From the Blog

When Heather Met Dave


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To begin, let me make a long story short. In 2007, I was living in Los Angeles. I had lived in LA from the end of 2001 to the summer of 2007. By the end of my time in LA, I didn’t like it much anymore. I was a little desperate to leave. At the end of 2007, I moved to Hawaii for four months.

I was planning on staying in Hawaii permanently, but (long story short) it didn’t work out. I packed up all the stuff I brought with me to the island, including my cat and my car ($1000 each way), and sent it to my parents back in California. I spent the holidays with my family, and after a month, I packed everything up, including my cat, and drove to Portland. That is the super abridged, half-a-breath short story.

I started writing this blog when I knew I would be moving to Portland. I didn’t know a single person in my new city. I moved up without a job and without an apartment. What a goddamned adventure. It was the beginning of 2008.

I have been reflecting lately on what a monumental change it was in my life, leaving a place where I was surrounded by friends and family and people who “knew” me. They knew all my crappy jokes, heard all my boring stories. They knew all my history and all my drama. It wasn’t just familiar places that I was leaving behind.

I moved away and I was still the same person, but there was no one here to reflect my identity back at me. No one to wag a finger and say “I knew you when you got drunk at a company party and kept grabbing that coworker’s ass.” Or, “I knew you when you forgot to set your parking brake and your car rolled down a hill and crashed into a building.” Or, “I knew you when your job stressed you out so much, you needed drugs and therapy.”

I moved to Portland and maintained all those strong connections with my friends and family. But in my new day-to-day life, I walked around in a city where I didn’t know a soul. It was sort of…liberating. Not having a job was scary. And needing to find an apartment without a job was scary. But I have to say, doing it all alone was not as scary as you might think.

This blog was to help keep my family and friends back home from worrying about me. However, I always wanted to write it in such a way that a stranger could stop by and perhaps be entertained. Because who doesn’t love stories about friendless, unemployed cat ladies?

Nevertheless, it came as quite a surprise the first time an actual stranger came along and commented. I was deliberating about moving to an apartment in NW Portland, or out to Beaverton. I think his advice was to NOT move to Beaverton. I didn’t know who this commenter was, but he had a website that was helpful to this new Portland resident. Over email, I thanked him for his advice and started a conversation. This eventually lead to a beer at Bailey’s Tap Room on, of all days, Valentine’s. I had been in Portland for three whole weeks.

I joked about the timing of our meeting. I was brand new in the city with no friends. I normally would have been hesitant to meet a complete stranger for a beer. But figured I had to meet people somehow. My expectations were not high. As usual, I was a nervous talker, and I chatted and blabbed during every half a second of silence. He did not seem terrified. It turned out that the conversation flowed easily, and he laughed at all my jokes (very important.)

I asked him how he found my blog. He described how he used “Google Alerts” to find blogs and news relating to Portland. And now the longstanding joke is that his search terms were “single female” and “new to Portland” and “has no friends” and “has a car.” Now, when people ask how we met, I tell them, “He’s an internet stalker.” That is how we met.

He invited me to a party he was having at his house that weekend. Then he invited himself to a drive to the coast the weekend after. I was new to Oregon and happy to see as much as I could. Without a car, he had not visited many of these places since childhood. I couldn’t have hoped for a better tour guide to Portland and Oregon. He was like a one man welcome committee. He introduced me to his friends, took me to Timbers games, and within a couple of months, I felt absolutely at home in my new city.

When I got to Portland, I was completely expecting to go it alone. I was ready. I figured I’d meet people eventually. I figured I’d drink a lot of coffee, read a lot of books, maybe join some knitting or crafting groups, probably date geeks online. I was hoping I’d meet “someone.” Eventually. I figured my chances were good because everyone seemed to wear nerdy glasses and speak in full sentences. But I was ready to go it alone. Probably for a while.

I was never, in a million years, expecting that I would meet the man I would marry within three weeks of getting to town. Never, ever, ever.

I am not unaware of what a lucky, lucky shit I am. He’s pretty lucky too, though.

Comments

  1. I’m definitely the lucky one.

  2. Get a room, you two.

    You are a great couple!

  3. I love this!!!

  4. I never get tired of hearing that story! Part of it is because we moved here around the same time (end of 2007) and for us, it was a welcome change. We felt early on that Portland was the city where our geeky, what-you-see-is-what-you-get selves “fit.”

  5. Oh gosh! What a great romantic story. It’s like a Hallmark movie or something.. Congrats to both of you. You are obviously both lucky to have found each other (well, luck and some persistent stalking on Dave’s part)

  6. Thanks, everyone. It really took no time at all for me to feel like I “fit in” here in Portland. Dave had a lot to do with it. But, I’m also nerdy and speak in full sentences, so I was bound to feel like I belong here. Dave speaks in full sentences and sometimes uses big words, too. So I was, and continue to be impressed.

  7. A thousand congratulations to both of you. Well played, Cupid.

  8. That’s cool to read Dave’s first comment on your blog. I remember reading your blogs separately (OregonLive Reddit!) and then realizing you were possibly dating based on this blog:
    http://www.mile73.com/?p=224

  9. Heather, I’ve been following you for awhile too. ‘Cuz I moved here from the Boston area about the time you did, and I felt like you were discovering the area (and looking for a job) about the same time as I was. All I have to say now is, thank GOD I am not getting married! ha ha. You guys are awesome and I’m glad to hear the news.

  10. Hi Heather! Congratulations on your engagement! The “how you met” story was fun to read (although I think I have read it in bits and pieces throughout the evolution of your blog, lol.) I have to say though, despite your hard work and adventuresome spirit, you do have a bit of a charmed life! How many people have gone before you and ended up homeless, hopeless, or back where they started. You just keep going! Good luck! :-D

  11. I just found your story through Dave’s blog and it is so precious. I love that you have the first words you ever said to each other immortalized.

    The best to you both!

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