the smell of my desperation has become a stench

This should explain my relationship with Utah


Saturday morning I woke to yet another snowstorm so thick with flakes that I couldn’t see the houses across the street. This caused an involuntary groan to climb up and out of my throat. Given the number of snowstorms this season and the almost three feet of snow in my yard that has refused to melt since early December, I’d say that my reaction on Saturday was relatively muted, don’t you think? I didn’t kick a wall or punch my hand through the window. I didn’t even stick my head in the oven. I didn’t go to Utah’s facebook profile and leave comments filled with little cartoon emoticons:


I had a ton of errands to run, and so instead of turning on the fire and sticking my head in there, I dressed for the weather and climbed into my car, the beginning of a 10-minute, white-kunckle, oh my god I’m out of gas and I’m just now noticing coast down the hill into a very conveniently located station. Whoever zoned that street and built that gas station? I will retroactively name my first child after you. Your name is Brigham? That’s cool. I wanted to name Leta after a polygamist anyway.

I also noticed as I was coasting that I was almost out of wiper fluid, that which is second in importance only to four wheel drive in conditions like that. So when I parked next to a pump I was trying to figure out my options. What options? What do I mean options? I mean, options for someone who hates wearing a coat.

Yeah, I know, it says up there that I dressed for the weather. What I meant was, “I dressed in clothes that would be warm enough for a person sitting inside of a warm car in this weather.” You don’t think that’s the same thing? It’s exactly the same thing. Well, it was the same thing before I found out that I was going to have to get out of my car. Now we are just getting into semantics and you’re being really picky. Calm down.

Every place that I had to visit offers its patrons underground or covered parking. So why would I need to wear a coat if I was going to walk from a warm car to a warm building through a covered passageway? They teach this principle in college. It’s called science.

Fortunately I had been feeling very unlike myself that morning and decided at the last minute to grab my hooded snowboarding jacket and toss it in the car. Just in case. I was not thinking, “In case I suddenly run out of gas.” No. I was thinking, “In case I decide to pull over and take a nap.”

So. Options. The pump I parked at was covered and very close to the front door of the store. Should I put on my coat like a reasonable human being who lives in a state covered in snow eight months of the year? Or should I just reinforce the stereotype of the color of my hair?


When I first hopped out of the car things weren’t as bad as they looked from inside the car, and I was able to maneuver the pump with little difficulty. No big deal. While I filled my tank I optimistically ran into the store to grab wiper fluid, but when I came back outside somebody had turned the snow to BLOWING HORIZONTAL. It hit me like bucket of WAKE UP IDIOT in the face.


I was moving as fast as I could because I could feel the snow filling the back of my shirt, so I set the wiper fluid down next to the car. And then I guess… I don’t even know what happened… I opened the car door to grab my coat… except… my head got in the way. It wasn’t like someone else hit me in the head with the door, I hit MYSELF in the head with the door. So hard, in fact, that I blacked out for at least two seconds. I really hope no one caught me snoring during that time.

I had to climb into the car for a few minutes to get my bearings about me, and when I could finally blink without a searing pain shooting from my the top of my head to the base of my skull I pulled down the visor so that I could check out the wound in the mirror. Already a giant, rounded knob had formed on the left part of my forehead. No bleeding, but I could tell this was something I wasn’t going to be able to hide with makeup, a fact way more important than the possibility that I was an inch away from gouging out my eyeball.

Hey. How are you? What? This thing? This bump on my head? Oh, you know. You know how things go. You’d have have run into that burning building to save that stranded kitten, too.

