Iowa is pretty fucking weird. But in a good way.

I’m starting to come out of this haze of my-head-is-an-asshole and that’s good timing because I spent a few days in Iowa doing readings and signing for some bad-ass library programs and I actually had enough energy to do more than just breathe and cling to the couch.  YAY FOR BEING ALMOST HUMAN!  It feels so amazing when I come out of these funks that I always want to go back to the me of the previous haze and say “It’s gonna be okay.”  Because it is.  And I finally have some of my concentration back so I was able to write notes in my journal again like a real, live person.  And if you ignore the run-on sentences and rambling it’s almost like I’m writing again.  If you want to ignore me until I’m back to 100% I’m okay with that.  I’m probably at 60% right now.  You’ve been warned.

So.  Things that happened to me in Iowa:

I was walking down the block from my hotel to get a sandwich but on my way I saw this group of people playing banjos and there were some girls dancing and one was wearing super short shorts, but they were the type of shorts that were billowy and like a skirt and I was like ‘Wow.  That’s a vagina’ and then I tripped on a dead bird.  And then I was like, “Shit.  I JUST KILLED A BIRD BECAUSE OF VAGINAL DISTRACTION” but then I looked closer and the bird was already dead so I felt better, but not entirely because it’s almost as bad to kick a dead bird.  Plus, people were staring at me because I’d tripped really awkwardly and I wanted to point out that it was the bird’s fault but that seems like victim blaming so instead I ducked into a resale shop filled with awesome stuff like this:

unnamed-14

And there was a youngish couple in the shop who were cursing and making fun of everything in a really loud and obnoxious sort of way, like “LOOK HOW EDGY WE ARE, WORLD” and when they got up to the front of the store they gave a semi-sarcastic “Sorry that you’re probably offended at how real we are” to an elderly-ish woman at the front of the shop and she looked at them like she was just noticing them and said, “You cunts think you invented cursing?”  And then I decided to live in Iowa forever.

Then a bit later I noticed there were gargoyles right above my hotel room but I couldn’t get a good picture of them without a window reflection so I opened the hotel window the 8 inches that it would open and I stuck my phone out the window the get the shot but I was afraid I’d lose my balance so I sat on the ledge of the window seat and put my feet out so that I had a better balance and that’s when I heard someone on the street go, ” HEY.  STUPID.”  And turns out he was talking to me because it is incredibly stupid to hang parts of your body out of windows to take pictures of gargoyles and he was like, “Are you okay?  Do you need help?” and I tried to explain that I was trying to get a good picture of the gargoyle but I couldn’t remember the word for it so instead I said “I’m fine, thanks!  I’m just trying to get a picture of this…lizard…monster?” and then I thought he’d call the cops so I quickly thanked him for his concern and closed the window, but it was actually really nice because 1. it’s lovely to have a stranger be concerned for your safety even if you are only a few flights up and 2. The window only opened 8 inches and so it was very flattering that he thought I was in any way thin enough to slip through it.

unnamed-12

Also, everyone in Iowa was crazy nice and if there’s some sort of award for getting the weirdest gifts on book tour I am winning.  Handily.  And that is a wonderful thing.

unnamed-8

Also, I couldn’t fit the knitted vagina torso in my carry-on so I used it as one of those airplane neck pillows and no one fucked with me even once.  And the balls of the knit penis were filled with pellets or beans so it had real heft to it and when I got it I involuntarily yelled “OH MY GOD, THE BALLSACK IS MY FAVORITE” and scared everyone  in the vicinity.

And then I came home.

The end.

PS. Thanks for sticking around even when I’m not quite myself.  I can’t tell you what it means to me.

227 replies. read them below or add one

  1. THAT is an awesome story! And I admire your bravery re: the gargoyle. I can’t even go out on my balcony. By the way, I have that fish’s cousin in my shed. His name is Frank.

    mydangblog recently posted My Week 93: Detective Duos, Plagued by Aliens.

  2. Love you.

  3. Ok. Yes.

  4. “OH MY GOD, THE BALLSACK IS MY FAVORITE”
    That is definitely the quote of the day!
    Are you going to make a museum out of all the strange things you’ve gotten? I have a feeling people would be willing to show up for tours.

  5. I saw some of the stuff people gave you! That vag pillow is on point. To be a fly on the wall in that plane, man…

    Quirky Chrissy recently posted Should You Really Pinterest Your Own Wedding?.

  6. That made laugh out loud, ballsacks all round 😂😂😂 Brilliant xx

    HelenReidAlwaysBlog recently posted A picnic in the rain..

  7. 60% is GREAT! Go, YOU! And hooray for rebounds!

    Also, I want to meet that elderlyish lady and buy her a soda.

    becomingcliche recently posted It’s hard to be brave.

  8. You exchanged info with the older lady in the store RIGHT?!?!

  9. Yea for coming out of your funk and hooray for Iowans!

  10. Today is the second anniversary of the baby’s death and I’m having trouble breathing through it. Your story gave me a few seconds of space.

  11. Did that guy see your arm through the 8-in window crack or your head? If he saw both then you should definitely feel complimented. If he just saw your head, I would be a little worried that he might have been thinking the window was about to decapitate you. You’d fit through easily that way, but he might have still thought you were fat, and that would be pretty terrible. Not as terrible as having your head fall out the window, but still pretty bad.

    notquiteold recently posted Birthday Antics.

  12. A few weeks ago I tripped over a dead squirrel, but it was only Facebook related – no vaginas involved.

  13. I am soooooooo happy you’re back! I’ll take 60%, I’ve been checking in because I’m not getting email notifications, thinking maybe you posted and my email didn’t notice. But here you are and my email did tell me. Anyway happy for the good news and why does all this stuff happen to you? Holy crap i love it! Welcome back 😊

  14. And I’m sooooo glad you’re coming out of your haze. <3

    The Dusty Parachute by Susanne Kerns recently posted I’m Done Being Embarrassed That I Take An Antidepressant For An Anxiety Disorder.

