By Nina Patel
If you’re like me, you hate interacting with anyone ever. You make plans with friends with the secret hope that they’ll cancel so you can sit alone in your room watching shitty reality shows “ironically.” Socializing in general is a chore, but there are a few people who you dread running into more than anyone. These are the worst 5 people to run into in public.
Picture this: It’s a Saturday. You told yourself you were going to spend all day doing homework, but it’s 2pm and your backpack remains unopened. The most productive thing you’ve done all day is get out of bed to find a charger for your phone, which died part way through season 2 of Love Is Blind. You decide that after a long day’s work, it’s time to get some fresh air and clear your head with a walk. What a healthy decision! So you roll out of bed, throw on a hoodie and head outside. You’re almost starting to understand why people enjoy leaving the house when you see someone in the distance who vaguely resembles that hot guy in your English class who you recently decided you’re madly in love with. Sure, you’ve never talked to him or even heard him talk, but something about him just screams “I’ll be a great first husband until we’re five years and two kids down the road and my music career still hasn’t taken off!” Since you obviously can’t let your future husband see you in your current state, you jump into some nearby bushes. Great save! As you wait patiently, you encounter a friendly family of squirrels. One tries to hug your face with its claws and the prospect of physical affection causes you to leap from the bush, landing directly in the path of the middle-aged man who you were sure had the same haircut as your crush. You should have stayed inside.
4. Friends’ Parents
We all have that one friend with super strict parents who don’t trust anyone except for you because they know you’re the only person in the world who’s more of a nerd than their own kid. It’s very important that you stay on their good side because they make you feel special and you are in desperate need of validation. So, when you see them, you must be on your best behavior. You definitely don’t want to be tailgating them on the highway driving 20 MPH over the speed limit, only to eventually pass them and flip them off without realizing who they are. It will be very awkward when you end up next to them at a red light a few minutes later, silently soaking in their disappointed stares.
3. That one guy whose name you should really know
Maybe he’s from school, maybe he’s from work, maybe he’s just someone who lives in the neighborhood. Each day he greets you by name, and each day you respond with “how’s it going buddy,” “great to see you man” or “what’s up bro”. He thinks you guys are just such great pals that you’re on a nickname basis, but the truth is that you’ve never known his name and at this point it’s too weird to ask. In fact, you think it’s a little weird that he knows your name. What, is he stalking you or something?
No one likes seeing a teacher outside of school. It’s unnatural. Of course, some part of you knows that they have a life outside of the classroom, but part of you also wants to believe that they really do sleep at school every night, occasionally having dinner parties with other faculty members. It’s especially unpleasant when they’re with their family, because you prefer to think of your teachers as asexual beings whose worlds revolve entirely around you, their favorite pupil of all time.
1. The reanimated corpse of a deceased relative
There is absolutely nothing more awkward than running into a relative in public, especially when they’ve recently come back from the dead. You thought your mom screaming “Have a great day my little cutie-patootie” out the window every day when she dropped you off for school was embarrassing, but it’s nothing compared to the half-rotted corpse of your grandmother pinching your cheeks and telling you how big you’ve gotten in front of all of your friends. And then, of course, she’ll have a million questions about your life; how you’re doing in school, who your friends are, what you do for fun these days. She’s so desperate to entertain herself with every little detail of your life, you’d almost think she’d been living underground for the past three years.