The Surprise Run-In

25 Jan

Blasts from the pasts. You try to avoid them at all costs. You don’t live in the same neighborhood. You don’t go to your high school reunion because you know you’re going to run into people you don’t want to see and anybody you want to “catch up with” you’ve found on Facebook. But then the inevitable happens in a place where you least expect it. At Target. At Trader Joes. At CVS Pharmacy. Even at RadioShack. The surprise run-in.

You don’t go to these places in your best attire, early in the morning. You usually go for a quick in-and-out mission, or if you’re like me you went to RadioShack after working out just to get a special outlet for the battery charger. You figure RadioShack in your neck of the woods…what are the chances of running into anybody?

RadioShack sells Maker Faire tickets!

Image by Bekathwia via Flickr

You show up all perspired in your t-shirt and sweats, with non-matching socks because you were just trying to get out the door. One sock with stripes the other without. No make-up, but you don’t wear much to begin with and if you did your workout would probably have melted it away.

You walk in and hear the ding-a-ling of the bell. You head straight toward the battery section and stare at it for five minutes, thinking you can select one before the RadioShack guy comes to help you out. You feel someone approaching and think time is expiring. You’re a moron. You can’t even pick a battery charger, granted there are like 27 of them hanging there on metal hooks, but you went to college figure it out, right?

As you hear the footsteps, you look up. Someone is smiling at you.

“Heyyyyyyyyy! What a surprise! Oh my God how are you?”

It’s a blast from the past. Your surprise run-in.

You do a quick turn around to run your fingers through your Bride-of-Frankenstein hair, dab your face with your shirt and fold over you drunken socks, before turning around and smiling back.

My surprise run-in wasn’t someone I disliked or an ex-boyfriend or anything. He was a classmate and friend. I was the classic sporty spice, good-looking tomboy that got along pretty well with guys. So I wasn’t really threatening to chicks when I hung out with dudes. I mean they’d take a look at me in my Levi’s and college t-shirts by day and basketball uniform by evening and think nothing of it. They were cheerleaders, wearing short-shorts. I was balling on the court and wearing t-shirts. We did not hang out in the same circles, so I hung out with guys.

My blast from the past and I chatted it up a bit. The basic what-are-you-doing-now stories, although I left the part out about living at my parents. That’s really a need-to-know basis. He was doing well. Had kids. A wife. A good job. Looked happy and sounded happy. I told him about my starving writer gigs and being a parent, and he gave me the congrats pat on the shoulder.  Then he began with his compliments and how great he thought I looked and informing me how he ran into other people and how out of shape and weathered they appeared to be, but that I looked the same as I did over twenty years ago. I was feeling pretty good about my sweaty self until…

“Yeah, you look great! You look the same as you did in high school. You have the same bags under your eyes and everything.”

Dude. I was speechless, and that doesn’t happen often. But there I was with the same bags under my eyes, exchanging emails and saying see you later to an old friend. And as I heard the ding-a-ling when he departed I thought:

Next stop CVS Pharmacy. They got concealer. They got eye moisturizer. Maybe more than 27 of them.


14 Responses to “The Surprise Run-In”

  1. filbio January 4, 2013 at 2:55 PM #

    Hi! Just stopping by as Susie sent me over from her blog. This post is so true! And funny! It happens to us dudes too when we normally are looking our worst after a bender. Signing up for your emails!


    • The Guat January 4, 2013 at 3:33 PM #

      Duuuuuuuuuuuude. How funny I was just over at your site and was loving your observation subway post. We just came back from my son’s first subway ride.

      • filbio January 4, 2013 at 5:17 PM #

        His first ride? I take them every day, and all over the city. Have not owned a car since 1998!

        • The Guat January 5, 2013 at 12:22 AM #

          Ha! We’re all about transportation that requires really expensive gas over here. Cars or buses. But he really enjoyed it. He’s four, so he was ecstatic. 🙂

  2. Ray Colon January 4, 2013 at 3:48 PM #

    My daughters won’t leave the house — even for a trip to Walmart — without “getting ready.” That pretty much eliminates doing anything that is spur of the moment. I’ve given up the charade myself. If I need something, I just go, so it won’t surprise you to learn that I’ve experienced your situation. “Quick, where can I hide?”

    “…the same bags under your eyes.” Who says something like that?

    • The Guat January 5, 2013 at 12:22 AM #

      Ha! Thanks I was tripping out about that too, but figured sometimes guys don’t have filters…they’re clueless.

  3. susielindau January 4, 2013 at 5:32 PM #

    This is hilarious Guat! Who says that???? Well he must have been the moron of the class and you are better off not hanging out together.
    Thanks for bringing it to the dance party! There are a lot of eager new bloggers to click on I mean check out!
    Have fun!

    • The Guat January 5, 2013 at 12:27 AM #

      Thanks 🙂 It was an interesting run-in. When I tell the story to my friends they can’t help but laugh at that crazy comment. It made for an interesting day. And dude I was all over your party … very cool. I ran into Ray Colon, That guy from NYC with the subway story which cracked me up, All Things Geography and that Cowbell chick, I’ll probably go back for more tomorrow. You always have a great party with cool people I would never meet anywhere else 🙂 Thanks for hosting 🙂

      • susielindau January 5, 2013 at 9:07 AM #

        There are a lot of new bloggers that showed up ready to party and more are joining the fun! I am glad you are making lots of new friends!

  4. Kitt Crescendo January 4, 2013 at 8:04 PM #

    Susie’s party sent me your way… Gotta say, I’m glad I rarely run into the “someone I used to know” types now that I live several states away.

    • The Guat January 5, 2013 at 11:51 PM #

      Ohhhhhhhh … it must be so awesome to live out of state … you know without fear of “the run-in”

  5. Jessica January 5, 2013 at 1:14 PM #

    Are you sure he was a friend? 😉 It’s so true… we always run into people when we feel as though we look like something the cat dragged in. I just hope that these people are more excited to see you have a long time than they are about how you look. Great party post!

    • The Guat January 5, 2013 at 11:52 PM #

      Ha! Yeah he was…you gotta remember guys are just out of it sometimes. They have no filters. But it’s all good I haven’t seen him since and now I wear a pair of shades … all the time 🙂

  6. My Ox is a Moron January 15, 2013 at 7:33 AM #

    Dropped by from Susie’s party. I hate those run-ins most of the time. I still get a lot of those even though I moved two states away. Apparently most of the people I knew seem to have migrated. I hung around with they guys all the time too, but not because I was the sporty type. I just didn’t like the “girly games” that were played and I liked to flirt with the guys in fun. They all knew I wasn’t serious and that we were just friends, but their girlfriends didn’t like me anyway. Maybe it was because I was so comfortable talking to all the cute guys. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend, so I wasn’t all nervous and fighty.

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