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 soon we will hear the words, “The hat is shat”. God.. I love a puppy.

  • stella

    I must say that I really really love your blog. The story today about the hat made me laugh out loud. Thanks for making my day a little brighter with your hilarious insights about life. Know that you have fans in Vancouver, Canada!

  • My God that looks like my house does everyday. I have 2 puppies that have a fascination with making everything into confetti.

  • Often Embarrased by my Dog

    Willa is part dog, part billy goat. Sunday night, for a snack, she ate two UNused, tampons. They were delicious aparently. All that was left were the small bits of wrapper and one half of one cardboard applicators. Call me in a couple days, we’ll have a great photo opportunity for you.

  • Darn it. I really liked that hat and was even thinking about going out and getting one for myself. How stylish would I look in Texas with one of those on while I mowed my lawn, or went to the market, or two-stepping. I’d be all the rage, eccentric, and maybe even a bit gay, but no one could deny my stylishness.

  • I am going to print that picture and paste it on the steering wheel of the car, so that every time we are tempted to go down to the shelter and meet some puppies we are reminded of what we are getting into.

    You did look good in that hat, Heather, but you also looked a lot like a very famous person trying not to be recognized. Which I guess you are.

  • DesignGirl

    Ha! When my dog, Dakota, was about 7 months old, a pair of black lycra biking shorts went missing. I found them a couple days later, in the back yard. They were missing most of one leg. Hmmm… where did it go? Oh yeah, a couple days after that, I look out back to see Dakota all hunched over doing a scootie across the yard. And what was coming out of that doggie place we never, never go? Yes, the missing leg to my shorts. Here it is about 10 years later, and to this day, he’s never chewed any more clothes! I think I can hear his little mutt-butt puckering each time he sees me folding laundry.

    Pavlov would roll over in his grave ….

  • amy

    heather, so many of your blog entries regularly make me laugh hysterically or smile very loudly. this one made me do both enough to comment for the first time. (actually, i wanted to several entries ago when you posted several examples of crazy people emails you get, but i waited too long.)

    i do not have a dog, but love several dogs who live with other people. these other people’s dogs are the reason i do not have one of my own. ………..though i said the same thing about other people’s children, and now i’m about to have one of my own of those, and so i’m sure it’s just a matter of time on the dog thing.

    also, i liked the hat. i think you rocked it, with or without margaritas.


  • jenni

    wow – very funny

    thanks for the laughs

    read about you in wall street journal – knew nothing of you until then

    glad to have found you

    keep it up

  • akaellen

    For everyone who made a comment about their puppy woes I say AMEN Brethren!

    I catalogued the list of things my pup was destroying –for a while–but then that got just way too depressing.

    But DANGIT she’s so darn cute!

  • Oh no, the hat! Quick you must go buy a new one it looked great on you.

    Our dog has eaten 1 window sill, mangled beyond belief 1 very expensive down comforter and tried to eat a door. I feel your pain.

  • Oh, Coco…. Maybe she knew something with her doggy senses? Perhaps the hat contained aspestos? And exactly how do you spell asbestos, anyway?

  • You totally have my dog. And my sympathies. Mine once ate $15.00 out of my wallet. Did the hat cost more than that? If so, you win.

  • So much for Coco’s fashion sense.

  • You were featured in a recent Wall Street Journal story, so I thought I ought to take a look.

    Congrats on the publicity for your little blog.

    My reaction after reading your stuff: Four million page views a month for boring drivel about a mundane life?

    Yikes! Amazing how easily people are entertained.

  • Ms. Kitty

    With such a high fiber content in her diet, Coco will never have to have Katy Couric host a special on doggy colonoscopies.

  • You could always wear Coco on your head. That totally works.

  • lizandboys

    How DARE you try to relax and not pay attention to the adorable(?) puppy! Have you learned your lesson??

    OH, I HATE it when they chew something you LOVE…it’s bad enough when they chew something your child loves…the TEARS! (and it doesn’t teach my children to PICK UP their toys)

  • Katie

    I happen to think the hat looked awesome on you and totally wish I could pull off a hat like that. Too bad the puppy got to it.

  • Yeah, that sucks. My German Shepard ruined my favoritest pair of Kenneth Cole shoes. I’ve never wanted to hurt an animal before. He didn’t even destroy them- he just chewed the buckles off. So they’re still intact, just useless. *sigh*

  • oh my… your poor hat! so sad. so very very sad.

  • Anonymous

    Just so you know. I have been stabbed in the thigh with a pencil (self inflicted). It’s no joke.

  • It’s like the time the dog chewed up the obedience book, only sooooo much worse!
    Feel your pain.

  • Melanie

    Your blogs provide the levity I desperately need. And I agree with whoever said you look like a star! I bet several people thought you were!

  • Maybe you should have given Coco some martini?

  • Aww, that hat looked awesome!! What a shame that the puppy ate it.

    I say that with the deep envy of someone who looks awful in hats. Before or after tequila.

  • Only to you…

  • Dee

    OK this is going to sound strange but I am hearing about you for the first time. I read about you after going to the 5 mins for moms site where they referred to the article in the WSJ. Yeah for you! Drive over those nasty emails, swear when you feel the need and damn it wear hats if you want to.

  • Michelle

    Dogs are SO funny. Whenever I am getting ready to go away, if I leave a suitcase on the floor, while I search for the appropriate clothing, my 2 year old dog–who is fully trained mind you-will poop in the suitcase when I am not looking. Talk about a message! I’m thinking if she could get her paws on a horse’s head it’d be in my bed– lickety split.

  • CollyP

    I laughed so hard at this- Then sent it to my husband who also laughed. At least it wasn’t jewlery so there’s no need to poo treasure hunt. Good times!

