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.
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!
© 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.