Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Reader of the Week: Meet Mlippart

There was such an overwhelming response when I asked readers to introduce themselves on a weekend open thread that I decided to give you all a weekly column to do just that. I’ve always said this site wouldn’t be what it is without the engagement and participation of its readers and this column is the place to learn more about who you are what makes you tick. After the jump, lets meet Mlippart.


1. What’s your name, age and whereabouts?

On DW I go by mlippart, but my real name Matthew Lippart. I’m 34, currently living in Kinshasa, in the DRC.

2. What’s your relationship status?

In a relationship.

3. How do you spend your weekdays?

I teach Math during the day (11- 14-year-olds, mostly), so that’s the bulk of my time. At night I usually try to score free dinners with colleagues between bouts of writing and music.

4. How do you spend your free time?

In Kinshasa, not very many social activities, haha, but I usually get out to some jazz clubs, go on hikes, group BBQs, things like that. As mentioned above, I am an avid writer (self-published a few things thus far) and try to put something on paper every day.

5. What are your top likes and dislikes?

Likes: Adventure and kindness. Also, tastes that deviate from the norm (musically and literary, mostly).

Dislikes: people who do not have an open mind and who dismiss other people’s thoughts and beliefs because they are not “mainstream,” whatever that means.

6. What’s the best relationship advice you’ve ever been given?

“If you are complaining about her so much, why are you still with her?” Made me see that particular relationship in a completely new way. Not only that relationship, but every one I have had since that point β€” the idea that happiness and a sense of normalcy was actually attainable.

7. What’s the best relationship lesson you’ve ever learned?

People show you who they are β€” the problem is that we never notice until too late.

8. Besides DearWendy.com, what are some of your favorite websites?

STFU parents.com, Slate.com, passiveagressivenotes.com.

*If you’d like to be a Reader of the Week, shoot me an email at wendy@dearwendy.com with “Reader of the Week” in the subject line and I’ll send you some questions to answer.

44 comments… add one
  • Addie Pray November 18, 2011, 11:10 am

    Hey, nice to meet you! You teach math to 11-14 year olds? That’s really, really, really my dream job. So I think. How much do you love it?

    Confession: I had to google “Kinshasa in the DRC” – wow. How did you end up there? Are you doing a “teach abroad” program? I’m always curious to know how people end up where they are, doing what they’re doing. Maybe because I’m so unhappy where I’ve ended up? Perhaps. Because I’m nosy? Probably.

    Reply Link
    • TheOtherMe November 18, 2011, 11:17 am

      Me too, I feel shame πŸ™

      and yes, you are nosy Addie but that’s why we love you…
      Ok enough about you!

      Nice to meet you, Matthew, it’s always nice to get the male perspective here, also, “tastes that deviate from the norm” could totally have been on my reveal !

      Reply Link
      • Addie Pray November 18, 2011, 11:23 am

        Srsly, enough ’bout Addie Fucking Pray! πŸ˜‰

        Matthew, what are some things you’ve published that I can check out online or Amazon or somewhere? (If you dare tell.)

      • mlippart November 19, 2011, 12:12 pm

        I have an amazon author’s page up at

        in addition, y’all can feel free to check out my blog- http://alltheworldsarage.blogspot.com/

        that’s enough of the cheap plugs, I suppose. I hope you enjoy something if you end up reading any of it- comments are always welcome πŸ™‚

    • lets_be_honest November 18, 2011, 11:32 am

      Wow Addie, I’m surprised!

      Reply Link
      • Addie Pray November 18, 2011, 11:39 am

        That I’d like to teach midle school math [anthing to get me out of the office!]? Or that I had to google “Kinshasa in the DRC” [dude, I’m American; we don’t know where things are! unless it’s in the USA, and even then, eh …]? Or that I’m nosy [I know, I hide it so well]?

      • TheOtherMe November 18, 2011, 11:44 am

        Ok you two better find a way to connect with me…enough already !!!

        Really, LBH, still no avatar, Really ?!? ( voice of Seth Meyers )

      • lets_be_honest November 18, 2011, 11:45 am

        I do that voice in my head far too often! OK, OK, I’ll work on finding one.

      • lets_be_honest November 18, 2011, 11:56 am

        OK ladies and gentlemen…since I am the most indecisive person on the planet, I will share with you my unchosen options and hope you agree I made the best choice for DW.
        1. Little square that says I would agree with you but then we’d both be wrong (damnit, doesn’t fit)
        2. Photo of the first Nintendo system!
        3. Photo of a lego and note that says I hope you step on a lego (awesome choices so far…)
        New avatar coming soon πŸ™‚

      • lets_be_honest November 18, 2011, 11:58 am

        Ahh, I’m so unnecessarily nervous. Here she is folks.

