the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Exclamation point, Late Winter Edition

I was all set to sit down and write a lengthy treatise on the sinusitis that has paralyzed the entire right side of my face, and maybe draw a picture for you of the x-ray that showed how my maxillary sinus is filled to overflowing with goo. My doctor acted giddy when he saw the x-ray, flew open the door to the room and said THIS IS SO COOL. Which, okay, I guess I don’t hear that every day, thanks for appreciating the beauty of my infected sinus recess. I have worked very hard on it.

But then I got a thoughtfully hateful email in my inbox this morning and realized I have deprived you of my hatemail for far too long (the last installment was posted over three months ago). I have been selfish in keeping them all to myself, these delicate, fragrant blossoms of humanity, and I knew that you would agree that a diagram of my sinus goo couldn’t possibly compete with the heartwarming sentiments of the following poetry. Although it would come very, very close.

The first one is from highfly2234, a repeat hatemailer whose grace and charm remind me of a dry, itchy crotch:

Now let me get this straight…you actually blog for a living? If your webaite doesn’t demonstrate that any idiot can make a living by posting crap on the internet, I don’t know what does. You have a great scam going on let me tell you. Write letters to your daughter, post pictures of your dog and …AND GET PAID for it. Wow you’re living the American Dream…sitting around your house with a camera on your neck just waiting for SOMEBODY…ANYBODY…to do SOMETHING…that I CAN WRITE ABOUT.

Yeah I don’t see you regretting your life 20 years from at all.

You’re an absolute joke of the worst kind…GET A FRIGGIN LIFE.

And I hope your dog runs away and never comes back because that would be the best day ever!

This is blowing my mind. How did he know? Because my day is pretty much exactly as he described it, right down to the ellipses. Except, he forgot one very important thing: I totally have awesome lip gloss.

And in 20 years when I regret my life? I WILL STILL HAVE AWESOME LIP GLOSS.

Here is one of my favorite pieces of hatemail ever for the sole reason that it was sent to me by someone named Deland. With a name like that you just know that his mama can fry up a chicken:

Hi my name is deland i’m from salt lake i seen your story in the paper so I thought i would check out your blog . Well I think its Lousy it really sucks I bet the only thing U R GOOD AT IS SUCKING ON DICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Internet, that is 14 exclamation points. Not a record by any means, but a good effort, don’t you think? I like how he threw in such a naughty word, too, because where the exclamation points failed to make an impression, that word certainly brought his email to life. DICKS! It’s like, BEAVERS AND DUCKS! Which I like to randomly scream at children who knock on my door.

Up next is one from Paul:

Yes, yes you have to be one of the most pathetic people I have ever seen in my life. for God’s sake (and I’m not even religious) please stop abusing your child.

I think this email would have been better had he given specific examples to demonstrate his point, and maybe thrown in a numbered list or an outline, because which instance of abuse is he referring to? All of them? Only one? Just the ones involving drill bits? That one time I buried her in jello? HELP ME OUT, PAUL.

Next is one from the always diplomatic Anonymous:

Your family should sue you too. I’ve enjoyed your blog but I thnk that you have some serious issues. I read about your legal battles, your depression and all of your other problems, and I can’t help but think that bad things keep happening to you because you are a bad person. I mean look at how much you husband and your child have suffered because of you, and the more publicity you try to get for yourself the more awful things seem to happen in your life. In addition when your child gets older and goes to school everyone there could know that her mother is literally crazy. Imagine how hard that will be for her. Why are you doing this to your family? Do you really need the money that badly?

I get the feeling that this means I should stop trying to hit Mormons with my car.

Which is kind of an appropriate segue into this email from Durga:

I think it’s funny how u hate mormonism and mormons in general but still choose to live in Utah among them.Why not save yourself the daily depression and angst and just move?It makes you look pathetic when you say that it is still the best place to raise children.

I have explained this before, but let me make this clear one more time IF I HAVE TO: I choose to remain in Utah because of all the free tampons. IS THAT SO WRONG?

Here’s another one from another person named Anonymous, what seems to be the second most popular name for children behind Emma:

Why did you turn comments off? Mad because they point out that you are medicated fool? That you really have nothing going on? That you really aren’t that sharp? That you act irresponsibly and foolishly? That you aren’t that attractive?

This is a very thoughtful question, Anonymous, and I can understand why you might be frustrated that you cannot post your fully-formed love for me in my comments. Maybe this will help you understand why I do the things I do (TAKE NOTE, PAUL, I AM MAKING A LIST):

1. I do not open comments on every post because I do not think every post needs any additional commentary, or because I am not going to be around to make sure everyone is playing nicely.

2. On posts that do allow comments, I usually close them within 24-48 hours because the discussion has usually ended at that point. Plus, it keeps everyone nimble.

3. Occasionally I will turn comments off earlier without warning just so that I can get email like yours, full of bravery and courage, a warm kiss on the nose like a steaming Prozac burp.

A distressed reader, Maurice, writes:

Hi there! I love your column, but am getting rather tired of your dog pictures. Take pictures of each other, the house, the neighbors, Leta or gold fish, but ENOUGH with the dog.

Jeez oh pete.

Dear Maurice,


This next one isn’t really a hatemail, but I thought I would share it here anyway just to give you a glimpse as to the amazing things people feel like they need to say to me. From Jamuna:

I just felt inspired to remind you of something that I think you already know but forgot when I read your post about anxiety today. It’s just this: when you eat animals that have been to the slaughterhouse, you are likely consuming on a more subtle and energetic level the adrenaline, fear and anxiety that they almost certainly experienced just before death. The anxiety you are feeling is not just your own but also the feelings of the dead animals.

If this is true, and do I ever hope it is, then the cow that I ate last night must have been feeling very plump and juicy right before they chopped off his head.

And finally, an email from a reader named Amy, and the only way I can explain some of the punctuation is to believe that she typed it with her forehead:

I just started reading. blogs like last week. I do’nt really care what mundan nerds do and then write about. But, you are so cynical. I c’ant get why you would have such a depressed. blase, I dont give a fuck, mean-spirited-attitude. Is that supposed to be “cool?” Its really dorky. Even the “dooce” thing is dorky…what is that? poo? a gambling reference? (SAHF) or a Shit Ass Ho Fuckingbadass? what does that mean? its soooo fuckin dumb….

oh, the only reason I feel compelled to do this, is cuz you get paid for it and its your job. Therefore, I am within my right to criticize. I certainly would’nt go picking on some 14 year olds blog, about the same mentality tho…

Amy, if you read my FAQ (that stands for FuckingAssQuaaludes, in case you were wondering) you’ll see that the “dooce” thing is not a reference to poo, although if you want to believe that, then I guess you are well within your rights to do so, and I certainly won’t stop you. You are also well within your rights to insert an apostrophe anywhere you think it seems cute — I particularly like the one in c’ant, right there at the beginning, like it’s flashing CONTRACTION AHEAD! CONTRACTION AHEAD! and I do appreciate the warning — but this means that I am well within my rights to assume that you are the type of person who hangs Christmas wreaths on the front of her pick-up.

  • thetrittotimes

    2007/03/17 at 3:45 pm

    Holy crap, this is about the funniest thing ever. I don’t know what I’d do with the laughs I get reading your brilliantly articulated posts. You’re a genius. And these morons are…well…morons. Glad Chuck got a piece of the action.

  • Loob

    2007/03/17 at 4:05 pm

    The emailer with the punctuation problem reminded me of this chair.
    What I just said sounds weird, but you’ll get the correlation.
    How cute is this chair? 🙂


    2007/03/17 at 4:46 pm

    This is the first day I’ve read your blog. You had me at your letter to Paul, and by your response to Maurice, I was in tears! Thanks! Now I’ll spend all weekend reading your archives to see what the fervor is all about!

    Love it!

  • Tate

    2007/03/17 at 12:25 pm

    I really find your blog entertaining and beautiful. And, way to live the American dream by making money any way you want. You are an internet entertainer, like Julia Roberts, only in Utah and with a smaller mouth. Check out my blog and tell me what you think. I want to make it better!

  • Angellivia

    2007/03/17 at 12:10 pm

    The mail you get usually makes me laugh out loud in its absurdity but your responses have me clutching my stomach. More often than not I’m unable to read them out to my boyfriend because I’m laughing so hard and he has to come over to the computer to read them for himself.

  • flytrixie

    2007/03/17 at 9:33 am

    I think you should consider running for public office. Two reasons:
    (1.) with your unorthodox but wise point of view, we’d have better government, and
    (2.) people might actual start listening to legislators’ speeches.
    As a bonus, photos of Chuck in Powerpoints or in print would definitely jazz up the news.

