Two Isabellas

I had a brief flirtation with a woman on Tinder. Call her Isabella. She wanted to talk by phone. Gave me her number. I promised I’d call the next day.

The next day, I absent-mindedly touched the “Call Isabella” link on my reminder in my phone, thinking it would dial her number.

A woman answered.

“Isabella?” I said. “It’s Nick, from Tinder.”

“Um, I’ve never used Tinder.”

“I’m sorry. Is this Isabella?”

“It is. But I’m married, and pregnant, and I’ve never used Tinder.”

I explained my situation. That I had had a flirtation yesterday with an Isabella, who gave me this number. She was anxious. Puzzled. Was she being somehow “reverse catfished”?

I offered to send her screenshots of my conversation with Isabella, so she could investigate with Tinder, perhaps seek to have the account suspended. But why? Why would someone do this?

We hung up. I went to take the screen shot. And then, I realized….

There’s this other Isabella. One I know. A little. Not well. From years ago. Not as “N. Likes,” but as my real-life alter-ego. But this other Isabella’s number is in my phone still. And it seems, automation led me astray. (I should say: this other Isabella was smoking hot. Not exactly my type, a little taller than I generally prefer, and definitely not giving off a submissive air. But I do remember thinking she was hot.)

I called Isabella, the one I’d called by mistake. I explained what had happened. She took it all with aplomb, in good spirits, amused.

She asked if I would tell her who I actually am, in real life. I offered to, but asked if it would be ok if I didn’t, given my general preference to keep as much distance as possible between my alter ego and the presentation of myself you see her.

Generously, kindly, she agreed.

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