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Unexpected Familiarity

There's often a moment for all of us when we're out and about in the world, and we have to make a decision. We are going about our normal day. Maybe we're following an unnecessarily regimented, purely habitual routine; it's possible we're simply enjoying a conversation with a good friend or group of friends; perhaps we are late to an important meeting; or often enough we are just caught up in our thoughts or our own selfish desires. That's when we see him or her. Across the bar, in line at the coffee shop, in our shopping aisle, getting out of the adjacent car, we see an unexpected familiar face. What do we do? Maybe it's a personality thing, maybe it's a mood or a timing thing. A lot of people get excited and immediately head over to say hi. Personally? I do everything I can to avoid them. Mean right?? Ya, it is. Hypocritcal too, at least in my case. I the girl always saying, "I love to meet new people," "Let's do something different," "I need a job where I can interact with others," "I'm always up for new and random opportunities." Umm, hello? Fate is providing you with all those things and you are avoiding them in the form of a poorly executed "look past" (Oh, I didn't see you there, HI! How are you??), or the always trusty, "I'd look up but I'm in the middle of something super important on my phone" (Chelsie? Is that you? HI! How are you??), or the never failing quick dart to the nearest hiding place (I thought I saw you, HI! How are you??). So do I always happen to run in to people I don't want to see and never run into people I wouldn't mind seeing? No, not necessarily. Do I actually hate everyone and all forms of human interaction with them? No. So why am I the person who avoids unexpected meetings and tries to make their fated occurrence disappear altogether? Two reasons. First and foremost, if I'm at the store, coffee shop, etc. I'm on a mission. I don't particularly enjoy shopping or running errands or any of the like. I like to get in, get out and get on with the next thing. Though not quite as deliberatly, the same principal applies to bars, restaurants and other less mission-oriented activites. If I'm enjoying a girls night or I'm on a date or I'm just relaxing with friends, the last thing I want to do is fumble through an awkward conversation with an ex-boyfriend, someone I went to high school with that I never really talked to even then, a girl I met through someone else that one time at that one thing whose name I've narrowed down to two possibilites but it's a true toss up from there. And that right there is the second reason. It's always awkward. You always run into people you know. You never run into people you know well. And due to no superior or inferior possession of social skills by either party, generating a meaningful, coherent, easy going conversation out of the thin air surrounding a surprise attack has never been an easy task for anyone. Am I sure it's not just me? I'm pretty sure it's not just me. I've watched many strangers go through the exact same act I do. The look, the realization, the decision point, followed by the decision by both parties to pretend like the other is not in the room, or the decision by one or both (rarely both) to acknowledge the other and let the awkward dance begin. I watch these encounters and I can't help but smile to myself like everyone does when they witness something they are very happy not to be a part of it. At these times I watch a minute and then turn to my friend to let her in on the nearby entertainment, and just as I do, I happen to catch the eye of that one girl I sat near in physics my junior year of high school. Damn it...