  • crash1212

    2013/02/25 at 4:24 pm

    I hit myself in the face with my dryer door a few weeks ago. Knocked myself down and gave myself a black eye of epic proportions. Once I determined that I wasn’t dead or bleeding, I started to giggle. This was without epic snow in the reasonable climes of San Francisco. Can’t imagine what I’d do in inclement weather was involved. Glad you’re OK. Also…WEAR A DAMNED COAT YOU LIVE IN THE SNOW! 🙂

  • Larissa

    2013/02/25 at 4:44 pm

    I hit my head on the car all the time. Usually not so much with the door, but more like I think I’m shorter than I am (which is only 5’3″) and as I go to sit down, I hit my head on the roof of the car. Luckily this only results on a lump on the side of my head, conveniently covered by my blonde hair.

  • Marjorie Kohn Hamilton

    2013/02/25 at 5:04 pm

    I am 5′ 1/2″. I hit myself on the car door or with the car door all too often, without the excuse of a snow storm. I blame my proprioceptors……’s not my fault….

  • JennaTorture

    2013/02/25 at 5:12 pm

    Blame the jacket. If it hadn’t been in the car…no bump. Winner and still coat-free!

  • Julie

    2013/02/25 at 5:19 pm

    While it has been a while since I hit myself in the head with the door, I regularly (at least once a week) slam my hair in the car door somehow.

  • Isabella Organ

    2013/02/25 at 5:25 pm

    I’m just going to add this story to my repertoire of stories of why I have a bruise and a lump on my head when I don’t feel like telling anyone that I fell down when I was drunk 😀

  • Corey Lambert

    2013/02/25 at 5:30 pm

    Are we sure that’s not pudding?

  • Becca

    2013/02/25 at 5:31 pm

    You blacked out, and you have a lump. Get yourself to the doc – you may very well have a concussion (although probably only a mild one I’d guess) – and even the mild ones are nothing to mess around with!

  • momof8

    2013/02/25 at 6:22 pm

    What, no photo?

  • Kristan

    2013/02/25 at 7:34 pm

    LOL oh Heather… I’m sorry for laughing at your pain. (Except that was kind of your goal, so… I’m not sorry? So confusing!) I haven’t managed to hit my own head with a car door, but I’m definitely way clumsier when I’m hurrying (and/or tired).

  • Caramellsweets

    2013/02/25 at 8:04 pm

    This would have been me had it not been you. You have to watch out for those doors. Seriously, they jump right out at you. Also, no coat in weather like that makes you hardcore, not blonde.

  • Rennan

    2013/02/25 at 8:17 pm

    The second image reminds me of Michael Kenna. Very beautiful.

  • Kelly B

    2013/02/26 at 6:48 am

    Safety tip. Always have coat with you even if you are going to just go from garage to garage. And maybe a blanket, a few wide mouth disposable bottles, a snack and water. Why? You never know when you are going to get caught in a 12 hour traffic jam.

    It was just suppose to be light snow that day I swear, but I ended up sleeping on a bridge, in my car, in Gary — luckily I was going to the windy city so I was wearing my coat and had a hat, gloves, scarf in the car — needing to pee, hungry and very thirsty.

    A wide mouth bottle, some water, maybe a granola bar and a blanket would have come in handy. And 1999 suddenly was the year I got a cell phone.

  • Manisha

    2013/02/26 at 9:27 am

    I think you got our weather and I want it back. – Manisha from Minnesota.

  • grad.nauseam

    2013/02/26 at 12:34 pm

    You’re lucky. I swerved trying to avoid a spider dangling on its thread and cracked my head on my car door. Next thing I know I have stitches right in the middle of my forehead. That was 6 months ago and I’m STILL growing out the bangs I had to cut to cover them up for my brother’s wedding pictures.

  • Misty Hinnefeld

    2013/02/26 at 2:35 pm

    Photo!!! I really want to see that knob on your forehead! hahaha

  • The Absent Minded Housewife

    2013/02/27 at 8:19 am

    I blacked my eye under my sink while playing handywoman and replacing my kitchen faucet….in the snow. Yeah, that line makes the story better.

  • allconsuming

    2013/02/28 at 4:16 pm

    Only 2 seconds? Come on Heather, TRY HARDER.

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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