the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Fessing Up

So I’m going to sit here and tell you what happened, and I’m not going to take it back, and I’m not going to hate myself in the morning. In fact, I’m tired of hating myself in the morning and making excuses.

Why are we constantly making excuses anyway? Why do we feel like we have to say, hey, I know I’m going to hate myself in the morning, but I had a decision to make, so I made it?

Why do we have to say, hey, I know it’s not cool to do this, but just for this one instance, I don’t care if it’s cool or not. Why do we have to be concerned with whether or not something is cool?

And who the hell decided that Kid Rock is cool? Was it the same person who decided that Christina Aguilera should be allowed to wear that? And why am I ashamed that I don’t have to spell-check her name?

The point is, I was holding the new Beth Orton CD in my left hand and the new Dixie Chicks CD in my right hand, and I couldn’t buy both of them, so I had to choose one of them, and I chose the SO NOT COOL one.

You see, this means that no one in Indie-land will ever take me seriously again. I won’t ever be able to give my opinion on a new Built to Spill album, or wear my Yo La Tengo concert t-shirt without someone accusing me of being earnest.

And I don’t know, maybe I really am getting old, but I’m starting not to care about indie cred anymore. Indie cred used to be so important, you know? Like, I remember one time I was at a really intimate Death Cab For Cutie show chatting up some really sweet, obviously ridiculed-in-high-school kid who probably played drums in some small three-piece with his friends in the basement of one of their mom’s house in the Valley, and he was talking about the latest Unwound album, and he asked me what I thought about it, and I was like, yeah dude, it’s a total psychedelic epic, and the only reason I said that was not because I had ever listened to the album or had any idea who the hell Unwound was but because I figured I had about a 60% chance of sounding legit.

Anyway, I think it’s time I stop apologizing and instead start fessing up, with like, really unabashed, reckless, so-not-indie abandon:

• I loved American Idol.
• I pronounce “here” like “herre”.
• I have watched every episode of Survivor since the first season.
• I watched every episode of the first season of Felicity and actually cried when she chose Ben.
• I own the soundtrack to “St. Elmo’s Fire”.
• I saw Milli Vanilli in concert.
• I used to send fan mail to Jordan Knight.
• I bought my dog a fleece jacket and have, on several occasions, forced him to wear it just because it looks so cute.
• My favorite Friend is not Phoebe.
• I drink Starbucks coffee, a lot.
• I don’t own every Smiths album, nor do I own a single album by Led Zeppelin.
• I once interviewed the lead singer of Everclear and he made me cry.
• I like Julia Roberts.
• I don’t think Tom Cruise is gay.
• I can name every cast member from every season of The Real World.
• I still know every word to every song in “Grease 2” and can mime the entire Cool Rider sequence, start to finish.

I think that’s enough for now. Sarah, are you ever going to speak to me after this?

  • melanie

    2002/10/06 at 2:04 pm

    * i subscribe to martha stewart living.
    * i own pottery barn sheets and was just today fussing about finding a comforter to match.
    * i watched big brother and liked it.
    * i watch friends twice a day, five times a week. thrice on thursdays.

    it ain’t no thang. we all have our guilty pleasures. hell, i just ate a heaping spoonful of nutella. yum.

  • Arnold

    2002/10/06 at 2:14 pm

    I have every Backstreet Boys and NSYNC album. I thought Roswell was a great show. I never liked progressive rock.

    Ahhhh…. this has been cathartic.

  • Kelly

    2002/10/06 at 2:30 pm

    He’s a cooooooool rider.

    Nahhh, those aren’t so bad. Well, okay … the Milli Vanilli concert is pretty bad.

    The question is: do you feel better for fessing up? 😉

  • David

    2002/10/06 at 2:51 pm

    I’m trying to imagine just how “herre” actually sounds.
    And don’t worry, I think everyone grows out of the indie thing at some point; I did, and now I’m a hardcore raver. How’s that for change?

  • Jane Doe

    2002/10/06 at 3:23 pm

    I watch Dawson’s Creek. I’ve never missed an episode since the first season.

    It gets worse. In the summer, while they’re producing the next season, I regularly read the Dawson’s Creek Summer Diaries online.

  • jimmypage

    2002/10/06 at 3:40 pm

    not one single led zeppelin album? my god, d00ce, it must be that little bit of mormon that’s stuck deep down inside that wonderful brain of yours… on another note, you should consider putting up a donation/paypal button on your site, so that those of us who love to read it can “voluntarily subscribe”. if you did so, maybe next time you wouldnít have to pick between two CDs that you want. -jp

  • Lin

    2002/10/06 at 3:58 pm

    *I buy Martha Stewart Living and own almost every book she’s published * I had a crush on Jordan Knight during my teeny-bopper years * I own a Hootie & the Blowfish CD. Well, two. * I like Star Wars AND Star Trek * My sister used to force me to watch Grease 2–and then we’d reenact it…on rollerskates in our basement. I’d have to be that blonde chubby chick. I can remember that stupid seasons song they did at the end * I own Disney soundtracks, favorites including The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. * I hate Dr. Phil. * I love the Simpsons, a lot. I like saying “Do’h!” * When I was a kid, I liked Howard the Duck.

