WHAT: Undercover report from Erma Bombeck Writing Conference
WHERE: Dayton, Ohio
WHEN: Thursday, April 15, 11 p.m.
WHY: These bitches are crazy with a capital K.
So I sign up for the Erma Bombeck Writing Conference last December because I love Erma Bombeck and I think "Hey, maybe I can learn something. Like how to write." but what I really think is "Hey, maybe there will be a famous author there I can stalk!" and it turns out there is! Christian Lander, who writes the blog "Stuff White People Like" and wrote his book by the same name from the blog, is here. And I will find him. Oh yes. Yes I will. Photo soon.
Erma was a trailblazer. She wrote about how being a housewife can be a real pain in the ass, way back in the day when everyone wanted to be June Cleaver and Doris Day. While that kind of thinking is very commonplace today, Erma was taking a real risk saying it back in the 1960's. Women smiled, wore dresses and heels and full makeup to do laundry, kept the kids clean and orderly and gave Hubby a drink when he walked in the door to the smell of roast. Erma said, "No one ever died from an unmade bed". That's the kind of thinking I can get behind.
You go, Erma!
So I check in at the conference, and it turns out IT ISN'T ABOUT WRITING AT ALL. It's about actually BEING Erma Bombeck. We spent the first hour getting our 1960's name and polyester house dresses and giving each other bouffant hairdos. We were seated, and told that the winner from the weekend would get to continue writing her column in the Dayton Daily Tribune and do her adult children's laundry. My name for the conference is Donna Farlowe.
We then had a "Family Bitch-Off", where we were supposed to complain about our families and how our teenagers all had attitude and just want the keys to the car. I thought I was in the running for the win, but Florence Miller took the prize by loudly complaining about how her husband doesn't do anything around the house and always wants to climb into her twin bed for "relations".
I would've been okay with Florence's win, but when she walked past my table, she looked down at me through blue shadowed lids, flipped her frosted hair and said, "And that's how we do it in Akron, bitch. And? Your shoes and purse don't match." Everyone at our table looked at me and said, "Ooooh!" I looked down at my bridge hand and muttered, "I'll Erma your Bombeck, Florence Miller, just you wait." And then, when she was trying to subtly pull up her nylons, I slipped a tab of LSD into her Tom Collins. When I last saw Florence, she was naked and singing the chorus from "Hair". And THAT's how we do it in the Quad Cities, FLO.
I have to get to bed, because in the morning we are fresh-squeezing orange juice and doing Anita Bryant impressions, the Jello mold competition should be a killer (to grape or not to grape?), and I still need to put rollers in my hair.
I'll try to report tomorrow night, but I think we have a "mixer" until 11:30 p.m.