the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Wonder Woman

So I’m standing there in the kitchen totally craving something sweet after a lunch of leftover spaghetti (which didn’t even make a dent in the amount still left in the gigantic Pyrex container in the fridge — I’m fully incapable of making pasta for two people, or for five or ten; it always comes out in portions big enough to feed the entire population of Rhode Island), and I reach up into the cabinet to grab a small tub of chocolate pudding. And whenever I reach up above my head to grab something I automatically and involuntarily wince at what I’m going to send toppling down on top of my head. But somehow, this time, I manage to locate a pudding and to pull it down successfully, completely by itself with no accompanying cans of black beans or chicken broth. And I’m feeling really good about myself, particularly because this means I might get to go an entire day without a bruise or tin can-shaped gash on my forehead, and I reach for a spoon in the drawer directly in front of me. Again, I cringe at the possibility of mashed fingers or the tragedy of the entire drawer collapsing in a thunderous bang on the linoleum, so I reach slowly and steadily for the closest spoon. Miraculously I bring it above the countertop witout drama or trumpeting soundtrack of impending doom, and then BOOM, it wriggles its way out of my fingers and heads straight for my delicate, innocent toes. And through some unknown power or perhaps an adult-onset instinct I somehow move my foot out of the way before the spoon has any chance to dent or maim me. And I can’t believe my utter luck, and I start to think that I’m pretty cool, what with my cat-like reflexes and ability to open drawers safely. And then I start to smile, because this is just too wonderful, and I can’t help but wonder if maybe I was a superhero in a past life, a tall superhero with gigantic proportions, red boots and underwear covered in stars, yes; a superhero who could run through an entire burning building to save a cat in danger, all without stubbing her toes on any threshold or protruding piece of furniture. And just as I’m going over scenarios in my head about the lives I saved in this past life, lives and fortunes and little babies about to be gobbled up by fang-wielding monsters, I turn around with my pudding and spoon in hand and immediately walk head first into a doorframe.

  • Brian

    2003/06/06 at 7:33 am

    A lifetime of soccer has instilled in me the opposite instinct to *always* try and catch whatever I’ve dropped w/ my foot – to include knives and other sharp/heavy objects on occasion. Common sense intervenes just before impact and the inevitable maiming is avoided.

  • tim

    2003/06/06 at 7:38 am

    honestly, heather, you have to compile this stuff and sell it. i don’t know how, but you have to because you’re so damn funny.

  • Nom

    2003/06/06 at 7:39 am

    I thought for sure you were going to whack your head on the open utensil drawer while bending down to retrieve the spoon.

  • Clubfoot

    2003/06/06 at 7:42 am

    Picture this: I had a piece of metal in a vice, and needed to hacksaw a screw off it. Holding on to the said piece of metal (with my hand UNDER the screw), I proceeded to saw away feverishly. Once the saw got through the SCREW, it proceeded to drop down on my thumb. Of course, I was still sawing feverishly, so, that one ended up requiring 8 stitches and ultimately a sweet as hell scar. Oh, and a fucking tetnus shot.

  • azura

    2003/06/06 at 7:43 am

    i swear this is the *first* time i’m reading a blog and thinking oh wow, someone out there is doing the same thing in the kitchen. i tiptoe and take cans off high shelves and always-always close my eyes, anticipating the other cans to drop on my forehead.

  • Lively Lady

    2003/06/06 at 7:43 am

    I know the feeling. Just when you think that you’ve got the game figured out, someone comes along and changes the rules.

  • aubs

    2003/06/06 at 7:45 am

    I usually gouge my head on the corner of the cabinet that I have left open, sending me into writhing fits of anguish and causing me to SWEAR that I really will start shutting cabinets and doors just as soon as I have opened them. And then I do it all over again.

  • Nic

    2003/06/06 at 7:46 am

    Oh dear. I know what you mean, as i’ am the queen of bruising. I feel your pain (not literaly though).

  • Kami

    2003/06/06 at 7:54 am

    Nothing can be a bad as running into the corner on a piece of furniture and having it hit the area between your small toe and the 4th toe. *cringes*

  • Kami

    2003/06/06 at 7:55 am

    I meant *as bad as. Such a dork. I’ll do better next time.

  • Benjy

    2003/06/06 at 7:57 am

    Ouch! At least you didn’t break anything. Last week, I attempted to deftly pick up a towel from the floor while walking out the door to my bedroom, but ended up walking into the doorway and breaking a toe! I’m still hobbling around a week and a half later.

  • April

    2003/06/06 at 8:03 am

    I do that ALL THE TIME. My boyfriend admits to moving all the walls and door jambs, though, so maybe your husband does the same thing without telling you.

  • Naaman

    2003/06/06 at 8:11 am

    I use to be Superman. Those days are long gone…

    (if the URL wraps, you’ll just have to cut and paste)

  • Bub

    2003/06/06 at 8:14 am

    I was always learnt that it wasn’t a good day until you hit your head on some object. If a bit of blood spills, that’s OK, too.

  • julia

    2003/06/06 at 8:17 am


    i mean, sorry that you hurt yourself.

