Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What I Learned From My Fake Engagement

The other day I got engaged, well, fake engaged that is. A random conversation had somehow led to my friend Rora mentioning she would require a $20,000 engagement ring to consider a proposal, that led to her pulling out her grandmothers ring. Rora and I decided to post a picture of the two of us with her sporting the shiny diamond ring on her ring finger. Rora upped the ante by captioning the picture “I spy…,” referencing the shinny stone at the center of the picture. We were unsure of what to expect, we thought it was hysterical, barely able to pull it together enough for the photo. 
Innocent platonic picture!
We expected an onslaught of commentary as soon as we had published the fraudulent photo, but we got nothing. Ten minutes passed, still nothing, then 15, two likes, maybe this was getting somewhere. Finally we called in back ups, convincing a couple friends to comment congratulations on the picture. It was acceptable that no one would expect to see us engaged, we barely had any photos prior to this, and had never even alluded to our false relationship. With the little nudge the post took off, “likes” and comments pouring in, making our phones buzz in unison. We continued laughing, then the texts started flooding in, the phone calls. The beast had taken on a life of it’s own, still hysterical, but surprisingly informative. 
A lot goes on behind the scenes. We started receiving texts from people who had heard through other people of our post. Apparently, as one friend commented, we had started a “firestorm,” back in our hometown. It’s surprising to find out who is watching, or more accurately who is informed of your “engagement” by the mutual acquaintances you still have as Facebook friends. Apparently the spies are always watching, waiting for some abrupt movement to run back with their intel. Forcing our closest friends to juggle an onslaught of inquiries, which, as you would expect, infuriated them.
Look at all the love. (My sister, Sarah, was angry at me, but upon explanation joined in on the hoax.)

Our best friends didn’t believe us, in fact, it wasn’t just they didn’t believe us, they flat out knew what we were up to, as if we had been plotting a diabolical scheme like this for some time and had inadvertently let it slip to our closest compatriots. One-by-one the texts poured in, not a single one from our closest friends questioning the validity of it, all of them just complaining about the bombardment of questions they were now dealing with because of our prank. To be fair, most never said a word, when prodded as to why, they simply responded that, “it was stupid,” or “they had better things to do then deal with our shenanigans.” But it was interesting to see who did come forward, almost as quickly as the friends wrote off our stupid. 
Dylan Brann, calling us out. 
Exes believed us, which came as somewhat of a surprise, but then again it seemed people were willing to believe this absurdity. Mutual acquaintances from high school believed us, even some family members seemed, while perplexed by the audacity of it, rather credulous to the whole idea. The wildfire of rumor seemed to spread quickly through lose acquaintances and former good friends who over the years we have become less intertwined with. The whole ordeal actual spurred a lot of reminiscing and we joked that this is probably what actual couples do when they get engaged; sit and watch who likes the post and talk about how they know the people and memories from the past. 

Our “relationship” had no build up, not a single recent picture of us together was posted on Facebook, we weren’t “Facebook official." Both of us were openly single, and I had just moved out to San Francisco, where Rora lives, a week prior. All the variables pointed to this being a fraud, yet people sent us numerous congratulations and seemed enthusiastically supportive, of what was, by all evidence, an abruptly rash decision. But people didn't care, I am lucky if my mom likes one of my posts, this post was liked by everyone from relatives to friends to high school acquaintances who apparently believed that the two dorky kids from a decade ago had found love and decided to make it legal.
That would be my mother. 
I guess it all boils down to people being supportive of love. In the end, I felt slightly guilty for what we had done, we had convinced a plethora of people of our love, and it was all a lie. A giant fake out, we had taken something so rare, so beautiful and trivialized it. 


So what were we actually doing the whole time the world was coming to terms with the impending apocalypse our “engagement” prognosticated? We walked to the grocery store, bought some vegetables and team cooked the world best loaded nachos platter, and laughed at the chaos we had caused. 




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