Singles challenged to meet a match |

Singles challenged to meet a match

Amanda Fehd
Single guys and girls have to be ready for challenges and mixed expectations in this small ski town. (Photo illustration by Jim Grant and Rebecca Enerson)

If you believe the local talk, South Shore men have shed a million tears in their beers over this cold town’s women.

“Girls are just crazy in this town; you think they are all nice and stuff and you turn your back and … there’s only a few girls I know who don’t cheat,” said John Phelan, 27. A student at Lake Tahoe Community College, Phelan said he’s just not looking anymore.

So he’s been burned in his five years living here. But the women in South Shore don’t exactly sing a different tune.

“Tahoe guys are slackers,” said Robin Peshia. “The ones that aren’t losers are taken. If you’ve got a job and you’ve got an education, if you’re nice, you’re off the market.”

Peshia, 32, was single here six months before she was snatched up, knocked up, and hitched – with someone off the hill.

“A lot of what I ran into were big partiers, not really looking for a relationship, more of a ‘Hey, let’s get it on’ sort of thing.”

Whether you are a guy or a girl, the singles scene in this town is anything but healthy.

Odds are good, but …

Many have the impression guys outnumber women 5 to 1. The true ratio isn’t that extreme, but it is heavy on men.

According to U.S. Census data for the 96150 zip code, men 20 to 30 years old outnumber women the same ages by almost 25 percent. For every 100 women, there are 124 men. For all other ages, there are also more men. In the rest of the world, the sex ratio is slightly skewed toward women, with about 52 percent female.

Phelan said he’s always thought women had their pick in this town.

“It’s like a guy going to the Playboy mansion,” he said.

Jeff Neal, owner of Whiskey Dicks, said he’d have to agree: Women can pick and choose.

“I’ve seen that a lot here, where a woman is surrounded by five guys,” Neal said. “There’s definitely a lot of lonely guys in town.”

But his sympathy ends there.

“These guys that are complaining about the women they are attracting, they need to take a look in the mirror. Ninety-five percent of guys under 30 and single, their idea of fashion is to wear pants that hang below their ass, a hoodie and a rock-star belt, and they will attract women who are female versions of themselves,” he said.

Boy meets girl

Some say there are plenty of good guys and good girls around; it’s just a matter of them finding each other. People blame the “transient nature” of a ski town, or lack of a community center. And perusing the personal ads will only send you to Reno or Sacramento.

Boys meet girls and girls meet boys, but how?

“Don’t close any doors, explore all your options, if you really want a lasting relationship with someone you have to be open-minded,” Peshia said.

Rain Mershon, a counselor at Lake Tahoe Community College, said the best way to be single is not to be looking. Instead, focus on your own self-development and pursuing your interests, and opportunities will arise.

“There’s a saying: If you build it, he will come; if you chase him, he will run,” she said. “If you take the focus off looking for somebody, stay open, you will encounter people.”

Mershon pointed out all the activities available through the college in which people can find someone else with similar interests. Clubs, movies, lectures, art shows, and outdoor and wilderness classes are just a few ways to meet people, she said.

“It’s a really diverse community of students, in age and backgrounds. Everybody comes in with different goals and intentions,” Mershon said.

Outside the college, she pointed out that there’s an energetic activist community, as well as a spiritual community which includes churches, the yoga center and spiritual bookstore.

“There’s a lot more going on in this town than meets the eye. It’s like anything else in our lives: Things will not just come to you, you have to create it,” she said.

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