Illustration by zmanxx
This isn’t talked about much, but P.I. is all about facing the tougher issues of life, head on. We’re not going to sit back and ignore the issues that everyone else won’t discuss.
Have you ever said hello to someone, only shortly after to be in a situation where you have to say hello, again. It happens to all of us.
How do you go about it? Is there a solution to this patently awkward situation? Let’s explore, together, these fundamental questions.
In my studies, I’ve come across 3 ways to deal with the circumstance of having to say hello twice.
The first one is simply dealing with it. Sure you just crossed paths with Roger in the hallway. Oh, look – it’s unavoidable! You’re now crossing paths again, and just 5 minutes later. So what do you do?
You both say hello one more time (with reluctancy plastered on your faces) and pretend there’s nothing awkward at all about it, when there sure as hell is. For crying out loud, you two just said hello 5 minutes ago!
Then there’s the tried and true method of preemptive avoidance. With this one, people go to extraordinary lengths in order to prevent having to say hello a 2nd time.
The following account is particularly startling. One man, we’ll call him Henry, was in a situation where he knew he’d be crossing paths with an acquaintance for the second time. He already said hello the first time – and was willing to do just about anything to prevent the humility of having to say hello, again. He didn’t know how to cope with the situation – so he took drastic measures.
This all took place in Australia. Henry, a boy in the 10th grade, had just said hello to Jonathon. Yet he knew – on his way to 3rd period, crossing paths with him again was unavoidable. While he was sitting in class waiting for 2nd period to end – the stress was building.
5 minutes of class to go, said Henry, what shall I do?!?!
Then a flash of inspirations struck him cold. There was only one way out of the horrors of having to say hello a 2nd time, thought Henry. I shall trek across the swamp! If I do so, I’ll make it on time to 3rd period and avoid having to say hi to Jonathon a 2nd time.
So Henry began the trek by immersing his feet into the muddy water. He was on his way to class, rummaging through the swamp when he was abruptly interrupted by a camera man who happen to be shooting a documentary that day. The camera man yelled out to Henry, “youngster, what are you doing – there’s crocs in here.”
Henry replied, “I’m avoiding having to say hi a 2nd time to an acquaintance of mine.”
As you can see, people will go to amazing lengths to avoid the 2nd hello. What have you done?
Another strategy, often employed, is simply pretending the person you are crossing – who you had just earlier said hi to, isn’t there (but they are). You may pretend not to notice the person by turning your head as you approach – as if a terrible neck cramp has just befallen you. You may even act as if a huge clump of dust has just invaded your eyes, and you’re frantically trying to get it out.
I propose a fourth method, though. Why not toss out all of the above and simply say, “hi x 2!” Yeah, I guess that would be weird too, wouldn’t it.
In summary, there are four ways to deal with saying hello a second time:
1. Do it and feel like a genuine ass, even as you pretend not to.
2. Go the long route, no matter what the consequence, in order to prevent the circumstance of the 2nd hello.
3. Pretend you just don’t see the person the second time around. Maybe this time, you happen to be practicing an esoteric walking meditation you learned from the latest New Age book, and in a real sense the person doesn’t exist. I guess.
4. “Hi x 2!”
What’s the moral of the story? No matter what you do with the 2nd hello, it will always be weird and awkward. So deal with it. I do.
Illustration by Cheinei