Filled with dread about bumping into bossy Becky Slater or overachiever Tracy Flick? We asked Anna Skinner, author of How to Pee Standing Up: Tips for Hip Chicks, how to get through cocktail hour when you're cornered by:

  • The queen bee who terrorized you from third grade straight through puberty.
    She's still a bully, only now in a power suit with a battered assistant. Say how great it is to see her before moving on--she doesn't need to know that flashbacks prompted by a Mean Girls screening gave you the night sweats.
  • The World Civ class hottie you considered a demigod.
    Odds are he's married or gay and still ignoring you. But if he's single, interested, and retainer-free, fake like you care when he waxes on about his trip to the Colosseum, then make like the Romans in the parking lot.
  • Your old lab partner.
    Give your personal Urkel a high five. You wouldn't have passed chemistry if she hadn't done the whole report while you washed the test tubes.
  • That jerk gym teacher who dated your recently divorced, very vulnerable mother and made your life hell junior year - and who still made you do the rope climb even though he knew you were scared of heights because your mom told him so over dinner that week.
    Walk away.
  • The sorority sister you don't have anything in common with anymore.
    In fact, you actually have three things in common: You're female, you're older, and you're here at this reunion. Break out Gamma Gamma Gamma chants and secret handshakes - besides, she's the only one who remembers you in all your keg-stand glory from rush week.
  • The class prez - turned - community college dropout.
    Put away that pity smile - this gal deserves a gold medal for showing up. And because she's still a local, she's the perfect person to give up all the juicy goss. Who knew the student-council treasurer was running a Weeds-like pot ring?
  • The boastful 27-year-old self-made millionaire you rejected junior year.
    Accept it, congratulate him, then ask him to fund your start-up.

What Do You Think?