I’m just going to come out and say this with my head held high: I’m no stranger to rejection. And I’m not even talking about romantic rejections. I once tried to get an apartment by myself, so I found the number of a broker and called him. He said he would call me back and immediately blocked my number. Nothing will ever sting quite as much as that incident.
One day, I will sit across from a non-problematic TV show host and talk about how often I used to get rejected. And the TV audience will ooh and aah, because they can’t imagine a world in which anyone could look at me and even think of forming the word “no.” While we wait for that to happen, you get early access to some of the reasons why faceless strangers and their parents have decided that I’m not the dream daughter in law. I say this with zero bitterness.
1 – Not tall enough: I’m putting this one first because it made me more confused than angry. I thought height-based rejections were the one thing men are allowed to whine about with no shame. Pass the mic back to me, boys – I’m here to steal your first-world problems.
To their credit, no boy has directly rejected me for being too short. (Yes, the bar is that low. And yes, that was a short joke.) It has mostly been their mothers, whose fantasy of the perfect daughter in law is someone who can cook and reach the spices on the top shelf.
I know one lady who called my mother and grilled her for at least half an hour about the exact nature of my height. Apparently I checked off every item on her list – just not the topmost one. She was trying to see how much of a dealbreaker this was. Would I be willing to wear heels at all times?
She finally decided the issue was too large to overlook. She could ignore it no longer. If her son were to marry me, there could be trouble afoot. If I got into a fight with her, I might dig my heels in; and then there would be no heels for me to wear.
Sorry, I’ll stop. But in my defense, she started it. She didn’t have to stoop so low.
Now I’m really done.
2 – Not visa-holding enough: Look, I will admit I can be insensitive to the US visa issue. I live in a country that will try to drown me in a pothole everyday but never kick me out without notice. So I was surprised to see that boys in America feel very strongly about visas.
I’m an empathetic person. I can respect these stupid concerns. What really bugged me was the condescension of it all. Boys living in the kind of town you see in a murder documentary would turn their nose up at my poor, sad Bangalore existence.
I’m not normally the kind of person who judges anyone’s choice of residence – we all complain about traffic all the time, anyway. But when I get pitied and talked down to for absolutely no reason, I’m more than happy to match the dip in decency levels.
3 – Not engineer enough: This didn’t surprise me. After all, when I decided that I wanted to take on
professional time-wasting writing and social media management, everyone thought it was because I didn’t do well in my engineering entrance exams. They were right, but I was still offended that they would assume such a thing.
My career choices were met with great disapproval, but joke’s on the boys who rejected me. They invoked the wrath of a writer. They will now be featured anonymously on a blog that isn’t even unique enough to have its own name without a “1” beside it.
Revenge is mine.