• Bridge Ladies

    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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I Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye For the Summer

Summer hate list:

1) Scoopers who are cheap with jimmies and act like they don’t know what they’re doing.

2) Schlongathongs.

3) People still asking if I’ve read Hornet Girl. Still no.

4) Dropping my Kindle (if I had one) in the sand.

5) People asking what I did on vacation.

6) No new episodes of Glee.

7) Sandals, especially the “Gladiator” style.

8 ) Tentpole movies.

9) Sunny days that people refer to as “perfect.”

10) The pressure to have fun and eat corn.

Give me your best summer hate-on. Bring it.

62 Responses

  1. People who are the first to respond to summer hate lists because they must not have a life.

  2. Being the sole provider of amusement for my kids for days unending. Oh, god, kill me now.

  3. 11) accepting my role of house sitter for all my immediate neighbors since I can’t afford to travel this year
    12) swimsuits
    13) the gi-normous water bill from the recent drought
    14) having to replace 2 more window ACs this year
    15) experiencing another summer, solo

  4. Somebody ( I forgot on purpose) wrote a book called banana hammock. Disgusting.

  5. Sweating.

    Business casual (especailly trouser socks or hose) in inadequate AC.

    AWOL sunglasses.

    Sweating.

    Bugs.

    Sweating.

  6. Forest fires.

    Grassland fires.

    Town evacuations due to forest fires and/or grassland fires.

    Towns being burned down due to forest fires and/or grassland fires.

    Forest, grasslands, and riverside parks closed due to apocalyptically high fire danger.

    Idiots who toss smoldering cigarette butts from their cars while driving past vegetation the quality of tinder.

    Idiots who don’t properly extinguish their (illegal) campfires.

    Idiots who shoot off fireworks over vegetation the quality of tinder, rather than jamming their roman candles up their asses for a more personal thrill.

    Relative humidity of -17% coupled with 40 mph winds that shrivel up backyard vegetable gardens and contribute to the immolating of forests, grasslands, riverside parks, towns, and idiots.

    Desert carpenter ants who eat anything not burned down or otherwise dessicated, including the corpses of idiots (which is not such a bad way to do recycling).

    • Are you a fireman? My neighbor is a retired fire chief, and he sometimes calls me if he sees a candle burning through my window: “Are you home?! Just checking. Are you in the same room with that candle? Oh good. Okay. Because that looks like the dining room. Are you dining?”

      • “Never leave candles unattended.” My girlfriend and I used to always laugh about that until she came back up from the laundry room one night to find her curtains on fire.

      • I am not a fireman. I am a resident of New Mexico, “La Tierra Quemada.”

      • A few years ago, we were looking for a house. 2 days after we saw this great place on the lake, they left a candle burning on the coffee table and the entire place burned to the ground.

  7. I want to see the tan lines on the woman wearing those sandals. THAT would be awesome!

  8. First, anyone else surprised to see Betsy use the word “jimmies”?

    My hate list: Amusement park food, “in memory of” tattoos spotted in amusement park lines, amusement parks in general (minus the roller coasters), tan lines, tans at all, sunburns, sunscreen, how my teacher friends have the summer off, how children have the summer off, how anyone has the summer off, how some people’s hair gets natural highlights in the sun, shopping for a swimsuit, wearing a swimsuit. trying to find a casual way to wear a swimsuit coverup so as not to look like a self-conscious prude wearing a coverup, foot pain from flip-flops, how those foot experts tell us to not wear flip-flops at all, expensive cocktails with fun summery names that end up tasting like puke, pedicures, toe rings, anklets, ankle tattoos, stray hairs, shaving, SPF lip balm, mosquito bites, air conditioning, fireworks I can hear in the distance but can’t see.

    Damn. When I read this post I first thought I couldn’t come up with a hate list at all, and look what I created. Oh Betsy. You bring out the hate in me.

