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Fractured Hallmark Holiday Specials

We’re expecting a snow storm here today (WHOOPEE!!!! YEAAAA!!!!), and I’m taking the occasion (JOY!) to snark about the Hallmark Christmas Channel.

What does this have to do with chumpdom, Tracy?

Oh everything, inner sarcastic voice.

Who set the bar for soppy What The Heart Wants romance? Why does every plot line include a woman happily! blissfully! giving up a financially remunerative career for cupcake decorating? Why must she pick me dance (in an elf costume) to win the affections of a sullen man who Just Doesn’t Understand X-mas?


So, today I’m writing a few Hallmark Christmas Channel plot lines. Feel free to do the same in the comments. Or tell me what holiday special gives you hives. (Frosty the Snowman? Does the magician REALLY see the error of his ways? Frosty, dude, he just tried to MELT YOU!)


Brandi spent 7 years in post-graduate study of nuclear engineering, but her heart was always in glitter glue. She returns to her home town for the holidays and bedazzles the local fire hall. Biff, a fireman, has loved Brandi since the 8th grade when she solved a quadratic equation for him. But alas, Brandi falls in love with Reginald, a property developer.

Reginald knows nothing of nuclear submarines or radioactive isotopes, but he does love glitter because he is secretly gay. He needs a beard, because he’s never left his conservative small town. Together they have four oblivious children and Brandi gets many, many nights alone with her glue gun.


Megan is a woman who lives in a snowy climate and yet appears to have no appropriate cold-weather attire. Is that a -20 degree wind whipping off Lake Michigan? Megan faces the winter squall in a perfectly pressed top coat that buttons at her navel. One day, while frozen in a snowbank, a kindly stranger discovers Megan’s crystalline form and offers her Gortex. Magic melting tears fall from her eyes in gratitude, and she says, “But it’s ugly.”

“That was a trick! And you have answered correctly! I could never love a woman who wears Gortex!” says the man.

“I will take you to my faux Georgian McMansion and wrap you in Talbot cashmere sweaters and you shall be my wife!”

With perfect lipstick Megan smiles yes. Words are not necessary, for this is a man who prefers his women silent and permafrosted.


Merry is a professional Christmas tree decorator. Yes, that is a thing. Suspend disbelief. How can she afford those knee high Frye boots? On her two-month a year salary! One day, she’s called upon to decorate a Christmas tree for a very Grumpy Important Man Who Hates Christmas. Why would a man who hates Christmas hire a tree decorator? Suspend disbelief.

Merry meekly enters his office to throw tinsel at pine boughs. “CAN’T YOU SEE I’M ON A VERY IMPORTANT CALL?” says the grumpy man.

Merry beams at him. Surely he will see how pretty the tree is, and how hard she works, and this will thaw his cold heart.


“Sir, you just invited me in to decorate your office tree.”


Spoiler alert: The grumpy man really doesn’t hate Christmas. He just loves everyone trying to cheer him up and then rejecting them. Merry tries to appease Mr. Scrooge for about 20 years, before dying of a stress-related illness. Whereupon Scrooge marries a much younger woman and constantly compares her to his departed wife.

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  • The one that ticks me off is any adaptation of O. Henry’s “The Gift of The Magi”. I understand that the items in question were sold in good faith, but my GOD, people – TALK TO EACH OTHER!

  • I was married to the grumpy mindfuck man who hates Christmas. Only he wasn’t important, except in his own eyes.

  • Love this post.
    I’ve been spending weekends at my parents and after the news programs full of terrifying COVID and political divisiveness, mom always flips to the the Hallmark Christmas movie. I referred to as “A husband for Christmas movie”. She doesn’t get why I can’t just except “it’s just a movie” in my responses it’s just total bullshit and begin the list off all of the specific ways its is total bullshit. She just looks at me as if I need to get a grip.
    Divorce was granted last week. Not quite to meh.
    Also I have cancelled my cable as it does not really help my working towards meh.

  • Well, what comes to mind first is the spot-on scene in Love Actually, where Emma Thompson opens the present and gets the CD and not the necklace. I no longer find humor in the scene where he is buying the necklace. The director said in an interview that they stay together, which is not crystal clear in the movie.

    Any movie which uses infidelity as comic fodder is off my list. I don’t know that I found it funny before, but after being cheated on it makes me sick.

    I do still love the story line in Love Actually with Colin Firth as the victim of infidelity who finds love with the assistant who comes to help him at his writing lair. The proposal scene on Christmas makes me laugh and cry and I still adore it.

    • I also no longer see humor in that scene — but even more than that, I see great allyship in the clerk’s character.

      Spoiler below. ????

      It took me years to notice that in the airport scene later, the same guy clearly stumped the guard on purpose so the little boy could sneak through. Then re-watching the necklace scene in the shop later, it became clear that he could be absolutely aware of what he was doing and putting the cheaty husband through an exercise quite on purpose. Changed my perspective.

      Even so, I’ve started calling it the “the cheating movie” and I’m not wrong. The Emma Thompson part is brilliant, and spot on for how even a skeevy gift is deception enough to break up a whole family (and should be — because how gross was that guy?!?)

      • Yes! I saw the part where Bean helps the little boy get to the airport gate! But I never thought of his elaborate, drawn out gift wrapping embellishments as a delay tactic to foil Alan Rickman! Brilliant deduction!

      • One of my favorite movies. But I couldn’t watch it last year. May not be able to watch it this year either. The writer of that movie was really brilliant. So many nuances.

        I am still trying to harbor the hope that movies inspires, that no matter how long, in what form, love will actually appear…somehow.

        • Yes Emma Thompson’s part is so spot on when she says he’s made a fool of their life together and the little touch of her getting her hair cut differently at the end, like she’s going to please herself more. While I love Alan Rickman (RIP) that character was the typical douche that falls for a sexpot who gets her jollies through her ability to distract men.

      • I used to enjoy the movie ‘Love Actually but now I see it is ‘a woman for Christmas’ movie. It is full of sexist stereotypes.
        The dumb sexy AAmerican women for the English dork, the pretty Portuguese woman who doesn’t speak English for the monosyllabic English writer and the model look-alike for the Liam Neesom character. Also that guy who lusts after his best friends wife is just creepy.

      • Yes, go Mr. Bean! Make the cheater squirm!

        If “Love Actually” is too painful, I recommend “Crazy Rich Asians”. It’s not holiday-themed but the female chump character is mighty and leaves her cheater with this kick-ass line “It’s not my job to make you feel like a man. I can’t make you feel like something you’re not.” That has become my new mantra.

