We began planning our girls’ night out two weeks ago.  Throughout the planning phase, there was a minimum of fifty Facebook messages flying around at any given moment in attempts to satisfy six women’s busy schedules.  In order to accommodate one schedule, we had to acquiesce to an unexpected but “honored guest” attending.  An honored guest is a husband that has to tag along for one reason or another, sits quietly, tunes us out, and basically does his own thing throughout the evening. Unfortunately for us (well, really for me), this honored guest had a friend that wanted to tag along too.

Husband’s friend and I started dating months ago.  It was controversial because of the way we knew each other – he was my ex-boyfriend’s brother-in-law’s best friend.  To further complicate things, my ex-boyfriend’s sister is one of my closest friends.  Pretty incestuous shit.  The situation was convoluted at best and likely should have been avoided, but it wasn’t.  We dated for three months; he had a commitment-phobic panic-anic attack, and dumped me.

In the time since our breakup I’d dreaded seeing him.  I strategically avoided certain parts of town to ensure that I wouldn’t.  And now, two months after our split and en route to the bar with my girls, I got a call saying he was meeting us out.  He had weaseled his way into girls’ night out by convincing the honored guest that it was okay if he came, which it wasn’t.  And, as if seeing him that night wasn’t going to suck badly enough, in that moment, I had the most horrifying realization.  I realized that I was wearing the exact same dress (one that I didn’t really even like) I was wearing the last time I saw him at the worst lunch of my entire life.

I completely panicked.  I begged my friend to switch dresses with me.  She had already been complaining that her dress was too short anyway.  It was the perfect solution to both of our problems:  people would no longer potentially see her ass when she walked and he wouldn’t think that I only owned one item of clothing.  But, she refused.  She cited all kinds of reasons why it wouldn’t work.  She said my dress wouldn’t fit her (which it would), her shoes didn’t match (which they did), and that there was nowhere for us to change (which there was).  I tried everything I could think of to convince her.  I offered to buy her drinks for the night.  I even offered to baby-sit her kids.  Nothing.  When bribing her didn’t work, I tried to play on her sympathies.  I even went so far as to rip off my dress and throw it at her, leaving me in the back seat practically naked in my bra and t-back underwear with tears in my eyes.  Alas, the answer was no.

Inside of the bar, the largest table we found on the patio was a picnic table for four.  I strategically placed myself as far away from him as humanly possible at the table.  I prayed that my years of practice of pretending not to see people when they were literally standing right next to me would pay off in this moment.  But, they didn’t.  I saw him.  And, he saw me see him.  And, he spoke to me.  And, I sort of spoke back.  And surprisingly, it didn’t even come close to killing me as I assumed it would.  As it turned out, I thought he was kind of a bore.  And a know-it-all.  As it turned out, the months since our breakup had dulled the heartache.  And in the end, the most painful thing about that night was that damn dress.

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