Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sting of Rejection

Boy : Would you like to dance? 
Girl : Nah to the Ah to the No No No. 

Believe me, if you're a hormonal teenage boy, you'll be dealing with exactly this kind of sorry rejections repeatedly in your life from sophomoric high school dances to the more adult rated Tindr dates. That's even if you're the smartest, best-looking boy in the class.

I should know, I spent my entire secondary life eagerly watching such melodramatic CW angst play out in the school hallways and house parties.

Starting out as a closeted gay man certainly helped a lot in dealing with the occasional rejection. Way back then, high school dance parties didn't come with much of a legitimate choice for budding gay boys which is how I'd usually end up begging the standoffish girls for a dance. Really there's always a sad limit to the time you can reasonably stand with your back to the wall by the ubiquitous spiked punch bowl.

Girl : Wait, didn't you ask me for a dance?
Paul : But that hot sweaty boy over there looks like he needs a drink. 

Since there wasn't all that much hormonal desperation on my side - after all if she declined, there's certainly no harm, no foul - I found it easy enough to ask. Simple, straightforward petitions with little of the flirty come-ons that I picked up later. Even if she mumbled a ready refusal with a sarcastic eyeroll, I was always ready to move on to the next. Pretty sure by then the savvier girls in the waiting line would already have latched on to the fact that I was a raging homo.

In hindsight, I probably could have braved the inevitable homophobic punch and propositioned the cute boys as well.

Since the older you get, the more you realize certain small decisions don't really matter. Maybe at that very moment, the terrible pain of rejection might sting. Perhaps till the next day. Maybe even till the next week. But months later, you won't even recall who you asked out to the dance.

Especially if they said no.

Toughened me up with shrewd maxims that I recalled even when I started dating boys for real. So what if they said no? Forget the rejections. Remember the ones who nodded an affirmative even with the poorly worded invitation.

And always try to say yes when politely asked. You never know who you'll meet.

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