  • AprilGem

    2002/10/06 at 4:01 pm

    [hanging head in shame] I watch Survivor, too. But I have a good excuse. Really, I do! I actually met one of the camera crewmen slash producers after they shot the first season but before they aired it on TV. Uh… so there. And just how the hell is “herre” pronounced?

  • stupid bint

    2002/10/06 at 4:04 pm

    I love AC/DC
    I read Marie Claire
    I drink Fanta

    hmm that’s not so bad.

    I have to point out though, that here in Australia, Starbucks has just started to rear its ugly head. Their coffee is appalling. Totally flavour-free. I will stick to my own espresso machine.

  • Tara

    2002/10/06 at 4:16 pm

    *I too have watched every single episode of Survivor, belong in an office pool, and my friend Gary has such a big following of his post-show write-ups that I put them on the internet *I shop at Pottery Barn. And Crate & Barrel. *I drink Starbucks coffee at home, and sometimes out in public. * I watched every episode of the Real World up until New Orleans. *I watched an episode of Temptation Island 2 (why I don’t know) but *liked* it and watched every episode after. *I like HGTV, Food Network, and Game Show Netowork. I saw Debbie Gibson in concert in 1987 or 1988. *My Dwight Yoakam CD’s are as precious to me as my Techno collection. I think I could go on and on, but I am sure I have proved that either a) I have my guilty pleasures too, or b) you are just like all of us, Dooce.

  • dooce

    2002/10/06 at 4:29 pm

    if there were a Martha Stewart Relief Fund, i would totally donate to it, if only because I could never ascertain a “Good Thing” without her direction.

  • jennifer

    2002/10/06 at 4:42 pm

    like how much fuckin energy can people devote to being cooler than thou? you know what? i have every pixies album, but i also rock it out to some john (cougar) mellencamp. i’m secure. everybody burn your ironic corporate logo tshirt. it’s time for the balanced folks’ liberation.

  • nita

    2002/10/06 at 5:16 pm

    At the age of 12, my sister, our friend, and I formed our very own Pink Ladies.

    This is on the basis of Grease 2, not Grease.

    We never really got beyond who got to be Stephanie/Michelle Pfeifer.

    And you know what else? I now have “Girl for All Seasons” including the “Ah-ah-ah” parts.

  • The Boss

    2002/10/06 at 5:55 pm

    It doesn’t work that way. Your indie-cred isn’t destroyed upon revealing these facts about yourself. No, every DIY indie rocker was a kid once, guilty of occasional lapses in judgement, and old habits die hard. I scoff at college football, $4.00 lattes, and suburban sprawl, but don’t even think about putting down Bruce Springsteen, the Philadelphia Phillies, or Magnum P.I.

  • dooce

    2002/10/06 at 6:03 pm

    dude, these weren’t childhood indulgences. i still listen to Milli Vanilli.

  • Brenda

    2002/10/06 at 6:10 pm

    I could never get behind Jordan Knight, but I was all about Joey McIntyre. I even had the Joey McIntyre doll, who being cuter than Pilot Ken, romanced a lot of Barbies.

    My music directory, though it has a subdirectory for the Smiths, also has one for Judy Garland and one for Frank Sinatra.

    I cried like a baby when I saw Bing Crosby the priest make the world a better place in “Going My Way.”

    At one time, I could actually recite most of Grease, but refused to see the sequel, because I thought it a travesty to all things Grease.

    And my favourite Friend is Chandler.

  • Lapdog

    2002/10/06 at 6:11 pm


  • Face4Radio

    2002/10/06 at 6:20 pm

    For a staunchly heterosexual male I know WAY too much about Broadway Musicals!

  • The Boss

    2002/10/06 at 6:21 pm

    Dooce, now you’re just bragging – as in “I still have my original copy of the first European printing of the Blame It On The Rain single”. Dripping with irony? Or dripping with the undying love of teenage passion gone horribly awry?

