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.

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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