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They love me. I'm not sure why because I'm not a lovable person. I'm stubborn, opinionated, impatient, etc., etc., etc., but they still love me.

They loved me when I was a little shaver and it had nothing to do with my short stature. They loved me when I picked beans on hot summer days for Condrey Swindell, when I combed the burned-off hillsides for huckleberries or stretched through the briars for blackberries.

It has always been a love affair. A one-sided one, I must admit. And that love affair was rekindled this past week, much to my chagrin.

Down through the years I've tried many ways to end the attraction: I've used every type of spray-on, rub-on. I've even tried buying a bottle of special pills and have swigged down remedies that apparently worked for others who had been so afflicted. Even garlic capsules had an affect on co-workers but not on these persistent lovers.

I've heard that some people just naturally attract such lovers. That their physical makeup, et al, makes them prey for such affection.

Whatever it is, I've still got it. Several days ago the love affair became very pronounced; I waded through some tall grass and came out with, you guessed it, a passel of seed ticks - those little buggers that defy magnifying glasses and resist the hottest shower.

Now you know of what I speak, though many of you probably figured it out earlier.

Some of us just attract bites, not just seed ticks but big ticks and chiggers by the hundreds, and mosquitos as big as hummingbirds.

It is discouraging to hear others talk, bragging, "I never have chigger bites" or "Mosquitoes don't bother me". or "Ticks? What are they?"

Anyway, now you've heard of my love affair, my tale of woe. Don't give me any advice; don't recommend any repellents. I've tried 'em all.

Just share this triumph with me: I'm not allergic to poison ivy. At least that's something to scratch home about.

P.S. As an aside: Drive with care as school starts today. Kids, moms, dads, teenage drivers and all the rest of us will be stressed during this adjustment period. Use both eyes and ears, keep hands on the wheel and a foot close to the brake pedal.

Opinion, Pages 4 on 08/19/2009

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