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UBT: The Burger-Flipping Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name

I’m sure you’re all shocked to learn that HuffPo has yet another steaming heap of clickbait triumphant OW pick-me-dance winner essay. About happiness and personal growth.

(CN files its nails.)

No, no, it’s different! They get married!

(CN excuses itself to pick lint out of dryer vents.)


(CN scrapes mold from the tile grout.)

Listen, people! Sometimes love just hits you, across a table of potato peelings. And you must act on it. Right then and leave your partners and abandon small children because Ruby McConnell is just that amazing. And you all must know this.

Clearly, a few bazillion of you know this, because you sent “My Husband And I Left Our Spouses To Be Together. Here’s What I’ve Learned About Love” to the Universal Bullshit Translator. Which I had to wake from a deep poolside slumber, tanning its sprockets.

“I am in no mood for snark,” it grumped.

But she’s a geologist/dancer/adventuress with a blog! And sentences so godawful they could be the parody bastard child of The Onion + Portlandia.

It winked its periscope, intrigued.

“I wonder how many eggs each salmon mother lays, if she will ever know how many children she has. I return to the stream. I eat a stale cookie and think about Christmas.”

“You made that up,” it accused.

No! There are photos of sad birds on frozen branches. And delicious non sequiturs like:

“Rivers spill over their banks. Fields become lakes and lambs stand leg-high in the mud. Inside at the piano I keep time to its gentle waltz.”

“Okay, I see the snark possibilities,” it conceded. “Bring me the bullshit.”


I could only convince the UBT to translate portions of this screed. If you want the full assault on your literary senses, read it in its entirety. Abridged version: Girl meets man-child while working a state fair burger tent. For reasons unexplained, they return to this three-day gig for 16 years, (Do they need the money that badly? Is feeding grease to hippies so compelling?) where finally they fall madly, deeply, spouse-abandoning in love. The legal fallout takes three years. They marry and quit their day jobs. If the kids are adjusting, who cares, #happiness. 


Fair is a place where people go to search for something new in their lives, to find some kind of higher meaning, or to just find something that will shake them out of the complacency of their daily existence ― even if that’s just a good time.

Did I type “fair”? I meant “affair.”

We both stumbled into the experience as teenagers through the vast and complicated local network of underground businesses and social circles that drives the Fair.

Artful dodgers we were, in that vast necropolis of Salem, Oregon. With its subterranean sewer network and complicated social order.

Other teens flip burgers. We stumble into underground experiences.



Though working in such close quarters meant we were friendly with each other, with all the stimulation and constant rotation of staff, it was at least three years before we were actually able to remember each other’s names.

Eventually, though, we did.

If I’m going to leave my marriage on a whim, I’ll need a name.


When we finally fell in love, it was over that potato table — in one look, held so long and so hard that it stopped a teenage boy who was passing through the kitchen in his tracks. To this day, I can’t remember what triggered that look — but I do remember the way Paul staggered, nearly dropping his cup of coffee, and the way I held my hand to my throat, which had blushed so deeply it practically burned to the touch.

When we finally fell in love, it was over root vegetable detritus. In one look, it turned a passing teenager to stone, curdled the milk, and electrocuted a fry cook. To this day, I can’t remember what triggered that look. Ennui. Lust. Borderline personality disorder. But I do remember the way Paul staggered like a wounded wildebeest, before collapsing at my feet. And the way I held my hand to my throat. As if I were a demure Southern lady who blushes at the sight of fresh kill.

One thought from someplace deep inside my heart forced its way into my head: Maybe it’s Paul. Maybe after a life of trying to make it work with other people, the one I was supposed to be with had been there right in front of me for years. Maybe it was Paul.

Paul is his name, right?

We went on about our day ― potatoes and burgers ― but in reality, it was a devastating discovery. By that point in our lives, both of us were partnered, in our mid-30s with real jobs and heavy commitments. Neither of us were happy. Worse than all of that, he had children.

It was a devastating discovery — children. Sticky little creatures who require attention and money. Wives can be dispatched. Heavy commitments Children come with court orders.

Obstacles are devastating. Abandonment, not so much.


Later that week, with his wife and kids away on an extended summer vacation to visit family for the rest of summer, he invited me to meet him for lunch in a blueberry field on a rural property near his house.

Paul enjoys a classy date when his wife and kids are out of town — a field.


What we found were two ambitious people on the verge of new beginnings — I was about to publish my first book, and he was starting a new business — who were being held back by unsupportive partners, toxic friends and an overwhelming sense of duty to how life “should” be lived.

What we found was adulting is hard. We were held back by the kind of toxicity that expects paychecks and childrearing. How life “should” be lived when you bring actual human beings into existence and discover they don’t live on air.

That same week, the first night we spent together, we fell asleep with our foreheads resting side by side and woke up eight hours later without having moved at all. Hours passed by as we sat in silence, watching a blue moon cross the sky. This was not a thing we could ignore.

I mean, a MOON, people! As if anyone else has ever experienced a moon. This was not a thing we could ignore. His wife on vacation, yes. His children, of course.

(The UBT would like to pause for a moment — are you fucking him in his wife’s bed? Or erm, chastely sleeping 8 hours? Did this guy get a hotel room? Seems unlikely that the same person who takes his date to a nearby field and flips burgers is the sort to spring for hotel expenses. All to say — Ruby and Paul: you suck.)

Over the next four weeks, as we tried to figure how to do what we were going to do, my psyche and conscience screamed at me. Married men never leave their wives,

Actually, if you had a conscience, it would scream: DON’T FUCK MARRIED PEOPLE.

But then, a few days later, walking out was exactly what I did. I packed my stuff with the help of friends while my prone-to-anger partner was out of town with “the bros.”

I fuck my fellow burger flipper. My husband left town with friends. I’m prone to betraying people I purport to love and he is prone to inexplicable anger. #mysteries

We passed like ships in the night.

Ahoy, cliche!

