When The Moon Hits Your Eye

March 10, 2016 — 33 Comments



“NO, you be the SPACEMAN!!!  Here, put this ON!”

It didn’t matter that Benjamin didn’t want to be a spaceman. My son had already twisted him into a half nelson and was wrestling a plastic bucket onto his best friend’s head. At five, my son was bossy and inflexible. He had difficulty navigating unstructured situations, like playdates.

Which is a nice way of saying, he was a tyrant. I knew someday, his fierce little warrior soul would have its upside. But someday is a long way off when you’re exhausted from refereeing every playdate.

Even a five-year-old knows his basic civil liberties are being violated when he’s forced to wear an inner tube and dance like a ballerina.


One afternoon, I took my son and his best buddy to the neighborhood pizza shop. I mentally prepared myself for a migraine-inducing battle of whose slice was a millimeter larger than whose.

Behind the counter, the pizzeria owner whirled an enormous disc of dough into a velvety umbrella. The boys had already begun bickering.

I pointed excitedly at the Pizza Man.


Both boys turned to look at the Pizza Man, twirling and stretching the dough. They stopped squabbling and stared.

“This is an art form. It takes years of practice! Watch how he never stops, not even for a second!”

They stood, transfixed. With expert hands, the Pizza Man tossed dough high into the air and caught it without breaking his rhythm.

“See how he moves his hand in a circle? It’s all about the hand movement. It’s like putting a spin on a basketball.”

“Wow!” Benjamin said.

“What happens if he drops it?” my son asked.

“That’s just it! He NEVER does,” I answered knowingly.


The fact is, good pizza making is an art. It’s also a science – physics, to be exact.

“It’s science, you see? In order to keep the pizza airborne, the optimal motion is a semi-elliptical trajectory. The dough moves through the air at an angle, rather than flying flat!”

Their full-on blank stares jolted me out of my geek moment.

“It’s just SUPER COOL!  Okay, guys, who wants what?”

We munched our pizza, never taking our eyes off the Pizza Man and his magical feat of aerodynamics. The boys were united in a brotherhood of wonderment and a new found appreciation of pizza.


Rome wasn’t built in a day.

And so it was with my son and his friendship-making abilities. The art of friendship is as finely nuanced as that of handling pizza dough. Today, at 12, he is a fabulous friend.

He still likes to bring his pals to watch the Pizza Man. It’s a tiny miracle to watch a lump of dough, rigid and unyielding, expand and become flexible in the right hands.

And there is very little in the world that a perfectly made pizza won’t set right.



This essay was my submission into the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. I didn’t win, but I was totally stoked to try my hand at writing in a voice different from the one usually found on my blog.

I’ve been submitting my work to other publications lately, which is HUGE for me. I’ve been fortunate to have my work syndicated before, but I don’t usually submit my work to other publications.

Now I am.

I’ve had some really encouraging experiences, sandwiched in between lots of rejections. It’s taken me away from my blog a little bit. If I’m not around, just know that I’m pitching my little heart out, and I’ll be sure to share any good news I have with you.

Oh! Speaking of the competition. I am going to the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop at the end of the month! Woo hoo! I’m not ready to throw up daily at the thought of it, like I felt when I was going to BlogHer. After all, I lost my blog conference virginity already.

It’s only a little daunting, because there are gonna be a WHOLE lot of kick ass humor writers there. This conference sold out like a rock concert in six hours. SIX HOURS. This has to be the most exciting event to hit Dayton, Ohio, since the 2014 conference.

Best of all, I get to room with my redheaded partner in crime, Quirky Chrissy! AND – I’ll be finally meeting two of my most fave online people, Michelle and Lola!


I’d say that I’m going to tell you all about it, but what happens in Dayton, stays in Dayton…


Anyone else have an intense, willful kid who dominated the other toddlers? How does that turn out? Please tell me they grow up to be CEOs and stuff. 
Can anyone recommend any good lesbian bars in Dayton?
Talk to me. I’m listening. 


Join me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter  so I can have friends without leaving the house. 

33 responses to When The Moon Hits Your Eye


    I LOVE THIS. Mine didn’t win either…which you know. I am so looking forward to finally meeting you IN JUST A FEW WEEKS!!!


    I’m glad you are sending your writing around and trying different voices. You’ve got the talent and deserve a wider audience.


