Heater, Mother of Lance

Bootylicious Since 1742

The other day I was in spin class getting my butt kicked when the riff from the Stevie Nicks song “Edge of Seventeen” started playing on the instructor’s playlist. And I was like, AWWWWW YEAH, MY BODY’S TOO BOOTYLICIOUS FOR YA BABE! Except, it wasn’t Destiny’s Child. It was the actual Stevie Nicks song, and right then I was like, I hope no one from Williamsburg or Park Slope is eavesdropping on my mind right now! HOW EMBARRASSING.

The title of this post was the tagline for the first masthead I ever designed for this website (It didn’t make sense then. Still doesn’t.)(I didn’t start designing mastheads until September 2001. Before then I was a bit busy sowing my oats.)

Sunday marks the tenth birthday of dooce.com. Writing that sentence simultaneously blows my mind and makes me want to yell incoherently at some stupid kid to pull up his pants. Ten years. It’s older than my first child. Older than the dog I adopted from a shelter in Pasadena, California a few months after 9/11. It’s older than my marriage. I’m thinking it should go blonde to hide all its gray hair.

I’m heading out of town today, and since I am going to be gone through the weekend Tyrant decided to play a little trick on me yesterday. Luckily it did not involve setting my hair on fire. Aaaaaand great. Now that I’ve written that I’ve given him all sorts of ideas. PUT DOWN THE FLAME THROWER, DUDE.

Leta was just back from school and all of us were hanging out in the living room when Tyrant burst through the kitchen door shaking his head in disgust.

“Um… there’s… did you guys feed something weird to Coco? Because she’s over here cowering in the corner and there’s a giant puddle in the dining room.”

Dear Lord, seriously? Again? I’ve got a million things to get done before I have to leave and I’m going to spend the next hour on my hands and knees cleaning up dog vomit? Or maybe dog diarrhea? Is there a preferable option? YES, THERE IS. And that option is lying naked on a heated table while Zac Efron gives my shoulders a deep tissue massage.

HE’S LEGAL. Stop looking at me like that.

So I stomp over to the dining room expecting a scene straight out of Apocalypse Now only to see a dozen assorted cupcakes sitting in the middle of the table, ten birthday candles, and a small flag jutting up through the frosting on each cake, each flag printed with a message that bears great meaning to the evolution of this website.

How incredibly thoughtful of someone who once tricked me into thinking I had eaten my dead pet fish.

No, really. How unbelievable is this? The lovely people at the Sweet Tooth Fairy put this all together for us, and by us I mean all of the people living and working in this house, and you, you who have come on this wild, vomit-inducing car chase with me.

To celebrate this birthday, I would love to share these cupcakes with each and every one of you, even the readers who insulted my bathroom tiles, YOU, TOO. But since I can’t I’ve decided to give away a $1,000 cash card to someone. (That’s 10 plus a couple of zeros, see how clever that is? I came up with that all by myself. Calculus, you were worth it!)

This isn’t some sponsored giveaway. This is straight from us to you.

So, what I want to know is this… dooce was a nickname I had back in my single days, the result of an idiotic, frequent typo I made when trying to tap out duuuuuuude in an instant message window. I know, it’s not the greatest story ever told. In fact, I want to punch myself in the balls for you. Which is why I want to hear about yours. (Your nickname, not your balls. Unless you’ve got some Pulitzer Prize winning groin, and in that case I’M ALL EARS. )

What is your nickname, and why?

I’ll pick a random winner from the comments which I’ll close at 10 PM Mountain Time on Sunday night, February 27, 2011, and then announce the winner on Monday morning.

I can’t thank you enough for the support you’ve given me over the last ten years, especially to those of you who helped me through those dark months in 2004 when you let me know I was not alone. I am alive because of you.

Thank you for helping me live a dream.

  • mcconk

    2011/02/24 at 7:38 am

    I don’t personally have one, but we have great nicknames for our two kids:

    Abby became “crabba lunka pico”

    Allyson became “Alla Dode” or just “dodie” somehow

    Congrats on the anniversary!

    Edited to add, I guess MCCONK is the nickname you were talking about! Duh. I am slow this morning. Mcconk is just a combination of my first and last names, and was the first email address screen name I ever had at a job.

