Daily life is insane…it’s almost as if your spouse, your children, your parents, in short everyone is conspiring to drive you mad. Often you feel like pulling at your hair, throwing things at someone’s head or just screaming at the top of your lungs. And then, some more. Well, you could do that or simply pick up Erma Bombeck’s If Life is a bowl of cherries- what am I doing in the pits?
In this book Erma Bombeck delivers the ultimate laugh-it-out pill manufactured out of the seemingly innocuous everyday irritants that lace our lives – a snoring spouse, the “super vision, super-hearing” mother, the sorry-i-am-late syndrome….Remember the nail versus bare wall debate that takes places in your house every time you want to put up a painting or a hook? The Frustration you experience as a working mom trying to get your kids to co-operate? The identity crisis that threatens to overwhelm you when you decide you’ve had enough of cleaning pots and dirty underwear? The horror you feel when your mom, sitting in the front seat of the car tells you to stop making faces at your baby brother, without turning her head? You will find all that and much more in this 255 page book.
Written in the 1970s Bombeck’s book brings to life the daily dilemmas faced by the All American housewife. And yet, surprisingly, four decades later, we can still relate to much of what she says. The scenarios she creates are not a thing of the past or Western, they seem like instances (albeit exaggerated ones) from our everyday lives. And her take on them, her exaggerations and her satire have you in splits. Try as you might, you will not be able to come across a single page that does not have you cracking up. Here are some instances:
My son slouched into the kitchen one night, threw his books on the countertop and said, “I’ve just had the worst day of my entire life and it’s all your fault.”
” How do you figure that?” I asked.
“Just because you made me go up to my room and turn off all the lights before I went to school, I missed the bus. Then, with all your nagging about cleaning up my room, I couldn’t find my gym clothes and got fifteen points knocked off my grade.”
“The gym clothes were folded in your bottom drawer.”
“Yeah, well, what yo-yo would expect them to be there?”
“You’ve got a point.”
“I hope you are happy,” he grumbled, ” I have failed English.”
“I did that?”
“That’s right. I told you I had a paper that was due before lunch and you made me turn my lights off last night and wouldn’t let me do it.”
“It was one thirty in the morning.”
“Just forget it. It’s done. Did you have a good lunch today? I hope so because, thanks to you, I didn’t get any.”
“What’s THAT got to do with me?”
“You’re the one who wouldn’t advance me next week’s allowance. And more good news. You know the suede jacket you got me for my birthday last year? Well, it’s gone.”
“And I’m to blame for that?”
“I’m glad you admit it. All I hear around here is, ’Hang up your coat, hang up your pajamas, hang up your sweater…’ and the one time I take your advice and hang up my jacket on a hook in the lunchroom, someone rips it off. If I had just dropped it on the floor by my feet like I always do, I’d have the suede jacket today.”
“It sounds like quite a day.”
“It’s not over yet,” he said. “Didn’t you forget something?”
“Like what?” I asked.
“Like, weren’t you supposed to remind me I had ball practice after school?”
“I put a note on your desk.”
“Under all that junk I am supposed to find a note! It would serve you right if I got cut. And I might just do that. I swear, I was talking to some of the guys and we decided parents can sure screw up their kids.”
I smiled, “We try.”
OR CHECK OUT THIS ONE:
I don’t know what there is about a nail in the wall that makes strong, virile men cry. The first time I was aware of this phenomenon was a week after my husband and I married. I passed him in the kitchen one day while carrying a small nail and a hammer.
“Where are you going with that hammer and nail,” he asked, beginning to pale.
“I am going to hang up a towel rack,” I said.
He could not have looked more shocked if I had said I was going to drive a wooden peg into the heart of a vampire.
“DO you have to drive that spike into the wall to do it?”
“No,” I said resting on the sink, ” I could prop the towel rack up in a corner on the floor. I could hang it around my waist from a rope, or I could do away with it altogether and keep a furry dog around the sink to dry my hands on.”
“What is there about a women that they cannot bear to see a smooth, bare wall?” he grumbled.
“And what is there about men that they cannot bear to have the necessities of life hung from a wall?”
“What necessities?” he asked. “Certainly you don’t need that mirror in the hallway.”
“You said that about the light switches.”
…And so the nail versus the bare wall has gone on for years in our house…
GIVES YOU A SENSE OF DEJA VU?
That is the beauty of Bombeck’s work. Every instance seems like it is straight out of your own life. And suddenly the very things that had us screaming and shouting and popping BP pills are funny. A must read for every one who enjoys a good laugh and has the ability to laugh at himself or herself….after all that is what real humour is about!
Rent, buy If Life is a bowl of Cherries- what am I doing in the pits? from INDIAreads Online Book Rental Library and Bookstore.