Why You Should Watch Derry Girls

Hey, chicken! It’s time for you to get excited about Monday. You have allll week to watch Derry Girls on Netflix! If you read my blog because you have a desire to experience all things Irish, you’ve got to watch it now.

Derry Girls is written by Lisa McGee, a Northern Irish screen writer who was born in Derry, so it’s only appropriate that the show takes place in, you guessed it, Derry. (If you need a little brush up on your geography, Derry is a town in Northern Ireland.) The show is a throwback, set in the 1990’s- my favorite decade (class of ’99!) and I love it. It briefly touches on the turmoil taking place in the country between Catholics and Protestants, but it doesn’t dwell on any kind of political negativity. The humor, and often times cringe worthy, antics that take place between five teens is mesmerizing.  From the very beginning, we are invited into Erin’s home. Family scenes make you feel her pain and humiliation when searching for privacy in a house filled with so many people you’ll wonder who actually lives there. The unrefined and comical situations are highlighted by a stellar 1990’s soundtrack that will absolutely have your fave’s.

Sarcasm abounds between these four Irish girls and their English fella, and I didn’t think the interactions could be experienced unless you’ve lived in Ireland for many years, but they do it. The banter is true and harsh and that’s what makes it absolutely brilliant to watch. We meet classmates and a wretchedly relatable headmaster who are genuine and starkly different from any I’ve seen portrayed in television before. The truthfulness and playfulness are reminiscent of my own experiences and I find myself wishing they were my friends in high school. Even if you don’t see yourself in the girls, they’re still fun to watch. And if you do, you’ll certainly want to borrow their clothes and copy their hair styles.

The language is gritty and hard to understand, as it should be for those of us who are not from the area, so I’ve included a little word translator below for those of you who may feel a little overwhelmed. Let me know what you think! I’d love to see if you enjoyed it as much as I do!

Here’s to season two!

Word Bank

knickers – girls underwear

knackered – tired

fair dues – respect

class (It’s class.”) – great, good

catch yourself on – wake up; get over yourself

cheeky – rude or disrespectful

chipper – a place to buy fried food

och – surprised or disbelief

nick – to steal or rob someone


May 13

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!! Today is a big day in our house! It’s Mother’s Day and our twelfth wedding anniversary!! The boys couldn’t be more excited to give me their home made gifts and I (honestly, truly) could not be more excited to open them!! Those big envelopes that came home from school with them last week have been sitting out driving me crazy with anticipation. The hard work and effort that they put into them is unreal and it makes me cry just seeing them brim with eagerness to watch me open them. It’s like the tables are turned for a second- they look at me the way I look at them all day every day (flashback to me yelling at them for not having their shoes on by the tenth time I told them).

This leads me to my next thought- my mom. I know for a fact that I could have made my moms life easier. And in thanking back on some of the moments, all I heard was yelling and fighting. I didn’t take the time to really appreciate her as a woman and a person first. She did her best while she worked full time and raised all four of us, making personal sacrifices along the way. She didn’t have to, she chose to. Thank you. It took me having my own kids to see just how hard it is for them to see me as a human, not just as their mom. The older I get, the more important it becomes to say it.

To my mother-in-law in Ireland, I haven’t exactly made your life easier. I know how hard it is for you to live so far away from your first born. All those hours of Skyping that you made a priority- they always leave Noel with a smile on his face and a spring in his step. You went out of your way to help me feel at home in a new country and even though we don’t back down from each other (ever), we’ve bonded through shopping and the love of all the boys. Thank you for being patient with me through the years.