Oregon would like its money back for that writing fellowship.


He never spoke to me directly again, and his near-total refusal to engage serving was all the proof I needed to know that leaving was the right thing to do.

I cheated on him and he never spoke to me again! And then he expected ME to initiate the divorce!

His failure to pick-me dance for my awesomeness was all the proof I needed to know that I had to line up a new sucker quick.

He had broken the news about us the moment his wife had arrived home from vacation.

A cheater told me this and I believed it.



After he talked with them and she still wouldn’t accept that it was over, he took a hard line, telling her directly that this was no affair or fling ― he intended to be with me for the rest of his life. Fifteen hours later, he packed everything from his life into his work truck, kissed his kids and promised to come back for them, and drove away from the life he had known up until that moment.

She threw his ass out.


We were dealing with Paul’s hellish legal battle with his ex, the logistics of starting a new life together, and the total lack of time and focus we desperately wanted to give to his kids.

I can’t imagine why she’s not taking this abandonment and voluntary impoverishment in the proper spirit. We just want what’s Best For The Kids! My happiness.

We worked one more year of Fair after that before giving it up for good…

Thou shalt have no other potato peelers before me.

This is the first year together that we are free from legal battles and back on our feet financially — issues that caused some early tension and arguments between us.

I can’t imagine why I’d feel the need to publicly broadcast my exhilarating blueberry field romp, family abandoning Love For The Ages given the utter security I feel about Paul. I’M THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE, RIGHT, PAUL?

Our marriage is a happy one. We both changed careers shortly after marrying, and the shift to self-employment made it easier to craft our new life together.

Pro tip: Can’t garnish those under-the-table wages!

in the evenings we read a book aloud (we’re working on Laura Ingalls Wilder now).

Little Homewrecker on the Prairie

The Long Winter… of Christmas in Two Homes

On the Banks of Suicidal Ideation

It’s a quiet kind of contentment that arises from a relationship in which both partners are at peace with one another. And because of that, it’s sustainable and expansive, big enough to wrap around the kids who, to their credit, were able to see their parents’ unhappiness together and their father’s happiness with me and take things largely in stride.

It’s a quiet kind of contentment that requires a flabbergastingly narcissistic essay in the Huffington Post. To the kid’s credit, they take me publicly vilifying their mother largely in stride. And the whole part about secretly fucking their dad while he was married to their mom, and they were all on vacation, and came home, and he abandoned them? #peace #expansivewrapofdysfunction #psychoburrito

Years later, Paul and I hold steady to each other and our faith in knowing who we are as individuals and as a couple. We did the right thing, and I know I can always be brave and he will always be there.

We did the right thing, cheating on our partners, fucking in their marital bed, concealing our affair before suddenly abandoning everyone, and then quitting our jobs.

I speak for Paul when I say I know he’ll always be there. The way he was there for his kids. And his first wife. And the hungry hippies. For three days, each year, maybe, unless he’s busy with an appointment in a blueberry field. While I’m on vacation.

Ruby McConnell is a writer, geologist and environmental advocate whose work centers on the intersection of the landscape with human experience.

The UBT wishes Ruby McConnell nothing but a long intersection with a landscape. Preferably face down. After a hard rain. And a defecating moose.


This is a rerun. God only knows what/whom Ruby McConnell has intersected with recently.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Thank you Chump Lady I laughed so much I had to stop reading at one point. On a less fun note the Ruby’s writing reminds me of a friend’s fw – she is not a chump, but ignores his ghastly past behaviour to others (he misbehaved because twu wuv – not so much now though as the other party he cheated with is attempting to sue his arse!!) – his revolting correspondence to this previous woman was read out in a legal case and has a similar vibe – in person he is a nasty piece of work.

  • Keep bringing this one back please CL, as
    a) a UBT trophy moment
    b) a reminder to us all that there is hilarity in the cheater delusions.

    God but this one makes me really chuckle. They “craft” lives etc whatever, so FABULOUS … and have fun together playing with their broken moral compasses … but for those real people that don’t speak justificational rubbish, they are just plain LAUGHABLE!!! (Unfortunately they do continue to wound … she says … 5+ years after Dday … and they win with the narrative-owning etc. Too many people who prefer spin and story over tedious, moral reality.)

  • And this, fellow chumps, is why you never engage the FW or affair partner in conversation because all you’ll get is “You Suck and We Don’t: An Essay.” That kind of purple prose never takes anyone’s feelings into account.

    • Lol! Literally laughing out loud at your comment! The delusions that these people have are quite laughable!

  • Yet another one who felt that blowing up the family was something to be celebrated.

    I’m blissfully ignorant of what happened after my ex decided that the beach and whoever/whatever was better than family life in the suburbs. I chose not to go visit him there even though he invited us several times. It just didn’t smell right, and I had stopped trusting him.

    My therapist told me several times to stay out of the insanity, period. She said to divorce the MF, and never, ever engage with him or any other woman connected to him romantically. She said that people like my ex make up a narrative a mile long to justify themselves, so don’t be a part of it.

    My brother observed that I just went back to my life, but better. I was still me and found my sense of humor and kindness again. I found work that I love and bought a house in the suburbs after renting an utter dump for several years. The college kids graduated and are thriving in their careers and chose not to have anything to do with him.

    Yeah, stop the insanity.

  • I remember when this story came out. I was so triggered. I even spoke to my therapist about it. Now I start to read what good ol’ Ruby has to say and I can’t be bothered to finish. It’s just so ridiculously stupid. 2 complete idiots. Selfish and delusional.

    Wonder how the kids are doing 4 years later? I hope FW’s wife is doing well and happy she’s free of that FW. We got little insight into Ruby’s ex husband, but zi hope he’s happy now too.

    Last we heard, those 2 burger flipping idiots were running a weed shop. Any updates found? I’m guessing the romance isn’t so exciting anymore ????

    • To be fair when two dysfunctional liars join together, weed is likely the only thing that they have to live for.

