the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Found what I was looking for

Tuesday night Jon and I attended the U2 concert here in Salt Lake City. I know that the previous sentence is the exact opposite of exciting, but for the both of us this event was something we had dreamed about but had resigned ourselves to the idea that it would never happen. Does that make us lame? Probably, but you know what? Lame is totally underrated!

I’ve been a fan of U2 since the mid-Eighties, and here’s where it gets totally sappy and you’re going to want to grab a wipe because the goo is going to get all over your hands and in your hair and then you’d have to explain that to your mom.

At the end of my senior year in high school, after my boyfriend broke my heart, I was faced with the idea of my future. Just a few months away from leaving the town I was born and raised in, off to college, and then where? I used to lie on the floor of my room listening to Achtung Baby, over and over, and I’d think, “I wonder what the guy I’m going to marry is doing right now. What does he look like? Where does he live? What will our life be like together?”

Fast forward to a gorgeous Tuesday night in 2011 and I was standing with him, my husband, father of my two girls, hand in hand, listening to those same songs being performed live. I cried through half of the concert.

During other half of the concert I jumped up and down, pumping my fist in the air to the rhythm, annoying the ever loving hell out of everyone around me. YES. I AM THAT KIND OF CONCERT GOER. But COME ON. They played “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “I Will Follow” and “Mysterious Ways” and “All I Want Is You” and “With or Without You” and “Where The Streets Have No Name” and if you are the type of person who could just sit there reverently with your hands in your lap during all of that then I will pay for you to get laid.

But THEN. Then came the encore and they played “One” and all of a sudden I am seventeen years old and I’m lying on the floor of my bedroom wondering what my future will look like. And who I’m going share it with.

Considering all the therapy Jon and I have been through in the last year and the breakthroughs we’ve achieved, there couldn’t have been a more transcendental moment to signify how much we want to be together. And be there for our two girls. This is my future.

  • sweetpotatopie

    2011/05/26 at 1:33 pm

    Beautiful. So glad you found your “one”!

  • Mindy Lee

    2011/05/26 at 1:33 pm

    I love this post. And I absolutely love U2. Love, love. I’m so glad you and Jon shared such an amazing moment, and have such a love.

    And I’ve seen U2 4 times. You can be jealous.

  • jon

    2011/05/26 at 1:42 pm

    XOXO, baby!

  • chromachord

    2011/05/26 at 1:43 pm

    Dammit, Dooce. You have me in tears. I’m doing my best to hold them back. You guys are awesome.

  • cgreene

    2011/05/26 at 1:47 pm

    awesome, glad the hard work is paying off!

  • Daddy Scratches

    2011/05/26 at 1:57 pm

    When I started reading this post, I had perfect teeth. Now I have three cavities. It’s all your fault.

    PS: U2 live = awesome.

  • LeahW.

    2011/05/26 at 1:57 pm

    I saw the Pixies play live recently and they played Doolittle, an album I loved as a teenager, in its entirety. That was one of the few times I listened to my (college-aged, music elitist) older brother about what to listen to. He gave me Doolittle on tape and I rocked the shit out of it in the stereo of my ’88 Chevy Nova. It was the mid-90s and the Pixies had long broken up, but I felt so freaking COOL listening to that album, surrounded by my peers in Jeep Grand Cherokees their parents had bought them and listening to total crap.

    Seeing them play it was one of the best concert experiences I’ve ever had, and it’s not the transcendent moment you experienced but by damn when they played “La La Love You” I remembered being a teenager and trying to imagine who I’d one day feel that way about. And 15 years later, there I was, seeing the band playing it live and sitting next to the man I’m going to marry! High-five, teenage me!

  • amy bs

    2011/05/26 at 2:00 pm

    i hate the term “bucket list” but seeing u2 in concert is certainly on mine. so awesome!

  • honeydunce

    2011/05/26 at 2:06 pm

    aw man, this totally made me tear up. in a good way though. i’m so happy that you found your partner in crime. 🙂

  • Daisee

    2011/05/26 at 2:10 pm

    awww this is so great, y’all are so sweet – love you guys!

