A New Low

Today I received a rejection email for a position I don't even recall applying for. As if that in itself weren't bad enough, as it means I'm either senile or this company is taking a proactive approach to ensure they're not forced to read my ubiquitous cover letter, the whole thing brought back painful memories.

When I had only one child, who, on certain days, took pity on me and napped, I would write essays in an attempt to become the next Joel Stein or Anna Quindlan. I'd print them out and force my then-2 year old to listen to them during Wiggles commercials. Next, I would send them off to Newsweek, hoping that mine would be the 1 out of 1,000 selected to appear in the weekly mag's "My Turn" column.

How'd that go, you ask?  Oh, could I wallpaper my half-bath with the rejection letters!

As an English major, I was well-acquainted with the stories of all the heartbreaking rejections Hemingway and Joyce faced, and while I certainly wasn't comparing myself to them, by God, surely someone out there wanted to read and relate to my motherhood rantings, I'd reasoned.

Apparently not. And as the weeks went by, I'm not kidding, Newsweek began sending me regular rejection letters. Letters that arrived before I'd even submitted anything!

I viewed these missives as a preemptive strike, the publication's way of saying, "In case you were going to send something this week, save yourself the stamp, sister, it's not happening."

So today's early morning rejection brought it all back. And the part where they wrote "We have chosen a candidate whose qualifications more closely match our needs," just seemed downright extraneous. Like, duh, I get it, just because you think I'm not qualified to be your "Stewardship Writer" (whatever the heck that is) I still possess a basic grasp of the English language.

But it's true, sometimes I apply for things I'm not really qualified for just for the heck of it. I blame my mother for this. For years this woman, my consummate cheerleader, has assured me I could build a robot, scale a mountain or successfully work with fondant if only I set my mind to it. I have stopped just short of submitting resumes to openings that begin with "Dedicated trucker needed..." Not that I mind the idea of hauling freight on the open road, but I've watched enough Breaking Bad episodes to know I could definitely get jacked between here and Tulsa and who's got time for that in their work day?

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