the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Your momma said you ugly

So I guess it was maybe a year ago when I was sitting in Heather Champ’s living room in San Francisco, holding her Chihuahua Chieka, and talking about how people sometimes send me hate mail because they look at a picture of Chuck and think his nails are too long. She was all, SHUT UP YOU DO NOT. And I was all YOU SHUT UP. And she was all WHY DID I EVEN LET YOU INTO MY HOUSE, BITCH? And next thing you know we’re mud-wrestling in the nude, pulling each other’s hair, and fulfilling the fantasies of IT departments nationwide.

Once things settled down I explained in detail that The Dog Nail People, in fact, are not happy with me, along with an enormous list of other very pissed off groups that include Those Who Believe Australian Shepherds Should Live On Farms Not In Suburban Homes Why Didn’t You Do Your Research, The Did You Seriously Just Link To A Twenty-Four Dollar Tube of Mascara Don’t You Know That Some of Us Can’t Even Afford A Saltine Cracker People, and my Granny.

And she goes, you know what you should do? You should monetize the shit out of it. Collect all the crap that people say about you, put it on a single page, and then litter the entire thing with ads. And I was all, I don’t know as Jon immediately turned to Heather’s husband Derek and asked, “May I borrow your laptop, I’ve got a bit of coding to do.”

We’ve actually toyed with the idea here and there because one does not have to leave one’s name when commenting on this website, and oh, what that freedom has given to certain insecurities that have not healed in a small segment of my readership. Sometimes I leave hateful comments up just because they are so outrageously fun to read. Sometimes I delete them because in trying to insult me they are also insulting other innocent people, and I don’t enjoy being a platform for that. Sometimes I just can’t be bothered to deal with it.

And then sometimes, like last week, when the left side of my abdomen starting aching only to manifest itself in a raging case of shingles — SHINGLES! OH MY GOD! SHINGLES! I am not even kidding, the doctor walked in, took one look at the rash on my stomach, and was all DUDE! YOU’VE GOT SHINGLES! And I was all EXCUSE ME? And he was all I HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO THAN MAKE UP THIS SHIT, WOMAN.

And when he leaves the room to go look up some information on whether or not the medication for SHINGLES! is safe to take while breastfeeding (sorry, I can’t even think the word SHINGLES! without it being in caps followed by an exclamation point, and for the last two days it’s been a Tourettes fest in here where suddenly I just stand up and shout SHINGLES! for no reason other than SERIOUSLY? I mean, I get it Universe! Leta is a picky eater because both Jon and I were picky eaters and put our parents through hell, I GET IT, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BEAT ME OVER THE HEAD WITH THAT LESSON ANY LONGER, but SHINGLES?! At least give me some waffle fries! FOR FREE!) I text both Jon and Katey at home: DUDE. I HAVE SHINGLES!

And Jon texts back: NO YOU DO NOT. And Katey is all: SHUT UP. And I was all, you know what? I’d mud-wrestle you to the ground BUT I’VE GOT SHINGLES!

So I’m in a bit of pain, and here’s the thing. Do you want to know the thing? Because the thing is, THE THING IS, if I’m not careful and Marlo touches my rash I COULD GIVE HER CHICKEN POX. That one disease with the bumps and the pain and the fever and the DANGER. So that’s basically all I’m doing during the day, making sure my three-month-old precious, delicate baby doesn’t touch my SHINGLES! Except, this case of SHINGLES! is conveniently located right in the middle of my stomach, right where her body rests when I’m breastfeeding her six times a day. WHERE ARE MY WAFFLE FRIES? I WANT MY WAFFLE FRIES.


Anyway, while all this is going on people are sending me messages going, dude, do you see what is being said about you over here and over here? Oh, and right there in your comments section? And I’m all, no, but I can guess. Is it something about the way I look? My chin perhaps? The mole in the middle of my forehead? Is it about what I’m wearing, how unflattering it is? Or how I’m an awful mother? Or how I’m exploiting my children for money? Or how I love Marlo more than I love Leta? Or how my husband must be gay? Because it’s all been said. Every awful thing you can say about a human being, it’s been said about me and my family. Over and over again, like a broken record, and I guess with the intention that it will at some point hurt me so badly that I will throw my hands in the air and give up.

And I’m sitting there feeding Marlo, my abdomen wrapped in a bandage SO THAT I DON’T GIVE HER CHICKEN POX, and I’m reading an anonymous comment calling me an asshead, and suddenly I remember that conversation I had with Heather. And I’m like, you know what? I’m going to let that anonymous comment help pay for the therapy that Leta is so desperately going to need once she finds out what awful things I’ve said about her on my website.

Internet, let me introduce you to Monetizing The Hate.

Here I will be posting all the hate mail I get in my inbox and all the hateful anonymous and not-so-anonymous comments left on this website. And let me tell you, it is a hoot! And the money? OH THE MONEY! I am going to roll around naked in all that money! Because that’s what assheads do!

