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Old 07-06-2014, 04:50 PM
 
703 posts, read 688,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heeha View Post
I'm officially "done" with Montana and I'm ready to leave this state. I came here due to a job transfer over a year ago. I've tried to adapt but I don't think this place is for me and here are my reasons why:

I'm a single male in my late twenties and the dating scene is horrible here. I know in most places it's not great but here in MT, if you are single, God help you! Most of the women I had tried to date fall into one of the following categories: married, divorced with multiple kids, have a boyfriend, too big for me, or too stuck up to even talk to me. It seems like most of the women here find their husband while they are in high school. If you don't get married after high school, the women here think something is wrong with you. It's the truth. I've come to the conclusion I will never find anyone to date here.

The weather here in the summer time is nice. Virtually no humidity or low humidity and the cool, breezy nights makes it ideal. However, the winter, which lasts like 7 months sucks. I can't stand when it's -20 with a wind chill. I hate sitting inside my house all winter because it's too cold to do anything. I'm not into skiing or sitting outside when it's cold. I hate it. I also hate driving to work in the ice and snow.

Food prices are through the roof. I'm not used to paying $3.90 for a box of macarroni or a box of spaghetti. I thought this place was part of the wheat belt?

Although I have met some nice, down to earth people, this place is cliquey. If you're not a native MT, good luck being accepted or treated as a decent person. The motto: "If you're not Norwegian, leave our region" holds true.

Let's face it. Montana is not really a progressive state. It's very, very anti-business and anti-growth. If I was starting a business, unless it was something with wheat harvesting, I wouldn't waste my time starting one here. I could get more bang for my buck somewhere else.

The cost of living here is relatively high and the wages employers pay are pathetic. Heck, some places in the South and Midwest pay higher wages than some employers in MT. And those places are generally cheaper.

Anyway, I'm sure some of you will say, if you don't like it, leave. Well, I would in a heartbeat but I have a decent government job with benefits. I don't want to just throw it away.

Yeah, Montana is a rural area. Of course, you're going to deal with that small town/rural garbage. Pregnant girls from age 16 (teen pregnancies are 30% higher in rural areas *cough* because there's nothing to really do), divorced people at age 19, no activities, higher prices at supermarkets, isolated people who don't welcome newcomers, and other things among those. Heck, I'd be ready to get out of there, too. It's time to get back to the suburbs, buddy!

 
Old 07-06-2014, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,823 posts, read 15,440,126 times
Reputation: 12085
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewimaech235 View Post
Yeah, Montana is a rural area. Of course, you're going to deal with that small town/rural garbage. Pregnant girls from age 16 (teen pregnancies are 30% higher in rural areas *cough* because there's nothing to really do), divorced people at age 19, no activities, higher prices at supermarkets, isolated people who don't welcome newcomers, and other things among those. Heck, I'd be ready to get out of there, too. It's time to get back to the suburbs, buddy!
Small town rural garbage? Really?
 
Old 07-07-2014, 06:52 PM
 
Location: 406
1,423 posts, read 1,536,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
Well... You moved from the surburbs, didn't you?

Your complaint has nothing to do with Montana, it has to do with urban vs rural cultural difference.

Rural lifestyle is vastly different. There is no "dating scene", nobody knows that that is. You meet people where people are... work, church, school. Nobody has money for "social gathering spots". And even if they did, they likely would not spend it that way.

People form their permanent relationships young. It's only the rare person who chases a career and waits until they are in their mid to late 20's to look for that other half. You start your life together younger and work through whatever it is your future plans are - together.
The OP doesn't live in a categorically rural area; in fact, Lewis and Clark county itself is more than 70% urban in terms of population distribution. Helena isn't Chicago, that's a given, but anyone who's at all familiar with it could easily accept the idea that, for the most part, it has a very suburban essence to it, hardly similar to the kind of pie-in-the-sky rural utopia you've alluded to throughout your response.

