I realized the other day I was down to two pending submissions and fast approaching the “assuming the lack of response is a rejection” dates for both. I’m starting to enjoy the rejection as a catalyst for blogging (something I usually hate but that the industry assures me is essential), so I sent out another submission last night.
What’s sad is that I really like the magazine’s vibe and most of its content. I thought it would be a good fit for the murderous housewife piece, and they publish regularly as opposed to on a quarterly basis, so I figured I had a chance. I paid a nominal fee for the 24-hour turnaround option because I understand the need to cover expenses for hosting fees and such.
The waiting time was a fascinating experience. Despite an initial blood-brain rush of oh my god this could actually lead to something, I knew I was waiting for an air conditioner to fall from the sky and hit me. And hit me it did with a form rejection roughly six hours later.
I was half asleep when my inbox dinged me. I thrust my phone in the spouse’s face and made him yank off the band-aid. He paused for a moment and said-recited, “Well, the good news is that they appreciate the chance to read your piece, but it’s not for them. However, it’s not a reflection of the quality of your work.”
I smacked him on the arm and muttered incoherently about being sad before passing out. Today, I move on, though. To do so, I’ll share with you a story about Sean Penn:
Years ago, my brother and sister-in-law lived in LA, and one night they went out for a nice meal. Let’s assign my sister-in-law the name of Lena. Well, after dinner, my brother went to get the car while Lena waited out front. She was wearing a nice dress and heels and minding her own business. Suddenly, Sean Penn sauntered out of the same restaurant and stood on the same curb a few feet away.
Lena used to work in image sales for a prestigious company, so running into celebrities wasn’t unusual for her. Now, although Sean Penn has turned out to be a shitty person, Lena used to have a massive crush on him as a teen, so her brain ceased to operate properly. He started smoking a cigarette and they stood in silence for a while.
Finally, feeling self-conscious about standing in a nice dress on a curb next to a major childhood crush, she blurted:
“I’m waiting for my husband to get the car I swear I’m not a hooker.”
Sean Penn proceeded to rake his gaze over her from head to toe. After he finished his assessment, he took a drag from his cigarette and said:
“I wouldn’t have thought that.”
That fucking response! Is it an insult? A compliment? There’s no way to know! I wasn’t even there, but I still think about it sometimes and laugh.
Guess it’s time to send more submissions. Maybe the one about using my dead mom’s lipstick this time.
Featured image by Jake Blucker on Unsplash