions that excite me. And while men also excite me (I’m a twenty-three year old woman, of course men excite me) maybe it’s just not the right time.  

I can’t let what I see around me influence how my life goes. My path has always been unique, why should my route be any different now?   

If I am indeed odd, let it be so.  

Cause I’ll be sure to make being odd look gooood.  

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Hickeys & Halibut.

Is that a… hickey?

A… what?

Looking down in horror, I realized that the mark on my upper chest did, in fact, resemble that of a hickey.

Unfortunately, my life is not that exciting, and the blemish depicted a far more realistic and very Alaskan culprit:

A scabbed over mosquito bite.

A bite that I discovered the other day as my sister was taking pictures of me. After having swatted at what my sister thought “might be a mosquito”, I went inside and promptly began scratching. Sure enough, as I was later perusing through the photos, I noticed this dark little mark on my chest.

Zooming closer and closer, I found that the bloody mosquito was present on my chest front and center for all to see.

Funny story, right? The kind of story that probably captures empathy from fellow Alaskans who have likely experienced the same thing (and probably in worse spots than the neck!).

Well then I was at the Yoga Yurt, finishing up a rather strenuous core class, and I overheard a conversation regarding these evident dents (ha!) in the instructor’s Hydro Flask.

Apparently, she was out fishing in Ninilchik just off the shore a few days ago and instead of reeling in her typical 15-20 pound halibut, she managed to bring in a monster 55 pounder.

Without a bonker on board (a bonker is typically a wooden bat used to... stop the fish from living), the only heavy object available was her Hydro Flask.

Hence, the dented water bottle.

I told, and have been telling, that story to everyone: friends, family, and even strangers, because I believe it’s such an awesome Alaskan tale that deserves to be told.

Like my mosquito hickey (though not quite as cool), it was an experience that needed a platform to be shared.

See, it all keeps coming full circle back to my idea for a magazine, for creating this outlet that enables women to share these stories with the world.

Hickeys and halibuts are just two of countless other stories out there that should be shared with others.

This medium that’s in my head that I’m trying to create (a magazine) is one that centers around storytelling. It revolves around the idea that if I can create a place where people can express their adventurous, brave, and brilliant tales, it would inspire others to tell their stories as well.

Whether or not that includes mosquito hickeys doesn’t matter. What matters is all of us embracing our stories and sharing our individual and unique selves to the women like me who would love to hear them. 

I know that my stories aren’t the same as that of the ‘but bonker (which may well be my new name for her because it’s EPIC), but her tale energized me because in my eyes, she was this badass fisherwoman who oh-so-casually wielded her water bottle to detain a halibut.

And her story inspired me, just like I hope my stories and experiences inspire you.

(or at least makes you chuckle)

 

 Do you see the mosquito? Tell me you see it!

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