And finally, to my dearest husband and best friend, these 12 years have made me 30 pounds heavier and a red wine lover. Each and every single day you found a way to tell me you love me and appreciate me, even when I am at my worst. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, and that holds true for ours. So many times we pushed through things that would have probably been easier to just forget. But you don’t let an issue go unresolved. You make me talk (even waiting days later for when I’m ready), so somehow we’re able to keep those issues from turning into tiny cracks in our relationship, small cracks that could turn into big ones. Our pre-marriage counseling at church made us take a 100 question scantron test. The questions asked things like, “I feel comfortable talking about the number of children I want with my fiancée.” And you could choose strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, etc.. I was mortified to see that we had answered about 20 differently. But we reviewed each of those questions with Margaret (our counsellor). I had zero desire to talk about these issues, I needed time to think. Through this activity, she helped us realize that Noel is an extrovert and I am an introvert. This little piece of (what seems like) mindless information really has helped us understand each other more through the years, especially when I don’t want to talk about anything after an argument. I need to think about it first. Noel wants it off his chest immediately. It was very hard in the beginning, but we were able to manage the disagreements with the knowledge that we had about each other. Half of the battle is agreeing to talk, right?

Noel, I love you madly and I always have. You are everything I want and need in a husband. Our boys are so blessed to have you as their father. I am so very grateful for our life and love together. Thank you for making this life so fun and for being so supportive.


The Date

Did you ever walk down the street with your boyfriend and think, “I’ve got this figured out! I get it!”

I did! I had that feeling! N was back after a couple months away, and it was like we just picked up where we left off. This particular afternoon, I watched him pack his backpack with strawberries, whipped cream, brie, a baguette, a bottle of champagne and two champagne flutes. We held hands walking up the scenic, winding streets to Washington Park for Symphony in the park (I can’t make this shit up- it really happened). He spread out a light blue blanket on the ground in between two pink rose bushes and smiled as he sprawled across the grass. I stood there for a minute wondering if this was real life. The musicians started playing Mozart, and we ate our strawberries and drank our champagne, laughed as we shared stories about our lives. It was absolutely perfect. I truly thought to myself, “Wow, my life could not get any better than this moment.”

Around what I can only assume was the middle of the symphony’s set, we started to notice that a senior care home had brought some of their residents to enjoy the day as well. They had brought chairs and were setting them up wherever they could fit in the rose garden. Many of them looked tired from the trip, but eager to get settled and relax. Before we knew it, N and I were surrounded by wheelchairs. Not that it mattered. We had been there for well over an hour already, it was time to share the space. We pulled the blanked in and moved closer to each other so that more people could fit. A lot of these men and women thought N was military because he was sporting a buzz cut and was coming off of running season. He was telling them all that no, he was not in the military, he was here from Ireland. Loneliness is probably one of the worst things a person can experience, and some were felt so lonely. So we talked to all of them, listening to where they came from and finally wishing them well, as it was time to go. But just as N leaned in to kiss me over the last of the champagne, Fred, one of our new friends, leaned in to talk to us and tipped over sideways in his wheelchair, landing on top of me. He apologized profusely in my ear while he was trying to get up, pushing his hands into my back and through my hair, and though pinned to the ground, I appreciated the kindness. N helped him off of me and back into his chair. The aids checked to make sure he was okay, and I tried to play it as cool as a girl who just got unexpectedly crushed during one of the most romantic moments of her life.

N knelt down in front of me and said, “How’s your head?”


All I could mutter was, “Fine.” I tried to smile but I wasn’t really fine, my head was killing me. I pushed myself up on to my knees, then made myself stand up. We had become the entertainment and much of the audience was now looking at us. N quietly packed up what remained of our picnic, I offered Fred the rest of our strawberries and then we bid him adieu. That was a long, awkward walk home.

The next day N took me for a walk downtown. He pulled me into a jewelry store and, nodding at the woman behind the counter, turned to me asked, “If you could choose any ring, which one would it be?”

The Balloon

“Time to get up,” N whispered in her ear.

She didn’t move. He tried again.

“Babe, Hil, time to wake up.”

He kissed her cheek and wrapped his arm around her.

“What time is it?” she managed from the pillow.

“It’s 5 A.M. Taxi will be here in a half hour.”

She didn’t move.

“Come on.” He rubbed her back, making her want to stay there even more.

“I can’t. Just tell me what it is we’re doing and where we’re going and I’ll get up.”