And I must say that your understanding of the social dynamics of people who live in Montana (particularly young people) is misguided at best. I'll assume myself to perhaps be amongst the younger echelon of forum members here and assure you that, even in some of the less urban communities, there are what could only be termed "dating scenes", but their sizes and qualities definitely vary, and many of them are, perhaps unfortunately, dependent on one's preference for a social life centered on the bar scene to some extent (not totally different from the dating scenes in large cities).

It's true that some people may have at least gone to high school with the person they ultimately married, but this isn't a distinctly rural phenomenon. I personally can't help but notice that, frankly, teenagers and early twenty-somethings with incomplete HS educations or no post-HS education, to varying degrees in Montana and elsewhere, aren't exactly "finding their other half"--they're just breeding within the framework of short-term relationships, and yes, this may be something that will make them less viable in the dating game with their educated and childless peers.

And then, of course, Montana also has universities, colleges, workplaces, etc., for relationship seekers (what we don't have, for better or worse, is a large population, so that can be a significant hindrance almost regardless of where you live).

What sucks is that young, childless and relationship-eligible Montanans (usually those with post-HS educations) are increasingly forced out of the state by horrendous proportionality between wages and COL, and this continues to be a non-issue to several people on this forum (which I assume would include you), even in the context of the state's economic health. Truly astounding, but nevertheless true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
Pay is low because there's simply no way to pay more. Most employers struggle to pay what they do. The economy is based on production of value - not the accumulation of money - like the cities often do. And there's not that much value in the production of lumber, beef, or in mining. And even if there is, the costs are high. Everyone has to bust their backsides for every cent they earn. It comes dearly and it's spent just as dearly.
Yes, there is a way to pay more, and the shorthand solution in Montana is to both expand industrial activity on our side of the Bakken region by dismantling our idiotic regulatory hurdles, in addition to promoting and investing in one of the most relevant industries in the world, that being, of course, high-tech and it's engineering and manufacturing sectors, but, OMG, that might bring more Kommieforniuhns to the state's West and a Chicago-esque crime wave to its East!!!!! (Or so goes the typical anti-growth narrative, more or less.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
Yes, people seem "clique-ish". Some are. Many simply don't have room in their lives for people who just consume their time. They struggle to maintain long or old friendships when they have the chance to associate only from time to time. Leisure time is limited, and money for leisure that costs is in even less supply.

And these things are true, no matter WHAT part of rural America you go to.

So, if you can't live in an environment like this, or it's miserable, leave. Don't cling to a job with benefits and be miserable. It isn't going to change, because it's a product of being a producer society, not a rent-seeking society, meaning the wealth has to be produced in order for there to be any. Other places accumulate or profit off the wealth created by those in places like this and money is 'easy' by comparison.

On the other hand, I lived in cities and in far reaches of "middle of nowhere", and after experiencing both, I'll choose the rural life every day of my entire life. I detest the phony, plastic, painted on society of the city. I detest the endless rush of anonymous people who care nothing but for their next dollar and promotion and climbing the social ladder. Those people who scrape long and hard for every dollar... are often vastly more generous than those who have much. I was once a 21 year old, living on my own in Phoenix. And I wanted nothing more than to head back to the wilds of rural NW Montana. I would have moved back many times since then, but there was no way to earn a living there and afford to raise my family.

Now, they're adults, oldest are your age, and they would probably think like you. So much more the loss...

I'm in a Chicago suburb now, and I can barely stand that I have 4-5 years more of this urban hell. But if you love this culture, move to it. I did learn one lesson... Doing something you dislike, or living where you don't like, merely for money, is absolutely NOT a viable lifestyle.
And why exactly should your suggestion that the OP leave the state be considered appropriate? Would it be acceptable for me in turn to suggest that you not come here, something that, for the sake of those of us who are bound to Montana for whatever litany of reasons and have 20-30+ years left in the workforce, could actually be a positive?

I can't speak for everyone, but sometimes I tend to think it would do us well to not have another out of touch retiree joining the anti-growth chorus because "urban living" (you know, the kind that very few of us here, if any, will see Montana offer in our lifetimes) was so miserable for them.

