A few years ago, in the early days of the Internet, I discovered chat rooms. No, I didn’t invent them, I merely stumbled upon them. This was before the growth of dating sites, friend-finding sites, pussy/cock-on-the-side sites, and the like. Chat rooms were about as wild as it got back in those bygone days of the late 90's.
Back then I was traveling most of the time on business. Even when I was working out of my West Coast office I was putting in long hours and coming home to an empty house. Most nights I’d fix something to eat, decide there was nothing on TV, and take a look at all the people fooling around in chat rooms. I was separated from my wife and had no local girlfriend. My weekends were spent with my kids. My options were few. Hell, killing a few hours in a “Married But Looking” chat room was probably smarter than hanging out in the bars on weeknights. Cheaper anyway. I never thought I’d actually meet someone in real life that way.
Of course my operating mindset was that the beautiful women in those rooms were actually guys who were older, uglier, and more bored than me. I’m sure I chatted with more than one who fit that bill. It didn’t take long to realize that there was only one way to be sure if the interesting young woman you "met" was actually, um, a woman. You had to really meet her. So, on a couple of occasions I did just that. I can honestly say that every single woman I met that way was real and exactly who she said she was. Your mileage may have varied. Dramatically. Of the chat room meet-ups the most interesting one, by far, was Nikki.
Nikki was married and actually shared ownership of a business with her husband. They had a small company with about a dozen employees. He ran the main business while she was in charge of sales. They had been married about eight years and, according to Nikki, her husband had given up on sex. At least he had given up on having any sexual interest in her, and she was pretty sure it wasn’t because of someone else. We got along well in e-mails and then on the phone. After we knew each other a little bit she was pretty open about what she was looking for without just saying, “Hey, I wanna get laid.” She was classier than that—at least before she actually knew me. But, I know I wasn’t the only one thinking this whole thing might eventually lead to fucking.
We exchanged a picture or two, nothing terribly revealing, but enough that I could tell she was attractive. For her part she apparently didn’t throw up when she saw my picture and was clearly interested in at least meeting for dinner. I’m not sure who suggested we actually meet, but eventually we found a Thursday when she would be in my general neighborhood. She lived in Coastal Orange County but had clients all over Southern California so it was easy for her to make sales calls up in Los Angeles without anyone wondering where she was and what she was doing.
I suggested the restaurant, a nice new bistro not far from a freeway ramp so Nikki would have no trouble finding it. It was a place I’d been to once, knew it was fashionably upscale, and that the food was good. I was sure it would be crowded as well. The worst thing would be to meet at some tired, empty restaurant. Good food and a lively crowd might rub off on me and make me seem more interesting. We decided that 7 PM would be a good meeting time.
I allowed for LA traffic that wasn’t as bad as usual so I got there a half hour early. The bar was just inside the doorway and had stools for only a half dozen folks. The place was already busy. The only seat available at the bar was directly in front of the entrance so I would have to turn around to watch for Nikki. I ordered a Bombay Sapphire and tonic and wondered why I was doing this. I could think of about a dozen people who would be disappointed that I was meeting some woman that I had met on the Internet. I tossed back my drink, motioned for another, and decided I’d focus instead on who might not be disappointed. I came up with one person, me. And, I hoped, there would be another one who would find the evening more exciting than disappointing: Nikki.