• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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The Angels Got Together

I wasn’t particularly nice this year, but I got a Mac Air computer. Fuck me dead! I didn’t even ask for one, I didn’t dream of one. I made my choice of  a desktop and I lie in it.  Okay, nobody in this house liked it when I borrowed their lap top so I could post and watch In Treatment at the same time. I mean, I get it, a computer is sort of like a toothbrush. You really don’t want anyone else sticking it in their mouth.

You know those Loreal ads that say, hey, lady, you’re worth it. I was always like, fuck you I’m not worth it, I’m not worth the box it comes in. I haven’t even opened my sleek new machine. I can’t. It’s too perfect. My fingers are too stubby to type with, God. Imagine it: me posting from the local cafe, Deja Brew. Or at Blue State among the freshman and grad students. That will be me, posting from the Blue Trail on a moss covered rock. Or in my car, parked at a dead end weeping. I can write on my commuter train! On planes! On the back of my Palomino. I am one lucky son of a bitch. Thank you daughter (it was her idea). Thank you husband (it was his credit card).

Isn’t receiving better than giving?

68 Responses

  1. Congrats! The Air is sweet. I bought a new MacBook Pro meself.

  2. I received an ereader for Christmas. It was probably a better gift than anything I gave anyone, and heck no, I didn’t deserve it

    So I’m trying to kind of backwardly justify that by deserving it after the fact: by reading a ton of ebooks on it.

    (I got a copy of your book too. How cool is that?)

  3. I’m on a horse.

  4. I got these fucking cool boots.

  5. I got a first edition of Styron’s LIE DOWN IN DARKNESS, and I’m just going to stare a burning hole right through the blue cover. Because no way in hell am I opening it and risking ruin.

    Thank you, husband.

  6. iPad found under the tree here. Bad news: Yet another distraction from writing. Good news: I’m kicking butt on Tetris. (Although my kids mock the fact that I now have this sleek new technogadget and the only games I have on it are the aforementioned and Scrabble.

  7. Welcome back. I didn’t get one single gift this year, not one. But I already have an a Mac Air so what else could I possibly need?

    Betsy you will love it. I take mine everywhere and I mean everywhere…

    • Bobbi that’s just wrong. Email me your address so I can send you a little something. I can’t have a fellow Canadian spend her first Christmas abroad and not have a care package.

      • You’re hilarious and sweet. I got the chance to live here, maybe that’s my gift???


      • I’m actually a bit of a sourpuss, but I’m serious – just a trinket or two. To quote the father of a friend of mine years ago when I foolishly declined his offer to pay for my meal “There is pleasure in giving, too.”

  8. Just Kids – which I’m loving – and a Kindle although it hasn’t arrived yet.

  9. Got a Kindle which I activated by purchasing an ebook of Just Kids. Win, win.

  10. I got a Sodastream home soda maker. Now when I run out of champagne, though I’ll have to write sober, I still get bubbles.

  11. I love giving, I really do. But, yes, receiving is pretty sweet, too. It beats a sharp stick in the eye.

    I love my MacBook. Husband bought it for me for my birthday last year. It’s been all over the world with me and it still makes me happy every single day. (the macbook and the husband)

    Congrats. And, you are worthy. Believe it.
    Happy 2011.

  12. No Christmas gifts, but I did get a birthday present from my husband. Something so unmentionable I can’t begin to, you know, mention it – except to say that in no way is this a gift for me.

    (Though I’ll do my best. Maybe what he really got me was acting lessons.)

  13. I have one too. I am writing this on it right now. It is George Harrison.

  14. I have a Mac Air, and I am sooo glad I got it. No more sore back as I trek back and forth to my writing space.

  15. Kindle- woot. Perfect for my upcoming month-long treck to Argentina. I’m on the dark side kids.

    • Ooo, I’ve always wanted to go to Argentina but haven’t yet. Will you be blogging while there?

      I got an IBooks gift card for the purpose of downloading audio books for working out but used it all on music.

  16. Overheard 2 conversations today about giving. Conventional giving in conventional relationships. The theme seemed to be: you’ve got to give. The writer and artist, though, gives with his work. Yet he’s got to be selfish to devote himself to this work. To me, it’s the greatest form of giving.

  17. I made my daughter a small pirate treasure chest, stained, polished it and lined it with red felt. Yeah, I know, very 50s sitcom-ish/Hallmark moment, but I enjoyed the look on her face, the way she ignored (for awhile) her toys and prominently displayed the chest on a lamp table in her room. It was the best gift I could have received and I’ll bet your daughter and husband felt pretty good, too. Oh yeah, I got some nice wool socks, a book, CD and a sweater that made me smile.

  18. A MacAir computer!?!? wow, I don’t even have a Kindle or a Nook….desktop lady here.

  19. Ah Betsy, if “deserving” had anything to do with it, I’d have received nothing but coal dust. As it is I was the recipient of many wonderful gifts, the best of which is a pair of the most incredibly awesome slippers known to humanity (an essential thing, living in the frozen climes of Canada), from my wonderful wife, who I also do not deserve. I’m a man of simple tastes. And skeezy curiosty – what exactly did glasseye’s husband buy her ?

