• 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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Love Can Touch Us One Time and Last For a Lifetime

It’s Oscar weekend. Usually my favorite night of the year from the first Blahnik  on the red carpet to the last acceptance speech cut short for going over time.  But this year I’m not in the mood. Maybe it’s because they had to borrow a host from the wax museum, or because there isn’t a single piece of bombast that will sweep the night, or maybe it’s because I’m bitter not be nominated for my screenplay  that didn’t get made into a movie. I remember the first time someone I loved broke up with me. I knew I had a vital choice to make: to be bitter or to be happy that I had known great love.

I would like to thank my hand for scratching my ass. I would like to thank my 10th grade English teacher for asking me to touch him inappropriately, thus supplying a decade of disgust. I would like to thank my parents for fucking me up just enough but not ruining me completely. I’d like to thank everyone who ever lied to me, and this means you most of all; great material, babe. I don’t want to thank all the other wankers in the category. I will not assume you like me. I will not thank the Lord. ANd I promise that I will take this vote of confidence and twist it into something debased and degraded. Thank you.

Who are you going to thank?

41 Responses

  1. Everyone. Why play favorites?

  2. My speech is likely to be a bit like yours. No thanks to people who didn’t believe in me, or crushed my spirit or otherwise abused me. I vented on my blog recently about bad teachers. Maybe I could do a bit more of that.

    Though I’ve always thought my acceptance speech might be more along the lines of “The people who helped me know who they are. Now, let’s talk about female circumcision…” Or something like that. Remember Michael Moore’s speech, Or Marlon Brando’s stand-in, or Vanessa Redgrave in 1977 having a go at Zionists? At the OSCARS? The cheek of her! I love it!

    Why not, eh? When the world is watching? When you are likely (unless you are Meryl Streep) to only ever make one internationally televised acceptance speech in your life, to ruffle some feathers and have a bit of a tiz?

    That’s what I would do

  3. Oh Lord… I must thank you, Betsy, for the biggest laugh of my whole week.

  4. Rarely mentioned at these proceedings,
    yet ever the protagonist.

    City of cars and
    fallen stars.

    City of shimmering schemes.
    Los Angeles, thank YOU.

  5. Recently, I received a recognition by a local business magazine. At the awards luncheon, I invited several people to attend as my guest and sit at my table. Most did not know each other, but as I made introductions around that white linen-topped table, I also included an anecdotal story of why each person was so special to me. The award and the article and standing on the stage was a magical experience – but just as satisfying was having a lovely venue with which to say thank you to those who so deserved it.

  6. My biochemistry for its indefatigable effort at keeping me from the razors and ropes.

    My natural dorkiness for creating just enough buffer to keep me from truly understanding if and when I’ve been insulted.

    My hubris for fueling this life of art-making at the expense of a boss, benefits and pantyhose.

    • Pantyhose are a tool of the male oppressor!

      (Can’t say I’ve ever worn ’em meself, being one of those oppressing males.)

      • Not even to knock off a 7-Eleven, Tetman?

        Actually, I can’t even remember the last time I rolled those nasty things up my legs. A funeral, maybe.

      • A 7-Eleven? Chump change, my friend. No, put me on the trading floor at Golden Sacks or Dutchy Bank and stand back while I make some real money (and bring down two or three second-tier sovereign economies (collateral damage, sorry about that, just the way it goes, you know)).

  7. Coffee. Whiskey. Yahtzee. The moon. Music. Masturbation. My cowboy boots, for fourteen years and counting. My dog, for making me seriously consider whether I should ever have children. My face, for teenage acne. My bones, for going frail. My right breast, for growing a lump. My ample butt, for keeping the rest of me in shape. All the jerks I’ve ever kissed, especially that one who lied about being terminally ill. John Steinbeck. Wes Anderson. You, Betsy Lerner, for being here and being constant and being real. And my family, for loving me unconditionally.

  8. My common sense.
    For telling me that awards ceremonies are for love-me-doo fucking blatherskites I don’t want to know, and that I should either stay home and write something or go somewhere I actually want to be instead.

      • If only I were interesting enough to go to a good pub. I don’t, ummm, drink. I was kinda thinking of a beach, or maybe a forest next to a river or lake somewhere in my little bus. It has no TV, but does have a shelf full of books.
        Oh no. I’m even more boring than I thought.

      • Good places to be. Enjoy!

