And it’s gettin’ near to closing
And the seconds pass like years
Lots of friends to share the laughter
Not a one to share the tears.
— Dolly Parton, “Single Women”
Ah, yes, there’s nothing better than the single life.
To be an unrestricted free agent is the pinnacle of contentment. To be uncommitted and untethered to anything except the toothbrush in your purse is the definition of freedom.
And apparently few places in America are more amenable to the liberated lifestyle of bachelors, bachelorettes, divorcees and priests than the City of Destiny.
One of those Internet number-crunching outfits called GOBankingRates analyzed 89 major cities to compare costs they believe have the greatest impact on single people: clothes, gym memberships, date nights and rent.
(Gee, no stereotyping there. How come they didn’t include the cost of tanning salons and teeth-bleaching clinics?)
By their calculations, Tacoma is the fourth most affordable city to be a single, behind only Reno, Nevada; Tucson, Arizona; and Grand Rapids, Michigan.
They obviously didn’t calculate our monthly bills for municipally owned cable service.
Here’s how they summarize us:
“This Seattle-area city boasts an affordable average rental price of just 96 cents per square foot. Nights out might be a bit outside of most people's budgets at $102, but the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest provide many cost-friendly alternatives for adventure-seeking singles.”
Ironically, another Seattle-area city, known to most people as Seattle, was ranked 10th most expensive city to be unfettered.
Yet another reason why the 253 rules and the 206 drools.
So here’s looking at you, swinging singles. We already knew Tacoma, America’s gayest city, is a great place for same-sex couples. Now it’s your turn.
Heterosexual couples? Sorry, we’re not aware of any lists that show T-Town is a swell place for you. Don’t fret, though. You can always move to Oklahoma City and watch the Sonics.
Cheap dates ‘R Us: Who knows, Tacoma might’ve topped the singles list had the ranking whizzes not deducted points for our expensive nights on the town.
May we suggest some affordable options:
▪ Enjoy happy hour at Acme Grub Cage Tavern, followed by dinner at the Rescue Mission.
▪ Spread a picnic blanket on the giant anti-homeless boulders outside Tacoma Public Library.
▪ Swing by House of Tattoo on Sixth Avenue, get matching “Single and Ready to Mingle” stamps on lower back.
▪ Ride back and forth on the Link train all night. See if you can pick out the miserable married people.
Celebrity sighting: Longtime rocker Alice Cooper came here last week not only to perform at the Tacoma Dome with Motley Crue, but also to play a round at Chambers Bay golf course.
It turns out ol’ Alice is a pretty sharp golfer. He shot a 72 that day and has a handicap below 6. People who know these things tell us that’s good. (For comparison, some guy named Tiger Woods shot rounds of 80 and 76 at last month’s U.S. Open.)
So if you saw this man walking around University Place in golf shoes, now you know why.
And we don’t blame you if you ran away screaming.
Drunken banking: Our favorite police blotter item this week comes courtesy of the Gateway, our sister paper in Gig Harbor.
Seems the cops found a drunk driver stuck in a bank drive-thru on July 17. Seems she kept revving the engine and got jammed behind one of those yellow protective bars.
Of course, nobody from Gig Harbor could be so silly. The woman must’ve been from Tacoma.
She failed field sobriety and Breathalyzer tests. No word on whether she tried blowing into the cash machine.
Might want to keep him off the witness stand: Gov. Jay Inslee, that is.
He told the TNT this week he has the warm fuzzies for a group of eco-minded Seattle schoolchildren who sued the state. They contend that even meeting the emissions standards in current law would not stop harm from climate change.
Inslee agreed there is compelling science to back up the kiddos’ claim while explaining his own new regulation on stinky polluters.
“I really love these plaintiffs,” said the guv, who oddly enough was a lawyer in his former life. “These are the most admirable plaintiffs that I’ve ever been sued by.”
And presumably he hopes they take us for all we’re worth.