Hello readers! I have a personal question to ask, because I feel this is something we all tend to encounter at one point or another. First, though, some backstory.
On the 20th, Mario Party 10 was released. Along side it, six new Amiibos came out with it. Some friends, my significant other, and I decided to go look for some of them, particularly Toad. Initially, we didn’t find him at the Target we visited, but I did get the bundle with Mario and a Bowser that weighs far more than I would ever expect. Why are you so hefty, spiky butt?!
Undeterred, I asked, begged, and bargained to go to Best Buy. Best Buy tends to be a disappointment, but I’ve had weirder luck. We quickly went to the gaming section after a brief moment of orienting ourselves (this store has a strange layout). Lucky me! Not one, but three Toads to be had! I preened through the trio, picked the best looking one (look your Amiibos over.; they aren’t all pretty), and noticed a guy standing next to us.
“Are you looking for Toad?” I asked. “Here!” I said as I passed him the remaining two Toads. He struck up conversation, which is usually fun. It was pretty normal, until the need to impress arose. Rare Amiibos he found, his astounding Smash Bros. prowess, his shiny Majora’s N3DS, the whole kit and caboodle for a modern Nintendo fan. I don’t want to detail how things were said, but it felt awfully cringe-worthy. It has been years for me since I last encountered this kind of ego caressing vibrato, and it was just as awkward then as it was that night. I’m terrible with dealing with cocky people, and wandered off the moment he started singing his praises. I decided to stand away from him and chat with the friend debating between which Amiibo to grab next.
I decided to end the interaction after he said some frustrating things to one of my friends. With a scowl, I announced, “Okay then. Well, it was nice to meet you. Time to go!” and we all left the video game section. The scowl wasn’t directed at him with any anger; my face just always looks like a scowl. We wandered around the rest of the store, me with my Toad, and my friend deciding between Mega Man or Kirby. We looked around, played with the overpriced fans, rummaged through the clearance dumping grounds, and kept a part of our attention out for our new acquaintance. None of us knew what to make of him, and my friend, shaken by his comments, wanted nothing to do with him.
Now, longwinded story concluded, I ask you, dear readers. We rarely have to interact with each other thanks to the internet. When we do, it can be challenging at best, excruciating at worst. What can I do better the next time I encounter such a painfully awkward situation? What do you do when you are faced with an ego greater than your tolerance for it? What is your exit strategy for these moments?