It wasn’t me.
I know the physical resemblance confused you, and I’m sorry if she deceived you with all those coy glances and blatantly false career tales.
But you have to blame Chantal.
My alter ego.
Split personalities have evolved from a mark of insanity to a sign of party prowess.
Small identity changes are expected in nightlife’s conversations.
A fake boyfriend. An upgraded profession. A tweaked relationship status.
But many partiers combine those lies into one collectively false identity — the kind rooted in a pre-party conversation beginning with, “So who are we gonna be tonight?”
If you’re really good, your “club name” has already earned a spot of distinction in many unsuspecting cell phone contact lists.
Paired with a false phone number, of course.
A sign of mental delusion? Not with popular culture’s OK.
Just look at some of music’s alter egos:
Hip-hop artist T.I. has T.I.P. Country singer Garth Brooks has Chris Gaines.
Even music diva Beyonce devoted half the songs on a recent two-disc release to her alter ego, Sasha Fierce.
Now I don’t feel so bad about once telling a male pursuer stories of my military career.
In a town like Columbus, where pickup odds are staked against guys, a convincing alter ego can be the difference between sought-after heartthrob and creepy bystander.
For women, a detail-packed story about a long-distance boyfriend can help fend off male admirers on nights when “no thanks” pulls as much punch as an amaretto sour.
Whether used to attract admirers or detract stalkers, the alter ego enhances nightlife’s chief draw: escapism.
It gives its users the chance to guiltlessly believe in a night with no bearing on reality.
But the alter ego is most effective in short doses.
Which isn’t the greatest thing in a relationship world where one-time conversations have potential to unexpectedly ignite a longer connection.
Eventually, your mate might ask for a tour of that factory where you work 9 to 5 testing the gravitational pull of chili cheese fries.
Not such a fail-safe lie after all, huh?
When alter egos become the rule, rather than the exception, nightlife conversations take on a bitter tone of inquisition.
A focus on separating fact from fiction makes you lose sight of what really matters.
You know, hooking up.
A temporary identity change can be thrilling. Things get dangerous, however, when you’re consumed by nightlife stories that are no longer your own.
If you indulge in your alter ego too often, you’re on the way to an identity crisis.
So keep the fake digits on hand, but take one night to party in the world where honesty really is the best policy.
At least that’s what Chantal would say.
Contact Sonya Sorich at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8516.