Uh-oh, ex alert!


You run into people in the strangest places, don’t you? You’re just out minding your own business when you see someone who looks oddly familiar. Your brain scans the files of relatives, coworkers, and classmates. No matches. The person is closing in on you. You blow the dust of your cerebral “names of people I once knew” box and flit through the folders. Hurry!

It’s no use. You’re about to be reintroduced. Last-ditch effort: do the alphabet scan thing.

A – Albert: No. I would never date an Albert.

B – Brian: Hmm, I think I had a one-nighter with a Brian once.

C – Chris: He doesn’t look like a Chris. Maybe if he had lighter hair.

D – Damian: Scary.

E – Edward: My grandfather’s name was Edward. I wouldn’t have forgotten that name.

F – Oh, fuck … too late.

“Hi, Beth, how are you?”

“Fine. So nice to see you again.”

Here comes that awkward hug. Maybe I can match the scent.

“Nice to see you too.”

“Gosh, it has been so long.”

“Oh, silly, last spring isn’t that long ago.”

Time to recover. I wish my dumbass friend would introduce herself before I embarrass myself.

“To you, maybe. I’ve been so busy.”

“So, who’s your friend.”

Come on, girlfriend. God, she’s stupid. This bitch is buying the rest of the night.

“This is Allie.”

“Hi, Allie. I’m Franco. Beth and I met on eHarmony and went on a date last year.”


“Look at that: My glass is empty. Be right back. Anybody need one?”

It’s wise to remove yourself from a stressful situation to regroup and analyze. Search your phone. Nothing. No use signing into eHarmony here. I suggest you use humor to diffuse the situation. If that doesn’t work, lie.

“Oh, hey there, Beth. Welcome back. What are you drinking?”


“… and club soda?”

“… and more vodka.”

This is where your friend excuses herself to allow you to do some treading in the tears of your ex.

“So, I never heard back from you.”

“Um. Yeah. Sorry about that.”

“That’s OK.”


“I mean, I liked you and thought we were a great match.”



“I still do, in fact.”

“You’re sweet.”

“But, you never returned my calls or text messages, so I assumed you weren’t interested.”

“Right. Well …”

“You don’t have to explain. Jeez. It’s like almost two years ago. I’m over it. No biggie.”

“Ah, OK.”

“I’m still single. How about you?”

“Kind of dating someone.”

“Is it serious?”

*gulp* I’m going to kill Allie.

“Serious enough.”

“Do you think you’ll marry him?”

“I don’t know. Gee, where did Allie go?”

“She’s over there talking to the bartender.”

“Oh, maybe she needs a hand.”

“I get it. You’re trying to ditch me. That’s OK. I’m sorry I bothered you.”

“No, not at all. Look, Franco, you’re a great guy. I just wasn’t ready back then, I guess.”

“Well, if you weren’t ready you shouldn’t have been on eHarmony and you certainly shouldn’t have let me take you out.”

“Yep. You’re right.”


“Why don’t you make it up to me by letting me take you out tomorrow night?”

“Because I’m dating someone, remember?”

“You’re just making that up as an excuse to get away from me.”


“Be right back. Hey, Allie …”

As we toss bodies on the pile of exes, we’re eventually going to have to deal with the stench or find new landfills.

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About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.