An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

One foot in front of the other

So yesterday. Wow, I can’t even… just… the series of events that unfolded and where everything ended up, it all sort of falls within the boundaries of things I won’t write about, yes those boundaries do exist. Jon referred to it as the third most surreal day of 2009, and I can’t figure out the two days ahead of it on that list. A couple of weeks ago I said, hey everyone, next week? Next week we’re going to take it easy around here, okay? And then I got SHINGLES! And I was all, okay, it can’t get worse than that. Yesterday it got SO MUCH WORSE THAN THAT.

Anyway, on to the other side of those boundaries, shall we?

So it’s day eight of Mom’s Got SHINGLES! and so far Marlo shows no signs of developing chicken pox. Of course, now that I’ve written that sentence and put it out into the universe she’s going to wake up tomorrow morning with a connect-the-dot smattering of bumps on her face, and for kicks Coco will have regurgitated her own poop in the middle of our bed. Or Coco could just be sitting there existing, the difference is negligible.

Honestly, Coco is probably at the top of the list of Things That Stress Me Out, whereas living with a newborn is so far down that you’d have to turn the page to find it. Last summer we hired a fantastic trainer who came in and showed us some techniques to calm down the crazy in that dog, but then the pregnancy happened, and all this other stuff, and now we’re back to having our neighbors secretly submitting our names to be a case study on “The Dog Whisperer.” Let’s just put it this way: everyone who lives on our street knows the exact moment someone rings our doorbell.

The new policy with family and friends is everyone must call or text us before approaching the door so that I can stabilize the house for Coco’s reaction. And it’s not an aggressive one, no, it’s CRACKED OUT OH MY GOD I NEVER THOUGHT I’D SEE YOU AGAIN AND LOOK YOU’RE HERE, WHAT’S IT BEEN? A WHOLE DAY? High-pitched pig squealing and jumping three feet into the air. And the house moves a couple of inches to the left every time.

So I’m guessing that if they could scientifically trace the origin of my SHINGLES! the line would go directly back to that dog, but no. Not on your life, I’m not giving up on her. I know the kind of work that needs to be done, and we are going to do it, it’s just there are some loose ends here and there (see first paragraph) that need some tightening before we can all get into the brain space to address her problems. One thing that needs to happen, of course, is I’ve got to get over this case of SHINGLES! And that’s not going to happen if I keep doing google image searches, if ever there were an argument to be made against the existence of the Internet, HELLO IMAGE I CANNOT GET OUT OF MY BRAIN.

Also, people keep sending me horror stories, like someone’s grandfather had SHINGLES! on his face for seventeen years, and someone else had a case of SHINGLES! that ate the family cat. The absolute best thing sent to me concerning my SHINGLES!, however, was this suggestion from Julie at A Little Pregnant:

How could I not film myself doing exactly that? Is that not the most brilliant idea you’ve ever heard? Because one, it would make the pain a little more bearable, and two, in light of the recent accusations that I’m a total loon, A LOONEY LOON LOONBALL! I thought, you know what? I’ll show you a loonball! Let the train wreck continue!

Internet, this is for those of us in the throes of this crappy, itchy, at times paralyzing condition:

(Strong warning, however, if you are prone to seizures or have small children sitting nearby, you might want to close your browser and go hug a bunny.)

Music is µ-ziq Autumn Acid

  • Anonymous

    Loooooooooooove it!

  • So great, but, wait — did Bossy miss the part about the third worst day? Was there a reveal posted in invisible ink?

  • Amyinbc

    That was seriously frightening. Great job 😉

  • Annita

    Heather, I think I may have peed.

  • Amyinbc

    So loving your Hate Page. Like a bonus when I visit 🙂

    My only recommendation is that you limit yourself to ONE hate a page, makes for better page revenue! More clicking for us but more $ for you 🙂 Hate is a nasty thing very saaaaaad people thrive on. Good for you for turning it into a POSITIVE!

    (And for all those sad people out there that thrive on negativity? Keep on entertaining!)

  • Joan

    I love you and all, but I think I need therapy after seeing this.

  • Anonymous

    ditto what others have said about breastfeeding with SHINGLES!.

    I mean – come on – I remember having a cold while breastfeeding and my doc considered it liquid gold for the baby. Free immunizations without preservatives that actually work.

    You have some crazy bitches that read your site. Guess that includes me, but whateva. i

  • Anonymous

    ummm. freak.

  • Cdee

    Only a totally miserable bitch would say she thinks you secretly want to give your infant shingles. It amazes me how many people hate you for reasons I really can’t figure out but obsessively follow your blog and leave you long ranting comments with their precious spare time. Miserable. People.

    Anyway, the vid was totally disturbing and creepy, I kind of had to cover my eyes a little. I never imagined jazz hands could be transformed into something so scary just by adding a horrible affliction to them!