    • PS…

      I am going to honorably mention a scene from one of my favorite movies, About Time. There may be a Christmas party in the movie somewhere, but I recommend frequent reviewing of the wedding scene where Bill Nighy, as Dad, gives the toast as best man where he simply says

      “We all get old and tell the same tales too many times. But try and marry someone kind. And this is a kind man with a good heart. I’m not particularly proud of many things in my life, but I am very proud to be the father of my son.”

      It’s gotten very simple for me: cheating is cruel. It is not kind. Cheaters are not good people, kind people. You need to do good to be good. Not phony good so you manipulate people into thinking you’re a kind person. You can’t commit an emotional, mental, psychological, sexual, spiritual, soul-murdering crime like this against another human being and say you are good, kind, or know what love actually is. Cheaters don’t have a clue what love is….cheating is the proof. Kindness and empathy are probably the simplest indicators of who someone is, as are the ability to lie and cheat and betray your family.

      I was completely done with my daughter’s kindergarten teacher when she told me to not pay attention to a little girl who was crying in class one day when I was volunteering. I got an inch from her face (pre-COVID incident!) and told her that I never ignore ANYONE crying. I feel sick at the thought of a crying baby being ignored. (psych major here).

      Years ago when the XH and I were on Oahu for a wedding, we stayed in a rented house in the local neighborhood. One night a fight broke out between a mother and teenage daughter in the driveway of the house across the street. I was at the window, waiting to see if I needed to do something to help. Mr. Missing Integrity Kindness and Empathy (an apt acronym for his name) told me to get away from the window. As I listened, I learned the mom was a drug addict and preoccupied with her using buddy boyfriend. The girl was yelling that she hadn’t had new underwear in two years. Mom disappeared into the house and this girl yelled out, “DOESN’T ANYBODY CARE?” YES! I CARE!

      There was my cue. I shot down the stairs and out the front door and ran over to her. We talked and I told her about the local Alateen meeting. I gave her my number. I sent her a gift certificate for the small Macy’s in town when I got home. What is washing all over me these days is all those incidents where he clearly showed me his complete lack of empathy. His lack of kindness and empathy with even HIS OWN DAUGHTER. As I write this, he can’t even think of one thing she might like for Christmas and again is asking me to help.

      When including anyone in your life, make sure they are kind. Run if they show you otherwise.

      • This reminds me of a situation with my ex. We were driving with our three kids to the mountains for a ski vacation and while on a major highway, someone in front of us was obviously drunk/high/etc. I slowed down to stay behind that car while I called 911 to report it. That driver was inevitably going to hurt someone if allowed to stay on the road. We were fine – behind the car – but my ex was getting mad at me for driving slowly and calling 911.


        • You did the right thing.

          Google “Jacqui Saburido”

          Minimizing the seriousness of drunk driving infuriates me.

          I was hit head on by a drunk driver in 1988 and by a miracle of some kind I am here today.

      • VH, thanks for this:

        “Cheaters are not good people, kind people. You need to do good to be good. Not phony good so you manipulate people into thinking you’re a kind person.”

        My ex was phony good. Did a few nice things for show in the early years plus told stories – years later I realized they were lies – about numerous “good deeds” while he was supposedly on Army Ranger missions in third world countries (found out he wasn’t a Ranger). They’re damn good fakers.

        • My STBX never did a good deed, wasn’t generous or helpful to anyone. Occasionally I would make him do something, such as, helping our elderly neighbor change light bulbs on her high ceilings. He bitched about it but would do it. Then, he’d casually mention it to others, “yeah, I’m the handy man for all the older ladies on our street.” Then people would be like, “oh he’s so lovely.”

      • VH absolutely always spot on. Thank you!
        Love the way you put things. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot on what real love actually IS. I believe it’s simply kindness.
        Ancient Greeks had 4, (or 6 or 8, depending on who you ask or which website u read) words for love, and Eros is the one that gets the attention. Hallmark kinda attention.
        It’s sexy and thrilling … and temporary. It involves a hella lot of fantasy, projection and blind lust.
        Kindness is difficult to make sexy, really. Fake kindness can be sexed up, sure, but long-term looking out for others without PR machinery … notsomuch.
        Kindness in my top 4 of essentials for any human I have in my life now. Along with honesty, humility and wit.

      • Velvet Hammer,
        You are a true gem.
        Kindness cannot be bought or borrowed. It is a part of a person, a beautiful part. Some have it, some don’t.
        You, VH, have it.

    • This exactly: Any movie which uses infidelity as comic fodder is off my list.

      I’m so tired of how adultery is minimized in our society – oh, you slipped and your dick fell into my best friend… it happens, the sidewalk was icy… I love you. UGH.

      Hallmark should go with Chump stories (a Friday challenge?!)

      Meet Lola… she found out her husband was on Adult Friend Finder and jerking off in the basement with Karen from Minnesota… this after he just returned from a 3 hour “Home Depot” run. She kicks his ass out on Christmas… finds a kick ass lawyer and files… she gets a cheater free life and the house and now enjoys a good gin and tonic by the fireplace in her chaos free house while her son fills out his college applications.

    • Ironically, my youngest daughter (a few years ago and in college at the time), said something about how horrible it must have been for me – because of the Emma Thompson scene. More than the crying in the bedroom, I think my daughter understood when Emma Thompson goes back into the living room and puts on a false & cheery face for her kids.

      • Yup. I had seen the movie before DDay and the Emma Thomas bedroom scene reminded me of my mother. The first year I watched Love Actually after DDay that scene in the bedroom tore me up, because that was now me.

        We have all been there haven’t we? And Daddy was just clueless wasn’t he? In my case, no I don’t he was clueless, he knew I was having doubts about his behaviors and he took great glee in continuing to gaslight me and make me dance.

    • Emma Thompson slayed me in that movie years before I was a chump. When she was in the bedroom devastated and taking a minute to get herself together before going out to act cheerful to her family on the way to the Christmas show. Then later when she confronted him and said “you’ve made a fool out of me and made my life foolish too”, then again had to shake it off for her kids. She broke my heart.

    • Love Actually is one of my favorite movies because I’m still a sucker for a good love story and hope that people can find their happily ever after. However the lines that Emma Thompson says to says to her husband after the play really hit home for me. “You’ve made a fool of me. And you’ve made the life I lead foolish too.” The summed up exactly how I felt as my marriage fell apart.
      Fortunately I was able to get divorced and reach meh. But evey time I watch that movie that line just kills me.

      • It’s also worth noticing that in the airport scene at the end, Emma Thompson’s character greets her husband at the airport with a distinct detachment.

