This is exactly why I was doing this. Joe13 has a lot of great qualities. He's an amazing mechanic. I'm leery about some of the aspects of Joe13's lifestyle, even though I'm confident that if/when our country descends into anarchy and/or complete financial collapse, Joe13 will be just fine. The positives about Joe13 well outweigh the negatives, but I can't live with the negatives. (edited to add - while they are negative to me, they may not be to others. I want to stress that he's an awesome guy. Love him, just don't want to live with him) I thought it was my lack of trust - no, my total fear of trust - that caused the doubts, and I didn't want to lose such a great guy. So I crossed the line from dating to long term relationship. Exactly what I didn't want to do. Or not that I didn't want to do it, but I knew I shouldn't. I don't know why it's so easy to see looming pitfalls in someone else's life but not in your own. If you figure it out, let me know.
So here I am again. I wasn't planning on dating so soon, or ever again really, but an e-mail came through on Plenty of Fish, and I clicked. I initiated contact with one guy, and I heard from a few others. Then I turned my profile back off. I managed to date a couple more Joes before getting totally disgusted with online dating once again. Here they are.
I'm not positive of the time line, but will run with what I've got. Joe14 and I IM'd for a bit one night and spoke for quite a while the next. While he was easy to talk to, there was a conversation about my handlebars that gave me great insight into the man. I can't remember how we got onto the subject, but I told him I had ape hangers. He was quite opinionated about them. I told him that I too once ridiculed ape hangers, but after a short conversation with Charley Barnes, I decided to give it a try. I don't write a lot of dialogue, so bear with me while I recreate the conversation...
When I took my bike over to Charley's, he was thinking about a photo on Facebook when he said, "I thought you had ape hangers."
"No. That picture was taken by a guy with ape hangers. I'm riding in front of him."
"That would be really badass."
"Yeah, it would."
So thanks to Willie at Righteous Ride in Greeley, I got a smoking deal on the bars and cables I'd need and gave the ape hangers a try. Not too long after, I took off on my 6,000 mile trip around the country. LOVE them. Love them, and I look badass.
Well number 14 couldn't handle that. He threw up several reasons why ape hangers were bad. I had an answer for all of it. I told him that I had felt the same way before I tried them, but at a reasonable height, they really were comfortable and completely safe. He could not give it up. He was trying to tell me that I was wrong about how I felt about my handlebars. Whatever.
We were going to meet at his business the next day, but I had other things to do. I made it over the day after. He has a successful business, and it's a cool one. In the hour or so that we talked, he repaired several items. He clearly knows what he's doing and is well respected in his field. He was easy to talk to. By the end of the conversation, we were speaking pretty openly about what we were looking for in our relationships.
My profile says I want to date. He said he doesn't need another friend. He also said he isn't interested in getting married again. This led me to the conclusion that when a guy in an online dating forum says he wants a long term relationship, that means he wants sex without commitment. Dating would be hanging out. Marriage is a commitment. Long term relationship means you've gotten past the intro and are now sleeping together.
I like friends. I love my friends. I enjoy riding and playing games and eating out with my friends. I definitely want to be friends with a guy before going "long term." Wink, wink. But you know what? I don't want to cook meals, sacrifice my valuable time, be concerned with someone else's welfare, maybe even help out with kids or grand kids, and give a guy a piece of ass without a freaking commitment. Sure the idea of a live-in housekeeper who meets all of your needs is great. I'm not selling that feature. We can hang out and become friends and see where it goes from there, or you can kiss my ass - figuratively, of course.
Anyway, we had a lot to talk about, but I felt like he saw himself as the ultimate keeper of all information in the universe. He also has two sons who aren't even teens yet, one of whom was at the business that day because he was "home" sick. When Joe14 called me the next day on his way to work, his son was still with him. He said that the school wouldn't allow him to send his son back. Really? I know things have changed since I was a parent of a school-age child, but since when does the school determine if the child is well enough to go to school. This is on the heels of a couple of days off because it was too cold (0 for a high). I started to say that schools are really going overboard on protecting kids when the phone went dead.
I was busy. I know he was busy. I didn't bother calling back. Neither did he. I texted him a few hours later and said if he wanted to call later, that would be fine. I guess he didn't. That's OK. Actually, that's good.