It’s about that time…nearing the end of exams and all you want to do is go home to your cute dog, your mother’s home cooked meals and endless online streaming of missed television shows and movies. You might even get a seasonal summer job and hang out with some old friends for a catch up session. But then, you’re strolling through the grocery store with your mom only to run into your ex-friend, ex-lover, past teacher, old classmate or teammate, and the next thing you know you’re having one of those awful, awkward oh-Gawd-I-wish-this-would-end conversations that could have been perfectly avoidable if you had these five easy steps to avoiding people over the summer break. These five steps can be used in various scenarios, and they could save your life. Use them at your discretion.
1. The Hunch and Stagger
Let’s say you’re getting your summertime exercise on and decide to go to your local gym or you see that lame guy you stupidly had a crush on junior year of high school pumping iron in the weight room. As you’re walking through the workout area, you spot him as he’s setting down the weights, and he looks up and sees you. He smiles, mistaking your horror and disgust for an excited omg-it’s-been-forever-since-I’ve-seen-you face. You simply hunch over as if you are in agonizing pain. Imagine the pain you are feigning being similar to appendicitis or going into labor. Placing one hand over your mouth as if you’re going to hurl will also help with this move. Then you stagger quickly towards the nearest exit or restroom. This gives the undesired person the illusion that you have suddenly become ill and you urgently had to go take care of yourself. They will totally understand that your general health and well-being is more important than small talk with them and will not hold it against you.
2. The Neuralizer
This is one of my favorites. The Neuralizer is the tool used at the end of Men In Black. You know, that shiny little silver pen thing that when clicked in front of someone’s face causes their memory of all the events that have just taken place to be erased. This one is great if you’re strolling through the mall, or in one of your favorite stores. You see something you like and decide to buy it. You get to the register and one of your old classmates who you weren’t too fond of is the cashier. At this blatantly inconvenient confrontation you simply act as if you have no recollection of attending school with this person. You pretend that you have never ever seen this person before in your entire life. If they start with, “Hey, didn’t you go to (insert high school name)?”, you say, “Haha no, you must have me mixed up with someone else.”
3. The Headphones
This one works so well. All you need to do is have some headphones in your ears. Actual music playing is totally optional. That way if you see someone you know while you’re out and about, you can pretend not to hear them. This also works as a people-blocker in general. If the undesired person sees you with your headphones in they are less likely to approach you and try to make conversation.
4. The Inactive
This tip includes you being as inactive on social media as possible. So what if you’re home for the summer break? If you let everyone know this, you know a bunch of Undesireables who probably just want to be nosey are going try and hit you up for a hangout sesh. Post about your location and activities as little as possible and make sure your friends from home who you do hang out with don’t tag you in any photographs that reveal your location. The Undesireables will see it and they will contact you. Keep the Tweets vague and save the Instagram pics till the end of break.
5. The Please Excuse Me
This last one is probably the best if you find yourself caught up. Say you foolishly did not follow any of the four steps previously mentioned and you find yourself sitting at brunch with a high school frenemy or grabbing dinner with an old friend who should have stayed in the past. Or you decide to make friendly conversation with that old classmate at Martin’s or you run into an old teacher while visiting your high school. Chances are within 60 seconds of the situation you will regret it immediately. Have no fear, The Please Excuse Me is the perfect tool. You can pretend your phone vibrated and pretend to answer. Once you do this, you have an entire urgently fake conversation with no one. Then you hang up the phone and you say, “Please excuse me, my dog just got hit by a car I have to rush to the vet!” or, “Please excuse me, my car is getting towed right now!” Once you say this, you leave never to return. What if you don’t have your phone? Well then you act as if you are having a sudden epiphany “OMIGOODNESS I just forgot I was supposed to pick my little brother up from drum lessons!” and you politely excuse yourself from the most awkward conversation of your life. It will only be several hours later when they realize you don’t have a little brother, but by then you will be back in bed burning your eyes from too much Netflix.