1 April has always been quite a challenging day for me.
Although most of the time I think I have quite a good – albeit dry – sense of humour, I don’t always realise when people are winding me up. So a morning devoted to the art of the wind-up isn’t ideal. I can cope with the obvious fake news stories, particularly as they have become increasingly implausible.
I normally deal with the day by trying to minimise my contact with people. I don’t want to be the butt of a joke I don’t understand. That’s happened too much in the past, and as a result I started to question and mistrust absolutely everyone. When someone says something that turns out to be false, even – or especially – as a joke, it makes me not want to trust or be around them any more.
Not an April Fool’s joke, but I still get embarrassed when I think of a practical joke that was played on me at my first job. For some reason, the team lead thought it would be a good idea to do a Valentine’s Day “secret Santa”. I didn’t know what was appropriate in the workplace, so asked a couple of people that I thought were friends. The guidance that they gave me was to buy a joke present from an “adult” shop, as that’s what everyone else would be doing. I wasn’t particularly comfortable with that, but didn’t have any reason to not trust them, so that’s what I did. Of course, they were winding me up. Everyone else just did the soft toy / chocolate thing. (Luckily the team lead realised what had happened, although I did get a bit of a telling-off for being gullible.)
To be fair, that kind of thing doesn’t happen much these days. Perhaps I’m around nicer people, or perhaps I’ve got better at identifying when someone is joking in that way.
But I think I’ll always be relieved when April 2nd comes around.