Setting the stage: my first date in Portland

I didn’t date for about a year after moving to Portland, due in equal parts to some recent heartbreak and not knowing anybody. It definitely took me a while to get my bearings here and both feel ready to start dating and actually have the opportunity to do so.

I met this girl at a crossfit gym I’d been attending for a while. She had just moved in from out of town, and I knew she was single, so I asked if I could take her out to dinner sometime. Most of you know I love restaurants, and I’d heard about a restaurant near her place with a unique menu whose owner was just back from a stint on Iron Chef. Sounded good, so we set a date. Psyched!

I show up at her place the night of to pick her up. I’m dressed slightly better than I normally am–I might have even ironed a sleeve or two on my shirt. She looked great, and during dinner we had some great conversation and I felt a pretty good vibe. Couldn’t believe my luck–first date in PDX and it actually seemed to be going ok. I paid for dinner and she said she wanted to pay for dessert, which was of course fine by me. I’m a dessert hound.

We ended up driving downtown to Papa Haydn’s, where we split a bottle of wine and an impressive array of sweets. I drink rarely enough that I’m a total lightweight, so I was pretty buzzed and just generally feeling great. I’d forgotten how much fun dating and flirting can be. Wasn’t sure if this would go anywhere, didn’t really have any expectations in that regard, but I knew I was having a blast regardless.

After we polished off our desserts, she mentioned that a few of her friends were at a jazz show a scant dozen blocks away. We headed over there to meet up with them and take in some music.

Immediately upon our arrival this guy, even taller and lankier than I am, gave me the worst scowl I’ve seen in a long time. He hugged her, put his arm around her, and walked on ahead, leaving me with his two guy friends I didn’t know. Flabbergasted, I wound up following them to a loud, cramped bar and sitting down at a table with the group for a beer. This dude is all over her, running his hands down her back and legs while shooting me looks every so often.

At this point, I figure I must have just read things horribly wrong, this guy is clearly her boyfriend, and it’s not as if she mentioned being poly or something to me beforehand. Whatever. I’m more bummed than angry, and I get up to leave.

“Hey, can you give me a ride home?”

Shit. I’d driven her here to begin with, and I was housesitting for friends within a few blocks of her house, so I had no way out. Had to give her a ride home. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but then the guy says,

“Oh, can I get a ride too?”

“Uh… where do you live, man? I’m pretty tired.”

“I’m just going to her place.”


So I wound up giving them both a ride back to her house where they probably fucked like drunken weasels.