Insanity of Motherhood

Motherhood, marriage, and midlife.

Channeling Erma


Erma Bombeck

Erma Bombeck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently my new friend Joanne mentioned my blog reminds her of humor writer Erma Bombeck.  She said she likes my story telling which she feels is very much like Erma’s.  Needless to say, I was flattered.  There is only one Erma and to be even remotely in her same class as a writer is wonderful.  Interestingly this is not the first time I have heard this compliment.  I have always admired Erma’s ability to take the mundane and find humor.    I also admire her style of writing free of swearing.  In today’s land of humor writers most use profanity to get the biggest laugh.  Erma’s writing was done in a time before swearing was so commonplace.

My friend Joanne sent me one of her favorite writing pieces from Erma and I thought I would share it with you.  The piece is about friendship.  The kind of friendship that needs no words for understanding.  Thanks to Joanne for her kind words about my blog and for reminding what a great american talent Erma was.


by Erma Bombeck

For over 40 years (How about 47 years), I have had the best friend you could ever have.

When I told my best friend I was fat, she never said, “I just lost three pounds without even trying.”

When we went to a sock hop together in college and she was offered a ride home, she never ditched me.

When I gave myself a home permanent and left it on too long, she was the only one to sit with me in the bathroom until it grew out.

When I told my best friend my husband gave me two snow tires for our anniversary, she never said, “You should be happy he remembered.”

When I was pregnant and my stomach looked like a tray on a car door in a drive-in, she never said, “There’s a glow about pregnant women.”

When I had a miscarriage and everyone else in the world said, “There will be others babies,” she cried with me over the one I lost.

When she told me she was staying home for the summer, I wouldn’t have dreamed of sending her a card from Spain telling her what a great time I was having.

When her mixer broke down, I never asked her if she had sent in the warranty card so she’d be covered.

When I moved 3,000 miles away, she never once told me what I was doing to her.

When her mother died, I never said, “She had a rich, full life and she was in her 70s.”

When I argued with my husband and begged her for advice, she kept her mouth shut. She just listened.

When we couldn’t get a sitter and had to bring the kids along to her house for dinner, she never fell apart.

When I had my first autographing party and no one showed up, she never once suggested, “They probably didn’t see the ad.”

When her political candidate lost and mine won, I never said, “Ha ha, I told you so.”

Every time we got together, neither of us had to say, “I’m glad to see you.”

When she was up to her armpits in snow, I never called to say, “The sun is shining here.”

Recently, my best friend lost her child. He was her youngest and was in his 20s.

I listened to her.

I cried with her.

I felt pain that I had never known that I could feel before.

But not once did I say to her, “I know how you feel.”

Love your writing, Erma.  Here’s to channeling your humour and wit to my blog for many years to come.

Author: insanityofmotherhood

Mom of three boys, wife, educator, and all around nice gal in the middle of a midlife something. It's not a crisis, but it's something…

10 thoughts on “Channeling Erma

  1. I had never heard of Erma, but now that I have, I can see definite similarities to your writing styles… Funny and touching at the same time. Genuine.

  2. I agree. Your writing has a wry but touching style like EB’s.

  3. I LOVE Erma – one of my favorite quotes: Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.

    And then there’s this one: When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.

  4. I love Irma. I read all her books when I was younger. You do channel her well 🙂 with a modern flair(brazilian?) I am going to take some of her books out to read them after reading this post.
    Cheers Nate 😉 you do make me smile

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