By Sujeiry Gonzalez
When I was in high school I loved April Fools Day. I was the ultimate prankster. In competition with myself, I tried to outdo my antics every year. My dorm mates were privy to my ways. Yes, I lived in a dorm as an adolescent. The perks of going to private school in Andover, Massachusetts.
Living down the hall from my friends made April Fool’s Day that more exciting. I could sneak into their room and switch their shampoo with lotion. I could pack all their clothes while they were in class and leave them with empty closets. Done and done! But my favorite April Fool’s prank was when I tied two doorknobs that faced each other, and then hollered, “Fire!” Simultaneously, my friends opened their doors only to be left in a panic. Evil, I know, but I let them out — eventually.
The following year I decided to top my evil genius. I enlisted the help of my friend, Sharon, and we plotted. What’s the worst thing we can joke about? At a boarding school? With all these goody-goody straight A students? Pregnancy. Sharon and I concocted a plan where we would feign her pregnancy — First Response test and all — and leave said test on her desk for her roommate to find. Her roomie was an extra goody-goody; we knew she’d rat Sharon out. And she did.
The prank led to an interrogation by concerned faculty and a call to Sharon’s momma — and mine! Gulp. They did not find our joke funny! Cause pregnancy, ladies, is no laughing matter. Whether you are 16 or 26, pretending to be knocked up for a laugh is just mean. I know that now.
Other people, however, haven’t learned this valuable lesson. Apparently, fake pregnancy announcements are a thing of the present. On April Fools Day, tons of pranksters will record viral videos to announce they are expecting. They’ll share their “news” on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to receive attention and social media buzz because even your momma will like your post — and she hardly knows how to text. Your family and friends will be excited because they’re going to be grandma’s, grandpa’s, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews, and it’s all a big fat joke to potentially get a guest spot on Jimmy Kimmel. Cold blooded.
I know, who am I to talk? Poor Sharon stopped talking to me after our prank. But, I was 17-years-old. The folks that are faking pregnancy announcements are adults. And very insensitive ones. Not only are they encouraging and then disappointing loved ones, but imagine how difficult it is for a “friend” on Facebook that’s suffering from fertility issues, and really wants a baby, to read a pregnancy announcement and later learn it was a cruel joke. I know many women who have one child and can’t have another.
Recently, I met a woman who has tried to get pregnant for the last 11 years and even started IVF. For six years, she injected herself with hormones. For six years she hoped it would take and it didn’t. She tried adoption and that didn’t pan out as the mother decided to keep her baby after all. It would be so difficult for her to receive a call from a friend, saying, “I’m pregnant!” and hours later view the prank on YouTube. Again, cold blooded.
So this year for April Fool’s Day keep the pranks light, fun and compassionate. I, for one, have hung up my Big Prankster hat. Frankly, I’m too old and too pregnant to tie doorknobs with rope.
Sujeiry Gonzalez is the founder of Love Sujeiry – a brand for love and beauty – and Publisher of LoveSujeiry.com. The Rodan + Fields consultant has authored two books that help women navigate the world of dating and love (Dating RITE: Advice on Dating Woes from Your Go-to Chica and Love Trips: A Collection of Relationship Stumbles) and provides dating and beauty advice daily.