Today I made a comment to someone about Erma Bombeck and the person I was talking to had never heard of her. I was shocked and stunned. Who doesn’t know Erma???? Then it occurred to me that Erma was from another time and with her death now 15 years ago, my classic Erma reference – “That is very Erma-esque” – increasingly only means something to me. That makes me sad. Erma was a delightfully witty soul that wrote about family and life. Her humor was commonsensical. It had an everyday housewife flavor to it that everyone could identify with. Erma was the first real housewife in the Real Housewives Reality T.V. Stable (you heard it here first Atlanta).
Erma has had a huge influence on my writing – from reading her books I learned that you don’t have to look far for humor it is all around us. I think it is a shame that her legacy of humor is fading into a time past, so today I share some of Erma’s classic quips.
If you have never had a chance to read any of Erma’s books you should try at least one – if for no other reason than to realize that seeing humor in life is a choice. I miss you Erma, but your sense-of-humor stays with me.
“Insanity is hereditary. You can catch it from your kids.”
“My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.”
“Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.”
“Housework can kill you if done right.”
“When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he’s doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911. “
“Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a car battery. “
“Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.”
“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.”
“My kids always perceived the bathroom as a place where you wait it out until all the groceries are unloaded from the car.”
“I haven’t trusted polls since I read that 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour. I’ve never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex.”
“One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child’s name and how old he or she is.”
“All of us have moments in out lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them. “
“There is nothing more miserable in the world than to arrive in paradise and look like your passport photo.”
“Cleanliness is not next to godliness. It isn’t even in the same neighborhood. No one has ever gotten a religious experience out of removing burned-on cheese from the grill of the toaster oven.”
“Somewhere it is written that parents who are critical of other people’s children and publicly admit they can do better are asking for it.”
“The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.”
“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.”
“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.”
“He who laughs…..lasts.”
Day six hundred and sixty-one of the new forty – obla di obla da