• 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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Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Obviously, I’m going to be in an uncharacteristically good mood for the next month. What does a good mood look like on a determinedly glass half empty kind of girl jacked up on mood stabilizers, you ask. It’s hell. First, I spend the month trying to fit into my DKNY suit from 2003. This alone basically robs me of any joy.  Next, if I even allow myself an iota of pride, I will be struck dead or murdered by the strange young man who showed up at my house last week who resembled Paul Theroux. I was on the phone and he asked if he should come back. Okay, I said, not really thinking it through, and now I’m convinced I will walk into my living room and he will there, or sitting at my desk when I turn on the lights in my office. My people are not good with good news. We believe in golems and Vaseline. Borscht and sour cream. Sour cream? Who would make cream sour?  Maybe I should just enjoy it, god forbid.

Who is going to kill you?

51 Responses

  1. probably the tall skinny guy in the black hoodie and backpack who walked by night before last around midnight, opposite sidewalk, when I was out with the dog…said nary a word when I shouted hello…my husband getting ready to head in at elevenpm for a night shift in the ER…lesbian neighbors to my left on a backroads trip in spain and cuban divorcee neighbor to my right in Vail…I offered my 16yr old son a hundred dollars to sleep upstairs with me and he said no you freak, so it’ll be tonight –

  2. holy shit. you’re going to kill me and my people are also borscht people. i had a pretty durn good week too (but not quite as public as yours) so i’m waiting for a car crash, my husband to walk out on me or the terminal diagnosis. pooh pooh pooh. kenahura. my suit from 2003 is ann taylor, but it doesn’t fit either. you’ve definitely got me beat with the strange young theroux-clone though. lock the doors and allow yourself two iotas of joy (iotas? iotim? iotie?)

  3. Throw the suit out. Dear god, 2003! Chuck the sour cream and celebrate with a dirty martini, glass half-full, insert big-ass olive and gulp.

    As for me, my family slays me every day.

  4. probably this guy (taken verbatim from one of his fan emails to me):

    Subject: You should go back to drinking
    From: XXX
    To: Amy

    You were probably a much more interesting person then.

    Now you just write or ramble on and on about yourself. And people actually publish this is what is bizarre. Because you have nothing original to say and everything is about you.

    Go back and count the number of times you used the word “I” in your 4 year without a drink speech.

    I did this. I did that. On and on.

    Too many “I’s” to count. You haven’t done anything no one else hasn’t done a thousand times over.

    A very boring life. Certainly nothing worth reading about. Who would write a story telling everyone they don’t hate people?

    Last Call for Alcohol !


  5. I forsee, Professor Plum, with the Gun, in the Library.

  6. My boyfriend’s ex, ‘cept I’m gonna kill her first. You heard it here.

  7. >>Who is going to kill you?

    The son I haven’t seen since he was four days old. I just found out that the lawyer who handled the adoption was a grey market baby broker.

    I am my own mini-series.

  8. I somehow deleted the column in my e-mail that gives me the subject line and I can’t restore it. The type size has shrunk and I can’t restore it. My youth is gone and I can’t restore it. Oh, and I had to go off my thyroid medicine for a while and gained 20 pounds in a month. So I can’t even fit into clothes I bought this SUMMER. Any of these things might kill me, in a fashion.

    So enjoy your good news already. Better you should worry about Paul Theroux in the dark with a knife?

  9. God is going to kill me, I just don’t know when or how.

  10. Hopefully, not the guy who threatened me with a gun and (last I heard) was still in prison. Some actions do not warrant a second chance.

    On a happier note, bring the sour cream over here: I use that ingredient in a coffee cake recipe so delicious, you won’t care if your clothes don’t fit!

  11. I’ll do it myself thanks, inching closer every time I look at apartment (cupboard) prices in Paris or try to play Scarlatti perfectly.

  12. Of course I was curious how this would affect your mood so thanks.

    Now I’ll tell you wouldn’t make cream sour, the French. A year of searching and no dice. I love sour cream. I’d eat it from the tub with a spoon. I even have a chapter in my travel diary WIP (RIP more likely) devoted to sour cream. The last two words of my book? Sour cream. I might actually have to go to Budapest to get some.

    Life is too short to be robbed of joy. Get a new suit.

  13. If it isn’t that dude in Amsterdam who slithered his way into my pristine life and still shows up in the occasional nightmare, it’ll definitely be the parasites known as my children.They’ve been perfecting their attack these past years. I swear they’re waiting for the right time to pounce.

  14. It might be that year and a half long period I spent in the US without health insurance…still feeling the fall out from that one.

    Then again, my people have the habit of reading the news and spotting all gruesome deaths. So likely or not it will be death by sword, or combine harvester.

