It happens. We–all of us, I think–get rejected.
As my NY best friend S assured me last night, after I’d capped a rejection-filled weekend with getting pulled over by Corrales’ crankiest sheriff for going ten miles over the speed limit only to realize that the insurance card I had on hand was expired, it often comes in waves.
“You rejected a few people, now it’s happening to you,” she counseled.
And yet, this quantitative knowledge does not make it any easier, any less mood-crushing, any less demoralizing when it happens to you.
This morning, by way of trying to make myself feel better, I recalled something I said a while back to another friend when a guy she liked and had seen a few times told her–in a manner admirably, if a bit painfully, frank–that he just wasn’t that into her.
“I know it’s impossible,” I told her, “but you can’t take it personally. Maybe he likes blondes, or women who are stupid. Maybe he wants to date somebody from Kansas with twelve toes. Who knows?”
“Just because he isn’t attracted to you,” I said, “does not mean that you are not (very, very) attractive.”
How about we all write that on the proverbial chalkboard a few hundred times until it sticks?
Because, as I also tried to remind myself this morning, who among us doesn’t reject people for completely ridiculous reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with said person’s inherent physical, emotional or intellectual value?
Certainly, I do it all the time. I reject people because they aren’t mean enough. Because they remind me of someone I don’t want to be reminded of when I’m making out. Because their voice is a little bit too high or too low. I think I once rejected a guy cause I thought he was too good-looking. (I know, Robbie: and I wonder why I’m single. But alas, we’ve been over this.)
Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve never rejected someone because I thought they could stand to lose five pounds. I’m just saying.
The things that make us attracted to certain people and not others are idiosyncratic. They’re often unexpected and sometimes strange. It is a mysterious science, this.
And that’s something I recommend we remind ourselves of in those moments when we are tempted to peg our entire self-worth on the determination of a person that, chances are, we hardly know. And whose lack of interest probably has a lot more to do with them than it does with us.
But I understand that it is one thing to grasp this notion intellectually and another to not feel like a worthless piece of dull, chubby crap.
Which is why I also recommend–in these predicaments–going out for soft serve (preferably Dairy Queen, preferably topped with hot fudge) along with a few sympathetic girlfriends.
And talking to other, non-local but equally sympathetic, girlfriends on the phone.
And, if appropriate, reminding yourself that while people may be entitled to opt out of dating you, they generally lack the privilege to opt out of being included and perhaps humiliated in your future writing.
I’m just saying.