Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

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.

FOR FREE!

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.

PS. SHINGLES!

  • Fantastic idea! I will happy visit and visit and visit and help you make scads of money from the haters. 🙂

    And oh, I feel you on the SHINGLES! I had SHINGLES! when I was Eight. Years. Old. And it was horrifying. So now we’re both freaks who got the rash-that-only-old-people-are-supposed-to-get. Oh, the joy.

    Rock on, mama. Hope the SHINGLES! go away very, very soon.

  • I LOVE it when you use your evil genius for money. I hope hate mail pays for your next SHINGLES!-free vacation.

  • Anonymous

    This is SO delicious!

  • Candace

    Bravo! People get drunk on the power of annonymity and it’s gross. I love that you’re calling them out on it. WOO!

  • Amy

    Love it!!!

  • YES! YES YES YES!

    I’m clicking all those ads. TWICE!

  • Brilliant.

  • Michelle

    egad! who the eff sends hate mail to a person they’ve never met? you know what? if you don’t like what Dooce is writing, STOP READING HER BLOG! it really is that simple.

  • Allie

    Oh. That website made me so sad. I would have blinding rage and shitty self-esteem if people wrote me mean shit like that all the time. I guess it’s a risk you have to take if you put your life out there on the internet. But if people hate what you say, can’t they just not read your blog and go away? I’m so sorry you have to read crap like that. Noone deserves it, especially to have their parenting critisized. I thought Leta’s outfit was colorful and fun. I dress myself (I’m 26) and my son like that all the time… ’cause we’re FUN!

  • pao

    lol! finally, something worthwhile comes out of such useless comments from haters. well done.

  • Amber

    Motherfuckin’ genius! I love it! Plus, it’ll give me somewhere to go read and get a good laugh at the idiots of the world! Thanks!!

  • Kristy

    I am so very sorry that you have SHINGLES. That sucks! I don’t like the haters, either, but I will visit that page if it’s for a good cause. Like you. And Leta’s therapy, of course.

  • Cassie

    This is the BEST idea in the history of the universe. Unicorns are dancing the jig right now!

    Roll in that money! Yee-haw!

  • I never comment, but oh, do I love your approach to life. Sorry about the SHINGLES!

    P.S. Dior mascara is worth every penny.

  • I really wanted to write something totally insulting (see http://www.firstoffenders.typepad.com today … 9/16/09) to get on your Monetizing the Hate site, but the idea is so fucking brilliant that it’s overwhelmed any insult I could ever think of.

    SHINGLES! suck.

  • Adrienne

    Wow. I don’t know what people think gives them the right to critisize how other people live. Didn’t thier momma’s beat niceness and civility into them as children?

    What ever happened to “mind your own business” and “watch your P’s and Q’s” and manners and all those basic social skills type things that I know I am trying so hard to instill in my children?

    I bet that if we had to CC all our emails to our momma’s they would be a lot less critical and a lot more polite.

    Good on you for making some dough off of other people’s stupididty. It seems to be in copious supply.

  • Rebeca

    WOW! WOW! I read a few of the “Hate” posts and…. WOW. I guess it just goes back to people who feel terrible about themselves and to try to make themselves feel better they want to knock someone else down.

    You rock and I read you and Blurb daily. Keep up the good work Dooce!

  • Best. Idea. Ever.
    I am so proud of you. Get all the cash you can out of the jerks who suck the energy out of the internets. I’m clicking away as we speak…

  • NENE

    I think you’re awesome. You make me laugh. I love your ups and downs. I have three kids, I understand your exciting adventures except I can’t quite articulate them like you do. I like when you talk about poop. You give me something to look at while I”m breastfeeding. Thank you. Also, you look like that nurse in that new sitcom. A lot.

  • Shannon

    I only have a couple things to say:

    You make my day SO much better. I was literally rolling around on my couch about the washer/dryer thing. And the pictures of your awesome dogs are priceless!

    I have a baby boy who is just a week younger than your adorable Marlo. Can we please arrange a marriage? Thanks.

  • Anonymous (with an email!)

    Why do you keep shouting SHINGLES! and completely ostracize your non-english speaking readers who pay very good money on the very hefty subscription to this site (woman! even the NYT is not as expensive as your site!) who have no idea what SHINGLES! is and then have to google it (woman! do you know how much hard work it is to bloody highlight the word and then right-click and select “google SHINGLES!”???) and then realize you’re just talking about zona and how hard would it be for you to just write *that*?

    Really. I want a refund.

  • Yes. YES!

  • Katy

    Leaving my first comment ever after a year of reading to say well done, ma’am. Well done.

  • Powered by douchebags! Ha!

    (The People For the Natural State of Your Vajayjay are going to be mad now because you put the word “douche” on your hate page.)

  • Ev

    Brilliant idea! I have been aware of some of the nasty comments on your site occasionally, but only recently have I become aware of some bloggers who spend – literally – HOURS writing about how much they hate you. It’s just amazing. They’re consumed with hatred of you and are convinced that your popularity is going to wane ANY DAY NOW.

    About the shingles, sorry! With any luck you will have one outbreak and then never have another. My poor father had them on his eyeballs, believe it or not.

  • Alexandra R

    I have a feeling your “hate” page is going to bring you much monetary prosperity. I am SO jealous. (but still love your blog)

  • Sarah B.

    Great idea! Maybe it will help you to purge the bad feelings that these hateful comments must sometimes bring to you.

    Also, shingles on your stomach and having to shield your little lady from them sounds awful, BUT be glad you’re not my freshman English teacher who got shingles on her face and one of her EYES!!! Can you imagine anything more grody and painful?! Yuck. Poor Mrs. Bathgate.