Then it hit her- he had planned something!! He had actually made plans without her knowledge and wanted to surprise her. She was smiling now. But it was 5 A.M.

“I’m serious, you need to get up. If we miss this cab we could miss it all together.”

She moaned and rolled out of bed completely naked. She managed to make it to the bathroom and flinched as she adjusted to the bright, fluorescent lights. Maybe one drink too many last night. Her curly hair was everywhere. How could she possibly be ready in 30 minutes? She quickly showered, to get the bar smell off of her, and brushed on some mascara. She didn’t have time to wash her hair, so she just swooped half of it back with a clip. Not too bad. Not great, but not too bad either. Now clothes. It was early morning, so it was cool outside. N was already dressed and ready. He sat in a chair looking out the window at the city below. He looked so handsome. She felt an overwhelming urge to drag him back to bed. She walked over and sat on his lap and kissed him. A deep, open mouth kiss that would have normally lead to more. He moaned and grabbed both of her arms and stood her up. He was insistent on making this taxi. Who in their right mind plans something for 5:30 in the morning?


She finally threw on her jeans and a white tee-shirt, grabbed a sweater as the clock turned to 5:30. They held hands down the hall, and he kissed her on the elevator. The taxi was waiting outside the apartment building. This is when H actually started to get excited. They drove through the city, got on the 405, and before they knew it, they were in Aurora, Oregon. As they pulled into a field, H read the words Portland Rose Hot Air Balloon on the side of a box truck.

“N, you wouldn’t actually book a hot air balloon ride, would you? After I told you I’m deathly afraid of heights? You wouldn’t do that, right?”

“Surprise.” He was very excited and it showed all over his smiling face.

They paid for the cab, walked out into the field and were instructed to take a piece of colored fabric from the truck, and walk until it was stretched across what looked like an acre of land. H saw a man pull out a wicker basket from the back of the truck. Other couples were doing what they were told, helping to put this monstrosity together, but she stood shaking.

Her chest was tight, her legs were numb. She could feel herself getting lightheaded. She started having flashbacks to those red-eye flights from Portland to Dallas, Dallas to Pittsburgh; Portland to San Francisco, San Francisco to Dallas, Dallas to Pittsburgh; Portland to Chicago, Chicago to St. Louis; Portland to Denver; all alone and absolutely terrified as the plane shook over the Rocky Mountain Range. She looked at N. He was beaming. She cringed. She was sick to her stomach. The entire field started to spin. She started to think about possibly placing one foot in the weaved basket, and then the other. If she could just visualize herself there, getting off the ground with N by her side, and landing safely, maybe she would be okay. But there was the whole, what’s going to happen once the balloon is off the ground? She started to feel the sick rising in her stomach. Her palms were sweaty. Her forehead was starting to pound. The field was spinning faster and faster. She looked at N.

“N, I’m not doing this. I’m telling you, I’m not going up in that thing. I can see through the freaking basket. I’m not going.”

“Relax, it’s supposed to look like that. It’s fine. You’re going.” He smiled. But the look on her face made him think she might not go.

In a matter of minutes, everything was together- the fabric, the nuts and bolts, the basket- and the balloon was standing tall, heat being thrust into it, ready for passengers.

“Okay everyone, it’s time to load up! You’re about to become members of a very special club!” Our balloon crew man, Derek, was eager to get in the air.

“Okay, well, I’m not going,” H said. Everyone just stared at her from inside the balloon. They had all crawled over the side and into the basket. Derek looked at her incredulously and said, “I’ve been doing this for over 15 years and I’ve never had anyone not go! Hop in, you’ll love it!”


All eyes on her, even N.

“No, I’m not going in that thing.”

You could have heard a pin drop in the middle of that grass.

“Well, what do you want to do?” Asked Derrick, “You can’t stay here.”

“She can come with me! If she doesn’t want to go, she can come with me,” a woman driving a ford pick-up yelled from the truck window behind her. “I follow the balloon and pick them up when they land. If you want, you can ride with me.” The woman was talking directly to H, and she was very grateful.