    Case in point: anything Dubya has said or done publicly in the last two years–who listens, who cares?

  • micahmaranda

    2007/03/17 at 10:00 am

    You know, this kinda makes me want to send you anonymous hate mail just so I can read your well-written retorts. Oh, and by the way? Yes, sitting on your ass making a living by exploiting your family is DEFINITELY the American Cream Dream!


  • anne_marie_oregon

    2007/03/17 at 10:25 am

    holy crap. yoo rool. But did you seriously have to go there with the christmas wreaths, Heather??? This is my challenge to you … hang a Christmas wreath from your pick-up, Heather. And don’t wait till Christmas to do it.

  • Penny

    2007/03/17 at 11:07 am

    “and I can’t help but think that bad things keep happening to you because you are a bad person.”

    Wine came out of my nose. Thank you Heather, you are a woman of strong character. And good luck with the sinus infection.

  • Lillian

    2007/03/17 at 11:38 am

    You can run me over with your car any time. Then, as I’m lying there bleeding, you can share how you get free tampons in this state, and what brand your awesome lip gloss is. I’ll pick some up on my way home from the hospital. Next, I can sue you, you can write about it, and then you pay me! What an inspiration! Why did you not think of this before?!?

    I wanted to be comment #600, but then comments will be randomly turned of at #599.

    Thanks for the laughs and get well soon.

  • bushra

    2007/03/17 at 11:57 am

    i have a question: do these offenders ever get back to you after seeing their names in lights?

  • WIBlondie

    2007/03/17 at 9:21 am

    I’m on vacation with my husband right now – day 4, on our 6 days of spending every freakin’ second together. And the situation is reaching drastic proportions. It with either laugh really hard at this post, or possibly poke his eyes out with a soup spoon. He’s very glad I chose the former.

  • Jenn

    2007/03/17 at 8:48 am

    I really think you should use that picture of Chuck and “what is that? poo?” as your next masthead.

  • David Buttrick

    2007/03/17 at 8:03 am

    I dont care what anyone says, Heather, you’re a genius!
    I love your blog, and i enjoy reading your posts, too.

    Take care.
    Geek Dave

  • Ktkat

    2007/03/17 at 6:49 am

    Oh, I know it will take you approximately 347 days to get to my post, but I want you to know… YOU ROCK! It cracks me up NO END how much time and effort people put into sending you hatemail. It’s like, they don’t have anything better to do, or something… hmmm. Oh, and I love how they appear to be implying that THEY are good people, but YOU, YOU are the devil incarnate because you honestly, bravely, and comically let the world have a look at a REAL person’s life. I’m sure they really hate all that when they are sitting home alone on the couch eating potato chips and scratching themselves. Must really be hard for them to move aside all the GOODNESS in their brains to come up with the tawdry, nonsense they toss as you.

    As always, you deftly let it fly by. Remember… they will get back 10 times what they put out.

    Oh, and YOU ROCK! Keep up the greatness.

  • Steph

    2007/03/17 at 5:51 am

    Heather, I posted a comment the other day, and realized that I forgot to say – I hope you are feeling better soon!

  • Debbie Ohi

    2007/03/17 at 4:53 am

    Oh my dear lord. I only recently discovered your blog and love it. It’s well-written, clever, and insightful, a shining beacon (shiny as awesome lipgloss, in fact) rising above the angst and mediocrity so prevalent in a bloated blogland. I’m totally hooked.

  • Jason

    2007/03/17 at 5:03 am

    Heather, you are the most punk rock person I know.

  • Kate Xylophone

    2007/03/17 at 5:22 am

    I esteemed you ever-so highly before; I give you little mental lauds and hounours for each and every entry (and usually laugh my ass of – or am touched – or I am moved to flatulence (in a good way)).

    BUT – when you made the VERY SAME observation about Cetaphil that I had noticed so long ago (and did NOT share with a soul – I didn’t think anyone would understand) – perhaps it IS semen (full of nourishing proteins?) – I knew it was true blog love.

    Warmest Regards,

    P.S. And here’s preachin’ to the choir, so to speak: If they hate it SO MUCH, WHY IN GOD’S NAME DO THEY READ IT?

  • tessler

    2007/03/17 at 7:55 am

    You owe me a new couch. I wet myself (and the couch) laughing when I saw the pic of Chuck.


  • CrankMama

    2007/03/17 at 3:13 am

    Thank you. You just made insomnia funnier.

