Our Lady of Perpetual Depression

Mrs. Armstrong goes to Washington

So I get a call yesterday at about 11AM and the guy is all WHITE HOUSE! ARE YOU INTERESTED?! And as much as I would like to tell you that he had a New Jersey accent, sadly, I can’t. He didn’t. How incredible would that have been, though? The guy that calls from the White House going IS YOU READY FOR DIS?


Of course, I said. Why yes, I’m interested, how did you know? Was it the Obama sign we had glued to our window in 2008? Was it my husband’s many incoherent and at times hostile twitters? (I apologize now for all those he may have referred to as a “freakburger”). Was it the deafening cheers you heard from this side of Salt Lake when health care reform passed? No, none of that? Then I’m going to guess Rahm Emanuel got that letter I sent him on pink, perfumed stationery. The one I kissed with my glittery lipstick. The one Jon signed, “And me, too, sweetheart.”

I’ve been invited to participate in a White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility, and they told me I might want to hold off saying anything until they had completed my background check. Because no telling WHAT they mind find that I haven’t written about in way too much detail here. No, really. Too much information. Heather, stop. STOP NOW. HEATHER. No one wants to hear about your episiotomy, HEATHER.

Actually, I wrote a New York Times Bestseller that says otherwise, JON.

Seriously, I get invited to the White House, and he’s all NO BURPING, NO FARTING, AND BY ALL MEANS, WOMAN, DO NOT TALK ABOUT POOP IN FRONT OF THE PRESIDENT. Well then, why did he call?

So yeah, that background check. I keep going over and over in my head everything I’ve ever done that might be unsavory in the last twelve years since I stopped practicing Mormonism. Since I stopped living like a nun. Well, since I stopped repenting like a nun.

And thoughts of unpaid parking tickets (none) or maybe forgetting to tip a server (never) keep popping into my head. I can see it now: “We heard from Stephanie at Chili’s. She says she brought you five Diet Cokes and you left her nothing. How could you?”

Oh, wait! What if they find out about those two unpaid parking tickets from BYU that my dad paid for me. So that I could get my diploma. Well then, THEY AREN’T UNPAID, NOW ARE THEY?

(Reminds me: Dad, I owe you forty bucks.)

If they find something in the next day you can count on the fact that I will report every detail here, and be all OBVIOUSLY I DON’T REMEMBER, I WAS HIGH. Except not, because I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been high in my life, and I remember every single thing I did during every moment, including thinking that I had stolen a bottle of steak sauce from The Smithsonian because I thought it had expired a thousand years BEFORE CHRIST. I turned to my Jewish boyfriend at the time and yelled HOW THE HELL IS THIS THING STILL LIQUID?

I will take notes in my head, as good as it is after all these years of living without repenting, and you can actually follow along with the live webcast. I’m hoping to bring a few perspectives to the table, having been broke off my ass and living in my mother’s basement, to being a stay-at-home mom with a husband whose workplace wanted to ignore the fact that people have families, to starting my own business, hiring employees and managing their needs, and trying to find the right balance between the time I spend working and the time I spend with my family, a line that gets blurred probably too frequently.

Anyway, here’s hoping the background check goes well. SHHH, EVERYBODY! Don’t tell them about the time I got fired for this website!

Good morning, DC:

  • montana mommy

    2010/03/30 at 7:59 am

    wow, that’s big time, congrats!

  • TexasKatie

    2010/03/30 at 8:03 am

    Congratulations, Heather!!! Can’t wait to see you farting in front of the President!

  • Hey Emilie

    2010/03/30 at 8:03 am

    Dude. So. Freakin. Rad.

  • Anu

    2010/03/30 at 8:04 am

    Wishing you the very best. Hope you do get to meet the president.

  • kayakgrrl

    2010/03/30 at 8:05 am

    Did I say wow, ’cause.. wow!!
    This is awesome. So glad you got the call!

  • jg2010

    2010/03/30 at 8:05 am

    Good luck! You’re very fortunate to be meeting such an inspiring man.

  • Starshine

    2010/03/30 at 8:07 am

    Your secret is safe with me, sister!

  • pooptoast

    2010/03/30 at 8:09 am

    Oh honey, there is nothing that you could say or do that would upstage VP Biden… SO LIVE IT UP!

  • janey_13

    2010/03/30 at 8:13 am

    That is so freaking cool!

  • Tam4797

    2010/03/30 at 8:13 am

    Woot! Bring the Power Heather! We’ll be waiting for descriptions of the White House bathrooms!

