The New Yorker Caption Contest and Me: A Tale of Utter Rejection

Dear Huffington Post Readers (of the Comedy Section, though what I am writing is serious, very serious):

I am exceedingly perturbed. Plus I have hives. Now, please know that I do know that life is not fair. I even wrote a book with that title. But still!

Here is what is going on: Some really, really smart people do the New York Times crossword puzzle. Some even do it in ink, on the really hard day. (I have a college friend who does. So did her dad. Amazing!) I forgot if the hard day is Saturday or Monday. But times may have changed. For I was so bad at it that I gave up totally.

My weekly "must do" (whenever I remembered) shifted to the New Yorker cartoon caption contest. OK, I admit it. Some of my submissions have been horrible; but some are really OK. And my most recent submission (winners were announced in the July 29 issue) was my best ever and an absolute winner. Anyway I thought so. But the deciders did not.

Honestly, dear readers... I have no idea who the three finalists are; I am not going to google them; and I wish them well with all of my heart... but my submission really, really deserved to be there.

Let me describe the cartoon. A gal is at the bar, and the guy she is with has a bag over his head. Only his eyes show. The gal looks like she is in her 20s or 30s; she has a very loving face. Her hair is wavy, down to her shoulders. Actually, she looks like my three daughters -- and like I once looked.

Now I know the New Yorker doesn't like sweet, sentimental stuff. But this young woman, familiar to me, has sweetness in her. I could tell. Her smile is touching, and she looked at the bagged guy hopefully, dearly. So my caption was: "I've grown accustomed to your bag."

I waited all week for the phone to ring with the good, well-earned, deserved news that I was a finalist. In truth, I expected them to say they were sure I would win.

My husband, who did not realize that I had thrown the New Yorker open to the last page the moment this week's arrived, broke the news to me gently. (Naturally, I had known the news days before, as no call came informing me of what I deserved.) Though hubby is observant, somehow he did not notice the scrunched caption contest page. However, he did notice my hives. "Whaaaaaat the....?" he asked, as I scratched away.

Any way, I have packed my calamine; we are going to go away for a few days.

I wish I could say that after long years of rejection I will just stop submitting; but I just do not think I can, even though the obvious is the obvious -- I appreciate the New Yorker far more than the New Yorker appreciates me.

As soon of you may know, I am a therapist, so I should know to let go after total ("they're just not into you") rejection. I should practice what I preach... right? Of course, right!

Yet, I just can't stop because dreaming up the captions is really fun; but, that said, I wonder how you feel about my girl with the guy and the bag.

The truth and only the truth please. I can take it!... And I wonder if you have ever found yourself in a similar boat, please share. Though away, I will be looking.