  • Erin G

    Can I buy her for $1.49 a pound?

    So sorry about the hat…maybe you can form a new hat out of straw-infused Coco poop?

  • Anonymous

    You should wear hats…that one looked great on you! Sorry for your loss.

    Your story reminded me of the time my husband, a poverty stricken competitive cyclist just starting out, was given a European team jumper by a visiting champion. Despite the fact that in those days he never did laundry, he lovingly handwashed the sweat soaked item and hung it outside to dry on the Hills Hoist. He came home to find only the arms hanging from the clothes line and our doberman puppy sleeping on the rest of it. It was in the days before lycra otherwise I’m sure that dog would still be bouncing up and down on it – having invented canine bungee jumping.

  • I’m ashamed to admit that I sort of like the hat. And I can’t wear puffy sleeves.

  • I can’t tell you the number of things our Aussie destroyed when he was younger. He’s 5 now and still manages to get into trouble. Is yours a puker? Bear will puke up anything foreign, from sticks to half a Swedish fish. Half. Is this any consolation? No? Well…consider it sympathy then. They’re busy little buggars.

  • Ann

    You know those giggles that leave you gasping for air? Yeah. Thank you for this.

  • tracey

    I can’t tell you how much I love it that every photograph of Coco shows a leash dangling from her neck. It’s like, “Hey! Look at me! I’m special!” In a total short bus kind of way. So endearing.

  • Jen

    Why couldn’t she have just eaten the clogs?

  • Ula

    And there you have the reason why we like cats. I think you are very cute in the hat. 🙂

  • I need to find a hat like that to protect my pancake batter Irish skin. Except that you can pull it off and I totally can’t. Bad Coco.

  • KT

    ha! ha! ha! I laughed out loud – perfect post-work comic relief.

  • how tragic! i’ve never commented before, but i couldn’t resist after this post. i feel the same about hats–i always wish i was a hat girl, but never feel confident in them. the photo of you in your hat and sunglasses looks great. so sad it’s gone. but at least you know now you can pull it (the hat look) off.

  • Oh no!! Heather, that was a totally cute hat.

    OK, Coco is outta there. Coco is cute, but the hat was cuter. And the hat would have never pooped on your carpet, either!

  • I know this will probably hurt to hear after what wound up happening but … that hat with those glasses makes you look like Gillian Anderson.

  • Christine

    Ok, I just read a Salt Lake City news story on Heather (I live scant miles from her, as I have just detected), having never heard of her until yesterday. I was skeptical, but had to know what would inspire a sardonically-witty Utah mama to sell her soul to the Net … Ah-ha! Upon further inspection I have witnessed that she is lovely … yet not against appearing a fool, fearlessly bold and unapologetic. A true modern Alpha mom – for her drive to excel personally, in family and her Blogerdom career (not mocking; I’m jealous LOL). As I read her certainly largest mode of fan mail, aka blog comments, I see how fired-up she must feel … ready to flex her writing muscle against the naysayers, having a slew of fans on her team to buoy her up to virtually tell-all (of course the continued financial perks are a clincher). Kudos to Heather and her team of hubby, daughter and canines, family, friends etc. She shows true mojo … and makes me feel bold enough to keep my similarly restless puppy another day. To keep a sense of humor regarding my kids maddening antics, and to go with the flow … and even love my husband for his own wacky self. Oh, and to throw myself a break. Heather proves that being imperfect just may be perfect.

  • Anita

    Oh my God, I needed a laugh like that. A laugh that comes out of the “O” shape of my mouth as in “OH that little…. Tee hee hee”. Only because you provided such a fabulous visual with the photo (sorry about the hat, though).

  • Laura

    My Australian Shepherd mix has eaten, among other things:

    – a batch of chocolate chip cookies
    – 14 large frosted cookies (so sugary that I woke up at 2am to discover her in the bathtub trying to lick drips from the tap)
    – wrapping paper and a cardboard jewelry gift box (she was kind enough to leave the expensive earrings unscathed)
    – a sample tube of yellow paint (on the “good” couch, no less)
    – used tissues, condoms, and sanitary products
    – laces from gym shoes
    – her bed
    – a hairbrush and electric razor (to her credit, she’s not the only dog to attempt eating this particular hairbush and razor)
    – a wooden gate

    She has also escaped from every confinement, including our house once. She jumped THROUGH the screen of a second-story bedroom window, slid down the roof to the bushes, and took off for a tour around the neighborhood. She was returned to us without a scratch on her, but she smelled AWFUL.

    And still, I wouldn’t trade her for a million dollars.

    RIP, wide-brim hat.

  • I feel your pain, Heather. We had a dog that loved to go through our clothes basket, steal our underwear and chew it to shreads.

    After several ruined pairs, we got smart and put them in a seperate basket ON TOP of the dresser. 🙂

  • Jo

    I stared at the second photo for a good minute before realizing it was the corpse of the hat. I dearly hope it wasn’t a pricey one… I mean you looked like a million bucks. (80’s freeze frame ending!)

  • If it makes you feel any better, our male German Shepherd used to have a thing for our remote controls. 😛

    Replacing one of them was quite expensive. [The remote control, not the dog!]

    And our female German Shepherd likes to grab anything with our son’s spit-up on it. I found the shredded remains of one of his bibs in the backyard. 😛

    On the plus side, when our son’s spit-up hits the carpet, I have two very willing volunteers who will lick the spot VERY clean, LOL!

  • Found this on Amazon, doing a search for “straw hat”.

    Not as nice as the one you lost… but is sorta close in appearance.

    Straw Hat

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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