I spent yesterday at a huge industry conference. It's not my style (too many sales types, in suits, huckstering, and talks about technology I don't care about), but the trade show definitely rocks. But it certainly wasn't worth driving fifty miles through nasty traffic.
What also sucked was being approached by someone I didn't ever care to see again. A fellow from my graduate school department, four years behind me, came up to me, shook hands, and tried to make small talk about where I was working, how good it felt to be out of school, etc. The trouble was, the last time I interacted with him, he was leading a girl who I'd gotten together with a couple times (but wasn't yet 'dating', and who had really turned my head upside down) away from a party we were all at. She'd told me straight to my face at the party that they'd been hooking up. She was incoherent and drunk, but it was that kind of party. This was at the bottom of thesis hell, to boot. I'm actually kind of glad it happened when it did- if I was trying to get data, or something, I would have been useless, but just writing and banging out the thesis was doable, even when a wreck. She was trouble with a capital T and I was lucky to wash her out of my hair, but at the time, holy crap, was I a mess.
Anyhow, independent of this triangle, the guy was a real shitbag, and I had disliked him before this all happened, which made it even worse. I'm sure he got wind of my state, because we had mutual friends, and I saw him staring at me at the local dive several times in the following months. The triangle didn't last; he was (long-distance) engaged, the girl was moving to a large Midwestern state, and I was leaving for the other coast. Even at my most charitable, I wouldn't ever want to see him again if only to not be reminded of a crappy failed coupling. I won't mention what I think of him at my less charitable.
But here he was, chumming it up with me at an industry conference? I don't get it. We probably didn't exchange more than three words back in school. We're not even in the same subfield anymore.