April Fools!

Posted by mwallach on April 5, 2011 in Happy Holidays, My Kids, New To You |

Dear That’s Life,

While I am not a fan of silliness, it does have its place in life and often offers a healthy break from the doldrums of every life. Silly is how I would describe myself as I walk into Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, becoming absolutely giddy when I see Mickey himself. I am, however, a huge fan of joking around and playing pranks. I can’t say I’m a great sport when a joke is played on me, but I’ll take them as they come, because if you can’t take it, don’t dish it, and I plan on continuing to dish it for a while.

April Fools is a harmless and expected day on which to play a joke on someone in your life. I recently saw a clip of a news anchor who played a trick on his co-host in the spirit of the day. He convinced her, on the air, that her ipad had a new app which allowed her to smell and even taste different foods. She could sniff, and lick, her ipad to taste the food that the app was pretending to cook on the screen. Hook, line and sinker: she fell for it and all of a sudden, on live television, she was licking her ipad for all of the world to see – and for all the world to mock her for until kingdom come. The footage is quite funny, but not nearly as funny as her storming off the set and having other co-workers, including the weather guy, pretending to lick their iphones, all to make fun of her.

Sometimes you may not be sure if a joke is going to be funny when it is retold to people who were not actually there. In this case, I found myself laughing out loud at the gullibility of this woman. I am not sure she is going to be able to conduct a serious interview for a while, lest someone pretend to lick something as a not-so-subtle reminder that she made a fool of herself on television. While she may not be a national news anchor, the internet makes it hard to keep one’s public gaffs to oneself. The clip of her licking her ipad has been replayed by news outlets everywhere.

One year, when April 1st fell on a Sunday, I decided to play a little trick on my children. I woke them at their normal wake up time and told them to get dressed – they had school, I said. It took a couple of minutes for the jig to be up, long after one of them was already dressed in her uniform. I laughed pretty hard when she came into the kitchen, only to tell her that it was a joke. She took it well, though initially I got a death look the likes of which could bring grown men to tears. I do not consistently play April Fools jokes, but this year, with my husband’s stress level at an all time high, I decided a little merriment was in order.

One of my daughters has beautiful, long, red, curly hair. It is not a brassy orange, like some ‘red-heads’ but rather a deep red which women would kill for and no salon hair color could ever match. ‘The longer the better’ is my husband’s policy in regard to her hair and he gets very upset when I talk about even taking her for a trim. He takes everything about her hair very seriously. Getting her a haircut, therefore, is a covert operation. I have assured him that her hair will grow back, but like most men, he has heard that before. The fact was that she needed a haircut: the ends of her hair were dry, and because it was so long, it just did not look good anymore. Just getting it cut, however, was not going to be enough of a joke. I decided to take her before shabbos and then in honor of April Fools, have her hair blown stick straight. Good-bye curls, at least for now. That, I decided, would be one heck of a shock for my husband when he walked in from work, stressed up to wazoo.

As if it was an episode of ‘Punk’d’ and Ashton Kutcher himself was going to jump out of the pantry, my husband stopped dead in his tracks when he saw our daughter’s hair. He just stared at her and even though she looked great, he could not even bring himself to blink. “Happy April Fools Day!” she screamed, jumping up and down in front of him. The rest of us were laughing and eventually, my husband relaxed. With what I have thought of doing in the past, this is the least that could have happened. Of course, however, he did not yet know I also cut three inches of her hair.

Aren’t surprises fun?

MLW

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