Disgruntled Housewife Gayle O'Brien Zine-O-Rama

import_contacts Disgruntled Housewife

reviewed by Gayle O'Brien

Published in Issue No. 73 ~ June, 2003

I know Pif honoured Disgruntled Housewife many moons ago, but seriously, this site is so incredibly fab that it merits an updated, more in-depth review.


Disgruntled Housewife is the pet project of Nikol Lohr, and has been going since 1996. A site as diverse, entertaining and random as Disgruntled Housewife is hard to describe in a single sentence, so it merely skims the surface to describe it as a set of witty, somewhat trivial musings that would verge on the absolute inane if it wasn’t done with so much style and substance.


The ironically kitschy icons, design and section links are fantastic – from the titles of section such as ‘Stupid Crap I Bought Last Week’ and ‘Meals Men Like’ to the rollover icons that each link to a section of a site (for example, the ‘Work’ section is represented by a peanut; rollover and you get a drawing of two hands tied together). Dig deeper, beyond the superficials, and you’ll find hours of fun, due mostly to Lohr’s sarcastic, entertaining writing style.


DH‘s infamous Dick List is still wildly popular, and the fact that Lohr has recently put in a search function while adding ’50 new dicks a week’ speaks to its popularity. The Dick List, as the name suggests, is a forum for jilted women to post the dickish behavior of the men in their lives. One woman writes from Corpus Christi, “My husband of 7 years, and father of my three beautiful children fucked his assistant bitch, whore, cunt, cow, sleavebag, doucheface, stinking, used up slut at work nearly every other day for more than FOUR years….And he has the LITTLEST dick in the free world.” It’s hard to call the Dick List funny (it tends to make you cringe), although some of it is freakin’ hilarious. It’s the best exercise in e-catharsis and e-empathy I’ve ever seen.


Along with the Dick List, other sections filled with reader contributions include ‘Secret Confessions’ (‘I am an adult man and I have three different Xena dolls’) and the ‘Working for the Man’ section, containing a series of tips for ‘surviving that soul-crushing job of yours’ (‘Work a little overtime and sneak into cubicles, steal something from one person, and hide it in the desk of someone else you hate’).


But it’s Lohr’s content that remains the site’s main attraction. Her sporadically updated diary provides an unabashed presentation of her many neuroses.  What she does, perhaps unwittingly, is give voice to both the mundane and larger concerns of her demographic – I too marvel and aspire to my friends ‘who can fit into their corporate slots (not just fit into them, but actually totally exploit & enjoy them) by day and still be likable by night.’


The Dick List, along with other more contentious sections of DH (see her scathing review of the pregnant women in her workplace in ‘Pregnancy’) generate enough hate mail that Lohr has added a Hate Mail Generator, showcasing the often poorly argued, grammatically incorrect feedback of a number of dim web surfers for whom the ironic, trivial joys of DH simply go right over their heads (a woman named Diane M. Andersen wrote in to offer this useful snippet: ‘EITHER YOUVE NEVER BEEN FUCKED RIGHT, OR YOU CANT GET OFF IF YOU HAVE BEEN FUCKED RIGHT!.’ Fortunately, Lohr has much more class than some of the people that write in with feedback.


Even better, you don’t have to be online to surround yourself with its irony. Lohr’s ‘Merch’ section is more fun than that candy store in ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.’ The kitschy design of cocktail glasses, shopping bags (I love bringing my Disgruntled Housewife to my local supermarket – so many of the Stepford Wives look so shocked), ‘This Isn’t A Date’ underwear, and the best set of coffee mugs in the whole darn world (my favorite says ‘I love my job’ in large letters on one side, and ‘Kill me’ in smaller letters on the other).


In short, Disgruntled Housewife is one of the many reasons why I love the Web. You couldn’t buy this kind of fun in any other medium; only the Web provides both the space for someone like Lohr to be so creative and the chance for the rest of us to access it with little effort. I’m continuously impressed with how full and frequent DH is – I don’t know how Lohr manages to find the time, but I sure am glad she does. 


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Gayle O'Brien has written for newspapers, monthlies, oodles of websites and is currently attempting to write the Great Anglo-American novel. She lives and writes in England.