Keeping Portland Weird

May 14th, 2013 · 52 comments

Our submitter has been couchsurfing his way through the living rooms of strangers across the country, and recently made a stop in Portland, Oregon. One morning, after leaving his dirty clothes in a pile near the rest of his stuff, he returned later to find…a surprise.

Adds our submitter: “Everyone in Portland seems to do things like this. All. The. Time.”

I wasn't sure if it would be weird of me to wash your underwear, so I folded them too — just to make sure.

related: Put a bird on it! 

FILED UNDER: laundry · most popular notes of 2013 · not so much passive-aggressive · Portland · questionable logic · WTF?

52 responses so far ↓

  • #1   girlwithknife

    just to be sure what? sure that it WAS weird?

    May 14, 2013 at 12:33 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   girlwithknife

      I’m sure it would be weirder (and maybe insulting) if somebody washed his underwear and crumpled them back up where they were.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:14 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   My name is Princess!

      Sort of an in for a penny, in for a pound kind of thing?

      May 14, 2013 at 9:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Maple Vegemite

      I’m not sure what “in for a penny, in for a pound means,” but if it’s something like they already thought it was a bit weird, so may as well go all out and confirm the weirdness and make a joke out of it, then I agree!
      I actually love this!

      May 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   RIBroadway

      I don’t find that particular fold in the undwear to be particularly weird.

      Perhaps some napkin folding lessons might inspire underwear folded into the shape of something weirder …..a hat, a boat, a bra?

      May 14, 2013 at 2:36 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   Ermengarde bang

      As this is not sufficiently weird for you, someone in Portland is now planning to offer upcycled underwear origami lessons. Do not taunt them.

      May 15, 2013 at 9:14 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.6   elcido

      This reminds of something my older brothers girlfriend would do… hmm yeah, I’m pretty sure she has a crush on me.

      Jun 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   mustelid

    Honestly, when couchsurfing, your host should not be able to find your dirty clothes. Is it that hard to keep a trash/grocery bag with dirties in your suitcase/backpack? Where all of your other belongings should be, by the way.

    (Maybe I’ve had a few too many couchsurfers who leave my spare room [and sometimes, even the rest of my house!] looking like their personal bedroom for the entirety of their stay.)

    May 14, 2013 at 6:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Iwill FindU

      You know I was thinking the same thing. It’s just polite to not subject your host to the sight of your dirty clothing. Good manners if you’re friends, and even more important if you’re strangers.

      May 14, 2013 at 10:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   thneed

      But if it’s in your spare Oom, it’s not couchsurfing. On account of how it’s not a couch, and it’s not in your living room.

      May 15, 2013 at 10:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   Kirsty

      Surely if you are staying in someone’s spare room that IS your personal bedroom for the duration of your stay. (Living room is a different matter)

      May 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   Iwill FindU

      Ok so if you’re in a spare room feel free to leave your undies on the floor, just remember to take them with you when you leave. But if sleeping on a sofa in a common room lets agree it’s pretty gross to leave your dirty undies out for all to see.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   Roto13

    Oh, Portland. So full of… “quirky” people. Kind of want set their ukeleles on fire. And eat all of their cupcakes.

    May 14, 2013 at 8:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Paul Johnson

    Reason 5737324 why nobody from Portland lives in Portland anymore.

    May 14, 2013 at 9:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Melissa

    At first glance, I thought they were “Star Wars” underwear! Being from Portland, that wouldn’t surprise me either.

    May 14, 2013 at 10:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   The Elf

      Star Wars underwear wouldn’t surprise me either, though it would surprise me that he let them be seen. Unless…..

      Maybe he wasn’t just couch surfing, if you get my drift?Maybe he was having a “light saber duel”. Maybe he needed to “free the Princess” from the evil clutches of Darth Vader and Moff Tarkin. Maybe just brought Lando out to “fly the Falcon”. Oh no! The sheilds are still up! It’s a trap!

      May 14, 2013 at 11:46 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.2   Nicki

      Replace a vowel in Moff Tarkin and it’d either only add to the hilarity, or end up inspiring various insulted replies. ;)

      As it is, The Elf, I sprayed coffee out my nose. Thank you for the laugh :D

      Jun 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Kimberly

    Yay, this is why Portland is great!!!