  • jenniferg

    2011/02/24 at 7:36 am

    My name is Jennifer so the only nicknames I had were Jenni (yes, with an “I” and yes, I dotted that “I” with a heart) and Jen.


    But my username confused enough people that “ferg” might be a new one.

  • mcconk

    2011/02/24 at 7:36 am

    AW man, where is everyone? I didn’t want to be FIRST this time; random number generators don’t pick the FIRST comment! 🙂

  • lori.ann.mcvay

    2011/02/24 at 7:38 am

    I grew up on a farm, and am a pianist to boot. So, I’m a big-boned girl with big hands. My maiden name was “Bird”. Somehow, a jerk that I went to school with started calling me “Big-Hands Mama Bird” – sort of like the Man Hands episode of Seinfeld. LOL Not that I’m bitter…

  • RebeccaLand

    2011/02/24 at 7:39 am

    Nothing fancy or great, everyone would just shorten my name and call me Beck.

  • Anastasia_NYC

    2011/02/24 at 7:39 am

    My nickname was Zsa Zsa because when I was born my mom insisted on calling me Stasha, which I couldn’t pronounce – I said Zsa Zsa and it stuck with my entire family. Even now my grandma calls me Zsa

  • MissCaron

    2011/02/24 at 7:40 am

    Oh honey… I have loved this site so much… I loved “It Sucked and Then I Cried”… and I love you! I am so grateful there is a woman out there who can put in words all the things I’ve experienced myself within the scope of depression. Keep doing what you’re doing… we thank you for it!

    My nick-name in HS was Gerbil. Yes, I know. What The F??? It still doesn’t make sense and the guys who gave it to me said they didn’t know why either. All I can do is laugh about it 🙂

  • KeJeBr

    2011/02/24 at 7:40 am

    My last name is Brown, so I’ve been called “Brownie” by many a friend!

  • Jessica Eiden Smedley

    2011/02/24 at 7:40 am

    My nickname was “Guh-Guh” because my little brother couldn’t pronounce Jessica. Guh-Guh had various incarnations over the years and eventually morphed into “Caca”.

    I have four younger brothers, being called Poop is part of the deal.

    I’m still called Guh-Guh at family gatherings and to the next generation I’m (affectionately?) known as “Auntie Caca”.

  • AnneWF

    2011/02/24 at 7:40 am

    My nickname is Anne, as in Annie, but with no I. My given name is Elizabeth Anne. When I was born my godfather looked at me and called me Anne-Bananie and it stuck. That’s okay, I look more like an Anne, NO I, than an Elizabeth anyway.

    Fabulous blog. I love how real you are.

  • sadkins

    2011/02/24 at 7:41 am

    Mine is tater. From my husband…romantic, huh? He always called me sweetie, which somehow morphed into sweet tater, which has been shortened to tater. Love is grand! Congrats on 10 years!

  • kelcut

    2011/02/24 at 7:41 am

    First off – Happy Anniversary & I’m beginning to love Tyrant. How sweet was that?!

    My grandpa always called me Rachel, even though my name is Kelly. At some family function, there was an older man who joked about EVERYTHING. After meeting me, he called me Rachel (to see how I’d respond). Trying to be nice, I answered & never corrected him.

    They all thought it was so funny that I was Rachel from that day on. (Yeah, I wish I had a better story)

  • Kate514

    2011/02/24 at 7:41 am

    Well.. I am glad to say that this is no longer in use… but in High School English I was Kate O’Buttcrack. My maiden name is O’Hara and a pesky little high school boy started calling me that! Years later he admitted that he always had a crush on me…..

    Oh the joys of high school.

    anyway – CONGRATS on 10 years. I have been reading for 7 of those.

  • AllyO

    2011/02/24 at 7:41 am

    My nickname in high school was “fish.” And for the life of me I can’t remember why. It was a marching band thing.

  • zephyr826

    2011/02/24 at 7:41 am

    I teach French in a high school in Southern Illinois, so pronunciation has always been an issue for some of my dear, sweet students. For the first 3 years I taught, I was “Ma’am-zell”, instead of Madamoiselle, but then I get married, and things have gotten so much better. Now, I’m affectionately known as “Mad-Mom”. Madame became Mad-ma’am, and when I went on a rant about how it was pronounced “Mah-dom” instead of “maah-Damn”, they switched it to Mad-mom. It’s particularly fitting now, as we’re expecting our first child in 6 weeks, and my students have born the brunt of my mood swings. So there you have it.

