While millions of people sat alone on February 13th wondering how to avoid the next day, Heather Armstrong, mansion buyer, sat staring at a card from her daughter. Ever the loving, accepting, uncritical mother, Dooce proceeded to post her feelings about her daughter’s effort for the internet to read:
My favorite part is that I have no neck. My head is just attached to my torso. And it’s as wide as my torso. And my skirt is so short that you can see my perfectly square lady parts. Just focus on that and you won’t freak out about the fact that I have no feet.
I get that this is her schtick – complaints or sarcasm about absolutely everything – but just once couldn’t she just say “thank you darling, it’s wonderful”, stick it on the fridge, and spare her child yet another public round of her snark? The time to mock this sort of thing is when she’s 20 and then you pull the card out and privately lol at it together. But right now she’s a little kid. Give her a damn break, lady.
This morning when I checked the weather on my phone it said it was nine degrees outside…This is not normal for Utah, and it just happens to be the winter where I’m doing the best I can to save money on my heating bill. The heat is on in the girls’ rooms and in the living room where they spend most of their time. However, I do not have heat in my bedroom or bathroom. The thermostat last night said it was 51 degrees in there.
Of course it could be as simple as Dooce trying to minimize the wastefulness of heating the unused rooms in her mansion. But considering it was this side of two years ago that the New York Times was estimating dooce.com made “an estimated $30,000 to $50,000 a month or more”, one has to wonder if this is a sign that the Dooce media empire is winding down.
In news that shocked absolutely no one, Mr. and Mrs. Dooce finally decided to publicly announce their impending divorce. Via matching press release type posts on their respective websites, the Armstrongs preemptively shut down any discussion on the matter:
We know that due to the public nature of what we do that there will be speculation as to the details concerning this decision, however we will not host any discussion of this matter on any of the sites we own…As always, feel free to contact us privately should you have questions or concerns.
I’m pretty sure the entire world knew where this was heading, but for those of you who needed more confirmation than Jon’s vagueposts there you go.
Jon Armstrong, serial vagueblogger, is vagueblogging again. Shortly after helping his estranged wife reinvent her dying site, Mr. Dooce began posting his latest round of obtuse affirmations that sound like something ripped from an Oprah book club selection. Evidently that hasn’t gotten him enough e-hugs from the crowd of slobbering middle aged women in his comments, because he stepped it up to a full blown post of “huh?”
Slowly, ever slowly, I feel it coming on.
It has been a long time coming. And by long I mean at least a decade, probably more.
Affirmation: I define myself. No one else.
While I have to admit his post is amazing if you picture it being read by William Shatner, I’m confused by his constant “maybe I’m talking about Dooce, maybe I’m talking about Adult Swim, maybe I’m talking about my ska band” posts. And while he claims “I appreciate your desire to want to know more, but I’m not posting here for pageviews. I’m posting because I find a great deal of joy in sharing what I share” I think we can all agree that if that were the case, there wouldn’t be ads and an “order a print of my latest experiment in blur” link underneath every picture.
So are these vagueposts really just a cry for pageviews? Is he rattled after spending time with Dooce doing a redesign that about 50% of the world doesn’t like? Has he finally met someone new? And finally, why can’t bloggers just say what they mean instead of vagueblogging/vaguetweeting?
Those following the Doocevorce have some new Sad Jon fodder to parse and puzzle over. Shortly after Dooce instagrammed that a relaxing moment with a beer was “Missing only one ingredient for total perfection” and began posting love songs, Mr. Dooce crafted one of his trademark “14 year old girl on facebook makes you guess the meaning” posts:
I’ve learned a lot of things this year. Some good things and some not so good things. Some useful, some painful, some horrific. I’ve learned more about myself, about others, about truth, denial, hope, trust, fear and failure than I have in a long, long time.
He goes on to say there “has been pain galore. Deep, searing, awful pain…” Apparently he’s been travelling a lot since February in order to “escape” his pain, but instead it has “only given me distance to see even more clearly how awful things are”. He concludes his vaguepost by stating “Time to act on that truth”.
Mr. Dooce’s post is sparking speculation that the separation will now move into the divorce phase, but thanks to neither of them just saying what’s going on it is impossible to draw any fact-based conclusions. It could all just be coincidence that means nothing, or Mr. Dooce could be encouraging rumors for pageview$. Either way, it’s my opinion that if you aren’t just going to say what’s going on, don’t say anything at all.
Heather Armstrong, expert on bullying, is apparently up on the PanelPicker, where people go to vote on speakers or panels they would prefer to see at SXSW. The panel she is listed to share with another woman? “Dumb, Lonely & Fat: Dealing w/Internet Criticism“. The description claims:
Learn coping strategies and hear stories from the front line of internet criticism. Learn how to develop a thicker skin to confidently distribute your work. Join Heather Armstrong from dooce.com and Helen Jane Hearn from helenjane.com for a conversation that will leave you with practical tips for dealing with internet criticism.
That’s right: Dooce will be giving people advice on how to deal with internet criticism. Why would this be at SXSW anyway? That conference is basically a huge boozer full of people comparing their iphones and androids. This sort of ‘panel’ would get a better reception at something like BlogHer or IFB.
Honestly I hope this panel gets upvoted, because I would just love to see what line of bs Heather Armstrong comes up with in response to “What steps can I take after someone says something terrible about me online?” and “…what do I do when I’m ignored online?” It’s sure to be fantastic advice!
Have you always wanted to wander the hallowed home of Heather Armstrong? Well now you can!
STATELY BRICK TRADITIONAL ON TREE FILLED LOT IN FEDERAL HEIGHTS! TERRIFIC FLOOR PLAN INCLUDES LARGE KITCHEN, DINING, AND FAMILY ROOM AREAS, WALK IN PANTRY, FORMAL DINING AND LIVING ROOMS, FINISHED ATTIC SPACE IS IDEAL FOR HOME OFFICE, STUDIO, OR GUEST RETREAT, HARDWOODS FLOORS THROUGHOUT, ALL BATHROOMS ARE BEAUTIFULLY UPDATED WITH TRAVERTINE TILE AND CLASSY FIXTURES, PLENTY OF STORAGE, 2 LAUNDRY ROOMS, DOUBLE STAIRCASES. GRAND MASTER BEDROOM, BATHROOM AND CLOSET SPACE. PRIVATE YARD AND OUTDOOR PATIO AREA. NEWER MECHANICAL SYSTEMS AND NEW ROOF. THERE IS ROOM FOR EVERYONE TO LIVE AND ENTERTAIN! CLASSIC STYLE WITH A CONTEMPORARY FLAIR.
The 11,126 sq. ft., 9 bedroom 9 bath home is listed for $1,595,000. Does this mean the divorce is close to being final?