Lisa Scottoline: A Decade of Chick Wit

Photos - local - aelisa26z-e
Lisa Scottoline (rear) and daughter Francesca Serritella with Mother Mary.

It's amazing to think that Chick Wit has run for 10 whole years.

Especially since I haven't aged a day.

I was barely a chick when it started.

So maybe it's time to explain how it hatched.

Enough with the metaphor.

Metaphors are never funny.

You know what's funny?

Spanx.

Anyway, the column started when one day, I was sitting at my kitchen table reading the Inquirer, and all the news was bad.

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There was nothing funny.

And I started to remember the funny columnists I grew up reading, who wrote about their real lives, like Erma Bombeck.

I thought, maybe I can bring the funny.

Long story short, I begged the Inky to let me do a column, and it agreed, thanks to former owner Brian Tierney.

I started writing about my life and my daughter, Francesca, so in time she joined the column to write about life from her perspective.

And to write about me.

Yikes.

That would strike fear into any mother's heart, but as Francesca and I always say to each other, "If it doesn't make us cringe, it won't make them laugh."

So for 10 years, we've covered major life events in our family, like Francesca's college graduation, where I cried so hard someone thought I was drunk. And the passing of our beloved Mother Mary. I would say, may she rest in peace, but that wasn't her style.

She's raising hell. In heaven.

We wrote about our neighbor Harry, who used to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. And how after his death, we took in his cat Spunky, who was reportedly on his last four legs.

And who proceeded to live for six very expensive years.

Francesca wrote about making eggplant with Mother Mary and losing me in New York City. I wrote about going braless to the emergency room and my crush on Brad Pitt, before I moved on to George Clooney and ultimately to Bradley Cooper.

And now he's having my baby.

Oh, wait.

So you would think Chick Wit is a column about us, but it isn't.

It's about you.

Though we write about ourselves, Mother Mary, and our dogs, we've always been writing in our representative capacity as people with ovaries.

Women.

Chick Wit is not for women, but it is about them.

That's why the column connects with people, if I may say so.

People relate to it because it's like their own lives. We get email every day from readers who say, "I have a Mother Mary, too," or, "I crave carbs, too," or, "I love fleece too, especially if it has an elastic waistband."

OK, I made up that last one.

But you get the point.

If you ask me what I'm proudest of, it's that for the last decade, we have gotten to write a column about you. Because you, too, have lived through graduations, losses, and the ups and downs of everyday living in family, of whatever size and shape.

Now you can open a newspaper and laugh.

At us!

And, at the same time, you can see yourselves, your daughters, your dogs, and your cats represented in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

You all deserve to be the headlines, as far as we're concerned.

Chick Wit matters because families matter, and sometimes we need a reminder of the smaller things in life, because what happens around the breakfast table is just as important as what happens in Washington.

If not more so.

And, to my mind, we need not only to laugh, but to remember our commonalities. We're more divided than ever, with Republicans and Democrats splintering along ideological lines. Constructive dialogue has dipped to an all-time low. Everywhere you turn, there's something to remind you of how different you are from someone else.

But this, too, shall pass.

You know what abides?

Love.

Family.

Laughter.

It's good to remember that we are, in fact, the same under the skin.

And, if we're lucky, we all have a crazy family that we like to make fun of.

And hug.

And fight with.

And make up with.

And live and die with.

So here's to the next decade of this wonderful life, together.

Thanks so much to the Inquirer for its support of Chick Wit.

But, more important, thanks so much to all of you.

We are forever grateful.