Dear Sean

But not me, thank God. I wasn’t ever called “chubby.” I was called “chunky.”

DEAR SEAN:

Your writing is becoming redundant, can you write about something else besides the same things over and over again? If you need help with ideas then get out of your comfort zone to stretch yourself and see more of this world.

…And don’t take offense when I tell you this, but I think you should shave and get a haircut since in your pictures you can sometimes look homeless. Don’t be afraid to let the world see the smiling face that’s behind all that hair, people will love it!

Thanks,
NITPICKY

DEAR NITPICKY:

Thank you for writing me. Of course you didn’t offend me, don’t be silly. I love it when people tell me I look “homeless.” It makes my day.

Only someone with deep emotional insecurities could feel hurt by such words. Someone who, for instance, might have been made fun of in middle school for being chubby. But not me, thank God. I wasn’t ever called “chubby.”

I was called “chunky.”

Chubby and chunky are not the same things. Chubby people can wear bathing suits to Lydia Mandeville’s thirteenth birthday party and feel no shame.

Chunky people would rather die in a tragic diving-board accident than remove their shirt in public.

Then again, the only thing that would have been worse than taking off my shirt in front of thirteen-year-olds would have been NOT ATTENDING the biggest party of the century.

My friend, Billy (also chunky), insisted on going to the party because he was in love with Lydia Mandeville.

Billy begged me to go. He said, “I need you there! For support! PLEASE!”

“I’m sorry, Billy. I’m not going.”

“There’s gonna be barbecue.”

“Barbecue?”

“Did I stutter?”

So I decided to go to Lydia’s party because there was going to be barbecue.

Billy’s mother dropped us off at the public pool. Billy and I arrived wearing swim trunks and oversized T-shirts. We noticed right away that kids had all formed their respective cliques.

Kids are a lot like birds in this way. They naturally flock together in complex migratory patterns, and sometimes eat worms.

The jocks (cardinals) were hanging out by the vending machine, shirtless, without a stitch of body fat. The A.V. club (Canada geese) loitered over by the fence, discussing the finer points of “Star Trek.” The popular girls (swans) kept close together. The popular boys (peacocks) were jotting the swans’ telephone numbers on cocktail napkins.

Billy and I (North American Turkeys) stood by the picnic table, guarding the barbecue (pork).

We were pathetic, and we knew it.

Not only was I plump, pale-skinned, and redheaded. But I also got haircuts at home. My father cut my hair. He would position me on the porch steps and cut my hair with electric shears. I have seen photographs from my childhood. I looked like a cross between Bozo the Clown and a very young soldier.

So there we stood, a couple of North American Turkeys with paper plates in our hands.

That’s when Billy spotted Lydia.

“Whoa,” said Billy. “There she is.”

It was her. Lydia, the object of Billy’s affection. He was totally in love. Billy was so smitten that he would’ve crawled across a sea of broken glass just to smell her gym socks.

“Cover me,” said Billy. “I’m going in.”

“Don’t do it,” I said.

“Why not?”

“Because look at us.”

“What about us?”

“We’re chubby, Lydia doesn’t even know your name.”

“She’s about to.”

And I will never forget it. Billy leapt into the pool, T-shirt and all. And he actually approached Lydia, who was—get this—NOT REPULSED BY HIM. She was smiling, and laughing. Chunky boys across the world rejoiced in a resounding chorus.

But it was short-lived.

Because Johnathan Fontaine was standing by the picnic tables, making fun of Billy for wearing his T-shirt in the water. Some of the other kids started laughing too. Soon, everyone was laughing at Billy.

Billy fell silent. He crawled out of the pool, his long T-shirt clung to his torso like a translucent leotard of death. And the laughter was brutal.

“Let’s go home,” Billy said to me. “I’m embarrassed.”

Which is why I got so upset. In that moment, I wasn’t thinking clearly. I came up behind Jonathan Fontaine and tackled him. We both fell into the pool. We wrestled. And Jonathan Fontaine, who is now a successful chiropractor, nearly strangled me with my own T-shirt.

Years later, I’m still sorry I tackled John, but I was only doing it because Billy was my friend.

