Heater, Mother of Lance

If They Only Knew . . .

What a badass motherfucker they were unleashing on an unsuspecting world.

You gotta love unpacking old boxes full of pictures you thought you’d burned years ago, only to find gems like this one which, if I ever ran for office, could be used against me to prove what a poseur I really am.

I wore those Adidas trainers to commencement activities as a final FUCK YOU to the BYU administration who wanted me to wear white pumps and flesh tone pantyhose in a show of reverence toward the occasion. Could I have been more ferocious? I just thought that if given a choice, God would totally choose the Adidas over pantyhose, and who am I to question God’s will?

I must have made some sort of lasting impression because they refused to send me my diploma on grounds that I had two outstanding parking tickets. I couldn’t have cared less about the actual piece of paper, and I thought that if I didn’t have the physical diploma no one could ever prove I had actually gone to BYU. That way I could go on forever pretending that I had never attended college, which in the grand scheme of things would have gotten me as far as earning a degree from BYU anyway.

But BYU, not unlike the Mormon Church itself, is persistent and will find you no matter where you hide. After months of sending warnings to my old address they began sending my very Republican and very old-fashioned father notices that they were going to send a collection agency after his daughter if she didn’t get in touch and pay those two tickets. If there ever were two words in the English language that could set my father ON FIRE, it’s collection and agency (followed closely by Bill and Clinton, but that’s another story, one that features me saying, “I would have lied about it, too,” and my father disowning me for the first of several times).

Needless to say I paid those two tickets, for a whopping total of $20. They sent the diploma to my father who had it professionally framed, and I found it at the bottom of a box this morning where it shall stay FOREVER.

  • w

    2003/05/28 at 3:39 pm

    very charming, dooce. for my college graduation the girls (that would be me) had to wear white dresses and the guys had to wear tuxedos. we looked like a bunch of brides and grooms, i.e. ridiculous.

  • antisocial diva

    2003/05/28 at 3:41 pm

    you do look like a badass motherfucker! now i’m nostalgic and wanna find my diploma. luckily, though, i refused to go to graduation. i think it was some principle that i wouldn’t take part in what the masses were taking part in which, without a doubt, paved the way for my current antisocial lifestyle.

  • feveredego

    2003/05/28 at 3:45 pm


  • Erica

    2003/05/28 at 3:46 pm

    So that’s where “big pimpin'” came from.

  • Chris

    2003/05/28 at 3:48 pm

    Is it really true that you can be a female and graduate BYU without being married? 🙂

  • Kyle

    2003/05/28 at 3:50 pm

    And then there’s those of us that didn’t learn what a waste of time a B.Sc. is the first time around, and go back for a second.
    *looks at diplomas on wall, shakes head*

    I’m wearing adidas almost exactly like those *right now*.

  • eddeaux

    2003/05/28 at 4:01 pm

    Well, I am a 6’5″ grown man and I graduated from Texas Womans University- when I look at my diploma- it looks like a twisted joke- yes, in 1990 this all girl school went CO-ED-I thought that ED part was me- apparently I am just special Ed.

    The look with the Addidas is like fresh money ready to be spent.

  • boomer

    2003/05/28 at 4:29 pm

    some of us just wish we could stop working long enough to graduate from college… 😉 Run DMC would be proud.

  • Wimbledon Wannabee

    2003/05/28 at 4:37 pm

    Box #637 = finished.

    Only 914 little “treasure troves” to go!

    Was there anything written on the outside of this particular box? Perhaps: “Hairdryers & bedsheets”? Ever open a labeled box and say to yourself: “Was I on drugs when I wrote that label”?!? Been there. Done that.

    How is the pile doing? Do the neighbors still think you might be “Louise-y” reincarnated?

  • Wimbledon Wannabee

    2003/05/28 at 4:39 pm

    Correction: It wasn’t Louise-y (wrong TV show). It was ‘Lizabeth. (I think)

  • EC

    2003/05/28 at 4:39 pm

    College? I don’ need no stinkin’ college.

  • matt

    2003/05/28 at 4:49 pm

    if only all my pictures looked so elegant.

  • certified

    2003/05/28 at 5:05 pm

    I’m that guy who walked through graduation, but a year and a half later has not received his diploma for what reason again? Oh yeah, I still have to take ONE fucking class.

  • Xanthan

    2003/05/28 at 5:16 pm

    For years, I hung the my MBA diploma over the toilet… but only because I couldn’t figure out how to permanently adhere it to the bottom of the bowl in a fashion where it wouldn’t deteriorate.

  • zchamu

    2003/05/28 at 5:17 pm

    My god, you make me laugh, Dooce. “badass motherfucker”..heeee. Thanks!