      • You are far from boring, harryipants. It is a rare gift to not be bored. I find boring those who always need some entertainment, who have little going on inside and so seek to escape their own boringness. The beach is the greatest show on earth. Bless you and the bus you rode in on.

  9. My parents for paying so little attention to being parents that I early on realized any raising up was gonna be done by me. My husband for making me realize, yeah, you are in this alone. Coca-cola for taking that bitter taste out of my mouth.

  10. I hear you. There are a few ass holes I would have to thank. Those who pushed me back and made sure my dreams were squashed into the ground and told me to go home and prepare Sunday brunch for everyone because I wouldn’t be going any further.

    While great love is an enriching thing, abuse and cruelty also suggest a lot of crap to write about.

  11. I know. Not excited or interested. Everyone has a stylist now–no fun. And MC from the wax museum…ugh. No good movies. Kristen Stewart snubbed again!

  12. I’d like to thank Lawrence Block the man who wrote the book which changed my writing life. I went from flowery, overwritten, hackneyed, language which dripped from my fingertips like honey from the lips of long-haired vestal virgins, to being succinct.
    In this business, to MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT, is like sugar; too much, yuck, a little, sweet.

  13. I’ve been reading David Mamet’s BAMBI VS. GODZILLA this week, interspersed with William Goldman’s WHICH LIE DID I TELL? and they have been sadly enlightening about the world of movie making. Between them, they have almost talked me out of writing my first screenplay.

    But I’m going to do it for NaNoWriMo’s Script Frenzy in April, so I’ll get the fun of possibly “winning,” i.e., completing a script, without any worries of fame and glory. I wouldn’t last two seconds in L.A.

  14. I’d like to thank the designer of my gown, the shop that loaned it to me for free and threw in the shoes, and also the hair and makeup wizards who spent a solid three hours this afternoon spackling over the damage.

    Without you, I would be standing here barefaced in sweat pants and a ratty tee-shirt. I’d also be able to breathe, eat, and go potty, but we can’t have everything, can we?

  15. I’d like to thank my agent (we haven’t met yet) for coming out of the closet or wherever the asshole has been hiding. I want to thank my editor for switching to the email route–her shrill phone voice was breaking the glassware in my kitchen. And I want to thank my dog for hanging around in case it’s writing and not masturbation that truly makes you go blind.

  16. You are gold. Solid gold.

  17. Without you writing, Betsy, I wouldn’t have met the most generous writers I am surrounded by. So thank you for your books, and thank you for this space that allowed me to meet my tribe. Corny, but sincere.

    Now that I’ve done it, I’ll have to come up with something new for the Oscars. Nuts.

  18. I read this blog for your expertise. But that’s only part of the deal. I read it because YOU MAKE ME LAUGH.

  19. As the tears come rolling down my cheeks (I can cry on command), I’ll look straight into the camera and thank my father, for pointing me in all the wrong directions and teaching me, by his absence, that no matter how successful I become, I will never be good enough. Then I will ask the audience to raise a toast to all parents everywhere who are shit.

    (Can you tell my kids have been home from school for the past week? Rosy, I am not.)

    ……..
    I

  20. Thank you for the image of graceful hippotamus’ in tutus, for guitar solos that find the nerves of my soul, for my late friend Jan who loved her dogs more than people; for voices that angels envy, for secrets of flesh and damp desire, for walks that help clear my head and drinks and smoke that muddle my thoughts. Thanks also for a pleasant smile for no reason at all, thank you for many happy moments in a child’s life. Thank you for exotic food that taste so good it forever changes your diet. Thanks for the relief and humor of farts. And for anyone who has ever taken ink to paper, color to canvas, images to film or bellowed music out into the world, telling a story that meant something when it was heard, thank you.

  21. “Love Can Touch Us One Time and Last For a Lifetime”

    Yeah. Fuck that shit. Love has touched me one time too many and better not touch me again. I scream and bite and thrash about these days, and I carry a knife.

  22. Thanks for the carrot the ring the noose the goose, the lottery slot. Not.

  23. I want to thank the Oscars for presenting people so completely removed from reality in their visages they remind me that no matter how absolutely fucking pretentious, hideous, and self-absorbed I am I will be real by comparison. My face moves. My ass has fallen. I can’t do those heels without shaking. Someone else said it before but here I feel a little less alone.

  24. With any luck…oh screw luck, it’s overrated. With hard work, sweat from my brow, and aching fingers, one day I hope to thank my agent.

  25. Favorite. Post. EVER…

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