Saturday, December 16, 2006

A is for Awkward. (And also for Adam, coincidentally.)

It was only a matter of time, right? In a city that, despite its fairly sizable population, is feeling smaller by the day, I was eventually bound to run into one of many men I've met during the Great Date Experiment of 2006. I figured it would happen at a concert or some outdoor event or other. I'd be with friends, I'd wave a hello, and that would be the end of it. Hopefully it would be one of the guys with whom I had a completely amicable but clearly defined "Thanks, but I don't think so" conversation and not one with whom there'd been just a slow and slightly awkward drifting-away sort of vanishing act. Life doesn't all that often work out the way we hope, though, does it?

I shouldn't preface this too dramatically, as the event that just occurred was really not all that big a deal. It's not like I found myself seated behind one of these men at a movie theater, where he was making out enthusiastically with his new, hotter-than-me girlfriend. It's not like a friend set me up on a blind date with a guy who turned out to be someone I'd already rejected. No, it was nothing at all like that. I just ran into one of them at Target.

The guy I ran into was the one mentioned in this post back in May (the one in item #3 of that post, not the infamous sheep testicles guy). I initially thought I might really actually like this one, but after three dates I realized, "Hmm. We have a hundred things in common, but we're really not connecting in any way beyond that." I think he felt the same way, as after some half-hearted and tentative planning for our would-be fourth date, he just sort of dropped off the radar. I'm sure it had nothing at all to do with my stellar move of saying, "We'll have to work on that" after what was, by I'm sure both of our accounts, one of the worst first kisses ever. He went right and I went left, so we bumped noses in a most awkward way and it was clear that it just wasn't a smooth maneuver. I wasn't too put off by it; I'm a firm believer that one bad kiss with someone does not automatically mean there are no good ones in your future, but it still probably fell into that category of things you're just supposed to think and not actually say out loud. I have a bit of a problem with that category, as anyone who knows me is aware.

Anyway, so I walked into Target today and turned right to veer towards paper products when I passed someone I immediately knew I recognized. I did a double-take and turned to look back, my auto-pilot thinking, "Oh. That's someone I know. I should say hi." Thankfully, my auto-pilot has a bit of a lag, because a second later, I remembered the following: (1. Yes, I know that guy. His name is Adam. But, (2. I haven't actually spoken to him since my last unreturned e-mail several months ago, and (3. I really have nothing in particular to say to him now. Also, (4. I have not yet showered today, and my ponytailed hair has a slight greasy sheen that is not particularly attractive at all.

I kept my mouth shut and continued walking down the aisle. Whew. My brain filters do still work on occasion. Thank God for that.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my god, I hate when things like that happen, and don't they always. You always bump into the last (or second-to-last) person you wanna see on the day you think "I can just put on my sweats and run to (Wal-mart/Target/grocery store), it's not like I'm gonna run into anyone I know." Especially if it's someone of the male persuasion, whom you'd want to think of you as a stunning creature. Then, with your face all gray and your hair greasy, and the sweatpants that, though clean, have paint stains on them from that day when you painted the kitchen, you make an entirely new stunning impression.

So glad you were able to slink away unnoticed!

nabbalicious said...

Thankfully, this hasn't happened to me, at least not when I haven't showered and am wearing my pajama bottoms, which is kind of amazing, considering how often I would go out in those things in college and beyond.

The only time I can think of was when I saw an ex at a bar in my early 20s, and I was with a group of friends (some male, which made it look extra good) while he was drinking alone. I was, thankfully, dressed up and feeling good. I just remember looking over at him like, "Suckah!" and he left. Ahh. It still makes me smile.

But if I hadn't been all dolled up, I think I would have turned and left, too! There is just NO other option in that instance.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. Good move on the successful avoidance tactics. The saying "hi" and smiling would have been ok as long as you didn't get stuck in conversation, which seems to be what always happens when you don't want it to.

Anonymous said...

Um, I'm DYING that you actually said "We'll have to work on that," re: the Kiss of Awfullness. Hee! Good work on remembering who he was in time to successfully avoid an awkward run-in ;)

(btw--I've posted my "10 Things" list, per your assignment of the letter P.)

3carnations said...

I'm the master of avoiding talking to someone I don't feel like running into at the store. Unfortuntely, I'm also the master of not even NOTICING that I am about to walk by someone I know and don't particularly feel like chatting with, so I get stuck with lots of awkward encounters just the same.

lizgwiz said...

Ooh, I hate the delayed register. I once mistakenly said a bright hello to someone I was passing in the store, certain that I knew him and should, therefore, say hello, only to realize he was a former boss who was a total jackoff to me when I quit his lousy employ. I tried to play it off like I was soooo much happier not working for him that I held no grudge at all. "See how happy I am? I can even be nice to YOU."

Red said...

Ooh, that's the worst. This is probably sort of pathetic to admit, but in places like that I purposely don't look right at strangers, so that if it's someone I'm going to have to talk to, at least they'll have to approach me. And to think, some people think I'm social.

Poppy Cede said...

I went to Home Depot with that same grease-slicky hair yesterday. Great minds think alike. I'm pretty sure someone I know double-taked me while I was there, but my brain was fast enough to keep walking on by and not look back. Not sure how I ended up with this brain, but I like it!

guinness girl said...

Personally, I'm proud of your brain filters! I'm not sure mine would have kicked in appropriately. :)

stefanie said...

I'm actually a little surprised Metalia is the only one to say anything about my genius post-kiss comment. I've thought about that moment so many times in the past six months... not because I actually care that much and want to take it back, but because I wonder if he's telling that story every time he starts swapping "bad date" tales with his friends.

3carnations said...

Not a chance, Stefanie. There's no way a guy would tell his friends he kissed a girl, and she commented "We'll need to work on that." It reflects poorly on him that YOU were the one to say it!

stefanie said...

Good point, 3Cs. I probably wouldn't admit it if someone said that to me, either. Even if it did make the other person sound like a tool as well.

Darren McLikeshimself said...

Well, at least this happened at Target, right? I'm thinking even your worst experience wouldn't be as bad if it happened while you were at Target.

stefanie said...

Way to put things in perspective, Darren. I didn't realize you were such a Silver Lining guy.