Why "I'm Not Complaining"
How this Substack got its name, plus other things that are amusing me today
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Now, on with the ‘stack!
Am I Not Complaining?
In 1965, Dan Greenburg wrote a slim book entitled How To Be A Jewish Mother. Even at the age of ten, I knew that I would never be a Jewish mother, but I definitely had one, and I wanted to know the secrets.
Instead of giving me the secrets of Jewish motherhood, this book turned out to be one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Identification is a beautiful thing. Discovering that my mother, my aunt Leonie, and my grandma were not the only women in the world who behaved like that and that I wasn’t the only male who reacted the way I did - you know how it feels to have a weight lifted from your shoulders that you didn’t even know you were carrying?
The chapter titles explain a lot. They include:
Making Guilt Work
The Technique of Basic Suffering
Sale Merchandise Costs Less
And so forth. A lot of it is dated - there have been a couple of new generations since this little gem was published - but as I always say (maybe not always, but frequently), styles change, but principles never do.
So, nu, what’s that got to do with naming your substack?
One of the many laughs I had from Greenburg’s opus, and one that has stuck in my head for over half a century, was this item in the glossary:
So I’m not either.
Other things that are amusing me today
There’s a commercial on the radio for cold-water laundry detergent that features Ice-T and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Cold, get it? So maybe Hulk Hogan can open a chain of sandwich shops called Hogan’s Heros.
If you’re under 60, ask your dad.
I promise the next edition will not have any Dad jokes.
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"Making Guilt Work"
"The Technique of Basic Suffering"
"Sale Merchandise Costs Less"
those titles are absolutely hilarious
Appropriate mother topic....
Yet, the older I get the more I am turning into her