On a final note, I find it a little annoying to see Montanans painted with such a broad brush. You aren't incorrect on every one of your presumptions (none of which are unique to Montanans or rural residents in general, by the way), but much of the cultural aspects you romanticize here are rather alien to me in terms of personal experience as a native of this state, and you'd better believe I'm not alone in that regard.

Come and check us out for yourself, if you must. You'll be surprised if you're paying attention.
 
Old 07-07-2014, 07:26 PM
 
1,594 posts, read 1,692,198 times
Reputation: 1688
I lived in Great Falls for three years and didn't like it for a lot of the same reasons you mention. If you have a good govt job, stick it out until something better comes along in a better place. It's not worth it to quit a good job and have a break in service.

I gritted my teeth through three years of BS in this state and now I'm in a warm climate in a great city with an outstanding job. Those three years of "hard time" in Great Falls were absolutely worth that, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I had to.
 
Old 07-07-2014, 08:16 PM
 
9,473 posts, read 5,885,422 times
Reputation: 2162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montguy View Post
The OP doesn't live in a categorically rural area; in fact, Lewis and Clark county itself is more than 70% urban in terms of population distribution. Helena isn't Chicago, that's a given, but anyone who's at all familiar with it could easily accept the idea that, for the most part, it has a very suburban essence to it, hardly similar to the kind of pie-in-the-sky rural utopia you've alluded to throughout your response.
There wasn't any "pie in the sky" anywhere in my comments. Nor was I "romanticizing" it. It's a hard life, not everyone is cut out for it. But his complaints were such, that my suggestion was that a mere "job" isn't the be and end all, and that pursuing a life that makes you happy is vastly more important. You will never reach the end of your life saying "Wow, I wish I'd kept that job that made me miserable, but paid well". Perhaps because I have lived a significant majority of my life already, I have a more, say "experienced" view of what one should use as priorities.

Quote:
And I must say that your understanding of the social dynamics of people who live in Montana (particularly young people) is misguided at best. I'll assume myself to perhaps be amongst the younger echelon of forum members here and assure you that, even in some of the less urban communities, there are what could only be termed "dating scenes", but their sizes and qualities definitely vary, and many of them are, perhaps unfortunately, dependent on one's preference for a social life centered on the bar scene to some extent (not totally different from the dating scenes in large cities).
I assure you, with a very few exceptions, there are no large areas where the urban social life and it's "scenes" exists in MT. As you point out, there ARE areas that are urban, but even then, those that are in them have been influenced by the rural state life around them.

Quote:
It's true that some people may have at least gone to high school with the person they ultimately married, but this isn't a distinctly rural phenomenon. I personally can't help but notice that, frankly, teenagers and early twenty-somethings with incomplete HS educations or no post-HS education, to varying degrees in Montana and elsewhere, aren't exactly "finding their other half"--they're just breeding within the framework of short-term relationships, and yes, this may be something that will make them less viable in the dating game with their educated and childless peers.
Given the OP's comments about how the area's "dating scene" sucks, it appears that he has already explored what there is that's interesting to him. I'm just pointing out that it's not like he's just in a specific area where whatever it is he's looking for is in short supply, but that it's the ONLY supply, and if that's the only method in the world he can use to meet people and explore relationships, he's tough out of luck.

Quote:
And then, of course, Montana also has universities, colleges, workplaces, etc., for relationship seekers (what we don't have, for better or worse, is a large population, so that can be a significant hindrance almost regardless of where you live).

What sucks is that young, childless and relationship-eligible Montanans (usually those with post-HS educations) are increasingly forced out of the state by horrendous proportionality between wages and COL, and this continues to be a non-issue to several people on this forum (which I assume would include you), even in the context of the state's economic health. Truly astounding, but nevertheless true.
I was once young and childless and relationship eligible in an extremely rural area, myself. I'm merely pointing out that you have to adapt your entire lifestyle and how you look at things in order to be successful, if what you think should be doesn't exist.



