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The waves

As the Wind Blows

Location: Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

27 October 2003

To me, there is nothing like sitting down with a “Erma Bombeck” when I really want some good laugh! The American columnist who died a couple of years ago ( or three / four years?) was a wonderful writer and almost all her books were bestsellers. Her hilarious anecdotes drawn from her experiences as a wife and a mother used to throw me into splits. How often you enjoy listening to your own laughter? And the feeling of joy that envelopes after a good hearty laugh? So, in one of my such moods this week, I went back to one of her bestsellers “A Marriage Made in Heaven (OR) Too tired for an Affair!!”

and here she goes: on adjustment

“Psychologists and marriage counsellers say that the first year of maaraige is the toughest because of the adjustments each one must make to the other…. From time to time, I thought of murder. I considered becoming Sister Erma Louise in St. Mary’s convent. I even thought of going home to my Mother’s ( What for? He’d have been there in the kitchen having coffee with my parents) …….”

On falling sick

“in our marriage… we didn’t know how to deal with our own illnesses – let alone any one else’s. It was something our mothers had always done for us. If I announced that eyes felt like round razor blades, my throat was parched ….he would look at me and say, “Let me get this straight. What you are really saying is that you want me to pick up the cleaning”. … or “…he would say, ‘well, you finally got your cold, didn’t you? ( Like I shopped for it)

when Bill fell sick,

“I was no better. …I’d say, “Fine, you are going to die. Just tell me what weight of motor oil you use in the car before you go.”

“.. a month or so later I came down with mumps…. Bill wasn’t as compassionate as he was puzzled. “why would you wait till you were married to have mumps?” “ I thought it would make the time go faster” I said icily.

“A few months later when I landed in the hospital with a kidney infection, I overheard Bill tell my father, “ I have to take my hat off to you. You sure knew when to unload her.” My dad just smiled. “Look upon it as an Investment Son.”

“…. the major problem with bad back is that it’s as common as dirt. Everyone either has one, had one, is going to have one, knew someone who had one, or took someone to lunch who has one…. The second major problem is that everyone has a cure to make it go away…..Sleep with a teddy bear between your knees…sleep on a vibrating bed of river rock…Go to this doctor who unfortunately died two years ago…..

“what to do with a man who saves instruction manuals; thinks a fishing license makes a great anniversary gift; and thanks to the remote control, has never seen a elevision commercial…

On handling first baby.

“We called the pediatrician at any hour of the night to report a gas bubble..”

“The lines were drawn early for who did what. Bill was the Daddy, and his job was to go out into the real world ….and as the mother, I was in charge of house and everything in it….But something bothered me. My hours were getting longer and my job descriptions kept growing. Finally I said, “ Why don’t we split this wondrous miracle between us?”

“What are you talking about?” he asked sleepily.

“What part of the baby do you want? The top or the bottom?”

"You can’t separate the baby.
"Of course you can, .. Do you want the top part that you have to feed every three hours or the bottom that has to be changed every three minutes?….."

Erma Bombeck, sure, has a way of making you laugh on things which you'd classify as mundane...

I wish I could go on on transplanting from her books - but I don't want to be sued for plagiarism, you see... :-)


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