the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Did I ever tell you about that one time?

Oh my god, this actually happened this summer:

(Photograph by Darryl Dobson)

Okay, not technically in summer. It happened in May, and that is still spring and I’m correcting myself so that you don’t have to. Because when you take the time out of your day to stop and point out something as insignificant as that to me I have the desperate urge to hug you, ask if you are doing okay, and then lick my index finger and wipe it down your entire face.

India Hicks came to my house. She was in my house. Right over there in that spot in my living room (I’m pointing to a corner you can’t see but it totally makes sense to the zero people who are in the room with me right now). Breathing Utah air. We spent an entire day together, India and I, and she met Chuck. Oh, right.

That also happened this summer.

Right. In between trips to the Central Coast of California (where I coughed so hard as the result of the nastiest season of allergies I have ever experienced that I cracked a rib), Minnesota and Wisconsin, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, back to New York, Australia, Palm Springs, Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois and Portland. No one who knows me is allowed to say, “Well, at least you don’t have to travel this week!” out loud because some freaky Wizard of Oz phenomenon thing happens and an airport falls right out of the sky and lands right into my calendar.

Oh! Did I tell you that a stalker found out what hotel I was staying at in Springfield, Il when I was there to attend a wedding over Labor Day weekend? Yep. That happened. I know, we were talking about India Hicks STOP IT WITH THE TANGENTS ARMSTRONG, but you guys, that person scrawled a handwritten note and either delivered it herself or had it delivered to my room. I woke up that Sunday morning and found it shoved underneath my door. When I realized who it was, I was more than a little startled. Rattled, you could say. But I decided to leave it alone because I was leaving soon, and she is most likely the kind of person who would take the time out of her day to point out that I am being incorrect about the seasons, except much much much more thoroughly damaged. I wanted instead to give her a hug, but well, I sort of feared for my life.

Oh, and please, hold your tongue if you are about to lecture me and BLAME ME for that whole thing. No. I will lick my entire hand and shove my palm into your eye. Because I do not ever “add location” or enable the geo-location of the hotels where I am staying when I travel. Yes, I post about the cities I visit. I often post about where I will be before my arrival. It’s called SOCIAL MEDIA.

Welcome to this wonderful new world where everyone thinks they know everyone else’s business! You are going to LOVE being deliberately misinterpreted. It’s the best part of my day.

I may invite a little more attention to my whereabouts than someone who only has 500 followers on Instagram, but that is not going to stop me from being a goddamn normal human being and chronicling my adventures like I want to. Carefully, with thought and attention paid to my safety and happiness. Yes, a stalker found me. She found my hotel room. But I’m not going to let her scare me or steal from me an activity that brings me so much joy. Now come here and let me wipe my saliva out of your eye.

I was going to write about India Hicks but my friend Lisa Elin, a Creative Director & Writer who wrote about the whole event for City Home Collective (a local design group that sells, stages, and designs homes) did a fantastic job already. I will add that if India and I were in a competition for the worst potty mouth, she’d make me sprint the last mile.

Which reminds me. I’m running in the Boston Marathon next year.


  • Kara

    2015/09/29 at 9:26 am

    I am really glad you are posting again, I love reading what you write. Whether it’s every day, every week, once every two months. I hope taking away the pressure of having to write on a schedule has made it enjoyable for you again. It’s nice to hear you’re doing well. 🙂

  • Daddy Scratches

    2015/09/29 at 9:40 am

    Maybe you could throw in some social-media decoy posts to keep stalkers away. A simple “You guys, I have the most awesome ninja-bodyguard squad guarding my hotel-room door on this trip!” tweet could go a long way. (Not my best work, but it’s tough to make real-life-stalker discussions funny. I’m sure you were creeped the fuck out. Sorry that happened.)

  • Brigid

    2015/09/29 at 9:51 am

    So great to read your writing, you have such an awesome way with sentences. If everyone else gets to tell you what to do then here’s me wishing you wrote a novel.

  • Nancy Thole Rolves

    2015/09/29 at 9:59 am

    Springfield IL is small enough that, presuming you were staying somewhere nice and not the Super 8 it would be easy to narrow it down to one or at least a handful of hotels. It’s also ‘small’ enough in that everyone knows everyone sort of way that stalker’s knowing someone working in the local hotel industry is fairly likely. The hotel employee that shared the info of you, their guest, needs to be ousted from that place of business and kept out of any that require keeping privacy for customers. Particularly if they know stalker, because duh – stalker is not a personality trait you turn off methinks.

  • MissCaron

    2015/09/29 at 10:02 am

    I love this so much. Also, I had a real-life stalker in college so social media ain’t got nothin on the whole stalker conundrum.

  • Sherri

    2015/09/29 at 10:57 am

    I am happy you are ok. Those things (stalkers) can be surprising and terrifying. Get your OWN life stalker- seriously back the eff up. I know kick boxing…….
    Hoping that the next events aren’t the same!

  • Richard Morey

    2015/09/29 at 11:54 am

    That’s definitely scary about the stalker. Maybe you should start checking in under fake names.

  • cheezgeni

    2015/09/29 at 1:58 pm

    Ha, you so silly gurl. I watched every step you took in the New York Marathon, via your little tracker thingy ma jig online. I knew your every intersection! I ignored folks I was paid to care for that day, glued to your progress. I was so incredibly proud, and horrified all at the same time. I kept thinking, F**K yes she’s DOING IT!!!!!!! She’s gonna go ALLLLLLL THE WAY!!!!!!!! Then I’d think, OMG that’s GOT to F’ING Hurt so damn bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn’t have to move my bottom one inch to stalk you that day.

  • onewithbooks

    2015/09/29 at 2:15 pm

    I think you had a gigantic cup of coffee before you wrote this, didn’t you? I was out of breath after I read this post out loud in my head and felt hopped up on caffeine. This is amazing considering I have been caffeine free all day. Yes you read that right, all day. Do I sound smug? I am not, I am jealous. Pardon me now while I fall asleep in my sparkling grapefruit water…

  • Mrs Woog

    2015/09/29 at 5:16 pm

    That is so not cook Heather. Great post though. See you on April 18th! I will be the one in the back of an ambulance. xx

  • JasmineBrown

    2015/09/29 at 5:55 pm

    she is gonna start checking in under “Richard Morey” from now on.

  • Desiree Johnson

    2015/09/30 at 1:56 pm

    Just come up with a really cool Alias to book your hotels under! Fifi Bumblebutt or something like that! LOL

  • kmpinkel

    2015/10/01 at 7:55 pm

    I only have 165 Instagram followers. I feel so insignificant.

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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