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.

  • Anonymous

    I loved that hat.

  • Kat Maile

    my mouth literally dropped open at the site of that picture. sad, sad day.

  • Heather Outside Boston

    Oh, I hope this is legible, ’cause I’m still laughing so hard there are tears in my eyes. I was so thrilled that you were embracing the hat — it looked fabulous on you, and you’re welcome to join my no-frilly-sleeves-but-rock-the-hats club, then the whole thing went so squirrly and sideways. I just can’t stop snickering, and my boss thinks I’m working on her presentation. Good thing Coco is cute and you can laugh at her (and you know the hat tasted like Mom’s sweat — terrific). Thank you so much for sharing.

  • omg…that was hilarious, heather!

  • You look great in that hat! And I think I’ll steal the idea the next time I travel somewhere warm…

    To bad you didn’t manage to get a pic of Chuck in the hat before it’s untimely demise…

  • Sandy W.

    Say it ain’t so…

    Shirts are so overrated after three margaritas!

  • You’d think she’d at least have enough fashion sense to chew up Jon’s clogs instead of your hat!

    Damn, that was a good-looking hat, too. Bad girl, Coco! She is so freakin’ cute, though. They’re little chewing machines when they’re puppies…my dachshund ate so many bits and pieces of everything that his poop looked like it had confetti all through it. Festive, yet infuriating.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, keep your cute Angela Adams bag AWAY from the dog. I covet that bag.

  • Last time there was a dog “but” at our house The Baron (our basset hound) ate a battery.

    And lived to tell the tale.

  • wow, that hat was completely destroyed.

    at least you have one great picture of yourself in it!

  • Think of it this way… Things are always appreciated more when they reach their demise at the top of their game. That hat will infamously live on. It won’t end up in a DI pile years down the road. It’ll always be remembered by you and the man you continiously poked on the plane.

  • Stacey

    LMFAO, I second the underwear, pillows, carpet, garbage, bathroom garbage, comforter, and legos. They all got eaten at my house too. I come home to a mess everyday!! and if someone leaves a door open to the bathrooms or bedrooms, they have to clean the mess.

    Sorry to read about the hat, it looked great!

    We also lose a great number of lincoln logs.

  • I have the same kind of skin that you do. If I’m out in the sun for more than 20 minutes my skin turns bright red. That’s my cue to find shade and sit there like a freak while all the other normal people go about frolicking in the sun without a care in the world. So yes, I am also a wearer of floppy hats. I think that one looked really good on you.

    As for the dog…my brother’s dog eats everything. He once at one of my brother’s gym socks and it took a few days for that to pass. My patient sister-in-law took the dog outside and helped it along. My brother just kept wishing the dog would die already. Needless to say…that was just the first in a long line of mishaps with that dog…

  • Anonymous

    Oh no. FWIW, I think that hat looked fabulous on you. I suppose it was Coco’s way of telling you to go away for a nice trip with a friend and buy another fabulous hat.
    And be happy you don’t have that great Dane I used to know, who ate his owner’s expensive wristwatch in protest for not being allowed to kill visitors.

  • yeah, i too was crazy enough to trust one of my boxers for just a few minutes. i lost a good camera lens to that trust.

    Boxers: We accomplish more in 20 minutes than most teenagers do in an entire day!

  • isn’t it amazing how that ALWAYS happens to the best pieces!!!

    i cry every time i find a pair of heels in my dogs crate… you think i would learn.

  • At first I thought those were feathers and I was all “OMG! Coco ate a live chicken!” but then I realized that it’s your beautiful incognito hat. And I am horrified.

  • And just when you’d considered remodeling your wardrobe, you’re suddenly reminded that anything new will only end up a chew toy.

  • Oh dear. At least she passed it! My dog has eaten two used condoms in his 4-year lifetime, and pooped both out whole, no problem. So we know who’ll we be using when we need to smuggle the drugs. He’s our own little “Maria Full Of Grace.”

  • Sam

    Seriously? I dig the hat…hard 🙂

  • That last line made me snork coke out of my nose. Thanks!
    You looked fabulous in the hat, I think you should bring big brimmy hats to Utah as only a southern girl can. The larger the better.

  • Awww man! I think the hat looked snazzy on you as well!

  • Please tell me you’ve read some Jon Katz books. Among his dogs are border collies, some rather frenetic (perhaps like Coco).

  • And it is so finely shredded. I would half expect that all those little pieces would have been lapped up!

  • Bannod

    I’m sure everyone in Palm Desert was wondering what star was trying to hide her identity with shades and a hat.

    I thought you looked great.

