Phil Bobberman

I was a bridesmaid, recently, in a friend’s wedding. It was a lovely ceremony, a beautiful party, and a delightfully open bar. This was my first high school friend to get married, so it was kind of a doozy.  There were a bunch of people that I went to high school with there, who I was admittedly a little nervous to see. As, you, my imaginary readers, know, I am just so very unemployed, which is not the proudest thing to announce to people you haven’t seen in 3 years. I thought about lying about my life. But then, I thought, I should reconsider.

Let me tell you a little story about a lie I once told. During my sophomore year of college, I approached the winter break with dread and anxiety. Then, much as now, I felt nervous about seeing old friends. I needed encouragement, a game to play to help me feel less inexplicably uneasy. Naturally (not crazily at all) I decided to create a fake boyfriend, complete with backstory and Facebook page, and trick my friends into thinking he was real. Those who knew me best called me out on it within 15 minutes (the bride from this wedding among them). There were others, still, who I kept going for over 2 and a half years. Truly, this was my Magnus Opus.

For those among you considering a similar experiment (which I do recommend), here are some of the details. My boyfriend, Phil Bobberman, was a first year law student at the William and Mary School of Law. I had met him through a friend of a friend at school. My friend who introduced us was a real person that I knew from a study abroad, who none of my high school friends had met, but who I had talked about before, unwittingly establishing credibility. Phil Bobberman had grown up in Pennsylvania, liked hiking and photography, and was hoping to start a career in copyright law. His Facebook pic was of him far away on a mountain, hiding his face with a camera while taking a picture (re: he loved photography). I found it on google.

it was something to this effect

I arranged an accomplice. A friend who had helped concoct the plot posed as Phil. I changed his name in my phone to Phil Bobberman, and we texted periodically over break. I would let him know when I was in a group of people and he would text or call me then. One time, I let a high school friend pick up one of these calls before passing it over to me, at which point I made sure to sound all love struck and shit. This whole project was enhanced by the fact that I am a phenomenal actress.  Seriously, though, I’m really good.

I was very pleased with myself over this whole thing. I thought (and maintain) that it was hilarious. I eventually heard through the grape vine that my friends, as they found out that Phil was, in fact, fake, thought I was a psychotic asshole, and, well, I can’t say I entirely disagree. As such, it was a little troubling that at this wedding, my immediate impulse was to make an excuse for why my fabulous New York boyfriend couldn’t be there as my date. I guess I feel ok about resisting that impulse.  I’m really not trying to become the girl-who-cried-fake-boyfriend. Although, I will admit to you now, internet, that I do think that the only thing funnier than doing it once would be doing it twice.

Fun though it may have been to trick everybody again, I decided that I should really be respectful of Phil’s memory.  It was special time we shared together before he realized he was gay and dumped me publicly. I would never want to cheapen that.

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2 responses to “Phil Bobberman”

  1. Catherine Gullickson says :

    I hope you don’t mind if I steal your idea. A fake family might come in handy for my 2012 Christmas photo and newsletter. I sometimes have trouble getting full cooperation from them. A fake one would be so much easier. I’ll be calling you for how-to details.

  2. Kalyani says :

    I really, really enjoyed this story, Gen. Very inspirational to those of us who are the WORST liars in the entire world.

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