The Seattle Nice Is Alive and Well In Portland.

The Birthday Boy

Last night Bryan and I stepped into the bar of a fancy schmancy steak house to dine with the common people, but happy hour was in full force, and all the tables were taken.

Directly in front of the entrance was a large round table suitable for about eight people, and the server asked if we minded taking one side of the table while the couple behind us took the other side.

Sure. No problem. We’re community kinda people.

The table was huge and the room was loud, so there wasn’t really any awkwardness re the couple we ignored across the table. But they were only there for drinks and appetizers, and left after about an hour.

Almost immediately, another couple pounced on the vacated spot across the table. Well, a couple and her mother. I attempted to smile and make eye contact with our new table mates, but to no avail.

And then I heard the daughter say, “I’m just trying to spread out a bit,” as she placed her jacket on the chair between us.

I can’t explain why this alarmed me since she could very well have just wanted the chair to hold all her stuff, but my Spidey senses were alert as I sensed a hostile takeover on the horizon.

Sure enough, another couple arrived – the gal sat next to me and her husband sat next to Bryan. We were now a full table, and still no one acknowledged we were there.

I was beginning to think we were slipping into an episode of Portlandia.

And then the most glorious thing happened – more guests arrived, hovering around the table, and one of the young men introduced himself and shook our hand.

Him: “Hi, I’m so-and so, and you are?”

Me: “Uh, Jennifer?”

Him: “Great to meet you – how do you know the birthday boy?”

Me: “Ah, so this is a birthday party then!”

Him: *confused face*

Mother across the table: “Oh they’re not with us, we’re just sharing their table. But you’re probably more polite than we’ve been.”

Me: “True story.”

Mother across the table: “Well, we were just trying to give them their privacy.”

(notice how she’s still not talking to me?!)

Me (to Bryan): “I think that privacy wall was breached the moment they added ten more chairs to the table.”

Bryan (to me): “We should just start telling them about Jesus. That always clears a table.”

Me: *maniacal laugh*

So there we sat, eating steak and onion rings in the middle of a birthday party that crashed our table.

And then the second most glorious thing happened: Bryan struck up a conversation about mobile web development with the guy next to him, and they went on and on about shit I didn’t understand.

I did not mind this distraction, though, because by that point our dessert had arrived and I was able to eat three bites of Bananas Foster for every one of Bryan’s.

I don’t know who this Foster is, but I sure like his bananas.

As we were paying the bill, Bryan said he was going to hug the birthday boy and wish him a happy birthday as we left.

I dared him.

I readied my camera.

But in the end, he opted for a wave and a head nod.

Regardless, I think this goes down as one of our best dinner memories EVAR.

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