Shanteau: The Thinnest Skin

Written by: Eric Shanteau

Please excuse this latest post. I’m sure it’s against the advice of many and even strongly hypocritical of my own judgement. I’ve learned a lot within the past five days and I need to address my revelations; if only for the good of my own soul.


After work on April 2nd, as I finally arrived home, I threw my sweatpants in the dryer and grabbed a small pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. I then threw my warm sweatpants on, and proceeded to cuddle with my three legged cat as I stared aimless at my living room ceiling. I was sulking. The numerous amounts of compliments, responses, encouragement and emails were all over shadowed. I found myself struggling with one direct comment that to even the “average writer” would have seemed harmless. I can’t begin to tell you how the simple words and an even stronger opinion from a stranger impacted me on this one particular day.

I was told to be proud; stay confident, but it wasn’t in the cards during this moment. Let me start over. Allow me to explain why I do this and hopefully some day soon, I can get back to my love for Toledo and the beauty I love to capture. Writing to me, is the “sport” I love but was never any good at. There is one upside, I can write with ease what lies deep in my heart. My inner monologue allows my fingers to effortlessly put words upon paper without any hesitation or pause. I write about the truths in my life that I wouldn’t necessity want to represent myself on the outside. These are the words that quite possibly should be hidden and dealt with as my own demons and issues. However, as I’ve said previously, life can be challenging. Especially dealing with issues that make you feel different and lonely. The reason why I write what I do is not so everyone will relate, it’s all in hopes one person can. My stories are the perfect storm of confusion and heartbreak, mixed with a dash of self pity and several half empty glasses.

It’s important to me to let you know that this isn’t necessarily me. I smile and laugh. I interact socially and I’m by far the funniest person I know. I’m outside as much as possible and if I blog, it’s during spare moments when “life” offers a slight pause. Without these moments, we’d be repetitious robots. I write for free and out of love. I volunteer to coach four year olds playing soccer, every morning I hug my favorite worker at Georgettes, and I’ve recently held a photo walk to raise money for a young local woman fighting cancer. I tell you this not to make myself out to be a saint or to defend my integrity, but to convince myself that this is merely normal behavior. This is life.

Growing up with a sister seven years older than me, I was force fed story lines from 80’s romance movies. There is a tiny place in my heart that wants to ride off in the sunset with a young woman on the back of my lawn mower, or watch another blow out candles on a windowsill. A huge part of my heart is fictional and I’m well aware of the consequences that come along with these notions. I do not necessarily believe in them, I just want to know that the realm of these hypothetical situations can be attainable as they unfold realistically within my life through simple joys and gestures. Regardless, it doesn’t detour me from wanting something that I know exists but haven’t encountered. That’s my hope and I won’t allow someone the chance to destroy this. Daydreams or not.

Dating is often a choice and perhaps I could, but at this point in my life, it’s important to me to not find one but to find the one. Until then, I live my life not agonizing about love or relationships. I live my life to the best of my ability with what I’ve been given and what’s attainable. Especially through human interaction.

In all seriousness, by now, I’m over it. Your words have completely rolled off my back. I’ve forgotten all about what was said and I will not use it for motivation. My thin skin and beliefs to be a valuable human being in our city and this world haven’t been compromised. Your words aren’t floating around in my mind, above my treadmill or upon a shirt. That would be silly. This was your high and tight fastball and I’ve brushed myself off. This is my one free pass and I need this. As a rookie “writer”, I need this entitlement to seriously know that if I put my emotions out there publicly, I will know what it feels like to be on the wrong side of the tracks; to be judged from afar. At the end of my childlike tantrum and day, I thank you for your opinion. I know that we all do not feel the same. We all relate differently, and you’re the one of many my words failed to connect with. Regardless, I will continue to be true to who I am and I hope you do as well.

But before I go- One bit of advice. Less blog comments, more human interaction. But then again, I don’t know you.

With best regards,
The guy who only takes himself seriously. Xoxo

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love and something to hope for. Don’t stop believing. All your dreams will come true. Because I believe in you.”






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Posted in Column, Instagram, Shanteau
4 comments on “Shanteau: The Thinnest Skin
  1. Eric- You would not be able to write the way you do without true human interaction and the resulting emotions. I sometimes wonder why it is that I sit and ponder over that one moment in my day when another person has inadvertently, very strongly, hit a nerve within me. Maybe God allows it so that we may become our stronger selves…. So that we can over come and help others to as well.
    …. Really enjoyed this!


  2. Marianne says:

    Going to Oak Openings more is important. Trust me. (PS, I have a niece who also loves the Oaks….)


  3. Sandra says:

    I’m a huge fan of your photography, and if I still lived in NW Ohio, I’d love to go out with you! Keep putting your ideas out there! It’s refreshing to see men writing this honestly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cookie says:

    Oh dear man, you have such courage. Your love, kindness and understanding shine brilliantly in your words. Thank you for sharing. It’s bobo.


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