Maybe you’ve wondered where those Chump Lady columns come from. Do snarky elves visit in the night and leave them in your Facebook feed? Perhaps a wicked fairy pricked a sleeping baby, muttered a curse, and the child grew up to be a blogger instead of a sensible accounting major? Magical goats?
Nope. It’s me, Chump Lady.
AKA, Tracy, a regular person with a full-time job and not nearly enough coffee. I know you approached Monday looking forward to the Universal Bullshit Translator gobbling drunken ex sexts and instead you get this column. Me expounding on 7 years as Chump Lady.
The blog-a-versary was Friday, April 19 and I needed a weekend to compose my thoughts. (Actually, I needed a weekend to go worship the wisteria at Dumbarton Oaks. Do you love pretty blooming things? GO THERE. It’s wisteria MECCA. Not much writing happened this weekend. I blame the wisteria.)
I’ve been slinging snark at the RIC Goliath for seven years, and I think they’ve suffered a flesh wound. Sure, the Reconciliation Industrial Complex still dominates the infidelity discourse, but the Consider Life Without a Jerk message ricochets off their noggins sometimes. Anyone else notice that “pick me dance” has become part of the vocabulary? Or “chump” for that matter?
I think we’re changing the narrative, folks.
To celebrate our CN anniversary, I’m conducting an interview with myself. (It’s much like a lopsided marriage, talking to yourself. I have this skillset. Although it’s rusty now thanks to Mr. CL.)
Why do you still do this? Aren’t you OVER IT by now?
How cool is it to have a job that helps people. Trust me, I think about quitting, because I’d like to have some margin to my life. I get up around 5:30 a.m. Write a column. Go to work. Come home to 400 emails. Some days there are troll attacks. Seven-thousand-word single paragraph emotional vomiting messages. Suicide threats. Weird OW missives asking for my personal insight in to their Schmoopie problems. Password change requests. IT meltdowns (I’m having one right now WHERE ARE MY SHARE NUMBERS, Jetpack? WHY CAN’T YOU PLUG-INS PLAY NICELY TOGETHER?!)
And I get up and do it again, Monday through Friday. Unless I have to be somewhere early, in which case you get a rerun.
Until the advice on being chumped quits sucking, I’ll keep at it. Because the advice out there, really, really sucks. It’s all shit sandwiches over self-protection and self-respect. Hopium over faith in yourself. Shutting up and putting up, instead of owning your voice.
Sure, I’d like to write about other topics some days (and my work lets me do that occasionally), but infidelity is a rich vein — it’s tragedy and comedy. “I wasn’t buying strippers — I was buying self-esteem!” “I didn’t cheat on you. I cheated on your perception that I would cheat on you.”
I’m a writer. This stuff is gold.
Admit it. You’re getting rich on our pain!
I’m not getting rich on this. But wouldn’t that be cool, if you had some sort of Rumpelstiltskin contraption that could spin pain into gold?
It takes money to run this site. Those IT problems don’t solve themselves. Nor does WPEngine host this much traffic without charge.
Those incredibly annoying ads allow me to break even, and come a bit ahead sometimes. But Patreon has been a game changer. You guys owe everything to the generous 2 percent of readership who subscribe. Seriously, THANK YOU Patrons.
Is this like one of those public radio fundraisers? Are you going to guilt me into a tote bag?
Guilt yes. Tote bag no.
I’ve considered other ways of supporting this site that don’t rely on a minority of generous people. And I feel immense guilt that I can’t always perform greater feats of content for subscribers. I’ve got some podcasts, a wreck of a video chat (fuck it, I’ll move to youtube) — and I could charge a minimal fee and let only subscribers read new content and leave the archives and older posts free.
It’s a continuing challenge. But I return to the mission of being a resource. I want everyone to find this place who needs it. To find this community. And a pay wall is off-putting and doesn’t help the mission. So — we’re back to the hero model of Patreon.
So how’s that revolution going?
Two weeks ago — this blog flipped 25 million page views, with nearly 5 million unique visitors to the site. (I don’t think all of them were stalking exes. I’m waiting for that Google analytic.)
I fully expect people to graduate from needing this site, and I’m very grateful to the folks who return to help the newbies. The point is gaining a new life. But what these numbers tell me is that chumpdom is VERY common. And we’re becoming the go-to resource to rival the RIC.
I’m very proud of all we’ve accomplished! Thank you for sharing this site with others. Thank you for reviewing my book wherever you purchased it. Thank you for all you do to help your fellow chumps.
The other crazy thing that I never, ever would’ve expected when I started this place, is the popularity of chump meet-ups. They’re all over the globe! In May, I met the Chumps of Australia! And last month I met a group of chumps in DC/Baltimore. It never stops being amazing to me how people connect over this site.
Chump Lady pretty much lives in my head. When I meet someone who reads here, it’s very disconcerting. It’s as if your imagination bit your nose. To meet someone who’s been helped by CN makes me misty and shy. I know real people are at the end of my computer, but it never stops being incredible to witness mighty in person.
What’s next? World domination. Okay, not really. But sort of. WPML is a plug-in that translates EVERYTHING here into as many as 40 languages. I’m starting with Spanish. Working out the kinks now — and if you’re worried that’s “Me talk pretty one day” translation — I can have volunteer translators clean up stuff. (But I’d have to trust you, I’m still working that out. Hire someone or volunteers…)
Is there a language you’d like to see this blog in? Let’s talk.
Well folks… there’s more to say. But the morning is getting late. In the comments, I’d love to know if you’ve met any other chumps through CN. What was that like? And what are you doing to change the narrative?
Happy anniversary and VIVA LA CHUMP REVOLUTION!