I used to think Denver was the land of milk and honey. Or to be more precise, I thought it was paradise for heterosexual single women who shared my taste in men.
The first time I visited, I believed I couldn’t swing a dead cat in this town without hitting a tall, well-read, scruffy, tattooed, beer-drinking hipster who had a dog.
Sure enough, after I moved, I confirmed that those men really are everywhere. During the work week, you find them in the bars downtown, wearing suits underneath their fleece pullovers and Patagonia jackets. On the weekends, you find them in the brewpubs, cooling off after an afternoon of Colorado-ing. You encounter them in the tiny music venues on Colfax Avenue, too. There, they wear gingham shirts, sling bourbon, and belt out the lyrics to your favorite folk revival bands.
This, I thought, is the single girl’s Shangri-La. Here, we get to walk among these wild, beautiful creatures in their natural habitats. After I moved, I urged my single girlfriends to come visit as soon as possible. “Join me,” I implored them; “it will be like a safari.”
I still meet these men all the time. They tell me they’ve moved here for the same reason I did, which was to be outdoors. I think that’s probably true, but it’s not the whole truth. They don’t just come to be outdoors. They come to play in the outdoors— and in everything else.
After hunting on these wild plains for months, my understanding of the landscape has changed. These men once appeared to be zebras on the Serengeti, unaware of how spectacularly beautiful they were, oblivious to all the women who gawk at them. But that was a mirage; my desperate thirst was just deluding me.
Ladies, beware: Those beautiful, bearded creatures that seem to be blissfully roaming the plains are actually self-aware aliens with Peter Pan complexes. They’ve come here to torture us.
This isn’t our playground. It’s theirs. Welcome to Menver.