Tag Archives: rejection

Replies Often

When a man contacts me on OKCupid I often reply. I am, therefore, ranked as someone who “Replies Often.” I would put my percentages at about 98%. Those other 2%-ers don’t hear from me either because I’m distracted or busy or…just can’t think of anything nice (or smartass) to say. In other words, I can almost always think of something to say.

Which, you might think, is a good thing. It is, in fact, a bad thing. A VERY bad thing. It means I respond to men I don’t find appealing. Men who probably copied-and-pasted the same overture to me and about 100 other women. Men who are 25 years my senior. Or junior. And men who live in Alaska. Worst of all are the men who are encouraged by my reply, even if I say, as politely as possible, that I’m not interested.

Such a cyber-courtship unfolded today. After a number of “No, thank you”s, G. persevered. This time I was less polite. He wrote “Let’s talk” and gave me his number. I envisioned this exact two word directive sent off to dozens of unread profiles and replied, more curtly than in the past: “Not interested, sorry.” And then got roundly chastised. I (stupidly) backpedaled and suggested that if he was that interested, he was welcome to come visit me at work. Which he did. And he was as unappealing in person as he had been online. But he eyed me salaciously and told me, “You look goooood.” Uh, yeah, thanks. I think.

Let me tell you, gentlemen, that though women are almost always flattered to be flattered, basing your “interest” in us on looks alone reduces us to a slab of meat in a deli display. This particular gentleman made no references to my profile when he emailed me or when he showed up in person. He did, however, make reference to my photos. I felt like an ice cream sundae. Which, I will admit, would’ve been awesome if the ogling had been working both ways. But it wasn’t.

I had asked him, after his chastisement, “And you are interested in me, why? Our match percentages are pretty low. Do we have anything in common?” His reply gave no indication of what he saw in me. And aside from appearing to be pleased with how I looked in person, he didn’t share any of his reasons for choosing me when he sat across the bar from me, either. So when he leered, “Now that we’ve done the look-see thing, how about a real date?” I painfully, politely declined.

Now, you don’t need me to tell you that rejection is more easily taken through the ether. It is what makes online dating so appealing. Everyone gets to do the rejecting from the comfort of their own home. In person, ouch. So I wasn’t surprised that he left abruptly, before I had a chance to say goodbye. And I was even less surprised when he immediately sent me a flurry of rude emails, culminating with “You are not as hot as I had hoped.” Ah, good thing. How sad if he’d been rejected by someone really hot!

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Abby, you callous cunt. The guy came all the way to your bar and you shut him down! Well, I tried, repeatedly, to dissuade him. Would it have been better if he’d spent $50 on dinner? I guess the next time I’m not interested, I’d best not respond. Soon I will be branded with the fearsome “Replies Selectively.” So if you don’t hear from me, you’ll know why!

My One Minute Book Pitch Meets with…Steeerike ONE!

Last night I ventured out to Brooklyn for Pitchapalooza, a sink-or-swim book idea slam organized by “The Book Doctors,” David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut, authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published. The venue was the Green Light Bookstore and featured celebrity guest judges Richard Nash and Jason Pinter.

There must’ve been 100 eager authors crammed into the indy Ft. Green store, each nervously clutching their script and editing on the spot. The format provided one minute to spill your spiel, followed by feedback from the panel. Writers were not permitted to respond to their feedback or otherwise defend themselves.  About 20 writers were randomly selected and offered the opportunity to pitch their books. I was one of the fortunate few.

I managed to get through about 99% of my pitch before the buzzer. When I first uttered the word “menopause,” there was a collective audible gasp. What can I say? It’s not a popular topic. Men don’t want to hear about it. Period. Just like they don’t want to hear about periods. Or anything else “feminine and messy.” And women, unless they’ve actually been through it — though sometimes not even then! — really, REALLY don’t want to hear about it! Females of every generation are terrified of getting old, of becoming invisible and irrelevant, of reaching an age when they can no longer trade on their sexuality or femininity, thereby negating everything society has been teaching us for the first 50 years of our lives. So I was proud of myself for even giving it a shot. I wasn’t at a woo-woo women’s support group; it was a retail establishment stuffed with my “I wanna get published!” competition. If I had to guess, I’d say there were maybe 10 women in the room who could even vaguely relate to me.