      • lets_be_honest November 18, 2011, 11:59 am

        OK, so that didn’t work. HELP.
        Also, anyone else ever get the wordpress note “you’re commenting too quickly, slow down!”

      • lets_be_honest November 18, 2011, 12:04 pm

        K its here. Sorry for threadjacking Mlip. Enjoyed the bio!

      • TheOtherMe November 18, 2011, 12:12 pm

        I like it !

        Also “β€œyou’re commenting too quickly, slow down!” is what we used to refer to on TF as ” the 60 second b*tch slap ” because you weren’t allowed to post more than one comment per minute.

      • silver_dragon_girl November 18, 2011, 11:51 am

        I second this!

      • lets_be_honest November 18, 2011, 11:44 am

        Haha, the math teacher part. I think he’s making up this supposed DRC place πŸ˜‰ We all know its not real.

    • mlippart November 19, 2011, 11:59 am

      I enjoy teaching, for sure. I prefer teaching HS English, but at the moment have a gig doing 6,7, and 8th grade math. I taught in the public schools in the USA for 5 years (in Santa Fe) and decided to try teaching overseas in an attempt to avoid teacher burnout. It worked, and now I get to live in random places, so that’s always fun. I am working currently at the American School of Kinshasa, which gets its student population mostly from embassy families. Before this, I have spent the last five years in Asia, so Africa is a neat change of pace for me πŸ™‚ It’s nice being overseas, although every once in a while I miss the US. I’m sure I’ll come home eventually.

      Reply Link
  • bethany November 18, 2011, 11:13 am

    Love PAN and STFU Parents!!

    Reply Link
  • silver_dragon_girl November 18, 2011, 11:52 am

    Your life sounds pretty awesome! πŸ™‚

    Reply Link
    • amber November 18, 2011, 12:49 pm

      i agree!

      Reply Link
  • AKchic November 18, 2011, 12:01 pm

    I’ll admit, I had heard of Kinshasa, but still had to google to find out where exactly it was.

    I dabble in the writing too (self-published in a few places as well), and am off the beaten path when it comes to some of my likes. Especially with my reading. I’m a booknerd. Totally. And a sci-fi fan. I’m the resident nutter in my office. When taking new hires on the tour, that’s how I’m introduced: “welcome to the local funny farm, don’t worry, she’s harmless”.

    Good to “meet” you!

    Reply Link
  • PFG-SCR November 18, 2011, 12:15 pm

    Wow!!! I love learning more about people living in other countries – how long have you lived in the Democratic Republic of Congo? Where are you from originally?

    How interesting your experiences must be there!

    Reply Link
    • Addie Pray November 18, 2011, 12:38 pm

      Wait, more interesting than our experiences in Chicago? No way! (Ok, way.)

      But how exciting is it that: (a) Michigan Ave. got repaved; (b) there’s a Chick-fil-A in the city now; and (c) THERE’S A CHICK-FIL-A IN THE CITY NOW!!!!!

      Reply Link
      • AKchic November 18, 2011, 12:40 pm

        I keep hearing about “Chick-fil-A”, but I have never seen one. I hear that Olive Garden is coming to Alaska (Anchorage). I went to one in NJ, and I think it’s overrated. WTF exactly is a “Chick-fil-A”?

      • amber November 18, 2011, 12:48 pm

        Chick-fil-a is chicken goodness. Their sweet tea and polynesian sauce have some sort of drug in them that make them addictive. And their waffle fries are also amazing, but only dipped in polynesian sauce.

      • Addie Pray November 18, 2011, 1:56 pm

        The food is blessed by unicorns and laced with crack cocaine. That’s my only explanation.

      • AKchic November 18, 2011, 2:36 pm

        *laugh* I’ve claimed that about a local family-owned Italian restaurant’s mozzarella sticks and maranara sauce before. Fiori D’Italia is the best Italian restaurant in town. And, they deliver. Which is good for those nights I’m wanting their food and don’t want to take the kids out to eat. Or, I’m in the maternity ward!

      • amber November 19, 2011, 11:19 am

        hahaha they should write THAT on the sides of their drinks and on their chicken sandwich wrappers haha.

      • Addie Pray November 18, 2011, 1:52 pm

        Chick-fil-A is a [really conservative Christian family-owned] fast-food chain that makes the BEST. CHICKEN. EVERYTHING. EVER. Everything they make is delicious. I could eat their chicken breakfast sandwiches [I know, chicken for breakfast? weird, but oh so good] all day, every day. I add the tidbit about the owner because the chain is closed on Sundays [annoying – sometimes you NEED Chick-fil-A all 7 days of the week] and gets shunned for its stand against gay marriages. I really hate their stand against gay marriage, I do, but their chicken is fucking amazing! Sometimes, I just really, really need their chicken, what can a girl do?

