Erma Bombeck
Because I’m in the middle of packing my house I’ve decided to run an oldy but goodie Thursday Thirteen that originally ran in April 2008. But I STILL love Erma and her quotes never get old …

Erma Bombeck (1927-1996), I love the woman. She was a magician with the written word. With a couple quick strokes of her pen she could have me crying or laughing. So I decided to find 13 of my favorite quotes (and I had a hard time whittling it down to 13). Some of these things she said, some she wrote in her books. If you’ve never read one of her books … treat yourself. My favorite has to be “The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank”.

So here’s what I’ve come up with …

1. Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.

2. Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.

3. It is fast approaching the point where I don’t want to elect anyone stupid enough to want the job. (on the US presidency)

4. Mothers have to remember what food each child likes or dislikes, which one is allergic to penicillin and hamster fur, who gets carsick and who isn’t kidding when he stands outside the bathroom door and tells you what’s going to happen if he doesn’t get in right away. It’s tough. If they all have the same hair color they tend to run together.

5. My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch on fire or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one cares. Why should you?

6. All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with white carpet is one of them.

7. I don’t know why no one ever thought to paste a label on the toilet-tissue spindle giving 1-2-3 directions for replacing the tissue on it. Then everyone in the house would know what Mama knows.

8. There is nothing more miserable in the world than to arrive in paradise and look like your passport photo.

9. People shop for a bathing suit with more care than they do a husband or wife. The rules are the same. Look for something you’ll feel comfortable wearing. Allow for room to grow.

10. I remember buying a set of black plastic dishes once, after I saw an ad on television where they actually put a blowtorch to them and they emerged unscathed. Exactly one week after I bought them, one of the kids brought a dinner plate to me with a large crack in it. When I asked what happened to it, he said it hit a tree. I don’t want to talk about it.

11. I never leaf through a copy of National Geographic without realizing how lucky we are to live in a society where it is traditional to wear clothes.

12. Everyone is guilty at one time or another of throwing out questions that beg to be ignored, but mothers seem to have a market on the supply. “Do you want a spanking or do you want to go to bed?” Don’t you want to save some of the pizza for your brother?” Wasn’t there any change?”

13. Have you any idea how many children it takes to turn off one light in the kitchen? Three. It takes one to say, “What light?” and two more to say, “I didn’t turn it on.”

34 Responses to Thirteen Quotes from Erma Bombeck

  • She was my mother’s best friend’s idol. Have you read any of her books? Very funny stuff.

    The Pink Flamingo

  • I love Erma Bombeck, she is timeless.

  • I LOVE numnber 7. I miss her.

  • I’m sure her words will live long into the next generations to come. Great list. Happy T13!

  • Great selection of quotes, Nina!

  • I love her books! I had to be the only kid in my gradeschool who read them 😀 When I finally had my own kid I found out just how true all of her books were!

  • I love’d her too. Her theory on housework should be law. Thanks for reminding me! 🙂

  • I love Erma, but the only book of hers I’ve read is If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits.

  • SJ – I’ve read several of her books, they’re a hoot. They really strike a chord.

    Julie – So true. Moms of all generations can relate!

    Adelle and Heather – Thanks for stopping by! Happy TT13 to you also.

    Firefly Mom – There’s something communal about being in the “Moms Club” and Erma Bombeck seemed to understand that. She just hits the heart of what many moms feel!

  • Debora – LOL! I love her view of housework. I adopted her attitude a long time ago. Thank goodness for the oven, dishwasher, and dryer… it’s amazing how many things can be hidden in there when company stops over unexpectedly! 😉

  • Another classy dame. Wise wise women this week. 2 and 3 had me laughing out loud.

  • GREAT list!! this must be the thursday of quotes!

    Have a happy one!

  • Tara – She was a classy lady, I saw her interviewed a couple of times and even in person she made me laugh.

    December – I noticed that too! Several TT13’s with quotes this week.

  • Alice – I completely forgot about that one … that’s a fun read also. If I remember correctly it had some sad stuff about her mom’s death in there, but of course she put a humorous twist on a very sad time. Good book. Thanks for reminding me of that one!

  • Erma is one of those authors who makes me laugh AND makes me cry. I love love love her.

  • Jennifer – That’s why I love her so much. She makes me laugh through my tears. I’d love some reader to tell me I did that for them … oh to dream!

  • These are masterful. I saved a few.

  • Add me to the list of fans! But I never read the plate/tree one before. Thank God I wasn’t drinking coffee or there would’ve been a major spew!

  • Ohh… Erma makes me so happy. I love to listen to her books on CD or just curl up to read her articles and essays. She was so friggin BRILLIANT!

  • Love #1! *lol* Happy TT and May Day!

  • I’ve no idea who this lady is but she speaks a lot of sense. I loved #5

  • Oh, wow – thanks for the chuckles! I used to have a few of her books, but they got lost along the way in my many, many moves cross-country…

    Great list, Happy T13!


  • Colleen – Some are worth posting around the house … mostly where the kids and DH can see them. 😀

    Tempest – #1 is so true, but we never learn, we do it anyway!

    Shelley – Erma started as a weekly columnist and her popularity grew. Her first book (I believe) was a conglomoration of her columns. But she speaks in motherisms which is why I love her so much. And BTW … I live by #5!

    MsMenozzi – I’ve never owned any of her books, but pick them up now and again at the library. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • She was so great and funny and witty. Great quotes!


  • Chloe – She was all those things! Thanks for stopping by! Happy TT13 to you!

  • Erma was my hero. I especially love #5 — if I could just learn to live by that philosophy!

  • Robin – If we could it would definitely make our lives easier!

    Gina – Glad to give you a giggle today!

  • Heather – I never thought about listening to her books. I travel a lot. DUH! *smacks head* I will have to look for her CDs the next time I travel. Thanks! And I agree with your assessment … she was brilliant!

  • Great list. I miss that woman.

  • these had me laughing out loud for the truth in them. number 4 is a tricky one here with triplets and two identicals in the mix, where sometimes the day starts with ‘Who are you?’

  • I love Erma Bombeck. I read them all as a teenager, and they were the most fun. Read them again as a mom, and they made so much sense!
    Great TT. Come read mine:

  • Debbie – She’s the best. Thanks for stopping by.

    Grit – OMG! I can only imagine. Wishing you all the best with that handful!

    TLC – It’s funny how Erma’s books appeal to all ages. But it’s definitely the mom’s who get what she wrote! 😀

  • Never heard of her, but she sounds like an awesome lady! We really had the quote fever this week . . . hehe. Happy Friday! =D

  • Gwen – It seems several of us went for the quotes this week! If you like to laugh when you read … Erma Bombeck is a great author.

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