My paraphrased feedback:

Arielle began, “When you first started, I thought, ‘Oh, no, here we go again.’ I’ve heard hundreds of pitches for ‘funny’ menopause books. There are a million of them out there. But then you got specific about the kind of rock ‘n’ roll people you’d be targeting and I got it!” I’m pleased that she “got it,” but I’m not necessarily targeting just rockers. I’m going after badasses of every genre. And all you need to do is Google menopause books to learn that there are not anywhere near a million “funny” menopause books. She may have heard a million pitches for them but, for whatever reason, no one’s published them. Which is a shame, because I sure could’ve used one. All there was when I went looking was Menopause for DummiesMenopause Sucks: What to Do When Hot Flashes and Hormones Make You and Everyone Else Miserable and Is it Hot In Here? Or is it me? The Complete Guide to Menopause. There are, of course, the Christian Northrup books and Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause, which are not, in my opinion, either entertaining or even remotely badass.

Richard Nash suggested I come up with some catchy phrases that would really sum up the intended demographic, such as “The menopause book for the CBGB’s generation,” — which I immediately appropriated, by the way — though again, I’m hoping the book will have a bit more reach than that. Sure, the broads who are “still out clubbing til 3am” would be my primary market, but ideally everyone who doesn’t feel like part of the hippy-dippy purple caftan demographic will want to read my book!

Jason Pinter read a few notes that were primarily words of encouragement. Thank you, Jason!

Wrapping up, David added, “You said this was a funny book. Where were the jokes? You didn’t make me laugh.” Well, given that all I had was one minute, there wasn’t much time for stand-up. But more specifically, this is not a humor book. It’s an informational book, written with a sense of humor. Will it make people laugh? I hope so. But I won’t be telling jokes; I’ll be cracking wise. And doing my best to help my readers to not jump off a building in despair.

The panel also let me know it was a bad idea to say that 50% of the planet would be interested in my book, since that wasn’t accurate. They were in agreement that I should’ve mentioned other menopause books and how mine was different. I had avoided that in an effort to not come off sounding negative — easily remedied. But they all seemed to believe I have a viable book!

Fortunately, seconds after I ceded the mic to the next pitcher, a handsome young reporter beckoned. “We’d like to shoot your book pitch for NBC news,” he informed me. I couldn’t believe my luck! How many potential viewers would I reach with my idea? And my newly appropriated CBGB’s catch phrase? I threw my motorcycle jacket back on to appear appropriately badass. The segment seemed to go smoothly; I think I got my message across with an appealing amount of humor. I’ll look forward to seeing if I make the cut and whatever resulting adulation transpires.

While my first real “pitch” may have been a total strikeout, at least I had the nerve to attend the event and enough luck to be picked — and filmed! Since I bought the book, I get to schedule a 20-minute consultation with David and Arielle. I’ll be sure to re-work my pitch, taking all their constructive criticism into consideration. If I could pack a pitch into a minute, 20 will feel like forever!

The One-Minute Book Pitch

I’ve got a book that’s relevant to a mere 50% of the people on the planet. That’s right, every woman in the world will go through menopause! And there simply isn’t enough information about it out there, not even on the almighty internet.

The Badass Babe’s Guide to Menopause will fix that and crack you up! Hardcore medical facts with a rock ‘n’ roll sense of humor will explain what the hell is happening with your hormones and how to handle it with dignity.

The book will debunk myths and offer realistic coping strategies without resorting to hippy-dippy lavender caftan homilies or telling you that old age is the best part of life!

Beyond all the hilarious straight talk you’ll get quotes and stories from the world’s biggest badasses: Joan Jett! Chrissy Hynde! Tina Turner! Whoopie! Madonna!

And why should I write this book? I have decades of experience waiting in a comical, conversational style about sexuality, kink and other taboo topics. And hey, why not me?

You’ll want to buy this book because either you’ll eventually want to read it or someone you love will!