Best way to roast the broomstick. Must try. Five Stars.

Redder than red

My mother ended up keeping Leta overnight on Friday so that Jon and I could celebrate his birthday to the fullest, if you know what I’m saying. Interestingly, I have received a dozen or so emails from male readers of this site that said something to the tune of yes, sex is good, but it doesn’t come close to the iPhone. And then the signature of the email would say SENT FROM MY IPHONE 3G. Ladies, I think I just stumbled across our salvation.

It’s like, sweetie, I know how much you’d love to stand here and twiddle my nipples all day, but I overheard someone talking about a new application for the iPhone, and if you don’t hurry you’re not going to have ANY IDEA what all those guys are Twittering about.

(I just read those first two paragraphs to Jon to see if he would be comfortable with me publishing those details, and he suggested that maybe it was time he Twittered my nipples. I’m taking that as a yes.)

After my mother dropped Leta off Saturday morning, we talked only for a few minutes before she had to head back out. This is the usual interaction we have with my mother, and rarely does she stay for more than five minutes in our living room. At first I thought it was because she has ADD. But then I realized it was because she was looking at those five minutes in my company as five minutes she could have been using to conquer the world. Selling more Avon than anyone else on earth is not enough. There must be other records out there that she could beat, other scores she could trample. And now that she’s retired I get the feeling that all the avid bingo players in the world SHOULD BE VERY AFRAID.

After we hugged goodbye she headed out to our driveway to climb into her van, and then thirty seconds later she poked her head back inside our door waving our morning paper in her right hand.

“Here’s your liberal propaganda!” she said as she tossed the paper on the floor of our entryway.

That liberal propaganda is The Salt Lake Tribune, the less conservative paper of the two that are circulated in Salt Lake City. Less conservative meaning that inside it you might find an op-ed from a scientist that talks about how we might want to think about conserving water. Because, oh, I don’t know, we live in UTAH. A semiarid region. WHERE WATER IS NOT ABUNDANT. And then the following week you’d see an op-ed in the other, more conservative paper going THOSE LIBERALS WANT TO TAKE AWAY YOUR RIGHT TO HOSE OFF YOUR RIFLE IN YOUR OWN DRIVEWAY.

I wasn’t about to let her get away with that, so I ran outside, knocked on her window as she was about to back out of the driveway, and when she rolled it down I pointed out that this liberal newspaper? It endorsed George W. Bush for president. TWICE.

This is where I live. A place where George W. Bush is not conservative enough.

And that’s when she flipped me the bird. My mother, The Avon World Sales leader, waved her middle finger in my face. I sure hope she thought twice before she took the sacrament on Sunday.

  • Wow…if I was you…I would have opened the car door, reached in, and hugged the crap out of her…I might have even cried a little…and then I would have told her how proud I was of her for finally joining the dark side.

    I need to get a copy of that paper…if my mom ever flipped me off I could stop wondering if I was adopted and finally been secure in the knowledge that somewhere, deep down inside, we shared “The Bird Gene.”

  • I love when you write about the Avon World Sales Leader. Your love for her positively sparkles… especially while poking a bit of fun — it’s some great writing.

  • Andi

    And so now, in your own special and hilarious way, you’re flipping her the bird right back! That’s so sweet I got all verklempt and teary eyed just thinkin’ about it. Me thinks your mom rocks.

    My husband wouldn’t accept the iPhone over sex, of this I am sure. He doesn’t check email or text at all, unless I text him something dirty. As far as I know all he uses the internet for is to check the weather and to dream of his own personal wind farm and look at rifles and tractors. Now that I think about it, he might accept a new rifle or windmill over sex. But not an iPhone.

  • I love that your conservative mom feels flipping you the bird is an appropriate response. Awesome. I hope my daughter and I have that kind of relationship someday …

  • Love your mom!! A sweet little mormon grandma flipping the bird! Priceless.

  • He, He!!!… Sex, iPhone and Flipped off by Mom. What a day.

  • We taught my mother to flip us off about seven years ago, and it was a major milestone in her VERY crimson life. She is now starting to become comfortable with flipping us off, and has even started practicing on my auntie. Who flips her right back. It’s beautiful.

  • As a man I can say the phone would not take the place of sex – but it would be better than nothing.

    As for mom flipping you off I think I could see my ultra conservative mother flipping me off as well though I don’t think she has.

  • Liz

    Ummm… is it wrong for me to say that your mother exhausts me?

  • June

    You are seriously fall-down-funny. I HEART DOOCE DOT COM.

  • Lol, you and your mother remind me of the characters in a book I just read. It’s called the Owl & Moon Cafe

    I look forward to the stage where I can flip off my daughter (to her face).

