i Don't Know You

Charlotte barnett


I don’t know you ate tacos last night. And I don’t know you went upstate to see your mom last weekend. I definitely don’t know your ex-girlfriend got highlights on Tuesday, nor do I think they’re ugly or that they’re too brassy for her pasty, vampire-like complexion. I don’t even know what she looks like, so I can safely assume that I’m hotter.

In fact, I know nothing about you until we actually meet.

I don’t know about your summer internship at the Daily Show, I don’t know that your favorite movie is, inexplicably, “The Legend of Bagger Vance,” and I don’t know that your cat had feline AIDS and that you wrote an article about it in your high school newspaper. I didn’t read that article and don’t know that it’s riddled with grammatical errors but is, ultimately, endearing and must have looked good on your college application.

I don’t know five of your best friends’ first and last names, what colleges they attended, various food allergies, or their astrological signs. I actually don’t know who they are until you introduce me. And when I meet them, I don’t have to pretend to be surprised when you tell me you all went on a cross-country road trip together March 8-25, 2013.

I don’t know your street address in Brooklyn, your parents’ social security numbers, or that your nickname in elementary school was “buttcakes.” I don’t have to jump to the conclusion that you’re a serial killer based on one photo of you with questionable footwear from two years ago. It’s just you and me, learning things about each other over time and in real life. The old-fashioned way.

But what I love most, what makes me happiest in this pre-social media fantasy, is that you don’t know me. You don’t know that I had, essentially, a bowl cut from the years 2000-2004. You don’t know that I ever went to a Clay Aiken concert. You don’t know that the reason I went to the Clay Aiken concert was because I loved Clay Aiken (not ironically). You don’t know that I was once a contestant on an online dating game show, one where I didn’t get picked by the bachelor. You don’t know that I used to pretend to like sports.

And you will never, ever know that I made a video called “How to Be a Cat,” which is exactly what it sounds like.