In a now familiar scenario, a man with a cherished sense of identity, understanding himself to be something that he’s not, threw a tantrum because someone else refused to play along.
It’s true that the experience of “playing pretend” can be diminished, when someone else refuses to be part of your fantasy world. Most of us learn to cope with this crushing kind of disappointment around age four. Indeed, we might often extend the courtesy of playing along with 4-year-olds, for that reason. Grownups, however, need to keep that sort of hobby within a circle of fellow enthusiasts—like Civil War reenactors. In everyday life, the rest of us have no obligation to suspend disbelief for them.