Run In With A Not-So-Stranger

Since all of my ex-boyfriends become my best girlfriends, rarely do I have an unpleasant ex encounter. My ex-almost husband even still gives me a discount if I venture into his shop.  But I know I narrowly missed running into the cyclist at my favorite restaurant by mere moments (thanks Facebook!) and there are certain folk that I could only imagine just how awkward an encounter with would be.

My darling friend, B.P., just told me a lovely story about running into her ex…while they were both on first dates…

B.P. had dated Darryl on and off for the better part of a year before finally pulling the plug once and for all. He was nice enough, but divorced with kids and not B.P.’s idea of a forever home.  So they parted ways but still kept in touch.  B.P. did what busy gals do, she turned to the match of the dot com to help her find men folk.

Her date wanted to take her to his ! favorite ! restaurant (he was very emphatic on how much he adored this restaurant). Said restaurant was a middle-of-the-road Cajun chain, but B.P. never met a gumbo she didn’t like and so off they went. In the bar, at 6pm, prime dining and drinking hour she spotted Darryl across the bar.

The pager went off and the hostess went to seat B.P. and her date.

“Excuse me one moment,” she said to her (first) date.

She bounded up to Darryl, just like Tigger.

“Hiya!” she exclaimed, with a friendly arm punch.

His face may or may not have melted off as he introduced B.P. to his date.  Later, when his date was undoubtedly in the ladies room, Darryl would get his revenge by stopping by and visiting B.P. and her date at their table, plopping right down as if they were all old friends.

Well? I wanted to know, was it the recipe for disaster or what? Did her date freak the fuck out? Was she uncomfortable? Was Darryl awkward as all get out? I needed the scoop on what could have been a truly unpleasant situation.

“Nah,” she said. “It was fine. But you know what, I don’t think Darryl ever actually took me out on a proper date the whole time we were dating.”

Ooo. If Darryl had only known that B.P. loved gumbo so much.

B.P. and Darryl must have read up on the etiquette. Here’s some tips according to MSN Dating & Personals for what to do when you run into your ex:

1.    Put a smile on your face and say hello. Introduce yourself, but make the conversation brief. This will take two minutes; you can fall apart right after. Be the adult and act gracious and pleasant – to both of them.
2.   Say a quick hello and make up an excuse that you’re in a rush to meet someone. This will get you out of there fast and possibly make him/her wonder who you’re meeting.
3.   If you’re in the same place for a length of time, acknowledge him/her in the moment, but wait until his/her mate goes to the bathroom before you actually approach and say hello.
4.   If stopping to talk is too difficult, you can make eye contact with him/her and simply nod or wave. No one says you have to talk.
5.   If at any moment you feel like you are going to get upset, turn around and leave quietly. If you know you can’t handle it – just go.

If you find yourself in this situation and are unable to remember the above rules and do something truly embarrassing, please email me at leah charney [at] gmail dot com and we will totally change your name to protect what a hot mess you are.

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