According to the 2000 Census (this information is almost out of date, however, so make sure to fill out your 2010 Census forms, everybody!) my neighborhood has a male to female ratio higher than that of the county at large. 1.12 to 1. Statistically, it is not a particularly young neighborhood, but that is really only due to the fact that a mere 6.4% of residents are 19 and younger (read: single people don’t have kids). Half of the population clock in between 25 and 44 and more than a quarter are between the ages of 25 and 34, quite a desirable range, if I do say so. These stats are looking pretty good for a single gal in her twenties! I read on to find that not only are the residents, young, male and single (an average household size of 1.53 versus the national average of 3.14), but smart as well! Only 8.8% of the residents didn’t finish high school, versus the 30% of the rest of the county. This information is getting increasingly exciting, but after reading a little bit further I will find that a whopping 41% of my city’s population identify as gay or bisexual men. Womp Womp.
I am constantly surrounded by young men who care how they look and what they eat, who are good to their bodies, know how to dress, can party like it’s 1999 all the time (even Tuesday nights!), who drive nice cars, who are generally outgoing and friendly and who don’t even notice me walk into a room. This is like straight girl purgatory. Every time I want to go out somewhere in the neighborhood (because one great thing about my location is how much is within walking distance), I find myself being almost uncomfortably over-looked.
I am by no means cocky about my appearance, but I know I am a relatively good-looking girl. That, along with the fact that straight men have a tendency to “check out” any female who passes them by, means I am used to a certain amount of male attention (wanted or unwanted).
I feel like I’m in the twilight zone around here. Everywhere I go I realize that no man has taken stock of my presence. This can be a liberating feeling, especially when out dancing. Who doesn’t do their best dancing when they think no one is watching (i.e. alone in your room with your favorite guilty-pleasure pop tune blasting)? Eventually, though, it gets a little frustrating. I can’t catch anyone’s eye. Gay men and straight girls make great friends to each other, but no one at this bar is looking for a friend. If there’s something gay men do more than their lesbian or straight counterparts, it’s cruise. And guaranteed, in my part of town, no one is cruising me.
If there is one thing living here is teaching me, it’s to enjoy this time as a single female. If at first these nights out in Boytown were exciting, and then rather frustrating, they must now become a reminder to continue to focus on myself. No one, male or female, has ever gotten anywhere without a whole lot of self-love. Who needs validation from the opposite (or same) sex? Well, we all do, sometimes. But more importantly I need: a) a job; b) to further my career c); to maintain good health and a fit body; d) strong friendships and familial relationships. After all that, who has time for sex and love? One day I will, but for now I’m happy to be surrounded by potential tennis partners.