• 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.
  • Archives

Is It Hard To Make Arrangements With Yourself

First of all, I’m in Texas so all bets are off. Tomorrow, I crush the hopes and dreams of some forty graduate students and creative writers. And who said being an agent isn’t fun? Plus,  I’m writing from a room that could double as Gertrude’s bedroom for the wine-colored drapes that hang from ceiling to floor and whose folds doubtless harbor a murderer.

Do you hate your mother? Did your father compete with you? Are you too much for other people? Too sensitive? Arrogant?Do you think you’re gifted? Do you feel alone except when you’re writing? Do you look good in a beret? Do you think you’re better than other people? Worse? Are you terrible at parties? Are you constipated? Do you hate sex? Are you a wonderful kisser, your lips perfect? Do you feel that language can save you, its sounds and strains something akin to music or painting or dance. Bach, Picasso, Nureyev in flight.  Are you my love?

42 Responses

  1. No. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. Not really. Yes. Who doesn’t? Yes. Sometimes, depends on how much I drink. Yes. No. Ask my husband. Yes.

    This picture of Nureyev reminds me of the cover of Hush Hush (and about a dozen other books) which was pretty much the only thing about it that I liked.

    I’m not sure whether I’m your love. I like you though.

  2. I could have been.

  3. i’d like to touch Nureyev’s body so i guess that pretty much makes me creepy.

    • I must be getting old, but I’ve met all the recent blog pix here…Charles Ludlam and now Nureyev. I chauffeured him once (I’m sure I shook his hand) and he invited me to see his Romeo and Juliet from the wings of the Met. That was the famous baudy production he did at the time, giving the finger to Prokofiev’s music. Stella Adler, my acting teacher, said that the way Nureyev holds his coffee cup makes him different from us. He said he was only happy when he was dancing.

  4. Yes. Except for the father thing. And also I’m not your love, you don’t hate me enough.

  5. I do look good in a beret.

  6. i’m fucking AMAZING at being constipated.

    “I’m not a playa, I just crush a lot.” Big Pun

  7. Some of my most memorable adventures were in Texas hotels – the nice ones with swimming pools on the roof and very polite staff delivering room service at all hours (even to the pool deck). I think we removed all our evidence from between those drapery pleats…

  8. I love you Betsy.
    I am glad that episode with the oven did not pan out.

  9. Right now I am NOT your love. All my posts have been going into your spam folder. If I want any love I’ll have to go back to Facebook.

    • Aaaah, a phony email address did the trick. Still, I need to be de-spammed, Betsy.

      • How? How? Does anyone know how to de-spam???

      • Betsy, on your WordPress dashboard you’ll see a box that says “Right Now.” At the bottom right of that box is a red icon for Spam. Click there, find TP’s comment, and when you a mouse over it, you’ll see that you can click “not spam.” That will release it into the comments list. Then you’ll have to go to Comments on the toolbar at far left, which will show you a list. As you scroll down, her comment will probably stand out in a different color. When you find it, click Approve under the comment itself and you’re finished.

      • So much trouble to go to for li’l ol’ me. I was starting to take it as a sign from God to start keeping all my witty and profound (or pathetic, depending) remarks to myself, over at my own blog.

        Thanks for helping out, Averil and Shanna.

  10. Love my mom. Pretty sure my dad and I were teammates. S’pose it depends on the other people. Getting over that sensitive thing. Not arrogant. Gifted, no; disciplined, yes. One of the best parts of the day is when I’ve properly isolated myself to write and feel I am allowed to rejoin civilization. Look terrible in all hats; I can only pull off a bandana as a headband. ? Definitely not better than other people. Not worse, either. We’ve been over the party thing; depends on the moon. Not constipated. Love sex– and miss it like hell. Pretty good kisser. Lips okay. And the only thing that will save me is to never forget to look left-right-left. As for being your lover, I doubt it but I say that purely due to my own shortcomings.

  11. Bach is my love and I am a great kisser.

  12. Can’t answer most of the questions, though I have never found a good way to wear a beret: this probably goes back to schooldays when we were forced to wear a green horror styling itself a beret and marched to church in it twice a year.
    The title is a line from a Neil Young song, no?

    • “Tell Me Why” from After the Goldrush. (Back in the days when Acapauco Gold was badass weed, hence the possible double meaning — nerdy hippies spent a lot of time back then searching for drug references).

  13. I don’t hate my mother. When she was alive I would resolve each time before our four times per year visits that I would not get irritated with her. If we were lucky, that idea would last 5 minutes after the welcome hug. But as she aged and became more dependent on her kids it was her turn to make a major esolution. That being to be absolutely no trouble to her offspring. bin never complaining about her poor health or being stuck in aged care “facilities”. And in this she succeeded magnificently.

