Non-Traditional Rejection


When I was 27-years-old, I decided to take a summer course- Intermediate German- at a local university. I thought the course would be a good distraction from my mundane job at the time.

I was a little apprehensive about getting back on a college campus. The first day of class, I couldn’t get over how much younger everyone looked. The girls looked a lot younger than when I graduated just five years earlier.

When I passed by girls on campus, they weren’t making eye contact with me or giving me little coy grins like they once had. I started questioning if I still had it.

Like a non-traditional student, when I arrived at my German class, I immediately went to an empty desk that was as close to the front as possible. Then, like a vision, a beautiful blond haired girl with crystal blue eyes was standing in the doorway. We locked eyes and she started walking toward me. When she crossed the room, I saw it in slow motion – like 80’s hair band video slow motion. Every guys head followed her as she made her way to the desk next to me.

She smiled at me and took a pen and notebook out of her pink backpack. We exchanged some small talk; she complimented me on the shirt I was wearing. She was twirling her fingers through her hair. I’m thinking to myself, she’s doing some heavy flirting. She’s digging me. I still got it.

I slyly glanced at her ring finger, and said, “I didn’t think this class would be this crowded.”

She nodded and asked, “Sir, will you be giving us our syllabus today?”

Confused, I said, “Depends on if the professor…”

Her face turned red and she grimaced a little. She scooted her desk over slightly, and said, “Oh, I thought…sorry.”

It was at that moment that I realized she thought I was the professor, not a fellow student. I slinked down in my desk and never felt older in my life. I didn’t still have it; not with her anyway.

In a state of self wallowing, I went home that afternoon and curled up on my couch in the fetal position for a few hours.

(photo courtesy of Master Isolated Images/