So I went to a job interview a few months ago. It was pretty standard and went fine. The woman wasn't really listening to any of my answers, so I felt good about that. But as I'm leaving, after receiving the weakest handshake of my adult life, I turn to walk out the front door followed by three random people. Two dudes that appeared to be good friends, and a woman with a two year old that was doing her own thing.
I'm turning to leave and start to hold the door for these people. While doing this I catch a glimpse of one of the guys who throws me a polite smile as he's chatting with his buddy, and I'm pretty positive I recognize him as a guy I used to work with that I probably haven't seen in a year. So my brain starts working overtime arguing against itself that this is in fact someone I know, but then again, no it's totally not. It looks exactly like him, plus the smile and the cock-back of the head as if to say slyly "What's up man? Long time no see" are dead giveaways. The rational part of my brain says "You didn't really get a good enough look at this guy to be positive, plus you know FOR A FACT that this person is currently not living in this state and hasn't been for almost a year. Also, what's the harm in waiting to make sure it's really him?"
Unfortunately, the part of my brain that thinks it's funny to be awkward in public gave a big "fuck you" to being rational. As we're all out the door, I turn again and give a good look this time, just to make sure it's him.
Brain: Yeah, that's totally him. Without question. I feel almost dumb that I had to check twice. Hey, mouth, go ahead and start talking. Oh, and arm, hand, and finger, go ahead and start pointing at this guy like you recognize him.
Me: (with the biggest, dumbest, goofiest smile you could possibly imagine) WHAT'S UP MAN!?!
Guy: (pauses to take in the moment. Smiles in the way you might smile at a retarded person approaching you suddenly to show you how strong they are)
Me: (pausing, now with a half smile, I realize this is not the person I wish it was. I'm still pointing) You look exactly like a guy...(I trail off wanting to stop talking, but I can't). I thought you we're someone else.
Guy: (being polite and trying not to laugh) Oh, no problem man.
Brain: Sweet, we're doing good everybody. Arm, hand, and finger, go ahead and slowly drop to his side. Mouth keep talking. Eyes, keep staring. You're all doing great!
Me: Yeah, I turned and I thought you said 'Hey'...
Guy: (giving me an opportunity to save face) No worries. (He and his friend turn and start walking ahead of me silently shaking with laughter)
Brain: Okay, I know he's not even looking at you, but keep talking, we can make this weirder. And voice, be louder!
Me: ...And then I thought I recognized you! Aaaaand I'm still talking. This is really awkward. I apologize.
Guy: (still chuckling) It's okay.
I finally let them go ahead and build distance in front of me in a hallway that felt like it was no less than a mile in length. I even contemplated ducking into a women's bathroom just to get away, but I thought better of it. I just dawdled hoping that they would simply vanish.
Looking back on the day, I don't think I could have made that situation more awkward for all parties involved. The woman with the baby sped up just to get away from the whole thing. Even her two year old was like "Seriously man, what was that? I don't even fully understand the feeling of embarrassment since I'm only 2, but that was embarrassing....I feel embarrassed for you."
I just laughed, because that's really all I know how to do. It was between that or crying. And even though my brain thinks public awkwardness is hysterical, it understands that there are boundaries. Fucking brain.
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