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    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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My Baby She Wrote Me a Letter

I completely forgot about the “Ask Betsy” part of the blog. It goes to a separate email account, which I checked tonight. There were a ton of emails, mostly for penis enlargement and Viagra, which is handy because I need both desperately. There were two blasts from my past. And if you know anything about my past, that is generally not welcome. There were lots of questions not worth posting because we’ve been over them a zillion times: Is it okay to make multiple submissions? YES. What if my agent stops returning my calls and email? MOVE ON. Do I have to finish my novel before I submit it? YES. Do I need an agent? PROBS. Should I Tweet? IF YOU HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO.

Then there was this:

So I was just reading your blog and came across the series on fame. You said you don’t receive many emails from people just saying they love your book and not wanting anything in return. So. I LOVE YOUR BOOK. I WANT NOTHING IN RETURN. I remember buying it before one of my night classes a few years ago and then reading it in my car while eating a burrito. I devoured it. Loved it. Just like the burrito. I pull quotes from it to use in my Creative Writing class. Now I read your blog and love it, forget about it for a while, and then come back to it and love it again. I think it’s wrong when you say you don’t write poetry anymore because every entry reads like poetry. 

Anyway. Just wanted you to know! 
You don’t read my blog everyday?

39 Responses

  1. Glad to see you found a flower in a pile of manure and Viagra.
    It’s like finding a box of love letters under the bed. Not all of them were worth saving, but still fun to read.

  2. You are my favorite neurotic, self-loathing comedienne on the planet. And that’s saying a lot.

  3. I read your blog every day. You are the coke, I am the nose.

  4. I read your blog whenever you post. Because I’m a subscriber it comes into my e-mail and dings on my phone, which is plugged in next to my bed at night. Often you post late, I roll over in bed next to my sleeping husband, grab the extra pair of readers I keep on the night stand, and see what you’ve got to say. As I squint at the tiny writing, huddled under the covers in the dark, I often have to suppress my harumphs or giggles so as not to wake the husband. Sometimes the ding on the phone wakes me up. I still read. I’m addicted to your words. I agree with Tetman, above.

  5. I’m thinking the e-mail I sent to your “Ask Betsy” account must have sucked. When I wrote it, I hadn’t yet come across your blog, so your book was the only “voice” I was familiar with. It wasn’t long before I received the first blog entry of yours and thought to myself, “Oh dear, she’s a bit more dry than I anticipated, and I just went and shoved my big wet nose up her…” Well, you get the point. A week or so later, I received your, “Thank you, I appreciate it.” response and knew for sure it sucked.

    Here’s my redo: At a getting-to-know-you lunch today, someone asked me, “And what do you do for a living?” I got that nuclear reaction feeling in my stomach, as I always do when I’m asked that question, and answered with as much conviction as I could muster, “I’m a writer.” Shortly thereafter came the next question. “Who’s your favorite author?” I didn’t need conviction this time; I had your book with me.
    I love your book, Betsy.

  6. I have to be in the right mood to read your blog. A little cynical. Ripe for amazing curses. But, at some point, I do read and like every entry.

  7. I love your books. I have nothing for you to represent. I don’t want your contacts. I don’t need you to confirm. But you should know that, because if I was you, I’d want to know.
    So, thank you Betsy.

  8. I love those Viagra ads and links to click if you need it immediately. Don’t we all live for these ads? I’ve become very adept with the mute button while watching sports. Golf, especially, basks in it’s Viagra commercials.

    I have my morning routine. Make coffee. Let the dogs out and pick up poop. Turn on the laptop and read Betsy (for my daily info and soap and to see my peeps) and Lisa Golden to get her take on real-life-America and politics. Chase a few blogs, say hello. I rarely start a weekday without these staples, my milk, eggs, and sugar. I thank you all.

  9. Ah, I love this blog. “Now I read your blog and love it, forget about it for a while…” lmao…

  10. Nothing like a burrito and I read it every day.

  11. “You don’t read my blog everyday?”

    (snort)

    Yes as a matter of fact I do. And Betsy, you are the queen of finding that grey lining in the silver cloud – just one of the many things we love sycophants love about you.

  12. I loved your book and I want lots of stuff from you – to go back in time to about 1977 and you can be my fun babysitter from down the street who teaches me about swear words and the correct ratio of ice cream to chocolate syrup.

    I settle for your book and my daily blog fix with coffee. I blogged yesterday about my books (I was culling for donation to our library) and, if by any chance you read it, know that your book is safe and sound, just where it is supposed to be: on the back of the toilet seat.

  13. You are the hub. We are the spokes.

  14. You are the Mother Spore, and we are your colonies.

  15. I read your blog every morning. My reactions vary widely, which is probably a good thing. Who wants to start the day with the same old emotions all the time?

    My favorite unsolicited emails come from “Nigeria.” The other day I got one from a teenaged Nigerian girl who desperately needed my assistance. I sneered and deleted. The next day she wrote me again, wanting to know why I hadn’t answered her letter! I’m still laughing.

  16. Every morning as the birds sing and mosquitoes buzz I sit in the outhouse with your blog displayed on the laptop screen. Sometimes I forget to check if that pesky raccoon has taken up residence in a place he should not be. Later, as I drive from one job site to another, I’ll read the latest entries on a tiny screen when I should be paying attention to all the other bad drivers on the road, wondering if they’re chuckling or pondering the meaning of something you wrote, a comment posted, a line left unsaid…

  17. I read your blog because every once in awhile I find a pearl amongst the angst. Sort of a pearl-angst kinda thingy.

  18. I love your writing. I especially remember the post about observing the couple in Central Station. Posts like that left me shaking my head in stunned amazement. I remember, I clicked “forward” and wrote to a writing friend, “This will blow your mind.” I want nothing today but to be healthy and to thank you for your ability to bring to small moments to such stark life that they linger. Thank YOU.

  19. Whenever people tell me I am mordant, I think, but I’m not the only one.

  20. What book?

  21. Pretty much. Like the proverbial burrito, your blogs often repeat on me. Though they rarely cause flatulence

  22. I don’t think I can love unconditionally any more, but this blog delivers a good brain-spank every time.

  23. I guess my question was one of those gazillion echos. Maybe I’ll read last year’s posts to get the answer I seek since my addiction to this blog is only several months young.

  24. Teaching that new class apparently leaves Franzen with only so many hours in the day.

  25. Man, has anyone ever told you are like really sweet? I’ve tried to stay away from your blog, so I’ll quite commenting on blogs, thus shutting out the outside world and work on my totally fucking genius plot, a very old story with wooden stairs and old folks and stories to tell, and I tell myself, O.K. Jeff, just look and don’t comment. Don’t waste your words, brother. But I can’t fucking help it. Every god-damned time I come here you have a hook I can’t resist. I agree with whomever wrote that your blog reads like poetry everyday. Of course, you would probably need to spend a shit-load of money you don’t have in order to understand the purpose of poetry, what a racket, but, I agree with her. I’m guessing Her from the lingo. I’ve tried to stop, but you are still my Jumbo Jack, Baby. As far as your past: Who hasn’t. Who cares. Everything hurts. I figure from your double message, you agree. All I can write about all this is, fuck, and shit, and eat, and take care to teach your youngin’s what you think is right. I’m pulling out of this drive through, screechin’ down the road, with my first bite in my mouth. I’ll pull over in a couple of blocks to put the packet of mayo on it (Guilt trip!)

    • Must: I hate it when I use others stuff to make a point, but as of now, I’m not practiced enough. Perhaps.

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