Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This Is The Part Of The Show Where Lauren Exhibits Cringe-Worthy Behavior...

They say that Portland is one of the most passive aggressive places on the planet.  I don't think about it very often because I've lived here forever and I'm used to it, but it's totally true.  As a city, we have mastered the art of being indirect to the point where Lorne Michaels made a TV show about it.

I hear a lot of my girlfriends complaining about how wimpy the men are here.  It's true - the average Portland boy will not approach a girl he doesn't already know.  Instead, he'll just adjust his thick, black, plastic-framed glasses and attempt to make eye-contact with her from across the room.  Then he'll spend the next two months reading the "I Saw U" ads in the Portland Mercury or cruising the "Missed Connections" page on Craigslist in hopes that she posted a vague description of him. 

I might be exaggerating a little bit, but you get the idea.  If you are of the female persuasion and you want to actively date in this town, you have to be the one to make things happen.  Of course, since I am also from Portland, I am extremely awkward and non-confrontational.  Plus, dating isn't a huge priority for me right now.  That being said, the closest thing to a date I've experienced recently was the night in October when Tweaked Out Elvis Costello bought me French fries and told me all about the time he tried to start his own religion. 

But I digress.  Something happened to me today that completely threw off my groove. 

Not my finest fashion moment
I was hiding in my favorite coffee shop, as I often do.  I was sitting at the table in the back, staring at various things on my laptop and drinking the world's strongest cup of coffee.  I wasn't necessarily dressed to impress - I was wearing the hat that The Chef gave me, my worn-out black Jackpot Records t-shirt, and zero make-up.  So it was a little unexpected when a guy at a nearby table complimented the bag I had laying next to me.

My bag has a map of Vancouver B.C. on the front and this guy thought that was really cool.  Turns out he loves Canada.  So we had a weird conversation about Canada, which somehow turned into a conversation about film.  I learn that he's from L.A. and does videography work for a living.  I tell him that I'm a writer, musician, film geek, etc.  He's intrigued, especially when it comes out that I have a scriptwriting background.  He tells me about his projects, I tell him about mine.  We discover that we have a mutual friend in common.  We share a good laugh about a town where every one in five people is a midget.  At one point, he moved over to my table.  It was all very natural, yet strange because I'm not used to strangers being that interesting and conversational.

It got to the point where he motioned to the bar across the street and offered to buy me a drink.  I should have probably gone with it and said "yes," but I was so thrown off by the whole interaction that I told him I had to be somewhere and made a less-than-graceful exit.  I spent the drive home yelling at myself. 

Stupid automatic defense mechanisms.  Portland girls aren't socially equipped to handle boys from Los Angeles.


  1. Ahhh Lauren, that is adorable!! Do you regret leaving that way? Don't worry, I'm sure you'll run into him again if that's your favorite coffee shop!

    And, for the record, that "passive aggressiveness" of which you speak describes Minnesota PERFECTLY. Only, if possible, the awkwardness factor is multiplied by at least 100. I attribute men's lack of assertiveness as pure laziness on their part, though. You're nicer than I am, ha!

  2. That guy couldn't possibly be from Los Angeles - the guys here are just as passive-aggressive as you're describing in Portland! (If you see him again, tell him to return home for a visit and educate his friends. ;))

  3. Oh my god! That's awesome! That's like the day I chatted with this guy who came into my work...made my day.

    I would have totally approved of you going for a drink with him - since he (hearts) Canada and all! But I would have done the same thing. It's a fight or flight situation (or at least feels like it).

    I live in a city where all the guys are dumb jock/frat boy types and they either have bitchy girlfriends or they just want a one night stand. It's super hard to find nice guys around here.

    Cheers to being awkward!

  4. Did you get his name, his number? I love it these little happy situations.

    PS- I think men prefer a natural look to lots of makeup anyway. And you look really cute in that photo, I would have approached you at the coffee shop! haha

  5. I can totally relate to the automatic defense mechanism; that's happened to me before, and then I spend a lot of time thinking about all the things I could have said. But don't be too hard on yourself. Maybe he'll be at the coffee shop again sometime, and you could strike up another conversation with him.

  6. oh i hope he shows up again! don't worry, you were just playing hard to get. ;)

    ps...found your blog through Simply Kate.

  7. For the love of GOD, post a missed connections! Haha, really, guys who can keep a conversation interesting in Oregon is a miracle. That automatic defense is alive and well down here too. Boo on that. =/

  8. Oh man. I would have reacted the same way. In fact I have. My friends and I were out one night and this cute guy was totally chatting me up. I was so nervous, figuring there was no way he was actually into me, and made a less than graceful exit.

    My friends informed me during my nervous rambling, I rejected his offer for a phone number. I didn't even realize he had offered it.


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