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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Dear Wendy Turns Eleven!

I don’t always remember, but today I did – it’s this site’s birthday! Dear Wendy – the site, not the person – turns 11 today. This was the very first post, which I published about six weeks after I was laid off from my full-time job at a women’s website where some of you may have first discovered the Dear Wendy column (though it actually began way back in like 2005 on my personal blog, City Wendy in the Windy City, which is an important footnote since the aforementioned women’s website threatened to sue me for continuing to use the name “Dear Wendy” and I had to hire a lawyer and prove that I, in fact, owned the name because I used it years before I even started working for that site. Also, it’s my name). Anyhoo. I was laid off from my full-time job, where I’d been unhappy for a while, so even though my former bosses extended the generous offer to let me continue working for free until possibly, maybe, the site was sold to someone who might be able to afford to pay me, I took the opportunity to branch out on my own, and I launched Dear Wendy on January 24, 2011.

Whether you’ve been around since the very beginning, joined midway through, are brand new, were here for a while and left and came back: I’m so happy and honored to have you here. I keep a folder in my emails of all the kind and generous notes I’ve received over the years from people who have expressed how much this site has meant to them, and whenever I’m feeling particularly down or experiencing some self-doubt, I open the file and read some of those notes and instantly feel better. I hope that at some point you have also found inspiration, hope, connection, community, important lessons, laughs, and maybe a new perspective or two while visiting this space.

Fun fact: the forums were not added until the site’s first birthday, in 2012. Shout out to Kate, who volunteers her time to moderate them and keep them friendly!

A few ways you can help keep this site going and ensure it will be around for many more birthdays: keep reading, commenting and sharing with your friends; if you’re on Facebook, I’d love if you’d “like” Dear Wendy and then like or even comment on and share posts (I’ve been posting older columns nearly every day and have seen a surge of traffic to those columns that newer readers may have missed, which has been wonderful); send me letters to answer or updates to previous letters I’ve posted. Those are the most important things – thank you! Here’s to another year of solving the world’s most complex relationship drama. 😉

15 comments… add one
  • Another Jen January 24, 2022, 9:49 am

    Congrats! I love your advice and the community you’ve created.

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  • ktfran January 24, 2022, 9:57 am

    Happy Anniversary!!!

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  • Copa January 24, 2022, 10:51 am

    Happy birthday! While I have not been here since the beginning, I have learned so much from this site and community over the years.

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  • Allornone January 24, 2022, 11:46 am

    Congrats! I’m not a huge contributor, and am probably more annoying than anything, but I have always loved and respected this site and the community that exists here. Kudos!

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    • anonymousse January 24, 2022, 1:57 pm

      You are not annoying. I like it when you add your two cents.

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    • Dear Wendy January 24, 2022, 7:27 pm

      Whatchoo talkin’ about? You’re not annoying!

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    • Allornone January 25, 2022, 7:43 am

      Thanks guys. My low self-esteem has been acting up lately. 😛

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  • Moneypenny January 24, 2022, 12:11 pm

    Happy birthday! I do remember those days on the other site that shall remain nameless, and I didn’t realize they threatened to sue you… yikes.
    Cheers to many more years, and cheers to you for carving out a little safe spot on the internet for all of us! 😀

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  • MaterialsGirl January 24, 2022, 1:49 pm

    Happy Happy Birthday Wendy!

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  • Rangerchic January 24, 2022, 1:56 pm

    Congrats! I’m glad this site is still here. It’s a great community!

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  • anonymousse January 24, 2022, 2:05 pm

    I had no idea about all of that drama with the previous site, Wendy. You were the only real reason I was on the site and I think soon after you moved on, so did I. It’s crazy because I do remember reading the other site in the college library I worked at during and a little after college (I graduated in 2006!) I have been in and out and missed some of the drama over the years, but I Will Never Forget the Golden Corral. Thanks Wendy and Kate, for all you do. Congratulations!!🍾

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    • Dear Wendy January 24, 2022, 7:38 pm

      I guess I never discussed the details of the drama, but yeah, they threatened to sue me (‘they’ meaning the higher-ups, not anyone any of you would know). I hired a lawyer – a woman who’d been a longtime reader of my original personal blog, where I invited readers to send me questions that I could answer like an advice column, which I named “Dear Wendy” — and I threatened to countersue. It was a whole thing. But then we worked out a deal where I would continue supplying a column once a week – I think it was an original column/ not a duplicate of what I was posting here, but I can’t remember for sure – in exchange for them posting regular links to DW, and that seemed fair. They needed me to keep their traffic up while they were looking for a buyer, and I needed them to make sure the audience knew to find me here (my biggest concern in leaving the site and launching DW is that I wouldn’t have any access to the audience who’d become regular readers of my column and I wouldn’t be able to tell them/ you that I started my own site. So the arrangement I worked out with them served both our interests and it was fair, I guess. But I was still bitter about the whole threat of a lawsuit. I mean, come on; it was my name). Anyway, all that drama made it that much sweeter when DW became a sustainable site – and one that has lasted a lot longer than the site where some of you first discovered the DW column.

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    • anonymousse January 25, 2022, 8:04 am

      I am so sorry you went through all of that! I am glad you persevered and didn’t let them screw you over.

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  • Ange January 24, 2022, 8:29 pm

    Kind of reminds me of when Kylie Jenner tried to trademark the name Kylie and Kylie Minogue came in all like ‘have several seats, child…’

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