Monday, November 19, 2012

Seasonal Stress Reliever

Much is said about holiday stress; the running around from shop to shop, making sure you got the right toy for the demanding kid ("No!  Not the one with the polka-dot dress!") meal planning and food shopping.  Not unusually, all of us will have an entertainment to throw - an open house on Christmas Eve aka The Arrival of the Grasshoppers or a meal after midnight mass.  The family Christmas breakfast with every relative you ever had.

Enough to drive you out of your mind, especially if you throw in bad weather, heavy traffic and fighting over the last cart in the lot.

Should we all start taking a 5mg Valium with our morning coffee?  No! (not that it's a bad idea) not at all.  I recommend selected doses of Erma Bombeck.

If you have never heard of this writer, this is an excellent time to discover here.  There's an old saying in writing and  it is "write what you know."  She wrote about being a wife and the mother to three kids.  And she's funny as hell.

On a son't apartment and his life style:  "Actually the cockroach and our son had a lot in common.  They both came out at night, ate cold fast food and knew how to empty a room."

Her husband loved Halloween and greeting the various kids although he was prone to mistakes.  "Well, what have we here?  Silver shoes.  A fringed shawl.  A comb in the hair.  I got it!  A Spanish dancer.  Come here, Erma, and help me guess who this is."

For crying out loud!  It's Evelyn picking me up to go to the shopping center!"

Erma married Bill Bombeck in 1949 when she was 22.  Age 20 she'd been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disorder (genetic) but most of her adult life it didn't trouble her.  In 1992, she was diagnosed with breast cancer; in 1996 she needed a kidney transplant which was attempted on April 3rd, but due to complications she died April 22.  She was 69.

Arguably she didn't have much to laugh about in her later years, but she never lost her sense of humor.  She was a woman of awesome bravery and great wit.  She's an inspiration to us all in times of stress.  Like the holiday season.

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