To Champion The Underdog, Part 2

Championing the underdog comes at a hefty price. It usually takes a lot of time, energy, or money. It’s often wildly unpopular.

In my business, I’ve learned that to be successful — I mean really successful — you have to have a little bit of asshole in you. No real champion lives in a nice house or drives a fancy car. Champions scrape by, case by case, trying to right the world’s wrongs. To them, no cause is too small, and no effort could ever be enough.

I often ask myself why I don’t just mind my own business and go quietly about my way. Let someone else be the fighter of the losing fights. A small voice inside me has told me over and over again that the only way for me to be really successful is to stop being so damn benevolent all the time and to start putting myself first.

Trust me, I’ve tried to be an asshole. I recently decided that I would do one asshole thing a day. I made a simple list to start me off.

1. Stop letting shoppers who are only purchasing one item go ahead of me in line.

2 If the driver next to you turns on their blinker, speed up, don’t slow down.

3. If my coffee house barista gets my order wrong, yell at him to make it right and ask for a refund.

I genuinely believed that learning to do these small things on a daily basis would give me enough practice to be able to do the big asshole things some day. It’s the only way to the top.

So when I was sitting with my brother inside my car on Christmas morning, and he was telling me that our dad had left him alone for the holidays because he was vacationing with his new wife, and that our mom had not bothered to invite him for Christmas dinner at all, I fought the instinct to champion that began to stir.

But how do you not want to fight for the underdog, tooth and nail, blood and guts, hell and high water, when on Christmas morning, your little brother, who has always struggled to find his place in the world, tells you that he is trying to understand why his parents refuse to love him?

Reader, let me tell you, there may be riches in this life for the assholes of the world, but I guess I was just not meant for that level of success.

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The Last Thin Mint — Interlude In An Ode

I’m tearing through
My bottom drawer
Just to find
One cookie more
The chocholate’s sweet
The mint divine
A better treat
You will not find
A little crisp
A little crunch
They’re neatly packaged
In a bunch
I start to twitch
I’ve got the shakes
I’m jonsing for
Those crispy bakes
My breath is short
My eyes bloodshot
My stomache’s tangled
Up in knots
I’m feeling weak
The end is near
I brace myself
I’m cloaked in fear
I see a light
It’s coming close
I want to . . .
What’s that?
What’s that I see?
One More Thin Mint
Upon the floor
Just behind
My office door?
My precious sweet!
My precious dear!
My precious treat
I have no fear
I’ll eat you slow
With measured hand
And tell the world
How you were grand

To Champion The Underdog, Part 1

“In my next life, I’m going to have straight hair.  And then I’m going to get bangs.”

This was the high-brow conversation I was having with my carpool on the way to work yesterday morning.  My carpool is a man.  He also happens to be my husband.

During this part of our day, he usually zones out.  I babble – incessantly – and having been with me for over a decade, he’s long moved past the phase of pretending to listen to show he cares.  I can’t really blame him.  Bangs in my next life?  Not likely to go on either of our lists of life’s top-ten conversations.

Still, as embarrassingly shallow as the morning’s topic was, it got me thinking late last night.  Not about what I could acquire in my next life, but what I would keep from this one.

If you could only take one trait with you into your next life, what do you choose?

Do you take something you’re already good at?  Do you take something you’d need another lifetime to perfect?

Do you take something from your looks or a part of your personality? You might love the shape of your eyes now, but those eyes on the wrong face could be off-putting.  Likewise, nymphomania would be all wrong for your next life if you end up being a nun.

You’d have to pick something that would work regardless of what you turn out to be.

I am a fighter for the underdog.  A lover of the unlovables.  If you are tired and weak, crippled and frayed,  gather around because I will champion for you.

I don’t know how to be any other way.