I was in first grade. The year was 1980. I remember very little from first grade, but this is the one thing I do remember: I had a crush on a boy named Mike. So, I did what every kid in the 80’s probably did at least once in their life. I wrote him a “Do You Like Me?” note. Three check boxes. One for the “Yes” (please, please, let him check that one!), the “No” (heartbreak sure to ensue), and the “Maybe” (not what I wanted him to check, but I could live with it.) I signed my name to the bottom, and ran over when no one was looking to shove it in his mailbox.
Then I hid. I can’t remember where. Behind the bookshelf across the room, maybe? I remember sweating when I saw him heading in that direction. True love at last! He pulled it out. He unfolded it. His nose scrunched up in a position I’ve never seen before (does love look like that?). He crumpled it up and threw it in the trash can.
Lesson learned, it was the last “Do You Like Me” note I wrote.
Well, until I wrote a book 31 years later. Then I had to write more notes. Lots more. This time in the form of a query letter to an agent. Every time I would hit the send button on one I’d think “Didn’t you learn this lesson already?” The good thing about it being emailed is that I don’t have to see what happens on the other end. The agents may scrunch their nose when they read it and hit that cute little trash can image to toss it in the virtual garbage or reply with the dreaded form rejection, but I don’t have to see it happening.
Well, I’ve gotten a few replies marked “Yes” (full requests), a lot marked “No” (rejection), and a few “Maybe” (partial requests).
There is one thing I can tell you — for me, the anticipation, excitement, and fear is still the same after all of these years. When I see that little (1) next to my query inbox telling me I have a new reply I cross both fingers, my legs, and hold my breath while I open it.
The best news is that for now (and hopefully forever!) I never have to send out another “Do You Like Me” note. I’ll post again this week with my happy ending story! 🙂