I’d been helplessly single for two excruciating years and was completely exhausted by the dating scene, so after a night of bubbly and bad decisions with my BFFs, I raised a glass and swore to use an alias on my next date. I never break a promise and I do love a challenge, so I finally committed to the set-up date I was dreading for weeks and got into character.
I had to keep things low-key. My Aunt Margaret set me up and I didn’t want to tell her what I was up to, so I asked that she not give my name because I was writing an article about millennials’ inclination to research our dates online before we even meet them. She claimed it was a Pulitzer Prize-winning idea and loved being in on the ruse. Now, I just had to come up with an alias that I could reasonably pull off.
I used my porn star name. Do you remember coming up with your porn star name by taking the name of your first pet followed by the first street you lived on? I grew up on Whetstone Terrace with my incredibly sassy cat, Misty. So, I was Misty Whetstone – the perfect porn star name, by the way. Every time he said my name, I’d either completely ignore him because I don’t answer to such a name or I would have to contain my laughter like a giggling school girl. I could’ve made it a little easier on myself by choosing a normal name, but what fun would that be?
I used an accent that I wish was permanent. I can only execute two accents: British and Southern. My Southern accent can sound a little like I live in a trailer park and date my brother, so I went with the former. The more I drank, the more I started to feel like the pigeon lady from Mary Poppins. He had to know this wasn’t real, right? Wrong – he was eating it up, you guys. He laughed extra hard at my jokes (that I know for a fact aren’t that funny), leaned in closer to me as the night progressed, and sent me a text two minutes after we said goodnight. It made me wonder: is a British accent the key to getting the guy?
My backstory was VERY detailed. Everyone knows that liars are extremely elaborate when telling a story and I was no exception to this rule. I told him that I was born outside of London in Wimbledon (that’s literally the only city I know outside of London, thanks to every tennis movie ever) but moved to the US at 13. This justified the accent as well as my inability to name a single trendy new restaurant anywhere in London.
“I couldn’t find you on Facebook.” Searching your date’s name on social media is the way of the world these days. In fact, I searched my alias on Facebook before the date and was seriously surprised to find many women sharing Misty’s name. I told him that I stayed away from social media entirely because of the detrimental effects I believed it had on a woman’s psyche. He ate it up. I loved the way it sounded too… but then promptly checked my Instagram feed in the bathroom.
It was the most fun I’ve ever had with a guy I wasn’t interested in. It was clear from the moment my aunt set me up with him that he wasn’t going to be a match. I didn’t find him attractive or interesting, but he was a nice person to spend an evening lying to. I can’t decide whether it was the excitement of the deceit or if using a British accent was comparable to wearing my favorite black dress, but I smiled like the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland the entire evening.
I’d gone so deeply into character that I couldn’t tell the difference between my feelings and hers. I’m not sure if I deserve an Academy Award or a straitjacket, but there were a few moments as I was laughing across the table from him that I felt drawn to him. There wasn’t even a whiff of a romantic spark, but it was similar to the connection I had when I met my BFF at summer camp.
I felt super confident and wondered how I could channel this in the future. Let’s be honest, my alias was way hotter than the real me. From the fancy accent to the country-hopping backstory, Misty was intriguing, to say the least. I wasn’t planning on lying to all of my dates in the future, but I wondered how I could channel the confidence and free spirit of Misty without actually pretending to be her. Once I figure that one out, I’ll be sure to let you know.
The truth will set you free… and crush his dreams. Unfortunately, while it was just a fun experiment for me, my date was ready to settle down for a lifetime of tea and crumpets. It was time to come clean. I wanted to be an adult and pick up the phone to break the news, but I panicked while trying to decide if I should start the call using a British or American accent. I sent him a text that started with “I have to be honest with you” and ended with “I’m a boring American who has never even been to London”. His response was… radio silence. I haven’t heard from him since. Also, my Aunt Margaret is mad at me.
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