Quote:
Yes, there is a way to pay more, and the shorthand solution in Montana is to both expand industrial activity on our side of the Bakken region by dismantling our idiotic regulatory hurdles, in addition to promoting and investing in one of the most relevant industries in the world, that being, of course, high-tech and it's engineering and manufacturing sectors, but, OMG, that might bring more Kommieforniuhns to the state's West and a Chicago-esque crime wave to its East!!!!! (Or so goes the typical anti-growth narrative, more or less.)
Well, don't look at me, I'm not one of the "anti growth" types. I'm well aware of the political streak that runs through parts of MT. They vote D and union and can only think in terms of forcing their version of utopia on everyone else. I agree that industry and production would benefit the state immensely. But the biggest hurdle is not in MT, it's our federal government, and large groups funded with OPM who seek to impose their will on others.


Quote:
And why exactly should your suggestion that the OP leave the state be considered appropriate? Would it be acceptable for me in turn to suggest that you not come here, something that, for the sake of those of us who are bound to Montana for whatever litany of reasons and have 20-30+ years left in the workforce, could actually be a positive?
Because my suggestion is that he pursue a life that makes him happy. Arguing with him that he should stay in a place he hates seems amazingly counterproductive for all parties.

You're free to suggest that I not come there. But, if I do not, some place will miss out the wealth of knowledge, experience and benefit that we (wife and I) would bring to whatever community we settle in. You seem to speak like a "finite pie" believer, that bringing in more people equals less opportunity for you, and you want a bigger share "left" for you. That would be, if that's your reasoning, an incredibly short sighted and

Quote:
I can't speak for everyone, but sometimes I tend to think it would do us well to not have another out of touch retiree joining the anti-growth chorus because "urban living" (you know, the kind that very few of us here, if any, will see Montana offer in our lifetimes) was so miserable for them.
I'm not a retiree (far from it), nor am I an "anti-growth" activist - quite the opposite. Nor am I out of touch with rural needs and bringing value to them - as I have done that ALL of my productive adult life.

Quote:
On a final note, I find it a little annoying to see Montanans painted with such a broad brush. You aren't incorrect on every one of your presumptions (none of which are unique to Montanans or rural residents in general, by the way), but much of the cultural aspects you romanticize here are rather alien to me in terms of personal experience as a native of this state, and you'd better believe I'm not alone in that regard.
In terms of area, 80%+ of MT is very much as I say it is. And, it's not unique or even different in MT, than it in in the several states I've been in. Not until you've lived in one of those 300 or 500 person communities whose economy is extractive and resource dependent do you see the reality of the "other side".

Quote:
Come and check us out for yourself, if you must. You'll be surprised if you're paying attention.
I think you've missed the fact that I am a former MT resident myself, and no, I wouldn't be surprised, I'm well acquainted.
 
Old 07-07-2014, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,823 posts, read 15,440,126 times
Reputation: 12085
Wow I'm glad I didn't move to Montana a single 30-something man. Everyone seems to think finding a nice woman is impossible here, lol.

The irony IS that I met my wife (of 24 great years) while I was in high school inside the D.C. Beltway. We built our lives, just the same as rural folks do, one step at a time, one trial at a time. College, jobs, then get married, then build a family..

This is not a unique phenomena to rural areas. It's simply a numbers game, and the odds increase with the more population density you have.

If you are looking at increasing your odds for a girlfriend and eating at fine restaurants- the MONTANA is NOT the place to go!!! I'll boil it down again- "what do you want out of life right now?" Figure it out and GO FOR IT!!!
 
Old 07-07-2014, 09:08 PM
 
9,473 posts, read 5,885,422 times
Reputation: 2162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
I'll boil it down again- "what do you want out of life right now?" Figure it out and GO FOR IT!!!
Yup. That's the key.

The OP was given advice not the leave the job for the sake of money and benefits.

I think that's terrible advice.

Now, how you go about changing things... there's good and bad ways to do that, of course. I wouldn't suggest just resigning and wandering off randomly looking for a job of some kind. Rather, find the area and culture where you want to be, and figure out how to live in it.
 
