Have you ever faked a phone call to escape a situation?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| October 27, 2012

Last night at dinner, sitting at a table next to a booth occupied by a couple, I saw something very strange happen. I had heard about it, but up until last night I had never actually seen it happen before. There was a small part of me that thought it never happened, actually. Because it’s just rude, to say the least. But, last night I saw a woman playing with her iPhone, and then suddenly tap the screen, and take a phone call. Without warning, she was on the phone, had to excuse herself from the booth, and left the man to sit around and wait.

It took several minutes before she came back. As soon as she did, she told him that she had to leave, and so she packed up her stuff and took off. The guy was kind of shell-shocked, but it was in that moment that I realized they were on a date. And, from the looks of it, a first date that didn’t go quite as well as he thought it would. So, why was this interesting to me?

Because that lady didn’t get a phone call.

From where I was seated at my table, I could see her screen. I couldn’t make out specifics, but she was texting someone. And then, while still in that same area, she just tapped the screen and took the call. I mean, it was strange enough that it didn’t make a sound (you know, ring), but that could be explained by having the device on silent or vibrate. But, the screen didn’t change. No incoming call or anything.

She actually answered a fake call. She pretended to get a phone call, so she could leave the date.

Like I said earlier, I’ve heard of this type of thing happening, but I’d never seen it before. In fact, I thought it was just something that happened in movies. If I hadn’t seen it in person, I never would have thought people did it in the real world. I mean, it’s just so fake. Even the conversation itself had to look fake, because the guy’s face clearly showed a look of sheer disbelief.

I know that sometimes we’re put in a situation that we don’t like, or a place that we may not be too fond of. And maybe it looks like the quickest way out would be to answer a phone call, which would probably be assumed to be important, depending on the situation you find yourself in, and the fact you’re answering a call. You’re free to excuse yourself from a situation, a place, or just a conversation by simply putting a phone to your head and walking away. Maybe making a hand gesture to suggest, “I’ll be right back.”

The quick and painless way out of a conversation. But I honestly can’t see it looking “realistic,” simply because the whole thing is a farce. The conversation itself would seem forced, to me. But, the strangest part is the fact that you aren’t really on your phone. What if you’re on the phone and someone starts calling? If you don’t remove yourself from the people you are trying to avoid, that would surely ruin the whole show. Even a text message could bring the whole charade to a crashing halt.

And that would have to be a pretty embarrassing moment, right?

So I have a simple question for all of you. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve pretended to answer the phone so you could escape? And, if you have, have you ever been caught in the act? If you haven’t done it, is it something you’ve thought about doing?

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