H looked N. He was furious. But that didn’t stop her from running to the truck, opening the passenger side door, and climbing in.

“Wait, you’re going?” N asked incredulously.

He ran after her in the silver pick-up.

“Yeah, I’m not going up in that thing.” She felt better just saying it! Whew. Now she felt guilt. “You go, you’ll love it. You love flying. I’ll see you back on the ground.”

His face fell even further as he realized she wasn’t going to be persuaded. Then he got mad. He had spent an obscene amount of money on what he thought was a once in a lifetime surprise for the woman he loved, and it had backfired. Maybe she really did hate flying. I guess this was one of the downfalls of only knowing each other for two months.

Derek stood in the middle of the two of them, watching this girl drive away with Sarah, and her poor guy climb into the basket of Derek’s favorite balloon, alone. I’ll let him pull the cord, he thought to himself.

H had a great time talking with Nancy, the woman who drove the truck. She thought it was great that H didn’t go up in the balloon, and H was happy to see some of the Oregon landscape outside the city. They went to a couple farms and enjoyed a coffee. And the entire time, she could look up and see N in the clouds above.

N was in the sky by himself, pulling the cord that pushes heat into the enormous balloon above. He was angry with himself for thinking this would be a more romantic morning, but he couldn’t deny the spectacular views. He would certainly never forget the day.

An hour later they were back on the ground. Once the trucks had been loaded up with everything (including the balloon), they headed to Derek’s farm. There waiting for them was a champagne brunch. Derek, who had done this at least 100 times before, made a toast to the new members of the balloon club, and to the one person who defied 15 years of reason. H raised her glass and smiled. She had shown N that she wasn’t perfect, and allowed herself forgiveness for her fault. If this relationship was going to last, they needed to truly know each other. Flying was H’s deal breaker. At the very least, today had shown N the truth about herself. They were both better for it.

The Meeting (Part 6)

You deserve to be happy.

You deserve to be happy.

You don’t have to stay in a relationship that you know will fail in the end.

You don’t need anyone in your life to be happy.

These are things that I needed reminded of. N was in town, having returned from a trip with his brother to Vegas, and I was in my apartment, alone, wondering what I should do. Of course I was going to see him. He made the trip back to Portland and we had a lot to talk about. R wasn’t home wondering where I would be anyway. He was out. He didn’t care. He hadn’t mentioned a word about what happened in Austin. And I didn’t care.

A couple of my work friends were meeting at bar 15 later, and I was supposed to join them. I’m not sure why I keep saying “work” friends because they are the only friends I’ve got. And I chose to have these people in my life, they weren’t forced on me. Maybe that’s why I never feel alone. I’m confident in the choices I’ve made here, friend and career wise.

I glanced at the clock. It was after 9 P.M. Shit. He would be in his hotel by now. I need to just get up and go meet him. It was only ten blocks away. I was so nervous my hands were shaking as I grabbed my yellow flowered clutch and headed to the door- that still hadn’t been fixed yet.

I stepped onto the sidewalk from my front door and the cool breeze and mist of rain made my hair sticky, but felt amazing on my skin. May in Portland. I took my time walking the ten blocks and was there in no time. I didn’t have anything planned to say. My head was rocked that I had actually started thinking he flew in all this way just so he didn’t have to end things on the phone. I walked through the entrance to The Governor Hotel on SW 11th around 9:20. I half ran through the lobby, hit the button for the 5th floor with my elbow, and followed the signs to room 501. Just around the corner. I knocked on the door.

Holy shit this place was nice.

He answered the door beaming. I hear Damien Rice playing from somewhere.

“Hi!” he said.

Holy shit this guy looks and smells amazing. My knees shook.

“Hi.” I was struggling to make words into sentences.

He held the door open for me, and I rolled my eyes at myself and walked in. It was a corner suite, with windows almost completely around, and everything was white or navy blue (including the carpet). There was a sitting room with a TV and white double doors with brass knobs that lead to a bedroom. The view of the city was amazing, and the sight made me feel a little less queasy.

