Living single in Demopolis

Published 2:34 am Saturday, May 30, 2009

There were a number of selling points I heard about Demopolis when I was considering the job of sports editor at The Times.

“It’s the home of Christmas on the River and Freedom on the River.”

I’d never heard of either event prior to my first visit, but they sounded fun.

“It is a river town, and boating and fishing are both huge here.”

Fair enough. That could get interesting what with my incapacitating fear of the water and all.

“It’s home of a New Era Cap Company plant.”

As an avid collector of the 59Fifty, I’m listening.

“Once you wear out a pair of jeans here, you’ll never want to leave.”

With my favorite pair of denims on its last legs, I’ll have to agree with Rob Pearson on that one.

“This is a huge sports community.”

Again, I’m not arguing that point.

“Demopolis has a great school system and is really just a wonderful place to raise a family.”

All right. I’m digging that one. And almost 16 months into my stay here, those seem to be very true statements.

But does anyone other than me notice what is missing from the sales pitch? Think about it. Come on. Yep. There it is. The typical sales pitch is not geared at all toward the single 20-somethings.

After well over a calendar year here, I have learned that Demopolis — as wonderful as it may be — is in fact the City of the People. It is just not the City of the Single People.

I mean, shouldn’t this be covered under truth in labeling laws or something? I have considered lobbying to have a new slogan placed on brochures, banners and posters promoting the city.

Maybe something like “Demopolis: Don’t Come Alone.” Perhaps we could go with “Demopolis: Fewer Singles Per Capita Than Anywhere Else in Alabama.” There’s always the option of “Demopolis: Perfect for Those Who Want to Remain Single.” Then, there’s my favorite, which is actually an addendum to one of the key points in the sales pitch; “Demopolis: The Best Place in the World to Raise a Family and Maybe the Worst Place to Start One.”

I’m all for helping our future neighbors be entirely prepared. Then again, such an initiative would likely only deter other singles from moving to the area, thereby compounding the problem that spawned this somewhat tongue-in-cheek column in the first place.

I suppose the problem could be that I have spent 16 months in all of the wrong places. Granted, most of it is split between the office, church and my apartment. So the odds of running into others with a similar plight in those locales are quite low.

Then again, I could just be spot-on accurate with my assessment of a charming Southern town with absolutely zero appeal for those struggling with the sometimes unfortunate truth that 30 is the new 20.