A Catfish or just a man with bad pickup lines?
There’s been a lot of “Catfish”-ish topics in TV shows I’ve been watching lately, and I’m so curious about why a catfish does what they do. Not to spoil anything for anyone, but on Hulu’s “Nine Perfect Strangers” we learn early on that Melissa Mcarthy’s character had been a victim of a catfish who had scammed her for a lot of money and tricked her into “loving” him, which now she’s in therapy for. But then the terrifying version of this is over on Netflix called “Clickbait.”
If you ever needed a reason to lock yourself in your house and/or reverse google image search your entire photo library — this show is it. Like, damn.
I’ve never been truly catfished, like in the sense that I had some sort of falsified ongoing relationship with someone I communicated with digitally, and then met IRL only to realize they were lying. I guess I just don’t ever let things get that far? I’m paranoid as fuck, what can I say. I remember seeing the original Catfish documentary, before it was an MTV series, and just could NOT wrap my brain around why someone would do this. Maybe because I’m an elder millennial, and we were in those chat rooms, doing the most, trading international boy band CDs, and no one was using it to trick teenage girls yet. I don’t think it ever even crossed my mind when we’d ask “A/S/L?” (That’s “Age/sex/location” for anyone who’s like, 30) that it could be a creepy man living in the snowy mountains of Wyoming.
I am definitely one of those girls who likes to get lost in the fantasy of it all — so I suppose it’s interesting that I haven’t fallen for a catfish’s tricks yet. I did, however, get asked to the prom on my AOL instant messenger. Luckily, most of my AIM friends were people I knew IRL, so I didn’t get stood up and nothing weird happened. Today, leave it to my paranoia to question literally everything and everyone, and lay awake in bed giving myself a migraine trying to figure out why the things you said don’t connect to the other things…. It’s a problem that I discuss weekly with my therapist.
Luckily, I’m usually not one to be super attracted to someone based on just a photo and a bio. (Unless it was like, Leonardo Dicaprio when I was 16, by which I would have lost ALL of my money if someone said they were him on AIM) It just all feels like a fraud and forced and cringey, as the kids say. I suppose that’s why I hate online dating so much.
I did get a random DM from a guy who lived in San Diego not long ago, who randomly started following me on Instagram. He had started following me a few years back, to which I never thought anything of. I guess I just thought I was like, popular, or whatever. I had posted a video of myself in a face mask, looking all Hannibal Lecter, to which he replied, “Oh, I’ll give you a face mask….” ???? I mean, also, this was not a good first line — especially because I was fully clothed and was making psychotic faces with the mask on. So I wasn’t even attractive or thirst trappin’ in the video he was responding to, but I digress.
When I checked out his profile, he appeared to be a real person. He had lots of pictures going back several years with various friends — and a regular healthy amount of comments and inside jokes under each photo. After determining he was probably a real person, I replied back, “Is this supposed to be some lame sexual innuendo or are you a licensed esthetician?”
He laughed and said it was definitely meant to be sexual. Insert confused emoji here.
So for a few days, and because I’m quite mischievous, I’d poke him to see how far I could get him to go. I’d ask him a million questions about his job (he was a fourth grade teacher) and if the students were all in love with him because he was sooooo good looking. I admit, I was kinda being an asshole… but I just think your first comment out of the gate to me, should definitely NOT be some BS lame ass sexual innuendo, and for that, you deserve to have to deal with my antics. Secondly, I made sure to not tell him anything about me — and what do you know, this guy legit ONLY wanted to talk about himself anyway! Surprise Surprise!
So I egged it on, and eventually was probably taking things too far and starting seeing if he would send me nudes. And soon enough, I had graduated to getting fully nude shots of this man. That is, if it really was the man in the photos on the profile…. who fucking knows. I’d say really stupid shit about how I “loved his six pack” and “how could his students not be in love with him.”
After a while, on his own accord, he would send a “morning wood” photo with visible six pack, with just “Good Morning!” as the text. Luckily, I never sent ANY photos back, ‘cause your girl knows better. (and If I WERE to send someone a nude, it's definitely going to be someone I already know IRL and I’m def not showing my face. Those are just the rules)
We never got to the part where we ever thought about meeting in person, even though San Diego isn’t that far from Los Angeles. Maybe I’m just old, but that seems like a lotta effort for someone you barely know, even if he has a six pack. I mean, who knows if the guy was even real?
But also, can we have a few facetimes, or a Zoom before I commit to driving all the fucking way down there? Or like, a background check and urine sample? People are so shady these days.
Weirdly, a few weeks later, I went back into my DM’s to see if I could f*ck with him some more — maybe this is the catfish part of me that does exist? But by then, strangely he had fully BLOCKED my account. And even after investigating from the finsta account, I also saw that this hoe went private, like completely unprompted by anything I said or did!
I guess we can assume this dummy either got into some sort of serious relationship suddenly and didn’t want to be found out, or he realized I was never gonna send nudes OR money to him and gtfo. Regardless, there weren’t gonna be any more nudes for me from if-thats-even-your-real-name-Kyle from San Diego — but it was amusing while it lasted I guess.
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