  15. 15
    Smuddle Buddy

    I adore you. Just know that.

  16. 16
    Jenni (Little Miss Sassypants)

    Who doesn’t love a nice, weighty ball sack?

  17. 17
    fallconskat

    dear gods, I’d have to say I love the knitted ball sack, too. and the comment of the elderly-ish lady made me want to BE her. then again, I’m nearing up on 53 and have elbow-length magenta hair, so imagine a short rolypoly woman with wild hair and a mini poodle service dog in a power chair and that’s me heh!

  18. “OH MY GOD, THE BALLSACK IS MY FAVORITE”
    Eh, I hear that at the local restaurant chain all the time.
    Seriously, an Iowan is glad to hear you had a good time. Be well.

  19. Vagina neck pillow = winning!

  20. I totally want to be the best friend of the elderly-ish lady at the store. Fucking awesome.

    Andrea G recently posted A New Diagnosis for the DSM.

  21. That old lady is my spirit animal.

  22. Reading this just made me very happy – because I am at work and it sucks to be here. BTW, I work in HR.

  23. I would say “We love you even when you aren’t you,” but what does that even mean? I spend many, many days clinging to the couch and breathing, so I rejoice with you that you are recovering and able to do more than that. Chambord slushies all around!

  24. 24
    Doug in Oakland

    Nice gargoyle.

  25. 👍🏻💗

  26. Please, please, please let there be a plethora of elderly ladies who say cunt with relish and abandon. It gives me so much hope.

  27. I feel a little better about Iowa now, even though I still don’t really know where it is. I also just learned not to eat cauliflower chowder while reading your blog. It really hurts coming out the nose.

  28. I love that old lady! 🙂

  29. Can you please go with me on every vacation I take? I suck at traveling but I totally think I could do it if you came along.

  30. Are you sure you’re only at 60%? Because I just spit-sprayed soda all over myself. Only you could find a PENIS TURTLENECK.

    Kelly recently posted Who knew, fupa nipples were a thing?.

  31. I love you so much!

  32. 32
    Misfit Dreams

    The July 7th was my 21st wedding anniversary. Not a single person, other than my husband and I, acknowledged it. Not a single call, text, Facebook post, e-mail, or snailmail card. I’ve been sitting here stewing about it since then. I’ve watched my mom send gifts to both my sisters for their anniversaries. I’ve seen her call or send texts. I’m on my first and only marriage, other sister is on her third, other is coming up on second year. Yet mine, that is the longest by far, is the one that is completely ignored. It makes me angry and sad and I just can’t seem to let it go.

  33. How else am I gonna know I’m not alone? Welcome back, sort of. I missed you.

  34. Quite frankly, I’ll take whatever percentage you’re currently at because I figure if nothing else we can sit in the quiet and slurp wine slushies and with your new gift(s) we could play a sortve obscene version of horseshoes (either try to get the vag pillow onto the peen or lob the peen at the vag pillow… either would be therapeutic, right?)

    Glad you had a good trip to Iowa. Even if you did trip on a deceased bird… Although I am wondering where the “Ball Wash” sign is from. I think I need more info on that.

  35. I happen to love run-on sentences. It’s an art, writing them. A bit Kerouacian. I once listened to an entire audio writer’s series on cumulative sentences. That was one looooooooong series.

    digbydigz recently posted When the Small-Town Parade Passed Me By.

  36. #ballsack

  37. OMG, I hope you marched right up and kissed that elderly-woman-resale-shop-keeper on her dirty, filthy mouth. Love that story!!

  38. Sixty percent is awesome. And I’m so, so glad that my home state treated you with kindness and provided the crafted genitals and old-lady cursing that is only going to make the world a better place. Huzzah!

  39. I’m not going to tell you, “I fucking told you so,” (even though I told you on your last post that Iowa was pretty awesome), but rather, I will take a screenshot of this post (especially the part where you said, “And then I decided to live in Iowa forever…” because Iowa old ladies are sweary rock stars) and then I will show that screenshot to the people who doubt me when I say that my home state is pretty damn cool, and I will say, “Fine, don’t believe me. BELIEVE THE BLOGGESS!”

    bekahrigby recently posted 25 Tips For Beginning Your Recovery From Depression.

  40. 1% or 100% I’m with you for the ride. Even at only 60% your still one of the funniest bravest wonderful person out there. I adore you and if it wasn’t for you I would never have gotten help for my depression and anxiety. I’d still be stuck in the darkness and I really don’t think I would have lasted another year. Thank you Jenny and all of you on this page. For those still in the darkness hold on keep going I’ll light a candle for you.

  41. 41
    Bari Cohen

    You are so awesome. Even at 60%!

  42. Of course you would come to Iowa when I was out in Denver! I’m glad we could be a little amusing.

  43. #ballsack

  44. What is the white thing in the vagina/penis picture? I’m hoping it’s a vibrator for the knitted vagina.

    Janet Coburn recently posted Lessons Learned From Waitressing.

  45. 45
    PibbityBibbity

    Okay, now I want to see Anne Wheaton wear that as her airplane hat! BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (Sorry, Wil!)

  46. How did the obnoxious couple react to the woman at the store? I salute her reply to them!
    I’m glad the man was concerned – that’s reassuring. Most of the time people don’t notice the world around them.
    Can’t say I’m a fan of the knitted body parts. Just…ew.
    So glad you are feeling better 🙂 Kudos!

  47. Oh my god..the knitted naughty bits are killing me. They are just too adorable!

    mommatrek recently posted Nice going, phone music player.

  48. Thank you for coming to Iowa. #ballsackfilledwithmagicbeans

    Dory recently posted Wadya think?.

  49. We’re super nice and super weird. It’s a pretty awesome combo. And DSM is a really cool town. Now if you go out into the wilds of the corn fields some of the super weird is drug induced so not the good kind AT all. But still plenty of super nice and super weird’s out there as well.