    How did Larry Mullen Jr look?! I have been in love with him for a long time now…

  • wonderchris

    2011/05/26 at 2:11 pm

    Tears – didn’t expect them, but tears!

    Beautifully written and love, much like U2, ROCKS!!

  • MsMegan

    2011/05/26 at 2:13 pm

    Well, hell. I think I have something in my eye. 😉

  • chaseafterwind

    2011/05/26 at 2:14 pm

    Love this.

    I too am a long time U2 fan. I saw them in Chicago during the “How to Build an Atomic Bomb” tour. I am normally rather subdued during concerts, but despite being in the very last row in the arena (seriously), I did not stop jumping and dancing and GRINNING the whole time. And when they played “Where the Streets Have No Name” I felt such ELATION that I broke out into goosebumps and wept. It was comparable to a religious experience, and I say that as a believing Christian.

    I am going to see them here in St. Louis this July with my now husband, and I can hardly wait.

  • jalla

    2011/05/26 at 2:23 pm


    And you are right, lame is totally underrated!

  • kristanhoffman

    2011/05/26 at 2:25 pm

    I am officially in tears. Thank you very much. And U2 rocks. (No pun intended.)

  • Cosmo3807

    2011/05/26 at 2:41 pm

    Glad ya’ll had a great time!

    On a completely different note, I found your comment

    “…all the therapy Jon and I have been through in the last year and the breakthroughs we’ve achieved…”

    quite interesting. Right or wrong, I’ve sensed a wee tiny bit of not-so-happy-with-my-marriage in recent posts here and there. I am SO SO glad to know that you’re both committed to making your marriage work. And it IS work as I’m sure you know.

    I can’t help but wonder how many marriages could be saved if only others would follow your example. I also remember reading how lucky you felt to be married to a man who was willing to see a marital therapist. Kudos to both of you!

  • Cynsfamily

    2011/05/26 at 2:46 pm

    I somehow knew you were at the concert too (that sounds creepy, sorry)!
    I had the greatest time at the U2 concert Tuesday night. I was able to take my 13year old son with me, and successfully introduced him to the magic that is U2. They played soooo many of their great songs, it was impossible to sit!
    Thank you for sharing your experiences, your awesome!

  • mrs_k

    2011/05/26 at 2:48 pm

    No, these are uh…I have something in my eye? I’m not crying. I’M NOT.

    Okay. Totally teary eyed. This is lovely and I’m so happy for you guys and everyone who’s ever been in love and oookay, the post-baby hormones are definitely at work here. (I’m like that drunk girl in the bar… I love you all! No really! I do! I LOVE YOU. AND EVERYONE ON THE PLANET.)

    But seriously, this sweetness makes me happy.

  • cfrances

    2011/05/26 at 2:51 pm

    You always make me laugh and now you’ve made me cry.

    I would probably cry through Actung Baby too. I listened to that CD non-stop my jr year in college. Made out with an old boyfriend for hours to that CD. Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses still stops me in my tracks. In fact, I am listening to it right now.

    Still looking, but I have faith he’s out there. Hopefully he’s not crying his way through Actung Baby though. 🙂

  • LillyO

    2011/05/26 at 2:53 pm

    I recently had my boyfriend from HS find me on Facebook…surreal. I felt like I’d never see him again, either…and all I could think to do, in the wave of emotions that rolled toward me, was throw my arms around my husband and say I EFFING LOVE YOU, DUDE! Like you, I was overwhelmed with “This is my future.” Eggcellent post, Heather!

  • Kayscoth

    2011/05/26 at 2:54 pm

    We too, were at the U2 concert on Tuesday night. I know that this probably sounds fucking retarded, but about halfway through the show I found myself thinking “I wonder if Heather and Jon are here”. No lie.

    Looks like I wasn’t too crazy to wonder. I have been such a huge fan of yours for so long that I wish that I would’ve bumped into you so that I could’ve at least given you a handshake and told you that in person. It totally would’ve made my night.

    I am so glad that you enjoyed the show. They are truly amazing preformers! It was awesome!!

  • smithie1996

    2011/05/26 at 3:08 pm

    I listened to One from my front porch and was instantly transported to the one and only time I’ve seen U2 – my senior year of high school about the exact same time you were lying on your floor.

    Such a sweet post. It made me cry, of course.

  • Seaborne

    2011/05/26 at 3:12 pm

    I know exactly what you mean.

    U2: people either get them, or they don’t. My 19-year-old self definitely did, right away, all the way back in 1985.

    My husband and I finally caught them last year in Houston and, no joke, we had chills the entire show. At one point (“Where the Streets Have No Name”) we realized that literally every soul in the stadium–over 71,000 people–was on their feet, jumping as one, and singing–I mean really singing–their hearts out, all together. The only way I can describe that is that it was transcendent. THAT’s when I got a huge lump in my throat. We both agreed later that it was more of a religious experience than anything we’d ever experienced in church.

  • Seaborne

    2011/05/26 at 3:25 pm

    @chaseafterwind, just finished reading your post–and I should have read the other posts before submitting mine. All I can say is we’re on the same page!

    I’ve always loved U2, but there really does seem to be something about “Streets” live that just universally grabs people. I remember looking around at the crowd–that huge, roiling mass–and seeing what I can only describe as sheer elation on every face. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

  • AliciaMarie

    2011/05/26 at 3:30 pm

    I am a 30-year old stay at home mom who lives on a ranch in *very* rural Nebraska. Besides “With or Without You”, I can’t stand U2. They make my ears bleed. But you, Heather, I love so, so, so much. The way you write and put words together, I think, is like you are reaching into my mind and pulling them right out of there. Thank you for this post, and for this website. I visit it daily and my day would not be the same without it.

  • kathiag96

    2011/05/26 at 3:40 pm

    U2 is my all-time favorite band and every time I see them live, I cry at some point during their show – so I GET. IT. So happy that you finally got to see them and that it had a similar effect on you.

  • jg

    2011/05/26 at 3:41 pm

    I’m glad you get to carry each other, carry each other. Lovely post.

  • molee

    2011/05/26 at 4:09 pm

    In high school, my AP US history teacher had a photo of Bono broken-armed on his wall, so (naturally) I became obsessed with U2. I remember asking him, as that naive 16-year-old, “Who’s gonna ride your wild horses, Mr. P?” and going beet-red after realizing the innuendo involved. EEP, I DID THAT.

    Achtung Baby’s particularly poignant when you realize how a lot of the lyrics were inspired by the breakdown of Edge’s marriage to his first wife. ‘Ultraviolet’ still cuts me deeper than most songs. 11 years later and about 11 concerts later, I agree it’s about the 2nd most religious experience you can probably get in SLC. 🙂

  • D.Paul

    2011/05/26 at 4:25 pm

    Absolutely beautiful. I’ve loved U2 for as long as I can remember, and have thus far managed to see them live twice.

    And your post contains so much hope and beauty, it’s totally worth the goo.

  • angelbee

    2011/05/26 at 4:31 pm

    Awww…I love you guys. 🙂

  • She Writes and Rights

    2011/05/26 at 4:35 pm

    This is totally what I’m feeling today. Wrote a post very similar earlier, only my band is Zeppelin. 🙂

  • writtendad

    2011/05/26 at 4:38 pm

    What an awesome moment to share with him (and with us). I went to see U2 with my girlfriend two years ago (the first round of the 360 Tour) and with her having been a fan of U2 since the late-Eighties early-Nineties, the experience was similar. And by similar I mean that I was bobbing around in my own special Caucasian way (aka fist in the air) and she was singing along. It was our first night away in nearly a year and it did amazing things for us.

  • Bubbinga

    2011/05/26 at 4:41 pm

    Honey, if Life had balls, you would have it by them.

    This is why I come to you every day. You and Jon are my Heros (Heroes? Heteros!) and continually remind me how amazing life is (balls and all).

    Getting to be on that same page has taken years of struggle, pain and triumph, but oh! What a joy!

    I am my own hero, too.

