An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

There’s a blonde joke in here somewhere

A couple of nights ago Jon had to run to the hospital for a family emergency (everything is fortunately okay) just as I had returned home from the grocery store with arms full of ingredients for that night’s meal. I kissed him goodbye, told him not to worry about anything at the house, I’d have everything under control. And this is where the sitcom of our lives cuts to a sudden explosion, and next thing you know the house on fire.

We’d invited up our friend Cami for dinner, and she was minutes away from our house. Too late to cancel. But why cancel, right? I could handle it! I could handle both kids, both dogs, and an elaborate, from-scratch meal that included salmon, six different herbs, cooking wine, and every available burner on our stove. We’d made this recipe before! Or more accurately, I watched Jon cook the entire meal while I sipped the cooking wine from a safe distance.

I mentioned recently that I don’t cook, and since my family reads this website every day (and then my dad calls my mom and goes DID YOU SEE WHAT SHE WROTE? and my mom is all OF COURSE, SHE LEARNED THAT FROM YOU) they all got together and gave me cooking utensils for Christmas. Because I’m not living up to my matronly duties. Do you see my husband? I mean, he’s only 150 pounds away from starving to death. AND IT’S ALL MY FAULT.

Now, we have this ongoing joke with Cami. Every time she comes over for dinner we have salmon. At first it was a coincidence, we’d have salmon on the menu and then she’d mention she’d be stopping by. And then the coincidences got to be so ridiculous that we had to make salmon our official Cami Meal. I’m not sure how she feels about this incredible honor and the pressure that comes with it, only that when I mentioned we’d be having salmon she texted me back saying, “Freakin’ dill sauce all over my body time!”

Mind you, Cami is a devout Mormon studying design at BYU. She routinely reads her scriptures and blesses her food. Let me share with you one of the conversations we had over text message back in July:

Cami: Hey sexy I’m leaving Provo! Can I get you anything? Patron, wine coolers, diapers, ass cream?

Me: Can you pick up some hookers! K, thx!

Cami: Oh ya duh, male or female?

Me: Both.

Cami: K done. Fireman or policeman?

Me: Someone with a moustache!

Cami: Haha! Yes and lately I’ve been into wizards so maybe like a lookalike Dumbledore?!

Can you see why I adore this woman despite disagreeing with the fact that she shares her boyfriend with four sister girlfriends? A LOOKALIKE DUMBLEDORE. I went around saying that under my breath for weeks.

This post has gone on long enough, and really the point I wanted to hammer home other than I COOKED THE MEAL! I COOKED THE MEAL! is that there was a point where I had the rice cooking, the sauce mixed, and the salmon fillets laid out on the cutting board, and suddenly Marlo wakes up from her last nap and I’ve got to put everything on hold to breastfeed her. At precisely this time Leta calls out from the bathroom, “I’m done! I’m done!” And I look up at Cami and I’m all, dude, take one for the team, go in there and tell her she did a great job. And Cami goes, sweetie, I love you and your family, but I am not going to go into that bathroom and tell your daughter that her poop is awesome.

And then Cami leans down by the stove to turn on one of the burners, the one we’d be using to simmer the salmon in a mixture of broth and wine and bay leaves, and because she’s not familiar with gas stoves she flips it as high as it will go and gas just pours into the room. And it all happens so fast that I can’t tell her STOP STOP DON’T STOP, and as she winds the handle back down a giant flame roars up from the stove so violently that it blows her hair back from her face.


I started laughing so hard that Marlo jerked herself off my boob and stared at me as if she were trying to figure out what could have possibly happened to make such a horrifying noise come out of my face, and through the tears in my eyes I explained, “IT SMELLS LIKE BURNT HAIR IN HERE!”

In conclusion, one night last spring Cami spent the night with us, and before going to bed she hopped into the shower to relax a bit. Moments later I got a text that said, “Ugh! I just washed my hair with dog shampoo!!!”

  • geminijen_2000

    You’re killing me, this is hysterical!!

  • kukucachoo

    My best friend once singed off hair and eyebrows when the backyard grill wasn’t starting. The gas was sure going, but the starter wouldn’t spark it, so she used a match and BOOM!! Best part? Best friend’s name is CAMI.

  • quinncummings

    I respect how dinner at your house is an extreme sport. Makes those of us who try to live on leftovers for weeks just to avoid cooking have something to aspire towards.

  • shakes123

    Perhaps it is because I am tired and had a long day but I have two questions.
    1. Why is it funny that your friend almost burnt her head. Why were you laughing so hard? 2. Where is the rest of the story? What happend next? Am I missing something here?

  • theotherlion

    @54 Can’t speak for Heather, but if it were me, I would be laughing out of shock and relief. And also because once you know your friend is okay, the situation lends itself to humor. I’m the type of person who uses humor to cope with life, though.

    As for the rest of the story, I imagine they just ate dinner. The point of the story was to tell us that 1) she cooked 2) her friend almost burnt her hair and therefore 3) ended up washing said hair with DOG shampoo.

    I think she is just trying to tell you about her light-hearted friend and their silly text messages. I love Heather’s writing style and perspective, but maybe it’s not for everyone.

  • bethiecow

    This blog post is useless without pictures.

  • kait

    Please, please do not tell me, as a transplant Yankee to the South, that no one remembers the craze about ten years ago for Horse and Tail, Tail and Horse, oh hell the name of some horse shampoo that we western riders use on our horses–yep, many, many of us swore by for our own hair. This may be inexplicable to anyone not horse invested in some way (a horse is the land version of a boat–a big hole to pour money into), but Dooce, somebody in those Tenn. family connects must be able to confirm!

    cheers, kait

    P.S. Anybody from WV on down can witness that kudzu? Can take down an entire wooden house/barn/structure. Was that shampoo Tail and Mane?

  • marginallyyours

    @ kait: That shampoo is Mane and Tail, and apparently gets good reviews from cosmetologists to this day:

    I remember using it as a kid. My mom said it would make my hair grow faster or something. Weird.

  • Figtron

    Just think…all of that would have been avoided if she simply would have agreed to wipe your child’s ass.

    Some people are just asking for it, don’t you think. “If you don’t agree to clean the poo, your face will get burned to a crisp.” No brainer.


    Wait, she may have something with that Dog Shampoo mistake. Ever see an Afghan Hound? Jennifer Aniston eat your heart out!


    Wait, she may have something with that Dog Shampoo mistake. Ever see an Afghan Hound? Jennifer Aniston eat your heart out!

  • Cherry

    Wait – there was no Suave in the shower?

  • LuckyMama

    Do you realize how hard it is to laugh quietly while reading this post? I’m at work here…You’re blowing my cover!!!

  • LuckyMama

    @ #16 coolcatana- DITTO on the Mercy thing. I think I watch the show because I secretly wish it was Heather…the show would be so much more entertaining!

  • idolatrare

    Wait a minute..according to last night’s Big Love, Mormons don’t eat salmon, they eat crab legs. What gives?

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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