the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Who run this mother?

Someone just told me that he remembered one very specific line from a post I wrote when Leta was a year old, and he calls upon it in his life quite frequently. And I thought to myself, if “when you become a parent there is no such thing as a leisurely poop” is my legacy, then fuck yeah!


Last week while attending the Mom 2.0 summit in Scottsdale, I got to spend hours and hours with female friends who have been working in this space for years, colleagues who go all the way back before a banner ad ever appeared on a blog. Well, minus Luvvie. You’re familiar with Luvvie, right? She wasn’t born until we were all doing sponsored content for deodorant and tampons.

There were about seven or eight of us in my room one night when it hit me that she wasn’t even born when the “Thriller” video came out. Remember that afternoon? Sitting around our televisions that did not have remote controls and studying his every move and then afterward our souls were changed forever? SHE WAS NOT EVEN AN EGG WAITING TO BE FERTILIZED.

I’m sure other generations have done this, but we make these personal and emotional and intellectual connections with people only to realize, oh my god, you were not even alive when the police chased OJ in that white Bronco. Pop culture is deeply embedded in our generation’s DNA, and there are certain seminal moments that take up corners of our brains as much as national tragedies. I remember the look on my kindergarten teacher’s face when Reagan was shot. I remember what shirt I was wearing when I watched the video for “Thriller.” I remember the color of the carpet I was sitting on when Madonna told David Letterman that it’s good to pee in the shower. It’s like, where were you when you heard that Kurt Cobain had committed suicide? You probably remember the smell in the air when you found out.

You 20-year-olds will at some point in the future be having the most fascinating evening with someone and suddenly realize that the person who is making you laugh and think and alter your perspective was not alive when Kanye didn’t let Taylor finish. And you’ll be like, damn. For real?


One night eight of us decided to head out to dinner together. We were all going to try to climb into an UBER XL, but it turns out that they are only allowed to transport six people. So six of us climbed into the UBER that I ordered, and Kristen and Luvvie took a separate ride. The restaurant was only 1.8 miles away from the hotel, except our driver decided to take a detour. To Wisconsin:


Now, when I complained about it on Twitter–yes, I did indeed bully UBER on Twitter—I posted this map because it’s hysterical (well, hysterical after the fact as we were all genuinely starting to panic about four hours into the ride thinking we were being kidnapped). I purposefully left out the cost of the joyride because I didn’t want to have to sift through all the replies going BUT YOU ARE RICH JUST PAY THE DAMN FARE. But, seriously. 60 dollars. Sorry, y’all, but that demands this image:

While sitting at dinner (FINALLY) my phone started ringing, and when I didn’t recognize the phone number, I said out loud, “Chicago? Who is calling me from Chicago?”

Without missing a beat Luvvie yelled, “Better pick it up. Oprah is calling!”

I could barely hear the woman on the line through everyone’s laughter, but she introduced herself as UBER customer support. Ha! Hahaha! They’d seen my tweet and wanted to make sure everyone was okay because I had referred to it as a hostage situation. And that wasn’t much of an exaggeration. I explained that we were laughing about it now that it was over, and that I didn’t want anyone to lose their job. My biggest complaint is that instead of spending that time laughing around the dinner table we were all locked inside that car texting each other things like, “Did anyone pack a bat in their purse?” Or, “I have mace! I’ll pretend I’m applying it as lip gloss.”

Spending time with these women, most of us who do not live anywhere near each other, is a gift.




And you may see us throwing around a certain hashtag with each other that I need to explain. At the end of the meal when the server returned with our individual credit cards and bills, she stood at the head of the table and started reading off names so that we could pass them to the right person. When she got to the third one, she stumbled a bit, pulled the card closer to her face and said, “Vvvv… Vaaa…Vvvvvvvvvv…not sure I can pronounce this.”

We all thought, oh, Luvvie. She can’t pronounce Luvvie. I was sitting right there and offered to look at it for her, and when she handed me the card I looked down and read out loud, very slowly, “Valued Customer.”

Heather had lost her ATM card and her bank had issued their “valued customer” a temporary one.

We assured the server that we were laughing with her, and that we would not tell anyone about this. So we aren’t.


PS. UBER didn’t even refund the entire fare, you guys. They adjusted it and charged me $12. TWEHHLVE DOLLAHS. What the ever loving fuck, I don’t know, but they owe everyone who was in that car a goddamn pony.

