The more I keep hearing about Catfish and everything that happened with Manti Te’o, the more I pine for a fake girlfriend. It sounds childish and unbelievable, but hear me out. There’s a lot to learn about the men and women who willingly adapt a fake identity to appease (and fuck with) the collective lonely anonymous.
For one thing, my social phobias would never come into play with my fake girlfriend. She would never ask me to play her a song on the guitar, ask me to dance at a club, or make me hold her while she cried. Or vice-versa on the last one, for that matter.
It’s very likely my fake girlfriend would be a guy. Maybe he’d be quite a bit older than me, maybe he’d be hairy, his name could be Colin. His physical attributes, being so masculine, would prompt Colin to act all the more feminine with me. Assuming Colin doesn’t know much about women, chances are he’d emulate the personality and emotions from popular female figures. Pending our likes and hobbies are a match, I could foreseeably be dating an online version of wonderful women like Zooey Deschanel or pre-2000s Meg Ryan. I’m not one to fuss, but I am picky about who I date — so my girlfriend avatar will be controlled by a man who knows his film history.
Yes, life would be grand dating my catfish. Since I’d be especially careful about concealing my knowledge of her true identity, she would continue sending me extravagant presents like chocolates, ironic t-shirts, bouquets of pencils (#MegRyanCirca1998), and naked pictures of whoever’s boobs Colin found online. I’d be swimming in romance-loot purely based on the notion of how I don’t notice my girlfriend gets sick every time I suggest we meet, or that her webcam is constantly broken. Ignorance is bliss when both parties are happy. I see it as a symbiotic relationships — kind of like those parasites that eat the tongues of fish and live in the fish’s mouth as their de facto tongue.
Going on dates would be such a total pleasure. I’d open up Skype, sit on my couch without pants, totally unfazed that some jerk from across the world is staring at my soft-as-cookie-dough jimmy. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I’d happily eat my dinner in silence and smile into the camera. I’d put on Annie Hall and quote everything before it happened to a flurry of “hahahaha” on the computer screen. Our love would be on par with middle schoolers or functionally retarded adults. Our conversations would be peppered with compliments and smiles, but there would be no touching.
Internet love is very honest and open, so my fake girlfriend would encourage me to have sex with women from my area. She’d say she wants me to be happy with her, but sexually satisfied. I argue at first, saying I couldn’t imagine her with another man — but give in after coming to terms with the fact that the penis she sees every single day is her own.
My catfishing experiment would come to a sad end the minute Colin gets the balls to reserve a hotel room for us to meet. He would tell me about the incredible room he reserved facing the ocean, I’d reply with “sorry, bro. I know you’re a guy. Please do not put anything in my butt.” He’d yell and scream and insist I was the one who’s mistaken, sending me picture after picture of thoroughly Google’d lady parts. I’d put an end to it before things got too weird, eat the rest of the gift chocolates, and go about my merry way.
It’s just so hard to find that type of love in real life. The kind of love that makes you feel special and beautiful. When you’ve simultaneously got everything and nothing to lose, different parts of your personality surface. The part where you can fully accept that this stranger’s unconditional love is real, despite a flurry of unanswered questions, or the part where your heart could be broken by someone who lives thousands of miles away and is nowhere near the person you thought they were.
Unconditional love is a beautiful thing typically reserved for newborn babies and German shepherds — but the love of a man pretending to be a woman who jacks off to pictures of your balls is the finest love of all.