Lori Gottlieb got a little crush on a magazine writer. She never met him – just knew him from his work and photo and profile in the magazine. So she wrote him a letter and made up a story that they might have met before, at an airport years earlier. She said they’d talked about her ambitions and concerns about the future. It was the kind of intimate conversations strangers can sometimes have in public places, then part ways and never meet again. She wondered (she said in the letter) if he was the man she’d met at the airport?
She admits now that it was a dumb idea. But even back when she did it, she resolved that if he got in touch, and if they hit it off, she’d admit right away that it was a white lie.
To be clear: That conversation never happened. Not with the magazine writer, not with anyone. Gottlieb made the whole thing up.
Months later, the writer called Gottlieb. He said he was in town, wanted to meet her, that he was definitely the man she’d spoken with, and he remembered the conversation vividly.
Mind Games 2016[This American Life/podcast]:
Stories of people who try simple mind games on others, and then find themselves in way over their heads.