    • I find most pop culture hinges on the absolute most fucked up interpersonal dynamics. It’s really mind-boggling to me.

      Bad communication (which of course leads to wacky hijinks) … trying to prove your worth to some asshole who probably doesn’t deserve you anyway … a free pass to infidelity because true love can never be denied …

      And the whole way: this belief that drama equals passion (i.e. sex) equals love.

      It’s rare to come across a film that focuses on shared values, healthy boundaries, dependability, and commitment.

      I get the impression most films are written by adults with the emotional capacity of teenagers.

      • It’s been my observation that in real life, bad communication, fucked up interpersonal dynamics, infidelity, and the belief that drama and sex equals love are common. That healthy relationships of shared values, healthy boundaries, dependability, and commitment are rare, so maybe it’s another case of people wrotong what they know and art imitating life. That there are a jillion of us here on Chump Lady would indicate that it’s true.

        • I work in TV and can confirm that the values reflected on screen often reflect the values of those writing in it/acting in it/producing it. I think perversely the industry attracts fuckwits (cos it’s quite a narc-y industry).

          Though on the flip side, when you watch something badass/with strong values, it reflects the badass values of the people behind the camera too… so there is hope! x

          • Underneath all the crust and thorns I am a goopy romantic at heart – please tell me that the writers for “As Time Goes By” were basically decent people.

  • Man wakes up throws off covers , kisses his wife good buy and says I’ll be home by 9pm babe I hate work Christmas party’s ( sad grumpy face )

    Wife wakes up following morning at 7am and no husband to be found ! Maybe he is under the tree with a host of beautiful gifts for wife . Maybe he is out in a plaid shirt buying said wife any Christmas gift for the first time ever ( ooohh the excitement )

    But alas no . Wife frantically texts and calls husband but he must have ran out of battery on his phone .

    Grinch comes home at 9am saying his work colleague fell down some stairs on this said work night out and he took her to hospital . Stupid wife wouldn’t understand how much this broken angle hurt herself and to get the fuck out of his face when asked why stupid wife never even got a text

    Grinch then lies constantly making Christmas Day uncomfortable for everyone by sitting on his phone all day and even lying to his mother ( AKA the wicked witch)

    A few weeks later grinch runs off with broken angle never to be seen again and they all live happily ever after

    • That’s a grinch whose best place is as far from you as possible says me. Better to eat dinner with a cowpie in the seat next to you than someone that horrendous.

      Stay mighty, my friend. ⭐

  • Love this whole thing, and my biggest laugh was at “Words are not necessary, for this is a man who prefers his women silent and permafrosted.”


    One Magic Christmas is Disney, not Hallmark. I do like it, in enough ways that I’ll watch it, but it really bugs me how the mom is considered a grouch because she’s trying so hard to hold the family finances together and doesn’t want to risk everything on a whim, and the viewer is clearly supposed to think it’s great when she throws caution to the wind and let’s her petulant husband risk the family’s entire life and ability to afford reasonable housing for children on a probably non-lucrative whim.

    The person who is actively working and doing all of the only things that fall between a family of four and homelessness is not being negative when saying the other person needs to work hard to find a job, to stop living in a teenage fantasy of being able to do whatever you want while someone else (she) picks up the slack. She’s being smart, and doing it all alone, and that’s mighty, and the slag who wants to spend more than he earns is the real problem. ????

    I could go on and on — the narcissistic abuse in the Rudolph animated special is legend! — but the One Magic Christmas one got my goat an extra lot this year.

    (On the good side, my new favorite is The Holiday, specificially the Iris and Arthur story.)

    • I’ve never seen it but your description reminds me a lot of Mrs. Doubtfire. When you’re a kid you sympathize with Daniel. As a grown woman the whole thing pisses you off and you wonder why it took Miranda so long to yeet his ass.

      • So true. Daniel is the type of man who takes secret pleasure in baiting the kids against mean old mom, then acts hurt and shocked when she has to set boundaries in the household.

        I also despise the Big Bang Theory now. It is so misogynistic it makes me sick.

        • I have to imagine Daniel’s stalking and deceit in that film would merit him a restraining order in real life. The film absolutely did not age well.

      • OMG. As a kid, I absolutely sympathized with Daniel (probably because he behaves like a child himself).

        As an adult? I feel so bad for Sally Fields’s character and would have also divorced his ass in the first 10 minutes of the film. That opening scene with the birthday party kills me.

    • I want to believe that she is deliberately spoofing Esther Feral.

      Anyway, the bit at the end with the outtakes and the family talking is funny too.

    • I don’t think we get the Xmas Hallmark Channel here in the UK (well perhaps we do but I wouldn’t know where to start) but you’ve just summed it up its content for me there. Thank you. Sounds like I haven’t missed much!

    • Haha, this is everything! It particularly gives me flashbacks to that Renee Zellweger/Harry Connick Jr one, New in town. Love the kids, love her accent (which might be a Renee spoof) and they hit every note perfectly. Glad to see they have an edge.

  • Thank you for the chuckle this morning! I don’t even watch these but now I will lolololol

  • Not so long ago Portia wrote a long comment on how the conventional understandings of love as we learn them predispose us to unrealistic and unachievable ideas that inevitably lead to heartbreak and disappointment, and give rise to the behaviors that are so familiar to we chumps: spackling, untangling the skein, etc.
    Portia, if you see this, I hope you will re-post your analysis. It’s a good antidote to the sticky toffee peddled by a Hallmark Christmas movie.

    • Agreed. There’s a whole conversation worth having around the screwed up idea of soulmates.

      I recommend Dr. Ramani’s channel on Youtube. She’s a psychologist specializing in NPD and domestic violence and says the concept of soulmates is unhealthy and perfectly describes narcissistic relationships.

  • Just watched Family Man with Nicholas Cage(?I haven’t seen in years). Strikes me so cold how he decided to leave his college girlfriend after she begged him to not move to London. 15 yrs later he regrets leaving but has a perfect life as a single bachelor and gets a glimpse of his family if he didn’t leave her with kids and awful job. The whole movie I cringed especially the scene where he leaves her Christmas morning with the kids to open the gifts alone and also she gives him a gift for their anniversary and he gives her nothing in return. SO thankful I never have to deal with a man like this ever again! Ugh! Xo SweetChumpgirl

  • How about this cliche slightly edited for reality:

    Wealthy, widowed, oh so busy corporate man who is engaged, hires a 20 year old nubile babysitter for his children. The fiance is the evil bitter witch who is oh so mean and angry with this 20 year old who, for some strange reason, runs after young children in a mini skirt and boobs hanging out of a shirt she barely fits into. What’s making this fiance so angry?

