Today on campus, I overheard a conversation between two women. It wasn’t a quiet one. In fact, they were all but yelling.
Woman 1: “No wonder everyone thinks we’re a lesbian couple!”
Woman 2: “Well, if you would just stay off me…”
Woman 1: “You won’t stop buying me stuff!”
Considering tomorrow is April 1, that conversation reminds me of the best/worst April Fools’ joke I’ve ever played. Eight or nine years ago, a good friend of mine was engaged to be married. For whatever reason, this friend and I decided to post separate online declarations of love to one another and make it so her fiance was sure to see them. I don’t remember how we pulled this off, especially if we weren’t on Facebook (it’s hard to remember a time before Facebook). But we got our intended effect: he freaked out upon reading that his betrothed was secretly in love with a woman. We were both amused, but looking back, it feels like kind of a crappy thing to do, and not just because of the “Haha! Lesbians!” angle. We only kept him in suspense for a few hours, but I wonder at the wisdom of playing with someone’s emotions like that.
The relationship didn’t last, by the way, but not because of homosexuality, be it fake or otherwise.
The older I get, though, the less novel and exciting April Fools’ Day seems. The best kind of joke would genuinely shock your friends and family without causing them great and lasting emotional trauma; those jokes are hard to find and even harder to pull off. For a while, all my female friends and half of my male ones fell pregnant on April 1. It’s not a bad joke, necessarily. It involves sex, and sex has the inherent ability to freak people out, but it’s definitely overplayed at this point.
Maybe April 1 has lost some of its luster partly because the Internet seems like one big fake-out nowadays. It’s hard to tell if that crazy photo your cousin posted is real or just another trick/ad engineered by Jimmy Kimmel/a clothing company/the Scientologists. For every million hits a viral video gets, there will be another million people trying to prove the video is a fake. I admit I fall into the latter group, as I hate being taken for a fool, be it on April 1 or any other day of the year. I’d rather be called the ugliest, craziest wench alive than be called stupid (OK, I’d actually rather not be called any of that).
If you are actually having a gay affair/pregnant, don’t announce it tomorrow. Wait until Wednesday, when people will ask, “Wait a second. Is this a late April Fool?”