Every time this blog starts to make me feel shallow, I construct a mental PowerPoint slideshow of every man I’ve been deeply attracted to. What should look like GQ’s Hot 100 list is actually more akin to Humans of Pittsburgh. Rather than the tall, coifed, and J Crew-clad man of my dreams, these Average Joes are still wearing the clothes their moms bought them before they left for college. They engage in sports, but only a few times per week and their bodies are undefined and exhibit their deep love for Chipotle and beer. But on the inside, they are each earth-shatteringly witty, intelligent, and can keep up with me in a round of illogical banter.
Tinder is inherently shallow, but I won’t hesitate to give a guy a chance if his tagline makes me laugh. That’s why I agreed to go out with the Professional Dog Washer. By default, men take awful selfies. On Tinder, they somehow select the worst of the worst. I believe this guy’s 4 selected photos were… him with his face in the center of a toilet seat lid, him hiking in the distance, him playing bass all sweaty at a concert, and a webcam photo of half of his face in a poorly lit room. Usually I have a 0 tolerance policy for this kind of bullshit, but I was feeling forgiving after his witty tagline so I swiped right.
After two weeks (??!?!?) of talking, he finally got the balls to ask me to get a drink. I’ll admit he was one of the best text-conversationalists I’ve ever met. He was witty and hilarious without veering into the awkward sexual innuendo territory that so many men seem privy to visit. Mainly, we had been bonding over our love for sour beers and the new IPLs on the market. After consulting their ‘LIVE’ beer menu online, we decided to go to Apex Bar in SE Portland to try and get some. This was during the summer, so it was still pretty warm outside and I was thrilled at the idea of a romantic patio date.
The Bro Pros:
Humble with a gentle kindness to his aura
Really into dogs – washes them for a living and sends me adorable pics
Decent at conversation, knows when to listen and when to talk
Taller than me AND blond – double whammy
Shy at first, but eventually his sarcastic wit emerged
I drove to the bar and arrived early to drink in my car, per usual. I had found a liter of Pyramid’s IPL at the grocery and decided it was the perfect pre-date drink. As our agreed upon time grew nearer, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to finish it without entering into slur-territory (in regards to my speech pattern, not my word choice) and did what any responsible young adult would do who didn’t want her beer to get warm by sitting in a toasty car – I hid it in a nearby bush.
I was standing outside of Apex, waiting for Mr. Pro Dog Washer, when he texted me that he was stuck at the train tracks and would be late. Strike 1. I know trains and drawbridges in Portland have a habit of just appearing, but have some foresight and LEAVE EARLIER JUST IN CASE. He ended up being a solid 20 minutes late… and when he arrived, he walked right past me and into the bar without even considering that I could be his date. Weird. Is that my fault? I’m just going to assume he is the typical Clueless Man and move along.
We met inside (I stood at the ATM because Apex is CASH ONLY) and grabbed drinks before claiming a nice barstool table. Strike 2 was him not paying for my drink and ordering “the cheapest beer you have.” Sorry this date is so inconvenient for your budget. He quickly redeemed himself by being relatively attractive and moderately conversational. We talked about the usual array of topics but the true highlight was me becoming overly excited about something and knocking my drink over with my hand (reoccurring theme).
The Bar Pros:
Great location on Division, across from Double Dragon
Huge selection of beer
Giant patio, many online meet-ups happen here
The true insiders know that it is cash only
Diverse crowd – some middle aged, some fratty, mostly average 9-5 joes
Ample neighborhood street parking
Located next to great Mexican and Chinese food for drunk noms
The atmosphere is more relaxed, not a place to get hammered and mingle
The crowd at Apex isn’t much to look at, so we decided to take a walk down Division. We walked by my car and I remembered my beer hidden in the bush. Being the lady I am, I made him dig through the plant to find it. He pulled it out and a giant slug had affixed itself to the glass bottle. He immediately squealed and threw it into the grass. Awkward.
After the slug debacle which I think embarrassed him a bit, we made it all the way to Cesar Chavez! He carved his name in a tree along the way and we played “Eye Spy” through the window of an old vintage shop. He had never had Salt and Straw, so I tried to convince the workers to give him a free sample after closing but they refused.
On our walk back to Apex, we came across an old microwave on the sidewalk. Part of his Tinder tagline had been “Someday, I’ll own a microwave.” I convinced him that he needed it and we should carry it back to his car. He made it about 5 blocks before needing a break. I offered to carry it for awhile and he quickly hoisted it into my arms. This vintage honker was heavy! I was determined to make it longer than 5 blocks, which I did, but my arms were sore for days. After we hauled it into his trunk, we stood by his car and talked for another 15 minutes.
It felt like we had a connection due to how smoothly the conversation flowed, but there just wasn’t much physical attraction or a spark. We continued texting for a few days but it eventually faded out. He randomly sent me a photo a week later of his new microwave in his kitchen. I’ll admit, I’m impressed by a guy who will agree to go dumpster diving on a first date. I’m not sure what I learned from the Professional Dog Washer. Don’t be shallow? Well, I wasted an evening, three dollars, and countless text messages trying to give someone I wasn’t attracted to a chance, but it ultimately didn’t work out because I wasn’t attracted to him. I feel like I should have predicted this ending.
The Bro: 5/10. Great guy, but average date.
The Bar: 9/10 for weekday chilling with friends, 3/10 for weekend drunk shenanigans