So some of you may not have ever really read anything by my heroes. You know how much I admire Dr.Suess, aka Theodore Geisel. Well, he is lovely, but he isn't the subject today.
Today we're going to talk about the funny ladies of the world. Specifically the moms. Erma Bombeck is a woman I have always deeply admired. She and her compatriots in comedy, made it okay to laugh about being a mom and a wife, and not just a stepford clone. We could tell the world about yelling at our kids and chill about it, and no one minded. Hell, most of them got journalism awards and Emmies. I am pretty damn sure that when Erma wrote,"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," that no one called the police. In fact, I'll bet that was published in her weekly column and repeated on network television on Good Morning America, and guess what? No one even freaked on her and called Children's Aid. Like twenty years before blogs were invented, and everything!
What's that you say? Oh, that she wasn't infertile, she didn't realize how preshuuss her kids were and that's why she made fun of them?! Yeah, except that she was infertile, and her first child, a daughter, was adopted after they got the news, and her next two boys came as a surprise to her fertility doctor. And her I'm betting.
And she still wrote, "Children should be judged on what they are - a punishment for an early marriage."
But she was sane, right? She didn't have ADD like me, or bipolar illness like certain other moms, or post-partum depression. Weeeellll, except that actually she did have post-partum depression, and way back in the seventies, when nobody on earth was talking about it, she wrote a book on it. Here are some more bits of her writing I like. You should definitely read page 18. Honestly, it's like a manual for mommyblogging. Frankly, that exact column, "Motherhood - Love and Laughter" is the reason I blog. Because if I wasn't making fun of them, I would lose my fucking mind as I flush yet another toilet full of shit, that some mysterious almost teenage boy forgot to dispose of on his own. (You know how you think that when they are toilet trained, you are done dealing with their poop? Nope... every.damn.day.)
(Did I mention that I like to swear?)
(Fuckin A alright baby!)
It really does make me sad that we just don't seem to have that kind of humour nowadays. Everyone seems just so determined to be the perfect professional parent that no one is allowed to make a joke unless it involves puppies or kittens, or muffin recipes. I tried to talk about how I gave ground up adult food to the baby and was just being a whatever mom about feeding the kid, and I discover that you overanxious new mommies have given it a bloody name? And there are books, to take all the slacker fun out of it? Helllooo? What's next? I'm afraid to even guess.... Someday Sarah Silverman will have babies, and please God I pray that she makes fun of her kids and makes videos ridiculing them! Please? Please God?
I love Carol Burnett, and Lucille Ball, and Lily Tomlin, Bette Midler, Roseanne Barr, Gilda Radner, Brett Butler, Jennifer Saunders, and Dawn French. And lots of them made jokes about wanting to strangle their children and yell at them, and guess what? Not only did they rarely get scolded, and certainly no one on the planet ever accused them of abuse, but surprise, they got PAID for it.
Just like a lot of mommybloggers do.
In all seriousness, if there is anyone in the blogosphere who does not know what I am referring to, just go here and here. I agree with Tertia and Cecily on this one as you might have guessed. I am not linking to the original woman involved, because she wants the linking to end, but I do support her and hope she is okay. And I wrote this, because I wanted her to know that she didn't need to apologize to me or anyone else, IMHO. Erma never did, so fuck em all.
As a former abuse victim, I get why some people think they need to act, but guess what asshole, you need to act when you see a child actually being abused, not when you see a random writer on the net making a joke.
But I know what you are thinking, better safe than sorry, cause hey, what about the children?
Actually they do better if they stay with their parents, even abusive ones. Concern trolling is not helpful.
Yes, yes, you are not convinced, well, let's link to The Goudge Inquiry Report. There was yet another case filed today for yet another wrongful conviction of an innocent man who disgraced pathologist Charles Smith sent to jail. The man was grieving, in total agony, and he was arrested and told that he must have killed the baby, since well, you know, babies hardly ever die on their own. Dr. Charles Smith was kind of a concern troll in a way. He assumed that if a baby died, someone must be to blame, and he was going to punish them. Any and all off-handed remarks were evidence of a killer's heart. He made up the rest from there. No, that isn't a misprint. He made up all the forensic evidence, and hid anything that would exonerate the parents.
(Did I ever mention that he tesitified all over the US? And that he admitted to making up that stuff as well? And that all over the US there are likely innocent people in jail? Maybe some of the lawyers/prosecutors reading my post might want to do a search on their records. Just in case.)
In too many cases to count, on little more than the say so of gossip, with very little forensic evidence, the grieving innocent parents were sent to jail, and their remaining children adopted out, and never ever told that their parents were forced to give them up. When the parents got out of jail, their fertility was monitored, and if they got pregnant, they were forced to either have an abortion or give the new baby up at birth.
These children's lives have been destroyed, and their parents lives were destroyed, because no one cared about actual evidence of abuse. Instead, they felt like being, you know, "better safe than sorry."
Seriously, to the grieving moms out there, if, after your baby was stillborn, or died of SIDS, or pneumonia, or heart failure, you were arrested, and called a murderer, and sent to jail, and your older kids were taken away and adopted out to possibly abusive foster parents, and you were never allowed to have another living child again; what would you do?
And if it was because of a nosy neighbour, or a tweet, or bit of gossip, or a blog, would that make it okay, cause it was better to be judgemental and safe than sorry?
I don't think so.
I'm letting Erma have the last word.
There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.