  • anmatcoburn

    2011/02/24 at 7:42 am

    Well, my full name is Anne Mathilde. I was almost named Cloud, and thank god that didn’t work. I DESPISE people who spell my name incorrectly, and everybody can spell Annie. Other nicknames: Petunia (thanks, dad), Annabelle, Anoushka, Sweet Anne, Annie C…pretty much variations on a theme. Kinda wish that my nickname was something fierce. Like “Killer.” Or “One-Eyed Jack.”

  • hudson6803

    2011/02/24 at 7:42 am

    Well, growing up it was Toots. And not because of what you’d assume. My dad always called me Tara tutu. And then shortened it to Toots. Then in highschool I had a few nicknames – Shortbee (maiden name sounded like Tall-bee) and Beans (again, not what you’d assume…but I’m sensing a pattern).

  • willL

    2011/02/24 at 7:42 am

    Knee-ner! (give me a break. you don’t choose what ppl call you!)

  • zeenes

    2011/02/24 at 7:42 am

    I wish I had a nickname! The closest I ever got was people calling me by my last name.

    Congratulations, Heather. I’ve been reading your blog since a few months after you started it, and I’m so proud of you. You’ve done so much in 10 years! And you’re still funny to boot! 😉

  • Lara

    2011/02/24 at 7:43 am

    My nickname is KitKat, but only my dad every called me that. It’s short for my middle name, Kathleen. Not very creative, but I always liked it.

  • theripetomato

    2011/02/24 at 7:43 am

    Twas Alias Incognito Scrotum

    Courtesy of my big brother. How did he come up with this one?

    Twas – because i had a stutter and once tried to read “twas the night before christmas” to my family

    Alias – because my first name is Alisa and one time in second grade i spelled my name ALIAS on one of my art pieces.

    Incognito – because that goes with Alias

    Scrotum – because he was an adolescent boy at the time and obsessed with all things balls

    lovely, no?

  • yokocantspell

    2011/02/24 at 7:43 am

    My nickname since high school has been Yoko. What can I say, I had a thing for boys in bands…

    Here’s to another 10 years!

  • slappyintheface

    2011/02/24 at 7:45 am

    Congratulations !!!

    P.S. That thousand bucks would come in really handy on a trip to Blog World Expo in LAS VEGAS this year. I’m just sayin’.

    My nickname in high school was Robocop (my maiden name was Murphy) but now I go by Slappy (for obvious reasons).

  • Kcriglow

    2011/02/24 at 7:43 am

    STD! And yes, that does stand for “Save The Day”. I was the only girl on a girl’s weekend with a working phone, so I said that they could just call me “STD, for Save the Day”. Nope, didn’t think that one through and yes, I’m pretty sure alcohol was involved. Now the name gets passed around (haha) to the most prepared person on the trip.

  • mbryt1

    2011/02/24 at 7:44 am

    My nickname used to be Wilma Chamberlain – the female version of Wilt Chamberlain, basketball player. Because I was tall as a kid, is what I was.

  • ladylozreena

    2011/02/24 at 7:44 am

    Nickname: Lady Lozreena
    …or Lozreena, Loz, Lozza, Lozzareena, Reena or Reenie – depending who is trying to get my attention!

    All started with a friend calling me Laurs/Loz (my name is Laura). Most people call me this still.

    That particular friend who started it is responsible for the rest and now only calls me Reenie. But over the years the name has evolved.

    I got Lady Lozreena when I went to a friend’s wedding and apparently looked like I was dressed as a fortune teller (flower in hair, big hoop earrings & an embroidered shawl!)

  • Wendy Hill

    2011/02/24 at 7:44 am

    I think everyone I know calls me something different. If it even slightly resembles my name some how, I’ll answer. Winnie, Windy, Bindy, Gweny, Windo, Wendilynn, Gwendilynn, Gwenolyn, Tornado (I realize this doesn’t fit), Wendilina, Wendell, etc.

