Saturday, May 14, 2005

Your Internet Dating Destination

I don't know why I didn't think of it before.
This weekend we had a guest who came to meet her Internet, um, potential boyfriend. I'm sorry that I don't have the jargon down, but I'm new to all this. Since I don't date over the Internet, I'm not really sure where this might lead. But as an innkeeper I can see the potential in this. As an innkeeper I can see the potential is just about everything. As a writer I see the tragedy of it all.
When this guest arrived, her "friend" from Morrisville dropped her off. Chantal and I wondered what her situation was--why wasn't her "friend" staying? And why wasn't she staying with her "friend"? But, after you've kept the inn for a while, you shrug these things off, filing it in the "I've seen just about everything" folder. As usually happens, breakfast enabled conversation.
It turns out that our guest met her "friend" (Is it okay if I lose the quotations? They remind me of Dr. Evil.) in a church sponsored chat room, and she traveled to Vermont to meet him. I thought, "This has potential."
We're the perfect place for this. Our rooms are clean and comfortable, and Internet friends can get rooms across the hall from each other. Or they can rent two adjoining rooms that share a bathroom. What better way to get to know someone than to share a bathroom with them? Think of it: Do they leave the cap off the toothpaste? Do they leave the seat up? Are they a two flusher? Towels bunched up on the floor? Do they greedily take the last sheet of two-ply without refilling? Are they at least gracious enough to attempt deodorization, or do they leave it to you to call in the Haz-Mat team?
The evaluation extends beyond the john. How are their table manners? Do they hold their utensils like a character from Cooper's Last of the Mohicans? Do they shower the table with bits of food ejected from their mouths? How's their hot tub etiquette? Do they at least wait for the jets to turn on before adding their own bubbles? These questions all become marketing points in my sales material. The question is, How do I sell this? I can't possibly surf through all the chat rooms where friends meet. And when Internet people want to find a place to meet, how do they initiate a search.
This sounds like a lot of work to me, and I didn't become an innkeeper to work. I became an innkeeper to observe my guests and write a book about it.
In the meantime, if you know of any Internet friends that would like a nice, safe place to check out each other's bathroom manners, direct them to us.