  50. Sometimes I feel like we have to be 60% (or less) because if people like us went around operating at max capacity all the time, the universe couldn handle us.
    Yay for 60%.
    Looking forward to an intermittent surge to full. When you’re charged up.

    DayLee Fix recently posted ToddlerBandit's Scared of Cops and it's All My Fault.

  51. My family lives in Iowa. The state is filled with weirdly awesome people.

  52. OMG I LOVE this ! I am a native Iowan and can wholeheartedly agree that we are Nice and PLENTY Weird!!

  53. 53
    Joan Tinnin

    You are a goddess.

  54. hahahahaha! The ballsack. hahahaha!

    Lived in Iowa for 9 years. Not nearly as backwards as the folks on the coasts would have us think (I’m from the left coast).

    I never got to witness banjo-inspired “flash” dancing while I lived there, but, then, I think you have a particular talent for finding the good stuff wherever you go…

  55. Just FYI, I love you even when you’re ANY % of yourself. I’m just sitting here hoping the Effexor works better than the Celexa (which was not at all).

  56. 56
    MicheleYobelle

    Thank you SO much for coming to Iowa! We loved seeing you in Cedar Rapids, and hope we made you feel welcome. That gargoyle selfie is a work of art!

  57. I have lived in Iowa almost my entire life. If I had a nickel for every time someone gave me a knitted penis, I’d still be as poor as I am now. That said, such nicety and gifts don’t surprise me. Because Iowa Nice. (Look that up on You Tube if you don’t know the reference). Iowa is awesome & I am so glad you had a good visit.

  58. Thank you for chatting with me and baby! You are welcome in Iowa any time!! 😍😍😍

  59. I’m impressed your hotel window even opened! Score 1 for Iowan hotels!
    Plus, when I’m older, I hope I can curse with ease, just as the store did. I have several people I want to shock.
    Glad you’re 60% better! ❤️

  60. Your 60% is better than most people’s 100%! Ballsacks, cunts, vaginas, what an awesome trip!!!

  61. I fucking love you. 💚💚💚💚💚

  62. I will be dancing around like Rudolph all freaking day, saying, “She thinks we’re WEIRD! She thinks we’re WEEEEEIIIIIIIRRRRD!”

    Hopefully I won’t get kicked out of the reindeer games.

  63. Your travel neck pillow is hilarious. You could hang the penis around your neck.
    Great to hear you’re coming out of the fog.

    Gary Lum recently posted It’s been a fun week.

  64. That knitted penis would be the perfect “stress ball” thingie. Like every time I have to go to the doctor or my counselor and I end up squeezing my hands numb, I could instead squeeze the soft, bean-filled dong. WANT!! So glad your trip went well and you’re feeling better. Your posts light up my days!!

    Kristy McKinnon recently posted Short Story Exercise: Long Way for a Burger.

  65. 65
    Hilary Dumitrescu

    This post reminded me: I saw this online today and thought immediately of you: http://www.boredpanda.com/knitted-son-club-geluk/

  66. So glad you’re feeling better-ish. Your trip to Iowa sounds like a riot.

  67. I would totally buy a vaginal neck pillow for flying. I might even use it as a bib.

    Just sayin’.

    Mrs Fever recently posted Heat.

  68. …and Iowa loves you! We’re not just corn and nice folks – we’ve also got penis-knitters (which my phone just tried to change to penis-penis, and now I’m really concerned about what kinds of Facebook posts have come from my phone.) Iowa: not just another fly-over state. <3

  69. P.S. There is a clitoris hiding inside where it belongs. I’m just sayin’. Louise did GOOD.

  70. I’m officially going to start saying “OH MY GOD, THE BALLSACK IS MY FAVORITE” whenever someone bugs me from now on. Glad to hear you are feeling better!

    Also, I’m loving the “My Dad Wrote a Porno” podcast right now because it’s making me giggle. If anyone needs a pick-me-up (bonus points if you’re an anglophile) check it out!

  71. Thank you so much for coming to Iowa!!! My sister is totally jealous that I got the book she gave me signed!!! Love you!!

  72. 72
    katiedidtoo

    You would totally be right here at home in Iowa. We anxiously await your return! 🐟

  73. I, too, fucking love you, Jenny – and, as I sail towards being elderly-ish, the filters in my brain are more porous, and I curse much more than in former years. Mostly in my head. Sometimes out loud. <3 <3 <3

  74. Ha!! No need to apologize. You are way more awesome at 60% than most people are at 100%. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  75. PLEASE come to Indiana. You can visit me at the mortuary, it is a lot less scary that Walmart I promise. (pretty please)

  76. No ignoring. Ever.

  77. 77
    Georgia Born

    The knitted vagina torso and knitted penis is the greatest thing ever! Except that you used the vaginas torso as a neck rest. You, dear lady, are absolutely awesome!! I love you at 60%, and I’m definitely cheering you on to 100%!! Hugs and love to you!!!

  78. Hilarious! Really hilarious!!

  79. 79
    Augie Doug

    “You cunts think you invented cursing?” Love that. Almost old enough but alas, not quite….

  80. We all adore you whether you’re at 2% or 99.99%. You’re a national treasure. Fershersies.

  81. Thank you so much for coming to Iowa!! I hope you visit us again soon!!

  82. That side of Iowa is awesome, too bad the part I live in (not-quite-Nebraskakota) is a shithole. I remember a ball wash sign like that at our local put-put golf, of course that was before camera phones. I’m sure now there would be dudebros doing rude poses and taking pics for their social media in front of it all the time.

  83. Proud to be an Iowan! A weird, strange, Midwest-nice Iowan. <3

  84. This made me lol for real. Thank you for being you. I’m having a really hard time right now, too.

  85. I grew up in Iowa before moving to TX for college. I’m so glad you enjoyed my home state! This makes me so happy!

  86. I wish I could say things like the old lady did to my customers.

    Also – Someone brought blue balls as a dessert to the 4th of July party I attended. It was a fun item to discuss. Too bad they weren’t served in a sack.

    theycallmetater recently posted More of Tater’s Random Thoughts..

