I have lived here for five years.
But I am starting to wonder if it’s time I saw other cities?
Here’s an example of why…
I realized this one night recently while on a Tinder date in Portland. My date was a delightful gentleman with a beard that rivaled Gerard Butler’s from the movie 300.
He had a tattoo of a bicycle. He referred to his boots as “booties”. He said he didn’t like bringing up that he was a vegetarian on dates because it made non-vegetarians feel guilty.
Crap. I wondered if he meant me as I chewed my hamburger.
He also thought my corporate employer was the anti-Christ.
I wonder if he recognized employer manufactured the goods to make his life so hipster perfect?
Also, wasn't this area built on saw mills and paper mills? The mill I worked in had been an employer in the area since the late 1800's. When did it get so offensive to work in anything besides non-profits and the tech industry?
While he was passive-agressively mocking my work, I was wondering if I should pick up the tab because I doubted that pottery arts really paid the bills.
I looked around the room at all the faux lumberjacks in their carefully curated and distressed vintage flannels. They were drinking whiskey but some drank PBR to be ironic.
The room was full of people who were all very open minded as long as you believed all the same things as the rest of the crowd.
It felt like everyone was working hard to be tolerant of culture, except for those different than their own.
I felt dismayed, disappointed, and out of place.
Yeah, maybe Portland is over, at least for me for now.
This all started a few months earlier. I had started feeling like the most masculine girl around.
I worked in heavy industry, owned power tools and I drove a Jeep – a choice I’ve been told is not very economical.
Don’t be snippy about my Jeep, that’s like making fun of someone’s dog or their baby.
Anyway, it’s difficult to marry the two cultures I have lived in – rural Montana and Portland, Oregon.
Where I grew up, you wore out your own flannels. My dad was an actual lumberjack back when it wasn’t cool to be one. The scuffs on his shoes did not come from factory "distressing". People drink PBR in earnest.
I love it here but I'm wondering if it's time to move on?
Here’s the thing, this was and maybe still is the most wonderful place to live. I used to love trying a new restaurant every weekend, the great fishing, the food carts, the funky neighborhoods, the accessible hiking, the extremely polite drivers, the acceptance for all things weird and unconventional …
But as of right now, it’s losing its edge. And by edge, I mean weirdness.
The neighborhoods that used to have some grit are starting to feel pretentious.
I’m tired of everyone being a whiskey connoisseur.
Don’t even get me started on how fed up I am with the Pearl District.
Also, deviled eggs have been the new “it” appetizer for like two years! Enough already.
I’m just sorta freaking hipstered out.
What made Portland the Portland it was, was the acceptance of weird.
But the definition of weird has become surprisingly rigid around here.
What happened to us?
I have a natural tendency to want to rebel against everything popular.
That means I’m not a whiskey connoisseur. I don’t have any tattoos, I don’t ride a bike.
Sometimes, I just dream of having a drink with someone who isn't trying to prove a point about their political beliefs, validating a reason to switch to veganism, or spending six dollars on a cup of coffee while simulatenously complaining about gentrification.
For now, I’m just more into dive bars with $3 beers and people that glare at you when you walk in rather than anywhere that calls their bartender a mixologist.
I’m drinking Bud Light, not because I particularly like it, but to prove a point. You’ll know this has gotten serious if I downgrade to Coors.
I know I’m stubborn. I know it’s not helping.
I know me rebelling against hipsters is being hipster itself.
I'm caught in a web.
I still love you Portland. I hope we can get past this.
It just feels like you’ve changed, like we’ve changed.
Maybe it’s just a phase.