When I last left you, I had just experienced the first openly awkward encounter with one of the family members.
It was in the previously mentioned sea of bubbles that I was blindsided. I was expecting things to be (the closest to) normal with this person…but I was wrong. And it didn’t get better…we had another, and equally awkward, run-in at the reception.
At first I was a little miffed about the weirdness, but after some thought, I realized that it had to be equally as uncomfortable for this group to see me as it was for me to see them… I mean, I was supposed to be a part of the family and then I just… wasn’t…and even worse, I went off and married someone else! So… yeah, it was a weird situation.
Ben and I quickly moved on to a different part of the group and--after a flub-up on a relative’s name and a sideways glance after telling her that Ben was my husband– had a really nice chat with other people I knew. It was while standing in this group that I almost had a heart attack (numero uno).
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a familiar face walking toward us.
“No. No. No. There is NO WAY that he’d come over here. NO WAY! Just… NO,” I thought.
But, he kept coming. Closer and closer. Everything slowed down to the point that I was a living instant replay….
“Nooo-oooo-oooo Waaa-aaaaay,” I screamed inwardly!
And then, standing right in front of me was the ex.
If the ground could have opened up and swallowed me whole, I wouldn’t have minded. As it was, I am pretty sure that my face changed three different colors and my legs almost gave out.
This had to be a joke, or a mirage? Something.
And yet, there he was. Still standing there.
It was the first time that we had seen each other since the day I left Virginia, just over two years ago. Except, this time, I was looking at a stranger.
“Hi! How’s it going?!” He asked, as if we were best friends.
After a pause to collect my thoughts and concentrate on my face not turning purple, I replied, “I’m doing very well, how are you?”
Now, I said in my previous post that I was more worried about seeing the family of the ex than the ex, himself. As I mentioned, we aren’t on bad terms but we also are not friends. We just… aren’t on any terms.
Needless to say, I hadn’t planned on him coming up and acting buddy-buddy. I figured he would do what any reasonable adult would do; ignore my existence unless we ran into each other getting a drink and then politely nod, exchange the obligatory, “nice to see you,” then go back to ignoring me. That’s what a normal person would do. And as much as I hate to admit it, it’s what I had planned on doing.
I should have remembered that nothing I ever plan on actually happens… usually the exact opposite happens.
Instead of moving away from the group I was with, the ex continued to stand there and pry conversation out of me as I skillfully hid the fact that I was having a minor stroke.
I can’t imagine what was going through Ben’s head as he watched his wife, face changing colors, sweating and legs shaking, and her ex-fiance, standing there with a manic smile and equally red face, trying to make small talk. That Farmer Ben is a keeper. If he was nervous, he didn’t show it.
I eventually re-introduced the ex to Ben, proving that I am, in fact, the universal queen of all awkward situations on the planet. Let’s just say, it could have been a lot less weird, but I took care of it.
About 15 seconds after this awful re-introduction I saw another familiar face striding toward me.
“JAY!” I screamed as I practically jumped into his arms. I had never been happier to see my old roommate than I was at that exact second.
After a few more painful minutes, Ben and I headed back toward my car and started driving toward the reception site.
We decided that we both needed a beer.
I had been told by the ex that the reception site-the eagle’s club- had a giant eagle statue in front of it. I realized this was true after I sped past it. Of course I had someone following me, so I was pretty embarrassed when I had to slam on my brakes and pull into the next driveway to turn around. Oops. My bad.
Jay and his girlfriend, Ben and myself and another couple found a table in the middle of the reception hall. This seemed to be the safest place…at least that is what I had planned on, anyway.
We sat and chatted for a few minutes and watched as the rest of the wedding crowd trickled into the room.
The family and wedding party started to find their way into the building.
My heart sank as I watched something happen and knew there was nothing I could do to stop it.
Cue slow motion.
“Nooooo…No….Nooooo… No-ooooo Waaa-aaaay,” my inner warped voice screamed.
It was happening again. As I watched in horror, the ex and his date entered, he made eye contact, glanced hurriedly around the room (or in my mind, slowly around the room) and then made a beeline for a table. But not just any table. The exact table that Ben and I were sitting at.
The two sat down and everyone else at the table collectively stopped talking, exchanged looks of horror and then stared down at their laps. No one knew what to do.
I am pretty sure my face went from its normal pinkish-pale to bright red to paper white and my stomach went from its usual place, down to my butt, up to my throat and back. Twice.
Ben, noting my face color, asked “Are you okay?”
I heard the ex mutter to Jay, “I figured I would dispel some of the awkward-ness now. You know?”
I almost jumped on the table and yelled “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! How is this NOT AWKWARD?!” But I remembered that it wasn’t my day and that I was in a crowded room, so I didn’t. Instead I sat there, exchanged a dumbfounded look with a friend of mine and then got up to get a beer.
After that, the night was pretty calm. There were a few more awkward interactions and I somehow ended up having a really nice conversation with the ex’s date (she was a pretty cool lady, props! ). Go figure.
Ben and I enjoyed a few dances together and Jay, our friend Danielle, and I reminisced about our time in DC.
Everyone at the table enjoyed people watching and the awe that comes with being in such a rural town. I really loved seeing Laura and Ted enjoy their first few hours of wedded bliss. So much happiness.
As much as I hate to say it, I give the ex props for being the bigger adult in this situation… not saying that I would have been rude to him, but I probably would have handled the situation a little differently if the roles were reversed.
In short, I got through the night. Ben got through the night. We did it together. I couldn’t have asked for a better date…or a better husband for that matter.
Upon leaving, I sighed with relief. I knew that I had survived the collision of my past and present. I smiled to myself as I realized once again that I am truly blessed. Every ridiculous crazy things has happened for a reason, even if I have no idea what it is at the time.
We got in the car and drove back toward my sister’s house. The night was over. And I was leaving with my person. Thank God.