Sorry wrong number
I met her on Five Star BBS, a semi-friend of a semi-friend. We talked a lot, our mutual semi-friend moving off to Vegas (Vegas!) in the interim. When I read mainstream articles like [The 4 worst pick-up places…] I ask myself why they never mention gay BBS's as great place for tvs to meet women. But I digress.
Her name was Jazz. I don't remember what my name was, so will use the anachronistic but aesthetically-effective "Flouncy".
Eventually I sent her my phone number (more accuately, our phone number since D and I are living together ... I think I explained it pretty well), and she sent hers back. One rainy Sunday afternoon, it seemed the right time, so I called the number she had sent. A woman answered the phone.
"Hi, Jazz. This is Jon ... Flouncy ..."
"No, not here. Sorry, wrong number."
I was a little bit surprised. Not at the possibility -- it's a well-known tactic -- but at it's deployment here. I thought we had agreed that it was okay for either of us to try Identity Online to move on to new "more-real" personas, or "more-real" details about the current persona. It was fine if she didn't want to do that, but I would have thought she'd have told me or answered when I told her. Oh well. Not the first time I've been wrong. Hope we stay friends. A little disappointing, but it would be churlish to call right back.
Thirty minutes later, our phone rings.
"Yes. You called me earlier?"
"That was you?"
"No, it was my friend. We're making dinner together. She hadn't ever heard me use the name Jazz."
It was in fact a legit miscommunication.
For some reason, we tend to underestimate the likelihood of stuff like this -- no evil or disinterested intent, just stuff getting in the way. Phone numbers do get misspoken or lost. Email does vanish (sometimes by Intoxicated user error, but the effect is the same). It's natural to leap to the worst possible conclusion ... allow for it, but don't insist on it.