    Perhaps she can sense the lies, perhaps too much gaslighting that she just cannot prove, perhaps a ho going after her man right in her face….perhaps….. Nah….it’s Hallmark so it must be just because she is an angry, nasty person who clearly deserves to be cheated on and dumped.

    Cut to the scene where he comes home from work and walks in on the ho sitter with the kids sitting by the fireplace, Christmas tree all decorated nearby. They lock eyes, the long gaze straight into each others soul…it’s twu luv, instant family bliss, he should pretend to care about those kids and spend some time with them for once instead of running off to yet another meeting. The man realizes that this little ho would make the perfect wife appliance – pretty, young, and dumb. A thing he can mold into whatever he wants.

    He dumps the fiance who is way too onto to him and his bs anyway and marries the ho sitter. I mean the fiance had really become such a nasty bitter nag who constantly wants to know what he is up to. Such a drag. She totally deserves to be kicked out instantly and replaced like today.

    Cut to the scene. The day after him the ho sitter are back from their glorious honeymoon vacation, the man locks eyes with his new secretary….the poor clumsy damsel in distress dropped a file of his and bent over juuuust right in front of his face in her tight mini skirt. He, of course, being such a kind and noble gentleman, rushed to assist her…as they brushed hands accidentally…..twu luuuurve….for reals this time….as he throws her on his office table….oh the passion of twu lurve…….camera cuts to files and papers raining down onto the floor as they moan in their passionate embrace.

    Final scene….remember that bitter and angry fiance? She is still single, bursting with joy, wind her in tangled pony tail as she is about to win her sailing competition. Turns out that when a fuckwit leaves your life, you gain joy, freedom, passion, love, excitement….you know….all the things the fuckwit sucked out of your life. You know how they say “the one who got away”…well…she sure did get away to a better life.

  • Lucrative professions the Hallmark Channel advises women (age 23-31, size 0-2) to leave their successful careers as ad executives, lawyers, news anchors, and elected officials in the big city to pursue in a small town:

    Christmas Tree Decorator
    Fancy Hotel Lobby Christmas Designer
    Christmas Cupcake Baker
    Christmas Cookie Icing Artist
    Candy Cane Flavor Inventor
    Artisan Christmas Jelly Entrepreneur
    Christmas Tree Farmer
    Sleigh Bell Factory Savior
    Christmas Market Ombudsman
    Christmas Puppy Adoption Counselor
    Fair Trade Mitten Knitter
    Christmas Talent Show Coordinator (wears a cute headset, carries a cute clipboard)
    Anonymous Christmas Philanthropist
    Babysitter for Sister’s Adorable Children (3 hours per week)

    I’m sure I’m forgetting some (hint, hint).

    • Senior’s Living Christmas Choir Coordinater
      Holiday Barista – specialty coffee artist
      Seasonal Window Painter and Designer
      Christmas Card Artist and Arranger
      Nativity Scene creator using only locally sourced pine cones to recreate Christ’s Birth Scene ( including livestock ). Lifesized.
      Seasonal side walk artist using coloured salts
      Ugly Christmas Sweater Judge
      Handicapped Gift Wrapper using only her toes….

  • Ever noticed what self-centered little sociopaths most of the Peanuts characters are? And Snoopy is cruel, mocking, & sadistic. Can’t deal with them anymore… and their holiday “special”.

    • Yes! No wonder Charlie Brown is clinically depressed! Absent parents, co-dependent and narcissist (of all varieties) friends!

      Most of the shows of the last 50’s early 60’s we watched as kids were really twisted! Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer is a study in cruelty! The only thing about that one I like to watch is the dog sled musher and his team of mis-matched muts!

      • Is there an explanation somewhere on how Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer is a study in cruelty?? I haven’t watched it in forever, but it used to be my favorite. Seeing these old stories in a new light seems to be therapeutic for me.

          • And the teacher is over the top cruel. I watched as a kid, too. But as an adult, I literally cringed at his words. Did all adults act that way toward children back then? *shudder*

    • Yes! And has anyone noticed that two of the main love stories in Love Actually are between a man and his personal assistant? Does that bother anyone?

    • I HATE Charlie Brown/Peanuts cartoons. So cruel! Who laughs at that shit?
      Sarcasm………cruelty disguised as humor. A huge exception is anything written here about cheaters. They deserve it.

      VH quoted Bill Nighy speech. Loved it! Kindness. Yes.

  • I’ve never watched a Hallmark Christmas movie but don’t need to because the previews make the plot lines (or lack thereof) pretty obvious.

    I did watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” a few days ago. The angel is giving Jimmy Stewart a chance to see what would have happened if he (Jimmy Stewart) hadn’t been born. Jimmy Stewart goes to find his wife Mary . . . what has happened to her if he doesn’t live . . . the most horrific thing possible has occurred . . . please prepare yourself because this is a true tragedy . . . Mary is an “OLD MAID”!!!

    • “Mary is an “OLD MAID”!!

      Right, like old JS was the only option that beautiful smart young woman would have.

      I think many of our FWs thought that about us. I never told him of the men who showed me attention at work. No need to, as I just discouraged them politely as needed, because I was “MARRIED”.

      I am certain that until my now H came on the scene, he thought I would be pining away forever for him. Likely because when I was pick me dancing, I told him I would always love him. Because, in real time; that is what I thought. How did I know how disgusting I would soon find him.

      What he didn’t know was the man who I first dated (who became my husband in a few years) was not the first post discard man, to ask me out. I just didn’t accept any dates before the man who became my husband. I liked the man who became my H, (he looked amazingly like Sean Connery) but I didn’t date him until I had done an extensive background check on him, including talking to my supervisor who grew up in the same area as he did. I ask her if he was ever disloyal to his ex wife. She said, she never saw any hint of it, and in fact his wife was the one who discarded him, because she didn’t want to be married anymore.

      • This may not be the most “Meh” thing I have ever done but I “accidentally” let it slip once to Nitwit that he caught me on the rebound after my Plan A turned me down. He started ranting about how I was “always” talking about my exes when in reality he mentioned his OW and exes far more than I did. Again, I’m not proud of this but I was angry so I hit him the only place you really can hurt a narc: his ego. He was obsessed over the fact that tall and good-looking as he is there are men who are taller and better-looking, to say nothing of their better character.

        I can easily picture him still fuming about that guy.

  • Off-topic Christmas miracle!

    All those people (on other sites) who said it wasn’t cheating because his wife had dementia, that Dan and Alex’s Twu Wuv was destiny and to bugger off. Well, this one is for you.

    P.S. Today’s Ask Amy has a letter regarding this topic. I am appalled at the number of people who are okay with blatantly having an affair as long as the spouse isn’t aware of it because (illness).

    • Didn’t know about this and I looked at the Washington Post video – the three of them living together? Yikes. Kids take care of parents with dementia all the time. Families do what they have to do. But apparently a romantic relationship is special and deserves special rules. Hmmm.

    • >I am appalled at the number of people who are okay with blatantly having an affair as long as the spouse isn’t aware of it because (illness).

      I’m one of those who thinks it’s OK to find someone else when your partner has been lost to illness. But I value CN’s judgement, so would be happy to hear why my belief here is wrong? Granted it can be done in a sleezy way which is disrespectful to your spouse (Dan & Alex Lerner example).

      One of my friends is a woman who has done this. Her husband had a stroke which left half of his body paralyzed. His cognition changed where he barely understands speech anymore. Once he took his walker and wandered into the street because there was a noisy festival at a nearby church. He needs help to shower & too many things. When he was incapacitated, their two daughters were tweens, and she went through hell as essentially a single parent with a spouse who needed an enormous amount of care. There are insurance & other reasons why she remains married & doesn’t divorce & institutionalize him. Not the least of which she can provide better care at home, where he’s the focus of a loving family still. He has certainly beat the estimated life expectancy. Being a single mom & caregiver was a hard thing, and she did that for 6 years before beginning a long term relationship with a man who is a professional caregiver. Her husband’s family hated her not devoting the rest of her life to a man who is half vegetable, not that they’d helped her. She did check whether her husband minded (not that anyone understands him any more except close family who spend a lot of time with him). I realize that this situation can be abused. It doesn’t seem like cheater BS though.

      • That loops back to, “As long as they don’t know, it’s okay!”

        Exactly what was her disabled husband going to say that would have made her stop when his life depends solely on her whims?

        She also says his family didn’t help, or never offered to help.

        Where have we heard this before?

        • Yup Chumpkins wrote his cognition changed and he can’t understand what he hears. So he’s severely incapacitated yet he gave consent for his wife to have a boyfriend ?
          Unless the couple discussed this before his stroke as some sort of pre/post nup, I ain’t buying it.
          This type of scenario is a slippery slope, in my opinion. A Dateline episode in the making when she and her lover start seeing the husband as a burden.

          • What the hell ever happened to the wedding vows……

            “In sickness and in health, till death do us part”.

            People can justify drowning kittens if they want to, still doesn’t make it compassionate or right.

            Buy an effing vibrator!

            • Thanks Geniebobeanie, NSC, and Sucker Punched. I know her lover. It’s so hard to believe he’d mistreat a “burden”. But you have mentioned things I’ve wondered about. :-/

              • Thank you, Chumpkins, for bringing this up. I’ve wondered the same. Yes, her husband’s body was there, but was his mind? Can we consider him to be him if his mind is not there?

          • Yep, that is a sign of cheater BS, and therefore someone who can’t be trusted. Also something was way off when Dan & Alex Lerner thought people should be happy for them when his wife was still alive.

            Still I stand by my position. We shouldn’t be consigned to give up all hope of love and companionship because our spouses became a hopeless vegetable at age 40, especially if it does no one any good to give up the next 30 years of your life. There is a difference between this and abandoning a spouse with cancer. There’s all sorts of factors, kids, insurance rules, life expectancy, extent of incapacitation. What if you can’t even care for them & they need to be institutionalized for the rest of their life?

            • Then divorce them. Cheating is cheating. You know this – right?

              Character is what you do behind others’ backs.

      • “for better or worse till death do us part” Marriage vows. What if the roles were reversed and your friend was the incapacitated one?

        My uncle had a stroke (or multiple strokes) recently his left side paralyzed. His wife taking care of her elderly parents, working full time and now taking care of my uncle. If she calls any family for help we go. Their kids are late teen’s- early 20’s. My aunt is in the Healthcare field and it’s 2020! She is a good woman and I know she would never do what your friend did. Love is self sacrificing!

      • I am in the camp that believes sometimes finding a new partner while maintaining care of a mentally challenged original partner is okay. I have a friend who suffered massive strokes in her late 40s. After the first one, she was in a coma for 10 months. Eventually, she began recovery and had a second stroke that was even more devastating. With lots of physical therapy, she can do some self care, but her personality has changed enormously along with all of her intellectual abilities and emotional responses. She used to be a professor and a writer. Now, typing a paragraph might take all day, result in gibberish, and she cannot tell–but she will spend 10 intent hours working on her computer. She thinks she has authored something profound. She used to be a gracious hostess and friend. Now, she does not acknowledge the presence of other people unless directly asked, “Jane, aren’t you going to say, hello?” Then, she’ll say hello and return to what she was fixated on. She shows no more emotion or interest in her husband than anyone else in her life. She doesn’t appear unhappy or happy, though she does shift into anger if she gets frustrated. Her husband maintains her care and provides for her. He has introduced her to his new “friend,” but she is no more interested in the woman than anyone else. I think she would give her permission for her husband to have a partner, but I don’t think it means anything as she seems to have no sense of interpersonal relationships any longer. I don’t have a problem with her husband having a new partner. I think it allows him to find some joy in life, and I cannot see how it is hurting my friend. I believe if she had known in advance that this was going to happen, she would have wanted her husband to be happy. They had a fantastic marriage. The whole thing (it has been a decade since her first stroke) is a tragedy.

        I think the vows about “in sickness and in health” should be interpreted as being kind and loving no matter what transpires and as honest as is possible. I don’t see my friend’s husband as dishonest because he was upfront with everyone about his desire to date and have a partner while he maintained my friend’s care. Our medical capacities now mean we can extend people’s lives for decades sometimes in ways that create complex issues unimagined when those traditional vows were first written. I do not think those vows mean we are required to martyr ourselves to inescapable tragedy. That said, there are selfish people who abandon their spouse in a time of need,

        • Then DIVORCE THEM.

          The vows also include “forsaking all others ’til death do you part” and no – that means DEAD not disabled. If you can’t handle it, if it’s overwhelming and slowly killing you then do the honest thing and get the divorce.

  • Unrelated to this post, but I HAVE to share this meh anthem!

