Maxime Valette was born on April 30, 1988, in Reims, France, the area where champagne is produced. There has hardly been a time in his life when he hasn’t had a computer keyboard at his fingertips. He began programming when he was nine years old and creating websites at eleven. He started a business at fifteen and sold it at eighteen to found Beta&Cie, through which he created the VDM website (the French version of FML). Besides computers, his hobbies are music, TV, and wine.
Guillaume Passaglia was born on January 28, 1982, somewhere on the Côte d’Azur. He likes polar bears and enjoys vodka martinis (shaken, not stirred). He is an IT engineer, part-time photographer, and keen sportsman. He is also an unfaltering Internet games fanatic, but is now involved in another kind of game–directing several international companies. He is also in charge of the spotlessness of the studio apartment where the VDM and FML team meets to plot out the future. He likes perfection, and his ultimate goal is to one day beat Didier Guedj at tennis.
Didier Guedj was born in Paris, many years ago. After studying international business and landing a job in marketing, he quickly realized that he’d be better off working as a full-time musician. He began by creating jingles for advertising campaigns. He then became creative director of several ad agencies, before finally founding his own agency. Overseeing brands such as Heineken and Dunlop, as well as several French perfume manufacturers and best-selling books, he has been the brains behind more than a hundred ad campaigns. He claims to be the devil.
About the Illustrator
Marie “Missbean” Levesque was born on September 6, 1982, in Paris, France. After graduating from high school and spending three years training to become an architect, she is now a full-time illustrator. She lives and works in a small, oneroom apartment in Paris, but plans on moving soon into a castle in the south of France. Marie likes beer and chocolate, and she spends her spare time taking close-up photos of insects, as well as watching movies while asleep, which is the main reason that she can never remember the end of any of them.
A Short History of FML
It all started in a chat room. A few buddies in France got into the habit of telling each other the crappy things that had happened to them that day–what made their day completely suck. The forum then became a blog in January 2008, and we named it Vie de Merde (“Shitty Life”). As interest in these stories began to reach a wider audience, the website grew and grew, and we just knew we had to welcome the entire English language aboard our mission. Fmylife.com soon had visitors from all around the globe. Quickly we realized something very
interesting: that the same kind of shitty events occur all over the world, every day, to all sorts of people. There is a kind of solidarity among all countries when it comes to misfortune. We are all in a big, international pile of crap. We are in it together, the one sad worldwide universality in life.
We can definitely say that it is all Maxime’s fault. He started all this by messing around on the Web, coming up with the concept and then the French website. Guillaume later joined him to help out, and after a while they asked Didier to take part in the F My Life adventure. This is how the whole thing started and continues to carry on.
We’d like to thank the literally thousands and thousands of people who had the requisite sense of humor and self-deprecation to send us their tales of troubles and strife. It’s become a gold mine of crap and embarrassment, and it’s amazing. But working in a mine, you have to push that little bit harder to extract the real gems, which is now our full-time job. Of course, the joy of finding a new story that makes us smile or laugh is still fresh for all of us. This is gold, people!
Keep it up!
Moments of Shame
Embarrassment, rejection, getting unceremoniously dumped–some of us are used to such occurrences by now and have nearly turned them into a new art form. In small doses, shame can be a good thing; it teaches us to be humble and provides an instant cure for arrogance. If those who have survived the worst are able to tell their story, it means they’re still standing. (Sort of.) Which just goes to show that self-mockery might be one of the world’s most useful survival instincts. . .
Today, thinking I was being very generous, I lent my jacket to my new co-worker. Maybe I should have checked my pockets first. I’m not sure that having three different flavors of condoms made a good impression. FML
Today I was at work at the grocery store, and a woman pulled a cart toward me filled with chips, breads, lunch meats, and sodas. I said to her, “Looks like you’re going to have a fun party!” She looked back at me and said, “My mother just died. This is for after the funeral.” FML
Today I ate at a friend’s house. When she left the table for a few minutes, her five-year-old son looked at me and said quietly, “You’re ugly!” When my friend came back, I told her what had happened. She scolded him briefly, and then the boy began to cry, shouting, “But she isn’t pretty!” FML
Today my boyfriend was lying on top of me and looking at me with passion in his eyes. I thought he was finally going to tell me he loved me. But instead he said, “You have a booger.” FML
Today I’m in Spain. In Spanish, I told my students that I was excited to be working with them. However, the form of the word for “excitement” that I used apparently refers to sexual excitement. So I actually told the kids I was sexually aroused to be working with them. FML
Today while I was out having a drink with a pretty girl, she looked at my crotch and said with a smile, “There’s something burning down there.” I smiled back, but she was insistent. Cigarette ashes had set my trousers on fire. FML
Today when I woke up, my husband was already out of bed. Thinking I was hearing him padding by in the hall, I shouted, “Get that cock in here right now!” A voice replied, “He’s gone out to get some bread.” It was my mother-in-law. FML
Today I put my hand up in class. I forgot that I hadn’t shaved my armpits. FML
Today a child sitting next to me on the bus pointed at me and asked, “Mommy, if it’s not a man and it’s not a woman, what is it then?” FML
Today I had a job interview at a restaurant that was opening up. One manager asked me why I should be hired. I said I was more efficient than most people. When the interview was over, I left to find that I’d locked my keys in the car. It took all the managers to help me get my keys out. FML
Today I decided to practice putting a condom on with my mouth. My roommate walked in on me while I was using my mouth to roll a condom onto a banana. FML
Today I had the first meeting with my new bosses. We went to a restaurant for lunch. I choked on a piece of meat and couldn’t breathe. I had to take that piece of meat out of my throat with my fingers and then put it back on my plate all chewed up. FML
Today I played in a tennis tournament. After winning, I went to shake my opponent’s hand. He didn’t react or move. It was only the first set. FML
Today I was walking through Borders bookstore with my girlfriend when we passed a stand selling Girl Scout cookies. I saw a box of Samoas, my favorite, so I pointed to them and shouted, “YEAH!” My girlfriend looked shocked. Behind the box of cookies was a nine-year-old scout bending over, with her bottom pointed at me. FML
Today I had an important appointment for a potential job. During the interview, my cell phone rang. My ringtone is the theme song from Inspector Gadget.