So I thought I had a pretty thick skin these days, ’cause you know, I’ve experienced quite a few agent rejections in the last coupla months…
But apparently, getting rejected by ‘boys’ (and by boys I mean ‘men’ sometimes) is a whole new thing.
I am now dating the Fireman. And he is a rock. The sort of man you can hang on and he’s cool with it and not just because he is 6’3″. Though you wouldn’t want to hang on him too much because you want him to think of you as his action-packed partner and co-conspirator who doesn’t get weepy over a few sucky paragraphs of prose. And he is totally great and fun and clever and cute and I am very lucky.
But I sort of had this retroactive date. I mean, it was a date made before the Fireman came along, with a guy I had been chatting with for about a month. The Professor. We’d tried to get together a couple of times and it hadn’t worked out but then he said he wanted to try again, so I went off after promising the Fireman that I wouldn’t smooch him over the lunch table or anything.
So he was sort of cute and athletic and he had that whole scattered, easily distracted professorial thing going on which I like because my mind zings around like a pinball too, and I am interested in lots of things and have no problem talking about ALL of them in one sitting. Like gorging at a huge smorgasbord.
Anyway, it went pretty well. I was feeling pretty and attractive and funny and smart (which is important when you are venturing out into the dating world again after 16 years of being a wife and mother).
And he slew me at the end by telling me he boxed. If you’ve read my bio, then you know that I trained as a boxer as well. But what might not come across is how much I love boxing. So anyhoo, he had that killer combination of smarts and athletic prowess, but it doesn’t matter because I was all set to tell him I was seeing someone else and ‘oh well.’
But then he didn’t mention another date. And then he didn’t email me afterwards for about a week and then he said he ‘wished he felt compelled to take the relationship further but he didn’t’ although I read this as ‘you are highly unattractive and boring’.
I went away and watched the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice movie and hit replay on the scene where Lizzie overhears Darcy say that ‘she is tolerable I suppose but not handsome enough to tempt me’ and I sniffed into my sleeve.
But I did not weep. Because deep down, I could give a rat’s ass.
Remember I wasn’t really into him except as an ego balm and a fellow boxer. I have the Fireman. But I was meant to reject him (though nicely and with charm and wit) and I didn’t get to do that. I hope I don’t have to say it by the way but I certainly am not cocky about myself(quite the opposite is true). Now him, I think, he had a handle on the arrogance.
Why didn’t he like me?
It gave me the same unsettled feeling that I got recently when an agent passed on my 66,000 word selkie project and her bit of useful advice was that I add 10-15 thousand words to make the book competitive in today’s market. She didn’t say where I should add these words, mind you, or even which parts of the story needed bolstering, just that I add them.
What the hey?????
So I made a list of the reasons why I am well-rid of the Professor (because that is what writers do). Here it is:
1) he was borderline rude to the waitress at lunch. I was willing to chalk this up to the whole scattered thing but now I think it was in fact rudeness. (I did check though and he tipped 20%).
2) he attempted to bully a couple of young women into letting us share their table since the place was packed. (I suggested sitting at the counter instead).
3) he supposedly goes dancing at the big club in town every Friday. It is populated by students. He is 46.
4) he talked so much, I didn’t actually get to say much.
5) he didn’t ask me many questions about ME. We mostly talked about him.
6) his bottom teeth are crooked.
Now, I feel better. Don’t you wish we could make lists like this for agents who reject our work?