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If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?.
This section contains 467 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? Summary & Study Guide Description

If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? by Erma Bombeck.

Erma Bombeck tells the reader that she is a professional worrier and that she can worry about many things that other people might not consider, such as whether her daughter might marry an Eskimo who would set her adrift when she is old. She then tells the story of a lab rat named Lionel who survives all kinds of experiments but dies when he goes for a ride in the car with a teenager. Bombeck says these stories set up the rest of the book which is aimed at telling the reader about survival.

That survival ranges from enduring the growing years of her children to the realization that she is taking over the care of her mother. She talks about her husband and his tendency to be late so that she has never arrived on time for anything since their marriage. She relates the story of a mother trying to remember the name of her child and the child using that to make the mother feel guilty. Bombeck talks about the decision she and her husband make to leave their children at home and get an apartment of their own though the children predict they will soon come running home with the realization that they have a good thing after all. She talks about her worry that her family could not survive with her and leaves a survival guide with information including instructions on how to change the toilet paper roll.

Bombeck explores the impact of the working mom on the American family and the frantic need for moms to juggle the work with the expectations of the family. She goes on to discuss the need to catch up on some of the latest trends, including learning to play tennis and how the game is something of a social trap in which she is not at home. She later talks fashion and says that platform heels are a problem because she hates the shoes but never throws away a pair until the soles are worn out. Bombeck hits an array of other topics, ranging from the fact that anyone can get access to a shopping cart though they are dangerous vehicles, that there are laws in several states that makes it illegal to leave a child behind while on vacation and pretend that it was an accident, and that she is excited to learn that her child is writing an essay about all she has taught him until she reads it. She talks about the fact that there should be some sort of organized place where parents and children could go when they are looking to "trade up," though she and her friends—after discussing the faults of their own children—decline to trade and feel a little better about their offspring.

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This section contains 467 words
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