  87. 87
    Sarah Macht

    I had a blast at your talk in Des Moines. The huge auditorium was packed plus there was an overflow room. You rocked. Great to meet you even if I did trip over the tablecloth. You laughed and said you had done that too.

  88. To Misfit Dreams Ain’t family grand? My daughter thanks me on a regular basis that we made her an only child. So sorry. I do know exactly how you feel.

  89. Iowa loves you!
    You didn’t come to IC and not tell me did you?!
    😘

  90. As usual, you are awesomely cool. Thank you for sharing your head with us even when you are 60%.

  91. wow, what a story..and to think I never wanted to go to Iowa!

    The Hellion recently posted What Are You Afraid Of?.

  92. I found out you had been in Des Moines the day after you were here, I was very bummed to have missed out! Im glad you enjoyed Iowa though!

  93. I was so happy to see you here in Iowa, you are a true inspiration. I’m glad that your trip here was memorable, life is but a journey.

  94. Someone legitimately spent the time to KNIT GENETALIA. That must have taken hours upon hours. I am so confused by how I’m supposed to feel about that. Humanity can be quite strange.

    hazelhillboro recently posted My Sad Attempt at Dark Poetry.

  95. I totally plan on being that antique store lady when I grow up. She took “Get off my lawn!” to an entirely new and probably unattainable level.

    OwnLessDoMore.us recently posted Sightseeing solo in the Mono Basin: a tufa one special.

  96. Iowa has been weird for a looong time. (Wouldn’t it be great if your elderly-ish friend also made knitted porn?)

  97. Oh man, you’re awesome

  98. Iowa loves you!! And we were glad you enjoyed us as much as we love having you here!!!

  99. Vaginal distraction is my favorite hobbie from now on. Love you!

  100. 100
    Wildrider51

    I can’t think about Iowa without hearing “The Music Man” in my head. “You ought to give Iowa a try!”

  101. 101
    MaryMargaret

    I love you. In a crappy day you are a ray of sunshine. I know…..hard for you to believe at 60% but trust me on this.

  102. From someone having one of my worst years EVER, I can certainly relate to “my head is an asshole”. I only wish my 60% was anywhere near as creative and hilarious as yours is! Plus, the last time I tripped on the sidewalk (falling and scraping my knees in front of a crowd of people waiting for a bus), I couldn’t even find what it was that made me trip! Where’s a dead bird when you need one? Thank you so much for all you do, at whatever percentage you’re at. It’s always worth it.

  103. Glad things are turning around and Iowa was interesting and fun.

    The Spouse asked me from the other room what was so funny, so I had to tell him about the lady and her cuntily awesome comeback.

    Love the vagina and penis.

    I’d be a little nervous around all the super friendly people. Like maybe they were pod people, and I just didn’t know it. The unique gifts, however, make the pod people paranoia unlikely.

  104. I love the ball wash sign. Seriously, balls really need to be washed more often. Thanks for the reminder.

    Psychobabble recently posted What to Expect When You’re Exhausted.

  105. So glad you’re feeling better and thanks for making me giddy.

    Burns the Fire recently posted Lucky Lou & the Garden of Eden.

  106. So glad you loved Iowa! I was one of those Iowans who got to see you Friday night and it was amazballs! You said what I needed to hear!

    I so wanted to hug you, touch your arm or smell you or something….. but I didn’t want to freak you out, and it’s weird because normally I don’t like people hugging me. Anyway, love you, love that I got to see you but forgot BOTH of my books so I was unable to have you sign one! I was going to have you sign my arm, I had a strong desire to have you do it… but again… thought maybe that was weird.

  107. 107
    Megan Bruns

    I am so glad I had the privilege of seeing you while you were in Iowa. My friend back out on going with me at the last minute and I went into instant panic mode where I started shaking and battling back and forth with myself over weather or not I would go by myself and then I remembered I knew someone else that was going. So my anxiety subsided. But then all the seats started filling up and there were people everywhere and I got a bit panicky again. Glad I was able to push through so I could be there.
    I first read Furiously Happy when I was in a bit of a low spot and it definitely helped me!! Thanks so much for being you so that I’m able to be a better me.
    I didn’t write anything bad so don’t change my words to say that I want to wear your skin. I like my own skin very much 😜

  108. 108
    Stephanie

    Totally crying/laughing right now. Thank-you.

  109. Your 60% gives me hope for my 60% because this post is badass and made me smile 🙂

  110. I can not ever express to you how much it means to me to know I am not alone. Your humor and strength inspire me. I deal with depression, bizarre relatives (seriously WTF how did anyone allow you people to have kids around you bizarre) and a host of physical disorders. While I would never wish any of that on ANYONE (although my relatives are kinda awesome so I’m not gonna share them even if they are strange) it is nice to see someone handle it with the humor and strength you do. Thank you for inspiring me, making me laugh so hard I spew Diet Coke and just being all around freaking awesome.

  111. Thanks for giving me a chuckle at one of my more difficult moments.

  112. “You cunts think you invented cursing?” is my new catch phrase. I love that woman.

  113. Jenny – I love you even when you aren’t you. Not sure who you are when you aren’t you, but I love her anyway! I tripped today, but didn’t have an excuse. I’ll remember the dead bird for next time.

  114. Much like you, that lizardy monster thingy is awesome. Thanks for risking life and limb for the picture.

    Now, does Victor get the vag or the ballsack for Christmas?

  115. 115
    Anonymous

    I am so glad I got to meet you and I loved your reading. Cheers

  116. Jenny! I’m so glad you came to visit us in Iowa! It was my first exposure to you and I STILL want to read your books. Thanks for being awesomely (I think I just made up this word) inspiring!!!

