The Perfect Rejection

Like everyone else, I’ve had many¬†embarrassing attempts at dating, some via Tinder, some not. About eighteen months ago, I resorted to Facebook Messenger – a slightly humiliating medium, but whatever – to tell a university acquaintance that I had feelings for her. She replied fifteen minutes later, with such an exquisitely balanced message that I later googled it to see if she had stolen it from a template.

“Hi Ollie, thanks for your message. It’s flattering and I guess it wasn’t easy to write. However – I’m really sorry – but I just don’t feel the same way about you. I’m also in a relationship.”

It was so measured, and concise, and polite, and thorough, that when I showed it to my friends they hailed it as a masterpiece: the perfect rejection, in thirty-five words. It became a joke… and once we realised that it could be applied to almost anything, it took on a life of its own.

“Hi Fred, thanks for your job application. It’s flattering and I guess it wasn’t easy to fill out. However – I’m really sorry – but I just don’t feel the same way about your qualifications. I’ve also filled the vacancy.”

Hi Ollie, thanks for your manuscript. It’s flattering and I guess it wasn’t easy to write. However – I’m really sorry – but I just don’t feel the same way about the story. I’m also closed for submissions.”

“Hi Sophie, thanks for your UCAS form. It’s flattering and I guess it wasn’t easy to do all those Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. However – I’m really sorry – but I just don’t feel the same way about offering you a place at this university. I also didn’t read your personal statement.”

The news regularly fits the format beautifully.

“Hi Europe, thanks for your Union. It’s flattering and I guess it wasn’t easy to organise. However – I’m really sorry – but I just don’t feel the same way about partnership and mutual benefits. I’m also over 65.”

“Hi England, thanks for your football team. It’s flattering and I guess it wasn’t easy to reach the Euro 2016 tournament. However – I’m really sorry – but I just don’t feel the same way about your progress in the competition. I’m also Iceland.”

“Hi Hillary, thanks for your candidacy. It’s flattering and I guess it wasn’t easy to campaign. However – I’m really sorry – but I just don’t feel the same way about voting Democrat. I’m also a basket of deplorables.”

Pretty much anything related to Trump can be made to fit.

“Hi Donald, thanks for your $130,000. It’s flattering and I guess it wasn’t easy to secretly funnel the cash through your lawyer. However – I’m really sorry – but I just don’t feel the same way about our non-disclosure agreement. Storm’s also a-comin’, baby.”

As for popular culture, well…

 

Try it. Make your own. Being on the receiving end of the perfect rejection has been its own silver lining.

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