Embedded in my DNA has always been a robust humor gene that manifests itself as a precocious female humor imp. As a fan of Erma Bombeck—the late great humorist, I’ve dubbed this part of me ‘My Inner-Erma’.
When I was still working in healthcare administration, Erma was always right there with me with her lapel mic paired to my brain’s frequency. Feeling so much at home, she interjected her humorous commentary on the daily goings on a constant basis.
There were times when she was more active than others.
Certain situations were like wake words to her. For example, people catastrophizing over things that were nothing more than minutiae was sure to send her into hyperdrive.
I had to be careful not to stay in the same room with whiners because they pushed her completely over the edge. In mere seconds, she would be into full blown Tourette’s mode.
She could blurt out some of the most hilarious commentary at the most inappropriate moments.
I had to be especially vigilant when I was in Board Meetings with my doctors. On more than one occasion she caused me to snort coffee through my nose as she blindsided me with a hilarious mental image and one of her snarky zingers.
So, to risk future embarrassment, I had to stop bringing any kind of beverages into the conference room with me. I had no choice; I had to. Bless their hearts, my precious physicians gave her so much material to work with.
Lawdy Mercy! I could I do a whole comedy special with just the things she interjected at the annual year-end Partners’ Meeting.
Each December—like clockwork—the doctors shuffled into the conference room and took their seats. At the appointed time, they all looked down at the table, winced, and braced themselves for what they thought might follow.
Breaking the uncomfortable silence, Dr. Methuselah made his dreaded announcement that rather than retiring—as he repeatedly promised he would do—he was going to work ‘just one more year’.
It was a real Night Of The Living Dead moment. Grumpy Cuss MD kept resurrecting. He simply would NOT go away.
The agony of the other partners was palpable. They were able to silence the guttural groans, but their disgusted looks made for great Kodak moments.
I suppose they thought that I wanted Dr. Methuselah to stay on (which I did NOT!). What else could they conclude from the reflexive grin that would appear on my face.
What they didn’t know was that Erma was narrating the scene, casting these docs as recurring skit characters, and reducing their dialogue into SNL-worthy sound bites.
The coffee snorting incidents notwithstanding, I think I did a pretty good job of keeping Erma’s existence under wraps in those meetings. And since I was the only one who could actually hear her, I don’t think anyone was the wiser.
But oh, had they ever seen the contents of the speech bubble appearing over my head, I would have been shown the door—‘with the quickness’.
That was then—and this is now. At this point in my life, I’m tired. And since I’ve decided to retire early, I see no reason to keep fighting with Erma.
In other words, I give … she wins. No longer will I sandbox her and try to silence her commentary. Rather, I’m giving her the mic and paying attention to everything she has to say.
These days, I’ve ditched the suits in lieu of denim and flip flops. I’m lettin’-her-rip. I’m fully embracing my humor. You know … growing my flame …owning my mojo. Tee hee.
Liz Ryan of LinkedIn would be so proud of me—except for the fact that I deleted my LinkedIn profile—trashing thousand of professional contacts with one click of the mouse.
Oh yes I did!
Here’s the way I see things. Life is short, and despite what anyone else does, I am kicking back and taking the time to laugh. Laugh at myself … laugh at my career … laugh at my mistakes … laugh at my marriage—and anything else that tickles my funny bone.
None of us are getting any younger, you know. Might as well enjoy life while we can. I have it on good authority that none of us are getting out of here alive.
Usually, a lady never divulges her age, but I’ll give you a pretty good clue … Classic Rock from the 80’s was my jam—you do the math. In other words, I’ve hopscotched a few ticks to the right on the number line—and I’ve got the gray hair to prove it.
Um, Hello? Snap to it, y’all. This is the where you’re supposed to gasp … grab your chest .. and exclaim that I don’t look anywhere near my age.
Sorry, but I’ve gotta run, y’all. I have a bit of damage control to do.
Yesterday, while watering the lawn and chatting with my new next door neighbor, Erma piped up and asked when her baby was due. Yep, you guessed it … she isn’t pregnant. Oy vey!
Talk at ya later. Y’all have a nice day.