Thursday, November 19, 2009

Channelling Erma

Well, today has been ... how shall I say?... mixed. On the one hand, I felt like crap. I am pretty sure I had strep, just like Linus did earlier this week (the doc didn't do a strep test but just went ahead and prescribed me some penicillin anyway) and today my sore throat is gone but is replaced by a stuffy head and body aches. BUT on the other hand, I completely emptied my dirty clothes hamper. All clothes are washed and folded. Mine/hubs are put away and kids are just waiting to get done. Ironing basket is empty. Carpets are shampooed. Bills are paid on time. Plus I did a lot of these things while watching re-runs of "The West Wing" on DVD.

Today has been productive, I guess. But, since I felt like crap, I didn't get online all day. But, my nagging need to keep at it for NaBloPoMo got me online after all.

I felt pretty bad about all the complaining I did yesterday. I mean, it's my life, so it's my reality. But I've always believed that we have CHOICES. We can choose to look at the glass as half-full or half-empty. I hope I'm the type of person who does some of each. And, at the same time, I don't want people to click onto my site and start reading, only to moan, "Oh, HERE SHE GOES AGAIN!!!"

Today, as I soaked my weary muscles in a hot tub (weary from nothing else than a cold bug), I read a book given to me by my mother-in-law, called "Forever, Erma". It is a collection of columns written by Erma Bombeck, who was the Dooce of her day. Erma passed away in 1996 but I think it's safe to say that she lives on in the writings of thousands of mom-bloggers. I would like to share some of what I read in the foreword of this book.

(A column written by Erma, published April 4, 1969)
A Mrs. "R.N." of Boston has raised a rather interesting question. "Mrs. Bombeck's column is devoted merely to the gripes of a suburban housewife. Her infantile self-absorption is annoying. Why doesn't she direct her writing toward a more constructive topic?"
I'm surely glad you brought up that little ting, Mrs. R.N. You see, on a newspaper, reporters have areas they cover called "beats." Some men cover politics, business, crime, medicine, government, ratio and television, while women cover fashions, food, society.
I cover the utility room beat. When [it] came up, I grabbed it.
I've been at the helm of "Mission Impossible" for four years now. It's a challenge. If I am consumed with my self-absorption, it is for a reason.
Long ago it became apparent there were only two people in the world I could take a crack at in print without being sued or severely criticized: Adolf Hitler and me!
Furthermore, I wouldn't trade my beat for anything else on the newspaper. Sometimes as I sift through the grim, the ugly, the shocking, I recoil here between the hot water heater and the detergent and I get my perspective.
Screaming kids, unpaid bills, green leftovers, husbands behind newspapers, baskletballs in the bathroom. They're real... they're warm... they're the only bit of normalcy left in this cockeyed world, and I'm going to cling to it like life itself.

And, one more from Erma Bombeck's last column, written on April 17, 1996

My deeds will be measured not by my youthful appearance,
buy by the concern lines on my forehead,
the laugh lines around my mouth,
and the chins from seeing what can be done
for those smaller than me or who have fallen.

Erma, we can only aspire to reach the bar you have set so high. YOU are the original mommy-blogger. Thank you for blazing the path for us.


Jennifer said...

Nesting much? :) I can't believe you did all of that stuff. For both of my pregnancies my mom came and "nested" for me. I had orders both time to stay off of my feet, which sounds like a good thing until you have to do it.

Foursons said...

I love Erma. She was an amazing woman.