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Guy’s Panicked Decision To Pretend He’s Deaf During Online Course Somehow Doesn’t Blow Up In His Face

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Have you ever had a misunderstanding go bad on you?

Like, sitcom-level bad?

Redditor yeetawayaccount101 recalled that “Time [He] F**ked Up,” or TIFU, to Reddit with a story worthy of That’s So Raven in it’s absurdness.

Minus the psychic powers.

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His tale was titled:

“TIFU by pretending to be deaf for the entire quarantine.”

It started when our original poster, or OP, zoned out.

“So, three months ago or whenever it was that the Quarantine started I started an online course for a few subjects. To provide some background, these aren’t my school classes or anything and I’ve never met these people before.”

“There are maybe ten other kids in class and the teacher is actually pretty great.”

“So the first two days go pretty well but on the third day I f*** up big time. We were in between a Physics class that had already been going on for an hour and I’d completely gotten distracted half way through.”

“I have an incredibly low attention span and this was already too much for me.”

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So when the teacher called on him, the misunderstandings started.

“When the teacher called my name to answer his question, I had no idea what he’d been talking about so I tried to google it. However I have crappy internet so it took like really long to load and the teacher was getting pissed as to why I wasn’t responding and why I was typing.”

“So, completely freaking out I decided to text him on the Google Meet chat and make an excuse that my laptop’s audio AND microphone are not working today and I’ve been reading the subtitles which take quite some time to load so I hadn’t quite gotten his question.”

“In my immense panic I phrased this somewhat vaguely and said – ‘I can’t actually hear I’ve been reading the subtitles they take quite some time to load’.”

“To which the instructor said – ‘Oh! I’m so sorry. I wasn’t aware that you are deaf’.”

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OP didn’t correct the teacher.

And then went a step further buying a hearing aid.

“In my intense panic and anxiety I just went along with it.  Dumb as f’k.”

“It actually worked out fine, I’d type out all the answers sent to me and even bought a hearing aid that I sometimes wore in class.”

“Now I say sometimes because I don’t actually have the focus and commitment to remember to put it on every class. When asked about it I told the people in class that even with the hearing aid I can’t hear much so I don’t usually bother wearing it.”

“They bought it.”

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Somehow his class not only didn’t figure out the truth, but they found it endearing.

“Everyone in class likes me a lot now too and they find me very endearing. There’s a girl, Carla who says I have the most beautiful smile she’s ever seen.”

“So this was actually going really well for me. But like most of my antics, this backfired on me big time.”

Begin the backfiring…

“When I made this godforsaken decision all that time ago I was sure I’d get away with it. We were never going to meet [in real life] (irl).”

“However, about a week ago the instructor decided to meet irl as the lockdown in my country has been lifted. I spent all night watching videos of deaf people and trying to figure out how to behave.”

“I decided to pretend to also be completely [unable to speak] so I wouldn’t have to try to speak like them. It seemed very hard and I didn’t want to try.”

“So anyway we meet up and everything goes well. No one uncovers my secret or anything.”

“I spend the entire irl meet with Carla who is completely stunning in real life. She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s kind.”

“We keep handing each other notes on tissue papers and it’s the cutest shit ever. I haven’t ever been this attracted to anyone in my entire life.”

“Toward the end of the meet however, Carla hands me a tissue paper with one little heartbreaking sentence on it.”

The sentence?

“Will you date me?”

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Uh-oh.

“Panicking, I tell her I need some time to think and she’s chill with it.”

“I’m supposed to be meeting up with her tomorrow. I can’t pretend to be deaf and dumb while dating her it’s f’king impossible but if I have to keep this charade up I’ll have to let her go and I don’t want to do that either.”

“There’s also the other option where I tell her it was all an act. Best case scenario is the extreme embarrassment + amazing girlfriend and the worst case scenario is she thinks I’m an a**hole and I lose her anyway.”

What a pickle!

Reddit dropped in with some advice for OP and his seemingly impossible situation.

“Might as well tell her the truth. She, like some of us, may find it hilarious. She already likes you for a reason. If that reason is because you’re deaf, the relationship wasn’t going to work anyways.”

“If you want this to have any chance of turning into something, you are going to have to be honest with her right away. Tell her what happened and that you feel bad. Tell her that you like her too much to lie to her.”

“If she likes you for you, and not the fact that you’re deaf, I think it should work out. She may get turned off by the fact that you lied about being deaf, but I think if you’re honest and make it clear that you don’t want a relationship built on lies, it should work.”