  • Vera

    2002/10/06 at 6:37 pm

    Awesome post! I am extremely ashamed to admit (and have always sort of wondered why I should be ashamed) that:
    1. I get so excited every time I catch a rerun of 90210 on FX. In fact, if 90210 hadnít had its series finale in 2000, Iíd still be religiously watching it.
    2. When Jack and Jill was still during its first and only season, I loved every minute of it.
    3. I cannot wait for Girls Club to premier this month.
    4. I LOOOVE Iím a Slave 4 U.
    5. I still think Technotronic and Ice Ice Baby kick ass.
    6. I get all excited when I see a celebrity on Melrose or near the Beverly Center.
    (And here is the worst one:)
    7. I have to watch every movie Gwyneth Paltrow is in.

    Okay, that was fun! But now Iím going to make like an ostrich.

  • PD

    2002/10/06 at 6:50 pm

    “I can name every cast member from every season of The Real World.”

    I’ll raise you, and add the names of the cast members from Road Rules and the RW/RR Challenges.

  • Billy

    2002/10/06 at 6:53 pm

    You forced your dog to wear a fleece jacket. Wait a minute — is it a jacket or a vest? Do you have a stainless steel Starbucks spill-proof pop-open lid mug?

  • Billy

    2002/10/06 at 6:53 pm

    You forced your dog to wear a fleece jacket. Wait a minute — is it a jacket or a vest? Do you have a stainless steel Starbucks spill-proof pop-open lid mug?

  • peggy

    2002/10/06 at 6:54 pm

    I squealed out loud in Walmart when I saw this little puppy collar with a black bow tie on it. Cody’s outgrown it, but I still can’t throw it away.

  • blamb

    2002/10/06 at 7:09 pm

    Tom Cruise had better be gay, it’s his only redeeming feature.

  • Kath

    2002/10/06 at 8:21 pm

    There was a Grease 2?
    God, I’m old. I have embarrassing things in my record collection that are so old that people probably think they’re cool. Like 2, yes there were 2, Bobby Sherman albums and a record of Leonard Nemoy singing. No, they are NOT cool. But I kept them.

  • Sarah B.

    2002/10/06 at 8:36 pm

    Sweetheart, I love you even more.

    I still own my Milli Vanilli tape, and listen to it, and put it on my answering machine, and people think it’s for ironic effect, and I’m like, “Oh, yeah, hahahaha.” Yeah.

  • michael

    2002/10/06 at 9:10 pm

    I love Fleetwood Mac. I also like everything Cat Stevens recorded before he went crackers. I can summarize each episode of Star Trek. I *think* that knowing Grandmaster Flash lyrics makes me cool, even though common sense says otherwise. Sometimes love is marred by coolness. Like my girlfriend loves Dave Matthews Band, and I always have trouble not being a total dickwad snob about it. And she knows it.

  • Sour Bob

    2002/10/07 at 12:05 am

    *I’m a huge John Mellencamp fan. *My entire week is built around the watching of “Smallville” *I have every episode of “The Greatest American Hero” on video–seriously *I watch public access television and Chicago city programming almost constantly *I once owned a complete Miami Vice suit *I once had a mullet–with permed hair in the back (I lived in Alabama as a very young child–shut the fuck up)

  • Igor

    2002/10/07 at 12:36 am

    I have “Six Easy Pieces” on CD (the first one is really lousy due to a thoroughly messed up master tape) and the only reason I’m ashamed of that is that I don’t know enough physics to fall on the floor 🙁

  • kane

    2002/10/07 at 1:49 am

    I’m still trying to figure out which CD was the cool one and which one wasn’t.

  • anne

    2002/10/07 at 3:21 am

    thats nothing. my 14-year-old-obligatory-obsession was hanson. thats right. hanson. whats worse, i still buy the albums. i claim its out of habit. but i think im just kidding myself.

  • Rachel

    2002/10/07 at 3:50 am

    I watched Shabby Chic every weeknight at 8 while folding laundry for at least like 6 months. And I so enjoyed it! Lame-O!

  • Ex-Liontamer

    2002/10/07 at 4:18 am

    I just recalled last week the lengths I would go through to find a pair of oxblood 9-hole Doc Martens way back (!) in 1988. I suppose it was to make up for all the rampant Rush fandom in high school. (Although side two of Moving Pictures still RAWKS!) I feel as if I’m through that need for indie-cred phase; I’ve rediscovered my inner geek and I love hime dearly.

  • Me

    2002/10/07 at 4:46 am

    I religiously watch The Gilmore Girls every Tuesday night. I have an autographed copy of Milli Vanilli and Jewel’s first album. I used to think the International Male catalogue was way cool.

  • juniorhighpants

    2002/10/07 at 4:57 am

    I like Gilmore Girls. I watched every episode of The Bachelor and seriously considered which girl was best for him….

  • Nick

    2002/10/07 at 5:39 am

    American Idol: I was actually tense when they picked the winner.
    Survivor: I’ve missed one episode ever.
    Star Wars: The force is strong in this one.
    Star Trek: Beam me up.
    Phew… thanks for letting me (us) vent.