      CL has said it before; the best revenge is to step back and let the two cheaters/adulterers have each other.

      • Yup. My therapist said the same. He’s character disordered, and he will attract someone who is character disordered. Let ‘um have each other and let go!

  • I forgot about the Carni lovers. I checked her blog after this ran the first time…..Made my eyes bleed!

    • Yeah it’ll still make your eyes bleed….. I’ve just looked ????????‍♀️????????????

  • Ah, one of my earliest (and most favorite) parody efforts.

    For those who didn’t see it the first time . . .

    (music by Simon and Garfunkel, lyrics by Ruby McConnell)

    Are you going to Oregon Fair?
    Music, hippies, burgers and fries
    Oh please leave town, and take the kids with you
    Then you’ll get a stunning surprise

    Tell her to make me an elephant ear
    Music, hippies, burgers and fries
    She clutched my throat and I spilled my coffee
    All before a teenager’s eyes

    Tell her to wait in a blueberry field
    Music, hippies, burgers and fries
    The moon will tell us what we must do
    Just before my daddy sauce dries

    Ambitious people held back by adults
    Music, hippies, burgers and fries
    We’d steal away, but (fuck!) I have children
    Married men just don’t leave their wives

    Pity the masses who don’t understand
    Music, hippies, burgers and fries
    We’ll brave the judgement and the derision
    And we’ll win the treachery prize

  • I was triggered when this ran before. With new awareness I think good luck with that. Paul is already looking for her replacement. He may never find one but my bet is he will since he’s young.

    Karmas a bitch.

  • I think that the author’s statement “…. my parents and extended family have adopted Paul and the kids with open arms while I remain a bimbo and a harlot to his. We didn’t win all our battles.” utterly lacking in self-awareness and completely tone deaf.

    Her new husband’s parents clearly see her for who she is and she can’t – or won’t – accept that they might just have a point.


  • Wow, I thought I read all your previous posts, but this is a new one to me. Unreal, hahaha!!!
    There is NO WAY I’m going back to pull up the whole news article in its entirety. What utter trash this woman writes.
    I wonder when a time will come when ‘flabbergasted’ isn’t the word of choice to described reacting to these delusional idiots? Probably never.
    CL, your writing is laser sharp and so damn funny, I couldn’t even take it all in and will have to reread multiple times. The way your mind operates is such a treat to observe, lol!
    I can’t even find the funniest line, because the entire thing is hilarious!!
    Bravo to you and thanks for a really great laugh to kick start the day.
    I’m saving that one for sure, lol! ????????????

    • C45 – my vote for funniest line –
      “Little Homewrecker on the Prairie” ????????????????????
      But it was hard to choose.
      I would love a follow up on these two where they crash and burn.
      Literally or figuratively.

    • The string of hashtags evolving into #psychoburrito ???????? I read this before and still lol’d at work

  • I am definitely not a writer. That being said, what the hell. Something about how she writes, is wrong. Like reading a kids riddle. Hickory dickory, doc the mouse ran up the clock. Etc..
    I looked her up, she does sell a couple books, but total reviews about 300. Are you an author, if you self publish and sell 300+ books. Delusional and not the brightest bulb. I would tell her don’t quit your day job. As someone who lives in the same area, just another nut in the woods

  • farmer’s field #1

    a hamburger stand, an emptiness
    leading to a flowering farmer’s field? give it a decade
    and watch two people begin to collapse
    through each other, like potatoes in a deep fryer
    until we get to this morning, this morning.

    two foreheads pressed together, on a marital bed,
    not our own. it doesn’t matter, except to the shadows
    of two small children.

  • Ah, “Fair”. I’m familiar with it. Don’t let the usual idea of a state fair enter your mind.

    This thing people refer to as “Fair” is one part legit talented art fest and sale, one part wacky so-so art fest and sale, one part so-so music fest, one part so-so food court, five parts mostly naked people, ten parts drugs-aren’t-allowed-but-everybody-has-drugs-especially-overnight-when-only-staff-and-staff-guests-party-all-night-fest, and the other 81 parts out of 100 are a total extreme fuckfest.

    It’s substantially more rare to attend “Fair” for the part people talk about with non-“Fair”-club-members than to attend specifically to try to gain admission to the inner circle for the super-weed-high free lovin’. Dysfunctional sex with a smorgasbord of strange is a goal, not a rarity.

    As always, these cheaters aren’t any more original than any other cheaters. This person is just prone to poorly poetically describing it online because embarrassing the kids within the closed inner circle of “Fair” and the relatively insular new agey community in their area isn’t enough attention for her. She is so special, she needs her dysfunction to go global.

    There are far better things in the Pacific NW than “Fair” (and better than actual state fairs, too, come to think of it.) Many of them aren’t inebriated cheater lineups. Give some Fall Festival events a try, maybe. Buy some cider. Hear good music. Shoot a pumpkin from a giant slingshot. It’s fun, and not a narcissistic free for all!

    • Ah, so it was that “Fair” …accurate description, Amiisfree. Kinda like Burning Man Light, but in the woods. Maybe fun during college, but naked body paint doesn’t age very well.

    • That’s hilarious. Old-timey carnies are less sleazy than that. For reasons I’ll never understand, my parents let me work for the traveling carnival while it was in town as a teen because I fancied myself a writer and had a fascination with gritty lore. It was really disappointing in that sense. It was a community run mostly by families. The accents and colloquialisms were great but that’s about it. I witnessed more dodgy drama working in fancy restaurants my first year of college.

  • Glad to see CL’s original post (with 348 comments) pop up second in a google search of Ruby’s husband. It follows them like sticky candy cotton fingers in a blueberry field with no bathroom.

  • My 9yo daughter recently wrote her dad a letter telling him she wants time alone with him – away from AP and her two children, that he moved into our family home before the plate even hit the floor. We have two daughters together. His response? If I gave alone time to you, I’d have to give it to everyone. Apparently, the 1:1 time he gives to AP when they both shove their kids off to their chumps is all he can handle. And I think to myself, this is the “man” AP wants to be with? Someone who ignores his tearful daughter asking for a little undivided attention once a month? These APs are delirious – they can have their “prize”.