  9. Tourists in the middle of Union Station in the middle of rush hour with those damn bags with wheels. Or walking while screwing with their smartphones.
    The name “smartphone”.
    Freckles that have now turn into possessed liver spots.
    Going to the public pool because I love my kids and having to tromp about in a swimsuit in front of seventeen year old life guards.
    Seventeen year old life guards.
    Daylight hours extending the time that kids go to bed and cutting into my writing time.
    The pressure to be outside.
    Making sure everything is watered.
    Sweaty, hairy men in wife beater tees.
    Beer that warms too quickly.

    • Lyra, I do not love my kid enough to tromp about in a swimsuit in front of the glowing seventeen year old life guards. That’s where I draw in the line in what is required of me as a mother.

      • Ha!

        “Buttercup, hand Mommy her flask would you?”
        “Ma’am, we have to request you stop calling our lifeguards ‘buttercup’.”

      • As the mother of a now-college age lifeguard, it seems they pay more attention to the badly behaving parents, crazed kids and potential victims more than our stretch marks (somewhat comforting, yes?)

      • Karen,

        On the off chance your well-raised son is not being completely honest, please keep the margheritas coming. Sit down, I’ll call buttercup.

      • Oh, he’s told me some horrific tales from the PT classes for the morbidly obese and the wannabe cougars prowling the pool deck! I’d drink with him over these stories but I gotta be the Parent…

  10. I love summer; it’s my happy place. First the unabashed love for poetry, and now this? I know, I know. (Hanging my head and walking to get in line behind Jeff as the second most hated Betsy reader).

    • The bathing suits, though, I could do without. See above.
      (and now, like Jeff, I’m commenting on my own comment)

      • Yes, especially the skinnifying bathing suits that only make the uncovered parts look more grotesque.

    • Actually, no, you’re right up there with Teri, Sarah and amyg in the ‘beloved’ column. For this reader, anyway.

      But I defy you to enjoy summer in Vegas. It’s hotter than hell, with regularly scheduled wind storms guaranteed to topple every garbage can in the neighborhood. Yesterday I left my sunglasses in the car; today I have two blisters on the bridge of my nose. And if one more person smirks, “It’s a dry heat” I will pin that individual to the blacktop and griddle her ass.

  11. Allow me to add my greatest hate for THIS particular summer: having to be in charge of the Embassy’s 4th of July party for some 3000 of our nearest and dearest friends. Hey, I took a low-level secretarial job precisely to AVOID these kind of responsibilities. Advice on how to say a firm but polite “no” most welcome.

    All I can hope is maybe a rented palm tree will fall on me at the beginning and then I won’t have to suffer all the rest.

    • I know that party, Kim B, and I know the canicule. Document your job well then write a book about it!

      • Maybe I can get Betsy to come — we *do* have two GLEE performers singing live . . . she can get her fix. Whatcha doin’ next Thursday night, Betsy? (No, the 4th of July party is not on the 4th. It’s on the 7th. Of course.)

        However since I’ve never seen an episode of GLEE the whole thing is lost on me.

  12. I really hate gladiator sandals.

  13. I hate hurricanes.
    Tracking hurricanes.
    Waiting for hurricanes.
    Waiting…and waiting…

  14. Traffic.
    Fleas.
    Ticks.
    Snakes.
    Ditto chintzy on the jimmies.
    Biggest hate: It goes too fast.

  15. Every time someone tells me they hate air conditioning I want to smack them.

    Also irritating? Capri pants. They look good on no one and yet won’t go away.

  16. Shorts meaning my white vein ridden legs. Sweating bodies, sweating glasses, sweat in general. Toenail exposure meaning toenail maintenance.

  17. I just hate the damn heat. In the winter I hate the damn cold.

  18. Cargo shorts. I always hate cargo shorts.

  19. Had to laugh at this. My daughter’s blog is dontaskmeaboutmytrip! Take a look at her UM art residency in Berlin and the Netherlands. But don’t ask her about it! (lol)

  20. Betsy you gave me the best laugh of the day. Ditto on all ten bete noirs. Never going to read the “hornet girl” books either. Summer, what summer?

