A friend doesn't go on a diet
because you are fat.
A friend never defends a husband
who gets his wife an electric skillet for her birthday.
A friend will tell you she
saw your old boyfriend-and he's a priest.
All of us have moments in
out lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house
with a white carpet is one of them.
Anybody who watches three
games of football in a row should be declared brain dead.
Before you try to keep up
with the Joneses, be sure they're not trying to keep up with
Being a child at home alone
in the summer is a high-risk occupation. If you call your mother
at work thirteen times an hour, she can hurt you.
Car designers are just going
to have to come up with an automobile that outlasts the payments.
Did you ever notice that the
first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone?
Do you know what you call
those who use towels and never wash them, eat meals and never
do the dishes, sit in rooms they never clean, and are entertained
till they drop? If you have just answered, "A house guest,"
you're wrong because I have just described my kids.
Don't confuse fame with success.
Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.
Dreams have only one owner
at a time. That's why dreamers are lonely.
Education is so important
when it comes to domesticity. I don't know why no one ever thought
to paste a label on the toilet tissue spindle giving 1-2-3 directions
for replacing the tissue on it. Then everyone in the house would
know what Mama knows.
Everyone is guilty at one
time or another of throwing out questions that beg to be ignored,
but mothers seem to have a market on the supply. "Do you
want a spanking or do you want to go to bed?" "Don't
you want to save some of the pizza for your brother?" "Wasn't
there any change?"
For some of us, watching a
miniseries that lasts longer than most marriages is not easy.
For years my wedding ring
has done its job. It has led me not into temptation. It has reminded
my husband numerous times at parties that it's time to go home.
It has been a source of relief to a dinner companion. It has
been a status symbol in the maternity ward.
Getting out of the hospital
is a lot like resigning from a book club. You're not out of it
until the computer says you're out of it.
God created man, but I could
Graduation day is tough for
adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as
contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-raising, they
Great dreams... never even
get out of the box. It takes an uncommon amount of guts to put
your dreams on the line, to hold them up and say, "How good
or how bad am I?" That's where courage comes in.
Guilt: the gift that keeps
Have you any idea how many
kids it takes to turn off one light in the kitchen? Three. It
takes one to say, "What light?" and two more to say,
"I didn't turn it on."
House guests should be regarded
as perishables: Leave them out too long and they go bad.
Housework, if you do it right,
will kill you.
Housework is a treadmill from
futility to oblivion with stop-offs at tedium and counter productivity.
How come anything you buy
will go on sale next week?
Humor is a spontaneous, wonderful
bit of an outburst that just comes. It's unbridled, it's unplanned,
it's full of surprises.
I come from a family where
gravy is considered a beverage.
I don't know when pepper mills
in a restaurant got to be right behind frankincense and myrrh
in prominence. It used to be in a little jar that sat next to
the salt on the table and everyone passed it around, sneezed,
and it was no big deal.
I have a hat. It is graceful
and feminine and give me a certain dignity, as if I were attending
a state funeral or something. Someday I may get up enough courage
to wear it, instead of carrying it.
I have a theory about the
human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer. It will only take
so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up.
I have always felt that too
much time was given before birth, which is spent learning things
like how to breathe in and out with your husband (I had my baby
when they gave you a shot in the hip and you didn't wake up until
the kid was ready to start school), and not enough time given
to how to mother after the baby is born.
I haven't trusted polls since
I read that 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour.
I've never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for
I never leaf through a copy
of National Geographic without realizing how lucky we are to
live in a society where it is traditional to wear clothes.
I was leafing through a magazine
where there was a before-and-after picture of a woman who went
from a size 5 to a size 3 by liposuction. Was she serious? I've
cooked bigger turkeys than her "before" picture.
I was terrible at straight
items. When I wrote obituaries, my mother said the only thing
I ever got them to do was die in alphabetical order.
I was too old for a paper
route, too young for Social Security and too tired for an affair.
I will buy any creme, cosmetic,
or elixir from a woman with a European accent.
I'm going to stop punishing
my children by saying, "Never mind! I'll do it myself."
I'm trying very hard to understand
this generation. They have adjusted the timetable for childbearing
so that menopause and teaching a sixteen-year-old how to drive
a car will occur in the same week.
I've decided life is too fragile
to finish a book I dislike just because it cost $16.95 and everyone
else loved it. Or eat a fried egg with a broken yolk (which I
hate) when the dog would leap over the St. Louis Arch for it.
I've exercised with women
so thin that buzzards followed them to their cars.
I've never vied for power
in the family before. Pointing a box at the garage door and saying
"Open!" was never a big deal, but holding that television
tuner and realizing I alone control what is flashed on the screen
brings out the Iacocca in me.
If a man watches three football
games in a row, he should be declared legally dead.
If you can't make it better,
you can laugh at it.
In general my children refuse
to eat anything that hasn't danced in television.
In two decades I've lost a
total of 789 pounds. I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.
It goes without saying that
you should never have more children than you have car windows.
