Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Monster in the Mailbox

I'm scared of my mailbox. My heart literally starts racing every time I grab my mailbox key. As I open the little door and reach in, I practically want to shut my eyes, yet at the same time I can't help but keep them open wide.

This is a rather new phenomenon, because it has only been recently that a monster turned up in my mailbox. Or didn't turn up, depending on how you look at it.

It's the, the, the fear of rejection. Mastercard bills? No problem. Another notice from a collection agency? No problem. The fify-millionth credit card offer? No problem. But an envelope with my own handwriting?

I suppose it should be a blessing. As soon as I see the SASE that I sent off with any given query letter or manuscript, I know it is a rejection. The postal service is only used in the case of rejection. If an agent had anything truly positive to say, it would come via e-mail or, for truly life-altering news, a phone call. But in the mail? You can just forget it. So, in a sense, the envelope just prepares you early. No surprises. All you have to do is open it to figure out which agent rejected you this time around. But the rejection is presumed right from the start.

But when you are waiting for that phone call, the mailbox can be scary. Each day that passes without word is another day closer, another day to rile my nerves. And I'll admit it grows worse through any given week.

My logic, as flawed as it may be, is that an agent will do any reading they need to do on the weekends. I'm not sure why I jump to this conclusion, but I do. So, if they read on the weekend and love it, I should expect a call or e-mail on Monday. Tuesday, at the latest. If, however, they hated it...or, in the words of several agents, "It just isn't right for me"...then they slap the rejection letter in the SASE that I provided them and stick it in the mail. Which means by Wednesday or Thursday, I should be expecting something.

And I do expect it, though I don't want it. And when I finally make it to another Saturday without getting bit by the rejection monster, I breathe a sigh of relief, and there is hope once again. Monday. Monday will be the day. The call will be on Monday.

Today, however, is Wednesday. Which means tonight, when I drive home, I'll be scared. Very scared. Because there might just be a monster in the mailbox.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Sometimes, there can be positive news in the mail. I received two requests for partials, and one for the full, via snail mail. Really. :)