by James Gallichio
I have only ever given out a fake phone number to someone once in my life. I’m not proud of it. However, in my defence, I was 14, and she was incredibly creepy.
I always felt bad about it though. I imagined her sitting at home, sending text after text to my-mum’s-phone-number-with-the-last-digit-changed-from-a-7-to-a-6, silently sobbing. There’s something inherently disingenuous about the fake-phone-number; it fills the recipient with false hope, leaving them thinking, “Wow, this girl/guy is totally into me, I’m gonna get a date out of this!”
Nearly twelve months ago, my girlfriend started receiving text messages from “Rob” or, as he obviously prefers to be called, “rob frm osullvans”. She has never met robfrmosullvans, nor has she ever been to “O’Sullivan’s”, nor is her name “Jenn”. Evidently, someone gave our mysterious friend a fake phone number – which just so happened to be my girlfriend’s number.
What ensued was a little depressing, a little heartbreaking and a lot comical.
It started innocently enough with a morning-after message. Two, in fact:
Evidently there was no response. Many men would have given up then and there but Rob was persistant. Two weeks later he tried again, although it appears that he had, in the meantime, forgotten “Jen’s” name .
After New Years, a few more messages came. Note how, in every message, Rob makes sure that he writes the word “rob”, often in the middle of sentences, possibly as a means of keeping Jen on her toes.
A few more days passed, a few more messages came. This time, Rob decided to make a time and date to meet up with Jen.
A month passed with no contact from Rob. We thought he might have dropped off the radar, assuming that two months of no contact was enough of a hint that this wasn’t going anywhere. Then, as if by magic, a month later, he tried again:
Four hours later he had forgotten her name again, and decided to send a message laced with mystery and intrigue:
Then Rob went silent for several weeks. We thought he had perhaps taken a hint and moved on. However, nearly a month later he sent the final instalments of this one-way-text-saga:
These last two messages are my favourite. Clearly, he sent the first message, then thought “Oh crap, I didn’t write “Rob from O’Sullivans”, so quickly decided to send it again.
And with that, just as mysteriously as he came, Rob was gone.
I recently asked my girlfriend why she had decided not to message him back to say that she wasn’t Jen, and that he’d been given a fake number. Her simple response: “I don’t know which is worse, to have your text messages ignored, or to have been given a fake number in the first place.”
I am of course aware of the inherent hypocrisy of feeling bad for Rob whilst simultaneously posting his text exchange here for the world to see. However, my reasons for posting are these. First of all, I think it’s important for men to see how these kinds of messages negatively impact a woman’s perception of you. Second, I think it’s both pertinent and beneficial for men to get an insight into the way that other men flirt/interact with women.
Most men aren’t taught how to flirt, how to be charming and how to seduce a woman. We have to find out these things through trial and error, and by watching episode-after-episode of Californication and Entourage, taking mental notes. In reality, I have no way of knowing whether Rob was given a fake number on purpose, or whether it was a genuine mistake. For all I know, there could be a Jen out there somewhere, waiting by her phone, wondering why the tall guy with the goatee that she met in O’Sullivan’s never called her.
So I’ve posted this for science, and with Rob’s phone number edited out. At the very lest, the inherent discussion that such images provokes will no doubt help a lot of the Robs in the world with their flirting/texting technique.
Read the full text exchange below: