Your Memoir

If you were to write a memoir, what would it contain? First, let me define “memoir.” The Oxford Dictionary states that a memoir is, “a biography written from personal knowledge.” O“an essay on a learned subject.”

When I think of a memoir, I envision a thick book just filled with pages upon pages of life events written by someone notable. (Think Bill Clinton’s My Life or Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes.) Since I haven’t turned forty yet, it seems premature to write a biographical memoir.

But an essay on a learned subject? Well! Now that is doable.

Yet, there are a multitude of learned subjects I would love to discuss in my memoir. I can’t help but feel limiting it to only one subject would be withholding crucial life lessons that could aid my readers. What if the below tidbits dramatically change your life? So, at risk of breaking all literary convention, I present you with The Underground Writer’s Memoir.

Baking powder and baking soda are two entirely different things. Ask my family. They learned this brutal truth several Sundays ago when I tried to make pancakes from scratch. The recipe called for baking powder. In my hasty, caffeine infused rush, I accidentally used baking soda. Twice. (Since I tossed the first batch after my husband and daughter said the pancakes tasted acidic … and resembled amoebas.)

Don’t be fooled by the song, “Send In The Clowns” by Judy Collins. You may think this is a peppy tune since the word “clown” is in the title. Trust me, it’s not peppy. There is no circus music, as one might expect. In fact, it just might be the most depressing song in the history of music. Whatever you do, DON’T put this song in the music queue for your child’s birthday. Unless you want to curl up into a ball and sob your eyes out, I recommend staying away from the song altogether.

Not everyone finds the surgery you had as fascinating as you do. When I was fourteen, my parents invited friends over for dinner. The man brought the video of his recent cataract surgery. He really thought we wanted to watch it. Out of kindness we did, but it was such an awkward moment: sitting in the living room, the taste of dessert still fresh on our tongues, as we watched this guy’s eyeball get stitched back together.

No one can prepare you for how insanely difficult it is to be a parent. I’m not referring to such incidents as your teenager having an attitude, or your eight your old who still refuses to eat anything green. I am talking about that deep, penetrating ache you feel when your child comes home from school and says they spent recess alone, again. Or that suffocating panic when the pediatrician calls with test results they find concerning. As Erma Bombeck so eloquently stated, “Having children is forever deciding to have your heart go walking outside your body.”

While these life lessons aren’t exactly groundbreaking or revelational, if they help a part of your day be a bit easier, then my memoir of lessons learned was an (unpublished) success .

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18 thoughts on “Your Memoir

  1. You just had to use McCourt and Clinton in the same comparison. 😉 Keep writing the memoirs, my friend. It could be that the masses will want to read them some day. (Some of us already do!) But those children that you speak of will definitely enjoy your words long after you’re gone.

  2. So, I had to pull up that depressing song because I realized I hadn’t listened to it in a long time. Thanks for that, thanks a lot 😉

    Also– I can’t imagine writing only ONE memoir. Pretty sure there has to be one for every year of this crazy life. It’s like an epic never-ending series (think: Star Wars) and after our deaths our audience can carry on with their fan fiction.

  3. Thank you for the reminder of that horribly sad song…I’ve not heard it in forever and now feel the need to listen to it. I’ll try and hold off though, until I feel I could use a good cry. Love your memoir ideas…I think this should become a regular series of yours.

    • “Send in the Clowns” is a perfect song for when you feel sorry for yourself and just want to take it to the next level. (“I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt is next on my list. When I hear that in the grocery store my eyes well up. And I have someone who loves me!)

      I am thrilled you like the memoir idea. I will certainly consider another addition – hopefully it won’t take 36 years to come up with my next list!

  4. Thanks A LOT Ladies….
    “morning will come and I’ll do what’s right,
    just give me til then to give up this fight…”
    WOW, I always thought I was the ONLY one….
    hugs! Keep up the good stuff.

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