A lover of laughs and practical jokes, Lionel Freedman of Harlem, New York, considered pulling the quintessential April Fool’s prank of proposing to his girlfriend, Natasha, only to then tell her that he actually wanted to break up, but, after some thought, decided against it.
“It would’ve been so classic,” said Lionel, who even went so far as to purchase a convincing-looking fake diamond engagement ring to use in the stunt. “I could just see the look on her face after she said 'yes', and then I told her psych, April Fool's! I actually don’t think this is working and I want out.”
But even as he was chuckling to himself, Lionel was shaking his head. “In the end, I just couldn’t do it,” he said. “Some of my buddies told me it would've just been too over the top."
In the end, though, it wasn’t a fear of crossing into the realm of the taboo that prevented Lionel from pulling his envisioned practical joke; it was that this practical joke was, in one key respect, lacking in practicality.
“It occurred to me that she was just as likely to say no after I proposed," Lionel explained. “And then when I told her I actually wanted to break up, the joke would have fallen flat. She would have thought I was only saying that because my feelings were hurt.”
For that reason, while Lionel hasn’t ruled out playing this killer prank at some point, on some girlfriend down the road, he has decided to wait until he’s in an extremely solid relationship where a “yes” to his proposal is virtually assured.
“Whether it's relationships or jokes, you can’t force things,” he said. “You’ve got to wait until it’s right.”