Thursday, March 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday: If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries...What Am I Doing in the Pits? by Erma Bombeck

Author: Erma Bombeck
First published in 1978 by McGraw- HIll
Reissued as ebook by Open Road Media in  January 2013

Erma Bombeck’s timelessly witty look at the hidden side of married life
Ever since she was a child, Erma Bombeck has been an expert worrier, and married life has only honed that skill. She gets anxious about running out of ball bearings; about snakes sneaking in through the pipes; about making meaningful conversation on New Year’s Eve. Married life, she realizes, is an unpredictable saga even when you know exactly how loud your husband snores every night—and she wouldn’t have it any other way. In this crisp collection of essays, Bombeck shows off the irresistible style that made her one of America’s favorite humorists for more than three decades. When she sharpens her wit, no family member is sacred and no self-help fad is safe. 

I remember reading this book a long time ago, probably in college.  Having reread the book, I'm not sure I was able to full appreciate the book back then.  Now, reading it as a wife and mother, I loved it.  Even though Ms. Bombeck wrote this back in the 70s, I found that about 90% of it is still relevant today. Husbands still snore, kids and families still drive us crazy and the debate over working mom vs. stay at home mom still goes on 30+ years later.  I found myself laughing and nodding my head through out most of the book as I have experienced many of the things that she brings up. 

While mostly funny, there are a few places where she gets serious and her points really hit home. Specifically her section on when the child becomes the parent and vice versa.  It makes you take a hard look at the cycle of life and how fast it revolves.  I know that my favorite part of the book was the poem " I Loved you Enough" (see below). I may just have to print that out and save it for my kids when they are older. I definitely recommend this throwback!

From If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?
Some day, when my children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a parent, I will tell them:
I loved you enough, to ask where you are going, with whom, and what time you would be home.
I loved you enough, to insist that you save your money and buy a bike for yourself even though we could afford to buy one for you.
I loved you enough, to be silent and let you discover that your new best friend was a creep.
I loved you enough, to make you take a Milky Way back to the drugstore (with a bite out of it) and tell the clerk, "I stole this yesterday and want to pay for it."
I loved you enough, to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your room, a job that would have taken me 15 minutes.
I loved you enough, to let you see anger, disappointment and tears in my eyes.  Children must learn that their parents aren't perfect.
I loved you enough, to let you assume the responsibility for your actions even when the penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.
But most of all,
I loved you enough, to say NO when I knew you would hate me for it.
Those were the most difficult battles of all.
I'm glad I won them because, in the end, you won too.
- Erma Bombeck

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