• 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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I Can’t Help It If I’m Lucky

When I was a young girl, maybe ten, my grandfather called me farbisn, which is Yiddish for stubborn, bitter, truculent, dogged, and grim. This is what makes me a great agent. I am girded for this line of work. Bring it on: rejection, silence, lies, manipulation, disappointment, heartbreak, heartache, psoriasis, insult, injury, insecurity, douchery, failure, abandonment, revenge, pettiness, gossip, mind games, schadenfreude, back stabbing, pain, suffering and free-floating unhappiness. You can’t break my heart, my spirit, my determination because I am a bitter old man in an aluminum chair, a transistor radio plugged into my ear, with two days of white stubble and a borscht stain on my button down, window pane shirt and tan cardigan. Do you read me?

49 Responses

  1. every night.

  2. And re-read.

  3. I hear you, sister. I mean read you.

  4. Oh I hear you. Every day. Keep it coming. Jesus!! (and I don’t even believe in Jesus)

  5. ❤ "free-floating unhappiness"

  6. Damn (appreciatively). I hope this what you look for in a writer, too.

  7. Yeah, sometimes I’m the grumpy old bastard yelling at the kids to get out of my yard. But other days I’m the pimply teenager with the railroad mouth oozing with please-like-me. I hate when that happens.

  8. My grandpa took me to Madison Street to buy shoes because my mom said I needed them. I said she wants me to get those and he said which ones do you want and I got the white Minnetonkas with the Indian beads.

  9. Umm, Betsy-Baby, you do know that you live many lives? This little Betsy is only one. What will the next be?

  10. Intense. This was the insult my cousin lobbed at me, the back-handed compliment.

    No shit I’m intense. But really, that’s the best you’ve got? I wish I had a thesaurus on me, I’d have had her look up douchery.

  11. Loud and clear.

  12. I’m reading another Leo has encountered a less than wonderful day (I’ll trade you some pettiness and a psoriasis flare-up for the misogynist lurking in my life…).

    My grandfather also called me stubborn (lovingly said in Russian) – as he was the master of steel-will, I took it as a compliment.

  13. Fully, without doubt, or regret.

  14. PS. But what is it, my dear, that you live for? What story is great enough? I don’t know how I stumbled onto your blog way back when. I think it was some professor trying to give all us sheep an insight into the book business, I really don’t remember, but somehow you stuck with me. It might have been the everyday references to song lyrics that No One knows anymore, that I can tell, or cares about. My point? Follow up food and loathing—older and wiser. (Now that’s a sane transition.) Which, of course, really wasn’t the point; you’re pulling in Rabbis and and the whole gist of trying to be a Jew. Man, that’s a history. But is it one worth considering? Perhaps, they are but frightened, dreaming fools? God only knows. .Anyway, writing, what a shit-stick. And, although I accidentally found you, I think I love you. Unfortunately, you’re too old for me. After all these tears, I think I deserve a sweet smelling young tight pussy that hasn’t pumped out any kids yet, just for the experience. I want one with big-boobies so I can cum between those big sweaty beautiful gifts of god, that way she won’t need to swallow or get pregnant. Is that asking too much?

  15. But all in all, what is up with these so-called writers? I know I just wrote myself into a corner, but believe it or not you will be my agent and we will make a mint But what is up with these half-wit assholes that think that they are thinking? Weird, man, weird. I know you do memoir so that’s the one I’m gonna send ya. Polish your peas, baby: the dick is coming. You will be rich.

  16. I know it’s what you’re cut out to do and without special souls like yours a lot of us would be hunched over a bar with dribble hanging out of the corners of our mouths, hoping desperately someone would listen to our poetry but shit, what a farshtunkeneh profession.

  17. An agent who isn’t bitter and crazy is no agent I want to work with. I like ’em dark and wise.

  18. You sound like the perfect agent.

  19. yes I said yes I do Yes.

  20. Can you pass along your borscht recipe?

  21. A leopard can’t change its spots and the zebra is stuck with the stripes it’s got. Nothing changes. Except:
    (guitar riff)
    Then I saw her face
    Now I’m a believer
    I couldn’t leave her
    If I tried…
    That old man loved you very much, seeing ancient wisdom in a young girl.

  22. Oh but Betsy you move so fast! I am still wondering over your famous writer post (I did meet Nuriddin Farah and forgot how to breathe) but I am already being urged to imagine you as a sweaty man with a buzzing transistor and a grimy neck. You are so very fast – pounding along the footpath with me dangling along in heels – and do make me feel so very countryside, so very very slow and reeling. I do love your posts and worry about your late anguished nights. A concerned reader.

  23. I read you and you are awesome. There’s nothing like a truculent 10 year old.

  24. Under that stained cardigan beats a poet heart and that’s how and why I read you. For the rhythm the rhythm and the nerve. You read me?

  25. So was it a yes or a no or in between? Or were you just anticipating Jeff’s rejection?

  26. I love that “douchery” is in between “insecurity” and “failure.”

  27. You had me at rejection.

  28. Oh, God. . . Is shtunkle yiddish? Same grandpa.

  29. Yiddish has a fakockteh word for everything…

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