I continually astound myself with how terrible I am at giving a guy a fake phone number. I am physically unable to do it. I can lie about a myriad of other details: I'll shave off a few years and tell him I'm 24. I'll lie and say that I live in South Philly without batting an eyelash. I'll even make up an occupation just to keep things interesting.
But, as soon as he whips out his phone and says, "Alright, what's your phone number?" I crack like the top of a poorly-made cheesecake. It's like my soul is possessed by George Washington's ghost for the next two minutes and I literally cannot tell a lie. As each number tumbles out of my mouth, I am horrified that it's the right one. 2. 1. 5. (Oh, god! Just make a number up!) 2. 5. 3. (Ugh! What are you doing?) I fidget. What would Keyser Soze do? I look around the room for any other number to give. I can just picture Emilio Estevez from The Breakfast Club on my shoulder, mouthing for me to "Stop!"
But, I don't stop. I keep going. 8. 3. (It's not too late! Just change the last two!) 3 (Seriously, just pick any number but 9. Any number but 9.) 9. Yup. (215) 253-8339, I confirm. I cringe as he saves my information. Frankly, I'm terrible at giving fake phone numbers. Why is it so hard for me to fudge 'em? Do I enjoy receiving text messages from guys I'm not interested in dating that much? Do I really like the pangs of guilt every time my phone rings and his number pops up? Obviously once he calls and we talk for longer than five minutes, he's going to figure out that I'm not a 24 year-old South Philly resident who moonlights as a cat psychiatrist. I've spun a web of lies with a ribbon of truth woven through it. I think I need a life coach or something.
[Update: Our eagle-eyed reader/my best friend since high school, Courtney, has pointed out that it was actually Molly Ringwald/Claire who mouthed "Stop!" to Bender in that infamous scene. Thank you, Courtney! I'm still going to keep the picture of Emilio Estevez up because look at him up there. How can you not smile when you see that picture?]