• 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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The Problem Is All Inside Your Head She Said To Me


1) They make great lovers.

2) They are  great cooks.

3) They can entertain themselves.

4) They like to walk.

5) Ramen.

6) Will play Bananograms.

7) Floss.

8) Amazing library.

9) Bad at sports.

10)  Childlike sense of wonder.

Am I forgetting anything?

54 Responses

  1. You’re happy to just stay at home, reading. Cheap dates when you go out.

  2. What about the dark side…..hmmmm?

  3. I’m posting this on Match.com.

  4. great editors.

  5. I agree with most of these but I also can’t help asking about the TEN WORST REASONS… Is that coming up?

  6. They’re so lighthearted.

  7. I’m the last person to ask: I live with dogs, w-a-y too many temperamental clocks, a complicated garden roughly a quarter of a football field in size and a “real” ghost that has frightened guests with his antics.

  8. They demand so little from you and are so easily ignored.

  9. They suck at housework and don’t notice that you do too.

  10. No need for a dictionary.

  11. An entertaining sense of humor and play, I’m told.

  12. Surreal conversations at restaurants that make the waitstaff and eavesdroppers stare in bafflement and concern: “Hey! I figured out how to take out the landlord this morning and make it look like an accident — oh, what’s the soup today?”

    Entertaining pop quizzes: “Honey? You know gas pumps, right? What would I call the place where they used to be if they’re removed? No, I’ve used station already. Would a capped tank? What does that look like? And what’s that little shelter thing over them called? It’s not an awning . . . “

  13. They don’t judge you for washing down a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a martini. For breakfast.

    • I’m not judging, only suggesting, you skip the P&J and mix a Bloody Mary instead. Made with the vegetable garnish, we all pretend it’s a health drink.

  14. They show deep empathy for others.

  15. I’m thinking they don’t look at you funny if you talk to yourself but
    actually, I haven’t a clue because my husband pounds nails for a living.

    • I asked my husband, what’s one of the best reasons for being married to a writer:

      He said that because I’m writing I do not disturb his viewing of, Judge Judy. One of these days I know he’s going to ask me to dress in a long black robe with a lace collar.

  16. Sense of humor. Again I use Raphael Sabatini’s answer to what makes life worth living: To be born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad.

    And so it goes.. . .


  17. What a pack of lies.

    • I was lying.

      My lovers would likely say I was wonderful at the start, but then they discovered that writers often have other priorities (such as writing, which can consume attention and time).

      I am not a great cook. I can get the prey to stop wigglin’, which is good enough for me. (But I am married to a great cook.)

      I can entertain myself. Often I prefer it that way.

      The way to see the world is by walking. Writers must see the world; therefore, they (we) must walk.

      I can subsist on ramen if necessary (though it has been many years since I had to, and now I am married to a great cook).

      Bananogram? I’m not looking this up. Floss? Yes, every Christmas. Amazing library? Could be better. Bad at sports? Almost certainly, though I am a good shot and take pride in that. Childlike sense of wonder? Damn straight. Occupational requirement.

      Are you forgetting anything? Probably. None of the listed reasons is good enough reason to live with a writer, unless the writer has money.

  18. We never talk about death or crippling despair at a dinner party.

  19. When I think of writers living together I always think of Peter Feibelman’s memoir of his friendship with Lillian Hellman. It was wacky. (Great book. I gotta reread it one of these days.)

    • If you like that, try Rosemary Mahoney’s A LIKELY STORY which is about the summer she was Lillian’s “helper”, aka victim.

      • If you like that, try Donald Westlake’s A LIKELY STORY.

        Top reason to live with a writer is that she finds this stuff interesting:

        “In the publishing sector, endorsements from the Oprah Winfrey Book Club are found to be a business stealing form of advertising that raises title level sales without increasing the market size. The endorsements decrease aggregate adult fiction sales; likely as a result of the endorsed books being more difficult than those that otherwise would have been purchased.”

        Click to access Celebrity_Product_Endorsements_Garthwaite.PDF

      • I’ve always felt that Oprah was evil. Now statistics indicate that it may be so. It won’t be long before The Star links her to Whitney Houston’s death.

  20. They treat conversation as play. Talk is their sport of choice. They even listen, although it might show up in their next book, so be cagey.

  21. They are hot.

  22. They get all your references.

  23. 11.) they’ll write you great love letters

  24. Pretty good taste in movies.

  25. They know what it means to be completely undone by a piece of writing. Take-out is acceptable for any occasion.

  26. My poor husband is married to the wrong writer. Except for the bed part.

  27. When we whine, bitch and complain we sometimes make it entertaining. Sometimes not, but the times we do make up for a lot. I hope?

  28. We also make great companions for artists. Who have all the same damn issues (it seems) but also seem to approach the question of loving to paint and why they paint with joy as opposed to morosity (if it wasn’t a word, it is now) that writers do.

  29. If the writer is a smut-writer, you’re in luck!

  30. You can edit your spouse’s angry whistleblowing emails to management drafted in the middle of the night when he’s got fifty charts in the rack and another fifty patients waiting to be triaged, so he doesn’t lose his job. You can draw on your creative powers to construct elaborate self-gratifying fantasies that enhance conjugal relations.

  31. There’s always something to drink…and if it’s a Thursday, and you’re at my house, it’ll be Sangria.

  32. Available for repairpeople. Although possibly still in pajamas when repairpeople arrive.

  33. They will never, ever accuse you of “over-reacting.”

  34. A writer will make few demands on her spouse’s time because frankly she likes it better when he goes off and does his own thing so the house is quiet and she can write uninterrupted. Also, the onsite dictionary and thesaurus services — that probably doesn’t rank up there with good sex, but that’s all I got.

  35. I’ve had four kids so far and I’ve never seen this cliche the “childlike sense of wonder” in action. WTF is that? It sounds like a concept Steven Speilberg invented on an off day and then sold the rights to Hallmark and Hello Kitty. Ees total bullsheet.

    And: is it possible for a mediocre writer, which most are, to be good in bed? I have trouble believing that.

    • I’m with you on the “childlike sense of wonder.” If my husband got all wide-eyed when somebody produced a quarter from behind their ear, I’d consider it a deal-breaker. Unless it was dementia what caused it.

  36. I can’t cook and I’m good at sports, but other than that I think you’ve covered everything!

  37. They know a lot of words.

  38. – Whenever you say, “Oh, what’s that word I’m trying to think of?” they can usually give you one, or two… or three :).

    – They’re not very demanding — too busy writing.

    – They save on gas — ditto above.

    – They’ll spell your words for you.

    – They may even edit your work for free, if you’re nice.

  39. They edit your papers, your nephew’s resume, your grant proposals, your conference proposals… and they know how to format documents in Word.

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