Mrs. Armstrong goes to Washington

So I get a call yesterday at about 11AM and the guy is all WHITE HOUSE! ARE YOU INTERESTED?! And as much as I would like to tell you that he had a New Jersey accent, sadly, I can’t. He didn’t. How incredible would that have been, though? The guy that calls from the White House going IS YOU READY FOR DIS?

CUZ I KNOWS A GUY WHO KNOWS A GUY.

Of course, I said. Why yes, I’m interested, how did you know? Was it the Obama sign we had glued to our window in 2008? Was it my husband’s many incoherent and at times hostile twitters? (I apologize now for all those he may have referred to as a “freakburger”). Was it the deafening cheers you heard from this side of Salt Lake when health care reform passed? No, none of that? Then I’m going to guess Rahm Emanuel got that letter I sent him on pink, perfumed stationery. The one I kissed with my glittery lipstick. The one Jon signed, “And me, too, sweetheart.”

I’ve been invited to participate in a White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility, and they told me I might want to hold off saying anything until they had completed my background check. Because no telling WHAT they mind find that I haven’t written about in way too much detail here. No, really. Too much information. Heather, stop. STOP NOW. HEATHER. No one wants to hear about your episiotomy, HEATHER.

Actually, I wrote a New York Times Bestseller that says otherwise, JON.

Seriously, I get invited to the White House, and he’s all NO BURPING, NO FARTING, AND BY ALL MEANS, WOMAN, DO NOT TALK ABOUT POOP IN FRONT OF THE PRESIDENT. Well then, why did he call?

So yeah, that background check. I keep going over and over in my head everything I’ve ever done that might be unsavory in the last twelve years since I stopped practicing Mormonism. Since I stopped living like a nun. Well, since I stopped repenting like a nun.

And thoughts of unpaid parking tickets (none) or maybe forgetting to tip a server (never) keep popping into my head. I can see it now: “We heard from Stephanie at Chili’s. She says she brought you five Diet Cokes and you left her nothing. How could you?”

Oh, wait! What if they find out about those two unpaid parking tickets from BYU that my dad paid for me. So that I could get my diploma. Well then, THEY AREN’T UNPAID, NOW ARE THEY?

(Reminds me: Dad, I owe you forty bucks.)

If they find something in the next day you can count on the fact that I will report every detail here, and be all OBVIOUSLY I DON’T REMEMBER, I WAS HIGH. Except not, because I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been high in my life, and I remember every single thing I did during every moment, including thinking that I had stolen a bottle of steak sauce from The Smithsonian because I thought it had expired a thousand years BEFORE CHRIST. I turned to my Jewish boyfriend at the time and yelled HOW THE HELL IS THIS THING STILL LIQUID?

I will take notes in my head, as good as it is after all these years of living without repenting, and you can actually follow along with the live webcast. I’m hoping to bring a few perspectives to the table, having been broke off my ass and living in my mother’s basement, to being a stay-at-home mom with a husband whose workplace wanted to ignore the fact that people have families, to starting my own business, hiring employees and managing their needs, and trying to find the right balance between the time I spend working and the time I spend with my family, a line that gets blurred probably too frequently.

Anyway, here’s hoping the background check goes well. SHHH, EVERYBODY! Don’t tell them about the time I got fired for this website!

Good morning, DC:

  • Daily Cup of Jo

    Fingers crossed for you. There’s no way in hell I’d ever pass a background check. Even if I did – no burping or farting? Impossible. It does get you thinking about what they’ll uncover, though.

    The first thing I’d want to do if they actually let me INTO the White House? Snuggle with Bo. I’m quite certain he had something to do with getting the health care bill passed.

    Good luck.

  • MustangSally

    I keep imagining what he or Michelle will say when they meet YOU!

    a) So you’re THAT woman!

    b) We need a little help redesigning the Lincoln Bedroom…

    c) You know, you’re the reason I made the Secret Service let me keep the Blackberry….

    d) Can you balance something on Bo’s head?

  • momofmia

    I’m also in the DC area and would love to know if you’re doing anything public that we doocers can come say hi!

  • elosquirrel

    AWESOME! Federal background checks are a piece of cake. I work for a company that does a bazillion of them a year. No problem. :)

  • Brandy

    Dude! How badass! On behalf of the Communist Motherland of Northern Not Virginia, I welcome you to Washington DC.

    Come to Kramer’s Bookstore! I’ll buy you a cocktail!

  • SOLO dot MOM

    How exciting! Now about that background check….

  • missusclark

    OMFG! How utterly marvelous! Should you meet the Man, please give him the regards of us few Lefties on the Central Coast!