It is ludicrous to read the
microwave direction on the boxes of food you buy, as each one
will have a disclaimer: "THIS WILL VARY WITH YOUR MICROWAVE."
Loosely translated, this means, "You're on your own, Bernice."
It is not until you become
a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.
It takes a lot of courage
to show your dreams to someone else.
Just think of all those women
on the Titanic who said, "No, thank you," to dessert
that night. And for what!
Like religion, politics, and
family planning, cereal is not a topic to be brought up in public.
It's too controversial.
Making coffee has become the
great compromise of the decade. It's the only thing "real"
men do that doesn't seem to threaten their masculinity. To women,
it's on the same domestic entry level as putting the spring back
into the toilet-tissue holder or taking a chicken out of the
freezer to thaw.
Marriage has no guarantees.
If that's what you're looking for, go live with a car battery.
Most women put off entertaining
until the kids are grown.
Mother's words of wisdom:
"Answer me! Don't talk with food in your mouth!"
My kids always perceived the
bathroom as a place where you wait it out until all the groceries
are unloaded from the car.
My second favorite household
chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk
bed until I faint.
My theory on housework is,
if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the
refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?
Myths that need clarification:
"Everyone in California lives on a white, sandy beach."
False. The only people who live on California beaches are vacationers
from Arizona, Utah, and Nevada who own condos.
Myths that need clarification:
"No matter how many times you see the Grand canyon, you
are still emotionally moved to tears." False. It depends
on how many children the out-of-towners brought with them who
kicked the back of your seat from Phoenix to Flagstaff and got
their gum caught in your hair.
Never accept a drink from
Never go to a doctor whose
office plants have died.
Never go to your high school
reunion pregnant or they will think that is all you have done
since you graduated.
Never have more children than
you have car windows.
Never lend your car to anyone
to whom you have given birth.
Never order food in excess
of your body weight.
No one ever died from sleeping
in an unmade bed. I have known mothers who remake the bed after
their children do it because there is wrinkle in the spread or
the blanket is on crooked. This is sick.
No self-respecting mother
would run out of intimidations on the eve of a major holiday.
On vacations: We hit the sunny
beaches where we occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin,
the saltwater off our bodies, and the sand out of our belongings.
Once you get a spice in your
home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The
Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I'm
taking with me when I go.
One thing they never tell
you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at
the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child's name
and how old he or she is.
Onion rings in the car cushions
do not improve with time.
People shop for a bathing
suit with more care than they do a husband or wife. The rules
are the same. Look for something you'll feel comfortable wearing.
Allow for room to grow.
Phrases and their actual meanings:
"My teacher has never liked me." Expect a phone call
before lunch from the teacher informing you that your child has
been launching hot dogs by compressing them inside a small Thermos
and then removing the lid quickly.
Some say our national pastime
is baseball. Not me. It's gossip.
Someone once threw me a small,
brown, hairy kiwi fruit, and I threw a wastebasket over it until
it was dead.
Sometimes I can't figure designers
out. It's as if they flunked human anatomy.
Thanks to my mother, not a
single cardboard box has found its way back into society. We
receive gifts in boxes from stores that went out of business
twenty years ago. Erma Bombeck
Thanksgiving dinners take
eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes.
Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.
The age of your children is
a key factor in how quickly you are served in a restaurant. We
once had a waiter in Canada who said, "Could I get you your
check?" and we answered, "How about the menu first?"
The only reason I would take
up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.
There are people who put their
dreams in a little box and say, "Yes, I've got dreams, of
course I've got dreams." Then they put the box away and
bring it out once in awhile to look in it, and yep, they're still
There is a thin line that
separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.
There is nothing more miserable
in the world than to arrive in paradise and look like your passport
There is one thing I have
never taught my body how to do and that is to figure out at 6
A.M. what it wants to eat at 6 P.M.
There's nothing sadder in
this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.
There's something wrong with
a mother who washes out a measuring cup with soap and water after
she's only measured water in it.
We've got a generation now
who were born with semi equality. They don't know how it was
before, so they think, this isn't too bad. We're working. We
have our attache cases and our three piece suits. I get very
disgusted with the younger generation of women. We had a torch
to pass, and they are just sitting there. They don't realize
it can be taken away. Things are going to have to get worse before
they join in fighting the battle.
What's with you men? Would
hair stop growing on your chest if you asked directions somewhere?
When a child is locked in
the bathroom with water running and he says he's doing nothing
but the dog is barking, call 911.
When humor goes, there goes
When I stand before God at
the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single
bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you
When it comes to cooking,
five years ago I felt guilty "just adding water." Now
I want to bang the tube against the countertop and have a five-course
meal pop out. If it comes with plastic silverware and a plate
that self-destructs, all the better.
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
Who in their infinite wisdom
decreed that Little League uniforms be white? Certainly not a
Why would anyone steal a shopping
cart? It's like stealing a two-year-old.
You become about as exciting
as your food blender. The kids come in, look you in the eye,
and ask if anybody's home.
Youngsters of the age of two
and three are endowed with extraordinary strength. They can lift
a dog twice their own weight and dump him into the bathtub.