the smell of my desperation has become a stench

My Comrade in Carmen and Constipation

Recent email exchange between me and my best friend in Utah:

HER: How are you? Are you feeling less stressed? I hope things are going smoothly for you guys.

Let’s start with my comment which is as follows: The only reason Carmen is still on Idol is due to her overly enthusiastic “I need to prove that we’re here and we’re cool” SLC fan base. Case in point, The 2002 SLC Winter Olympics.

ME: Yesterday was terrible, mainly because, as usual, I was totally constipated. I walked around for several hours with a chunk of GRANITE in my lower intestine. Jon just doesn’t seem to understand constipation at all. He was like, “Don’t push! Just sit there and let it happen.” And I’m like, YOU try letting a kitchen countertop just squeeze through your sphincter ALL BY ITSELF. IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN.

Enough about my bowels. So sorry.

I really hope Carmen goes home tonight because I just can’t take the pain anymore. I wince when she walks onstage. It’s like throwing a little lamb to the wolves — a little lamb who deserves it — but a little lamb nonetheless. She’s terrible and can’t sing in tune and has that totally freaky wobbly vibrato thing that she produces by wiggling her chin, for christ’s sake. I can’t take it anymore.

HER: Do I know constipation? The only item in our house besides diapers that I buy in bulk is Citrucel. I carry little emergency packets in my purse and a bottle of the Citrucel caplets in my overnight bag. I keep the big canister of Citrucel Tang in the kitchen. In fact, my major Christmas present from my husband this year was two gallon size containers of Citrucel. As far as when it happens, when you have a big stone stuck up your ass, it’s almost like you have to dig the sucker out. I am so sorry for you. I am glad you finally pooped.

Carmen, please go home! She needs to go home so I can stand living in Utah. Having her on stage reminds me of all the freaks, including my brother who lives in Bountiful with her. Maybe we can cut the power and phone lines tonight in the SLC area so no one here can vote. They probably announced in her church Sunday, “Don’t forget to call The American Idol Show and vote for our Carmen. She represents us.” blah, blah, BARF…

ME: I’m so glad I can talk to you about constipation!

Oh, and I know my family is going to tell me that the reason Carmen is still on the show is because every resident of Bountiful, Utah, is paying their tithing. I guess the Church really is true!

  • fm

    2003/04/18 at 7:28 am

    I’m first! Ha!
    Now who’s the fancy-pants?

    Congrats on your successful movements. I wish you many more. Stop watching Idol, it’s disgusting.

  • Jay

    2003/04/18 at 7:39 am

    The vibrato isn’t her fault, it’s the Citrucel Tang! My chin wiggles for days when I’m on the ‘Cel. Why do you think those astronauts always sound all warbly when they talk from space?

  • Liz

    2003/04/18 at 7:40 am

    Last week was painful. How dare this innocent Mormon girl sing a Debbie Harry song?

  • eponymous

    2003/04/18 at 7:45 am

    Let’s hear some details about the house. Where? Bedrooms? Style? Some pictures even…. I have this obsession to see the inside of everyone’s house.

  • Zandria

    2003/04/18 at 7:50 am

    That is some scary stuff. I don’t even watch American Idol…and people wonder why?

  • dooce

    2003/04/18 at 7:50 am

    eponymous: do you think I’m insane? if I posted where I live I’m sure the freak who a few weeks ago threatened to massage me with Skin So Soft would show up at my doorstep nude and eager. I am SO not into that.

  • Tiffany

    2003/04/18 at 7:50 am

    Thanks, guys, you’ve just made me feel vindicated for shunning American Idol.

  • Kristine

    2003/04/18 at 7:54 am

    I must be in the minority. I think she’s great. To me she has the total package thing going. (Did I just mention TP? I guess I’m right on topic!). I am not from Bountiful (OK, OK, I once lived in Kaysville but that was a loooooooooong time ago), but I do appreciate that she doesn’t feel she has to wear things cut down to there or skirts up to here. I admired a dozen things about Kimberly Caldwell, but not that my little 4 year old wanted to dress like her. I’m fine with her dressing like Carmen, even if it is boring!!!!

  • Suzyn

    2003/04/18 at 7:55 am

    Poop Muffins: 1 cup whole wheat/bran flour, 1 cup wheat germ, 1 tsp. each baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon, 1 egg, 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup honey, 3/4 cup no-fat milk, 1/2-1 cup raisens (soak for a few minutes in hot water for extra plumpness, add last in mixing). Mix it all together, bake in muffin tins (makes 12 medium, 8 large) at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Eat two in the morning with a cup of green tea, poop regularly. I apologize for the long post, but, like the recently converted, I can no longer wait for your feedback form to share this miracle recipe for regular bowel function.