Billy never acted ugly to anyone. He was a funny guy, happy, and kind hearted. And Jonathan Fontaine was not being nice.

The funny thing is, Jonathan didn’t know Billy. He didn’t know that Billy’s father had abandoned his family before Billy was even born. Or that Billy’s mother worked two jobs. Or that she received free groceries from the Methodist church. Or that she picked up her groceries after dark so none of her friends would think less of her.

Jonathan Fontaine didn’t know anything. If he had known, I don’t think he would have nitpicked. I think he would have been kind. And sweet. Instead of trying to hurt someone’s feelings for no good reason.

I’ve forgotten where I was going with this.

Oh well, I guess I’d better stop writing now before I get redundant.

Thanks for the letter.

89 comments

  1. Dolores - August 3, 2019 6:39 am

    Sean, DON’T change a thing. You keep writing just like you always have. There are a lot of us out here to absolutely love your writing. And thank you for sharing those words with us!

    Reply
  2. Leslie in NC - August 3, 2019 6:48 am

    Dear Nitpicky: If Sean’s writing is redundant to you, perhaps you should stop reading it over and over and over; and go read something else. We, Sean’s loyal readers, will continue reading Sean’s stories without you. And Sean will continue responding to nitpickers with his usual kindness & finesse.

    Reply
  3. Linda Clifton - August 3, 2019 6:55 am

    Way to go Sean. I love your writing & I have a crush on you. From a 70ty year old lady, whose married, so don’t get any ideas! Lol! Oh you are married too. Darn it!

    Reply
  4. Pat McRee - August 3, 2019 7:11 am

    Oh, Nitpicky, I fear not that you have read too much of Sean’s redundant writing. You have read too little. Come back when you or someone you love has been hurt and let us know how you feel. On second thought, don’t. Sean doesn’t need to write about ugliness….You’ve got that market cornered, my friend. How very sad for you and the world.

    Reply
  5. throughmyeyesusa - August 3, 2019 7:44 am

    Dear Nitpicky,

    I hope you read at least enough more Sean to see your sad, rude, nasty little self in today’s column. You should ashamed to know you brought sadness, even doubt, to so accomplished and beloved a writer and a sensitive human who stands as an icon to so many people.

    Who, pray tell do you shine YOUR light for? You you even HAVE a light? Doubtful in the extreme, sad, mean little nitpicker.

    Reply
  6. Carolyn from Georgia - August 3, 2019 7:45 am

    Every day i can’t wait to read your FANTASTIC writings!! Keep them coming!!! I love it that you write on Saturdays & Sundays too!!! I tell lots of people about you & they all love you too!!! ♡♡♡

    Reply
  7. Barbara Jones - August 3, 2019 7:56 am

    Keep writing Sean, we all love you. Nitpicker, is a sorry person, please ignore them.

    Reply
  8. peggybilbro - August 3, 2019 8:29 am

    Well, I swan to goodness! I do believe you’ve been snarky today, Sean! ? Good for you! I think Nitpicky needs to see the following quote from a very well known writer, James Baldwin:

    “Every writer has only one story to tell, and he has to find a way of telling it until the meaning becomes clearer and clearer, until the story becomes at once more narrow and larger, more and more precise, more and more reverberating.”

    Keep telling your story in your own way, Sean!

    Reply
  9. Jim_from_Dothan - August 3, 2019 10:13 am

    Just don’t be redundant and say the same thing over and over and over again. OK?

    Reply
  10. Keith - August 3, 2019 10:35 am

    That whole “walk a mile in my shoes” thing applies… I enjoy waking up to a positive thought each day…. sometimes it’s just to count my blessings. Your words are part of that.

    Reply
  11. Alice Ray Riley - August 3, 2019 10:39 am

    I was standing with you and Billy. I felt this one.

    Reply
  12. Suz Cahill - August 3, 2019 10:42 am

    Wow. Well said, Sean. All of it.

    Reply
  13. Marisa - August 3, 2019 10:48 am

    Well, I’m VERY partial to North American Turkeys!! And what the heck — I was waiting to find out that Jonathan turned into a Northern Bald Ibis.

