The Night I Realized I Was The Gay Erma Bombeck
For as long as I can remember, everyone in my family has had a great sense of humor. When all else failed in our home, humor was the savior (not Jesus, after all, we’re Jews). My parents always had a healthy balance between showing us what was right and wrong and telling us not to take ourselves or life too seriously. So I remember at an early age watching the Flip Wilson show with my father who laughed heartily as Flip Wilson in complete “Geraldine” garb, would say, “What you see is what you get, sucker.” And I remember my mother having books by an author who happened to live in our same city, Erma Bombeck. I think the first one I ever read was, “The Grass Is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank.” I had no idea what a septic tank was at the time but I thought the book was very funny. So the other day I was looking through the “guide” that tells me what television shows are going to be on and I saw a documentary coming on about Erma Bombeck. I hadn’t heard the name (or I’m sorry to say) thought of her in years. I Tivo’d the show and it was wonderful. Her husband and kids talking about her as well as other people and as I was watching it, it dawned on me, all this time I’ve thought I might grow up and be the Jewish David Sedaris but in actuality that’s the night I realized I was the gay Erma Bombeck – Don’t Get Me Started!
For those of you who have never read a column or book of Erma Bombeck’s I encourage you to do so immediately. She really was the pioneer of telling the secrets of motherhood and life in suburbia. What secrets you ask? The ones that no one talks about but everyone knows like you can dislike your kids at times, the neighbors can get on your nerves and in the way she wrote about these truths we were able to laugh for the first time at motherhood and life that we hadn’t been able to prior. Erma Bombeck wasn’t afraid to tell you that no one was actually wearing a strand of pearls and a spotless apron while making seventeen hundred cupcakes for her kids’ bake sale, nor were they enjoying the endeavor as they hummed a Disney tune. And while some may have resisted her take on life at first, she became a bestselling author, had a column published in a bazillion papers and did speaking engagements to beat the band before her untimely death from cancer.
You see, while I’m sure there have been other gays to tell some secrets of the “gay lifestyle,” in looking back at the blogging I’ve done (for what is quickly becoming over three years now) I realized that I was telling the tales with a style of humor that I think resembles more of a Ms. Bombeck than an expose journalist or novelist. They used to call them, “humorists” and I think that’s what I just might be (if I’m lucky). It’s not “making fun of” when you’re living it yourself as some may say but then again, I think making “fun of” someone or something is not as disgraceful as some would have us believe regardless if you’re in the “group” of which you’re making fun of or not. When I’m talking about never being gay thin or explaining that while everyone thinks that locker rooms are “hot” to gays when most of the time the only person sweaty and naked in the locker room is the oldest fattest person in the gym and he’s got one leg hiked up on the bench getting red in the face while he clips his toenails and his junk is lying on the bench for all to see and neither the straights nor the gays want to see it. Hopefully what I’m doing is painting a picture in your head, shading and coloring it the way that I see it when I’m looking at it based on my own sense of humor and points of life reference. Sometimes I may embellish, sometimes I may only tell you a part of the story (the part that I find humorous) but in all cases I think it can be traced back to my parents and the sense of humor they instilled (or is that installed) in me.
So if in fact I am the gay Erma Bombeck (and it’s possible I’m the only one who knows this or thinks this is true) where is my column in the paper, my books or my speaking engagements? If you answered, “non-existent” you would be correct. And so I find myself asking myself why I don’t have any of those things to my current credit? I think some of it has to do with the way the publishing world has changed. Anyone can have a website or blog so instead of everyone getting 15 minutes of fame as Andy Warhol had suggested we’re all getting about 2kb of fame. Of course I’m not negating the fact that some of it is laziness too. When I started the website I expected by publishing myself out onto the web that some celebrity or publisher would find me in the first month (it’s bee n over three years now and not so much). So while I may not have been “discovered” yet by a publisher I’m thankful I was discovered by you and I hope I made you smile (if not with this blog then the over 600 others that I’ve published). Meanwhile, if you know a publisher – forward any and all of my blogs…and could you do that immediately? The night I realized I was the gay Erma Bombeck – Don’t Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com
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