  • liftedlorax

    2007/03/17 at 7:34 am

    Oh the humanity!

    These angry people and their tyrannical rants are sadly comical. I especially enjoyed the sparks from the dimly lit set. Thank you for sharing them and for spicing up my mornings with humor.

    Are any of your hate-mailers related to this guy?


  • cardshoppegirl

    2007/03/16 at 11:08 pm

    Share the name of the brand of lipgloss and whatever with the haters. I love that you can take that hater blahblah and make me laugh out loud with it.


  • Flagstaff Girl

    2007/03/16 at 9:55 pm

    Wow!! Still scratching my head over the angst of the slaughtered beasts comment. Kind of glad I had the cheese pizza tonight. But wait. What if the goat didn’t WANT to give up her milk…I feel angry.

  • moonrattled

    2007/03/16 at 10:56 pm

    Recently I read about a trend among Saltlake City Utah housewives to have a washer and dryer in every bedroom of the house. Um, how decadent is Utah?


    2007/03/16 at 9:54 pm

    I can’t believe they give you free tampons in Utah! I’ll be driving through soon… maybe I’ll time the trip for that time of the month. Gas is expensive and I can use the break on products 😉

  • crazydoglady

    2007/03/16 at 9:14 pm

    Fuck Maurice.

    I would love to see Chuck EVERY SINGLE DAY.

  • mamap

    2007/03/16 at 9:16 pm

    Okay, so now along with those readers, you’ve pissed me off, also. I mean, if that lip gloss is so great, then why not share it with us? In doing so, you’ll make all us female readers (and some male, I’m sure) very very happy. Then, you can get a sponsored link on the right, which will make the lipgloss distributors happy. And then, you get money to start your dog taking picture empire and YOU get happy. So the only people not happy? The people who aren’t happy in the first place.

    Think about it.

  • Janette105

    2007/03/16 at 7:48 pm

    HILARIOUS!! I laughed out loud several times while reading this entry.
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!

    I’m going to think twice before eating dead animals that were traumatized. Thank GOD we now have the answer to what causes anxiety. Who knew? I’m going vegan.

    People are scary! Don’t you wish stupidity was painful?

  • leigh austin

    2007/03/16 at 7:15 pm

    do you really read all of this kiss ass stuff? i would too…so how long does it take?

    thanks for sharing the hate. i’m glad to know people are putting their creative writing skills to good use. or paultry use, as the case may sometimes be.

    did you have to wear special underware when you were growing up? so you could go to heaven? just something i’ve heard.

  • JanaLeigh

    2007/03/16 at 7:13 pm

    I love hatemail posts! It cracks me up. NOTE TO READERS: If you don’t like the blog or the content STOP READING IT. Wait, no scratch that. Keep reading and keep hating and keep sending ridiculous emails so that I can laugh hysterically at them. Thanks for your blog Heather – I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (20, thanks very much)

  • lilydustbin

    2007/03/16 at 6:46 pm

    Heather, your visual response to Maurice is a classic. You’re simply a genius and funny and beautiful. Thank you for the best laugh all week …


  • jenjifer

    2007/03/16 at 6:30 pm

    Shame on you, Heather, mentioning tampons and FORCING us pathetic lemmings to look a at mother suckling her baby at her BREAST (the Boppy ad) on your website? What will you do next? Dissect kittens and feed the entrails to Leta? You’re never gonna get into heaven like that.

    Keep it up.

  • Leezer

    2007/03/16 at 6:14 pm

    Hi Heather. I really liked Amy’s hate mail the best, with all those misplaced modifiers and misspellings. Is there a direct correlation between anger and bad grammar? Does one cause the other? Maybe she was typing with casts on both wrists after having broken them in a bench-clearing brawl. Or maybe she’s stupid. Hmmmm.

  • jobiker

    2007/03/16 at 5:26 pm

    i enjoy your blog very much. you have a great wit and sense of humor – not unlike my own. the hatemailers are definitely an added bonus. just more people that need to get out of the gene pool! keep on truckin’ heather!

  • sprite

    2007/03/16 at 5:30 pm

    The email and then the picture… I burst out laughing so suddenly the cat left the room.

    You so rock Heather.

  • roguephotog

    2007/03/16 at 5:07 pm

    I can’t imagine how soul grating reading those emails must be the first time. But I love that you can turn them around and into something extremely funny. The picture of Chuck had me laughing out loud.

