There are few things, in these uncertain times, on which we can rely. Death. Taxes. That when we most want to be portrayed in an organised positive light, we will definitely come across as a dishevelled bonkers misery guts. It's the law - the Sod's Law of stumbling into someone you once loved or shagged. And of course, the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. When you run into him/her, you can count on this:
1) You will be wearing no make up. This is the biggest staple fact of all bumping into ex situations. If you ever want to get your old Carole King 'Tapestry' album back, go out and wander around the streets without make up. Within hours, you are sure to be reunited. ("You make me feeeel... You make me feel like a na-tur-al woman")
2) You will have at least one bad spot. This is not a pimple or a small blemish. This is a giant weeping crevice with its own website, parking space and zoo membership! It is in the centre of your nose. Unmissable. Just. Like. You.
3) You will be carrying something awkward and embarrassing, such as Ann Summers products, a whole crate of wine or a large saggy carrier bag from a low-budget frozen food/hardware store.
4) You will have a screaming tantruming child or a crying overtired baby in tow. The child will have a messy face and no shoes on. The baby will have sicked and needed changing into his Tesco Value sleepsuit. The one that was a gift, which you saved to only use in an extreme emergency. It is not to your usual taste and doesn't represent your stylish parenting choices.
5) You will be having a spat with your current partner. The new love interest will not be looking their best, probably recovering from a severe case of mumps, massively hungover or half clothed in a bizarre fancy dress outfit, returning from a party the night before.
6) You will be getting heavily rained on, or crazily snowed on, or all sweaty and sticky, walking frenzied in untimely inclement weather - whereas The Ex will be in a dry impressively heated/chilled 4x4 vehicle and appearing pristine, radiant and serene.
7) At the inopportune moment they happen to pass, you will have missed the train you were rushing for, be heard taking a call about those 'test results' or that 're-worked financial agreement' or that job you didn't quite manage to get but thanks for applying anyway. What are the chances...?
8) You will blush, get flustered or my very personal favourite - smile then stifle it then shout "Oh fucking hell!" And then run off. Did I just say that out loud?
9) You will be buying haemorrhoid cream, breath freshener, dental floss, pubic hair remover, condoms or some other intimate hygiene-related type item that nobody should see you purchase let alone him/her. There will be a terrible customer services bombshell, along the lines of a declined card payment or Barbara on the till shrieking across the shop, "How much is the ANUSOL, Marjorie?"
10) That event you KNOW the Certain Person will attend... Y'know, that one big get-together of the mutual friends, or the huge work do, that everyone always goes to and never ever misses? The one where you are clean and tidy from perfectly-groomed top to beautifully-manicured toe, exuding success, with no tatty dribbling kids dangling off you - no pile treatments or bargain bumper booze packs to hide, a stunning partner on your arm, with all your psychological marbles shiny and fully in tact? He won't be there. He's away on holiday. Arse!!!