“Wow, you got a good room.” Good job, you made some sense. Keep it going.

“I booked last minute, they only had a couple rooms left because of the parade and everything this weekend.”

Shit. Totally forgot about the Rose Festival. MAX is going to be a nightmare this week.

“Oh, yeah.” WHAT?! Stupid. Stupid. Think of something else to say!! Quickly…Come on now!

“So, how was your flight?” YES. Wait.

He laughed.

“Good. It was fine.”

He sat in the white chair across the room and was just looking at me- smiling. I smiled back- a closed lip, awkward smile. Should I take my shoes off?? I walked to the chair opposite him and sat down. Decided against taking my shoes off.

“Oh. Good.” UGH. Why do I even open my mouth?

“So. Are you happy I came back? Or is this just too awkward?” He wasn’t the slightest bit nervous.

“Of course I’m glad you came back.” Yes, Hilary, keep it going…

“I just don’t know what to say right now.” This was true, but he was looking at me like he expected me to go on…so I did.

“No one has ever done anything like this for me- flown back from a family trip after I tried to end whatever it is we have going on here over the phone. And, and-” I was having trouble just saying what I wanted to say.

“I just feel like there’s still so much to clear up, and sort out, before we say we can try to make this into something. Not to mention, I’ve planned an entire wedding- just two weeks ago- and I have no idea what I’m going to do about that scenario. I wish everything was easier, but it’s just that we’ve got two other people to think about as well. You are engaged, and I know that I don’t think I am anymore, but he’s still in the picture.”

He paused and looked at me with a hard stare, then took a deep breath before speaking.

“I know, it’s not the best situation. I knew the minute I saw you that I wanted to be with you for the rest of my life. This is what I want. I’ll do whatever it takes to make it work. I want you to come to Ireland, I’ve told you that. And I know that your family may find it hard at first, but they’ll understand. They don’t want you to marry someone out of convenience.”

This man clearly doesn’t know my parents. But he was so sincere. And he was right.

I still didn’t say anything, so he continued.

“Look, let’s just say we want to make it work, and just go with it. Let’s just sit back, and see what happens. If we commit to being together, then everything else will just fall into place.”

He grinned and I laughed.

“You really aren’t worried about anything, are you?” I asked.

“Just you.”

I laughed again. His smile faded, and he looked at me with a straight face.

“I mean it. I’m just worried about you. From here on.”

My smile faded.


He got up from his chair, walked over to me, knelt down, took my face in his hands and kissed me.

I’m not quite sure how I left that hotel room later that night, but I did. And I was elated. I was so happy. N was the person who made me happy. And I made him happy.

I walked the ten blocks back to my apartment in the rain, and my hair had pretty much taken the brunt of that decision. I jumped in the shower and tried to think about where things go from here. I couldn’t have been in more than five minutes when R walked in the bathroom, flushed the toilet and turned off the light.

“I hope that burns!” he yelled as he slammed the bathroom door shut.

I exhaled, closed my eyes and let the cold water run over my face.


The Meeting (FIVE)


N went into the bathroom to answer the phone call. I heard his muffled voice through the door, but it ended pretty quickly. It reminded me that I wasn’t just making decisions that changed my life, I was choosing to change others lives as well.

I hadn’t been really, heart stopping, sing in the shower happy in a long time.  I liked holding hands and feeling electricity again. N brought me to a local vineyard one afternoon, where we sat outside drinking our wine flight, toured the cellar and fought off insects. It was so fun because there was zero expectation. He wore a white, collared France rugby top. He was funny, and calm, sitting with his legs crossed and looking so relaxed. I wanted to take him away from what he was used to, from the person he was used to seeing every day, and keep him all to myself.

A little timeline check: N (and a month or so later, M) moved to Portland in January, when Intel asked him to train on a new system. He proposed to M while hiking in April (with TIFFANY- don’t ask me about it, I’ll get really angry and then weep for hours), and we met May 13. At this point in our relationship, it was May 21, eight days after we had met.

