I met Joe4 on PlentyofFish. His profile and picture didn't do a lot for me, but he mentioned the miles he'd put on his bike, and I thought it would be worthwhile to meet someone who likes to ride as much as I do. I was working just north of Denver yesterday, so we made arrangements to meet for coffee after I was done.
I was ready to pay for my drink, but Joe4 picked it up. That was nice of him. However, he didn't tip the barista. A few months ago it might not have meant anything to me, but when he turned his back, I slid a dollar into her tip jar. When he turned back around, I think he noticed I'd done that. I'm not sure if that was rude of me. I didn't want to embarrass him, but my two months as a barista has made me painfully aware of how little they get paid for the amount of work they do.
We sat outside and talked for a while. There were a bunch of nice bikes coming in and out of the shopping center. There must have been a biker bar in there. I wanted to look, but I felt like I was gawking at the guys rather than their bikes, and I didn't think that was polite.
We traded a lot of riding stories. Because of the nature of the discussion, exes came up. There's a rule about discussing exes, but the context was OK. We weren't talking about relationship issues, just various trips we'd made. I probably gave too much information at one point, but it fit in with the conversation. I think if I'd felt any attraction for Joe4, I might have diverted.
The sun was heading toward the mountains, so we walked over to the bikes to leave. Joe4 saw the "Blessed '09" sticker on my windshield and went on a short monologue that belittled Christ. Way to impress, dude. I was really stunned that he would say those things, clearly without any thought.
Lesson Learned: If you see something on someone's bike that indicates some sort of affiliation, ask about it before you start trashing it. You should consider that if the person thought enough to put a sticker on their bike, it might mean something to them. I wasn't preaching. I wasn't asking him to go to church. The subject never came up. Perhaps the stereotype is that if I believe in God and go to church, that's going to be the subject of every conversation I have, and he was trying to head that off at the pass.
While I think it's good to know someone's feelings on such an important subject before pursuing anything further, it could have been addressed in a far more tasteful manner.