If you recall, I have a few deal breakers when it comes to a guy I'll date. A few are unbreakable, but many act more as red flags cautioning me to "be careful, don't get too invested, this guy probably isn't the one."
One of the red flags I take very seriously is motorcycle ownership.
Many of you may disagree, but if there is a motorcycle in the guy's life, you can pretty much bet I won't be. I have many reasons for this prejudice, some of which I am willing to admit are based purely on emotion and maybe a little unfair bias. But even if you were able to talk me out of those, you will never be able to erase the simple fact that if you ride a motorcycle on a semi-regular basis, you WILL get in an accident and likely be injured or killed. Period.
I can hear some of you now, "But my boyfriend is really cautious on the bike. And he wears all the protective gear when he rides."
I don't care. I assume that anyone I date would not be one of those a-holes motorcyclists who cuts people off, swerves in and out of lanes and pops wheelies around town. But no matter how cautious you are, there is nothing you can do about everyone else on the road. And the fact is, most of us don't see you motorcyclists until it's way too late.
Or maybe you’re thinking, “Clearly this girl has never experienced the thrill, the freedom of riding a motorcycle on the open road.”
Wrong again. I have experienced it and I totally agree. It feels amazing. The wind in your hair, the scenery whizzing by without any glass and steel getting in the way between you and it. I get the appeal. But it’s still not worth it.
I know what I can and can't handle, and the early death and /or maiming of someone I love (or might love in the future) is definitely something I can't handle (or I at least want to try to avoid having to handle it).
I am not alone in this.
My friend Gouda has been dating Baby Face for the last two or three months and things has been going almost too well. He's sweet, considerate, fun, open, attractive, interesting and a good listener. She's been somewhat slow in getting overly excited about him, I suspect because, like the rest of us, she's probably waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Well, something did drop - a motorcycle.
When she broke the news to me, I could tell she was reluctant to share it.
She began by telling me how poorly she slept the night before because Baby Face's Blackberry kept beeping all night (of course he slept like a baby through it, while she woke up with every beep). Then his phone rang very early with a call that his "bike came in" and he rushed out the door. Gouda continued on with whatever she was saying after that but I was stuck on the earlier sentence. I interrupted her,
"Wait, what? What bike?"
Baby Face is an avid runner so I was thinking it was a triathlon bike or something.
"Oh," Gouda replied. "His motorcycle came in this morning. He's been waiting for it to get delivered and he had to pick it up right away. He was really excited."
She paused, waiting for my reply. At this point in our friendship, I don't think the subject of motorcycle revulsion had come up so she probably wasn't sure how I was going to respond to this news.
I said, "Oh my God. I'm so sorry." She might as well have told me that she found out he moving away to Sweden or something.
She perked up realizing we were on the same page. "I know! I can't believe it! I hate motorcycles. And this one is a total crotch rocket too!"
It was getting worse. A retro bike for occasional back country road cruising might be something I could accept if I really liked the guy. But a crotch rocket? Hell no! Plus, it just didn't seem to fit the sweet natured guy I had met the week earlier.
"What is wrong with him?" I asked. "Why the hell would he want such a thing?!"
Gouda was equally perplexed. She made sure to communicate to him just how unimpressed she was with the idea. A few days earlier when Baby Face was waiting eagerly for his new purchase, they were driving around town and pulled up next to a couple on a bike, the female seated behind her beau, her arms wrapped tightly around his waist as they sped off through the intersection.
Gouda pointed to the couple, "You see that?"
"Yeah," Baby Face replied.
"That will never be us."
At least she wasn't mincing words.
She then told me how he showed up at her place later that day with his new ride, excited as a little boy. To make matters worse, he was decked from head to toe in the street pads and leather get-up I thought were reserved only for guys with mullets.
All I could muster up was a redundant, "Oh, [Gouda], I'm so sorry."
There's not much else to say really.
But Baby Face does seem like a pretty quality guy. So Gouda, God bless her, is trying to see the silver lining in the situation.
"Well, if things do work out with us, I guess it's better that he gets this out of his system now. I'm sorry, but I come from a long line of Jewish mothers and there's just no way I can marry a guy who's going to ride around on one of those."
I think that sounds like a fair compromise. When he's settled down and married, he'll have something to yearn for from his "single days" and they'll have something to bicker about for many years to come, right?