I haven’t done an aftermath writeup mainly because it’s difficult to adequately describe how cool noders are in real life. Maybe someday I’ll get around to writing about everyone I met down in Indiana but first I have a confession to make. The nodermeet was only part of the reason I traveled out of state. I don’t want anyone to think I’m devious but when another noder told me he was going to be in Chicago for the weekend, I started making plans. One of my cousins has a pretty swank place not far from Lake Michigan. She’s in sales and her territory is up in Canada so I knew I’d have her place to myself for however long I wanted it. I wouldn’t normally go out to eat with someone I had never met before but after talking with the ninjagirls and a couple of good noder friends I decided that I could trust this guy not to be an axe murdering lunatic. I have to admit that I was curious to see what he would look like. We were already friends on Facebook but he doesn't have a picture of himself up on his profile page.

Together we decided that we needed some sort of recognition system. We talked about it on the phone, as anyone who catboxes regularly knows, he has an offbeat sense of humor and it’s even more apparent in real life. His idea was that each of us should bring something to identify ourselves. I told him I’d bring some peanut butter. At first he wouldn’t tell me what he was going to bring. He said it would be a surprise but it would be something that would immediately identify him as a noder. The harder I tried to guess what it was the funnier it got. He started making outrageous suggestions, the best of which was Schweppes Bitter Lemon, I’m a fan of it and he is definitely not. The more we talked the better I got to know him. Unless people hang out in the catbox I don’t feel like I really know them and even then talking about boobs, computers and politics tends to limit the information you can get about what someone is like outside of E2. Talking on the phone with him was like having my own personal catbox. We started off talking about E2, the conversation drifted from that to our personal lives and the upcoming nodermeet. The best part of our two hour talk was the way that he made me laugh. It was after midnight when we hung up. He still hadn’t told me how I could identify him but he guaranteed that I would know who he was when I saw him at the restaurant.

Packing for the nodermeet was just like packing for any other trip. I threw three pink tops in with some jeans and my toothbrush. I made a list of things I needed to purchase, I like to buy practical little presents for people so I wandered around the aisles of the grocery store until I found some really nice strawberry preserves for my friend. That was one of the few things I knew about him, that he likes bagels with jelly. The crunchy peanut butter was an idea I stole from an award winning node, that was his way to identify me and as soon as I walked into the restaurant I knew who he was from his big, red, Bag of Crushed Child t-shirt.

I was laughing so hard a good thirty seconds went by before I noticed his burlap sack. Once we were both comfortably seated he handed me a small gift wrapped package. I was dying to know what was inside but he told me it was something for later. The service at the restaurant was exceptional as was the food we were served. He ordered clam chowder, I'm deathly allergic to shellfish so I ordered a fabulous mushroom and spinach dish. I thought it was delicious. He said he would take my word for it. We had some time to kill after lunch. The weather couldn’t have been nicer so we spent some time down in Millennium Park. I had passes to the Art Museum but walking around and observing the day that Mother Nature had provided us with was a better time than being shut up inside a stuffy museum. After about an hour of walking and talking he said he needed to get going. He offered to drop me off at my cousin’s, I told him I could find my way but he insisted. We were standing at the top of the stairs when he told me I could open my gift. I tore the paper off and there was a copy of the movie Bag of Crushed Child.

Don’t ask me why but that touched me more than something sentimental would have. I gave him a hug and there were tears in the back of my eyes when he picked me up and spun me around. I knew he had to go meet his friends so I waved goodbye. He said the get together wouldn't last long and if I was lonely in the Windy City he might be free later. I told him I’d be okay, he walked down the hall, I didn’t think I would be seeing him for a while which shows you just how wrong a woman can be. Later that same evening he came over with candy, popcorn and soda. I had just gotten out of the shower so of course my hair was all over the place. Fortunately he didn’t seem to mind. I threw some clean clothes on, he teased me about my pink and white striped pajamas but you don’t spend the weekend at someone else’s house planning to sleep in the nude or at least I don’t.

We settled down on the couch and for anyone who hasn’t seen it I can safely say that Bag of Crushed Child is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The funny thing about watching it is it was fun because it was so bad. We were sitting on the couch talking about who knows what when out of the blue he threw a handful of popcorn at me. Normally I would have remembered that I was in someone else’s apartment, that she had nice furniture and that as her guest I should be careful. Maybe I was a little drunk, one of the reasons I had asked my cousin if I could shack up at her place was because I knew she’d have a bottle of red wine for me. I made a desperate grab for the half-empty bag of microwave popcorn and dumped the entire thing over his head. He reached for the carton of Whoppers, I hit the bottom of it and seconds later it was raining malted milk balls in my cousin’s ultra-clean apartment.

The food fight didn’t last long. I sat down on the couch while he picked the candy up, I couldn’t stop laughing, everything was hilariously funny and I was having the time of my life right up to the moment he leaned over and kissed me. If you’ve never been kissed by someone who’s laughing when you are I have to tell you that laughter is a seriously underrated aphrodisiac. We threw caution to the winds, my pajamas and his clothes went flying. I knew what I was doing and who I was doing it with but it was more than just good sex. It was great sex with a side of serious fun. After we were done he flipped a piece of popcorn at me. I threw a Swedish fish at him, we spent the rest of the night drinking wine, sitting on the couch and feeding each other dark chocolate. When it was time for bed we gave my cousin’s clean sheets a good workout. I threw them in the washer to erase the evidence, he put another video in and we ended up falling asleep on the floor next to each other. I know I’ll never forget that night, lunch with him was absolutely amazing and maybe I should feel bad about this but I’ve always wanted another baby so I was really excited when I found out that Donginger and I are going to have our own little Bag of Crushed Child. Grrglargg!