  • Abby

    Hee! I will happily click-click-click so you may make money off of dumb meanies and generally whiny people who have nothing better to do. Off I go!

  • Mackenzie

    Glorious. After your earlier tweet today, I was hoping for an explanatory post. I am so looking forward to reading the nutjob fodder, and commend you for being able to put up with it on a steady basis.

  • I clicked on the links Jon posted on Twitter & the second one, which happens to be the first I glanced at, makes MUCH more sense now that I’ve read your entry. haha

  • I didn’t think anyone had contracted SHINGLES! since Laura Ingalls Wilder roamed the prairies. CRAZY ASS SHIT!

  • Jen

    OMG I normally don’t post comments but that is the most awesome thing ever! Way to stick it to the haters with wads of cash!

  • Liz

    LOVE it!

  • I don’t have one single hateful or mean thing to say to or about you. I love your blog. You make me laugh. You make me tear up. You give me hope that I WILL feel normal again with this stupid ugly depression thing and you make me realize that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

    I appreciate you. I appreciate your blog. I think your children (and you) are BEAUTIFUL.

    I do NOT appreciate all the hate that is said to and about you.

    ps. When you wrote, “I text both Jon and Katey at home: DUDE. I HAVE SHINGLES!” For a second I was like, what the heck? She texs Jon & Kate (Plus 8)? OH! Right! Idiot! Um, hi! I watch too much TLC.

    pps. Can you post photos of you rolling around in all the money? Clothed? I know you get lots of naked requests, so I thought I’d throw a clothed one out there.

  • Becca

    I’ve been reading your blog for about 3 years now – and it’s helped me ENORMOUSLY through some very bad, very dark depressive ‘epsisodes’, and for that, there aren’t enough words to thank you for expressing so much that I was incapable of verbalising myself. And you know what? F*cking brilliant idea! Go forth and multiply the cash Heather! You and your family deserve every single penny! xx

  • Even if I may not share the same views with you all the time, there is no doubt that you love your girls and your husband. Didn’t these people’s moms teach them that if they don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all?!?!

  • Oh my God this is amazing. Genius!!

    Hope the shingles heal quickly.

  • AWESOME!! I got my first nasty hate mail the other day. I talk about my mother-in-law quite a bit, because she is crazy. Recently, I noticed that quite a few people were finding my site by looking up “hot mother-in-law”, “I want to have sex with my mother-in-law”, etc. So, I posted about it, basically saying, “Wow, Google blew this one. My mother-in-law is none of those things.” Apparently, I was judging the random internet searchers and my life has no meaning! Who knew?

    So, I think you can judge the success of a website by the amount of hate mail! Turn the negatives into a positive 🙂

  • Like we needed ANOTHER reason to worship at your altar?
    YOU.
    FUCKING.
    ROCK.

    The world needs WAY more HeatherJonLetaMarlos and a whole lot less haters. Glad to see you workin’ the balance.

  • I LOOOVE THIS.
    A request though… I don’t know if it would be hard but I’d love to vote for, or ‘like’ the hateful comments Facebook-style so we have a hatemail wall-of-fame.
    Some of those are just BEAUTIFUL. I can not only see/feel but *hear* the low self-esteem flowing from my monitor.

    Keep doing what you’re doing! I love the blog because it’s relatable and entertaining and because you’re not a robot. I don’t know what these people are expecting but good for you.
    This is probably the best idea for responding to negativity that I’ve ever heard. You’re lucky you have the platform… well not lucky, you’ve earned it.

  • Oh. My. Word. Your new website is my favorite thing EVER. And every time I stopped reading the comments and looked at all the ads I’d laugh a sadistic laugh. I wanted to shed a tiny sarcastic tear for everyone who said they’ll never read your blog again. Really. We’re so sad you’re gone. *snif*

    P.S. Sorry about the SHINGLES!!

  • Anonymous

    Brilliant. Just. Brilliant.

  • Dawn

    Sorry about the SHINGLES! That totally sucks. On the other hand, the hate mail page is awesomely fantastic. I’ll buy some $24 mascara (too bad for the saltine eaters) if it makes you even more money; that’s how much I love it. I guess I just can’t imagine having so much time on my hands that I set up dynamite computer IP whatzits so I can leave anonymous hateful comments on someone’s website.

  • NENE again

    My sister had shingles she when she was 3, went into a coma and almost died, they said she would never be the same. She turned out fine. Good luck on yours, hope you heal very fast.

  • bearing

    You rock. Will you be enabling the comments on the hate mail?

  • holy cow, What an awesome idea.

    those comments are horrid. and hilarious.

  • Aoife

    Read about the shingles on twitter and really thought christ give this woman a break will you? (had just been reading the moronic comments about your appearance with the Kardashians – in which you totally held your own and were magnificent, not the least bit cowed by their so-called celebrity status and you said nothing worse than her own mother and friends had already).

    Anyway, loving the hate page…. ROLL ROLL ROLL in that money.

  • Good for you!

  • Hmm, You might want to wait until the SHINGLES! clear up before rolling around in all that money.

    Then again, hate mail from the Never Had Chicken Pox But Now Do Because Dooce Spread Her SHINGLES! All Over This Money She Just Spent could be rather interesting.

  • Like we needed ANOTHER reason to worship at your altar?
    YOU.
    FUCKING.
    ROCK.

    The world needs WAY more HeatherJonLetaMarlos and a whole lot less haters. Glad to see you workin’ the balance.