Day 15 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I got Erma Bombeck’s lessons on blogging for Mother’s Day! Originally I’d planned to wrap up my series on the 4I’s of Transformational Leadership today, but when my sweet, supportive hubby treated his aspiring author/beginner blogger wife to see the one woman play, Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End based on Bombeck’s newspaper syndicate of the same name, I knew the series finale could wait. With amazing seats, I sat spellbound as Barbara Chisholm, the actress who played Bombeck channeled her and made me realize Erma Bombeck could very well be credited as being the original mom blogger. She was the first woman to write about the trials, joys, and bittersweet journey of being a woman, wife, mother, and ultimately a columnist. And she wrote about balancing all of these with a career that eventually included being a sought after speaker, television personality, and activist. Sound like any of the popular mom bloggers we know today? As a captive audience, we laughed, cried, and fully engaged in the play and then thanked Ms. Chisolm and Erma Bombeck with a standing ovation that lasted several minutes.
Following the powerful performance, as the audience began to clear out, we were invited to stay for a Q & A session with the actress and production director. Most of the questions centered around preparing for the part and playing it. Mine asked what, if any, attendance had At Wit’s End had from female bloggers considering Bombeck’s column running in 900 newspapers across the United Stated could be likened to a blogger having a huge social medium platform and following. Ms. Chisholm responded by saying it was a great question and then confirmed the show has had good attendance from writers, though she didn’t speak to blogger attendance specifically. Afterwards, as Ms. Chisolm exited the stage, I clasped her hand and thanked her for a lovely Mother’s Day. She returned the sentiment and said I was sweet. I felt then it would probably be one of those special moments I’ll always remember. You know the feeling – those moments that further define you…
As my husband and I stood outside adjusting our meal plans to accommodate the fact that at least some of the children could now join us for dinner, I decided I’d go back into the theater to use the restroom before making the trek to the car. As I headed for the stairs, out comes Ms. Chisolm with her pretty, dark hair combed out from the pin curls that held it up beneath her costume wig. The warmth of our mutual greeting confirmed that we’d indeed bonded a bit back there. She asked if I was a writer and when I answered affirmatively, she exclaimed, “I knew you were. I could tell.” Wow! She asked what I write besides a blog (of course), and was genuinely interested when I shared my first novel is being edited for publication. Her interest seemed genuine because she first asked the title (Seasons of Her Soul), and then for a business card so she could watch for it. Next she inquired where I lived, and found it cool that I’m not too far south of Dayton, Ohio, Erma’s hometown. She’s from Texas. Had it not been for the newly laid Mother’s Day plans, we were heading in the direction of having a meal together. That would have been so awesome, but wasn’t to be. My husband did snap a picture for us. Now I know I’ll always remember…A deep connection, a kindred spirit, a defining moment…”You made my Mother’s Day lovely,” we told one another again as we parted.
Today, I went to see a play on Erma Bombeck’s life as a writer. It was a gift from my husband, but it was also a strategic plan on my part. I knew there were blogging lessons to be learned from Erma Bombeck and I expected to have a meaningful experience, so I was being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose in that regard. The added gift of meeting the dynamic one woman dynamo who brought those blogging lessons to life on the stage was an unexpected gift. A blogging lessons blessing.