Most Likely to Succeed … at Divorce?!?!

Me, from my 1991 High School Yearbook, touching Creepy Faceless Dude. Now you can easily understand why he was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" (at being creepily faceless, clearly...), but me???

Yip, that’s me on p. 233 of my senior year high school yearbook — a page that has haunted me for nearly 20 years.

There I was, sporting a ’do that can best be described as “poofy” and wearing a super giddy, 17-year-old smile because I was actually being ordered to cuddle with my then-crush (while silently imploring, “PLEASE don’t fail me now, Orchard Blossom scent Teen Spirit Deodorant…”).

And for the record, he did have a face at the time. The boy who henceforth will be called “Creepy Faceless Dude” for the purposes of this post still happens to be a friend — and happens to have a glorious wife, two perfect children and a thriving pediatric surgery practice. So I can’t imagine the show off successful doc would be a fan of his pic featured beneath the headline “Most Likely to Succeed…in Divorce?!?!”

(And by the way, is there something wrong with me that even in his creepy faceless state, I still find CFD oddly sexy?)

Anyhow, back to the point of this piece: Little did I know at the time of my photographer-mandated cuddle session that two decades down the road, I’d be facing the prospect of my 20-year high school reunion and wondering, “Um, ’scuse me… but what the hell did I succeed at?”

Until today.

(Drum roll please, and cue God-like announcer voice in your head):

As of today, I now hold the honor of having the #1 “Shit Divorce” of all time in all of mankind according to Google’s billions and billions of web pages.

And guess who’s #2? Elin-freakin’-(formerly Woods)-Nordegren! That’s right, none other than Tiger’s ex.

Yay me!

Seriously. You don’t believe me, do you? OK, I’ll wait. Go ahead and open another browser window, head to Google and type in “Shit divorce.” There I am. Top of the heap. Numero uno. The big daddy of “shit divorce.”

Right on top of Elin Woods. And let me tell you, it feels so good to be on top of Elin Woods.

So how did this happen, anyhow? According to Google, “PageRank reflects our view of the importance of web pages by considering more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms. Pages that we believe are important pages receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear at the top of the search results.”

That’s me. I am officially “important” to the world’s largest, most frequently accessed search engine. Eat my Google dust, Elin…there’s a new divorcée in town, and she has an even shittier divorce than you!

And this ranking revelation got me thinking: What makes Elin and me #2 and #1, respectively? There must be some situational similarities that earned us so much symmetrical notoriety on Google.

So howzabout a nice little side-by-side comparison? I thought you’d never ask:


Elin (formerly Woods) Nordegren



#2 Shit Divorce according to Google

#1 Shit Divorce according to Google

Skinny bitch.

Just a bitch
(before my morning Diet Coke).

Sexy Swedish Beauty Queen 1. I know what sex is. 

2. I wrote a report about Sweden
in the 6th grade.

3. I was a Homecoming Queen
(candidate) in high school.


(…is on my shopping list. As are
light bulbs and whole-grain frozen waffles,
if you must know.)

Super-strict gag order prevents
her from talking about divorce.

Super-sensitive gag reflex prevents
me from eating tapioca pudding.

Looks amazing in
giant sunglasses.

Looks amazingly ridiculous in
giant sunglasses.

“Other” women = porn stars.

“Other” woman resembles
(male) rock star.

At the center of nude photo scandal, which turned out to be her face Photo Shopped onto a Playboy model’s body.

Using Photo Shop, my face
superimposed on a Playboy
model’s body just looks silly.
(Trust me. I’ve tried.)

Married on a golf course
(Sandy Lane Resort, Barbados).

Married on a golf course
(Edgewood, Lake Tahoe).

Allegedly beat husband’s vehicle with golf club after discovery of betrayal.

Allegedly (nah…actually) beat husband’s stupid ugly teddy bear with baseball bat after discovery of betrayal.

Elin: “I’ve been through hell. It’s hard to think you have this life, and then all of a sudden — was it a lie? You’re struggling because it wasn’t real. But I survived. It was hard, but it didn’t kill me … I’m so embarrassed that I never suspected…” ( 8/25/2010.)