    Hubby saw someone with the IPhone at the theatre last night. He licked the man’s neck. True story.

  • Thinking of you and Coco …

  • Jammer

    Wow…..What a post!! Still laughing over it.
    Your Mom has moxie!!!
    Iphone over sex???
    Wife and I have been married almost 21 years.
    When she says or hints at sex I’m there in a shot!!!
    No way I would pass her over in favor of an electronic toy.
    But the phone would be good to order pizza with after the ACT!!!!

  • Oh COME ON, people. She would not have to confess to her bishop for something as small as that. Only God.

    I think Canada should swap half our Mormons for Utah Mormons. There needs to be some leveling off of self-righteousness. A paper that endorses Dubbya is too liberal?!

    I imagine that the only reason you’re able to handle it, Heather, is because you can just laugh at everyone. I would feel… I don’t know. I think I’d go to my Bishop and ask for the calling wherein I can turn everyone into normal, averagely indignant Mormons.


  • My brother in law is uber Conservative and I struggle not to bring up politics with him. I got mono in January and have been in bed every since (my blog certainly makes for interesting obsessive compulsive reading since this gives you way too much time to think!), and he thinks I shouldn’t get benefits even though I was a lawyer before. Indeed since he believes in the death penalty and DOESN’T believe in criminal defense lawyers, I have a hard time talking about anything with him.

    So: kudos (is that what you say in america?) to you for having reached a peaceful kind of piss taking balance.


    PS. In England we call sex SHAGGING. My american readers think this is a good word to describe women’s feelings on it.

  • I have to admit to occasional use of the bird in the direction of my children. So far it hasn’t seemed to warp them.

    Do you think it would be bad if I got my husband an iPhone for our anniversary?

  • Funny as ever. Now I can get ready for work with a smile on my face.

    But my mom could take your mom hands down.

    So, I think a trade is on the table.

  • Single Mom in New England

    I lived in SLC for a year and loved it when the Salt Lake Tribune (is it still owned by a Catholic family?) would run stories about the polygamous households outside of SLC. You could smell the discomfort in the air on those perfect grid-like streets.

  • Birthday celebrations are a grand thing. Keep the IPHONE out of the equation.

    Happy birthday.

  • Romesick

    “Now if I could just get her to hose off my rifle in the driveway I’d be the luckiest man ALIVE!!”

    That sounds dirty. 🙂

  • rajani

    It’s tiring, that for some reason, everyone equates owning a gun (“hose off your rifle in your own driveway”) to being a Republican/conservative. If we’re going to use that logic, people who wear Teva sandals must be Democratic/Liberal?

    I live on both sides of that fence, so what does that make me? I can tell you that some of my politics (not all) would blow your stereotype out of the water.

    (Just an aside: I’d never hose off my rifle in my driveway because yes, it does waste water, but even more so, all that water would rust the shit out of it).

    Love your blog, even when it pisses me off. 😉

  • i’m with #36- rake. i believe watching you and your mom interact would be a full night’s entertainment. throw in the little dog and her intestinal problems and you can charge cover. that’s almost better than t-shirt sales

  • Oh you’re a brave, brave woman for continuing to live in Utah. I would’ve drown myself in Salt Lake a long time ago…

  • Cathy Y

    Okay. So is that the shade of red on her birdie finger?

  • BrowneyedGirlScout

    These are the moments that make us giggle. If my Mom were still here, she would wave her middle finger at me and call me a “Little Shit.” Do little shits grow up to be big shits?

  • Heh. Your mom kind of reminds me of my Grams. Lots of spunk, and lots of flipping off – except she calls it the Wurth wave (last name = Wurth).

    On a second note, I’m pretty sure my husband wouldn’t settle for an iPHONE OR sex. He doesn’t understand why he can’t have both on his birthday AND breakfast in bed.

    In fact, guess what I’m getting for my birthday? A moped. For his lazy ass. Thoughtful, right? (Sidenote: He says it’s NOT a moped, it’s a motorscooter. Whatever.)

  • I don’t get people at all. Liberals are the ones living what Jesus taught (don’t judge other people, help one another — and I am pretty sure today He would say don’t play with guns, and take care of the earth). Conservatives are the ones turning people away from religion with their hypocrisy. No offense to your mom, though. I like Avon… esp. that Skin So Soft stuff. 🙂 I just think I’ll stay here in New England.

  • Bonkersmomof4

    Your mom must be having flashbacks of Memphis traffic to be flipping the bird so easily! Hilarious!

  • Your mom sounds like a hoot!!
    I wish my mom was still around to give me the finger!!
    (although that really wasn’t her style..)