    May 14, 2013 at 10:09 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   NoAdditives

    Please. This is far from the weirdest thing in Portland.

    May 14, 2013 at 12:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Sorcha

      Seriously. I see weirder things than this by noon every day.

      May 18, 2013 at 2:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   sumokitty

    That’s a good host! You wouldn’t catch me touching someone else’s underwear unless I already knew them intimately.

    May 14, 2013 at 12:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Ethel

    I expect the sight and odor was too much for the host, next time hide the dirties instead of leaving them out like some grade schoolers I know.

    May 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   Tard

    I have many times done the laundry of my houseguests while they are out. This is weird?

    May 14, 2013 at 3:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Amelia

      I’m super uncomfortable with other people touching my laundry, especially if it is dirty and even more so if it is dirty underwear. So yeah, even if it is well intentioned, doing other people’s laundry is weird.

      May 14, 2013 at 7:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   L

      Yeah, I’m not so good with people touching my underwear either. Thanks, nice gesture, but just point me in the direction of your washing machine instead, please.

      May 14, 2013 at 8:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.3   L

      Oh, and also, some of my clothes are kind of weird to wash (like a couple hand-wash only or lay flat to dry) and I usually wash everything in cold water so I kind of don’t need to replace most of my wardrobe because somebody washed them in extra-hot water and dried them on the highest setting. (*cough*myaunt*cough*)

      May 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.4   Brain

      Yeah, I’m another who is uncomfortable with the idea of someone else washing my dirty clothes. Once in college my boyfriend went home for the weekend with his dirty laundry, accidentally including a pair of my underwear. His mom washed it, folded it, and left it on top of his pile of clothes. She never said a word about it, but I had a hard time looking her in the eye after that!

      May 14, 2013 at 9:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.5   Josie

      Brain, I would be more worried that your boyfriend still got his mum to do his laundry for him.

      May 15, 2013 at 11:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.6   Kirsty

      Certainly I don’t think you should wash someone’s clothes without asking them.
      Once had a helpful host wash my white t-shirt in with black trousers.

      May 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.7   Lil'

      My mother-in-law will often insist on doing our laundry while we are at work. She’s a domestic diva and loves it. I will occasionally take her up on it (not often because I don’t want her to think I’m a domestic failure), but when I do I always hide my underwear and wash them myself. I sometimes wonder if she thinks I go commando or if she just knows I’m a bit of a weirdo. Either way, it’s cool with me. I can never get our towels that soft.

      May 15, 2013 at 3:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.8   The Elf

      I can’t blame you, Lil’. If I had someone who enjoyed doing my laundry and got my towels super soft, I’d take them up on it too! Laundry….. the never-ending chore. Ugh.

      May 16, 2013 at 7:35 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Jessica

    One time in college, I got called in to work last minute and left a load of clothing drying in the laundry room. When I got off work and went to retrieve my clothes, they were all neatly folded in stacks on top of the dryer. Including my underwear. It was weird and disturbing and thoughtful, all at the same time.

    May 14, 2013 at 10:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Lil'

      My best friend had a roommate who would leave her clothes in the dryer for days. When my friend needed to do her own laundry, she would fold her friend’s laundry neatly and proceed. One day the roommate told my friend that she would prefer that she not fold her laundry. My friend said, “OK. What should I do when I need to do my laundry and yours is still in the dryer?” The roommate said, “Just wait.”

      May 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.2   Iwill FindU

      Lil: Wow I think that’s rather rude of your friends roommate, if she would finish her laundry in a quick manner your friend wouldn’t have to even touch it in the first place. What is it with some people thinking that the dryer should also double as a dresser?
      When you have to share that kind of stuff use it and be done with it. I had a roommate ones leave their wet clothing in the washer for a week. After checking daily to see if they were done with it I dumped their smelly damp clothing in front of their door.

      May 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.3   TheSeize

      A week? D: Wet laundry smells gross if you accidentally leave it for more than like a day- I can’t imagine what kind of stuff is growing on it after a week.

