Tying the not really Click to see engagement album. Photos by Sidney Martin So I’m out in Utah for the summer, working with people nobody from back home has ever met, and one day I put a bunch of engagement photos on Facebook and change my relationship status. It’s a joke, guys. I’m not actually engaged. My friend Misha and I have just been pretending to be married all summer because we’re both sappy and enjoy affection and physical touch. We combined our last names to “Woodlfe” (pronounced “wood-ul-fuh”) and started using the hashtag #tyingthenotreally on Instagram. Last weekend he bought me an $11 ring from Walmart and proposed in front of a lot of our coworkers on the stoop outside of his apartment. We decided to take engagement photos because our friend Sidney is an awesome photographer, and Utah is really boring, and we have a niche sense of humor. Neither Misha nor I are the type of people to post a bunch of serious couple-y pictures on Facebook. Neither of us is straight, either. As one of my friends described it, the point of this stupid joke was to “satirize heteronormativity.” (No offense to all the lovely straight couples out there with professional photos all over Facebook. You’re beautiful! Love is real! Congratulations!) In any case, this stupid joke turned more into a weird social experiment than anything else. The morning after we put the fake engagement on Facebook, I woke up to 21 texts from confused friends and family. Weirdly, more of my friends knew it was a joke than my family members did. I had a very enlightening moment where I realized that much of my family believes I’m the type of person who would go to Utah, meet a guy, get engaged to him when nobody has ever met him before, and not tell anyone until I brazenly announce it on Facebook. I mean, maybe I am the type of person who would pull some crazy shit like that? Who knows. I guess Misha and I are pretty convincing as a couple, because we got tons of “congratulations” comments and more likes on the relationship status than I think I’ve ever gotten on anything I’ve posted on Facebook. Of course there were people who understood it was a joke, but overwhelmingly the reaction was genuine. People really do believe we’re engaged and are excited for us. It’s bananas. Part 2 of this story happened the following day when Misha and I decided to do gender-bent engagement photos. He dressed in drag and wore the ring; I put on khakis and a tie…which is actually a pretty normal outfit for me. In fact, the second set of photos is a lot more apropos of our personalities and our friendship. Gay and ridiculous. …But of course people didn’t recognize Misha as the same guy from the first set of photos. I was asked why I’m kissing a girl and flaunting it all over Facebook. “Why do you have to put that up for everyone to see?” Yikes. Joke’s no longer funny. Despite the fact that I’m openly gay (well, technically bisexual but boys are icky), people are thrilled to see me with a random dude and……..not so thrilled to see me with a random girl. It’s all fun and games until you realize how desperately people want you to be straight. Ah, well. In any case, don’t believe everything you see on Facebook.