Overthinking: rejection letters, Jon Benjamin

Rest in peace, Cy Twombly.

I got a rejection letter this morning that I thought was quite nice, despite being just three sentences long. It was so nice, in fact, that even though there weren’t any specifics about my story, it fleetingly – delusionally – occurred to me that it might be a personal rejection.

…although we enjoyed reading it, we’re afraid we can’t accept it at this time. However, we do encourage you to submit again, and look forward to reading your work in the future…

Of course it’s a kindly worded auto-rejection from submishmash. And when I re-read it now, out of context, it strikes me as just average on the scale of nice. So what accounts for my new-found perspective?

Some theories:

  • I enact a daily cycle of disillusionment, wherein I wake up full of hope and free of guile, then helplessly observe as these conditions deteriorate over the course of the day. I go to sleep shriveled and bitter.
  • I read the rejection while consuming the special treat of a coffee and pastry breakfast. The warm feelings were just the muffin talking.
  • Since I submitted the story ten months ago, I had long since concluded that it was a rejection. This suggests the possible existence of a psychological tipping point – just when the writer has given up all hope, the rejection comes. The writer is inexplicably gratified by the contact. Sort of like Stockholm Syndrome, only, you know, not at all.

In other “news” – S and I have now seen two episodes of Jon Benjamin Has a Van. WTF is this show. Both times we’ve come in mid-episode, so the premise of it eluded me. It must elude a lot of people, because there’s an “about the show” link on the website to explain the concept. Anyhoo. In the episode we just watched, Jon is bitten by an Orthodox Jew during a road rage incident. He becomes…a were-Jew. And then later, a were-gay/were-Jew. Gay were-Jew? Were-gay Jew? But if the transformation to were-Jew is brought on by the Sabbath, what prompts the transformation to were-gay?

The mind boggles.


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