    • It’s what my XW did and continues to do. She had her AP/now husband and 4 of his 5 kids moved into our house immediately after I filed. Her AP has 5 kids with 3 women. She forced 5 new people onto our kids(now 14 & 11). That was 4 years ago and she has never given my kids any alone time. Not once. Those two cannot let each other out of sight even though they are constantly fighting. I’ve been kind enough to tell her that she needs to give our kids her attention. But she ignores it and I’m guessing that’s part of the reason why they don’t want to live with her anymore and dads house has no drama as it’s just me and those two.
      But yeah they both won a great prize. ????

    • ByeByeFW: I’m sure the AP believes the FW ignoring his children for her is true testimony of his twu wuv (gag) for her, instead of realizing it’s a bad character trait that she’ll likely be the recipient of that one day. Oh well, couldn’t happen to a more deserving person!

    • It’s sad to think a father can’t spent one on one time with a daughter of nine. That’s his decision. Yet to keep OW who knows he’s a cheater happy this is a common occurrence.

      Alone time for a cheater is a hazard as it taps into knowing what trusting him alone looks like. The limited ‘forgot’ his phone one day and Nancy flew into a frenzied rage. . We are ‘one’ in reality stands for a complete loss of independence. They have something to prove.

  • holy crap how did ruby get a book deal with that twee claptrap

    and i’m sure paul is screwing someone else at this point and is about to abandon ruby and i’m sure ruby will understand and not freak the fck out because he abandoned his wife and kids ‘for love’ of her and sometimes love just happens

    wash, vomit, rinse, repeat

  • What a vomiting piece of crap to read after having drank a wee bit too much wine last night celebrating my friend who’s ex dumped her for his 30 yr old co-worker with 3 young kids (dad is in jail so any man whose not was an upgrade/potential sucker). Anywho, shocker for him, recently discovering that OW actually didn’t want his 50 year old ass, but his house & cash! Also, shocker for him that my friend (his now ex wife) received a sizeable inheritance & lives in an incredible home that he won’t be moving into despite his sad sausage story of “feel sorry for me that my dick got taken in by a youngish twat”. We laughed, clinked glasses & laughed some more. The delusion is high with narcissist couples as they try and sucker each other in.

    • These people definitely suck just like all the others. The difference is Ruby gave us a window into her head with her crap writing. I feel like I need another shower????

    • It’s such a relief to no longer be tied to such embarrassing people. They drag their families into the sewer with them. The thing that still seems amazing is that FWs think sewers smell like roses.

      After D-Day, FW in my situation felt “betrayed” on learning that the AP had had batted out with every young trustfunder in the office, then was humped and dumped by some married, bald senior associate before setting her sights on drunken FW and his maxed out credit cards. It was funny (even at the time) because FW was way too narcy to immediately throw the AP under the bus when caught as some cheaters do. His ego depended on this illusion that she was some kind of hard-won booty proving his superior prowess or something. The look on his face was priceless when he learned through a co-worker that the AP’s company nickname was “Debbie-wise the Gutter Clown.” But it’s not that funny that the kids and I had any association to that “element.”

      FW had begun drinking heavily in secret right before this happened so the beer goggles were apparently pretty thick. To me, alcohol abuse isn’t an alibi but it could explain his particular choice of AP. He was keeping a fifth of bourbon in his desk at work and admitted to tying one on every day starting at 11am, then either binging with the AP while saying he had to work late or sobering up and gargling or eating something before coming home, going into severe withdrawals every weekend and making all of us miserable. In retrospect I have difficulty understanding how I was blind to the drinking at the very least. Because we rarely ever had alcohol in the house and he struck me as a cheap date with no capacity on the rare occasions I’d seen him drink even a glass of wine, I didn’t put two and two together. I thought he was losing his mind, suspected he had Bartonella or a brain tumor and recommended immune and cancer screenings.

      But as cagey as he was about not letting his family see the signs of drinking, the AP would only have known that side of him and had to have smelled him because bourbon reeks. Even if he was building tolerance he still couldn’t hide the signs while he had his nose directly in the bottle. He started defiantly drinking at home right before the end and it was clear he still got sloppy as ever. It’s a wonder he kept his job but apparently his boss and quite a few partners were big drunks as well. It actually compromised his status when he suddenly stopped drinking when I learned of the affair and retained a lawyer. After D-Day, I saw some early affair email exchanges arranging assignations that FW had forgotten to delete. I could tell from the way he wrote that he was stinking, stumbling drunk when these exchanges happened. He had his wallet out all the time back then, paying bar tabs for every hustler so he wouldn’t have to drink alone. The AP thought he was Mr. Moneybags and managed to bilk about $36K in booze, grub and other amenities out of him over the next year or so.

      Although we could hardly afford it, the AP’s price-per-bonk worked out to about San Antonio streetwalker rates. In the end he was just a drunken perv having his pockets picked in the alley by a hooker, not exactly the Don Juan or Don Draper he believed himself to be. Maybe Don Draper in the Brechtian parts of the series where everything gets dark and ugly and he’s getting beaten up by junkie grifters and younger colleagues start calling drunken Draper “pathetic.” As I get closer to meh, I feel the same about it.

      • Ditto for my FW, secretly drinking a bottle of Makers Mark per week. No idea how he managed to keep that a secret for months. I did notice right at the end that his tolerance had changed. Now he is defiantly moving forward with Schmoopie; I wish him luck – he will definitely need it. CL quote, “have at it.”

        • I was really surprised by the drinking. From dealing with kids’ allergies and health issues, my “hammer” had always been nutrition and lab screenings, etc., so every problem looked like a “nail” to me.