  • antisocial diva

    2003/06/06 at 8:18 am

    i have so many bruises from things i don’t even remember bumping into or doing. uncoordination reigns supreme in my house. invest in a pack or two of frozen lima beans. they serve as good ice packs in a pinch.

  • Beerzie Boy

    2003/06/06 at 8:40 am

    I’m with you on “frigg” or “frick”, but “fetch”?!? Is that some kind of Mormon Slang?

  • christine

    2003/06/06 at 8:53 am


    I swear to god my feet should have targets painted on them…Heavy objects are always falling on them. I am always tripping and stubbing my toes. My kids constantly ram stuff into them (chairs that need to be moved across the kitchen for who knows what reason). Oh, and there are always toys to be stepped on. My feet just basically don’t get the respect they deserve. So I completely understand the involuntary wincing. I do it all the time.

  • Kyle

    2003/06/06 at 8:54 am

    We have someone here at work that constantly runs into door frames, parked cars, tables… the full range of inanimate objects. We finally had to tell her to bring her own ice packs before the company went tits-up. As first aid attendant I feel it my duty to call out a warning for every object she walks near whenever I see her.

    ‘Gigantic proportions’… nice!

  • bit2byte

    2003/06/06 at 8:57 am

    My fair, freckled and always bruised skin is comforted by the new knowledge that it is not alone. At times it seems a dirty glance in my direction leaves a welt that lasts for days. The revelations posted here indicate that I am among many who bruise like peaches in June. I will wear skirts and shorts proudly. I will go about my day smashing into everything in sight! I will own my bruises!
    Kami – I couldn’t agree more. That spot on the toes there, the absolute mother of all pain.

  • Sheila

    2003/06/06 at 9:20 am

    “Fuck” is so over used as a word (certainly not as an action). Over used in my neck of the woods anyway.

    I’m entertained to hear alternates – “feck” or “sod” are good.

  • joy

    2003/06/06 at 9:22 am

    That sounds like something I would do. It brings to mind the time that I slipped and fell off of a cliff at Golden Gate Park. I wasn’t drunk or anything, just being a dork. Amazingly enough I didn’t get hurt too bad, just bumps and scrapes.

  • Chris

    2003/06/06 at 9:23 am

    For some reason I always would hit a corner when I walk around one. Not really hard enough to bruise myself, but enough to go “Ouch!”. I think it must be my inner “need to move fast” mentality that causes me to take a tight corner. I’ve watched enough Indy 500’s to know it works, so I applied to my own movement. Room! Room! Look out wall here I come!


    2003/06/06 at 9:46 am

    I totally can feel where you are coming from. I am a total clutz! This is why my man always calls me “Grace”. lol

  • Adam

    2003/06/06 at 9:59 am

    I’ve read this site for awhile and never comment. For this entry, I have to say that I laughed out loud when I got to the end.

  • juliet

    2003/06/06 at 10:05 am

    didn’t you hear about barry manilow?

    (“I veered to the left instead of the right and slammed right into the wall,” Manilow said in a statement Tuesday. In the middle of night, he awoke disoriented and walked into a wall. He passed out for four hours after the accident but was OK, his manager said.)

    so dooce, if ol’ barry is face-firsting into walls, i’d say that your recent crash was nothing short of a sure sign of genius. welcome to the club.

  • the mighty jimbo

    2003/06/06 at 10:07 am

    dooce, you will always be *OUR* wonder woman.

    although with coordination like that it’s a wonder you ever made it to woman at all.

  • get back to work Jim

    2003/06/06 at 10:11 am

    Sheila – I prefer the word bugger when trying to avoid saying fucker. It is completely socially acceptable. Even the crocodile guy uses it.

  • melly mel

    2003/06/06 at 10:17 am

    How could anyone feel guilty about peanut butter/banana sandwiches? Did you forget to toast the bread first?

  • anna jr.

    2003/06/06 at 10:29 am

    oh. my. god.


    it’s SO not fair.
    SO SO not fair.

  • Carla Beth

    2003/06/06 at 10:40 am

    Peanut butter and banana sandwiches WERE yumyum until I got forever lost in a banana plantation in Honduras with a machete-weilding toothless man named Transito and chowed on peanut butter dipped bananas for hours on end. When the giarrdhia hit but what I swore was malaria, all I could taste was that last peanut butter dipped banana that didn’t go down quite right and, upon its resurfacing, so TOTALLY grossed me out that I have NEVER been able to look a banan in the peel again.

  • Erica

    2003/06/06 at 10:40 am

    OMG, the baby toes hurt! And it’s always that delayed onset pain. Where you have a good minute to sit and think “this is really gonna hurt.”

  • natalie

    2003/06/06 at 10:57 am

    i seriously thought there was going to be a collision with a knife when going for the spoon…glad there was no blood. hope you enjoyed the pudding though! it actually sounds good right now after a two ice-cold beverage of choice lunch!

