You know that fantasy everyone has? Or at least, that all women have? About running into an ex-boyfriend at the grocery store? And in the fantasy, you’re looking all fabulous, having just come from the hairdressers, and coincidentally you are wearing your favorite jeans, the ones that make your rear look the smallest, and luckily you’ve just gotten over the stomach flu and lost ten pounds, and your make up is fresh, and you just happen to be laughing, tossing your golden mane at the exact moment the ex (bonus points if it’s an ex who dumped YOU, instead of the other way around) comes round the aisle and sees you in all your spontaneous glorious fabulousness …. You know that fantasy?
Not to be confused with the NIGHTMARE, the one that also involves a grocery store and an ex-boyfriend, but in this version you are wearing your rattiest sweat pants that do nothing to hide your saddle bags, and you still have on yesterday’s old eye makeup, and you’ve gained about a zillion pounds, and your hair is pulled up in a ponytail and pulled through a ratty baseball cap? Do you have that nightmare also?
And can you GUESS which one happened to me tonight?????
Well, technically, it was the nightmare-once-removed, because it wasn’t my ex-boyfriend, but my ex-boyfriend’s wife, who used to sit next to me in high school biology. (Remember, small towns rock!)
Brayden and I were at the grocery store, buying something to make for dinner because even my children are sick and tired of eating at McDonalds, and I figured now that I’ve unpacked the saucepans and the crockpot, it’s about time I started cooking real food again. I deserve a break today, my ass, I think my family deserves some fruit and vegetables.
So there I was, pushing a cart through Wal-Mart, wearing the afore-mentioned sweat pants and a huge baggy sweatshirt. I *did* at least shower today and put on make up, but my hair was totally pulled up in a scrunchie, and since I’d been unpacking boxes all day, pausing only long enough to go to my nephew’s basketball game, I am pretty confident the make-up had all but faded away. Let’s just say NOBODY was confusing me with Claudia Schiffer.
And as I was pushing along, bitching out loud about how this Wal-Mart is set up all different and wrong than the one in Georgia, and nothing is where it is supposed to be, and Pepperidge Farm Stuffing, for God’s sake, where is the Pepperidge Farm Stuffing?!?!?! she turned the corner and stepped right in front of me, facing the other way.
It’s been close to twenty years since I’ve seen either of them, and of course my first thought when I saw her was, “Holy crap, where is **he** and is it too late for me to run and hide behind that large display of cornstarch????”
Now, just to clarify, this isn’t THE boyfriend, the-THE boyfriend (we all have one, of course), the one that broke my heart and left me like a sack of garbage on the side of broken-heart highway. No, *that* one I’ve already bumped into and made my peace with. But this one was the “first” one, and he was a great guy. I have nothing but happy memories and fond recollections for that relationship, which lasted almost eighteen months, which everyone knows in “high school time” is practically forever. Naturally, at the ripe old age of 17, I was pretty devastated when he dumped me.
Damn, I got dumped a lot when I was younger, didn’t I?
Anyway, happy memories and fond recollections aside, I still didn’t want him to see me looking like that. So I whipped the scrunchie out of my hair, ran my finger over my teeth to make sure there was no lipstick there, and followed her for a few feet, waiting for him to make his appearance. About the time I realized she must have been there by herself, since he never materialized, she stopped to look at something on a shelf. I kept walking and got ready to pass her, wondering if I should stop and say hello.
I mean, if he’s not there, maybe I got lucky and squeaked by. I would hate for her to go home and say to him, “I ran into Kristie at Wal-Mart tonight --- boy, you dodged the bullet on that one! I wouldn’t have even recognized her! She’s got to be thirty pounds heavier than she was in school, with huge dark circles under her eyes, her roots are grown out at least two inches, and it appears she shops for her clothes at Bob’s Sporting Goods.”
Seriously, that is NOT how the fantasy goes at all!
As I pulled up alongside her in the aisle, I turned, thinking I would have no choice but to say hello (and to be honest, I always liked her in high school so saying a pleasant hello wouldn’t be the most difficult thing in the universe) and I took a good look at her --- and realized ---- I wasn’t so sure that was her after all. I mean, she looked sort of the same … basically …. pretty much …. but twenty years is a long time, and I wasn’t positive. If it *was* her, she’s definitely changed. At least some. But haven’t we all?
So I walked on past, without saying anything.
I figure now she’ll go home tonight and tell him that I’m old, fat, disheveled, wrinkled, ill-dressed AND RUDE!
Remind me again why small towns rock?