          I noticed tolerance does increase but then it seems to dip and get worse again along with behavior. That started happening right before D-Day. I don’t know how someone manages to go from three glasses of wine a year to fourth stage alcoholism in six months but maybe it has something to do with genetics. He sleepwalks, gets woozy from fevers and I never liked him when he drank even a little which suggests some kind of neurological susceptibility. It can run in families and even in some ethnicities. But fuck him all the same. Something they say about batterers is that they don’t abuse their partners because they drink but they deliberately drink and drug so they can batter. The abuse is the underlying impetus and everything else is merely a facilitator to it. Mind altering substances (and apparently even meditation) are useful for snuffing any residual empathy/remorse as well as to use as an alibi (“demon whiskey made me do it”). I think it’s the same for emotional abuse and cheating. Substances just make it easier to do the things they want to do anyway.

    • He just discovered that OW actually didn’t want him, but his house and cash. Wow, what a huge shock, he must have really believed that she loved him….just him because he was such a wonderful man and a stud to boot! So happy for your friend!!!

  • Her Instagram is still up.


    She is still “still walking the path with this extraordinary human. Love conquers all.
    #anniversary #love #liveyourbestlife”

    Extraordinary people don’t cheat, IMHO.

    But I do have a chance to live my best life without a lying cheating traitor who also hid thousands of dollars from me.

    She describes her story as “brave”. Bravery is leaving your relationship without a secret side piece waiting in the wings. Again, IMHO. Telling the truth. Not fucking over your family. IMHO. It doesn’t take a lot of courage to keep secrets and wear a mask and live a lie and con people.

    The good thing about the internet, if you’re a jerk, is that no matter what you do, you will be able to find legions of sycophants to celebrate your actions and validate how “brave” you are.

    Her September 28, 2019 post reminds us all that “who you love is no one’s business but your own”! ESPECIALLY the people you’re partnered with and duping! And cheating “opens doors to kindness, generosity, and expansive compassion for others”! Like this tree-friend here! Why can’t chumps be more like tree-friends?!



  • “Little Homewrecker on the Prairie

    The Long Winter… of Christmas in Two Homes

    On the Banks of Suicidal Ideation”

    hahahaha CL GOLD!! Thanks!

  • This is one of CL’s greats.

    I enjoyed this critique of Ruby’s writing, and Ruby herself, in a self-serving essay about encountering a boy in the woods: “Your animated writing does not hide your ego, judgement and privilege. Are you aware of the implications of your words? The pictures you present of this boy and his family are sickening. You are not a gold mine, you simply think you are. I will reiterate Andrea’s words: “We can’t change anything until we change ourselves and we can’t change ourselves until we look at ourselves–deeply and honestly. It hurts. Good luck.” Perhaps the person at the front desk did not meet you in the way you were demanding to be met, does that then make the entire Breitenbush community deserving of your stereotyping? By this logic, all muslims are terrorists…. Perhaps examine why, with all your experience visiting Breitenbush, you are unaware of the extensive network of the Breitenbush family.” Sandra | October 2018 |

    And here, when she writes about revisiting the place where her sister killed herself, look at her assumption about people at this popular spot: “Most weekends and many weeknights, you could find at least one group of kids hanging around…We were not alone. Regardless of time or day, we had company, and not just joggers, bird watchers, and families. Mixed among us were couples playing out illicit affairs, prostitutes with their johns …” Odd how she assumes couples are cheaters, “playing out” their cheating. And she lumps them in with prostitutes.

  • Oh no! I went to reply to ByeBye FW & now I’m waiting moderation? This has never happened before. ????????‍♀️

    • It’s out now, with 6 others. Spam filter. Nothing personal, it’s whatever algorithms drive it. However it will hold anything with multiple links in moderations. Sometimes I have to be away from my desk, so it can take me awhile to fish it out.

  • Ye gods, this writing! It’s like everything in -her- life is poetry; the rest of us suckers live in the prose. Those who can understand her luminous viewpoint accept her superiority; the rest remain married.

    But she wins a potato for taking the dumbest, least-intriguing sentence in the whole sordid affair and elevating it to astonishing, single-paragraph importance:

    “Eventually, though, we did.”

    • “Later that week, with his wife and kids away on an extended summer vacation to visit family for the rest of summer…”

      This is the drivel that got to me, because you know, when you go on a “summer vacation” you usually don’t need to follow up with the fact that it was during the summer…

    • See NoShitCupcake’s comment below on Paul’s cheater-debt summary for portentous single paragraphs.

  • I did goggle her “ A woman’s guide to the Wild” book, because it was hard to believe she is actually a published writer.Here’s one of the reviews:

    Amy Zimmermann
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Verified Purchase
    Too bad zero stars isn’t an option
    Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2022
    Wow… The back cover promises to provide useful information. The contents of the book are disappointing to say the least. The section on personal safety, which is a huge concern for women, is about 1 page long. The dangerous plant and bug illustrations are pretty much useless. Important tips provided: How to french braid your hair and how often to wash it. How to have sex in the woods. There are recipes for two so you can apparently keep your man well fed while you’re in the woods. There’s a helpful fried potato recipe with 13 ingredients. Essential camp gear: French press/stovetop espresso pot. This book is an insult to women.

    Another review warned the reader not to buy, because you can goggle everything that’s in it.

    As the local gossip rag proclaims:
    “Ruby, that French braided woman-child with the moral turpitude of an ant infested potato peel has joyfully won her prized pig at this year’s county fair!
    Congrats to Ruby and Paul( was that his name?) , as they embark on the “ closed for repairs” merry-go-round of life, romping through rancid blueberry patches forever more! ( with the kids left safely in the truck)

    • All that woodsy bonking. Any mention of rates of Lyme and Bartonella infections in Oregon?

  • What Ruby failed to mention is that Paul’s wife was selling or trying to sell breast milk in 2015. Presumably to keep a roof over their heads.

    I truly hope she and the children are far better off without him lolling around the house, working ad hoc, sampling his product and being pretentious full-time. Apparently she is a well-regarded teacher at an elementary school.