  117. Thought the knitted penis was a dick cozy. The mister would’ve appreciated that, I imagine. Glad you’re you again, Jenny!

  118. I was at New Hope,PA this weekend and thought of who you would take home from the gallery filled with taxidermy art.

  119. Glad you are back. Missed you terribly. Those filthy balls!

  120. 120
    Maggie Hubbard

    Jenny – Sadly I finished your newest book today. The end was awesome. What I like so much about is that you are funny and out there on the edge, but really you are who the rest of us are. You are not embarrassed by the human condition – you aren’t in denial about it. You put it right out there. No one around me, with the exception of one friend, ever, ever talks about mental illness or its isolation. But so many people wrestle with it. Some don’t even see that they are in the hole, as you call it. I have days when it’s like someone pulled the shade down and all you can see is brown. But then I have up days too. My up days come about mostly from things like playing with the puppies next door, watching my flowers grow, feeling a gentle breeze, looking at clouds – these things tell me I belong in this world. My interactions with people usually don’t. Your advice at the end is beautiful and it made me love you even more. You are a very special person – one that can change the way people see themselves. I admire you because you are using your gift. And you are right – by writing things down, it’s possible to go back and read them when the down times come. And that does help. I will pay you a special compliment . . . you are a flower. You lift your face up and embrace what comes, and whether it’s wind, rain or sun you continue to be who God created you to be. So little flower, grow and keep helping the rest of us grow. 🙂

  121. I was concerned for you when you were here Friday night because of the late night prior, knowing how long it can take to re-energize after people-ing that much. If you weren’t at your best, I’m not sure that I could handle being around you if you were. You were great, and genuine, and exactly how I thought you would be. I commented once that you were the only person I thought I would be tongue-tied around but you were so welcoming that I wasn’t. I’m sorry about that. And best of all you made my wife, Dory, and my friend Mickenzie very happy, even the next day, and that’s a feat I can’t manage. So rather than speaking for Iowa, I’ll speak for an Iowan and say that you’re welcome to the weirdness anytime. Thank you for coming and I think this side of the state is now fresh out of knitted genitals in shiny black bags so we can’t tempt you with any more of those. (I hope Francine made an appearance on the plane. Just enough to freak out the guy next to you.)

  122. 122
    Anonymous

    I tried to buy your other book. so sad its not out yet in paperback. small house, no room for HB’s and i don’t like holding heavy books. RA.

  123. I was born and raised and, still live in Iowa. We are pretty weird but, awesomely so!

  124. Dear Jenny
    You are my favorite pixie dream manic girl ever. I have a little thing in my head where I award the insanity with medals every so often and you mostly take the gold. I am aware that you have a darkness (like many of us who love you do as well) that makes it very difficult be normal (like, what is normal?) but you actually and truly make it seem better. Also laughs and stuff to Victor. He is a super cool guy. In conclusion, you are awesome and we love you.

  125. 125
    physicsmom

    That is the best gargoyle picture evah! The reflection of your face makes it priceless, and the statue is soooo skinny. Gargoyles are usually short and fat, so this one’s a mutant. I think he fits right in with the Bloggess Army. Glad you liked Iowa. We lived there for almost 20 years and loved it. Next time go to Iowa City (see Prarie Lights Bookstore) and Bettendorf; very progressive enclaves in a red state. They would welcome you with open arms. (and check out Antique Archeology in LeClaire, just west of Bettendorf). Happy you’re feeling better. Sending best wishes to reach 100% soon.

  126. I just about spit out my granola bar. Note to self: Do not eat or drink anything when reading blog posts by you! Thank you for the laugh and for just being you.

  127. Been out of work for weeks now. Health crap not related to head crap (go figure). I’m glad you are back. I need you!

  128. “Vaginal distraction,” gave me a much-needed guffaw after a rough week (I know, it’s only Monday). So, thank you for being you and bringing smiles and laughter to me. I needed that.

    Beebe recently posted A bigger boat.

  129. 129
    Deborah Williamson

    LOVE your story! I am Iowa weird, (but in a good way.) Peace.

  130. Loved this story! I’m actually from Iowa but reside in California. I just have to tell you that my uncle picked me up at the Des Moines Airport a few years back. On our way to Grinnell we passed an “Adult Superstore” out in the middle of nowhere. My uncle said they call it “Porn in the Corn.” I still laugh at that one!

  131. So, to be “that person”, are you sure it’s a gargoyle? If water comes out of it, it is. If not, it’s a grotesque (although a grotesque is usually of a famous person). Did the lizard monster look famous?
    NB: all this comes from someone who wished her oncologist a “good weekend” YESTERDAY (aka Monday), which was kindly pointed out by said oncologist in reply email…

  132. 132
    Joyce Anderson

    Are you sure you aren’t normal? I have thoughts like yours but articulate them badly. My best friend says I only ‘pass’ for normal. But isn’t this a democracy? Love your writing . Thank you!

  133. 133
    Rebecca Dailey

    Wow, a vagina pillow and crochet penis! It’s like some crochet and sock puppet porno.

  134. Iowa is ready to welcome you back any time! Xoxo

  135. Love the shot of the lizard!
    Iowa is still not on my bucket list.
    Very pleased that you are sixty percent back to your old self.
    I wish you the best of health.

  136. Thank you so much for coming to Iowa, Jenny. We met briefly (I’m the crazy lady with pink hair who sobbed at you in Cedar Rapids that I hadn’t been out of bed in a week). I didn’t realize how much my husband and I needed to hear you speak. My head is still being an asshole, but I have a lot more hope than I had a few days ago. And hearing you explain “spoon theory” and energy limitations somehow finally did it for my husband – it’s so clear he finally gets it and is working hard to give me the support I need. Thank you. <3

  137. I love that you can consistently make me laugh no matter where your head is at!!! Sometimes I feel like you have walked in my shoes…

  138. 138
    Anonymous

    I’d say I’m about 56.3 percent; you beat me-haha! Your streams of consciousness are delightful!

