the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Grand total of 78,215 words

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Last night I emailed my finished manuscript to my editor in New York, and then I drove downtown, took off all my clothes and ran naked through Temple Square. There was no other appropriate response. Except maybe I should have taped some sparklers to my boobs. [making mental note for future instances of streaking]

I’m not sure what I want to do with the next hour of my life, or even the next ten minutes. I COULD DO ANYTHING. I mean, this whole process started three years ago, and it got really intense a year ago when the deadlines were written in ink on a contract, and since then every single minute of my life has been heavy with the thought of those deadlines. I felt guilty if I took five minutes to read a magazine because I should have been using those five minutes to write my book. I felt like I was walking around with a 500-pound llama sitting on my face, and it hadn’t bathed in several weeks.

So I know it’s not over, because this is when the work really begins, when my editor takes his red pen to the Word document and starts crossing out entire paragraphs and makes notes in the margin like, “YOU ARE DUMB,” or, “SIT ON IT.” But just making it this far was so thrilling that last night I turned to Jon and said, you know what? Tomorrow I’m going to take an entire hour and organize my sock drawer! AND I’M NOT EVEN GOING TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT. That’s how out of control I was.

The following paragraph seems out of context, but trust me, it will all make sense and we will hug at the end.

There’s this show on MTV called “Rob and Big,” and I know there’s nothing more annoying than hearing someone talking about a television show you don’t watch, except maybe having to sit there while someone tells you about the dream they had last night, but pay attention because this is important. Rob is this tiny professional skateboarder who lives in LA and Big is his huge bodyguard, and the show follows them around as they do every stupid thing a 14-year-old boy wishes he could do if only he had the money. And it is our favorite show on television, and one night we’re sitting there watching it unable to breathe because we’re laughing so hard, and I’m all, I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO FIND THIS FUNNY. What is wrong with me? I didn’t like 14-year-old boys when I was a 14-year-old girl, so why was I identifying with this show now? I totally wanted to break up with me.

There’s one specific episode where the two of them are driving through a car wash and an Enrique Iglesias song comes on, and Rob reaches down and turns the car stereo up as loud as it will go and starts singing along like crazy, as if he had written the song himself, and he’s moving his arms to the rhythm like a lunatic. And Big is sitting in the passenger seat, perfectly calm, quietly mouthing the words, nodding his head almost imperceptibly. Jon paused the show and said, this is it, this is why we love this show so much. THAT IS OUR MARRIAGE RIGHT THERE.

It was like a truckload of bricks fell on top of my head. He was exactly right. And if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like in our house on a day-to-day basis, all you have to do is turn on that show, watch Rob come up with some deranged scheme, like I KNOW! Let’s go buy a miniature horse and let it live in our living room! And Big will nod, scratch his chin, maybe shrug his shoulders just a tiny bit, and say, whatever, I only work here.

So last night I downloaded that specific Enrique Iglesias song the second I was done with my manuscript and then went nuts with my set of propellor arms in the kitchen while Jon stood in the corner and bobbed his head to the rhythm. Leta joined me on the dance floor, and Chuck and Coco just wandered around in manic circles like, I don’t know what’s going on, but maybe this is what happens right before bacon falls out of the sky.

  • Lanna Lee Maheux-Quinn

    2008/03/17 at 11:51 am

    Awesome! Congratulations.

  • Heather

    2008/03/17 at 11:51 am

    Congratulations! What a huge accomplishment.

  • Busy Mom

    2008/03/17 at 11:52 am

    You had me at the possibility of falling bacon.

  • Ben Boudreau

    2008/03/17 at 11:52 am

    I think that’s how I feel when I watch Big Brother like a mindless slob. I’m hoping it’s less of a representation of my relationship though since…well, that’d be a big bag of lying, manipulation and eating slop. Okay, it’s close.

    Congrats on the first big step! Can’t wait for the book.

  • Pgoodness

    2008/03/17 at 11:53 am

    That was fantastic. And congrats on finishing!

  • jenna

    2008/03/17 at 11:53 am

    Congrats on everything, Heather! You’re my hero. For reals.

  • traci

    2008/03/17 at 11:54 am

    yay! congrats….now enjoy. 🙂

  • Sara

    2008/03/17 at 11:54 am

    Yay! I can’t wait to read your book.

  • Christina

    2008/03/17 at 11:55 am

    Whoo hoo comments!
    Congratulations on phase one. And please indulge me and watch Family Guy. It will change your life.

  • Tootsie Farklepants

    2008/03/17 at 11:55 am

    Congrats!! I also didn’t like 14 year old boys when I was 14. And I also want a llama. Just not on my face, thanks.

  • Lisa

    2008/03/17 at 11:55 am

    Congrats on finishing your book! That is awesome……….I’m very happy for both you AND Jon! I dance around in my kitchen all the time……….Is there something wrong with that????? Is that not what everybody does!????? hehehehehe! Enjoy your new freedom!

  • Amy

    2008/03/17 at 11:55 am

    Wow, congrats! Looking forward to the book!

  • Jennifer

    2008/03/17 at 11:56 am

    Bacon falling out of the sky….I only hope that I will have a bucket full of mayo to catch them in…


  • LadyBug

    2008/03/17 at 11:56 am

    Congratulations, Heather! This sounds corny, I know, but I’m so proud of you.

  • tiger lamb girl

    2008/03/17 at 11:56 am

    Congrats on finishing the manuscript. 🙂

    I’ve never heard of “Rob & Big”, but hearing your description of them? Made me totally want to subscribe to Sky TV just so I can get MTV so I can watch.

    Bacon. Mmm. Must go cook some now.

  • Polly

    2008/03/17 at 11:56 am


    i especially like the smell after it rains bacon. mmmmm. fresh.

  • natalie

    2008/03/17 at 11:56 am

    congrats! can’t wait for the book to hit the shelves!

  • Sara

    2008/03/17 at 11:57 am

    Also, it was awesome just knowing that you were here in Austin! Congratulations on all of your awards. You deserve them.

  • BluestalkingReader

    2008/03/17 at 11:57 am


    You deserve every bit of the joy, the relief and all the other warm and fuzzy things that must come with this day. REVEL IN IT!

    Can’t wait to read your book, and would love to review it when it’s all ready to go out in galley form. I’m prejudiced because I think everything you do is great.

    Well, maybe not the dancing, but EVERYTHING ELSE.

  • Stephanie

    2008/03/17 at 11:58 am

    That is freakin awesome. Congratulations on the re-birth of your free time.

  • Teresa

    2008/03/17 at 11:58 am

    Congrats! And this made me laugh out loud because now I know why my husband and I love that show too. Thanks for the insight into my life!

  • enjolie

    2008/03/17 at 11:58 am

    congratulations on finishing!!

    and i must admit, every time i see rob and big on mtv i change the channel, not because i don’t like it but because i wasn’t willing to give a new show a chance and because i was hoping for america’s next top model reruns. but now! i will totally watch

  • esmith

    2008/03/17 at 11:59 am

    i LOVE rob & big! and i’m 36. there, i said it outloud. congrats on finishing the manuscript.

  • Heather

    2008/03/17 at 12:01 pm

    Congrats, Heather!
    My friends LOVE Rob & Big and always tell me that I should watch it. Now I think I’ll make an effort to see an episode or two. 🙂

  • Frayda

    2008/03/17 at 12:01 pm

    You rock! Congrats on finishing! I can’t wait to read it! Operation Baby is right around the corner for me, so I hope the book comes out soon!

  • thealchemist

    2008/03/17 at 12:02 pm

    congratulations!! also rob and big always make me smile, don’t even get me started on the theme song…

  • Laura

    2008/03/17 at 12:02 pm

    It was the sacred geometry that got your through the book writing process, wasn’t it?

    And just think, Coco could have been a mini horse. I’m just sayin’.

  • Adriel

    2008/03/17 at 12:03 pm

    I know exactly the scene you are speaking of and OH MY GOD. only they could make me want to listen to enrique. i think that was a perfectly appropriate celebration song. good for you!

  • Michelle

    2008/03/17 at 12:03 pm

    And I’m sure that right after you published this entry, bacon indeed fell out of the sky. ‘Cause it’s been that kind of week.

    Congrats on finishing the manuscript. 🙂

  • Connie

    2008/03/17 at 12:03 pm

    So who gets the Lazy Boy toilet seat in your relationship?

  • j. brotherlove

    2008/03/17 at 12:03 pm

    Congratulations (on the book, not the dance moves)! I’m a Rob & Big fan too. It’s addictive. Don’t fight it.

  • Erin

    2008/03/17 at 12:04 pm

    Do you? Do you? Do you know?

    Rob and Big is also the favorite in our home, as it very well sums up our marriage as well!

  • Denise

    2008/03/17 at 12:05 pm

    I’m gonna now how to check out that show. Great, just one more thing I need to TIVO. Congrats on getting the manuscript finished!

  • Undomestic Diva

    2008/03/17 at 12:06 pm

    Love, love, love Rob & Big. They are on my hump island as one person.

    But really, I want that net gun they bought. I’ve got three kids and if I could just net them every once in a while, I might be a better person. Oddly enough.

  • lola271

    2008/03/17 at 12:06 pm

    Congratulations!! We watch Rob and Big at our house too, and find ourselves laughing so hard we are crying. We have a special affection for Meaty and Mini Horse!!! My favorite is when they made the cereal box dressed up like women!!

  • Bratfink

    2008/03/17 at 12:06 pm

    Good on ya, Dooce!

    That IS something to be proud of!

    Since it’s St. Patrick’s day, and I’m half Irish, and it’s kind of the way I roll, I’ll be celebrating Phase 1 of finishing your book with some Vodka and I’ll toast the computer monitor is your honor!

    [Yeah, we Irish folk use anything as an excuse to celebrate!]

  • Polly

    2008/03/17 at 12:07 pm

    The power of the internet: I just watched it on YouTube

  • Anonymous

    2008/03/17 at 12:08 pm


    Do you. Do you?

    DO YOU???

  • blurb

    2008/03/17 at 12:08 pm

    People, Coco IS Mini Horse. In every way.

  • amandacable

    2008/03/17 at 12:08 pm

    Please tell me you are going to dress up in a fat suit and try to go skateboarding. Or drive up to spidey and net gun his ass after he dumped coffee on your car. Rob and Big is the only thing getting me through grad school right now!

    Also, congrats! Sock drawers are definitely a high priority.

  • Mariah

    2008/03/17 at 12:09 pm

    identifiying with rob & big isn’t a bad thing! we love them in our house. my 14 yr old son and i watch it all the time wishing we had our own mini horse and drama!!

    congrats on all those words, on paper no less (or soon to be).

  • J

    2008/03/17 at 12:20 pm

    I’d be rolling my eyes right now, like oh yeah sure life imitating tv again… if those eyes had not witnessed Rob and Big and their ‘little tiny baby mini horse’

    soooo funnnny….

  • Melly

    2008/03/17 at 12:27 pm

    Jon—your bodyguard.

    Yay on the manuscript!

  • Kristi

    2008/03/17 at 12:27 pm

    Rob and Big. BEST SHOW. EVER. The episode when Big got the XL donut because that’s how big people roll. Hilarious.


    2008/03/17 at 12:28 pm


    Almost as good as the net gun.

    See you tomorrow!

  • canknitian

    2008/03/17 at 12:29 pm


  • myla

    2008/03/17 at 12:31 pm

    Much love and congratulations to you, dear Heather. {{hugs}}

  • Anonymous

    2008/03/17 at 12:31 pm

    Were you wearing sparklers on your boobs while dancing?


  • The CatWoman

    2008/03/17 at 1:38 pm

    Oh. My. God. My husband and I, both forty-something, were watching that same episode, along with our 17 year-old daughter who was sprawled in the floor in front of the couch. I was DYING – tears steaming, gasping for air, and my wonderful sig other was grinning like an idiot, bobbing his head along with big. The daughter looked up at us and said, “this is why my friends love to come to our house. You two are totally wacked.” Sorta summed up how we’ve managed 22 years together.

  • Ashley

    2008/03/17 at 12:33 pm

    can’t wait to read it.

    not that i know you or jon personally, but reading both your blogs AND having (ashamed to admit) watched that show, i can totally see what you are talking about.

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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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