I’m a bitch. A perfectly rational, intelligent Irish woman gets engaged to her responsible, intelligent boyfriend of two years in Oregon, USA, and when she leaves, a perfectly normal, already engaged American woman decides that life just needs to be different and tries to take the man from her. It is in really poor taste, and I’m still embarrassed about it. M didn’t deserve anything like this. And yet, I didn’t stop it.

N was only in town for a few more days at this point. His brother and a few friends were flying over to Portland see him, and they had decided to all drive from Portland, through California and then to Vegas. Irish people go hard when they vacay. From there they were all flying back to Ireland together. The day we met I knew our time together had an end date. He was scheduled to leave his apartment on the 23rd, and boxes had already been packed and ready for weeks. The shipping company was coming any day now. Obviously I was still working, and sharing an apartment with R. Judge away. Time was running out for us.

It’s hard to try and lead a double life. I wanted to spend every second with N, but I was too scared to start the conversation with R. And I didn’t want to know what he was going to do to me. I’m not saying that he was a bad person, he was just unpredictable. And he wasn’t the biggest guy in the world, but he was tough.  Or scared. Ever. That kind of unpredictability is intimidating. So I just left everything as it was and waited for him to figure it out. I know, total bitch.

I told N that I really hoped we could keep talking when he returned to Ireland, and he surprised me.

“I thought that’s what we were doing? I thought we were planning on meeting again soon and seeing this through? Trying it out?” And I smiled and just couldn’t believe that this was happening. I really, truly loved him. In all honesty, I loved him the second I met him. The instant that our eyes met, I was done. In a normal situation, I would have ended things with my fiancé, requested that N end things with his fiancé, and then met up and allowed our relationship to develop. But again, there was always that ticking clock in the background, reminding me that he was leaving soon.

And of course the day came for him to go, and he went.

I called him, like he told me to do whenever I felt like I was losing my mind and doubting everything that happened. He didn’t pick up. So I called again later, and he didn’t pick up. And then I realized what was happening. He didn’t want this to continue. He just wanted to move on, enjoy the rest of his time in the US with his brother and friends, and then fly back home and act like it never happened. I was devastated.

The following day, he returned my call.


Blah. He sounded so happy.

“Hi. Hey, I just need to end this here and now. I can’t do this. I’m not like this. I don’t really think this can last, and I know you feel the same way. We need to just end it here.”

“What? What are you talking about?”

“You know that it wasn’t going to work. You live in Ireland and I live here. You’re engaged. I have a lot of things to sort out here. It’s just bad timing. There’s just no way it could have ever worked. We’ve been wasting each others time.”

“Do you mean this? Really?”

“Yes.” No.

“I just booked a plane ticket back to Portland. I miss you. I can’t take it. I just want to see you.”


I was sincerely shocked and completely, for a lack of a better word, gobsmacked.

“But, but you didn’t answer my phone calls for two days. And your brother and friends are with you, and you’re in LasVegas…are you staying longer?”

“I’m at the airport, my brother just dropped me off. I just booked a flight back and called to let you know.”

I told you, I’m the biggest bitch ever.

The Meeting (part 4)

It’s so hard to put into words what’s happening inside your head at a turning point in life. And I know this is not going to make me look great, but at the time, the day after I met him, I wanted N to call me. I wanted him to ask me to meet for lunch, and dinner and drinks, and dancing…I really just wanted to relive the night we met over and over again. But R was coming home in two days. We had talked this morning about needing to have a conversation about where we go from here and if there was a future for us. But I already knew the answer. I wasn’t willing to compromise my sanity, peace of mind and happiness for what we had. I couldn’t take the lies anymore, I couldn’t take him always putting himself first, and I really couldn’t take the lifestyle. R never really wanted to settle down and get married, that was all me. I realize that, on some level, he must have felt like it could work out. But it wasn’t real enough. And it was hitting me like a ton of bricks as I leaned over the sink and looked at myself in the bathroom mirror that morning. I was shaking. My entire identity was tied to this relationship. Honestly, if I wasn’t R’s girlfriend, who was I? Here in Portland it would be easier for me to adjust to the break up. But at home, it was going to be a gossip fest and division of friends. I couldn’t go back there.

