Energy Boomtown Observation #334
The frozen pizza aisle at the grocery store has multiplied like gremlins after midnight.
I noticed this phenomenon about a year ago. What was contained within about five freezers now occupies ten. (I'm making up the numbers, to try to sound scientific.) But regardless of the numbers, the selection of frozen pizzas is quite extensive in Dickinson frozen food sections.
It seems safe to describe frozen pizzas as a staple food for young, single men. And Dickinson has an inordinate number of young, single men. The truth is, Dickinson has an excess of young, single, wealthy men, who generate lucrative income in their demanding, oilfield jobs. They work in wicked conditions, endure brutal schedules, and many of them live in campers or hotel rooms. Most of them must live in places with access to an oven to cook their frozen pizzas.
Maybe a decade ago, a book called Bowling Alone came out. The premise implies no longer does our society bring people together for things such as bowling leagues. No longer do we regularly socialize through avenues such as Ladies Aid. Instead, we spend more time alone, indepedent, happy to be home when we can. Eating frozen pizzas, perhaps.
As I read Wendell Frerichs Real Prayers this morning, I found this notion resounded in his words. Compared to generations past, "...are we just more disillusioned about human help?"
I'm not saying there is anything wrong with eating frozen pizzas. Or spending time alone. I do, however, feel a bit sad if there are thousands (that number is accurate) of hard-working folks within ten miles of our community who are isolated in campers and hotel rooms with no one to bowl with, or socialize with in a healthy way that may shine Christ's light into the world. Men who are far from home, making an obscene amount of money, eating frozen pizzas.
Just another boomtown observation.