Erma Bombeck was born on the 21st February 1927 and was an American writer and humorist who garnered critical acclaim and popularity with the public for her regular columns describing home life in the suburbs. Her column ran for over 30 years and during this time she published 15 books, the majority of which joined the bestseller lists of the time.
To provide an insight into her prolific writing, it has been recorded that Bombeck published over 4000 newspaper columns, always invoking humour when describing ordinary situations and the daily events in the life of a housewife. It is estimated that in her heyday during the 1970s, her columns were read by over 30 million readers. Some of her most famous books included At Wits End and Aunt Erma’s Cope Book.
Away from writing, she made regular appearances on television shows such as Good Morning America and was involved in the Presidential Advisory Committee for Women which drew strong criticism from powerful conservative figures around the country, leading to some removing her books from sale. Despite her efforts, the process for implementing an amendment to Equal Rights was delayed and not ratified by the required number of states, a sign of the times and opposition, which dismayed Bombeck greatly.
Still recognised to this day as an inspiration, we have collected together many of her most humorous and relatable quotes for you.
1. What’s with you men? Would hair stop growing on your chest if you asked directions somewhere?
2. It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else
3. When humor goes, there goes civilization.
4. Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.
5. One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat,
you are expected to know your child’s name and how old he or she is.
6. For years my wedding ring has done its job. It has led me not into temptation. It has reminded my husband numerous times at parties that it’s time to go home. It has been a source of relief to a dinner companion. It has been a status symbol in the maternity ward.
7. If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead.
8. There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.
9. It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and
10. All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them.
11. When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.
12. Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.
13. Don’t confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.
14. Dreams have only one owner at a time. That’s why dreamers are lonely.
15. I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.
16. Getting out of the hospital is a lot like resigning from a book club. You’re not out of it until the computer says you’re out of it.
17. Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I’m taking with me when I go.
18. God created man, but I could do better.
19. Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.
20. I was terrible at straight items. When I wrote obituaries, my mother said the only thing I ever got them to do was die in alphabetical order.
21. If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.
22. In general my children refuse to eat anything that hasn’t danced in television
23. There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.
24. Before you try to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they’re not trying to keep up with you.
25. Being a child at home alone in the summer is a high-risk occupation. If you call your mother at work thirteen times an hour, she can hurt you.
26. Car designers are just going to have to come up with an automobile that outlasts the payments.
27. For some of us, watching a miniseries that lasts longer than most marriages is not easy.
28. I have a hat. It is graceful and feminine and give me a certain dignity, as if I were attending a state funeral or something. Someday I may get up enough courage to wear it, instead of carrying it.
29. 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.
30. Like religion, politics, and family planning, cereal is not a topic to be brought up in public. It’s too controversial.
31. Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a car battery.
32. Never accept a drink from a urologist.
33. Never order food in excess of your body weight.
34. Onion rings in the car cushions do not improve with time.
35. Some say our national pastime is baseball. Not me. It’s gossip.
36. Sometimes I can’t figure designers out. It’s as if they flunked human anatomy.
37. Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.
38. I haven’t trusted polls since I read that 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour. I’ve never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex.
39. I will buy any creme, cosmetic, or elixir from a woman with a European accent.
40. Most women put off entertaining until the kids are grown.
41. Never go to your high school reunion pregnant or they will think that is all you have done since you graduated.
42. No one ever died from sleeping in an unmade bed. I have known mothers who remake the bed after their children do it because there is wrinkle in the spread or the blanket is on crooked. This is sick.
43. 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.
44. Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone?
45. House guests should be regarded as perishables: Leave them out too long and they go bad.
46. I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer. It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up.
47. My kids always perceived the bathroom as a place where you wait it out until all the groceries are unloaded from the car.
48. Never have more children than you have car windows.
49. On vacations: We hit the sunny beaches where we occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin, the saltwater off our bodies, and the sand out of our belongings.
50. Someone once threw me a small, brown, hairy kiwi fruit, and I threw a wastebasket over it until it was dead.
51. Thanks to my mother, not a single cardboard box has found its way back into society. We receive gifts in boxes from stores that went out of business twenty years ago.
52. There is nothing more miserable in the world than to arrive in paradise and look like your passport photo.
53. When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he’s doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911.
54. Why would anyone steal a shopping cart? It’s like stealing a two-year-old.
55. The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.
56. A friend will tell you she saw your old boyfriend – and he’s a priest.
57. In two decades I’ve lost a total of 789 pounds. I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.
58. How come anything you buy will go on sale next week?
59. I’ve exercised with women so thin that buzzards followed them to their cars.
60. Humorists can never start to take themselves seriously. It’s literary suicide.