It’s April fools day, everybody! All around the country, people are playing with one another. I dig it. I stupidly chose this day to announce on the Internet that I am moving to Hawaii in 8 weeks, and now all of my friends not inside my core communication sphere (those people knew this has been brewing) think it’s a joke. Boy, will they be surprised come June when my Instagram feed is brimming with pictures of me hacking down coconuts.
But this post is not about my up-and-coming move. It’s about playing pretend. I have never actually pretended to be someone else during sex. While I am down for some dress up, full on role playing and I have never become acquainted. I am happy enough to be “Z dressed like school girl.” It has never really occurred to me to then ACT like a school girl.
But a type of pretend playing I am familiar with is pretending to be strangers. Not in bed. In public. This is something my boyfriend and I do randomly, and it started one evening on the train, without any planning.
We were riding a busy subway, on the way to an art show where his work was going to be exhibited. We started making flirty eye contact, and he started up small talk as if we had never met before. I played right along. We talked about the weather. (He had an umbrella. I had none.) I asked him where he was going. He explained the show. When his stop came, he asked if I wanted to come with him, and I said I did. He let me walk under his umbrella, offering me the the nook of his arm like a gentleman, and the charade (and awkward small talking) continued until we got to the show venue. We were late, rushed inside, and forgot the game we had been playing.
But while we were playing! In pretending to be nervous, I became nervous. I fumbled and bumbled and blushed. It was sweet, and it made my heart all fluttery. It took what would have been a somewhat boring train ride and turned it into something exciting. (I also have this weird dream about meeting someone on public transportation. When I was younger, I took the train down south to my college a few times, and basically thought I would one day marry every some-what decent looking person who decided to sit next to me. Nothing more romantic than Amtrak, amiright?)
Anyway, the boyfriend and I have since played this game several times, usually at restaurants while waiting for our food to come. We pretend it’s our first date. Sometimes we make up things about ourselves, and sometimes we present ourselves the way we actually would if we were strangers.
We never plan these matches out…maybe one day we will meet at a bar on purpose and let the game really rage. For now, the games have been at random. One of us will ping-pong a playful vibe at the other, and we’re off.
This type of play is, I am assuming, what makes role play so sizzling. You get so wrapped up in pretending, that those feelings become real. When you know someone well, you can lose appreciation for what makes them so unique. You can forget why you fell for them in the first place. As a child, you probably played like this all the time. I am not sure when we learn that this type of play is “silly,” or when we outgrow it, but most of us undoubtedly do. If we didn’t there would be a ton more people galloping around their office pretending to be a pony in order to make faxing files more appealing.
Happy April Fools, guys. Go take your partner on an awkward first date. Unless you’re actually GOING on a first date. In that case, you should pretend you and your date have been married for years. Be sure to play up the baby talk, mention your hemorrhoids and/or IBS, discuss the education of your (hypothetical) children, and grope them under the table. Then, just as they’re clawing their eyes out and/or are making a mad dash for the door, you can “APRIL FOOLS!” them. They will then see your shining sense of humor and fall madly in love with you. (April fools. Don’t do this.)
Also, just a quick humble brag: In the spirit of April Fools, my colleague Nick (go read his terrific entertainment and pop culture blog or die) and I April Fooled the fuck out of our boss! At the end of our daily editorial deadline, we turned in batches of fake stories for them to proofread. These articles were littered with profanities, made fun of our clients, and would generally get all of us fired if they were run. One of the articles was entirely in spanish. The last article was titled “How to Punk Your Boss on April Fools Day.” It was amazing. Our boss loved it so much, she told us it made her “hate her real job.” If that sentiment isn’t grounds for a raise, I don’t know what is.
Okay, tell me your best April Fools pranks ever! Do you and your partner play pretend? Do you make like a pony at the office?