Chump Lady is in the process of creating a Chump Cave. Or really, in actual fact, I’m renovating a garden shed so I’ll have a studio to work in. Yesterday the contractor was demolishing the walls and tearing out old storage shelving — when lo and behold! An ugly artifact was discovered! This rather brooding, angsty self-portrait of one of the affair partners of my husband’s ex-wife. How it wound up in a dusty corner of a garden shed is some convoluted tale of his divorce. I think he forgot he had it. He’s rather absent minded.
The story of Dorian Douchebag, moldering in a lost corner of shelving, is not unique to chumps, I think. In my husband’s case, years before he knew this homely cartoon was his then-wife’s fuckbuddy, this monstrosity hung in his house. She brought it home one day. It was a “gift” from her boss. She displayed it in their house for years, until they were repainting or shuffling art somehow and my husband said (ages before D-Day) “You know, this thing is really creepy. Let’s put it in the closet.”
So today, years after his divorce and remarriage, it surfaced. Only NOW he knows more of the appalling story. How she was screwing her boss for years in a long-term affair. How this guy gave her conspicuous gifts like this “art,” a skateboard for their son. How she set the OM up for free legal advice from my husband. What makes a sicko like her tick? What kind of pleasure is there in the mindfuck of — “See that guy on the wall? Hah! I’m screwing him! But you DON’T KNOW THAT! I have all the POWER of knowledge and you have NONE! I’m soooOooo clever. And people give me pretty gifts!”
Ego kibbles are powerful hallucinogens. You’d have to be delusional to think this self-portrait a “gift” worthy of wall space. It’s only value I can see is as a mindfuck accessory. Narcissists, let’s face it, are crappy gift givers. A self portrait? Ego maniac-to-ego maniac love fest there. And what the fuck is he wearing? A tool belt? A trucker hat? What’s that weird appendage sticking out of his head? He signs it in GERMAN “einen Film.” Clearly this is the work of an edgy, provocative genius!
In a snarky postscript — this guy hasn’t had a straight job in a decade. He now creates wood-burned dog portraits that he sells on Etsy and at farmer’s markets in Austin. He lives “off the grid” with his poor wife, who has a regular job and must pay the bills. They cook on a Coleman stove outdoors and recycle found objects. Apparently utilities are bourgeois.
So chumps — I put the question to you — what to do with this lost artifact? Pee on it and set it alight? Send a picture of it back to the ex-wife, her new husband (and former OM), and the artist (former OM), cc-ing them all and asking if they’d like it back? Compost it?
Have any of you found relics from a cheater’s past in the dusty corners of your life? What did you do with them?
After a good night’s sleep my husband decided to be “meh.” He’s going to quietly pitch it. And me, I’m going to burn some sage in my garden shed and exorcise the icky cheater mojo.