Imagine you’ve finally received an invitation to an exclusive restaurant. It’s so exclusive, no one knows what they serve or what it looks like on the outside, but people spend a year or more waiting to get in. Reservations are by referral only. Referrals can take months or even years to get. You’re not allowed to bring anyone else inside with you, not even the friends who’ve shared the waiting. By the time the doors open, you’re desperately hungry. Your mouth starts watering while you stand in the foyer.
Once you’ve finally made it inside, your waiter leads you to a random table. There are no menus. “We’ll bring you something to eat when it’s ready,” he says before vanishing.
Other people join your table. Some of them get served before you. They’re not allowed to share. Some people leave without getting served at all. They may or may not come back. When you ask where your food is, the waiters hush you and tell you to be patient. You can’t complain that someone else’s food came first, because you’re so lucky to be at the table. You can’t post about the restaurant online, because if you do, they kick you out.
So you wait. And you watch. You hunger. Your food may or may not come. You might not like your meal once it arrives. Someone else’s food might look better or smell better or they might enjoy it more. And you could be left watching everyone who joined you at the table devour their food, while you stare at any empty place setting. All you can do is hope your food eventually comes.
This restaurant, of course, is called “On Submission.” Welcome to the table. Now shush, and wait your turn.