Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Running Into My Old Flame

If I knew ahead of time that I was going to run into a guy I used to date in college, I probably would have put a little more effort into my appearance.    But, hey, I was just taking a day trip with my husband and kids.  Truthfully, we were all looking a little disheveled.  I was quite relieved that with all the people around us, my old flame didn't recognize me.
It made me wonder what I would have done if he had recognized me.  Obviously, I want to look attractive and confident.  I don't want to do anything that will make him think, "Phew, glad I didn't end up with her."  It'd be better if he thought, "Hey, I must have been pretty cool back then to get a date with her." 

Jane Austen's Persuasion begins with just such a situation, only in Anne's case, she still has feelings for her old flame.  Though she has a few days to prepare for their meeting, she doesn't pull it off too well.  Austen writes that "a thousand feelings rushed on Anne, of which this was the most consoling, that it would soon be over."  Anne's petrified reaction didn't make a great impression on Captain Wentworth, who later reported that she was so different he wouldn't have recognized her.

Stumbling words along with a shocked expression won't help my case. Here's my plan for the next time this happens to me:
  • Smile.
  • Act surprised to see him. Say something like, "Wow, I'm surprised to see you.  How have you been?" Don't say it's good to see him, unless I actually feel that way.
  • Be grateful for the life I have now, so I can confidently explain how great my life is.
  • Put an attractive picture of myself on facebook.  

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the good chuckle! Isn't it always true that we don't ever feel prepared to run into old flames or friends? I'm not on facebook, so I'll just have to make sure Adam only posts the most attractive photos!

    And by the way, the photo of you on this blog is great! Make sure you post that one.

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  2. I had to laugh at the last one. Everyone's on FB nowadays, so that's not a bad idea!

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  3. Amy, I have the same picture on Facebook. Rachel Nelson took it for me so I'd have a nice one to put in my book. I never bothered to go to get a good picture before that.

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