Old 07-08-2014, 08:53 PM
 
8,944 posts, read 8,047,583 times
Reputation: 19427
Quote:
Quote:
Let's face it. Montana is not really a progressive state. It's very, very anti-business and anti-growth. If I was starting a business, unless it was something with wheat harvesting, I wouldn't waste my time starting one here. I could get more bang for my buck somewhere else.
Wrong. The business world, consider Montana to be a top 10 state for businesses or starting a business.

The Most (And Least) Business Friendly States - Forbes

As to not be able to find a girl friend, and have a wonderful life, has the OP considered that his attitude is driving the girls away from him.
 
Old 07-09-2014, 03:32 PM
 
9,473 posts, read 5,885,422 times
Reputation: 2162
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
Wrong. The business world, consider Montana to be a top 10 state for businesses or starting a business.

The Most (And Least) Business Friendly States - Forbes

As to not be able to find a girl friend, and have a wonderful life, has the OP considered that his attitude is driving the girls away from him.
Well, they're quite wrong. There's a difference between looking at specific, narrow issues on paper and ranking them... and real life.

There's several reasons Montana isn't the greatest place, economic growth-wise.

1. A lot of state and federal land ownership. (both of these tend to squelch productive industry)
2. Harsh climate that reduces agricultural and tourist opportunities.
3. Extractive industries have been hit VERY hard by environmenalists, regulatory, and tax issues.
4. Low density of population.
5. Long distances required to move things.

BTW, none of this is unique to Montana.

Washington, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, all have most / all of the same challenges.
 
Old 07-09-2014, 06:59 PM
 
Location: 406
1,423 posts, read 1,536,495 times
Reputation: 1407
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
There wasn't any "pie in the sky" anywhere in my comments. Nor was I "romanticizing" it. It's a hard life, not everyone is cut out for it. But his complaints were such, that my suggestion was that a mere "job" isn't the be and end all, and that pursuing a life that makes you happy is vastly more important. You will never reach the end of your life saying "Wow, I wish I'd kept that job that made me miserable, but paid well". Perhaps because I have lived a significant majority of my life already, I have a more, say "experienced" view of what one should use as priorities.
Fine--let's scrap "pie in the sky" for "orange-sky". Just as good.

You inaccurately generalized the people who live here as being part of some hard-knock, immaterial rural lifestyle that entails a common experience completely devoid of things like education, career pursuits, dating pools, etc., and you were wrong to do so. In order to convince the OP that he doesn't belong here, you essentially used a broad character appeal regarding Montanans--based on premises not altogether accurate in the year 2014--to set him and his values apart from his peers altogether.

To be fair, this may not have been your intention, but that's definitely what I saw. If I received it incorrectly, then you haven't made much of a case demonstrating why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
I assure you, with a very few exceptions, there are no large areas where the urban social life and it's "scenes" exists in MT. As you point out, there ARE areas that are urban, but even then, those that are in them have been influenced by the rural state life around them.

Given the OP's comments about how the area's "dating scene" sucks, it appears that he has already explored what there is that's interesting to him. I'm just pointing out that it's not like he's just in a specific area where whatever it is he's looking for is in short supply, but that it's the ONLY supply, and if that's the only method in the world he can use to meet people and explore relationships, he's tough out of luck.
I never made any contention that there are large urban areas with any urban social life on par with what could be found in Denver, San Francisco, Las Vegas, or wherever (the OP has explicitly told us that he isn't looking for any such environment, by the way); I was simply arguing that there are, in fact, social scenes (which often revolve around a community's bar scene), and that a young person can find networks within them--good ones and, unfortunately, bad ones. You basically argued that there are *none*, and it warranted correction.

As for rural influence in the "urban centers", you're correct to a point, even in the case of, say, Missoula. Montana's rural qualities aren't scoffed at by most people who live here because, I suppose, it's kind of respected as a heritage, more so, I would think, for natives of the state; however, that doesn't make one familiar with the kind of existence you portrayed.