  139. 139
    drumwench

    I adore you. 😀 And that elderly-ish lady in the resale shop! I’m so glad to hear that you’re starting to feel better. <3

  140. So glad you are feeling more and more human, 60% is pretty awesome. Loved reading about your adventures in Iowa, sorry you fell…I fell too, going up my back steps and slammed my face onto the edge of the mini friidge out there. I’d share pix but don’t know how to do that here. Who else but a member of your tribe can fall up their stairs and end up with nasty bruises, a concussion & whiplash all in one very ungraceful (that’s my new word of the day) movement!

  141. 141
    Kori Heuss

    I live here. Come back. I was out of the state and you didnt check my schedule and I need you in my life more. You stay with me. I am a nice not very creepy very often but never directed at a person Iowan and you would be safe. I will get you a gargoyle at ground level

  142. Did you check to see if the gargoyle was there later? I’d be obsessed with making sure it didn’t move.

    Laurie recently posted Hangin’ Around.

  143. Holy shit, that was an awesome post!

  144. Iowa is full of weird shit. On the way to hear you speak, I saw some goats on the side of the interstate. I blogged about it. http://tyannsheldonrouw.weebly.com/blog/meeting-the-bloggess

  145. “What is that you have there?” in Iowanise
    “Oh just a vagina knitted out of yarn as my carry-on pillow”
    “Oh, well. howdy do!”
    -conversation had on airplane home

  146. The Viking is a…..wait for it……a Dane! And Danes are kind of promiscuous….well, not promiscuous exactly but extremely open about sexuality and when I showed him the picture of the vagina and the penis/ball sack he laughed so hard he scared the cat. Did you buy the ‘Ball Wash’ sign to hang your new penis/ball sack on?

    Mrs. Completely recently posted Solitaire and the Art of Deviousness.

  147. Any chance you could pass along the name of the resale shop? I think my wife and I need to send this lady a fan letter.

  148. Thanks for signing my Boob….after I left I realized that since you have many requests for boob signings….I should have asked you to sign my vagina! Next time…😉

  149. You and that old cunt with the awesome junk shop just made my night. <3

  150. Whether you’re at 6 or 60 % I love you. I’m so glad you’re starting to feel better <3
    Also I’m now considering Iowa too.

  151. Welcome to Iowa!

    wildoats1962 recently posted Blood is Thicker than Water, or even Pee for that Matter.

  152. Reading this just told me that ‘It’s going to be okay’. I need this. I also needed to see knitted vaginas and penises because in shitty depression world, woolen sexual organs make all the difference.

  153. okay, now i definitely want to go to iowa!

  154. I would have LOVED to be there when the lady said the “C” word thing!I work in customer service, the lady is right. People think they are so “cool” swearing and just being abnoxious when in reality they look kinda stupid.
    BTW I love your blog, it’s helped me over the past year now. I just finished reading your entire blog from the very beginning. It took me about 6 months to do, I kinda sorta binged read your blog.

  155. The best part was of stranger .. really was an awesome post esp. on the stranger one … good to have those strangers 😛 .. You had your great experience in IOWA !!! 🙂

  156. That’s pretty wild!

  157. […] via Iowa is pretty fucking weird. But in a good way. — The Bloggess […]

  158. 158
    Margaret Flint Suter

    I LOVE this about the gargoyle!! I didn’t find out you would be in Iowa until it was too late to come to see you, damn the luck. I hope you found us nice and weird enough to come back sometime with better forewarning!! Yeah, Iowa is weird, but we are REALLY good at it! and Dear Jenny, even when you are not 100% yourself, you are pretty fuckin’ brilliant! You are part of my pray on them every day mental list so if you feel blessed in any tiny way perhaps one of my “oh SHIT!” I promised to pray on her blessings has hit you! So yeah, BE BLESSED! From me in Hampton, Iowa

  159. You made me laugh today Jenny, and I didn’t think that was possible. Thank you. Thank you.

  160. That was fantastic. I’m not sure which part made me smile more, but I could definitely do with a smile today. Thank you for this.

    I especially appreciated the dead bird part, which really resonated because I had my first “wait, is that bird dead? or sleeping? or dead?” experience recently and no one around me appreciated that I found the whole thing at once sad and intriguing. (it turns out that, no, the bird wasn’t sleeping. It was definitely dead. Not sure why it was shoved into the side of someone’s hedge, perhaps it did this by itself. A few days after it had fallen, dead, out of the hedge, someone left an opened can of coke next to the bird. I like to think that this was some thoughtful soul, providing sustenance to accompany the bird into the afterlife…)

  161. Ok…. I think I want to be the old lady in the shop when I grow up. “You cunts think you invented cursing?” That line wins the day and will be shared all over my twitter & fb. <3

  162. Vaginal Distraction needs to be the title of your first novel and “The ballsack is my favorite” will naturally be the first line.

  163. The little old lady is like I came back in time from the future and for some reason decided I need to visit Iowa.

    nerril recently posted My heart hurts today..

  164. 164
    Anonymous

    Just wanted to say hi and let you know we are discussing Furiously Happy tonight at my book club. I seriously enjoyed your first book as well. I don’t experience the challenges that you and many of the folks that have been helped by your sharing yours to the same degree. I rate myself around 50% in common with you. I am grateful for my health and general lack of depression. Your anxiety though is dead on. I actually work with folks with mental illness and I plan to get my hands on a few copies of this to share with them. You are a wonderful, inspiring, hilarious person, keep doing what you’re doing!

  165. I love this story. Or set of stories? I wish I could have seen the young couple’s faces when the shopkeeper burned them.

    Sue recently posted Territorial dispute.

  166. You are more than 60% back! So much to love in that post. xoxoxo

  167. 167
    nicolenohole

    EPIC old lady goal: I want to be like that elderly woman.