    • What Ruby also neglected to mention is that, according to court records, she sued Paul’s ex-wife for something like $125,000 and requested a jury trial. Seriously. Public record.

      • Oh darn, I posted the same info before I saw your reply. Yes, public records are marvelous things. Which is how I know Paul’s father kept getting nabbed by the IRS for not paying his taxes in full. The last time he was nailed for it before he died he owed a rather hefty sum.

        Principal Amount: $141,940.41

        He also dragged HIS XW down the tubes with him prior to their divorce. Bankruptcy is no joke. Apparently someone foot-dragged the divorce too. I suspect his father was the hold-up because he wanted her to pay half of the back-taxes.

        Case Type: Divorce Absolute. Filing Date:04/02/1985
        Event Type: Motions Hearing (Domestic)Notice Date:
        Event Date: 12/07/1998Event Time:09:30 AM
        Result: Held/ConcludedResult Date:02/03/1999

  • I remember this post. It illustrates the mythical “I have one true love . . . and we will live happily ever after. . .” fairytale I have heard since early childhood. It is unacceptable to me to propagate this balderdash.

    It is ok to make a mistake and marry the wrong person. It is ok to divorce. It is not ok to cheat on the spouse, and make fairytale plans about “living with The One” behind your spouse’s back. Nothing will make that ok.

    There is always a price to pay for cheating. The cheaters hope everyone else will be left holding the bill, and they will “ride into the sunset, on a beach, on a white horse, forever. They will live in their love castle in the sky.”


    • “It is ok to make a mistake and marry the wrong person. It is ok to divorce. It is not ok to cheat on the spouse, and make fairytale plans about “living with The One” behind your spouse’s back. Nothing will make that ok.”

      Yes, a thousand times yes.

      And yet, so many people forgive cheaters because the poor dears weren’t “happy.” When I say that these supposed unhappy partners should divorce first and THEN date, I’m met with a confused look and this type of response: “But no one does that.” ????

      • It’s so much easier on the “unhappy spouse” to line up a place to live with someone else to take care of them before leaving their tragically unhappy marriage. To live alone and face introspection? HA! THAT can’t happen!

    • “It is ok to make a mistake and marry the wrong person. It is ok to divorce. It is not ok to cheat on the spouse, and make fairytale plans about “living with The One” behind your spouse’s back. Nothing will make that ok.”

      Saving this – brilliantly put.

  • Deep fried delusion, but I’m betting Ruby keeps a hard eye on Paul and his peeler. The grass is always greener in another field.

  • I had forgotten that Siobhan Roberta actually SUED Paul’s STBX wife later that same year. Who turned around and countersued for $125,000.

    His ex-wife hauled him back to court and made him pay his credit card bill, or his share of it and the mortgage he left her unable to pay. She is so much better off without this creep and the equally pretentious wife stress.

    Judgment – Supplemental Creates Lien

    Monetary Award
    Total: $12000
    Comments: Unpaid Credit Card Debt

    Monetary Award
    Total: $6885.56
    Comments: Unpaid Mortgage Debt

    Child Support:
    Payment Amount: $928.00
    Period of Payment: Monthly
    Post-Judgment Interest Rate: 9.00%

    • Wow, that just drained the romance right out of the story lol. Any publicly cheated-on chump who can’t keep the story quiet should simply publish the affair debt in cold, dick-shriveling figures.

      • “This is the first year together that we are free from legal battles and back on our feet financially — issues that caused some early tension and arguments between us.”

        Early tension? Arguments? My guess is that this is an understatement.

        • Of course it’s an understatement and frankly I’m shocked she even admitted to that much. Remember, these are Special People in Love and such people don’t squabble over money. Everything’s great over here, nothing to see!

    • Sadly that’s not surprising. Underneath the platitudes of tru wuv, some of these OW/OM are out for whatever they can grift – the FW’s income, the marital home, vehicles, even if FW isn’t well off and has children to support.

    • OH, so this was the source of those tense arguments over money that the happy couple were having for a while… he had to pay his ex $20k.

      • And $12,000 of that was just paying off HIS unpaid credit card…probably something she wasn’t even aware of. Mid-late 30s guy with $12,000 of credit card debt that causes tension and arguments in their relationship…real winner she had there.

      • Supplemental Ruby and Paul reading to connect the financial dots:

        Some choice excerpts:

        “Since 1997, Paul has been involved in the cultivation and research of the cannabis plant.”

        “He was in his early thirties and started with a small-scale grow operation in an outbuilding on his residential property, with just enough space to provide flower (the bud) to a few patients.Pretty immediately two things became clear: He wasn’t very good at growing cannabis, but he saw high demand in value-added products such as vape pens, tinctures, topicals, and edibles.”

        “We scraped together financing for the extractor and bare necessities with small personal loans, savings, and credit cards.”

        My theory —-
        Paul grew and dealt pot as a side hustle. For years. And enjoyed sampling his own product. A lot.
        With the advent of medical marijuana he saw potential $$$$.
        Tried to make a go as a medical marijuana grower – without success.
        Pot is legalized. More potential to make $$$$ – in theory.
        He quits his job, abandons his family, runs up the credit card to finance his dream, uses the house to secure more financing and sticks his wife with the debt when the bills came due.
        What an asshole. Glad his ex took him to court and got some recompense.

  • It’s funny that this UBT fodder isn’t that recent. I wonder if snark- and condemnation-packed comment threads to past cheater bilge has scared off other Schmoopie-poetasters from publishing even if the press seems to be trying to wag the dog these days and foist acceptance on the public for some reason that remains mysterious. Were porn profits linked to public acceptance of adultery in a boardroom somewhere? Is there some union of megalomaniacal media cheaters feverishly trying to create the world in their own images and worried that #MeToo might diminish fresh side dish recruits?

