Thursday, March 7, 2013

Epic Mom Book Review

Epic Mom:
Failing Every Day a Little Bit More Than You

Marianne Walsh always puts a smile on my face whether it is on her blog or in her new book, Epic Mom, coauthored with Julie R. Harrison. Why would I review this book here? First of all, Marianne comments on this blog--she is a blogging social media friend. For some time she has been reading this blog and I finally caught on and started to follow hers. (See link at the right for her blog.)

The editor of the Chicago Parent Magazine where Marianne has a column, Tamara L. O’Shaughnessy, writes:
The ability to find humor while riding shot-gun with lunacy is what sustains many parents, and Marianne details the comic glory of it all in Epic Mom. . . . Perfection is not attainable. We all know that on some level. But who has the guts to actually admit their faults and failures to the world? Marianne Walsh and Julie Harrison, that’s who. (p. 2)

Co-author Julie writes as MOV in the book. I was thinking about reviewing this book on Amazon as I have for other books, and I noticed that both MOV and Marianne have reviewed their own book on Amazon!  Hmm!  Their reviews are just part of the edgy, tacky fun in the book. You will not at all be bored with the book even if you are not a mom.  I have been reading this book when I have free moments while substitute teaching and it has prompted me to write funny notes to the regular teacher about his/her students.

Let me tell you a bit about Marianne’s part of the book and an example of how I identified. Both of us want our husband to be romantic. Marianne's husband says that "being married is like having a boss." (p. 38) I wanted a romantic statement when I interviewed my husband earlier on this blog and he said what he likes about me is that I feed him. Neither one of us get roses, etc., although Marianne was delighted to get a new computer chair. Only once when I was first engaged to my husband I got roses delivered to my school in Miami. Then a Valentine's Day after we had moved into our home, hubby got me an automatic garage door opener. I taught in public school then in this area and was interviewed by the high school news about my romantic gift. The youth who interviewed me didn't think a garage door opener was very romantic, but actually it has been wonderful to just drive into the garage and unload groceries so I can "feed" my husband. I think we have a theme going here in my marriage that extends even into our Alzheimer's period. I like finding things to chuckle about and Marianne is a master at that. Life can be too serious.

There are other similarities, but the hilarities of this book are what I want to feature here. Do not miss, and I repeat, do not miss her footnotes in the book. You will crack up. Marianne's wit and imagination far surpass Roseanne Barr or any other comedienne that I can think of (and I cannot think of many, you understand).

I love Marianne's adventures de-cluttering her closet, her angst about her carpet and making a "library" for herself. The carpenter calls it a "mud room" and she has to correct him that it is her "library'. Her three sons in 40 months had to stop and either she or her hubby got fixed, not sure who, but these sons were intruding on her bathroom time and she was totally a hoot writing about it. Near the end of the book she writes about her previous single life in the corporate world in the chapter "Back When I Was a Real Person Who Peed Alone".

Elementary school teachers need to read her book as she humorously writes about communications from the three schools her three sons attend and science projects. On Valentine's Day she couldn't send candy with her sons to public schools (she is fond of Reese's Pieces I think) and she bought pencils instead at Target. While at Target, another mother from her neighborhood said to her, "Well, I hope the kids enjoy their writing utensils. It's simply another reason I prefer the Catholic School System. Candy is not our enemy, Satan is." (p. 315) Then Marianne writes:
The exchange stayed with me all day. The continuous eviction of anything remotely fun from the public school system has left me dispirited. Even non-religious holidays are often re-named to avoid offending anyone. . . . Fed-up, I brought up the Catholic school option to my husand that evening. For a person known for her frugality, my desire to spend money on schooling instantly aroused my husband's suspicions. He started questioning my motives. . . .
Finally about 20 minutes of debate, he suddenly remembered my penchant for pilfering our darling children's Reese's Pieces. "Marianne, this is about the candy, isn't it?" (p. 315)
Love this book, Epic Mom.

If we can all find humor in life, we don't have to feel sorry for ourselves and take ourselves too seriously. I totally get imperfection. I wrote about my imperfection in Getting Off the Niceness Treadmill, and show you my horrible housekeeping when I post about The House That Cleans Itself on this blog. So many Christians I think have to show their perfect sides all the time. But grace doesn't have to do that.

Marianne talks about sibling rivalry with her sister in her book and perhaps I have some also with my brothers. "Don’t you have any shame?" my rocket scientist brother remarked recently about my YouTube talk on The House That Cleans Itself. My satellite scientist brother just said the talk was too long. (I find if difficult to stop talking when I am supposed to at Toastmasters.) I guess if you are a scientist you have to be perfect and I do think my younger, taller brothers are perfect, mind you. I just know I am not and am so glad that Jesus Christ died for my imperfections. Here is what one Christian comic said about sin.
From Facebook Posting

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