Strange Encounters of the Hot Mess Kind

I didn’t think I had it in me, but apparently I possess the ability to crumble into a steaming pile of spaz with merely a glimpse of a guy I dated for a few months so long as that glimpse also includes an impossibly skinny brunette. There was a time that I dreamt I had more dignity than that, but I was wrong. Because today a poorly timed siting at Rainbow Foods just completely ruined my shit.

He was one of many who disappeared without so much as a “nice knowing you” over the past year. (Side bar: my 26th year isn’t nearly as pathetic as it sounds… post side bar: that’s a lie.) Nothing really separates him from the others who have come and gone. In fact, as a recovering cheater with a penchant for recreational pill popping, he was “action-packed with issues” and a less suitable match than some of the others. It was only the perfect storm of pitiful that snowballed into a terrifically tragic experience.

Given the fact that he lives in my apartment complex, I had always known it would only be a matter of time before we ran into each other. But I hoped that time would come when I was put together and gorgeous and could be all breezy and classy about it. I had gone grocery shopping a hundred times in the past year and each time I managed to look like a human being with working shower. Instead my moment came in the form of an emergency grocery run. After I had spent an entire day scrubbing floors, dusting, baking and painting in a dirty t-shirt and jeans. In short, I looked less than stellar, smelled like a foot and wasn’t in the most charming of moods.

 In a fair, benevolent world, I would have looked like this.

 In a fair, benevolent world, I would have looked like this.

  Reality was much different.

 

Reality was much different.

So when I saw him mulling over the merits of Tropicana compared to Simply Orange, all I could do is offer up an idiotic smile and a dopey wave before I darted down the wrong aisle. Naturally the last item I needed was in the exact opposite direction I had headed so I my only real option was usher past him once again on my way to the dairy case. It was during this excruciating backtracking that I caught a glimpse of the cute brunette who was helping him make his serious vitamin C-related decisions. A perfect picture of domesticity on this holiday weekend. From the guy who couldn’t commit to plans more than an hour in advance because his life was just too up in the air one short year ago.

The worst part about it is, if I’m being honest, had I been seeing someone I wouldn’t have been at all derailed by this encounter. Even if Mr. Wonderful wasn’t there with me, the thought of having someone would have been enough to buffer the blow that someone I barely know from Adam was inexplicably able to deliver with only his presence paired with some random bird. Because all it really comes down to is winning.

It’s not about thinking I missed out on a relationship with this guy. It was simply about wanting to look better and be happier than someone who dismissed me without a second thought. My ego had been bruised and the only thing that would fix it is declaring victory in the most superficial of arenas. Alas, he won this round. But at least I learned a valuable lesson: never leave the house looking like a strung out monstrosity. Ever.