What Would Erma Do?

bombeck-writers-workshopIn preparation for my trip to the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, I scheduled a number of appointments so I could put my best face/hair/nails forward.

Of course this workshop is all about being with a community of other funny women (and a few guys) and not at all about what you look like, what you’re wearing, or whether or not certain parts of you have been bedazzled. Still, you don’t want to show up with the hair on your legs so long that the other workshop attendees mistake you for a Yeti. So, while a little pre-conference maintenance is not mandatory, it can certainly be appreciated.

2454444_c44d739aHaving been away the week before, I only had three days to accomplish all my grooming goals. So I scheduled my manicure for day one, my waxing for day two, and my haircut for day three.

And then Mother Nature forced me to change my departure plans.

With scattered thunderstorms scheduled for the day of my flight, I realized I needed to move my flight up a day to ensure I got to the workshop on time.

While this was all good in theory and made a lot of sense so I would arrive without the possibility of lightning striking my plane, it did create a problem for my grooming schedule.

New flight = no haircut.

If you don’t happen to be familiar with my hair, it is short and a little spiky. It looks pretty good when it is just the right length, but when it gets just a little too long, I look like a Chia Pet.


In case you are wondering, looking like a Chia Pet is not really an improvement over looking like a Yeti.

Of course, if I kept my original flight, I got my haircut, and my plane DID get hit by lightning, I would end up looking like a Chia Pet anyway, so you could see how this could potentially be a no-win situation.

Still, I wondered if there was a way to have my cake and frost it too (I don’t eat cake, so I needed to make this idiom work).

That’s when I decided to cut my own hair.

I had seen my hair stylist do this a bajillion times, and while I appreciate the skill she brings to the job, I thought, if I went slow and didn’t get the hiccups in the middle of the haircut, I could probably do it myself.

… And it is this line of thinking that generally causes empires to fall.

I could see that there were a couple of ways this could result in a haircut gone horribly wrong and I could end up looking like this:


2527019d2ea768b2767ece3edeeafcf2Or this: Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 12.11.03 PM

Or worse yet, this:

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 12.11.48 PM

Still, I’m nothing if not a risk taker (sometimes I wash my whites and my colors together!), so I decided to go for it.

All was going well, until the unthinkable happened.

I was in mid-snip… when I sneezed.

It was not the kind of sneeze that you feel coming on and you can prepare for. It was the kind of sneeze that is totally unexpected and, when it happens to you in a car, causes you to drive into a tree.

And so I sneezed and snipped a big hole in my hair.

This was the kind of thing that not even a well-seasoned stylist could cover. It was the kind of thing not even a Donald Trump hair sweep could cover. It was a gopher hole in the front of my face.

Now, in the Bombeck community, when faced with a dilemma, we often ask ourselves, “If confronted with the same situation, What Would Erma Do?”

As I stared at my bald spot in the bathroom mirror, I decided Erma would stand up straight, look herself in the eye, and say, “This doesn’t change who I am. It’s going to be OK.”

And then she would run out and buy a baseball cap.

©2016, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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6 responses to “What Would Erma Do?

  1. imnotasupermom

    You look great and I hardly noticed the bald spot. Honestly, it’s barely perceptible! 😉

    As for WWED, she would definitely laugh it off and have a great time with the people who love her at the conference. So happy to see you! xo

    • Now here I go lecturing about responding to comments right away and it took me 7 days to respond to you. I was distracted by having too much fun actually hanging out with you!!

  2. No baseball cap required. I think you hair looks awesome. For that matter, so are you: inside and out. If I were you, I’d keep my money in my wallet and the scissors on the counter.

  3. I didn’t notice that bald patch, Tracy. But I was so intent of soaking up your message at the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop, I didn’t have time to notice that minor detail. What a fabulous experience it was, and I especially enjoyed meeting and talking with you.