  21. Sweat.
    The line for ice cream.
    The mint chip always being sold out first once I get to the front of said line.
    The pee (human? dog?) and garbage stench of NYC.
    People acting like I should live to be outside just because the sun is shining.
    Hot subway platforms.
    Overhearing conversations about how X summer destination is “so over now.”
    Dirty feet.

    Temperature changes from overairconditioning.

  22. -Political conventions. I know, none this year, but still the image lingers. Photos of homeless people outside Republican Headquarters, no caption necessary.

    -Outdoor concerts/festivals. Peace, love and sunburn. Lousy sound systems and novice fire dancers setting their dreads aflame. Amateur drunks proclaiming they’re The Leaky Colostomy Bags biggest fan then passing out two songs into the set. Getting hit in the head with frisbees and firecrackers. I’m happy sitting in a cave and listening to music.

    -Tourists.

  23. Back to the “mom” lament. Being ambushed by the kids every five minutes. The perpetual derailments to my writing that include a plethora of family picnics, potlucks and golf matches.

    Anything having to do with the 4th of July.

    Parades, outdoor fairs, amusement parks.

    The pool, the beach, or any body of water creating an expectation of swimsuits.

    That said, loving the naked hot tubbing in the early morning hours.

  24. Wasps. I really hate the wasps.

  25. Frizzy hair…mine does not respond to any product
    Trying on bathing suits
    Men in shorts in the city, AKA The Village Idiot look

    I do love reading The Declaration of Independence aloud on the 4th of July–always chokes me up. Our forefathers had such balls!

  26. upper arms. mine, specifically.

  27. Sweat. Especially other people’s on public transportation, but mine too.

    Also how hot my house gets, especially the kitchen. The cathedral ceiling and picture window, so impressively elegant and airy? Shit, you could interrogate prisoners there during July and August. And every time I think I have enough money set aside to get the framing and wiring for a ceiling fan built, some other home/car/pet owner emergency pops up and it’s another summer spent with big floor fans blowing animal hair around and not cooling the place off worth a damn.

    Also? No AC in the car. Although that might be a moot point if it doesn’t pass inspection next month, cf home/car/pet owner emergencies above.

    • OK – as this site’s unofficial designer -let me suggest you first price out applying a UV-rated film on the windows to stop the radiant heat from getting into the house. The fan is great, but just circulates hot air. If you install the film as a DIY, might be very affordable. Good Luck!

      • Huh… now that’s a fine idea. And I’m guessing borderline affordable — maybe even findable at Home Depot? Thank you very much for that, Karen.

      • and on line; there are alot of firms selling this stuff – check the widths of the film and the ratings

  28. Hearing other people’s fun wafting in through the window.
    Barbecues. Who decided hot weather meant seared meats?
    Overpriced farmer’s markets with heirloom fungus.
    Being expected to garden.
    Other people’s feet.
    My own feet.

  29. I always found white cross distracting when I used to pop it, and now I’m finding that white cross in that photo… distracting.

  30. I know I’m gonna get a lot of heat for this but I really really really hate the sun.

  31. I think I saw this woman when I was just in New York City. Freaky-deaky.

    Okay. I know my New Balance Rock n’ Tone shoes with white runner sox are not the height of chic (even WITH a yellow denim skirt), but my feet never hurt, and I could walk ten miles in the city and still smile.

  32. Girls who think their boobies aren’t good enough and therefore don’t where bikini tops or tube tops. Don’t they know who they are dealing with? We are really that simple. Anything is better than nothing. Give an ape a break! Make someone’s day!

  33. People who talk to me about tanning like I should or would care. I’m dark skinned black person and even I wear a good sun block to protect my skin.

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