Modest is Hottest!

How about a picture monologue of the time I got rejected by the ancient temples at Angkor Wat?

Back story: I had heard that in Thailand, people are not allowed to enter the temples wearing shorts or tank tops, but in Cambodia temples are comparably pretty lax. We went to the Angkor Wat temple complex today as part of our mid-trip retreat, and I wore a skirt and tank but brought a scarf to cover my shoulders just in case. As we approached the entrance, one-by-one the girls in our group were turned away because of our attire. We were wearing the following items: a floor-length sleeveless dress with a scarf, a fully sleeved knee-length dress, a t-shirt and shorts, and me in the skirt and tank, but my upper body was totally covered in a giant sarong scarf.

#hussies ‎#modestishottest ‎#cambodia2013
#hussies #modestishottest                                                                                                  Photo by Tara

There was a sign at the entrance of the temple that X’d out a drawing of almost every article of female clothing, and even had an X over scarves. What?! The internet lied to me about what would be acceptable at the temple, but I had this magical scarf in my bag which had saved my life on several occasions in the past. I had previously converted the scarf into a shirt, dress, skirt, head covering, and full-body cover-up from my neck to ankles. So after my first rejection, I thought I’d give it another more creative try (or two) (or three).

I wrapped the scarf over my shoulders, tied the ends at my wrists, tucked all the fabric into my high-wasted skirt for good measure, and set off for the entrance.

That’s it guys. Don’t try to stop me. I’M GOING IN.
Hm. But what if they recognize me? Maybe I should cover the whole tank. Yes. I’ll pull it together in front and cinch it in the middle.
(Earnestly walking toward the Entrance of Shame)
Bites fingernails in anticipation. Other women wait from behind the rope with hopes of a better future for the shoulders of their children.
…and denied. Fine. Fine, you entrance blockers. But you haven’t seen the last of me.
*Pulls scarf around 110-degree body to guard against the chill of rejection*
Hey guys. Bad news. They didn’t let me in. But check out that shirtless dude behind me.
Wait. I know! Let’s get mummified.
Intern Anna focuses intently on covering any piece of exposed flesh
Go. Go with the strength of a thousand shoulders before you, and carry with you the hopes of a thousand shoulders left behind…
Hold on. Are you guys sure about this? What if I trip on the temple steps and can’t catch myself?! You’re right. We NEED this. Wish me luck. Third time’s a charm…
…and denied.   *Hangs head*
Like I really wanted to see some dumb ancient ruins anyway. Spoiler alert: THEY’RE RUINED!
…and then they made me get out of line, so we wrapped me in a cocoon but I was afraid I was going to fall, and THEN the guy said Lady, you don’t understand! No scarf for shirt! but I went through anyway, and then

This photo sequence was brought to you by the rejected women of World Next Door.


Back off, lady.

Yes, I’d like some rejection, please.
And then for dessert, I’ll just have a big fat slice of rejection.

I thought unemployment was the worst. Turns out, unemployment is better than rejection.

I got two emails from a publishing company looking to collect inspirational short stories for an upcoming series. They wanted stories about life-changing moments, a thousand words or less, and if they liked what they read, they would hire me on a contract basis to continue to submit stories, and then to interview others with the hopes of uncovering more life-changing moments.

I believed that inspirational life-changing chicken soup for the soul-ish moments were sort of my thing. I mean, have you seen the blog? They had. So I rewrote some old stories—ones about quitting jobs, moving to other countries, car accidents, death, birth, adoption. I sent in samples of life-changing moments in the middle of life-changing, or sometimes just ordinary, experiences. We had been emailing for days so I could get a clear understanding of what they were looking for. We seemed to be a good match.

In return, I received this:


I may not have been clear; the stories we accept are truly ONLY LIFE CHANGING MOMENTS – not simply nice little stories. Please let me know which of the ones you have attached would be best considered a TRULY LIFE CHANGING MOMENT. Thanks.

Were the ALL CAPS really necessary? Isn’t that sort of aggressive for an email? It’s like she’s yelling at me in type.

For normal people life-changing moments don’t happen with fireworks and a bullhorn. Usually they happen on a stoop or in the back of a pick-up truck or something. I sort of thought the decision to relocate to a developing country would make the cut, or learning how to say ‘I love you’ in French, or being run over by a semi, or a simple conversation with an 8 year-old from the B&GC. But, apparently, those are not TRULY LIFE CHANGING MOMENTS, and I guess there are people whose entire jobs are to decide which moments in a girl’s life are TRULY LIFE CHANGING or not.

On top of that, I got an email from the Parkview Housekeeping Department thanking me for my application and explaining that they had decided to go with someone more qualified. The housekeeping department.

Where do I go from here?

(Dairy Queen)
(The liquor store)
(The cookie isle)
(Pizza roles)
(Uplifting and encouraging star 88.3)
(Greys/The office/30 Rock)