It's sort of like how I can call myself "German" all I want, but that doesn't make me Claude Schmidt from Stuttgart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
I was once young and childless and relationship eligible in an extremely rural area, myself. I'm merely pointing out that you have to adapt your entire lifestyle and how you look at things in order to be successful, if what you think should be doesn't exist.
I wasn't aware that Helena is an "extremely rural area", and even if it doesn't live up to the OP's preferences, there may still be other communities in Montana that do. How can you be so "well-acquainted" with Montana and still find that notion so fallacious?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
Well, don't look at me, I'm not one of the "anti growth" types. I'm well aware of the political streak that runs through parts of MT. They vote D and union and can only think in terms of forcing their version of utopia on everyone else. I agree that industry and production would benefit the state immensely. But the biggest hurdle is not in MT, it's our federal government, and large groups funded with OPM who seek to impose their will on others.
I'm pleased to see that you aren't an anti-growth paranoiac, even if you're making a very erroneous assumption here.

Montana's economy is hurdled by its own state and local regulatory policies--not to mention its own judicial structure--every bit as much as it's hurdled by federal policy. The former is probably even more toxic if we're focusing on industries unrelated to energy, mining, or timber.

North Dakota, arguably the best state to contrast MT with, is a thriving rural/urbanizing state that bears many similarities to Montana (or at least Montana's eastern-most region that shares a large part of the Bakken formation), but the central difference between the two is that one is friendly to high-wage industry and growth, whilst the other one isn't. Care to fill in the blanks?

And judging by much of what I've seen on this forum, not to mention a few personal experiences, I find it incredibly hard to believe that the typical Montana isolationist--particularly those who purport to be conservative or even libertarian--are supporting Democratic candidates for public office (even if they may as well).

Unions were historically a pretty good thing for Montana's workforce; now, not so much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
Because my suggestion is that he pursue a life that makes him happy. Arguing with him that he should stay in a place he hates seems amazingly counterproductive for all parties.
I didn't argue with him--I offered some different perspective, and I wished him well in whatever he pursues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
You're free to suggest that I not come there. But, if I do not, some place will miss out the wealth of knowledge, experience and benefit that we (wife and I) would bring to whatever community we settle in. You seem to speak like a "finite pie" believer, that bringing in more people equals less opportunity for you, and you want a bigger share "left" for you. That would be, if that's your reasoning, an incredibly short sighted and

I'm not a retiree (far from it), nor am I an "anti-growth" activist - quite the opposite. Nor am I out of touch with rural needs and bringing value to them - as I have done that ALL of my productive adult life.
How can you possibly assume that I'm a subscriber to "finite pie" economics when I clearly advocate for industrial growth in sectors that have eventually brought in-migration to every state that has embraced them?

Hell, if "finite pie" was the sum of my economic views, you'd better believe they'd be more popular on this forum.

And being that your attitude toward growth (I emphasize the industrial variety, of course) appears to be more or less similar to mine, I'll retract and say that you may be just the sort of person who should plant yourself here. Sorry for being so presumptuous, but the ethos of your OP was frighteningly similar to the sort of destructive thinking I see here all the time. My mistake, apparently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
In terms of area, 80%+ of MT is very much as I say it is. And, it's not unique or even different in MT, than it in in the several states I've been in. Not until you've lived in one of those 300 or 500 person communities whose economy is extractive and resource dependent do you see the reality of the "other side".
Well, maybe you should be cautious not to confuse geographical acreage with actual people. Montana is estimated to be anywhere from 60-70% urban overall, and this pattern is projected to continue until roughly 80% of the future population will be condensed in our seven largest counties (by 2030 if I remember clearly).

More Bakken development is the only thing that can change that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwmdk View Post
I think you've missed the fact that I am a former MT resident myself, and no, I wouldn't be surprised, I'm well acquainted.
I'd be interested to know more about your previous experience in Montana, actually. Maybe, like, what year(s) you were here and what county you lived in. Perhaps then I could make some sense of your insights...
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