    I Forgot That You Existed by Taylor Swift

  • I absolutely hated the movie It’s Complicated, with Alex Baldwin and Meryl Streep. Baldwin runs off with his young ho and later lives to regret it, but Baldwin’s acting was so wooden I’m surprised he didn’t get splinters. Plus the plot was so predictable. I also hated the movie The Holiday where 4 gorgeous people end up meeting on opposite sides of the pond and falling in love. Luckily the bird in California is loaded so she can afford to stay on in England and the bird in England lives in a picture-perfect gingerbread cottage and they all end up falling in love. God it was so cliché. You never see any of them without perfect figures and living in a two-bedroomed apartment do you. Give me Bridget Jones any day (although even that storyline was pretty predictable). I just loved Bridget!

    • Yes, both Nancy Meyers films, which are basically autobiographical and cliched, which explains why that one was so self-indulgent and nothing really happens. It’s basically always a writer or creative of some sort rattling around in some magazine style digs while solving their emotional crisis.

  • Dear CL,
    Hand raised, guilty, very behind reading the daily topics, but today, today, well let me say that YOU really are something!
    YOU are an early Christmas gift, all wrapped up in glitter! Absolute BLING!
    YOU have such a gift of writing.
    YOU know how to tickle a Chump’s funny bone!
    THANK YOU, just for being YOU, today & everyday.


  • I keep waiting for CL Netflix series. It would be fantastic and expose the side and perspective that is rarely shown – but needs to be shown. I thought the CL book was purchased for film?
    Someone mentioned ‘Holiday in the Wild’ in another post. Although the chump became mighty, I hated that movie.
    I watched it with my H last year and said something to the effect of these movies being so ridiculous (for many reasons)… I was in part referring to the unlikelihood of a husband just dumping his wife out of the blue like that right before Christmas! A few days later… I was discarded ….out of the blue, shortly before Christmas.
    Dday happened a few days later.
    Then my mom saw the show (knowing I’d been dumped – not knowing I’d seen it) and told me all about it – like maybe I’d find it a good film to watch! People just don’t get it – we need our own series.

    • We do need our own series. Sometimes I think it would be a hilarious comedy! Some of the shit you hear from Chumps on this post are hilarious. Such as being cheated on because you don’t go bowling or fly fishing. They’re is a humor to these fuckwits. Has anyone seen this little gem? It’s part light humor, part educational. I’ve watched it a lot and I think it’s a really clever video.

        • Can you send the link?

          Yes I see the Clady series as kind of like the office. Everyone knows the fuckwit is a fuckwit and the OW is a selfish, entitled, dimwitted, horrible person, but they don’t see themselves. And people get educated about Switzerland friends, people who won’t take a stand, and the trauma – as the fuckwit remain oblivious.
          Then there’s all the stupid things people say to Chumps. Why hasn’t this been made? Is it because so many celebrities and people in that biz cheat themselves?

      • Nodding dog Karma slam! I love how self-centred he was, getting pissy with the girlfriend because she didn’t look after him even after he spent ‘all my savings’ on her. These stories were such a thing on fb etc a while back, Karma always was extra bitchy. It pinged my grammar nerve though.

        • This is exactly why boundaries are important.

          I think Sasha had the right idea, haha. Hope that dude jumps into the river.

  • The Christmas scene at my house:

    The husband loves Christmas but the wife doesn’t as much. But she loves her husband so she does all the cooking, baking, decorating, and she tries to make it fun for him and their child. He comes back later in the day on Christmas Eve than agreed, but that’s okay! He’s a busy man and the wife has accommodated. On Christmas morning, he’s grumpy because the child wakes him too early. He makes coffee for himself. Oops! He forgot to bring the wife a cup so she’ll get her own. He makes a big deal about the presents he bought. When all the gifts are opened, he retreats to his iPad and phone for a few hours, then he needs a nap after he gorges himself on the Christmas pancakes he loves. Later in the day, he wakes up so the family can watch a Christmas movie. This is great news for him because he can sit on his iPad and do all the private things he likes to do. In the evening, he gets sad because his wife didn’t dress up like a naughty elf – she never does, but he expects it. For some reason, his wife doesn’t feel very good about her body, so she’s too shy to try things like that, plus, it makes her feel objectified. She just doesn’t feel entirely safe but she’s not sure why. His wife is also so tired after all she had to do, and she fell asleep briefly while putting their overstimulated child to bed. A bit later, the husband locks himself in the bathroom while the wife looks for him, hoping to have some intimate time now that the house is quiet, but the husband is grumpy for some reason and he goes to bed in the guest room.

    This was my Hallmark Card Cheater Christmas.

    Yay! Not any more! Meh is just around the corner…

    • Wow, what a creep! Enjoy your Meh. I always did everything for Christmas, and my in-laws would spend every Christmas with us. Yet when we first split up because of his cheating, which was right before the holidays, he said to one of our female friends that he was so glad he didn’t have to deal with “all that Christmas stuff”. Hello! We had two young daughters. And his parents. Someone had to deal with all that “stuff”. Thank god I love Christmas myself so I would have done it anyway. Going on the ninth Christmas without him, and yes the first year was hard, but now I’m loving the holidays without him. And looking forward to many more!

  • My 18 year old daughter says FW has ruined 2 Christmas movies. Christmas with the Kranks because that FW cares more about himself than anyone else. Christmas Vacation because Chevy Chases character ogles women. D18 calls him a perv.

    • Yes, that scene with the pool is pretty cringeworthy. I had not thought about the buying underwear scene, but that’s gross too. His brain vacates suddenly because Oh no! Woman Selling Underwear! Thus he cannot have a regular, respectful conversation with the sales clerk.
      This furthers the narrative that men just can’t control themselves around a hot woman. As if that is completely natural, acceptable, funny even.

  • I’ve seen a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies and I can usually sit through them but last week there was an exception. The movie concerned a group of 4 single siblings trying to save WidowedDad’s new B & B. They pretend to be hotel staff and guests when a woman they assume is a travel writer shows up with a flat tire and decides to stay. Of course, she would not turn out to be a travel writer. Of course, either the B & B is saved or the woman falls in love with WidowedDad and they decide to just turn it back to a home. And at least one, if not more, of the siblings would have to fall in love with somebody.

    What got to me was the ridiculous lying. Why not just say, “This is our Dad’s B & B. I can carry your bag upstairs for you.”

    The other thing I refuse to watch is ANYTHING with a prince in it. After watching The Crown, I’m not sure how marrying into some inbred royal class is supposed to be romantic.

  • Cassie is a plain but slender orphan, who becomes governess to the ward of a homely, brooding, yet fabulously rich man.
    They fall into a profound love, yet fate rips them usunder at the threshold of their passionate union…

    Oops, sorry, that is Jane Eyre

    I love CL’s couples! What a hoot! Thanks for the laughs

    • Love this!