    All my love,


  • sla421

    2011/05/26 at 4:42 pm

    My John and I have been trying to see the 360 tour for two years. After four tries (seriously this was our third set of tickets), we finally got to see them last Saturday night. I had a cold.But when they took the stage on Saturday, I didn’t care how crappy I felt, I became exactly the same jumping, fist punching idiot fan you described. Almost a week later, I have a happy grin just thinking about it. On the train home, I told John I could die happy.

  • Essembee

    2011/05/26 at 4:45 pm

    You guys are genuinely awesome and inspiring.

  • JasmineStar

    2011/05/26 at 5:11 pm

    This post made me mushy inside. True story.

  • Laura Mauk

    2011/05/26 at 5:19 pm

    I’m teary from reading this. It’s so honest and real. And inspiring (from a holding onto and working to maintain a healthy relationship standpoint). THANK YOU for always being yourself and so beautifully honest. Laura

  • SeraSmiles

    2011/05/26 at 5:29 pm

    I love this post. So sweet. But I have to say that I miss the letters to your daughter. What happened with that?

  • spodie

    2011/05/26 at 5:31 pm

    Okay, so maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones, but this post made me cry. It’s so beautiful, and I pray that you and I both can have such a beautiful future. Well done, Dooce.

  • TeacherTee

    2011/05/26 at 5:43 pm

    I have read and loved this blog for years and this is the first time I have been compelled to comment on a post.

    We are going to see U2 in St. Louis in July. Like you, this is a dream come true for both my husband and for me. The child we have yet to conceive is named after a U2 song, and their songs hold so many memories for us. Your post made me even more excited for the concert! Thanks for sharing–I love hearing about how music brings people together.

  • jenwilson

    2011/05/26 at 5:53 pm

    And then *I* cried. That was beautiful, Heather.

  • MelissaJ

    2011/05/26 at 6:43 pm

    sappy? oh indeed

    wonderful? yes!!! (yes it needed more than one)

    fantastic story…perfect ending to your teenage dreams; happy continuation of your life as a family!

  • MaryBee

    2011/05/26 at 6:52 pm

    It took me 28 years to finally see U2 – I got Boy in 1981 at the age of 12 and was instantly transfixed. Somehow I never got the chance to see them live until 2009. I brought my three kids because weirdly I couldn’t imagine not sharing that experience with the people I love the most. I remember listening to their music over and over and over, sometimes during my darkest teenage days and it got me through. The music really meant something to teen-age me 🙂

  • jearbear

    2011/05/26 at 6:59 pm

    love this post & you too. now I’m all teary eyed!

  • JaeMac

    2011/05/26 at 7:00 pm

    I’m going to my first U2 concert on July 14th! Reading your post made me even more excited =). This is the rescheduled leg of the tour [I’m assuming your show was, too] which means I purchased the tickets in November 2009 for the original July 2010 date, and have been going crazy with anticipation ever since!

  • Arlee

    2011/05/26 at 7:06 pm

    I can out-lame U2. My husband and I are going to see Journey without Steve Perry this summer…and we can’t wait!

  • jesterg42

    2011/05/26 at 7:07 pm

    Small world – my sister texted me that her and her husband were sitting behind you and Jon at the show When I asked her if she said anything to you she replied ‘did not say anything just tried not to get hit by her long ass arms flailing’. 😉 guess you really are ‘one of those people’

  • Jennifer Daddio

    2011/05/26 at 7:25 pm

    “One” gets me every time.

  • Balkan Girl Down Under

    2011/05/26 at 8:10 pm

    Aw, so awesome! Beautiful writing and sentiment, Heather.

    And I’m rapt you guys are in such a great place in your marriage and constantly working to make it great.

    I’m now kicking myself for not going to their 360 tour when they were in Melbourne last year…dammit! Although…wait, it coincided with our honeymoon. D’oh! Never mind.

    Love “All I Want is You” = we had that as one of the songs on our wedding DVD. And it wasn’t schmaltzy in the least.

    (It WASN’T, I swear! Heh heh.)


    2011/05/26 at 8:35 pm

    I sometimes sneer at still-married couples because as a no-longer-married person, I think they don’t know what they’ve got. You guys seems to know, and it’s lovely to see! Gotta go listen to “One” now and cry.

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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