Writing. It’s a contest. Because this is America.

This is Erma Bombeck. Until about a year ago, I had never heard of her, which is just more evidence that even at middle-age, I have still managed to miss some of the best things in life. But I think there is time to make up for it.

ermabombeck

Erma Bombeck (photo stolen from Wikipedia), who is probably rolling over in her grave because of blogging and picture stealing.

Erma started her career as a “copygirl” in 1942. Today we call this “unpaid social media intern.” Then she went to college and became a columnist for a newspaper. In 1953, she left her job to adopt a daughter and then later gave birth to two sons. After 10 years out of the workforce, she went back to working at a newspaper writing columns for $3 each. Today, we call this “mommy blogging” and you don’t even get $3. But you can win new friends, some of which provide you with at least a $1 of self-worth. And sometimes, a lot more.

I was first introduced to Erma, when one of my friends said that I could be the modern-day lesbian Erma Bombeck. At first I was a little horrified, because of well, her hair. But then I realized that I was being a judgy female stereotype. So I stopped hating Erma for her hair, and that’s when I found out that she was active in the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, which made me like her more. And she is funny (more like). And she adopted a child (super like), so aside from the fact that she was married to a man, she would have made a great lesbian Erma Bombeck.

And now I’m going to try to become her. Not in a creepy steal her identity, The-Talented-Mr.-Ripley sort of way, but I’m going to try to write something just like her.

In January, there is a writing contest where I plan to win $500 and free registration to Erma Bombeck Writing Workshop. All I need to do is write an essay just like Erma to win un-sponsored passage to Ohio, which for just a minute I had confused with Iowa, a state that passed a gay marriage law four years ago.

Why does this matter? Because I thought I might be able to get gay married and go to a writing workshop all at the same time, which would be a dream coming true that I never knew was a dream prior to now. And that’s the best kind of dream. Except that there is no gay marriage law in Ohio, and I need to beat more than 500 other writers to win free registration to the workshop.

Wish me luck. And join me for some friendly competition, but just know that I already hate your hair.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Erma Bombeck Writing Competition  

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 © Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Lesbian moms’ baby is kidnapped. Call 911. Don’t send a card.

While doing some research, The Other Sarah, Director of Orifices and Copy Editing, came across this greeting card. (Seriously people, we needed a Director. Someone has to be in charge of all the assholes in this project and correct there their spelling.)

mom card

 

Are you getting a creepy feeling? Yeah! Me too! Because the caption really should read “Moms! Alert! A big hairy man has stolen your baby!” Although, I’m pretty sure that no one sends a greeting card for that. Too slow. Dialing 911 is way faster.

But maybe I’m being too alarmist. There are some other perfectly reasonable explanations for the photo on this card:

1. The son is actually the guy with the hairy arm, and he is too shy to be in the picture AND he just happens to be holding a newborn baby dressed in a blue outfit.

2. It’s the doctor’s arm. And therefore I have a follow-up question: How did they get that baby cleaned up and dressed so fast? And can you come over to my house and help out?

3. The moms are not out of the closet, so even their arm can’t identify as gay. Or maybe their arm is transgendered.

4. Neither of the moms was strong enough to hold up the baby.

5. Some women have arms this hairy. Touche.

6. The artist added the arm to be sure that we all felt the masculinity of the new baby, because boys are often emasculated in our society by the silly pajamas and the baby hats with the pink accents that are issued at every hospital in America. So the artist has added the hairy arm to make a political point in defense of men’s rights. Well played!

9. This is Tina Fey’s baby, and someone leaked this picture from the cover of her sequel to Bossypants called Babypants.

If none of those 9 reasons resonate with you, and you really do just want to congratulate two new moms on the birth of their son, might I suggest 7LM’s more simple, less hirsute options?  We make them for dads, too – – let us know if you find any of them unintentionally creepy.

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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Gay expertise not included

When people find out that you’re gay, they sometimes have questions. Heck! When I found out I was gay, I had questions. What kinds of questions, you ask? Good question! (I’m trying to set a record for the most use of the word “question” in a single post.)

Any question that starts with the following: Why do gay people [blank]?

Example: Why do gay people cut their hair so short?

Uh, they do? Now I have a question, too. Do gay people cut their hair short?

