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The Big Fear

March 28, 2009

Rejection.  I’ve been hearing a lot about it lately.  Someone’s old job calls saying they want them back, and two days later they call again to explain something called a hiring freeze.  Someone gets asked on date and on the day before is told that he forgot he was having dinner with his mother.  Can we reschedule?  Someone turns in a resume and never ever hears a word.  We went with someone else, are moving in a different direction, work better as friends, thought things were going to turn out differently, don’t want you.  However it gets expressed the sentiment is the same: he, she, me, it, they, your dog, the universe, NASA is just not that into you.

In theory, I think people understand that rejection is a big part of life.  It starts on the playground and makes its way to the conference room.  It’s nothing personal except that it is entirely personal, and gives one the feeling not so much that someone up there doesn’t like them, but that a whole lot of people down here don’t, which is kind of worse, because supposedly that someone up there likes everyone, which is a kind of rejection in itself, because I want to be so special. 

The only thing I have to say about rejection really is that it hurts, and usually worse than you think it should, which is an evolutionary mechanism to avoid getting booted from the tribe, but rejection itself never looked as bad on someone as whining about rejection did.  Whining about rejection makes you look fat.

I guess I would rather be rejected, than to never have the opportunity to be you know, and it can make you better.  Rejection gives you that sexy survivor’s swagger, and let me tell you that no one ever looked fat in that, except maybe you.    

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Kent McMIllan permalink
    March 29, 2009 5:20 am

    Dear Ms. R,

    Thank you so much for offering up such a splendid essay to “The Rejectionist “. The editors feel that your piece would fit remarkably well into our upcoming “Existential Pain” Spring edition, in which various contributors are able to get beyond whatever sense of well-being they may have and contact that authentic sense of discomfort that our readership takes for granted.

    As you no doubt know, these readers consist nearly exclusively of people for whom avoidance of life’s more unpleasant experiences is the central organizing principle of their lives, the hyper-diligent, obsessive, anxiety-ridden types. We hardly ever get the serotonin-soaked reader of the thrill-seeking variety, whose sense of gratification rests upon the challenges and risks of overcoming adversity. Those people forget their setbacks all too easily and, in fact, even seem oblivious to the crushing weight of personal failings, real or imagined, that we know life can dole out so generously.

    If you would expand your outline to, say, about ten thousand words, complete with photos of various rejections, past, present, and future, I feel certain that we would want to publish it. Naturally, I cannot definitely commit to this.

    As you know, our standard policy on payments for work accepted also prevents offering any truly satisfactory amount of money. We feel that to do otherwise would be inconsistent with our charter.

    Thank you again and we await further developments.

    Assistant to the Editor,
    The Rejectionist

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