      May 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.4   The Elf

      Lil’ said it was in the dryer. So, the laundry isn’t wet, it’s just there taking up space. I do the same at my house. The difference is that I’m the only one who does laundry at my house, so it doesn’t matter.

      May 21, 2013 at 2:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   KJS

    Yes, someone washing and folding your underwear and leaving a note with an embellished signature is undoubtedly the weirdest possible outcome of sleeping in the house of a stranger met on the internet.

    May 15, 2013 at 12:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   TheSeize

      I’m sure you can think of way weirder. Just use your imagination.

      On second thought, you might be better off thinking this is the weirdest. A lot of what I can think up is way more disturbing than this.

      May 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   a-Arialist

    Why is Mr Couchsurfer leaving his dirty clothes in a pile in a strangers living room in the first place?

    Bad, bad, naughty dog.

    May 15, 2013 at 3:00 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   kaetra

    I was in Portland last summer and nearly every street corner had able bodied 20-somethings begging for money. Many had signs indicating they wanted paper-money, not coins. It was completely ridiculous.

    May 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Liz

      Ah yes, in the spring and summer lots of people travel up to Portland to pan handle. In the fall and winter they disappear, usually heading back down to California. The funny thing is that’s how I gage when spring is really here, when I see someone holding a sign by the highway exits, I know it’s spring.

      May 15, 2013 at 8:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   Liz

      Tried to edit the post but it keeps locking up whenever I do.

      May 15, 2013 at 9:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.3   Sorcha

      Sometimes they get stuck, though. There were a couple of boys and a dog in my neck of the woods that started out that way, but…they’re still around a couple years later. Maybe they found out they really like rain and gloom.

      May 18, 2013 at 2:38 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.4   Tatterdemalion

      A lot of teens who get kicked out for being queer come to Portland because they’re a lot less likely to get killed here. Usually such individuals don’t have the identity papers required to get a job.

      Harsh, but it’s true. So think before you criticize.

      Also, not all disabilities are visible.

      Jun 14, 2013 at 12:35 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.5   The Elf

      None of which justifies begging while simultaneously being selective about what you get.

      Jun 14, 2013 at 5:56 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

  • #15   Jen

    The note is a little confusing, but if you’re crashing at a stranger’s house and leaving your dirty clothes lying around — and the worst you get is bad writing and free laundry service — it’s about time to shut the hell up.

    May 15, 2013 at 6:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   at2002

    “Everyone in Portland seems to do things like this. All.The.Time.”
    -How often has he left his dirty underwear on strangers’ floors to be able to make this assessment?

    May 16, 2013 at 11:27 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   JoDa

      When I visited Portland complete strangers picked up our dinner bill because they overheard that it was my birthday. They’re just nice, in a kind of odd way. It’s a particularly big shock to East Coasters.

      May 18, 2013 at 2:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   Raichu

    Ok, the note was weird…but it’s not weird to wash your clothes for you is it? I thought it was a nice gesture. Why does that make Portlanders weird?

    Leaving your underwear out for people to see in a public part of the house = gross. Leaving it out in a private room = fine. Washing someone’s clothes for them = nice. Leaving a PAN about their underwear = weird. I see all sides of this. Fortunately this was not a situation full of rudeness or ill will, and can be laughed about later. :)

    May 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   imthenana bang

    I’m going to go with the second part of the message being a snarky bit that they were trying to ensure it was weird. I’d LOL at the note, but not at my underwear being folded by a stranger. That said, I wouldn’t couchsurf with strangers, or leave my dirty underwear and clothes out in a common area (on purpose). That said, I’d have no problem with clothes being washed and thrown into a basket for me to fold. I’ve done the same for my guests.

    May 20, 2013 at 8:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   Paris Love

    I was born in Portland and raised in the area, and things like this really are par for the course. I had a random stranger last weekend walk up to me at a public park and give me a vegan matcha cupcake because they had left overs from their picnic and didn’t want to throw them out. It was really good and tasted like banana. :-)

    May 21, 2013 at 2:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   elcido

    this reminds of something my older brothers girlfriend would do.

    Jun 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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