    Like I’ve mentioned before, it’s interesting that when Gallup polled the public on a long list of major controversies, cheating got the least public acceptance, coming far below abortion and a few slots below human cloning as far as public approval. After the 2013 poll, there were a slew of editorials in major publications including The New York Times railing and intellectualizing against the public’s dim view towards adultery and awkwardly trying to tie it to puritanical politics (the NY Times author is positively piqued and disapproves of the disapproval! ).

    But the same people polled were largely in favor of gay marriage– so much for the puritanical angle. The public just didn’t like cheaters. The poll was repeated, approval for gay relationships rose but disapproval of cheating didn’t budge. Apparently disapproval of adultery has only grown worse in the last thirty years.

    We’re told that hordes of people cheat, far more than the measly 9% who approve of adultery. But perhaps that demographic doesn’t want to be cheated on themselves. And then even if unicorns are exceedingly rare, latent regret might not be. Other research has it that cheating doesn’t end well. Hopeless gambling addicts looking back on the wreckage of their lives may not want their kids taking the same route. And if you asked their kids about it, what would they say?

    So though the editorials whining about the poll results kept spin-ily assigning the word “moral” to public disapproval of adultery, maybe it’s safer to say the poll measured the public’s unhappiness with it– in some cases possibly the unhappiness of horses’ mouths. This makes me think of Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm, a tragic film about the dying tail end of the “swinger” era when even people who weren’t into it would cheat under pressure or get pressured into open marriages. That generation is still around to be polled and so are their children.

  • “who were being held back by unsupportive partners, toxic friends and an overwhelming sense of duty to how life “should” be lived.”

    Ruby’s definition of toxic; somebody who expects you to have standards and boundaries.

    Ruby’s definition of unsupportive; somebody who doesn’t genulflect when you enter a room and expects you to live up to your promises.

    What do you want to bet her schmoopie is now another ex because he, too, turned out to be “toxic” and “unsupportive” when she cheated on him or vice versa.

    This creature is the definition of a narcissist. They should use her as a case study in psych classes.
    Funny how she didn’t become the next Great American Novelist, huh. I’m sure it was those toxic and unsupportive editors who held her back.

    “take things largely in stride.”

    She added the word largely as a disclaimer, because even a kook like her can’t delude herself that there was absolutely no impact on the kids.

    • “Ruby’s definition of unsupportive; somebody who doesn’t genulflect when you enter a room and expects you to live up to your promises.”

      HAHAHA. YES. This is exactly what my ex thought.

  • I was just thinking about how to get a narcissistic colleague in my department to see that all his drama-mongering is causing extra work and stress for the colleagues (mostly women!) who have to clean up the messes he makes, and then this letter reminded me that blameshifting isn’t just a bad habit with these people–it’s a survival skill honed in childhood. There’s no getting them to see the light because the permanent light-blocking shades went in at like the age of 5. So, I’m just going to document, pass the info up the chain, and move on with my life. He’s sucked up enough women’s time and energy already; I’m not adding any more of mine to his hoard.

    I think what reminded me of that in this letter was the part where Ruby counts her former partner’s lack of pick-me-dancing and No Contact as evidence that she was being abused and was totally justified in everything she did to hurt her partner and unilaterally destroy their relationship. 100% narcissist. It’s like she’s living in a permanent interrogation room, where even though she knows for a fact that there are other people with feelings, needs, etc., on the other side of the glass, still all she ever sees when they looks at them is her own reflection….

    • “…blameshifting isn’t just a bad habit with these people–it’s a survival skill honed in childhood.” Amen. If you haven’t already, read “Denying the Darkness: Exploring the Discourses of Neutralization of Bundy, Gacy, and Dahmer.” (

      Certain breeds of offenders only know consequences and it’s probably better to bring their offenses to the attention of higher ups and authorities if possible. Civilians shouldn’t have to be around when well-oiled blameshifters are stripped of their alibis. The bigger the misdeeds and the denser their blameshifting, the more explosive they can be but who needs to stand by for even a minor explosion from a petty scumbag? And they always retaliate.

      While working in advocacy, I’ve been in the courtroom when batterers were forced to helplessly listen to witness testimony describing their crimes in detail. I was forewarned that it’s like watching a werewolf transformation as their self-delusions, false narratives and image management are taken apart. That’s exactly what it’s like. Even the coolest operator will turn five shades of purple and look like they’re ready to blow. Everyone gets tense, court marshals shift their hands closer to their guns. I thought it really illustrated the degree to which some people spellbind themselves into believing their own bull but that’s how these people function, how they live with what they’ve done and continue to con the unsuspecting.

      • “I thought it really illustrated the degree to which some people spellbind themselves into believing their own bull but that’s how these people function, how they live with what they’ve done and continue to con the unsuspecting.” Ah geez, ain’t that the truth. It is truly disturbing to see one of these disordered people be directly confronted with irrefutable evidence of their terribleness. Meltdowns of epic proportions.

    • Yeah, I love how she says that he’s so “prone-to-anger” that she has to get her friends to help her sneak-move out when he’s gone, then follows it right up with complaining about his “predictably emotionless text” and “near-total refusal to engage.”

      Kinda sounds like she wanted him to blow up at her so she could revel in the drama and also try and make him look like the bad guy, and got all huffy when he refused to oblige her and went “bye Felicia.”

  • “When we finally fell in love, it was over that potato table — in one look, held so long and so hard that it stopped a teenage boy who was passing through the kitchen in his tracks.”

    Bad Alice Hoffman imitation.

    • Also, if the look was locked and so intense how the hell would she have notice a teen stopping in his tracks. If you are a writer at least come up with interesting plausible shit.

  • “Pro tip: Can’t garnish those under-the-table wages!”

    Wow, I missed that the first time I read this piece of utter idiocy. They’re even sleazier than I thought! (Wonder if he currently has any female assistants whose eyes he can gaze into – if so, I’ll bet dear Ruby has him on a very short leash.)

  • I like that she considered 30’s a late-in-life relationship. Try going it alone and finding a partner in your 50’s and 60’s.

