Do You Ever Use an Alter Ego?
I saw a trailer for “The Other Woman” the other day and a few things occurred to me. One: I love all three women in the movie -- Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Kate Upton -- and they’re all perfect in their respective roles. Two: The movie looks totally hilarious and I definitely want to see it when it comes to theaters (April 25th!). Lastly: How on earth could one dude manage to have serious relationships with THREE different women, one of whom is his WIFE, and go for such a long time without getting caught? I’m not the type of girl to have an affair, but even if I were, there’s just no way I could ever pull off something so seemingly complicated.
How do I know?
Well, I was talking to my therapist a few months ago about how I’m really bad at meeting guys. I was telling him about a girlfriend of mine who should basically have a Masters Degree in being flirty and open -- and how when I'm with her, I often end up feeling really bad about myself. And by “bad about myself” I mean invisible. She’s the type of girl who will see a guy she’s only met once and run up to him enthusiastically and give him a big hug. I’m more of a head nod and fist bump kind of gal. She calls men “honey” and “sweetheart,” I call them “dude” and, well, “dude.” She works out, wears makeup and does her hair every single day, and I like to eat cookies, wear flannel, and pretend that top knots are super stylish and not just really lazy. She’s seductive. I’m sardonic. You get it.
I don’t know what I expected my therapist to say when I told him all of this. Probably something like: "Don’t go changing.'" Or that I’m amazing just the way I am. Instead, he said that perhaps I should try to be more like her.
After I stopped laughing ten minutes later (approximate cost: $30), I was like, “Um, I could never. It’s just not me.”
And he said, “Just maybe try to be more open to people. And to use less sarcasm.”
I told him that would require me to be friendly and think before I spoke and he nodded like, “Yes, exactly. You’re finally catching on.”
Considering my vagina was very close to shriveling up and falling off, I decided to give it a shot. I left his office with the promise that I would try to be more open to the possibility of meeting someone, that I would be as flirty as I could possibly muster the determination to be, and that I would keep my acerbic wit to a minimum. A.k.a: I was going to do a lot of hair flipping and smiling, and not a lot of talking. KIDDING. Kind of.
Day One of this experiment, another friend and I went out for lunch. Our server was hot. I’d told my friend about my therapist’s challenge to me, and so she gave me the nod of encouragement to practice on him.
I have to say, I did pretty well. Oddly, just being open to the possibility of being flirty turned me into this total stranger who smiled a lot and doled out random compliments. And even more oddly, the dude -- I mean, sweetheart. Nope, nevermind, I mean dude -- seemed into it. And by “it,” I think I mean "me."
So yeah, things were going great and he was definitely spending more time at our table than necessary considering our meal had ended a while before, but it was kind of nice to have a guy paying attention to me and chit-chatting. It was so nice, in fact, that I forgot the final -- and probably most important rule: to THINK before I spoke.
We were sitting outside on a patio at the base of a ski hill, and after the server dropped off the check, he server nodded towards the mountain and asked, “Are you going to ski tomorrow? We’re supposed to three inches tonight.”
To which I scoffed, “Three inches? I don’t get in or out of bed for less than six.”
He raised his eyebrows, grabbed the check, told us to have a good day, and left.
Right there and then, I blew it.
I looked at my friend and said, “What the hell is wrong with me? I’m supposed to be flirting with dudes, not emasculating them.” And she said, “Um… yeah.”
So yeah. Those girls and guys who put on an alter ego for the night when they go out? Who pretend to be someone totally different just for kicks and giggles? Who change their names, their professions, their persona? Clearly, based on my weekend experiment, I could never pull it off. For better or for worse, I’m just too good at being me.
All of that being said: I'd like to faux apologize to my therapist, because actually I didn't blow it by being myself. I ran into the waiter a few hours later in the village. He came over to say hi to my dog. “Thanks for the great tip,” he said. “I was actually able to tip the hostess out properly for a change.”
“Oh, no problem,” I said. "You deserved it."
“And just so you know,” he continued. “I wanted to talk more, but I had to run back to the kitchen and tell the guys your joke. We were all cracking up. And luckily for you? I just barely fit your criteria.”
A few days later, my vagina and I confirmed that to be true.