  • Megchem

    2002/10/07 at 5:48 am

    I watch Gilmore girls every tuesday religiously. I watch every movie meg ryan is in. I totally downloaded that michael jackson song from Free Willy. Damn!

  • Kerry

    2002/10/07 at 6:39 am

    My guilty pleasures are:

    1. I own a Dido album which I rock out to when I am alone, in my car, with all of my windows rolled up.

    2. I effin’ love watching The Golden Girls on the Lifetime Channel.

    3. I’m in love with a man who seriously enjoys listening to R.Kelly.

    4. My first real concert was The Spin Doctors.

    5. I eat Spam. For real. It’s delicious, and not nearly as gross as a hot dog. It’s especially tasty if you make a teriyaki sauce out of soy sauce and sugar or sugar substitute, and pour it over sliced Spam and bake it in the oven. Seriously.

  • Heather #2

    2002/10/07 at 6:56 am

    You felt guilty, but you seem to have opened up shop as a blog-chiatrist. All of these people were simply waiting for their opportunity to take their guilty pleasures and lay them out there for the world to see. We all have demons, eh? Those sneaky little secrets we must hide. Well, I have none, but thank you all for sharing yours. I’ve quite enjoyed them, you know, having none to share myself. Um, really, my husband might be a little rude when I break out in “I’ll be a girl for all season, all the year through…” but that doesn’t count. Of course I just went through our mail bin of mail last night, mail that has accumulated over the last month since our recent move, and ran across two copies of Living and four postcards from the Martha Stewart crew asking forgiveness for me having to miss the prompt arrival of my Sept and Oct issues. I only called twice. I mean, really, I need my fix. Well, that being said, I leave you with this thought: Trishelle is such a hoe! I mean, really, first the Kyle-look-alike, Steven, and then Eric? Get yourself tested already!

  • Rengirl

    2002/10/07 at 7:34 am

    In addition to “herre,” I also say “scurred” instead of “scared.” Plus I check my site stats.

  • paula

    2002/10/07 at 7:54 am

    I too am still trying to figure out which one was the uncool one. Also, yes, Trishelle (why do they always have names like Trishelle?) needs to be carted down to her local walk-in clinic for some serious testing. And, when did Led Zeppelin become cool and indy cred-ible? Huh? Anyway, I like Metallica and have actually gone backstage to meet them. I had a “Must See TV” evening where I actually invited people over for the season premieres. I own the new Alicia Keys CD. I am in love with someone who seriously digs the Shakira offering from earlier this year. I not only buy Martha’s Living, but her Weddings mag and the Baby mag too. And, I fall in love with doggies in fleece jackets or any other garment. That is all.

  • kwl

    2002/10/07 at 8:16 am

    So who’s your favourite Friend?

    Please don’t let it be Ross.

  • Erika

    2002/10/07 at 8:35 am

    I have to sneak watch 90210 while my husband is out of hearing range. I loved Xena. I still can’t believe that I watched every episode of the first Bachelor… I also can’t stop watching Smallville and I had a naughty dream about Lex Luthor. I also saw Chicago in concert…
    wow, that felt good to get out.

  • Donna

    2002/10/07 at 8:36 am

    Everyone knows the best Friend is Chandler – the friend you love to hate. I watched Felicity with slavish devotion. I love InStyle magazine. I am weirdly, pleasantly fascinated by Fear Factor. I watched 3 hours of the Road Rules marathon yesterday, even as I said to myself “None of this will matter later.” I’m currently listening to the Spice Girls – a dance remix, no less. So there.

  • David

    2002/10/07 at 8:41 am

    Oh, I remembered another one. I still think Phil Collins totally rocks. All my friends take the piss out of me for that one. And I own a country music album. That’s so not cool.

  • Chris

    2002/10/07 at 8:45 am

    I saw The Sign, and it opened up my eyes. I saw The Sign.

  • Kaetchen

    2002/10/07 at 8:47 am

    I can recite the plot and characters from each episode of Buffy. My friends and I still quote from When Harry Met Sally. I still get the quivers from when I met Harry Connick Jr. back in 1990. And damn, if my MS Living doesn’t come on time, there’s some serious ass that will be kicked.

  • lee

    2002/10/07 at 8:51 am

    **I still think indie cred is cool.
    **The Dixie Chicks version of Landslide is laughably bad and frankly unforgivable.
    **I refuse to watch friends.
    **I still look for nine hole doc martens (the copper ones rule)
    **I dress my basset hound like Batman on Halloween.
    **I’m a sucker for the Apple Switch Ads.

  • Ismat

    2002/10/07 at 9:02 am

    Yeah, but you’re still gonna make fun of me because I actually like the last 10 minutes of Trading Spaces, right?

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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