“I would make sure that you say something to the effect of you like her, and you don’t want any relationship with her to be built on a lie.”~bruek53

“Show her this post. It explains everything. Let her read it and watch her face. If she’s really cool she might think it’s hilarious and you’ll be telling your grandkids the idiot move that led you to their grandmother.”

“Btw: I’m rooting for it working out and someone basing a heartfelt rom-com on your story someday.”~tomchickb

“Honestly dude, just tell her you had been pretending to be deaf the whole time. Had I been in her place I would just have laughed at the situation, and hopefully her sense of humour is as dense as mine. Best of luck.”~CannyToon

“Just tell her that you were distracted in the beginning of physics class and so you said that you meant to say your laptop mic and speaker were broken but went along with what the teacher said for the sake of not getting embarrassed. She might even think it’s a bit funny. Go for it.”~OtDreamMaker

Though admittedly, solid advice for this situation is incredibly challenging.

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“There are two solutions here:”

“1. Be honest and let her know you lied and hope she reacts well and thinks it’s funny”

“2. Find a friend who will lie through their teeth for you. Then tell her you’re not deaf and you made a bet with that friend for $100 (or whatever currency you use) that you couldn’t pretend to be deaf during class for the entire lockdown.”

“Option 1 is the moral thing to do and what you should do. Option two is less likely to make her angry as it gives a valid reason for what you did. She might think you’re a complete idiot, but it’s also kind of amusing, so she might find it funny.”

“Personally I’d go with option one, explain what happened then say you were too embarrassed to correct your teacher. People generally understand social anxiety and not wanting to correct people, so she might be cool with it if you explain.”~steelcryo

“Look, the only way to fix a lie of this magnitude is with a new, bigger lie. Just tell her that you’re getting cochlear implants! You can tell her you lost your hearing when you were 5 so you know how to speak perfectly.”

“If the issue of sign language ever comes up, just tell her that your insanely religious parents never allowed you to learn because they believed that the lord would heal you if they were devout enough. Then all you have to do is get your parents to go along with the plan or kill them.”

“Also shoot an email to your extended family and close friends letting them know that you’ve moved to another country. Dye your hair, have a little plastic surgery and assume a new name and identity. Simple.”~ConstanziaCorleone

“You bought.. a hearing aid? You bought.. a $2000 dollar piece of equipment.. to pull this off ???? Even if your insurance covered it (kaiser permanents does not, it’s considered a cosmetic expense) it would still be like a couple hundred dollars. or did you buy an old hearing aid? Where did you even find one?”

“Source: am deaf.  Also, she passed you a note saying ‘will you date me?’ Are you living in high school musical?”~twofacedcap

OP provided us with the update we were all dying to hear.

“So basically I prepared really hard for the date, googled what the appropriate flowers for apologizing for your lies are and got her White Orchids. I then put on my best clothes and set out.”

“She’d come to the date with a cute little notepad and two pencils for us to write notes in which melted me instantly but I was so anxious and nervous that at first I couldn’t bring myself to tell her. But as we sat waiting for our order to arrive, I kinda snapped cause of guilt and scribbled down into the notebook.”

He decided to come clean.

“‘Hey, there’s not easy way to break this but I’m not actually deaf . . . ‘ To which she replied with, ‘I know you’re not deaf but you ARE pretty dumb :),’ At which point I said ‘What the f***?!’ out loud.”

“She then laughed and explained that she’d thought I was so cute that she’d googled me long ago and found my Instagram which has highlighted stories from concerts where I’m screaming and vibing. So she only asked me out to figure out for how long I’d keep it going.”

Somehow, this didn’t end up blowing up in his face.

“So she was actually playing me the whole time. I was feeling pretty bummed that she only wanted to date me for that but nevertheless I apologized profusely and showed her the Reddit post to explain myself.”

“Best.move.ever. (Thank you so much everyone in the comments who asked me to do this). She found the post funny and cute and ‘adorkable’. I told her I totally understand if she wants to end the date now but she didn’t! We had a great time and aren’t officially dating or anything but we did set a second date for next Wednesday.”

OP’s date was incredibly understanding for something so wild.

“She also told me that while she understands why I did what I did and that anxiety, especially social anxiety is so hard to deal with but she also believes that I was a little offensive especially with the hearing aid. She explained to me why that was so insensitive and I’d like to apologize for anyone I might have offended on here, it really wasn’t my intention!”

“Also, for our second date we’re planning to volunteer at a centre for deaf kids so I can redeem myself. Thank you Reddit, y’all might’ve just got me a girlfriend!”

So, we guess this qualifies as a happy ending?

But really, don’t pretend to be disabled—in some cases it’s illegal. Just be honest when you zone out.

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Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.