I thought that, while sitting around, waiting for rejection letters from publishers, I'd tell you about some other rejections I've had, which pre-date the ones mentioned in this blog by some twenty five years. There would be the same number, though, I'm sure. Yes, at least a dozen. They have nothing to do with books, and everything to do with girls.

You see, high school was not a good time for me as far as girls were concerned. I kissed a few girls between the ages of about 13 and 14, and then there was a lean period. A very, very lean period. Not for want of trying, though. I asked quite a lot of girls out. But quite a lot of them said no. 

I still don't know why. Okay, I had braces, but so did most kids that age. Okay, I had zits. I know that can be a thing. Maybe I danced badly. Maybe it's because I was short. Maybe it was a combination. But I think the reality was I was no John Travolta. Especially John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Man, how cool was he? I wish I could have been half as cool as he. Even a quarter. Even a tenth. I was just too shy. And maybe girls like guys to be a little suave. Suave, I think, would have been better than nice.

There was this one girl, who I still see around from time to time. She tells people that we went to a school dance together. I find this odd, since the truth is that I asked her but she said no. Risking a repetition of the humiliation I felt as a teenager, I managed to build up the courage to confront her with what really happened. She said she was sticking to her story. I said "show me the pictures to prove it".

I wonder why she has a different version of events? Is it guilt on her part? Or does our memory just play tricks on us? Perhaps she genuinely remembers us going to a dance together.

I'm glad to say I've moved on. We get on fine and laugh about it now. But to this day, I lack what Travolta had in Saturday Night Fever. I am still a terrible flirt. By which I mean that I am terrible at flirting, not that I flirt uncontrollably. 

Fortunately, it's not a skill that is required of me much these days, as I am happily married and have two young daughters. Which is probably just as well. What sort of model of suave would I be to a son?