Back when I was super cool and lived in Portland, Oregon, Jim and I used to go out to tons of music venues to mix with the tattooed, pierced and alternative Portland element.
We were in a limbo of wanting to be those people and yet ensure our kids didn’t grow up to be them.
We would attempt to go undercover, hiding our suburban, parental underbelly but we missed the whole “ink” craze so our consistently flesh colored flesh made us stick out like Amish at a car show.
We began to compromise a bit because we couldn’t find babysitters who would stay until 3AM and, let’s face it, we were just too tired.
Enter Aimee Mann. I do love her. She has that mix of catchy tunes and pissed off lyrics that make you feel like you are retaining some sort of edge. She does say fuck so there is some street cred there.
So, we went to see her perform at one of the groovy, divey spots PDX is known for.
We took our seats and struck up a conversation with the nice couple next to us. He was all sorts of Portland middle-aged cool sporting a shaved head and a soul patch and she had a veritable kaleidoscope of colors streaked through her hair.
They were very chatty and we talked about all the liberal politics we wanted.
By the way, it is illegal to not be liberal in Portland. Go look it up. They put you in a re-training camp if they catch you at the city border.
This keeps the citizenry safe to have deep political conversations in line at the grocery store without fear of debate.
The night was off to a great start. Except for this one weird thing.
Jim and I both got this decidedly weird vibe. It was nothing anyone said but we both just had this feeling that they were a little too into us….in a kind of pervy way.
I have no idea where this came from. If you know us, you know we are not normally the types to go around with delusions of our sex appeal.
Maybe we’ve seen The Ice Storm too many times. Or maybe they were super high.
We were both oddly suspicious of this perfectly nice, if not overly friendly couple and assumed they were trolling for a wife swap/swinger situation.
Keep in mind that this has NEVER actually happened to us before.
Once the lights dimmed and Aimee was introduced, we settled into the concert and for 90 minutes or so forgot about our vortex of sexuality.
After the concert ended, our new friends/lovers said they would like to get together some time for a meal. Jim and I shot a nervous look to each other.
Is “meal” like a secret term similar to tapping your foot three times on an airport bathroom stall to indicate you are open to a BJ?
The man handed me his business card and said to give him a call to set up something. I took it and slid it into my pocket. We said our goodbyes and off into the rainy night we went.
They did seem a little dodgy about what they did for a living, as tends to be the case with Portlandians in general, and there was an odd symbol with very little explanation on the card.
We were intrigued so proceeded to Google stalk them.
A few searches later we came up with what the symbol was….
It turned out they were Freemasons.
See, we clearly get our information about how the world works from movies because all I could think of was The Da Vinci Code.
Why was it a “secret society” and what exactly were the “rituals”? Did they have a room in their split level suburban house that was dedicated to afore mentioned rituals? Were they looking to take down the Catholic Church? Did they wear hooded robes and chant?
And, more importantly, were Freemasons swingers?
Sadly, we never found out. Day to day life swallowed us up and we never got to do a wife swap with the Freemasons (who has the time, really?) and to this day we are still sketchy on what Freemasons even are. Which I suppose is the point of it being a “secret” and all.
We also are relieved and yet a little disappointed that we are not, as suspected, utterly irresistible to anyone but ourselves. So rest easy, for you are all safe from our vortex of sexuality.
At least for now….