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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Hang Around

The hang around period is just a honeymoon. You are not a member or representative of the club and neither you or the club has a claim on each other. If something happens to you, the club is not expected to back you up. It is a time when you size up the club and ask yourself if they are what you want. It is also a time when they are sizing you up and asking themselves if you are what they want. It's a gentleman's agreement at this point. There is no dishonor for either of you if you back away from the deal. In making your decision, you should remember that as a prospect in that club, life will be a lot harder than it is in the hang around phase. Until you are patched, you will be sitting out Church meetings as an outsider and not permitted to enter until you get patched in.
While nothing is perfect, there is really only one rule if you decide to back away. There will be conditions on your doing it honorably. That could range from just asking to be let loose to a request that you meet with each patch holder individually and ask their blessing on your decision. Even in the case of an honorable decision, there can be some hard feelings. For instance, you can bet your bottom dollar that the patch holders in that club think it is the second best thing in life to butter and pussy, so a decision on your part to move on could result in some hurt feelings (especially if they thought you were going to make a good prospect). However, if you do it right, and move to another club, those feelings will usually subside with time.
If you do move on, you are OUT. That means that none of them are going to call you to go out for a beer or to hang around with them anymore. When you're in, you're in and when you're out, . . . you're OUT.
Motorcycle Clubs operate on the honor system and you "always dance with the one who brung ya". It is a huge act of dishonor to be doing a hang around with more than one club.
Underneath all of this, I am seeing something which I had to recognize in myself in the beginning of my movement towards a club. It is a common thing that happens to lots of people. In the beginning you feel the exhiliration of being around those guys, but at a certain point, your life begins to get very boxed in. You see their dedication to each other as brothers and realize that your world is about to go from one where you know many people, to one where there are only ten guys who you will spend the rest of your days with. That was for me a very scary moment and I spent a lot of nights questioning myself about what I was doing. Well, to make a long story short, I backed away from that club (got all the brother's permission, etc., ) but it wasn't long before I began to miss what I'd given up. Like the guy who gave up his wife and marriage just because he got laid one night by some bimbo and now is thinking "the grass is greener on the other side of the hill". Motorcycle clubs are a family thing. Your brothers become your brothers because you have all learned to love each other through thick and thin. You know each other's strengths and weaknesses and love each other even when you are fighting. I don't have any trouble telling one of my brothers "I love you", but you will never hear me say those words to my real life blood brothers, because all I share with them is some DNA blood plasma. Brotherhood is based upon a million little moments that run the gamut from life threatening situations, sitting on the side of the road at midnight broke down in the middle of noplace, and watching each other's kids grow up. Lots of joy and lots of tears make up the brotherhood.
It took me a long time to realize why MC chapters are so small. It is because when you get to 14 + guys in a chapter, it begins breaking down into clicks. So you see, while I am in very large club and have lots of brothers, I have only 10 or 15 who I am really tight with.
If you are contemplating not joining because you fear your world will get too small, please remember that what ever club you go to, it will be the same thing, and if you persevere, it will either get better or you will just wake up someday and realize you are not MC material.
Thank you for this insight Fish.  22