  168. What a great, and meandering slice of life! And you managed to get ALL the way through it without mentioning the Corn Obsession that seems to infect much of Iowa! I really am glad to see you are surfacing, though, it is good to find out that there IS a top to the Drowning Pool of Depression.

    xmundt recently posted Chatting With A Libertarian.

  169. I’m glad you’re feeling better Jenny. That was awesome that dude was concerned for your safety. Maybe we should all try being a little more concerned for each other. Just a thought.

    sjhebig recently posted Do You Think Love Will Ever Win Out Over Hate?.

  170. 170
    Anonymous

    What an awesome dragon gargoyle. I have one called sloth. it’s not a sloth. It’s just a super lazy gargoyle. It’s my favorite. I love/hate golfing. My preacher daddy taught me how. Just like driving, we ended up shouting curses at each other -don’t judge, he’s baptist – and me throwing clubs and balls & things. But I still golf with my hubby bc he likes when I curse & throw things & he lets me drive the cart. But I mostly golf so I can tell my hubby to wash his balls. This has to be anonymous.

  171. Jenny, you couldn’t keep me away with a ballsack filled with beans. Keep on keeping on and know that you are loved.

  172. Jenny, I’m in your tribe…M.D.D., R.A., and diabetes tossed in just to make me more relatable. Your writing changed me. Your sense of humor, wit and candor showed me a whole new way of looking at the crap happening in my head and body. YOU ROCK! THANK YOU, and keep on writing!

  173. You’re perfect. Thank you.

    Jenny Bristol recently posted Happy Amazon Prime Day!.

  174. Basically, the biggest takeaway I got from this post is that I need to write a book so people will knit me pellet-filled penis toys and honestly that revelation is the best use of my time at work, so thank you.

  175. Sometimes I go to obscure, out-of-the-way places and people ask me, “Why would you want to go there?”
    Because of things like this, assholes. You find the most amazing stuff in places most people never think to go. And sometimes you don’t even have to look that hard for it.

    Christopher recently posted Facing It..

  176. I can see the gargoyle! How did you get that shot?

  177. If this is your 60%, I’d say you have super powers that could benefit the rest of humanity.

    Ann recently posted Unschooling Seduced Me.

  178. Please come to Vegas – or at least someplace close enough that I can drive to!

  179. Gives the song, “Ought to Give Iowa a Try,” new meaning.

    Musings, Rants & Scribbles recently posted Fear and Kisses at the Blarney Stone.

  180. 180
    XStacy Design

    Thanks for the update:) Good stuff-and if you can’t say it frankly like the shopkeeper did – just remember folks sometimes others “can’t understand new things” 😉

    XO

  181. i like the many shades of you!

  182. If I filled that knitted penis with rocks from my garden, I could use it as a dumbbell.

  183. I love that the gargoyle looks like he’s watching over you from on high. Like, “Don’t worry, Jenny. Gargoyles got you covered.”

    Ealachan recently posted turns out I may be part raccoon.

  184. 184
    Katherine

    Jenny if you only knew how very much I needed YOU today, a very real dose of my hero the bloggess!! AS always you made me laugh out loud!!! Thank you for making my birthday so much improved while I am at work! I am so grateful to you for sharing things, it allowed me to go to the doctor and get diagnosed with depression and get help. SO thank you!!

  185. your 60% is better than most people’s 100%
    you rock. you’re awesome.

    Alyssa recently posted Kodiak, Alaska is the Bear's Knees!!!.

  186. One day, just one time, I would die to write something as perfect as you do every single time you touch the keys. 60% feels and reads as good as ever.

    Wendy Weir recently posted The Answer Is “No”.

  187. You get the neatest shit. I suspect no one else has used a knitted vagina as a neck pillow. Maybe once. I think you should put a bowler hat and curly black Hercule Poirot moustaches on the fish. He would look terribly dignified.

    Adrasteia recently posted No..

  188. The vagina neck pillow should win awards at places that give awards for things like that (oh, I hope they exist) 🙂

  189. My parking space faces those gargoyles! I LOVE THEM! I say hello to them everyday before I head in to work, definitively, they are 90% of the reason I keep showing up.

    Glad that Iowa treated you well! Des Moines is a pretty rad and wonderful little town. You work is also pretty fucking rad and wonderful. I will take your 60% any day!

  190. 190
    Norton's Mom

    You have NO IDEA how BADLY I want that antique Ball Wash sign. That is EPIC!!!!

  191. So very sorry I missed you at DMU. HOW did I NOT know this. Glad you had fun in DM. There are gargoyles all over downtown. Yes. It’s pretty cool here.

  192. 192
    YSususasa

    Thank you for sharing your not so 100% days. It makes me feel as if I’m not truly alone in my not so 100% days 😊

    Susan

  193. Thank you for helping me on my broken days.

  194. Love love love

  195. Was so excited to meet u last Friday Jenny! Thanks for signing both my books! Love you!

  196. So much in here to love but I’m stuck on you sending “vaginal distraction” to the urban dictionary team. Because that one really needs notice.

    candidkay recently posted I am not those other girls.

  197. Oh my god! This is hysterical!

  198. […] in a couple years, I decided to offer them up for adoption to Jenny and she graciously accepted. The vagina was particularly useful as a travel neck pillow for her, and for that, I am amused. Oh, how I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall of that plane. […]

  199. I live in Des Moines and was very unhappy to find out after the fact that you had been in town! I would have loved to see you. Maybe next book tour?! I am pretty sure, from the photo you posted, that you were in an awesome shop downtown where I consign vintage jewelry. The shop owner was the lady at the front. She is definitely a “tell it like it is” person not to be fucked with! Although she would cringe at being called elderly-ish, she definitely would appreciate you mentioning her shop name if you loved it. If you saw the taxidermy Mandarin duck on top of one of the jewelry cases it was mine! Sadly, he has no name and no clothes but he is still one gorgeous dead duck!