  • I think the hat is MARRRRRRRRVELOUS darhling…

    Now that’s a fine welcome back…I know when I let my ‘puppy’ free to roam, he eats EVERYTHING…evvvvvvvvverrrrrrrrrything. Just this weekend I had to replace the lent pipe thingy from my dryer vent because he ATE the dang thing…when he eats food off the counters..I understand but an aluminum thingy??? Whats the flavor in that?

  • That was a great hat.
    May it rest in piece.

  • Anonymous

    Years ago, when my roommate’s mother was visiting for a weekend, my lucky thong undies went missing. Turns out the new puppy we had adopted ate them and pooped them up–undigested– in a perfect circle on top of my roommate’s mother’s suitcase. I always tell everyone that I washed them and wore them again but it isn’t true. I just like saying that.

  • Smyra

    I don’t often read a blog entry and think, “that was very well crafted,” but just now I did. Maybe it’s just the nature of the story, but I still laughed out loud. A lot. I’m at work, people stared. Thanks for being awesome. =)

  • I think the hat looked kind of awesome. May it rest in peace. (I really wanted to make a pieces/peace joke there, but see? See my restraint? Behold the power of the hat.)

  • Ahhh… dogs!! They are sooooo cute but sometimes u just wanna ……. (fill in blank with desired action)….!!
    A little like kids – just they don’t respond as well to time-outs & shouting – hehhehehhee 😉
    PS: the hat looked great on you – go get another!

  • Oh, that sucks! You looked like a movie star in that hat. Time for more margaritas. 🙂

  • I think I love you.

  • Anne

    Her tombstone may well read WAS SOLD TO BUTCHER, but can she be sold as organic free-range if she is kept on a leash? Clearly she will make inferior puppy broth.

  • Surely it can be salvaged. A little dental floss, two years of weaving, and good as new.

  • After college I lived with a roommate who had a Boston Terrier puppy. I brought home the holy grail of breakfast burritos once, set it on the coffee table, and stepped out of the room for some hot sauce. Upon returning to the living room, I found that the dog had pulled the burrito out of the bag, and unwrapped all the foil, and eaten my breakfast burrito whole.

    I was totally depressed, cause wasted bacon! But I couldn’t help but be impressed with her accuracy.

  • SuzieQ

    Reminds me of the time I shopped for days and days and finally found the PERFECT pair of sandals..only 2 pair in my size and to be smart I of course bought both pair…No, my bouvier did not chew up those beautiful sandals…ONLY THE LEFT ONE OF EACH PAIR!!! Would have been great for anyone in a one legged shit kicking contest though! By the way, you have the most beautiful hands..

  • nikkip

    you look SO A-list celebrity in that photo–you’re even shielding yourself from the photographer!

    it seems you’ll need to go hat shopping this weekend.

  • Ben

    Oh puppies…trust me, it’s no better when you have a small dog except for the added pressure of having enough self-restraint to keep from squashing it like a cute, fuzzy bug.

  • that was a very great “i should be finishing my taxes, but instead i’m dicking around on the net” break. thank you.


    (Um, not in a creepy, room full of your pictures, it puts the lotion in the basket kinda way. Just to be clear.)

    Thanks for always making my day!

  • Ah,the vacation hat…it works so well at the beach or while window shopping in a known tourist locale. And it did suit you well. But it’s possible Coco did you a favor. I once wore my “vacation” hat to a hometown pub after returning from a trip, and I gotta be honest, it didn’t go over so well. Maybe I need to get a dog.

  • At least we now know that Coco is a real puppy. I do so miss the daily treasure hunt to identify what missing item my dog has just crapped out.

  • Laura M.

    I love my cats.

  • Awww, damn. Don’t you hate it when your dog eats your new lifestyle? Love that picture of you in the hat, you look great. And tell me about that dress! I’d love a dress like that. Well, in August, when Portland finally gets warm, then I would love a dress like that.

  • k-m-s

    L. O. L. How is it that you always make funny right when I need it most?!?

    You should do a Happy Face edition of Exclamation Point just to show the haters how much more you are loved!


  • Seaglass

    Easily one of your funnier posts in recent memory…sorry about the hat (it looked wonderful on you), but its loss was justified if it meant we got to enjoy this very droll account.

  • Jenni

    Ah … too bad about the hat.

    Last night, I had to make my dog drink hydrogen peroxide (the vet told me to!!) so that he would vomit up the corn cob he had just swallowed WHOLE. He took it down in 2 seconds flat.

    We were watching the Illusionist … we thought it was a magic trick.

  • You’ll always have the memories…

    (PS- At least Leta didn’t eat the hat).

  • My dog eats Christmas lights. Seriously. Try and clean that poop up!

    As to the 7000SPF sunscreen and still getting burnt, check out this site, which is designed for people who need extra UV protection.

    www dot coolibar cot com

    My cousin uses this all the time (she’s a walking melanoma) and swears by it. Worth a shot, anyway!

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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