In The Supermarket
You pop downstairs to the corner shop, and, because you’re a student, you have your hair scraped back into a bed-head version of a Vicki Pollard monstrosity, no make-up on, and pyjamas with a crispy fried beef Chinese stain on one leg. In your shopping basket you have basics vodka and milk. I apologise profusely if you happen to visit the supermarket in sickeningly perfect Desperate Housewives attire, please humour me. As you reach down for the pizza in the reduced section (because who can afford chicken), you hear a polite cough, and, as you turn at the speed of an exhausted zombie on its last legs (with a slight accompanying groan), you see your ex. Cue an inner stream of consciousness which rivals Virginia Woolf; Oh [explicative]…why the hell didn’t I wash my hair…when did I last wash my hair? I should really prepare myself for these situations…I should probably sort my life out in general…grad jobs…Oh god, I haven’t actually spoken…Say something…say something…(Ross Geller inner voice)…this is the longest that anyone has never said anything ever…just say something…anything is better than this silence…damn him for looking so good right now…what is my life…I still haven’t said anything…he’s checking out my basket…oh crap, I look like I rival Bridget Jones’ alcoholism…he’s going to think I drink vodka tea…note to self, never admit to anyone that I drink vodka tea…I still haven’t bloody said anything…
You pulled an all-nighter in the library last night. You have key-board imprints on your cheeks from when you dramatically FML-ed onto your laptop and you’re pretty sure you have an orange juice stain down your front, although you cannot be sure because the library toilets were blurry after staring at the screen for 18 hours. The world is moving very slowly, you feel that you are literally crawling down the spine…perhaps you are crawling because perhaps this is a dream. You feel drunk, but you aren’t drunk. You are sleep deprived and you have spent so much time attempting to be academic that your brain is hyperactively considering conspiracy theories, and whether your entire life is a dream, and maybe you need to wake up, and is there an afterlife, and did you just hand your essay in? You cannot remember.
Oh God, is that my ex? He is walking down the spine. He is walking the opposite way that I am walking. I think this means that eye-contact is approximately 89% likely. Oh, I think this means I need to prepare my eye-contact face. Right. Options. Let’s test them out. Okay so there’s the ‘hey-I-have-absolutely-no-problem-with-the-fact-that-I-am-making-eye-contact-with-you-in-fact-I-am-a-very-cool-person-don’t-you-know’ kind of face and shrug and half-wave combo. Like a meal-deal, but for body language. Oh or perhaps a more appropriate response is ‘I-hate-you-don’t-look-at-me-oh-you’re-going-down’ fatal attraction potentially psychotic face.
Oh God. I have just pulled both of those faces, and now he is behind me. I am pretty sure that I just had that facial interchange. I am almost certain that I just smiled at him and then gave him a death stare to challenge Regina George’s. He thinks I am a psycho, I’m not even a psycho, I was trying not to be a psycho, and now I look like a psycho. I need to go home and watch Miranda to make me feel better about my life…or maybe Jeremy Kyle.
In the Club
Okay so you look hot, or rather, a hot mess. It’s been a few hours so the booze has magically made your makeup smudge a little bit. But, you are laughing, you are surrounded by friends, and you look fun. This is by far the most ideal time to bump into an ex, though beware of the alcohol-fuelled temptation to do or say anything entirely regrettable. Try not to make eye contact, just dance like you’ve never danced before.