Rejection Was a Friend of Mine
The waiting game began.
Sophomore year of college was in full swing, so I completely invested myself into my schoolwork, campus job and music. I wasn’t going to let the possibility of being on a TV show control my life. Rejection was a familiar feeling to me, so I lived under the assumption that I wouldn’t hear back from The Voice. Remember, I was keeping my expectations extremely low.
But wait. Let’s talk about rejection for a moment.
Besides not receiving many lead roles in the high school musicals (don’t worry guys, I’m totally over it), there’s one rejection I experienced that cuts me deep to my core.
Flashback to 7th grade in the Gold Team hallway of North Hills Junior High School.
It was Valentine’s Day and love was in the air. While other kids exchanged teddy bears and candy and held hands as they walked to the cafeteria, I stood in the hallway holding a very special valentine for a very special someone. I purchased a necklace and then placed a note within the jewelry box asking a particular girl to be my girlfriend.
FYI. I didn’t buy the necklace. Unfortunately, in 7th grade I couldn’t drive a vehicle and my wallet was filled with a whole lot of NOTHING. So, I had my mom find a very special Valentine’s gift for my special lady friend. Thankfully, my mom agreed. But one day before the holiday of love, Pittsburgh encountered a huge snowstorm. Despite the horrible driving conditions, I cried and begged my mom to venture outside and buy the necklace for me. You would’ve thought my life depended on this necklace (honestly, at the time, I kind of felt like it did). Needless to say, my mom was not very happy, but she braved the winter storm just for me.
Throughout the day, I tried to build up the courage to approach the girl of my dreams. I HAD to give her the necklace. Her locker was on the opposite side of the hallway, diagonally placed from mine, so I had plenty of opportunities to make my move. But I was terrified and incredibly nervous.
The final bell of the day sounded and everyone ran outside to ride the bus home. I saw the sunshine of my existence start to walk away from her locker, so I chased her down the hallway, tapped her on the shoulder and said, “Here, happy Valentine’s Day.”
Really? I spent all day playing this scenario over and over in my head and that was the best I could do?
I can’t remember if she said anything after taking the gift from my sweaty palms, because I bolted out of that awkward situation as fast as I could.
When I got home [like the mature 7th grader that I was], I had my sister Samantha go online and instant message the girl that I had just humiliated myself in front of.
Had she read the note yet? Did she accept the generous offer to be my girlfriend?
Samantha logged onto her AIM account and sent the message. Then these words appeared on the screen: Jansen Hartmann is typing. Although I can’t remember the exact words she said, Jansen ultimately told Samantha that she appreciated the gift but she could not accept the offer to be my girlfriend. To put it bluntly, she rejected me.
After reading the message, I went into the bathroom, sat on the toilet, and cried. I was crushed.
A few years later, I found out that Jansen told her older sister, Karlie, what happened when she got home from school that day. Basically, Jansen told Karlie that she got a Valentine’s gift from Chris Jamison and that he asked her to be his girlfriend.
Karlies response was, “Chris Jamison???” (Said with a confused, disgusted, and concerned tone). After hearing her sister’s response, Jansen decided that she couldn’t be my girlfriend.
But here’s a fun fact. About a year later, I asked Jansen to be my girlfriend again, and she said yes (I’m assuming this time she didn’t run it past her sister). We stayed together all throughout high school. In fact, Jansen and I recently celebrated our 9 year dating anniversary. We got engaged this past May and are getting married on May 19, 2017.
Looks like the joke’s on you, Karlie.