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.