  • April

    2003/04/18 at 7:57 am

    Dooce, you need to eat at least one mango a day to cure that constipation, seriously, but no more than five. I had more than five in one sitting once, and it almost totally killed me.

  • Kristine Again

    2003/04/18 at 7:57 am

    Oh, what I meant to ask was: “What do *you* think she should sing?” I’m hearing a little “You Light Up My Life” or other Debbie Boone songs … or maybe Paper Roses? (Paaaaaaaaaaaaaper Roooooooooooses, Paaaaaaaaaaaper roooooooooooses, how beautiful they seeeeeeeeeeeeem to beeeeeeeeeeeeee.) It would go great with her little vibrato action. Dooce, what do your “nabor” girls think of Carmen?

  • eponymous

    2003/04/18 at 7:57 am

    I missed the Skin So Soft comments…. It was not the downpayment that surprised me, but the astonomical closing costs. $75 for courier’s fees. WTF!

    Welcome to the homeowner’s club. It is surprising how much you can come to love an inanimate object.

  • jen

    2003/04/18 at 7:58 am

    Yet ANOTHER reason I can totally relate to you: constipation. I’ve been doing the Metamucil capsule things after a stone digging incident. That was just the worst thing I’ve ever had to do, not to mention the most painful.

    So, tell me, does Citrucel work better? Because I’m always on the lookout for good poop providers.

  • jen

    2003/04/18 at 8:00 am

    PS I’m back for the S-S-S comments too!

  • s00ka

    2003/04/18 at 8:01 am

    ..but Skin So Soft really is so soft!

  • antisocialdiva

    2003/04/18 at 8:07 am

    carmen needs to go home. she needed to go home weeks ago. and ruben needs to marry me.

  • the mighty jimbo

    2003/04/18 at 8:29 am

    i’ve discovered that a couple days spent in any number of third world countries instantly cures even the most stubborn constipation. of course you need antibiotics and an iv once those floodgates have been opened, but hey, it’s a small price to pay for regularity, right?

    unfortunately, i don’t think utah qualifies for the third world.

  • stephanie

    2003/04/18 at 8:40 am

    Spoken by Carmen:

    I am a daughter of our Heavenly Father, who loves me, and I love Him. I will stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things, and in all places as I strive to live the Young Women values, which are:

    – Faith in my Mormon Public that they will keep me on the show for at least 2 more episodes

    – Knowledge that if I wear a tshirt under a strapless dress it will show the country that you can be sexy without baring skin (the shame!)

    – Choice and Accountability in the songs I choose, that they not rupture my “Mormon girl” image.

    – Good Works for others who are kicked off the show because they don’t have the backing of billions of dollars of Mormon Tithing.

    I believe as I come to accept and act upon these values, I will be prepared to strengthen my bank account, make and keep sacred covenants to my management team, receive the ordinances of a recording career, and enjoy the blessings of stardom.

    (this was my lame attempt at some humor).

  • dooce

    2003/04/18 at 8:50 am

    Kristine: I have a tape recording somewhere of me at 3-yrs old singing “You Light Up My Life” to my father on his 37th birthday. I knew every single word, and I’d be terrified at what Carmen would do to such a sacred song. the nabor girls told me they thought Carmen was “lame,” but these are the same girls who think Clay is a total HUNK.

    jen: Citrucel is SO MUCH BETTER than Metamucil. it tastes better (like Tang, as opposed to paper maché paste) and it works faster and keeps you regular far more longer. i cannot recommend it enough, and this is coming from a constipation professional.

    as for the Skin So Soft, yes it really is so soft and I have a lifetime supply of it, but the only person who should be talking about it in association with my body is my husband.

    jimbo: Home Depot on Sunset in Los Angeles qualifies as a third world, or perhaps a sixth or seventh, and sadly it never made me regular.

  • Beerzie Boy

    2003/04/18 at 9:02 am

    Watching American Idol = Constipation.

    Stop watching, and your bowels will flow like River Jordan.

    Or eat beets. They flush out the bowels.

  • Anne

    2003/04/18 at 9:02 am

    Whoever said that she would let her kid dress like Carmen should be shot. Did you see the hideous thing she WORE this week? That green nasty puffy thing? Looking like a slut is better. That, and if my kid ever wears 18 pounds of concealer on her face alone (like Carmen), I’ll hold her down and pry it off her face with a spatula.

