Now that you've moved out of your parents' house, I'm sure you want to come across as an interesting, independent, self-created person. Everybody invents problems, personae, and life stories for themselves in order to attract friends and mates. With that in mind, I've thrown together a rough three-pronged approach to interpersonal posturing in Portland:

On sexuality: Enigma is back. Don't be explicit about your sexual preference—once you reveal the truth, you can never go back. Better to conduct all your liasons in secret, make no commitments, and leave people guessing with vague terms; opt for "questioning" over any direct statement of orientation. If people pry by asking you what you're questioning, just shrug. Speak with your actions, and even then, speak in a whisper.

Money is back, especially cold, hard cash. For a while now, your best bet was to pretend you were poor no matter how much money you had. It's time to move on: Riches are the new poverty, and you need to pretend you have a lot of them even if you're legitimately poor. In fact, the less money you actually have, the more creative you'll have to be: Steal champagne and caviar if you have to, or take a limousine to class. It's even better if you openly squander money while dressing in rags: Again, keep people guessing. Go shopping at Nordstrom in a potato sack.

"Do" something. The first question anybody in this town will ask you, whether you like it or not, is "What do you do?" For heaven's sake, be creative with this: Tell them you're a transvestite prostitute or that you exterminate possums. My two favorite responses to this question are, "Whatever I want," which works because it's ambiguous, and, "Nothing—my family pays for everything."