Me: “Um, yeah. What she said.”

Hey wait…one more comparison:


Elin (formerly Woods) Nordegren



Received $100 million in divorce  settlement.

Yeah, ok, never mind…no similarities there. AND we now know for a fact why Elin has the #2 shit divorce – and why mine is #1!

With all these striking similarities, it’s painfully obvious why Elin and I are like shit-divorce soul sisters. But you may be wondering how exactly PageRank is determined in the first place. According to the masterful minds of Wikipedia (read: nerdy virginal balding middle-aged scientists), here’s just a snapshot of the endless algorithms used to determine who holds the pole position of PageRank:

(Under section titled "Simplified Algorithm" on Wikipedia, describing PageRank. Seriously? "Simplified"? Are they trying to be funny?)

The clearly “For Dummies” description accompanying the algorithms and equations uses words like “column-stochastic” blah blah blah “eigenvector construction” blah blah blah and ends with “…a stochastic matrix and hence has an eigenvalue equal to one because of the Perron-Frobenius theorem.”

Wow. Um, ok…here’s my equation:

I = rock because I = #1 in Google PageRank for “Shit Divorce”

Most Likely to Succeed indeed. Just because Creepy Faceless Dude is the actual, real, bona fide inspiration for “McDreamy,” with his Seattle-based surgical practice and made-for-TV-life, I have no reason to be intimidated. Nope. Not me.

Because I have the #1 Shit Divorce. Ever.

Well, at least as of Nov. 7, 2010 at 9:34 a.m…

So…like my medal? And I did not make it myself. Sheesh. Haters…

And I’m totally open to competition here. Do you think you deserve this medal more than I do? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below…

(Oh, and I’m totally open to congratulatory notes, too. I am, after all, drafting my acceptance speech as I type, and I don’t want to forget anyone…)

69 thoughts on “Most Likely to Succeed … at Divorce?!?!

  1. Bob says:

    Well you may not have Elin’s looks or Tigers money, but that sure is one shiny medallion
    you have there. That has to count for something?

  2. Michelle says:

    I can’t believe it’s almost been three years, but you’ve handled this (as far as I can tell) very gracefully and maturely. I hope I never have to go through what you have, but if I do, I’ll certainly be asking your for advice and guidance.

    You’ll always be someone I look up to, no matter what.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      You are too kind, Michelle — thank you for the amazing comment! It’s been the craziest three years of my life for sure, but I do feel stronger as a result of it all. That’s why I really think now’s the time to tell my story — I feel healthy , I love my life, and I think we all need to stick together and take stock in our many blessings.

      Take care of yourself, beautiful girl! 🙂

  3. Selina Jane says:

    Haha this was an awesome post. You’ve also succeeded at being cooler and more interesting than 90% of your classmates I bet. Everyone needs a starter marriage. LOL!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thanks so much! And I definitely agree that my “starter marriage” helped me find my writing voice, so there’s something fun to come from sheer misery!

      Hope to see you around here again… 🙂

      • jennigetsit says:

        I found my voice and he continues his quest to shut me up. I am still writing, on two blogs now. One is my truth, the other fiction. I know I am commenting on old posts, but I am compelled to read them all! You are fantastic. Thank you for the inspiration!
        Jenni in Philadelphia

        • Mikalee Byerman says:

          I’ll accept comments on any blog — thank you so much! And I’m proud of you for not letting him shut you up. Trust me, I KNOW the kind of fortitude that takes — especially with children, life and career pressures all involved. Good for you, and keep singing it LOUD and PROUD! 🙂

  4. comdude says:

    I got surprised once, just a few days ago. I googled YOU, and found out you really did succeed, like professionally, as a writer, writing for a reading public. So I am looking up to you in 2 or 3 different ways (I wish) and once again you seem to be having a very good time developing your notoriety.

    Had you not already written the word “shit” followed by the word “divorce” so many times, you might not have the #1 shit divorce in Google, but you are a success in ways that maybe can’t be measured with dollar signs. You’re an exceptional MILK, for one. <{:-D

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Uh-oh…how exactly do you define “MILK”? Cuz I’m drawing a blank, except maybe “mom I’d like to kill.” Haha…

      And damn: I like typing “shit” and “divorce” together! It’s like therapy!

