Rooting for the Underdog…

This is another archive post originally published April 13, 2010…enjoy!


At our house, we love the sitcom “Big Bang Theory.”  On last night’s episode, Leonard told his girlfriend, Penny, that he loved her…Penny seemed shocked at his rather premature confession, and replied, “Um, thank you.”  Poor Leonard…it took him two years to “get the girl,” and that’s how she treats him?  Move on, Leonard…you can do so much better than that…

Leonard Drops a Bomb on Penny...

I’ve always rooted for the underdog…there was even a cartoon called “Underdog” when I was a kid!  I could watch Charlie Chaplin’s “The Tramp” movie over and over, and I love Rowan Atkinson as “Mr. Bean.” (one of my favourite skits is when someone mistakenly picks up his credit card from the counter, and Mr. Bean tries desperately to get it back without being detected).

Mr. Bean at the Checkout...

I’ve been an “underdog” most of my life…I’ve always been smart (modest, too!), but “pretty” and “athletic” counts for more in junior high…my thick glasses kept me out of the “pretty” category, and I was always the last one picked for sports teams (coordination was, and still is, a big issue for me).  My parents didn’t have the money to buy me the “cool” clothes, so I didn’t fit in that way either.  I ended up doing things kids in junior high don’t normally do:  I used to write plays and make my little brother and his friends to perform them in the back yard (whether they wanted to or not!).  I started a weekly community newsletter for our little village of 150, “Rednersville Review,” and produced it for two summers – I got a story in the local paper out of that.

When I hit high school, I played flute in the school band, but that was the extent of my social interaction with my peers (except for a couple of close friends).  At 16, I opened my first business, “The Candy Bar.”  I ran it for a year-and-a-half…I made no money, but had a great time, and ate a lot of candy!  I also met my first serious boyfriend, who I ended up moving in with a couple of years later (BIG mistake!).

Wendy the Candy Magnate...

In college, I took Broadcast Journalism: after my 6-week internship at an Ottawa radio station, I realized that I could never be an objective reporter…I was always sympathetic to the underdog.  I remember coming home devastated every night by what I had witnessed at work during the day…there was a guy who, after a court-ordered child support settlement, was left with $5 a day to live on!  How was that fair?

The Subjective Reporter...

In the early ’90’s, I was given my first paid opportunity to “root for the underdog” – a job as assistant to the Fundraising Coordinator for a regional Children’s Hospital.  I spent the next ten years working for various non-profit groups – I loved it!

I also joined a local residents’ association which was trying to prevent a pool hall from opening in our Moncton neighbourhood…we were unsuccessful in that, but we did get the city to do something about lead in our neighbourhood’s drinking water, a problem which they had known about for almost fifty years…

After moving to Saint John, I joined the planning committee for the Saint John Women’s Conference.  At a “getting to know you” event, I discovered that I shared a common trait with one of the other committee members: neither of us could make piecrust!  Later that evening, when discussing the theme for the conference, it was decided that “Piecrust and Power: Women Together,” would be an excellent theme.  A month or so later, I was at the mall, and saw a book on sale called “The World of Pies.”  I picked it up, thinking it would make a great door prize for the conference.  When I brought it to our committee meeting, my co-chair suggested we try to get the author of the book, Karen Stolz,  to actually come to the conference!  People thought we were crazy!  I sent a letter to the book’s publishers – they advised that Karen lived in Austin, Texas.  After several phone calls, we had our answer: Karen was coming, and her publisher was footing the bill for the trip!  All we had to do was get her a hotel room for the night…Karen came, and we had a lovely time…

World of Pies book...

In 2001, I started a community newsletter for West Saint John, called “West Side Story.”  Many residents of the West Side have felt that other areas of the city have received more attention than their neighbourhood (they’re probably right!).  So those “underdogs” were thrilled to have something just for them!  I ran the paper for five-and-a-half years on a shoestring, until the shoestring broke!  People loved it, but I wasn’t making enough money to feed my kids…

After years of being an underdog, I realize that I let other people’s expectations of me dictate my own feelings of self-worth…that’s wrong!  Give me a cause – I will continue to “root for the underdog,” but I am really a “top dog!”


Filed under memories, self-discovery

22 responses to “Rooting for the Underdog…

  1. What a “purpose driven” and purposeful life you have led!

  2. I love “The Big Bang Theory.” I gave my tall, (then) skinny, (then) nerdy son a shirt that says, “Bazinga!” for Christmas, and I’ve considered renaming my MINI Cooper “Dr. Sheldon.”

    • I think my favourite episode of Big Bang is after Sheldon “breaks up” with Amy, and starts acquiring cats…even though he has no social skills whatsoever, one still feels the need to root for him! Wendy

  3. You are so my kind of person, Wendy! I too root for the underdog–always!

    And I’m so enjoying these archived posts! Thanks so much for sharing some of your favotites!


    • Thanks, Kathy…having been “the underdog”, I certainly can relate to the situation! Glad you’re enjoying the archived posts…hope to be back to my regular blogging routine soon though! Hugs, Wendy

  4. It takes a top dog to give the under dog a chance–good for you for realizing your worth and adjusting your view of yourself!

  5. Jess Witkins

    What a lovely post, Wendy. I’m so impressed with all the newsletters and papers you started up. The only paper I ever wrote was maybe 5 color issues of the Cabbage Patch News, and it wasn’t delivered, cause there was only one copy made. Instead it was dramatically read aloud by the reporter/illustrator/postwoman/me.

  6. I love this post.

    I think rooting for the underdog is objective. And it makes me like you even more

  7. I’m with you! I like to see the little guy come out on top once in a while. It gives us all hope. Here’s to all the underdogs!

  8. Awww, but you are so cute! I, too, had big ol’ glasses for years and preferred books over people for so long..sometimes still do! Great post, Wendy! And always love the underdog!

  9. Great post. You’ve certainly lived an interesting life.

    I think most of us are inclined to root for the underdog. I’m most fascinated by those who root for the top dog. How do people root for the Yankees?

    • Thanks, Paul, for your kind words! High praise coming from a writer who consistently puts out great stuff! [blushing] Hmmm…the Yankees…they play baseball, don’t they? That’s all I know, except that George Steinbrenner used to be involved somehow (I know that from watching Seinfeld!). Wendy

  10. I couldn’t agree with you more about rooting for the underdog, Wendy. The favorites and the superstars already have enough people on their side. Great post. I hope you’re enjoying your summer. Or should I say, I hope summer arrives eventually?

    • Thanks, Charles…we had a nice picnic down at Meenan’s Cove Beach tonight…perfect temperature, and it was breezy enough that there weren’t many bugs! We haven’t had many days like this yet this year! Hope the sun comes out more frequently in your neck of the woods too! Wendy

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