Oh you know I wasn’t going to let April Fool’s Day pass by without attempting to play a joke on the husband.
But which joke to play?
I consulted my siblings about my dilemma over drinks the other night.
“Why don’t you tell him Jolie’s dead?”, my brother Janss suggested.
There are two problems with this scenario.
First, Jolie is back in Minnesota with Scott. This obviously means that convincing him of her untimely demise would be practically impossible.
Secondly, even if we were somehow able to get him to believe that Trudy had kicked the bucket, I’m concerned as to how he would handle such devastating news.
Translation: I suspect that in a rash act of dog grief, he may take his own life.
I, ridden with guilt and regret, would be forced to do the same.
It would be exactly like Romeo and Juliet, but instead of a deep-rooted family feud, the catalyst would be a seven-pound chihuahua.
Upon realizing just how bad Janss’ idea was, my sister Hayley offered herself us as the April Fool’s Day sacrificial lamb.
“Why don’t you just tell him I finally came out of the closet?”, she chirped.
It was genius. In the eight years Scott has known my younger sister, he’s sworn up and down she’s a lesbian in hiding. Despite the parade of boyfriends she’s marched through our lives and her affinity for going on dates with his male friends.
Take it from me, the person who knows her best — Hayley is not a lesbian.
Not that it would be a problem if she was. We love lesbians. But calling her a lesbian is like calling me a senator. Clearly false, and not something that will ever come to fruition in this lifetime.
At least the state of Minnesota should hope not, as my first act as senator would be to slap the Lacoste alligator on the state flag and get rid of taxes.
Scott suspects Hayley’s childhood best friend, we’ll call her “Sally”, is…well…more than just a childhood best friend. I decided to set up the prank two days in advance by texting the following:
“Ugh….Sally is totally crashing my weekend with Hayley. Boo.”
“You’re just mad that their love trumps having her take you shopping.”
He was buying it…hook line and lesbian.
Waiting two days to unleash our brilliant scheme was difficult, but wait I did.
And finally, at around noon on April Fool’s Day, I sent a frantic text explaining that I had walked in on an intimate moment between Hayley and Sally.
I waited for his response.
And waited some more.
And ate a disgustingly large cinnamon french toast breakfast platter, and waited some more.
Eventually, Hayley and I decided we should just take a nap. (A non-lesbian nap.)
When we awoke ninety minutes later, this message was waiting on my phone.
He was trying to get back at me with his own little joke.
At least…it seemed like a joke.
But it’s really unusual for him to think of practical details like parking spots and car keys.
And he does love Portland.
And he did send me this text while shopping at Nordstrom Rack yesterday…
Followed by photos of way too many shoes for a straight man to send via MMS.
I immediately texted him back.
When he didn’t respond after ten minutes, I called.
It went straight to voicemail. Probably because he was on a flight to Portland that very moment.
Hours passed, and no calls or text. That was it. It wasn’t a joke.
I decided that we would still be friends. I love him as a spouse, but I could love him as just a friend if that’s what he needed. I would stay in Minnesota with Jolie. Start fresh. We’d split things down the middle. I’d still see his family. Maybe I’d even finally get to be a flower girl when he wed his new life partner. Out of respect, I’d wait at least a year before applying to be a contestant on The Bachelor. It would be the picture of amicable.
At this point, Hayley slapped me across the face, in a desperate attempt to get the crazy out.
But, as I’m sure you’ve already figured out, my crazy runs deep.
I met up with my friend Ui for dinner in Seattle and told her what happened. She assured me I was being ridiculous.
I assured her Scott would never think to tell me a parking lot number unless he had actually abandoned our car there.
And then I figured out how to get him to respond to my messages, which were in the dozens at this point. I sent Scott a final text message, explaining there had been an emergency with a stolen credit card.
While he may not fear Hurricane Katrina, he’s absolutely terrified of bad credit.
And wouldn’t you know it…thirty seconds later, Mr. Portland had come out of the woodwork.
And you know what? It was believable.
Not because Scott is fifteen percent gay, or sends me photos of shoes when he’s shopping.
Not because I truly have doubts about our marriage. (To tell you the truth, I may have exaggerated the above scenario a tad bit for the sake of a humorous blog post.)
And not even because he requested I pick up a pair of “extra short” board shorts for him from Nordstrom while I was in Seattle. (Although that might just bump him up to twenty percent.)
I found it believable because this type of thing happens to people all the time.
I know three separate couples who were married with children before one of them came forward with their true sexual orientation.
People are living their lives as a lie, because they fear what the rest of us straight people will think of them if we discover the truth.
Or, in certain extreme and tragic cases, what we would do to them. The thought that we have made people so afraid and ashamed makes my stomach turn. I mean, think about it. It is insane that our culture has made people this terrified to be openly gay.
I’ve been hesitant to blog candidly about this, because I don’t want to offend anyone I know who may happen to disagree.
But then it hit me.
If I ever experienced discrimination because of my gender, I would speak up.
If I saw a minority experiencing discrimination, I would speak up.
So why am I not speaking up for the homosexual community? A community that many of my friends are a part of?
I’ve been so busy worrying about offending others, I’ve forgotten that I too, have the right to be offended.
And when I see someone who is denied basic rights because of their sexual orientation, I am offended.
When I see hatred, I am offended.
And when I think of how far our nation has come in regards to civil rights, only to backtrack by judging and ridiculing a targeted group of people, I am offended.
This is not meant to reflect the opinions of my workplace, my church, my family, or anyone else at all. This is just me, typing words from the depths of my soul as my heart literally beats through my chest out of fear.
Fear that I will burn bridges and offend someone by writing this.
Fear that I will sincerely regret posting my honest opinion.
Yet I know there’s one thing I will regret more, and that is not writing anything at all.
My fear is nothing compared to the fear members of the homosexual community face every single day.
I’m not saying you have to understand being gay. But would it hurt to treat everyone with the same respect and dignity? Think about it…I bet it wouldn’t be the first time you’ve shown kindness and equality to someone who was different from you.
Whew! Bet you didn’t see the April Fool’s post going in this direction. I know I didn’t.
If this post got you thinking, please post a comment below. I’d love to hear from you whether you agree, disagree, or even just have a funny April Fool’s story to share. I genuinely want to know what you think. Let’s get the conversation started.
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