Sunday, January 2, 2011
I want to be Erma Bombeck When I Grow Up
Now I get it.
But seriously, Erma was right. The family is the bond that gags. LOL.
This afternoon, I had a “parental-unit-misunderstanding” with my husband regarding the discipline of our son. Sometimes I just don’t understand men!
Thankfully, I can gain a little more understanding from Erma’s version of Conversation with God was the best about the subject of “men.” She asked, “Why did men have big feet?” So their kids could walk in their footprints in the snow. Big hands – better to cup small faces and wipe away the tears. So what if men couldn’t tie a hair ribbon or push a button through a small hole. They were designed to protect their children.
I just need to remember that and maybe I won’t wish to strangle him.
Seriously. There are days I wish I were Erma Bombeck. I want to be able to make any situation look like it’s a roll-on-the-floor funny event like my friend Shar Wight does. The thing is… I seems to be able to keep people laughing and on their toes in person, but when I write it down it comes across as some Greek tragedy. AGR!
This year one of my goals is to channel my inner Erma Bombeck; to look at life with the kind of sense of humor that brings people to tears, but in a good way.
Erma wasn't perfect; she wasn't sitting in judgment; she was just trying to do the radical thing of saying what other people were afraid to say, because they were afraid it was only them, and that others would judge them. I want to be that.
I admire people who speak to an audience so that all can understand. I admire people who are great artists with a brush, a keyboard or a voice… or a pen. I aspire (and don't really expect to ever achieve but a person has got to try), however, to be Erma Bombeck, surrounded by people who look up from their mundane lives and say "oh, me too!"
That moment, that "me too" moment in which people say "I'm afraid for the future too." Or "I want to make a change too" or "I never knew anyone else felt that way" is a tremendously powerful moment. Breaking down the strangeness between us - reducing the sense that we're alone in our heads and our worlds and that our battles to use less and make things better don't really count - is tremendously important. We are all in this together and we are more alike than we are different.