  • eleanorstrousers

    2010/03/30 at 8:14 am

    Dear Lord, just don’t wear flip-flops. When that girls’ soccer(?) team met GW in flip flops it was all that the Washington Post covered for a week.

  • dae610

    2010/03/30 at 8:15 am

    I work next to the White House…shoot an email if you want to get a drink! Although I’m still nursing a Manieshewitz hangover from last night, so you’d have to go easy on me.

  • Daddy Scratches

    2010/03/30 at 8:16 am

    I will give to you the advice my wife gave to me when I got to spend the day at Eddie Van Halen’s home recording studio, a.k.a. 5150: At some point, you have to go into the bathroom, look in the mirror and say to yourself, “Holy shit! I’m at the freaking White House!” (except she told me to say “Holy shit! I’m at freaking Eddie Van Halen’s house!” because I wasn’t at the freaking White House … but you get the point).

    Congrats. Can’t wait to hear about the experience.

  • banana-mama

    2010/03/30 at 8:17 am

    IS THIS GOING TO BE ON C-SPAN? Because that will be like the two greatest influences in my life converging. Please tell me it’s going to be on C-SPAN.

  • dietdplovingmom

    2010/03/30 at 8:18 am

    Congrats! I don’t have anything witty to say, but I am geniunely happy for you.

  • svatura

    2010/03/30 at 8:20 am

    I am so excited and I wasn’t even invited. They can call me for a reference check…I am very good at being accurate without being entirely truthful. 🙂 yay!

  • Curiosity

    2010/03/30 at 8:20 am

    So excited for you!! Please tell him that 300,000 of his closest friends say hello.

  • Ena Murphy

    2010/03/30 at 8:24 am

    I live in Fairfax, VA right outside of DC. Maybe a drink after your speech? 🙂 Congrats!

  • Katie D

    2010/03/30 at 8:25 am

    This is absolutely amazing. Congratulations!

  • Frugalista

    2010/03/30 at 8:25 am

    Workplace flexibility? Understatement. You and Jon have sort of invented a whole new workplace. Would love to see policies that help more people do the sort of thing you two have done, so thanks for helping the government look into that!

  • nicholee

    2010/03/30 at 8:26 am

    That is so cool! I don’t have anything witty to say either. But, wow! That’s just awesome.

  • Megan Ellen

    2010/03/30 at 8:28 am

    Wow, awesome opportunity to have your say. If you’re not going to fart, can’t you at least burp?

  • the adams family

    2010/03/30 at 8:28 am

    That’s awesome. Hopefully, you get to see Kumar (yes, Kumar works @ the White House now!). He held the door open for me at the CVS on 15th & K.

    Oh, are you going to meet Bo?

  • rainy_day

    2010/03/30 at 8:33 am

    Seriously, major congratulations. Please tell the President how much we all love him!

  • sarahdoow

    2010/03/30 at 8:43 am

    Congratulations, what an exciting opportunity!
    By the way, you’re totally rocking the iPhone photos with this latest app. I loved the one of Marlo “helping” Jon especially.

  • MePlayingHouse

    2010/03/30 at 8:46 am

    Paving the way and giving hope to mommybloggers everywhere!

  • codydidwhat

    2010/03/30 at 8:49 am

    Can’t wait to hear more about this! I don’t have a family yet, but I’d love to be able to have a flexible schedule someday when I do. So excited for you to be at the White House!

  • jenwilson

    2010/03/30 at 8:56 am

    My husband keeps telling me to keep the episiotomy to myself too. What is so bad about an episiotomy that is so bad? Seriously.

    I hope you have an amazing time, and there’d better be a photo with you and the President.

    And also, good luck. Not that you need it, but good luck anyway.


  • ChristineQ

    2010/03/30 at 8:56 am

    Congrats!! I’m only about 30 mins up the road from there so if you want a tour of beautiful downtown Mt. Airy, MD, I’ll hook a sistah up! 🙂

  • Janice

    2010/03/30 at 9:03 am

    Congrats! What could be next but Dancing with the Stars…. Does this mean that Jon’s gonna quit retweeting stuff. I had to unfollow…

  • tara wanders

    2010/03/30 at 9:03 am

    please say there will be bo photos.
    also, awesome.

  • SeriousOne

    2010/03/30 at 9:04 am

    Question: will the White House provide childcare while you are in the forum?

  • Milla

    2010/03/30 at 9:15 am

    whoo-hoo!!! congratulations, heather! please make sure to check out the size of Obama’s stimulus package, heh heh. that man is one sexy beast.

  • jon

    2010/03/30 at 9:19 am


    And I’m gonna be retweeting stuff for the next 7-12 years. Fixing stuff means retweeting.

    p.s. I’m providing child care!