  15. My kitten. A living tripwire, he is.

  16. Funny you should ask. I had a long complex Nazi dream this morning. They are relentless. Very hard to find a hiding place and they didn’t care about my watch at all. So much for the gold theory.

  17. Yes – I go with pet-induced homicide. My golden doodle pup, seventy pounds of slobbery love who likes to sprawl wherever I’m about to walk.

  18. The news. The government. Reality television. Kids dying in war-torn nations and nobody doing anything.

    That being said, donate the suit and go by a beautiful new one without looking at the size. Joy is brief and fleeting. Grab it by the throat and squeeze out every bit of it you can.

  19. Screw the old suit. It is metaphorically a sign of how you keep limiting yourself, restraining yourself. Boxing yourself in. Trying to fit into the 2003 you is backward thinking. Embrace the day, carpe diem and all that jazz. As for the Theroux character, he’s your ghost of journeys not taken. Go forward, screw the suit, burn it, stomp it. And take that trip you never took. The spiritual journey, the physical journey, whatever it was you were too full of angst to embrace. It won’t kill you. It will free you.

  20. Last night my 9 year old son told me that his friend (also 9) has a motto for life:

    “You’ve got one life. Live it.”

    At some point I too will adopt that motto. Throw out the suit Betsy.

  21. I won’t go down without a fight. A few years ago the contractor left the garage open and a strange man sauntered upstairs. I was home with two babies. I grabbed my son’s bat, swore at him, tried to kick him down the stairs and chased him out of my house. I don’t think he was expecting that. I know I wasn’t.

  22. DKNY clothes run small. Focus on that. It’s irrefutable and, if you’re as neuotic as I am, will overshadow thoughts of your impending demise.

  23. Our new CEO, if he ever hears me refer to him as Droopy Dog. The words tremble on my lips every time I see his jowls quiver.

  24. A bear or a tree. A branch almost got me a few years ago, broken rib, punctured lung; close but no cigar in an attempt to sever my aortic artery. The bears I’ve met have been more afraid of me than the other way around, but I know there are some pissed off bruins out where I like to go. Maybe I’ll be walking under a tree with a heavy bear eating beech nuts while sitting on a rotten limb a dozen or so feet above my head.
    (The thought of someone appearing in your house is very creepy. Take care and be aware.)

  25. I have a little list …

  26. Oh my goodness. What a great laugh. I unfortunately still wear my 2003 clothes, too. Sad, sad commentary.

  27. Pbbbbbt! Wearing clothes from 2003? Rank amateur. I wear ’em so long, they cycle in and out of fashion a dozen times before I relegate them to the rag pile. What’s gonna kill me? Probably my grandkids. They have a tendency to overestimate my energy level, and I have a tendency to let them.

  28. Who is going to kill me? I guess I had to mull it over a while, but I think they pretty much already have. I often feel I am just waiting for that last breath or that not waking up moment. Certain things keep me hanging on, and God forbid I lose focus.

  29. First of all, I just can’t get my mind around relating Vaseline with food, but hey! maybe you like things a little weird. Or, maybe your People like things a little weird. Life, itself, is weird. Who is going to kill me? I wish you could put a name to the voices because that would make things a whole lot easier while I’m constructing my list. Let me tell ya. The perfectly purring pudding is that I have found that when I am abusing myself with sentences that I have recorded in my memory throughout the years and are, of course, reinforced with my emotional abandonment, I am playing back tapes, as they say, memory stuff, that fit my emotions at the time, I’m fucking up, for instance, and that really, I am the one who is try to kill everything that I am or could be. Sometimes it seems so clear and simple. And then you try to explain it. Well, guess what. Don’t go with the good stuff. Everything else, is just play-back, or feed-back. From my experience. My People are weird too. And, in fact, you have no idea. So, don’t hurt yourself in any way because you just can’t figure it out. It’ll come to you if you’re interested, which is different than caring, we don’t care, we are interested in ourselves and that’s about all, it’s not life or death, it’s fun. Who is going to kill me? Nobody that I know. Thank you very much. I like it that way.

    • O.K. I know this has nothing to with the gist of Betsy’s blog, like a bugger, blog, what a word, and fuck her, she’s just a party host, But did you ever get the thought that James Joyce was the godfather of the fantasy game Dungeons and Dragons. What a fucking nerd paradise. Oh, let’s create worlds where people do what we want them to do, and then we’ll call ourselves by some filtered myth-name and get people to play along with us. It can be very spiritually rewarding, but better yet, you can get other spiritually rewarded mythological figures to play along with you and you can create your own economy. Awesome. James Joyce—what a god.

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