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As the school bell signals a ray of hope in the dismal school day, you stuff all loose papers, homework and miscellaneous trash into your backpack. You take one last look into the spacious area of the classroom and sigh, dreading what comes ahead.
You are a student in an English classroom that has to navigate the dangerous zone of the Math Hallway in a five minute period of time. This is the Danger Zone, and you have to avoid flailing arms and legs, people with no sense of body space, and those of us who are gravitationally-challenged in order to survive.
But that’s not the worse part. Nope. Not even close. The worse part is when you encounter an acquaintance-that-might-be-a-friend-or-something-because-they’re-in-one-of-my-classes-or-something.
In this situation, you have three options.
Option A: Wow, This Is A Very Interesting Shade of White.
This is the easy way out. All you have to do is hug the wall and pretend to be very interested in the one Link Crew poster in the hallway or look creepily into every math classroom. You can breeze right by the acquaintance-that-might-be-a-friend-because-they’re-in-one-of-my-classes-or-something, and pretend to not see them at all because you are oh-so very interested in the bumps made by the stucco on the wall. Another option is to frown and become very concerned about the watch on your wrist that may or may not exist, successfully avoiding any awkward eye contact.
Option B: Just Smile and Wave, Boys. Just Smile and Wave.
This is the wild card option. As you see the acquaintance-that-might-be-a-friend-because-they’re-in-one-of-my-classes-or-something approaching, you do the humane and polite thing: smile and wave. If they acknowledge your presence and answer back with a nod, congratulations! You’ve just won the lottery!
Now, if you see them again in the hallway, you can be certain that it won’t be awkward. However, if they purposefully turn towards the wall and use the Wow, This Is A Very Interesting Shade of White method on you, you are dead. The color rises to your cheeks as every eye in the hallway seems to send judgmental glares your way.
Is this an overreaction? Maybe.
Option C: Geez, Just Wave Back to That Person Already
This is my personal favorite. The situation is the same, but this time you are prepared and confident. The acquaintance-that-might-be-a-friend-because-they’re-in-one-of-my-classes-or-something advances towards you, but this time, before they use the Wow, This Is A Very Interesting Shade of White method, you strike. You wave at them, stare them down and call their name over the chaos and the noise until they give in.
By this point, they are thoroughly embarrassed and will do whatever it takes to shut you up. Their friends are whispering and pointing (“Do you know that crazy person?”), but you will not back down. Now, you have sent the ball back in their court and successfully avoided humiliation.