    Go get ‘em, Heather!

  • xkarenc

    That’s the most awesome thing I ever read. Good for you!!!!! I hope you have a the fabulous time of your life. Pictures!

  • On-On

    AMAZING! It’s good to know that someone who can speak from all sides of the employment spectrum will be there . . . oh, and goodluck on the background check.

  • LaurieML

    Chuck should meet Bo. Not only would the video of that be epic, it would be your most viewed picture or video ever.

  • The Prima Momma

    Dooce – The last 3 times you’ve gone to SF or LA (my home state!) My husband has been there too on business. I always say, “OMG, you are RIGHT DOWN THE STREET from DOOCE!”

    Now that you’re visiting DC (Where I’m currently stuck – I mean, where I currently reside) I will probably pee my pants a little if you have time for a little meet and greet. (Don’t let that discourage you – I’ll wear an adult diaper or something!)

    Please let us know if you can fit one into your awesome schedule.

    Oh – and please give Bo a kiss from me!

  • Kathy Simon

    Congratulations Mrs. Armstrong! Looking forward to Flickr photos of you, the President and Bo! And, can’t wait to read the story of your adventures in DC!

  • maggieb

    I live in DC and would love to meet you! Any plans for a dooce gathering???

  • minxlj

    Holy cow – I’m speechless and in awe. Go you!!!

  • alexandrahlw

    Dooce + Obama = HEAD EXPLODING WITH HAPPINESS. I had no idea that there was a live event-cam at the White House. (Of course there is.) Please keep us posted so that we can tune in! Congratulations. This is supremely awesome.

  • KatherinetheGreat

    I’m so excited for you! I hope you have time to have fun in DC, too.

  • Allytigator Mommy

    Congratulations, Heather! These are heady times.

    I think the President can handle hearing about your episiotomy. After all, he knows a little something about painful cuts that are necessary to birth something big and important: he just got the health care reform bill passed.

  • karafern

    Honestly, I cannot think of any other person on the planet I’d rather have represent family businesses to the president than you. And I’m not just saying that to be a kiss-ass. (What would I gain from that anyway?) Seriously. You have your shit together, you are compassionate, self-aware, and a take-no-BS-from-anybody firecracker of an activist for sane parenting and honest communication. To simplify: you get it. Washington would do damn well to listen to what you have to say. I’m so stoked for you!

  • foreverme

    This is all kinds of awesomeness. Congrats on the invite & enjoy the experience! It will be great to hear your take on it after.

  • olgapb

    go dooce go! kiss the president for us!!

  • myla

    So proud of you. Go get ‘em, tiger!

  • meredythbyrd

    Awesome! I’m in DC. COME VISIT.

    And if you need to see a spectacular salon for a special do check out Immortal Beloved. Cool, pretty people in a cool, beautiful workplace.

  • JillyMack06

    I’m so happy for you! (Even though I’m from Jersey and I don’t sound anything like the accents they heavily portray on tv.)

    Can’t wait to tune in!

  • sybann

    GO HEATHER! How freakin awesome is this!? I can say “freakin” right? Oh crap – you just KNOW I have an FBI file now…

  • Figtron

    Dude.

    You will so totally have no problem with the background check. I am from Southeast Arkansas, and I have passed TWO, count ‘em, TWO checks so far.

    You are safe as kittens.

    @ Jon – Woot, indeed. And I think you should be nominated for father of the year.

    Look out White House…you are about to be Dooced!

  • Figtron

    Sorry. Double post…crapalicious computer.

  • d3 voiceworks

    if this is gonna be another peter frampton-type meeting, i’m already riveted!

    tell o i voted for him with great pride.
    and tell him all of utah loves him
    (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha)

    (wow! my captcha is “local egotists”. maybe the mormons ARE watching)

  • dkmissie

    woohoo.I am sure you will be awesome

  • francabollo

    If you do see Rahm, please grab his little ballerina backside for me.

  • Carolina Breeze

    I hope to see a photo of you balancing something on Bo’s head.

  • SweetPhyl

    Consider yourself high fived! I’ll be happy to carry your handbag for you. Or your pen…just let me come, too!

  • Therese

    I find it pretty adorable how excited you are about this. It’s fairly jumping off the page. :)

    Hope the background check goes smoothly.

  • mightymarce

    Yay!!! This is so cool. I love that you, Heather Armstrong, are getting to meet the President.

    And I love how much this is probably pissing off all your haters. ; )

    BTW, I second Carolina’s request (comment #80)

  • MissMita

    So, so every exciting! If you can, go up to Ben’s Chili Bowl, it’s a DC institution (but be sure to take cash).

