I read Alice Kahn's My Life as a Gal last week. She used to write a column for the Chronicle back in the eighties, and I used to read her every Sunday. Her column was dropped--a major misstep by the Chronicle (Along with letting go of Adair Lara and Stephanie Salter) and I miss her voice. She wrote a hysterical essay about touring, when she writes that people called her "the Bay Area West Coast Erma Bombeck." She soon finds out that many authors are compared to Bombeck, be it the gay Erma Bombeck, the African American Erma Bombeck, the Irish Erma Bombeck. Oh, could I relate.
When one writes about their life in personal essays, you are bound to be compared to Erma Bombeck. Some people might snub their nose at this comparison. Not me. If anyone wants to compare me to the woman who wrote about having three children and loving/hating them at the same time, helping children with cancer (a girl asked Make A Wish to have her writing published. Bombeck let her write her column for the week) fought for the Equal Rights Amendment, and was brave when she faced her own death. If my writing was found around the country on fridges, that's a pretty good legacy.
But I have a small teeny tiny problem. I don't have children. Nope, no children around here. Oh sure, I have cats who are just darling. I have one niece and three nephews I adore beyong words. But you can only write so many cat blogs before you get that lovely title "Crazy Cat Lady." And as much as I adore my niece and nephews, they aren't mine. Plus I really try and not use their names in my blog. If I say anything about them and use their names, odds are someone will google it when they're teenagers, and then they'll say "Hey! I read about you in your aunt's blog when you did..." They'll thank me someday, won't they? I like to think so.
However Erma Bombeck's children did provide her material, along with being married. Another thing: I'm not married. Nope, no Mr. Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons around. So mostly I have to share about my life,rants about politics and books. However, I need new people to write about, to become more Bombeckish.
Oh heck, why am I being so darned honest? Didn't James Frey teach me anything? Make it up! Why not?
So I want to introduce you to my madeup family. We have Thomas my husband played by Carl Betz!
my teenage daughter Minnie played by Shelley Fabares!
my daughter Muffy played by Suzanne Crough!
And that troublemaker we all know and love, Spike played by Butch Patrick!
and who better to play our zany neighbor Buff than Marcia Wallace!
A typical morning in the Gibbons household:
Thomas: Dear, why don't you take my last name?
Me: Darling, don't you remember? Your last name is Gibbons is well-we're like Franklin and Eleanor Roosvelt.
Thomas: Oh you're right, I forget. But I've been meaning to talk to you about our Spike.
Me: What about him?
Thomas: This attachment parenting is a bit much, don't you? Spike has been sleeping with us since he was born.
Me: But all the parenting books say that's the best thing for the lad! He'll have healthy relationships. Thomas: If only he looked less like a vampire.
Me: He'll grow out of it. You'll see.
Muffy: Mom, can we go see New Directions? Me: Oh Muffy, you and your rock and roll!
Muffy: Please Mom! Everyone else is going!
Me: Ask your father.
Thomas: Why should she ask me? I like New Direction. I'll take her.
Me: You two have fun!
Buff: Hey do you have time for coffee?
Me: Oh, Buff. I have to write a blog and get writing done as well.
Buff: Boy do I admire you. I mean, the most writing I get is grocery lists!
Me: Oh I saved the coffee grounds for you.
Buff: Oh thanks babe. I have no idea but it really helps my medical marijuana plants grow!
Spike: Mom, I have to bring something for Show and Tell.
Me: Well that won't be a problem.
Spike: It has to be something from the past.
Me: Hmmm. Well we have many things. Try this Pet Rock.
Spike: People had Pet Rocks? Me: We sure did! Spike: Is this yours?
Me: Well I didn't have a Pet Rock, but I found that one when I was walking, but just call it a Pet Rock and it's something from the past!
Minnie: Oh Mother, someone is making fun of me on facebook!
Me: What? Who is the skanky slut? I'll take care of her!
Minnie: Well, I called her a skanky slut first. I think that's why she's making fun of me.
Me: That did it young lady! You are on restriction! No computers! You can only watch Saved By The Bell on DVD!
Minnie: I hate you! Me: You'll respect me later.
I'm telling you, the Gibbons family will have you laughing until you hurt. Stay tuned!
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries