the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Exclamation point, long overdue edition

To set the tone for this installment I think it’s safe to assume that each one of these pieces of mail was written late at night a few minutes after the author had taken a shit in his adult diaper, and after he hit the SEND button he went merrily back to picking the lint out of his belly button and then feeding it to his fish.

First up, one from Kent:

I have no interest in popular things, and find that people who like popular things are lame. But I was so bored one day that I had no choice but to click over and read your website. I guess it wasn’t that bad, but why do you think it is so interesting to balance things on your dog’s head? It is not interesting. In fact, it’s dumb. And stupid. I’ve never been so bored looking at a photo of a dog in my life.

So, if I’m reading that one correctly, Kent regularly urinates into a porcelain gravy bowl and then pours it into his coffee because it tastes like honey. And one day he got bored of braiding his underarm hair, stumbled across my website, and developed an opinion about whether or not it is officially interesting to balance objects on the head of a canine. I was not aware that it was necessary to have an opinion on that subject, and have somehow lived my life not knowing that I had to take sides. This makes me sad when I consider all those hours I could have spent staring angrily at photos of dogs with blenders on their heads, when instead I just turned off my computer and walked away.

This next one is from Alana:

I read about you letting your daughter eat her own hair. You must dissuade her from doing this. Why are you not stopping her? Oh, that’s right, that would require actual parenting and stuff.

Oh wait, this is called parenting? Because when they sent me home from the hospital with a baby I thought they said, “Have fun partying!”

Reader Krista also had some interesting advice:

Leta has inherited a very large forehead from you. You shouldn’t pull her hair back so far as it only accentuates the 5-head. Letting her hair down is far more flattering and might keep kids from picking on her about it when she gets older.

Do you think that when Krista masturbates she’s lying there thinking about her organized collection of Waterford Crystal, how it sits perfectly in a glass cabinet in the foyer and she never lets her husband touch it? Because that makes me so hot just thinking about it.

Here’s a thoughtful letter from a reader named Ashlee:

I went to your site today and I think it really stinx. Your really bad at writing. and being a good person. and u cant even teach you kid how to act like a normal person. And your really not civelized at all. Stop being a lazy ass women who takes up space and get a real job why dont u get a real job!!! your really gay. I can like smell ur stupidness from my own house and guess what! i live far away in cali. u dont even worship god. and pray and stop dissing mormons. and ppl who ACTUALLY BELIEVE IN THE RITE THING. CUZ YOUR GUNNA ROT IN HELL YOU STUPID,,,
luv ashlee NOT,,,,, cuz I dont luv you,, I HATE YOU and I want u to answer to this or else our a lame. pathetic pussy,

That collection of commas almost gave me a seizure, because I kept pausing, and then just when I thought it was time to stop pausing I had to pause again. I don’t appreciate being teased like that.

Also do you get the feeling that while Ahslee was writing this email she was all, “THANK GOD for the wireless modem, because it makes it so easy to surf World Wide Internet Blog sites from the toilet I have been sitting on for two years.”

This next one is from Agnes:

Condolences for your miscarriage might be in order if you didn’t make a career out of thumbing your nose at God.

Thank you, Agnes, for proving once and for all that religious fanatics aren’t total douchebags. And it’s so true, if Jesus saw a pregnant woman who had fallen to the ground, he’d surely walk up and kick her in the stomach. I remember that teaching specifically.

A reader named Nomen writes:

What’s amazing to me is that with all of your history of mental illness and your problems with parenting that you would even consider having another child.

What miracle will happen that will make a new child perfect enough for you not to hate it??

What miracle will happen that will make you a sane mother??

None.

Go have yourself another drink and double your prescription for birth control pills.

Oh, I forgot. You make money off of the kid you have.

That’s a good reason for having another one, I suppose, if you’re you and fucking insane.

Do the world a favor and don’t bring a child into the world knowing it will be mentally ill and mentally handicapped as you are.

Well, this one seems a little harsh, doesn’t it? And I know that many of you out there have identified with this website because of the struggles that I went through after Leta was born, and if someone said something like this to you it would infuriate you, and I can understand wanting to feel that way. And if anyone ever does say something like this to you here’s what you need to remember: the person who wrote this email is no different than the old lady standing in line behind you at the supermarket, the one who smells like moth balls, and she’s peering into your shopping cart trying to see what you’re buying, and when she sees that you’ve got a frozen TV dinner in there she’s making all sorts of judgments about you and assuming that in your free time you download porn. Using a stolen credit card.

And if you stick around to watch her pay for her food and walk to her car you’d see her muttering to herself under her breath the entire time, and almost all of those mutters would be punctuated with multiple exclamation points and question marks, and by the time she gets the keys out to unlock the door her orange nylons have pooled into doughnuts around her ankles. And you’d feel sorry for her knowing that she’s going home to an empty house and will probably fall asleep watching an episode of “Deal or No Deal.” And you’d kind of just want to give her a hug.

Next up, one from someone who calls himself sb700:

I think you are the autistic one in your family!!!

Translation: “My mom grounded me and won’t let me play Wii!!!” And he’s down there in his basement bedroom in his “DON’T HASSEL THE HOFF” tee shirt wiping the goo from a zit on his pillow. Because no one is there to notice.

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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