Stephanie Arnett | Cotton District by Lura Jordan

To be exact, I was rejected twice, in one day

Rejection A: 

*received by email, before our scheduled video call

“We do not need to talk. After looking at your profile, the only things we have in common are being women, and working in real estate. You discuss God and family too much.”.

Rejection B:

*video call “meet & greet”

As the video window popped up on my screen, an early 20-something young woman joined the call

She took one look at me, winced, and drew back from the screen

“This is not going to work” she said, as she crossed her arms

My first response? Irked. Then, as it always happens, curiosity took over. This call was going to be interesting… she now had my full attention. My mind was swirling with questions: How? Why? How do you know? What happened? Hate, or protection? Share!!

“Is it because I’m old?”, I asked

. “That’s one reason”

“Ok. Is it because I’m white?”

. “Yes”

“Ok. What else?”

. “You are from Mississippi”

“You knew that. May I ask what the concern about Mississippi is?”

. “It’s a red state. I assume that you are a Christian?”


. “What kind?”

*I giggled a little* “Southern Baptist, why?”

. “You hate gays”

“Hmm… That’s a new one, but thanks for letting me know”

At this point, I accepted that we would not be working together. However, curiosity still had me…

“Since I will not “work for you”, how about we end this call early, and I will request a transfer for you?”

. “Ok. I told them I would stay on the call the full length though”

I’m seeing a pattern here. She must have rejected her first partner, too

“Let’s do half a call then — no point in wasting each other’s time. While I have you, we might as well jump in. Since we will not be working together, may I have your permission to be direct?”

. “Yes. Let’s go”

Fifteen minutes flew by. I asked every question under the sun, and without hesitation or “sugar-coating”, she answered every one. It is one of the most direct conversations I have had in years. We were “free” from normal social constraints. We did not have to hide our true feelings, we knew that we were never going to see each other again

We discussed everything!! Everything that you are not supposed to discuss with someone on a first meeting, anyway. Race, religion, politics, sexuality, finances, and the list goes on…My alarm sounded. Twenty-six minutes had gone by, and our time was coming to an end. I started to wrap the call up

. “I’m sorry. Will you accept my apology?”

*with a big smile* “Of course. You will never have to see me again” 

. “Miss Stephanie? Thank you”

*curious* “Thank you for…?”

. “You yanked a knot in my ###. You were a little brutal, but you opened my eyes today. I need to give people a chance”

 —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  — 

Rejection. It’s hard to take, but there is always a lesson. What did I learn from this one? That I want to be like “B”. I want to open up. Ask questions. Be empathetic. I want to give someone a chance to show me who they are, not the labels I bestowed upon them ❤️

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