    Reply
  14. Marilyn Vance - August 3, 2019 10:53 am

    Keep on finding the ‘good’ things in the world that we miss every day, the ‘good’ people we need to hear about to know the world isn’t completely mad! Thanks for that promise from your writing……

    Reply
  15. Dennis Lowery - August 3, 2019 10:53 am

    Excellent! A modern day Andy Griffith / Mayberry Script.

    Reply
  16. Delynn Roberts - August 3, 2019 10:55 am

    Nitpicky, your comments are unfounded, mean- spirited & rude. However, I don’t want to be rude in my response to you, either. So, I’ll just say that you must not have ever been on the receiving end of such comments or you would not want to inflict that same pain on someone else. Just remember, if you can’t say something nice, it’s best not to say anything at all.

    Sean, you just keep being you. You have helped so many people with your kindness, thought provoking writings & your singing/sharing around the country. Thank you for keeping it real. By the way, your hair is fine just the way it is.

    Reply
    • patti2990 - August 3, 2019 12:20 pm

      Dear Sean,
      You are so very talented, perceptive, entertaining & best of all unique! Nitpicky apparently doesn’t understand the meaning of the word redundant because you are not! Unfortunately, Nitpicky seems to live in their own world of judgmental narrow-mindedness. That’s very sad because this type of thinking will never enable them to truly enjoy the rich variety of this world full of different kinds of people. Thank God for diversity in humans as well as plants & animals. It’s your choice of a beard or not, red hair or purple dyed hair ,etc.! The only other person who should have any opinion about that is your wife. LOL!
      Each article you write is truly a treasure. Your ability to weave humor out of sadness & your perceptiveness about the minutiae of daily life (which most people don’t notice) is a such joy to read & ponder on. Thank you for your beautiful, unique articles!
      Many of us went through childhood bullying which gave us more empathy for others such as the homeless. They deserve to be supported in healthy ways which help them out of their current circumstances. Homeless men don’t have much choice about how long their beard & hair get with little access to daily hygiene or shaving. This is certainly not a reason to judge them as “lesser than.”
      By the way, red-headed folks make up about only 2% of the world’s population & have several genetic advantages which scientist have identified (higher pain thresholds, better ability to smell, etc.). Further proof of your special uniqueness! HA!
      Again, thank you for being YOU!

      Reply
    • dragons4me3 - August 3, 2019 2:33 pm

      Shades of a Joan Rivers monologue: “I say this with love – we’re very close!” Cue the sarcasm, insults, and guilty laughter. I really hated it when people (especially Southern ‘ladies’) would straighten my clothes, pat my hair, position my head in their preferred position (“Chin up, dear!”) and tell me kindly (always kindly…) “Please don’t be offended, dearie, but you: (Select all that apply) need to eat less/more, wash my clothes/self/shoes, brush/cut/style my hair, get out more, speak more/less, etc.” I once got shoved down the stairs by a female classmate in gym because she simply didn’t like the way I looked. Luckily, I caught myself. Later, she tried to pull me under a shower after I had dressed. That was, perhaps the breaking point. I threw her across the room against a concrete wall. After that, I told the ‘ladies’ bluntly to keep their opinions to themselves. Now as a substitute teacher I flatten bullies in their tracks. The kids have learned to treat me and each other with much more respect, especially in my presence.

      Reply
  17. Jennifer John - August 3, 2019 11:03 am

    I heard the mic drop in Michigan.???

    Reply
  18. Janette Weed - August 3, 2019 11:21 am

    love your heartfelt writings!

    Reply
  19. Ella Herlihy - August 3, 2019 11:50 am

    I love hearing about all the people you meet. Talking about how we are all the same and need love and encouragement is not being redundant. And on mean kids – I wish if they knew what was going on they would be kind. Some
    kids are just mean. I met my friend Tony at. Blue Skies Ministries retreat for kids with cancer in Port Saint Joe, Florida back in 2010. He was thirteen years old and had a brain tumor that was slowly making him blind. When we had our Square Dancing Party, Tony got out in the middle of 120 people and lead us in a line dance. He was happy and clapping and in his element. His mom cried tears of joy. She said the kids at his middle school were so mean to him. What? How could kids be mean to a kid with cancer?? Who does that? My heart is broken for kids who are hurting so much that they only thing that makes them feel better is hurting someone else worse.
    Keep writing about how some people see the hurt and move to make it better. How some people grow up and heal from insurmountable difficulties. How some people go on to bless the world with gifts they never even knew they had. Maybe parents will share your words with their kids like I do and people will learn to be kind because everyone has hard days. ?

