I Gaslit My Friends Into Thinking I Was Related to Nev Schulman From “Catfish”

Yeah, he’s my cousin!

Who knew a shared Jewish last name could lead to ample possibility for manipulation? I did, I guess.

It all started out perfectly innocent, as watching MTV shows often does. I was binging Catfish with a group of friends freshman year, and as soon as the opening credits hit I knew what I had to do.

“You know he’s my cousin right?”

Three heads turned away from the Lewis common room TV to look at me, mouths agape. One girl asked why I hadn’t thought to mention that three episodes ago.

“Oh, you know, I’m not that close with my cousins on my dad’s side.”

There was skepticism among them all, but nothing a casual pathological liar like myself couldn’t handle. To requests to see pictures, I simply said that Nev wouldn’t let me post or save any of our photos together due to his deep-seated distrust for the internet. After someone else asked if we could call him, I informed her that Nev was busy shooting his next semi-autobiographical film titled “Catfish The Movie 2: Somehow It Happened Again!!”

And so the bit marched on. For months my friends believed that I shared blood with the iconic reality host and Facebook detective. In a way, I feel like I do. I may have gaslit my friends into thinking I was related to Nev Schulman, but I still feel a connection to the guy.

He’s the star of an original film about his own heartbreak. I rewatch my own Tik Toks frequently to try and perceive myself, which is kind of the same. He has a TV show. I have an unpublished chapbook of poetry. So we’re both creatives. He was on Dancing With the Stars. And I love to dance.

Maybe we’re more alike than I thought. Maybe I’ll invite him to get a DNA test.

Welcome back to Kenyon, bitches. America’s hotbed of third-rate celebrity descendants (and psychological manipulation over stupid things). <3 xoxo.

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