Help America Find its Sense of Humor Again…

Dear Reader:

Don’t we all wish we could bring the hilarious “big guns” of comedy back to life right now when our country needs humor desperately in our lives? Especially the Queen of Suburban  Housewives and Common Sense…Erma Bombeck!

How we have managed to let politics intrude into our daily lives causing us such pain and discomfort…I have no answer for…but I do know that Erma Bombeck would help us see the lighter side of the “troubled waters” we are all witnessing.

This homespun comedienne brought, not only knee-slapping humor to us through her newspaper columns, books, and stand-up comedy …but she also brought wisdom based on solid virtues we “baby boomers” all grew up with…listening to our parents of the “greatest generation.”

(…Advice like” You never discuss politics, religion, or money publicly”-these are private issues discussed only with family… that wisdom would sure cut down on all the fractious polarization in our country today.)

Grandmother Wilson always reminded me that no one really cares about our opinion…it is a waste of time…instead walk the talk and stop thinking that our opinion is the only right one.




In spite of  Bombeck’s winning bright smile and quick wit….she suffered most of her adult life with polycystic  kidney disease. At 69 she had a kidney transplant and unfortunately died from transplant complications. 

It was while she was in the hospital talking with close friends one day that the discussion turned to “do-overs”… if they could change things in their life. At first Erma firmly said “No…she wouldn’t change anything” but then the quick-witted personality saw a way to even poke fun (with a little more wisdom at this concept) …as her life was slowly leaving. She wrote:

If I had my life to live over…

Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything.

My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind.

If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I’d have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten popcorn in the “good” living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.

I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television … and more while watching real life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted.

I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for a day.

I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn’t show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime.

When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more I love yous … more I’m sorrys … more I’m listenings … but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it … look at it and really see it … try it on … live it … exhaust it … and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.” ― Erma Bombeck


Think about it…even with all these mammoth problems surrounding our country today…this is our life right now…the clock is ticking…we have to learn to make the most of this time and not put off waiting for the “new normal”– since nobody knows what that is or means anyway.

Each day has got to be the best day of our lives…we must find something humorous in every day, a bit of wisdom, a way to help someone else or just bring a smile.

Yesterday I thought of three very personal positive things I can say about our “little c” coronavirus …that I am enjoying …just because I can. 🙂

I don’t have to put on make-up any more….in fact…if I am putting on a mask I definitely don’t…who is going to see my face after all? Between my mask and sunglasses…I am simply Madam X- the invisible woman- I love it!!!! I could be anybody …it is so empowering and freeing. Love those masks! 🙂

Secondly…I don’t have to change outfits except perhaps every other day ….have been known to go three…I am at home…not getting dirty…what the heck…the only time I quickly change blouses…is if one of the neighbors heads my way who has seen me in the same outfit getting the mail…or checking on my plants…and even then I am just being silly…I don’t remember what anybody else is wearing unless it is something really cute that I like.

Finally…my retired school pension and social security go a lot further these days…I am not eating out with friends like I used to do twice or thrice a week or going to the movies (though I sure miss those lunches, movies, and friends-major part of my social life!)

In fact I had “so much” *(everything is relative- even with retired teacher pensions) left over  in my daily account this month (after paying the monthly bills) that I was able to pay my car insurance and car taxes at the same time. Never been able to do both with one month’s pay stub. A true miracle! 🙂

***Okay…your turn…we are thinking positive here…if you can come up with one positive change in your life since the pandemic…please share it with all of us….We need to keep concentrating on the positive and less on the negative.

So until tomorrow….

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh




The Gazanias are going wild….a new bloom popping up each day…with such happy faces…love them!



About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Help America Find its Sense of Humor Again…

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Ditto…because of inflammation of my cornea zi am not wearing eye makeup …fewer clothes choices and more money at the end of the month…lots of talking with adult children who ate are visiting and just breathing and enjoying the different pace of life…

    • Becky Dingle says:

      That is true…I have more communication now with my children too since they all have more time and feel the need to reconnect more often…one of the best parts of this virus.

  2. We haven’t been able to travel and eat out somuch, so I paid off my cards and gave no credit card debt. I can give more now. I have lost weight, which I needed to do, because we are cooking at home. Lastly, we are not driving a lot, so fewer trips to buy gas. I have been going through my Kindle reader like a house on fire and living it. I too loved Erma Bombeck. She could make me laugh about the most mundane aspects of life. Thanks for the memories.

    • Becky Dingle says:

      These are such good “positives”….thank you so much for sharing and Happy Retirement…do rest…I think that is key to building up immunity to this disease…here in SC we have to be especially careful…since it is like wildfire around here, out of control…quite scary!

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