    Get well soon and I hope little M gets through it unscathed (:

  • You look so awesomely evil in those last frames. The eyebrows have it!

  • WV Kay

    I don’t know how you put up with the vitriolic screed. Just know that there are many, many more supporters than haters. Damn, I guess I just didn’t realize how many crazy people there are. I hope they all get SHINGLES without the jazz hands. Love & kisses.

  • WV Kay

    I don’t know how you put up with the vitriolic screed. Just know that there are many, many more supporters than haters. Damn, I guess I just didn’t realize how many crazy people there are. I hope they all get SHINGLES without the jazz hands. Love & kisses.

  • Chelle

    Heather, my toddler just got over chickenpox passed on to him from my MIL who had SHINGLES!

    And when I got the news I was on my first real trip to the US, in SLC, Utah. I feel a little famous for getting this close to you.

    I cannot sympathize with you more. It wrecks. Here’s hoping your adorable girls go pox free!

    (PS. De-lurking after 4 years!)

  • KC

    I can’t wait to show this to my brother’s children. I’m going to let them know that the “Shingles/Jazz Hands Dooce” will come after them for nose picking. Nightmares will surely follow. Obviously, that makes a sister smile.

  • jscrmil

    I’m sure you’ve seen it but great article. Especially the last sentence. I don’t fear your “female power”, I admire it –

  • Amy

    Oh my gosh – this is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Yeah, gotta bookmark that for when I’m having a crappy day and need a laugh. You are hilarious, even in your infirmity! Thanks, Dooce.

  • Jax

    That was scary. No, horrifying. Truly, I couldn’t move for about 45 seconds after I watched that. Don’t show that to your children. They will have nightmares.

    If you think I’m kidding, I’m not.

  • Jax

    To Jennifer: Those suckers look incredibly painful. And Heather, now that Jennifer showed us hers are you going to show us yours? Come on, I want to see them. I dare ya.


    i’m scared. really scared by this video, but still love you anyway! my husband had shingles a few years back and he was in terrible pain. we are a lot stronger than we think and this is just another battle to face. you WILL get through this as you have been through so much more in the past. Good luck.

  • Theresa

    You need a comments page on your Hate section 🙂

    I find it so amusing the amount of hate mail you get that says you and Jon spend too much time on the computer. Um… aren’t you a SAHM and doesnt’ Jon work from home mostly managing your website? So, you spend what, a few hours a day on the computer? But, you’re AT HOME – WITH YOUR KIDS! Who the hell cares if you spend hours a day on the computer!! I’m wondering how many of these nasty commenters have to go out of the home to work all day and then still come on here (neglecting their family and house) to bash you?

    Doesn’t seem right.

  • Shelly

    I hope your private stuff works out!!

    That SHINGLES! video is hysterical!

  • jlj

    That scared the living shit out of me.

    And now I want to run around the house doing jazz hands and yelling, “Shingles!!!!”

    I wonder what that means.

  • Krista

    Reefer Madness!!!!!!!!………………

  • LillyO

    Oh my gawd! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! You look like a deranged Easter Bunny…

  • Attilla the Mum

    Your crazy-lady eyes just POP in that video. Really, in the bug-eyed way. You are just an awesome, amazing person. I have never laughed so hard at work. Now all my co-workers are curious. Your shingles are about to go VIRAL, baby! Get it? Viral? Oh, that was just uncalled for.

  • I can’t help but notice that your “jazz hands” has a case of “spirit fingers”. Love the video!

  • Way. Too. Funny.

  • Lauren

    I have no words. This is the greatest thing I’ve seen. Evaaar.

  • Pam

    Hey, Michelle Rebeiro Yoakum Mcbee, is listed first (and second, and third, etc.) on page 2 of Google. Good work, Heather! 🙂

  • Emily

    I love the contrast between this video and the last one.

  • That was highly disturbing and hilarious all rolled up into one Shingley package. My husband’s grandma is just recovering from Shingles this summer and said it was really painful. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  • K-mom

    Well – believe it or not I can top that. I got Shingles on sad day about 7 years ago. I did not know at the time that it was the SHINGLES! and thought that I had a rash. Nope, that annoying rash and the pain – that was SHINGLES! I not only got them but proceeded to give both of my daughters the chicken pox. So here we are on the couch, two spotted and sick girls, 3 years old and 4 years old, with a very cranky mother. Two weeks later, the girls are on the mend, I am feeling a bit better but I get the call I am dreading – two different mommy-friends call me to say that their children have also gotten the chicken pox from me . . . OOOPS! You know that rash I thought was caused by my new laundry detergent – turns out that can cause chicken pox .. . SORRY! How do you say sorry for that? My friends had their laughs later on that year when believe it or not . . . I had another break out of SHINGLES! “Shut up!” you say . . well I cannot SHUT UP because it happened. I have had three cases of SHINGLES!, I feel your pain, I wish I could send chicken soup and a casserole to ease the strain because it sucks. Hope you feel better and miss out on the chicken pox.

