the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Next, part one

I know. Part one. You want to kick me in the shin already. LOOK. Today got completely out of control, and this thing is long enough already. I promise not to leave you hanging for long.

I don’t even know where to start this, this, what is it? A vitriolic screed? Yes, that. That’s what we’ll call it, although there is a happy ending. Sort of. Well, not sort of at all, in fact. It’s a glorious ending! Like that one when Dorothy woke up surrounded by all her loved ones, except after she cries and is all I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, she has to call some guy to remove two dozen dead birds from the attic.

Was it three months ago? I don’t remember. Although there were most likely a couple hundred feet of snow on the ground. So it could have been last week for all I know. And Jon and I were fornicating on the floor of working in the office, and Marlo was crying, and my niece Mariah was pacing the house trying to comfort her, and Tyrant was busy at his desk IN THE KITCHEN making phone calls about our broken fence… OH BY THE WAY.

Yes, this is how this post is going to go, you have been warned. I’d lend you some of my valium, but that’s illegal. And I’m only into the amoral.

Chuck has found every single possible exit out of our backyard, and he exploits this knowledge whenever we’ve turned our backs for a single second, always ending up at a house up the street where they leave out food for their own dogs. AND I HAVE A HEART ATTACK EVERY SINGLE TIME. Can you imagine if he got lost permanently? What the hell would I tell the Internet? Hey Internet! Your favorite dog is dead. That’s okay! We have another one who eats her own poop and drinks from the toilet! She’ll do, right?

Sometimes Coco follows him out of the yard, but she’ll get maybe a block from the house, realize she’s lost the herd, and then run back and end up at the front door screaming. Thanks for coming back, Coco. Although you’re kind of ruining the moment WITH THAT NOISE.

Back to the point: every day there are five people in our house. All day. This doesn’t include those days when someone has come over to fix the fence or the leak or the gutter that suddenly fell into the driveway. Marlo’s nursery, because we do things up good in here, is directly beneath our office. So when she’s napping we can’t play music, we can’t speak, and we can’t take conference calls. Meaning we’ve had to talk to executives of major television organizations while wedged between the tub and the toilet.

We need more space. I know that those of you in major cities who are living in apartments smaller than most closets want to punch me in the face, I DO TOO, but I can’t get a moment of peace. There is never quiet in the house, not to mention the fact that our assistant has to move his entire office every time we sit down to eat. He’s a tyrant, after all. He needs a throne and a lightning bolt. And four concubines in golden nighties.

Wait. He’s gay. So maybe four hairless, shirtless guys to come mow the lawn.

SO. We hired an architect to draw up some plans to add some square footage to the house. Add a new office, designate some space for Tyrant’s office, maybe give Leta a small recreation room. And you guys, this man was incredible! You should have seen the plans! It was going to be modern and sleek and clean and, what is that? Is that a number? I’ve never SEEN a number that big. You want how much money? It costs that much to renovate a single square foot? Excuse me while I check the seams of the couch for FOUR HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS.

When we saw the price tag, and the fact that we were only going to be increasing the size of our house by less than a thousand square feet, we called it quits on the big dream house and decided to see what we could find in Salt Lake. Something bigger, something with space for an office. Maybe something more modern? I added that question mark because… HAHAHA. This is Salt Lake City. THERE IS NO MODERN. It’s like some giant alien found the valley, unzipped his pants and shit TUSCAN into every crevice and nook of this county.

I like a nice kitchen, I just don’t want it screaming LOOK AT HOW MUCH MONEY YOU CAN SPEND ON SCROLL WORK at me.

We searched inventory online without a real estate agent for several weeks, and it was just so depressing. Everything had been remodeled into a faux-Italian monstrosity, and then we stumbled onto something quite different. An updated, modern home in one of the neighborhoods we love! More than twice the square footage than we have now! An office! A guest room! AND! And here’s the biggest AND… AND AN UNOBSTRUCTED VIEW OF THE ENTIRE VALLEY. It was like a penthouse in New York! Except your neighbors are polygamists and you’re allowed to have sex with animals.

Our accountant advised us to hire an agent to represent our interests, and since this house had been on the market for more than 800 days — I am not making this up, most calculators break when you ask them to compute that high — just take that in for a second. 800 days. ALMOST THREE YEARS. Bwah-huh? I mean, insane, right? Maybe because it wasn’t Tuscan? There was no scroll work? POOR LITTLE MISUNDERSTOOD MODERN HOUSE!

So we made a really generous offer. One that took into account the amount of money we’d have to spend building a fence so that the dogs couldn’t escape. You know, one of the reasons we wanted to move in the first place.

And, well, they walked away from it.

We came within two percent of their asking price, and they walked away. After 800 days on the market. I took that as a sign that either the owner had gone off her medication or that the Universe did not want me to have that house.

And oh, yes indeed. The Universe had something else in mind.

  • msnorway

    2010/07/01 at 5:49 pm

    First! Really? 🙂 Wow!

  • Pixie

    2010/07/01 at 5:50 pm

    You are really keeping us in suspense here…….will it be something where Design Happens?

