Free Spirits Aren't Cheap

Story Sent in by Bruce:

Talia and I met online. I wrote to her first. Her profile essays billed her as an artist who worked in a state government office for her day job. What made me write to her was her stated interest to visit a particular coastal town, not far from where we lived. I wrote to her to tell her that the town she had mentioned was one of my favorites to visit. Our conversation turned into a date.

Our first date was standard: dinner and drinks. It was one of the best first dates I ever had, and we never ran out of things to talk about.

For our second date, I suggested going up to that town together. She loved the idea, and on a Saturday morning, we drove up together, in my car. It was about 50 miles away.

To say that she loved it was an understatement. She went into every shop, looked at every t-shirt, snow globe, key chain, lampshade, pair of sneakers, floor tile, chandelier, and so on. It was as if it was her first day ever seeing such things. Granted, it was a nice town, but many of the things she obsessed over, "Wow, look at these socks! Look how white they are!" didn't seem all that different from the things available back inland.

We went down to the beach and waded into the water. She said, "Can't you see it? The colors? Everything is so much more vibrant here!"

I agreed, "It certainly is beautiful."

She then flopped backward, onto the sand, and let the shallow water flow around her. She said, "I just decided. I'm staying."

"What do you mean?"

She replied, "I'm staying here. Forever. I'm not going back with you."

At a loss, I said, "But you have work and friends and your art and–"

"My friends will visit me, I'll do my art up here, and I don't care about my job. They'll hardly miss me."

"Where are you going to live?"

"Uh, an apartment. Duh."

I asked, "Starting tonight?"

She sat up and said, "A motel or something."

It struck me as impulsive and reckless, but who was I to really judge her? I didn't really know her all that well, and maybe this would be a positive step, despite my feelings that she was being too rash.

We walked up from the shore and back into town. She checked for rates at a few motels and after we had gathered three, she asked me, "Would you mind spotting me for a night or two? I'm a bit light."

I replied, "I don't think so. I hadn't really planned on funding you a couple of nights in a motel."

She said, "Then I'll find another guy to help me out. You're all the same," she said, and walked off, without me.

"Talia!" I called after her, "Are you sure you really want to do this?"

She turned back, said, "Yes," and hurried further away from me.

I went to dinner in the town alone, and returned to my car. I waited there for a little bit, just in case she changed her mind. I texted her, "Everything okay? I'm heading out if you want to come with."

No response came. I left and drove home. I didn't hear from her again, and her profile disappeared from the site soon afterward. I'm glad that she took what she thought was such a positive step forward in her life, although I wish she would've picked a time other than our second date to decide it.


  1. I dunno, I think you missed out on a possibly awesome experience. Spending a couple nights in a motel with this girl wasn't going to kill you, and it's beautiful to see someone make a positive change in their life.

    Sure, she was going too fast, but she was following her passion and deciding to stay somewhere she obviously loved. You could at least have given it a night and seen what happened.

    Yeah, her comment after you said no was bitchy, but she certainly didn't expect that reaction from you and it felt like a punch in the gut so she just lashed out.

    But don't feel bad, OP, sure you missed out on an awesome experience and quite possibly a lifelong soulmate, but you did save $50 or whatever a night at a motel there costs. You win, bro!

    1. Let's see, you are on a second date fifty miles from home and Ok you move today, now, no money, you will have some guy help you out, but all guys are the same. Yeah, that's normal. that;s just what you want for a soulmate.

  2. ^She said, "Would you mind spotting me for a night or two?" Nowhere did she say, or even imply, "I'd like us to spend the night here together." In fact, nowhere did she even suggest to him that he was a part of her new residency plan. It didn't strike me that he missed out on anything except for being taken advantage of.

  3. If that's the case, why were they getting prices for hotels together? "Yeah, I'd like to pay for this room but I'm going to leave and someone else is gonna stay here without me." That makes no sense, and most hotels wouldn't even allow that unless it was a special case like a parent paying for a teen who's visiting a prospective college or something.

    I think she was looking to turn over a whole new leaf in a town she adored, and wanted the OP to join her, but he pussied out midway through the motel-finding process.

  4. It makes sense if she had planned to pay in cash, and perhaps he accompanied her from motel to motel to try and change her mind. In my reading, it seemed as though she was trying to take advantage of him. To leave out the fact that she invited him along on her new life direction would seem to me a glaring omission on the OP's part, but perhaps we'll never know.

  5. So get the room and stay with her. By the next day, the drugs will have worn off and she'll be ready to go home.

  6. That's definitely what I got out of it: pay for my hotel room but I'm not inviting you to stay in it with me.

  7. It's amazing how the lines between "adventurous, spontaneous, exciting" and "thoughtless, dumb, idiotic" can become so blurred.

  8. I read it as Jared and Allison did. She had no intention of including the OP in her motel plans. If she had then what about when the OP said "I hadn't really planned on funding you a couple of nights in a motel."? Wouldn't she have responded "Well of course I want you to stay, too!" She didn't. She went off to look for some other sap willing to give her money for nothing.

  9. I'm in the same boat as Baku-chan on this one.

  10. Andrew likes to play devil's advocate to the nutties.

  11. Hell, maybe it's just because I'm a cynic, but I wouldn't be surprised if this chick pulled this moving thing with guys all the time. He goes and brings you on a vacation, pays for the first day, and then maybe you can trick him into paying for your hotel the next few days. He leaves, and you have a few days to yourself before you head back home, relaxed from your vacation and free of your old boyfriend.

    Man. That's like, fiendishly clever if that's her game.

  12. ^ I can't imagine it working well. I doubt many guys are willing to just pay for a hotel when they are not invited to stay, no questions asked.


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