I really dislike Ashton Kutcher and his self-referential comedy empire. I hate the idea of being punk’d or that I can no longer trust the tabloid photographs because of “Pop Fiction.” After this past April Fool’s Day, however, I think he might be on to something. Just by changing my Facebook relationship status, I was able to convince my circle of friends that I was, at the tender age of 21, engaged.
It just goes to show how much Facebook dictates reality. I changed my relationship status at midnight, and by 9 a.m., I began to receive congratulations. Despite my guilt and anxiety, my plan fell into place. I didn’t actually have to tell anyone; the News Feed was my free announcement.
Of course, I needed three accomplices: the fiancée, the roommate and my former “It’s Complicated” relationship partner. I’m glad I cleared it with him first. As backup, my roommate loomed around looking sullen and apathetic, pretending to be happy for me.
Oddly though, I found I was really good at pretending to be engaged. Everything sprang from my mouth without rehearsal. Why no ring? Oh, it’s getting sized. You know me and my giant man-hands. Sometimes I said that we both felt that engagement rings were anti-feminist. I said that there were more important things to spend money on. All of these sentiments are completely true; my lies weren’t lies, just the context.
I will admit that timing played a big part in the prank. Sunday marked our two-year anniversary, he came to town to visit and there was a newly posted Facebook photo of me and the betrothed looking painfully happy..
As I went through the day, I found myself happier. I enjoyed the attention, the validation of my relationship, I even felt somehow more viable. Friends came out of the woodwork to express excitement and praise my choice. Granted, I can only imagine what they said behind my back.. As I write this column, I’m waiting for the clock to strike midnight and the status to be removed. I will miss my day as a pseudo-engaged woman.
So I suppose Facebook does dictate reality. It certainly had me fooled. My accomplices and I agreed that it really did feel like I was engaged. I enjoyed it. After spewing disdain for barely legal marriages and shotgun weddings, here I was tricking myself into thinking these 24 hours were to con other people.
There is far too much to do and far too little mapped out to actually stick with the hoax. Plus, what an awful story to tell people: “Oh, well, actually we were engaged as an April Fool’s joke and it just kind of … stuck.”
Some people couldn’t completely hide their shock and disdain. And
I really appreciated the genuine shock. I’d hope people would know me better than to believe I’d stumble into a commitment so early. I hope I’d know myself that well, too.
__Charlotte Savino is a Confusion Corner columnist. She plans to create a Facebook event to invite guests to her real wedding.__