my paragon

That would be Erma Bombeck. I’ve had a desire to emulate her style of writing since experiencing motherhood firsthand. My sister even sent me information to enter the contest held in her honor, but being in the middle of some life crisis or other, it didn’t happen.

Hoping to be inspired again, I treated myself to, Forever, Erma: Best-Loved Writing From America’s Favorite Humorist (1996). What was I ever thinking? She published over 4,000 semi-weekly columns with “extraordinary output of wit and compassion.”

Her ability to share life situations with a humorous slant, leading to a poignant and pertinent point, cannot be replicated. I have succumbed to just enjoying her genius. To brighten your day, here are some phrases, “maledictions on your children in the event they become parents.”

– “May your tears be so salty you spit brine for a week
– “If you made your bed of thorns, you’d have to walk through it in your bare feet
– “May all your children have ingrown toenails
– “Didn’t I predict that lip of yours would grow so long you’d have to take a tuck in it?
– “May you have a wart on your nose on your wedding day and heartburn on your honeymoon
– “Little girls who sass their mothers live to see their best friends chalk dirty words on their tombstones
– “I hope you have identical twins, two weeks apart
– “May your patio face southwest
– “May your father belch loudly at the father-daughter banquet

I wish I would have known these phrases several decades ago. All I could do was come up with ever increasing length and complexity of words as I diffused intense emotional situations. May you smile a bit today, and, on behalf of all parents everywhere, may you add to this list.

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