    What’s going on Betsy? Are your questions writing exercises? Aids to growth through introspection? Are you gathering material for a novel?

  14. Yes, I guess I can be too much for other people. I’ve been dumped by good friends (though not the true ones) and I suppose that’s why. Jerks.

  15. Yes, I have awesome lips and once kissed a boy for over an hour. We only budged after our stomachs grumbled.

  16. Yes, but are you my love?

  17. Is everything bigger there?

    • Probably the biggest item in TX is the sense of civic self esteem – the Lone Star emblem is on e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g and that seems to be OK with everyone– must have something to do with starting out as a Republic instead of a colony. And since Houston was especially kind to NOLA in ’05, my small beret will always be tipped to them. Thanks, Texas!

  18. Crush ’em! Crush ’em good!

    Ha ha, I woke up feeling happy, which doesn’t happen as often as it used to.

  19. I’ve been told I’m a wonderful kisser, but since I think I’m worse than other people, I don’t believe the compliment.

    • I always questioned my worth, except when it came to my sexuality. The man whisperer. Follow me anywhere. The problem was when they wanted to love me, take care of me. Asshole! was yelled at my back more than once as I quietly shut the door.

  20. Betsy, you’re drunk.

  21. I am gifted, actually, at hooking bits of my clothing over doorknobs and handles and the occasional running faucet. It’s my superpower—my useless, wet-sleeved superpower.

    Maybe that’s why I’m so terrible at parties? Perhaps I should skip straight to the kissing . . .

    Language saves me a little more than it screws me over—I’ll take those odds.

    • What ever you do, don’t ever buy an air-hockey table. I’ve yet to see one that doesn’t mutate into a self standing closet.

      • i assure you, this is a completely involuntary superpower, which activates as I walk past anything that might snag cloth.

        The fact that I’m hardcore untidy and am now thinking of buying an air-hockey table for the extra closet space has nothing to do with it. 😉

  22. She’s dead, no, yes-times-whatever, fiber works and I could be if you let me.
    If there is a chainsaw in the tub I’d check behind the drapes.

  23. Ooo, a quiz. I do so enjoy it when you give us a quiz.

    “Do you hate your mother?” Used to. Probably don’t anymore.

    “Did your father compete with you?” Nah. He went to war and war fucked him up.

    “Are you too much for other people?” No. Yes. Maybe. What do you mean?

    “Too sensitive?” Probably.

    “Arrogant?” I dunno. Ask my wife.

    “Do you think you’re gifted?” I’d better be.

    “Do you feel alone except when you’re writing?” No. I don’t feel. I am. And I am alone all the time. And so are you. Couldn’t you tell?

    “Do you look good in a beret?” I dunno. Never worn one. Not likely to, either.

    “Do you think you’re better than other people?” ‘Better’? What mean you by this ‘better’? Speak you ethically? Aesthetically? Financially? Is it obvious yet that I’m avoiding answering this?

    “Worse?” I am the scum of the earth. A liar, a coward, and a thief. And those are just my good qualities.

    “Are you terrible at parties?” Almost always.

    “Are you constipated?” Sometimes. Though those who know me best may tell you I am always full of shit.

    “Do you hate sex?” Sometimes. It has got me into more trouble, lemme tell you.

    “Are you a wonderful kisser, your lips perfect?” Used to be. But that was in days long ago and far away.

    “Do you feel that language can save you, its sounds and strains something akin to music or painting or dance. Bach, Picasso, Nureyev in flight.” Fucked if I know. Like I said, I don’t feel.

    “Are you my love?” Yes. I am your love. Too bad I don’t exist. Or maybe too good.

  24. I am not your love. I am no one’s love and my lips are far from perfect, but I’m a damn fine kisser and that will have to do.

  25. I was born in San Antonio at Fort Sam Houston, but when I went back years later and claimed to be a Texan, people in the bar said, “Yeah, but what northern state are you from?” I’m a vegetarian with a fondness for beer, whiskey, tequila and herb. I like to get up as early as possible because morning is my favorite time of day, although midnight is a close second. I’m pretty content because, for the most part I don’t give a shit what people think of me. I love my wife but my eyes wander and my soul or parts more physical often ache. I’m a pacifist but I’d kill anyone who hurt my little girl. Get along well with my father and miss my mother. I miss my late stepfather, although I’m not sure why. More hardworking than gifted, but there are times my writing sings a tune that should be reserved for only the most beautiful
    bird. I’m an alright kisser, fun in bed, interesting but contradictory and you’d probably be sick of me after a month or so.
    ps–anywhere within 100 miles of Austin you can find some of the best live music on the planet; around Dallas or Houston, not so much.

  26. Happy birthday, Gertrude…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: