Losers

I am telling you all this because when you feel like a loser you end up doing strange things. Sometimes, it can make you act like someone else altogether.

DEAR SEAN:

A girl I like is in my class and I like her and wanna get her to like me, too. And I wanna figure out how to ask her out, but I’m a loser most of the time.

NERVOUS-IN-ARKANSAS

DEAR NERVOUS:

You couldn’t find anyone worse to ask for advice. Especially when it comes to this subject.

But believe me, you’re not a loser. You want to see a real loser? The guy writing you is someone who once got choked up asking a girl on a date and started referring to himself in the third person.

You must never refer to yourself in the third person. It makes you sound like a serial killer with mommy issues.

This is what I told her:

“Um, yeah, Sean Dietrich really wants to go on a date with you. Sean really likes you?”

Notice the question mark on the end of that last sentence, which made my voice slightly higher pitched. We can see from further grammatical analysis that I had forgotten how to function in American society.

I ended up making such a fool of myself that she told me to get lost.

Anyway, do you know who I wish you could talk to? My grandmother. She would’ve been the right person to ask. She knew everything.

The only advice my grandmother ever gave when it came to the opposite sex was this:

“Treat her better than you’d treat your mother and you can’t lose.”

I can attest to this being true.

Something else I have learned about girls: It’s a bad idea to try to get them to notice you through strange and unusual means.

For example: Once, I followed my uncle’s advice and played guitar on a girl’s front lawn at one in the morning. I sang “Happy Together” by the Turtles.

As it happened, the girl’s family was on summer vacation. Her older brother was the only person home. Her brother leaned out the window and shouted:

“Hey! Do you know any Chicago?”

I strummed a few bars of “You’re the Inspiration” just to give him his money’s worth.

I am telling you all this because when you feel like a loser you end up doing strange things. Sometimes, it can make you act like someone else altogether.

Don’t. I know it’s tempting. After all, there are many different people you COULD be. You could dress like someone else, think differently, or act differently. But it won’t help you fit in. Not really.

I once spent time in the company of a young lady who didn’t like the real me. I knew this, so I tried to fancy myself up a little. I started rolling my R’s, and holding my pinky up when I drank RC Cola.

But the relationship didn’t work out. She thought I was a loser, and ultimately I agreed with her. Our romance came to a sudden end because of her mother, if you can believe that.

Her mother didn’t want her daughter being with someone like me, who frequently referred to himself in the third person as Sean Dietrich.

I felt like the world’s biggest mouth breather. It took several years to get over the damage I did to myself. And I could have avoided it all if I would’ve known who I was.

Easier said than done.

I have spent my entire existence figuring out who I am, and so will you. Eventually it happens, I promise, but it takes time.

Maybe it’ll go the same way it did with me. Maybe the “you” that you discover won’t be the person others think you should be. Maybe they will be disappointed in you. You’re going to disappoint a lot of people in this life.

Even so, your friends won’t be disappointed. Friends are special souls who love you the way you are. Friends are the kind of people who stay up until midnight, writing six hundred words to a kid who calls himself NERVOUS-IN-ARKANSAS.

I wish I could give you something better than what you just read. But like I said, I know little about the opposite sex. In fact, I still forget to put the toilet seat down. And believe me, that becomes a big deal once you get married.

I do, however, remember sitting on a front porch beside a white-haired woman who once told me something important. She said if you treat a woman better than you treat your mother, you can’t lose.

I hope you know how special you are, friend. Because everyone else does.

Especially Sean Dietrich in the third person.

16 comments

  1. Karen - March 29, 2019 8:02 am

    Good advice, Sean Dietrich. ❤️

    Reply
  2. Elizabeth - March 29, 2019 10:23 am

    Excellent advice from a Mom of boys! Think I’ll borrow it.

    Reply
  3. Naomi - March 29, 2019 12:30 pm

    This comment is not just for boys but for both boys and girls. If you are of dating age and, especially, if you are wanting to get married, be yourself. When young people are dating they are on their best behavior. The reason so many people get divorced is that they turn into a different person when the honeymoon is over. You find out that your partner has a bad temper, that he or she is a “slob”, that all of a sudden he or she doesn’t like the same things that they liked when you were dating, and the list goes on. It’s better to find these things out before you get married. My youngest grandson is a “confirmed bachelor”, at least for now, even though he has a lot of young women who are after him. He knows what he wants in a wife and would rather be single than marry the wrong woman. He’s perfectly happy being single.

    Reply
  4. Janet C Averett - March 29, 2019 12:30 pm

    Thank you Sean. great advice. So many people young and old need to hear this. Just be yourself. Focus on the person that God created you to be. Be humble, loyal, gentle and kind.

    Reply
  5. robert - March 29, 2019 12:49 pm

    I was always shy and awkward around any girl I liked and most of the time just “admired them from afar”. In the eighth grade I poured out my heart out in a note to a pretty redhead only to get a “I just want to be friends” letter in return. Remember the notes that read “Check yes, no, or maybe?” It was a long journey that brought me to the woman I married ten years ago.

    Reply
  6. Ala Red Clay Girl - March 29, 2019 2:04 pm

    Always be yourself. I’ve heard that a woman marries a man thinking she will change him once they are married. A man marries a woman thinking she will never change. This rarely works out. If you’re not sure about marrying someone who isn’t quite what you want in life, tell yourself, “it’s better to be alone than to wish you were alone.”

    Reply
  7. Carol Heidbreder - March 29, 2019 2:24 pm

    Awwww….those awkward, unsure days! Taught middle school for years and watched this over and over. Unsure of each other, the opposite gender and themselves. Was sweet to watch them grow and change. And change they did! They are doctors, lawyers, judges(yes!) teachers, career military, mechanics, auto body specialists, farmers, small business owners, law enforcement officers,AUTHORS, and so much more. They grew and became not losers but took their place in American society also as good husbands, mothers and parents. They like all of us have had their bumps and sharp turns, great losses and sadness with great joys along the way. No losers there. But you couldnt have convinced them in middle school! They will be alright! I always sent them along with my prayers and they still have them! They are our precious future! Love love love your grandmother’s advice!

    Reply
  8. Jeri Blom - March 29, 2019 2:35 pm

    Sean, I love reading your blog, but please stop calling yourself a loser!

    Reply
  9. Jack Darnell - March 29, 2019 2:39 pm

    Yeah, lot of us losers around who became winners by following Mama or Grandma’s advice or life. Good advice, where were you in 1955 when I needed you?
    Sherry & jack (I got her inspite of you not being there! LOL)

    Reply
  10. Ann - March 29, 2019 2:40 pm

    Good job! It’s hard to learn to fit in our skin. Love your writing! Love you
    Ann in Walton Cty.

    Reply
  11. Jess in Athens, GA - March 29, 2019 3:06 pm

    Hey, Sean, I’m like you: I don’t know much about women either. I’ve been married to the same wonderful woman for fifty-two years and we dated for four years prior to getting married. My knowledge gained from those fifty-six years together could be engraved on the head of a pin with room left over for the Gettysburg Address…the entire address, and perhaps even have room left for The Lord’s Prayer….Amen!

    Reply
  12. Linda Moon - March 29, 2019 3:48 pm

    Along with everybody else, Linda Moon in the third person (she) knows how special Sean Dietrich is in the second person (you).

    Reply
  13. Edna B. - March 29, 2019 4:00 pm

    This is really good advice for this young man. Just be ourselves. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  14. Sandi in FL. - March 29, 2019 11:01 pm

    The Golden Rule is to treat other people the way you want to be treated. The Platinum Rule is to treat other people the way you want them to treat your mother.

    Reply
  15. Charaleen Wright - March 30, 2019 1:07 am

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  16. Cindi Blackburn - March 31, 2019 1:51 am

    Your stories always bring back memories of adolescence and awkwardness. That was me. Thank you for reminding me that we all were there once.

    Reply

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