Your Most Memorable Rejection

Illustration for article titled Your Most Memorable Rejection
Image: Netflix/My Next Guest Needs No Introduction

The holidays are here (Happy Hanukkah, y’all!) which means a lot of adult children are struggling to tell their family they’re not coming home due to concerns surrounding the covid-19 pandemic. That’s a really responsible decision to make, but it is probably one parents around the world view as a personal rejection. And so, lately, I’ve been thinking about the nature of rejection—from loved ones, from friends, from prospective romantic partners. What is your most memorable rejection? Was it civil, or a disaster? How old were you? Where were you? As always, bonus points will be awarded for hilarious answers—finding humor in heartbreak is an invaluable skill!

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But before you jump to the comments to throw in your contribution, let’s take a look at last week’s winners—these are your wild school detention stories.

Bernd, this sucks:

Not wildest, but stupidest on the part of administration.

My sister was living in Spain during my juinor year in high school. My parents purposefully planned for my mom and me to go visit her during the four days of the junior class trip to Disney, that I wasn’t interested in partaking in anyway. I was much more interested in going to Spain and visit family in Dresden, than getting suburnt with people I hated in a place I didn’t care about. My parents purposefully chose those days because they knew I wouldn’t miss any classes, plus I was taking spanish so they figured it would be good exposure. We do cultural vacations in our family, not relaxing ones.

Anyway, since this was me ‘missing school’ it had to get approved by the Administration. They deemed it an ‘unexcused absence’. I had to get all of my teachers to sign off on the fact I was purposefully missing classes and my grades were good enough to miss said work (which they all went WTF to, but anyway), and I had to serve detention to make up the work I was going to miss. WHICH WAS NOTHING BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE WAS IN CLASS AND NO ONE WAS LEARNING ANYTHING.

It was the absolutely most bizarre and stupid waste of time for everyone involved.

This was one of myriad examples of my high school making ‘examples’ of the high performing kids so they could justify what they did to other kids.

stephkat716, lol:

I technically got detention exactly once in my life. 7th grade. Someone put white out in the teacher’s water and the entire class got detention. I was a known good kid* and the teacher of the class was friends with my sister. After about 5 minutes of the whole class being kept after for detention he walked over to me and whispered “you can leave. I know you didn’t do it.”

So that was my experience. 5 minutes of detention in 7th grade. Also they never found out who did it.

(*As an example, same school, I was talking to a friend when a teacher stopped to let me cross. I waved her on because I hated crossing in front of cars. She told the principal I had flipped her off. He didn’t believe her.)

The Incinerator’s Lost Key, awe:

I spent so much time in detention for various dumb shit. The best detention story, let’s see now...

I’m in 8th grade. The school I was attending had kindergarten through eighth grade all together. I’m tween dating a 15 year old that is in the class for kids with special needs. (He flunked a few grades, but was super sweet. I should have held onto that one. Sigh. Regrets!)

My punkass clique was having a standoff with the science teacher, Mrs. Thompson, over something stupid. (I think that was the time she took issue with each of us calling each other biblical names. Long story there.) So, we’re in class and she sends one of us to the principal for something dumb. She turns back to the class and crows in her gotcha voice, “Does anyone else want to see the principal today?”

And the four of us got up and marched down to the principal for a visit. The four of us that marched were given six more Saturday detentions for... I don’t remember what she called it then. It was whatever, most of us already had a string of Saturday detentions lined up anyways.

My sweet silly boyfriend hears about the latest escapade and rounds up his skater clique. Every Saturday morning they skateboard all over the parking lot near the window the rest of us are cooped up in and blast hair metal tunes on their boombox.

And when we would get out of detention, I’d go to his house for the obligatory rewatch of Breakfast Club on VHS.

[Insert Barbara Streisand’s version of Memories here.]

Curious Squid, you are brave:

Year ten (third year of Australian high school, not sure what the US equivalent would be, but I was 15) a friend and I were talking via passed notes about an embarrassing sexual matter to do with her boyfriend. When the teacher saw and told me to give him the note I took the nuclear option and ate it. This was the only detention I ever got, as I was a very boring good girl otherwise and this kind of boss move was super out of character for me.

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Let’s hear those rejections.

URL: Senior Writer, Jezebel. IRL: Author of the very good book 'LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS,' out now.

DISCUSSION

~13 years ago...

I’d been (not secretly) dating two guys. The shitty one demanded I choose one of them, so of course 24-year-old me dumped the nice one in a pathetic cowardice *email*.

Flash forward 4 months and I’m walking home alone at night, crying, carrying a stack of gifts, on my birthday. Shitty One had totally ruined my birthday dinner and ditched me after my friends had already all gone home. My phone was dead and Uber didn’t exist yet.

A car pulls up and it is Nice One, who very kindly takes pity on me and gives me a lift. We get to my building and have a nice chat about what each has been up to. In my emotional state I misread the non-existent signals and tried to kiss him. He intercepted my face with his open palm and a “yeaaaahhhh, no. Goodnight.

Two days later I emailed him to say thanks and ask if he wanted to grab a drink? He emailed back like a week later, “No thanks. You really hurt me a few months ago, and I can sense you’re about to do it again. I respect myself more than that. Have a good life.”

It felt so brutal and humiliating at the time, but he was 1000% right. It was also the first time a romantic partner showed healthy boundaries, which in turn led me to practice some healthier boundaries with the Shitty One... though it did take me like 3 more months to finally stay broken up with him.