    PS- come to Blue Skies with us for a week and you will have enough new people to write about that Nitpicky will have to eat his words.

    Reply
  20. Veanne Watkins - August 3, 2019 11:53 am

    Dear Sean, today is my birthday…and you just made it. Thank you,
    Veanne

    Reply
    • Melanie - August 3, 2019 8:36 pm

      Happy birthday ????

      Reply
  21. Lisa - August 3, 2019 12:01 pm

    Omg, what a piece!!!! You just make my day, beard, redundancy, and what else did he say???

    Reply
  22. Beeman610 - August 3, 2019 12:02 pm

    Dear Nitpicky,
    Does Jonathan remind you of someone you may know?

    Reply
  23. Connie Havard Ryland - August 3, 2019 12:10 pm

    I think Nitpicky was a mean kid who grew up to be a mean person. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. I love you Sean. Don’t change a thing.

    Reply
  24. Meredith Smith - August 3, 2019 12:11 pm

    I have two responses:

    Dear Nitpicky; I live by the Mantra of Be Kind. I won’t go into all the reasons why but there definitely is a backstory. I’d respectfully ask you to Be Kind to others, particularly when they haven’t hurt you directly.
    Dear Sean; ☺️ I live by the Mantra of Be Kind. I get the impression that you do as well, whether you actually admit it or not. Your columns always tell a story, a teaching moment ~ give us perspective in this great big world. Keep them coming. And you look great just as you are. Don’t change a lil’ ol’ thing.

    Reply
  25. Carol Heidbreder - August 3, 2019 12:14 pm

    Dear Sean, Hmmmm…..I’m late to the game this morning and all has already been said about this mean spirited, cold, insensitive and pitiful person. Could go on and on about having been there because I have but we get this picture. As others have said , do not change a thing! Keep your writing the same as it inspires and encourages so many of us and also, dont change a hair on your head!!! Maybe time for Nitpicky to move along as he/she doesn’t indicate much interest in caring for his/her fellow man on a serious level.

    Reply
  26. Janie F. - August 3, 2019 12:17 pm

    Sean, you are a treasure! I mean it. This story made me want to slap a few people and hug a few people. This is what you do best!!!

    Reply
    • Emjay - August 3, 2019 2:18 pm

      ❤️

      Reply
  27. Darlene Smith - August 3, 2019 12:29 pm

    Please don’t change a thing. I love your writing and look forward to finding your email in my inbox. I never know If the daily story will bring tears or laughter but they alway bring emotion and that’s a wonderful way to start my day.
    P.S. Beards rock!

    Reply
  28. Karen - August 3, 2019 12:31 pm

    I love you, Sean – your beard, your red hair, your voice, your accent, and most of all, your words.
    Your stories touch my heart in profound ways, every day.
    (By the way, two adult individuals have actually come to one of my children to apologize for the way they treated them years ago.)

    Reply
  29. Susan McCall - August 3, 2019 12:34 pm

    Scripture tells us to stop straining at the speck in our brother’s eye when there is a plank in our own. Sounds like some advice “Nitpicky” needs to take! I love your work and the heart that brings your stories to life. Don’t change a thing!

    Reply
  30. Jill - August 3, 2019 12:40 pm

    First and foremost, you are the most authentic human being I know. Be yourself and screw nit pickin folks! Now, a flood of memories haunt me this morning after reading. I was too tall, gigantic standing over my fellow classmates and skinny as a bone, which some would say, “She is as skinny as a bone!” And my Grandmother cut my hair, bangs always crooked and believe me, I was ridiculed endlessly. I never did fit in with any crowd, whether cardinals and never a swan. Now, after most of my experiences within my adult life…I feel blessed for it. And you should too. Look forward to my mornings because of you, Sean.

