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If I ever catfished someone, it would be done ethically. I wouldn't do it for financial gain or revenge. Without a scintilla of malice, I would go through all the trouble of creating an impressive persona, stealing some innocent woman's photos off the internet, inventing a make-believe family and friends with jaw-dropping backstories, taking detailed notes of all my lies and memorizing them rigorously. I would do all that just to sharpen my creativity and persuasion skills.
My fake identity would be Svetlana, 5' 10, blonde, turquoise-eyed, a Russian hamster breeder who could recite chapters of War and Peace from memory, play superb tennis, and make yummy piroshki (little pies) while doing triple somersaults.
I would send a message to the dazzling Russian woman whose photos I stole. I would write, "I'm sorry," without offering any further explanation. Chances are she would think I was crazy and delete my message without responding. But if she wrote back, I would reply with the emojis of an upside-down face, a speak-no-evil monkey and a crying cat, to validate her assumption about my insanity.
My carefully chosen victim wouldn't be a hopeless romantic, prone to crying fits and anxiety-induced vomiting. I would pick someone lighthearted, unsentimental, and very capable of bouncing back quickly after finding out his "Svetlana" was actually chipmunk-faced, vertically challenged, occasionally plagued by adult acne, and only looked cute in subdued lighting.
I would make him like me but not fall head-over-heels in love with me. It's a sophisticated tactic, which I think I would be able to pull off. For example, I would tell him how I single-handedly rescued three Chihuahua puppies from Vladimir Putin's tiger cage, and then in the next breath, complain about the black-blue fetid fungus on my big toe. I would speak of my daily volunteer service at a homeless shelter as well as my nightly habit of sporadic farting.
After a few months or so, I would reveal my true identity. Along with my confession, I would also offer him 2 compensation options to choose from: a basket of authentic piroshki or a self-help book to get over betrayal in 14 days. If he was able to handle it with minimal resentment, I would utter a big sigh of relief. If he went on a rampage, I would send him both the piroshki basket and the book, plus a thirty-dollar Starbucks gift card.
Then my guilt would start to eat me alive and turn my vivacious soul into a shriveled husk. For a while, I would keep asking myself, "Oh, what have I done?" But as a natural positive thinker, I wouldn't dwell on guilt for too long. I would look back and realize how creative and persuasive I had been during those months of my catfishing endeavor. Pride would then replace remorse. And before I knew it, my creative juices would start flowing again. Yoko, an avant-garde artist who painted fifty paintings in one day with her butt cheeks, would take the place of the mundane hamster breeder, Svetlana. "Ha! New identity. New adventure," I would tell myself.