    No matter the content, you’re an amazing writer.It’s a shame some people are lesser read and just don’t get it.

  • Valeta

    2007/03/16 at 5:15 pm

    I love hate mail. I wish someone would hate my blog as much as all those jerks seem to hate yours. But then you might have to actually have a funny clever blog in order to get people to hate you.


  • Sherry Ann

    2007/03/16 at 5:19 pm

    hey, fuck ’em if they c’ant take a joke.

  • anneelizmary

    2007/03/16 at 4:51 pm

    Chuck: Dumping.

    OMG Heather. I love this and laughed and snorted out loud, wheezing enough to wake MY dog. I share sinus goo/migraine pain with you (it might be this tooth going south, but I still have the antibiotics and the good pain meds until the dentist appointment next week).

    I love all the parts of your blog, your diary, your letters to Leta, your hatemail (well edited on your part)and always your choice of photos (especially this one! perfectly timed, placed, and perfectly sized to require scrolling down to see the shoulders, then the hindquarters, then back up to the face of Chuck saying “This is for you, Ass-wipe!”). Gee, did I say that? Being one in solidarity with you and all your good comment writers like KevinCharnas above (Breathe, KevinCharnas!, breathe! has made me very happy on this 10th consecutive day of miserable migraine. Thanks so much for providing us with the Dooceness!

    Love to you, and your little dog, too!

  • Jezzie

    2007/03/16 at 4:40 pm

    Not that anyone will get this far but I loved the dry itchy crotch reference. how much does it suck to be female when that happens.

  • Carol

    2007/03/16 at 4:26 pm

    So how come these hate mailers don’t post when you have comments open?

    OH YEAH, because they know they’re COWARDS. Right now they’re all sitting at their computers, reading this entry and the 500+ comments and crying.

  • linda

    2007/03/16 at 4:25 pm

    You are one funny lady!

  • jessiker

    2007/03/16 at 4:05 pm

    I really love it when you share your hate mail with us, your faithful readers. I appreciate that you’re willing to turn on comments at all, and that you choose entertain any of us for a second. You are my hero.

    And, wasn’t “Amy” in Idiocracy? I thought so.

  • KevinCharnas

    2007/03/16 at 3:57 pm


    you…have…reduced me…

    to convulsions…and tears…

    good lord, woman…

    whew…that was so fucking funny, I can’t stand it. And so here’s the part where I thank you for it…

    Thank you.

    p.s. I think that I have a crush on every shithead that wrote such nasty stuff to you. Without them, we wouldn’t have had this completely hysterical post. Who knew that I’d fall in love with fuckheads of this twisted caliber? My mother wouldn’t be surprised.

  • betsy

    2007/03/16 at 3:55 pm

    hey heather, i usually really enjoy your blog because it’s genuinely funny. i’m really bummed that you would write something like “With a name like that you just know that his mama can fry up a chicken”.i’m guessing that you don’t mean it sounds like he’s from the midwest.

  • amieable

    2007/03/16 at 3:40 pm

    Every time anybody sends you a trolly e-mail, or says anything mean, just send them the Chuck Crapping picture! It’s the perfect amount of disdain and apathy.

  • Gooseberried

    2007/03/16 at 3:50 pm

    I love you, dooce! Way to make money due to your brilliant writing. With a family as cute as yours, it makes complete sense that you can make a living from your site.

    If I see you at Blogher and approach you to introduce myself (a dream come true), I’m really sorry if the words don’t come out. Or if I suddenly wet my pants. Or faint.

  • girlears

    2007/03/16 at 3:35 pm

    When I read your hatemail posts, I feel like they’re insulting me too because I’ve formed a delusional emotional attachment to your blog. (I will try not to wear partially tinted glasses and assassinate you in front of The Dakota.)

    Maurice’s comment was the most upsetting. Chuck has the face of a dog Fabio. How could your readers be deprived of this face? Maurice, you upset me.

  • Lilbird

    2007/03/16 at 3:30 pm

    Christ. I do not know how you do it. Shit like that makes me want to move to Greenland (cuz I’m pretty sure people in Greenland would never send hate mail like that). I mean, what is wrong with people- the girl who typed with her forehead – I think we can all assume she’s a little off. But the others? ….eyeroll…..
    M’Lady, you have one thick layer of skin. You’ve handled it all with humor and grace – lovely.

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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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