    Reply
  31. Raschelle - August 3, 2019 12:47 pm

    Great response Sean. We should all strive to live lives led by kindness and love. Words, whether spoken or written, give us an opportunity to encourage, inspire, and bless others. Thank you for choosing to use your gift of writing and storytelling to bless the lives of others.

    Reply
  32. Dianne - August 3, 2019 12:47 pm

    Sean, please keep writing just as you have been since I first began reading your columns. They are wonderful, Americana, heartwarming, tear-producing, laugh-producing and make me feel good. They also show us all that there are still some very good, very nice, and very loving people around.

    Reply
  33. Jan Hammett Smith - August 3, 2019 12:52 pm

    Thank you, a million of them. More than all the stars in the sky.

    Reply
  34. Debbie Birney - August 3, 2019 12:59 pm

    Dear Sean I had tears in my eyes as I read this because you wrote my son’s childhood story and mind as a mom watching him be mentally bullied so many times over his weight. I remember the big oversized BLACK , ALWAYS BLACK tee shirts at the beach in the pool and my heart breaking for him. The rejection and bullying changed his life forever . It scared him so deeply he destroyed his adult life from it. That bullying was the START of a downward spiral that has cost this family so dearly. When I see a chubby/chunky child or teen even a adult I remember how deeply my son fought to be seen as what he called “ NORMAL “ in his eyes. If he could have just seen what I saw when I looked at him today in his life would be all different. Childhood scars never go away how I wish I knew that then as a mother . I asked God when my son was an adult to “open my eyes “ to the hurt of this world for Son’s/daughters, mothers/fathers like him. It didn’t take long for the depth of this pain to be too much to bare. I can’t imagine being a little boy in a big black tee shirt standing by the pool with all “ pretty people” as he called them. ?

    Thank-you for sharing your writing with me I look forward to reading it ,

    From the heart of a mom

    Reply
  35. Whitney - August 3, 2019 1:10 pm

    Please don’t shave or cut your hair, if anything you should endorse hair products for men. Of course ‘Nitpicky’ did not leave a name….coward.

    Reply
  36. Teresa Tindle - August 3, 2019 1:18 pm

    Well, I agree with you.i might not have been as nice as you were. No one should ever laugh or make fun of another person. It hurts. And people or children should ever be hurt by hateful words. The world would be a better place if there were more people like you. Kind, sweet, thoughtful, bearded and red headed.

    Reply
  37. Donna Moore - August 3, 2019 1:27 pm

    Dear Sean,
    Nitpicky is insane (there’s always one), Sean is superb. Keep sharing your fabulous, redundant stories. Short, stilted sentences are intentional. Is that redundant? Donna

    Reply
  38. Mary Burns - August 3, 2019 1:30 pm

    Some people, even when they grow up, never grow up. They continue thinking its their right to say hateful things about people. They continue being a bully. Apparently, the person who wrote to you thinks it’s her right to pick you apart. It’s not. She needs to grow up, and be a nice person. If you don’t like Sean, or what he writes, or what he looks like stop following him. Its his column, and his life. Stop being a grown up bully.

    Reply
  39. G.B. d’Fa - August 3, 2019 1:30 pm

    EXCELLENT!

    Reply
  40. D B - August 3, 2019 1:55 pm

    Bravo Sean!! Absolutely perfect response. Don’t change a thing, we love you just the way you are. Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift.

    Reply
  41. George Brown - August 3, 2019 1:56 pm

    Hateful lonely people who send letters, I mean really so full of themselves to send hateful comments in an actual letter, never cease to amaze me. I’m sure this person is so lost in themselves they thought they were making a difference. This person was half right, but the letter should have been signed Rude Nitpicker.

