BEVERLY — Eileen O'Connor's unique sense of humor developed at a young age.
She and her late mother laughed their way through "Mommy Dearest" when she was 7 years old. The next day, the pair went shopping downtown.
Eileen O'Connor happened to have a black eye and insisted on referring to her mother as "Mommy Dearest" as they browsed the storefronts. Her mother was mortified. O'Connor thought it was funny... until she had children of her own.
O'Connor, 37, of Beverly lost her mom 12 years ago. Her dad died two years later. In the meantime, she married and now has four children — ages 7, 5, 4 and 3.
"We have to laugh to get through it," O'Connor said.
It's that attitude that inspired O'Connor to start a blog on May 1. She named it "No Wire Hangers, Ever" in honor of her late mother.
Howard Ludwig says that Eileen's writing is very relatable to others in the community, and beyond:
O'Connor's blog focuses on her life as an adult orphan, wife and mother. Her unique and humorous posts have quickly gained a following. The blog moved to the popular ChicagoNow site on June 1.
"Every time I've written, I've been in the Top 20," O'Connor said of her success at ChicagoNow, which compiles some of the foremost blogs throughout the city.
"I always said I wanted to write a blog," O'Connor said.
A graduate of Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School in Mount Greenwood, O'Connor previously worked as a teacher and later a counselor for the Chicago Public Schools. She left her career in education in August and began taking comedy writing classes at The Second City.
O'Connor initially envisioned her blog as a comedic take on Hollywood celebrities, television and pop culture. But she soon realized writing about her own life somehow seemed more natural.
Such posts often include reflections on her parents and the coping mechanisms O'Connor has come to rely upon, including her "Dead Parents Society." This group of neighborhood friends meets monthly to support other adults who have lost a parent.
O'Connor posts about three new blogs each week. And while few topics are off limits, she has vowed to never mention her children by name. Adults appearing in the blog have their names slightly altered.
"I embarrass them enough already," said O'Connor, who was raised in Gage Park until she moved to southwest suburban Palos Heights at age 12.
O'Connor has lived in Beverly since 2005. She hopes her blogging will someday lead to a book deal or stint as co-host on "The View." Regardless, she plans to continue to use her wit to entertain in her own unflinching way without causing any residual damage.
"I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I'm more interested in drawing out our similarities," she said.
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