  • Trisha

    That was quite possibly scarier than any horror movie I have ever seen with the blue tint and lighting hitting your eyes in the crazy way.

    Seriously.. disturbing.

    But hilarious as usual. I love you! haha

  • michele

    I had some bizarre dreams last night but somehow I think they will pale in comparison to the dreams I might have tonight after viewing that jazz hands shingls video……

  • This video is totally amazing.
    You are awesome.

    This is in no way sarcastic either.

    Straight up awesome.

  • Jenniee Dee

    At first I laughed out loud at my desk, then I became frightened, then I laughed again. I am absolutely going to dream about that video tonight.

    Love ya Dooce!

  • I’m very low on the posting totem pole, but OMG AWESOME.

    I do wonder if they’re spirit fingers or jazz hands, along with someone on the first page of comments.

    FUNNY stuff. But, I’d rather you get better, very quickly.

  • I’m just getting caught up on your posts…love the Jazz Hands video, although it is a little haunting 🙂

    PS: I’m headed over to “monetizing the hate” to click away at all of the adds just so you will get more money to role around naked in…take that asshead haters!!

    Fantastic IDEA!

  • Toni Clark

    freaking hilarious

  • I had shingles in college! COLLEGE. I was working 7 days a week, had a full course schedule, wasn’t eating very well and sleeping next to none. One day my stomach would NOT stop itching as I went to sleep and remembering the sage advice from the movie “big daddy” i moved to put something cold and frozen on it to quell the itch and keep me from spreading the rash (what I thought it was) to other areas of my body. Being broke and in a dorm the only thing frozen I had were ice cubes, so I lost even MORE sleep owing to the icy wetness of my sheets.

    Anyway, the day I show my rash-erupting belly to my roommate and she begins hopping around yelling, “ew, you have scabies!” in front of her boyfriend, was the day I decided to go my school’s health office. The doctor who saw me I’d never seen before and he welcomed me into his sparse office, and asked why I was there. I pulled up my shirt and pointed to my stomach. “What is this? It itches.” After some investigative questions he replies “Well, it looks and sounds like Shingles. (!) But I don’t have any of my books unpacked yet, so let me Google it.” And then I died. “Isn’t that… but… my 88 year old great grandmother had Shingles (!). I’m 19.” He prescribed Valtrex, which to a college-aged female living in a suite with 6 other girls is like having a giant scarlet HERPES painted on her forehead, and I wore a hoodie and sunglasses to the pharmacy to get it filled. I slept for seven days and seven nights and elicited emails with encouraging words like “Heal thyself.” from my Historical Rituals in Latin America professor, upon my telling him why I’d be missing two classes in one week.

    Feel/get better soon!

  • Tiffany

    You have just made my incredibly shitty day 127% better.

  • Lauren

    To no. 763 – I showed them the video as part of their current topic on the use of black and white photography to convey meaning. We’re also studying MacBeth so it gave them alot of ideas (once they calmed down a little) as to how the witches eyes may have looked (no offence Heather). Secondly, the video was shown to the Head who okayed its use prior to showing the children.

    Their reactions were merely an added bonus and did brighten my day. The point was to shock the children by showing them footage that they could use as an inspiration.

  • boundaries? what are those?

  • Meredith

    OMFG. That might be one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen. In a good way. Really. A good way. I’m sorry you are feeling so aweful Heather and I hope you feel better soon. Also, your blog is the best thing in my day. 🙂

  • Thank you old friend (at least that’s what you feel like to me!). I can always count on you to make me laugh out loud, and at the most inappropriate moments. I will play this video again. again. yup.

  • You literally make me laugh until I cry everyday! I think what you are doing is great and everybody else who doesn’t think so (ahem…Michele Rebeiro Yoakum Mcbee) can kiss my ass! DOOCE ROCKS!! SHINGLES!!!

  • I watched the video twice, and somehow it was more creepy the second time.

  • Ali

    LMAO…Duuuuude Awsome! In fact SHINGLES! complete with jazz hands may just have become the new insult substitute in my house.

    Hoping things sort themselves out soon.

  • Robin

    “Internet, this is for those of us in the throes of this crappy, itchy, at times paralyzing condition:”


  • Hmmm… I think Christopher Walken just got booted out of my “Scariest Person Alive” spot. YIKES!!! You look so innocent normally… well maybe not innocent…

    Is that too many … for one post?? Oh no, and I used double ? in the same post as triple !. I think I’m having punctuation issues.

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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