“What You’re Saying When You First See an Ex” Video Translates Those Awkward Encounters With Your Ex


There are few things in life that are more awkward than running into your ex — a situation that’s complicated by the fact that social niceties require us to dance around how we really feel about the whole thing. Filmmaker, writer, and comedian Alison G. Vingiano totally gets it, though, which is why she’s offered us this helpful translation of what you’re actually saying when you see your ex. Written by Vingiano, directed by T.J. Misny, and starring Vingiano and Griffin Newman as the ill-fated exes in question, Alice and Dave, it navigates the ups and downs of attending a mutual friend’s birthday party… including an incredibly specific trap that so many of us fall into, even when we know we should avoid it. And yes, it’s hilarious. What’s the point of suffering through awkward situations if we can’t laugh at them once we’ve got a little bit of distance from them?

In spite of the hilarity, though, I would actually argue that “What You’re Saying When You First See an Ex” offers a pretty strong example of what not to do when you bump into an ex. Sure, Alice and Dave are trying to handle it as maturely as possible… but they also probably broke up for a reason. If only they had read up on how to deal with a run-in with an ex first! They get points for trying, though; at least they didn’t spend the entire party yelling at each other, right? And hey, we’ve all been there. We feel your pain. After all, how familiar is this?

When You Say: “Hey”

You really mean:

When You Say: “Good to See You”

You really mean:

Especially if it’s accompanied by a hug.

When You Say: “Your Dress Looks Really Nice”

You really mean:

Feel free to substitute whatever article of clothing your ex actually happens to be wearing for “dress.”

When You Say: “Thanks”

You really mean:

When You Say: “Happy Birthday!” to Your Mutual Friend Whose Party You’re Both Attending

You really mean:

When You Say: “OK” to That Same Mutual Friend Who Excuses Himself to Belly Up to the Bar

You really mean:

And when the mutual friend says “I’ll be right back,” he really means:

When You: Start Sharing Random Stories After Having a Few Drinks

You really mean:


When You Say: “Seriously, Though, You’re Doing Well?”

You really mean:

When You Say: “Yeah, I’m Really Great”

You really mean:

And then this happens:

And, well… I’ll save the money shot for the video itself. It’s worth it. Trust me. Check it out here:

Ali Vingiano on YouTube

Images: Alison G Vingiano/YouTube (13)