Sunday, November 11, 2007

Erma Bombeck.....My Hero

I was going through some books the other day....when I happened upon a book by one of my all time favorite authors.....Erma Bombeck. I sat and read a few pages and found myself once again getting lost in the life of one of America's original domestic godesses. I always thought of her as a cross somewhere between my mother and my aunt. Her antics, her thoughts, and her views on children are what I experienced at both home and every family reunion I ever attended. In one time....Erma was my all time hero. Anyone who had the ability to turn the everyday and mundane into humorous fodder for the masses deserved some kind of an award in my book. For years she was my inspiration and I wrote frantically hoping to be the Bombeck of my generation. Unfortunately happened and my writing fell so far to the back burner.....that it was hardly recognizable. One day...a few years back....I dusted off my pen and paper and thought I would write to my idol and let her know what an influence she had been on my life. For someone who always found something to say about everything....I suddenly found myself without words. How do you tell someone they are an inspiration to you? How do you tell them that whenever you were sad you picked up their books and they helped you find the joy again? How does a 30 something woman say....."Erma Bombeck....I want to be just like you when I grow up?" Saddly....when the words finally was too late. Erma Bombeck had died....and with her death....came the reality that this woman was a one of a kind. Never again would the world truly see that The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank or fully understand just how much she really lost the Post Natal Depression. I felt the need to tell her family just what this woman had meant to I sent this note.

Dear Bombeck Family:

You have my deepest sypmapthy and sincerest consolensces on the loss of Mrs. Bombeck. I know that you have all lost a wife and mother.....but I just wanted you to know......I lost a hero.


So with all this being said...I thought I would share some of my all time favorite Erma Bombeck quotes:

Cmom©2006 all rights reserved.

Spend at least one Mother's Day with your respective mothers before you decide on marriage. If a man gives his mother a gift certificate for a flu shot, dump him.

My kids always perceived the bathroom as a place where you wait it out until all the groceries are unloaded from the car.

Making coffee has become the great compromise of the decade. It's the only thing "real" men do that doesn't seem to threaten their masculinity. To women, it's on the same domestic entry level as putting the spring back into the toilet-tissue holder or taking a chicken out of the freezer to thaw.

I don't know why no one ever thought to paste a label on the toilet-tissue spindle giving 1-2-3 directions for replacing the tissue on it. Then everyone in the house would know what Mama knows.

How come anything you buy will go on sale next week?

I have never gone to the bathroom in my life that a small voice on the other side of the door hasn't whined, "Are you saving the bananas for anything?"

Some say our national pastime is baseball. Not me. It's gossip.

Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-rearing, they are unemployed.

Marriage has no guarantees. If that's what you're looking for, go live with a car battery.

There is nothing more miserable in the world than to arrive in paradise and look like your passport photo.

Youngsters of the age of two and three are endowed with extraordinary strength. They can lift a dog twice their own weight and dump him into the bathtub.

Kids have little computer bodies with disks that store information. They remember who had to do the dishes the last time you had spaghetti, who lost the knob off the Tv set six years ago, who got punished for teasing the dog when he wasn't teasing the dog and who had to wear girls boots the last time it snowed.

Who, in their infinite wisdom, decreed that Little League uniforms be white? Certainly not a mother.

People shop for a bathing suit with more care than they do a husband or wife. The rules are the same. Look for something you'll feel comfortable wearing. Allow for room to grow.

No self-respecting mother would run out of intimidations on the eve of a major holiday.

On vacations: We hit the sunny beaches where we occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin, the saltwater off our bodies and the sand out of our belongings.

Mother's words of wisdom: "Answer me! Don't talk with food in your mouth!"

All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with white carpet is one of them.

Most children's first words are "Mama" or "Daddy." Mine were, "Do I have to use my own money?"

Sometimes I can't figure designers out. It's as if they flunked human anatomy.

My theory on housework is, if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch on fire or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one cares. Why should you?

Before you try to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they're not trying to keep up with you.

Have you any idea how many children it takes to turn off one light in the kitchen? Three. It takes one to say, "What light?" and two more to say, "I didn't turn it on."

Onion rings in the car cushions do not improve with time.

Everyone is guilty at one time or another of throwing out questions that beg to be ignored, but mothers seem to have a market on the supply. "Do you want a spanking or do you want to go to bed?" Don't you want to save some of the pizza for your brother?" Wasn't there any change?"

The age of your children is a key factor in how quickly you a re served in a restaurant. We once had a waiter in Canada who said, "Could I get you your check?" and we answered, "How about the menu first?"

When your mother asks, "Do you want a piece of advice?" it's a mere formality. It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway.

No one ever died from sleeping in an unmade bed. I have known mothers who remake the bed after their children do it because there's a wrinkle in the spread or the blanket is on crooked. This is sick.

When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they're not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They're upset because they've gone from supervisor of a child's life to a spectator. It's like being the vice president of the United States.

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