      Yes, I have serious issues with Jane Eyre. Wife just happens to accidentally— conveniently—set herself on fire, so now he’s free to romance Jane! Yay! And of course, wife was crazy, so she couldn’t have been a suitable partner for what’s-his-name anyway, so He Obviously Was Right To Pursue Jane. Absolutely no mention whether the idiot was the one who drove the wife to insanity in the first place…????

      • The book is terrific. Jane was completely innocent, and the crazy ex was crazy before the marriage and was effectively sold to Mr Rochester fraudulently.

        HE behaves like a shit and tries to trick Jane into bigamy – she flees – HE is appropriately punished by being burnt in the fire and losing pretty much everything.

        He is now a genuinely reformed character. Jane is financially independent. But it’s the 1800s so they get married.

      • Yup, I always identify with the wife in the attic. Such a nusiance and impediment she was by staying alive so long.

        • “Wild Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys is the reimagined life of the “madwoman in the attic”

          • I respect that this is a beloved classic. If Rochester is our rare horned horse (rather than hopium pushing by Brontë) I’m all for it. ????????

            But yeah, I can’t help but feel for the wife (even if she was crazy previously, surely his attempts to seduce governesses while pretending she disappeared didn’t help?). And when I picture it playing out in real life, I keep imagining this:

            Interviewer: Jane, you’ve Won The Dude. Congratulations. What do you plan to do next?

            Jane: Thank you, Bob. Yes, from now on, I plan to avoid matches. And chimneys. And stoves. And….

            • I have to add my two cents in here, and that is probably all it is worth. BUT, Mr. Rochester was defrauded!!!

              Back then you couldn’t divorce, or get an annulment… Mr. Rochester is forced to keep wack job wife in the attic. He was betrayed by crazy wife’s family into marrying her, and was trying to do the honorable thing. Crazy wife should have been kept in an asylum, or at the very least sent back to the family. I think this is tremendously important to the plot, or Mr. Rochester just looks like a jerk. Remember, he was so wealthy he could have anyone he wanted, but loved Jane for her character, and intelligence.

              I agree, it was shitty of him to trick Jane, but the whole thing was shitty. It was terribly progressive for Charlotte Bronte to write this plot at the time though, and till this day I read the classic once every three years because I actually do find Mr. Rochester sort of a complicated, interesting guy, and I think Jane’s character is tremendously interesting….If you like this sort of writing (as I do), please check out the book by Mary Webb called “Precious Bane”. The heroine of the story has a hare lip and she overcomes, it is an awesome story.

              But, I do see everyone’s point, but wanted to share…..Merry Christmas!!

              • The following phrases ruffle my feathers a bit:

                “Remember, he was so wealthy he could have anyone he wanted, but loved Jane for her character, and intelligence.”


                “The heroine of the story has a hare lip and she overcomes, it is an awesome story.”

                Generally in polite company we call it “cleft pallet”. The other term has fallen out of favor, and for good reason.

                The heroine overcomes her “flaw” (intelligence and character in one case) and Lives Happily Ever After.

                What the?

                “Ever After” with Drew Barrymore is a refreshing change. She’s kidnapped by an evil man. The prince comes to rescue her only to find she is walking down the path, already free. She freed herself with the sword fighting skills her father taught her.
                And the scene with the robbers in the woods! Priceless.

              • That makes sense, Genie.

                I guess my overly analytical mind thinks—in REAL life—sure, he SAYS she burned herself to death (while he conveniently managed to escape). Thus my fear for Jane’s safety once he got tired of her.

                I’ll stop turning everything into a Dateline episode now ????, and appreciate good fiction for what it is. Thanks everyone for your responses.

  • Susan is a 30-something divorcée with two small children in tow when she moves in an old, crumbling mansion at the margins of a mountain town. One night, her car stops while on her way to pick up Monty Jr. from soccer practice, so she rushes to the nearby cabin/pub/local disco/perennially foodless diner to ask for help.

    There, Maurice beams his pearly whites from behind the counter, while he keeps rubbing dry a glass that was never wet, making the dark skin on his arm glisten under the motion of his rhythmically flexing bicep.

    Maurice is painfully obviously half her age, yet will find several passive-aggressive ways to insert himself in Susan’s life, showing up at kids’ recitals uninvited and popping up every morning, tow hot coffees in hand, on Susan’s and the kids route to school.

    Forced to expend her energies dodging Maurice, instead of grieving the loss of her dream family unit, Susan seeks the counsel of local blonde Vanessa, who’s never left the mountain town in her life and has secretly been harboring revenge plans on Maurice ever since he rejected her in the 6th grade. Vanessa tries to set up a scheme inolving a Las Vegas girls’ trip , in hopes of getting Maurice’s attention aka make him jealous, but the whole thing’s a bust, because Susan is too tired and decides that now is a good time to disappear while Vanessa and Maurice are making their way back to each other and she can finally garden in peace and have hot chocolate in front of her newly-renovated fireplace.

  • This one is from Hallmark’s reject pile.

    A Millenial Christmas

    Possumhollow White is thirty something Lululemon addict and Christmas Cheer Consultant whose parents just never got it right. Their friends were naming their kids Madison and Dakota and they wanted to be trendy, but screwed it up. It’s so embarrassing to try to explain why you were named after a horseassed town in Arkansas and her clients ask her about the origin of her name all the time. The only one who never asks is her latest client, the refreshingly monosyllabic fellow millenial, Duluth Lightfoot. He’s heroically trying to bring some holiday feeling to his Christmas wrapping paper sweatshop. Possumhollow is having a hard time cheering up the workers, who don’t even speak English, and she can’t be heard over the din of machinery anyway, so she heads to the bathroom for a good cry. Drew sees her in distress and hands her some Frosty the Snowman wrapping paper (from the Premium line!) to dry her tears. Their eyes meet. “I-I got tears on Frosty.” Possumhollow stammers. Drew grunts in sympathy and more locked eye staring ensues, then a passionate kiss, which crumples poor Frosty between them. Later, he texts her “UR awesome.” and she responds; “That kiss was amazeballs.” They have a hastily arranged Christmas eve wedding. The officiant stumbles over her name, but now it’s funny. Everything is different now! Drew gives her a permanent position bringing cheer to the workplace, and they gently tease each other and continue to lock eyes and kiss passionately throughout every working day. Then the plant gets firebombed by Antifa, and in the rubble Possumhollow finds a small steel box, the lock of which broke open from the heat. It contains pictures of Drew spanking naked sweatshop workers. But Possumhollow is no kinkshamer, so it’s kewl with her. They incorporate BDSM into their life and live skeevily ever after.