      • honeybeenicki November 18, 2011, 2:00 pm

        I don’t think I’ve EVER eaten at a chick-fil-a… There isn’t one in WI as far as I know. I may be wrong though. If there is one in Chi I might have to take a drive down there.

      • Addie Pray November 18, 2011, 3:25 pm

        I don’t think there are any in Wisconsin, but I could be wrong. I mean, *that* has happened before. Honeybee, where in Wisconsin do you live? I was in Lake Geneva not to long ago for the day. That little town is too cute.

      • bethany November 18, 2011, 2:45 pm

        Their Chicken Soup is really good too! I used to get that for breakfast a lot when I worked at the mall in college (and didn’t like breakfast food). Also, their side salads rock.

      • Me November 18, 2011, 3:12 pm

        I grew up in the pacific northwest, went to college in the south, and now live in chicago, and i could not be more excited about chick-fil-a. seriously. i’m going to start a “bring chicken to seattle” campaign so i can get my fix when i’m home for the holidays.

      • SpaceySteph November 20, 2011, 6:04 pm

        Laughing about your rant on the closed on Sundays. I said recently to my boyfriend “Do you ever notice that when you want Chik Fil A its always Sunday and you can’t have any? They should be open on Sundays.” He replied that he’s never wanted Chik Fil A on any day. We might have to break up.

        And now I want popcorn chicken from Chik Fil A… but of course, it’s Sunday. Sad.

      • *HmC* November 18, 2011, 2:34 pm

        Olive Garden overrated? Who has ever rated Olive Garden highly? gross

        Chick-fil-A is money though. So so good! Like Addie I am not thrilled by their stance on gay marriage, but their nuggets and fries with Polynesian sauce are just so damn tasty. It’s good chicken, not fast food-y chicken, and the seasoning is subtle. And it’s cheap. And the workers are super nice. And if you sit inside, they bring you a refreshing mint to end your meal.

        When I relocated towns a few years ago, the most exciting thing about my new location was a Chick-fil-A with a drive thru! Genius.

      • AKchic November 18, 2011, 3:56 pm

        *laugh* You oughta hear the transplants bitch about not having an Olive Garden. Every few years a rumor starts that Olive Garden is going to open up here and people freak out like Elvis has been sighted.
        Now it’s actually happening and everyone is psyched. I mean, there’s more talk about being at the opening of Olive Garden than there is of watching the filming of “On Frozen Ground” to see Nic Cage and John Cusack. It’s pathetic reading the newspaper posts online where women are jokingly wondering what would attract actors attention more – the boombox or an “Elenor” and oldies music.

    • mlippart November 19, 2011, 12:01 pm

      I moved here in August- before that I was in Taiwan for the past two years teaching 6th and 9th grade Literature. I’m from the USA- born in NJ and spent my last 10 years in New Mexico before going overseas.

      Reply Link
  • mcj2011 November 18, 2011, 1:54 pm

    Nice to meet ya!

    I had NO idea where Kinshasa in the DRC was and also had to google…glad to know I’m not the only one! LOL

    Reply Link
    • TheOtherMe November 18, 2011, 2:22 pm

      This “Kinshasa” thing is surely going to show up on a future “google questions” post from Wendy after this reveal !!

      Reply Link
  • Addie Pray November 18, 2011, 4:41 pm

    Matthew, who knew your profile would spark so much discussion about let’s_be_honest’s gravatar and Chick-fil-A!

    Reply Link
    • AKchic November 18, 2011, 5:57 pm

      We’re a diverse group. What is commonplace in one area is unheard of elsewhere. I have been educated. *bows to the restaurant guide wisdom of others*

      Is it bad that I remember when Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Sam’s Club first came to Alaska? Or that we JUST got a Target up here recently?

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      • Addie Pray November 18, 2011, 7:14 pm

        No, those are all good things to not have. So kudos for surviving as long as you did without them. Just get yourself a Chick-fil-A already and your life (and belly) will be full.

      • AKchic November 18, 2011, 7:48 pm

        But I don’t eat “fast food” often. It’s a rarity that I eat out (or order in) much at all. I think the last restaurant chain to come up here was TGIFridays. Technically, it’s Dairy Queen, but we had one in Kenai that never really went out of business, but we just got one in Anchorage about 2-3 years ago. Before that, we had to drive about 170-200 miles to Kenai/Soldotna to get a Dairy Queen meal. Before Fridays, it was Applebee’s. Geez. I’m a damned tour guide of ‘what got here first’ 1983-today edition. *laugh*

    • mlippart November 19, 2011, 12:03 pm

      haha, one of the things I miss most about the USA is Chick Fil A- I was just talking about that place to a friend the other day and saying how much I was craving their waffle fries.

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      • TheOtherMe November 20, 2011, 10:29 am

        I’m such a Canadian, I have no clue what waffle fries are. Again, I feel shame.


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