PPS. If you say one single word about me being “scary skinny” I’m going to march my mother’s glorious ass straight to your house to knock some goddamn manners into your head. Got it?

PPPS. Retiring from blogging is doing wonders for my potty mouth.

PPPPS. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

  • Aidan Morgan

    2015/05/07 at 1:32 pm

    At a coffee shop I used to go to, they (they! that shadowy cabal of coffee shop owners!) employed a woman who would narrate her job under her breath, but she was so quiet that it was tough to catch her words. On one occasion she handed me my change and I distinctly heard her mumble “Thank you valued customer.”

  • Heather Armstrong

    2015/05/07 at 1:34 pm

    I will not call you this forevermore.

  • Lauren3

    2015/05/07 at 1:36 pm

    YAAASSS I love “retired” Heather style! I read kottke too (actually, you’re the one who led me to his site) and was all “wtf dude didja even read the post?” when I read his write-up.

    And NOW you’ve led me to Awesomely Luvvie which I have been perusing for the past five minutes and am already “aw hell yiss” over.

    Can I request something while I’m thinking about it? I’m requesting something while I’m thinking about it. I still hope you write about the Kilimanjaro half!

  • Sarah

    2015/05/07 at 1:42 pm

    Ugh I feel ya on Uber’s customer service. I had a driver stop in the middle of the highway and try to go across 3 lanes of traffic and then drive us 10 minutes in the wrong direction – and the only thing Uber did was issue a “fare adjustment”. Aggravating – thanks goodness those experiences can be laughed about later!

  • Buster Brown

    2015/05/07 at 1:46 pm

    I have to know: did anyone talk to the Uber driver and ask him why he was taking such an insane route? Or instruct him which roads to take? What was his response/justification? I don’t know a thing about Uber (rural NorCal dweller here), so I’m asking honestly.
    PS. You look mahvelous.
    PPS. Miss the frequency of your posts something fierce.

  • Heather Armstrong

    2015/05/07 at 1:48 pm

    I am writing that post very slowly, adding to it every day. It’s an important post because it’s a bit (READ: GIANT) of a metaphor. I promise it will not disappoint.

  • Heather Armstrong

    2015/05/07 at 1:49 pm

    Heather Barmore finally got him to TURN THE CAR AROUND. I had given him the location before we even got into the car. All hail Barmore!

  • Lauren3

    2015/05/07 at 1:50 pm

    SCORE, and dude you never disappoint, can’t wait to read.

  • Luvvie

    2015/05/07 at 2:04 pm

    LMAOOOOO!!! Good ass times. And you so petty for telling everyone I wasn’t born when Thriller video dropped. I mean, it’s true. STILL. I PUT ON MY PANTS ONE LEG AT A TIME JUST LIKE YOU. I miss you.

  • Jenna

    2015/05/07 at 2:05 pm

    I love love love that the primary change in your blog after ‘retiring’ (not!) is that you have no more fucks to give.
    Look how awesome turning 40 (soon) is!!!

  • Luvvie

    2015/05/07 at 2:06 pm

    Heather B. Armstrong: Giving No Fucks Since 2015.

  • Heather Armstrong

    2015/05/07 at 2:23 pm

    No, I miss YOU. To be fair, you were very soon to be an egg waiting to be fertilized. Like months away. So close! (Best time I’ve ever had at a conference, hands down)

  • Heather Armstrong

    2015/05/07 at 2:24 pm

    I cannot wait to turn 40.

  • Heather Armstrong

    2015/05/07 at 2:24 pm

    Shit, do I have to design a new masthead with that as my tagline?

  • Procrastamom

    2015/05/07 at 2:33 pm

    The scariest part of this post for me was that you guys let somebody walk out of view with your credit cards! It still amazes me that the US doesn’t have pin/chip technology yet. I’m making a couple of trips down to the States from Canada this year and I hate the fact that somebody other than me has to manhandle my card. What if they memorize the numbers and send my details to that Nigerian Prince guy, or worse, make a donation in my name to Ted Cruz’s super PAC?!! I’ll lose my Socialist credentials.

  • Kimberly

    2015/05/07 at 2:36 pm

    THIS!!! We had a Uber driver stop at a green light and be confused for an entire cycle of red, then green, and back to red again. I thought for sure we were going to get rear ended just sitting there. On that second red he decided he wanted to make a left at the light and punched it without looking. I didn’t even think to contact customer service- i was just thankful we made it out alive!