  200. “You cunts think you invented swearing?”
    Fawesome(fucking awesome) sweary old lady: 1
    Dirty hipster douchebags: 000
    Yes!!!!!

    Thank you for your fawesome stories even at 60%
    Kisses!

  201. I have no words……..just laugh/crying into my tea…..

  202. SO, IF YOU ARE AT ALL INTO POKEMON GO.. .my daughter and her friend who people say are kind of WEIRD (but in the best way possible)…..made this video for fun…TEAM ROCKET!…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaoTexeZKyw&feature=share

  203. I vacationed in Iowa earlier this spring, it’s a highly underrated state. I hope you had a chance to eat pickled ham, which was indeed a salad choice at a restaurant I ate at.

  204. In my previous comment I mentioned that I know the shop owner in Iowa who reportedly told the obnoxious couple that they did not invent cursing. Although she is a no nonsense person I I thought it would be out of character for her to curse at a customer but I did think it was a funny story so I called her to get more details. Turns out, that while funny to Jenny’s readers this story was not funny to the shop owner. She says the incident did not happen and she has not used that particular ugly word in many years. She is a person of integrity and I believe her 100%. Because there is a photo that can easily be linked to her shop by anyone who has been there she is very upset about this story because it isn’t true and she would not speak to her customers in that way. Also, she is older than Jenny but far from retirement age so not even close to elderly. You can do better Jenny. Maybe next time you embellish a story no identifying photographs should be used.

  205. That is much more exciting than I would have given Iowa credit for.

    Of course, I’m not really an Iowa expert. I can find it on a map but that’s mostly because it’s right in the middle and I went to Nebraska once.

    I’ll bet you had more fun in Iowa than most people from Iowa have.

    Nasreen Iqbal recently posted The one about the screaming.

  206. Even 60% Jenny makes me laugh my ass off! This was gold.

  207. Your wicked cool you make me actually laugh not just that stupid half snicker shit!

  208. My favorite bit is when you declared that it was the best ballsack EVER in this really blissfully delighted tone of voice, a rather beautifully touching moment in a way. Anyway, Iowa is pretty fucked up, but it is also the home of some of your most devoted fans, who would probably even turn slightly stalker-y if we weren’t too easily distracted and such. I hope you return to Iowa as often as you can. I promise we’ll be there.

    P.S.–I hope my quote/mantra helps you like it’s helped me.

    tantie77 recently posted The Randomosity That Lives In My Brain ALL THE DAMN TIME.

  209. 209
    Leslie McDaniel

    PLEASE STAY STRONG!!!! I know a lovely woman who just lost her battle with depression today in Odessa. She could not fight the demons any longer. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT DEPRESSION IS A FUCKING LIAR. Thank you for the forum.

  210. T. Smith: I would like to point out that the story states that the comment to the rude shoppers in the store came from “an elderly-ish woman at the front of the store.” It does not state that she was the shop owner or an employee, and I assumed when reading it that she was another random shopper. That would explain why the shop owner was not familiar with the conversation, and did not recognize herself in the description. While you are understandably concerned about your shop owner friend being upset, perhaps it would have been both kind and fair of you to consider asking for clarification before impugning Jenny Lawson’s veracity.

    Jenny Lawson: Please continue to write, draw, and inspire!

  211. Pleasssssse come to Chicago so I can enjoy your particular brand of weirdly awesome in person??!?! You can stay with my partner and I and our cats and dog (but do t stuffs smoking them as they wouldn’t like it) (oh that came out way more pervy than intended)

  212. The elderly-ish lady is now my favorite.

  213. We love what you write at whatever percentage you’re at. (Sorry about the grammatical catastrophe that is the previous sentence.) You are funny and kind, and have a lovely take on the world.

  214. I just started following you, thanks for posting.

  215. Thank you for being you and thank you for making your way to Des Moines. Hearing you share your stories with just the right balance of realness and humor – and to share that experience in a room filled with hundreds of other people who love you and are similarly inspired by you – was exactly what I needed last week at DMU. Your work has touched my heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  216. I’m in love with the elderly-ish woman, and I’m planning to start using her catchphrase as a catchphrase in my daily life: “You cunts think you invented cursing?” Total Win.

    emelle28 recently posted Bedhead ... and Mailing Shit ... and other Stuff.

  217. This is full of greatness right here – especially loved the “you cunts” Iowian!!

    TrixieBangBang recently posted cuchi cuchi.

  218. Love me a hefty ballsack!

  219. Okay, so obviously I’ve also wondered where a guy could go to get their balls washed and there you have it. Also, I can’t stop loving your vagina-travel-neck-pillow, no matter how hard I try.

    Jennifer June recently posted The Other L Word.

  220. Dying. Laughing like a hyena. And it’s been a shitty month.
    PS – I had to google spell check hyena. My first guess was hyeena.

  221. I don’t post much but i wanted you to know i have your blog page saved as a shortcut on my top phone page. And I’m mentally ill also…you give me hope that I’m not worthless.

  222. Your 60 percent is 100 percent better than my 150 percent.

    I wish I could add pictures on here, because last weekend I was in Iowa and there was a truck full of guys, just cruising down the road, like an over stuffed pig, only better, because they were men. And I thought, this is why they say you should always return to where you were born.

    I was born in Iowa
    Where truck loads of men are available and I can’t FIND ONE in Wisconsin.
    I LOVE IOWA, but I think I love you more.

    kristinolivia246 recently posted Flowers in a jar….

  223. Your weight is fine and you look fabulous. Don’t worry so much about how thin you are. It’s precious worrying time that could be devoted to planning for the zombie apocalypse. (I know you won’t spend less time worrying at all; I sure can’t.)

  224. […] appear to be really crowded, and full of crazies waiting to chat and offer her dead things or knitted genitalia (true story.) I had no genitalia or deceased items to offer, just the […]

  225. do you ever get death threats with your nonsense ?

  226. 227
    straight white male

    do you ever get death threats with your nonsense ?

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