October 17, 2009

Things I'm Terrible At: Giving A Fake Phone Number

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?]


Amy Williams said...

I go with the "1 Digit off" approach. That way I don't stumble. But one time I had a real winner who said, "Cool let me call you right now, just to be sure I have it right." I'm thinkin he was on to me... or desperate.

John said...

This is why they invented Google Voice. You can give your Voice number out to friends and strangers alike, group them into seperate lists, and have different voicemails for each list. So while your voicemail for your close friends can politely request that they leave a message, the message you assign to strangers can be a "number does not exist" recording, the phone system for some paper company, or a guy friend saying "Hey, this is Mike's phone, leave a message".

Problem solved - and since you can use the same number over and over, it'll sound convincing when you rattle it off.

Anna said...

1. He DID aske me if he could call my phone to make sure that I had his number. I lied and said that my phone was in my car.

2. I DID give him a Google Voice number, the Shmitten Kitten Hotline, in fact. He has already called it four times. At least I didn't give him my personal number. I didn't realize that I could group voicemails with GV. I'll have to look into that.


Julie said...

Well, you could be like me and change that one digit, then spend the next 2 weeks feeling guilty about it and driving yourself crazy with, 'He wasn't THAT bad. Who do I think I am? I'm such a bitch! I should go skulk around the bar until he shows up and apologize. But no, that will escalate things and what if he's a clinger? I wonder whose number that actually is. Maybe I should call and find out. No, they'll see my number on caller ID, answer, and chew me out for giving out their number because I'm too much of a wimp to say no and would rather have someone else do my dirty work and what kind of a person am I anyway??' thoughts.

I really think it's better to give the right number, then dodge his calls, lest you risk becoming neurotic like me.

jonathan goldstein said...

Or, (crazy I know) you could say, I appreciate your interest but, I'm not giving you my number.

Have a nice day!

Anna said...

Jonathan, it's easier said than done. At least for me it is.

steph said...

Haaaaa. when you find that life coach for this please let me know. I'm sufferin from giveoutmynumberitis.

also dudes - don't do the 'cool let me call you right now' trick because I'm going type you in my phone something like 'johnny talks a lot'

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