Also, for your convenience, I’ve added a link to this project at the top of the page in the navigation bar, so you can stop by at any time and see the artful way that insecurity unfolds via the anonymity of the Internet.


  • Anonymous

    2009/09/16 at 1:50 pm

    you totally rock. Shingles, however, do not.

  • Courtney

    2009/09/16 at 1:51 pm

    This is why I love you all. Genius!!

  • Lisa in Seattle

    2009/09/16 at 1:52 pm

    Shingles suck the big one. But the hate mail page? Pure freaking genius! It will be on constant refresh, over here.

  • Erin

    2009/09/16 at 1:52 pm

    Best idea since Al Gore invented the Internet.

    Also, “asshead”. That’s a great insult.

  • Daddy Scratches

    2009/09/16 at 1:53 pm

    No. 1: Dude … SHINGLES? Jesus, that sucks. Sorry to hear it.

    No. 2: Love love love “Monetizing the Hate.” World peace is next. I can feel it.

  • Heidi

    2009/09/16 at 1:53 pm

    love it!

  • Heidi

    2009/09/16 at 1:54 pm

    I’ve never commented before but read you regularly.. first off, shingles suck…. But, the hate mail page? Loves it! You go Heather. You can call anyone a Shit bag hoass and I’m going to love you just for speaking your mind….FOLLOW!

  • Lauren From Texas

    2009/09/16 at 1:54 pm

    This is the best idea anyone has ever had. Now if we could figure out a way to monetize baby poop, we’d be in business.

  • Jennifer M.

    2009/09/16 at 1:54 pm

    That just might be the best web site ever. Frigging brilliant.

  • rbiggs

    2009/09/16 at 1:54 pm

    Haters suck. Shingles suck worse!

  • MKH

    2009/09/16 at 1:54 pm

    Sorry about the shingles, what a bummer! Given your notoriety I think you should publish a book with all the comments — personally I cannot believe what people will write!

  • Erin

    2009/09/16 at 1:54 pm


  • Jess in Aspen

    2009/09/16 at 1:55 pm

    I actually came here because someone said you were an asshead. But i think you are absolutely fantastic and i’ve bought both your books.I LOVE YOU. ASSHEADS ARE GREAT! can’t wait to see the hate mail!

  • BellKat

    2009/09/16 at 1:55 pm

    I had SHINGLES earlier this year and I don’t wish it on anyone! I can’t imagine having it on your stomach and trying to not let Marlo touch it.

    All I can say is I’m so sorry!

  • Anaximander

    2009/09/16 at 1:55 pm

    The difference between an ABP view of the page, and one without it… is… stunning.

  • Mama B

    2009/09/16 at 1:55 pm

    As always Heather, you are AWESOME. Thank goodness for your good humor and able to handle all the other ASSHEADS out there. Keep up that thick skin, we all need to be more like you.

  • Molly

    2009/09/16 at 1:55 pm

    BWAHAHAHA. I love that now they can’t get their “justice” in flaming you. Sweet revenge! 🙂

  • Haley

    2009/09/16 at 1:55 pm

    This is why we love you over in the UK too… freakin’ A!

  • moriah

    2009/09/16 at 1:55 pm

    Do you understand how brilliant this will be? People are ridiculous, and I love to laugh at them. Cannot wait! Oh, and good luck with the Shingles.

  • rbiggs

    2009/09/16 at 1:55 pm

    I am also raising myself as punishment!

  • Vanessa

    2009/09/16 at 1:56 pm

    Wonderful! It takes quite the lady to find a way to benefit from bullsh*t hate mail!

    Also, good luck with the plague! Oh, I mean the “shingles.” 🙂

  • Laura Trevey

    2009/09/16 at 1:56 pm

    Why would anyone waste their time leaving hate mail?
    It serves no purpose…


  • Kathryn

    2009/09/16 at 1:56 pm

    so feel your pain about the shingles, sorry, I mean SHINGLES

    good for you for monetizing the hate – someone might as well benefit

  • Sarah

    2009/09/16 at 1:56 pm

    YES! Brilliant plan.

    I’m tempted to make up totally random and bizarre insults just so I can see them published on that page. 🙂

    (Hope you feel better soon…I saw my dad go through SHINGLES! and yikes, I did not like seeing that kind of agony).

  • MM3

    2009/09/16 at 1:56 pm

    How mean! Where has basic civility gone?! Folks go spend a few minutes looking for it. I find it super ironic that they take the time to insult you, confirming they read your blog. Now that’s ASSHEAD! If you don’t like, don’t read!

  • Valeri

    2009/09/16 at 1:56 pm

    LOL This is both a hilarious and AWESOME idea! I will click ten times a day! Suck it The Did You Seriously Just Link To A Twenty-Four Dollar Tube of Mascara Don’t You Know That Some of Us Can’t Even Afford A Saltine Cracker People!

  • Karla

    2009/09/16 at 1:57 pm

    FANTASTIC idea!! Well done.
    By the way, I am knocked up (by the husband of all of 3 months) your website makes it a bit less scary. I am glad you are on the internet, without you our kid would end up eating paste.

