Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Erma Bombeck, fully Erma Louise Bombeck, born Erma Fiste

American Writer, Humorist, Newspaper Columnist, Best-selling Book Author

"It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else."

"Children make your life important. "

"Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving. "

"A friend will tell you she saw your old boyfriend - and he's a priest."

"A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween."

"A kitchen without an ironing board? Are you kidding? It's un-American. It's like Simon without Garfunkel."

"After twenty-two years of marriage, we had outgrown the challenge of making something out of nothing. The nesting instincts just weren't there anymore. I no longer hyperventilated over a melon keeper that I bought at a Tupperware party. I now worshipped at the shrine of convenience and Sara Lee. Bill no longer rushed home to make bird houses in the basement. He wanted to sleep in his BarcaLounger so he wouldn't be so tired when he went to bed."

"All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them."

"A child needs your love most when he deserves it least"

"A child develops individuality long before he discovers taste"

"A child develops individuality long before he develops taste. I have seen my kid straggle into the kitchen in the morning with outfits that need only one accessory -- an empty bottle of gin."

"A friend never defends a husband who gets his wife an electric skillet for her birthday."

"A friend doesn't go on a diet because you are fat."

"Anybody who watches three games of football in a row should be declared brain dead."

"As a child, my number one best friend was the librarian in my grade school. I actually believed all those books belonged to her."

"As a graduate of the Zsa Zsa Gabor School of Creative mathematics, I honestly do not know how old I am"

"Be nice to your kids. They'll choose your nursing home."

"But some emotions don't make a lot of noise. It's hard to hear pride. Caring is real faint - like a heartbeat. And pure love why, some days it's so quiet, you don't even know it's there."

"Car designers are just going to have to come up with an automobile that outlasts the payments."

"Before you try to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they're not trying to keep up with you."

"And God said, "Have you read the specs on this order?" She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts...all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.""

"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."

"But tough!" said God excitedly. "You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.""

"Children make your life important."

"Cats invented self-esteem."

"Children should be judged on what they are -- a punishment for an early marriage."

"Cleanliness is not next to godliness. It isn't even in the same neighborhood. No one has ever gotten a religious experience out of removing burned-on cheese from the grill of the toaster oven."

"Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone?"

"Do you know what you call those who use towels and never wash them, eat meals and never do the dishes, sit in rooms they never clean, and are entertained till they drop? If you have just answered, "A house guest," you're wrong because I have just described my kids."

"Don't tell me about the scientific advances of the twentieth century. So men are planning a trip to the moon. So computers run every large industry in America. So body organs are being transplanted like perennials. Big deal! You show me a washer that will launder a pair of socks and return them to you as a pair, and I'll light a firecracker."

"Dreams have but one owner at a time. That is why dreamers are lonely."

"Don't confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other."

"Education is so important when it comes to domesticity. I don't know why no one ever thought to paste a label on the toilet tissue spindle giving 1-2-3 directions for replacing the tissue on it. Then everyone in the house would know what Mama knows."

"Enter my first neighbor - a woman who spoke in complete, coherent sentences, who ate with a knife and fork and who only cried at weddings. I couldn't help myself. In a dramatic gesture, I bolted the door and threw my body across it to prevent her exit. She understood."

"Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what."

"Everyone is guilty at one time or another of throwing out questions that beg to be ignored, but mothers seem to have a market on the supply. Do you want a spanking or do you want to go to bed? Don't you want to save some of the pizza for your brother? Wasn't there any change?"

"Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek."

"Families aren't easy to join. They're like an exclusive country club where membership makes impossible demands and the dues for an outsider are exorbitant."

"Family life got better and we got our car back - as soon as we put "I love Mom" on the license plate."

"For years my wedding ring has done its job. It has led me not into temptation. It has reminded my husband numerous times at parties that it's time to go home. It has been a source of relief to a dinner companion. It has been a status symbol in the maternity ward."

"Friends are "annuals" that need seasonal nurturing to bear blossoms. Family is a "perennial" that comes up year after year, enduring the droughts of absence and neglect. There's a place in the garden for both of them."

"For some of us, watching a miniseries that lasts longer than most marriages is not easy."

"Getting out of the hospital is a lot like resigning from a book club. You're not out of it until the computer says you're out of it."

"Giving birth is little more than a set of muscular contractions granting passage of a child. Then the mother is born."

"God created man, but I could do better."

"God," said the angel touching his sleeve gently, "Get some rest tomorrow....""

"Good kids are like sunsets. We take them for granted. Every evening they disappear. Most parents never imagine how hard they try to please us, and how miserable they feel when they think they have failed."

"Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-raising, they are unemployed."

"Grandmas defy description. They really do. They occupy such a unique place in the life of a child. They can shed the yoke of responsibility, relax, and enjoy their grandchildren in a way that was not possible when they were raising their own children. And they can glow in the realization that here is their seed of life that will harvest generations to come."

"Grandparenthood is one of life's rewards for surviving your own children."