About That Time A Pastor Used April Fools’ Day To Make A Pass At Me—Then Turned Around And Invited Me To His Wedding
For some reason this week, I found that I had been bracing myself for some outlandish April Fools’ Day prank to be played on me today. However, as I rode the train into work this morning, it dawned on me that I had never actually been the victim of a funny practical jokester. Then again, there was that one time.
I was 19 years old and still trying to sort through what I wanted to do with my life, professionally. I always knew that I wanted to work in media, but at the time, I’d convinced myself that I wanted to pursue publicity in the gospel music arena. So I began working with several local acts—including a well-known pastor and musician in the area whose church wasn’t too far away from mine.
During our time working together, this pastor, who shall remain nameless, managed to keep things professional. But that all changed on April 2 when he decided to fill me in on the April Fools’ “prank” that he’d planned to play on me the day prior.
“You know, I was going to play an April Fools’ trick on you yesterday,” he informed me on Blackberry Messenger.
“Oh?” I replied.
He proceeded to tell me that he was going to send me a message letting me know that he “wanted” me…”sexually.” Recognizing that this was probably a setup to see if I would be with his shenanigans, but still somehow second guessing myself and hoping that I’d interpreted his words incorrectly, I tried to defuse the situation with the best response that my 19-year-old mind could produce.
“Well, I’m glad you decided against that kind of joke because that would be awkward and I wouldn’t have known how to respond.”
“Well, you would have said ‘yes,’ of course,” he replied.
And then, he continued to press. At this point, my mind went into overdrive. I didn’t want to overreact. On one hand, I knew that this guy was known for his sense of humor. But on the other, I realized that as a 30-something self-proclaimed man of God who was engaged to be married to a very lovely woman, dude had to know that this conversation was completely inappropriate.
I wish that I could tell you that I was assertive and told this guy about himself, but I didn’t. Instead, I got awkwardly silent, unsure of what to say. Apparently, he got the hint and attempted to clean things up while still somewhat leaving the door open. Perhaps he was waiting for me to change my mind.
“Let me change the subject before the devil creeps in,” he texted.
I let out a sigh of relief. It wasn’t until days later when I confided in an older sister in Christ about what had happened that I realized that this had actually taken somewhat of an emotional toll on me.
“Oh no, you can’t work with him anymore,” she told me. “Something like this will only progress.”
What was sad about the experience was that I had developed a level of trust and even began to look up to this guy, but he seemed to want to turn the platonic relationship that we had into something else. So of course, I had to put a stop to our working relationship.
With the exception of an occasional text and an invitation to his wedding (Yes, he tried it), I didn’t hear much from him after that day, which made it easier to end our communication in a non-confrontational way. I suppose it’s true what they say: “a joke is truth wrapped in a smile.”