  • j

    2009/09/16 at 1:57 pm

    I got diagnosed with shingles the summer before i left for college! it sucked!

  • Heather

    2009/09/16 at 1:57 pm

    Dude, you rock. brb, lol-ing forever

  • Kristin Farnsworth

    2009/09/16 at 1:57 pm

    LOVE it!!!!
    don’t let them get you down… Make money Lady you Brilliant Shingled women!

  • Liz W-G

    2009/09/16 at 1:57 pm

    BRILLIANT!!!!!!(do you need a few more exclamation points?)!!!!!!!!!

  • Christina

    2009/09/16 at 1:57 pm

    Genius! You SHINGLE covered GENIUS! That is truly the best revenge! My husband had a SHINGLES issue – we were like “SHINGLES? isn’t that something old people get? like in nursing homes?” Anyhow – Monetizing the hate – touche’ Good for you #26.

  • Val

    2009/09/16 at 1:57 pm

    I “feel” on the shingles. Had them on my freaking hairline right by my eye. I only had 3 or 4 of them, but they were huge and hurt. I needed an ice pack by the afternoon – which helped greatly – every freaking day.

    Like the bitch site – not that I’d ever make it. Note: I leave my name because if I cannot say it to your face, I don’t put it in a comment.

  • Jenn

    2009/09/16 at 1:57 pm

    O.M.G. That is freaking AWESOME! Good job! 🙂

  • juneyor

    2009/09/16 at 1:57 pm


  • Cathryn

    2009/09/16 at 1:57 pm

    I don’t mean to fawn…

    But you are a fucking genius and I love your website and you make my life a little better every single day.

    And monetizing the hate is even more genius. There is just so much to admire :=)

  • Rebecca

    2009/09/16 at 1:58 pm

    What a fantastic idea!! While I know people should really keep their rude thoughts to themselves, it does make for some entertaining reading!

    I’m can totally relate to the shingles – sitting on the plane to San Francisco in July I wondered why the waist of my jeans was making my back/hip burn. Two days later while trying to enjoy my favorite city I had to call my doctor back home for medication because the burning spot had turned into quite the rash and was in fact shingles. At 30. I thought they were only supposed to happen to old people or at least people older than in their 30’s!

  • Alyssa

    2009/09/16 at 1:58 pm

    I love it. I love you, shingles and your mole. Period. Brilliant. You are all brilliant.

  • Shereen

    2009/09/16 at 1:58 pm

    Oh. My. God. The sheer, unadulterated brilliance of a hate mail page.

  • Mo

    2009/09/16 at 1:58 pm

    This is a brilliant idea! Especially the naked money-wrestling! DO IT!

    Hey? Is “asshead” catchey? Is there a cream for it?

    Also, I always get SHINGLES! confused with SCURVEY! You’re secretly a sailor. We should have known.

  • Jessica

    2009/09/16 at 1:58 pm

    I’m a faithful reader and I do like you, almost always, but sometimes, like on days such as today, you remind me a little of Kate Gosselin. I’m sorry about your shingles.

  • Olga

    2009/09/16 at 1:58 pm

    Love it!!! Good idea!

  • ChrisV

    2009/09/16 at 1:59 pm

    Shingles are awful – had the painful non-rashy type last year. Try taking lysine, if you haven’t been told about this already – helps with your immune system. When you’re 60, you qualify for the shingles vaccine – oh boy!

    Smoochies to your gorgeous girls.

  • suedonym

    2009/09/16 at 1:59 pm

    Eww. Don’t get shingles on all that money.

  • Leslie

    2009/09/16 at 1:59 pm

    I know you would probably get death threats from this, but you should totally include the email addresses of the people that send this stuff. So nutty. Also, SHINGLES! suck.

  • Erica

    2009/09/16 at 1:59 pm


    Oh my god, now you are going to get fake hate mail. Covered in SHINGLES.

  • Elizabeth

    2009/09/16 at 1:59 pm

    Oh my gosh, Heather! How do you even READ those all day? After the first 4 emails on your “hate page,” I felt like it was time to call my mom. And maybe cry a little.

    I like you–and while I don’t always agree with things you write–I think you’re genuine, and I appreciate that.

    Plus, you almost always make me laugh. And the photos you take are incredible! And! You most certainly do not look like a man! Wtf?

  • Megan

    2009/09/16 at 1:59 pm

    Fantastic idea! Hopefully, now people will be a bit more hesitant to send or post hateful stuff. SHINGLES?! How horrible..hope you feel better!

  • Amanda Webster

    2009/09/16 at 1:59 pm

    This is awesome! The ads are so obnoxious, perfecto!

  • David Gannon

    2009/09/16 at 1:59 pm

    Heather and John. GOOD FOR YOU! seriously. people suck and the people that suck are just people that hate THEMSELVES and really not you. But they are jealous of you and your family and your success. Let them hate you and mock you and by god, monetize that shit! GENIUS is right. Seriously. LOVE IT!

    p.s. sorry about the SHINGLES!

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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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