I usually start to panic when something like this happens, because I am supposed to be a gay expert after all, because I am gay. And I want to be sure that I’m toeing the line. Doing my part to be gay enough to do good for all gay people and gayness in the world. And if there is something I don’t know about being gay, well then, maybe I’m not gay.

But I’m also tall. And people seem to have fewer questions about that, but again, I have few answers. And I feel like I’m am doing my part for tall people everywhere by just walking around being tall. I don’t belong to any tall groups. I don’t celebrate being tall on days set aside to celebrate tallness. I don’t play basketball. I can reach stuff on high shelves, so that’s pretty great. But I also don’t fit in some cars. But I don’t protest, because I wouldn’t want to be seen as against shortness. I am fairly certain that I’m taller than the average woman, but I don’t know exactly by how much. But I’m OK with that, because people don’t ask that question much, because, well, no one cares if you are tall or short. Its just the way it is. Unremarkable. Thank goodness.

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us

 

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’ve been so stressed about Michelle’s hair, I forgot to blog

I have been absent. I’m sorry. I usually try to be as predicable as machinery with my blogging schedule, but I took a few posts off. I was busy. Why? Well, there has been a lot of news of Michelle Obama’s bangs to follow.

First, there was the creation of her bangs. And now she is saying that she is not sure she likes them. She even finds them “irritating.” And let me say that it’s always upsetting when a lady, especially a First Lady, is willing to admit out loud, using her voice that something is irritating. So it’s been a bit of a roller coaster.

Oh, and it was my birthday.
And we’re buying a house.
And I’m hiring interns for my start-up.

That’s all.

A commentary on race, class and gender or why we need to so many Barbies

Our current Barbie count is seven — four adult females, two adult males and one child, also female. We have two blond Barbies. Two black-haired Barbies. A Ken. A little girl Barbie named Chelsea. And Danny Wood. Yes, the guy from New Kids on the Block. I purchased the blond Barbies, as well as Ken and Chelsea, who are also blond. We adopted the other three (the dark ones, I might add) from day care.

For me, every Barbie has a theme, one that the manufacturer intended, and another one which I am using to justify the ownership of so many Barbies.

For example, one of the black-haired Barbies came with knee pads, elbow pads and one rollerblade. No helmet. OK. She’s an athlete and a risk taker. That’s a good role model, right? The only problem I have is the lack of helmet. But even if she had one, it probably wouldn’t fit. Inexplicably, all Barbie hair is approximately 10 times the thickness of ordinary human hair. Putting anything on her head is like trying to shove a marshmallow to the bottom of a cup of cocoa.

Now, onto the child.

One of the blond Barbies, Big Barbie as she came to be known, was in the same box as Chelsea with a miniature toilet and a sink. Is Big Barbie the sister? A single mom? Hey, it’s family helping family. Regardless, this was very handy during potty training time, when my daughter and I could go through all the steps for using the toilet with Chelsea and Big Barbie before we tried it ourselves.

And then there are the guys.

They are fine, I suppose, but having Ken – the Ultimate Boyfriend – has reinforced some behavior that I don’t love. Ken has a recording device in his chest that allows you to say things like “naked butt” and then repeat them in three different tones of voice. Awesome (not). But last night I noticed Barbie wearing Ken’s shirt and jeans. So that’s a good sign. We’re not letting gender stereotypes dictate the dress code.

This leaves Danny Wood. His plastic head is painted with black hair, but he also has a two-inch string of black hair down his back, which makes me fondly refer to him (in my mind only, people!) as sperm head. He’s kind of gross. I don’t share this with my daughter, because I don’t want to be a Barbie racist, but if I had my way, I would not have gone back up to her bedroom last night to help her take off his pants. So I guess that’s my lesson. I need to be more open-minded about Danny, his needs and his sense of style.

In a few weeks, we’re getting two more Barbies for Christmas. Yes, blond! I have already bought them and they are hidden in the trunk of my car – a good place to hide presents, I might add. One Barbie is a doctor and the other comes with the Malibu Dream House. So that’s good. We’ll have one with a post-graduate education and another with the good sense to invest in real estate that will increase in value. Whoever said there is anything wrong with Barbie?

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