  • RaggMopp

    2003/06/06 at 10:59 am

    During my formative years, I lived in a massively oppressive Mormon household. Words such as “heck”, “dang” & “fudge” were forbidden. I realize that this is extreme, even by LDS standards, but lucky me lived with complete nut-jobs.

    On the subject of pain: I once was messing around with a huge rubber band when I decided to shoot it across the room. Only before I could release it, it slipped off my thumb on my fully outstretched arm and shot me in the eyeball. Luckily I didn’t sustain any permanent damage.

  • RaggMopp

    2003/06/06 at 10:59 am

    During my formative years, I lived in a massively oppressive Mormon household. Words such as “heck”, “dang” & “fudge” were forbidden. I realize that this is extreme, even by LDS standards, but lucky me lived with complete nut-jobs.

    On the subject of pain: I once was messing around with a giant rubber band when I decided to shoot it across the room. Only before I could release it, it slipped off my thumb on my fully outstretched arm and shot me in the eyeball. Luckily I didn’t sustain any permanent damage.

  • Heather #2

    2003/06/06 at 11:22 am

    I trip. Like, ALL THE TIME. There doesn’t have to be anything there for me to trip over. I’ll just trip.

  • bruce

    2003/06/06 at 11:35 am

    The other day I was down at the marina talking to a boat dealer about selling my old boat. His office is on the edge of the marina parking lot.
    As I was walking out the door, I was saying goodbye etc. over my shoulder. A micro-second later I was lying on the pavement in a bleeding, confused, crumpled heap with serious road rash, broken glasses and the start of a mean shiner.
    Six feet directly in front of the office door was one of those six inch high concrete fucking curbs to keep idiots from driving their cars into the building.

  • just me

    2003/06/06 at 12:21 pm

    Once I thought my day was going unbelievably well…I was so happy and the sun just seemed so much brither than usual, for my wonderful day, of course. The sky was a stunning blue, again, to keep my perfect day going in the right direction, OF COURSE. Even the air had a crisp feeling in it that made me smile.

    I hadn’t goten up late, I hadn’t lost my keys, hadn’t stubbed my toe, I hadn’t dashed for the phone only to hear the dial tone just as I picked up.
    Yep, life sure was great.

    Except then, in the very middle of some joyous thought or another, I got hit by a car.

    No day is without its mishaps I guess….?

  • FilteringCraig

    2003/06/06 at 12:26 pm

    You and Barry Manilow have something in common.


  • Peggasus

    2003/06/06 at 12:41 pm

    I do shit like that all the time. Most of the time it is not because of any inherent clumsiness, but because at 5’2″ I am not quite tall enought to reach the top shelves. Like the time I thought I could just go up on tiptoes to reach that cabinet over the fridge (giving myself a whole extra 3″ or so) to get that marble rolling pin. My pinky toe paid the price. It still smarts to think about that one. Usually I hop up on the counter just like a kid to get anything.

  • Toby

    2003/06/06 at 12:54 pm

    Just last night at the club, some guy crabbed my crotch, and when I reached down to swat his offending hand, I accidentally inserted my fist into his Red Bull & Vodka. Oops! For this reason, I would like to see Dooce get her groove on in a gay club.

  • Toby

    2003/06/06 at 12:55 pm

    Argh! ‘Grabbed’, not ‘crabbed’. Gee, I’d rather someone grab my crotch than,er, ‘crab’ it anyday!

  • Kat

    2003/06/06 at 12:56 pm

    i was literally holding my breath, waiting for the inevitable.

  • Heather #2

    2003/06/06 at 12:58 pm

    He CRABBED your CROTCH? Don’t you need to go see a doctor about that?

  • Heather #2

    2003/06/06 at 1:00 pm

    My comment would have been so much funnier if it had gotten in there before your follow-up.

  • michael

    2003/06/06 at 1:20 pm

    for some reason i thought you were going to smack your head on the cabenet door, because well… that’s what I seem to do everytime I get pudding from up above.

  • Kevynn Malone

    2003/06/06 at 2:40 pm

    Did you say, “Doh?” Anyway, I can’t relate, Dooce. I’m like a ninja. Hai!

  • Carla Beth

    2003/06/06 at 3:19 pm

    Heather #2 … your comment is hilarious precisely because you DIDN’T get it in there before CrabMan Toby! And Toby, it’s funny but I read your comment as ‘grabbed’ and not ‘crabbed’. Me, Ms. Dirty-Mind-Who-Always-Looks-For-Nasties-In-Goodies! :o)

  • brownie

    2003/06/06 at 3:55 pm

    goddamn, all i have in my fridge are bottles of Old-E and colt 45. shit, i got everything that isn’t edible in the fridge. we got year old eggs on the bottom shelf, god know how fuckin old FlavorIce pops in the freezer, some frozen meats, a couple of human fingers, some disembodied brain matter. shit is crazy in my fridge, so i don’t open it anymore. we even had a tray of paint sitting in the fridge for the first month that me and my roommate moved in.

  • dan

    2003/06/06 at 4:38 pm

    dooce – how are you enjoying the new gillian welch album? good stuff, huh? my face just lit up when i saw you had it.

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.

read more