Yesterday I made a poor judgment call.
It all started when I commented on my friend Natalie’s Facebook status that read – “There’s a raccoon in my bedroom!!!!” That comment triggered a Facebook message from Natalie that read (in part): “It’s a game my friend. Lol. You should have never commented/ or liked it!! TAG YOU ARE IT!!! You fell into the trap. This is a game.” The message went on to say that the person who likes or comments on the message has to choose one of ten statements to post on his or her timeline.
I rarely participate in such Facebook games. They remind me of chain letters from back in my high school days – I am just too pragmatic for that kind of thing. It is the same with Facebook games like this – I typically have neither the time, nor the patience for such things. Alas, because it came from my dear friend Nat I decided I would try and comply. There was no way I was going to subject others to the torture, but I did reconcile myself to posting one of the items on the list as my status.
Most of the items on the list were things I would never say even in jest. Of the remaining items (items like: “Pickles and peanut butter, yum.” ; “I just fell in vomit at McDonalds.”; and, “There’s a raccoon in my bedroom!”), I selected the one that I thought folks would best recognize as a joke. The status I chose was – “I’m pregnant.”
I thought it would be immediately clear that this status was a joke. To let Natalie know that I complied with the Facebook game I posted a comment on the status update that said, “I blame Natalie for this.” I was satisfied in that moment that I had done my small part to be a sociable Facebook friend for the evening. But seconds after the status post and comment my Facebook friends did something I did not foresee – they took the status as legitimate and started to like it and congratulate me on my pregnancy. My longtime friend Scot, in addition to expressing his excitement for me, immediately sought to dispel any rumors that he was the dad. I knew right then that I had to stop this speeding train before someone planned a baby shower.
I posted a comment within a couple of minutes of my status post that read (in part): “Okay, before this gets out of hand – this is a prank that I got sucked into by my friend Natalie…otherwise, this would be nature’s cruel joke (and I dare not tempt fate by letting this ride).”
But still, the congratulations kept rolling in via messages and comments. I realized quickly that Facebook crunches comments and folks only see the last handful or so of comments unless they purposefully click to see them all. My disclaimer got buried in the initial comments and folks were just happening upon the congratulatory messages.
I had to call Mike (who was in Minneapolis last evening) and alert him to this debacle before family members started congratulating him. I have to call back my brother today whose call I missed late last evening (he is on the West Coast and never fully remembers our two hour time difference). I surmise by the time of the call, that my nephew Paul who congratulated me on my pregnancy on Facebook delivered this shocking news to his dad with absolute glee.
The comments and messages are still rolling in as I type. Some of the folks’ comments who read enough of the comments to understand that this is all a prank have said some darn funny things – like my friend JP who posted: “I was going to say something about it being the Xmas season and Zacharias’ wife Elizabeth getting pregnant at age 70.” Of course that is exactly right. Not that I am 70, but that the idea that I would be pregnant at my age – 54 – is at the least, improbable. But I recognize that a later in life pregnancy like this, were it to happen to anyone, would more likely happen to me. That is how the universe likes to roll with me – my life adventures serve as a constant source of amusement.
In retrospect, I should have said, “Pickles and peanut butter, yum.” I didn’t select that because I thought I would be designating my preferred gift basket items for life. Or perhaps that would have generated the question, “Are you pregnant?” I am not sure I could have escaped unscathed in this little Facebook game regardless of the status I chose…which was likely the whole point of the game.
I will not be playing any future Facebook games – spread the word. This one effort has proven to be comical, but exhausting. Can you imagine how exhausted I would be if I was really pregnant? I can’t even handle the announcement of my fake pregnancy on Facebook. I’ll be the first to say that I am too old for such things folks.
For future reference, do note that should I ever actually have a real pregnancy of my own at this stage of my life to announce on Facebook the post will read something like this:
“OMG! I AM PREGNANT!!!!! WHAT THE #$%^&%#$@#!? SOMEONE CALL THE GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS!! AND PLEASE SEND HELP – A THERAPIST, A NANNY, THE NATIONAL GUARD!!!!”
Day one thousand two hundred and fifty-one of the new forty – obla di obla da