Monday, March 19, 2012

Before Mommybloggers, There was Erma Bombeck

Erma Bombeck
Before people could get their daily dose of funny from their favorite blogs, there were newspaper columns. One such column was written by Erma Bombeck. She wrote a piece that described her suburban home life from the mid-60s to the late 90s. By the 1970s her humor was read by readers of 900 newspapers across US and Canada.

Her popularity is credited to the fact that women could relate to her. Here are a couple of her gems:

"Insanity is hereditary. You can catch it from your kids."

"I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage."

I think I will adopt this one as my new mantra,  "Housework, if you do it right, will kill you." I don't think I wanna take any chances, so I'll continue to do it half-assed.

Her success wasn't limited to her newspaper column. She also authored 15 best-selling books.

At Wit's End - This was her first book, published in 1967. In it, she hilariously talks about being a mom. "Any mother with half a skull knows that when Daddy's little boy becomes Mommy's little boy, the kid is so wet, he's treading water."

Just Wait Until You Have Children of Your Own - Which one of us hasn't said this to our kids? I know I have. And my Momma said it to me, and I'm sure my grandchildren will hear it. She co-wrote this one with Bil Keane, creator of The Family Circus comic.

I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression - Erma considers her mother-in-law expendable in this one. "My mother-in-law has finally accepted me for what I am: a mistake. and I have learned to live with her through the miracle of sedation." She looks forward to being an empty-nester so that she can have rumballs for breakfast. And she shares the secret of her long marriage, "Actually, it's no secret at all. I am a forgiving woman. Long ago, I forgave my husband for not being Paul Newman."

The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank - In this one, she exposes the funny truths about the suburbs. She looks at the innate desire to move out, move up, and move somewhere that isn't here.

If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? - This title contains a collection of her newspaper columns from the 70s.

Aunt Erma's Cope Book - "Her audience is everyone who has ever married, had children, gotten to middle age, owned a dog or a duck." DALLAS TIMES HERALD
In this book Erma comes out--out of the kitchen--with these gems:
No longer will she be the only woman on the block to wear a slip under a see-through sweater, or feel guilty if the sun sets on an empty crockpot, nor will she care that she flunked her paper towel test. Our Erma is on her way to becoming a sub-total woman.

Motherhood: the Second Oldest Profession - This title spent an entire year as #1 on The New York Times bestseller list!If you are a mother, will be a mother, or had a mother, you'll enjoy this book.

Family - the Ties that Bind...and Gag! -  A family reunion serves as the background in this one. "Maybe age is kinder to us than we think. With my bad eyes. I can't see how bad I look, and with my rotten memory, I have a good excuse for getting out of a lot of stuff."

I Want to Grow Hair, I Want to Grow Up, I Want to Go to Boise: Children Surviving Cancer - This book received the American Cancer Society's Medal of Honor in 1990. Profits from the publication were donated to a group of health-related organizations. The reader is introduced to children surviving cancer and their families.

When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time to Go Home - Erma Bombeck describes her travels around the world with family. This book was the sixth biggest selling nonfiction book of 1991.

A Marriage Made in Heaven...or Too Tired for An Affair -  Erma Bombeck puts it all in loving and laughing perspective, as she looks back on her own forty-three-year-but-who's-counting marriage and the timeless passages that make the honorable estate of matrimony the highest-risk, highest-reward profession of all. A Marriage Made in Heaven...or Too Tired for an Affair is Erma's personal story as well as a resonant evocation of the decades that have shaped modern American matrimony - for better, for worse, and for laughs.

All I Know About Animal Behavior I Learned in Loehmann's Dressing Room -  Identifying the likenesses between animals in the wild and human beings, another humorous reflection pokes fun at nutrition, talk shows, childbirth...

Forever, Erma: Best-Loved Writing from America's Favorite Humorist - A collection of Erma's columns over the years, and tributes delivered at her memorial service. This entire book is a tribute to Erma Bombeck, and the way she could use humor to make us feel better about everything in our lives. Only the emotional spectrum of this book matches its topical diversity. One's feelings are reminiscent of the same warmth and tenderness only Erma could portray, and readers will be delighted to find their favorite selections. Included with 188 other columns are her first, "Children Cornering the Coin Market," from January 1965, and her last one, "Let's Face It," from April 1996.