  • sbcaspers

    2010/07/01 at 5:51 pm

    OMG, you are NOT going to leave this like this for a whole day?? Pins and needles!

  • Dryad_girl

    2010/07/01 at 5:51 pm

    You are killing me woman!!!!! Give me part 2 now!!!! hahaha

  • tokenblogger

    2010/07/01 at 5:53 pm

    Okay, that borders on cruel. There had also better be some picture goodness coming!


    2010/07/01 at 5:54 pm

    I need more information……I’m a little OCD like that….I really think you want my head to explode running different scenarios through my mind……

  • wickedimp

    2010/07/01 at 5:55 pm

    This may not be illegal, but the whole Part One thing must constitute cruel and unusual punishment. What did we ever do to you? 😉

  • tgaytan75

    2010/07/01 at 5:56 pm

    Please don’t leave us hanging too long, we need to know what the universe has in store for your family.

  • Utahcouple

    2010/07/01 at 5:57 pm

    First of all – so happy to hear Tyrant is gay. He seems like such a sweet Tyrant. But sorry about the house. We just lost a bid on a cute modern house downtown, and it sucks to no end. Can’t wait to hear Part 2 – good news hopefully!

  • jacqueline

    2010/07/01 at 5:57 pm

    i love multi-part stories though.

    this’ll give me something to look forward to tomorrow.
    (summer vacay blues! oh, the first-world struggles!)

  • angiejkirkland

    2010/07/01 at 5:58 pm

    Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!! The suspense is killing me!

  • Pandora Has A Box

    2010/07/01 at 5:59 pm

    My Realtor fu is all a-tingle…

  • sarah81

    2010/07/01 at 6:03 pm

    That was just cruel to leave us hanging like that! not cool : ( seriously cant wait for part two : )

  • mrs_k

    2010/07/01 at 6:03 pm

    Oh, you saucy cliffhangering minx! Killing me here.

  • Peanut22

    2010/07/01 at 6:07 pm

    Can’t wait to read the rest! Don’t keep us waiting until after July 4th!!!

  • checho

    2010/07/01 at 6:10 pm

    Oh @peanut22, if she makes us wait until after the 4th, I may just die.

  • adrienne jackson

    2010/07/01 at 6:12 pm

    you stop there? ugh!

    good start.

    but ugh!

  • SomeSayIce

    2010/07/01 at 6:15 pm

    Exciting news! I can totally sympathize with the situation. We had an architect over to look @ our 1700 sq. ft. house a year ago, and when I told him what I wanted to spend on the renovations he literally was ROTFLOL. For, like, hours.

    In the end, we decided to sell our house in the worst real estate market since 1981. The Universe was watching out for us, because we got a contract in 3 months and put a contract on our dream house the same day.

    We’ve been here 5 weeks and I couldn’t be happier despite all the work is being and still needs to be done. There is a lot to be said for having enough room to actually use your kitchen table as a kitchen table and nothing else. To have a place for your tool cabinet other than the kitchen. FOR HAVING MORE THAN ONE BATHROOM, FOR GOD’S SAKE!

    Can’t wait to hear the rest!

  • Jenni

    2010/07/01 at 6:19 pm

    Oh mah gawd! You are PREGNANT!

  • Janice

    2010/07/01 at 6:21 pm

    It’s Tyrant’s whistling. It’s turned you mean…

  • Mari

    2010/07/01 at 6:24 pm

    I can’t even imagine what is coming next… but I hope it comes on Friday. This crowd will turn on you!

  • annalitchka

    2010/07/01 at 6:27 pm

    I’m just SO GLAD you went ahead and posted today. I was going to lose MY mind waiting. And I KNEW you were trying to get it done, I knew that. I knew that. But I also knew I was really really obsessing over, what what what is going on?

    Yeah, I need a life. That’s the problem.

  • Erinn822

    2010/07/01 at 6:29 pm

    You’d better not take off and not write for 3 days, as per your usual! You will have many dead readers (we died from the suspense.)

  • kacyd

    2010/07/01 at 6:29 pm

    Heather you are a bad, bad girl first making us wait all day for this and then stopping right in the middle…can’t wait to hear the rest of the story

  • juliejackson

    2010/07/01 at 6:31 pm

    Oh my God. I spent all day reloading your site. All day. All for a dastardly cliffhanger.

    I’ll start again tomorrow in hopes that you won’t make us wait a weekend – a LONG holiday weekend – for Part Two! 😉

  • Ralemap

    2010/07/01 at 6:35 pm

    @Janice- HA! That was hilarious! And, Oh Mah Gawd, I’m going out of town tomorrow morning for the weekend and won’t be able to read Part Two until MONDAY AFTERNOON. I’ll be speculating about the plans of the universe in between margaritas. Or something.

  • kayakgrrl

    2010/07/01 at 6:37 pm

    You hate us, don’t you. I’m DYING here. (Also: I’m away for the next several days, so I’m betting that I’m going to miss part II. GAH!)

  • Karyn

    2010/07/01 at 6:38 pm

    So wrong. It’s like back in the day when my grandma’s stories would end for the afternoon and she would cry.

