the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Version 6.1

You may have noticed that last week we launched a modified design to this website, and I didn’t want to say anything about it for a few days because I just couldn’t get enough of the disgruntled email. I sort of inadvertently conducted a little social experiment, one where the longer I remained silent about the changes, the angrier certain people became. In fact, it started when I failed to update the masthead at the very beginning of February, when I dared to subject people to the words JANUARY 2009 for several unbearable days. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Are your Christmas lights still hanging outside? Perhaps your tree is still in the corner of your living room, dropping needles and ornaments on a regular basis? It’s February 9th. As in NOT January any longer. Please change your masthead. It’s an embarrassment.

And this missive sent on February 5th…

You make LIVING off of this website. Therefore; I feel you have a responsibility to your readership and sponsors to keep your site current.  I don’t have the slightest clue as how to design a masthead or a website or anything else for that matter.  But Dude, it’s mid-February.  Where’s the new masthead?

Some just cut to the chase, like this one sent on February 2nd:

It’s February and you haven’t changed your banner. So unprofessional.

Truth is, I was hoping that we could launch the major website design changes at the beginning of the month, but that date kept getting pushed back, and the February masthead I had designed fit the new layout. So I didn’t think it would upset the rotation of the Earth too much if the masthead remained in its January clothes for a few more days. Oh, how I underestimate the testiness of certain readers! I’m going to let you in on a secret… sometimes, when I’m feeling sinister, I like to use “your” when I mean “you’re” and “there” when I mean “they’re” because one or two or thirteen hundred of you find such a mistake so insufferable that you cannot help but send me an email that begins with, “I don’t usually do this, but…” and ends with your heads spontaneously exploding. It’s that popping sound I love so much.

And then the redesign… dear lord god, I don’t think I would have received such a strong response if I had visited your house and taken a shit in your Cheerios. There are several reasons I wanted to change things up a bit, and in the interest of being totally honest, the main one is BECAUSE I’M PREGNANT. The fact that I have not shaved my head and covered my face in tattoos can be explained only by my unwavering lethargy, and if I had maybe one or two cups of strong coffee I’d be out there right now looking for someone to dye my entire body blue. The need for change is as overwhelming as it is inexplicable, and this trickled right down into the design of my website. It’s probably all the hormones, but I was tempted for just a second to replace everything with a giant picture of my lily-white ass and a thought bubble shooting out of my crack. It would say: DUDE, IT’S MID-FEBRUARY.

Other reasons for the changes: many of you complained that the text was too small to read, so we enlarged the size of the text and added a bit of space around everything. Many of you complained that I never updated my website unaware that I post pictures and commentary every day in the Daily Photo, Daily Chuck, and Daily Style section of this website. Since I moved those thumbnails into the main content area, I’ve received countless emails to the tune of, “I like this new Daily Photo section you added…” A section that has been around for almost five years.

For those of you who found the relocation of those thumbnails a personal insult, I am terribly sorry, I did not mean for it to upset you so badly. We have since added tabs above the masthead that take you directly to the most recent post in those sections. I’m hoping this solves the navigational issues that frustrated so many of you.

Yes, I still plan on updating and changing the masthead every month, and I promise I will try to avoid using hot pink in future versions, although, did you read that paragraph above about spontaneous explosions? In the coming weeks we plan to launch several other changes mainly to the layout and function of the archives, changes that should make it so much easier to navigate through older content. It’s still a work in progress, and I’m listening to and taking notes of the more constructive suggestions. Best one so far:

I hate your new layout. Such a hassle to have to scroll. Two words: lame.

I asked Jon if he could please fix this bug.

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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