      Thanks for the fun comment…

      • comdude says:

        I just went along with it when you said you’re a MILK, and somehow that makes me OJ? I didn’t mean to grocery you out. Maybe you don’t know how to take a condiment. Butter luck next thyme.

        • Mikalee Byerman says:

          Haha…you’re punny! 😉

          Love it. I’ll be your MILK any time to provide inspiration for such great one-liners. Seeing as how it’s late, I’m on vacation all the way across the country right now, my kids have been running me ragged and I’m quite literally exhausted and thus devoid of any wit, I’ll just say…Don’t cry over spilt…me?!?!

  5. J. Eric Smith says:

    I’ve been the Google King of “Worst Rock Band Ever” (and variations thereof) for many, many years . . . but I must admit that really does pale next to the story-telling potential associated with being the top “Shit Divorce” designee.

    Not that I want to wrestle that title from you, mind you, since I’ve got 22 years of married life behind me, and hopefully (at least) an equal number of years ahead . . . I attribute at least one small portion of my success in that regard to my learned ability to not attempt to explain things like the stochastic methodology behind the ranking algorithm chart up here . . . since I look dorky doing it, and annoy the listener . . .

    It took me at least ten years to learn this restraint, though

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Congrats…on Worst Rock Band ever, 22 years married AND learning restraint! Mighty impressive… 😉

      And if you do know how to explain stochastic methodology, I think you should proudly show off that skill. Some women find that the most effective aphrodisiac! 😉

  6. John says:

    Hahaha, congtatulations. And here I thought I’d done well with my #6 ranking for a google search of “samurai boobs”. Realistically, I didn’t even win, place, or show.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Samurai boobs?!?! Do I even want to know what that’s about? Haha…

      Well today I discovered that someone came to my blog by way of searching “dominatrix riding crop” on Google. There’s my next goal!

      Thanks for visiting!

      • John says:

        Ach! Sorry for the typo.

        The samurai boobs thing is rooted in a stick figure drawing I did of a samurai film (non-pornographic) that features a topless female assassin… and a samurai who fights with his nfant in tow. It’s called “Lone Wolf and Cub”.

        I treat it like a game to get the strangest hits off of Google. It kind of makes my day when people find me while looking for obscene “Boardwalk Empire” quotes or obscure French movie scenes, like when a woman in Godard’s “Weekend” cracks an egg in her, uh… buttcheeks. Or what have you.

        Long story short, winning the Google Search/SEO game for fun stuff like “shit divorce” or “dominatrix riding crop” is considered a “win” in the game of life, as far as I’m concerned.

        • Mikalee Byerman says:

          I’m totally with ya. If I can be the #1 non-porn search result for “dominatrix riding crop,” I’d consider that the kind of shit that would make me a total success for my 20 year reunion! 😉

  7. Posky says:

    You did it! You look so pretty with your medal too.

    This post had me chortling internally…huh… that sounds like something they would say in an emergency room.

  8. playingincognito says:

    I have read this post and a few of your others and find them extremely entertaining. Look forward to reading the rest and any of your future post. To me success is not measured in what you accomplish in life but in how you learn, in time, to overcome the daily hurdles. Congrats on the medal.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Much appreciated!

      I’m trying to embrace the idea of looking at success subjectively. I may not be a pediatric surgeon … or a successful lawyer … or even a famous actress. But I have amazing kids, a great life and an awesome future ahead.

      Now if only I could land that book deal before the 20-year reunion…

  9. Expressmom says:

    You are seriously hysterical.

    At my 20 year H.S. reunion I do not want to hear about a grown man that spends his day wrapping kids arms in plaster of paris.

    I’d much rather have a laugh with a funny chick that mocks him! (or her ex!)

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Why thank you — that’s quite a compliment!

