As my girlfriend and I were leaving our building to go have dinner at my mom's place last night, my ex--who I haven't spoken to in nearly 3 years after our relationship ended poorly--appeared in front of me. She walked right past the entrance as I was walking down the stairs and I thought to myself, "Yes, please keep walking. You didn't see me. I have sunglasses on. Sunglasses hide all." Then I hear her stop walking and she turns around and says my name in that quizzical and awkward tone people use when they unexpectedly run into someone they don't want to talk to. Of course, I mirrored her awkward squawk with one of mine own, hiding the "What the fuck are you doing where I live?" behind "Heyyyyy, how are you?" (If I were a tool, this is where I would've clasped my hands together and bounced them up and down). Of course, my girlfriend is standing right there, so I avoided a potentially damaging faux pas and introduced the two of them immediately. They silently shook hands and we began our inept conversational dance. I asked how teaching was going, she asked how my mother was. The whole time each of us were visibly trying to break away from the moment and go on to whatever else we planned on doing; her laughing nervously the whole time, me saying as little as possible and sticking to generalities. About a minute later we thankfully parted, but not before doing that odd bob-in, bob-out where we couldn't decide to give a friendly hug or not, so we just stood there like those inflatable tube people you see at cheesey car dealerships, swaying in the breezes of our inelegant encounter with one another. I'm almost never phased by any conversation and I pride myself on my ability to talk to damn near anyone without issue. My girlfriend commented that she had never seen me act so awkward in a conversation and I explained to her that it would've been different if we ran into each other at the local bar that I know she goes to from time to time. I'm actually surprised it hasn't happened already. But to show up where I live just caught me off guard and my normal command of conversation was clouded by the constant thought of, "Where the hell did you come from?" Focus: We've all had those conversations that, for whatever reason, made us uncomfortable. Sometimes it's with an ex, sometimes your boss catches you putting your balls in the break room coffee pot. What's your story?