the smell of my desperation has become a stench


Today is Cami’s 24th birthday, and you should probably see what she’s wearing today. That right there is the embodiment of the spirit that we spend years trying to instill in our children and in ourselves, that it doesn’t matter one whit what anyone else thinks. Put on that ridiculous dress because life is fucking beautiful and no one gets to tell you otherwise.

One small Cami-related anecdote: Chuck is friendly with everyone who walks through the front door, at least for the first two minutes. Then he disappears for hours at a time to write potions and scratch holes in any uncovered, valuable cushion. But there are certain women he cannot leave alone, women he will follow around quietly and loyally. Cami is one one of them, and whenever she visits he will eagerly wait for her to sit down so that he can delicately rest his face in her lap and bat his eyelashes as if something that charming is going to make me forget about the giant hole he dug into the couch THAT ASSHOLE.

Last week I had given him a stick of string cheese because I temporarily lost my mind and forgot that any treat gives him a case of gas so bad that I could just aim his butt at a brick wall to knock it down.

Cami had been at the house for a few hours, and she and I were sitting at opposite ends of the couch in the living room. Chuck suddenly wandered in and walked right over to her, sat down next to her crossed legs and waited for a pause in our conversation. He then seized that pause to express a pocket of gas so large that it rose slowly like a thought bubble out from under his tail. It said, “Ffffffrrrrreeeeee!!!!”

Cami couldn’t see for a couple of seconds and then she stumbled through the stench to a chair across the room. Chuck followed her loyally and sat down next to her again.

“WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING?!” she screamed.

“Cami,” I said, my voice hushed and reverent. “He gave you his fart. He gave you his fart.

  • mommica

    2012/03/27 at 5:04 pm

    An early birthday present. Aw.

  • filmlady

    2012/03/27 at 5:45 pm

    The perfect present!

  • wilberfan

    2012/03/27 at 5:51 pm

    Chuck’s fondness for Cami notwithstanding, I gotta say on behalf of many of us with Y-chromosomes–we don’t get the whole “Look what Cami’s wearing today!” posts.

    Of course, I don’t “get” fashion in general–so maybe I should just pipe-down?

    [Silently gives Chuck an ‘atta-boy!’ look]

  • MelissaJ

    2012/03/27 at 6:22 pm

    now that right there…that brings a tear to my eye…and a chortle from my gut!

    Happy Birthday Cami…he gave you his fart. That dog is yours for life!

  • luv and kiwi

    2012/03/27 at 7:35 pm

    I am rolling! I have to start using that line…”But I gave you my fart!”

  • NHMaman

    2012/03/27 at 9:56 pm

    … like a cat gifts an expired mouse’s entrails?

    When I see Cami’s outfits I picture everybody in Utah dressing in a bright, often outlandish, mode, like a perpetual circus — a place we might all like to live. But this is probably not the case, alas! I have trouble picturing BYU and Cami in the same locale. Vive la différence! And Happy Birthday to Cami!

  • apostate

    2012/03/28 at 12:24 am

    Good god, that dress!

  • Tanzie F. Nielsen

    2012/03/28 at 4:47 am

    I’ve been waiting for a chance to comment on Cami’s outfits, and this seems like the perfect time! I recently put on an outfit and thought of Cami. While my choice in clothing was somewhat unconventional, it didn’t come close to the daring and refreshing choices Cami’s makes. And while I may not always “love” her outfits, I fucking love her strength!! That woman has an air about her that deserves R-E-S-P-E-C-T!! Happy Birthday Cami!!! Your bold taste and eclectic style is hella cool!!

  • hartfordhouse

    2012/03/28 at 7:36 am

    Farts are funny.

  • kristanhoffman

    2012/03/28 at 7:47 am

    El. Oh. El.

  • tnzed

    2012/03/28 at 8:09 am

    How appropriate is that as I read this post, my desk neighbor just cropdusted me. I felt like I was actually in the room with you, Cami and Chuck.

    I really wish he would stop giving me his farts though.

  • Doghouse Mama

    2012/03/28 at 8:15 am

    Heather, you are ruining Chuck for me! Here I’ve always seen him has the distinguished retired senator that he claims to be when in reality you are exposing him as a common gas-bomber! Please, let me have my fantasy of Chuck, sipping tea and composing sonnets.

    I just mentioned to my husband this morning that we should send our dog Coco (male doberman-named by his ex-wife) to Afghanistan. One gas-bomb from him and rebels will drop their weapons and weep in defeat.

  • dianemaggipintovoiceover

    2012/03/28 at 9:31 am

    i <3 cami! happy birthday, cami! i particularly like that lipstick color on you.

    @NHMaman --> wrongo bongo 🙂

    @Tanzie F. Nielsen –> i have zero style but i picked up a top, kinda shirt kinda jacket, because, i think, i am influenced by cami and her putting it together, in whatever frEEkin way she wants! (hey! lotsa commas!)

  • mleah

    2012/03/28 at 10:30 am

    Chuck’s cropdusting (tnzed I’m so stealing that phrase – thanks!) reminds me of my old roommate. She had no shame and I loved that about her. Just like I love Cami’s ability to fabulously stand out in a crowd. Happy 24th!

  • slh25

    2012/03/28 at 2:23 pm

    Cami can rock any outfit – she seems to have the tude to pull it off. Hope her birthday kicks butt.

  • BluSarah22

    2012/03/28 at 2:41 pm

    oh man. I haven’t laughed this hard in a WHILE. thank god for you, dooce. thank god!! 🙂

  • Becky Cochrane

    2012/03/28 at 6:32 pm

    Happy birthday to Cami and happy birthday to Chuck. Chuck has a unique way of celebrating these special occasions. Cami and I are both Aries, but I have a sneaking suspicion Chuck is a Pisces.

  • allison the meep

    2012/03/28 at 7:47 pm

    Oh, Jeebus!! That made me laugh so hard that I did that really hard outward wheezing thing. Nicely done.

  • katliz

    2012/03/29 at 6:04 am

    I started reading your blog as a single apartment-dweller who never was allowed a dog in her life by cat-loving parents and dog-hating landlords. I lived vicariously through you and Chuck, and always dreamed of having my own dog who would don eyeliner and retreat to the basement to listen to the Cure. (As I recall you describing him once.) An aging 80s former goth-girl myself, that sounded like the dog I’ve always wanted.

    Fast-forward to 2009: I am married with a house and yard that begs for a dog’s playfulness, and my husband (not an animal lover at all) consents to my adoption of a gorgeous male pit bull rescue we named Giles. My dream came true – he is loving and smart, but also a brooder of the highest regard. Everything about him was perfect.

    Except for the farts. Oh, the farts that come out of his 80 pound body could clear an entire stadium of Morrissey fans. Farts, by their nature, are disgusting, but what is it about the canine variety that are so akin to chemical warfare?

  • katspitzer

    2012/03/30 at 1:58 pm

    Man, my lab puppy must really love me. He gives me his all the time. I feel like I’m trapped in open air and will suffocate on the green hue of animal carcass stench that emanates from this hind quarters. It’s especially disturbing when it surprises him and he turns around to smell what it’s all about.

    But I’d rather him do that instead of biting me in the crotch like he the other day while I was on the phone with a contractor.

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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