Catch up on Date #1 before reading this review of the second date!
Red flags come in a variety of guises. There’s the “doesn’t tip on an $85 meal” flag, the “makes you drive to Gresham” flag, and the “frequently includes a mysterious lap bulge in the bottom right corner of every Snapchat” flag. However, Sacha’s flag of choice was “gives you absolute radio silence for exactly 13 days and then invites you on a last-minute second date.” Staying home on a Saturday night is my worst fear, so I agreed to meet him again and promptly spent the next 2 hours trying on everything in my closet before settling on jeans and a black tank top. Seriously, so much wasted time, every weekend.
We agreed to meet in the SE at White Owl Social Club. It was a warm evening out, so we wanted somewhere with a large patio. I’d already been to Apex and Cascade Brewing, so I was open to this “new” spot. I had been to White Owl a few months prior when a couple out-of-town friends suggested we try it. They immediately hated it and wanted to leave without even ordering a drink. That enter/exit definitely made the list of the top 10 most awkward encounters with a bouncer.
I (responsibly) took a Car2Go and spent 5 precious minutes finding legal parking. So many signs. So many warehouses. The location of White Owl is in a strange industrial part of the SE. There is not much immediately nearby, but it is wedged in between great parts of Hawthorne and Belmont/Morrison. The vibe is very casual biker with a bit of 80’s flair. It feels like the old leather recliner in your grandparents’ house that is undescribably comfortable, but has fallen deep, deep out of style since the 1970’s. The menu is your standard fare. There are a few fun cocktails and several unique beers, but I have a feeling people don’t frequent White Owl in order to “try new things.” The patio is huge and lovely and there is even a giant fire pit. I have heard rumors about smores but I didn’t see anyone eating them nor did I learn of a way to procure the necessary ingredients. Pro tip: smuggle them in your bag.
The Bar Pros:
Plenty of street parking/great walkability factor
Extremely easy to find a table
Unique wall decor to make it feel homey
Intimidating/attentive door guys (who don’t check bags)
Virtually no music to hinder conversation
We met inside and Sacha was cute as ever. He ordered some type of hoppy beer and I got a Diet Coke to mix with my purse-flask Jack Daniels. We found a spot outside and started chatting. He told me he owned a drone because it came free with his Android upgrade. I told him about my innovative idea for a new food cart (fro-yo style dispensers of hummus) and then promptly knocked my drink over with my expressive hand movements.
I somehow convinced him that we should bar hop to my two favorite places – Montage and Dig a Pony. I was only moderately buzzed from the flask of wine I downed before entering the bar. The 4oz of Jack and Diet that I drank before I spilled the rest had done nothing. He seemed absolutely fine from his two beers. On our stroll through the industrial southeast, we stumbled upon a party bus parked in an abandoned parking lot. Being the obvious nuisance I am, I insisted on standing outside the bus until they invited us on. We were given more beer and introduced to the birthday girl! I signed up to sing some on-bus karaoke and nearly lost my shit when I realized someone had a box of Cheez-its. I made Sacha pour a small bowlful into my cupped palms before I smashed them into my face. Mid-eat, I heard the intro to my karaoke song “I’m On a Boat” and made a dramatic entrance to the stage by throwing the remaining crumbs in the air like salty, edible confetti. I am a horrible person.
Prior to my introduction of The Lonely Island to the mix, the birthday posse had been singing girl-power tunes by the likes of Janis Joplin and Enya. I may not remember much following my vocal performance, but I have a vivid mental image of the horrified faces of the birthday girl’s middle aged coworkers as I screamed “FUCK LAND I’M CLIMBING BOUYS, MOTHERFUCKER” into the screechy microphone. I almost forgot I was on a date until I locked eyes with Sacha across the bus and serenaded him with the line “I fucked a mermaid-iade-iadeee-iade-iadeee!”
After we were kicked off of the bus, we somehow made it to Montage after asking several homeless people. It was a blur, but he ordered the catfish mac and cheese with beer and I ordered a coffee cocktail. We stole bread from our surrounding tables when they weren’t looking and left the restaurant significantly poorer and with a foil sword the size of a skateboard. Surprisingly, the bouncers let us inside Dig a Pony and we spent the evening stealing windowsill beers and trolling bros from OSU. Sacha won the gold medal for the night by trying to recruit people to join ISIS. You’d be surprised by how many people said yes.
The Bro Pros (continued):
Clearly up for any adventure
Extremely supportive of my bizarre passions
Repeatedly initiated hand-holding
Not afraid of calories
Willingly trolled bros
The real highlight of the evening occurred around 3am when we went to Robo Taco. I, of course, didn’t order anything, as I hate eating in front of men, but Sacha ordered fish tacos. I was watching him chow down when, mid-chew, he gently set his taco down and looked up at me with an expression of panic. “I’m going to throw up.” He stood up and started climbing over chairs and tables to make it through the crowded restaurant before his partially-digested mac and cheese surfaced. He was gone a short while (during which I Tindered, naturally) and returned with a look of total shame. I felt bad for the kid. It was obvious he didn’t drink often and tonight was just too much for him. I was drunk, but nowhere near sick.
He was in no shape to drive and the busses had stopped operating for the night. We were exactly 1.4 miles away from my apartment and I broke the news that we had no option but to walk while trying to hitchhike. We held hands, ran through sprinklers, and complained about the cold during our long walk down Belmont. We were eventually picked up .8 miles later by a windowless white pedophile van. I sat on Sacha’s lap in the front seat and I was suddenly very glad I had shaved my legs 10 hours earlier.
We climbed the stairs to my apartment and I half heartedly tried to convince him to sleep on the couch. He threw a tantrum on my living room floor until I agreed to share my twin size bed. We immediately fell asleep. He didn’t even try to kiss me. I chalked it up to a case of whiskey lips and let the violent waves of the spins lull me to sleep.
I woke up around 8am and spent the next 3 hours browsing social media on my phone until he woke up. I told him about the new Blue Star Donut shop opening on Mississippi and how they had free donuts. He didn’t want to go. I gave him club soda and offered to make coffee. We sat at my kitchen table and wearily chatted for awhile before he said he was ready for a ride to his car so he could go home.
I dropped him off and gave him space to let his ego repair itself. The next day, he sent me a text letting me know he was okay. Over the next two weeks, I sent him a couple relevant texts referring to things we had discussed. He always replied with something short, but witty. I stopped reaching out, he stopped replying.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. I can speculate all day about his reasons, but in the end, it just didn’t work out. I’ll continue telling myself it was because he is still gripped by paralyzing embarrassment over throwing up in front of me and being a general sloppy drunk. That’s okay. I’ve thrown up on a guy’s couch and never contacted him again. It happens to all of us.
Love is hard. Not only do you have to be emotionally and physically compatible, but now your drinking tolerances have to be on par. No one wants to be the perpetual babysitter. Where’s a lush frat bro when you need him?
The bro: 9/10. The one the got away.
The bar: 4/10. Good for a pre-drink or the elusive s’more.