Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm A Loser, Baby

Some of my favorite devastatingly talented blog pals and I recently entered the 2010 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition, Humor Category - Global. I’ll kill the suspense right here for you: None of us won. Not even one Honorable Mention among us.

The thing is, we rocked the Erma hard, running our usual deals through an Erma-fied filter. Today we present our Festival of Failure. (Cue applause)

Read the glorious losing entries of:
Wendi Aarons of Wendi Aarons
Ann Imig of Ann's Rants
Anna Lefler of Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder
She didn't enter this particular writer race, but Jennifer Sutton of These Are Days had some lovely things to say about Ms. Bombeck, the original mommy blogger.

Here is my loser entry. Enjoy.

The Trade
by Lisa Page Rosenberg

I was a tidy single person. By “tidy,” I mean that my obsessive orderliness bordered on pathological. By “bordered,” I mean I combed the fringe out on my area rugs three times a day. The shirts in my closet were arranged by color and sleeve length. I used a lint roller every morning on the cat. When friends were coming over I would purposely mess something up in my apartment so that I would not seem crazy, of course proving the exact opposite.

Then, I got married. To a man. Something changed. By “something," I mean everything. While I was thrilled when I realized that my sweet husband could fit all of his worldly possessions into the trunk of a Honda Civic, I had not anticipated how time consuming it would be to find just the right place in our d├ęcor for a Smithsonian-worthy collection of Star Wars action figures and 28 pit-stained rock band t-shirts. Luckily, he found my compulsive habits (mostly) amusing. I eased up a little. I replaced the rugs with new, fringe-less ones. He started hanging his damp towels back on the rod. We were in love. We worked it out.

Then, we had a baby boy. These baby types require a good amount of gear. By “good amount,” I mean our living room suddenly took on the appearance of a cyclone ravaged Toys R Us. Over time, I adapted to living in a baby blue landfill. I developed new coping systems involving daily schedules and baby wipes that we purchased by the palette. I eased up some more. I stopped re-caulking the bathtub every month. My spice cabinet fell out of alphabetical order. I was mostly all right with that. The baby had dimples and a throaty laugh. My label maker sat unused in the drawer.

Then, our little guy started potty training. By “potty training,” I mean he did a free fall with his business whenever the need arose. We played games called “Please Tell Me That’s Just Chocolate In Your Hair,” and “No, I Mean It, Where Is That Smell Coming From?” My china bowls filled with potpourri were replaced by economy-sized bottles of industrial disinfectant. Our little man was growing up and we got to help. I stopped moving the heavy furniture every time I vacuumed.

I have traded in the loneliness of pristine linoleum for a home with signs of life and a bottomless sink of dirty dishes. I am happy about it. By “happy,” I mean really, really happy.


  1. *applause applause* Got here by way of Anna's loser of a blog. How nice that you all formed this little community of losers. May I join? You rocked that entry. Shame on the uptight judges in Centerville, OH.

  2. I love this!

    And by "love," I mean that as soon as I finish tormenting the sofa with my crevice tool, I'm gonna give you a big ol' hug.

    :-D Anna

  3. We're going to play "Please tell me that's just chocolate in your hair" the whole time we're in Dayton.

    And I'm gonna win.

  4. When I met Husband, he prided himself that he could pack everything he owned into his Honda.

    No, not in boxes, just willy freakin nilly -one shoe on the dash, on in the trunk etc...

    IF ONLY I had your talents to counteract his.

  5. I'm sure (cough) those judges are (cough) fine people but I just heard Erma turning in her grave.
    I love this and it should have won.
    You are amazing and I'm going to go read all your devastatingly funny friends work now.
    I strive to have an organized closet.

  6. Great post!

    An acquaintance dropped by unexpectedly one day and came in the house, which was littered with the debris of four kids. When I apologized for the mess, she said, "It's ok. Your house looks like a fun place to live." I wanted to hug her. At some point in my life, I will have a pristine home again. But for now I'll enjoy the mess.

  7. Wow. I sort of feel lucky I never had to adjust that much.

  8. thank you for this. I feel so normal I'm going off my meds immediately

  9. ***My spice cabinet fell out of alphabetical order.***

    That line really made me laugh. Very funny piece.

  10. dude, that last line made me mist up a little!

  11. Bravo! I'm here via Anna Lefler. Great job on the Erma essay. Very funny.

    And, now I'm a follower. So you won a consolation prize, right? ;-)

  12. I am also here via Anna Lefler, whom I adore. And your piece made me laugh out loud, so now I adore you too. You know, in a non-stalker-y kind of way.

  13. Hey, I am one of the winners, and I loved this! We have to stick together! Keep on blogging, and I will be back! molly