  • pinkcharlotte

    2011/02/24 at 7:44 am

    My nickname is Charlotte. Years back when Fifty Cents released In Da Club I heard the lyrics wrong. At work one day I was telling a friend and co-worker that I loved the song and started singing the chorus, “Go Charlotte, It’s your birthday.” She started laughing and informed me the lyrics were in fact “Go Shawty.” She loved telling everyone how I messed up the lyrics and from that day forward I was Charlotte. She also added that she could see me dancing kind of awkwardly in a pink cardigan and a strand of pearls. Thankfully I’m a slighty better dancer and only wear the cardigan and pearls to tea. 😉

  • Megan Ellen

    2011/02/24 at 7:44 am

    My online handle – which is the closest I have to a nickname – is often Porcupine.

    Because I don’t like cowards. 🙂

  • AshlynS

    2011/02/24 at 7:45 am

    Hmmm…I never really had a nickname, unless you count the fact that my older brother used to call me Buzzard. He used to tell me that my family had found me as I was hatching out of a buzzard egg and decided to bring me home. Every time buzzards were flying nearby, he would tell me to wave at my family because they were looking for me. I’m ashamed to admit that I kinda, sorta believed him–just a little–until I was probably around 8 years old. Awesome.

    My only nickname now is from my husband; he calls me Monkeybutt. I hadn’t considered it until now, but I’m really not sure which one is worse…

  • thekait

    2011/02/24 at 7:45 am

    My mom is the queen of bizarre nicknames. We had a dog named Angus, my mom called him Punk Rocker. My brother’s name is Kyle, she called him Game Boy. My name is Kaitlin, and she calls me Miss Benoogie, or Miss Benoog for short. I much prefer Kait.

  • TexasKatie

    2011/02/24 at 7:45 am

    Congrats on ten awesome years! I have personally been around for seven of them! 🙂

    As for my nicknames… the first one I remember having was “Froggy”. My dad penned this nickname. Apparently I had really long legs (still do) and would sit in my crib in this really awkward position so that I looked like a little frog. That name stuck for a long time. I actually collected frogs for a long time (fake ones, not the real kind).

    I also go by Kate. Sometimes I go by Bitchface. You can take your pick. 🙂

  • nonsequitur

    2011/02/24 at 7:47 am

    Congrads on the 10 years! Have loved you since It Sucked and then I Cried, which brought me over to Dooce.

    I was a Forestry major in college, which involved field work with boys and cruising timber (basically lots of walking, bugs, and counting trees). Being one of the few girls in our class, I was always regulated to be the person to write everything down (or ‘tally’) on our crew. And then my best friend added ‘ho’. Henceforth, ‘tally ho’ was born.

    Damnit, now I was cupcakes!

  • YorkCat

    2011/02/24 at 7:45 am

    My current nickname is Fozzy. Hubby seems to think I snore like Fozzy Bear from the Muppets. In high school my nickname was Cookie because my maiden name is Cook. Not very original.

    Happy Anniversary! I’ve been along for the ride since the Cali days!

  • kkr1644

    2011/02/24 at 7:45 am

    In college my nickname was Vivian–like from Pretty Woman Vivian. I’m not really sure how it came to be, because I don’t think I was THAT much of a slut in college! I just remember going bowling and needing a bowling name and someone said Vivian, and it kind of stuck for awhile.

    Now my nickname is KReis, which is my first initial and last name–nothing super exciting, but I guess that’s what happens you get old (okay, I’m only 30, but this is a whole new decade I’m dealing with!)

  • Vicki in NC

    2011/02/24 at 7:45 am

    the vickster

    can’t imagine how they came up with that.

    *rolls eyes*

  • Katie Kat

    2011/02/24 at 7:46 am

    Well, I’ve several nicknames! My favorite was from my dad, he called me “Katobeans” and I called him “Popobeans.” It was just one of those things a dad thinks up for his little girl! I’ve also been “Shortstop,” “Gunner,” and “Bean.”

    Congrats on 10 years Heather! I’ve spent the last five with you and have loved growing, groaning and laughing with you. Thank you for letting us into your amazing life. 🙂

  • jenjw4

    2011/02/24 at 7:46 am

    I have the VERY uncreative nickname of Jenn. I would say that’s even worse (and less of a story) than “Dooce.”

  • ameliaknapp

    2011/02/24 at 7:46 am


    I know, not so original, but it was used frequently because I have a good friend with the same first name, and that meant we shared the same first nickname–Meels, which came straight from the mouths of our various friends from New Jersey when we were in college. It was infallible–every person we knew from New Jersey called us Meels, independently of each other.

