The most shocking thing about this article written by two Washington Post reporters who "head to Alaska to find romance" is that it's not a romantic comedy starring Amy Adams and Ginnifer Goodwin. Not yet, at least.
Sorry to (spoiler!) burst your bubble, but Tara Bahrampour and Annie Gowen, self-described "harried" reporters with dismal DC love lives, do not find romance in Alaska, even though the state has the highest man-to woman ratio of any in the country. (For every 100 women in Alaska, there are 108.5 men; for every 100 women in DC, there are 89.5 men.) They do, however, find a plethora of bearded men with tattoos, fur-draped jewelry and ties to reality TV shows. Readers who aren't easily offended by stereotypes (Alaska-shaming!) will get a kick out of descriptions like:
What Phil does have is an albatross tattooed around his neck, inspired by Coleridge's poem about a sailor whose rash act brings a curse upon his ship. (Later, I text Phil to ask why he chose such a despairing metaphor as a permanent decoration; he texts back: Because I am a bad person and I deserve to be shamed. I don't ask him to elaborate.)
There's something oddly charming about Caleb, despite the fact that he explains to me in graphic detail how to butcher a moose.
The piece is purposefully fluffy; it's not like the reporters actually expected to find love in Alaska. They just wanted to find men — "The ones with the facial hair, the calloused hands...who could kill dinner and cook it over a fire from the wood he'd chopped - then have his woman for dessert." Or rather (let's be honest), they wanted to find men that would make for good copy. If they were actually trying to meaningfully connect with anyone, they wouldn't have only gone to dive bars with statues of naked ladies.
My favorite part of the article was near the end, when one of the women shares a hot tub with teenage Coast Guard members discussing the best states to meet babes:
They sound like Washington women, fantasizing about places that teem with men.
California, says one. Ohio, says another.
"No, no," another says dreamily, his muscular frame forming a dark silhouette against the gurgling water. "New Jersey. . . . That's where the girls are."
And the women they meet think it's hilarious that they'd come all of the way to Alaska in search of dudes:
When we tell a table of women that we're here to compare the Alaska male with the D.C. version, they howl with laughter, amazed that we'd even consider trading.
"Do the men in Washington have jobs?" asks Nancy Deaver, 44, a restaurateur. "Do they have vehicles? Do they even have teeth?"
Ah, the grass is always greener. (The snow is always whiter?) The reporters return home in the end, one determined "to look for the people hidden between the cracks, the ones with their own odd glimmers" and the other feeling bad for talking shit about DC. No! This is all wrong. In the movie version, one woman will end up moving into an igloo with a Levi Johnston doppelganger with a heart of gold, while the other will be followed across the country by her DC paramour who resolves to prove to her that he can and will change by attempting to fish. It will not go well — he'll nearly freeze to death — but he'll unfreeze her heart.
Image via Mat Hayward/Shutterstock.