The phone rang. It was N. He wanted to know if I wanted to go “out on a speed boat” with him and a few friends. Of course I wanted to hang out but a freaking speed boat? On the river?? I wanted to think about it and then again I just immediately wanted to say yes, but they were leaving in a hour and I was warned not to be late. So I did what any excited, high maintenance girl would do, and instead of getting ready, I ran (really) up the street to 23rd for a new outfit.

I made it home just in time to put on mascara and lipstick. Phew. They didn’t leave without me. That would have been so embarrassing.

We arrived at OMSI, bought tickets for the boat, and headed to the Willamette River. And I was pleasantly surprised! It was really cool! The boat was a big kind of jet boat, with rows of seats throughout the entire thing. And the important thing to note here is that there were small kids on board as well, so I couldn’t cry or freak out even if I did get scared. Poor things had life jackets on that were clearly for adults. I couldn’t help but give them the “sorry the adults did that to you, I know you must be umcomforable” closed mouth smile. They looked pissed.

But I had never taken a tour of the city on the water, and it was an absolutely beautiful spring day in May! I say Portland is a lot like Pittsburgh all the time, but Oregon is not anything like PA. Oregon has houseboats, and green landscapes all winter long, and salmon runs, and naked bicycle rides, and desert, and oceansides. And from most places, the residents have mountains and volcanoes in plain sight. I love this state, and especially this city. And that day, I got to see more, from a different perspective. I really appreciated it, and I was so happy that N was there with me. He just had a calm about him. Every time I made eye contact with him he was smiling. And just happy. Ah!! What was I doing?

After the river tour, we headed back to the cars. I sat with N for a few minutes, just talking…and laughing.

“Do you want to come for lunch? We’re gonna head to Kells. You’ve got to go.”

He looked dreamy at that moment.

I snapped myself out of it and told him I had to go home and take the dog out (who I haven’t mentioned before- huge, white American Bulldog and the sweetest thing to ever have separation anxiety). And it’s a good thing I did, because that meant I got to redo my hair and change clothes for the night!! You didn’t think I could stay in light blue plaid capri’s all day, right? Nope, frilly white mini skirt will do quite nicely.

I caught the MAX down to the Yamhill bar (if you know this bar and are judging me, then I know you never really lived in Portland because you’re missing out). I hopped off the train and looked through the bars front glass window and there he was…still smiling as we made eye contact. I walked in and realized that our small party of five from earlier had grown to about 20 more Irish guys (and some strippers). It was a little overwhelming when I walked in, having everyone say hi and introduce themselves.

I sat down next to N.

“So, you must work out.”

Everyone looked at him and then each other quietly, before exploding in laughter. I blushed.

After that it’s just a blur of G&T’s, pints, pool and dancing. The Irish guys loved the east side, but I wasn’t all that familiar with the bars on that side of town. I could walk to all my downtown favorites (I’m pretty sure we hit them all), and again, he stayed by my side the entire night. And we ended at Darcelles. We danced (honestly, he actually dances- like hold my hand and spin me ACTUALLY dances).  I was smitten. And he knew it.

And before I knew it, it was 2 AM.

On our way out, he held my hand. The night air felt so good. While everyone was hailing taxis, he just looked at me.

“Do you want to come to my place? We can watch the Big Lebowski and have a couple drinks. Promise I’ll get you home before sunrise. ”

If he hadn’t smiled when he said it and looked me straight in they eye, I probably wouldn’t have gone.

But I did. I hopped in the cab next to him, and he grabbed my hand again.

The next morning I woke up in his apartment, but I didn’t sneak out like the last time. I laid there wondering what the fuck I was doing.

And just when I was about to ask myself why I was still there, his phone rang. And I was reminded that he was engaged too. It was M.