April 1st

April Fool’s Day may be my least favorite day of the year.  I despise pranks.  The idea of people playing a joke on me fills me with the same dread and nervousness that I get when people sing Happy Birthday.  It’s a fear of embarrassment at the core, really.

I remember many years ago when I was tasked by my father to help make breakfast.  I must’ve been 9 or 10.  Scrambling the eggs was my duty, and I set to cracking.  The first egg cracked without issue.  The second one didn’t crack on the first tap.  Second tap.  I hit it harder, yet the shell didn’t budge.  I was frustrated.  What in the world is going on?  It wasn’t boiled.  It didn’t make sense.  I hit it on the edge of the counter again and a small fragment chipped off, revealing a bit of dark brown beneath.  What is that?  I began picking the shell away from the hard interior to find a solid chocolate egg; a shell had been reconstructed around it.  Mom and Dad had watched the whole thing from a distance and found it hilarious.  I did not; I was furious.  It wasn’t until many years later that I was able to look back on that and laugh, if only because my parents found it funny.  Truly, that’s not something that just happens; I don’t recall where the egg came from but it wasn’t a corner store type of product.

At some point in the last few years, 4/1 became synonymous with internet companies pitching products and posting news that were ridiculous in nature; not so much pranks as humorous falsehoods.  Every year I’m amazed at how involved these releases are (Google tends to go all out) and also how many people are taken in by it.  It’s a day I simultaneously want to avoid the internet altogether, yet admire the creativity some folks display.  There’s the dark side of this trend, too; people on Facebook posting about false pregnancies and the tendency of some folks to take a joke too far and bring offense into the mix.  Like any kind of joke, it’s all in good fun until someone loses an eye.  Or pride, I suppose.

It’s less than a week ’til my birthday.  Last year was a success with many of my friends descending on my house for Nintendo-fueled enjoyment.  It was my first birthday without Dad, which cast a bit of a shadow, but in my memory it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been considering he’d been gone less than three months.  Man, time sure flies.  Every time I see my Mom, I can see the slight hint of disbelief that her boy is in his thirties now.  Hard to believe, to be sure.

Too Much Birthday

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