  • samcarter14

    2011/02/24 at 7:46 am

    My best friend from college calls me Patchie. At some point in college she decided we needed a name for each other, so she came up with “Patchuga”, and while it never stuck to her, it stuck to me. So she calls me Patchie or Patchuga. I have no idea what it means, but my husband says it brings to mind a calico cat, so that’s fine with me.

  • susalini

    2011/02/24 at 7:46 am

    My brother and his friend used to call me Susalini or Susaphone…dorky…but i liked it:)

  • btothez

    2011/02/24 at 7:47 am

    My husband calls me “B” and I call him the same. It’s not exciting but it’s comforting every time I hear it. I once got a Birdhouse T-shirt for him for xmas. It had a big “B” on the front. My mom asked what it stood for and I said, “Brian and Becky Being in love.” So lame but 12 years later we’re still here.

  • pinkleahtard

    2011/02/24 at 7:47 am

    A lot of my relatives are from Nicaragua. I am a little gringo from America, and growing up they always called me Leahpeeohdee. At least, that’s how I assumed it was spelled. Until I realized many years later, that my name is actually Leahpeyote. I have NO idea how I got this name, but I can only imagine that I acted like I was on pyschadelic drugs as a 4-year-old. At 30 years old, I’m still lovingly called Leahpeyote every time I see them.

  • Daddy Scratches

    2011/02/24 at 12:47 pm

    There exists a children’s song titled “My Daddy is Scratchy.” Its lyrics tell the story of a child who hates it when his/her father’s beard stubble scratches his/her face. My then 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter became enamored with the song and, as kids often do, shortened the title to something more manageable — in this case, “Daddy Scratches.” Since then, whenever my scruff touches her face, she calls me “Daddy Scratches.” It struck me as being the perfect name for my blog. Voila.

    Also, I’m very dangerous on the wheels of steel.

    Happy Blog Birthday to you, and thanks for inspiring me to start a blog of my own. 🙂

  • shan

    2011/02/24 at 7:48 am

    Luckily the only nickname I have ever really had was some-what short lived.

    In 6th grade I wrote my girlfriend a letter while I was in math class. I must have forgot to pick it up from under my seat, or dropped it on the way out because by next period everyone was calling me “silly goose”. I’m unsure now (at 28 years old) of what context I had called her a “silly goose” in the letter, but I can remember just how mortified I was. I’m pretty sure I was unable to live down the nickname for the rest of the school year.

  • mymsie

    2011/02/24 at 7:48 am

    Mymsie Floofenheimer is a bastardization of my real name, which people often mispronounce. 🙂

  • Erin Allen

    2011/02/24 at 7:49 am

    Happy anniversary! Growing up my nickname was “E” or “Little E”. My grandmother called me “George” though, I’m not really sure why. With the birth of my first niece I became “Auntie E.” Now I’m mostly called mommy which is the best nickname of all.

  • Meemers

    2011/02/24 at 7:49 am

    My nickname is Meemers. This name came to be because the little boy I babysat (from an infant until he was about 12) had trouble saying my name when he was learning to talk. My real name is Amy and he called me “Mimi”. The day he actually said my name properly was a sad day for me because “Mimi” was just so cute. His parents continued to call me “Mimi” but that eventually morphed into “Meemers” and I still go by that name today by friends and family. He is now 18 and in college and that makes me very happy and very sick all at once. 🙂

  • momisdumb

    2011/02/24 at 7:49 am

    My older brother and sister liked to call me Tarb. Brat spelled backwards!

  • volfie

    2011/02/24 at 7:50 am

    I don’t have a nickname, but I do have a good story about the last time someone asked me that question.

    It was the first day of 4th grade, and I was in a combined class of 4th and 5th graders. (oh, those 70’s!). Plus, I was a young 4th grader, because I’d skipped a grade.

    The teacher went around the room, making sure he knew which kid was which, and asking if anyone had a nickname. Bear in mind here that my last name started with a W, so I had an entire classroom of children to listen to and wait through until it was my turn, at which I announced that I didn’t exactly have a nickname, but my grandmother’s neighbor called me “Cupcake.”



    Surely, you can imagine how the rest of that year went for me.

    All I really have left to say is that a nice door prize would be very useful in reimbursing me for all the therapy it required to get over that one.

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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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