Let's take a moment to talk about rejection.
It sounds like a dirty, horrible, hurtful thing, but it's really just a very formal way of saying "no."
Sometimes, these rejections are done in weird ways.
For example, I was once broken up with by a man I was not dating.
I had been effectively stalking his housemate and sort of using him to do it.
WOW that sounded really bad, all typed out.
Well, it's not really incorrect, so we'll keep it.
I did legitimately want to start a friendship with this guy anyway.
Then I learned why I shouldn't.
With no advances, with no mention of feelings, with complete and total base-line friendship, he still got concerned that he was leading me on.
Leading me on to what?
Do so many people really assume attraction when someone is just being friendly?
He took me aside in a convenience store to politely tell me, "Look, I like you a lot, and I do find you attractive, but you just aren't my type, you know? I'm really sorry. This isn't going to work out."
He waited for my response, which was just kind of a face of blank confusion.
I think I maybe was supposed to cry or something?
I was so confused that I just kind of blinked at him until my eyebrow slowly went up.
"Maybe he's practicing for someone else and I just missed that part of the conversation" I thought to myself.
Eventually, I just said, "okay" and that was that.
We didn't hang out after that day.
I'm sure he thinks it was because I was heartbroken, but really, I just didn't want to accidentally "lead him on" by…
I don't know.
Don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of real rejections in my life, but I hardly ever openly tried enough to require one.
I've even been stood up.
More than once.
The thing is, with relationships, I had a tendency to wait around for Mr. or Ms. Perfect and when neither showed up, I'd just go to a person who was nice enough, even if I wasn't attracted to him.
This is a terrible plan and it never ended well.
Often, the guys turned out to be not-so-nice either.
Eventually, I stopped that, (after everything went to Hell a few years ago) and I grabbed the butt of my Knight in an effort to not be shy about it.
(He was wearing pants. I'm not sure why I didn't illustrate it that way.)
Okay, so I went from one side of the spectrum to the other, but it worked, so shut up.
When I was a kid, I didn't take rejection well, but I was also TERRIBLE at talking to people, which makes me wonder if half the people who rejected me even had any idea that they had done so.
Getting called a "failed experiment" by a girl is an interesting thing, but somehow didn't make me cry as much as all the "I'll totally dance with you" and then NEVER coming up to me at all.
Did I ever go up to them after the initial asking?
Goes both ways.
Sometimes "rejection" is what we make up in our own heads.
Even in my happy relationship now, he and I were both so messed up from previous endeavors that we spent the first half a year (or more) worried that the other was just leading us on.
We referred to this as "Carrie-ing," and I can pretty much describe the fear I've had for most of my life this way.
Seriously, our own minds can be horrible friends to us.
Sometimes though, rejection comes in the form of little pieces of paper.
I am proud to say that out of high school, I applied to seven art schools and got into eight (not that you can tell by this blog).
However, that number evened out when I went for an interview AFTER getting an initial acceptance letter for a school that was specifically for cartoonists.
They liked me a lot, which is why they sent that letter before the actual in-face interview.
Then, they asked if I only wanted to be a cartoonist, and the answer is really no.
I want to draw, but I also write, sculpt, and all kinds of things.
It was suggested that I'd probably be happier getting a more rounded art degree, but that I could always go there again if I changed my mind.
THEN they sent a rejection letter.
I have one of each from this school.
More recently, I was up for an interview for an internship.
I was really excited/terrified.
She emailed me exactly twenty four hours before the interview to apologize a thousand times and explain that they found someone.
Weird excuses were made, which made me think none of it was her choice.
In such an email, is it really so hard to just say, "The position has been filled" and leave it at that?
I get that she apparently wanted to keep that interview, and I'm bummed that I have to keep looking, but for reals.
Partly because of how it was written, it felt a little like I was the nerdy kid at school who had landed a date to prom with the head cheerleader, only for her to last-minute tell me she's going with my friend instead.
"Like, OMG! I am so, so sorry, but Billy has a reaaalllly nice car, so…"
Now, a surefire way for me to want to reject someone else is the misspelling of my name.
This is a digital age where everyone is emailing all the time.
There is ZERO reason to misspell a name when it was just right in front of you a moment ago.
Hell, copy/paste if you have to.
I'll never know.
On social media, saying my name in a formal way is just creepy, because if I already know a person in real life, and that person is messaging me on a private only-me thing…
You really don't have to make it a formal letter to explain that you are writing to only me.
If you're someone I don't actually know in real life, that's fine.
Otherwise, stop that.
If someone does do that, I wish this could also be the kind of person who looks at the message to see how my name is spelled, or remembers me enough from previous encounters to spell it correctly.
I imagine the person typing along, thinking, "Oh, jeez… Um… Screw it, I'll just make it up. I can't be assed to read the message she just sent!"
And you know?
Sometimes, a little wrong is fine.
So long as it's basically the same name, awesome.
There are lots of spellings to everything.
Then there are cases like this one time...
Okay, my email is after my comic, Deddrie.com.
My EMAIL is not my name.
I signed an email -RG recently.
'Cause, you know, these are my initials.
The response I got?
"Hello, Debbie" …
The fuck is the Debbie? I mean, I know it's a name, but it isn't mine.
This means she not only ignored the signature, but then ALSO misread my email address, and then CONTINUED doing it, no matter how I signed emails after that, and how many emails she sent to me.
After this incident, with a completely different person in a completely different situation, I not only stated my full name in the body of the email, but I signed it with my full first name.
I got this strange butchered thing that has never been a name ever.
The first couple of letters were okay…
And then it just became strange and phonetically completely different.