An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Her tombstone will read WAS SOLD TO BUTCHER

While visiting the Palm Desert last week with my friend Carol I picked up a fancy hat at a local shop to help defend my delicate butterfly skin from the ferocious rays of the sun. No I’m not kidding, my skin is made of some sort of super flimsy pancake batter, and I was out in the sun for less than an hour with SPF 70 lathered over my entire body and I still got sunburned. Where do I go from there? SPF Sweat Suit? SPF Remain Inside and Look Longingly Out My Window?

So I bought a hat to shade my face and neck as we walked along El Paseo and window shopped, and I consider that a sacrifice because I don’t wear hats. Hats are for women who can pull off puffy sleeves and lacy collars, and I wish I was one of those women but let’s be honest. I buy clothes based on how well they match my sports bra. And here I was walking around with this swoopy straw hat jutting four feet off my head feeling VERY. CONSPICUOUS. and every time we passed someone on the street I wanted to stop them and say I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING BUT YOU’RE WRONG. And then lift up my shirt to show them my skin cancer scars and go THESE. THESE MADE ME DO IT.


But then we stopped at a bar and had three margaritas, because we were on vacation and would not be required to make decisions affecting the well being of certain small humans back home, and what do you know? A little tequila can make you reconsider your entire wardrobe. Why didn’t I wear more hats? Hats are awesome! And it’s kind of hot in here, why are we still wearing shirts? ALSO! WHO WANTS TO DANCE? Here, if I jump off this counter will you catch me?

A few hours later after the tequila had worn off I was still convinced that this hat was the best thing that ever happened to fashion, and days later when I was packing all my things for the plane ride home I decided that it was too precious to fold up and shove into the bottom of my suitcase. Instead, I thought, I’ll go through the trouble of carrying it home, and for the next five hours I juggled it, four large magazines and a camera bag that weighed 180 pounds. It was an awkward plane ride made even more uncomfortable by the fact that the aircraft was so small that the only place to put the hat was on my head. And the brim kept knocking into the ear of the strange but patient man who sat to my left. My God, that man showed such restraint, and I would not have pressed charges if he had decided to take out a pencil and stab me in the thigh.

The welcome I received at the airport was incredible, but only because I had promised Leta that I would be bringing her presents. And when she saw me she ran up, wrapped her arms around my neck and the first thing she said was DID YOU GOT STUFF? The second thing was WHAT’S ON YOUR HEAD? And I was all Leta, I might look ridiculous now, but wait until you’ve had a couple martinis and it will totally make sense.

The following morning I lounged in bed a little longer than normal, happy to be back with my super cuddly husband and daughter who was occupied with the STUFF! I’d brought back from Palm Springs. I guess we were feeling cocky, because we normally have Coco on leash at all times so that we can keep track of her and curb her shenanigans, but we let her roam around that morning as we stole a few more minutes of sleep. That’s a famous last word there: BUT. BUT WHAT? THERE ARE NO BUTS WHEN YOU LIVE WITH A PUPPY. You might as well just follow that word with THEN EVERYONE DIED or A HAMMER FELL OUT OF THE SKY AND HIT ME IN THE FACE.

In this particular instance that BUT was followed by this:

And two consecutive days of a dog trying to pass straw out of her ass.

  • and that is why I will never adopt a puppy :o)

    the 2 year old sheepdog we just got is all housebroken and stuff.

  • Beth

    And after all that trouble! The hat looked nice, sorry for the loss.

  • I feel your pain keenly. I have a boxer who, for I think just the sheer challenge of it all, like to pull things like, say, a plastic pants hanger with the pinchy thingies on the end, through the bars of his crate, pulverize and consume it while I sleep.

    And the hook part of that hanger? I have yet to find. But he hasn’t eaten anything valuable unless you count the crotches of all those pairs of underwear.

  • Amanda

    holy crap, that’s funny.

  • Blaine

    And it was such a nice hat, too!

