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Worldwide Ace » Dealing with Rejection – Part II

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Dealing with Rejection – Part II

2 February, 2009 (12:27) | Unlucky 13, Women

For context, read
Dealing with Rejection – Part I

Rejection from OneBlueBird
Image from OneBlueBird.

I’ve long believed that I have successfully avoided addiction. I don’t really care to drink and I was able to pick up or put down cigarettes the few times I smoked. I’m not addicted to sex and my drug of choice isn’t habit forming. I’ve never been a gambler, though I also have never tempted myself with a casino over the fear my competitive nature might turn me into one. I’ve been pretty lucky.

Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe I was a gambler: addicted to that adrenaline rush of a brush with chance; addicted to the attention showered on me as I played; addicted to the perks of being a momentary rock star, if only in my own mind. If I was addicted to gambling, it was gambling with romance.

The buzz of my first brush with cockiness didn’t last. The next day, while I was still reveling in my glorious rejection, the others had already moved on. It was as if I were a burnt out hippie remembering Woodstock:  the only place I could see it was inside my mind (the colors, man. THE COLORS!); I wasn’t even sure if it had been real or if it had simply been a dream.

At lunch, we congregated in our reserved room instead of the floor of the GSU. The topic was our physics class and a newly assigned paper. Ethan dove into his Latin book to cram for a quiz. Vincent was busy concentrating on his upcoming tennis match defending his top 5 ranking in the state. Liz was busy flirting with her boyfriend, a lanky sophomore who played center on the basketball team but couldn’t hit a layup despite being 6’5″. Vera was off elsewhere probably doing whatever ballet dancers do at lunch. I, meanwhile, was bored.

Every day, a few college students would walk up to our doorway and look in, wondering if they could escape the hubbub of the GSU by hiding in this quiet room. Upon seeing the sign that read “Reserved for Boston University Academy Students,” they would turn and seek safe harbor elsewhere or perhaps not at all.

It was one of these moments, while everyone was buried in their books, that I noticed a pert redhead looking for asylum. I heard her sigh as she turned to leave and before I could stop myself I was up and wandering toward her.

“It sucks that room is reserved for the Academy kids,” I said. She must not have noticed me come out of the room because she jumped as I spoke. “Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you.”

“It’s ok. What is the Academy anyway?” she said.

“It’s a high school program which lets the kids take college courses.”

“Oh, that’s cool.”

“I guess, but I still wish the room was open to everyone. It’s nice to get away from the noise.”

“Yeah.” She smiled. The heart-warming feeling returned to me immediately.

“Would you be interested in catching a movie sometime?” I asked. Her eyebrows raised but her smile didn’t dissipate. “You know, get away from the noise of campus for a little while?”

“I have a boyfriend,” she stated matter of factly. “Thanks anyway.”

She walked away, leaving me to return to the bookworms in our sanctuary. It didn’t matter that I had gotten rejected; I was walking on air as I came back in. No one seemed to notice.

Every day at lunch the next few weeks I’d pick out some college girl and ask her out. I didn’t get a yes, but my classmates started to notice. Soon, it became a game. They’d recommend women to ask out and I would unfailingly go get rejected.

But that adrenaline rush began to dissipate as I came to expect the same outcome. “You’re sweet, but no,” they would tell me. “I’m flattered, but I’m taken,” they’d explain. “Um, no,” they’d laugh. It simply wasn’t a challenge to get rejected, and I didn’t actually want to date any of them.

Soon, I began to try the worst pick up lines I could think of.

“Let’s rearrange the alphabet and put U and I together,” I’d say.

“Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” I’d ask.

“Can I have your phone number? I seem to have lost mine,” I’d offer.

Sometimes they laughed, sometimes they slapped me. Always they said no.

Image by Emily Flake.

I tried telling them I was god’s gift to women. They would roll their eyes. I tried claiming I was a young genius rushed to college. They didn’t care. I even tried begging on my knees. All it got me was sympathy.

When a girl was especially rude, I began to make a scene.

“I know I don’t look like much now, but I’m drinking milk!” I’d yell, eliciting raucous laughter from the peanut gallery.

“But there’s this movie I wanted to see and my mom said I couldn’t go by myself!” I’d cry.

“Yeah, I know you’re angry, but I’m not going to date a girl with herpes!” I once hollered. After she got done with me, I never used it again.

I wasn’t always an ass, but given that I considered getting slapped a success for humor’s sake, it was more often than it probably should be. Occasionally, by going to nice route, I’d have a lovely conversation with a beautiful girl before getting rejected.

By spring break, my rejection tally was in the nearing the century mark. It was the first week after, during one of those lovely conversations that the unexpected happened.

“So what year are you?” I asked.

“I’m a freshman.” She had a beautiful Southern drawl.

“No way! Me too!” It may not have been honest, but it wasn’t a lie. “Though I feel like I’ve been here a lot longer since I grew up in Boston. Where are you from?”

“A small town in Virginia.” Her eyes sparkled like polished emeralds, glinting green against the pallid fluorescent background of the cafeteria. “Have you lived here all your life? You don’t have a Boston accent.”

“It comes and goes. My dad grew up here, but I was born in San Francisco and lived there til I moved here when I was eight.”

“So you know the city pretty well?”

Perhaps she was leaning toward me in the right manner or batting her eyelashes. That’s how I’d like to remember it, but I couldn’t say for sure. If I had understood body language, I would’ve realized she was flirting with me, but I was ignorant to the ways of women, having spent the two prior years at boarding school.

“I do ok,” I said. Normally, I would’ve talked myself up, but I was getting tired of the game. After all, I was pretty sure I knew how things would end. “I know my way around anywhere I think is worth going. To be honest, I’ve only really started exploring the city for real this year.”

“How about we hang out sometime and you show me what you found?” she asked. I was floored. She glanced at her watch and then started packing up her books.

“Um, sure,” I stammered. She scribbled her name and phone number onto a piece of paper and slipped to me.

“I need to run to class. Call me, ok?”

“You got it!” I called after her.

She smiled and waved, glacing back one more time as she slipped out the door. I sat stunned at the little booth. I was literally shaking with excitement.

Then it hit me. What had I gotten myself into…

To Be Continued in
Dealing with Rejection – Part III
and Dealing with Rejection – Part IV.