a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's Not Funny

It's April Fool's Day today and I have to admit that while I think I have a really good sense of humor, I don't really take jokes well, or perhaps better put--I don't take well to being the butt of a joke.

I don't actually know how true the following story is, but it's the way I recall the ordeal and for the purposes of my therapy sessions, that's what matters, right?

One year, when my sister and I were elementary school age (I don't think that my brother had started school yet), my parents decided to play an April Fool's Day joke on us. It must have been the end of a grading period or coincided with the beginning of spring break, or something, but for whatever reason, April Fool's Day fell on a school holiday that year. Denise and I were sitting on the floor in our pajamas playing on dad's (waaaaay old school) computer. The way I remember it, it might have been PacMan. Anyway, there we were, enjoying our day off, when the phone rang. I don't remember which of our parents answered the phone, only that the one sided conversation on our end sounded something like this:
"Ah yes! How are you?"
"Really?? Oh no..."
"Of course! They're right here..."
And then the phone was passed to one of us, maybe both of us in turn. The voice on the other end said something like this:
"Hello. This is Mr. Davis, principle at Moore Elementary. I'm wondering why you aren't at school today. This is a school day, and everyone else is here..."
From this point things get a bit fuzzy, as I may have blacked out from panic and fear. You have to understand that my sister and I were model students, and I guess, pretty gullible too. I seem to remember bursting into tears and streaking frantically into the other room to try and dress for school. Life was over.

Like I said, I'm not really sure how much of that story is actually true. I'm pretty sure that one April Fool's Day, a friend of the family called pretending to be the school principal--as for the accuracy of the rest, we're going to have to check with my sister and parents. I'm not sure if it was something my parents thought up or not. I have to wonder, if it was, at what point they realized that they may have gone too far and had to try and talk us down from the tearful and terrified frenzy in which found ourselves. If that part was even as bad as I remember.

So, I've never much liked April Fool's Day. It always seems to me to be a very mean spirited day. That being said, looking back, after all the tears were dried, I can't help but wonder if my parents got a good laugh out of the whole thing. I mean, come on, it must have been pretty funny. We were so serious and studious. Who would have thought we'd take it so dramatically? It's something I sometimes ponder now as a parent myself--how can I avoid (as much as possible) being insensitive to my child's sensitivities? To some extent, it will be unavoidable, and I suppose that's just part of life.

Thinking about this today, I remembered this video I saw a long time ago on You Tube. You may have seen it already, but I thought it tied in perfectly today, what with laughing at a child's obvious heartfelt concern. Terrible, right? I know. Just try not to laugh though...


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