  • Carla Beth

    2003/05/28 at 5:35 pm

    Okay, people, I’m thirty-two freakin years old AND guess what? I’m doing the cap and gown thing two weeks from Saturday. It was sex, drugs and rock-n-roll in my twenties, and now it’s masturbation, chocolate and Kenny G. God how I HATE black satin. God how I hate FAUX black satin even more. But I am doing the sexy girl thing, because I never do the sexy girl thing. This B.S. is wearing four-inch stilletos to graduation. Faux snakeskin purchased for $7 at a yard sale. And in this hot weather I’m wearing nothing under the stupid gown except for Wonder Woman Underoos, if I can schlep some off of eBay in my size. (Remember those?!) Another whammy … my senior fucking thesis is due MONDAY. This Monday. And I haven’t started. Anyway, I’m so glad I’m finally graduating. I’ve always wanted to be a waitress.

  • julia

    2003/05/28 at 5:36 pm

    i got my first two college parking tickets (after fucking 3 years and 6 months of parking illegally and faking permits) in the last few weeks before graduation. i seriously would not have paid them (mostly due to losing them, partly due to my youthful badassmotherfuckerness) if the same damn letter hadn’t been sent to my parents. my dad pulled the “i’m disappointed that you’re so irresponsible” act.

    oh okay, i never really had any youthful badassmotherfuckerness in me. i just lost the tickets.

  • Broch

    2003/05/28 at 5:43 pm

    I just wish a few of their missionaries would approach me once. My wife left me for a mormon, and I am none too fond.

  • Kevynn Malone

    2003/05/28 at 6:34 pm

    Burn it and send the ashes to them…

  • Melissa

    2003/05/28 at 6:40 pm

    I will never get my college diploma because of gym.

    Unfortunately I am not kidding.

    I also don’t have those cool shoes.

  • Ana

    2003/05/28 at 7:04 pm

    oh my…nice hairdo though…

  • Dr_Funk

    2003/05/28 at 7:09 pm

    Whoa. Its like Reservoir Dogs goes to college….

  • melissa

    2003/05/28 at 8:04 pm

    Two tickets=$20 at BYU? Wow… At my beloved alma mater, tickets started at $55 and went up from there. How do I know? Because I got more than a dozen of them (hello…if I’m on campus practicing and studying until 1 a.m. I’m not walking home by myself in the dark).
    I knew the whole “higher education” thing had gone badly when my mother quoted me as saying “There’s no way those last two tickets are mine. I haven’t been to class in weeks.”

  • the mighty jimbo

    2003/05/28 at 8:29 pm

    your future’s so bright…

  • Adam

    2003/05/28 at 8:40 pm

    Well, damn. Looks like I have something to look forward to… time to plan my rebellious act.

  • Carla Beth

    2003/05/28 at 8:50 pm

    Holy smokestacks! Sorry for another Carla Beth moment, but I found authentic Wonder Woman Underoos on eBay! Never opened! A girl’s size large, which might fit me! Sadly, they’ve been bidded up from $4.99 to $137 with the clock still ticking. But still … my first look at my childhood since the 70s!

  • kate

    2003/05/28 at 8:53 pm

    absolutely stellar post. byu sounds like quite an adversary.

  • alex kidd

    2003/05/28 at 8:54 pm

    you think that’s funny, listen to this. i wore a pair of… oh wait, i never graduated. fucking lsd.

  • Naaman

    2003/05/28 at 11:17 pm


  • Seany

    2003/05/29 at 4:15 am

    Bad to the motherfucking bone.

  • Stephanie

    2003/05/29 at 4:18 am

    Alex!! You just made me spit out my diet coke all over my computer screen! 🙂 Ah well. ’twas worth it.

  • FilteringCraig

    2003/05/29 at 4:36 am

    There has been a God-shoe-selection-war going on for years. Nike offered a $30,000,000 contract and a guarantee that God can have as many bathroom breaks as (s)he needs. Adidas couldn’t quite match that and Reebok wasn’t willing to set the precedent of allowing employees to have bathroom breaks. Plus God is still holding a grudge against Nike for the whole “Heaven’s Gate” thing.

  • John

    2003/05/29 at 4:38 am

    I went to a small Reformed Church liberal arts college in Iowa to be a minister. We got to debate things like whether you should touch when you dance. I didn’t have a car, but I had to make good on a $0.79 bad check to some truck stop to get the paper. Colleges get commissions on stuff like that.