I happened to catch a documentary on PBS this weekend on the late Erma Bombeck. She was the original ambassador of housewives across America.
Erma Bombeck: A Legacy of Laughter, celebrates one of America's best loved humorists. Recollections from family and friends along with photographs and rare home movies tell the story of her life and career. Phil Donahue, family friend and host of the award-winning talk show Donahue narrates. It was about a half-hour and you can watch it online here.

Talk to you soon. And as always, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for stopping by.

1 comment:

  1. Brahmin Shaadi
    Historically, the Brahmins in india were divided into two major groups based on geographical origin of the people. The Brahmin groups that lived to the north of the vindhyas were referred to as Dravida Brahmins. Each group was further divided into five sections according to the regions of their settlement.

    The Sagaai or the engagement ceremony symbolises commitment However, the South Indian Brahmin do not lay stress on the presence of bride and the groom in their Sagaai, rather it focuses on commitment between the parents of the groom and the bride. 'Latto' i.e., 'engagement plate' Which consist of coconut, flowers, turmeric, betel leaves and betel nuts hold more importance, in their engagement ceremony. The Maithil Brahmin bride of bihar makes her wedding affair stand apart by receiving the blessing from the Dhobi's (washerman's) wife - a compulsory tradition in the Bihari Brahmin wedding.

    In Haldi ceremony turmeric powder is mixed with milk, almond oil and sandalwood and applied to the bride and the groom. In Kashmiri Pandit this ceremony has a twist becuase cold, white yoghurt is poured on the bride as an alternative to haldi. ritual is followed by a special custom called Shankha (shell) Paula (coral) in bengali Brahmins, where seven married women embellish the bride's hand with red and white bangles, the shell is supposed to calm the bride and the coral is believed to
    be beneficial for health. Mehndi is also applied on every bride's hands during the Mehndi ceremony. However, a Bengali Brahmin bride applies alta (red dye).

    After the ceremonious arrival of the groom, the garlands are exchanged between the groom and the bride, while the priests chant mantras. Jaimala is the symbol of unifying two souls into one. But in tamil nadu, "Oonjal", a unique jaimala ceremony is performed and could be best decribed as a tug of war. In this ceremony, the women sing songs to encourage the bride and groom to exchange the garlands while the uncles persuade the soon to be couple not to Exchange the garlands.Before the ceremony of jaimala, the bride makes a majestic entry in Bengali weddings.

    Mangal Phere
    Fire is considered the most pious element in the Brahmin weddings and seven circles around that fire holds the seven promises that the nuptial couple make to each other amidst the Vedic mantras. The Brahmin wedding is deemed incomplete without the seven rounds around the sacred fire. Unlike other Brahmin weddings, in Gujarati weddings only four pheras are taken which are called the mangalpheras where the pheras represent four basic human goals of Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Miksha (religious, moral, prosperity and salvation). Likewise in Malayalee Brahmin weddings, pheras are taken only thrice.

    Post wedding ceremony vidaai
    After pheras, the bride's family and friend bid her teary vidaai (farewell). The Kashmiri pundits make their vidaai even more special. their charming ritual, "roth khabar" is performed on a saturday or tuesday after the wedding. In Roth
    khabar, the bride's parents send a roth (bread decorated with nuts) to their son - in - law's family. But the bride accompanies She stay with her parents and returns only when someone from in laws comes to fetch her back.

    Griha pravesh
    The new bride is greeted by her mother - in - law with Arti and tilak. The bride, who is regarded as the Goddess laxmi, enters the groom's house after the groom's house after kicking rice - filled pot. In Kannada Brahmin marriages, the groom changes the name of his wife in the name change ceremony where he decides a name for his wife and inscribes it on a plate containing rice with a ring. In Bihar, a very strange ritual is performs at the groom's place.


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