20-Somethings Hate: Randomly Running Into People

I hate randomly running into people. Whether it’s a friend, an enemy, an acquaintance, a co-worker, or an old high school classmate, I don’t like running into anyone.

First of all, it’s awkward. Say you’re at the mall shopping and you casually run into one of your ‘best friends’. One would think this would be exciting, but it’s actually not. If you’re that good of friends and you ended up at the same place, why didn’t you go together? Why didn’t either of you offer an invite to join them? Why didn’t you know she was going where you were going? Does she not like you? Is she avoiding you? WTF.

And what if you’re out to dinner with some friends and you run into an acquaintance/friend of friends. You’re busy eating and mingling, and don’t have much time for small talk. You didn’t invite this person with you, so you already sent the message that you aren’t THAT good of friends, which is awkward for everyone now even though everyone already knew it. Seeing acquaintances is fine when planned and in large groups of people… but when you’re alone and unarmed, it’s not.

Now for my favorite disaster: the times you see someone you went to grade school, high school, college, or camp with in a store. There really is nothing worse than seeing someone you kind of used to know in a store. Whether it’s an old friend or someone you never spoke to, if you both know who each other are – cue the awkwardness. I have done the hide-in-isles act far too many times… And the pretend-i’m-on-the-phone… And the don’t-make-eye-contact… Oh, and the put-on-the-sunglasses (duh). But no matter what you do, your shopping experience is now ruined. You have to dodge the person down different isles like you’re playing a game in gym class. You have to make yourself look good because well, they haven’t seen you in years and you’re a much classier, nicer, and all around better person now. So now your casual shopping trip has turned into an intense game of hide (but not really hide) and not seek.

'I really hope she didn't see me...'

If you were able to avoid each other… or pretend you avoided each other… then good for you. But if not, and the other person spots you and comes running over to say hello, then you have lost the game. You will both say hello… how are you… what have you been up to… And you will both manage to pretend you didn’t know these things about one another, even though you already saw on Facebook (No one wants to look like a stalker, even though we all are). After, you will both awkwardly say bye and then start to walk in the same direction… meaning one of you will have to slow your roll or head back down the frozen foods isle one more time. Not to mention you may see them again by the fruit… and then again by the cash register. That just means some more awkward ‘Hey again!‘s’ will happen. Awkward.

'You work there??? I had no idea! I never read your Facebook updates... and I never looked at your Linked In after you requested me...' haha NOT.

So if you randomly see me out and you’re not afraid of the awkward encounter, come over and say hello. I don’t bite. But I will try to avoid you at all costs unless 1. I am drunk or 2. our reunion is unavoidable. As long as you aren’t awkward, I won’t be awkward. However, the situation will still inevitably be awkward. Especially if you say hello and either run away or clearly act like the last thing you wanted to do today is see me (sorry about that)…

Basically, I hate running into people. But I also secretly love it if I look good… and you don’t. What about you?

Samantha Matt

Hi I’m Sam. I made this website in 2011 and it’s still going. My first book, AVERAGE IS THE NEW AWESOME, is coming out in January (you can buy it right now on Amazon or from your fave bookstore!). I like pizza, French fries, barre, spin, more pizza, more French fries, and buying clothes. Writing is fun. Follow me on twitter & Instagram at @samanthamatt1... and on this site's meme account on IG at @20somethingproblems. OKAY GREAT THANKS BYE.

2 Comments
  1. I’m from a small town and haven’t “lived” at home since after my freshmen year of college… Absolutely HATE running into people at the store… Hoodie up, sunglasses on, how did they recognize me, and why are they acting like we used to be friends? hahaha I couldn’t agree more 🙂

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