This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Mail from Mom [And The Delight Of Rejection By Phone]

My mother loves sending manila envelopes. These envelopes are usually a treasure trove of clippings from the hometown newspaper, coupons (courtesy of my grandma), supermarket recipe books, and loads and loads of junk mail.

I've given her the authority to throw away the *obvious* junk mail, but she forwards it to me anyway. Recently, she told me that my high school was looking for me. They should ask my college-- the university foundation has had no problem finding me no matter how much I try to escape. Nonetheless, the latest manila envelope treasure trove arrives. Inside, among other *obvious* junk mail/solicitations is a postcard from my high school. There's an 800 number and it's marked urgent. [After all, don't all urgent notices arrive in pre-sorted bulk mail postcard form?]

I call the number. Why not? The guy on the other end of the line sounds like an older gentleman and so not from my high school. He works for a company in Virginia that was hired to sell high school directories to nostalgic people for the knock-out price of (2) installments of $44.99. It sounds like the Bradford Exchange, only I don't get a ceramic plate. Before he gives me the hard sell though, he asks for some information. (They can't sell directories if alumni don't list their information.)

Fine. I give him my name. He then asks for my telephone address... I tell him that I do not wish to list that information. He sounds surprised. I feel like I should give a reason for trying to go incognito via phone.

"I work in the entertainment industry," I tell him, "and for some reason, no matter what facet of the industry you work in, that fact alone brings people out of the woodwork."

[This is so true, by the way... Everyone also seems to think that my "entertainment" work is amazingly exciting compared to their doldrum, yet benefits-laden jobs--something that is also generally not the case.]

The phone guy seems to understand, but his next response confirms that he wasn't really listening to me at all.

"Oh. Are you an actress?" he asks. I can feel him smiling slyly on the other end of the line. "No, " I reply... annoyed.

Before he can give me some story about how his niece wants to get in the business or how he, too, has an idea for a movie, I quickly give him my occupation. I also let him put down that I'm currently in Los Angeles which isn't revealing much. I feel like I'm trying to be "nice" to some guy that's asking me out [and that I have zero interest in.] After some ho-humming, I volunteer an old hotmail e-mail address that I never really use. Then comes the hard sell, but I'm prepared.

"No, is my answer on the book," I tell him before he asks.


"Thanks, but I don't really want the book," I explain.

"Well...we only print as many books as reservations. If you don't reserve a directory now, you won't be able to get one.

I think back to high school and all the years that I passed in which I've managed to survive without their encyclopedic directory of high school alumni.

"No, I'm sure--but thanks."

His friendly demeanor sags and he blurbs out the 800 number again "in case I change my mind before their deadline" [which won't happen, by the way.]

It's been a few days now, and I haven't had any regrets. My mother says there's another manila envelope on its way. I can barely contain my squeals of delight. BUT, seriously I look forward to mail from mom just as much as I did back in college...

Photo credit: flickrway
Copyright © 2008 KLiedle

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