    Maybe she was sent to you to test your patience…

    Good luck with that! 🙂

  • Lyz

    I think my husband did the same thing to a couple of my big floppy straw hats. And he yelled, “I didn’t marry no prairie woman!” between huge bites of straw. Jokes on him. I bought more!

    That hat had a brief but glorious life. It will be remembered well. Welcome back from vacation.

  • Now that’s funny! You couldn’t have scripted a better story if you tried. Nice!

  • Rio


    it was for the best. :o) hope the doggy is now okay.

  • Oh this is all too familiar! That was a great hat and it looked great on you. Maybe Coco was mad at the attention that the hat got??


    What will your delicate butterfly skin do to that cute ferocious pup?

  • Aw, that hat looked sexy on you; you need another!

  • delia

    Coco- the newest member of the Salt Lake City K9 fashion police squad.

  • Dear 7 Pound Baby Jebus:

    Thank you that you talked me out of adopting a puppy.

    Love, Me

    P.S. Please help Coco to poop out that big ol’ hat. Thanks!

  • J.

    Oh no!! You looked really good in the hat! With the big sunglasses and your profile, you look like a celeb sneaking out of rehab, trying to go incognito. Anyway, can’t blame a puppy for being a puppy, and where in SLC would you sport your glamorous Palm Springs head gear?

  • Amy

    Best story ever. For what it’s worth, you should try hats more often–you pulled it off well.

  • You did look fabulous, though. Although, I must preface (except now it’s not a preface because I’m saying afterwards), that statement with the fact that I am still hungover from drinking last night, so perhaps you shouldn’t trust my judgement.

  • Jen

    God give me strength, we’re getting our 2nd puppy in 6 months next week. The first one already tore up our couch, shattered the hummingbird feeder, shredded the crown molding along the staircase, stained the carpet………

    I repeat, God give me strength.

    RIP pretty straw hat.

  • We babysat a beagle puppy one weekend and in the morning I woke up and found an old teddy bear without a ribbon around its neck anymore and thought, well, I guess Rufus tore that up. Except then I took him out for a walk, and WHAT DO YOU KNOW, I watched as the entire red ribbon emerged from his butt, one inch at a time.

  • perfect set up – perfect delivery. that’s story telling at its finest right there!

  • That. Was. AWESOME! Did Coco look up with that classic dog look of, What? Is this not allowed?

  • kelli

    shave the pup and have your knittin’ friend make you a new hat!!!

  • Look at it this way: Coco will not have to worry about getting enough fiber in her diet for the next year.

    Has she gotten into the trash and eaten used sanitary napkins yet? My Weimaraners LOVE to do that.

  • Erin

    Clearly I am not too swift on the uptake…I was looking at that picture going, “What is that? Tissues? Paper? Hmmmm…” Too funny!

  • deb

    I can totally relate; Our dog ruined 2 cell phones, a digital camera…not to mention several pairs of shoes, clothing etc. Some would say that she is punishing you for leaving!! My dog did this when I was away and it was only my stuff that got ruined! and since your scent was on that hat…
    But, It was a great hat!!! ;(

  • I have a pair of Gucci flip flops that experienced the same fate as your lovely hat. My condolences.

  • Just wanted to say you looked great in that hat. I wish I could pull hats off like you do. My beagle loves to eat my kid’s legos. At least then I don’t have to pick them up! (By the way, my beagle is chubby like Bo is!)

  • Anonymous

    I have been here so many times. I have lazy grown retired greyhounds, and my cowboy boots ended up looking like your hat.

  • Christina

    How can a dog find the one thing you love? Out of all the things to chew on, and there is lots of stuff, the one thing that you cherish? Our dog managed to chew on the new pillows in the living room. Now these pillows brought the entire room together, they were the hinge of the room. I didn’t cry when he chewed my brand new rug, or on the old couch or the new couch, but when I came home one day and saw the stuffing of those pillows everywhere, I though that the front of my brain exploded and my eyeballs popped out.

    I so feel for you. Oh, and they always make sure it’s something that you can’t run out and replace with the same thing. Crafty dogs.