    The end.

  • Sorry, I kept calling Duluth Drew for some reason. I really can’t stomach stupid millenial names and I guess my subconscious revolted. ????

    • Well, remember that many of them didn’t choose their names. Those were foisted upon them by their parents.

      Most millennials are the children of baby boomers and early Gen Xers (mostly baby boomers).

  • Screenplay Christmas in the Southwest—Feliz Navidad, Putas!
    –Lorena returns to her hometown in New Mexico—(it IS one of the 50) USA. She visits her Mama and Abuelita in the small home of her youth.
    Mama: Lorena! Que Bueno! Bienvenidos a tu casa!
    Lorena’s Mom is an older version of the 50-something Lorena, a woman who left home decades before to climb the ladder of success in the broadcasting field. She is mas successful, having landed in La La Land as television journalist.
    Mama: Lorena! Venga a comer! Abuelita, give Lorena tortillas con chile! Red and Green—a la Christmas!
    La Abuelita, sitting in the corner, rolling tortillas and flipping them over a hot stove, is an older version of Lorena’s Mama. Si, como no. (La Abuelita gets no respect.)
    Lorena: Mama! I don’t eat food. I need to stay trim to fit in my 02 pantelones! (Sniffs the air). Never mind, get me a stack of tortillas, burritos, enchiladas, arroz con queso and any tacos you have laying around.
    Mama: Lorena! The skinny boy you used to date, until you took off with his best friend, is in town. He has a restaurant that makes chimichangas, tamales and charizo. His specialty is Christmas posole.
    Dream Sequence:
    Lorena has a grainy dream where her life includes a handsome Jose, a warm and comfortable home, with tres ninos, Esteban, Maria y Chet. She’s a hometown TV celebrity as a weekend weather girl. She has love, family, respect and all the homemade tacos her Abuelita can make.
    Lorena: Mama! I can’t get with Jose! I’ve already spent my life being married to that futbol player, the movie maker and now I’m getting with the world’s richest man. My life is busy. I don’t have the time. Abuelita! Where’s the tacos???
    Mama: Lorena! Sin verguenzia! Tu eras un puta, mi amor! Why don’t you settle down with one man?
    Lorena: Mama! And end up like you? In a little house with a stove in the corner where there’s also room for Abuelita to cook all day? No, I want a better life. Un vida loco! Where I can be on TV, fly my helicopter and marry up and up and up!
    (Abuelita wraps up the tacos to go, ala Minny’s chocolate pie, in “The Help.”)
    Next Scene:
    (Lorena swoops away in her helicopter, neatly avoiding Santa’s deer and sleigh. She’s bound for Fa La La La La, La La La La Land, thinking all the time of Jose, the one who is poor, but got away.)

  • It’s their first Christmas together, and she’s so excited to see what he has in store for her that she flies across the country on her own dime to come be with him. After that love bombing spa vacation he took her on, she is high on hopium. Surely, this holiday won’t end up like her birthday with him, where he completely forgot, but tried to play it off by reaching in the backseat of his truck and handing her a plastic bag from Bass Pro Shop that contained two cans of Fix-a-Flat and a pair of hunting socks (she’s a vegetarian). “I just want you to be safe and warm!”, he cries, as she literally cries. Now she feels guilty and ungrateful. He smirks. It’s working.

    She had spent an entire paycheck on his Christmas gift. It’s something he mentions several times that he is wanting, and she took a mental note. He opens it and says “Oh, thanks.” He is somewhat annoyed that she is expecting something in return (cultural norms be damned). He says, “Your gift is that I’m taking you shopping, and you get to pick it out yourself so that it’s exactly what you want!”. She is careful to control her emotions this time, and gives and smile and a kiss. “Thank you,” she manages to utter.

    They get married a year later, and he never opens or uses the Christmas gift on which she spent the entire paycheck, and it eventually becomes obsolete (electronics). He buys himself a brand new one five years later, and croons about how much he loves it. She had picked out the perfect gift all those years ago, after all. The End.

    Sequels include: “He Forgot My Birthday Again 2” (and 3, 4, and counting), as well as the holiday specials “He Forgot It’s Valentine’s Day, But What’s For Dinner?”, and “It’s Christmas, But Our Marriage is Over Because You’re Still a Vegetarian”, and the 10th Anniversary Re-release of “On the Night Before the Wedding: It Doesn’t Count As Cheating Because We Weren’t Married Yet!”.

    Brought to you by My Actual Chumpy Life Productions.

    • OMG I did the exact same thing with electronics. He never picked used it, until he bought himself one fives years later.

  • Maybe if there will ever again be a Gathering of Chumps, some of these can be acted out and presented as a Winter Holiday Special for Chumps.

    What we need is one where Esther Feral is consulted, but is revealed as a fraud and has 2/3 of a snowfigure built around here. Chumps come from afar to throw chunks of licorice at her and to tell her that she is an abusive halfwit. Others are standing around a fire and demanding she produce an academic paper, subject to their peer review. The winner of the raffle upturns a bucket of ice water over her. The raffle money is donated to a good cause (CL’s Patreon account).

    Esther Feral breaks out of her frosty bonds and crawls away, sobbing, a changed woman. She stops pretending to be anything but a cut-rate artist and becomes the art teacher at a small, economically disadvantaged public school. Her husband, forced to work for a living, leaves her for a comely young lass and they disappear to a foreign country. After he has removed all but a few thousand dollars from their joint checking account and wired it to his Swiss bank account.

    Esther builds a shrine to her vanished husband’s lover.

  • Cam: I agree!! I always keep in mind the type of people writing this stuff and the narrow entertainment world they operate in. Beautifully talented and skillful with barely an ounce of wisdom. And this is what gets into all of societies collective mind. Not good.

  • Charlene kick his ass to the gutter 35 years before for cheating with many many women. She persevered, became a lab director, got many corporate awards, all while raising two kids and putting them through college, paying for their weddings, and welcoming her grandchildren.
    Sure she felt fulfilled, but her best friend was sure that deep down something was missing in her life. When her ex began making amends to his kids, paying for the grandchildren’s daycare, she began to see what had made her fall in love with him 40 years ago. Soon she began to respond warmly to his winks and stories about the old days.
    She was able to push away those nagging feelings that he might want her pension and savings and married him again on the holiest of romantic days — Valentine’s Day.

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