      Though “pediatric surgeon” is far catchier on a name tag than “kinda like a cross between Chelsea Handler (without the love of little people) and Erma Bombeck (without the being dead and all).” May have to work on a short and sweet description…

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Yeah…not exactly sure that having a shit divorce deserves congrats. Though I’m proud of my purdy medal and all…

      Thank you so much for stopping by! Truly enjoy your blog as well, Ollin! 🙂

  10. Camille Styles says:

    Hey Mikalee – Thanks so much for stopping by Style Notes today! Glad to have discovered your blog, too… your writing is fantastic, and you are absolutely hysterical! Looking forward to getting to know you better over the blogosphere!!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Awesome — I do love learning of the amazing talent out there, and I truly enjoyed your blog. Though I’m totally jealous of your mad style skillz. 😦

      Hope to see you around these parts again — I’ll surely be stopping by your site as well!

  11. Rose says:

    I bet you are an amazing woman, your writing kinda gives you up! loved this post… You deserve a medal for “Amazing woman”! 😀

      • grumpybutterfly says:

        Thanks. I guess we are all transforming in some way. I am very angry at what is forcing me to change but I hope to be a better person by the end of it. Probably not as I go through it, but some time later.

  12. Tell It To My Heart says:

    I really like your post about You vs. Elin!!! I’m Swedish btw so ofc I’m really happy about the fact that Elin put the Tiger in a cage for public mockery while she’s laughing all the way to the bank. I don’t believe that winning the money actually is a victory since she’s lost her husband and divorce money is never a good thing, but since he’s so rich and they have a kid togheter he’s not only giving her a better life but his entire family. I thought you post was really funny it brightened my day:)
    This is my blog

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      What an amazing compliment — so glad to have brightened your day! And you’re right, no one wins in these situations, especially when kids are involved. But it’s empowering to be able to talk about it and heal from it, and I’m loving the camaraderie afforded by this venue.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

  13. mia1984 says:

    That’s a lot of pressure to put on a 17 year-old. If I were labelled “most likely to succeed” I would be so stressed out like you can’t even imagine! 😦

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      …and add to that pressure the fact that I had a huge crush on my Most Likely to Succeed counterpart…you can imagine how I felt! 😉

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Now I’m back to my reinvention to try to figure out something worthy of my “most likely to succeed” label…


  14. Fidel Hart says:

    I can tell that I will enjoy reading your blog. Glad that cease and desist was just a joke. You have a great way of expressing your humor. I’ll definitely be subscribing!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Hmmm…I just tried it and Google returned 8.1 million results. Literally! And I’m at the top of the list — for now, at least! 😉

      I know that when you have a computer with any type of filters, that will impact your results. Just a thought…

      Thanks for trying — much appreciated!

  15. Carla V says:

    THANK YOU for the laughs — jesus! Still reading & that “Marilyn” references your ex’s new wifey’s uncanny resemblance to Marilyn Manson = PRICELESS.

  16. Gow says:

    I just found this blog and I’m diggin’ your style!

    I’m reading in order, because I don’t want to miss anything. I thought it was pretty amazing that you were #1 on Google ” . . . as of Nov. 7, 2010 at 9:34 a.m…” But holy canoli, you’re STILL #1 as of July 4, 2011 at 10:22pm?!?! That’s astounding.

    A very very happy Independence Day to you!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      I do have to admit that the post started out genuine — but then became self serving. I mean, once I discovered my #1 Google Shit Divorce status, I was inspired to write about it. But now that I’ve written about it, people keep Googling “Shit divorce” and clicking my blog, which ups my ranking!

      Gotta love the power of suggestion. Even though I started out just wanting to share my ah-ma-zing discovery.

      Thanks so much for the comment — and I’m so glad you’re diggin’ my style!

  17. littlewonder2 says:

    Well, you certainly were the first thing that came up when I typed it in. However, the second thing wasn’t Elin, but Sickopedia – Sex and Shit.

    Of course, this is about two years later. And you’re still on top! Must’ve been a pretty shitty divorce. You are a legend!

  18. The Guat says:

    Very funny post. I really enjoyed it and can relate. I wasn’t voted most likely to succeed…I was voted most athletic. I’m still pretty athletic, but everyone also thought I’d be pretty successful. But I often ask myself what the hell have I done? I love your humor in all this and will definitely take note.

If you do not leave a comment, you will further shatter my already broken spirit. If you can live with that guilt, so be it... ;)

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