Situation #17 – The spontaneous reunion

26 06 2008

The situation: You’re working on the Saturday crossword over a coffee at your local Starbucks, when a guy who is only vaguely familiar approaches your table, claiming to recognize you from somewhere. Quick, what’s a seven-letter synonym for uncomfortable?

If you choose to go down the “Where do we know each other from?” path, you will inevitably arrive at some unsatisfying conclusion, such as the realization that you once shared crayons in kindergarten. Then you will engage in strained reminiscence. “Remember how you couldn’t pronounce ‘l’s so you kept asking to borrow my boo?” Now you are left to account for the last twenty-some-odd years of your life. It’s similar to the oft-dreaded high school reunion but without the opportunity to rent a Rolls Royce ahead of time.

The solution: Whenever someone approaches you and says “Excuse me,don’t I know you from somewhere? …You were in my class!” there is one and only one acceptable response:

“I was your teacher.” And it is imperative that you say this with a feigned British accent and a smugness reserved only for those who had the foresight to protect their skin from fine lines and wrinkles while still in the midst of puberty. All other responses you may think of on the spot will only put you on the fast track to Awkwardville.

Frankly, who cares where you actually know each other from? Whatever the answer is will only provide you with a very limited means of relating to each other. If you can’t bond over a shared appreciation for early 90s Oil of Olay commercials, there is no hope for you anyway.

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