    P.S. I went to Arizona State and the valued customer story is why I moved my ass back to California after my 2nd year.

    P.P.S. I was at a brewery and the guy pouring my beer was not alive when Kurt Cobain died. He was old enough to drink and not alive for Nirvana. I was driving my mom’s 1985 Camry when I heard he killed himself and I probably sat thru a cycle of green, then red myself that day.

  • Heather Armstrong

    2015/05/07 at 2:47 pm

    I love every part of this comment.

  • kmpinkel

    2015/05/07 at 2:54 pm

    If this is what your retirement looks like then HELL YEAH! I am waiting for the post about headed to the club with your blogging posse in your housecoats and drinkin’ the youngins’ under the table!

  • Denise Duffield-Thomas (the Lu

    2015/05/07 at 3:26 pm

    haha – burn the ships behind you Heather! Can’t wait to see you speak in Australia. I was going to ask a question about a change of direction I could see coming for your biz, but yeah… that’s pretty obvious now!

  • AuntHo

    2015/05/07 at 3:35 pm

    GIRL WERQ. You look so happy and I am here for it.

  • Andrew Peck

    2015/05/07 at 4:04 pm

    There’s no waiting, that’s true. It’s no picnic, though. Stay gold, pony boy.

  • Jenna

    2015/05/07 at 4:20 pm

    I felt the same exact way. Turning 45 this year and honestly, it just keeps getting better. Rock on, doll. Rock. The Fuck. On.

  • victoria

    2015/05/07 at 5:20 pm

    I would laugh until I cried about your Uber sitch but I’m all stuck on Kelly’s leg action. Hey girl hey!

  • L - Mama(e) in Translation

    2015/05/07 at 7:00 pm

    What about a post about the White House Correspondent’s Dinner?

    Please? pretty please? 🙂 Roger Rabbit Please?

    And it was just today that I noticed that the most recent masthead doesn’t have words of a month on it.

    🙁 But if you’ll still keep posting once in a while the world won’t end. Sigh…

  • L - Mama(e) in Translation

    2015/05/07 at 7:01 pm

    I second Buster’s PPS.

  • davanita

    2015/05/07 at 8:36 pm

    Same here! When I read kottke’s post, I was confused as well. Retiring? That was not what I got from dooce’s post at all!

  • elora nicole ramirez

    2015/05/07 at 9:45 pm


  • elora nicole ramirez

    2015/05/07 at 9:46 pm

    Oh my word this had me laughing.

  • Rosemary

    2015/05/08 at 12:10 am

    PLEASE write about the WH Correspondents Dinner. Please don’t totally abandon us … 🙁
    (Will that do for begging?)

  • Rae

    2015/05/08 at 7:19 am

    Yep, we just had our first child and I have on multiple occasions told my husband “there are no leisurely poops in parenthood!”

  • Lucy VP

    2015/05/08 at 8:23 am

    FYI she WAS an egg waiting to be fertilized when Thriller came out, if her mother was alive. Girls are born with their eggs.

  • michael from

    2015/05/08 at 10:09 am

    No karaoke this year? Hope to go in ’16…sorry to have attended another conference during Mom 2.015 this year.

    Also, I once got into a profanity war with an uber driver after a long night of drinking during a Hall & Oates concert. I think I won.

  • Danielle S

    2015/05/08 at 11:17 am

    That’s almost as bad as a customer service agent once asking me, “How do you spell Bob?”


  • tomamanda

    2015/05/08 at 1:13 pm

    every time i saw someone comment on instagram about you being skinny, i imagined you with this hilarious group of women, rolling your eyes at all the “well-meaning” strangers publicly and rudely diagnosing you.

  • Katybeth

    2015/05/08 at 7:06 pm

    Uber. Chicago. 6am. Picked me up on a snowy day for a trip to the airport. Drove 4 miles or so from my house, stopped the car, and told me to get out because he didn’t want to drive to the airport in the snow. Fortunately there was a Dunkin Donuts close by and I could smother my anger with glazed donuts whilst making other transportation arrangements. I made my flight, wrote Uber and was told they would investigate the incident. The end. However, I have told the story a few times or more….Great dress!

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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