Close encounters of the awkward kind

Whether you’re back in your hometown or away at an internship, there’s always the off chance that you’ll run into someone from high school. Often, that person is someone you barely even talked to. Such a meeting is understandably awkward. Join us as we explore the uncomfortable stages of unexpectedly seeing someone from high school.

The first sight
Oh no! There’s that guy from high school, and you’re trying your best not to make any sort of eye contact with them. “Hey … you!” you say out loud clumsily. What’s their name again? Did we have a class together? You can’t seem to remember. Use the default name of “buddy” if you’re unsure. Not knowing their name is awkward, but the awkwardness factor can also increase exponentially depending on where you are. If you’re both in line for a Porta Pottie at a beer festival, hard to say whether that’s super awkward or super awesome.

The Recognition
Well, you both just made eye contact and smiled uncomfortably. Now, you’re screwed. This means you have to say something. Are they going to make the first move? Should you pretend you don’t recognize them? Nope, it’s too late. You’re probably wishing right now that you had a breath mint or at least had spent a little more time on your appearance this morning.

Small talk
Your plan for escape didn’t work, obviously, and now you have to engage in awkward small talk with this person. They’ll tell you about all the great things going on in their life, from their new paleo diet to to their hasty engagement. Yikes! Now you have to respond right back with what you’re doing or not doing with your own life. You’re probably searching for something else to talk about or how to get out of this situation.

Ending the conversation
Now you’ve run out of things to talk about with this stranger. You try very hard to come up with something else to converse about to avoid the awkward silence but you soon come to the sudden realization that you deleted this guy on Facebook. You both give each other an awkward laugh and a prolonged “yeah” that brings so many conversations to a close. Now is your chance to make your exit. Hopefully they don’t say those dreaded words: “We should hang out some time!”

“Contact Karina Pauletti at [email protected].”