By contributing writer Daniel Goodman

Okay, so it’s a Friday night and you’re feeling all right. You’re moon walking downtown with your crew of hip-to-the-hop hooligans, carefree and enjoying life. Then, while impressing some younger girls with your fairly accurate Queen Latifah impersonation, you bump into your ex-girlfriend.

Totally unprepared and clueless how to act, you turn to your conscience for help. Unfortunately, this just isn’t your day. “Uh oh,” replies your conscience, “I think you wet yourself.” Embarrassed beyond belief and unable to formulate a coherent sentence, you poke your ex in the eyes and hop the nearest fence. You signal for your crew to follow, but they decline, for they’re too busy playing hopscotch with the locals. How embarrassing, I imagine.

If you want to avoid a similar fate, then listen up. Your initial confrontation with the ex will no doubt be an intimidating experience, especially if it was a terribly harsh breakup. If you make her feel guilty for having put you through such agony, it will only reaffirm her reasons for dumping you in the first place. No wonder she left you for a male babysitter.

Though impressive to wear your girlfriend's house on your neck and her car on your wrist, authentic bling can be expensive to rent.

On the other hand, you don’t want to appear overly-animated. Your best bet is simply to be friendly without showing any emotional attachment or regret. Throughout your awkward encounter, periodically mumble phrases of neutrality, such as “I went to a killer Bar Mitzvah last weekend,” “My mom bought me a special net for catching butterflies,” and, “Those Vicodin are really starting to kick in now.”

Remember, you want to give the impression that she wasn’t your greatest loss. A good way to do this is by showing her what a success you’ve become. After she approaches you, tell her to “hold on a sec” while you pretend to answer an important work-related phone call. “So, Johnny, both sides are in agreement? That’s great news. Did you tell them the Salisbury steak joke? I knew it, you bastard!”

Another way to impress your ex is to show her how you’ve further discovered yourself. For example, if you’ve grown a mustache since the breakup, be sure to regularly comb each individual hair throughout your conversation, stopping only to say, “Wait, there it goes again. Bristle number 181 keeps acting up.”

If you’ve discovered a new hobby, enlighten her with your newfound knowledge. Tell her you’ve taken a real interest in something manly, like hammer throwing, for example. “Oh,” she’ll reply, “I think I know I've seen that once. Like in the Olympics, right?” Give her a stoned-face response in return. “No, like in my room. I throw hammers at my wall. Then I retrieve them. It makes a big hole. Then I repeat the process.” Then setup a fake wall with one hand and smash your fist into it, crushing your knuckles while you yell “KABOOOOOM!! …Fuck yeah. Don't worry, a little blood never hurt anyone.”

Don't be afraid to make things up too. Tell her you've learned to bake an intoxicating chocolate strawberry pizza, or that you've mastered jazz classics on the piano. At first she may be skeptical, then she'll go home dying of curiosity, yearning for a little slice of dessert heaven and a seductive improv tune before making love on the futon.

It would also behoove you to surround yourself with an abundance of women. The more women you have around you, the more other women will be attracted to you. If necessary, excuse yourself for a moment and purchase a blow-up doll girlfriend from a local Dollar Store. Spruce her up with some cherry red lipstick, and don’t hesitate to discipline her when needed. Most bars and clubs are dimly lit, so your ex won’t notice the difference. Makeout with her for effect and then come back to your ex with lipstick smears all over your face and ask her for a light.

Or, if you prefer the company of a real live human being (loser), then contact a foreign matchmaking service. An exotic lovely will be shipped to you in a matter of days via a cramped and stuffy wooden crate typically used for transporting oranges to and from third world countries. Don't worry, holes have already been poked in both for breathing and convenience.

After your ex storms out in a fit of jealous rage, you and your mail order bride can celebrate over a bottle of bubbly. If you plan on keeping her permanently, however, I highly recommend reading chapter six of William Livingston’s Bringing Your Foreign Fiancée Home, titled “Stop Overreacting, Ma! Of Course She's Disease Free!”