How to react when your ex walks in

Kelly Fang/File

Sometimes, Berkeley just isn’t big enough to avoid everyone on your ever-growing list of people to avoid. Sometimes, your ex walks into Northside Cafe where you’re “doing homework,” but in reality, you’re scrolling through pictures of cute puppies. In 0.6 seconds, your mind formulates three possibilities that can occur, but you only have 0.4 seconds to decide. To simplify the decision-making process, we at the Clog have come up with several options for you during this stressful time.

Option 1: Quickly shove everything on the table into your bag and rush out of the cafe. Don’t worry about finishing your food or taking your coffee with you. Just cross your fingers that your ex didn’t see you. Even if your ex did, how could he or she blame you for needing to be 20 minutes early to class? You never know who might bombard you on Sproul on your way to lecture, so it’s always best to leave extra time.

Option 2: Look up toward your ex while screaming in your head, “Look at me!” repeatedly. When your ex finally feels you staring and looks over, you can proceed to have an awkward hug and an even more awkward conversation. It’s best to have an ongoing list of things you can say to your ex if and when you ever get the opportunity to tell him or her how great you’ve been doing since you two ended things. Saying, “I miss you, I mean, I’m just terrific!” definitely gets the conversation started, but doesn’t quite show off the aloof eloquence we know you’ve been working on since the breakup. Better talking points would include how you set the curve on your last midterm, have been working out by walking to and back from Li Ka Shing every day and how you haven’t missed your bus stop since the breakup. Plus, this strategy means you won’t spend the rest of your day procrastinating on homework by thinking about all the great things you could have said but didn’t.

Options 3: Plug in your headphones and start typing furiously. Quickly pull up a Word document. Begin with something such as: “OMG my ex just walked in. Ugh, why is he hanging out at this cafe instead of the other 10 around campus?” Think about those cute puppies you were looking at earlier. Start crafting a narrative of all the fabulous things you’ve been doing without your ex. Write about the romantic date you took yourself on to the Berkeley Rose Garden, and be thankful that your ex wasn’t there to make fun of you for drinking Caffe Strada’s peppermint latte in the middle of September. Reminisce on the quality time you spent buying yourself ice cream at Ici and subsequently walking it all off by strolling up and down College Avenue. Give yourself a pat on the back for handling the situation so well, and go back to “doing homework.”

Contact Stephanie Wang at [email protected].