  • Thank you for that last line and the cranberry juice I just choked on.

  • anjeee

    omg!!! not your hat!!!

  • That was the repayment for nailing the guy next to you in the plane with the brim of your hat. *wink*

  • Heather M.

    The hat was lovely and you looked wonderful wearing it. You should buy another and make a pitcher of margaritas to celebrate.

  • yikes. bad dog. hope she doesn’t get into your shoes.

  • This human visitor is sorry but amused by your K-9 loss.

  • rebecca

    Dude, it’s so sad, but that is exactly how I wanted that story to end. The hat was so cute, I guess you’ll just have to make another trip to Palm Springs to get a replacement.

  • Oh no! I understand about what you mean with hats.

    I am a red-head with very sensitive skin. I can’t even keep count of how many moles I’ve had removed. I have a canvas sun hat that is seriously dorky looking. Yours was much cuter, may it rest in peace.

    I’m sure one of your ten kazillion readers has mentioned this before, but you can buy wonderful sun protective clothing and HATS here:

    Good for you for embracing the HAT! and protecting your skin. Let’s bring hats back into vogue together!

  • damn, that was an awesome hat on you. margaritas or martinis ALWAYS result in me owning another wide brimmed hat. glad to know i am not alone!

    that dogs is lucky to be alive. then again, so are mine.

  • JessicaP

    our now 9 year old german shepard ate our sofa cushions when she was about 6 months old and my now husband thought it was “mean” to leave her int eh crate “all day long” (like 3 hours.). It was the first and last thing she ever ate. Shitting out sofa filler for a week straight seems to have cured her from ever feeling the need to eat somethign other than her food, or the neighbors cat, ever again. I heop Coco learns the same lesson from your hat.

  • Jeanette

    As I read, and scrolled down, I kept saying “oh no” louder and louder until I finally came upon the destruction! You are such a fantastic story-teller! What a great entry, though I’m not sure you are as psyched on the story as I am…being the hat widow and all. Here’s hoping Utah has similar awesomeness to buy at your local mall.

  • Are you kidding? If I looked that fab in a hat, I’d wear one all the time! But poor Coco – ouch!

  • When my lab puppy decided my new leather boots looked tastier than the puppy food we gave her, she didn’t actually eat anything but the laces — which eventually had to come out. Not pretty.

    Just like my boots, however, your hat is (was) AWESOME.

  • Our dogs tend to destroy anything that brings us joy also… but we love them anyhow.

  • so went the way of my Steve Maddens, an uber-trendy beach grass straw bag, the monks’ dog training book, a $50 bill, etc.

    good thing she’s cute, eh?

  • Cassie

    I also had a dog destroy a beloved hat. Mine was the color of cookie monster and just as fuzzy. I bought it in Big Sur and it survived a week of extreme hiking, rain/snow/sleet….yet it could not withstand a black lab.

  • shaunacon

    Why does Coco seem to be infatuated with eating her bedding? Didn’t Jon post some photos a few weeks ago of a similar incident?

  • Oh, crap! I totally forgot to warn you about puppies and HATS!

    Those puppies will totally try to eat your favorite I-only-wear-to-parties-that-I-know-I-don’t-have-to-drive-home-from-hat-that-your grampa-gave-you; or the sun block hat you got while on vacation.

    Same difference. Sorry.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your hat! I’m a hat wearer myself, by necessity. (I have trouble finding foundation light enough to match my skin tone.) I would probably kill anyone who destroyed one of my beloved hats, so I admire your restraint. If you ever come to Boston, there is a shop on Newberry Street called Toppers. Go there and get another hat. If you invite me along I will help you pick out one you will love without the aid of ethanol.

  • Ben

    Ah, Costco dog beds. Can’t beat ’em.

  • shaunacon

    Scratch that last comment. For some reason even with the explanation of the hat I thought it was her bed. Why must puppies eat everything chewable?

  • jessica

    Having lived with a puppy, i can relate.

    And also, I think that hat looked quite elegant on you, especially with the big sunglasses!

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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