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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Underachievers Anonymous

Since recently defeating her sister, Venus, in the Wimbledon singles finals, Serena Williams has been called one of the best female tennis players of all time. Not so, says Jason Whitlock, of FOXSports.com. In an article posted July 8, 2009, Whitlock calls Serena Williams out for being overweight which he says is keeping her from reaching her “full potential.” In response to a tweet Williams made in which she complained about not being allowed to eat in the locker room at Wimbledon, Whitlock wrote, “…how else can Serena fill out her size 16 shorts without grazing at her stall between matches?” He even went as far as calling her an “underachiever.”

This comment has incited anger in many men and women leaving some to accuse Whitlock of being sexist. I, however, would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to have her join my elite club of underachievers. During my 29 years of life I have excelled at one thing –mediocrity, and I think I speak for all underachievers when I say, “Welcome Serena. We’re glad to have you!”

Mediocrity isn’t something that has come easy to me. I’ve had to work to perfect if throughout the years. In middle and high school I was consistently a “last chair” trumpet player. For those of you who weren’t in the band, that means really, really crappy. But I was no dummy. I was only interested in attending the various field trips while getting to hang out with my friends and being the worst trumpet player in the band enabled me to do that with no effort whatsoever. In high school and college I was never an “A” student and I lived by the mantra, “C’s get degrees.” Guess what, kids? It’s true.

This topic left me wondering what, if anything, am I good at? Well, there are a few things that I’m “sort of” good at and they are as follows:
•Making fun of people
•Party planning
•Self medicating
•Titrating Nyquil doses for a one year old

Not bad for a thirty second brainstorming session.

As luck would have it, however, there are even more things that I’m not good at. They are as follows:

•Riding a bike
•Doing cartwheels – I have congenital weak arms. It’s technically not a medical diagnosis but I know that I have it. Also, please never ask me to help you move.
•Geography – Don’t ask me to “find it on a map.” It’s not pretty.
•Holding my liquor – One isn’t enough and five is too many. If only there were an in between.
•Acting my age
•Being nice to people for a living – I would make a crappy escort.

So there it is all laid out for you. I may have some shortcomings but I embrace them. I’ve been criticized by some for being lazy but I thumb my nose at them (while sitting on the couch eating Fritos). And dare I say to Serena Williams, “You may be sporting a large backpack but you’ve got a lot of catching up to do if you want to hang with the real underachievers. Hang in there. I’ve got faith in you.”