in my world, there are about three general responses i could have when i run into an Ex in the street.
1.Point and laugh.
(sometimes a combo.)
i imagine it is awkward under even the best of circumstances. not that i can really imagine what the best circumstances would be. perhaps:
1. You run into your Ex on the way into the book signing for your best selling novel.
“oh. hello…who is this made out to? jerkface? how do you spell that?”
2. You run into your Ex in the crowd at the ribbon cutting ceremony your hometown has just put on commemorating the library and park erected in your honor.
“oh. hello. could you hold my giant scissor?”
3.You run into your Ex at the airport baggage claim returning from your honeymoon in the Maldives with your new wife who is a rockstar-slash-underwear model-slash-biochemist.
“that guy? i bet he knows nothing about the practical importance of a phenomenological theory of particles.” or “oh”
4.You run into your Ex in a late model pickup truck or SUV with stolen plates… reverse, and do it again. Then drive off into the night, cackling, vengeance yours.
but there’s always that one person from your past where the relationship went sour like milk and you wouldn’t even want to run into them in the street without a Nobel Peace Prize in one hand and a can of ‘told-ya-so’ in the other and yet you still effing do. i know a guy like that.
in the first years and a half since that break-up i ran into that guy five times.
(one of the run-ins was a semi-drunken late night exchange in front of a 24-hour McDonald’s walk-up window. his friend threw a chicken mcnugget at my friend’s head. nothing good can come from french fries at 2am. nothing.)
my mother still occasionally asks
“whatever happened to that guy? he had such nice teeth!”
right. you know who else have perfect teeth, ma?
at first, i’d practice all the scathing remarks and perfectly arched eyebrows that would speak volumes, specifically “eat shit volumes 1 and 2”– that is, just in case i’m not walking with my rhodes scholar super hot french and cameroonian life partner because she’s off leading a pilates retreat in mexico that week.
or, alternately, pretend i am method acting for the lead in a movie about a blind woman by specifically not seeing him.
(constantly wearing sunglasses aids this method considerably)
or, channel my inner ancient ninja and disappear into a rice paddy or the crowd of hustling rush hour commuters.
but, none of these are the right thing to do. as i’ve said – with me as well as with jennifer aniston— the best response may be to ‘just keep livin’, but the best revenge is to
so even if my future life partner IS really a rockstar and a master yoga instructor teaching a course in mexico… but isn’t here with me at the moment of concern because i don’t actually know her yet– i STILL should act as tho’ oprah is about to endorse my book on the OWN network by next week. because without the drama from that guy in my life i AM living better than well.
ok, ok, ok. all of that best inner life, fully transcendant stuff is all well and good.
but if i WAS to run into that guy again, there’d be ONE snarky thing i would definitely have to say:
“I only wore the ugly shoes because you’re short”
that would probably settle that.