    Although I will say, I wish my X had the courage to leave immediately. I’ll never get those two decades he spent as a serial cheater back.

    • Amen, GE. I don’t think my FW was a serial cheater the whole time (probably only because nobody but that one skank offered herself to him) but he was not invested in a real relationship with me. I could have spent 30+ years with somebody who actually wanted me, as a person, rather than as an appliance. Now it’s too late and I wouldn’t be able to trust again anyway.

    • Yep, I wish I had known way earlier, even before my son was emancipated. Even if I would have decided to stick it out for my son, I would have made vastly different decisions. For one I would have gone to work full time a few years earlier rather than doing as we had planned and started full time the year son started 12h grade.

      I think the original plan was to drop kick me as soon as son graduated HS, but by then there was a new candidate for mayor in the mix that fw wanted to win and oust the current mayor. So he needed me as his unwitting shill to help him campaign.

      Note: I have no doubt the mayor knew about it, everything the new mayor did as soon as he found out about it proved that to me.

      I think the new plan after our candidate won was to keep me in place until the mayors second election, then he would drag his whore out of the alley as his new love after horrible Susie kicked him out.

      Then someone dropped a dime, whoopsie. She was his direct report, had she just been an nonwork connected town whore, he likely could have ridden it out after exposure. Maybe, the mayor was pretty pissed that he had been conned.

      I called the mayor the night I found out and asked him point blank if he knew this was going on. He said no, and the reason I believe him is he would have had to be stupid to promote fuckwit as his trusted right hand man while knowing he was fucking his direct report. But, I called to get that no on record.

      Fuckwit had lied to and conned a lot of other folks too. When his house of card fell it was a sight to behold.

  • Ah man, I forgot about this lady. She really got under my skin too. Just so brazen and self righteous. I remember seeing some videos of her belly dancing or something at one point and just laughing so hard because it was The Worst Cringey Shit and she clearly thought it was The Best and The Most Important. I have such a low tolerance for adults who willfully act like children as a lifestyle choice.

        • What?? This isn’t belly dancing. Many vids of the real thing (and it can be gorgeous) on You Tube.

          Good grief.

        • I feel like I’m watching an actress fully commit to her cringe comedy bit, as a bored mom who starts going to bellydancing classes to “re-find her sensual womanhood” or something, and then she does this as her kids (the main characters in the TV show) watch and wince.

          • It’s like Gilda Radnor parodying Isadora Duncan.

            The dance of a befuddled blueberry – good for a belly laugh, not much talent to be seen.

        • When it comes to the narssacistic “look at me” game, she is really trying to branch out. Now, off to bleach my eyes after seeing that.

        • Holy shit! I didn’t know whether to laugh or not. It was beyond weird and not what I would consider ‘belly dancing’.

        • P.S. Anybody interested in laying down some bets as to how long this stays up? Once word gets back to Ruby about all of the snarky comments that CL & CN are generating, she may decide to pull this off of youtube. Then, this will be only a fond-but-lost memory for those of us who have had a chance to see it.

  • Paul’s eldest isn’t FB friends with him or Ruby.

    But his brother is one of the kid’s friends.

    Nothing like a smart teenager to make feelings clear and without literally flipping the bird. Wanna bet there are no more forced visits with Paul & wifestress?

    • So much for her claim that the kids took it “largely in stride” and were pleased that they had found happiness with their soul mate schmoopies.
      A cheater who lies? Color me shocked. ????

  • I for one am seething that they defiled the Little House books (merely by reading them) which have special sentimental value to me—an innocent world to which I would always escape.

    (On the Banks of Suicidal Ideation ????)

  • Hahahahahahaha! That was a good one. In the old days men abandoned the kids. Not sure what is better. The men playing dad 1-2 days a week? For the men it assuages guilt. Who really wants to have the responsibility of a family and kids? Its alot. But there are parents that take that obligation seriously. That dude isnt one of them.

  • I read LIW’s series of books when I was like 11 years old. Please tell me they were reading to the children and not lovingly to each other?

    Do we now have to teach people in “marriage classes” not scr3w other people when married? It used to seem to be obvious with the whole “marriage” concept. But, since my ex left me for his banging partner, I’ve had married men at work approach me to see if I’d be their banging partner and…uh, NO! I don’t want to be used for sex. I guess the 29 year old girl my husband approached was up for it but, now that she’s married to him, maybe she gets the whole monogamy thing? So glad it took dismantling my life for her little 29 year old self to figure that out.

  • Why would anyone expect anything less revolting and devoid of morals from a leftist rag like the Huffington Post? Reading that crap is akin to engaging in intentional trauma trolling. You may as well skip the reading step and gouge your eyes out with a hot poker right now. Put down the iPad and walk away!

  • This may be your best yet, CL. Amazing.

    FW and AP had a similarly nauseating, cliché filled “romance” that was “meant to be”. They both left their spouses for one another, both had kids, both didn’t give a shit.

    It blew up spectacularly, but while it went on, they painted it as a fated relationship that “just happened” and that they could not have prevented, complete with long looks, furtive meetings, verbose and over-the-top letters, and fucking in the (my) marital bed. They just couldn’t understand that they were such run-of-the-mill cheaters, not special, or star-crossed lovers, or The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread. Just two gross, selfish, unethical, morally bankrupt people.

  • “he invited me to meet him for lunch in a blueberry field on a rural property near his house.”

    Sounds like trespassing to me.

    “I packed my stuff with the help of friends while my prone-to-anger partner was out of town with “the bros.” We passed like ships in the night. Thirty minutes after pulling away, I got a predictably emotionless text from my newly minted ex: “I guess that’s it then.” He never spoke to me directly again, and his near-total refusal to engage serving was all the proof I needed to know that leaving was the right thing to do.”

    Which is it? Prone to anger or predictably emotionless?

    How many more years does his XW have to deal with hostage exchanges? May they fly by!

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