  • flanagusen

    2010/07/01 at 6:38 pm

    Going to DIE of suspense-related illness! I am seriously the most impatient person EVER. This is why I have a hard time watching TV shows except after they’ve come out on DVD. I wanna know what’s happening! *whinywhinewhinewhiny*

  • opalrain

    2010/07/01 at 6:39 pm

    Hea-THER! You kill me!

    I’m with @tokenblogger. If you’re going to torture us, at least give us a picture, too.

  • Maggles

    2010/07/01 at 6:41 pm

    God Dammit Dooce. Seriously. Jesus Fucking Christ.

  • AmberE

    2010/07/01 at 6:43 pm

    In my gentrified neighborhood, a few of the original homes have been torn down, and we have sprinkles of Tuscan themed houses/townhomes. UGLY

  • ackt

    2010/07/01 at 6:46 pm

    I was actually holding my breath reading the whole thing. Reading as FAST AS I COULD. Then got to the end and my exhale ended in expletive.

    COME ONNNNNN!!! When I wake up in the morning there better be a part two!

  • Brandy in Canada

    2010/07/01 at 6:47 pm

    You are moving into an Eames house?

  • debihe13

    2010/07/01 at 6:53 pm

    1. While you and Jon CAN “reconvene the procedure”, “call a naughty meeting to order”, or “fulfill your marital obligations to the glory of the Prophet”, unless you two are no longer married to each other, you CAN’T fornicate.
    2. I’ve recently been diagnosed with mild OCD. Total surprise to everyone.
    3. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!?!!!??!????

  • tracy

    2010/07/01 at 6:53 pm

    You. Bitch. You have SOME nerve leaving us hanging like that.

    I totally kid. You’ve worked your ass off & deserve all the gloriousness the universe sees fit to throw your way. Thanks for taking us along for the ride!

  • AEMom

    2010/07/01 at 6:55 pm

    Heather! Please!

    Part 2 better be on Friday because I will not have access to a computer for 2 weeks after that. And it’s not fair to leave me hanging for another 2 weeks!

  • gigantic

    2010/07/01 at 6:56 pm

    Uh, that’s it? That’s not even, like, 15% of a story, much less half of one. Or are there more than two parts? Are there more like 5 parts? And this is the prologue? And now we have to wait until, like, Tuesday to hear the next part of the story because tomorrow and Monday both fall into the realm of being the bookends of a holiday weekend? Dammit, man! Back to watching Kagan’s confirmation hearings. Gotta find entertainment somewhere.

  • oyukichan

    2010/07/01 at 7:03 pm

    Seriously!? C’mon! Can’t doing it on the office floor again wait until after you tell us your big news?

    Ha! My non-bot code is “pliant Mr”. You did stop for a tussle in the hay with the Mr, didn’t you!?

  • gavintiegirl

    2010/07/01 at 7:09 pm

    This sounds like it’s going to end with HGTV renovating your house and making it into a show.

  • sbhatz

    2010/07/01 at 7:11 pm

    Bitch. The rest better be coming first thing tomorrow morning 🙂


  • wagabu

    2010/07/01 at 7:15 pm

    I can’t tell you how excited I am to find out what the universe told you. I already know what it told me.

  • Brea

    2010/07/01 at 7:16 pm

    Ah-ha! That is what all this mystery has been about: the rollercoaster ride of emotions otherwise known as real estate and escrows…

    How can something so exciting and full of potential suck it so bad? I guess you would call looking for a new home ‘quality problems’, but it still SUCKS BALLS to go through those kinds of highs and lows.

    Glad to hear it isn’t something worse – OR IS IT?!!

  • souphead

    2010/07/01 at 7:20 pm

    Yep…totally want to kick you in the shins right now. It’s ok tho, really, because I know something awesome is coming next.
    Just don’t make us wait so long for the rest of the news…mmmkay?


  • bfmchoul

    2010/07/01 at 7:22 pm

    I just said “unh!” in a whiny pre-teen not wanting to do her chores way so loudly I woke the baby.

    I hope you’re happy. Now not only do I NOT get to know what’s happening, but I have to entertain the kid.

    Also, I’m sorry things are stressful Heather. You’re more than early evening entertainment, I promise 🙂

  • Debbie in Memphis

    2010/07/01 at 7:23 pm

    Oh, THE WAITING!!! argggghhh

  • Mrs. Q.

    2010/07/01 at 7:28 pm


    I hope the time until your next post is filled with lots of whistling. In a southern accent.

  • 3xx1xy

    2010/07/01 at 7:49 pm

    Are you leaving Utah!

  • jen.yaya

    2010/07/01 at 7:52 pm

    yep, you’re a jerk! c’mon lady! how does this end in you pow-wowing with a billion attorneys?? at least lead us to the part where we meet the tin man!

    (<3 you)

  • musickatt

    2010/07/01 at 7:53 pm

    THAT’S how you end a post? You just leave us hanging? I demand that you sit down right now and hammer out the rest. Because that what you just did right there? Incredibly cruel and I demand further action on your part.

1 2 3

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.

read more