But there’s something else you ought to know. Sometimes, it surprises you. Sometimes, without warning, you meet beautiful people.


I’m a senior in high school and this has definitely been the hardest year I’ve had. Mostly, because of a boy who’s hurt me. How do I make it to graduation when everything around me is going wrong?



I don’t know. That’s the short answer.

The long answer is: I’m the wrong guy to ask.

When I was your age, I had a girlfriend who was much like your mouth-breather boyfriend. She came from a family with more money than Betty Crocker.

She was a go-saddle-my-horse-Charles kind of girl. And I was the kind of guy who drove a pickup with a homemade rear bumper.

Anyway, her father was a golfer. He took me golfing once. I showed up in jeans and sneakers. He took one look at me and a piece of his soul died.

I do not golf.

He ushered me into a golf-pro shop to buy me plaid pants and a pink shirt. You will note that I’m a redhead. And according to my mother, some redheads should not wear pink unless they want to look like a puddle of lukewarm sheep vomit.

Still, I did everything I could to impress this girl. Pink and all.

One night, I even agreed to join her family for supper at the country club.

To beautify myself, I recruited the expert help of distinguished socialite and celebrated high-society blueblood, my friend Chubbs.

Chubbs is the son of a small-engine mechanic. He helped dress me using items from his father’s wardrobe.

We borrowed his father’s sportcoat, which was eighteen sizes too big. The sleeves were too long, so we rolled them up and secured them with rubber bands and duct tape.

I wore the fanciest shoes I owned—red Nikes. Chubbs slicked my hair using unrefined paste floor wax.

When Chubbs was satisfied with his handiwork, he faced me toward a mirror and remarked, “I do bleev that dog will hunt.”

I made my grand entrance into the country club. The string quartet music came to a screeching halt. My girlfriend almost dropped her lobster fork.

It wasn’t long thereafter that she told me she was breaking it off. Though, her actual words were, “I’m seeing someone else.”

My heart disintegrated. The young man she replaced me with had perfect teeth, broad shoulders, and his own set of titanium putting irons.

He was the kind of sophisticated gentleman who drove a nice car and wouldn’t sip Natural Light from a can if Jordan-Hare Stadium was on fire.

I’ve never felt so ugly. Or stupid. Uneducated. Low class. Pathetic. Unloved. Fill in the blank. I was a screw-up. I hated what I saw in the mirror.

After she dumped me, I sat on our front porch. My mother sat beside me. She didn’t say much, she just sat.

That’s sort of what I’m doing now. Just sitting.

See, I don’t have new advice for you because you already know enough. Sometimes life hurts. That’s the bottom line. Sometimes we lose.

But there’s something else you ought to know. Sometimes, it surprises you. Sometimes, without warning, you meet beautiful people.

Sometimes you win. Sometimes, you find yourself wearing Nikes into a country club.

Either way, one day you’ll look back on this letter and realize you were smarter than you knew.

And one day, when your child comes to you with a broken heart, you’ll say the same thing my mother once told me on those porch steps:

“People who cannot see your beauty, cannot see.”

I will always hate golf.


  1. Judy G - February 27, 2018 6:54 am

    It’s so sad when you’re made to feel ‘less than’, some folks are blind their whole life.

  2. Kelly - February 27, 2018 10:31 am

    Thank you for this. Hopefully a lot of girls and guys feeling this way see this and know they are beautiful.
    (Plus, the last line made me laugh out loud!)

  3. Marcie White - February 27, 2018 10:50 am

    I love the truth submitted here. Unfortunately, there are folks in our world who only feel good about themselves when they have the rest of us to look down on.

  4. Brenda - February 27, 2018 11:14 am

    Sean, imagine if you had spent your life trying to endure golf, you wouldn’t have Jamie.

  5. Sherry - February 27, 2018 11:53 am

    We are all beautiful in God’s eyes…we are made in His image…someday when your heart doesn’t hurt, you’ll realize that’s what really counts….this, too, shall pass.

    • LeAnne - February 27, 2018 12:39 pm

      Yes! We are. 🙂

  6. Xan Morrow - February 27, 2018 12:42 pm

    When my wonderful, smart, witty, beautiful niece got dumped by a boy she had been dating for several years and thought was going to marry her, I told her the best thing that will ever happen to him already has, and the best thing that will happen to you is yet to come. Guess what, I was right!

    • LeAnne - February 27, 2018 12:44 pm

      Wow! That’s good too!

    • Afi Scruggs - February 27, 2018 3:58 pm

      I’m going to use that for me and for others. Thanks Xan Morrow

  7. LeAnne - February 27, 2018 12:44 pm

    Sean, your mother sounds like a wise, wonderful woman. I love what she said to you and am going to borrow it to use whenever necessary with my daughter, other loved ones, and friends. Thank you, as always, for sharing your gift of writing and your stories with us all.

  8. Gabe J - February 27, 2018 1:10 pm

    I will always hate it too. 🙂

  9. Sue Cronkite - February 27, 2018 1:27 pm

    You are wiser than you think you are. Hope this helps someone.

  10. Connie - February 27, 2018 1:56 pm

    I wish I could meet your mom. I love this one.

  11. Penn Wells - February 27, 2018 2:00 pm

    I love you, man, but don’t blame the honourable game of golf…it’s not golf’s fault that it gets corrupted by some people who happen to be ____ (a word I cannot use in a family comment section).

  12. jackmokan - February 27, 2018 2:15 pm

    I’m with Penn on this one! But, I always appreciate your writing!!

  13. Jack Darnell - February 27, 2018 2:17 pm

    I golf the same as you!

  14. Nancy S. Jones - February 27, 2018 3:06 pm

    Wow just wow!

  15. lapaylor - February 27, 2018 3:21 pm

    Brilliantly wise… without giving an answer you gave her hope. You did what so many people want, someone to share the pain, not a pat answer to look at the bright side. I’m no longer in high school, thank goodness, but I’ve had my share of hits, and though you feel like folding up your hand and giving up, you can’t. That’s the long and short of it. So you deal with it.
    Great imagery as usual, and sentiment. So glad a friend told me I’d like your blog. I do. You make me want to write again. LeeAnna at Not Afraid of color

  16. muthahun - February 27, 2018 3:26 pm

    Oh honey, come play golf with us in Maine. Jeans, LLBean boots, stripes over plaids, and PBRs to beat the band. Not every golf course is a country club no matter what they call themselves, and how smart girls make it to graduation is to take a good long look in the mirror and repeat Rule #1:

  17. Janet Mary Lee - February 27, 2018 4:32 pm

    Thank you from many of us!

  18. Jack Quanstrum - February 27, 2018 5:47 pm

    I hate golf to! Good story!

  19. janiesjottings - February 27, 2018 6:57 pm

    Sean, can I just say how blessed you are to be surrounded by so many smart women? I know you know this because you mention it often. Good advice!

  20. Pamela McEachern - February 28, 2018 12:50 am

    I bet MRSCOUNTRYCLUB wishes on more than one occasion she had hung with that redhair boy! I also bet she is pretty bored with MrCOOKIECUTTER by now. I think she did the best favor possible for you and Jamie, give her a pity toast and then never think about that situation again. Keep your wonderful stories coming, it is a great start or finish to a day.
    Peace and Love from Birmingham


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