    Somehow I found your blog and have been reading your pieces for a couple months. My friend Kate Mahar has been to the Erma Bombeck workshop and her blog “I need a man” was featured on their web site. I digress – the point is she raves at how inspiring the workshop was and it has led her to many opportunities. I wish that for you because of all the blogs I read, yours is definitely in my top two. Rock on sista! (http://katemahar.com/)


      Yay! I made your top two!!
      Yes, I hope to be inspired by all the incredible talent at this workshop. Thank you for reading, and commenting. xo


    If they served hand-tossed pizza at the United Nations, the world would be a more peacefull place. Wonderful piece written in a voice I suspect isn’t that far from your heart. So glad tyo hear you are pitching your stuff and taking the steps necessary to get your work out there. Enjoy the conference and go there with the knowledge you belong 😉


      I thought they DID serve hand tossed pizza at the UN? No?
      I’m so excited about this conference! It is awesome to be around so many talented people. Very inspiring!
      And lots of alcohol. Just sayin.


    I’ve only seen pizza bases spun in videos, and they’re AMAZING. I’m so impressed, and I love the idea of the mathematics of it – I wish I understood it, because it’s all SO beautiful – the juxtaposition of gravity and aerodynamics and pressure and centripetal force *sigh*

    I’m glad you’re submitting your work. That’s really cool. I’ve totally lost impetus on that front. YAY YOU for another blogging conference 🙂 Excited for you, and more than a little envious 🙂


      oh, I love that you get the science and math of pizza spinning!!!

      You may not be submitting your work, but you sure are writing a lot!
      (Maybe this time next year, you’ll be planning to attend a writing conference…)


        I’ve written nothing in a week. I shouldn’t gripe about not getting accepted because I’m not submitting anywhere because I’m too lazy to write ‘for’ places, which I think is what’s needed – a better (more suitable) angle. I like writing, but apparently not to spec, which is why I’m ‘failing’, through my own stubbornness. Which is irritating but apparently not irritating enough for me to do anything about it. I like to write what I write and people don’t want to publish it so I just have to accept that.

        I would LOVE to be planning to go to a writing conference this time next year. That would be awesome. Also feels like a total pipe-dream.


        You’ve been horribly ill! Of course you haven’t written!

        Yes, writing “for” other publications is challenging. I have to make adjustments, but still preserve my voice and my perspective.

        It’s not a pipe dream, Lizzi. Once you live here, these conferences will be available. There are all sorts of ways to attend them, even if one is on a limited budget.


        I’ll be very limited, at least at first…it’s just GETTING there which seems so distant. I don’t know how any more. I think I’m just going to have to save and do it the expensive way and hope desperately to get a job afterwards so I can stay…


    The world needs more people who take the time to marvel at the pizza man.


    Mmmmm… pizza.

    I am so happy you’re sending your writing out to be published. Your voice needs to be heard far and wide my friend! I’m so jealous that you and Michelle are going to be together. In the same place! I want to hear aaaallll about it!

    You rock, gorgeous. This is the year when things are going to blow up for you BIG! (I mean as far as writing) I’m so excited to see what happens next for you. xoxo


    Pizza by far the best food.


    What you do with words is kind of like what the Pizza Man does to a lump of dough, Samara. 🙂


    I love this line so much! “Even a five-year-old knows his basic civil liberties are being violated when he’s forced to wear an inner tube and dance like a ballerina.”

    Can’t wait to meet you at Erma! xoxo


      Thank you for reading! You have no idea how excited I am to meet you! YOU’RE LIKE A BIG CELEBRITY!!

      I’m buying you a drink or three, when we hang out. xoxo


    I liked your story. Good luck with the pitching


    Enjoy the conference and good luck. 🙂


    I loved the piece and I love that you’re putting your work out there, and putting yourself out there. Also, I love pizza and the science of pizza making. 😀


    I love your work, glad to hear you are pitching it. Great story! I had a willful daughter who dictated the whole neighborhood into being heathens. She’d stuff them in a closet and then pretend she was a Jehovah’s Witness calling on them. She’d tell them what to say and how to be rude, slam the door in her face and well, be heathens. If they missed their cue, there’d be a do-over until they got it right. She was only 5.
    She is now back in school studying nursing. Sorry, no CEO. And she’s winning no prize parenting even though she was quite the authority on how everyone else should raise their kids, before she had any of her own.


    This is great work. I think changing up your style is good exercise. I was just getting ready to post my losing entry. 🙂 I couldn’t have gone, anyway. Enjoy the conference!


    Have fun in Dayton. Now I want 🍕…:) ❤


    I’m not the math person, and would never have thought that about the pizza, although it is a perfect analogy for friendship forming…

    And I CAN’T WAIT!


    This is adorable. You took me on a trip down Memory Lane. The munchkin is willful. Right now that’s not working out so well. The teacher calls almost every week. Six years old now and attitude times ten. Big first grader. He’s already starting to like girls. Save me.

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