If you come from quite a small town like I do it’s a given that you see the same faces time and again, whether it is in the supermarket aisles, the doctor’s surgery or the handful of pubs that your little town boasts. You’re in a very little pond with lots and lots of fish! You and the other fish will have the same weekend routine and gather in the city centre to shop and what not. This is where you have those cringe worthy exchanges to try and make light of the fact that you’ve already swam past each other 12 times in the last hour, you’ll say things like “are you following me” with a weird little wink which is even more awkward since you can’t wink. And they respond at the exact same time with “I swear I’m not following you” and you’ll both let out a dreadful, fake laugh and drift off being extra vigilant that you don’t catch each other’s eye when you pass the next time.
So when it comes to avoiding a certain face or trying not to swim into a certain fish, this can be quite difficult to accomplish. You have to rely on the likes of Facebook to track their movements as an awkward encounter is at the absolute bottom of everyone’s list and there’s nothing quite as awkward as running into your ex.
There are times when you know there’s a chance you’ll bump into them and when you’re from somewhere like where I’m from its rather inevitable on a night out! So you will take the necessary precautions and be fully prepared. This involves going to a lot of effort with hair and makeup – like actually paying attention and taking care instead of tying your hair up and applying makeup in the sun visor mirror of a car. Your outfit is carefully selected, as is your attitude. Cool, sassy and nonchalant. This is all to show them that you are better off without them and to obviously show them what they are missing out on – these are of course the times that they are nowhere to be seen!
Then there are the times when you’ve the world’s worst hangover, you’ve been lazing around all day in an old t-shirt and lounge pants, you haven’t showered and there are remnants of last night’s make up still on your face. You may not have even brushed your teeth for fear of throwing up. It’s at that point you have the genius idea to nip to the shop as junk food is the only thing that can possibly fix you, you aren’t even considering the fact that the Universe is plotting against you.
It’s noticed the gravy/curry/ garlic sauce stain down the front of your top from last night’s takeaway that you finished off this morning for breakfast! It’s noticed that you’ve trodden in dog poo and you are frantically scuffing your foot along the grass to try and remove it while trying not to vomit. This is when it strikes. This is when it sends in your ex-boyfriend. If the poo doesn’t make you vomit, this will.
Of course he’s looking well. Clean shaven and in his Sunday best, shirt free of food stains and it seems like he’s been on holiday by the look of his radiant glow-oh no wait! It could be all the sex he’s having with the shiny, new, stick insect girlfriend that he has on his arm. And there you’re stood, looking like an unmade bed that’s been slept in by a homeless person, smelling of shit. Thank you Universe – no really, you’re too fucking kind! You carry on walking with your chin up and manage a pleasant smile. All the while you’re pretending like you don’t have a care in the world you are fully in the know that you look like you’ve just risen from the dead.
A fabulous friend of mine has encountered this same cruel twist of fate countless times; we were both magnets for this type of thing! Many a time I have answered the phone to an earful of obscenities and it nearly always sounded something like this- “Ashleigh! I’ve got no makeup on; not a scrap and my hair is all over the place! And he’s stood there all smug the bastard! And HER, eurgh the skinny bitch!” She admits she would glare like a witch and then walk away like Naomi Campbell even if she was looking like a corpse. The one time that really stands out in my memory was the time when she got onto an escalator and realised all too late that an ex of hers was stood in front, so as to avoid being spotted she turned around and faced the person stood behind her all the way to the top. In the peak of our dating days, this situation was happening so frequently that we could call one another and start the conversation with “Every fucking time!” and we would know immediately what was happening.
And yet this is not as cruel as the Universe can be. It could have you serving on a bar in the night club you worked at, nowhere to run, with every single person you have done the horizontal shuffle with all stood within 30 feet of you! Did I mention it was a beach themed night club where the uniform was a bikini top and denim booty shorts? Yeah, that happened.
I now live on the other side of the planet to any of my ex’s so I’m safe right? WRONG! You’re NEVER safe! Not any of us! I can still not seek solace in this fact as a few years ago I was holidaying with my girls when one of the ladies present had a previous holiday conquest just saunter on past her in the street, in an entirely different country for goodness sake! Another one of my nearest and dearest was in Thailand, I feel I should mention at this point that there are 67 MILLION people in Thailand and her ex still just happened to walk right past her! That’s an entirely different continent! What the actual frick??? I bet the moon isn’t even a safe bet these days!
I would like to apologise for the swearing but it was all totally warranted!
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