“Today, two of my cousins sat me down and said they wanted to give me an early Birthday present.With straight faces, they look at me and say: “we signed you up for eHarmony, and paid for 12 months. Not only do my cousins think I need help finding a boyfriend, but they think it take a year.FML”
The internet truly rocks my socks and, apart from gmail, digg, cracked, FMyLife is by far one of the best things to happen to it. FML was started by “don’t laugh…(a bunch of)French guys”and is based on it’s French counterpart viedemerde . Literally, it translates to “a shitty life.” If this is France’s way of apologizing for their rancid cheeses and shitty wines, you’re forgiven. It started off when the founder a 20 year old, Maxime Valette were sitting online telling stories of the “shitty” things that have happened to them. They found them so hilarious, that they decided to make their stories of humiliation an entire website. The premise is simple. Everyday, thousands of users log on to the website to share stories of embarrassment and things going on in their lives that are just plain shitty. The American version “Fuck My Life” is the same, submissions of moments in people’s lives when they could not help but think “Oh Fuck my life” (Much like that poor liquor store clerk in ‘Superbad’ ? Am I the only one who knows this movie by heart?). All posts typically start with “Today,….” and end with “FML.” Every submission get reviewed an automated system where, if it gathers enough votes, it will be further moderated by a team who will then decide weather it should get published or not.
It’s easy to find humor in someone else’s misery,and the FML (that’s what it’s popularly known as) phenomenon takes this to the next level. It is so deliciously entertaining to sign in every afternoon when some poor schmuk posts something like this:
“Today, my boss called me into his office to show me the web site of a potential business partner. When he began to type ‘Virginia’ into google, it auto-completed his search with his recent search for ‘virgin boy assholes’. I have to go on business trip with him tomorrow. I’m a young guy. FML”
It’s very comforting to know that you’re not the only one getting screwed (that was definitely unintended) at work. (Or in the current climate, it’s nice to know that you are better off at home instead of at work.) And most of all, I find myself in a strange kinship with the waiter who had to clean up after a little boy decided to have an accident in the middle of the restaurant while his mother walked away saying “it’s your problem, not mine” or with the girl who is sitting by herself with a chocolate cupcake and candle on the night of her 21st birthday. They seem to be composing all the things that are wrong with my life, in saying what is wrong with heir’s. (for the record: I was in England on my 21st, with friends….I think)
Are FML-ers a bunch of whiners?
But why not? Why are we not allowed that moment of complete and total helplessness? Why is it not OK to think for those few moments, that well, I’m done for this is the end of my life, that this incident right here will be the undoing of me?
Personally, the attraction lies in the bare bones approach to something that is potentially traumatic. It’s not a lengthy blog post with a huge back story, it’s not sad poem, or a photo montage of the unending misery that your life is; it’s just a few lines that end with the acknowledgment that sometimes life fuck’s you over, for the simple reason that it wants to fuck you over. And now that you’ve acknowledged it, you’re going to move on. It’s a sort of therapy session, where you know the reason why you’re in the session and at the end of the third sentence, you’ll get over it.
Click here to see WSJ’s coverage of viedemerde