    Sean’s reply is an epic response, so subtle and clever. Right up to the end and Bamm. Back to your cave Rude Nitpicker, save a stamp next time

    Reply
  42. Justcallme Sally - August 3, 2019 1:59 pm

    I love everything about this post. You have such skill with Grace.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  43. Michelle - August 3, 2019 2:05 pm

    Sean,

    You can be “redundant” all you want as far as I’m concerned. I can’t get ENOUGH of your writing. I had a VERY dysfunctional childhood & tend to focus on all that was wrong with it but there are soooo many similarities in your stories I can relate to. Your writing helps me realize that I actually have lots of fond memories of my childhood that resurface when I read your stories.

    So what I’m saying is PLEASE keep up with your wonderful stories & thanks for my therapy sessions!

    One greatful fan,
    Michelle

    Reply
  44. Marilyn Cook - August 3, 2019 2:07 pm

    Loved your response to Nitpicky!!!! Love your daily writings; don’t change a thibg!

    Reply
  45. Emjay - August 3, 2019 2:13 pm

    Dear Sean, do you make up these “Dear Sean” notes to teach us lessons? Because I can’t believe anyone would be clueless enough to actually write that note. Some of your best columns start with “Dear Sean.”

    Reply
  46. Shelton A. - August 3, 2019 2:23 pm

    Dear Sean…what the heck does ‘Nitpicky’ know? Be yourself…it’s kinda the way to be the best you that you can be.

    Reply
  47. Mary Ellen Hall - August 3, 2019 3:02 pm

    Sean, PLEASE FORGET ABOUT NITPICKY!!! He ODVIOUSLY doesn’t recognize WONDERFUL WRITING!!!

    Yours is a BEAUTIFUL STORY Sean!!! You r ALWAYS SO KIND, & ALWAYS think about others feelings!? (Something NITPICKY doesn’t worry about!!)☹ I ALWAYS look forward to your stories!!! PLEASE DON’T CHANGE A THING!!

    Once again, THANKS SEAN!!!❤
    Mary Ellen Hall

    Reply
  48. Ginger - August 3, 2019 3:16 pm

    Hey Sean. I am going to commit grammatical blunders here but I know you will forgive me. Please redund. Keep redunding. Each post is redundable. Your message needs redunding. I benefit every single day from your redundability. I need your sincere beautiful truths. So does Nitpicky.
    I don’t know you manage to write such messages each day or if you ever have time to read our comments that affirm what you do. Perhaps you do since Nitpicky got a word to you. I hope you can feel the gratitude and warmth and love from your readers.

    Reply
  49. Ken Dunn - August 3, 2019 3:40 pm

    I could certainly identify myself with this article, BUT we both turned out “okeh”. You married the girl of your dreams and I married the girl of my dreams and we turned out “OKEH” in big letters. Life has a way of evening things out as we get older. Dude, we turned out to be “OKEH” guys with “OKEH” lives!

    Reply
  50. Phil Saunders - August 3, 2019 3:48 pm

    Can’t believe anyone would try to “correct” your writing style and subject matter. Sure, I like some of your stories better than others, but, hey, it’s your blog, so you can write what you want. Keep up the good work, my friend. BTY, I was “chunky” too. Still am.

    Reply
  51. KTM - August 3, 2019 3:51 pm

    Yay, Sean! I was the chunky kid in my class too, and memories of my days at the swimming pool are similarly cringe-worthy. Why are kids so mean to one another?

    Unfortunately I don’t have the finesse and wit to formulate a reply as perfect as yours was to Nitpicky. Well done. I hope Nitpicky feels better soon and hears what everyone is saying in defense of your “redundancy”. Keep sharing your stories with us! I look forward to them every day!

    Reply
  52. Joe McKinney - August 3, 2019 4:06 pm

    Whether Nitpicky’s letter was real (which speaks volumes about his/her belief that the world revolves around him/her and his/her authority to render judgment on every and all people and situations) or whether you wrote it, yourself, as an amalgamation of observations you’ve made about the many unkind, unjustifiable, and cruel words and deeds this world and culture delights in handing out, it is a brilliant treatment of a singular slice of life that has application to all of life. I am confident every reader of this snapshot lifted from your past found themselves standing in one of the crowds you outlined so artfully. Birds. (Who’d have thought?) I believe we all cheered Billy’s jump into the unknown, we all felt ashamed of the laughter that followed, and we applauded the loyalty of a friend who jumped to the defense of his buddy. Thanks for taking us on this painfully introspective walk. And thank you, too, for pulling back the curtain on Billy’s home life and reminding us that none of us ever has the full story on any person and thus none of us is entitled to lord our life, position, or station over anyone else. May we all find more of Billy and Sean in ourselves and simultaneously evict the spirit of Nitpicky, to which we are all too often prone.