  • Mary

    Aren’t there many Avon World Sales Leaders? This always confuses me.

  • Michael

    Does one “celebrate [a] birthday to the fullest” in Utah as elsewhere? With a cake and candles and ice cream and a Netflix movie? Me too!

    And, yes, indeed, there are places in This Great Land of Ours where GWB really is too liberal. but in January he will be too gone and good riddance.

    Obama ’08!

  • See, I like you and all, but your Mom is who I want to get trashed, you just know she’s been holding everything in for 50 or so years, waiting to let her guard down with someone she can trust, someone she’ll never see again. Let’s make this happen.

  • Hosing off your gun with water from Lake Superior…let’s piss off as many people as possible here people…

  • Jen in OR

    The effect that you have had on your Mother’s life is spec-fucking-tacular!!

  • anonymous

    OMH! That’s so hysterical! Utah Mormons are much different than Mormons elsewhere.

  • I think I might like Salt Lake City.

  • trashalou

    Why does Bonnie #38 want to have sex with an i-phone? Plus your mum sounds like a hoot!

    Also loving that my ReCAPTCHA words are ‘Trophy Relative’. Which one of you is it?

  • She sounds like someone I’d like to meet except that I find it hard to tell salespeople NO in person and I might find myself knee deep in Skin So Soft and holiday appropriate tubes of lip balm.

    Actually, maybe I could borrow her once in awhile to flip the bird to said door-to-door salespeople? Hmmmm??

  • Man, I wish my mom flipped me the bird. Instead I get a 25 minute lecture on how G-Dub is saving the world, one grain of sand at a time. And then my father e-mails me an hour long sermon on whatever issue is threatening conservatism today. Or, this hour.

  • you should send her a case of hemp body butter from the body shop.

    and a vegan cookbook.

    and a copy of “it takes a village.”

    you know, just to keep things interesting.

  • aly

    It’s time to wrap our lips around a fabulous new term, coined specifically for the iPhone. It is “iPhoneDouche”, and it refers to the douche who can’t leave his iPhone alone for two seconds while his girlfriend/wife/significant other tries to tell him something relatively important — like what to get at the grocery store since he’s going anyway — because he figures all the information he would ever need in life could be retrieved off of this new hunk of 21st century gadgetry.

  • Um, wow. I was feeling really sorry for myself until I read this post. My only problem with my Missionaria Madre is informing her that yes, I am gettting hitched to a chick (again) this time with rings and a church officiant and stuff. PS> Dear Dooce’s Mom: Come down to South Texas. We’ve got a guy who offers to spank kids in lieu of fines for their parents. He always needs some help from Organizing Women like yourself. Nice Conservative Abogado whom the Jesuits turned into a lovely lawyer, father and now, Judge. I’ll introduce you.

  • OMG! Not only do I just LOOOOOVE reading the dooce every day, but it just makes me laugh to no end that your mother is an Avon Lady. Not just an Avon Lady, but THE Avon Lady. Seriously, is she really the Avon World Sales Leader? Really? My upline is the Michigan Sales Leader (yeah I’m in Detroit) and I’m in awe of her. She sold a quarter million dollars of Avon last year! WTF? Like how many lipsticks is that? At $5 each that’s like 50,000 of them! C’mon! I sold almost $25,000 last year and thought I was pushing the limit.

    Maybe I’ll see her at Conference next month! lol!
    Keep up the good work!


    ps: I’m watching the South Park right now where the Mormons are the only ones who get into heaven and Satan is trying to break up w/Saddam. I’ll probably go to hell just for not changing the channel.

  • When I still went to church, my friends and I would sometimes try to find creative ways to flip one another off right before receiving the Eucharist. But we’re Catholic, so I think Jesus gets a kick out of it.

    Also. Secretly? I think your mom would make for an entertaining world dictator.

  • It’s okay… As a mom, I give my daughter the middle finger too, except she’s one year old.

  • How Nevada can have legal brothels and still be a Bush enclave is beyond me. And why is it that people still have Bush ‘O4 bumperstickers on their cars? Do they actually want people to know they helped elect Dubya?? Oh wait, there are actually folks who don’t think like I do…

  • DawnTheAvonLady: I grin when I see that SouthPark. Yay! The Mormons! AS IF I DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW.

    You should know that there’s more than one heaven and plenty of room for various fools. ;-P

  • I live in Los Angeles. I fear your parents wouldn’t survive our literature.

  • How in the world do you get your mother to leave after such a short visit??? Both of my 86 year old parents live with ME and I would love a day when she flipped me off and stormed out. Please advise!

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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