    If you need someone to show you the sights let me know!

  • christine1127

    This is such exciting news! A dream come true, eh?

  • kcbelles

    Wow! Just… wow!

    I’ve been impressed already, but now I’m really impressed – way to go, Heather!

    We vacationing this year in DC in July (July 4th – how cool is that?), and I know how excited I am, and we’re just gonna tour the WH (hopin’ Bo’s around, but probably not). Looking to forward to reading your post about your experience! And pictures? Icing on the cake.

  • poopinginpeace

    FANFREAKINGTASTIC! Have a blast and don’t go to any parties you’re not invited to. Then again it may get you a stint on the next Real Housewives show!

  • OldGrayMare

    Heather, congratulations. I believe you will do a terrific job of representing moms to the panel. I’m fortunate enough to work for an employer who provides me with the ability to telecommute whenever needed, with formalized telecommuting one day a week, with affordable health insurance to my family (and those benefits started on the FIRST DAY of my employement). As a manager of other moms, I bend over backwards to provide them with schedule changes, vacation days, work-from-home days and anything they need to be able to feel like they are spending the time they need to with their family. I believe strongly that by meeting this needs I will have more productive, happy, loyal employees. I know that I personally have a tremendous sense of loyalty to my employer because of their flexibility with my schedule. Don’t know if you’ll read these comments before your panel tomorrow, but I wanted to toss these things at you just in case. Good luck!!!

  • Jangogh

    With regards to background checks, just tell them you are auditioning for The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City and you will be just fine. :-)

  • Beth DeRamus

    Hi Heather! Congratulations on your White House invite. I’ve been here in the District for the past eeek seven years and love the city. Please, please visit the bookstore Politics and Prose while you are in town and maybe, even, pretty please, consider it as a stop on your next (dare I say it…) book tour!

    And although I know it is important to change the world and don’t want to detract, I highly recommend a pit stop at Ben’s Chili Bowl (www.benschilibowl.com)for a hot dog. Safe travels and take care!

  • nancy_charlotte

    Yay!!! You’re going to love DC, especially now in the spring. It’s beautiful!

    I work at the Zoo- I can get you a special visit with the Kiwi if you’d like!

    :) Nancy

  • groan.yes

    Holy Dooce! We’re talking Mr. and Mrs. President! Way to go!

  • gretchie

    Way cool!! Welcome to Federal Employment!! One word of advice on background investigations: You don’t have to lie. The biggest reason people fail these is that they’re caught lying – about really stupid stuff that would not have caused a problem to begin with. So whatever. Answer their questions like they’re gonna ask your mom’s neighbors, cuz, you know what? They’re gonna do that!!

    Enjoy the Forum… I think that’s far more exciting than HGTV (not that HGTV isn’t exciting).

  • LongStoryLonger

    Congratulations, Heather! What an incredible experience. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

    And that thing about Stephanie at Chili’s and the steak sauce? That is why I keep coming back. Those made my day. :)

  • Chantz

    Yay! I’m soo happy for you! plus, you just being asked to do this from such a leader makes me want to move to the US. Course, even with your health care reform (yay!) our health care here in Canada is still better (not trying to rub it in or anything. ;) ) But seriously, this is a huge opportunity for parents! I hope that our government takes the example.

  • Jennine

    ~whispering~ This is a big fucking deal!

  • anne_cunningham

    this is fabulous; have been reading a lot about the forum. as a work-at-home mom since my own kids were little and now extending on to see the benefits of the same on my little grandchildren, i’m psyched to see how the forum goes. there are many, many, MANY of us out there who have been flexing for a long time, with home offices prior to al gore starting up the old internet! lol. have fun and don’t piss yourself at the white house! it will be nice to see the myth busted that people who work from home (those flexible bendable people) really work, and that we do more than just take naps!

  • worldsworstmom

    being at the white house is super-cool, isn’t it? no matter your politics or general feeling about the government, it’s a thrill to be there. here’s something else crazy — i think i saw you in the hotel lobby this afternoon. i was drinking tea at the bar (it was early, and i’m working), saw you and thought you looked familiar. so i pulled up the site and, lo and behold, found out you are here in DC! i’m also here on WH business, through next wednesday. if you aren’t planning it already and the family are joining you, you should do the easter egg roll on monday — i highly recommend it. enjoy the panel!

  • parismonster

    Awesome!

    But even more awesome? The staffer who runs the background check who gets to read EVERY ENTRY EVER posted on dooce.com!!!

  • signot

    I agree – DC Meetup!! Or Northern Virginia, if you want to be nice and NOT make me go to DC!! :)