    Reply
  53. Jan - August 3, 2019 4:10 pm

    Awesome work, Sean! Love the column! Love the message! From one chubby, redhead to another – Love the writer!

    Reply
  54. Paul Sams - August 3, 2019 4:18 pm

    Sean, my Dad cut my hair on the side porch of our house. All of the other kids would make fun of that. My Dad would leave one small place in the front that I could still brush. All of these years later, I have decided my Dad did the best he could as a Father. He was far from perfect, but he stressed to me the importance of honesty, responsibilty, and many other things. Over the years, as I forgave, I remembered the things he taught me, and they are still a part of me. I was a very skinny kid, I cried easily, and I was bullied. Many of the things you write about, including this today remind me of much of the torture and humiliation I endured. I was also blessed to have a wife who loves me for who I am. With her love and patience, I am comfortable in my own skin. Despite my doubts and insecurities, I am most of the time, my own person. From reading your page, I think you have also forgiven a lot of people, and let go of a lot of baggage. Sean, I hope you have a good day, I hope you keep writing to your satisfaction. I love reading it.
    Paul Sams

    Reply
  55. Mary A Horton - August 3, 2019 4:23 pm

    Dear Mr. Sean, your columns make me relive my teen years – the ugly duckling of my small high school. It’s taken me over sixty years to overcome but your writing has been beyond help for me. Keep up your good work – don’t ever change.
    Sincerely,
    Mary A Horton
    Maryahorton@icloud.com
    Lufkin, Tx

    Reply
  56. Dereck in Demopolis - August 3, 2019 4:30 pm

    Nice response Sean. Nice response Sean. Nice response Sean. Sorry NITPICKY, did not mean to be redundant!

    Reply
  57. quinnkeller - August 3, 2019 4:30 pm

    Love you, Sean. I look forward to reading your essays every day so don’t change a thing!

    Reply
  58. Susan Kennedy - August 3, 2019 4:45 pm

    An absolute perfect response to an obvious bully. Nit picky wouldn’t recognize good writing if it bit him in his derrière. Don’t ever change Sean. We love you!!!

    Reply
  59. Linda Moon - August 3, 2019 5:04 pm

    My ginger-head grandson read your post today and agrees with your affinity for looking homeless. Perhaps growing up as Chubby Kids, Fatherless Kids, Charity Kids made some of us the wonderful, but imperfect, adults we have become. “To thine own self be true”, William Shakespeare. Self-worth. Self-esteem. Value your own self, Sean. Methinks that’s where you were going with this!

    Reply
  60. That's jack - August 3, 2019 5:33 pm

    Imma look up redundant. It is probably a good color for hair, much better than gray I guess. You could shine your shoes sometime. My wife just said I am redundant at times. I informed her I never change my hair color, that is for Sean and girls. Just sayin’. My wife says I say ‘just sayin’, too much. maybe she just thought it, I read her mind.
    But all that mess aside I enjoyed the read. Imma tell my son he looks homeless to see if he appreciates it. Just sayin (there it goes again) Bye my wife reads this stuff If I forward it to her.
    Sherry & jack
    I have to comment, or she might think, “WE haven’t commented on Sean yet!”

    Reply
  61. Carolyn - August 3, 2019 5:42 pm

    Very well done Sean, very well done.

    Reply
  62. Chunky and Happy in Auburn - August 3, 2019 6:06 pm

    Bravo, Sean! Both for sticking up for your friend ‘way back when, and for putting Nosepicker (blame autocorrect) in his place. Love you!

