The great physicists may have discovered gravity, the theory of relativity and that whole thing about an object in motion, but they've left out one of the most reliable laws of the universe.
If you go out looking like shit you will see someone you know.
And the degree to which you look like shit will determine how much you don't want to see the person you're about to run into.
For example, if you run into Walgreens with your greasy hair wound up in a pony tail holder, messy bun catastrophe and an underground zit on your nose that you've been trying in vain to pop all day until you look like you're about to guide a sleigh through fog on Christmas Eve, you WILL see your ex-boyfriend and his gorgeous, skinny, and probably Brazilian new wife and you WILL be holding a box of super-absorbency tampons.
I hate seeing people I know in public. Even if I adore you, I will still be uncomfortable seeing you in the grocery store. I can't tell you how many times I have avoided people that I genuinely like because I don't want to make small talk on a street corner. There are two reasons for this. One is that I don't like being caught off guard and two is that I am so socially inept that I need a lot of mental preparation before conversing or I will probably say or do something awkward and inappropriate. And I guess three is that I probably look like shit.
Case in point, last week I got bored and went to the mall for God knows what reason, and I kid you not, I must have seen pretty much everyone that I know there. You cannot imagine how bad I looked. No makeup, dirty hair, muffin top jeans, crappy tee shirt. I looked like I should have been working on a car engine, but no, there I was, shopping. Naturally, everyone that I saw looked fabulous and had combed their hair before they left the house. I bet everyone who saw me thought the same thing:
"Thank God she's shopping. Maybe she'll get some new clothes and while she's at it, how about a stop at the MAC counter for a makeover. Lord have mercy."
My poor sister has one of the worst seeing your ex out in public stories of all time.
She ran into the guy she lost her virginity to, who is now grown up, hot and successful, at a restaurant. She was two months post-partum, and well, that's about all I need to say. She was nursing in public, then the baby began to scream and I mean SCREAM, because it knew of course that her ex had just walked in, because babies are evil like that. Then the baby shit and spit up and at that time the ex decided to come over and talk to my poor sister, whose boob was practically lying in her pasta bowl and of course she hadn't lost the baby weight or had time to touch up her roots and forget trying to put makeup on. There was nothing nice about this situation and what made it worse was that the ex was there with his new wife who was stunning and 85 pounds and had a mane of hair that looked like something out of a Pantene commercial and you could just hear her thinking "Wow, he took HER virginity? He must have felt sorry for her."
The worst is unexpectedly running into someone with whom you've had sex or been intimate.
All I wanted was a god damned burrito, but right when I walked in the door who do I see but the Toe Sucker. The Toe Sucker was this guy I briefly dated forever ago, but whom I can never forget, for obvious reasons. I didn't have sex with him, but we did hook up, as they say, a few times and although he was kind of nice, we just weren't a good match (I don't like to suck toes). But there he was hovering open mouthed over a steak burrito as if it were a freshly pedicured foot and he too was there with his new lover, who was definitely prettier than me (aren't they always?) and all I could think about was that he was probably going to go home and lick her from her ears to her ankles, so before he could even say hello, which he was about to, I suddenly lost my appetite, turned and walked right out.
People probably think I'm unfriendly. I'm not. I just can't handle chatting in Publix with people who've seen me naked and there's nothing worse than standing there with the new wife glaring at you when you can't get stop thinking "I fucked your husband." Unless you hate her and then it's a little fun. Not that this has happened to me. Ahem. I can just imagine it.
I was even a little unnerved at seeing my doctor in yoga class, although it was somewhat of a comfort in case I happened to drop dead, which is a likely scenario and it was also a little comforting knowing that your doctor can bust out a bad ass hand stand. But still. This man has held my uterus. He's had more of his hand up my vagina than my husband. I don't want him judging my downward facing dog, ya know?
Once I ran into a guy who had truly, deeply done me wrong. He led me on with lies, promised to call, never did, gave me the run around after seducing me when I was really innocent. He knew that I had been badly hurt by other men and willfully chose to add himself to the already long list of shitty guys in my life. Hell holds a special place for men who treat girls like this. One day I would like to be the dungeon master in charge of this circle of the Inferno. Anyway, when I encountered him again a few years later, it was at the country club where I worked and he was on his way to his rehearsal dinner and wedding (I still cannot believe someone married him), because this is my life and this is the kind of crap that happens to me. So alarmed was I about seeing this fool, that I took my lunch break and went and bought a new shirt. I don't even think he recognized me when he saw me but at least he wasn't all like, oh look I'm getting married and there goes some girl in a shirt she spilled coffee all over this morning.
And if you happen to run into an ex in, say, I don't know, Target, when you look like total hell, you can swiftly hide in the makeup department and try on a few samples to spiff yourself up. I'm not, of course, saying that this has actually happened to me, again. I'm just saying that maybe if it did happen, maybe you could do that. Even though they kind of discourage you from opening up the makeup in the Target cosmetics department.
"IT'S AN EMERGENCY! MY EX IS HERE WITH HIS NEW GIRLFRIEND!" I said. I mean, I WOULD say were I ever in that unfortunate situation. I like to think they'd understand because haven't we all been there? No? We haven't? It's just me?
So if you see me out and I flee, please know it's not because I don't like you, but probably because I like you a lot, or I once liked you very much or maybe even once I loved you. It is because I want you to like me and if you saw me or talked to me, maybe deep down I fear you wouldn't.
My memoir THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL LIFE is out on June 7th. Preorder it now at any of the links below.