“Erma-titis.” I’ve got it. Bad.
It’s a total self-diagnosis. A few hundred people get it around this time of April, about every two years.
“I really can’t tell that you are excited…” — My husband
From the moment I started reading newspapers in the morning — so, basically, many moons ago — I’d always read Erma Bombeck’s column. When I was a local columnist, and a reader wrote that I reminded her of “a young Erma Bombeck,” my heart soared and my ego inflated! Someone compared me to Erma! Whoa!
So this week I get to fulfill a dream and attend the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, affectionately called, “Going to Erma.”
“He who laughs … Lasts.” — Erma Bombeck
It dawned on me that I am probably not the only conference attendee who is feeling like they are going to explode from excitement. And, though I have been to other workshops, “Going to Erma” is a first for me. But I have a confession to make: I am suffering from a terrible case of “Erma-titis.”
No, don’t be afraid! It’s not life-threatening or even itchy.
It’s just that my brain is focused on nothing other than the upcoming workshop.
“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” — Erma Bombeck
My dear loved ones are probably losing their minds. I am sure they are sick of hearing about it. And I’m sure they are tired of the brain fog that is — well, let’s say it’s pretty dense. But now that I have a diagnosis, symptoms will be easier to manage.
The Top 10 Symptoms of “Erma-titis:”
• You forget to pull something out of the freezer for dinner. Again.
• You wonder why the puppy/cat/kids stare you down. Hint: food bowls are empty.
• You forget half the items on your grocery list.
• You forget the grocery list.
• You pre-schedule your work’s social media posts for the conference dates. More than once. In a day. Truth. (Note to the boss: Don’t worry, I fixed it!!!!!!!!!)
• You pack and repack your luggage (in your head) for days.
• You realize at 3 a.m. that you have nothing decent to pack.
• You call and confirm your travel reservations. More than once. In a day. (Side note: The nice young lady who answered the phone each time was quite pleasant and super non-judge-y!)
• Your head is in the clouds, and your flight hasn’t even left yet.
But wait! There’s more!
The number one clue that you have “Erma-titis” is…
Everything in your immediate life has become a “Before Erma” and “After Erma” moment!
“Can I get my hair cut Before Erma?” and “We’ll order the new couch After Erma.” Or, “We’ll try that new restaurant After Erma.” And, “I’m not sure I can do lunch Before Erma.” And, “If I order this now, do you think it’ll arrive Before Erma?” And, “How big will the puppy be After Erma?”
The only cure for these symptoms is to attend the workshop.
So, to my wonderful family — especially my husband, who hears about me “Going to Erma” more than anyone else in the world — thank you! Thanks so much for putting up with all the Before Erma and After Erma moments. Thanks for encouraging me in this venture; for supporting my dream to write.
“There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, ‘Yes, I’ve got dreams, of course I’ve got dreams.’ Then they put the box away and bring it out once in awhile to look in it, and yep, they’re still there.” – Erma Bombeck
“Erma-titis” has consumed me. From what I understand, though, the cure is miraculous! Stupendous! Life-changing! And more!
And I promise to reveal it all — After Erma! 😊
“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’.” — Erma Bombeck
— Lynne Cobb
Lynne Cobb is a metro Detroit freelance writer, with articles, essays and blog posts featured in major and local dailies; national and niche magazines; and various websites, such as Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, HuffPost50 and Midlife Boulevard. She is also published in the popular anthology Feisty after 45 — The Best Blogs from Midlife Women. Keep up with Lynne and her “Midlife Random Ramblings” at https://lynnecobb.com.