    Reply
  63. Grace - August 3, 2019 6:13 pm

    You make my heart smile

    Reply
  64. Larry W. - August 3, 2019 6:15 pm

    Sean, Lewis Grizzard must be pretty proud to know you sometimes use his little writing tricks. Like making up a pitiful story about yourself to create a stir with your readers whilst you get a chance to make everyone think about what we do and/or don’t do. I always got a kick out of those columns and I get a little giggle out of you doing it every now and then. But keep writin’ em and we’ll keep readin’ em.

    Reply
  65. Jeanne Butler - August 3, 2019 6:26 pm

    I love everything you write. I love how you look. Some people aren’t happy with their life so they pick on others. Keep on going!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  66. Billy - August 3, 2019 6:42 pm

    Ouch!
    Nitpickey brings out the best of Sean!

    Reply
  67. Wadena - August 3, 2019 6:51 pm

    I have known many good (and intelligent people) Whom one might say look homeless ie Phil Robertson. This man has a Masters Degree and a scragglie beard. Keep being Sean. Some people think what you look like on the outside is more important than who you are on the inside.

    Reply
  68. Sue Riddle Cronkite - August 3, 2019 7:26 pm

    Perfect comeback. You are a master with language and all the nuances.

    Reply
  69. Betty Gayle Dunn - August 3, 2019 7:30 pm

    Point well spoken, Sean! My mother always told me if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, then keep your mouth shut!!!

    Reply
    • Sally Brown - August 3, 2019 8:17 pm

      ?

      Reply
  70. Mike Bone - August 3, 2019 8:53 pm

    Isn’t “successful chiropractor” an oxymoron?

    Reply
  71. Karen - August 3, 2019 9:05 pm

    We read your columns because we like your subject matter. If we wanted to hear about the latest trade war or the latest celebrity war we would read somebody else! However, I do think you probably hide behind your beard and I think you would be just as handsome without it (says a great grandmother.)

    Reply
  72. Brenda Gipson - August 3, 2019 9:32 pm

    You, Sean, are who (whom)we would all like to be…….if only we could breakaway from the Country Club Set

    Reply
  73. Linda Chapman - August 3, 2019 9:33 pm

    I love you, Sean! Keep writing!

    Reply
  74. Norma - August 3, 2019 10:28 pm

    It’s much easier to criticize someone’s appearance or writing style than to sit at a keyboard every day and write an essay or a story that touches many thousands of people’s hearts
    To Nitpicky, bless your heart.

    Reply
  75. Gale Smith - August 4, 2019 12:49 am

    Nitpicky is a Dodo bird, so he cannot recognize an Eagle that soars far above him. Sean we love you just the way you are, and you are a fantastic writer.

    Reply
  76. JANICE R TAKASHIMA - August 4, 2019 2:04 am

    Saying I love you can never be redundant.

    Reply
  77. Steve Winfield - August 4, 2019 4:21 am

    Keep it up. Just like it is. We love you.

    Reply
  78. Bette - August 4, 2019 4:24 am

    Yeah, you do seem to be hung up on being a chunky kid with no friends. I’d like to see you move on and be more positive about your life now. But love your columns.

    Reply
    • Mary Grider - August 4, 2019 3:39 pm

      Actually, I enjoy all of your columns! Guess I’m just not Nitpicky. Neither am I a perfectionist. I just like to live and let live; however, I don’t really enjoy or read a lot of columns! I do read and enjoy yours! Just keep doing what you do.

      Reply
  79. Kristine Wehrheim - August 5, 2019 1:10 am

    As usual you hit it on the button and are so sweet!

    Reply
  80. HT - August 5, 2019 5:01 pm

    Red hair is for a few chosen by their maker to stand out as a beacon to lesser mortals. Great American large breasted Turkeys shimmer their handsome beauty & have been desired by millions for centuries. Strut On!

    Reply
  81. kathleenivy - August 5, 2019 6:10 pm

    Love it!!!! RALMAO!!!! You are just the best.

    Reply
  82. Glenda - August 8, 2019 11:26 pm

    I love you. You epitomize these principles credited to Mother Teresa. DO IT ANYWAY
    *********************************************************************************************************

    People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

    If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

    If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

    If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

    What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

    If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

    The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

    Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

    In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

    -this version is credited to Mother Teresa
    Glenda

    Reply

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