  • Jodi (not the one with the cool blog)

    2003/05/29 at 4:58 am

    I am one of those who spent 5 years in college and never graduated (that one farking class scenario.) But I DID go walk at graduation! My parents drove 500 miles to see me walk across the stage. That was 1990, and they still have no clue I didn’t actually receive a diploma! I’m just so damn proud of myself… (snort.)

  • nessa

    2003/05/29 at 5:26 am

    i never walked at graduation. i didn’t send out announcements or have a party or anything. but you best believe the whole fucking world will hear about it when i get my masters.

  • allisonic

    2003/05/29 at 5:56 am

    Jackie Brown ain’t got nuthin on you, dooce.

  • AppleShell

    2003/05/29 at 6:23 am

    Those are some bad ass Adidas shoes. Brings back memories of Run D.M.C. and Aerosmith.

  • holly

    2003/05/29 at 6:23 am

    My college turned my parking ticket over to a collection agency that hounded me for a while. Then the ticket was turned over to the State and the state threatened to take it out of my state refund. Thirteen years later they are still threatening me. Its all about the principle of the matter.

  • chris

    2003/05/29 at 6:31 am

    my school found a way around sending collections after me and my family when my parking tickets piled up… they towed me. that was a pretty good way of getting the attention of a particularly unwealthy college student!

  • Spicoli

    2003/05/29 at 6:57 am


    I’ll one-up ya… Try six years in college (in the midwest), parents flew in from Cali, Gramma flew in from Ohio, aunt flew in from NY, walked in ceremony along with my future wife (who did graduate), had a big after-party… 3 years later no one has a clue that I’m 2 classes shy of an actual degree — even the wife!

    Actually, I work for a nice-sized conglomerate who also believes I graduated. This shite will bite my ass 20 years from now I’m sure.

  • Eddie

    2003/05/29 at 7:06 am

    I don’t understand why colleges, particularly private colleges with huge endowments, are such nazis about parking tickets. Don’t they get enough of my money from tuition?
    During my undergrad years I received no less than ten, $100 parking tickets for parking in a handicapped spot DESPITE the fact that I rightfully owned a state-issued handicapped parking sticker. I was ticketed because I didn’t have the college-issued handicapped sticker. Apparently, the secretaries of the college health center and campus police had more auhtority to deam me handicapped than my orthopaedic or the state board of physicians. I found this ridiculous (for obvious reasons). Prime parking is one of the few benefits that I received after surviving cancer and I wasn’t about to give it up! I fought the tickets all the way to the dean of student affairs and graduated without having to pay for even one.

    PS: Dooce, you rock. The Adidas are perfect!

  • bigbigtruck

    2003/05/29 at 7:20 am

    “I could go on forever pretending that I had never attended college, which in the grand scheme of things would have gotten me as far as earning a degree from BYU anyway.”

    As a graduate from a stick-up-the-arse Baptist college, I raise my glass (well, bottle of Minute Maid) to you.
    Beautifully written.

  • yafujifide

    2003/05/29 at 7:37 am

    That’s a very good picture.

  • brixton

    2003/05/29 at 7:48 am

    Fab. I graduated in a lace dress, high heels, and blue sunglasses – and by the end of the afternoon my face was beet red. Nice….

  • joy

    2003/05/29 at 7:55 am

    Oh wow. Your father sounds a lot like my father. It’s scary to think that there is more than one father in the world like that.

  • Benjy

    2003/05/29 at 7:56 am

    My college actually gave me my diploma despite 2 outstanding parking tickets. Instead they just kept increasing the frequency of the letters requesting payment.

    First it was monthly for about 2 months, then bi-weekly, then weekly. Finally once I figured they’d spent about $50 on postage, I paid the two $25 tickets.

  • Beerzie Boy

    2003/05/29 at 8:00 am

    God has shoe preferences? I was thinking he was the Puma type, but then again, I went to a secular university.

  • britt

    2003/05/29 at 9:21 am

    I did not attend my graduation from Villanova after receiving my Masters in Biology….instead I played in a co-ed doubles volleyball tournament, won, and made $300. Drove home and passed the school and gave them the bird, with both hands. Had I known about Dane Cook back then, I would have gone with “suck my back!!”

  • mihow

    2003/05/29 at 9:57 am

    Aside from the comedic bit about the shoes and those super sunglasses, the photo itself is sort of funny. I find it odd that there is no one around, that the mountain forms a “Y-like” shape directly atop the huge, painted “Y” on the building behind you, and lastly, the painted “Y” can be read as a thought bubble.

  • jodi-no-blog

    2003/05/29 at 10:05 am


    I was gonna send a funny e-mail to you about not having a diploma and all, but didn’t know if the formerly mention wife would read it and want to smack you.

    Let me know if its ok.

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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