Running into that one guy from that one time…


There is always (sometimes) those guys (more like one or two) who you met at that party or dance on that night when you had a little too much ‘juice’ and things, you know ‘things’, happened. You of course may have left things awkward, or not if you have those magical social skills, that I do not possess, that allow you to navigate every encounter of the male kind with grace and mystery.

So of course, because I am so blessed, I usually re-encounter these ‘fellas of the night’ at some point just all too soon after the night in question. And if I am being frank, this is when my true colors shine. And my true colors are not pretty. They are probably like chartreuse and burnt orange complemented by a light avocado. Colors even your grandma has trouble loving. Anyways, I digress.

Let me just share one of my amazing reconnection stories. Let me preface this with the fact that I first saw this boy at CHURCH. And now I have to see him every time I go to CHURCH. CHURCH. Truly a relationship blessed by Jesus himself.

My first of many meetings with Church Boy all transpired at the mailboxes. I had just come down the stairs from eating my lunch in the caf. I took a sharp left but while I was turning, thought I saw some familiar facial features in my peripheral vision. I looked back, made direct eye contact with him for a solid three steps, and quickly turned back around like I literally had not seen him. His eyes had been so eager and kind, so naturally I was terrified. I avoided him as I speedily peeked in my empty PO. Then scampered away to wallow in shame while he had his back turned. Grace and mystery: Check?

I told myself that the next time I saw him I HAD to at least try to say something, even if it was just some sort of wheezing noise while I smiled and waved (my signature move that usually ended in the guy ‘not seeing’ me anyways). The fateful day arrived and it all stemmed from my apparent need to have a piece of toast. I was at the cafeteria toaster putting in my english muffin on its conveyor belt when my breath caught in my throat. I didn’t turn my head but I stiffly looked out of the corner of my eye. Great. There he was. Looking all well-dressed and concentrated on making his panini in the press an arm’s length away from me.

My inner dialogue was very aggressive at this point, “OH MY GOSH HE IS LITERALLY RIGHT THERE! Okay, okay be cool. Wait for him to notice you and say hi. Just look relaxed and open to conversation. I’m just standing here watching my bread in a toaster though! ROM COMS DID NOT PROPERLY PREPARE ME FOR THIS MOMENT. There is not one ‘waiting near a toaster’ scene in any movie I have watched. It is a romantic setting. You know with the warmth radiating off the machine and all. Is it not? Oh my goodness, focus! Just look at him and smile and then say hi. It is simple!” So I turned my head, as flirtily/seductively as possible, in his direction and gave a beautiful (creepy) smile. But he didn’t look up. He was just oblivious. I coughed a little. Nothing. I had been so ready to say something and I had already half committed with my creepy smile so I just blurted, “Oh hi Church Boy! How’s it going?”

Heh heh, yes. I had really done it! I spoke actual kinda normal words to him. I was ready to just take my toast and run. I was not expecting a response or the follow-up questions that ensued. Queue about three more minutes of small talk about sports that included more than one instance when we talked over each other without acknowledging it. What can I say? I got game like Lebron James…I think I may have said this to him in that conversation. So no, I wouldn’t say it was a flawless interaction.

After that I saw him at a basketball game and a hockey game. Both times we ended up, somehow, sitting or standing next to each other. It mostly made me feel self conscious about what to do with my hands and the proper facial expressions to make. I decided on clasped awkwardly near my belly button and “serene”. I don’t think I will need to see a replay to know how those choices looked.

This whole experience with Church Boy has only reinforced that the lasting impression I am known to leave on the various gentlemen I may encounter is the nagging feeling of

This is awkward.