  • Schnauzie_Mom

    2010/03/30 at 9:20 am

    If you don’t take your butt donut and use it at the White House….UNFOLLOW!!

    But seriously, congratulations on one hell of an accomplishment!

  • ChicagoAlyssa

    2010/03/30 at 9:21 am

    Stew Friedman (author of the book: Total Leadership: Be a better leader, Have a Richer Life) will also be speaking at this event. If you get the chance, I highly recommend talking with him about his web-based Total Leadership program. I think you’d find it really interesting.

  • Pixie

    2010/03/30 at 9:22 am

    Mrs. Armstrong you ARE Mommy’s Hope!! Smile for the White House Cam……can’t wait to read all about it!

  • josephine

    2010/03/30 at 9:25 am

    YAY!! You are going to be amazing. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

    Funny that they think they’ll be able to dig up any dirt on you that you haven’t already told the world about. Silly security people.

  • Jen

    2010/03/30 at 9:29 am

    I’m caught in a peculiar mixture of pride, excitement and insane jealousy. OMG ARE YOU GOING TO MEET PRESIDENT OBAMA IN PERSON?? Please tell him I love him. And thanks for the healthcare.

    In all seriousness, congratulations 🙂 I think this is fantastic, and you will be wonderful!

  • amyautomobile

    2010/03/30 at 9:34 am

    Congratulations! So happy for you!

    If all goes well with the background check, any possibility of a meet and greet in Washington?

  • kkinney

    2010/03/30 at 9:38 am

    Ooh! Will there be a “gathering” of some sort at one of the many fine establishments in DC?? I’ll bet there are plenty of us who’d love to buy you a congratulatory beverage of your choice and hear about Obama’s reaction to your belch!

    Congratulations to you – what an exciting achievement!

  • lynndog

    2010/03/30 at 9:47 am

    Dooce – I’ve been following your blog for about 6 years but have never commented. I live in DC so if you are able to come, please let us DC-ers know if you do have a gathering somewhere! Congrats on the opportunity – I used to work at the White House (under Bush — you can punch me in the face later) and it’s an amazing place to be any day.

  • Amanda Patchin

    2010/03/30 at 9:56 am

    Fuck yeah. Meeting the President is hella-cool.

  • NG

    2010/03/30 at 9:57 am

    I’m thrilled you are getting to be involved in this. I live in just outside the District and they obviously didn’t want MY opinion. (sheesh) Here’s hoping you can bring a perspective that might not be there otherwise.

    This is such a needed topic in Washington. So glad you pointed out that men have families they need to be responsible for too as that is a major problem we’ve been dealing with in my family. As I type this, I’m home with my kids who are on Spring break and I’ve had to use vacation time to care for them and/or bring them to the office with me when there are things I can’t do from home. I have been fortunate that my employer has made accommodations for families and I was even able to take both my kids to work with me for the first year and a half of each of their lives. I know I’m one of the lucky ones. My husband’s employer isn’t so accommodating however, and doesn’t even feel that taking a day to care for sick/out of school children is an appropriate use of sick leave so I’ll be making all the concessions and rescheduling that will have to be done this week.

  • Tobie

    2010/03/30 at 10:11 am

    That is really great news!! As another commenter said, I’m genuinely happy for you 🙂 .

    I think it is great that the White House is doing this.

  • Leball

    2010/03/30 at 10:21 am

    Awesome. I am so excited for you! They were smart to call you up!

  • arishell

    2010/03/30 at 10:43 am

    Do you have to take your but donut for this long meeting? Though it might make a good healthcare statement…

    Have a great time and enjoy it!

  • stresso

    2010/03/30 at 10:43 am

    wahoo! how fab for you. Hopefully you’ll get to see Mrs. O too! Maybe she if she’ll do an HGTV Twitter feed?

  • mommica

    2010/03/30 at 10:44 am

    You’re pretty much the bomb. Ooh, don’t read this comment out loud at the White House, lest you be tackled for saying ‘bomb.’ They frown upon the use of that word, even when it’s in reference to awesomeness.

  • Monsoon

    2010/03/30 at 10:48 am


    1.) Are your mom and dad very proud or dead? (you know from the heart attacks?) and 2.) my mom always reinforced my table manner lessons with “What if you’re invited to dine at the white house and meet the president? you want to have proper manners” It took me years to realize I was NEVER going to the White House. So Heather, for all of us who will never get to live up to our mothers dreams, we are living vicariously thru you…steal a pen for us 🙂

    Heather R.

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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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