My newest favorite rejection letter came in today, beating out last month’s poorly Xeroxed form letter, which also came complete with a poorly Xeroxed signature. My new favorite is but a third of a sheet of paper, hearkening me back to the days of zoo trips, bag lunches and permission slips. This brief missive bears a polite dismissal from an individual I can’t quite recall querying. The bottom quarter of the “page” states this mystery rejector’s typed name and is concluded with the slightly stuffy title of “Proprietor.”
For whatever reason, this letter–and it’s honorific–reminds me of a day this past summer when a man with a cooler bungee strapped to the back of his old Toyota pickup rolled up in front of my house, banged on the door and announced, “I’m the manager.” I eyed the battered toy truck and the thick white plastic leaking thankfully clear fluid out of the dropped tailgate and decided, despite my curiosity, I didn’t really want to know just what he was the manager of. I suspect, though, he was either selling half-turned goat meat, or was the proposed manager of my grisly, chopped-up, cooler-stuffed demise. Either way I wasn’t much interested (hey, kinda like how the above Proprietor wasn’t interested in me) and I sent him on his way with a firm locking of my deadbolt. Sometimes a title does little in the redemption department.
At any rate, I seem to be downgrading in responses. As I mentioned before, my first rejection letter was personal and kind–a phenomena I’m only just realizing the value of. Then came the parade of bad copies. Now, I’m receiving mere fragments of paper. Maybe next I’ll get a Post-It, or even better, a Spartan “No,” scrawled on the back of a chewing gum wrapper.
As usual with me, though, I find this wave of negativity more inciting than any potential kindness. Telling me I’m not good enough is the one thing that will make me dig in my heels. Thanks to Mr. Proprietor, the rest can scrawl, “No!” on every printable surface they can uncover and mail them all back to me at my considerable expense. Like Mulder planting the yard flamingo in the neighborhood from Hell, all I have to say is, “Bring it on.”