    I can’t wait until she’s gone.

  • Erika2 - formerly the other erika

    2003/04/18 at 9:13 am

    Sorry if someone else posted this BUT aloe vera juice mixed with your fave juice will make you right as rain. I didn’t go for days at a time, now I go right after I eat. It’s great!!

  • Naaman

    2003/04/18 at 9:15 am

    I am a pagan and don’t watch American Idol, but if I’m not mistaken, Carmen is wearing a bib in that picture — SO not idol material.

  • Angelique

    2003/04/18 at 9:20 am

    anne: i totally agree with the makeup thing. sounds like she needs some tips from the all-time best selling avon lady – Mom Dooce. and the gold pants – not so much.
    not a fan of her with the curly hair. lets all hope she doesnt start crying when she gets booted. it may actually resemble the scene in batman returns where the joker had the drink thrown in his face. you know, when she gets to touring with that fictious girl band after Idol, we may see her pop up in Hustler. i just want to pierce her face. she needs a big nosering. she’ll change genres in like 3 years and we’ll see her in like hotpants and a tube top.

  • julia

    2003/04/18 at 10:12 am

    i’ve never watched a single episode of AI, but i hate her already. bitch, get off the stage. go home to your fan base.

    and i wish i had a friend i can talk to about constipation. in fact, i’m going to go right now and send some emails to some friends to feel them out.

    it’s an important connection to have, really. it’s important to know who i can and can’t discuss this with. thank you for the inspiration, as always.

  • dayment

    2003/04/18 at 10:14 am

    What is that picture from? Is she in a dentist’s chair??

  • ismat

    2003/04/18 at 10:29 am

    I agree, Carmen needs to go. But isn’t anyone else relieved and overjoyed that the poncy tramp Kimberly McBitch got voted off?

  • Irk

    2003/04/18 at 10:35 am

    Anne: A-Fucking-Men! Green genie pants and a green tube top over a black babydoll tee?! Someone (Kim C) must have paid off the stylist. Carmen will get her due next week.

  • Pratt

    2003/04/18 at 10:56 am

    True constipation story:
    I had a friend Maria who was so constipated once that she pinched a nerve in her leg and had to use a wheelchair for two days! She just couldn’t squeeze that sucker out…

  • The Drifter

    2003/04/18 at 11:08 am

    this carmen girl looks like the kid sister to britney spears and julie from the real world, no? i say sack her sorry ass! as for this constipation business, maybe you should lay off the cereal, yo, because maybe you’re getting too much fiber and what’s happening inside your body is like when you turn over one of those boggle hourglasses too fast and there’s so much pressure trying to make it through that little hole that ain’t nobody’s leavin’. you should try the drifter’s ‘neutral family’ diet: oatmeal and a banana for breakfast, tuna and crackers for lunch, and turkey with mashed taters or pork chops with rice for dinner. and carrot cake for dessert. try that and see if you’re not more regular than greenwich mean time in no time.

  • phair

    2003/04/18 at 11:57 am

    dude, what is she wearing in that picture?????

    i give up.

  • Scott

    2003/04/18 at 12:41 pm

    Ah, constipation… Reminds me of the guy in William S. Burroughs’ book Junky who said, “Sometimes it gets so I have to reach my fingers in and pull it out. Hard as porcelain, you understand. The pain is terrible.”

  • nicole

    2003/04/18 at 12:58 pm

    if you can’t squeeze out the poo pellets, how the hell you gonna squeeze out the little armstrongs? they don’t make ‘baby-out-now’ tang.

  • JuneyJune

    2003/04/18 at 1:20 pm

    Currently Feeling Guilty For.. acting like I don’t know what happened to the bologna, when just an hour ago I ate the entire package of bologna.

    Cripeys! Don’t eat that and then complain about your constipation! What ARE you thinking? Please..let’s show that colon some respect!

  • farkleberry

    2003/04/18 at 1:23 pm

    I dunno, listening to warbly singing usuall has the same effect on my colon as eating a whole cellophane package of Turkish figs…but seriously, East Indian food (especially *dahls*, or spiced lentil/bean dishes) work like magic!

  • Allan

    2003/04/18 at 1:27 pm

    She looks like a Reese Witherspoon wannabe.

    And who would wannabe Reese?


  • Angelique

    2003/04/18 at 2:12 pm

    Phair: it looks like it might be a wussy-ass pink straight jacket for the mormonly insane and fashionably challenged.
    with that oh-so-flattering folded restaurant linen napkin feel….
    she looks like a greasy faced mannequin coming out of a tablecloth.

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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