  20. I actually did receive a toothbrush like the one in your picture. Along with other tools for dental hygiene.

    And I wasn’t even all that naughty! Well. Maybe I was.

  21. Please do not post from the back of your Palomino Betsy!!

  22. My husband gave me Neil Young’s new album. That’s all I got from him. He wrapped it in such a way that the shape of the CD was disguised. When I saw the wrapping, my imagination ran wild. I was thinking maybe it’s a beautiful new scarf. Then on Christmas day I opened the gift and saw that he’d used an old plastic, empty tofu container to put the CD on. I looked at it. He said, “You like Neil Young.” I said, “I know I do, but maybe you shouldn’t disguise-wrap things anymore.” I explained how it got me hoping for other things. He said, “Like what?” I said, “Like a scarf.” He said, “You already have a scarf.” Then he put on the new Neil Young CD. Apparently, this Neil Young album isn’t as good as the last Neil Young album, according to my husband.

  23. Season’s greetings from a hot island in New Zealand! I’ve been a Mac devotee since 1985 (I was extremely young then of course) and am writing this on my 17inch MacBook Pro. But when my husband and I travel to remote places (yes, even remoter than NZ) in our winter months, MacBook Pros (one each) are mighty heavy, so last year we took the scary decision to take one MacAir with us and SHARE it! The bonus was that we both wrote more because I had it for a half day and then he had it for a half day (every day). If you missed your time too bad, so we each tapped furiously away for 3 hours until the other’s heavy breathing and sighing forced us to give it over. We did have the occasional day off to ride Palominos together!

  24. The magic of Disney World. Please, tell me how awesome it’s going to be.

  25. I got a Macbook Air, with my own saved up pennies, last year and it actually has transformed how much I write. I take it EVERYWHERE and write anywhere. It’s a 2lbs revolution.
    This year, instead of a turtleneck sweater, my mother in law got me a Filtrete water station. Sounds stupid but it’s genius – combo water filter and four water bottles to go. it is so choice.

  26. It’s a MacBook Air. Not a Mac Air. I think it’s funny how none of your sycophants is brave enough to correct you.

    • Or, maybe I’m just not an anal retentive asshole who thinks I’m clever because I go around correcting mundane mistakes no one else gives a rats ass about. Was sycophant the word of the day on the calendar that sits on the desk in your windowless, little cubicle where you sneer at the world?

      • Tomorrow’s word of the day: curmudgeon.

      • i’m dying! good god deb, you’ve been holding back.
        thank you for this.

        holy moly THAT was funny. fuck betsy, i’m one of your sycophants now.

        (sorry betsy, i didn’t really mean that ‘fuck you’ i’m still you’re sycophant too)

    • You mean her TYPEY BOX.

      You’re *welcome*!

    • This curmudgeonly sycophant thought Blogs were editor-free spaces. Sigh.

    • Betsy, my love, may I fan you and peel you some grapes? Don’t worry, dear; I won’t use Don’s sour ones.

  27. My younger brother gave me a Kindle and my baby sister gave me framed picture of the choices my publisher gave me for the cover of my upcoming novel. I cried like a baby I have great siblings . oddest gift was from a friend who gave me a plastic fiber optic horse statue, it was like getting that leg lamp in that movie A Christmas Story. I almost said fragile with a french accent when I opened it.

  28. Betsy, that will be my freshman daughter at one of those tables writing away in the coffee shop and she would shit a brick to know you were in there too. Good for you! You do deserve it. If your kid says you deserve it, you deserve it.

    @Deb, that little diatribe upstream just won you “writer of the week.” The prize: Don has to come over (at night, so as not to bother you) and polish all your windows, silver, and floors. He has to clean your toilets, scrub the grout on your tile, and perform other sycophantic duties. Then, he will use his nose to type on an old Remington a note of apology to Betsy and each of the respondents to this blog, look up the addresses, and send them snail mail to each one of you.

    I really don’t like mean people.

  29. my most favorite gift is one i got for myself: a black rugged t-shirt with a skull and crossbones on the front and the quote: ‘I DON’T WANNA PLAY HOUSE’

    i wore it the whole break.

    i’ve missed you B.

  30. yes it is, especially if you don’t feel guilty. i received a gorgeous fur collared (I think it’s fake, I hope it is anyway) sweater from Loro Piana and some stunning antique ruby earrings. I just got my husband a gift certificate at his bike shop (it’s what he said he wanted). I feel completely happy with my loot and figure I must have deserved it (somehow).

  31. Giving is more fun, I think. But it’s more fun to joke about getting.

    The computer I have says MacBook Air, but I like to call it My Glowy Box.

  32. Who is Betsy?

    love, sick-of-it

  33. Sorry, a day late, slow to get back to the swing of things. My favorite present was one I gave. My husband is a model train collector extraordinaire, and I found him a children’s book written in 1943 with classic b/w photos of little boys with a runaway Lionel train. I paid way too much money for it and paid extra to get it here in time, but when he opened it he said, “You are amazing!” with a huge grin on his face. Totally worth every penny. Me? I got Just Kids and Mark Twain’s autobiography, just want I wanted.

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